Back Home

Two weeks ago, Keegan and I went home to Michigan! More than likely if you’re a person reading this post, you already knew this, and we probably saw each other. For my rapidly growing online fan base (hah!) and for those of you who weren’t glued to my side every second of the trip, here are the highlights: Val and Rios’s Wedding! 7. 11.2015 I’ve been friends with Val since Aquinas, and Keegan and I have been friends with her and her fiance since before they were dating! These two got married at a beautiful apple orchard in Pottersville, and do they know how to throw a party! They had people on the dance floor ages 3 to …. older than 3. Perfect weather. Val looked AMAZING. Rios looked SO handsome. We had an awesome time celebrating!

The beautiful bride

Lovin’ on the bride

Group shot!

Mr. and Mrs. Rios!

For that next week, I got work back and my old home base of Grand Rapids. If you don’t know me that well, you should know this: I love OtterBase. My company has given me such incredible opportunities, my director is the kind of guy you want leading your team, and my business partner lets me both cry on shoulder (reluctantly) and takes us out fishing at Grand Haven.  Don’t get me wrong–he’s a sarcastic ass half the time, but that’s why I love him. “BRIANNA!!!!!!!! WHAT’S GOING ON?!?!? What are you WEARING?!” While I was back, Pat’s wife Lou dropped by the girls! These little princesses brighten up the office every time they stop by. And they remind me that Pat is, in fact, a human being.

Pat and Syd

I packed my weeknights hanging out with my best friends and family. Keegan and I did dinner with his parents then hung out with all of our Cadillac and Aquinas group of friends that first Friday we got into town. It’s impossible to not have fun with these guys! Not posting any pictures because no one wants to see Bri with bottle service at the Eve. No one. Way too messy. Amy and I saw Far From the Madding Crowd on Sunday. Not our favorite movie. Slow plot, barely any dialogue. 19th century setting but not the best period film. We’ll take Pride and Prejudice anyyyy day. Heather and I went to Little Africa for dinner on Tuesday. If you’re into “different” food. GO THERE. It’s Ethiopian food, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. I’m not even going to describe it. If you like vegetarian food and naan, stop on by. We used to go there all the time when we went to Aquinas. Oh, if you go there, make sure you get the tea. You will be back. Abby and Kelsey and I went to Maru–my favorite sushi place in Grand Rapids! We drank and drank and stayed at the table way too long. Our waitress seriously hated us by the end. I don’t care. I had to catch up with my girls! Whenever I come back to Grand Rapids, Aunt Linda always lets me stay at her place. We eat, we drink, we watch Orphan Black and talk about Outlander. It really is the perfect life. She also got me into Jamie Oliver’s cookbook Meals in Minutes. It’s healthy food in minutes, by the way. I’m excited to try out some recipes!

Sweet little Brady Boe

Sweet little Brady Boe

On Wednesday, I met Dad, Shelley, Kelly, and Brady in Webbersville. It is exactly half way between Grand Rapids and Roseville, so it’s the perfect meeting place. We picked up dinner and made a little picnic in park, which was followed by an impromptu baseball game. If you’re not already connected with Kelly on Snapchat, do it (kellyboe). She sent videos of our amazing game, PLUS she’s a flight attendant. One day she’s sending Snaps from Salt Lake City, the next she’s in Amsterdam. This girl’s amazing. Laura and Alessandro’s Wedding!! 7.18.2015 On Friday, I drove up to Traverse City to celebrate the wedding of Laura and Allesandro!!!!! \ The bridal party started with nails followed by the food trucks for lunch on Friday. Let me tell you this, Laura is a special girl. I’ve been best friends with her since my Aquinas days, and she is the most loyal friend you will meet. As her maid of honor Anna put it, she has so many best friends, but she has a heart big enough for them all. Laura is abundantly loving and incredibly goofy. She’ll make you laugh when you don’t want to and she’ll be there for you even if you’re a thousand miles away. Not to mention, Alessandro is the perfect guy for. I am so blessed that they asked me to be a part of their big day! To make it even better, her bridesmaids kick ass. They are SO nice and the most beautiful group of women I’ve ever seen! I loved getting to know all of Laura’s closest friends and dancing the night away with friends old and new.

Bridesmaids with the Bride at rehearsal dinner!

Laura got us all monogrammed bath robes with the letters in the colors of our bridesmaid dresses! Best present ever!

Laura got us all monogrammed bath robes with the letters in the colors of our bridesmaid dresses! Best present ever!

Look at that girl! Most beautiful bride in town! #aleandlauragetmarried

Mr. and Mrs. Chimento! #coupleofchimentos

The AQ Crew. Go Saints!

If you can’t tell, my trip home was awesome. Miss you, Michigan! xoxo mi love from jax

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Marital Compromises

As a pretty newly married couple, Keegan and I are still learning the art of making compromises to keep our relationship strong and true. We talk about the important things to continue to get to know each other: what kind of parents do we want to be? how do we balance work life vs personal life? is it my turn to turn off the light or his? (Him duh.)

Last week, we hit the wall on a deal-breaker kind of matter–the thermostat.

Anyone practicing co-habitation knows what a serious matter this is. I swear to you that we moved to the hottest state in the US only to live in the coldest condo. Keegan likes to keep our place just above freezing. Let me remind you again we live in Florida in the middle of summer.

After a serious of temperature changes throughout the weeks, Keegan proactively decided we could compromise on the temp of our condo.

“What a loving husband!” you say.

“A regular Casanova there, Bri!” you cheer.

So I came home one day to see his hilarious solution to our very serious problem.


hahaha There you have it. It’s 76 degrees in our condo.

A Different Kind of Storm

According to Facebook, a very trusty source indeed, Michigan has been getting hit pretty hard with storms and even a tornado! Of course as soon as I leave that happens. Geez.

If you don’t know, I love storms. Thunderstorms to be exact. I love being nestled in bed hearing the rain lightly falling on the ceiling, seeing the lightning suddenly flash across the sky, and hearing the thunder reign down upon the earth. Pretty cool stuff.

In Florida, our thunderstorms are different from back home. Not to state the obvious, but in Michigan, when it rains and thunders, it is dark outside. Right? Duh. And it’s usually dreary and leaves you slightly chilled just by looking outside.

That’s not always the case in Jacksonville.

Sometimes it’ll storm during the day but the sky will stay perfectly blue. I’ll hear a loud *clap* and look out my window and see a light blue sky with fluffy cumulus clouds. Then the lightning. But no sign of rain. It still makes me take a double-take. I’m talking about a STORM in PERFECT weather. (One could say The Perfect Storm eh? eh?)

Other times, it seems like Mother Nature is PMSing and our condo community is the one who forgot to buy her some Milk Duds. I’m talking CRAZY thunder and lighting. Rain pouring down like you have never seen. Lightning that illuminates the entire sky when it should be pitch black. If Keegan and I had pets or children, they’d surely be in bed with us crying their little eyes out. Poor future babies.

Though I’m jealous of your tornado weather, I am really enjoying the Jacksonville storm scene. All the fun of a storm but you know it’ll be sunny once you wake up.

Here are some pictures of a sweet thunderstorm we had on Monday.

Right before the lightning struck

                      

Stay dry, Michigan!

A Necessary Change

Hello friends.

There comes a point in a writer’s life where one must change his or her literary voice. Mark Twain, for example, wrote part of Huckleberry Finn, took a few year break, then picked back up in an entirely new literary voice. (Did you even know that?! And did you know Twain’s real name is Samuel Clemens?) Reread it. You’ll find it pretty evident now that you know this key piece of intel.

I’m at that point with my own voice. I’m so bored with my own blog.

I love the title. I mean “Mi” for “My” works because I’m from “MI”, and it’s not because I am some silly little girl who thinks it’s cute to misspell words. Spelling errors are never acceptable by the way. I love the really sweet feedback from my family who reads it. But sometimes I get halfway through proofreading my post for the eighth time and I can’t even finish it because I’m so not interested. I’m pretty sure only my mom, mother-in-law, and Aunt Sharon read and enjoy this thing, and that’s because they’re all my moms. They have to.

Therefore, I have made the decision to change my literary voice. My favorite part to write about is the end where I talk about my favorite new books and new things about Florida. So I might just blog about literature for a bit, or new TV shows (Mr. Robot premieres on USA tomorrow–WATCH. IT.) Maybe I’ll write about really cool places that Keegan and I discover. It’ll probably be really similar to My Happy Life.

But if you want to know more about the true day to day, I’ll just shoot you a text. Or you could follow me on Instagram at brishappylife. Be warned: I mainly post without filters, edited images, or contrasting sharpness. So they’re mostly just normal pictures.

Until then,

xoxo Brianna

St. Augustine and Our One Year Anniversary!

Last weekend Keegan and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary!

To celebrate, we decided to get away and stay at a sweet little B&B in St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the US! (This year it will celebrate its 450th anniversary.)  Man, did we have a great time.

The Bed and Breakfast was called Southern Wind Inn and was probably built over 100 years go. It was tucked away outside of the main tourist areas in a great little neighborhood by the Historic District. Everything is walkable in that little city, so we loved it.

Southern Wind Inn in St. Augustine

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Our favorite picture of the weekend ❤

We spend the weekend checking out the adorable boutiques. I’m telling you, we checked out every little store. They had such a great variety of boutique clothing, cigar shops, bars, themed restaurants, and ice cream places, and we enjoyed every single one!

Keegan and I really loved having a weekend where we could just do whatever we wanted. If we wanted to grab a drink, we did. If we wanted to grab some ice cream, we indulged. If we wanted to spend 10 hours looking for a ring with an anchor on it, we had time to do so. (And I did find the ring at the last shop thank God.) It was really nice being able to relax without feeling guilty. Also, there are pirates who just walk around the city. No joke.

Here are some of our fave pics from the weekend:

Zilwins

Grabbing some ice cream at Kilwin’s

Isn’t Zultan the guy from Big with Tom Hanks?

IMG_4885

Yes yes, we got him the pug shirt.

One of the many pirates

On Saturday night we grabbed dinner at a restaurant suggested to us by a few of the locals called The Raintree, which is a giant old house divided into different dining areas. The food was great and the atmosphere was perfectly romantic for our anniversary.

Dinner at The Raintree

Dinner at The Raintree

Sunday morning we ventured over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine on the other side of the city. The mass wasn’t our favorite, but the cathedral itself was beautiful!

Sadly we didn’t have time to see the Castillo de San Marcos, which draws in a lot of people. It’s an old masonry fort on the western shore of the bay. Next time we go back, I will wear walking shoes and we will take the tour!

Outside of the fort. Yes those are cannons in every open crevice at the top.

Outside of the fort. Yes those are cannons in every open crevice at the top.

I know everyone says, “I can’t believe it’s already been a year since you got married!” but it very much so feels like a year. The year since our wedding has been the best of my life. Starting with THE best day ever known to man, then achieving my goal of hitting the OtterBase Recruiter Challenge, getting promoted, going on trips to Mexico and Cayman Islands, Keegan getting promoted, and moving to Florida all in one year? Yeah. That sounds about right. I don’t know if we could have fit much more in!

Year Two of marriage should be a little less eventful now that we’ve moved. We’ll probably start planning bigger trips like Europe instead of tropical island trips like we have in the past. We already feel like we live in paradise, so we don’t have to “get away from it all” quite yet!

New favorite thing about Florida: From where we live, everything is walking distance. We have TCBY, restaurants, Dunkin Donuts, shopping, the gym, and Publix all within a mile. Because I don’t have to commute to work, I can quite literally go an entire work week without driving, and I love it.

Odd things about Florida: The license plates start with numbers. What? I’m used to the ol’ CZZ 1671 and BNS 7127. But now I have the numbers first. You wouldn’t think it’s weird until you have it.

Books I’m Reading: I finished Outlander! Now I get why it has such an awesome fan base. It’s like Harry Potter meets Fifty Shades meets Michelle Moran. There’s historical fiction, a lot of sex, great writing, and a little magic. Now I’m onto Dragonfly in Amber.