Idea Dump

My good friend and fellow blogger, Christy Haygood, once gave me some great advice for planning my blogs: idea dumps. If you’re struggling with what to write about, take a few minutes and just jot down EVERYTHING that’s on your mind. Or anything you’ve noticed over the past week. Or thoughts on current events. Whatever comes to mind, dump it on the paper.

I haven’t blogged in a few weeks, so I thought I’d have an idea dump and share it with my readers. Enjoy!

  • I love peanut butter.
  • I wish we could go a day without social media and news sources being obsessed with arguing over POTUS.
  • Kevin and I have completed Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step #1 – save at least $1,000 into a beginner emergency fund.
  • Why are women expected to be on birth control when we are only fertile about 2-7 days each month, but men are fertile every single day, 24/7, 365 days a year?
  • I want to do something more. More what? I don’t yet know. But I feel like I’m not living up to my potential.
  • What happened to winter?
  • Marriage is awesome. Kevin and I spent Saturday evening camped out in our living room on the air mattress watching Netflix. Yes, we spent the night there.
  • We are currently on season 4 of Dexter and this show is strangely addicting.
  • I’m tinkering with an idea for a nonfiction book, but it would delve into a deeply personal issue from my past. Not sure if I have the courage.
  • I want to give more and complain less.
  • NSYNC was better than Backstreet Boys.

Want to try idea dumping? Add your random thoughts to the Comments section below!

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“How’s married life?”

Kevin and I cannot keep count of how many times we’ve been asked, “How’s married life?” It’s so sweet that people want to know. But honestly, how do you answer that question?!

If being married is awful, you’re not just going to admit to that. And, if you’re like me and love being married, I could talk to you for hours about why we love married life. After five minutes you would probably ask me to please stop talking… So our typical answer is a simple “It’s great!”

These first three months of marriage have been both fun and educational. Fun in the sense that I get to hang out with my best friend and love of my life every single day. (PSA – if you can’t have fun with your partner, you need a new partner.) Educational because we’ve had to learn how to merge two lives together. Kevin and I are figuring out how to keep a budget together, plan future goals together, take turns hogging our one bathroom, load the dishwasher without judging each other’s weird loading habits, and my sweet husband has even learned to love my cat as much as I do.

So, for all those wondering, married life is amazing and I wouldn’t trade my life with Kevin for anything! I’d be interested to hear from my readers who have been married for more than a year how the dynamics change over time! Feel free to comment below.

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Why I Did[n’t] Change My Name

Many of you might be wondering why my name on my blog, Twitter, and Instagram has remained Anna Browning even though I just got married.

I completely understand why some women keep their maiden name, or even hyphenate their last name with their spouse’s. You might feel strongly about your family name and want to keep it as part of your identity.

While I respect women who keep their maiden names and love that we have the right to make that choice, I have indeed taken on my husband’s last name. I am excited to be bonded with him in this way and start forming our own little family! I am the same person inside and out, and while I love the last name Browning, I am wholeheartedly honored and blessed to share the name Gath with my husband, my partner, my best friend… as well as our future children.

With that said, my publishing name will remain the same as it has always been. All future books, articles, blogs, essays, and anything else my creative mind can come up with will be published under my author name and the name I was born with – Anna Browning.

In real life, you may call me Anna Gath

New Year, New Goals

I’ve been hearing a lot of people griping about making New Year’s resolutions because it sets them up for failure. I say bring on the challenge! It’s important to have something you are working toward, otherwise, what is the point of living?

I asked my husband on New Year’s Eve what his resolutions would be, and his response was to “love more, laugh more, and follow Jesus.” What a lovely response! We should all strive to love others more; to laugh more and enjoy life; and, no matter what your beliefs are, be more passionate and intentional about living for those beliefs and morals.

My goals get a bit more specific and I will share one of them here. This year I will turn 30. It is my goal to be in the best shape of my life by the time my birthday rolls around in seven months. I’m starting a new weightlifting routine this month and will continue on my endeavors to eat healthy and take care of this body that God has blessed me with.

If you have any goals or resolutions for this year, don’t be worried about failing. Even if you can only walk a mile instead of running a marathon, at least you aren’t sitting on the couch.

Gath Wedding – Part Two

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In my previous blog, I talked about how perfect our ceremony was. The same can be said about our reception at Laurel Ridge Country Club. This part of our wedding day took the most effort to plan and coordinate. Just a few of the things on my reception planning checklist: DJ, cake, centerpieces, firewood, guest book, bar options, timeline for speeches, and making sure Kevin and I got to eat dinner!

Everything came together perfectly and it was definitely a night to remember. Our matron of honor and best man gave beautiful speeches. The dance party was on point (SO important to hire a good DJ who matches your personality!). Food and cake were spectacular. Our sparkler exit felt exactly how the movies make it look.

Not to mention, the wedding party commemorated Guy Fawkes Day by sporting masks and sparklers (see photo below)! Remember, remember, the fifth of November.

Kevin and I were so blessed to make these memories with our closest friends and family! Now enjoy these photos ❤


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Gath Wedding – Part One

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With our wedding and honeymoon now in the not-too-distant past, I can finally relax and reflect on the whirlwind that was our wedding day.

The most surprising thing that happened… was that nothing surprising happened! I had more than ten people tell me to expect something to go wrong and not to stress over it and get a good night’s sleep, like this was going to be the most hectic day of my life.

I slept a solid eight hours the night before the wedding, right after having a perfect rehearsal, amazing rehearsal dinner, and going home to give myself a facial. Every single thing went smoothly on the day of, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Want to know my secret? I’m the most organized person you might ever meet. I had checklists on top of checklists, and timelines for everyone involved so they would know where they needed to be and when they needed to be doing things – special shout out to my Matron of Honor and her assistant (i.e. her husband with a Honey-Do list). ❤

Those months of planning and shaping those timelines was worth every stressful moment leading up to November 5, because the actual wedding day was stress-free and just saturated with pure joy and love.

Here are some photos of pre-ceremony activities as well as the ceremony – huge thanks to Carrie and Frank from Blue Frame Photography for their amazing work! Reception photos will come later.

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Autographed Book // / Only $10 Each!

mr-promotion

For the remainder of 2016, my first book, Tanner Turbeyfill and the Moon Rocks, will be 50% off. Message me below or email anna@anna-browning.com to order an autographed copy for only $10 each!

This book is a fun gift for kids ages 3-9; it includes a CD that narrates the story, and Tanner’s Moon Journal with cool facts about space travel and our moon. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I would love to sign a book for you to give as a gift, or to keep for yourself 🙂

Blessings to you all!