DollarShaveClub.com just launched last week, and their video (which only cost about $4500 to produce) is pure advertising genius. It’s absolutely perfect for their target market.

WARNING: This video contains a bleeped out f-bomb, as well as a few other more mild cuss words. So don’t blame me if your kids repeat anything… Enjoy.

I just discovered these graphics at CoolStuff.com. Parents and non-parents alike, enjoy. Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Uncle Connor, I’m talking to you.

Back to Blogging: My Ketchup Day

March 8th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (Comments Off on Back to Blogging: My Ketchup Day)

My honey and I were on vacation for 8 days in the Caribbean (aaahhhh) without cell phone service or internet access, so I feel like I’ve been off the radar for ages. Our cruise was just what we needed–to reconnect, to relax, to spend some time in the sun in the middle of winter. Pure bliss.

Anyway, this week I’ve been running around at 100 mph getting back into the kids’ routines and making sure my part is done for my brother-in-law’s wedding this weekend. Thursday is our jammie day, our go-nowhere day, my “ketchup” day. Get it? Catch up/ketchup? Oh, who knew I was so clever? 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been doing–catching up on my blog, on emails, on work, phone calls, etc. I am still not quite finished with my blog post for Catholic Mothers Online, which was due March 1 (sorry Angie!), but hopefully by the end of the day that’ll be on my done list as well.

Here is what I (and maybe you!) missed while I was gone:

1. Brett Miller is recovering at home after his brain surgery on February 24th. This is not the official website that his family updates. For the most up-to-date news on Brett’s condition, please visit his CaringBridge website.

2. A QND alum passed away this weekend. Brian Nuessen (who I remember as one of the “big kids” in the neighborhood) was a good friend to all who knew him and will be greatly missed. One great story about Brian that I’d like to share is about my older sister. She and Brian were in the same class in 5th grade, and one Saturday evening he called and asked her to go to a movie with him. My dad told her to tell him, “Sure, in about six years.” (We weren’t allowed to date till we were 16) I don’t know if they ever did go to a movie together, but what a stud to ask a girl out at 10 years old! 🙂
I’m praying for his family as they say goodbye, share memories, and lay him to rest today.

3. Kony 2012 is sweeping the nation! This 30 minute long video will change your outlook on what our military does in countries where fear, death, and sadness are the norm. I hope and pray that Kony is found and sent to prison for life for the atrocities he committed against children. Please watch the video here and if nothing else, pray.

Keep Praying – All 3,500 of You

February 24th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (2 Comments)

Wow! I am in awe of our community, its faith, and the outpouring of love showed to Brett by praying for him while reading my post yesterday. I usually get between 50-100 hits on my blog per day, and my daily record was 206 hits in one day. Yesterday, the post requesting prayers for Brett Miller received over 3,500 hits. Thank you for all your prayers.

Here is what Brett posted on his CaringBridge webpagethis morning:

Brett, Lydia, and Malena. Photo from Brett's CaringBridge website

It is 5:53 A.M. and I thought being the day of my surgery and a long prayer chain about to begin that I would kick it off by saying a prayer for all of you involved in making this a reality. Also I hope God is giving special power and strength on this day to the surgeon team that they have the strength and wisdom to perform at their best!

God has truly blessed me thru 29 years of my life and I am thankful to all my family, friends, co-workers, students, aquaintances and anyone else who has had me in their thoughts and prayers thru this past week! I wasn’t aware how many people whose lives I have touched in so many ways that they have gone above and beyond asking for God to watch over me, simply stunning guys, simply stunning! Please God give me the strength and courage to display my gratitude at some point towards all of you who have helped lift me up to levels of strength I never imagined I had. It is simply proof that God does amazing things and thru the past week he has kept my spirits as high as ever, and often times I had forgotten that anything was wrong with me to begin with. Having Lydia, Malena, both sets of parents, Lindsay, and all the calls, texts, and messages from everyone rolling in has just had me as happy as ever, on cloud nine, experiencing a small taste of what I imagine heaven would be like. I may not be the luckiest man in the world, but surely I am pretty close, maybe even in the top 5% or so. 

Reality is beginning to set in some as I know I am T-minus 3 hours from check in at the hospital and not sure if I fully understand the whole process yet. How much will this hurt, how long will I be out of it, will the pain go away shortly after? I know I am a strong person both physically and mentally but even I am scared with what I am facing. It is hard to believe the restrictions I will be facing such as not lifting more than 10 pounds for six weeks! I can’t even hold my precious baby Malena and walk her around, maybe I can push her in the laundry basket still when we get back home. It sounds like I will have someone set up to monitor me 24/7 for a few days b/c those of you who know me can only imagine I’ll have a hard time being able to sit still and not do the things I know I can. I will get to walk for my exercise within a couple days so at least I won’t be completely inactive, but no running or weight training will be hard on me. By the time I get back to weight training class most of my students will have passed me up by then. So those of you who enjoy working out, get an extra lap or set in on occasion for me if possible. 

I am thankful for Laura (my sister-in-law) for keeping updates for everyone on this site. My sister Lindsay who is here with me does a great job relaying the news for her to post. I sit and take it all in but could never explain the whole thing the way they do. Thought I would make one thing clear about all the talk about how awesome these 2 different surgeons we have met with, it is very true. Both Dr. Ball and Vangumpel are awesome, very gifted surgeons from hearing them speak.The whole part about being so good-looking (Mcdreamy) or whatever those thoughts never once entered my mind. Don’t get me wrong they are no bus station skanks, but they are no Adam Wainwright either, LOL! So good news about the surgery procedure that I was able to gather is they should be able to remove 90% of this tumor, and it is a big tumor (grapefruit size). I am glad I have a big head and hopefully there will still be plenty of brain left for me to utilize afterwards. Percentages of affecting memory and speech post surgery are real low, so that is encouraging for me. It is scary the thought of radiation and chemo that will likely have to follow up, but I am willing to do anything and everything it takes to fully recover and dominate this tumor! 

Well it is closing in on hour 1 of my prayer chain and the energy and power is flowing thru me like never before! Keep up the great work everyone it is truly amazing! Keep in mind I would do this for any and all of you if the roles were reversed. As I wind down a few thoughts for the day. Sleep has been hard to come by this past week, but never has it weakened my spirits or had me in soaking in pain. I should be in for a long afternoon/evening nap throughout this long procedure so that might get me caught up some. My mind will be wandering thinking of all my friends and family who mean so much to me and I have had opportunities to speak with throughout the week. Thoughts are also with the Liberty and QND boys basketball teams tonight in regional championship action! Here is to big W’s for both and health for all players from participating teams involved! I will be cheering from my recovery room (if I make it there by then). This whole week I have had a Tim McGraw song in my head that has constantly been there. Someday I hope you get the chance to Live like you were dying! I never have thought for one second that I am dying but just the experiences, talks with friends and family all throughout have made me realize just how precious these moments have been for me. I get a new perspective on life and really soak up every moment I have, it is an amazing feeling to have! May God bless all of you and watch over you and give you strength to be at your best all day long, stay strong and smile, say I love you to all those who mean the world to you, and remember God will do the rest! 

Thanks again for everything, you all are truly wonderful and have been a great blessing for my family and I this past week! Now some time to play with Malena and visit with my family before check in! Love you all! Boo-yah!

God is great. Even in the difficult times–especially in the difficult times–He shows His glory by bringing all of you who are praying for Brett closer to Him. Please visit Brett’s CaringBridge page to follow his progress and continue to pray!

Also–I recently found out that another QND graduate is going through a very similar situation. Shawn Wagner, who graduated in 2002, had brain surgery on Monday. I have no other details about his situation, but God knows what’s going on, so please pray for him too.

The Power of Prayer – For Brett Miller

February 22nd, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (18 Comments)

I recently found out that my childhood best friend’s older brother has a tumor on his brain. He’s only 29 years old, has a beautiful

Brett with his wife Lydia and daughter Malena

wife and baby daughter, and countless people who love him.

Many of you know Brett Miller as a football player from Quincy Notre Dame who is now a coach there and a teacher at Liberty High School. He’s always been in great shape and in perfect health, so I’m sure this came as a complete shock to him and his family.

Here is what his dad had to say via Facebook tonight:

“I normally do not make entries on facebook as I am not one to talk about things going on in my life be it good or bad. However, when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune hit you with a life altering situation, ones focus on life changes and you find yourself in unfamiliar territory…My second born, Brett, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He is 29 yrs. old, married to a most amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman, Lydia, with a most precious 13 month old little girl named Malena. We are currently up in Rochester, MN at Mayo’s. Brett has undergone several painstaking tests, and is currently slated for surgery this Friday, February 25th. We have a pre-op orientation tomorrow, Thursday, at 1pm, followed by a consultation at 3 with the surgeon and his team. We are not sure at this time how much of the tumor will be removed as it has worked its way deep into the part of the brain that controls speech and memory. What cannot be removed safely, will have to be treated with radiation and possibly chemotherapy. This situation has been devasting to not only Brett, Lydia, and Malena, but to my family, the Keck family, and all of Brett’s and Lydia’s friends! Brett has a lot of support and prayer chains going for him, so if I may ask one thing of my friends, I ask for a small prayer for him that this will have a positive outcome. Thank you and God Bless.”

Whether you know Brett or not, if you believe in the power of prayer, please say a prayer for him, his doctors, and his family. Don’t know how to get started? Pray with me.

Everlasting Father, you are worthy of all praise. You created me in your image, and you give me the grace to walk in your way. I praise you, adore you. Especially in difficult times, I’m grateful you are there.

I am truly sorry for all of my sins, for not appreciating the blessings you bestow in my life, and for worrying about the little things.

Thank you so much for all of the blessings you give me. Thank you for the food that nourishes my body, for the friends and family that bring me up emotionally, and for your grace that heals souls.

Lord, please lay your healing hands over Brett. Send your angels to be with him and his doctors as they prepare for surgery. Give Brett physical, emotional, and spiritual fortitude to keep a positive attitude and to trust you even in the darkest times. Give Lydia and the family the strength to help support Brett, the support system to break down if they need to, and your peace, knowing that you love Brett even more than they do. Lord, so many people depend on Brett and love him–please heal him completely, and help him and those around him to see your presence in all situations. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If you know Brett and would like to follow his progress or leave a message for him and the family, a CaringBridge website was started for him a few days ago. Click here for more information.

I’m never very good at keeping New Years Resolutions, but Lenten resolutions are much easier for me because they actually make me feel closer to God.

I am a contributing writer for CatholicMothersOnline.com and I recent wrote a post about First World Problems and gratitude. If you haven’t heard of “First World Problems,” it’s a funny way of saying “I’ve got a great life, but I complain anyway.”

Part of the graphic I created for the Catholic Mothers Online article - Familiar?

With this in mind, these are my Lenten resolutions this year:

  1. Quit complaining.
  2. Quit gossiping.
  3. Be grateful for all my blessings.
  4. Simplify and de-clutter my home and my mind so I can really appreciate what I have

When I have the urge to complain or gossip, I’ll say a silent prayer instead, thanking God for the blessings in my life.

For a more details about my thoughts on gratitude, please read my article at CatholicMothersOnline.com. 

What are your resolutions for Lent this year? What do you plan to do to keep them?

The Saturday Spruce-Up…

February 18th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in The Saturday Spruce-Up - (Comments Off on The Saturday Spruce-Up…)

…was pretty boring this week. I cleaned out my medicine cabinet, my entire laundry room, and my towel cabinet in my bathroom, but nothing that makes for good photos.

So instead, I thought I’d post a song I discovered a couple of years ago: the ONLY song I’ve ever heard with my name in it! And they even spelled it right!

Bryn by Vampire Weekend

Ion displacement
Won’t work in the basement 
Especially when i’m not with you
Here in the heartland
A feelin so startlin
I dont know what i should do

Oh Bryn, you see through the dark
Right past the fireflies that sleep in my heart
You know its easy to see
Wait for the season to come back to me

Nights by the ocean
A westerly motion
That moves california to sea
Eyes like a seagull
No kansas palm beetle
Could ever come close to that free

Oh Bryn, you see through the dark
Right past the fireflies that sleep in my heart
You know its easy to see
Wait for the season to come back to me

I don’t really know what the song is about, except that he likes a girl named Bryn. I may not be “Sweet Caroline” or “My Sharona”, but this is one for all the Bryn’s out there!

Have a great weekend everyone!

i believe in a thing called Love

February 14th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (1 Comments)

Just listen to the rhythm of my heart.

This is what really makes my heart flutter this Valentine’s Day.

Click to download 12″ x 12″ PDF Printable Version

**This design is based off a teacher’s bulletin board I saw on Pinterest (if you know whose it is, let me know and I’ll give them credit!). I used Photoshop and InDesign to recreate it. Feel free to print and download for personal use.

Have you ever noticed how irritating television programming made for children can be? I have trying to cut down on my kids TV viewing, but they still have some favorite PBS and DVD shows they enjoy.

The top five kids’ shows from hell are:

5. Sid the Science Kid – He only thinks he’s a science kid.

4. Spongebob Square Pants – Want to make your kids dumber? Let them watch this!

3. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That – “Your mom will not mind at all if you do”? I just don’t think any parent would let their kid go on adventures with a strange giant cat. Just sayin’.

2. Go Diego Go/Dora the Explorer – Do you see the elephant? Um, yeah, it’s right there.

1. The Doodlebops – Three adults with flourescent colored skin sing on a bus. Just plain weird.

I also feel like Barney should be on there too… What kid shows annoy you the most? I’m sure there are more out there. Have a great Monday!

UPDATE: We only have basic cable, so I’ve never seen an actual episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, but my friend Barb says, “I’d rather have a root canal than watch that show!”

 

1a. Yo Gabba Gabba – Wow. Just wow.

This week’s Saturday Spruce-Up again is super lame. I don’t even have before pictures. Enjoy.

I took everything out of my kitchen cabinets, wiped out the insides with Clorox spray, and only put back in the things I actually use.

I also organized my "big spoon" drawer. I removed everything I don't use on a regular basis.

The box of stuff I'm donating, including an entire set of dishes, a few bags and purses, clothes, cook books, etc. I love de-cluttering!

Told ya, lame. But at least you got to see the mint green paint and amazing vintage contact paper inside my kitchen cabinets…

After this post, you probably won’t want to, but click here to follow Simply Fulfilled on Facebook! 🙂