At my church, each member of the congregation has a responsibility to help services run smoothly on Sunday. People teach lessons, some design the programs, others lead music. I am in charge of the 3 year olds. The so-called, "Sunbeams."

First off. Look at me. Do I have children?

What about younger siblings? Have I ever nannied, babysat, or spent more than 10 minutes alone with a child???

Do my friends or family members trust me with their children?

SO HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!? You want me to keep track of 8 three year olds for TWO HOURS??

Some of it is my fault. When they asked me if I'd be willing to help, I said I'd be happy to. 

You may say, "Brielle! Seriously? Stop being weak and ineffectual! They are small and without muscle! You can easily handle this with your impressive stature and physique." 

This is how it happens. We start out at singing time with all the older kids. My only responsibility is to make sure they keep their tiny bums in their seats. So easy right?

Watch this GIF for an hour and that is my life.

I now have eyes in the back of the eyes in the back of the head. 

After that, we make the trek down the hall to the toy room. I'll assign a child that's behaving well to lead the line reverently. Sometimes they behave beautifully. Most times they behave like a rabid racoon. 

Sigh. The next station is 5 minutes of play time. You can imagine.

I'll admit, snack time is entertaining. Little humans are so physically inept. 

Unless they reject the food because they hate it even though THEY'VE NEVER TRIED IT EVER.

The worst part is when the little buggers have to go to the bathroom. Most of them are potty trained and very independent. Easy! Until they poop and innocently ask to help them wipe.


I had to go to my car and cry for a while after that one. 

After snacks it's lesson time. MY TIME TO SHINE! I bring props! Make games! Create cool crafts! Hands on activities! But no matter how much I prepare:

At this point I'm fried. It's over. 

So I bring out bubbles. Their brains cannot cope with how happy bubbles make them.

Bubbles + one kid= Adorable.

Bubbles + many children= Mob.

Okay before we go into this this next part can we establish something? Small children are not the brightest. Exhibit A, B, and C:

See??! A tiny bit silly, and VERY accident prone. SO PARENTS! Don't evil eye me when your kids run into walls and hurt themselves! You should of taught them about physics before this point. This is your thing. 

Can't there just be a thing where all the parents bring puppies for me to watch for 2 hours? I would like that very much. 



Remember When I Was Good At Blogging?

This is my desktop right now:

Now take that image and apply it to my entire life. My apartment, my car, my legs that probably haven't been shaved in 3 weeks, my schedule, and my head. 

Everything is kind of like:
So, my apologies as I try to catch up.

First, Breck and I had a hot date with some wildlife. We headed South to Fossil Rim, a wildlife reserve that acts as kind of a drive-through petting zoo. 

The animals were... friendly? 

The zebra and I seemed to be getting along when he totally freaked out and started yelling at me. What a brat.
Everyone was congratulating Breck on getting that second picture, but the truth was he got like 20 of them! I was begging him to get us out of there and he was just laughing at me from over on the safe side of the car. I won't be choosing him for my team if there is a zombie outbreak. 

After the park we ventured down to Hico, Texas to check out their famous chocolate shop. 
...and got one of everything. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The next weekend I took a quick trip down to San Antonio to see my parents. The initial goal was to spend all day Saturday sewing so that I could cross another item off my 25 before 25 list. In the end, I said screw it and my mom and I went hiking instead. Good things happen when you procrastinate. 

On the way back to Dallas I stopped at Hamilton Pool, a natural spring outside of Austin. I'd seen it listed on a bunch of "Places to see in Texas" lists and wanted to hike down there myself. 
It was surreal.

Until you're right on top of it, there are no indicators that this spot could exist. But there it is, the most beautiful little paradise you could hope for. Make the trip to see it if you're ever in Austin!

The weekend after San Antonio I went scouting for a photoshoot with a friend and found this little oasis off a sketchy dirt road in Mckinney.
The water is actually that color? Yeah.

Texas is putting up its A game this season and I tip my hat to it. 


Book Recommendations: 2014

One of my 25 before 25 goals was to read 25 books. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Good For: Reading late into the night and forgetting all other responsibilities. 
Read if you like: Ender's Game, The Hunger Games
Plot Summary: The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.
Brielle Stars: 6/5 (If you read one book from this list, it should be this one!)

2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler 
Good For: Giggling to yourself in public places and looking like a crazy person. 
Read if you like: Bossy Pants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Plot Summary: Amy Poehler wrote a book. That is all you really need to know. 
Brielle Stars: 5/5

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Good For: When you need to realize how normal your life is.
Read if you like: Gone Girl
Plot Summary:  Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille Preaker's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
Brielle Stars: 5/5 (Fair warning, this book gets pretty crude.)

4. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Good For: Losing yourself in another world. 
Read if you like: A Game of Thrones, The Name of the Wind, Lord of the Rings
Plot Summary: It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brielle Stars: 6/5

5. Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
Good For: Coming off a Harry Potter binge.
Read if you like: Harry Potter, The Fault in Our Stars
Plot Summary: Cath and Wren Avery have been best friends since birth. Being identical twins, they've always come as a package deal. Now that they are beginning college, Wren seems to be pulling away, leaving Cath to retreat into the world of Simon Snow (an homage to JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.) For Cath, the books are more than just books, they are an escape to a world she loves to live in. That is, until someone insists on pulling her back to reality. 
Brielle Stars: 4/5

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
Good For: Girl Power.
Read if you like: Graceling, Poison Study
Plot Summary: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll be granted her freedom. 

That is until the other contestants start turning up dead.
Brielle Stars: 4/5 (The rest of the series is where it gets really good!)

7. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Good For: Good vibes beach/airplane reading. 
Read if you like: Attachments, Just One Day
Plot Summary: Under the alias GirlOnline, Penny blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship.
Brielle Stars: 3/5 (A little vapid, but a fun read!)