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September 1, 2010 at 1:28 am 1 comment

About Me

Hi!  I’m Brittney!

Let’s start at the beginning…

Where I’m From
I grew up in New Hampshire, and still consider myself to be a New Englander (Go Red Sox!), even though I’ve lived south of the Mason Dixon Line for about ten years now!  I had a GREAT childhood in NH! 
(Me in my NH yard!)
I pretty much grew up in the middle of nowhere (my husband teases me because he’s seen my home town) in a VERY small town.  I literally drove a half hour to get to the nearest movie theater/grocery store/etc..!  I couldn’t wait to grow up and live near a big city!  Even so, I loved growing up there.  I was near lakes, mountains, and endless forests.  I spent most of my childhood running around outside in the years before electronics took over kids lives.
I went to boarding school for high school in Massachusetts, but didn’t live on campus, I was a day student.  I credit my high school with largely shaping the person I am today.  My high school had an extremely diverse student body from all over the country and world that attended school there.  I was exposed to so much culture I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.  It was pretty life changing and also made me want to see more of the country and the world (still kinda working on that…)

(That’s me on the left.  Prom pic…  I had bangs til I was 20 years old!)

I lived in the state of  New Hampshire til I was 20 years old.  I went to University of New Hampshire for a couple years but got antsy in New Hampshire and decided to look into transferring so I could experience life outside New England.  This ended up being a major cross road in my life because I felt like I had to choose to live in the state where I grew up forever or leave forever.

(I’m on the bottom far left)

I went for it and transferred to THE Ohio State University!  Ohio State ended up being a great place for me.  I met several life long friends, I loved Columbus, and I finally figured out my major and what I wanted to do after graduation.  I graduated in 2000 with a BA in Sociology and Criminology.

Me and one of my best friends Melanie!  We were assigned as roommate as OSU and have been friends ever since.  We were in each other’s weddings 🙂

After graduation, I moved to the greater DC area and lived mainly in Northern Virginia for 6 years.  During that time I met my husband.
We got married in May of 2006.

Right after we got married, we moved to Charlotte, NC.  I loved DC, but we were kind of ready to live somewhere more low-key with a lower cost of living.  My hubby’s airline went out of business and he no longer needed to be in DC.  To read his story, click here.  Charlotte came up on our radar as a possible place to live and after a bunch of trips to check it out, we decided to move here in fall of 2006.  Charlotte is where I currently live with my husband, my dog (Clyde), and our two rabbits (Cinnamon and Baxter).  

My Family
I have awesome parents that live in Hilton Head, SC, which is about 3 hours from Charlotte.  I also have a younger brother who still lives up in the northeast.

 Some Other Fun Facts About Me
I was once a police officer (for two years).

 My husband and I met in a chat room online.

I have never had a cavity.
I make awesome blueberry pie.
I got married in Hilton Head.
Clyde is my first dog!

I’ve known one of my best friends since I was a year old!

 Jen and I grew up across the street from each other 🙂  We were also in each other’s weddings!  She still lives in NH and we try to visit each other at least once a year.

Why I Started Blogging
I started my blog to explain my life as a furloughed pilot’s wife. When I started the blog, my husband had been furloughed from a commercial airline for a year and we were both pretty depressed about the state of the commercial airline industry and how it had affected our lives.  We had big dreams to start a family and keep things moving forward/upward, but the furlough put a huge wrench in our well-oiled machine.  In case you don’t know- when a pilot is furloughed, it means they are laid off with out pay, but are still affiliated with the company.  They may still get some benefits such as the ability to fly free (stand-by) on the airline.  They also may get called back to fly for the company again when and if the staffing needs increase again.  We’re basically waiting to see what happens with the industry and my husband’s career.  I regularly frequented forums on JetGirls.Net and The Pilot Wives Club looking for other people going through furlough and how they were coping.  I did not find a lot of resources anywhere on this specific topic, but did see a lot of Pilot’s Wives blogs about the life style.  I decided to create a blog so I could at tell our story.
What The Blog Became
As I mentioned in the story of why I started blogging, I was kind of depressed when the blog began (hence the name of my blog “Life in a Holding Pattern”.  I wanted an outlet to deal with all the stress our situation was putting on me.  Blogging became my journal and outlet.  I also found Healthy Living Blogs- which is quite a huge niche, and started reading and relating to these blogs.  I found myself blogging more and more about the healthy living aspects of my life.  It felt kind of therapeutic to channel my negativity about the airline industry into a healthy appetite for life.  I have always been a relatively healthy person.  I love to eat (and can put it away!), but thanks to my mom, I was brought up eating nutritious healthy food before it was really popular.  We didn’t have sugary cereal in our house (oh how I longed for Lucky Charms as a kid!), and I always liked broccoli from an early age, even when my friends thought it was gross.  I was also lucky enough to be brought up in an active family.  We actually went through “fads” of biking, sailing, golfing, etc… as a family.  I was always active in sports, and later in life I chose to run, bike, hike, do yoga, play tennis, etc…  I don’t have a profound story of weight loss, or an epiphany of all the sudden changing my eating habits, but I think the way I’ve always eaten and stayed active has helped me to always maintain a pretty consistent weight and overall healthy body.  But- I have pushed myself to become even healthier in my eating habits and working out.  I signed up for and ran my first half marathon in June 2010.  
I’ve incorporated even more healthy food into my diet (hello Green Monsters and Chia seeds!).  I eat much less meat than I used to.  I regularly run, do yoga, and try new fitness activities.  I also found an AWESOME network of Healthy Living Blogger friends, in Charlotte and beyond.  In August 2010, I attended the 2nd Healthy Living Summit.  It was AMAZING!  I met a ton of great people and love being a small part of the network.
Basically the blog has is still about what my life as a furloughed pilot’s wife is like, but it’s taken a turn for the positive.

August 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm 5 comments

It’s My First Blogiversary!

“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

A year ago today I wrote my first blog post!  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that this blog began as a chronicle of my life as a pilot’s wife and what is was like to go through my husband being furloughed, which was probably the hardest thing we’ve gone through together so far in our relationship and marriage.  It was also just a low point for me in my life and for a while I felt really angry that life had dealt us a crappy hand.  I was feeling like we were stuck “in a holding pattern” and unable to realize our dreams to travel, start a family, or just move forward with our lives because of instability with my hubby’s job.  A year later, my husband is still furloughed, but at least is flying airplanes again.  I feel very different than I did a year ago about the situation.  I basically decided to make lemonade out of lemons and started setting and accomplishing other goals, like running my half marathon and meeting new people.  The blog has hopefully become more inspirational and upbeat by channeling my frustration into something positive.  While I would love for my husband’s career to be in a better place (it’s still pretty crappy), I no longer feel like I’m sitting around angry waiting for things to improve.  I’m taking advantage of the “holding pattern” time by cultivating strong friendships, trying new things, having a really active social life, and loving the life I have right now.  I feel like my physical and mental states have both become a lot happier and healthier in the last year.

For fun, here are some of my favorite blog posts from this past year:
Holiday Play List
Things to do in Charlotte
Christmas Festivities 
My thoughts on Vegetarian Food/Cooking
Highlights of 2009
First Post about Clyde!
I Survived the Blizzard of 2010
My Take on Regional Pilots
Best Guacamole Recipe
Hilton Head Wine Fest
Clyde Pictures
Beginning of Half Marathon Training
Run Like a Girl 8K Trail Run
My Birthday
Ballantyne 10K recap
4th Wedding Anniversary (wedding pictures)
Blog Identity Crisis
Blog Identity Crisis Part II
13.1!  Half Marathon Recap
First Blogger Meet-up, and REALLY good hummus 
Second Blogger Meet-up
Hilton Head Family Time
Kelly’s Wedding
It was fun looking back.  I really didn’t post a lot of pictures in the beginning, which is kind of sad.  I love pictures on posts and now I’m pretty conscious of trying to put pictures in to tell my stories, as I think they add a lot of visual interest.  
It’s been a great year, and I think it’s funny that I also just went to my first blogger convention (The Healthy Living Summit) right at the one year mark!   
I love blogging for the creative outlet it gives me and the people I’ve met through it.  Cheers to the start of my second year!

August 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm 8 comments

FoodieFresh Gets Married

It was a very big day for my good friend Kelly!  She got married!
I was up bright and early to start the day.  First on the agenda was a quick trip to the grocery store for some fruit.  I made a fruit salad to bring to Kelly’s for lunch. 
Next up was a RUN!  I did my neighborhood loop and it went pretty well.  I felt a slight pain above my knee, but nothing major.
The rest of the morning was just a lot of prep for the wedding:  painting toe nails, packing up shoes, jewelry, strapless bra, dress, etc…  Before I knew it I had to get going and head to Kelly’s to get ready with the rest of the bridesmaids. 
Upon arrival, I found this spread:

Kelly had Great Harvest bread (yeah, that didn’t make it into the pictures, because we’d eaten it all), rolls, two kinds of turkey, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese slices, Laughing Cow cheese, layered hummus, veggies and dip, and then my fruit salad.  Also pitchers of water, mimosa, and lemonade.  It was YUMMY bridesmaid prep food.
After lunch we got ready.
Me, ready to go!
Kelly getting into her dress and her mom helping.
Seriously, she is a ridiculously beautiful bride!
Then it was off to the church to get hitched! 
My hubby informed me the ceremony was exactly 21 minutes long.  Short and sweet!
The reception was at Byron’s South End:
It’s kind of got an artsy urban feel.  This is the courtyard outside the recption, with artwork.
Inside is cool too, with brick and exposed air ducts. 
Kelly made these cool purple willow branches in vases:
Kelly’s aunt made the wedding cake.
Dinner was buffet style.  I had salad with balsamic, broccoli, squash, chicken stuffed with feta and spinach, a little salmon, and a roll.  Good stuff!
Picture with friends 🙂
Bride and Groom, first dance.
Hubs and I at the table.
The bride and I 🙂
Post cake cutting.
Seriously delicious carrot cake.

It was a great wedding!  I’m so happy for Kelly 🙂

August 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm 2 comments

For Your Entertainment…

I just had to share this blog I found this morning called Catalog Living.  OMG, it’s sooooooooo funny.  Do read it when you have a chance…  🙂

July 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm 1 comment

Kelly’s Wedding Shower

In addition to my half-marathon, I also had another big event yesterday, Kelly’s Wedding Shower yesterday evening.  Her wedding is coming up in August.  Her maid of honor asked me if I’d help her throw a lingerie shower for Kelly, and of course I agreed to help out.  I actually ended up being in charge of food and favors.  At first I was a little overwhelmed by the idea knowning I was running a half marathon the same day, but quickly got to work on planning a menu and coming up with a plan.  I immediately decided I’d take Friday off to prep for the race and for the shower since I had so much going on.  I figured that would greatly help my sanity and allow me to get some sleep before the big day.  Good decision. I had all day to assemble and prep my food and even took my time.  I also quickly decided I’d make all cold food, nothing that had to be heated or kept warm, to keep things simpler.  I also think that was a good decision.
Here was the menu:
-cheese and crackers (four kinds of cheese, two kinds of crackers)
-fresh cut veggies (green beans, carrots, brocolli, celery, and cucumber) with spinach veggie dip. 
-homemade hummus with sundried tomato and artichoke hearts in it and pita chips.
-mini caprese salad- tooth picks with a mini mozzerella ball, basil leaf, and grape tomato on each one (this was my favorite thing, I was proud of that idea 🙂
-pasta salad with roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, and feta and vinegrette
-creamy pasta salad made with a mix of reduced fat mayo and plain non-fat yogurt, dill, and cucumbers.
-plain chicken salad
-tuscan style chicken salad with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. 
-crossaints (to have the chicken salad on)

The pasta salads

My mini Caprese salads!

The veggies and dip, and hummus and pita chips.

Kelly’s aunt made a fantastic cake.  She’s making Kelly’s wedding cake.  So tasty! 
Candace (Kelly’s maid of honor) provided wines, lemon water, and lemonade.  One of the wines was actually made by a friend of her and her husbands and was really fruity and tasty.  And 12% alcohol.  One glass for me before I switched to water!

We did the obligatory games.  These ones were actually original, I hadn’t played any at a shower before.  We all had to write down a piece of advice for Kelly.  Then the silly game- we had to design underwear for Kelly and she had to try it on (over her clothes).

She was a good sport about it 🙂
Then she opened her presents.

I believe a good time was had by all.
I reminded everyone to take some sachets on their way out. I made them as favors by using little purple pouches I got at Michaels and filling each one with some potpourri. Greg helped me print the tags using the address label setting on the computer, on purple cardstock. Then I cut them out with scrapbooking scissors to make the scalloped edges. Pretty cute, right?

We had a LOT of food leftover.  I think I got a little out of control at the prospect of being responsible for all the food.  Luckily I’m meeting some friends for a picnic outside tonight and sent them all an email telling them I’d supply most of the food!

June 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm 1 comment

Blog Update

To address my previous post about what my blog is about, I have an update on what I’ve decided to do about the blog.  First, thanks to those who gave me feedback, I appreciate it.  To address Joanna’s suggestion (in the comments section), I have considered multiple blogs of various focuses, but I’m so busy, I kind of only have time for one “dump” of information a day (if that even!), so I don’t know that I could keep up with updating multiple blogs, at least not effectively.  I really just wondered if people wanted more of one type of topic from me (more on what I eat, more on aviation, more on my fitness activities, more about my social life, etc…) or if they liked the variety of what I write about and wanted me to just keep doing what I am doing. 
In writing that post I think I kind of sorted out my issues and have come to realize I’m still on track, in a way, writing about what my life is like as a pilot’s wife.  The key is, this is what MY life is like as a pilot’s wife.  This blog is about what I’m doing with my time and how I am choosing to live my life while we are still waiting for the timing to be right for us to start a family and for Greg’s career to be in a better place again.  There are times when we are constantly talking about and analyzing Greg’s career and what’s going on with the airline industry as seen earlier on in my posts, but now is not really one of those times so the focus has been more about what else I have going on in my life.  Greg’s just happy to have a job as a pilot again (well, when he’s not complaining about it!) and just getting through training.  There’s kind of not a lot to report, we just keep chugging along.  I don’t know that I could fill an entire blog with news and opinions solely on aviation topics these days, and I’m kind of glad to be in a place where I’m not as obsessed with trying to figure out the industry and the future of his career.  I’ve found a lot of other things to fill that “empty space” in my life that I felt when Greg’s career dropped out from under us.  I fill it with all the things I write about in this blog: trying to live a healthy life-style, training for my half marathon, tennis, food, spending time with my friends, Clyde, and enjoying my time with Greg when he’s home.  That’s my life right now.  I think I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing.  By all means let me know if there’s something you want to hear more about though and I’ll do my best to write more about it.  I like feedback 🙂  Thanks all!

May 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm 1 comment

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