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

Cross Train Will Make Ya…Run! Run!

LOL!  Remember these punks with the backwards jeans??  Haha!  Flashback! 
Anyway, now that the knee is better and I’m getting back in to running again, I’m vowing to be better about cross training this time around.  I think it might help me to strengthen my legs and body in general and I’m hoping that’ll help me stay injury free.  That’s the goal!
Before my workout last night I gobbled a banana and mini Lara Bar.
Then I popped in my old friend Jillian Michaels to let her kick my butt for a while. 
She was a little mean and snarky to me, but I just ignored her and did my thing.  After a sweaty workout, I took Clyde for a long walk so he could burn off annoying puppy energy get his workout on too.  Clyde really pushed himself and I see some speedwork in his near future ;).
Post work-out, we had a little left over action for dinner.
Basically a mexican salad with my leftovers from Sunday night.
Later, while watching Bachelor Pad (how crazy is that show??), I tore into this for dessert:
This would be a Whole Fruit Coconut Fruit Bar.  OMG…  so delicious.  It’s a coconut popiscle.  It’s awesome….
Tonight I got home and got ready for a run.
I ate a small bowl of banana soft serve with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter in it for my pre-run snack.
 I headed out on my longest run since June- 4.5 miles on the Greenway. I met my friend Michelle and the run felt GREAT! I easily could have done more, but didn’t push it. We excitedly talked about races we want to do this fall. We are going to try and find another trail run to do together and maybe a 10K too.
Can’t wait!!  I also may or may not have made a half-marathon training plan on Runner’s World Smart Coach…  Eeeeek!  I’m looking at half’s in November, so I’ve got 10 weeks right now.
After my run, it was back to the hacienda.  I took Clyde out for his nightly walk and came back for dinner.  (My night’s are eerily the same almost every night, I know).
Tonight I actually had some fancied up Kraft mac and cheese (yes, it’s the devil, but I couldn’t resist). I basically added peas and a little shredded cheddar.
Clyde begged me to try it and I let him lick the bowl with a couple saved elbows…
I’m off to shower and read this
My new read now that I’ve finally finished Eat Pray Love.

August 25, 2010 at 1:16 am 3 comments

An Introspective Day

Today I got up and decided to have an egg sandwich for breakfast.  I cooked two eggs with dill and then topped them with a slice of muenster cheese on a sandwich thin.  I also had a banana with some Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.  This was my first time trying this and OMG, I know understand what all the hype about Justin’s butters is about!  So YUMMY!
I headed out to the greenway to meet Emily, Michelle, and Diana for a run.  Emily did about 12 miles because she’s training for a marathon, half of which was with Michelle.  Diana and I just met them for the last couple miles.  Diana is just getting into her running grove, but I applaud her effort in getting out there and doing it!  I didn’t really feel any pressure to run long distance today since I’m still coming back from my injury and just ran about 4 miles yesterday, so any distance was fine me with me today. 
Post run sweatiness…
After our run, Diana and I decided to grab some lunch at Panera. 
I am sometimes a creature of habit at certain restaurants and Panera is one place where I LOVE to get the greek salad, because it’s so friggin good, so I rarely branch out. 
Got this with the whole grain baggette on the side and some water.
Nom nom…
Do you order the same thing at certain restaurants or mix it up?
I then headed home, showered, finished Eat Love Pray and decided to do something I’ve never done before in my 32 years on earth.  I WENT TO THE MOVIES BY MYSELF!
I know, I know, I’m weird.  I just like going to the movies as a social activity and never really felt a strong urge to go alone.  But if there was any movie to see alone, I felt like this was it.  The story is largely about one woman’s journey alone to find herself.
Have you ever been to a movie by yourself?
I liked both the book and movie.  The movie definitely was a little different from the book, but I felt that the overall message translated.  Both left me a very introspective mood for the rest of today.  Between yesterday’s fight/talk with my husband, conversation with Diana at lunch, and the overall theme of the book and movie, it really had me thinking a lot about life and what I want in life.
I don’t know that I’ve completely answered that question.  I think I’m still kind of a work in progress.
I took Clyde for a long walk, still thinking a lot, then went home and made myself dinner.
I had yellow rice with black beans, garlic, onion, tomato, mushrooms, salsa, cilantro, olives, avocado and a bit of plain non-fat yogurt.
I got kind of artsy with the presentation…  🙂
I may not have my life all figured out yet, but I’m pretty happy in general.

August 23, 2010 at 1:13 am 8 comments

In Good Times and Bad

My Saturday was not the greatest day ever.  I had to get new tires put on my car so Greg and I were up early to go drop off the car.  My front two tires were very worn and one of my rear tires had a leak that Greg had repaired twice and seemed to be leaking yet again.  Bottom line, there was really no way around it, and I ended up replacing all four tires.  Bye bye $500…  😦

After dropping off my car we headed back home and I took off on a much needed run.  I was in a crappy mood and hadn’t run since Wednesday and was dying to get out there.  I believe I did somewhere between three and four miles.  It went well! 
Friday on a whim I signed up for a 5k the first week of September.  I was excited after an appointment with Greenapple that went well and want to get back in race mode now that my knee is finally close to recovered.  So, my Saturday run was important as I’m actually working towards a race goal again 🙂
I returned home after running and my hubby informed me he had checked flights to return to Charleston for work and that they did not look good.  He would need to take a flight that left around 1pm instead of the one he’d originally planned to take later in the day.  This was not good news since we had to pick up my car from the tire place, and we both need to get ready and get out the door.  It left both of us feeling stressed out and rushed.
We picked up my car and on the drive back home I noticed that my tire pressure sensor on one tire read WAY higher than the rest.  Not good.  Greg didn’t have any time to help me figure it out, so I called the tire place and they suggested I bring it BACK so that they could see if the tire was over inflated or if it was an issue with my sensor.  GREAT. 
Before dealing with the car, I drove Greg to the airport.  On the ride there we were both cranky and irritated about my car, him having to leave so early, etc…  We got into kind of a fight and upon dropping him off we basically left things between us in a crappy state.  Which ruined my whole day. 
The thing about being with a pilot is that when you only have a few days together you feel extra pressure to have everything go well so that you have that memory of your great time together to carry you through your days apart.  I guess it can be likened to not going to bed angry; you don’t want him to leave when you’re not happy with each other or that’s what you’ll carry with you.  So that definitely sucked and put me in a funk all day on Saturday.  It was one of those fights where you are so ticked off and feel you are in the right that you don’t want to be the first one to call and apologize too.
Evening rolled around and I had dinner plans with my friend Josie.  We went for sushi and it was the best I’ve had in a while.  We got four different types of rolls, Philly, Caterpillar, Rainbow, and crunchy shrimp.  SO GOOD.  It was beautiful to look at too, but I forgot to get a picture!  Anyway, dinner was nice because she let me vent about my argument with Greg and it helped to just get it all out.  We continued talking at a wine bar up the street where I had a “taste” (which is their half glass) of Reisling and we we sat outside. 
Later, when I’d been home for a while and cooled down about the days events, I decided to be the bigger person and call my husband.  We actually talked for a long time, probably about an hour about everything.  We talked about the stress in our lives from his career problems and where we are now with our lives, our frustrations, our hopes, etc…  It was a good productive talk and I’m glad I called and that we got through our issues. 
I went to bed at peace, which is all I really wanted.

August 23, 2010 at 12:46 am 3 comments

Fun With My Husband

Greg got home Thursday and I was excited to finally have a little time with him since I was away in Chicago last weekend and it had eaten into our time off together. He got in Thursday and I got him at the airport. We would have been fine with staying in, but my friends called and wanted us to come to South Park for this Frank Sinatra piano tribute thing they were having at some restaurant and drinks. We figured we’d go since it was a “couple” type event. Tim and Sarah and Gibson and Chloe were going and this was the first time the six of us have done anything all together as couples.   Greg and I ate a quick dinner before since we figured it was just drinks.  I made us some veggie burgers topped with spinach and cheese with a couple carrot sticks and a little cottage cheese.
The weather was kind of iffy on the drive over and Gibson called me to let me know the event was cancelled, since it was scheduled to be outside on a patio. We quickly regrouped and made a new plan to go to Bricktops down the road.  There was a wait for a table but we decided to get one because Tim, Gibson, and Chloe wanted to order dinner.  While waiting we sat at the bar and I got a glass of Malbec.  Everyone else had martini’s which was the special, but I didn’t notice this til after I got my wine- doh!  Oh well, it was a good Malbec 😉
Once at our table, Greg and I assessed how hungry we were since we’d kind of already eaten.  He was still kind of hungry and ordered a flatbread, and I just had a house side salad (I didn’t take pictures!). 
We actually got dessert, which was this chocolate chip cookie in a little iron skillet with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.  It got passed around the table and I had a couple bites.  MMMMM.  I love the idea of a cookie cooked in a skillet 🙂
Friday after work, I headed home and Greg and finally made a trip to the grocery store for some essentials.  I used a lot of coupons from The Healthy Living Summit on this trip, getting some sandwich thins, yogurt, feta, etc…  🙂  I also stocked up on veggies and fruit since our drawer was kind of empty. 
I made us greek salad and sort of a pizza bread for dinner.
Green leaf lettuce
roasted red pepper
black olives
diced up artichoke heart
sliced mushrooms
black pepper
drizzled with red wine vinegrette, EVOO, and lemon juice.
Pizza bread:
whole grain bread (bakery) sliced
melted butter and garlic
cooked green pepper
tomato (I used can since I have some open)
topped with mozzarella
Baked in toaster oven on about 400 for about 10 min.
All together
We ate in a rush so we could get out and KAYAK for the first time in a long time!  By the time we got to the Catawba it was already like 7:30pm! 
Greg prepping the kayaks.
Pretty gorgeous night…
We actually took Clyde out with us, and this was his first time on in the kayaks.  He was funny!  Very curious about what the heck was going on!
It was a little hard to paddle with Clyde in the kayak, but tolerable.  We put our kayaks next to each other so Clyde could hop in and ride with Greg for half the trip.
Kayaking was followed up by an impromtu trip to the nearest DQ.  My mom and I like the vanilla cones with cherry dip once in a blue moon.  It’s very artificial and waxy.  I do realize I’m probably totally polluting my body with red dye number 9 or something, but once a year or so, it has to be done…
Greg had a turtle sundae.
Clyde had a bite.
Then we called it a night!

August 22, 2010 at 12:52 am 3 comments

Things I Do on Weeknights

I haven’t really gotten back into my bloggy grove yet this week after being away in Chicago last weekend.  I’m still kind of coming down from the high and not sure my head actually made it back to Charlotte with me.  I totally lack focus!
My weeknights have been pretty similar to other weeks.  Some exercise, some food, some puppy kisses…the usual.
I did hot yoga with Jessie and Cindi on Tuesday night.  It was good to get back in the yoga studio.  Aside from my quick yoga class at The Healthy Living Summit, I probably hadn’t been to yoga in about a week and a half.  This was my first time meeting Cindi and she seems really cool.  We have a lot in common and live close to each other.  I for see us hanging out again in the future. 🙂
Last night (Wednesday) I did another run.  I’m still Garmin-less for now so all I can do is estimate my mileage.  I’d say I probably did about 3 miles and it again felt good!  I think I’m really on the way to recovery and building mileage again.  I might make a deal with myself that if I can do 6 miles with no problems again I can go ahead and get a Garmin (I’m still holding on to a Coin-Star gift certificate to Amazon that I got for the very purpose of ordering a Garmin with right before I hurt my knee!) and sign up for another half marathon!  The idea of this excites me!!
 I have to be honest.  I haven’t been to the grocery store all week.  There was a fleeting moment last night where I considered going and even went through and organized my coupons, but I just didn’t feel like it.  It was kinda rainy and I was feeling lazy about trekking over there.  Here’s the thing.  I keep A LOT of food in my house.  My husband gets on my case all the time about how I need to eat what we have instead of buying more stuff.  I LOVE having a stocked pantry though.  I love having many cans of black beans and chick peas, a variety of different kinds of grains, pasta, and rice.  I love having many different kinds of frozen veggies, fruit, and bread in the freezer, just in case.  Really, fresh produce is only thing I’m low on.  I have about a 1/3 bag of spinach, some grapes, and some carrots, and that’s about it for fresh fruit and veggies.  I definitely need a bunch of things, but I can get by without a little longer.
That said, here’s some of “eat what’s in my house” eats this week- using up what I had:
I had this Zone bar to get rid of (hubby and I have a box from Costco).  So, I chopped up about half the Zone bar and put it over banana soft serve (I now keep a giant ziplock freezer bag full of chopped banana pieces for soft serve at all times!) as a topping.
I had this for breakfast one day.  It was actually pretty yummy.
Tuesday night I had what was left of my quinoa with veggies from Sunday with a little cheese melted on top, with a side of oven roasted brussell sprouts for dinner. 

I tried my hand at another round of overnight oats this week.  This time in my mix I had:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup almond milk
about a tablespoon of macadamia nut butter
Chia seeds
In the morning I added shredded coconut to the top.  Wow, this was good!  I actually did it two days in a row because I loved the combo so much!
Last night when I decided not to go to the grocery store, I threw together a quick burrito.  I used:
an Archer Farms (Target) multigrain wrap
black beans
canned organic diced tomato
fresh spinach
cottage cheese
shredded cheddar
I just wrapped it up and microwaved it for a couple minutes til it was melted together.
One thing I haven’t addressed much is the fact that because I’m married to a pilot, I eat alone A LOT.  I like to be kind of creative when I cook, but at the same time, it’s sometimes hard to get excited to spend a long time cooking something complicated when it’s just for one.  I’m all about quick and easy meals, like the burrito above.  Even when Greg is home, I rarely spend more than about an hour total cooking a meal for us unless it’s something really out there. 
How about you?  Do you eat alone or with people?  How much time do you typically spend cooking dinner at night?

August 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm 6 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

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