Guest Post: Some Thoughts on Marriage from @wonjuwife

While I am in Georgia with the family the wonderful Danielle was gracious enough to guest post for me.  I met Danielle during VEDA last August and she is the most full of love, passionate, real person I know.  Love love love her.  I am so happy she agreed to write a little something for me.  I really respect her views on love and marriage; I think we’re both very similar in how we approach it all.


Hi! My name is Danielle and I am thrilled to be guest posting for Bri, as she takes a well-deserved break. I write over at Wonju Wife, sometimes, and I read Bri’s blog, all the time!

I am bursting with joy for Bri and Mr. A as they start their life together as husband and wife! What an exciting time for both of you and I couldn’t be happier for you. Because I’m sure no one will give you any advice about anything marriage related ever, I’m going to fill the gap with a bit of my own.

Make your own marriage.

Your marriage is just as unique as you are! It’s not going to look like anyone else’s. And as a blogger, sometimes I find myself getting nervous or upset that we aren’t doing the things other married couples are doing, or reaching the milestones they’re reaching, or taking the adorable photos they’re taking. But when I stop comparing my marriage to anyone else’s, I realize that it is perfect for us. Because Kenny and I have come from different cultures and countries, we’ve had to custom design our own culture, taking bits and pieces from here and there and sewing them into our own marriage. As newlyweds, it’s easy to get caught up in what you should be doing or what you’re expected to do. Forget all that crap. Your marriage is about YOU TWO. And it gets so much better when you stop doing things because it’s “what married people do” and start doing things that naturally flow from your relationship with each other.

Wash the dishes.

My friend and writer, Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher, once wrote, “Love is a muscle, not an emotion. It is something you make strong through the hard work of exercise, not something you hope stays around.” And I’ve found that to be true. In the glow of a new marriage, you don’t notice that love is work. But it is. It’s a discipline. It’s washing the dishes; it’s cleaning the litter box; it’s washing your partner’s feet.

Go separate.

When Kenny and I finally figured out that it didn’t say anything about our marriage or how much we loved each other, we finally just started doing things separately when we felt like it. Sometimes I want a burger and Kenny wants Chinese food. So, instead of compromising and one of us being slightly disappointed and not getting what we want, we separate! I go eat a burger, while Kenny eats Chinese food, and we meet back up both satisfied and happy and excited to be together again. I know that sounds silly at first, but in a marriage you will constantly be making decisions based on what works for both of you. So sometimes, just do what works for you individually. You don’t have to spend an hour before every outing deciding how to make both agendas work. Just decide which parts of the day you’ll do together, and in which parts you’ll take your own path. Your own path always leads back to your partner anyway. 😉

I’ll leave you with a beautiful essay on marriage by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet, because he says all this better than I ever could:

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.


Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from the same cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.


Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.


Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Unicorns, Music, Tatoos. (The state of my brain today)

My head is still in the clouds.

My brain is full of prancing unicorns, twinkle lights, and fireworks.  Did I mention the unicorns are playing double-dutch?  They totally are.  How’s THAT for a mental image on a Thursday morning.  Good?  Ok.

I have no coherent thoughts today, but I am totally working on catching up on work I haven’t been able to do this week because I’ve been all day-dreamy/giddy/ridiculous.  Instead, I leave you with some inspiration and Hey!  Look!  A link to my Stratejoy post this week where I put together words into sentences and it meant something.  Holler.

New Boy has been making me CD’s, and this song was on the latest.  I absolutely LOVE it.  I love anything with strings I suppose, well done Mister.  Well done.  (He needs a better pseudonym…. working on it.) 


Secondly, I’ve been obsessed with getting a bird tattoo. Thoughts?

Fumbled blog post FTW. 

Monday Thoughts


“Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. T his is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted”

“Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist

The Blahs.

I’ve written before about how I am not good about being sad.  I’ve also vlogged about it.  Talked about it.  Meditated on it.  Made a pie in the shape of a sad face.  But I was still SUCKING at being sad.

But then Sunday happened. 

What made me blah?  In a nutshell, a horrible, no-good, very bad, date.  It shook my belief in the idea that someone is actually out there for me.  I mean, if THAT GUY is what I am working with?  Kill me.  And then I might have decided it would be a good idea to email an ex (not THE ex, but the one whom I call Spencer.  The one who got out of an even longer relationship when I did last year) and ask him for reassurance.  Which worked at first, but quickly turned into a crying fest on my part when he answered questions like “Are you still seeing that girl” honestly and affirmatively.  FUCK.

Usually, after a Sunday like I had, I would have planned my whole week full of social engagements and jaunts into the city; to avoid, to distract, to get over.

But instead, I decided to just be sad.  I didn’t talk to anyone.  I curled up on the couch and watched two amazing movies.  I wallowed.  I drank tea.  I didn’t try to make myself feel better.  I didn’t watch funny movies to laugh– I watched what my netflix has labeled “Sentimental Independent Movies”… and I might have cried some more.  And I was okay with it.  For one of the first times in my life.  I was totally content being not-happy.

And today I feel a little better.  And that’s all I need; a little hope. 

And maybe, just maybe, her heart needed to be broken.
broken and shattered and stomped into pieces.
then she could finally look down at the pieces,
and study each once and spend some time
getting to know
the person she’d become.
and when she finally had all the pieces back together again,
a little crooked, a little jumbled
but sealed firmly with love
she’d realize she was more beautiful than ever.
because this time,
she would love herself.

Words of Wisdom from the Jonas Bros

I came across this little gem of Jonas Brother wisdom and sent it to Nora who told me to “Blog the Shit out of it”.  Ok.

“I will find someone who loves me for who I am. And there’s nothing that I need to change about myself to find that- I can be confident in that.”

Nick Jonas 

Basically, I love this because it’s true.


And finally, in the spirit of HEY-YO HAPPY FRIDAY!  I made a VEDA video last night that I’m kind of proud of.  Take a look.  If you want.  Which you should.  Love your face.

New Book for a New LIfe.

Not surprisingly, I write a lot.  Not just here.  I’ve had this journal for over a year.

It’s full of quotes, letters never sent, notes from sermons, lists about life, and gratitude lists.

It got me through this year.  And I think it’s time it was retired with its full pages and broken binding.

Today I got my new journal.  I think it’s beautiful and perfect for recording 25.  What do you think?

Time for new quotes and new lists.

Speaking of New
I’ve never done a give-away before.  But I think I want to try it out.  If you’d like a fancy shmancy keeper of thoughts, here’s how we’re going to do it.  I am going to be giving away a journal from Barnes and Noble like mine.  So I can have a twin out there in the world writing their beautiful thought down too.

Opportunity the First: Leave a comment with YOUR favorite quote at the moment.

Opportunity the Second: Tweet about the giveaway, come back, and comment with the link!  Oh, and tag it with @habbala so I can track your tweet.

Simple enough?  You have until Saturday 8PM, pacific time.  And I will announce the winner Monday June 10th.

Hello three day weekend, I would like to make out with you.

Today I am off to Tahoe to ski for the first time EVER.

We’re going to hope for no broken bones, or frost bite, or mountain lion. Do mountain lions hibernate? These are really important questions I need to know. Oh, and apparently everywhere but in Southern California, mid-winter break from school is called ski-week. Who knew?

Here is a little something I found, and I cannot for the LIFE of me remember where it was from. But it’s pretty great. I definitely printed it and stuck in on my inspiration board at work.


image via bomobob @ Etsy

It happens without warning.

Always feels like the breathe rushes out of my chest.

Once, it was when I was getting ready to take a shower and the water was on. I was in the other room and I heard his voice “Babes, wanna come talk to me while I take a shower?”

I feel empty.

I had forgotten. Forgotten that ritual. Gone, now, four months without hearing his voice. Or hanging out by the shower curtain and talking while he showers.

It’s probably the hardest part of “the break-up” at this point. Something will happen. An email will arrive from his dad. A memory will scream out from a place I had forgotten. And I am instantly back to the place where I need to remind myself to breathe.

I hate that. I hate that I can’t control the times when things hit and I am left feeling shaken and hollow.

I haven’t written lately about the break up situation. But I wanted to because I know that there are people who will read this while going through break ups of their own. And they’ll feel lost sometimes, like I do. They’ll feel overwhelmed, like I do. They’ll feel anxious about the decisions they are forced to make alone, like I do. And even though we know that we’ll be okay. That we’ll be better off for having gone through this period. Hell, we might even look back at this point of our lives and think about how great it was– such independence! such joy in finding ourselves again! But, honestly, sometimes it just sucks. Sometimes I don’t care about the hope for the future, or the fact that I know of course I will be okay. Sometime, I want to sit in my overwhelming sadness and anxiety and for it to be okay.

When there has been so much love and happiness for someone, it is natural to be reluctant to close such a wonderful chapter in our lives, for moving forward is rarely accomplished without considerable grief and sadness. And while our sorrow may be profound, the clouds will clear, and the sun will shine on us again. And in that warm, bright light we will find ourselves facing a glorious future. A future of exciting challenges and infinite possibilities, in which the horizon will stretch out before us, trimmed in the heavenly glow of the sunrise of our tomorrow.
– The Little Prince

Art washes from the soul…

… the dust of everyday life. Pablo Picasso


Last night, I spent most of my evening putting together my drawing desk.

I am taking an art class at the community college that starts Thursday. I am so excited for it. I took a drawing class in undergrad and LOVED it, but grad school kind of sucked all of my creativity (not to mention free time). Here is a picture of Tom. I drew him in college and Olivia bought him and framed him and he hangs in a place of honor in her living room.

I haven’t drawn in so long, so I spent a few minute playing around with my charcoal last night. And it was SOOO much fun. I freaking love charcoal. I talked with Spencer on Skype and listened to music and drew this in about 10 minutes.

It’s not perfect. But that’s not the point, or why I draw. It just FELT good to create. It felt good to get my fingers covered in charcoal dust as I blended the shadow, countours, and lines into something that looks like a vase. I am rusty, and I am sure the quality of my drawing will improve with practice— I just want to keep that happy feeling I get while I’m doing it.

Now, the question is; What are YOU doing to be creative? What makes your heart happy?