Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nine Things to Do in 2009 Recap:

Well, friends. We were less than 50% on our things to do in 2009. Pretty pathetic if you ask me. We do have a good excuse though; we had to move halfway through 2009 and many of our tasks had to do with where we were living in Chicago.
Completed:
4. Go to a Cubs baseball game.
We got to go with our dear friends and we sat in the freezing cold on Easter Sunday. The Cubs played the Brewers and I honestly cannot remember who won.
5. Have homemade pizza night.
We invited our dear Chicago friends over on Martin Luther King Jr. day. We made homemade pizza together and had a contest. I think sister Bethany won.
6. Play one game of chess together.
Doug and I played one time after he gave me lessons for a very long time. It was really not a very memorable game and I forgot to take a picture. But we really did play one game.
9. Snowboard in Montana.
Doug got to go with brother David when we were visiting my family for Christmas. They had a great day on the slopes with the fresh powder. Maybe next time I will try.


Things we failed to do:
1. Buy a shelf for our bathroom
2. Grow herbs in our window sill
3. Both read Pride and Prejudice
7. Ride Ferris wheel at Navy Pier
8. Finish ordering wedding pictures
Things we did not do because we moved: 1,2,7
Things we should have done but forgot: 3, 8
This evening we will work on our 10 things to do in 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Couple Skate:

Last night we went ice skating downtown with our friends Eric and Ashley and Bailey and Rachel. We coupled skated and Doug crazy skated. I stood and held Rachel's hat while she skated fast. I prefer the slow, scoot and slide approach to ice skating. It was a very romantic moment with my skate partner. He was the best one out there on the ice and he kept me on my feet almost the entire night. And he can ice skate backwards.




After we were finished skating we walked over to Elote' . I ate four cups of salsa and about two baskets of chips. I ordered the Puffy Tacos [one veggie and one with chicken] and Doug ordered the smokin hott quesadillas.

Then we found our cars and headed to the Sullivan's for games and apple tart with spiced tea. The boys had coffee with their apple tart.

It was a perfectly wonderful winter evening.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Busyness:

Winter is one of our favorite seasons. It did not use to be this way for me, but I am enjoying this winter greatly. We are very busy this time of year which is okay and too be expected. Here are some things that have been taking our time lately:

1.) Toys for Tots @ The Church at BattleCreek:
I was in charge of buying over 5,500 toys for families this year. So I spent many hours and days in the Walmart check out lines. We had a big Christmas party, preaching, baptisms, and over 6,000 people on our campus. It was a truly amazing thing to be a part of. 450 salvations and 180 baptisms, in two days. Lots of precious faces and wonderful people.


2.) The Department of Human Services is taking up a lot of Doug's time now a days. He loves his job and he received a certificate the other day in his staff meeting. His boss told everyone that he doing a fabulous job! I am so proud of my super hard working husband.

3.) Wii sports: Sister Jeanette and Brother Brad blessed us with a Wii for Christmas this year. We were totally shocked and excited when they laid it on our lap. We have enjoyed playing tennis and bowling. [Have you ever played the 100 pin version of bowling? It might be my favorite]

4.) Dreaming of our new home. We will be moving in January to a duplex off of Brookside. It is quirky, clean, and in a fun location. I keep thinking of all the things I would like to buy for our new home and thinking of where to put what.

5.) Eating out. Too much. Because we have been so busy lately to cook. Some of the recent favorites are the flat bread melts at Subway, anything from Smashburger, and macaroni and cheese from Panera.

6.) Enjoying our daily commute together each day. I especially enjoy it because I hate to drive, so when I don't even have to drive very far to work that makes it all the better. And I like talking to Doug in the car to and from work.

7.) On-line Christmas shopping.

8.) Enjoying our couple friends that have moved to Tulsa in the past few months. We love having game nights and potlucks and being together!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Break:

Doug and I made the trip to Poplar Bluff Missouri for Thanksgiving. We were greeted by our wonderful grandma who made us laugh many times, saved coffee in a mason jar, and continually captures my heart more and more. As a child you appreciate your grandparents in a much different way than when you are older. I treasure her and times we have together.

We were only there for a few days and then we headed back to Tulsa to rest and get some things finished before we head back to work tomorrow. We had a date night to Chick-fil-A, went to see this movie, slept in, drank americanos, and watched OU destroy OSU [that felt really good].

Last night we spent it at the Jone's house. We watched more football [Arkansas and LSU], ate warm oatmeal cookies and chips and salsa, and played rummy. Tonight we are going to the Odom's house for some more games and more times with people we love.

It has been a wonderful break. My mind has been free [for the most part] from work thoughts and I feel like it has been days since I have worked last. That is the definition of a break.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do you work here?

At our church we do a massive Toys for Tots event. We give out toys to over 6,500 kids. Well, I am in charge of making sure each child gets a toy and hopefully it will be a toy that they will like. So today I was in Walmart filling up cart after cart after cart of toys. I had several people come up and ask me where certain items were located and many asked if I worked there. I told them all no and went on my way.

Then I looked down at my outfit. Blue shirt khaki pants. Of course they would think I worked there.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This Past Week We:

1. Had coffee and crumb cake with our good friend, Lonnie.
2. Doug now has a group of guys that play cards together. So, last night was card night for him. And go to bed early night for me.
3. Attended our first marriage conference. Our church hosted it and staff were encouraged to go, we really got more out of it then we thought we would.
4. Cousin Carlee's wedding shower.
5. Lunch at Ricardo's with Grandma and Grandpa from Dallas.
6. Dreamed and hoped for a call from Perry Properties on a little duplex right off of Brookside. We are still waiting and trying not to get too excited.
7. Played Skip-Bo and ate french bread pizza.
8. Doug cooked dinner: fresh fish, asparagus, and brown rice. [one of my all time favorite meals]
9. Talked to my sweet sister Bethany on the phone. [I miss her]
10. Came to the realization that it is finally time to fix my bad haircut and get a few new fall/winter wardrobe items.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lunch Break:

Doug and I like to meet up for lunch. Yesterday we met at Subway. I had the veggie sub and he had the Itailian. We sat and talked and ate.

Then we walked down to the Barnes & Noble and looked at this book and this book. We left the store laughing and ready to tackle our afternoons at work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day Off:

I have worked the past thirty days with only two days off. Lots of fun events, grand openings, and meetings. All good stuff, but I need breaks and I need time at home. This really rang true when Doug told me the other day that he could not find any of his socks. They were all at the bottom of the hamper. The hamper of clean clothes that were washed two weeks ago that were never put away.

So, my wonderful boss told me I could take a day off this week. I eagerly took her up on the offer and took yesterday off. I felt so accomplished and I felt like a wife again.

- I cleaned our bathroom
- moved fall/winter clothes in and summer clothes out
- made homemade pasta sauce and chocolate chip cookies
- went grocery shopping
- did three loads of laundry
- slept until 9:30
- cleaned the kitchen

It really was the perfect day off. I feel so much better today. It is just good knowing that our bed is made at home and I know that Doug has clean socks and underwear again!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sibling Picture:

I love this picture so much. And I love these people so much. We will all be back together in December, and maybe I can talk them into taking another kissing picture!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Fun:

Today we had some of our dearest friends over to watch football. The Sullivan's brought a chocolate pie and a box of macaroni and cheese. The Jones' brought some frozen pizza, ginger ale, and IBC root beer. We made buffalo wings and had cheese and crackers. It was a pot-luck kind of lunch and we enjoyed being together.

The game did not turn out how we would have liked, but we did enjoy good conversation and a lazy Saturday afternoon together.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Busyness

Fall is here. It has been very cold here the last few weeks. We have been so busy that I have not even been able to unpack our fall/winter clothes yet. They are in the bottom of Jeanette's closest and in the garage. [Have I told you all that I am really ready to move into our own place].

We do have our comfy pants - Doug's green sweatpants and my yoga pants. And we do have plenty of blankets on the bed. Lots of warm coffee in our bellies and soup ready to be made.

Today I desperately need to clean the bathroom, do our laundry, make the bed, and get our winter clothes together. [Remember when I told you we were going to be busy. We have been so busy I have not even been able to clean the toilet. I hate that]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekends:

This past weekend we rested a lot, which was really nice. These next few weeks are going to be very busy. We have dinner at friends, the State Fair, birthday parties, a wedding, work, work, work, and lots of meetings.

It was nice to be able to hopefully store up on some rest.

This past weekend we also enjoyed Chinese food in the park, football games, yard sales, and coffee drinks from Starbucks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dinner:

After dinner walks are so much better in the fall.

And, speaking of dinner, tonight we are going to have pasta spinach salad with tuna. It might just be one of my most favorite meals ever.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pros/Cons:

We have been married for about a year and a half and we have already seen several different seasons. The season of both of us being unemployed. Then I got a job and worked 40 hours a week while Doug worked part-time and had school full-time. Then we had the past four months where I worked part-time and Doug was unemployed. And now we are in the season of both working full-time.

Each season has had it pros and cons.

Pros of the Current Season:

- I wake up much earlier in the morning when we are both getting up around the same time. I was always sleeping in way too late when Doug was able to sleep in.

- Two incomes (...at some point. We are still waiting for that first paycheck!)

- Doug dresses up every day. (he looks so nice dressed up)

- I get home in plenty of time to make dinner and have it ready for us by the time Doug gets home from work

- We are both spending our days and our energy helping others. It really is a fulfilling life.

Cons of the Current Season:

- We are both tired at the end of the day now.

- We don't get to watch Jeopardy together everyday anymore. I have to tell Doug what the final Jeopardy question was.

- We don't get to hang out on Friday's anymore.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Day of Work:

Doug started his job yesterday. He said he mostly sat and filled out papers and watched some terrible work place etiquette movies. Today he is going to report to his actually building and meet his co-workers and his supervisors. (And hopefully find out where the break room is).

We are so thankful that the Lord has provided us with another job. He is so good to take care of our every need.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jenks vs. Union

Last night Doug and I went on a Friday night date. We attended the rival football game of Jenks and Union.
It was a perfectly exciting game and the outcome was great. Jenks 27, Union 25. I really do love high school football. There is just something about it. And I also really do love watching football with Doug. It really is a blessing.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Business Casual:

Douglas got a job. He is going to be a Social Services Specialist with the Department of Human Services.

He starts on Wednesday. We are going to need to give his wardrobe a business casual boost.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Georgia Wedding

Greg and Beth are finally married. They are two wonderful people that are so happy together. It was one of those perfectly emotional weddings. Just so much joy and happiness all around.
It was a outdoor country wedding. White chairs, blue fans, horses in the field, and three lanterns.
And a perfect reception. Bright lights, southern food, a porch with rocking chairs, and mini cupcakes.
And they even had a photobooth. The Best Man asked me to take some photos with him. I granted him his request!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Love.

I don't often update the blog but something special occurred. While we were all going about our lives Danae Castle turned 23. This is big. Especially to me.

This year I have a few special things planned. One of those things is to express my love for my wife with a little love song I wrote for her. If you want to hear with your own ears just how much I love her you can at http://somethingintheattic.com/justalovesong.mp3.

I don't want to brag, but I am most certain I got the best wife there is. She is beautiful and deserves more love songs.

Sincerely,
Douglas E. Castle

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bat in the House:

Last night I was doing some much needed cleaning and re-organizing. I was working on putting away all of our clothes in a orderly fashion. I went to put some clothes away in Jeanette's old room. I casually walked into the room with my clothes pile and I was greeted by a massive, flying bat. In. Her. Room.

I screamed for Doug and then I went and googled "how to get rid of a bat in your house?".
Doug was more than willing to capture the bat. He put on the recommended gear and went in:
He came out alive with a very very angry little brown bat. Doug was so fascinated he asked me to take a picture of the bat.
I told you he was very angry.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday Movie:






This movie made me want too:
- be a better cook.
- try recipes that I don't think I am capable of.
- cut my hair.
- live in a cute apartment someday.
- and love Doug more and more each day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Morning

coffee, bagel sandwich, and cartoons.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Burgers and Cake Bellies:

Last night we ate dinner at the new Smash Burger. Doug and I both had the OK Burger with french fries and Karen had the classic burger with haystack onions. It was very delicious. I loved the presentation of the meal. I would like to have some of those adorable wire baskets.


On the way home we stopped at the grocery store. We bought two lemons, bagels, milk, yogurt, and cream cheese.

Then I opened up this book. It is wonderful.


And I made the French Yogurt Cake with Lemon and the Banana Bread.

After baking and cleaning up all night I took a night shower and collapsed into bed. Then Doug came in and joined me and we laughed a lot, talked a lot, and fell asleep with bellies full of cake.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Growing Up

I feel like I just keep growing up. Becoming more and more of an adult and becoming more and more married to Douglas.

Last week we purchased our first car together. I sat in a chair in a smoke filled trailer and wrote a check out for $2,250.00 and paid for our first car. We are praying that she treats us well. We sure do love her a lot already. But buying a car is a rather adult thing to do.

Then we drove it for one day and figured that we should be responsible and get car insurance as soon as possible. So after work on Tuesday, Doug picked me up and we drove to the first insurance place that we saw. We found ourselves sitting in an AllState office with a nice man named Kirk. He had terrible motivational posters on the wall and a pair of shoes behind the door. While we were sitting there his mother called him to ask for his meatball recipe. I was sold on Kirk after that. I wrote another check for our first month's car insurance payment.

On Wednesday we decided that we needed to take care of our cell phone plans. We have been on separate plans for the past year. The current phone plans had finally expired, and we found ourselves sitting in Best Buy talking with a sweet lady. We walked out with two phones (one of them might just have been an iphone...and my precious husband might have let me have the nice phone and him keep the free phone) and a combined phone plan.

July 31st marks the last date of our current health insurance coverage. So tonight, we researched and found a nice, new health insurance plan. Good ol' Humana is going to hopefully be good to us.

It has been a rather big week of making good and responsible decisions. And tomorrow we plan on driving to Oklahoma City to visit Dad Castle and to eat some cupcakes at Cuppies and Joe.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This Past Week We:

1. Had a dinner party with our friends Bailey and Rachel Jones. We had so much fun eating food from their garden, talking, playing darts, and enjoying their beautiful home.
2. Babysat our adorable nephew, Caden. (We are actually doing that at this very moment)
3. Made french bread pizzas and spinach salad. Top five favorite summer meals so far.
4. Cleaned, did three loads of laundry, and mowed the yard.
5. Doug turned in four more job applications for jobs. Lord willing, we will at least a call on one of these jobs. (p.s. job hunting is no fun)
6. Danae got a promotion, kind of. Danae will be working 30 hours a week and she will be the Children's Minister's assistant.
7. Went on a date. We drove all around Tulsa looking for houses to rent. We then ended up in a coffee shop with an over priced cupcake and two americanos. The cupcake was actually very terrible. But the date was really nice.
8. Then we decided we should play some skee ball at the local arcade. We played four games each. Our prize at the end of the night was a black mug with a skull and crossbones.
9. Doug started to read Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger and Danae started to read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover.
10. And we rented two movies from the RedBox down the street, Yes Man and Get Smart.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yard Sale Reflections:

This past weekend we had a yard sale. It was a lot of work and very entertaining. Some moments that stand out.

1. A couple from Glenpool purchased four pairs of rainbow toe-socks (they belonged to Jeanette years and years ago), a Garfield poster that said "Well, duh?", and a fantasy computer game. You never know what people think they need.

2. A man came and decided to talk and talk and talk and talk. At one point he pulled up his shirt to show Doug his Tazmania Devil tatoo.

3. Two very large women drove by in their van and yelled out the window asking if we had any lawn ornaments. To which I replied, "Sorry, no we don't". She then preceeded to yell from her car asking if we had any china. I dragged a large box of china to her car window. She did not like it and drove off.

4. Yard sale evangelism is also quite popular now a days. A lady came up to me and said " I did not find anything that I needed, but can I leave you with this booklet?". It was a track magazine. My uncle Jack would have been so proud.

5. One lady walked up to the books and looked at us and asked, "Do you all have any of those books by Joel Osteen?" To which we replied, "No".

If you ever need some extra cash or just want some good entertainment, you should consider having a yard sale in Jenks, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Recovering:

Last week we went to family camp. It was such a wonderful time of being all together with my family. I treasure the moments when we are all together, all 13 of us. We played all day and then at night Doug and I got to spend some precious moments with some of our dearest friends that live out at the Ranch. We stayed up too late each night, and woke up early each morning.

We are now back in Tulsa trying to recover. I had a meeting at church last night that lasted too long and I had to lead the devotional this morning at work. Work is not helping me recover fast enough. But tonight we are at home. Doug is socially maxed out, so he is laying on the couch reading. My throat is scratchy and my nose is runny, so I am drinking cold lemonade and blowing my nose. And I have a feeling that this will be an early to bed kind of night.

I do not mind the recovering process when it takes place after such a fun-filled weekend that was spent with the majority of my favorite people in the whole world.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day Four & Five:

Day Four:
Money Spent: $ 40.00 on Doug's eye appointment. Did I ever tell you that he hurt his eye when he was moving our belongings down from Illinois. He described it like he was looking through a jelly fish. It was a floater, and the eye doctor was not too concerned. He did have to go back this week for a follow-up appointment. Things still look fine and he has been released from the eye doctor!

Day Five:
Money Spent: $ 39.80 on gas. Yes, it costs that much to fill up our tank of a vehicle. But I had to get to work somehow. So this purchase was a necessity.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day Three:

Money Spent: $ 0
Money we wanted to spend: A few dollars on some ice-cold drinks. We went to the Starlight concert last night and it was rather warm. People surrounded us with cold ice water and soda. But we sat and drank our luke-warm water bottles and were satisfied in not spending the money. The concert was really fun. They had a traveling Air Force band perform all kinds of pieces. It was lovely.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day Two:

Money Spent: $95.46
Purchases: We had one more bill that needed to be paid this month. So I figured we should go ahead and pay on the student loans so we do not get taken to jail for not paying. I don't think they would take the excuse that we were on a spending fast that week!

In other news, last night I made a spinach berry salad. It was very pretty and Doug and I worked together on the dressing. He would taste it and tell me what else it needed. It ended up being a very yummy salad.

And, Doug is now work-out Doug. He is going to be super fit here pretty soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Spending Fast:

This week Doug and I are going on a spending fast. We will see how this goes. And for accountability, I will write about every single purchase we make this week.

Sunday: No purchases
Money spent: $ 0

We are starting out well.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Grandpa Keena:

We made a spur of the moment trip to Poplar Bluff, MO for my grandpa's funeral. It was a nice time to be together (our whole family was able to make it) and remember our wonderful grandpa. My grandma is an incredibly strong person, and she made us laugh on multiple occasions in the midst of the circumstances.

My grandparents got married when my grandma was 16 1/2. She told us that she was so pretty it was a miracle she made it to that age without getting snatched up earlier.

We were able to be there with her and make sure that she got rest and meals. We were also there to give hugs. Grandma's love hugs.

The visitation lasted for several hours. People came from all over to pay their respects. My grandpa had a profound influence on leading many people to Christ. He was a preacher and an evangelist who was deeply concerned with lost souls.

We were able to come back home with a set of commentaries, an old plumb line, and several sheets of sermon notes that belonged to my grandpa.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving:

I received a text message from my sister today telling me that I need to update our blog. Thanks Christa. Here I am updating our blog.

It has been hard to know what to write about on here. I am not sure how it came so easily when we were living in Illinois. I think one reason it came easily was because we had Internet access that worked well. And all of our belongings had a good and proper place. We still have lots of things strewn about the house waiting to find a new home. It is exhausting thinking about having to stay home in the evenings just to clean and organize. I would rather go to Utica square and listen to music and sit outside.

But, not yet. There is still a lot of work to be done around here. Oh, and did I mention that we spent all day moving stuff around at church in order to get ready for some major renovations that are about to take place. So my days are filled with moving other people's things and then I come home to move my things.

We are building lots of muscle, developing nasty bruises, and wearing ourselves out each and every night. Hopefully updating this blog will become easier once things start settle down a bit.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer:

Summer is a really wonderful time of the year. We have been trying to eat dinner outside each night on the back deck. It is a little challenging considering the fact that we do not have a table outside. But we are determined. We sit with our toes tiped,our plates balancing on our knees, and glasses of water sitting on the deck.

We also enjoyed a night at Utica Square. It was really really packed the night we went. But the weather was wonderful and the music was great. We pretty much just sat there and took in all the sights and sounds.

Then the other night Sonic was giving away free root beer floats. So Doug, Karen, and I all loaded up into the car and drove down to Sonic. The drive home was pretty quiet as we all ate and drank our rootbeer floats.

Doug loves anything with wheels. He has an entire corner of the garage of all kinds of boards and bikes. The current favorite is the Ripstick. The other night he gave me Ripstick lessons. It was pretty entertaining.

And summer night walks are the best. We like to walk over to this housing development that has a large pond. We sit and watch all the fun creatures. The last walk we watched a whole herd of ducklings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tulsa Life:

We have been here in Tulsa Town for a little over a week now. It still feels like we are on vactation and I keep waiting to pack the car and drive back to Illinois. Doug is headed back up there for two weeks to take a class and bring the moving truck down. But I am here for good. Working a new job and living in a new place.

Highlights:

1. Driving to Taco Bueno and seeing Hanna friend walking to her car. She joined us for dinner and Doug ate 6 party burritos.

2. Sitting out on the back deck every evening. You can really hear the sounds of summer here.

3. Spending all of Memorial Day cleaning, orgainzing, rearranging, and transforming brother Greg's bedroom. He is going to have a wife soon, and we thought they might want a place to stay that did not have a Garfield poster on the wall that said "Whatever" and every piece of coke memoribilla ever made.

4. Playing with adorable neice and nephew Bailey and Caden.

5. Quick Trip 49 cents summer lemonade.

6. A new job that has 'jean day thursday' and no work on Fridays.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gratitude:

"May gratitude continue to take over your heart - crowding out worry, fear, jealousy, envy, hate and the litany of other useless emotions"

Today is one of those days where I am finding myself praying a lot. Thinking of the quote that is above. And counting my blessings.

Blessings like:
- having a new job lined up
- a husband
- God's grace, love, and faithfulness
- a frozen pizza waiting for us to eat tonight for dinner
- sisters (and brothers)
- enough money to pay the bills this weekend

I am working on crowding out all of those useless emotions today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Little Things:

1. Our bath tub has been clogged for about three weeks now. Doug liked to say that you could take a shower and then when you were finished you could take a bath (gross). Well, it finally got fixed yesterday. As I was taking my shower this morning I was so thankful to not be standing in inches of dirty shower water.

2. New picture of adorable niece, Bailey.

3. Leftovers waiting for me at home for my lunch break.

4. Yesterday I called Doug and asked him to bring me some crackers at work. As soon as I hung up I wished I had asked him to bring peanut butter also, but I did not want to bother him and call again. Five minutes later Doug walks in with a pack of crackers, a tub of peanut butter, and a knife. He knows me so well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Celebration:

Doug had his last hard final for this semester this morning. (He still has one left, but it will be very easy). So we are going to celebrate tonight. I am going to make baked pasta with fresh mozzarella cheese and then we are going to watch The Biggest Loser finale. I think I am more excited about that than Doug is, but I asked him if he would watch it with me and he agreed.

I really want Mike to win tonight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Year:

Doug and I got married one year ago today. People told us before we got married that the first year is the hardest. So in some ways I feel like we have passed a huge milestone in our marriage. But really, it was not that hard. We had hard things to work through, but being married to Doug actually made those things easier to get through. And, I know that there are going to be more hard times, but I also know that we can work through things together. No matter what those things might be. And, I really do love him more today than I did a year ago.

Doug, I love you 30 million bucket loads now.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Mom Rocks :

My mom is really great. Here she is in 1973. I love this picture of her. She is wearing red (which is her favorite color), and the alligator is pretty sweet as well.


This is another great photo of my mother. Here she is surrounded with some of her children. She is one of the most real, wonderful, beautiful people I know. She has loved and nutured each one of us (which is a large task since there are seven of us). I feel like she makes parenting look easy. I know it is not, but she sure is great at it.

And then the more recent photo. Here we are just hanging out together. I love to see how our relationship has grown as I have grown. She is still my mother who loves and cares for me deeply. But the older I get the more I appreciate her and appreicate the way that she lets me (us) grow up. She is not overly protective or overly involved. She let's us be adults, but still is interested and a huge part of our lives.

I love you, mom! Happy Mother's Day!



Friday, May 8, 2009

This Past Week We:

1. Made some smoothies and watched NBA play-off games.


2. Saw/Met some relatives. Doug had not seen this part of the family in years. I had never met them. One of my favorite moments was watching 'Shortie' (Doug's grandma's sister) eat two pieces of cake.
3. Got to see our wonderful, crazy, fun Aunt Camile dance.

4. Attended the beautiful wedding of our cousin, Mindy and her new husband Bryan. (We spelled his name wrong on the card, so I will be extra careful from here on out to spell it right)

5. Bought a rotisserie chicken the other night at the grocery store and then we came home and wrapped them in warm tortillas, and sprinkled cheese, salsa, and guacamole on them. Yummy dinner.

6. Started to pack up my belongings at my current job. Thinking through what to bring to the new job.

7. Looked at graduate schools and programs for Danae.

8. Searched for apartments, houses, cars, furniture, and jobs on Craigslist.

9. The reality of our big move and big changes has almost officially set in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Road Trip Conversations:

Doug and I took a last minute trip down to Tulsa this past weekend. The church where I will be working wanted me to see the church and meet some of the pastors before I started working there. And we got to go to a cousin's wedding. And we moved some of our belongings.

We left for our 11 hour drive on Friday afternoon. Doug and I did not turn on the radio once the entire time. We talked back and forth the entire drive. By the time we pulled into the driveway in Jenks we both had dry throats.

Doug told me in the car yesterday that there is no one else he could ever imagine talking to for 11 hours non-stop.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Packing Fun:

I love to pack with Doug Castle. We started the process the other night. We decided to pack up the winter clothes first. I would hold things up and ask him if we should keep it or get rid of it. I picked up this hat, and he insisted that we keep it. Just to prove that we should keep it, he has worn the hat the past three days. Just inside our apartment. Last night he told me he might be ready to take it into the world.



Then we started packing our everyday clothes. Doug is really great at assembling outfits. Take this one for example. The red hat (that makes him look like he has dreads), red flannel robe, and a bright puffer vest.


He told me he would wear this outfit if he had a rock band in the 90's. The red hat, open flannel, yellow thermal shirt, and navy blue Adidas break away pants. (Is that what they are called? You know the pants with snaps down the side that were cool in Middle School gym class)


Other favorite moment was when I picked up a pair of jeans and asked him if we should keep them. His response:
"Of course, those are my every-days".

p.s. thanks for all of your kind words and encouragement. you are all just so nice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Decision:

Today was a big day for the little Castle family.

I told my boss that my last day of work will be May 18th.

We told the housing office that we will be moved out of our current apartment on June 15th.

We started packing our belongings so we can bring some down with us when we go to Tulsa this weekend.

I officially accepted the administrative assistant to the director of preschool and elementary ministries at the Church at Battle Creek in Broken Arrow, OK.

We will need to get some new Oklahoma driver's licenses.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another list:

Last night our evening consisted of:
- A frozen supreme pizza
- Black yoga pants and green comfy pants
- Eating our pizza on the couch while watching funny shows
- A two hour long scrabble game. It was a very slow paced game with lots of pondering. We were not in any hurry. Doug beat me by more than 150 points. I am really not a competitive person, so it really did not bother me. The highest scoring word was sugars.
- Three glasses of ice-tea
- Early bed time
- Flipping between Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock and the Bulls play-off game
- Sitting on our red couch
- Three chocolate cookies and one glass of milk

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Still Waiting:

- Waiting to talk to the church in Kansas. We know now that the church in Wichita is for going to hire a Middle School Youth Pastor for sure. They want the person to start in July. We are waiting to find out what the next steps are to start the interviewing/application process.

- Waiting for my current job to come to a close. The last few weeks have been draining, and the next three and a half weeks look like they might be the same way.

- Waiting to tell the housing office if (or when) we will be moving. We have to give them an answer on May 1st.

- Waiting to find out the specifics on the job in Tulsa for me. (how many hours, pay, start date, etc)

- Waiting to know if we are going to be getting a Oklahoma or a Kansas drivers license. (or keep our current Illinois license)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Visit from Mom:

Mom was here for the past few days. It is always nice having a mom around.

Together We:
1. made cinnamon rolls
2. played Sequence
3. went out to pizza. (after Doug guessed exactly where she would want to eat dinner)
4. walked around Trinity and saw old friends.
5. shared a salad and a sandwich for lunch.
6. cuddled together on the couch each morning.
7. ate dinner in the kitchen at Bucca Di Beppo.
8. talked. and talked. and talked.
9. shared perfume.
10. drank coffee and ate tiramisu

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friends Come for a Visit: Part II

We decided we should wake up early and head down to the city on Saturday so we could have a lot of time to see the sights. We did not exactly leave early. We caught the 12:23 train. Here we are on the train down to the city.




We ate dinner at one of the most warm and cozy places I have ever eaten. It also might have felt like that since we had walked 4 miles in the cold.




We got to see Old Town, and we did not even try to see it. We stumbled upon it.
Boys love basketball.

The boys let us go into the American Girl Doll store. We had some good laughs. Here is Doug with Molly, the doll his sister Jeanette had growing up.

We were thankful anytime the sun would peak out.

Couple friends.

And we had pizza for lunch. You just have to have pizza when you are in Chicago. I think we consumed about five pounds of cheese each. But I think we walked it all off by the end of the day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friends Come for a Visit : Part I

Five of our most favorite people in the world came to visit us this past weekend. We did so many fun things that I am not even really sure where to start. I might just tell you about it day by day.

Last night Doug and I talked about how it really felt like we were also on vacation, even though we live here. We did so much fun stuff, didn't work as much, enjoyed being with people that we knew well, and ate really really good food.

Our first day together, we ate at Panda Express downtown. We thought it was funny that the first thing they did in Chicago, they could have done back in Oklahoma. Here are Eric and Ashley. They are really cute together:

Then we went to the Art Institute. Here are Nathan and Teressa, they are very nice people. We all enjoyed the photography exhibit the best I think.


Our friend, Cal lives in Chicago. He met up with us and helped us get around the big city. It was fun to see him as well.

Rhett also came on the trip. We were so happy he was able to come. He thought he was really cool because he has shoes that are waterproof. To prove that he decided to walk around in the water at the park.


We had so much fun being with people we know and love. We walked and talked a lot. And took a lot of pictures.

We also played with the bean. It really is a lot of fun.

We ended the first day of our vacation at Teressa's brothers house. We played games. Girls vs. Boys. Girls won Cranium. Boys won in Catch Phrase. We also ate some really good food and we laughed a lot. Then we came back home and played Battle of the Sexes and ate cookies.