Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Date Night:

Last night we went on a good ol' fashioned double date. We met up with some of our dearest friends, Jon and Emily. We went to dinner and a movie together. I realized about half-way through our evening that I felt like my parents. For some reason, I felt very adult going to dinner and a movie with another couple. We laughed about how little we do that. Our evenings together are usually in one of our living rooms, drinking coffee, and eating homemade treats. It was quite a change for us to go out together.

We enjoyed really yummy food and True Grit. We treasure our friendship with Jon and Emily. We were engaged a day apart. We were married only one month before they got married. We both moved away for a year and then found ourselves back in Tulsa, living with our parents. And now we maintain our long distance friendship with frequent trips to Tulsa and phone conversations. We are so blessed by them, and I am so glad that we can go on adult dates with them!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sister Jeanette:

We have known each other since I was 14. She worked with my older sister Bethany at camp together. They wanted me and Doug to meet and get married and yadda yadda yadda. So Doug and I met and they thought that it was just a funny idea for us to become friends. Well, we really did become friends. And immediately after meeting Doug and I walked off and spend hours together without Bethany or Jeannette. She made me laugh really hard talking about that first meeting between Doug and I.

I spent the night in her tiny studio apartment when I visited Doug when we were dating. I slept on the floor on a futon mattress.

We also shared a room at her grandparents house, and on several occasions we thought that we heard something moving in the wall. We were both thoroughly creeped out.

She took a job that moved her across the country for a while. I was still in college, and we thought it would be a good idea to pick a show to watch together in our separate homes, but be on the phone with each other. For whatever reason, we chose Kid Nation. Remember that show? It was terrible. Watching/Talking with Jeanette made it very memorable.

I remember her calling to tell me about her now-husband, Brad. I was at Sonic and I was very very excited to hear that she had found herself a husband.

She loves me by letting me hug her and letting me cuddle close to her. Even though she does not like it, she lets me because she knows how much I like it.

New Years Eve 2001, I found myself riding around in Jeanette's car with Jeanette, Doug, and Bethany. We opened up a bottle of sparkling grape juice and passed it around the car. We felt really rebellious. It was during that same trip that we got a flat tire and ended up in a church parking lot waiting to be rescued.

Spending a week with her has been one of the highlights of my year. I love my sister Jeanette.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Castle Christmas:


Some of these things might not make sense to all of you. But they are things that I want to always remember from Castle Christmas 2010. And this is a great place to write down things that I do not want to forget them. I hope you don't mind. 

- Spending time with the siblings and mom at our home. We ate pizza downtown, reunited with some friends, played games, sat by the fire, shared our home and lives with them.

- Came back to Tulsa to find a beautifully decorated home, lots of food to be eaten, and classic Christmas movies to watch. 

- "Oatmeal"  "Oatmeal, you too" 

- " And sometimes Y"

- We drove to OKC to spend a day with dad and Julie. Our time consisted of eating lunch at McNellies, trying three different kinds of chili for dinner, playing Fact or Crap, Beth getting mad at Fact or Crap, petting a bunch of dogs, memorable family pictures, and a really fun car ride home. 

- We had good conversations about family, changes, children, marriage, and more.

- About 567 pots of coffee were consumed over this holiday.

- We had multiple family get-togethers. Let's count them: Dad & Julie, Mom, Breakfast with Grandparents from Dallas, Ladies dinner, Grandparents from Skiatook, Lunch with Gommie and Kenny, Christmas with the Clarks, and Aunt Camille's House. Whew. So many wonderful people at so many get togethers.

- Shoe shopping and antique store browsing.

- Christmas morning turnovers and pigs-in-a-blanket and ham and potatoes for lunch. 

- Spending all of Christmas days in our jammies. And the girls matching socks with capri jammie pants. 

- Cuddling under the super shock-y blanket with Jeanette and looking through cookbooks. 

- Laughing. laughing some more. and laughing until our sides hurt. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Party:

Last night, Doug hosted his first Christmas Party. We had door prizes, Christmas Trivia, candy cane decorated tables, and a fun evening together. We see the kitchen employees often, but we do not get to see their children and their spouses. So we had lots of fun getting to meet some adorable little boys and talk with the spouses. It was a good time of having fun together and celebrating Christmas. Doug did a really really wonderful job of getting everything together and I think everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


- We have family coming this weekend. We could not be more excited.

- I had a rotten, terrible, horrible morning the other day. I came home and sat on the couch. Doug turned on a Monk episode, I made a frozen pizza, and he might have let me crawl onto his lap. It made my afternoon so much better.

- We went Christmas shopping last night. We talked about church, ate at Taco Bueno, had Starbucks, and bought some fun little things. We had to run in and out of places because it was freezing cold. I lost Doug at one point when we were in Borders. I hate that feeling more than anything. I found him by his cute hat that he wears in the winter time.

- Thank you, Lord Jesus, for our wood stove.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First Turkey:

I made my first Turkey this Thanksgiving. It turned out wonderfully. Here is what I did:
  1. Cut up carrots, onions, and celery and placed them in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with chicken broth. 
  2. Remove the gross bag of you know what from the turkey. Throw all away except the neck. Have your really brave and wonderful father touch the raw neck and place it in bottom of the roasting pan as well.
  3. Stuff Turkey with onion halves and garlic
  4. Rub turkey skin with butter
  5. Salt and pepper skin
  6. Bake and Baste. Bake and Baste. Bake and Baste. Until turkey is finished.
  7. Try to carve the Turkey without getting family members fingers that are crowded around and picking the incredibly juicy meat. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Mom is Cuter than Your Mom:

My parents have lived Missouri, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, and now Montana. Dad posted this picture the other day on his Facebook. It is my mom with their Christmas gift to each other, a snow blower. I asked her if she ever imagined buying a snow blower in her lifetime and she said no. [p.s. she is so cute] They are wonderful examples of following after their dreams and following the Lord's lead in their life. And currently, they are busy snow blowing, hiking, fishing, and hunting in beautiful Montana.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taco Bowls and Football Champions:

The other night we had taco bowls/nachos for dinner. It was the type of meal that I could eat everyday and never get tired of it. In my bowl I had beans, corn, taco meat, shredded lettuce, olives, salsa, all topped with the classic queso party dip and crunched up tortilla chips. Doug went the nacho route and layered all the above ingredients (except the olives) and put it in the oven to toast. So comforting and so good.

Then we watched the last Big 12 Championship game with a full living room. We only had one Nebraska fan and lots of dessert options. We were so happy to see our OU Sooners win another Championship. [Doug was especially happy].

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Maxwell Watching TV:

The other night Doug and I were watching a nature documentary on Yellowstone. My parents live close to Yellowstone, so it is fun to learn about the area that they live near. At one point, there were some wolves chasing an elk. Doug and I were obviously intrigued, and then we looked down and saw that Maxwell was also captivated by what was going on the screen. He really wanted to run free like those wolves. He wanted to feel the cold air in his lungs. He wanted to hunt for his own dinner.

But then he remembered that he would not be able to lay in front of our wood stove, he would not have food given to him in a bowl each day, and he would have to exert energy. So...he decided to stay in our cozy home instead of running in the wild.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

No Shave November:

Doug did not shave for the entire month of November. And when he did shave he decided to shave this little beauty. All Doug wants for Christmas is to be able to grow real {sorry sweetheart} facial hair. Any tips?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Couple Picture:

I love him so so so very much.

p.s. Thanks Justin for the new picture.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

10 Things to do in 2010:

2.  Host a dress up dinner party.

We turned our Thanksgiving dinner into a dress up affair. We had fancy rings, hair pieces, hats, ties, coats, and adorable children in cute outfits. We had candles and sparkling apple cider. A toast, a beautiful prayer, a platter of Turkey. I am so glad we got to accomplish this task with my family. They are such good sports to play along with our ideas sometimes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving In Review:

- We officially had the most people in our small home for the longest amount of time. Every member of the family stubbed their toes on a chair or table at some point in the weekend, except Bethany. It was perfect though, except for the stubbed toes.

- I made and craved my first turkey. I cannot take all the credit however, because my hero dad took the stuff out and touched the neck and rinsed the raw turkey. And mom helped me butter the skin. Everyone loved it, including Maxwell.

- Some of my favorite moments were shared over coffee around the big table. We talked, played games, scratched backs, played with children, and enjoyed being together.

- We all really really really missed Andrew.

- I love playing sports with my family. We had our annual football game and then on Monday we had sports day. We played Gottcha, Volleyball, and Kickball.

- We sat around fires and roasted marshmallows, rode on the hay bus through the woods, petted horses, and enjoyed being at camp with our family.

- We also made trips into town for cheap Mexican food, more eggs and milk, and to go to church on Sunday.

- We decorated our Christmas tree with the help of wonderful niece and nephew Clark, built fires in our wood stove, drank cups of hot chocolate with peppermint sticks, and watched Elf together.