Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Am Thankful

I'm thankful I get to spend my days with this guy.  Even the challenging & exhausting days.

I'm thankful playing in the leaves makes her this happy.

I'm thankful playing in the dirt makes him this happy. 

I'm thankful for our home and that we have space to play, grow a garden and have a bon fire.

I'm thankful I'm married to a good man who is a good father to our kids.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I made broccoli cheddar soup using this recipe I found on Pinterest.  It's probably safe to say I'm addicted to Pinterest.  As if I  needed another internet time sucker.  So far, every recipe I've tried on Pinterest has been good.  This soup was delicious and is definitely going in the rotation for dinner.

In my usual fashion, I did not follow the recipe exactly, but I stayed pretty close.  I used frozen broccoli instead of fresh and it worked just fine.  I just ran it under water to thaw and drained the water out of it. I left out the onions because Allen isn't a big fan.  I doubled the milk and omitted the half and half.  Also, I used all Colby cheese. And I didn't use cardamom because, frankly, I have no earthly idea what it is.   So with all those changes, it turned out great! 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup {my version of the recipe}
1/4 c butter
1 clove garlic
1/4 c flour
2 c milk
2 c chicken stock
1/2 lb frozen broccoli that has been thawed & drained
1 c shredded carrot
1/4 tsp nutmeg
12 oz grated Colby jack cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute garlic in the butter over medium heat.  Add in the flour, stirring constantly.  Add in the milk and chicken stock.  Bring to almost a boil.  Add broccoli and carrots.  Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in cheese and let simmer 10 minutes longer before serving.

We ate ours with baked potatoes.  I'm craving this dinner as I type.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Decade

Allen & I recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary. 

We met by the lockers in the 8th grade and became instant friends.  Even as a kid, there was something about Allen that made me feel safe & trusting around him.  We used to drive around and listen to music with the windows down.  I would play him Led Zeppelin and he would play me Beastie Boys. 

Fast forward to the college days, when I started realizing maybe there was more there than friendship here.  I'm a girl who speaks my mind and our relationship began with me calling him in the middle of the night telling him I was in love with him and I thought we should go on a real date.  He thought it sounded like a good idea and was probably a little shocked and confused.  I've probably shocked him a million times more with my brutal honesty. {not always a good thing}

And so we had our first real date in June of 1997.  It was the most nervous I had ever been to go on a date. We had been spending time together for years, but suddenly I was nervous to sit across a table from him.  Isn't that funny?

Fast forward a few years later to December 29th, 2000.  He got on one knee in the snow and asked me to marry him.  Of course, I said yes!  I called my parents to tell them and my Dad's response: "was he drunk?"  That is so my Dad's humor!  My parents LOVED Allen and were thrilled.

And so, we got married on October 20, 2001 and the rest is history.  Three houses and two kids later, here we are.  We've had a lot of fun times and a lot of hard times. We've felt poor and wealthy and everything in between. We've had fun nights with our best friends, camping trips at Blue River and we've gone to a lot of concerts. We've spent late nights dreaming up business ideas to try together, but in the morning we always decide it's too risky.  One day I hope we don't talk ourselves out of a fun new idea to try.

After ten years of marriage, we seem to be more in sync than ever.  We like our simple, semi old fashioned lifestyle.  We like that we have learned to live simply after years of wasteful spending.  We love the same quirky music.  And we still like to drive around listening to music together. 

This is our song.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

She & Him ~ "You Really Got A Hold On Me"

Musicians I love now singing songs I grew up listening to.  Awe, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Backyard Camping

We planned on taking the kids on their first real camping trip this Fall, but work & weather have gotten in the way.  So we decided to camp in our back yard in the meantime. 

We cooked our dinner outside on the fire and roasted marshmallows for smores.

I bought junk food that I usually don't allow so they loved that.  Hey, at least the hot dogs were nitrate free.  They got a nice chemical high from the Cheetos & Oreos & were wired for the night. 

We listened to music, told stories & looked at the stars.  And then we were grateful that we lived in an area just country enough to do this in our back yard!  It wasn't true camping, however, because when we got tired we went in the house & slept in our warm, comfy beds. 

It was so much fun that we decided to start doing it quite often.  Talk about an easy, low key getaway!  If you turn your back to our house, all you see are woods & you'd never know you weren't camping at Blue River!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mental Health Time Out

I needed to take a break and unwind for a second.  This song did the trick.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ~ "Up From Below"

This week has been overwhelming.  Sick kids and getting things ready for a baby shower I'm hosting tomorrow.  Then there was a slight fire scare this morning.  I came home to the smoke alarm going off and the smell of smoke outside.  Long story short, there was no fire in the house and Garrett got to sit in the fire truck.  Yay for nice firemen!

I'm secretly pretending to be sitting in the tropics listening to the band play without a care in the world.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty Food {Black Bean & Cheese Nachos}

This is one of my favorite lunches at home.  Simple & delicious!  Cover tortilla chips with black beans, pepper jack cheese & colby cheese, then heat in the microwave.  Top with chopped tomato, red onion & cilantro.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat

This Fall has been jam packed full of fun.  We visited our usual pumpkin patch and picked out the biggest pumpkin there.  Then came home and Allen got busy working his magic.  He takes projects like this very seriously.

The kids picked out two little pumpkins to paint.

We also made sugar cookies because it's just too fun to only do at Christmas time!

Again, Allen took the decorating very seriously & worked in his Oklahoma logo.  He even carved the state into the back side of our pumpkin this year.

Sydney wanted to be a pink cowgirl for Halloween.  I'd say she's the prettiest pink cowgirl I've ever seen!

And Garrett went with spider man.  Words cannot describe how cute his tush looks in this outfit.  He is showing off his muscles here.

Last year he boycotted costumes and refused to dress up.  So I was thrilled when Halloween came & he actually wore it!

It's tradition in our family that my Mama Bertha makes all the Grand kids & Great Grand kids a caramel apple. So she is always our first stop on trick or treat night. 

He ate all the caramel off and left the apple.  Go figure.

After visiting the Grandmas and trick or treating, we came home to check out our loot.  Awesome!

Then we tucked the kids in & went to sleep.  Only to be woke up at midnight by Garrett projectile vomiting.  We thought it must have been candy overload.  But just about the time I got his room cleaned up {it was as bad as you could possibly imagine}, Sydney started.  And so began a cycle of both kids taking turns throwing up for about the next twelve hours.  Nice.  We got zero sleep.  By the 5 am puke I wanted to cry because I was so tired.  Every bed linen in this house was covered in puke & the piles of dirty sheets were taking over the laundry room.  But now, 24 hours later, everyone is doing fine.  And I'm still washing bedding.  Happy Halloween!