Dec 31, 2010

December 31, 2007

It's New Year's Eve.

Three years ago I woke up in the grandkid play room at Kyle's parents' house in Norman. Three years ago I had been traveling with the best and greatest Amy Wheeler and Kate Spytek in our adventure from Wisconsin to Texas to Louisiana.

See Amy and I flew up to visit Kate in her hometown and to help her drive her car all the way back to Baton Rouge after a semester abroad. We loaded up the car, decided not to shower, and headed to Dallas for 52 College Conference. In "our" plan, we thought "oh when we get to Tulsa, we'll get a hotel room and drive the rest of the way the next day'... in Kyle, Amy and Kate's plan they thought "oh we'll keep driving to Norman and stay with Kyle's parents (Kyle was living there) and then Brittany and Kyle will fall madly in love."

Do I have to tell you who won?

So we arrived that night at Kyle's parents house and ALL his sisters were present. All family members greeted us at the door at about oh, 10:45pm... did I mention that we didn't shower that day 'because we wouldn't be seeing anyone we knew.'

The next morning Kate and Amy sneakily had to drive to Dallas to pick up a friend at the airport and there would not be any room in the car for me then... so I would just have to ride the 4 hour ride to Sky Ranch with Kyle ;)

New Year's Eve was the day that I realized how my little crush was way more than that, and how this Kyle Hess character was more than I could have imagined. His family was wonderful, and hometown great, and on top of that we was a great driver too!

December 31, 2007 was the day Kyle Hess and I held hands for the very first time!... and the day he asked, and I officially became his 'girlfriend!' you can guess what followed a few years later :)

Jill Marie Photography By Jill Pfalser

Happy New Year's Eve! Hold someone's hand!

Dec 29, 2010

Dance Moves and Coupons

So I feel like I have extra time this week... but see that's what tends to get me into trouble. You know how when you have 5 extra minutes in the morning use it to relax, it seems you get up 10 minutes later and then you're 5 minutes late! That used to happen to me all the time in college: one teacher would let us out 10 minutes early so I figured I had time to go (fill in activity here) before the next class started... oops! misfigured and ended up late to the next class.

So this week I need to be working on my thesis proposal and I really did plan to; however, I forgot that the school is on break and my professor won't be responding to my emails :(  So while I'm sure there are things I could do to work on it, I guess my 'motivation' found out and decided to vacation...

But this week I've been starting a few new things thanks to some Christmas won't believe it... get ready...

I'm going to use coupons!!

So for Christmas, in the spirit of saving...Kyle got me a book written by 'the Coupon Mom' who claims that you can save tons of money and spend 15 minutes or less on coupon-ing by using her methods and free website. She's got the mom hair an everything! I've been reading and the book sounds promising so far. I probably should go to the store to get more food into the house, but I want to learn all there is about coupons before I go. Anyways, I'll share the tips as I go, and I'll let you know if her claims are true. (I've tried coupons before, and I was not impressed, so even skeptics... join me, we'll see!)

New thing number two would be: Working Out!

Remember what it was like when you were in college and your schedule was super flexible and you had a free gym membership to a gym right on campus... oh I remember the glory days! But now, I don't see the sense in paying $30 to join the local gym if I don't even make time to just run around the block.

So I got a few new Wii games this Christmas that'll put me on the way without having to go out in the blistering cold! (It's like 28 degrees here, and me and my southern blood get cold at 65 degrees...).

The Biggest Loser Challenge: It's great so far. Although my character doesn't look much like me, I get Bob and Jillian telling me not to stop when really I cannot do that many push-ups! The great thing about the game is that it tests your fitness level at the beginning so you know where to start. The hard part is that you don't get to start at easy-breezy if they know you can do more than that, whew!  Fun part is that you get to stand on that big scale each week and watch it beep... although I'm not there yet, so that's just what I think happens.

 Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010: This one Kyle picked out for me (because I asked for workout games) and when I opened it made sure and said sweet things so it didn't look like he bought it because he thought I was out of shape... he's so funny. So this one is next on my list open up and pop into the Wii. It's just Jillian in different "all-new exotic locales" and I can't wait to really see what it is.

 Just Dance: Okay so this isn't a workout game, but really... it is. After playing it one day for a few minutes I was soo sore. Shows you what kind of shape I'm in. But it's fun, you can compete alone or with a partner up to 4 people at one time and it really gets you moving. A lot of the songs are oldies with a few new hits, but the Just Dance 2 has newer songs and from what my Aunt Pam tells me, a built in workout program.

So for those of you who know me, I don't think I'm fat and need to lose 50 pounds. But after working with my elderly patients all day I realize that the ones who keep active are doing the best later in life. That whole "use it or lose it" and I thought, 'other than diet what am I really doing to keep my heart healthy?' because let's be honest, I'm not going jogging in 28 degree weather!

So I'll have to get on top of that thesis soon, real soon. But this week, I'll be working out, trying to figure out coupons at the beginner level, and getting geared up for 52 at Sky Ranch! Woo, if you're coming I'm excited!

Go ahead, be active today... or check out the coupon section :)

Dec 28, 2010

The Lady that Gave Us Two Cherries

We went to Chick-fil-a. Yep, that's what I said... Chick-fil-a. 

Thanks to our endless supply of coupons from Calendars and Mrs. Janet we made a special trip into the big city (aka Tyler) and ended our meal with a Peppermint Shake. After I said "my husband" and gave him googly eyes, the lady behind the counter said "oh, I'll make that two cherries!"  And our shake came with two cheeries attached together! Awwwwww. See below.

What's your favorite thing about Chick-fil-a?

Dec 27, 2010

Gumbo Bread Bowls and Burnt Cookies

Just in case you thought I forgot to blog Christmas... don't worry. It's coming. But among all the luggage I'll have to find the camera.

So I wanted to share with you the rest of our pre-Christmas!

First was the OA "Christmas Eve" dinner! I mean what says Christmas Eve like gumbo in bread bowls with potato salad, board games, a Spice Drop Tree and reading the Cajun Night Before Christmas??  Well, I'll tell you what doesn't say Christmas: Fred Claus the movie... honestly the worst Christmas movie of all time, and it's hard to convince me that any Christmas movie would not be worth watching! But the OAs definitely worth hanging out with!

The OA Ladies and their bread bowls of deliciousness!

Just a little game of Sequence... and the mystery to figure out which color drop represents which spice. Did you know that spice drops were flavored after different actual spices?? I had no idea, but Karl's iphone did, and while I recommend 'mint', I'd caution against 'clover' :)

Okay check out Kyle's hand in this picture!
I mean it would be great if he were playing
(insert name of game where that's good here)!
Then for Round Two of Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! We had some wonderful Lindale friends over for some good (or burnt) cookies and a whole lot of laughs.  We planned on ending the night with a Christmas movie but after the previous night's Fred Claus failure... and due to popular demand we watched clips of our wedding care of Aunt Linda and Uncle Gordon, and scrolled through the first release of the Kelly and Malcolm wedding pics care of Jill Pfalser!

Jill and Clinton.
And this is why I love Jill... 

Kelly and Malcolm: AKA Crafty Crazy Newlyweds.

Tam and Mike: AKA Super in love and Almost! married!
Who are the people in your town that you love?

 Don't worry. More soon, as soon as I find the camera again, about
 - Christmas! All of the Christmases!
 - Cherries from Chick-fil-a...
 - and of course, the newest edition to my workout plans (Don't worry no big resolutions here).

Dec 22, 2010

Fire and Glow

You won't believe what I found when I arrived home last night...

Yesterday I stopped on my way home from work to, as usual, pick up the few groceries I needed to tie us over until the weekend. Last night I got some frozen pre-cooked crispy chicken strips. This was a feat in and of itself since they were not located anywhere near the chicken nuggets in the freezer section. Anyway I had the grand idea of coming home and making chicken strips a-la Buffalo Wild Wings using honey barbeque sauce for Kyle and buffalo sauce for me.

Because of my trip to the store, as I drove home it was dark out. And oh my! as I pulled onto our street there was a glow! Coming from OUR house! Don't worry, it was not on fire... but there were Christmas Lights! The colored kind that aren't red and green but pink and lime green and golden yellow and turquoise... the great! kind! All up, all done, all lit... on OUR house!

When I walked through the front door smiling, I was greeted by my sweet husband who said "you said you wanted Christmas Lights."  Apparently he had been reading the blog, and in my rant of 'wants' he noticed that I wanted lights. Now isn't that just the best husband anyone could ask for, really?!

So now our house, adorned with lights, and our new fridge (more on that later) and our tree and all the twinkling things is very very Christmas. Last night Kyle and I wrapped gifts as my mouth recovered from the buffalo strips.  I made the mistake of calling my little brother when trying to find a good buffalo sauce... now, yes he was very helpful, but he said it wouldn't be too hot... a few strips later, a fire in my mouth, 2 glasses of lemonade, 1 glass of milk, and quite a lot of yelling, my gums and tongue pounded as they recovered from the heat. But Justin, I will say the flavor was great.

Lessons learned today:
1. The pre-cooked chicken strips are in the middle of the meat aisle, not in the frozen chicken wings and nuggets and meat patties section at WalMart.
2. I have a great husband, and he's great at putting up lights.
3. Louisiana Wing Sauce is not 'mild.'
4. Milk really does work better than water when things get a little hotter.

What can you do today to surprise someone with a little Christmas cheer?

More to come, as always.

Dec 20, 2010

I know it's not Thanksgiving, but.

I understand that Thanksgiving is not today. And I understand that most of us have moved on to Christmas, it being 9 days away and all... but I think I'm just now realizing how much I am blessed with, and how much I have to be thankful for.

Growing up in the culture we live in seems to produce the American Dream that we hear about on the news so much these says.  We're told at a young age that we can be anything we want to be. That if we work hard we can always get what we want. That you make a list for Christmas and if you're good enough, you get everything you want on your list.

Do you see how many times "want" is mentioned? It seems it's out of the norm to talk about what we need, or much less what others may need, what others may want, and especially true: what the Lord wants for us.

This year I've been so focused on what I want. Now that I'm married my life is supposed to be all put together, that's what they say right? And so go my thoughts:
I want to have the cutest blog, the funniest blog, and the blog everyone reads... I want to have the best decorated house...I want to be the best wife and cook the best meals for my husband every day, always healthy, always on budget... I want to be financially responsible, I want to stick to the budget, I want to reach the 7th Baby Step... I want to look put together, I want to have the shoes that match the scarf that match the earrings that match the hair... I want to finish my Bible study every day, to memorize all the good verses, and to pray hours on end for all the prayer requests I've been given and all the ones I think I should also be praying about... I want to pour into others around me, I want people to like us, I want people to remember us, I want to be 'in'... I want to get my Masters, I want to pass my RD exam, I want to be the best dietitian and bring the best cookies to our Christmas party... I want to send our Thank you notes for when people do nice things for us, I want to have beautiful Christmas cards, I want our house to have lights... I want our toilet to not have mold, I want to clean the bathtub, I want people to think our house is spotless... I want to workout an hour every day, I want to have arm muscles that looks great in a dress, and abs that look awesome in a swimsuit, and I want to be able to run a marathon... I want to learn to really sew, and be crafty McCrafty, and paint, and for everyone to see... I want to be the best friend that always calls, always visits, and always remembers, I want to be the daughter that always calls, always visits, and always remembers...

It's exhausting. And that's not even all of it.

But 'they told me if I work hard enough that I can have all of it' right?

We wonder why we are stressed, and wonder why we are tired, and wonder why it seems that we always fail. Well maybe we... me... I aught to look a little closer at all the blessings I already have, and use those to accomplish His plans for His glory.

I have a husband that I fall more in love with every day and who is a man that makes me better and better and who is patient and who does the dishes and who warms my spot in the bed before I come get in, who really is even more incredible that I thought he was the day I married him. I have a family that is beyond wonderful who is silly with me or makes faces at me when I'm silly, but loves me anyway, who cooks yummy food when I come home and who I can talk to at any time by phone and who understand how wonderful it is to fall asleep on the floor. I have friends that are as busy as me but still find time to call, who still love me no matter what and who I 'm friends with even when we don't talk for months. I have a wonderful, cozy, house filled with Christmas galore that we got for free and was called "cozy and warm and full of Christmas" just last night. and honeslty I could go all day, that's just the beginning.

I have a God that loves me no matter what, literally no matter what because it's in his being. And he saved me, and he's a God that I would not be worthy to even look upon if he had not sent His son to die for us. ...Remember Christmas, little baby Jesus...

What does the Lord want? For me to trust in the Lord with all my heart, to not lean on what my own mind creates, to remember that yes it is Him who is in control and who is there for me and who provides all things I need... and he will make my path straught. much easier than the 'I want." :)

Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving. What about you?

Stay tuned. Soon to come: Christmas Cookie Extravaganza Part II, The Big 12 Game, and Finally the Yard Sale Pictures.

And of course, as soon as it happens... Christmas!

Dec 11, 2010

Lost Camera, Found Gingerbread Men

So today I was really excited about blogging about our fantastic Yard Sale last weekend... but we may have lost our digital camera along with the Big 12 Championship last weekend :(

...I was also excited about blogging about the work party madness we had this week... but I forgot to bring my camera to Shreveport (probably because it was lost in Cowboy Stadium)

...I was also excited to blog about how cute, cozy and wonderful our Ladies Bible Study Christmas party was... but again, no camera.

I'll have to charge mine up instead of toting Kyle's everywhere. But I've emailed the Lost and Found Department with way too many details about our camera in hopes that somehow they have it. The fact is I'm not totally sure it's lost.  See I cannot find it anywhere! but that happened about a month ago with my keys for over an hour of frantic looking and then Kyle found them on the key hook...

So it's catch up time!

This fall has been filled with wonderful moment that are still stuck in my computer, so here are just a few of them:
So at Thanksgiving I got real excited about
Legos... I'm not sure anyone present knew
about my Lego Skills. Mom, I knew you and
Justin would be proud!

These two little guys (AKA nephews Mr. A and Landen) would be the reason I was playing Legos in the first place.  It's real hard to say that I don't have time for Legos when first of all I love Legos, second of all I'm on vacation so really I have time for anything, and third "how do you say no to these faces?"

This would be my wonderful husband
pretending to be sooooper sleepy
after all his hard work decorating the tree.
Don't ya just love this one?

 This would be the Gingerbread and Snickerdoodle Christmas Extravaganza Part I. Get excited to see Part II... and maybe even Part III. Yep I'll definitely have to find the camera...

Bet you wish your house smelled like gingerbread... but there are so many ingredients... but no longer! Betty Crocker makes a Ginger Bread cookie mix in a bag (not to be confused with Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake and Cookie Mix). You just add butter, egg, and 1 tablespoon of water. And at our Walmart it's on sale for $1.58 a bag! I bought some, then when I went back for more the lady had to go in the back and dig and all she found was 3 bags... I bought them all. I know I sound like a salesperson, but they'll go fast and they don't come back again until next year :)

Bake some gingerbread today!

Dec 1, 2010

Our First Tree

Okay, so I'm real excited about Christmas! If you cannot tell by the new picture up top (overloaded with all things Christmas), then I don't know how you would know.

Here's the thing, so I have some studying to do tonight, and I have to get to it... but here's our "Getting Ready for Christmas" blog!

First of course, the putting up of the tree! It's our first married Christmas! It's so handy to have married someone so tall!

Kyle's a great 'fluffer!'

And then me, fluffing the way Mom taught me!
Being newly married we decided to wait until the after Christmas sales to buy any decorations. So that means using what we've got to decorate this year, or making things! you will see, we have a ton! Between everyone else's leftovers we may be set! But I'll be creating some ornament so stay tuned for those crafts.

Finished product... this would be where it
should be both of us in the picture!

I just hid the other colors of our Fiestaware and pulled out
all the red and green!

 This last picture would be my favorite. Taken by none other than Kyle Hess. So that's it so far. There's more to come, and even more we need to take pictures of! So I guess we should have taken a picture together, oh well... we will soon! Gotta study!

More to come on last night's cookie decorating extravaganza!! and actual making of some crafty decorations! (oh yeah, and our College Station trip... I keep forgetting that one.)

So when does your tree go up? And what will you be doing to celebrate since it's DECEMBER!

Nov 28, 2010

Family, Snow Man Hats, and Shrimp Corn Chowder

Kyle and I are back home in Lindale, loading all the things into our house that we purchased/acquired this weekend. When I say acquired I mean the Christmas decorations that Kyle's mom was getting rid of and we so gladly accepted. Between the couple of ornaments from my Aunt Billie, the collection of stuff from Kyle's mom, and the things my mom has waiting for me... we'll have a full house! We may not even need to buy anything, but we'll see. This is our "make everything" decorating Christmas. So stay tuned for the process and results of the decorating to begin soon!

Also, I'm sure that many of you return from the Thanksgiving holidays dare I say 'tired' of your families... but I hope that many more of you return from the Thanksgiving loving and thankful that you, in fact, have a wonderful family.

I have a wonderful family.

And this post showcases the wonderful family I didn't get to see this Thanksgiving, and my pre-Thanksgiving trip down to Lake Charles to see them!

The Lake Charles Trip
The trip started with the ever so eventful rolling over to 100,000 miles on my Saturn! Are you kidding this is momentous... why do I not have a picture? Because I was looking forward to it for years/months/days, but in the everything of the trip I missed it! I looked down and oops, it's like 100124.

The women in my family are hilarious. Really. We love a sale, but we love to spend, we hate to go shopping, but love to 'run to the store' (for hours), we could care less about March Madness, but we will sure yell at a ref for a football game, we open our mouths for pictures, and need covers in the living room ALL the time.

This trip to the store we went looking for clear glass ornaments to paint... and somehow we got other things, spent more time, and never ended up with the clear glass ornaments? Let me let the pictures speak for themselves.

Confusing because they have Mardi Gras Decorations already out? ...yes.

This one we convinced my mom to open her
mouth for the pic! Don't you love those hats?

We could not help this. You would have done the same thing.

The real fun part of our family is that we have family right next door. Now I'm not talking about the way you call your neighbors your Uncles and Aunts because you're so close. I mean that my mom's brother and his family literally live next door, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I mean we have pavers that lead from one house to the other in case of mud.

So Saturday night we flipped on the LSU game (ULM, so it was a winning game) and all gathered around the TV, to like I said, yell and cheer and eat yummy food. But again on Sunday afternoon they were over again for Aunt Pam's famous shrimp corn chowder made by mom and of course family fun. Really you should visit us.

So here's the fam: Note Jared and Justin aren't pictured. Jared wouldn't be photographed at the moment, and Justin was sadly out of town.

Cousin Chelsey, Cousin Logan, and Sister Payton

Pay and Dad. Notice Payton is in camo,
she'd like to make sure you know it's because
she was hunting. Also note the amount of Ritz
crackers in her hand :)

Aunt Pam and Mom

Dad and Mom. this is where we realized
they were kind of matching.

This is why I love my mom. Well, one reason.

And of course all the Kingsley Ladies. :) Love.

I love my family.  And again, Happy Thanksgiving! Take time today and love your family, the ones you were born into, raised by, and even married into :)

...and get your craftiness ready for the Christmas decorating!
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