Thursday, December 11, 2008

growing young

meaningful lyrics that get me everytime. Rich Mullins really was something!
I've gone so far from my home
I've seen the world and I have known
So many secrets
I wish now I did not know
'Cause they have crept into my heart
They have left it cold and dark
And bleeding
Bleeding and falling apart

And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry
Well I've been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms
And be growing young
Growing young

I've seen silver turn to dross
Seen the very best there ever was
And I'll tell you it ain't worth what it costs
And I remember my father's house
What I wouldn't give right now
Just to see him and hear him tell me that he loves me so much

And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry
Well I've been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms

And when I thought that I was all alone
It was your voice I heard calling me back home
And I wonder now Lord
What it was that made me wait so long
And what kept You waiting for me all that time
Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride
Will You take me back now take me back and let me be Your child

'Cause I've been broken now I've been saved
I've learned to cry and I've learned how to pray
And I'm learning I'm learning even I can be changed
And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry
Well I've been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys com

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the joys of technology

dad and I are watching the OU/OSU game alone at our respective houses. we were both too lazy to drive the 20 minutes to watch it together :) anyway, we are kind of watching it together, via text messages. yes, it's ridiculous!

LB: Yes!

DD: Go Pokes!

LB: Cowboys better shape up soon

DD: Yes game slipping away

LB: Glad Bradford didn't break his neck. But only a little bit :) (NOTE: TOTALLY KIDDING)

DD: Ou getting all the lucky breaks

LB: It's because We're not watching it together :)

DD: Still not over

LB: I know! I'm still hoping.

LB: Go for two?

DD: Yeah

LB: Who called it?

DD: Lada beta (His nickname for me)


DD: !

LB: !!

DD: On defense

LB: They stink!

LB: Oh well

DD: JT will be happy

LB: He sure will be

on a separate note, JT is watching the game at a friend's house. they waited until after his soccer game to watch it, so they're probably somewhere in the second quarter right now. he called me and my favorite baby friend was on the phone! I'm excited about seeing my favorite little one tomorrow!

also, I really want some white cheddar rice cakes!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

so thankful!

this year, I am thankful for:

1) Providence: Grace from the Lord and that He has given me everything I need!

2) Family:

a) My brothers

b) My parents, who celebrate year 25 of marriage this year!

c) My new family

3) My husband, for loving me no matter what!

4) The promise of great things to come! I'm so excited to see what the future has in store!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


after a wonderful date night last night (TeKei's orange chicken, sushi, breadpudding and Bond, James Bond), we're laying low today. I cleaned out my food cabinets, watched my Longhorns kill some Jayhawks, and JT is off to play soccer with some friends.

but the true reason I posted today is to let you in on a great discovery:


one puppy just awakened his sleeping brother by dragging him across the pillow by the tail. SO CUTE!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

today has the makings of a great day...

Not only is it vegetable beef soup day at work, but my handsome husband said I could go visit my BFF LJ an hour away in Arkansas. We plan to watch the Office, eat some Subway, and veg before I drive back tonight. I'm so excited!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

major breakthrough today:

First dinner from scratch with no recipe.

Good for two reasons:

1) it tasted great!
2) it was soup!

Now I have to post the method to my madness or else I'm afraid I might not be able to replicate it!

I started with organic chicken stock -- the biggest plastic carton they have. My pot was filled about halfway. Trimmed, browned and shredded a package of boneless/skinless chicken thighs, chopped carrots, celery, a whole onion, and added a drained can of stewed tomatoes. Oh, and you know those little plastic cartons of locally grown herbs? I chopped up a carton of basil (removed stems) and put the ENTIRE carton in my soup -- probably about a cup and a half! I boiled this mix and added a little cilantro powder, a bit more garlic powder, and sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. That simmered for about twenty minutes and then I brought it up to a boil again and added half a bag of egg noodles for five minutes before I brought it back down to a simmer and served a few minutes later. We have been heating it up watching football all day today!

This gives me hope that I may be a little bit more than an average chemist in the kitchen!

Yes, I realize I'm basically setting myself up for failure, but at least you will enjoy reading about my mishaps in upcoming posts!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

i am convinced that...

...I'm obsessed with soup right now. Good thing fall is coming, huh? Pureed corn. French onion. Turkey chili. Chicken noodle. And best of all! Thursdays are Vegetable Beef soup days at the little cafe in my office building. It's the only lunch I look forward to all week! Anyway, at this point in my life, I don't think I could live without soup.'s the little things in life that help us get by. I went to the store today and bought a beautiful pomegranate in season. I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.'s better to laugh than be embarrassed. A coworker made a double chocolate cake with sprinkles. I took the last piece to my brother. Problem: a torrent of wind picked up the cake and it flew straight up into the air when I stepped into the parking lot. When I swiped it out of the air like a cat, a skinny girl looked at me sideways. I think she was just jealous that she didn't get any cake. All I could do was laugh.

...Iron Chef America is my new favorite show.

...conservatives really need to be graceful post-election and respect the president-elect as an authority no matter what. Everyone wins. We can only hope he will prove himself. Romans 13:1= "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established." That is all I will say about the election. husband really does love my interpretive dance serenades!

...sometimes I get into these uber productive modes. Tonight I worked, went to the store twice, made dinner and cookies, and cleaned the whole kitchen. JT ate his whole serving of chicken cassoulet: white beans, chicken, turkey kielbasa, garlic, onions, toasted breadcrumbs, and some water and wine cooked out. No pictures because it wasn't pretty. I had to soak and scrub the pan three times because there was a thick crust of white bean paste stuck to the pan. Skark didn't even get to help.

...turkey kielbasa, where have you been all my life? Seriously. Try it sometime. It's in the sausage section. If you aren't calorie conscious, the butcher told me that the German kielbasa is better than the Polish (Polaska). Just FYI!

...I am almost finished with Wicked after nearly three years. During college, I read the first 1/3rd of the book twice but had to put it off because of projects and whatnot, and then I'd pick it up again and have to start from the beginning. It's very worldly content, lots of allusions to politics and religion, but amazing writing! I'm getting excited about seeing the musical when it comes to town this summer!

...gas prices are bomb right now!'s almost time for bed!

If you want to look at Fall pictures, click here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


we are such models! our photog chose images from our wedding to advertise events at the museum!

Monday, November 3, 2008

my political leanings

NOTE: this is simply FYI. I am not about to get into it with anyone on this blog. That's not how I roll.

When the primaries were happening, my outlook was "Anybody but Hillary." I was rooting for Obama over Hillary and wasn't too concerned with the Republican camp because nobody stood out too much and I was determined not to swing to the Republican tag just because my parents traditionally vote conservatively. At the first look, I was interested and somewhat mesmerized by this unknown Illinois senator, but I think that was escalated by the fact that I absolutely did not want Hillary sworn in.

Then McCain won the primaries and I studied his history a little. I was impressed with his military record and noticed he had a stubborn charisma. I was more concerned with Obama because he gave the impression of a moderate liberal and interested me since he was different from the status quo old, white politician. I guess I also thought that there wasn't much of a difference between a "liberal Republican" and a "conservative Democrat." As I watched and studied Obama, I noticed that he changed his story a lot. He claimed to support certain platforms that he'd voted against countless times during his Senate tenure. Still, I remained neutral because I thought that the media could be tainting the story. When Reverend Wright came to the forefront, my doubts increased. I can remember watching MSNBC from a hotel on my honeymoon when this story surfaced, watching clips of Reverend Wright repeatedly bash America and patriotism. Obama claimed he barely knew the man and didn't place any clout on what he said. Well, either way, Obama allowed a man to marry him and his wife and baptize his two daughters OR his claims on devout Christianity are another twist of the truth. I'm not saying you can't be a believer without listening to what your pastor says in church, but it's a little fishy. Also, I am mostly against abortion and especially partial-birth abortion and couldn't believe what I heard him say from an Illinois senate footage. My standpoint then became, "Vote for McCain because he's the lesser of two evils."

Then McCain announced that Sarah Palin would be running with him and that changed my political leanings completely in his favor. Not only was she different than the typical politician, but she was a bold and brave political move on McCain's part. It let me know that he's a fighter. Palin could be my best friend's mom or the lady across the street. She represents the political and social ideals and integrity that I trust and believe. She is poised and balances the Republican ticket by bringing a different experience onboard.

As far as social and political platforms go, I'm mostly conservative. I believe partial-birth abortion should be outlawed completely and that women should be properly educated about their options because I can't believe that any woman would kill a baby with toenails and eyelashes and a beating heart. I especially can't believe that Obama or any father would deny the vitality of failed abortion babies, who can breathe and move and blink and cry on their own.

While that may seem emotional, my economic stance is very practical. I think government handouts are too easy to obtain and I certainly don't think the middle class need any more. If the wealth becomes "redistributed," what's to keep me from quitting my job and living from the pockets of the wealthy. What message does that communicate for the value of hard work? What message does it communicate to the American Dream? If you are going to give people tax cuts, the percentage should be the same for everyone regardless of how full their pockets are.

As someone who works for a small business that serves other small businesses, I can predict what will happen until Obama's plan. Not only will we have to adjust budgets and payrolls, but our small company clients will adjust their budgets and payrolls and possibly eliminate our services. If jobs are eliminated from our company, I can imagine other small businesses will be affected similarly. The unemployment rate will skyrocket.

Under Obama's healthcare plan, we may not see the detriments during his 4-8 years in the Oval Office, but it will definitely place us on the path to universal healthcare like Canada. While there are some benefits to that system, I know that the quality of healthcare will decline with the workers' salary, and we may have to wait longer in pain for doctors whose practices are regulated and whose schedules are full like my Canadian friend who waited seven months for gallbladder surgery. I think that McCain's idea of a $5000 tax credit toward healthcare will improve the quality of the system and take some financial burden off of people, especially if he lobbies on the behalf of people with pre-existing conditions like he promises to do.

Both candidates' clean coal initiative proposals aren't too much different in my novice eyes, but I like the idea of drilling on the home front to see what kind of natural resources American soil can come up with. And I knew I was forgetting one! Education! Free education is a time bomb waiting to explode. If they do offer free education, they should set standards or increase the standards at colleges and universities. Imagine what will happen to the workforce if a diploma is universal. That's something to watch, though I do believe that more magnet or specialty schools should be funded by the government.

Since this is my first election to be really involved with, my eyes have been opened to how much -- media biases aside -- people can receive the same information and come to completely different conclusions. I am proud of America and their increasing participation in politics and responsibility for the future of a nation, and I really hope that people will take facts into consideration and look at both candidates' experiences to discern what they can do to shape America regardless of skin color or gender or age or how charismatic they are.

PS: If you didn't know, you get a free cup of coffee from Starbucks if you vote! So go vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

highlights from this weekend

I. two conversations:

1) JT and I were riding home from his soccer game. His window was down, my window was up. All of the sudden, we look at each other with looks of disgust on our faces:
JT: Do you smell that?
LB: Yeah, it smells like onions!
JT: (smells his shirt and looks up at me with a sheepish smile)
In his defense, it was one he grabbed from his soccer bag that had been stuffed inside all season.

2) Christian is my two-year-old baby friend from church. We're at a cookout at the town park after church. I went to go check on him because he was on the big kid playground and turned to leave.
Christian: Lolee, don't leeeeave!
We play for awhile and I slide on the big slides with him on my lap (this is just as much fun for me, mind you). When I notice JT signaling to go, I tell Christian that it's time for me to go home.
Christian: I want to go home with you. Do you have a bed?
LB: Yes?
Christian: At your house?
LB: I do!
Christian: Huh! (Note: I have never seen such sophistication from a two-year-old!)

II. one mini-date:
We went to Carabba's because we absolutely love their chicken soup and it's a pretty cheap date for two bowls of soup, free bread, and some wine. Since tonight was such a beautiful night, we decided to sit outside. Before we even got our water, a drunk couple sat next to us for their smoke and didn't leave until our bill had been paid. They were loud, smoked like chimneys, and thoughtfully included us in their conversation. Apparently, they were 52 and 54, from Indiana, and on their way to California, where an $18,000 rent house is theirs for a month. Oh, and they left their 200-lb rottweiler in the car with their pitbull -- they can't just trust their babies with anyone for a month!

III. one heartbreak:
My beloved, undefeated, #1 Longhorns were defeated in pretty much the worst way to lose: a close game clinched in the last few seconds. The other team literally scored the winning touchdown with :01 left. I am crushed, but my spirits are slowly lifting again. It doesn't help to see so many Oklahoma fans rejoicing all around me, including my husband! I don't know what they're so happy about; they have to play our defeaters in five days!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

chilly chili

My insane October calendar is drawing to a close. We're back from our fourth weekend out of town and the wedding was beautiful and went really well. This weekend, we are doing nothing but attending a Halloween party at our dear friends' house. I am making my costume tonight with the hostess herself.

I have a crazy amount of pictures half ready to be uploaded. Those should be up soon, but will have to take the backseat to my poor home, which is in desperate need of a deep clean. I'll at least get the kitchen done, which I did clean yesterday, but dirtied again with a huge, gorgeous pot of turkey chili and honey cornbread. It was a dish I've been meaning to make but couldn't have come at a more perfect time on our first truly chilly night in Broken Arrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

to blog, or not to blog?

here is a list of things I need to blog about:

1) my trip to Dallas - Texas/OU game, baby!
2) So You Think You Can Dance tour
3) our camping trip this weekend
4) my grown-up Christmas list (two things so far!)
5) being a poser
6) my scrapbooking endeavors

Sevans' wedding is this weekend. I'm still trying to figure everything out with my schedule and I need to buy brown shoes this week. I think I might break my cardinal rule of comfort and buy heels because I know JT will love them.

I had coffee with the wonderful Laura Reese this week. We ended up talking for over two hours. I think we had been talking for about 30 or 45 minutes before we even ordered our drinks. Today I am grateful for Girl Time and friends in Tulsa!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

adventures in cooking: fish edition

In the words of my friend OKChick, dinner last night was keeping it real. I had planned to use halibut last night, but when I went to the store, their shipment hadn't arrived yet. So I went back later in the evening and the butcher carefully laid this beautiful, white fluffy fish on the counter. And then told me it was $20 a pound. Sulking, I settled for tilapia and paid just over $6 for two fish.

When cooking, my grapefruit sauce stayed in liquid form instead of turning into jelly. Then my pan was too hot and my fish stuck to it when I tried to turn it over. I had to throw out my first batch of couscous and make another one.

But when life threw me lemons, I decided to make grapefruit seared tilapia. I poured the grapefruit-sugar-lemon "sauce" in the pan, which made my tilapia super tender and freed the fish from the bottom. The flavor seared into the tilapia that way, absorbed by the olive oil I'd marinated it with. I added chicken stock and green onions to my second batch of couscous and fluffed it with a fork. I highly recommend couscous as a substitute for rice and pasta. You can do lots of stuff with it!

There are no pictures of this recipe because it was devoured before I had the chance. We polished it off with a little red wine and went to sleep with smiles on our faces. JT even asked me to bring the pots to the table and scrape the scraps for him. That's pretty much the best compliment he can give my cooking! I will leave you with this beautiful picture of halibut fillet:

Sunday, October 5, 2008


It's 1003 on Sunday evening and I am making pancakes for my husband. We hadan incredibly late lunch after our wonderful Launch Sunday at church. I've botched many a batch of pancakes, so I am testing my patience by blogging in between flipping. The first pancake is always the slowest, right?

Yesterday, I made fantastic turkey burgers. JT told me I could serve them at a restaurant. Major brownie points with that one, my love! They were easy: ground turkey, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, onions, celery, and chopped dried cranberries. You can cook them in a pan or broil them (you can try the grill, but turkey burgers aren't as fatty as beef, so they tend to slip through the cracks sometimes). I added a slice of pepperjack cheese and served them on Sara Lee bakery-style buns.

I have two fantastic stories to tell while we wait:

On Friday, my boss paid for us to take off thirty minutes early and visit a close coffee shop to start our weekend off right. We were chatting and talking about places we like to eat. One of my interns, whom I hired back in August, said she loves Te Kei's, a local Asian place. I told her that JT and I had our rehearsal dinner there and her eyes get big. At the same time, my mind flashes to this picture, taken the night we checked out their banquet room.

It was a busy Saturday night in November and it was occupied. The door opened and we sneaked a glance inside. The guest of honor caught us, though. It was her birthday party, but she proceeded to invite us inside, introduce us to her friends, asked us to share our engagement story, and show us what a great room it was for a party. Then we took this picture.

It was her! It was the girl I have been working with for a few months and never even knew! A girl I'd had a random, but memorable acquaintance with had been working under the same roof and our minds hadn't made the connection until Friday. I'm still totally flabbergasted by that coincidence.

Story #2

On Thursday, I checked out of the grocery line and took my bags to my car. As I loaded the last bag and put my key in the ignition, I noticed an older lady pushing a cart toward the car next to me, her arm in a sling. She's totally disregarding the sling as she lifts several bags with both arms. I crack my door and poke my head out.

"Can I help you with those?"

She shakes her head. "No, this is my weightlifting for today." She juts her chin out defiantly as she explains that she broke her shoulder and her doctor won't let her lift weights. "He's NOT going to find out, is he?"

I smile at her and wave, sliding back into my seat.

She taps on the glass, continuing, "You know what? I'm going to go sign up for a membership tomorrow. He'll never know!"

I grin and say I'm proud of her. And I was! I'm proud of her for continuing to improve her body in probably her mid-to-late sixties. And I'm proud of her for having confidence and strength, albeit stubbornness. Anyway, I really liked her!

Update: my first pancake is finished and the second one is halfway through the first side! It's going to be a long night.

Friday, October 3, 2008

an amazing way to start your day:

Friday mornings are always bittersweet. Today I slept through my alarm for the countless Friday because my handsome man doesn't work and gets to stay in bed.

I'll tell you, that after I get dressed and come back to say goodbye to him, there's nothing more I want to do than crawl back in bed with this warm and sweet sleepy man.

Every Friday, I leave with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step because of this incredible reminder of how lucky I am to be married to JT.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


how to make tortelloni, possibly the most difficult recipe I've made thus far:

Peel the butternut squash for the filling and chop it into cubes. It was pretty hard to slice and I had no idea it had seeds! The recipe had me roast the cubed squash with some oil and spices and I threw some seeds in the pan to roast. YUM!

Next, I threw the squash, some garlic, more spices, and a secret ingredient. It called for amaretti cookies, small Italian almond cookies, but I couldn't find them at four stores, so I subbed animal crackers!

Third, I placed wonton squares on some wax paper, making sure the surface was always dry. I found these in the produce aisle.

I put a tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the square (this, a v. liberal tablespoon!) and wet the edges with some water using a basting brush. (You can use any brush as long as you can control the amount of water, pretty much!)

Next, I folded the square, pressed the edges, and patted it to remove air bubbles. I wet the two corners of the longest edge and pressed those together and repeated the above process.

After making 36 tortellonis, I called it a night. The next day, I made the sauce with some butter, cranberries, and toasted almonds. Keep in mind that I toasted the almonds in my oven!

As my sauce cooked, my tortelloni boiled until floating.

This is a random image of my sage. I bought it at the grocery store, but absolutely love that it was still attached to the soil! Maybe that's why I am so excited about starting my garden.

I used a slotted spoon to serve my pasta and topped it with the sauce. We loved it! It's very heavy with delicious fall flavors like cranberry, butternut squash, and toasted almonds.


If you're asking yourself how I can call myself undomestic, you share the feelings of my best friend forever. My overflowing laundry basket, the pile of dishes in the sink, and my crumb-littered floors say otherwise. Cooking is outside of the domestic jurisdiction, though a very helpful asset in homemaking.

I maintain that I cook like a chemist.

new wifely fascination:

blackberry bushes.

Where can I find them and how can I plant them?

I'd also like a tomato patch and an herb garden.

Must research now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


news editor: LT, I'd love a review copy. Please send it here.

LT: if you'll kindly remind me which book you'd like to review, I'll get a copy in the mail today.

news editor: what? you can't read my mind? here's the release.

LT: oh, I'm still perfecting the art. next time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

busy bee

This weekend begins a slew of busy weekends from now until the end of the October. I will treasure my Sundays so much this month!

Tomorrow, I am throwing a dessert party "shower" for one of my bridesmaids in Oklahoma City, who is getting married on October 25th to her prince charming. I'm so excited for her. Tonight I will be baking homemade treats for the dessert party tomorrow, developing pictures from my wedding for the people I will see for the first time since then, and making a great road mix for my travels.

Next weekend, our church launches! ( We have put in a lot of hard work to make this happen and get the word out, so please pray that the right people in South County will hear the Good News.

October 10th and 11th, we will be in the Big D for the Texas Longhorns as they face the Oklahoma Sooners. This is a big game for me each year, not only because I am a huge Texas fan, but because I live in "enemy territory." This is my first time to go to a game and means even more since JT is a HUGE OU fan (He used to live in the stadium, even!) and our seats are in the middle of the Longhorns endzone. It will be interesting. Our first Texas/OU game last year was kind of impeded because JT was incredibly sick.

October 17-18, we will be camping along the beautiful Buffalo River in Arkansas. I'm so excited to go outdoors and have my first hardcore camping experience with two of my best friends in the whole wide world.

The weekend after, I will be in OKC to marry off my dear college friend! I'm so looking forward to her wedding and having another married friend.

And finally, JT and I have been commissioned to participate in a local statewide leadership convention. My brother is in student council at his high school, and each student is required a house a group of students from across the state. My parents will be in Austin watching the Longhorns beat Baylor, so we will take over their house and provide meals and transportation to who knows how many high school kids.

Tonight I am serving a very intricate recipe. I spent maybe two hours last night filling and folding wonton wrappers to make some delicious rigatoni tonight. All I have to do is boil and make the sauce, but I took pictures of the whole process as it was a very fun (and hopefully rewarding) art form. Those and pictures of my baked goods will be here soon!

Au revoire!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Love inside Weinsberg Castle

In my pink book I'm reading on my sidebar, Sacred Influence, I've been reminded about the gift of being a wife and its most valuable lesson: learning to love the imperfect person perfectly.

I love my JT! He is my treasure!

The article below sums up the story! (Article borrowed from Doug Graham from the website below)

What is the ultimate expression of love between a man and a woman? Some would say that love’s greatest expression occurs at the wedding altar. But I would disagree. It’s not hard at all to express love at the wedding altar. The bride is as beautiful as she’s ever been; the groom is more handsome than ever. Expressions of love during a wedding flow naturally and with ease.

Love’s greatest expression takes place when it’s not expected. For example, have you ever heard the story of the “Faithful Wives of Weinsberg”?

The wives who lived within the walls of the Weinsberg Castle in Germany were well aware of the riches it held: gold, silver, jewels and wealth beyond belief.

However, in A.D. 1141 all their worldly treasure was threatened. An enemy army surrounded the castle and demanded the fortress, the fortune and the lives of all the men within. There was nothing to do but surrender.

Although the conquering commander had set a condition for the safe release of all women and children, the wives of Weinsberg refused to leave without having one of their own conditions met as well. They demanded that they be allowed to fill their arms with as many possessions as they could carry out with them. Knowing that the women couldn’t possibly make a dent in the massive fortune inside, their request was honored.

When the castle gates opened, the army outside was brought to tears. Each woman was carrying out her husband.

You see, the wives of Weinsberg Castle were well aware of the true riches inside the castle. Following this episode the castle was called Hill of Weibertreue, to celebrate a “woman’s fidelity.”

Do you treasure your spouse? Are your loved ones the most treasured possession in the “castle” of your life? Whether you’re married or not, celebrate the true treasure of life! Love that God has for us is something no one can take away from us. May the love we have for our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends be as enduring as the love those 12th-century wives had for their husbands.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5, NIV).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

perfect day

this is how I would describe my day...

Though I'd say I deserve it! It's been a busy past couple of months. I'm mixing reading, a little cleaning, napping. If my blogging has been sparse, it's because I'm pretty absorbed in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Not only does it have the best title I've ever heard, but it's a fantastic story so far!

I got my new Hungry Girl cookbook in the mail today that OK Chick recommended! I've picked through it a little bit while I'm watching my Longhorns play and have found some great recipes already. (Side note: I just saw a guy get his knee bent backwards in slow-mo. God, please bless me with pleasant dreams tonight!)

I'm going to cut this short because I want to do some writing before JT gets back from his game, but I'll leave you with some pictures from this week:

Today my husband awakened to an Italian breakfast scramble. Maybe my favorite recipe I've made thus far: 10 eggs, cheese, chopped basil, asparagus, panchetta

Awesome Sunday night date night at Carrabba's. My husband spoils me!

My co-workers and I took a trip to my favorite bakery in town. They make the best fresh breads and cookies daily and cut delicious slices for sandwiches.

Last, but not least!
My newest baby friend was born on Monday!
Welcome, Baby Mateo!

Friday, September 19, 2008

motherly advice...

..."If you ever buy a pumpkin for fall decorations, put it on a place or a cloth and surround it with leaves. Even if the pumpkin looks okay on the outside, after a few months, its bottom will rot and ruin your table or floor."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

JT is sick

I picked up the most delicious vegetable beef soup in his honor from the deli downstairs at work: thick chunks of potato and chuck beef roast, peas, green beans, carrots, onions, stewed tomatoes in a hearty beef and tomato broth. I will definitely try to recreate this recipe for my handsome man this weekend if he's still sick.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

mon cherie

In honor of this beautiful September 16th, I would like to dedicate this post to my beautiful friend, Andrea Cherie, over at

I went to elementary school and middle school with Andrea at a small Christian school, and as we entered middle school, we and two other girls formed a tight bond as we sat through algebra and language arts together, waved goodbye to my mom's minivan as she dropped us off to see Titanic for the fifth time, and patented the covered-mouth-giggle as we confided our first crushes to each other.

What I remember most about Andrea from those years was her collection of Bath & Body Works products, her neat containers that organized her purse, and the impressive collection of colored pens she used to color-code her agenda. (Note: this set the precedent for my college years.) We called her Goldie because she was very gold. Her hair was like spun gold, her eyes hazel gold, her skin a golden bronze, and last but not least...the gold braces! We were ALL jealous of the gold braces!

We didn't talk much throughout high school, but the four of us kept in touch here and there through college summers and Christmas breaks since Hannah was in Minnesota, Christine was in California, I was in Oklahoma City, and Andrea went to college here. Christine and I made it to Andrea's wedding in 2006, when she married her handsome Jason.

After graduation and I started seriously dating JT, our long coffee dates began. We were the only two in town, and we'd try to meet once or twice a month when our schedules allowed, and when we did, we'd be there two or three hours. JT has even been known to send a text or two asking if I was okay and safe. (Love him.) Our conversations spanned from our families, our dreams, our jobs, and most importantly, our loves!

When I got engaged, Andrea would come to our dates armed with her wedding binder. Her organization is definitely something that I lack, because she had lists of things to register for, ceremony orders, and she has a mind to think of details that I never would have remembered! On my wedding day, she brought me a razor to shave my legs and some snacks for my wedding party. On our programs, she was listed as "Wedding Lifesaver Extraordinaire" and fit the bill to the T!

Now that we are "married friends," I absolutely love sharing this time of our lives with her! She is truly a domestic inspiration. She still has her helpful lists -- like a grocery list, Excel-style! She bakes her own bread! She's green! She picks apples and makes homemade apple sauce and fresh squeezed juice! She introduced me to and therefore to Chlorox disinfecting wipes! And most recently, she blogs!

She is a great person, a great wife, and a great friend! Happy Birthday, Andrea Cherie!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

official endorsements

Now that our internet and cable are safely set up, I can show you three products I officially endorse as helpful on one's quest to domesticity.

I singed olive oil to a pot last week and crisped up a batch of brown rice the other day, caking grease on my beloved Calphalon. I happened to have a bleach mixture on hand for the former, but I read about this product and commissioned JT to buy some at Lowe's to have on hand. I sprinkled a bit on the pot, covered it in water, and the grease scrubbed right off! I'm told it also works on other tricky substances on pretty much any surface because the product itself isn't abrasive.

Since pretty much all of my healthy recipes come from Elie Krieger or the EatingWell website, I decided to invest in this cookbook. The tagline is officially "150 Healthy in a Hurry Suppers" and that's exactly what I'm looking for! I found it in B&N for a pretty penny, so I investigated and found in on for cheap. So even though I haven't tried it, the recipes have proven delicious, easy healthy alternatives for a working gal and husband who want to stay fit!

On my birthday, JT took me to the mall and I bought some much-needed makeup from Dillard's. I am the kind of girl who only buys makeup once a year -- if that. I think I'm making up for high school, when I wore way too much black eyeliner and dark pink blush. It was bad. Anyway, the counterlady at Origins threw in a sample skin care package and I have been hooked on my tiny tin of white tea moisturizer ever since! I love the smell, the density, and the way it makes my skin feel. Plus, it helps me follow the advice of the 70-year-old woman on Oprah whom I initially believed was 40: Moisture, Moisturize, Moisturize! I don't know what I am going to do when it's gone. We'll see how much Origins charges for the actual-size container, because I'm pretty sure I can learn to love something cheaper that I can find for less than $5 at Reasor's.

If the web developers of those three products find my site in their daily marketing ventures, I accept cash, check, and free products!

Friday, September 12, 2008

only time

If I ever have time, here's what I have to tell you about:

1) My two interesting interviews for our open position at work.
2) What happens off the clock at my office, involving a doubting newspaper reporter and a man who has run out of gas.
3) My healthy habits, revamped.
4) The latest dinner (Greek-style stuffed peppers with pictures).
5) Politics
6) The latest books I am reading and products I have tried.
7) A tribute to my dear friend and domestic influence, Andrea at

Until then, this list will serve as my reference! Maybe I can catch up with my brain this weekend some time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

survey of threes

::three joys::
  • when my cooking turns out okay
  • down time
  • waking up next to my husband

::three fears::

  • never reaching my potential (failure)
  • spiders/wasps
  • anything that deals with spiritual warfare
::three current obsessions::
::three surprising facts::
  • I name pretty much everything I own
  • I count pretty much everything
  • I am kind of doing something with my English degree!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

motivational speech #1

Our internet at home is out right now, but we're working on getting it back up this week sometime. In the meantime, I am sitting in my office at work, having the most unproductive day of all time. There are mass quantities of tasks I need to complete, but I lack the motivation or desire to do anything that involves mental capacity.

So I am looking up recipes. A baked green bean recipe to bring to my parents' for Saturday's football festivities. Parmesan spinach cakes to make in my cupcake tin. Googling substitutions for bulgur and white beans since my supermarket happens to not stock either.

I am the worst employee ever. The girls that I "manage" are working hard at their jobs, and I can be found following a caterpillar-sized fire truck as it winds through the slick streets below me. That statement isn't entirely factual, though. I thrive quite well under pressure and stress; it's when the workload is down that it catches up with me. The skipped lunch breaks catch up with me. The client conflicts resolved after hours catch up with me. The issues that I listen to on talk radio catch up with me. The unplanned dinners catch up with me. The opinions I've formulated but haven't discussed or actualized catch up with me. The book that's been brewing in my head and the characters that are dying to escape through my fingers catch up with me most.

Just to hypothesize a little: if I managed a company, I would revolutionize the work field. Instead of maintaining a structure based on time, my employees would be paid for productivity. I'd also build in personal development into the work day and offer incentives for mental, physical, and creative growth. I believe that would boost production and keep employees from the paralysis of the 5-day, 40-hour box. That's all.

Don't get me wrong; I do love my job most of the time. I would face these challenges with any aspect of responsibility, though, and they might defeat me, but with a proper dose of optimism, they motivate me instead.

I have lots more to write about, but not on my boss's dime. Back to work for this Busy Bee. See you when our internet is up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

birthday weekend (illustrated ed.)

I had a fantastic birthday weekend! Saturday we worked at the church all day and then ate at Bonefish Grill where we split Pan Asian seared tilapia capped off by banana's foster. SO good! Sunday we met up with my parents for lunch, had cake at their place, and then relaxed around the house. Because of our little mouse friend, I disinfected all of my countertops and cabinets with bleach water, washed all of my pans and utensils in the same, and then we went to Starbucks and to go see Traitor, which was pretty good but a little too late.

The best surprise of my Birthday? My gift from JT, of course. We were sitting at Starbucks and I notice some paper peeking out behind my coffee collar. After a great effort, I freed it, grumbling about how someone had come up with the genius idea to pique curiosity and sells ads behind coffee collars. The red and white cardstock said eTickets, so I began to suspect something. He had gotten me tickets to see So You Think You Can Dance! I was very involved with that show this season and am looking forward to seeing and possibly meeting the dancers and checking out the brand new BOk Center in Tulsa.

Monday I had brunch with two of my longest girlfriends. One was in town for a bit on a break from grad school in Minnesota, where she is pursuing a master's degree in catholic studies. We had a delicious spinach, egg, and cheese breakfast quiche, some velvet crumb cake, and my homemade blueberry muffins, which turned out more like blueberry crumbles. Get a load of this beautiful tablescape and our contributions:

On Tuesday, it was back to work and back to reality, but I realized I hadn't planned anything for dinner. I asked a coworker if she had any recommendations and ended up making this quick delicious dish of sweet and sour chicken:

She said I needed a bottle of Russian dressing, a jar of tangerine preserves and a packet of dry onion soup mix. I was in the supermarket for maybe three minutes to grab the the chicken, dressing, and preserves and I was set. Plus, it gave me the chance to clean out my fridge, but the veggies are interchangeable. Yellow squash, green onions, and cilantro were in my fridge and tasted great! She puts the chicken in a casserole dish, covers it with sauce and veggies, and bakes it until the chicken is done. I made mine in a pan with brown rice and it worked just fine, too!

Needless to say, after this weekend, I felt like this:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

jalapeno burn

A piece of advice: always wear rubber gloves when handling jalapenos.

I learned that the hard way. My chicken taco recipe turned out fabulous, though. Can't say the same for mom's reheated Mexican rice-turned-soup. Rice can only be refrigerated a few days, I found out. And when it is good, it's best to add water a little at a time so you can keep adding more to achieve the perfect level of moisture. If not, you have soup. Like me!

Anyway, I chopped some onions and scallions and minced some garlic. But I didn't really know what to think of the jalapeno. I guess I approached it like a green bell pepper. I quartered it lengthwise and pulled out the seeds with my bare fingers. The pulp went in my good ole GB.

As I cooked the chicken and steamed my corn tortillas, I noticed my eyelid started to heat up. It felt like my eyelid was heating rapidly, so I covered it with a cool damp towel and had no idea what could possibly be happening to me.

It was jalapeno burn. My fingers turned red and swollen as I served my husband a bit later, so we researched remedies a bit later. He suggested sour cream since it's a base, but didn't appreciate my impulse to dunk my fingers in our 3/4ths-full container. That worked for minutes, as did peroxide and aloe vera. (the website we found recommended milk -- JT is a genius!)

Moral of the story: always wear gloves and don't touch your face or skin when working with jalapenos. (Funny thing is: we couldn't even taste them in our meal!) You can find my chicken taco recipe here. JT says it's one of his favorite things I've made. Just take my advice about the jalapenos. I'm telling ya! And make sure you don't burn your oil when you turn the pan on high like I did! I scrubbed at my pan for 20 minutes before resorting to a degreasing agent.

* * *

The excitement of the evening continued when JT discovered a small mouse in our kitchen. He set an animal-friendly trap out and has already caught the little guy. So our mouse friend is safely freed about a mile away, but there are several stray cats and skunks between him and our house to deter him from returning.

This weekend promises to be fun and exciting. We went on a date tonight to kick off Birthday Weekend the right way. There is nothing like hole-in-the-wall Italian chicken, red wine, and spumoni to lift the spirits. If you're ever in Tulsa, try Mary's Italian Trattoria on Cherry Street. Look in the coloring books for a picture with my name on it, too.

Saturday, we're working at the church and keeping tabs on college football kickoff. For the record, I bleed burnt orange all the way! I've been looking forward to this day for oh so long. Sadly, both JT and my favorite teams will not air on TV. That's what happens when a big school plays a small school. The spanking breaks at least a couple of amendments so they don't make it public.

Sunday is the big day, so I'm sure we'll be doing something with my family. Monday I have a brunch date of my friend Type A's apartment. I volunteered to bring muffins, so I'm planning to make six blueberry and six banana muffins. I'm so excited to bake it's not even funny.

I'm telling you. It's the little things in life that make the world go 'round!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

good clean greens

Tonight I made pistachio-crusted tuna steaks with a homemade lime and dill cream sauce and "steamed" broccolini. My finished product didn't look as nice as this picture, but that's what it was. Some of my bread crumb mixture stuck to the pan when I flipped one of the steaks, and my entire stock pot of boiling water evaporated twice before my broccolini would steam, so they were a bit crunchier than I'd have liked, but my husband ate all of his helping and asking me to box up the rest for work tomorrow, so it was worth it! You can find this delish recipe here.

It's the simple things in life that keep JT and me happy, like finishing a jug of milk before it expires. We waste so much food since we're so busy. Cooking and shopping for two is a lot more difficult because you pretty much need to go by the store every evening on the way home from work to pick up the necessary ingredients, and if you get too many scallions, they are sure to wilt before you have the chance to use them in a different recipe.

This week's lifesaver, which I am not too prideful to use, is pre-mixed salad containers. Twice in the past two weeks have I picked up a container with mixed greens, a tube of dressing, and bags with croutons, nuts, berries, cheese, and everything else my salad needs. I recommend Organic Girl and their "good clean greens." I like that they are washed to the third power and that the leaves are perfect and crisp and green.

Last, but not least, cue shameless plug for my baby brother. Please vote for Mike as the Senior of the Week here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

not-so-maiden voyage

Ahhh...the fresh feeling of a first blog.

I was going to call it my maiden voyage on uncharted territories, but maiden wouldn't be appropriate because I am exactly the opposite!

Well, JT and I have been married for 4 months and some change now. I intended to start this blog sooner, but life happens.

We have been incredibly busy adjusting to married life, working, and helping to start this church. Yeah, it's awesome. Every one we talked to told us to take it easy and enjoy our new marriage. Oh well. At least we see each other plenty.

Work has been super busy. I'm still a book publicist for a marketing firm in Tulsa. My drive to work is 35 minutes each way, so I bought this CD. Yes, I am learning French in my car and making the best out of my modest jog.

So, about this blog. I switched over from A Day at a Time because a) I'm married now, and b) I'm not Girl in Tulsa anymore (the blog domain). We actually live in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb of the city. The purpose of this blog is to show what happens in the life of a newlywed and how much patience one husband can show to a wife who will probably still be getting the hang of marriage forever.
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