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Friday, August 29, 2014

Good Job Fate

“I think of how life takes unexpected twists and turns, sometimes through sheer happenstance, sometimes through calculated decisions. In the end, it can all be called fate, but to me, it is more a matter of faith.” ~Emily Griffin

Two years ago tonight, I was in Oklahoma City where I was trying to set two of my friends up with each other.

Tomorrow, those two friends will get married.  But not to each other.  As fate would have it, they are both getting married to other people on the same day.  One wedding in Oklahoma and another in Texas.  Two couples and two happily ever afters.

But fate didn't stop there.  Although my matchmaking attempts failed miserably in Bricktown two years ago tonight, I happened to meet a cute boy who asked me to dance and held my hand.

And well, you know how the story ends.  With a white dress, a couple of rings, and engagement pictures featuring cows.

Good job fate.  Good job, indeed.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cooking with Kimberly Lesson 3: Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Two New Mexico girls live together in a house.  You know that green chile is a a staple in our diet.  A few weeks ago, New Roomie made a delicious green chile enchilada dish that I thoroughly enjoyed (even though we got into a super hot batch of chile and almost burned our mouths off).  It is particularly intriguing because I'd never had enchiladas with beans in them and it was a nice twist!

Make this dish ASAP.  You'll thank us (mostly her) later.  Now, on to Cooking with Kimberly.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

1 can refried beans
2 large chicken breasts
water, salt
1 clove garlic
2 T butter
16 oz can tomato
8 oz can tomato sauce
Chopped green chile (She usually uses 4-6)
Corn tortillas
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Simmer chicken in boiling water until tender.  Sprinkle with salt and cut into strips.  In sauce-pan, cook butter, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chile, and spices.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.  Spread beans on tortillas.  Dip the tortillas in the sauce.  Add chicken and cheese, roll and place seam down in a baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Watch a Game at Fenway....Check Mark!

This baby had been on my bucket list from the beginning.  Now, I'll admit, I'm not a huge baseball fan.  Y'all know I'm more of a football girl.  But there is just something so iconic, so American, so fun about Fenway, I've always wanted to go.

So when a work conference took me to Boston earlier this summer and the Red Sox were playing at home, I knew I had to seize the opportunity.  So I recruited one of my friends who was also attending the conference and off we went to see what all the hype was about.

It was a great atmosphere, beautiful sunny evening, great hot dogs, cold beer, and baseball.  Glad I was able to mark this baby off the list!

The Green Monster
First Pitch

 Oh, yea, and then I found the opposite of a fun park like Fenway.  This is a "passive park" that allows no ball playing and closes at dusk.  Talk about a place that is no fun, sir!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy Birthday and Wedding Week to Blonde Oklahoma Girl!

It's a big week for this little lady....

Today she turns the BIG 3-0 and on Saturday she ties the knot.  Phew!  I'm tired just thinking about it.

In a lot of ways, she and I are nothing alike.  She's all girl.  She loves make up and pink and big hair.  She was in a sorority, wears leopard print clothing, and watches all the angry women on Bravo.  She selects March Madness brackets by team color and mascot, for crying out loud.

But you know, we've been through it all together.  Good times, the worst times, great trips, fun football games, wild nights, broken hearts, new jobs, finding our future husbands.....I couldn't have imagined doing any of that without her by my side.

So excited to stand up with her this weekend when she says I do and eat a cupcake in her honor today!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Engagement Photos

Um.....our wedding date is exactly two months from today.  That's 60 days people.  Woo hoo!!

Anyway, I digress.  A couple of weeks ago, my sweet friend, Ag Teacher, was kind enough to volunteer to take some engagement photos for me and The Boy from Texas. 

I'm not going to lie....things did not start off well.  Lest you think from this blog that wedding planning (or life, actually) is all rainbows and cupcakes over here.....not the case.  The Boy from Texas and I had a pretty good argument the morning of the engagement pictures.  The cleaners messed up his pants.  He threw them on the floor. I got offended and pouty.  We tried to take a few photos at the lake (actually some turned out pretty well) and then gave up.  We ate breakfast and then decided to do Take 2 at my parents ranch.  I cried most of the way there.  Then we both agreed to suck it up and try to enjoy the experience.

Well, I think it worked.  Because I'm seriously IN LOVE with these pictures.  I mean, honestly.  They just couldn't have been better.  So grateful for Ag Teacher and her patience and her photography skills!

Now....important part....we want to know your favorite photo!  We're going to use some of these at our wedding and we're going to get one or two made into canvases to hang in our house.  So, please vote now!
Photo 1
Gonna be hard to convince me this is not my favorite
 Photo 2
I really like this one, even better than the actual kissing one.
 Photo 3
At first I wasn't sure, but it's grown on me.
 Photo 4
I love this one because he is smiling. :)
 Photo 5
Sigh.  Anyone remember this letter to Mr. Right?  Photo proof it came true!
And it was worth the wait!
 Photo 6
It's possible we were not saying nice things to each other here...
 Photo 7
I really like this one as well with the log fence.
 Photo 8
Love the angle of this one and my cute shoes.
 Photo 9
Another potential fav of mine.  I seriously love everything about it.
 Photo 10
It's been years since we've had a milo field looking like that for pictures....
Talk about good timing!
 Photo 11
I love that boy. I love the horse.  This picture makes my heart happy.
 Photo 12
This is one of the photographer's favorites!
 Photo 13
I am in love.  Lou (the horse) is a photo bomber.  He appears to think,
"I don't know what you two are doing, but I'm posing here!"
 Photo 14
I've never been a huge fan of kissy pictures, but this one in the milo with
his big hat I enjoy.
 Photo 15
I like this one with the water in it.  A creek?  No.  Irrigation water. :)
Photo 16 
Walking off into the sunset, herding the cows, holding hands.  What's not to love?

Vote for your favorite now!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Most Beautiful Wedding

ND Friend did it.  She and Tiny Dancer had the most beautiful wedding that could ever be a month ago in Chicago.

I've tried several times to sit down and write this blog.  But words just don't do it justice.  Even the pictures--and there are some stunningly beautiful ones--don't do it justice.  Seeing their two sweet families celebrate with them.  Hearing their cousins sing Ave Maria from the balcony.  Watching these two smiling non-stop for hours (seriously....their faces must have been sore the next day). There was something there, in that Cathedral, that you could just feel.  Love.  Faith.  Joy.  Happiness.  It was palpable.  As it should have been for two of the absolute best people I know.

So instead of making an inadequate attempt at describing it, I am going to let the photos do the talking.  And I am going to hope that one day you are able to experience something like this. Because it really was just remarkable.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Me meeting Fr. Robert Barron

Photo by Jolene Broad Photography

Photo by Jolene Broad Photography

Oh, one more thing.  You have to see the Matron of Honor speech by sweet Super Mom.  It was the best I've ever heard.  Click here (to read the words she spoke) and here to see the video that followed.  Both are at the bottom of the respective blog links.  Oh, and pretend to be surprised when you hear that same amazing song played during communion at our wedding in October.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Advice for the Single Ladies (Part 8): The Finale

“But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after. I think love is fearless." ~Taylor Swift

Here we are, eight posts later with our final piece of advice. I actually kind of hate for this series to end--I have been loving all of your comments about our little pieces of advice.  Thank you all for your kind words!


Tiffany Says:

I really do feel like that trip to Costa Rica was life changing for both Blonde Oklahoma Girl and myself.  I think that we were both maybe feeling a bit stuck, a bit unsettled as she described it earlier.  And there was something about being there that helped us be brave enough to make a change, to have confidence that we could do bigger things, and to force us to follow our dreams, which did eventually lead to our future husbands.

Obviously, it's not about Costa Rica.  It's about doing something that you thought impossible.  Something scary and hard and unpredictable.  It's about finding something--be that white water rafting or running a marathon or telling someone how you feel--that scares the crap out of you and do it.  Put yourself out work, in relationships, in life.  Fate favors the fearless.  Just go.

But for real though, think about Costa Rica.  There is something in the water there...

See?  Fear.  Does a body good.

Blonde Oklahoma Girl Says:

It's in the waters....sit in a hot spring pool, frolic in the most gorgeous waterfall with the iciest, coldest water that you will ever experience, strap on that helmet and brave the class four white water rapids, zipline in the jungle, tarzan swing over the jungle, screa at the top of your lungs while doing said tarzan swing, spend a day on the beach discussing life with one of your best friends, followed by a very, very bad sunburn, parasail by yourself over the ocean....  Book a trip to Costa Rica for no other reason but..."Why not?"

The Family Unit - Costa Rica - 2012

Friday, August 15, 2014

Advice to the Single Ladies (Part 7): It Will Happen When....

"Don't confuse the wait for an answer from God with no answer from God.  Wait patiently on Him--He answers you when He knows the time is right." ~Elmer Laydon

Tiffany Says:  "It will happen when you realize that it might not and are okay with that possibility."

I swear to you, if one more freaking person had told me, "It will happen when you aren't looking!" I would have punched them in the face.  No, seriously, I would get violently angry upon hearing that.  How, exactly, should I not look?  Lock myself in my house, never see people of the opposite sex, and trust that God will drop someone in my lap?  That advice is stupid. 

I think that every single girl questions whether she will get married, whether there is someone out there for her, or if she will be the one spending every holiday alone and always sitting at the kids table at weddings. 

People try to help by saying things like, "There's someone for everyone."  I never found that helpful.  Mostly because I know great people who never got married, never found love.  Oh, and the Bible actually says that some people are called to be single, so there's some pretty good authority against this theory. Clearly, then, there is not someone for everyone.  Ergo, that advice is stupid too.

What I can tell you, at least for me, is that it happened once I had come to the realization that it might not.  And, I came to the conclusion that I was okay with the fact I might not get married.  I realized that even if I was not someone called to marry, my life would be okay.  Not only okay, my life would be great.  I would be the super fun aunt who would flitter in and out with fun gifts and way too much sugar.  I would travel the world.  I might buy myself those Jimmy Choo's instead of starting up a college fund for future children.  I distinctly remember the day that I understood whatever God's calling was for me, I would accept it, embrace it, and enjoy it.

And low and behold, a couple months later, The Boy from Texas asked me on our first date.  And then in June, well, you know the story.

Blonde Oklahoma Girl Says:  "It will happen when you least expect it."

I know, I know, I know. What single girl wants to hear those words? “Oh, honey…don’t worry, it will happen when you least expect it!” Yes, I heard that a many times and each time I heard that I wanted to straight punch the person in the face.
However….it really does happen when you least expect it. I know, I know…you now want to punch me in the face? I get it. I really do.
When you are single, and looking by the way…because let’s face it…when are you really not looking….it’s hard to hear that. So…here’s the thing. When you are happy and focused on you, and are making you a better person…then you have room in your life and you ready to meet someone, because now you are ready to share your life with someone….and that usually happens when you least expect it. Why? Because you are busy being you…and the best you for that matter.
So, when you are in a new town and it’s Thanksgiving weekend and you have nothing to do, you go to a calf-roping. Why a calf-roping? Who knows…probably because there isn’t anything else to do in your new town. You then run into a friend you knew from college and it’s totally random because you haven’t seen her since college graduation, like six years ago. You go have dinner, you meet the next night. Except this time, a boy shows up. You talk to that boy, tell him you should be friends…because you know no one in this new town. Boy calls you that night, boy calls you the next morning…asks you on a date. You go on said date…and every day since then you have been with that boy. Boy asks you to marry him in a horse drawn carriage, the “Will you Marry Me, Lyndse T” is in Christmas lights. You say I do on August 30, 2014. And live Happily Ever After.
Moral of the story…go to a Calf-Roping. :)  Just kidding…but it could happen at Wal-Mart.  Or on a random football weekend, where you meet a guy and then a few months later go on a date with a guy and then plan on getting married October 25, 2014!