Young Love

Something that has been on my mind a lot is how people make comments toward hubby and me about “young love”, “new love”, “Oh you’re newly weds”, “It must be nice to be young and in love”, “get a room”, etc.

My husband and I both tend to be very affectionate people toward each other.  A simple gesture as holding hands or making googly eyes across the room at each other, sitting on his lap (although he’ll sit on mine occasionally), things like that.  And the minute we start doing things like that people start smarting off and telling us to get a room or one of the other phrases above.

When we’re accused of young love I just want to tell them that I’m not young.  In the reality of things I am, but they’re not talking age… they’re referring to the marriage.  Our marriage is young.  We’ve been husband and wife just over 2 years with a little over a year of dating prior to that.  Our relationship is still considered new.

It seems like in a world with standards to day, it’s easy to get married and even easier to get a divorce.  I get excited when I hear of couples who have been married 10, 20, 30, 40+ years because it shows that their marriage has stood the test of time.

There are so many obstacles out there, hurtles even, that sometimes people lose sight of what is really important to them and their marriage.

I’m reminded of a story the preacher told in church one Sunday about a couple who were always holding hands, had cute little inside jokes, He’d put his arm around her in church, she’d grab his hand etc and they had been married 30+ years.  At first he felt sort of annoyed by the PDA (public display of affection), but then he came to realize that it was a gesture of love.  After all the years of hardship they had endured, the wonderful times, the family commitments, the outside commitments, after everything life had thrown at them they were still very much in love.

When we heard this story, hubby and I both giggled just a bit because this almost described us to a T, well other than the obvious we were newly weds at the time.

Yeah, you can say we have a “young love” right now, but give it a few years, I believe my husband and I will be as affectionate down the road as what we are.  And yes, I know life happens, there may come a time that we aren’t quite as cozy because of outside influences, but no one will ever question if we loved each other.

In thinking of this post for the last few days, the same song by The Judd’s keeps popping into my head… “Young Love”.  Please enjoy.  Happy Thursday


Real Heart to Heart

Let’s talk seriously today ok?

My life hasn’t panned out the way I always thought it would.  Are you raising your eyebrows at me a bit?  Let me explain…

When I was 17, I knew I wasn’t ready to be married, that’s for sure.  I was way way way toooooo immature.  Now I was 17 when I graduated, I turned 18 that following Summer.  At that time I was getting ready to go off to college.  I had applied for a few schools and been accepted to every one of them.  I wanted like anything to go to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, but something held me back.

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

I’m an only child so there was that factor.  My dad got sick my sophomore year of high school and OSU was far away, there was that factor.  I was dating a guy, we were just at a year of dating, there was that factor.  And I was flat out scared.  I didn’t know anyone who went to OSU although I had my heart set on going there.

Well all my fears won out and I went to MSU.  (technically SMSU, it changed the August after I graduated but if I tell any high schooler know I went to SMS they look at me like I have a horn growing out my nose.)  To tell you how bad I wanted to go to OSU, when we went to SMS to enroll me, I was crying.  My parents said, fine we’ll head to Stillwater and enroll you there.  I told them no, I’ll stick it out the semester, maybe even the year and transfer.

Well then I made friends and you know the rest of the story… I didn’t transfer.

Skip forward 4 years.  I was about to graduate college, I was 21 years old.  I had dreams.

  • Graduate college.
  • Get a job teaching High School Agriculture.
  • Be married by the time I was 23.
  • Go back and get my Masters.
  • Own a house.
  • Own a new car.

You get the picture.

I did graduate college, 4 years baby!
I finally got a job, but not having anything to do with Agriculture, not that I didn’t try.  I kind of live in a weird area.
I didn’t get married until I was 27.
I still plan on getting my masters but I’m not there yet.
I finally bought a house with my husband when I was 26 almost 27.
I got my new car in 2011.

I swore I’d never marry a guy with a kid or one that had been previously married.  Way toooooo much baggage.  Boy I sure ate crow there.

But boy, did God have a better plan for my life than I did.  Hindsight is 20/20 for sure!

I’m not going to lie to you, our life isn’t perfect.  No one’s is… don’t be fooled!  But, it’s pretty perfect for us.

I have a lot of friends who kind of fall into the same boat I was in… when will he come, will he ever get here, am I being looked over, etc.  Heck at 25 years old, I thought I was broken.  I thought no one would want me.

Basically I say this to tell you that there is a perfect plan for you.  Hang on, enjoy the ride, and we’ll all be here rooting for your great story!

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Happy Friday.

The Newlywed Game

1) What do you think my best quality is?

Me: Your Sense of Humor and the way you can talk me down when I’m upset.
Him: You are caring and that you love me.

2) What would be your ideal date with me?

Me:  You know me, I’m a low key girl.  Spending the evening with you, snuggling and watching a movie and forgetting life’s problems would work just fine for me!
Him: Dinner out then movies at home.
3) What was your first impression of me? 
Me:  If we’re going back to high school…. I’m sure it was wow he’s weird and sleeps a lot… but he’s kinda cute.  If we’re talking about the day of our first date 10 years later…. This surely can’t be the boy I liked in high school, although he still is cute!
Him: Wow she’s more gorgeous than I remember.
4) What is your favorite memory of us?
Me:  flying to Chicago on our Honeymoon, our first trip alone or last December when we found out we won that horse breeding and were jumping up and down screaming in our kitchen. 
Him: You giggling at me through our entire wedding.

5) What do you see for us in the future?

Me:  Right now our future seems so uncertain that it scares me and I’m not sure where I see us.  I do know that wherever we are we’re battling whatever life throws our direction one step at a time hand in hand!
Him: Many years of Love & Happiness.

Well as you can tell {if you didn’t already know} I’m the wordier of the two of us, but he is the socialite compared to me!

Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Today would have been your birthday.  I know I use past tense, truthfully I wish I was using the present tense.  I miss you.  More than you’ll ever know, I miss you.  If you were still here you’d have the pleasure of meeting your grandson-in-law and your great {step}granddaughter.  Unfortunately I guess I didn’t get my head out of my butt in time to find him while you were still alive, but at that time he was overseas stationed in Afghanistan, so it wouldn’t have done much good anyway.

I actually went back to school.  Something I always said I wanted to do, but at the same time wasn’t real sure I was going too, lol, even though I wanted an MBA.  I guess I did go a different route though.  I wish you were here because I would so pick your brain and have you help me study!  Oddly enough just like my other grandma, that’s one thing you loved to do.

I traded off my car the same week I paid it off.  You always said you loved that car and always knew that was me when you saw that car.  Well I got a nice car now, that I really love, even though I’ve had to take it back to the dealership a few times for a speaker malfunction and now some sensor that’s gone bad.  I guess that’s what you get for buying a brand new car that is in its first years of that particular body style.

Unfortunately you’d see a few things that you weren’t so happy about, but in all honesty you’d still be here with us, and I wish you were.  I can’t even begin to tell you all about everything that’s happened since you passed away.  Sadly enough it dawned on me this morning that it has been a little under 5 years since you passed away and I still miss you every day!

Happy Birthday Grandma.


In Life the First Act is Always Exciting,
But the Second act, that’s where the depth comes in
~Grown Ups

You are everything, I never knew, I always wanted
~Fools Rush In

The Truth is I gave my heart away a long time ago….
-And I never really got it back
~Sweet Home Alabama

Never lie, steal, cheat or drink
But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love.
If you must steal, steal away from bad company.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.

Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times.  I guarantee that at one point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing.  But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.
~Runaway Bride

The hardest thing is loving someone and then having the courage to let them love you back.
But if you know her shit and she knows yours, and at the end of the day if you still would rather give up than try, nothings ever going to be worth it.
~The Wedding Date

Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes I have to sit in my blue chair and just think or drop to my knees and pray.  Sometimes life is hard, but I make it through everyday with the Lord, my wonderful husband and my fabulous family.

Sometimes, Life is hard.


So I’m not going to lie… sometimes I can be a nerd.  Sometimes I actually like studying!  Although I had to learn the Axial Skeleton {your cranium + face, your ribs & your vertebrae} the for a test I took earlier this week, yeah by Monday night I was sick of the axial skeleton and that’s how these photos came to be…

What can I say, I should have been studying, but I kind of already knew the bones, processes & foramen of that particular skeleton that I was getting bored studying it.  Anyway now I get to go on and learn the Appendicular Skeleton {all the rest of your bones basically… namely your limbs because well that’s what’s left}.  Whoohooo! so you might get some fun pictures come next week too, I’m just sayin 🙂

So lately I’ve gotten into LOVING Collage photos.  There’s just something about it.  You can tell a story with them:

Or you can let them tell their own story:

Or you can use it to make a Chronological time line: {Thanksgiving}

You can just randomly throw photos together and call it art:

Ok so maybe that’s not art… but you get the picture, right?

So as of lately, I’ve been on the hunt to find pictures to make my different collages.  See I told you I’m a nerd!  Yesterday though, while looking for a specific photo (the first one I’ll show you) I ran across two photos that I absolutely love.  Obviously I told you one I was looking for, the other I ran across while looking for this one.  There is something about these two photos that I absolutely LOVE!

The first one was just playing around with hubs {friend at the time} Nikon Point & Shoot, where my arms were stretched as far forward as they’d go, hoping I’d get us both in the shot and the other was right after I bought my first dSLR and he agreed to help me learn how to use the dang thing.  That one was done with a 10 second timer.

We’ve taken a lot of photos since first hanging out, remember we were just friends right at first, to the point we upgraded my dSLR {which I’ve had that one since um… sometime before Thanksgiving last year}, yet there is something about those 2 pictures that I always go back to because I just love them.

She took over my kitchen!

So the other weekend when Tbug was over at the house, I woke up every morning wanting a cookie.  I’m not really sure what my deal was, but by golly I wanted a cookie, and I wanted a cookie bad.  Sunday morning when I woke up and told hubby, he asked why I hadn’t said anything prior to then?  I dunno, I figured if we had them, I’d eat them :).

That morning we got out of bed, called his mom and asked if she’d come over and watch Tbug so we could run to town to get part of her Christmas present and then when we got home, Tbug made cookies.

Yes you read that right…

Don’t worry, I didn’t just completely turn her lose in the kitchen, I stood around and helped, I stayed one step ahead of her on the recipe, so if she got off I could have her go back and re-read it, I helped make sure ingredients were measured correctly, I took the cookies in and out of the oven & when she got tired of scooping them out, I helped there too.  BUT, I’ll have you know, she did most all the work!  Seriously.  I gave her the recipe and the ingredients and she went to town.  I have visual evidence too.

See, I told you.

We used my mother-in-law’s recipe.  And while the recipe listed below isn’t the recipe that we used, this is one of my all time favorite cookie recipes.

I actually received one of those emails with this recipe.  You know, the recipes where you verify it against because it said that some lady wanted the recipe and had to pay $225 or something like that for the recipe.  Snopes says the email is false, but the cookies, oh they are good alright!

You’ll notice it says it makes 112 cookies.  Yes, it makes almost that.  I think one time I got like 100 and another time it was like 119.  It really depends on the size of your cookies.  At my aunt’s house, she has 2 ovens so it makes it extremely easy and fast to make that many cookies, but the recipe can be halved.  trust me, I’ve done it :).

One thing about it, everyone raves about these cookies & if you make the whole batch, you are set for your Christmas cookies.  Just sayin 🙂

Neiman-Marcus Cookies
Makes 112 cookies.  This recipe may be halved.

2 Cups butter
24 oz chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 cups sugar
1-8oz Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Measure oatmeal and blend to a fine powder in blender or food processor.

Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Add chocolate chips, Hersey bar, and nuts.  Roll into balls and place 2″ apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes @ 375 degrees.

A Little Thyme

Husband:  I’m going to run to Lowes, do you want to go with me?
Me: Sure.
Husband: I’m ready to go, just waiting on you
{I’m running around the house in shorts and a t-shirt}
Me: You’ll have to give me some time and let me get dressed.
So I head into the bedroom and start brushing my teeth.  This is the next thing I see:
Husband: Here hunny…

Day 407

Day 1-203 here
Day 204-406 here

Day 407 – We said I Do

Day 408 – We headed off to our Honeymoon in Chicago

Day 412 – First nights sleep in our new house

Day 422 – First weekend together as a family

Day 436 – Our Bear went missing

Day 448 – Audrey came into our family

Day 465 – Celebrated hubby’s birthday that was on Day 466

Day 477 – Spent the evening in the hospital to lose my grandpa on day 478

Day 503 – Came the big hair chop

Day 518 – We hosted our first Christmas in our new house

Day 534 – I bought a new Car

Day 536 – I paid off my Mustang that I traded in on day 534

Day 558 & 559 – We got snowed into our house by a Missouri Style Blizzard & 18+ inches of snow.

Day 589 – We hit the 6 month mark for our marriage.

Day 595 – Hubs had knee/leg sugery

Day 611 – Spent the day in the ER by Choice (checking out the whole nursing gig)

Day 625 – Started our Diet (where I lost 26 lbs & he lost 30)

Day 637 – Enrolled back in school for a second bachelor’s degree.

Day 652 – Attended the {step}daughter’s Mother’s Day Luncheon at school

Day 668 – Joplin was hit by the EF-5 Tornado

Day 679 – First time giving blood; only to get sick and have my first pop (err soda for those of you) since April 10.

Day 709 – Hosted the 2nd Annual 4th of July Party

Day 737 – Had to replace the pool liner on my 28th birthday

Day 742 – 1 Month count down to our 1 year anniversary

Day 761 – We both had to start attending classes.

Day 771 – Ate Year old Wedding Cake

Day 772 – We landed in Hawaii for our 2nd Honeymoon/1 year anniversary on Anniversary Eve.

My Weekend

So our company is big in helping the United Way every year.  A couple weeks ago one of our departments was holding a silent auction and one of the items was a trip for 2 on the Showboat Branson Belle.  Oddly enough I had my cell phone on me, so I called hubs and told him.  We decided upon a dollar amount we’d spend and we actually got the tickets for cheaper!    I’d never been and neither had he so we weren’t quite sure what to expect….

Oh. My. Gosh. was it awesome!  Definitely want to go back.  This time, since we’re close to Christmas this was their Christmas show so I’m curious to see what say spring and/or summer shows are like, but either way it was amazing!

On our way to Branson we stopped in Springfield at a CVS pharmacy to look up Salma Hayak’s new line of make-up.  I heard about it so I wanted to try it out.  So far, loving what I bought!

Then we went and used our season pass to go in to Silver Dollar City just to see what the Christmas Celebration was all about.  That and our tickets for the Showboat Branson Belle weren’t until 8pm anyway.

You had to be there 1 hour early for loading.

I thought this was just too darn cute!  Yes those are fake geese 🙂

This is how you exit.

Here is the boat… or what my iPhone would capture of it.  I left my big camera at home and my point and shoot was dead.

It is a paddle wheel boat.  I got a funny video of that too… kind of like Hawaii where I stuck my tongue out…

This was up on the top looking back at the land.

This was after dinner.  Oh goodness dinner was awesome. We had bread with seasoned butter (garlic and spices… oh yum!), then a salad with sweet onion dressing, then Roast Beef with brown gravy (to die for), a Focaccia breaded Chicken, Mashed potatoes with white gravy & green beans… all fabulous.  To top it off we had a Lemon Berry Torte.  It’s a wonder I could even fit in my clothes Sunday morning… LOL.  Then you had the option of Tea, Coffee, Lemonade, or water.  All of it was so good!

Here we are out on the upper deck after dinner but before the show started.  Yes it was 40 degrees out and we didn’t have coats on, what’s your point?

Hubby wouldn’t look at me at first… LOL so ha! I showed him!

Hi, my name’s Nicole and I’m a dork 🙂

That’s the big wheel that operates the boat.

Back inside waiting for the show to start.

And like most places, they took our picture and then try to sell it to us.

Then Sunday we went to Table Rock Lake Dam.  It’s friggin ginormous!

Well hello… my arm got us all in 🙂

This was the fish hatchery and it looks like they had to put the cages on there so the turkey buzzards would stay out of their crop….

Then we went to lunch.  This was the wall at the restaurant.  I wish I was this talented.  I’d paint my whole house this way.  Ok maybe not my whole house and I’ll bet with that comment hubby is glad I’m not this talented 🙂

We’d actually never eaten here before.  It was excellent!

We love Bread with Olive Oil and seasonings 🙂

I got Chicken Pesto

Hubby got the Trio Sampler.

No neither of us ate everything either.  In fact I have enough for 2 meals (after I ate some for lunch).

When we were finished and full, the waitress came by and asked if we’d like more to drink.  We both declined.  Then she offered dessert.  Now normally we’d decline that too, but…….. she didn’t just offer dessert, no she started with the word Tiramisu.  Yeah, we were suckered in.  So then she brought it to us and I asked for more to drink.  Before she could get our drinks back, hubby and I devoured this.  Yes we shared but it was hard to share, it was that good 🙂

After we left there we went to Stonehill Winery to take a tour.  This was a cute set up out in front.

This was some of the old machinery used when Stonehill was started back in the 1800’s.

Then I got to come home and study for an Anatomy & Physiology test.  I so can’t wait until I never have to say that again, I’m just sayin! 🙂

Here are some interesting facts about Branson & the Showboat Branson Belle
Total Population: 10,500ish (a little smaller population wise than my hometown)
Visitors per year: 8 Million
The Wheel: 10’2″ tall and weighed in over 600lbs
It took 130 gallons of paint to paint the exterior of the ship
It only took 25 gallons to paint the inside of the ship
The ship displaces 95,062,500 cubic feet of water
The paddle wheels are 25′ in diameter
It moves at 12 knots or 8mph
The paddles turn 8 times per minute, 480 times per hour.