It is funny that when living in a small town, there are things that you learn to accept as fact or "the acceptable norm" and many of these things are odd, hilarious, and down-right memorable.

When David and I started coaching basketball, we were surprised that having a one hour commitment three days a week--added a significant "event" to our lives. Now, for a little background knowledge, David and I have always been insanely busy people. School, work, sports, friends, family, church, young life--you name it and we were involved in it...then we moved to Texas.

We moved away from the normal busy schedules of our previous life and we settled into a town that is slow by nature. Everything from the way people talk to the check out lines at the grocery store...are slow.

We had to rewire ourselves and relearn to focus our energy. Instead of going out to the new hot spot for dinner, we have made our table a hot spot with new recipes. Rather than taking in a new movie at the state of the art upscale theatre, we have had to find entertainment in 17 year olds rushing around on ice skates trying to fight one another. Long ago are the days of taking a hike through the Willamette National Forest...we now have taken to playing golf on a course with spray painted greens and brown fairways....

If I would have written this post a year ago, I would have said that these changes in our life were difficult and depressing but today I can write to you, with confidence, that we have been blessed to experience this slow paced and small town life. We have made new friends and seen old friends move on, we have taken on new skills and hobbies, all the while we have laughed together at the oddity each day brings.

A lot of growth has taken place since beginning this new adventure; our marriage, our souls, and our lives are better because of the small town existence we have been living.

Small town life has taught us some BIG TIME lessons and I am ever so thankful that the slow drawl of Texas and the inching pace of Wichita Falls have become pieces in the foundation that our family rests upon.



Let me just put it out there for everyone..I am a soup LOVER! For me, a bowl of soup is like a cozy blanket for my soul. It is a constant companion, a cheerful smile on a dreary day, a reminder of all that is good in the world today!

Even though David is not a huge soup guy, I like to make soups with the intention that I will freeze them to eat for dinner another night...instead the pattern has become that I just keep the soup in the refrigerator and eat it for every meal for the proceeding days until it is gone...hey, when you have a good soup going you just have to go with it!

I thought that since winter is coming to an end in Texoma, (it is supposed to be 70* on Wednesday) and many of you reading this blog may live in a place that stays cool through well...May...I would share this season's favorite soup recipes in hopes that you will be as warmed and comforted by them as I have!

These are my favorite soups that I have made this winter. I have loved and devoured each of them because they are just that good! You don't even want to know how many millions of hours I have spent on the Internet and in my cook books pouring through soup recipes in order to get the basic idea for the next soup I am going to try...so I have definitely already done the hard part for you. Also, none of these need to be followed perfectly. Under each recipe, I have added what things I changed due to convenience or what I had in my cupboards.

Try these recipes. Have fun with them. Enjoy eating them. Feed your soul with soup...you will be so glad that you did!

Guinness Beef Stew
*I used red onions and added extra of the liquids to give it more moisture. I did not use any parsnips and used extra potatoes.

Clam Chowder
*I used one can of whole baby clams and one cup of the juice they came instead of the stock from boiling fresh clams. I used red potatoes instead of Yukon. I used ground thyme instead of a fresh bundle and half and half (instead of heavy cream) and nonfat milk(instead of whole milk) for the two types of dairy products.

Beef and Barley Stew
*I used extra celery stalks, I did not use parsnips but I did use 2 peeled baking potatoes. I did not use Hungarian paprika, just normal paprika and I added a beef bullion cube for extra flavor.

Chicken Noodle Soup
*I added frozen pearl onions and since I made this in the crock pot, I let everything simmer all afternoon and just before we were ready to eat I boiled the noodles for about three minutes and put them into the crock pot for about fifteen minutes, this way the noodles didn't get soggy and still had a bit of time to absorb the flavor of the broth and veggies!




i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
--E.E. Cummings



Eek...Christmas came and went without a blog post of it's own--is that even allowed? Here is a little peak at how we were able to celebrate Christ's birth.

What a fabulous Advent season we had. It was a time full of growth and preparation, waiting in anticipation for the coming of our Savior.

David did a great job with the outside lights again this year. The house looked so beautiful!

Many evenings during our nine days off together were spent being cozy in our living room, enjoying the fire, sipping red wine.

Midwestern State University has a lights display each year, so of course we participated in the annual tradition again and thought it was as fabulously-ghetto as last year!

Mac and his beloved Santa Dog.

Christmas Eve

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church after celebrating a beautiful Midnight Mass together.

Stockings on Christmas morning

Christmas morning was perfect. We got up late, enjoyed mimosas and homemade cinnamon rolls. Took Mac for a walk and opened gifts. It was a relaxing and memorable day for both of us.

Thanks Darin, Laura, Dillon and Luke for the fantastic gift cards and even more the fantastic entertainment we got from the box!

Christmas Dinner with the Black Family

Table Football for the boys

And a rousing game of Jenga for the girls

We loved spending Christmas evening with the Black family. Their kids are so wonderful and it was a perfect night of laughter, games, and delicious food made by Kristi!

The week after Christmas, we had a doctor's visit in Dallas. We were able to spend the rest of the day taking advantage of the big city. It was a wonderful day full of shopping, fantastic drinks and great food!

We ended 2011 with a fairly mellow New Year's Eve. We had great company and good laughs finishing off the evening with this festive chocolate peppermint cake...here's hoping that 2012 is as delectable as our dessert!


Well, officially it has been a ridiculous amount of time since I posted about our daily life. I am a bit embarrassed, perplexed, and disappointed in how much time has passed since I have recorded our crazy antics. I suppose I could say that time sure does fly when you are having fun in Texoma...

...We have been having a blast with our favorite Golden Retriever!

...The warm but very windy Texas winter has allowed for some great golf to take place on the weekends.

...I am always pleased when a cultural event happens here in The Falls, and recently I was moved to tears by the beautiful concert put on by the African Children's Choir. I was thankful for the inspirational, moving and beautiful stories and voices that I heard--so good for the soul!

...Isaac was driving from Washington to Georgia, and was able to stop and spend the night with us! It was such a wonderful evening and a true blessing to catch up with an dear friend.

...David and I are coaching a little basketball team of 5 & 6 year olds. It has been fantastic! We love having a committment to go to, other than work. We love the laughter involved with helping the kids play defense or score points on offense. These little kiddos bring us great joy three days a week and we are thankful for the opportunity to coach them.

...McCovey has been enjoying our walks even more than usual. Diving head first to roll in the clover during our afternoon trips to the park, is all it takes to bring this sweet little dog a bit of bliss.

The past few months have had their share of ups and downs, but we are happy to say that 2012 is off to a great start and we are embracing every opportunity Wichita Falls presents to us--no matter how large or small it may appear!

Bright Lights, Big City...Life in Las Vegas