Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I've looked forward to our first Christmas for a while. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I'm extremely sentimental. I'm always looking for some sort of memory in the making. And Christmas is pretty much the perfect time to do that. So, Christmas has crept up more quickly than I expected, and all of the Christmas moments I had imagined have been getting choked out by unemployment, a few common colds, and a crazy work schedule. I've been fighting to make - and enjoy - the memories of our first Christmas. This week, I started to sit back and breathe and talk myself into a little relaxation. I love Christmas and I didn't want to lose sight of that. So we've been experiencing a Christmas extravaganza of sorts. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Christmas Movie Marathon: Home Alone, Elf, Polar Express
- Christmas Candle: Sparkling Cinnamon
- Christmas Pajamas
- Apple Cider in my reindeer mug
- Company Holiday Masque Party
- Nanny Johnson's Christmas China
- Wrapping presents with the Rat Pack
- Oh Holy Night on the Christmas Piano CD
I've been merry-ing up our Christmas and intend on doing so for the next week. Join in on the fun, okay?
Friday, December 12, 2008
Our first REAL Christmas tree - full of ornaments from each of our childhoods. And a few new ones that we gave to each other in honor of our first Christmas.
This is what my sweet husband does when he doesn't have a job. After we made our stockings, he wanted to sew yarn on everything in sight...
I think this picture is crooked because I was focusing on the stockings...which are crooked. Oops.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
After enjoying our time there, we headed to Youngsville to see my parents and brother. Our delayed Thanksgiving dinner? BBQ Chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad, creamed corn and field peas. Love it!
We settled in back home on Sunday and began the task of dragging Christmas decorations out of the attic. I've been waiting for this since last year when I bought a ton of stuff for 75% off the week after Christmas. And my mother also packed up a box for me, so I was anxious to remember all that I had. I'll wait until I've put the final touches on our house to show you all pictures. We're finishing our homemade stockings and I'd like to put up a wreath so you can get the full effect! Until then, here's a sneak peak...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for friends.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We had such a wonderful time. There was lots to see - arts and crafts, pottery, jewelry, food, Christmas decorations, etc, etc. Maybe my favorite part of the day was meeting Bill. Andrew and I were taking a rest on a bench, waiting for his family to meet us for lunch. Bill, who was probably in his 70s, dressed in a suit and Christmas tie, sat down beside us and preceded to take some snacks out of his neatly packed lunchbox. I started a conversation with him because he seemed nice. He worked at the Christmas Show, manning one of the many exits to make sure sneaky people didn't creep in without paying. As he was munching on a cherry turnover and sipping on some lemonade, he began to tell me about his job at the Christmas Show. The whole time, I noticed one of the other door watchers (a nice lady) kept looking his way. And smiling. And I thought, "Way to go, Bill! You've caught the eye of the pretty door watcher!" As we talked, he told us that he worked the Christmas Show every year with his brother, sister-in-law and his wife. Then he smiled and pointed to the door watcher and said, "That's my wife."
You guys...I melted. I can only hope that in 50 years, Andrew and I eye each other like my friend Bill and his sweet wife.
So that was our Christmas Show adventure. We got some Christmas shopping done, but mostly we just enjoyed Christmas things with family. And now, it is officially Christmas at the Castrodale home. We've been listening to the music since Sunday. Soon it will be Christmas Day...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Everyone that knows has been so supportive, which is very encouraging. My aunt said that this will be one of those times that we look back on in 20 years and say, "Remember when we were newlyweds and you got laid off? Wasn't it awesome how everything was still provided for?" Honestly, we've been very blessed for the last eight months and having to exercise our faith has been refreshing. Sometimes we get comfortable in the good and forget to be thankful and I had forgotten the peace that comes with trusting when things are foggy. Does that make sense? Rambling, I know.
So things are little more conservative around the Castrodale household, but there's nothing wrong with that. Andrew spends his time looking for work (full time and part time, whichever comes first) and helping out around the house - which I LOVE. He's such a sweet man. I did have to talk him out of growing a "lay off beard." Not something I want to see every evening, you know?
Just keep us in your prayers, if you don't mind. Other than that bit of news, things are pretty normal. Nothing fancy or exciting going on. We'll keep you updated!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
But the good Lord has showed me that I can prepare for down time and find great joy in it. So this week, I planned ahead: grocery shopping, a girly movie, some laundry, etc. I laugh looking back on Tuesday night...
1. I bought Gerbera Daisies for myself
2. I bought Oreos for myself
3. I rented PS. I Love You. Geez...cry fest coming right up...
4. I painted my nails
Don't worry, I recovered. Tonight has been much more joyful. I decided to use a gift card to Crate and Barrel so I headed to the mall after work. And what I found was pure bliss. (WARNING: Random tangent ahead) Believe it or not, it was decorated for Christmas. My first thought was, "Really? How about we get past Halloween?" I've always been the strongest proponent of the whole Christmas post-Thanksgiving tradition. But in my little hour at the mall, I convinced myself that this isn't necessary. I bought a Christmas ornament. I spent my gift card on Christmas cookie cutters and a Reindeer coffee cup. I called Andrew on the way home and told him that the Castrodale tradition should be celebrating Christmas whenever you want. What a beautiful holiday and why do I only get 3 weeks to enjoy it? I don't like that. And he agreed.
So here I am, sitting in my sweatpants and my husband's t-shirt. I can smell that the heat just kicked on. I'm finishing up some leftover lasagna and listening to James Taylor at Christmas, the most amazing Christmas CD...EVER. And I am completely full of joy because it's October 30th and children will change their identities for candy tomorrow, but I have been sweetly reminded that Christmas is right around the corner. I do get lost in the commercialization of it all, but mostly I love that I can celebrate Jesus. I always think about Mary and how totally freaked out she must have been this time 2000 years ago. My heart always does little flips when I remember what Christmas is about and THAT should not have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. So in the words of my friend James, go tell it on the mountain. That Jesus Christ is born.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
After checking out a few of the exhibits - namely the Green Tent with all sorts of eco-friendly booths and some random exhibits selling general merchandise, we decided it was time for Fair Food #1: The Turkey Leg.
We also shared a roasted ear of corn and an elephant ear. Fair food can't be compared to anything else, so we came hungry. We didn't ride any rides, but we did go through a fun house. The moving stairs didn't move and the conveyer belt didn't convey, so it was mostly just a regular house, but still fun. We enjoyed all of the exhibits, but I think our favorite was the Village of Yesteryear. We spent over an hour walking around to look at all of the handmade crafts - pottery, carved wood, leather art, Christmas ornaments, baskets, paintings...it was amazing. And everyone was dressed up like they were from another century, so that was entertaining too.
As we wrapped up our fair experience, we had a pretty cool ending. Every night of the fair, at 9:45, they shoot off fireworks. We made our way to where the fireworks were, but all of the good seating areas were roped off. We decided to just hang out until they actually started going off and then we could move accordingly to get a good view. We walked to the top of a hill and found two folding chairs leaning against the building - perfect for a little break. Turns out, we had the best seat in the house and we didn't even know it.
We were tired and slightly smelly when we got home, but it was totally worth it. Maybe, this can be the start of a fun tradition. (As long as there are turkey legs and elephant ears)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I'm attending a scrapbooking party on Friday night with Mir. I get to sleep in. I plan to start a new book. I'll see my parents and brother for a Sunday afternoon visit. AND I get to spend some time with that boy who's been working too late this week. And we're going to the State Fair. Andrew's never been and I'm sure that after a few turkey legs, elephant ears, fried twinkies and apple cider, he'll never be the same.
Monday, October 13, 2008
With a long car ride, we had to come up with fun things to enjoy about the trip. Which is hard to do when 90% of the trip is on I-95...home to inappropriate billboards about adult bookstores and South of the Border.
YUCK is what I have to say about that also.
"Ryan's Steakhouse for Dinner"
"Cracker Barrel for Dinner"
And we found this place somewhere along the way. I thought it was funny. "Hey, are you having car trouble? Just take it to OK Service. They do an alright job. Pretty mediocre, but it'll do."
It could have easily become torture being on the road for that long, but we managed to still love each other in the end. That's good news, considering my hatred of being in any car for over an hour. Good thing I didn't marry an annoying guy :)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
So that's my shameless plug for The Shack. I hope it refreshes you like it did me.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
This particular occasion, we were both in the mood to read. As I was sifting through my Real Simple magazine and he was perusing the Wall Street Journal, I stumbled across a picture of chocolate chip cookies. Just like that, I instantly wanted my own. So off to the kitchen we went to make a batch of cookies. And they were totally worth it. We decided that it is absolutely necessary to always have the ingredients for cookies on hand, because what a wonderful treat it is to be able to give in to such a craving.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So this past Friday, my sweet husband showed up at the door with a pumpkin in hand! He said, "I picked out the prettiest and most expensive one...it was $3.50." It must have been a fancy pumpkin patch :) For now, it's greeting our guests as a pumpkin, but we've got plans to carve it once it gets close to Halloween. Our apartment complex is full of potential trick-or-treaters and we've got to be ready for action, so stay tuned for the Castrodale Jack-O-Latern!
Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween night. I hope you will bring me lots of presents.
-Linus Van Pelt
Thursday, September 25, 2008
But my FAVORITE part of Thursday is what Andrew and I have coined...LEFT OVER THURSDAY! It means that there is no cooking, only cleaning out the fridge from this week's meals. It's awesome and I highly recommend it. This week, because all of our leftovers took the form of lunches, we only get the homemade chicken noodle soup that simmered to goodness in the crockpot all day yesterday. Which is fine by me, because the gray sky I see outside my window right now just screams "chicken noodle soup". And yes, I'm blogging at work. What can I say, it's Pub Thursday and everyone has officially stopped working for the afternoon.
I'm looking forward to cuddling up with some chicken noodle soup and my sweet husband. And the best part is, we got the final disk of Friends: Season 1 in the mail today--courtesy of Netflix. It's going to be awesome.
Happy Thursday, one and all...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
As I write this, I'm sitting at the kitchen table watching my sweet husband cook dinner. He got off work early (a rarity) and so I get this special treat. We've got the windows open because it's a delightful 65 degrees outside and our Fall Festival candle is spilling into all the rooms of our apartment. Mixed with the smell of what's in the oven, I'm in heaven. Also, Daddy is coming over tonight to help Andrew lug our new dryer up the stairs, so all in all, it's a good evening.
If you were to come over right now, you'd be greeted by a wreath on the door. Inside you would find pumpkin-colored hand towels hung over the handle of the oven, a leaf-shaped tray in the middle of the table and an arrangement of fall flowers that Mrs. C helped me assemble standing near the fireplace. It's happy here.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This recipe box came from my sweet mother who had everyone in our family and Andrew's handwrite some of their favorite recipes. Not only do I have a stack full of awesome meals ready to be made, but I have them in my precious family's handwriting. This, I know, I will treasure forever.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So off to the Yankee Candle store we went in search of our fall candle. And there we found Fall Festival: "A luscious autumn medley of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, maple, walnut, citrus and caramel." It's delicious and I can't wait to light it!
Stay tuned and in about two weeks you'll have a glimpse into the our first fall :)
Monday, September 8, 2008
In honor of our six month anniversary, we decided to make a list of six things we know about each other that we didn't know before we were married. Enjoy!
What Page knows about Andrew...
- He does not believe in expiration dates. If it isn't growing something or it doesn't smell, he eats it.
- He snores when he sleeps on his back.
- He's the most encouraging person I've ever met -- whether it's when I'm doubting my outfit for the day, feeling inadequate and insecure, or questioning the paint color.
- He's really good at folding fitted sheets.
- He HATES tangled cords.
- And I already knew he was sweet, but he's still just as sweet as before.
What Andrew knows about Page...
- Don't wake her up.
- Don't suggest WHEN she should wake up...or how...or why...
- Don't do anything without a plan.
- Make sure she knows she's loved.
- She's as sensitive as I am insensitive, as emotional as I am emotionLESS and as sentimental as I am practical. We believe this is by design.
- I could only come up with 5 things. And I'm sorry.
...oooh, marriage :)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
But the fun didn't stop there! I met Andrew back at the house just in time to hop in the car and drive to Clayton. It was my Aunt Mir's birthday and we came to babysit my cousins, Merrit and Ollie. We had a blast hanging out with them for a few hours while Mike and Mir got a break from the little ones.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Hearts of Atlantis
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Did I mention that Andrew wore a seersucker suit in the wedding? Not sure when he'll ever wear the complete ensemble again, but who knows...
Sunday was church and a wonderful lunch and a relaxing remainder of the afternoon before heading back to Raleigh. I was even able to squeeze in a nap! Thanks to our great hosts for a great weekend. We love you guys!