This was our first Christmas as a married couple, in fact I’m pretty sure it was our first Christmas that we’ve actually ever been together for in the 8 years that we’ve known each other! So it was it a pretty special Christmas for us!

We are typical newlyweds, in that our budget for extras is fairly nonexistent, so this year we chose skip buying major presents for each other and and concentrate on giving to our friends and family instead. I did convince Jared that I would die if we didn’t get our mattress off the floor soon, so we bought ourselves a bed frame and called it good. I joked that Jared’s present this year was that he got to marry me ;)

We started a few new family traditions this year, like reading the story of Jesus’ birth together in bed Christmas morning, and eating breakfast with my family the day after. I also had my wisdom teeth removed the week before so there were many late night ramblings about life, love, and the language of flowers that I will probably never live down.

Here are some pics from our day after Christmas brunch with my family. Somehow I carted my camera around to almost every holiday event and didn’t once turn it on so these are my only “official” christmas pictures, other than instagram. A part of me is a little sad about that, but it was also nice to just sit and talk to everyone and not be worrying about the camera the whole time.


^ Jared has been working on a homemade biscuit recipe, adapted from my Nanny’s own recipe and mixed together with a few JB secret ingredients! Soooo yummy. courtdad2 courtkari glasses

^ all three siblings picked out the same Warby Parker glasses without realizing it! We so rarely all wear them at the same time that we had to take a pic. kari pan table 1family1


^the whole family, including the dogs! We were all supposed to come to breakfast in our pi’s but apparently only Jared and I took that suggestion seriously. ha! oops.

All in all, our first Christmas was a success. I’m so excited to get started on all the after Christmas decorating deals so that NEXT year can be even better! Jared literally groaned when i told him that, tee hee! boys just don’t get it.

A Very Cali Christmas Pt 3

I’m just now getting around to posting the last of our pics from our Christmas in Cali. Whoops! But give me a break, I did take about a bajillion photos. See Parts 1 and 2 here and here!

::Christmas morning::

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^our sweet gammy & poppy flew out and spend a few days with us in SLO!

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^ my name is Inigo Montoya. you killed my father. prepare to die. IMG_7494

^ nope i’m not spoiled in the slightest. drinking water out of a teacup. bless.IMG_7501 IMG_7508 IMG_7552 IMG_7558 IMG_7622 IMG_7568 IMG_7593 IMG_7597 IMG_7610 IMG_7612 IMG_7632 IMG_7584 IMG_7639 IMG_7641 IMG_7642

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::Hearst Ranch & Winery and Sebastian’s Country Store::

One of our last days in CA we spent at Sebastian’s, this cute little lunch place with yummy burgers and a view of Hearst Castle. Definitely worth the wait!

IMG_7663 IMG_7671 IMG_7675 IMG_7685 IMG_7697 IMG_7705 IMG_7708 IMG_7713 IMG_7720 IMG_7723 IMG_7725 IMG_7731Looking through all of these photos makes me miss my sister and her sweet family even more! I think I need another CA trip very soon indeed.

a very cali christmas part 2

Cali part deux! Goodness I took enough pictures to fill a museum. Oh well. Onward!


^ picnic at a winery! the view was amazing

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^one night (my days are all running together) we met up with some of Drew’s family and went to Cambria to their Christmas village. So cute!

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^hiking and the beach, all right next to each other. it was definitely different from OK!

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more to come! ya that’s right, i said more. we haven’t even gotten to christmas yet!

a very cali christmas part 1

this year was our first christmas to spend in California with Courtney & Drew. It was SO nice to get away from the wretched winter winds in Oklahoma and escape to balmy San Louis Obispo. The only sad part in an otherwise fantastic trip was that Jared didn’t get to come with me. Next time babe! No excuses! ;)
IMG_6831^yes indeed 5 people drove 23 hours in an SUV.


IMG_6842^those lashes!




IMG_6881^court and drew have a darling lemon tree in their front yard, i’m so jealous

IMG_6887^walking to downtown SLO!


IMG_6924^a gum wall in SLO, my mind is appalled and yet ironically intrigued. why? and for how long? and why? and just…why?


IMG_6944^i just really loved this church we kept walking by, it was so darling!


IMG_6959 ^ Court’s wedding swag (posts here and here) was re-purposed for christmas decorIMG_6960^Court and mom made chili for our first night in SLO. Yum!





^dranpa with hims drankids

IMG_6963IMG_6985^little baby Rook liked to snooze under the Christmas tree

Parts 2 etc coming soon!

last minute gift idea: Him and Her

If you’re like me, you’re still scrambling to finish up those last minute gifts on the list. I put together these boxes for my couple friends and they turned out so cute I thought I’d share!

IMG_6649 IMG_6654 IMG_6685IMG_6678IMG_6677IMG_6681 IMG_6682Supplies//

Kraft boxes//Hobby Lobby (buy in bulk online), Deer head stamp, Cocoa Daisy (looks like they don’t sell it anymore, here’s another option, and this one is pretty cute)// , Pom Pom yarn// Michael’s (buy online), Glitter Eyelash yarn//Martha Stewart at Michaels (buy online), Jute twine//Hobby Lobby (buy online), Gift Tags//Target last year after Christmas (sold this year but not online), Jingle Bells//Hobby lobby (not sold online, here’s an option) , Glass containers// Michaels (not sold online), Sugar Scrub & Hot Chocolate ingredients//Target

IMG_6649So fun! You could easily tweak these to make gift sets throughout the year by swapping a lemonade mix or some other cold drink for the hot chocolate. Merry Christmas!

crown braids and elf costumes

IMG_6721I wore this to a Christmas party the other night and my mom told me I looked like the chick from Elf. Since that chick is Zooey Deschanel and she is adorable, I will take any and all ZD lookalike comments forever and ever, amen.



I also finally figured out how to do crown braids, inspired from this photo,  and it’s now become my go to hair style since deciding to grow out my fringe. I knew I’d regret chopping those little hairs after about, oh, a month, but ah well ce la vie. They are now at that strange, i-dont-know-where-to-live stage and consequently I’ve been wearing lots of hats. Or crown braids.



This week has been very strange weather for December; 60′s and nary a chilly wind in sight! I have to say, I am far from disgruntled by the current state of affairs. A blessed break from the Snow Apocalypse is fine by me. Especially since it’s like getting me ready for our trip coming up. Christmas in California! I’m so excited to see my sister and brother in law and spend some time in their sweet little town. The 21 hour drive to get there with 5 people and a dog in one car? Tylenol PM you are calling my name.


IMG_6727 IMG_6749 Target top, tights, and boots (old)// Forever 21 necklace// ASOS dress

Christmas Miracles

IMG_5079poppy with the youngest of the 14 grandkids 

This past week was a week of terribly low lows and amazingly high highs, so I apologize for the lack of posts. Blogging was pretty far down the list of things I was thinking about!

A week and a half ago my grandpa was placed in a medically induced coma, leaving us with very little knowledge of what was going on and a very real fear that we might lose him.

Like my mom said, you never really expect to be the family that has to deal with Christmas tragedies. Of course, no one really expects it, but when it happens to you it’s like an out of body experience. Especially when it’s your grandpa, who’s probably the healthiest man in his 70′s that I have ever met.

But I live in a world of faith. I’m a part of a family that believes in prayer and miracles, and I have experienced the very real power of a peace that passes all understanding.

So when nurses are saying that there is no sign of response, when doctors are testing for brain damage, when it seems like there is no hope, there is always hope.

During this time of fear and confusion I kept feeling like everything would be ok. I didn’t know how and I didn’t know why but I just kept saying, “everything is going to be ok. I just know it.” My brain would argue with what my heart was telling me but when I started to feel scared I would pause and think to myself : you are not alone. Christ is with you, He’s with Poppy, and He is in control. It’s not always easy to have faith but the reward is oh so worth it.

After almost a week of little response my Poppy woke up. Miraculously. No brain damage, no signs of trauma at all. He’s still in the hospital and they’re still working on figuring out what exactly happened, but he’s alive, smiling and joking and befriending every single person that walks into his room, just like he always does. And three days later I still can’t think about this without grateful tears welling up in my eyes.

You can’t go through a year like my family has without becoming stronger, closer, better. But we couldn’t have made it at all without our Heavenly Father. You will never be able to convince any of us that Christ wasn’t in control, that a miracle didn’t take place this Christmas. And that faith has a lot to do with a man named Elmer Edward Dalton, not just for his recovery, but because of his life. For his constant reminder of God’s love and his faithfulness through his own actions, every day.

I’m so grateful for a family of faith, who brought me up to believe, who gave me the opportunity to give my life to Christ and know that faith myself, so that I would never be alone, never be without hope.

I’m so glad you’re feeling better Poppy. I’m so glad you’re here. I love you. 


“Thayer’s favorite movie?” “It was underrated!”

There is a How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days quote for every situation. Seriously.


How was your Thanksgiving? Wonderful? Good! Mine was as well. It was my first to spend with the (soon to be) in laws, which is always a bit nerve wracking. You think you know someone until you spend a holiday with them and then realize that they don’t drink coffee with their desserts like you do, or watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. But these are not deal breakers, and I did get thoroughly trounced at Monopoly by an eight year old, so it was a good day.

IMG_6427Now that the turkey has officially been eaten I can listen to my Christmas music unashamed. Which is fortunate, since I’ve been listening to Christmas tunes since November 1st. Yes. I’m on of those people.  I’m also extremely excited about all of the Christmas parties coming up! You better believe these darling Riff Raff shorts will be present at at least one of them.

What about you? Any fun Christmas parties on the schedule? Any fantastic deals you’re shopping today?  Don’t forget to check out Riff Raff and their darling Tis the Season line. SO many cute options for parties! Happy Cyber Monday!


IMG_6434 IMG_6438 IMG_6441IMG_6443Forever 21 hat// Target sweater// Riff Raff gold shorts c.o// ASOS socks// Target boots (old)


Pacsun beanie, Old Navy jacket, Target Scarf, {old.v old.} jean jacket, Urban Outfitters merci beau coup tee, Pac Sun pants, Charlotte Russe rainboots.

These pictures were taken the day after we were supposed to get nine inches of Christmas Day snow. #weathermanfail. However it’s now snowing again as I type, so they might be able to swing this one and say they meant nine inches over a week?

I love the snow. I love the look, how everything is bright and white and clean. I love how excited everyone gets when they see snow, even adults. Snow causes everyone to pause, to look, to become a child for just a while.

2013 is almost here and I can’t help but use these last few days of ’12 to look back and reminisce. It’s been one crazy year, and 2013 will be even crazier! I’m excited to set new goals for myself, both in my personal life and here on this blog. Thank you to all of the sweet readers who keep coming back and reading this crazy little spot on the ‘net I call my own. It’s been a huge learning experience! I want to continue to learn all I can from this crazy Blogworld. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will hold!

See you guys next year!

Christmas with The Rambler

This year Christmas was a little strange but still very sweet. My sister and brother in law stopped in OK on their way to Missouri for Christmas, and Mr. Darcy left right before Christmas to go to England, so we actually celebrated with a big family dinner last week. Christmas Day was spent with just my siblings and parents, watching Christmas movies, grilling steaks in the snowy backyard, and opening our stockings. A very quiet Christmas compared to the past couple of years, but sweet nonetheless. Here’s a few pictures from the past week.

Merry Christmas! xx