Posts tagged simon

Are you on the list?

If so, you might be getting one of these postcards from Simon in the mail soon!

Keller Williams postcard - Simon Shingleton

I’m so proud of Simon – he’s doing a great job and I’m so happy that he’s doing something that he loves.

Hop on over to 405House+Home, and leave a comment on any post to be added to the mailing list.

Keller Williams postcard - Simon Shingleton


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405 House + Home

You guys, I am oh so proud of Mr. Shingleton. He is loving his new job over at Keller Williams Northwest, and I know that great things are in store for him. He has also launched a blog of his very own, (405)House+Home. (For those not in the OKC area, 405 is our area code.)

I helped him get set up over here at WordPress, and I am just so excited to see what he’s going to come up with. Add him to your reader – he’s going to do a fantastic giveaway in the very near future!

You can also check out his latest listings over at I know! How awesome is he?!
I love you, babe – I am SO proud of you!

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Le Week-End

Yay for birthdays. I just love ’em. Saturday was Simon’s, as per my earlier post, and we had a marvelous weekend. On Saturday, he enjoyed a long workout and I stayed home and prepped a few things for the afternoon. Then, he drove me down to a friend’s baby shower and he and Jude went to hang out at his Grandma Jo’s house. At 4:00 on the button, they were there to pick me up and off we went to Norman. As OU grads, we love to live up the nostalgia and hit up old favorites from our college days in Norman. It was surprisingly calm in Norman despite the loss to Texas (a really big deal – OU/TX weekend). I was glad that it wasn’t too nutso.

I love the old red phonebooths on Campus Corner.

Jude does too.

We had dinner at Victoria’s on Campus Corner. It was a carb-apalooza. Italian food for all — me, Simon, Jude, my brother Earl and his family, my mother-in-law Linda, sister-in-law Carolyn, and Simon’s Grandma. We rolled on outta there in a cheese-and-pasta-induced coma. Then. We stopped at Maggie Moo’s to pick up Simon’s request — red velvet ice cream. Red velvet is his most favorite kind of cake, hence the creation of the red velvet whoopie pies. And then we descended upon his grandmother’s house with pies and ice cream in tow.

Here’s the birthday boy himself holding the whoopie pies. Ok, side story. Do you want to hear something totally gross? I had some cream cheese frosting at the house to fill the pies with, but I had gone to the store and thought that I better pick up another thing of frosting just in case we ran out. Well, inevitably, we did run out, and so I opened the pantry and pulled out my can of frosting. When I opened the lid, a sick smell assailed my nostrils. UM WHAT?! The can was OPEN AND EATEN OUT OF AND HAD GONE SOUR. But then whoever did it decided to go ahead and put that foil seal back on so it looked legit. NASTY NASTY NASTY. Who knows how long it was sitting there on the shelf? And what are the odds that I would be the person to buy that one can? Gross!

Here’s my brother Earl, on the left, with Amelia (behind him) and Jude in the center, Noah on the right, and Grandma Jo. We were singing Happy Birthday, or as Jude likes to say, “Happy Bum Bum.”

I was also concerned about not having enough red velvet whoopie pies to go around, so I made a batch of vanilla with a vanilla Sprinkles cupcake mix from Williams Sonoma. They did not turn out nearly as fluffy and dense as the red velvet ones; I think it’s because the vanilla mix only called for 1 egg and 2 egg whites, as opposed to the red velvet that had much more. But they still tasted good.

Here’s Noah giving us an impromptu concert. He is quite the pianist and we are so very very proud of him. You should ask him to play Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. It’s pretty rad.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Blythe and Jude were in the bathroom, washing their hands and getting into mischief.

Grandma Jo was so kind to let us have our little party at her house.

We laughed that we were going to submit this photo to

And there you have it! A birthday weekend of fun! I wish Jude was looking at the camera in this photo.


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Happy Birthday, Simon!

A happy happy HAPPY 29th birthday to my dearest husband Simon. You are my best friend, my confidante, sweetest daddy to our darling Jude, and I am so proud of you.

And you guys! I have SUCH good news! Our God is SO good and so awesome! He has good plans for us and He keeps His promises. Simon is now gainfully employed and has begun his career in residential real estate. He made the decision last week and signed on with Keller Williams here in Oklahoma City. I am so proud of him and he is so excited about this exciting new venture. I know God has led him to this decision and that He has his hand all over this!

We are celebrating Simon’s birthday all weekend. Yesterday I let him open his presents (a day early! Am I a good wife or what? hee hee) and I made him the promised red velvet whoopie pies. You guys have GOT to make them – I got a Sprinkles mix from Williams-Sonoma and just laid out cookie-sized dollops of the batter onto cookie sheets and baked for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Then. After they’ve cooled, you smear cream cheese frosting in the middle and they are absolutely divine. Red velvet is Simon’s absolute favorite, and so this was a fun spin on a classic. Last night we ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and then today, we will have a big family dinner at Victoria’s, a favorite Italian restaurant in Norman.

More pictures and stuff to come, I’m sure!

I love you, Simon!

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Dear Uncle Kermit


Ok, I realize that you are my niece and that that skews my judgment or could skew my judgment, probably does…a little. But, no, I’m ruthless about boring lines that I read.  Yours aren’t. Ever. Always so fresh and real and natural.  I can’t get enough of your twitters. Please don’t become self-conscious and spoil it all.  Just, be yourself, again.

Uncle Kermit

Oh, yes, and, I do love you and Jude and your man.


Dear Uncle K,

I got your email tonight, and I am surprised at  the … emotion(?) it drummed up in me. I think you hit the nail on the head for me without even knowing it. Did you know I’ve been avoiding the proverbial elephant in the room for almost two weeks now? Getting your email, I realized that I finally was ready to talk about it in blogland.

I’d like to think of myself as a fairly transparent person. In the past few years, this hasn’t been entirely true. I learned, to my detriment, to hide things, but with fairly undesirable results. Transparency just works better for me. I need to talk about things, I need to connect, I need to just let it all out and say it like it is. I talked with Simon tonight about blogging about it here, and he gave an unrestricted, quickly-uttered “yes.” And I am so glad! So let the elephant in my room be released. I’ve been talking too much about fluff lately on here anyway and it’s time to say what’s really on my mind.

Just over a year ago, things began to go downhill for Simon at work. Drastically. Since college, he has worked for a small family business, a family we’ve known since both of our respective childhoods. Upon graduation from college, he accepted a fulltime position and was quick to do very well for himself and for the company. Simon is the most loyal person I know. He is focused, disciplined. A perfectionist, nearly. And like most men, he wants to fix things. But when things went south at work, a place that he loved to be, everything changed. It was beyond his fixing and out of his control.

But it took nearly an entire year for everything to hit rock bottom. A gut-wrenching, stressful, marriage-counseling-inducing crazy year. Simon’s boss was in a terrible car wreck last July; the passenger in his car was killed, a dear family friend of theirs. It was like the final nail into a coffin: on top of a recession and other financial woes the company was enduring, it was like that one singular event sent everything else into a crazy tailspin that was seemingly impossible to come out of.

I’ve been praying for a solid year that things were going to improve or that God would give us a new direction to head in. And last week, He did. I knew that Simon was going to leave his job. I knew it for a few days before it all actually went down, and I supported him 110%. I’ve seen him more burdened than I have ever seen him in all the years I’ve known him. I’ve cried my share of tears over the stress he has been under because he has not been the same for the past year. It was a decision that needed to be made, and he did it. He went in to talk with his boss and gave his resignation, packed up his stuff, and he left. I am enormously proud of him for taking this huge leap of faith. And it is a leap. We have no solid direction as of yet as to what we are to do next.

All this is not to say that I haven’t had my many moments of panic. My first thought was, “Oh my gosh, we’re going to lose our house.” I think this was the only way I could really manifest what I was feeling about being out of a job. Let me clarify, under no circumstances are we losing our house. Our situation is not dire in that sense. We are fine. But somehow it was like that was all I could fixate on – the house. As if it were my symbol of security. My beloved house. Isn’t that silly? It’s just a house – it doesn’t love us back or save us from our sins. It’s not a loved one being eaten alive by cancer or some dreadful disease. My sweet little boy is not gone. My husband is still here with me. My world is not shattered. But somehow I couldn’t get beyond that.

On Friday, his first full day of being unemployed, I had a full-on panic attack. I had had lunch with a dear girlfriend. She asked where Jude was and I said, “At home, with Simon.” She got a look on her face, like, what is Simon doing home on a work day? And then I had to say it out loud. “He quit his job.” Whew! Hello, reality! I just said it out loud to somebody other than myself! I nearly fell out of my own chair. After lunch, I got in the car and practically hyperventilated. I got home and freaked out on Simon. I freaked out on Jude. I freaked out on myself and popped a Xanax and called my Dad while I was in the car.

“I’m panicking. I’m panicking big time. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW?!”

“Darlin,” Dad said, “why are you panicking now?”

“I…. I…. just don’t know what to think?!” I puffed into the phone. “What about our house?!?”

“Darlin, you knew that this was the best thing for him. He was being eaten alive inside. He had to leave. You’re going to be fine. He is going to be fine. God has a plan.”  (I love you, Dad. You are so wise.)

I guess this is the part where I guess we get to find out how much faith we really have. This past year in BSF, we studied about the life of Moses. Over and over again, the Israelites griped, complained, moaned, and whined about how awful their lives were in the wilderness as they made their way to the promised land. They had witnessed quite possibly the greatest miracles the world has ever seen before or since then, and yet they still didn’t trust that God had their best interest – and his ultimate glory – at heart. They were led out of slavery, oppression, and bondage, and yet they still wanted to go back to Egypt when the going got tough. Our discussion leader at BSF pointedly asked us a question: are we going to repeatedly freak out over our life’s circumstance(s) every time something seems to happen? Or are we going to enjoy a front-row seat to what God is going to do in our lives, for His glory?

Enjoy. Now there’s a powerful word. Relish. Appreciate. Savor. I can think of a bunch of other synonyms. Am I going to savor this time in our lives that God has brought us to so I can watch how much He loves us? And so I can fully contemplate that He knows the plans that He has for us, plans for good and not for evil – to give us a hope and a future? He promised this to us and I know He will provide. He keeps his promises – plain and simple.

So now we begin a new chapter. I jokingly tease Simon about how this is now our opportunity to backpack with Jude through Europe (doesn’t that just sound so great? I mean, who hasn’t wanted to do hostels with a toddler?) — I’ll blog about it, and somebody will pay me big bucks to publish my story! Genius! Or maybe we’ll open a 7-Eleven; I’ll work the thing, serving up Icees, and Simon can stay home with Jude. All the Icees we could drink. Perfection.

But in all seriousness, I am excited for him. We went away to Dallas that first weekend, just to get away and decompress, alone. On Saturday, I looked at him and asked how he was feeling. He smiled. “I feel good. I feel relieved. I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me and I can breathe.” I started to well up with tears – I feel like for the first time in over a year, I have my husband back. Sure, it hasn’t been the easiest few days; there will be ups and downs, but I feel anticipation like I haven’t felt in some time. I know that God has not left us and He will not let us down now.

So there you go. In a nutshell – quit the job, went out of town, refound ourselves, and now we’re contemplating what’s next. You had no idea that your sweet email would unload all of that, did you? 🙂

I love you, Uncle Kermit. You’re my favorite uncle; you always have been. Aunt Cheryl is another mother to me, and we love you so so much. I wish we were all there together in France, sitting out in your backyard, enjoying fruit and bread and yummy French cheese. I wish you were here to hoppity hop with Jude; you would not believe how utterly big and busy our little 21-month-old Red is.

Ok. It’s getting late, so I’m closing down this blog. Sorry it’s so long.



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Happy Birthday to My Hubs!

Twenty-eight years ago today, my husband Simon was born! What a lucky girl I am; Simon is my best friend, my sweet husband, and amazing dad of my precious baby Jude. We met in the first grade and I thought he was such a cutie. We didn’t start dating until our senior year of college.  I am so blessed to have him in my life!

Tonight we’re having a birthday dinner here at our house with all our families together. I’ve had a delightful cold for the past several days, resulting in me having absolutely no voice for the past two days. Pretty fun. I never realized just how debilitating it can be to have no voice! You can’t do anything! I croaked out my order at Starbucks in the drive-thru the other day, and the poor barista could barely understand me. I considered writing out my order on a piece of paper, but then I thought that might seem like I was trying to hold up the Starbucks and rob them or something, so now I’ve just decided to forgo any drive-thrus until my voice is restored. My mom and dad finally came and got Jude; poor kid was into everything, and I couldn’t even talk to him. 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to tonight. Simon’s mom is making his favorite cake, a red velvet! Yummers! Also on the menu: lasagna, caesar salad, arancini (risotto balls) and spicy broccoli. Can’t even wait! Love you, honey!

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