Peace Within the Storm

The weather. Ohholyshitthebed can we just forget about the weather this weekend? The forecasters have been all over the place in terms of severity and amounts, but what they are all agreeing on is that we will have some weather starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend.

It looks like the flights will all get here fine. That’s good. Now we worry about road conditions in the state. Several guests are making plans to get a room here in Norman or planning to spend the night with friends and family locally, so as not to have to drive home, and just not knowing how it will be. This is a good plan. Because what we all know about Oklahoma weather is:

WHO KNOWS what it’ll do!

I’m actually hoping for some snow wedding photos. Truely.

Elizabeth got here yesterday and other than a few bathrooms that need scrubbing the house is ready. We are heading to El Reno today to pick up supplies, see friends then back to Norman where she will go do some dog training with clients and I’ll run errands  for things like floral tape, greenery and last bits of flowers, groceries for the house, last of the thank you gifts. I may actually try to sneak in my mani-pedi today rather than tomorrow. So lot’s of moving parts.

A few friends are flying in today. The rest of friends and family come in tomorrow. I’m so excited to see everyone.

Now. Back to my list.

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Morning Reflection

The weather is coming, says everything on the internet and television. I’ve been awake most of the week with notes of anxiety about various pieces of this coming week. Last night it revolved around getting Mark home safe and sound from KCMO. I’m sure the roads will be fine…until they aren’t. We spoke yesterday of what he would be driving into and to be weather aware.

I’ve been up since a little before 6am, wheels turning on lists and things to do not only for the week but for work as well as yesterday’s board meeting and the subsequent committees and duties that come with serving. LTYM:OKC is in our final week of accepting submissions and much work awaits us on that project…not until after the wedding though. My mind is full.

Around 6:30 I decided to just get up and make coffee, feed the livestock and start cleaning the house. Assuming travel is uninterrupted, on Thursday we will have a house full of family and friends. Clean Sheets for EVERYONE! WOOT.

I’m adding little things on the list like: take comforters to cleaners, get marriage license and double check appointments and schedules of ALL THE THINGS. I had myself almost worked up into a froth when I decided to just chill out.

I’m sitting here with a semi picked up house and plans to do more cleaning later. I’m going to get to Petsmart at 10 am when they open for more livestock crunchies and treats. I’ve got delicious coffee and cinnamon rolls in the oven and CBS Sunday Morning on the telly.

It hit me that this just *might be the final quiet moments before the storm hits. Both literal and metaphorical.

So I’ll diffuse my oils and light a candle and sip my coffee. I’ll love on the animals and contemplate the week ahead and work to understand that while so much is out of my control, the one thing that is guaranteed to happen is that this time next week, I will wake up with a husband.

I will be a wife.

All is well with my soul.

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We Fancy

We’re 8 days out from the wedding and Mark is in KCMO at the Folk Alliance International..which is really just a fancy name for a big gathering of artists/producers who are looking for work/talent to book for gigs. He’s having an amazing time, has already made great networking connections and had a conversation with Kenneth from Milk Carton Kids about doing a show at The Depot.

My day yesterday was a busy one that included heels, lycra, pearls and Cheryl Strayed author of the acclaimed book “Wild” which is currently in theatres starring Reese Whitherspoon.

It was our Juliette Low Leadership Society luncheon. This is an annual fundraiser to raise money to support girls in their Girl Scout Leadership Experience. There’s always a fancy speaker, last year was Joan Lunden, previously we had the Bush twins, Lisa Ling. It’s kind of a big deal you see.

The week after our wedding, Mark and I will have dinner with Neil Gaimen, before attending his lecture in a symposium series at my alma mater. I’m sure I got the invite because I’m a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. I don’t care, it’s pretty freakin amazing.

Mark and I laughed tonight when he called because OHMYGAHLOOKHOWFANCYWEARE!!!!!

He gets home Sunday. He will spend his birthday (Saturday) doing the things he loves and I will be intrenched in the first USAO board retreat/meeting that begins at 3pm today.

 

Everyone I talk to asks me about next week.

Are you ready? Are you nervous? Did you register anywhere? Do you have a lot more to do? Is it going ok?

The thing is…I’m SO ready. SQUEEE! I’m not nervous at all and the things left to do are miniscule. They will get finished and all will be well. Minor pieces like mani/pedi, stocking the house with foodstuffs, beverages and toilet paper for the cousins, making sure people are picked up at the airport, putting the flower arrangements together, building my bouquet, getting organized with Sheradee for photos, etc. Things that will all get worked out. It seems like a lot, but I have no fears.

The alleged “snomageddon” that all the weather sites are predicting can suck it. I’m not even with that yet. I just want for people to be able to get here. I’d say 90% of my people are traveling. SO I’m just praying for that piece. Snow is fine. Snow is beautiful. I just don’t want travel issues.

This week has been nutty, and it’s not over yet. The weekend Board retreat/meeting will take a huge chunk of time…but I miss Mark being in the house with me. And I can’t wait until he gets home and we can be married.

8 days ya’ll.

8 days until we are Mr & Mrs Fancy.

 

PS: For those asking about registration we did something here:

www.idofoundation.org

 

 

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Party Like It’s 19somethingsuchandsuch

Last night my friends officially launched me into the final days of Singledom. 20 more days ya’ll!

When they asked me about a shower and bachelorette party my first thought was…Can I do that? At 44 years old do we still do those things? I’ve done them once, a lifetime or two ago but I never thought it to happen again.

Duh. DUH MISTI DUH.

When have we ever passed over a chance to celebrate ANYTHING?

So these women planned and delegated and designed and put together one heck of a night for me last night. We had a suite in a fabulous hotel in Bricktown, we had snacks and pre-party drinks and laughter and presents.

I’m just still in awe as I sit here tonight, wearing the softest of pj’s (Thanks Becky!) and looking at this bounty bestowed upon me. It is so overused on the internet so I loathe to say it but really, I feel so blessed. I am honored and blessed to have these women in my life.

They showed up, after kids birthday parties and exhausting days at work they showed up and stayed and gave me fabulous things like soft pants and candles and monogrammed aprons and naughty bits that made us all laugh like hyenas! They gifted me with a throw made out of authentic Clan McClellan tartan. I got silky pjs and sexy panties and my 9th grade mixer dress that for some reason Delbert has kept all of these years! There was a Marriage Survival Kit chock full of bits of encouragement and fun, a shiny home for my ring when I take it off, a fabulous Octopus photo and delicious smelling candles and lotions and potions to make the sexy!

We went to Micky Mantles and had some drinks and laughter and talking and my soul was just full. Full I tell you. Several of us continued to the piano bar were a random woman sitting next to me started telling me explicit details about her secret sex life and she kept calling me Linda.

We sang to Journey and cheers’d and took party pics.

We laughed our way back to the hotel where we stayed up talking until 3am…

In hindsight we really should’ve eaten dinner. It was a rough morning with a communal headache but we all survived.

I am so full of love today. Closing my eyes and seeing the smiling faces around the table who took time out of their lives to say YAY!

These are the moments that sustain.

Lesson:

We are never too old to celebrate each other. Never too old to celebrate love. Never too old to open a present and eat a snack off of a paper plate with a dancing penis on it. We are never too old to lift each other up and support each other.

It matters.

I want you to know it matters to me. Every single moment of it.

 

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Deadlines

Deadlines are my ruling force these days.

Cookies. All of the media both social and actual that have to happen before during and after.

Annual Meeting. It’s this Saturday so while this week and the past two days in particular have been a big bag of nuts, it’ll be over soon enough. Annual Meeting is a big deal though, and I’m a facilitator in a Strategy session and that is in itself a little daunting, as things must stay on track.

The Wedding. RSVPs are coming in, yet those that I really thought I would hear something from, either yay or nay, I’ve heard nothing. I’m worried that some didn’t get their invitations. But we’ll just wait it out and see. I’ve got a bit of time yet before it becomes dire.

The details are coming together.

We did go ahead and register. Because there have been questions, and wants and we needed to do something.

Our registry is found HERE.

I’ve still got a few pieces to get surrounding my dress ensemble. Mark is to get his clothes. We must get the house prepped for company. We need to figure out the night before/Non-Rehearsal Dinner thing.  We are starting to schedule pick-up times at the airport for our friends and family. It’s coming together, yet I wake up with one thing or another on my mind every night.

LTYM:OKC is upon us. We are getting submissions in each day and that is always such a relief. People are really interested, they want to be a part of this. I’m excited to see people read their stories. My major worry is sponsorships. I’ve got to start pitching. I worry that no one will help support us in this way. I worry about it every year.

 

Deadlines.

Man. They’re kind of a bitch.

But then I look at things on the Red Rocks Concert Calendar in May and I think…I’ll be married, finished with cookie sale and already thinking about next year’s LTYM by then.

Until then I’ve got my essential oils and some otc sleep aid. I’m out of Ambien and who the hell has time to go get more?

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Success

I meant to write last week, more than once I felt the urge to sit and type the words. Finishing the first real week of the new job, the commute, taking lunches, prepping dinners for the evening. It was a week where my brain was on the next task, as well as thinking and planning a full 5 hours ahead of time, scheduling posts for the fb page, working on newsletters for the next month, but mostly working on the event that I had yesterday.

It’s no wonder I slept until 9:45 this morning, right? That’s what I’m telling myself at least.

But here I am, Mark made me coffee and turned on the CBS Sunday Morning via our “time machine” as he calls it, and I can just be in the moment.

I do want to tell you about this event we did yesterday. Holly and I began work on this back when my title was CDE. When we reorganized and I went to Recruitment, I kept it and when I moved into Mar/Com I kept it. No way was I going to give this away after all that work we had done.

Any event makes me nervous. Will people come? Did anyone read the flyers that went home in Thursday Folders? Did anyone see our FB post? Will it be worth the time of the panel, each one giving us time (for free) out of their busy lives AND on a Saturday…will it be worthwhile for them?

This was a career empowerment workshop for girls. Holly and I put together a panel of professional women to speak to the girls about their careers. We then had some break out/hands on sessions after and each girl got to leave with two career based fun patches. This was all free and sponsored by United Way of Norman.

Our panel was this:

Julie Lamb, licensed counselor and director of GOALS program at Redlands Commuinty College

April Heiple, e.d. of Food and Shelter for Friends (our homeless shelter/food kitchen in Norman)

Sheradee Hurst, owner and photographer of Sheradee Hurst Photography

Representative Emily Virgin, state rep over this district

Shannon Evers, GSWESTOK CEO

Sharon Tabb, owner Sharon Tabb Makeup, professional makeup artist

Joy Hampton, senior reporter of the Norman Transcript

Kim Fields, director of Blue Thumb Education program/OK Conservation Commission

Bonnie Blumert, public defender

Carrie Blumert, public health and yoga instructor

Rachel Norris, OU grad student in Meteorology and GS Gold Award Recipient

These women answered questions like “what was your first job? How did you get this job?If you could do anything else what would it be? Did anyone ever tell you you couldn’t do this job? How did you deal with that?”

The women were amazing. They were thoughtful and deliberate in their answers, making sure they spoke to the girls on their level, talking about successes and failures. Talking to them about mentorship and not being afraid to ask for things. Parents were asking questions too. We used up our entire hour (which I was worried about) and had two really shining moments that I want to tell you about. One girl asked the panel how many of them were Girl Scouts when they were young. And this wasn’t one of the planted questions we handed out to girls to ask, it was completely organic.

EVERY SINGLE WOMAN RAISED HER HAND.

I had no idea when I asked these women. It wasn’t a requirement, I just wanted them on the panel.

EVERY SINGLE WOMAN RAISED HER HAND.

And a dad in the audience asked the panel, How did they get the confidence to do this job, how did they get the skills and self esteem to make it and our panel just opened up and loved him. “What an amazing dad to be here and be involved in your daughter’s life” sentiments like that poured forth and one little girl with short sandy blond hair and a turquoise sequined shirt popped up her fist and yelled “He’s MY dad!”

Oh My Heart.

One of our panelists spoke about having discouragement from her family at the beginning of her career (she’s completely amazing and successful today) and then had a conversation with a mom in the audience about how she had said some of the same negative things to her daughter and wanted to go talk to her and change that.

Girls and parents were very happy with the program. We had a photog from the Oklahoman, and he took some great pics. I feel like it was a success. Holly and I worked on the tornado event last year, remember that? We work well together. I’m always proud of what we accomplish.

Wedding invites went out last week, RSVPs are rolling in. It’s my favorite thing of the day, getting the mail. We looked at a few hotel options this weekend and I’m calling tomorrow to get info on blocking rooms.

LTYM submissions are also rolling in. I’ve got to start the sponsorship asks. I always worry that no one will say yes. No one will want to help us produce this amazing show. It has worked out the last two years, and I have faith in this year too. But it’s a lot of work and I feel pressure in that area.

So much going on. I’m going to finish my coffee, get more and then start making a list and a timeline of tasks, events, deadlines. I’ll probably watch the last few eps of Gilmore Girls and watch last weeks’ Parenthood. Grocery store, meal prep for next week, Golden Globes tonight.

I’m looking forward to next week, getting more settled into a routine, getting more comfortable in the new job. Cheers to more opportunities to get it right.

More possibilities of success

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The Longest Week. Ever.

I asked someone today if we had only been back at work for one week. I swear it seems like two.

It’s really my first full week in the new position. And of course I’m swimming. Just dog paddling to keep my head above the water. I’ve not been home before 7pm one single night, and I have an event on Saturday morning so not really even a full weekend to regroup. This is the last piece of the old job that I didn’t want to pass off to someone else. I’ve worked on this project with Holly since it’s inception and I think it’s going to be a good one. We are having a career empowerment day. I have put together a panel of really truely inspiring, amazing, professional women and we’re going to talk about jobs. We’re going to tell our “when I grow up I’m gonna be a…” stories. We will have hands on/break out sessions for the girls so it’s not all boring grown ups talking. There will be fun patches distributed and all will be finished by 12:30.

But like most events, this one has eaten quite a bit of time that should be delegated to other work. Like writing the volunteer newsletter that should’ve gone out on Monday. It’ll go out next Monday. Or developing content for FB for the next month or whatever. I did do a webinar about the FB and how to get more likes/shares/comments and navigation of the whole social platform today. It was pretty interesting.

Tomorrow I have to leave my house at 7am and get to an 8am meeting. It’s a whirl wind of a day that will fly by in a blink I’m sure.

We did some big things here this week too. We got our home theatre/surround sound all put together. And by we I mean Mark did.

LTYM OKC is officially open for business. Our show is April 26. It’s the same day as the Memorial Marathon and I hate that, but the times don’t compete so we’re motoring along. I just checked and we’ve had several submissions already! I’ve got to start working on sponsorships.

I got the wedding invites in the mail and have started to receive RSVPs. Which makes me giddy.

I made my mason jar salads for the week on Sunday and have eaten a good healthy lunch daily w/o spending money. They’ve been quite the success.

We watched another Harry Potter movie, number 6 out of 8. Only two more left. The surround sound makes it just ridiculously cool. Winnie thinks it’s bullshit though. Those rear speakers piss her off. She barks at the corners of the room.

And just like that, the first week is down.

 

We have 51 days until the wedding.

3 months and 17 days until LTYM.

1 day until my Career Empowerment Event.

tick tock tick tock tick tock

The week is long. Yet the time flies.

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Bubbling

The last few hours of vacation are being well spent. We have removed Christmas from the house, packed up again for another year. The floors have been swept, the laundry is caught up, the groceries are bought and the meals are planned. I’ll make my jar salads for the week sometime tomorrow, but will do the prep this afternoon. Today I’m working on wedding invitations, addressing envelopes, stamps everywhere.

It’s been a good break.

I will be ok with getting back to the grind.

I needed this time off.

We slept late, slept well. We saw family and we spent time with friends. We spent countless hours on the couch watching movies and hooking up new sound systems and taking cat naps with actual cats.

I’m working really hard at tamping down the anxiety that is bubbling just under my surface.

I know what’s coming towards us in the next 8 weeks. I know what deadlines I have, what deadlines I’ve already missed, and what must be accomplished between now and then. The good news is that when I come up for air, I’ll be a wife. We will have had one helluva party. The gatherings will be behind us and we will be well on our way to more hours of sunshine and beautiful signs of Spring.

Today is for doing what needs to be done to not worry about any of it. Today is an exercise in self-preservation and practicing what I oftentimes preach.

Today is for breathing. For loving each moment. For peaceful moments and to keep the worry and anxiety at bay.

It’s for cups of tea, and looking for wedding shoes online. It’s for knowing that there’s still another day before the madness begins.

cheers!

 

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A Week of Ahhhhhhhh

One of the best things about the holidays is that after they’re all over, I have a clean house.  Another really great thing about this particular season is that after all of the gatherings are behind us, Mark and I still have some days off, or at minimum days where we can work a bit from home, while we cat nap, stay in our soft pants and sip coffee all day long. We both needed it.

Our Christmas was wonderful. We spent a few days with my family in Arkansas. I was down with a weird stomach thing for a day, and that absolutely sucked, but all in all it was good to see everyone. We gathered with Mark’s tribe on Sunday, ate a meal and opened gifts, laughed and talked. It was a week of abundance and love and it felt really great.

We have a few plans this week, some projects we want to accomplish in the house, (I want to organize my closet) and some wedding details.  I pick up the invites today, with the big mail out on Monday. I also want to take my dress over to Trisha’s and try it on, discuss the final details, I have GOT to get some shoes!

On NYE I get to officiate a wedding between two of my favorite people. Thursday night is grown up card games with friends. Friday night we have tickets to see The Book of Mormon. We have 7 more Harry Potter movies to watch, I’m re-watching Outlander and have started Peaky Blinders on Netflix. There are movies in the theatre that are on our list to to-do’s if we get to them.

So lots of good things in store for us, nothing that brings dread or anxiety.

The next few months are going to be chock full. Work is gearing up for Cookie Sale. I have many deadlines and projects that await, still finding my way and navigating the job. It will be a joy, though, to go back with my own give-a-shit-coffers re-filled.

Listen To Your Mother: OKC is gearing up to accept submissions. We will make our official announcement soon, followed with auditions, cast gatherings/rehearsals on the schedule.

The Wedding is really almost finished. There are a few things to get. Mark’s ring, his clothing for the day, my shoes, final decisions on catering, flowers. It seems like a lot, but really we have the big stuff. I’m super super happy with our music selection, I think we’ll have a fabulous party with our favorite people.

So…yeah. The calendar is fat with fun and joy and work, but you know me. You know I love a brand new year.

Everything is possible on a fresh calendar.

 

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Christmas Vacation

It’s the first day of a much needed, much deserved break. Well, for me anyway. Mark is going to work but hopefully won’t have a full day.

I’m sipping coffee, making my list. I’ve got Winnie scheduled for a vet visit at 4:30. Her back legs/hips/something are wonky. It started yesterday or the day before and while it’s not apparent every minute, we have convinced ourselves (thanks to the interwebs) that she has the hip dysplasya  and have gone into helicopter parent mode. Is that a real thing if you don’t have human children? Because I think that’s a real thing.

I’m getting up in a few minutes and heading to our mall for the last bits of shopping and errands and hopefully will be home before noon to start cleaning this house. We are hosting Christmas here with Mark’s family on Sunday. Remember last year when we hauled ass home on Christmas day to come back and host here that evening? I think we all decided that was too much, and during discussions of when where what who for this year, well it was confusing. I haven’t found my voice in terms of navigating holidays with another family. I feel awkward and imposing and I know that all comes with just figuring it out. I know that traveling to see my family puts a kink into what has always been done in previous years but I think we’re working on a fair and balanced way to do this thing. Anyways, I’m going to get some shopping done for our meal on Sunday and hopefully as much of the house cleaning as we can possibly do before we head to Arkansas…just forward thinking and don’t want the few hours when we return to be spent frantically cleaning and shopping and cooking. I want to enjoy the family time and the vacation and I want Mark to enjoy it too.

I also want to be able to cut away for a few hours hopefully Saturday after we get back and see out of towners who are here. So…that’s my plan.

Tonight is Christmas Adam with the Pseudo Family. It is one of my most favorite, treasured traditions. To say that I’m excited to spend some time with this chosen family, is the understatement of the year.

So happy Christmas Adam to you all. I’m up and throwing on clothes and getting ready to hit the ground somewhat running.

Here’s a favorite for you today…I can’t wait to watch this with my family this week.

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