Who Tells Your Story

I’m about 48 hours out from USAO Homecoming 2016 and I have to say, my body still aches a bit from the laughter. This one was a true reunion  in that for the first time, I was on that campus that I love so well with my people.

It was a coming together for many of us almost 20 years in the making, I think it’s been 17 years since I’ve seen Greg in real life. Joe I have seen in the last 10 years.  We all connect on social media but this was honest to god, facebookless, real life face to face connection.

We were a Bruce Springsteen song.

In fact at one point in the first night at the shitty little bar at the former Best Western, I’m pretty sure I put a $20 in the juke box and we heard some Bruce.

Who the hell can remember. one two three not me.

Memories flowed as fast as the booze. We told stories, sad ones, funny ones, hopeful ones. We remembered what the other forgot. We filled in the blanks. I met new loves of my old friends and they turned into instant friends. I reconnected with the guys who I only knew because of the ex-husband I followed to that campus. I reconnected with the girls who were the cool girls, the pretty girls, the ones I always wanted to know.

I got to induct my friend Joe into the alumni hall of fame.

I got to eat brunch at the fanciest house I’ve ever been in. . . bigger than the Blue Banana…that kind of house.

On top of all of that, I got to serve alongside my fellow board members who I genuinely care about and love spending time with. Homecoming isn’t for sissies. It. Is. Exhausting. This board is engaged and we do some work. We also have a large time while we do it.

The hangovers were spectacular. The laughter was even better.

As I drove home, Chickasha in the rear view, the smell of honky tonk karaoke and “just one more” still in my hair, I was listening to Hamilton.

and while No one should be surprised by that…these lines kept ringing in my heart:

Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control:

Who lives
Who dies
Who tells your story?

As I sat around the table that final night, having heard how my friend quit drinking vats of vodka because he became a husband and a dad, how he doesn’t miss one ballgame of his kid’s, as I listened to how two gorgeous souls found each other as they walked out of the fire and ash, as I was reminded why Etch is called Etch, laughing as we had shots that HEYWAITTHATDIDNTSUCK…I thought how grateful I am that these are the ones who will tell that story. (if we can remember the damn thing)

So many stories. Mine. His. Hers. All different.

But for a few days…connected.

One story.

And holy hell did we tell it.

My liver hurts. My kidneys are pissed.

But oh man is my heart full.


GO VOTE tomorrow ya’ll.

History has it’s eyes on you.

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It’s that Feckin’ Mercury in Retrograde Again!

Apparently Mercury is in Retrograde again.

This has become the equivalent of a week of crazy PMS only to see what has been causing the crazy and the dawning in your mind of Ohhhhhhhhhh. Well now it all makes sense!

I’m not sure how long this bitch has been retrograding but this vacation was perfectly timed.

I am weary of being surrounded by negative energy, shitty communication and just general all around funk. Work has the usual stresses that just comes with this time of year. Budgeting. No money because: non-profit in Oklahoma.  Audit. But this year it has been soul-sucking.  And whatever it is…is just pounding on every single person up there. It’s hard. For everyone.

And apparently Mercury isn’t helping, for fecks sake.

My hope is that this long weekend will refuel all of us.  I know this time away will do some healing good for my soul. Isn’t that the way the Universe works though? The hours leading up to refreshment will just suck you dry. Cosmically designed to make us appreciate what we have in all forms.

Sitting by the fire, conversations with friends, getting time away with my husband. That man grounds me and talks me off the ledge with such grace it’s like his super power. We have plans for this life and talking about them makes me excited. Being away from the things of man. That excites me.

I’ve turned off my work phone. I will have mine on, for emergencies and photos but my goal is to stay away from the internets once we get to the mountains. I’ve got some books to read. Some podcasts to listen to. Some music to enjoy.

This time tomorrow I’ll be surrounded by a national forest and will need long sleeves.

Take THAT Mercury!



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That was TODAY???

The past few weeks have been frenetic. There have been networking events, celebrations, promotions for a major work event, juggling a bunch of different work styles and trying to keep ahead of the game, Mom’s knee surgery, a trip to see her, and the fall out from the last week with anxiety rearing it’s ugly head. Oh and the menopause and rage and stabby hormones.

Ya’ll I straight up forgot about a board meeting yesterday at my alma mater. I could have sworn it was next week. Or today. But never did I think it was yesterday. Not once. Just a blank page of nothing in terms of my memory and figuring out what goes where.

I said more than once yesterday, that I’ve got to get centered. I’ve got to slow it down and get focused and get to the point where I’m living this life vs. this life living me. It’s bonkers.

I know it’s a combo of all the things. I’m worried about Mom. I have guilt that Taryn is shouldering it all. I’m dealing with the crazy hormones or lack thereof and I swear to gawwwwwd I could’ve stabbed people the past two weeks. Sweaty and Stabby. That’s a hateful combination and yet…that was me.


I’m in need of meditation. of some lady yoga. of some energy work. of some breathing. of some laughing. of some sweet mountain air (just a few weeks and I’ll be there)

Today I’m meal prepping. Roasting some chickpeas and planning food so that I quit going off the rails every single day with that. Sheesh.

The air is lovely. The temps are civilized and I’m taking a minute to recognize that each breath is a gift.

Happy Sunday, ya’ll.

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Road Trip Fun

Road tripping to vacation is always fun.

Last week we had music, we sang, we laughed, we made our own inside jokes, we heard You Tubes that had us doubled over weeping,

The ride home was not as fun.

We all just wanted out of the car. We had exhausted our music choices. Nothing was satisfying.

So we put on some podcasts. I introduced Maggie to Again With This: 90210 and we listened to them dissect episodes of the great Aaron Spelling genre. It’s one of my go-to podcasts.

Maggie then went on a search and found one that literally had me almost pulling off the road because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t see.

My Dad Wrote A Porno. 

Look it up.

It’s not safe for work, or children, or anyone with a hyper active adversity to anything remotely resembling 50 Shades of Grey.

It’s three people basically doing the same thing, line by line, of the book written by one of the guys’s dads.

They’re British.

It makes it so much better.

Listen to the first one and tell me you don’t gasp for air from all the laughing!

I haven’t listened to anymore because a) I feel like I need Maggs with me and b) it’s dangerous to listen and drive.


Happy Wednesday!

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Christmas Adam in July

My stomach muscles are still sore from all of the laughing that happened last week.

Between the road trip you tube playlists, to the inside El Reno jokes that we will spout off forever (#kimono), the rooftop cookies and cocktails, the shiny sparkles at Red Rocks to the general precariousness of 7 women who have never traveled together as a pack before and navigating all of that personality..let’s just say this trip was one none of us will ever forget!

We have so many stories, and our Maggie is really the Chief Storyteller of this tribe, so I have no fear that we will laugh and re-tell and laugh more with each coming year. We ate some many delicious things and the beer….lordahmercy I think we tasted ALL OF THE BEER in the state.

I mean…we tried.

Red Rocks was everything I dreamed it would be and more. I cannot wait to sit next to my husband and soak in some music and look at the skyline of Denver and just be.

I could do without anymore super long road trips for awhile.

Because we’ve all read about how my hormones are just sideways from normal and my ability do negativity and bullshit is quite low. So anyone that needs to drive straight through without stopping will need to take another car next time. I’m laughing as I type that, less anyone gets the wrong idea. I’m laughing. But I’m absolutely one hundred percent serious. Never. Again. (#AlwaysGonnaStop)

I loved this time together, I truly did. This group gets random minutes together during the year, and maybe a few collective hours on Christmas Adam every year. The gift this week was getting to have amazing conversations with women I don’t often get to see, with women I used to see on a daily basis but don’t…life takes us different places but it’s a good, soul filling thing to take the time and make the effort to be together.

I’m exhausted and my liver still aches a bit but my heart is full. It was a great week, and somewhere in Denver there is an Uber driver who is telling anyone who will listen about this group of girls he picked up after the Dolly Parton concert. He was trying to be joe cool and pulled out a cd of Dolly to show us he was hip to our tunes too.

When it proved to be a Christmas cd, which I will maintain forever that he had never listened to before, we all burst forth into song.

The look on his face sent me…literally…into a laughing tizzy. I couldn’t catch my breath. When I did, it was only to belt out some Santa Clause is Coming To Town.

The video has been posted to several of our Instagrams and Facebooks. It’s my favorite thing ever.

Christmas Adam in July was everything I ever hoped it would be.

So much love, followed by so much sleep.



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Have you heard the phrase “The best way to get over a guy is to get under another one?”

I think that’s what I’m doing in life right now.

The best way to get over Rock Camp is to pack the car with women that I adore and drive to the mountains to see Dolly Parton at Red Rocks.

The car is cleaner than it’s been in years. The oil and fluids are fresh. The windows sparkle. I’ve got clean clothes that I’ve yet to pack, some folding money, and a ticket on the party bus that will deliver us to and fro the concert.

I’m going into hydrate mode to combat any crazy altitude funk.

I did have a small little hiccup when I went to create a playlist and noticed about 90% of my music library has disappeared. But you know what? Not a big deal.

The only thing that I’m going to spend any energy worrying about today is a hashtag for our trip.

I’ll go to the park tonight to support The Depot and watch Brave Combo.

Tomorrow we ride.


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The Big M

I’ve got the menopause.

I know.

I know.

It is perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever written. And perhaps we aren’t supposed to talk about it on a platform like this or anywhere but the Red Tent, but I figure I don’t have kids so I can’t mommyblog.

I can however, menoblog.

I’ve got the menopause.

I assure you, it’s the truth.

I had bloodwork done in January after some very obvious signs that I had, in fact, contracted the menopause. It was pretty clear that something was amiss. Mostly estrogen.

The hot flashes. Sweet mother of pearl, can we talk about how much those suck? So I finally waved the white flag and went to my primary care doc and we decided to try some hormone patches.

The first week I was on those was Cousinpalooza.

I was a freakin wreck. So emotional. And turns out, it can interfere with certain alcoholic beverages. WHICH I CALL BULLSHIT ON BECAUSE CAN YOU NOT SEE THE SWEAT DROPS DROPPING FROM MY DAMN LIP???

I got really close to inappropriate levels of drunk and disorderly that week. Thank God we are family. They still love me. The newbies maybe cautious of ever hanging again, but I’ll win them over soon enough.

I wore the patches for one month solid and while the hot flashes were lessened, I felt depressed. I felt like I was going to kick start back onto the train of monthly eating and emo..OH WAIT I DID.

I know that my experience last week was one filled with emotion. But my eyes are STILL feeling like they’re coated in sandpaper from all the tears. I’m better than Sally Field at crying on command. (ok let’s be real, I was good at that prior to contracting the menopause) I just want to throw my arms up and scream.


I am not doing all of the mourning of my womanhood, I am a little freaked out that I’m 45 and this is where I am. Honestly, I’m freaked out that I’m 45. That is still weird to me but whatever. Here’s the thing:

I want to be healthy.

I want to feel normal…you know what I mean? I demand more choices than to be strapped into the PMS roller coaster, eating easy mac as if my father’s love were at the bottom of the container OR sweating like a woman praising the Lord at a Georgia tent revival. In August.

so. much. sweat. ya’ll. It is so cold in our house at night that my poor husband is wearing layers to bed.

I pulled my patch off last night and as of today, the day that I am supposed to reapply, I have not re-filled my prescription. I feel like it should’ve treated me better than it did, so I’m walking away until I can figure out what I’m going to do to get through this chapter.

So maybe you know some things? Maybe this is what menoblogging will do for me?

I’m kind of ok being one step closer to Grace & Frankie and ten steps farther away from Carrie Bradshaw & Co.

But fucking hell the sweat. I’m so G.D. stinky I can’t hug anyone without an apology.

Anyways, that’s what’s going on in the Land of Ridiculous. Feel free to throw me some advice. I’m open to all suggestions.

From the super medicated to the goonie goo goo. I’m all in. Sweaty. But in.



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I Get It Now

It was said more than once last week: The volunteers get just as much, if not more out of this week than the campers do.

I believe it.

It’s been a few days since the lights dimmed and the equipment was stored and we all said “See ya real soon!” and in the moments between the moments that were chock full of “holyhell I need to ________” came the idea of how amazing it really is to give back.

I wasn’t raised in a culture of volunteering, per se.

My parents were educators. They worked day in and day out just to make ends meet so that I could have all the voice lessons and dance lessons and dramatics that we could manage. So this wasn’t something I was raised to actively seek out. I quit Girl Scouts early on. I was involved in church, but there wasn’t any outreach involved in my youth group. (or maybe there was and I didn’t participate, I can’t remember)

But I have always had the want and the desire to help, to give. It’s the nurturer in me.

Mark and I have these conversations all the time. He has volunteered all of his life. He spent years at the Science Museum, guiding, cleaning, fixing things here and there. He was a Big Brother at one point and worked with kids in another recovery group.

I love this about him. It is this spot that he and I crossover. We have the same outlook for our life.

Last week, my first consecutive Monday-Friday I’ve ever taken off work at GS (I parse out my pto as much as possible, and this time I just said, SORRY NOT SORRY!) not once did I mourn the loss of vacation time.

It. Felt. Good.

It does, doesn’t it?

It feels good to think about something other than yourself for some consecutive hours. It feels good to worry about a project bigger than your  work problems, hangover problems, relationship problems.

When the lens turns and focuses on what you can do to create change in another life it gives not only perspective, but fuels another piece that personally I haven’t had fired up in awhile.

It feels really good, ya’ll.

You know what else feels good?

Seeing a completely different world on my social media. I have over 20 new friends, IRL and online and being able to see what they think about life, how they reflect that in that space is just so refreshing.

My world grew bigger.

My heart grew fuller.

I have a passion for empowering girls. I have a passion for supporting women. I have a passion for spreading joy and kindness.

What’s your passion?

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Thumbs Up Everybody For Rock & Roll

rcgokcAnd just like that…Rock Camp For Girls OKC is over…is finished…is behind us for another year. You can see that I’m still struggling with words to describe it.

It’s not over.

The music lives on, the experience and the love and the frustrations and the snappy comebacks and the hysterical laughing over salsa and the tears of awakening and the energy passed back and forth…that continues. It is energy. It lives on.

It’s not finished.

We learned that just because our daily schedule is different starting today, that doesn’t mean the work is finished. We must still lift each other up. We must still encourage creativity and expression in each other. We must be courageous and strong and if we cannot be that for ourselves, we must supply it for our brothers and sisters on this earth, lifting them up when they are in need. We must continue to teach our girls that they can DO ANYTHING THEY WANT TO DO.


I remember when I was young, I would go to Falls Creek for a week in the summer.

I was a young white Baptist girl in Oklahoma. That’s what we did.

I know the illusion is that girls go there to hook up with boys, but I never did. Likely because I wasn’t filled with empowerment from a week a Rock Camp, but that’s a whole other story.

I would come back filled to the brim with hope.

Hope for this world, hope for my own journey, hope for my tiny (at the time) little community of friends. I was filled with hope that by loving hard, loving freely, walking in faith that the world was good and right, that by expressing joy and kindness and generosity to those that need it I could help change this world for the better. We called it a Mountain Top High due to the location of the camp. We were filled with love and light and joy and we would come back and tell everyone about it Sunday night at church and our stories would be received by the congregation not as stories from children who ran around trying to get kisses, but from humans who understood the purpose of this thing called life.

Be kind.

Be joyous.

Love one another.

Give help when it is needed.

Receive help when it is given.


One day while I was taking a quick little break  hiding in the bathroom during band practice, (on account of it sounded a little like cats being put into a blender and I understood fully the need for nerve pills,) I thought what the hell am I doing here?

My temper is short. I don’t have anything to give these girls except for NO and STOP THAT today. I can’t teach music but I know what is happening needs guidance. They really should have someone better suited to this volunteering here.

Once that box of crap was open in my brain the parade began -fully equipped with fire batons and marching bands playing out of tune. Ugh.

And because I was taking a break  hiding in the bathroom I looked up and read some of the messages on the MY BODY IS poster on the wall.

I could see in these girl written letters the words



tall and clumsy at times but i am good.

I’m starting to like it!

and I thought, maybe I’m not here right this minute to give…but to receive. So I took a few more deep breaths and rejoined my band and Kensey our music coach had worked some magic and there was progress.

But there was also teamwork. There was collaboration even on the most micro of levels. And I could see that clearly. It was humbling and glorious.


Yesterday at our showcase Carter announced our band, The Black Roses, and I thought I might just throw up right there from the nerves. Our singer looked at me with such dread in her eyes. Pleading silently:

I will give you one go-jillion dollars and this effing glow stick if you don’t make me go up there. 

So I just turned my head and walked to the center of the pit and gave them all a thumbs up and prayed so hard: Please Let Them Do This. Please Let Them Do This. Please Let Them Do This.

I didn’t pray for them to be good, to get the notes or the tempo, I didn’t even care. I just wanted them to do it and to know that they could do it.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.–Eleanor Roosevelt

This was one of those moments. For the band. For me, their manager. For their music coach.

Breathe in.

They started the song and it was good!

Then we got to that pivotal point and our fierce little drummer (who in reality is about 432 years old in an 8 year old body) hit her sticks and counted down



Every instrument came in, the music was together, the tempo was together, our singer rocked it out

and I buckled.

Spontaneous emoting.

In one second I was recording them on my phone and in the next I was ugly-cry-snot-sobbing with a range of emotion that came from so far away it could have high fived Christmas.

I had my hand over my face so as not to scare the children,and I was soaking wet with tears and just dancing and laughing and I am one thousand percent sure that I could have been mistaken for someone having a mental breakdown. I reminded myself that PARENTS ARE WATCHING GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER and wiped my face on my Bea Arthur kimono I was wearing and tried to get my shit together.

I was still huh-uh-huh-ing when Carter announced the next band.


That was some amazing thing I saw on that stage.


And now they KNOW that they can do it.

Push through fear. I mean, that is a life skill that we ALWAYS NEED.

They met new people and formed a group and wrote a song and learned an instrument in one week.

What might they be able to do for this world?


I’ve spent most of the day in bed.

We left the house only to find food around 2pm today and then I came back and slept until 6pm.

I’ve been stalking social media, looking for posts from my fellow volunteers, looking at photos from the week, just to keep a little bit close to me, remembering and communicating with my new friends.

There is so much more to tell you. But I worked myself up into a cry writing about The Black Roses and now I need to drink-your-juice-Shelby.

I’ve looked at the world news enough to know that more bad things have happened today.

It isn’t finished.

There is still work to be done.

Continue riding the Rock Camp High, sharing love, lifting each other up, high fives all around.

Monday is a few hours away, but we are all marching towards it with an arsenal of awesome, a spirit chock full of love and we are ready to rock.

We feel happy of ourselves.

Thumbs up, everybody! For ROCK AND ROLL!

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Affirmations of Awesome and a Little Bit of Reba

I didn’t write yesterday because by the time I got home I couldn’t really type.

Holly and I gave our body image workshop and we had some amazing conversations with girls and the energy at camp was life sustaining.

I’ll say that again.

The energy at camp yesterday was LIFE SUSTAINING.

It was so much that I had to take about 20 minutes in the Reba McEntire Room of Self Reflection.

That is a real thing. IMG_2003

A volunteers only space, with white walls, a private bathroom, a fan and a comfy bed.

Reset. Recharge. Peace Out.

I don’t know why every place doesn’t have a Reba Room. Because DUH.

We moved our after camp meeting since the space was being used by the local PFLAG chapter last night. We walked around the block to Sauced and had some drinks and a meeting there.

It was one of those days that needed a few drinks afterwards.

But then I came home and I just unzipped and let it all pour out onto Mark. We sat on the porch and talked and laughed and I wept. We both wept. For this world that these girls are living in. For the beauty that they bring to it. For the strength and power that is flowing back and forth between them as they all experience brand new, scary things.

They are in a band with girls they never knew until Monday, most of them playing instruments they’ve never played until Monday, writing songs, participating in workshops, sharing safe space for emotions and conversations and NONE OF THIS HAPPENED BEFORE MONDAY YA’LL!

On the volunteer side, there is the same power and strength binding each of us together. There are high fives and hugs and affirmations and you may think it sounds like a bunch of hokey bunk but I am here to tell you right now, I don’t remember a week when I felt better about myself.

Today we were all really super tired. It was an energy hangover. I personally felt horrible until about 2pm. Just struggling. Campers were tired. Volunteers were tired. We drank so much coffee we were nauseous.

I spent more time with Reba today. Many of us did.

We have had two days of body image workshopping.

Today was a mofo. It was heavy. We were raw. Girls and volunteers alike. We stood together, in vulnerability and said to each other, to each girl

It’s OK.

You’re Beautiful. I am beautiful.

I am not a description.

I am my own body goals.

Tears streamed and tissues were passed and yet we forged on. Pushing past the uncomfortable and sharing and supporting.

As she raised her hand and said, “they called me fat” I looked into her eyes and recognized 8 year old Misti.

As she raised her hand and confessed to feeling worthless I looked into her eyes and saw 15 year old Misti.

And as she spoke of diet pills and flappy arms and feeling as if the outside was more important than the inside for so so long, I looked into her eyes and saw myself.

At 25. At 35. At 45.

I don’t know what would have changed for me, for my journey that has been riddled with body image and self esteem issues, had I gone to a camp like this. I don’t know if I would have been the girl who quit eating anything but saltines and water and Dexatrim and Phenteramene for the two weeks leading up to prom. I don’t know if I would have been stronger in the face of rejection or if I wouldn’t have wrapped my self worth in a relationship.

The past three days have been chock full of love, and awesome and support and affirmations. The week isn’t over.

So I don’t know what my story would look like had I been to Rock Camp For Girls OKC… but I do know something would have changed.

Because once you see something, you cannot unsee it.

You cannot un-hear it.

You cannot un-feel it.



You are Beautiful in every single way.

You are not a description.

You are the boss of your own body goals.

You are amazing and strong and fierce and powerful and loud and important and


You don’t even need a Reba Room to reflect on that.

*but it doesn’t hurt




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