And Then We Grew Up.

This morning I had brunch with three of my favorite people in the world. And as I looked around at them over my coffee, thinking of the hundreds of meals we have shared together over the last few years, I saw us change before my eyes. I can remember Sunday mornings (or more likely early afternoons) with the same girls, give or take other friends as well, just three short years ago — miserably hungover, sweating out last night’s last call while we chugged water, begged the waiter to bring us some toast, and post-mortem’ed the previous night’s antics. This morning we talked about Excel shortcuts, dual screen computer monitors, and  sub-par IT service. We called ourselves old and laughed, but the truth of the matter is we are different. That’s not to say we don’t still drink too much on occasion or do things that are wholly ridiculous — we absolutely do. But we are still different.

This weekend Miss PoliSci and I hosted a bridal shower for Miss H at the amazing home Miss PoliSci and her boyfriend have spent that last year lovingly remodeling. She talked of design magazines and light fixtures and granite counter tops. We joked that she finally lives in a “grown-up house” after years of lovable but well-worn rentals. It is a grown up house. It is the kind of house that will grow into a home, not just a place to bide your time while you wait for something else to happen to you.

The shower we threw for Miss H was the kind of shower I’ve always wanted to throw — the kind that my mother (bless her heart) didn’t have to help pay for because I was a poor college student/law student/baby attorney. After a relatively brief bout of panic (for me) the morning of, the shower came together really perfectly — real dishes, fresh flowers, good food, champagne, and lots of love. I felt really proud of what Miss PoliSci and I put together. I thought it felt like Miss H and it felt like us.

We used to talk about boys and clothes and other people — and yes, we still do — but I feel like we talk about them in new ways. We talk about how to communicate with our significant others, how to approach difficult topics in our relationships (romantic and otherwise), how we want to raise our kids (the ones we haven’t actually made yet), how to grow our careers and have families too, how to register for wedding china and how to diversify our 401ks. We are more secure and less petty and more kind, but just as fun, as I ever remember us being. I look around and wonder when we became these women. These smart, confident, self-possessed, powerful women. We have grown into ourselves while we weren’t looking. 

But the thing that hasn’t changed about us is our love. I have these friends, these truly amazing friends, who warm my soul. And thank God, that hasn’t changed. Because these women are the foundation of my being. Some of them I’ve known for ten years, some for less than five, some for close to twenty, and some for my entire life. These are the people who make me who I am. Who keep my inner crazy person from taking over. Who enrich my life in ways that none of us will ever truly understand.

I know it’s completely cheesy and over the top but it’s who I am when it comes to my friends. To date, they are the loves of my life. And I am so proud of us. We made friends when we were girls. And then we grew up. 

 

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UPDATE: 2012 Goals, 30 Under 30, and Being a Bad Blogger

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since my last post — which merely directed readers to go check out something I posted on a different site. Terrible. Truth be told, I used to blog at my old job. I know, not okay. At all. The good news is I don’t do it at my new job. The bad news is that it now seems I don’t blog at all. I will admit that my radio silence also has something to do with not feeling like I have anything to say. (Gasp!) But I like blogging and I like reading blogs and I want to keep getting better at blogging. So I’m back. Again. Hopefully there are still people out there who are mildly interested in what I ramble about. 

2012 Goal Progress:

1. Stop being a bitch — I haven’t consciously thought about this one in a while, but I actually think I’m doing better. (I realize I never gave the explanation I promised. I’ll add it to the to-blog-about-queue.)

2. ONEderland. I’m actually moving in this direction. Boot camp has been going really well and I am at my lowest weight since early 2011. 14 pounds down from my highest weight ever. Onward and downward my friends.

4. See Mrs. Preppy’s baby 6 times. (2/6)

7. Run 4 5ks. I’m currently signed up for two — the first one is this Saturday! 

9. See roommate’s baby boy 6 times. (1/6)

14. Serve at church. COMPLETED. I’ve been serving in the two-year-old class since January and honestly it’s been really enjoyable — crazy at times, but enjoyable.

16. Go to a Thunder basketball game. COMPLETED. Miss Dubs and I got to watch the Thunder beat the Jazz on Valentine’s Day. Free beer and great company = good times.

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20. Visit the Bookworms in Chicago. I leave for a lovely three day adventure in the Windy City exactly one month from today! And I seriously cannot wait.

30 Under 30 Update:

1. Make Macaroni and Cheese from scratch. COMPLETED! I tested out PW’s Recipe at my Lifegroup’s Easter picnic and it was a hit! 

2. Try 50 new recipes. I really haven’t been keeping very good track of this lately but I think I’ve added 8 – Macaroni and Cheese, Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, Sweet Orange Glazed Carrots, Balsamic-Garlic Encrusted Pork Tenderloin, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Mexican Stuffed Peppers, Turkey-Bean-Vegetable Chili, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes — for a total of 14/50. The Mac and Cheese was divine; the Melt in Your Mouth Chicken was easy and pretty good but reminded me that I just don’t like chicken that much; the Glazed Carrots were a fail because I over-cooked them; I ate every bite of the Balsamic-Garlic Pork — go make it! I lightened up the burrito recipes and they turned out great — still working on eating them; The Mexican Stuffed Peppers were easy and delicious; and I loved both the Turkey-Bean-Vegetable Chili and the Mashed Sweet Potatoes. (Sorry about the ones without links — they’re all from Weight Watchers Online.)

3. Read the bible cover-to-cover. I’m behind on my reading plan right now, but I have read 19% of the Bible so far. This is definitely the most progress I’ve ever made on this goal so I’m really excited about it!

10. Join one OKC-based organization. COMPLETED! Last Thursday Miss Dubs and I attended our first event as official members of the Junior League of Oklahoma City 2012-2013 Provisional Class. Whoop!

16. Grow my own pepper garden. I planted 6 types of peppers this year. Fingers crossed that at least a few bear fruit this year!

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This actually doesn't show all the peppers but you get the idea.

22. Buy a new (or new-to-me) bike to replace the one that got stolen last year. COMPLETED! I picked up my beautiful new Bianchi last week and we went on our first ride (the Red Bud Classic) this past Saturday. I am smitten. 

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What have you been up to lately? How are your 2012 goals coming?

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Guest Post: DearWendy.com

Hey friends! I am super excited to announce that I had the privilege of writing a guest post for DearWendy.com and it went live today! So head over and check out my tongue-in-cheek post: 10 Ways to Make Your Bridesmaids Never Talk to You Again.

And if you’re clicking over from DearWendy, HI! Thanks for checking out my lil-ole-blog! I’ll be back later with today and/or tomorrow with some reflections on the end of my 27th year and the beginning of my 28th! Stay tuned!

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These Are My Obsessions – Vol. VII

1. Ambre Pure Essence Oil. Have you ever wondered what heaven smells like? Well, order some and then you’ll know. Seriously, it is the most amazing perfume I have ever smelled. (h/t to my favorite H-town residing redhead for discovering it!)

2. Game of Thrones. The book, the HBO series — I love ‘em both. And I do admit it has taken me longer than it should to read it (getting up at 5am for boot camp forces me to cut off reading time much earlier than I’d like!) I’m really enjoying it. it’s like the Lord of the Rings trilogy meets World Without End swirled in with the smuttiness that only something HBO-worthy can provide.

3. Blush pink. I don’t know what it is about it but I am currently obsessed with all things blush pink. Maybe it’s because it’s so soft and romantic looking (Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!). Maybe it’s because it’s barely a color — nude with the tiniest splash of rose. I am in lurve with it.

4. Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy. I picked mine up at the recommendation of a Sephora consultant and I don’t know how I’ve lived this long without owning a cheek stain! The color is perfect for me and the stain adds a subtle dewiness that I think is awesome. Plus, it stays on SO much longer than a traditional powder blush. I am a huge fan.

5. The Voice. Adam Levine in all his tattoo’ed sexy glory, Blake Shelton’s charming drawl, and Cee Lo’s completely creepy cat = what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a bunch of tear-jerking life stories of amazing vocalists. Amazing. Only downside? Xtina. Don’t get me wrong, I think she is amazingly talented, but her personality and ridiculous cleavage on the show make me completely crazy.

Update — I ordered the cobalt blue skinny jeans from Eloquii I posted about here. I adore them. No, really. They are fantastic.

*Please disregard the poor lighting and my scary facial expression!

What have you been in to lately?

*Click on images for sources. All unlinked images personal. PS – No one is paying me to write about these products — I just think they’re awesome!

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OKC v. Tulsa – Part II

As I discussed in Part I of my OKC v. Tulsa debate, the transition from Tulsa to Oklahoma City has been a struggle for me. The good news is that I truly feel like it is getting better due in part to the following things (in addition to my job) that I’m learning to appreciate and (gasp!) even love about OKC:

1. These people:

Sister and Brother-in-Law QLC (Photo courtesy of Sister QLC)

 

The nephews on Halloween (Personal photo)

2. The Y. I have become a huge, huge fan of the Y — my lovely sister deserves all the credit for this — and I’ve even convinced Miss Dubs to get a membership too so we can sweat it out together. The Y is cheaper than my gym was in Tulsa and with a membership you have access to any Y in the OKC area! This is seriously awesome. There is a Y a few blocks from my office that I like to hit up post-work and on the weekends and I’m taking Boot Camp with my sister at the Y closest to her three mornings a week. Plus, there is a new Y by Miss Dubs where we can meet up for workouts too. I’ve never felt like it was over-crowded and it seems like there are people of all fitness levels there so it isn’t intimidating.

3. BFC. As I mentioned in Part I, Miss Agnes brought together a lovely group of women for a Christmas fete last month and we had such a wonderful time that we decided to start a monthly happy hour. So every third Thursday of the month, I get to enjoy the company of the “Best Friends Club” (I cannot take credit for the hilarious name) while sampling various OKC eateries. I feel fortunate to be part of a fun, diverse group of ladies who want to go out and do things together. I definitely think it will help me broaden my OKC network and feel more at home here.

The BFC at our Limo Light Tour (Photo courtesy of Miss Agnes)

4. My LifeGroup. I was in a LifeGroup in Tulsa and I really liked everyone in it, but I never felt really “in” if that makes any sense. I didn’t hang out with anyone in the LG outside of our regular Monday meetings and I don’t think I even had anyone’s phone number. My new LG is really active. Our leader is awesome about getting together activities outside of our meetings to fellowship with each other and with other groups. In the past few weeks this has really helped me feel more a part of my LG and like I’m developing important new friendships.

5. My closet. Trivial? Completely. But man do I love my closet! It is so big. After living for two years in what Miss H, Miss PoliSci, and I not-so-lovingly referred to as the “baby nursery” and then spending a year in “the cottage,” having a spacious abode has been incredibly nice. The thing about having a big closet is that it is truly frightening how fast you can fill it up. I also have enough space in my bedroom for the exercise bike, which I’ve never had before and I’m enjoying that too. It’s the little things right?

I know that it is going to take time for me to feel like OKC is my home and that’s okay. I also know that I need to put more effort into finding people and places I enjoy here. I think the first few months were kind of a mourning and adjustment process and now it’s time to get down to it. Good thing my spring social calendar is filling up with lots of entertaining and OKC-centric things to do! Tulsa will always be my hometown, my first love, but OKC is my home now and it’s time for me to embrace it.

Have you ever struggled with moving to a new town? What was the hardest part for you? How’d you get past it?

 

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OKC v. Tulsa – Part I

T-shirt from Must Stash Tulsa. I may or may not have bought this on Saturday. (If you can't tell, this shows all the counties in the state of Oklahoma. Instead of reading "Tulsa," Tulsa County is titled "HOME."

 

I am a Tulsa girl. Through and through and through. I love my hometown — the neighborhoods and the restaurants and the people who are important to me who live there. It was always my intention to live in Tulsa after I graduated from law school. I wanted to be close to my family and friends in a city I really like to live in. Maybe that makes me a baby or means I lack a sense of adventure and if it does, then I’m okay with that. When my current job opportunity presented itself this past June, I immediately shot it down because I did not want to move to Oklahoma City. After careful consideration, I packed my bags and headed west.

From a career standpoint, this has been a really good move for me. From a social/emotional standpoint, I won’t lie, it’s been difficult. While I enjoy all of the friends I do have in the Oklahoma City area (which is a freaking huge area), the dynamic is completely different from the groups I was friends with in Tulsa. I also don’t enjoy the time it takes to get places or the sub-par gas station and grocery store options. Recently, I was at happy hour with a new group of girls (full credit to Miss Agnes for uniting this fun group of ladies) and I half-jokingly mentioned something re my quest-to-stop-hating-OKC. I definitely wasn’t expecting the fiery responses I got to that statement. I felt a little bit attacked but I don’t necessarily think that was anyone’s intention. I understand that most of the girls at the table really love OKC and I admit I should have been more sensitive to that, but I also feel like their response to my feelings wasn’t quite fair either. I didn’t say that they shouldn’t like OKC or that they should agree with me that Tulsa is superior. I just meant that right now I’m not in love with OKC. Not even close. But, I am working on it. I really am. And going to monthly happy hour with that group is absolutely a part of me starting to feel better about Oklahoma City.

I felt like after that experience that I need to purge my conflicting feelings about the two cities — enter this blog post. Without further ado, here are the things I miss the most about Tulsa:

1. These people (photo not inclusive of every one I miss):

Personal photo.

Fortunately for me, I get to see most of them every month or so, but I still miss them terribly. I feel like every time I go to Tulsa for a visit, I laugh harder than I’ve laughed since I moved. I love that feeling but it’s really bittersweet at the same time. I miss laughing that hard on a regular basis. [Miss Dubs, I’m SO ready to live with you so we can laugh like that, even if it will be mostly laughing at my general ridiculousness.]

2. Quik Trip. I know this seems completely silly, but Quik Trip is by far and away the most superior gas station I’ve ever had the privilege of patronizing. And seriously, in Tulsa, there is a Quik Trip every mile, at least. It’s clean and conveniently located and come on, no one does 2 for $2 Taquitos like QT.

3. Reasor’s. I never thought I would miss a grocery store, but alas, I am old, nerdy, and set in my ways. I find the grocery store selection in OKC to be disappointing at best. The closest grocery stores to me are a Wal-mart Grocery store and a very frightening Homeland. The Wal-mart isn’t that bad but it doesn’t carry a lot of food I like — ex: arugula, Brussels sprouts, a decent selection of turkey products. I do most of my shopping at Super Target, but it is far from convenient for me and I’m more apt to overspend at Target. I have heard of the mythical Crest but I’ve never seen one in real life. OKC does have Whole Foods and Sunflower Market, both of which I like, but neither of which I can afford to grocery shop at for anything more than specialty items.

4. Being able to get anywhere I wanted to go within 12 to 15 minutes. Sometimes less than 10. Church. My parents’ house. Work. The gym. Target. Downtown. Utica Square. The BOK center. Sushi, Indian, Thai, or Mexican. I have been seriously spoiled by the midtown bubble I inhabited in t-town. Oklahoma City is spread out. Big time. I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult to get anywhere but it takes a lot longer. I worry about falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from paying a visit to Miss Dubs. Pretty much everyone I cared about in Tulsa lived between 41st Street and 11th Street (with the exception of Miss Runner) and it was really, really nice.

5. Feeling confident. This seems silly but I think some of my confidence has been affected by this move. In Tulsa, I knew where to go and where not to go. I knew (or my friends did) what was happening around town. I probably ran into someone I knew almost everywhere I went. I liked that Tulsa was a small town to me. I felt comfortable and happy. I never walked into the White Owl and felt that sense of anxiety that comes with not really knowing where you are or where to go or what to order. I feel clumsy and out-of-place here. I know that is something that is just going to take some time but it still sucks right now.

Are any of these things a huge deal? Probably not. But sometimes, when I’m feeling lonely and emotional [i.e. frequently], these little things feel huge to me because that’s who I am. I had a life in Tulsa and I don’t have one in OKC . . . yet.

Stayed tuned for Part II, bringing you the things I appreciate about OKC!

*Click on images for sources.

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These Are My Obsessions – Vol. VI

1. High-waisted, vintage/retro swimsuits. Maybe. I really like the one  below from Mod Cloth but I’m not sure how it would look in reality. I’m concerned about the long-butt-effect. I’d like to try one on but it seems like they are most widely available online….hmm….

Bathing Beauty Two-Piece via Mod Cloth -- I'd prefer the black.

This is the dress I bought for the gala. LOVED IT! (Pic from Pinterest because it is no longer available from eShakti)

2. eShakti. eShakti is an amazing online clothing boutique offering sizes 0-26W with CUSTOM SIZING. You heard me. Custom sizing. After first hearing about eShakti while reading What the Frock?, I ordered a dress for a formal work-related event. You can order any item in a standard size or pay an extra $10 (I think, it may be less than $10) for the item to be custom-sized based on your measurements. Plus, when you sign up/register for a log-in, they send you a $20 credit for your next purchase. The dress I ordered was high quality (fully-lined, with pockets) and fit better than anything I’ve bought off the rack in years. You even can include your height and the height of the shoes you plan to wear so your dress is the perfect length!

3. My Erin Condren planner. One of my co-workers turned me on to Erin Condren and I fell madly in love. I ordered a 2012 planner for myself and one for my sister for her birthday. It’s colorful and fun and has plenty of room to accommodate my obsessive list-making ways. She sells tons of cute stationary and labels and all kinds of other personalized goodies.

Erin Condren Planner - I had mine done in custom orange.

4. Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans. You have no idea how much I want these jeans. They look so comfortable and effortlessly broken in and shock of all shocks, Old Navy actually got the wash right for once! Completely love them. Unfortunately, my Old Navy was out of my size. And they’re out of my size online. Someone please buy a pair and tell me that they are as awesome on as I imagine them to be.

Old Navy Women's Boyfriend Jeans in Dusk

5. I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston Pandora Station. Seriously, make one. You won’t regret. It’s my go to Friday jam session. Whitney, Michael, Janet, Journey – I love it all.

* Click on images for sources.

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