Category Archives: Etc.

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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T-minus 25ish Months: 30 Under 30 Update

Here’s what I’ve accomplished since I last posted about my 30 Under 30 List:

(2) Tried 6 new recipes:

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole by SkinnyTaste.com

Love the Tuna Noodle Casserole. A little labor-intensive, but not terrible. The recipe says it makes 6 servings for a WW Pts + value of 8, but I split mine into two 8 x 8 foil pans so I’d have 8 servings at 6 pts+. I also gave a pan to my sister because there is no way I could eat 8 servings of Tuna Noodle Casserole in a week no matter how much I loved it. But seriously, delicious. And it doesn’t call for canned soup so I think it is much more wholesome and flavorful than a lot of similar casseroles.

Slow Cooker Potato and Bacon Chowder

I liked this soup but for some inexplicable reason didn’t eat much of it. Perhaps it was the oregano — not my favorite spice. The texture was really good for a healthy-ish potato based soup though. It felt really hearty which I always appreciate.

Chicken Ropa Vieja from SkinnyTaste.com

Mrs. B and I enjoyed this piled on to taco salad. Really easy to make but it is a lot liquid-ier than I expected. I would not put in all of the “reserved broth” it calls for if you want something less soupy, which is what I prefer for a taco salad topping.

Slow Cooker Angel Chicken

This recipe has been blowing up Pinterest lately but sadly, I was less than impressed. I wanted the sauce to be thicker, which I’m sure could have been achieved with cornstarch or a roux but that would have increased the WW pts + value and I wasn’t up for that. I didn’t end up eating all of this, which is pretty unlike me. I don’t think I’ll be making it again.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries by The Pioneer Woman

I saw the Pioneer Woman make these Brussels Sprouts, which are totally my favorite food, on her Christmas special on the Food Network. I knew we had to have them as part of our Christmas dinner, which unconventionally for us featured Cornish game hens (I’m a fan!). The B-Sprouts were easy to make and really similar to how I usually prepare mine. They turned out really well and my mom told me that she and my dad ate all of the leftovers, which was a serious shock.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip by Jamie Cooks It Up!

I made this dip for a Christmas snack at the recommendation of Miss PoliSci and it was a HUGE hit. I didn’t de-seed the jalapeno so it was really spicy but that’s how we roll chez moi. Seriously, it’s awesome. Make it. Stat.

(8) Serve at church — I’m attending an orientation for this on Saturday night. My lovely sister’s nagging finally wore me down. =)

(12) I’ve accomplished hanging curtains and getting a night stand — my sister found an awesome reclaimed wood one and gave it to me for Christmas. Total win.

(29) Read (actually listened to on my iPod via audible.com) 8th Confession by James Patterson.

I used to be a huge fan of Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series but the last couple of books have disappointed. The story line about the hermaphrodite was just too outlandish and didn’t contribute to the story at all. Not a bad listen, but not on my recommended reads list either.

In-progress: Game of Thrones, Dragonfly in Amber, and Cutting for Stone.

Have you crossed anything off your to-do list lately?

* Click on photos for credits/links to recipes.

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Well hello, long lost love…

Oh, my dear, sweet, sweet blog. How I’ve missed you. I miss writing. I miss sharing. I miss the sense of community I get from blogging and reading the blogs of others — I can’t keep up with my google reader these days and it makes me sad panda.

Honestly, I don’t know why I’ve stopped blogging since I moved. Sure, the demands of my job have changed and I have become more focused, but I wouldn’t say that I’m actually any busier than I was in Tulsa. In fact, I have far less to do on a day-to-day basis without my book clubs and kickball and all of my previous Kappa Delta responsibilities. Part of me feels like I haven’t been writing because writing things makes them more real for me and there are things in my life that I don’t want to be real — like the dull ache in my heart of missing home. Maybe I haven’t written because I haven’t had anything to say that isn’t whining. Maybe I haven’t written because somehow in moving you lose part of yourself and then reincarnate into something else in a new place and this new self hasn’t found her voice yet. Maybe I haven’t written because I feel like I say the same.exact.things.over.and.over.and.over. And no one wants to hear them anymore. I’m really not sure what brought on the writer’s block but I am determined to shake it off in 2012. After all, I’ve boldly declared that #2012ismyyear. (All credit owed to Miss PR for inspiring my 2012 mantra/hashtag.)

Last January I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t really set any concrete goals. I merely said that in 2011 I would focus on my health. You may or may not be surprised to hear that that was a flop. And I probably shouldn’t be shocked by that — I am a girl who likes lists and checks marks and stickers and crossing things off. I love to accomplish things — even if that accomplishment is merely crossing “make bed” off my daily to do list. If I write something down, I am 87% more likely to actually do it. (You know I completely made that percentage up, right?) So I made goals in 2012. And I plan to write them on a poster board and hang them in my room and cross them off. That has to be how I get it done. But I also feel like sharing them here can’t hurt. So in 2012, here’s the game plan:

1. Stop being a bitch. (This one probably requires some explanation…I’ll get to it, promise.)

2. Get to ONEderland.

3. Visit NYC with Miss Dubs in celebration of her graduation from nursing school.

4. See Mrs. Preppy’s precious baby at least 6 times.

5. Save $5,000.00 towards a down payment on a new car.

6. Visit Napa for Miss Runner’s Dirty Thirty.

7. Run four 5ks. –> This year is about getting to a pace I feel good about before I start reconsidering distance running.

8. Pay off one small debt.

9. See my college roommate’s soon-to-arrive baby boy at least six times.

10. Start a Kappa Delta Supper Club with Miss Dubs.

11. Visit Las Vegas for Miss Agnes’s big 3-0.

12. Read 30 books.

13. Head south to hang out with Miss K2 in her new town.

14. Serve at church — I started this process today!

15. Blog x 2/week.

16. Go to a Thunder basketball game.

17. Buy OSU season football tickets.

18. Replace headliner in my car.

19. Wash and vacuum car once a month.

20. Visit Mrs. Bookworm (and Mr. BW) in Chicago.

The two things I’ve thought a lot about in relation to my goals are being a better friend and being a better steward. I spent the last six months completely absorbed in myself — my new job, my move, my new town, me, me me. I let people I care about deeply slide into the background. That’s not the kind of friend I am so this year I will make the effort to see my friends (and their little ones!) more. To be the one who makes the catch-up calls and plans to visit. God has given me more friends than I could ever deserve and I need to treat those relationships with the reverence they deserve. In terms of stewardship, I want to take better care of the resources I have been given. I want to take better care of my clothes and my car and my money. I think it’s part of growing up and I think God has put it on my heart this winter.

Obviously, I will also be focused on my health – as the overweight perpetually are. But I think discussion of that mission is another post for another day.

It feels good to be back. I hope you’ll have me!

PS – Feel free to ask me about my goals any time! I need the accountability! What are your goals/to-dos/resolutions for the new year?

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Life List/30 Under 30: Update

I’m contemplating changing my Life List to a 30 Under 30 Project just to give myself greater accountability. 30 Under 30 is pretty much what it sounds like — a list of 30 things to accomplish before I turn 30. I’ve got a little less than 30 months until I turn 30 and I think it would be a great project for me to accomplish 30 goals by then. I won’t be able to move everything from the Life List over to the 30 Under 30 project (there is no way I’ll get in that much international travel any time soon!) but some of the goals can co-exist. Here are a couple of things I’ve managed to cross of the Life List lately (that I’ve been completely negligent about blogging about!):

1. Attend an opera. I saw Don Gionvanni in February at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. It was in Italian. (Duh). There were subtitles. While I was incredibly impressed with the mad vocal skills of the performers, I can’t say I was converted to a life-long opera patron.

2. Renters Insurance. After my horrible bike theft experience last summer, you would have thought I would have been on the renters insurance train asap. But I am tool and I never got it in Tulsa. After moving to OKC and discovering that Mrs. Preppy’s hubby could help me get a policy, I took care of business. Seriously, it was so much easier to do dealing with someone who I know. So now my belongings are covered, which is good considering I’ve been borrowing my sister’s bike for quite some time.

3. Read The Help. I did this in like January or February! I can’t believe I never blogged about it. I listened to the book on my iPod and thought it was absolutely phenomenal. The characters were incredibly well-developed and the story is beautifully told. Mrs. B and I went to see the film on opening night and thought it was fantastic too. I thought the film truly honored the book, which is incredibly rare, and that it was well-cast. Bryce Dallas Howard was the perfect villain as Hilly Holbrook.

I’m really happy that I crossed several things off of the Life List (without even really realizing it). Now, for my 30 under 30:

1. Make macaroni and cheese from scratch.

2. Try 50 new recipes. (0/50)

3. Read the Bible cover-to-cover.

4. Read 10 Classic books. (0/10)

5. Buy a new (or more likely new-to-me) car.

6. Complete Couch-2-5k.

7. Buy OSU Season football tickets.

8. Serve at church.

9. Design, make and hand calligraphy address my own Christmas cards.

10. Join one OKC-based organization.

11. Go on two trips. (0/2) (This doesn’t sound like much, but the Miami trip was my first in 3 years so if I plan to go on two more before I turn 30 that will be an accomplishment!)

12. Furnish/Decorate my bedroom – Nightstand, bookshelf, paint dresser, reading chair, curtains. (0/5)

13. Go on a weekend getaway trip solo.

14. Run in 10 races. (0/10)

15. Have a quilt made out of all my old Kappa Delta t-shirts.

16. Grow my own pepper garden.

17. Take at least one tennis lesson.

18. Attend a musical.

19. Practice yoga 2x per week for 3 months.

20. Meet with a financial planner.

21. Go camping.

22. Buy a new (or new-to-me) bike to replace the one that got stolen last year.

23. Read a book written in French.

24. Host a dinner party.

25. Back – up all music and pictures onto external hard drive.

26. Print pictures and put in albums from 2008 to present.

27 . Replace my lost (super sad face) Kappa Delta badge/pin.

28. Donate/contribute volunteer to/at least one event/cause/charity per month. (1/28) (This month I donated to the WW Lose for Good Campaign and the Thomas Family Puzzle Project!)

29. Read 60 books. (0/60)

30. Reach my goal weight. I don’t know what that exact number is yet (I want to find a happy, maintainable weight), but I know I want to start my 30s feeling healthy and fit.

I’m really excited about this project and I hope I will do a much better job of blogging about it than I have been doing on my Life List lately!

Have you ever heard of a 30 under 30 list? What is/would be on yours? Do you have anything you want to accomplish before a milestone birthday or event?

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She lives!

I know you’ve probably started to worry that I’ve given up the blogosphere in the last two months, or worse, you probably thought I was abducted, and by abducted I mean I ran away with the lead guitarist of Journey a la Michaele Salahi.  Good news, I am actually alive and relatively well.  I am a little sad about the lack of Journey band members in my life, or band members in general for that matter, but alas, I promise I won’t stop believin’ that some day I will find a musician who can tolerate my tone deafness. Too much? Too much.  Anyway, I’m sure you’ll sleep much better tonight knowing that this bitch is back…to blogging that is.

So, what’s been going on lately? Basically everything. The last two and a half months have been the most overwhelming and exciting I’ve had since I finished law school/took and passed the bar exam.  I have so much to tell you that it seems impossible to start, but I’m going to try to get you all caught up on the on-goings of the big move! I feel like I should start at the beginning….

Friday, June 17th

Mrs. V sent me a g-chat (I think) telling me that one of the attorneys in her office was leaving and asking if I might be interested in the position. My immediate reaction? No. Which seems really hilarious now, but that’s what happened.  You see the job was in Oklahoma City and I am a tried-and-true Tulsa snob for life. It seemed obvious that I wouldn’t want to move to Oklahoma City.  After work I gave her a call to talk about her co-worker leaving because I knew she’d want to dish a bit and she informed me that she had emailed our law school crew (formerly known by another section-mate as “The Clicky Group”) and let them know about the opening too.  One of our friends seemed seriously interested and was planning to send Mrs. V his resume.

Saturday, June 18th

The next day I went to the lake with my parents for casino night and Father’s Day. Over dinner, I told them in passing about the job. (I feel like it is semi-relevant to mention that I had recently been rejected for a what I considered my “dream job.”)  And then seemingly out of nowhere I started talking about how scared I was that I would never be able to get a new job because I was a super average law student and I didn’t have any connections and I really wasn’t passionate about a particular area of the law. And omg, what if ten years down the line I was still doing the exact same thing?! These are the thoughts I usually push way, way down (I’m really good at burying my feelings) because when I think about them that clawing panicky feeling wraps around my neck (please someone say they know what I am talking about) and spin into a totally dark and twisty state.  My mom said there was no harm in sending Mrs. V my resume and that maybe it would be good interview experience if nothing else.  This is when the wheels really started to turn for me.

Monday, June 20th

I emailed Mrs. V and told her maybe I was more interested in the job than I initially thought and that I’d like to discuss it further. I called her after work and she gave me the real job description.  The pros, the cons, her loves and hates, what she thought I might get paid, and why she thought it would be a good move for me. I will say that there is something really refreshing and wonderful about being able to speak openly and honestly with someone who really knows you in this situation. She really didn’t sugar coat anything and I knew she would be able to accurately assess whether the position would be a good fit for me.  I told her I’d email her my resume and references in the morning…

Wednesday, June 22nd

…but I didn’t.  I got nervous. I freaked out. I loved my life in Tulsa. I had great friends, a wonderful support network, a really cute house, two book clubs, kickball, and some great sorority alumnae organizations. I was in a really good, albeit busy, place in Tulsa.  I had always envisioned a life in Tulsa.  I confided in my OKC friends Miss Dubs, Mrs. B and Miss Agnes about the position and (not surprisingly) they were fully on board.  After convincing myself that sending in my resume did not mean I was actually moving, I emailed my resume to Mrs. V around 4:15 p.m.  At 5:00 p.m., she told me she forwarded it on to her boss. Seriously, ten minutes later he emailed me and asked if I’d be able to meet him and Mrs. V for coffee the next day when they were in Tulsa for a hearing. I was completely freaked out by how quickly he responded and wanted to meet but I nervously agreed.  And then I went home and ironed. I know. My mom about died.

Thursday, June 23rd

I told everyone at work that I had a doctor’s appointment. Yes, I lied, but the notice was so short there was nothing else I could do. If I had more lead time, I would have tried to take a vacation day or something, but sometimes that’s just not how life goes. (But seriously, what is the best way to do this?) So I met Mrs. V and the Boss for coffee. For an hour and a half. And it was great. Everything they were telling me sounded like music to my ears. It wasn’t awkward at all and I really felt like they were selling me the job instead of me selling myself to them.  The Boss told me he wanted to make someone an offer by the following Wednesday and that’d he had a few more interviews to conduct.

This is when I started to get excited. I started to let the possibility of Oklahoma City creep in. I looked at gyms and lifegroups and apartments in the City. I thought about what it might be like to relocate.  I thought more and more about how much I wanted to try something new. And I thought about how scary it would be to put in my notice and leave my friends behind.

Wednesday, June 29th

The Boss sent me an email in the afternoon indicating he wanted to talk to me about the position and asking me to give him a call. Naturally, I was thrilled and terrified. I called my mom to ask if I should call immediately and to get a pep talk. She told me to close my office door and call him — what the hell. And then she told me not to accept the position immediately and say I would call him the next day, that was if he offered it to me. So I called. The Boss made me a great offer. I said yes. Immediately. After we decided on a start date for me (which would give me a week off to take my trip to Miami and then two weeks to finish things up at my then-job) I thanked him profusely and hung up to call my mom again. I remember feeling crazy excited and a little reckless and completely horrified about giving my boss my notice.  He was getting ready to be out of the office for ten days so I knew I needed to do it by the next day. My mom forwarded me a notice letter someone had recently given her to use as a model and I decided I’d come in early and give it to him the next day. By this time, the office had cleared out for the afternoon and I realized my boss and I were the only ones remaining in the office. And I got ballsy. I knew if I waited until the next day to tell him, I wouldn’t be able to sleep all night. So I printed out my letter and marched into his office and gave him the business. Okay, I didn’t do that at all, haha. But I did give him the letter, tell him I’d been offered a position in OKC that was a great opportunity for me, and I tell him I wanted to talk about my transition.  He seemed surprised but was really nice and professional about everything.

And then I started calling and texting everyone and feeling completely bubbled up with joy and fear and all of those crazy emotions you feel when you know your life just changed.

That’s how I ended up with a new job in a new town in a crazy short amount of time.  I still plan to get you all the dets on Miami (which was freakin’ fantastic!), my emotional last few weeks in Tulsa, the misery of house-hunting in OKC, how awesome I am at driving a 20-foot moving van, and making my way in a new town and a new office! So obviously there’s lots to talk about and I won’t be gone for long, promise. 😉

What’s new with you? Have you ever made a move for a job? How did you feel leaving your first big-kid job?

PS – Sorry about the super wordy, pic-less post. It probably wasn’t the most interesting thing I’ve ever written but I feel like I need to tell you how I ended up here.

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