...to one year!

and now making his debut in 2008... it's the top-tier himself. my gratitude to the french confection for the preparations and to my grandmother for storing this in her deep freezer for a year. Grandma, I have to admit, I wouldn't have been at all surprised if there had been a little chunk missing. It would have been quite tempting with a growling tummy during a 2 a.m. fridge raid.

After pulling it out of its 'storage', I half expected it to have a hint of the frozen corn, peas, and jams it was sharing a space with. But to my surprise, it preserved oh-so-well.

It is a little weird to bite into something and think... Hmm, this is a YEAR old. Who thought of this splendid tradition? seems like a little 19th century Fear Factor to me.

trying to fake me out.

oh yeah, he likes it.

so, this is what he did for the next 10 days to finish the whole tier off. that last layer serves a LOT of guests, or Aarons.


retail therapy.

Can you lust after a handbag?
warning: superficial display of affection.

What's funny... if I could have predicted such unrestrained infatuation... I would have assumed these feelings would have been for something much nicer, like maybe a rust colored vintage-style Hobo. But, no, crazy peacock feathers have me under their spell. I think I like the little colorful 'whimsy' that I can add to my seemingly 'professional' [ahem...drab...by comparison anyway] clinic wardrobe that I seem to be compiling. [product detail] ...oh, how I miss this store. their whole website will have you drooling. over drawer pulls and doorknobs. Although there are much larger problems in the world, and even my world, all I can wonder is why the nearest Anthropologie is back in Texas? At least you guys have one in Tennesee now. You know, so you can shop for me. ;)


priced to move.

Did you know that bras are a hot item at a yard sale? yeah, me either.
And, T-shirts too, no matter their condition. I think I sold every single one. [I ended up taking a few off the table, and decided I'd like to make, or have made, one of these t-shirt quilts for my collection of 'sentimental' shirts from college that I don't wear anymore. what a neat idea, right?]
Many lessons learned. We've started a tradition, it seems, with Aaron's family...a mid-summer yard sale in his hometown to pull out some extra cash for...oh, i don't know, a trip, a student loan, or simply gas $ for a wedding coming up in two weeks (yay!). There were several families that pooled their 'treasures' together, and we had it right 'in town'.

we had a pretty big set-up. yes, they are a lot of work. but really, they're pretty fun too. especially in a small town.

rockin' the casbah.

it was nearly 100 degrees that day, & these two little cuties got in on the sales, whipping up some ice cold lemonade.

Sophie and Keilee cranking the homemade ice cream.

At last year's sale we raked in nearly 400$ as we sold off our 'duplicates', merging two stocked apartments into one little love nest. This year, Aaron & I didn't have as many 'big ticket items', but little by little we ended up with $180. It pays not to packrat. I even scrounged through some of our stuff we don't use, & I ebay-ed a few items this week & made an extra 300$! see, I'm trying to earn my keep in some way. every little bit definitely counts. I feel like I should freeze-frame and explain my latest Zack Morris make-money-fast scheme. Next week, tune in as I start an all girl dance group and Aaron heads to the local cable-access station to sell his homemade spaghetti sauce. Oh yeah, does anyone want to buy a class ring?


where the waving wheat can sure smell sweet.

well I do declare, [in my most southern accent] that I never intended to leave you for this long, my dear. but I must say - mon petit frère, Logan, came in to town for a week, and we were just having too much fun.

Boy, can we pack some adventure into one week? I think so. It's funny how someone coming to visit will get you out of your normal routine [i.e. off your lazy bum] and allow you to explore your little city. Allow me to summarize our week o' fun with our featured guest...Foo Fighters concert. Frontier City amusement park. The Dark Knight. Guthrie's wakeboarding park. Redhawks baseball game. Swimming at the pool. Take-your-brother-in-law-to-the-lab day. Bible Study @ corey + kara's. Shopping. Museum of Natural History. Rock climbing. Test driving cars. OKC Zoo. not to mention lots of games and great cuisine. I'm exhausted, and I have calloused hands from the climbing. I think Logan drove home happy today...but sore and worn out just the same.

I've complained many times about the situation with my job at the Children's Hospital [long update to come on that one...], but I really enjoyed being able to 'unexpectedly' spend time with all our guests this summer.

[this is the part where I bow, twirl my hand in front of me, and step graciously to the side...]
Foo Fighters take the stage at the Ford Center.
Originally, their tour brought them to OKC back in January - and for disgusting details that they didn't hesitate to share with us, they had to reschedule. Because of juggling the dates around, they offered up an incredibly long (and awesome) show in efforts to reconcile with the fans.
they, of course, delivered.
Hitting up the roller coasters at Frontier City with Melody & Brian.
They even opened up a new ride 'The Steel Lasso' - which we believe we were on some of the inaugural runs. The 'user manual' was even still out on the control board.
Very classic-oklahoma. Saturday the boys hit up the wakeboarding park in Guthrie. Pretty neat design, I'd never heard of this. It's basically wakeboarding, but without the boat. It's a manmade lake with lots of ramps and jumps, & a cable system to pull you around.
Logan made it all the way around, but Aaron hadn't ever tried it before and had a little trouble getting started. They still had a blast, but their bodies paid dearly. I decided to just be the photographer for the day, I'm not exactly a water-athlete.
a short drive down historic route 66 - a stop at Pop's and the Round Barn
Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds. We got the 'all-you-can-eat-seats'. So, yes, Aaron and Logan waddled out of the stadium feeling a little queasy from all the free hot dogs, cotton candy, soda, popcorn, peanuts, and nachos. Gotta get your money's worth, right? With all they consumed, they definitely made money on the deal. When Logan comes to town, sushi Neko is definitely on the menu. They even got the gross little octupus ones with the suction cup thingys still attached. One afternoon brought us down to Norman for a little Freebirds, some little sidewalk shops, and a stop at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. I was quite impressed with all they had there, worth the short drive south. and, the Pièce de résistance... our first climbing experience at Rocktown. They actually converted an old grain bin into an elaborate rock climbing facility. There are a number of different 'rooms'...or individual silos with crazy courses, some even up to the roof. Here's me on our first run. We definitely tried to keep it on the one- and two-star level for our first time. Amazingly, they bring you in, you sign injury waiver - both physical and emotional (Hey! you suck!) - and give you a 5-minute safety prep -- then it's off you go to climb several stories in the air with only each other! I expected someone 'professional' to be belaying me (that's controlling the rope that could save my life should I slip) ...but, no, it's just me and Logan, two greenies without a clue, off to try out this new sport. We both had a few trust issues. At first, I was thinking...I will never do this again. Logan slipped once, but he was just a few feet off the ground...there was still some slack in the line and he fell back. That definitely shook our confidence for a few rounds, but by the end of the day we were both enjoying it & decided we would definitely give it another chance sometime.
Next we tried the outside course, and both made it to the top. I love this shot of Logan up on the wall. I never have been afraid of heights, but gee whiz... 'don't look down'. I couldn't imagine doing one that goes up to the roof. Aaron didn't climb with us that day. He could barely lift anything at all, especially his own body weight, after wakeboarding last weekend - and trying to pull himself up over and over. At first, I felt bad that Logan had to be stuck with me, and wished Aaron could partner up for his sake. But, I felt like I got my "belay on" by the end of it... and, Aaron's happy too. Because now he knows I'll go back.
Last but not least, we learned that Wednesdays are 75 cent day at the zoo. So, me and these two yahoos monkeyed around for a few hours checking out all our favorite little creatures.

Here's the complete package for you.

Logan, thanks for making Oklahoma City a stop along your little road trip this summer. We were delighted to have you.

I wonder if this is confusing to upcoming potential freshmen ?


Le weekend à stillwater.

I've spent the last half hour perusing the lifechurch.tv website. Aaron's brother, Cody, is the college pastor of LifeChurch in Stillwater - definitely a college town, thanks to OSU of course. Miraculous forces of the universe were aligned this weekend and we actually were able to get both our schedules synchronized long enough to go visit Cody & Sarah in Stillwater, OK this weekend. They were lovely hosts [& cooks!] and lovely playmates...we had quite the "field day" playing yard games. It was fun to catch up, relax, & spend a little time in their neck of the woods. [Anecdotal-ly, it's not everywhere that you can forget your very large purse sitting next to a bench on a town sidewalk only to return to find it untouched, exactly where you left it.]
We also really enjoyed getting to see the church where Cody works. I'd heard a lot about lifechurch, but I had never actually been to one. I say, 'been to one', because they have many campuses spread out, mostly in oklahoma - but, I read they even just started one in hendersonville, tennessee. Satellite broadcasts connect each campus so that essentially several churches are joined in worship. It's such a unique vision, I suppose you should check out the website. As someone who's just been once, I'm not exactly qualified to give you their full bio. They also have an internet campus, which I'd been reading about, so I suppose...it's even reaching others and connecting believers from around the world. I really like that, because LC is very technology-forward, their messages/sermons from all campuses are available for download. We were there last night for part of their summer series "At the Movies". I was blown away when I walked in the building - 'Back to the Future' was the theme for the lobby. We stepped right into Hill Valley itself. There was a movie theatre, lou's cafe, the famous 'clocktower', a filling station...even a flux capacitor. The only thing missing was Marty McFly himself. They both worked really hard on it. [Sarah said that absolutely nothing in this photo is usually there in the lobby. wild.]

<"At the Movies", a message series where we screen today's blockbuster hits in a way that will impact you like never before. > This is a huge outreach for their church, just another unique way of involving the community and using a familiar medium to change lives...


go ahead.

I'm an easy person to get to say... "that made my day." but, I truly mean it each time.

that said, three things yesterday earned my excited-stamp-of-approval. mine, maybe not yours. but, how could I not share these day-making new finds?

First off. Pops 66. It's this modern...space-age...yet, throw-back to celebrating the fizzy goodness that is soda pop. It's actually just a gas station... with a window of rainbow bottles to lure in travelers from the pump. The giant 66-foot soda bottle out front also makes it a little irresistable not to peek in and check out what's going on in there. The name's Pops "66" and it's a "66" foot soda because it's located along historical route "66"...did I lose you on that one? Well, with over thousands of different flavors to choose from... you can only imagine what was so magical that got my attention. You guessed it, Dublin Dr. Pepper. [some of you are rolling your eyes that I gave a carbonated beverage such an intro... others of you are so not surprised. and to my fellow okc-er's, you know you're just a little excited.] Maybe we'll have another post one day, an 'ode' if you will, on the goodness that is a soda made with real cane sugar...and the history of dr. pepper. and the 10-2-4 method. and how the fact that Dr. pepper was invented in Waco, Texas was an eerie nod that I was to go to Baylor. ok, not really. but...maybe?

Ok, item number 2 on the list. [men should probably skip this.]
There are plenty of fashion websites & magazines that advertise... you know, "Great knock-offs"...or "Splurge v. Steal"... They always offer the affordable alternatives to these pricey designer clothes, shoes, handbags. I've always found that the Splurge is a hermes silk scarf for $300 or a chanel handbag for $1,500...and the steal is a $150 scarf with a $300 purse from Macy's...
Ok, what normal person considers that bargain shopping? Well, this website:
I absolutely love. She follows the sales for you, and actually makes me interested in on-line shopping. Their real-life ideas are $20 flowery sundresses and $14 gladiator sandals... Go check it out, some more foot traffic may make her post even more often.

And, last. I shouldn't tell you that I fell over on the couch with excitement. No, I shouldn't tell you that. Because it's about a television show. and that would be lame and embarassing, right? It's no secret over here that since a few years back when my cousin was on the show, I haven't missed a season of Big Brother. Did I say season? Thanks to TiVo, I doubt I've missed an episode. Well, we're getting a double dose this year folks... that's right, season 9 ended in April [none to soon I might add...many a nights I pondered: thesis or head-of-household competition?]...and it's back again this summer. ...Starting Sunday 8/7c on CBS. Look out.

wow, this was a really silly post.


make new friends, but ke-ep the o-ld...

We love visitors.

This week, we had three. Hannah, Jonathan, & their adorable pomeranian pup, Scout.
Entertaining an out-of-towner in OKC for several days might be problematic for some, but our lovely guests made it quite easy and loads of fun!
Of course, we checked out the tourist front-runners...the OKC bombing memorial and Bricktown. We even got to ride the canal boats, something us 'okies' have never actually done. We hit up Cattleman's for world- and presidentially-famous steaks...and 'lamb fries'. [which are lamb testicles, in case you've gone your whole life without knowing people ate such. and yes, Jonathan made sure and have our waitress explain to us what we were eating.] We also 'found-the-fun' at the oklahoma city zoo, lounged by the pool, and hung out at our place - cooking, watching movies, and mastering the Wii. For the fourth, we packed up a picnic lunch and headed south to Turner Falls. ...and, we'll have to go back, because the park was 'closed'...due to overcrowding. So, our handy little GPS led us over to Chickasaw National Park, just a few miles away - known for it's hiking trails, cool water, and numerous natural springs. That night we caught UCO's legendary firewords display, which was unbelievable... CNN even ranked it one of the top 10 shows in the U.S.! For the fifth, we headed out to the Chaloner's house for a little more fun outside the city limits. The four of us went out to Red Rock Canyon during the day...later, we grilled out, played volleyball, rode scooters, shot off fireworks, and made s'mores around the fire... a very norman rockwell portrait of America's birthday if I do say so myself.
at the Bombing Memorial
Before our bricktown canal boat ride. Now we have all these useless facts and lame jokes about downtown oklahoma city. no seriously, it was just what I was hoping for.

'twas a sunset cruise...

We kept Hannah & Jonathan in the heat when they were here,
Thursday's trip to the Oklahoma City Zoo.

visiting lion country.

the chilly waters of Chickasaw natural springs.

all four of us after a little hike up to Buffalo springs.

now, at antelope springs. Lots of wildlife here, apparently.

enjoying the fireworks on the fourth.

This is the 'before' Scout. He didn't enjoy the loud noises so much.

Headed up the 'indian steps' in Red Rock Canyon, right in Aaron's hometown.

Red Rock Canyon.

...all eleven of us hit the court, I can't even remember which team won. Jonathan was definitely MVP. ...and I, should really learn how to play.

Hannah & I headed out for a scooter ride. [I ran over a live snake!]

And, of course, with Hannah & I together - you know this visit was well documented - all pictures here.

Everyone's always saying to eachother "Come and see us...." and I love that Hannah & Jonathan actually did! & spent some of their vacation time to come visit us in lil' ole Oklahoma. We had such a blast getting to hang out with you guys!

Who's next? :)