26 December 2006

Kyle and Santa

An 18-year-old makes an idiot of himself for our holiday enjoyment.

Five Christmas celebrations later...

...we are lounging in our Midas-like wealth! Our families have spoiled us this year, and we are lovin' it! To see more of my Christmas pics, look at the album I made on my Yahoo! Photos.

We had Christmas with Jay's brothers and parents first, last Friday night. Great gifts, food, and family time! The next day was spent with Diane's extended family, who traveled to Calera from the Dallas area. The five little boys, aged three to eight, enjoyed farm life, football, and chasing Jay and Uncle Jimmy's golf balls in the pasture.

The next day, Christmas Eve, we started our morning with an unusual Bible class: the electricity was off at church, so we had an impromptu singing in the fellowship hall, where the windows shed enough light to read from our hymnals. The sunlit song service was an unexpected blessing!

That afternoon, Jay and I exchanged our gifts to one another. He surprised me with a beautiful, framed bridal portrait! I requested a framed photo of the two of us from the wedding, but he led me to believe there wasn't time to get that done before Christmas. Jay had a pretty boring Christms from me: some clothes, CDs, aftershave, etc.

That evening, we packed up more gifts and headed to my Dad's house in Pottsboro on Lake Texoma. After dinner, we unwrapped gifts--I got my Dyson!--and Dad, Kyle, Amanda, and Jay played some Hold 'Em. Kyle was losing, so he entertained himself and us by dancing and singing with Dad's five-foot Santa Claus. I'm doing my best to post the video clip of this hilarious show.

After Dad's, we headed out to Coleman to get in our Christmas p.j.'s and take some pictures. I don't have any of these, but Mom got us all OU pajama pants, except Ty, who got a Mr. Incredible outfit. Christmas morning was a bit unusual: we stayed up so late the night before that not even Tyler woke up until 9 a.m.! However, he and Kyle were just as excited as if they'd woken up at 6, like normal. More great gifts: Jay got a king-size Bass Pro gift card, and I got my shows on DVD (Lost and The Office) and tons of cute maternity clothes from my mom and sis.

That afternoon, we went out to Mead to the Shipman/Collins families gathering at Aunt Sheila and Uncle Doug's house. It was great to see the cousins I don't get to see very often, and especially their adorable little boys (Memphis, Noah, Zach, Zeke, and Hudson!).

Today, I'm trying to recover from this sinus thing I've been fighting all weekend, and assimilate all our wealth to our belongings. Tomorrow, it will be the after-Christmas sales, here I come! I've got some Kohl's gift cards that are burning holes in my wallet, and a clearance-priced, full-size, pre-lit Christmas tree with our name written all over it at Target!

21 December 2006

Christmas hubbub

Hey all, sorry for the lag in posting. I've been reading blogs, just not posting on mine! One thing that takes up a lot of my Internet time is reading entries and checking out photos on my aunt and uncle's journey in China to adopt a baby girl, Allie! It's very interesting; check it out here.

Other family news is that my mom and brothers will be hosting a foreign exchange student next semester! She's from Italy, her name is Angelica, and she's a senior like Kyle. Mom is trying to figure out how to give her the all-around American experience while being based in Coleman, OK. Any ideas? So far, we've thought about a fun spring break trip, either snow-skiing or NYC, whichever Angelica prefers, a Dallas weekend that includes a viewing of the fab musical Wicked, OKC weekends to see OU sporting events and visit Bricktown, a trip to Fort Washita during its annual Rendezvous days, a farm experience with the Willinghams, and a trip to Indiana for an American wedding (congrats, cousin Caleb and Theresa!).

Meanwhile, Jay and I are bracing ourselves for a fun weekend of Christmas festivities: Friday night with the immediate Mauck family, Saturday at Calera again with Jay's mom's extended family, Sunday evening at my dad's house, and Christmas morning at my mom's house. Can't wait to see all the Pannells a week from Saturday!

All is well with the pregnancy; Little Miss is moving all over the place now! I've gained about eight pounds, which is actually a little less than normal. (When it becomes more than normal, I might be a little more hesitant to share the number!)

12 December 2006

Wish List!

If anyone is still shopping for me for Christmas (this would probably only be Hubby), I've added a link to my Amazon wishlist in the sidebar. I never buy myself CDs, so that's what I've put on highest priority on there. Of course, as I said in my previous post, maternity clothes are a big need, as well!

11 December 2006

20 weeks bump!

Big difference between this month and last, right? Bending over is getting more difficult, and bumping into things is becoming a problem. Also, maternity clothes are now at the top of my shopping list (along with a few remaining Christmas gifts, of course!). I've got several pairs of pants, but most of my tops aren't long enough to cover the banded top of the maternity pants. I've been rocking quite a few ghetto-fab maternity looks with my non-maternity shirts: tunic-style tanks layered underneath dress shirts, longer tops I tug down on all day, etc. Anyhoo, it's all good, and I'm so excited to be over halfway there!

I know our Christmas tree looks like one a college student would have, and that's because it was! We've been pretty lazy and cheap about the whole full-size Christmas tree thing, but since we're starting a family, I'm going to hit the after-Christmas sales this year to grab one of those pre-lit wonders.

08 December 2006

We won!

It was the ultimate battle of Jay's loyalties: his alma mater, OC, versus his graduate alma mater SOSU. OC is where he played the best 3.5 years of basketball of his life, experienced the low point of his young life when he suffered a season-ending knee injury, and came back the next year to achieve the honor of NAIA Player of the Year. At SOSU, he earned his Master's degree and worked as graduate assistant and assistant coach for four years, so that today, his first year's recruits are the senior team leaders. Where do his loyalties lie? Well, he says SOSU's victory last night in Edmond felt like a victory to him, so make of that what you will. OC will always have a special place in his heart, but he has relationships with everyone on the current SOSU squad.

We had a great trip to Edmond last night: I stopped and did a couple hours' Christmas shopping in Norman with my sister, who is fighting through her first semester of finals in OU grad school, while Jay hooked up with some SOSU buddies to eat in Bricktown and get to the gym early. I didn't expect to spend much time with Jay at the Eagles Nest, and I didn't; he seems to know all the OC fans, except the students. I, on the other hand, spent some quality time with Kyle, Audrey and Carson, and Brian, my sister, brothers-in-law and nephew. However, it was a little surreal to watch at least part of an SOSU game sitting beside Jay, something I've never done before! He even got interviewed on the radio during halftime.

01 December 2006

Snow days!

Hooray for the unpreparedness of Oklahoma to take care of icy roads! I bet if we lived up north, they'd have crews cleaning the roads up and people putting their snow chains on and going to work like normal. Nope, here, we've got people who drive like crazies on the ice so that the rest of us get to miss work! SOSU closed offices and canceled classes today and half of yesterday, so I've been working like a sled dog on my presentations and projects due next week.

Hubby's actually been hunting in these below-freezing temps!

28 November 2006

It's a girl!

Yup, that's right folks, Jay was right and I was wrong. We had our 18wks ultrasound this morning, and we're going to have a little girl! She's actually in the 90th percentile in weight right now, tipping the scales at a whopping .62 lbs! She's also a very active little girl, according to my doctor. I've been feeling her move a lot lately--lots of little flutters and light bumps when I'm sitting still, but I didn't know what was normal. He had a hard time getting her to lie still during the ultrasound! Also, all the major stuff they check during that ultrasound were normal, so praise God! Looks a bit like an alien, doesn't she? It's a side shot of her from head to foot, with her head being on the right side.

Let the pink shopping and female name-picking begin!

27 November 2006

Mauck family Thanksgiving

Well it's back to the daily grind after a long, wonderful weekend of family, eating, traveling, fun, and relaxing. Jay and I drove with Paul and Diane to Kansas Wednesday, to the Mauck family colony in Whitewater, about 30mins north and east of Wichita. The Maucks remind me of my mom's family, the Pannells, as three generations live within 10 minutes of each other (that's Paul's brothers and their wives, the remaining grandparent, Grandma Winnie, and one grandchild and her husband and child). They also enjoy Nerts!! However, they had always played singles, but I managed to talk them into trying doubles, so it was a lot like a Pannell family evening! However, I didn't represent the Pannells very well, as Kyle and I never could pull off a victory. Next summer, we'll need a rematch.

Counting me, four of the Mauck grandchild couples are expecting babies next year, including Kyle and Audrey, Jay's middle brother and his wife! There are already seven great-grandchildren aged 1.5 to 11, so next year will be crazy!

Hubby killed a deer Thanksgiving day, so I heard "Where's Jay?" all day long! Perhaps a better question is, "What season is it?" because that always explains where Jay is! No, pretty much the two animals Jay hunts are trophy bucks and bass. He could care less about shooting birds or catching other kinds of fish.

Anyway, we managed to somehow fit a new ice chest full of deer meat, the buck's head wrapped in trash bags, all our luggage, and mine and Diane's own hunting conquests (from Kohl's and Super Target) into the back of my car Saturday morning and made it home that afternoon.

Pannell family, we're sorry we couldn't come to the Friday get-together, and we hope to see you soon!

I suppose the second trimester must be the one where you have lots of energy, because I got all my Christmas decor up over the weekend, too! I'll post some pics in the next couple days. First, I need some reindeer antlers or Santa hats to put on Shadow and Ranger. That'll fix 'em!

We go for our big ultrasound tomorrow, so the boy/girl announcement will be posted sometime tomorrow!

21 November 2006

I can feel the little one move!

I think all my viewings of that sexyback Office video (see previous post) have got my baby grooving! I felt him/her kick, shift, and roll several times yesterday! It was amazing! I might have felt smaller movements last week, but yesterday there was no denying what these little insdie bumps could be. I skipped what a couple people described to me as "butterfly wings fluttering against the inside of your tummy" and went right to kicks. What a miracle--praise God!

16 November 2006

This is why YouTube was created

Okay, this has nothing to do with pregnancy or marriage, but for an old-school Justin Timberlake fan and a die-hard The Office watcher, this is the funniest video I've seen. Ever. Watch it.

13 November 2006

16 weeks bump

Okay, I might not look much bigger than 12wks in this pic, but I feel a lot bigger! Everyday, my tummy is feeling more and more foreign to me! My skin's getting tighter, and so are my clothes! However, I'm not one to hide a pregnant belly--I'm not going to suddenly start wearing flowy shirts when my more form-fitting ones still stretch across my belly just fine. I say, rock the belly!

Hubby came back from a four-night deer-hunting trip in Kansas last night, thank goodness. Although I call his trip deer-watching, because he didn't actually kill a deer. Hey, bow-hunting takes a lot more skill, blah, blah, blah! That's what he says. Thanks to Jay's cousins Tracy and Kourt for housing and feeding Jay and Preston. Can't wait until my first Mauck family Thanksgiving in Kansas!

08 November 2006

(Almost) Four Months Prenatal Appointment

Well, the doctor visit yesterday was pretty uneventful, which is a good thing. We listened to the baby's heartbeat--always a thrilling experience. It was amazing--he put his little ultrasound thingy up to my belly, and immediately we could hear the quick tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump. The heart rate was 155, which the doc said was normal and good. I've only gained a 1/2 pound! That is unbelievable, because I can't button up any of my pants!! That ususally takes a weight gain of 5 or 10 lbs, in my experience.

We did simulated interviews this week in my English Methods class, with us taking turns in the hot seat and asking each other some tough questions. This made me realize that I'll need to get a maternity business suit, because I'll go for job interviews either in the next month or two (if I passed my test) or in the spring, when I'll be six to nine months pregnant! And my methods teacher told us not to divulge any personal details in the interview...my belly's going to do the talking for me!

06 November 2006

It's November?!!

We had a busy week so I'm little behind in posting!

Last Tuesday, Jay and I, his parents, and our friend Colby went to the OU/Oklahoma Christian exhibition basketball game at Lloyd-Noble in Norman! I was a little conflicted, sitting among Maucks (and oh yeah, I am one!), but wanting to yell "Go Big Red!" For the non-Maucks reading this, OC is a long Mauck tradition. Despite the fact that I'm Sooner-born and Sooner-bred, I've always liked cheering for the underdog, so I cheered OC onto a thrilling defeat by OU. Neither team is very good this year, so the game itself was not that much fun to watch. It was good to see people, though, especially my overworked, overstressed sister, who ate with us afterward! Jay got to visit with old college buddies, too, which he doesn't get to do enough.

I took off work Friday to study for my OSAT--I can't tell you what a relief it is that's over!! It was the most intense testing experience of my life! The GRE was harder, but this test seemed so much more important: If I can't pass this test, I thought, I'm not qualified to do the only job I can see myself doing! It took me three and a half hours (the Journalism OSAT took me only an hour and a half!), and my hand was seriously cramped when I got out of there. It's only 80 questions, but the majority of them were over a reading, from poems to Shakespeare to speeches to articles. Then came the essay question! That's what cramped my hand up so much. I was so in the zone that I didn't even look back over my answer sheet, which freaks me out a little. I just put down my pencil, got up, and handed my test in, all in a daze. Now I have to wait a month to see how I did!! However, I really think I passed, because I felt confident of my answers at least 75% of the time, and I'm sure my essay will get a really high score. Yay! I had a funny dream last night that I was taking the test again, but this time a bunch of people I knew from college were in there, and we were all hanging out and visiting, and having cokes, and I keep getting off on my answer sheet. In reality, you're not allowed to speak to ANYONE during the test, you can't have anything sitting on your desk, and you have to raise your hand to get a bathroom pass! Yikes!

31 October 2006

Theobromine Schmeobromine

That big word is the medical term for intestinal poisoning from chocolate--you know, the old "Don't give your dog chocolate; it'll kill 'em" thing. Well, turns out our rangy mutt Ranger has super-dog chocolate resistance powers! He really is a terrible dog, but just so lovable! Anyway, I had a Wal-Mart sack of Halloween candy sitting in a kitchen table chair, and I must have knocked it off into the floor when I grabbed my purse and ran out the door for Sunday night church. Ranger was in the house, and of course, discoverd this sack. When we came home, I found one large Kit-Kat bag completely empty--no wrappers, nothing. Just tiny bits of milk chocolate and cookie scattered across the rug. He ate the entire bag, wrappers and all; it had to have been two pounds of chocolate at least!!

I read on Wikipedia today about Theobromine poisoning, and it said that it would take a little over a pound of milk chocolate to make a 44lb dog sick. Well, Ranger probably weighs about 60lbs, and he is none worse for the wear after this little chocolate experiment! He even ate ravenously the next morning! And actually, just so all you pet owners know, the American Veterinary Medical Association says that chocolate rarely causes actual death, usually just temporary stomach problems. Still yet, does anyone really want to share their chocolate? Not me!

30 October 2006

Scarily Good Weekend!

This weekend was strikingly similar to last weekend, at least Saturday was: STUDY TIME! Friday night, though, we did something kind of fun: Jay and I went to the annual Coleman Halloween carnival--this year it kind of meant something for Kyle, my younger brother, because the seniors run the big money-making activity of the night: Bingo! So we played some bingo--unfortunately, we went home empty-handed, although I did get to shout Bingo! one time, courtesy of my red Power Ranger youngest brother, Tyler. The very first game we sat down to together, he got five right across the middle! He was so surprised, he could only sputter, Bingo? So I had to holler it for him. His prize? One of the dubious grab bags, filled with all the reject stuff the stores gave my brother and his compadres: two VHS tapes of five-year-old movies, an audio cassette of Robert Plant, some Sundowner mugs, some Sonic gift certificates, and a Big Red soda. Ty enjoyed the Big Red soda, and was glad to see he got a replacement copy of Spiderman, since they lost their DVD of it. Mom bingoed, too, although a bit anticlimactically: one of her best friends was sitting next to her, so of course she was chattering away and trying to catch all the numbers at the same time. She lacked one number to Bingo, and said, Oh, just this number left! And then looked at her friend's board, and that number had been called already! She missed it! But she still bingoed in time, and won another grab bag.

Saturday was spent cleaning house and reading snippets of Chaucer, Donne, Milton, Swift, Wordsworth, Keats, and of course, Shakespeare. Fun! I have decided I like American lit much better than Brit Lit, with the exception of Shakespeare, who is lots of fun, I think. Give me Poe, Thoreau, Dickenson, Whitman, Steinbeck, and Hemingway anyday over those others! Unfortunately, Senior English is usually Brit Lit, so that means Beowulf, all that rigidly structured poetry, and Shakespeare, who will offer some relief.

Baby update: My next prenatal appointment is next week, and the big ultrasound where I find out the sex and see if he/she's healthy is two weeks after that. I can't wait!

24 October 2006

Kids Incorporated flashback

I'm not sure how many of you will appreciate this; I'm thinking Lissa and Amanda might be the only ones who smell what I'm steppin' in with this little post.

How in the world did Stacy Ferguson, the star of Kids Incorporated (ca. 1987 Disney show that was almost as good as MMC, but sadly, lacked the staying power), go from this to this?!! Forgive me if you already knew that All-American, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Stacy grew up to become the pseudo-ethnic, provacative rapper girl we know as Fergie, originally of The Black-Eyed Peas? I don't even want to know what a "London Bridge" is. Stacy was my sister and my favorite on Kids Inc.: she could "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Do the Dinosaur" like no other!

23 October 2006

12 weeks bump!

Well, here's my bump! I can't believe I'm already showing, but I definitely am. I'm going to do some scrapbook pages of pregnancy, showers, etc., so I'll probably take pics at every trimester at least.

I had a good fall break; can't believe it's over already! I studied for about 11 hours for the English OSAT, which is in two weeks, and Jay went hunting two or three times. Bought some maternity clothes, and saw a really good movie, The Prestige.

16 October 2006

Fun, relaxing weekend

Jay and I actually went out to eat this weekend! We went with this couple Jay is building a house for to this really neat restaurant in McKinney called Genghis Grill. You make your own stir-fry: pick your meat, seasoning, veggies, sauce, and noodles/rice, and then the dudes (I wouldn't call them chefs) cook it all up for you on the grill. I tried to use one of their recipe cards--Thai Chicken--and went a little overboard on the dragon salt--I was breathing fire! This was the ideal restaurant for Jay, as he loves to do all the fun stuff in the kitchen, and then have someone else actually put it together and clean up afterward. Ha! The restaurant was definitely trial-and-error, but fun nonetheless.

On the pregnancy front, I have hit the 3 months mark! My pants are getting tighter, and it's becoming more difficult to sleep. It's just weird getting used to this sudden, extra girth around my middle that makes it impossible to sleep on my belly, my favorite way to sleep. Also, I sleep on my back a lot, and that's unsafe for the baby after your first trimester, I read. Anway, somebody call the Whaa-mbulance for me, right?

Fall Break this weekend! I'm going to study, study, study for my English teaching certification exam, which is only two weeks from this weekend! Yikes!

12 October 2006

Second prenatal appointment

Well, as I'd mentioned before, the dissipation of my morning sickness had me a little worried. I didn't feel pregnant anymore! But rest assured; I'm still pregnant! I went to the dr. yesterday, and heard the baby fig's heartbeat!! It was amazing!

I get to have my *big* ultrasound in 6wks. That's when the doc will check out the organs, and we should learn the gender! SO excited!! I'm so ready to start planning the nursery, names, and buying clothes and books and toys!! (I know I'll get a lot at showers, but the possibility of shopping in the baby department is absolutely thrilling!) Registries!! Hurray for registering for gifts at Target and Wal-Mart!

I also had another baby dream last night. It was much less linear and understandable than my last one: In this one, I was racing through Wal-Mart I think, pulling along one of our preacher's sons, who's 7, with me. We reached some sort of bar & grill / ticket buying place, and I was trying to buy tickets for an OU game on this kiosk thing (inside a Wal-Mart!). Anyway, I left the boy with this table of boys I knew while I messed with the kiosk a few feet away. During that time, the boy somehow became my baby, named Daniel. Another boy dream!! I remember looking over at the little boy-child, so amused to see these young guys holding him so gently, and so proud of my little baby!

09 October 2006

My first baby dream!

Well, I'd read that moms-to-be often have very vivid dreams, and sometimes even dream about their baby! Well I did that last night, and it was pure bliss! It was a beautiful, blond baby boy! I remember thinking last night before I went to sleep about how we'll have to start keeping the dogs out of the house more once baby arrives, and sure enough, my dream was about me trying to keep the dogs away from our little boy! His name was vague; I remember thinking it was a combination of Sam and Austin--Weird, huh? Samston? Aussam? Ha! I hope I don't get crazy in my third tri and start making up wacky names!

06 October 2006

Boomer Sooner!

Well, I always get excited for OU/Texas weekend, not so much for the game, but for the fun get-together my family usually has. Uncle Danny and Aunt Neila fly in from Indiana to go the game every year, so we ususally see them the day before or after, and Uncle Matt and Aunt Michelle drive down from the OKC area and leave their three girls with us for the weekend while they jaunt on down to Dallas! So we'll gather at my mom's house tomorrow for some game-watching, visiting, snacking, and playing. Check out my cooking blog for the dishes I'll be bringing. Today, I got a little jolt of Sooner pride when the Pride of Oklahoma did a performance at SOSU! The director, Brian Britt, is a Durant High alumn, and his parents both worked at SOSU for years. It was so fun; I forgot how exhilirating it is! I did feel kind of weird being the only person who knew all the words to the chant, all the moments to shout "OU!" and "Go big red!" and to hold my right index finger proudly in the air during the chant. (How can anyone be so disrespectful as to NOT do that?!!) Oh, and of course yell "Sooners" at the end of the national anthem over "brave" (as in "land of the....Sooners!") When I first heard that, I thought it was a tad disrespectful, and usually didn't do it at games, but today, I felt compelled to show my Sooner pride!

Jay's very excited because bow season started five days ago. He hasn't gone yet, but he's going tomorrow morning. Thus begins my season of widowhood. No, it's not that bad--he'll go three or four mornings a week for the next few months, and then he'll take one trip to Kansas for three or four days during black powder season. That's the only part that really leaves me a "hunting season widow."

Well, as I posted last time, I was thinking my morning sickness going away around week 9 was kind of weird, but it's back now. It's very mild though. I left work yesterday for it, mostly because I felt extremely tired, and a little queasy. So regular snacking and resting are back on the agenda for me.

Boomer Sooner!

02 October 2006

Eating (un)healthfully

So, according to What to Expect When You're Expecting, an excellent diet during pregnancy leads to excellent health of the baby. Unfortunately, the book says, most pregnant women simply have a medium-good to low-excellent diet, leading to medium health for the baby. I honestly do want to give my baby the best possible start in life, but eating healthy is SO HARD when you love the following things so much:
  1. Pizza!
  2. Peanut butter (in large amounts and frequently, not these 2tsp servings)
  3. Taco Bell (I had stayed away from this for so long, but the other day, in a moment of near-starvation, I headed for the border, and my taste for the Bell is ba-aack!)
  4. Eating in general.

I enjoy eating, okay? I'm not a glutton, and my portion sizes are good, but I certainly don't have an excellent diet, especially on weekends. Also, the whole varied diet thing? What to Expect's Best Odds Diet gives you twelve food groups to work into your day, from green leafy and yellow fruits to protein and iron. Geez! This means every single thing I eat needs to fit into one of these categories, and not a category I've already met my quota in for the day!

And then I hear some people say, "Who cares? You're supposed to gain weight; eat what you want!" "Those vitamins will take care of everything you need!" (That last one might have been a voice inside my head.)

For now, I'm trying my best to steer clear of fast food and desserts and control my portions. On weekends though, just about anything goes. Any tips from healthy eaters and/or mommies on getting all the nutrients my baby needs?

29 September 2006

Come cook with us!

My sister-in-law Audrey has joined my cooking blog, so go check out her great recipes for Pumpkin Banana Bread and Poppyseed Chicken!

No more sick feelings!

Well the baby grape (that's how big it is this week) has given me a break from all the queasy feelings! Yay! Some people have told me that the prenatal vitamins calm some of that down. Ironically, it also makes me feel a little worried...I don't really feel pregnant now. However, I read the chances of miscarriage go way down after you hear the baby's heartbeat, and I did at my first appointment, at only 7wks.

We also shared the news with people at church this week. I'm only 9wks, but the news was already starting to leak out, so I thought it better to go ahead and tell people, rather than just let the news get around. Our preacher's son, who's 7, was SO excited for us! He told me, "Hurry up and get fat so you can have the baby!" One lady told me that her husband had guessed it just a few days before! I said, "Oh, I didn't think I was showing yet!" And she said he could just tell by some sort of look I had about me. That pregnancy glow, I suppose. I didn't realize I was emitting it.

We have started thinking about names, but it's so odd to talk about them with other people, because people have such different tastes in names. People inevitably have suggestions that I think are completely bizarre or way too trendy. It's kind of like when you're shopping with someone, and they hold up this shirt you would never pick out and say, "Oh, this would look so cute on you!" And I think, You see me wearing that? It's a little awkward. And then I tell them the names we like, and the response is often negative or noncommittal. I think people really just like to talk about the names they like. Here are some of the names I've heard people suggest or say they like: Brex, Boston, Kinsley, Kennedy, Charlize, Bentley. My response: You see me naming my child that? I think I'm going to start responding to the question of what names we like with, "Well if it's a girl, [your name]." And then laugh and sit back and listen to all their suggestions.

Basically, we like traditional, but unusual names. Names you recognize when you hear, but you don't hear very often. Almost old-fashioned names. NO made-up names. Here are the ones I like now (but who knows in a couple months?): Meredith, Jocelyn, and Mallory for girls, and Lucas and Dawson for boys.

Sorry if you're afraid to leave feedback on these names after my little rant about people only liking their own suggestions. From you, loved ones, feedback and suggestions are welcome!

25 September 2006

JAM time!

Okay, this post has very little to do with my real life, but I must dish on the season premiere of the best TV comedy since Seinfeld, The Office. Here's the scoop: according to my message board sources, the British version had the Jim character transfer after he asked the Pam character out and she rejected him. HOWEVER, the office where he transferred (the Stanford office in the American version) later MERGES with the perenially low-performing original office (in Scranton). Here's the rub, IF the show continues to follow the pattern of the British version: the Jim character starts dating an officemate from his new office, and when the whole gang gets together, the Pam character is instantly jealous. Ah ha, I can't wait!! People are supposing it's that Indian-looking girl (Rashida Jones). Good times!

For anyone who may be disappointed that they didn't end up together, I offer you this: this show is a mockumentary, which means it is supposed to mimic real life as much as possible in the relationships and characters. Would we really like Pam if she ran off with Jim and dumped Roy? Plus, where would that put the show? I like this way: it continues the anticipation and it doesn't make for any bad guys. Also, how great was that of the writers to make Roy turn over a new leaf? Such conflict! Can't wait until Thursday!

22 September 2006

Can you believe this?

The other night, I left the house for an hour and a half, and this is what I come home to. A 12-pack of TP had been sitting on the kitchen table, and Ranger for some reason thought it would be tons of fun to rip into each and every roll. Shadow was innocent in this affair (as he is in most); he just posed for the picture.

Sunset on Madison Ave.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

~Psalm 19:1

21 September 2006

Being pregnant is not fun right now

Well, in case you all are wondering what kinds of discomforts I'm going through what with my body becoming a vessel and all, I'd be happy to share! Don't worry, I won't get too graphic. However, this seems to be a question most people ask right off the bat, "How have you been feeling" or "Any morning sickness yet?" So to quench your morbid interest, here you go:

I basically feel queasy and/or bloated all the time. What's weird about this upset tummy, though, is that it is often paired with a ravenous hunger for the weirdest things! (No pickles and ice cream!) I've mostly been craving relatively healthy things though: for the past couple weeks, it was peanut butter and milk. Not necessarily together, but once or twice a day, I'd have to have a glass of milk or something with peanut butter on it. I have sporadic spasms of craving Mexican food, particularly salsa. I've cooked fajitas, chicken tortilla soup, and my breakfast burrito special of smoked sausage, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and salsa in the past week! So this kind of mild nausea is different from any other kind I've felt because it's like an stomach that's upset because it's hungry! (much like the baby itself will be, I guess!)

The other bad thing I've been experiencing is serious, knock-me-out fatigue. I've been trying to walk everyday, but it's hard when you come home so pooped all you want to do is lay down and take a nap! I've either taken an hour or so nap or gone to bed by about 10:30 every night for the past couple weeks.

Well, that's about the extent of my (printable) pregnancy woes! Don't cry for me Argentina, though, we're very blessed and happy right now!!

19 September 2006

We're having a baby!

That's right readers; I haven't posted lately because I've had one thing on my mind, one thing I wasn't ready to share yet! But we've now gone for our first prenatal appointment and informed all the grandparents. I'm 8 weeks along, and our due date is May 2.

Jay and I are so thankful, overwhelmed, excited, nervous, and joyous about this little person growing inside me! These last couple weeks have not been held much physical contentment for me (queasiness, fatigue, hunger, etc.), but God has more than made up for my temporary discomfort with the mental and emotional fulfillment He's given me.

Thank You, Lord!

05 September 2006

Rainy Labor Day

My relaxing, rainy Labor Day was rocked a little when I heard Steve Irwin was killed doing one of his animal stunts. Was anyone else as shocked and upset as I was? I hadn't seen him around in a while, but my family were fans of his, for sure. So ironic that after all those years of messing with deadly animals, a stingray--naturally placid animals--stung him in the heart! So theatrical! This story says there's video of him actually pulling the barb out of his chest! Let's hope the news channels don't opt to air that. You know we'll have to watch, but we'll be scarred for life! Such is the responsibility of the news media.

I wrote two quick OKT stories for an ensemble piece on Favorite Neighborhoods yesterday. I wrote the ones on Durant and Lawton, and as usual, I got so drawn into the subject matter that I think they turned out good. That's the trick: you have to care about what you're writing about. If you don't care, it comes across, and the readers don't care. Writer tip of the day, free of charge!

The construction business doesn't stop for weekends or holidays so Hubby slogged around in the mud for a few hours.

Then I made rainy day potato soup--I posted the recipe on my Kitchen Adventures blog--watched a couple Felicity eps (sophomore year student council elections, when Ben is chasing Felicity while she's trying to date yucky medical dude Greg! Love it!), and did some reading for my classes.

Altogether a cozy holiday!

31 August 2006

Good-bye, Me-maw

Jay's grandmother, Diane's mother, passed away yesterday. Mary Eredini was always kind to me, her newest granddaughter-in-law, and I know her three daughters, one son, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren will miss her very much.

22 August 2006

Life in the fast lane

Well, school is back in session, so I guess I've been too busy to post! Really, I'm devoting so much thought to education that I've been posting on my this little light of mine blog more than anything else.

Well, I took Ranger to get him fixed, the poor mutt. He hasn't chewed up any books or shoes since, although he's still acting like a nutcase when company comes over.

I had a harrowing experience today when I got fingerprinted at the Bryan County Jail. (Not only is it filled with druggies and thiefs, said criminals also regularly bust out of this shoddy establishment. See stories about the frightening joke of Bryan County here, here, and here.) Fingerprinting is now a requirement for teacher candidates--we have to get background checks through the OSBI and the FBI before we can be put in charge of the little darlings.

Hubby is building houses in Calera, Kingston, and soon, Ardmore. You'd think I would see him more since he quit one of his jobs, but I feel like I see him less. He goes to Ardmore about once a week to move along their project there, and stays out 'til dark most other days. Unless it's too hot. He'll sometimes come home for a break on these triple-digit days.

I guess that's my life right now...Have a great day, readers!

08 August 2006

Dad gum dogs!

I have a love-hate relationship with our dogs, Shadow and Ranger. Shadow is the older, calmer (neutered) one, and he is generally a great dog. EXCEPT he is mostly lab, so he loves getting in ponds and then getting all muddy. Did I mention they're house dogs? Don't ever do that to yourself. Then you end up having a love-hate relationship with the dad gum things. Then there's Ranger....poor, pathetic, annoying Ranger. He's the puppy, and when you consider that we found him on the edge of death, abandoned by his owners at Paul and Diane's house, it's easy to see why he acts the way he does. His ridiculously high-pitched whining whenever we come home (We imagine he's saying, "Why did you leave me for so long? I thought you left me forever! I'm so hot, so hungry, so tired, I need to go collapse on the tile--" and then plop, he's down and he's quiet.), his temperamental stomach (and don't you know that dogs always leave piles on the carpet, because of its uncanny resemblance to grass? Lovely.), and his chewing habits (last victims: TWO paperback novels, one of which wasn't even mine, and the other I hadn't finished reading yet!): all this equals a very frustrating dog. But then he gives you that pathetically loving, grateful gaze, and you just want to hug him and pet him and cuddle him all at once. This picture is of Shadow in his favorite spot: Jay's closet, among the dirty socks (he will pull dirty clothes out of his hamper just to lay his snout on them...gross! In this pic, it's a pair of dirty shorts). Ranger, in his eternal quest to be loved, somehow found a couple extra inches to plant his rear beside Shadow. Silly dogs, how I love and hate you!

04 August 2006

10 years since Hubby graduated!

Jay and I attended his 10-year high school reunion last weekend, much to his chagrin. It's not that he doesn't enjoy seeing his old buddies; he does. I think it's the idea of planning on attending a dinner three weeks in advance that bothers him. I kept bugging him about whether or not he was going to RSVP when the deadline was approaching, and he kept waffling. I finally just e-mailed an RSVP for us both, and didn't make J think about it until the day before. Then he doesn't mind so much.

Anyway, Jay had some really nice people in his class--I've only met one girl, and the guys I've met have all been so friendly and funny and interesting. Apparently someone else thought this class was noteworthy--someone videotaped them every year of their elementary and high school career! That video was played at the reunion during our dinner, so we were treated to elementary school plays (loved the Robin Hood in a green dress thing and tube socks), basketball games (just look for the fast, little one who kept sinking baskets--that's J!), and graduations. Fun! After dinner one of Jay's classmates treated us to some guitar playing and singing. Eric is a great singer, and I loved his little sidekicks he would do sometimes for emphasis. Jay tries to do the little sidekicks whenever I have music playing at home, and it's really just embarrassing.

This week has been pretty same ol', same ol'. I've had a big design project at work, so I've actually been kind of busy.

31 July 2006

New blog!

If you're interested, you can check out my new cooking blog (can you tell how much Internet time I have at work?), called Kim's Kitchen Adventures. I'm trying to get a bit more organized and reflective about my haphazard cooking style. I try so many new things from so many different sources, I forget what was good, what Jay thought, what changes need to be made, etc. So maybe I can keep track of it all in this blog. I don't know how entertaining it will be as a read, but it should be a good resource for me, if nothing else.

28 July 2006

Back from D.C.!

Well, my legs are still sore, and I'm a little sunburnt, but I think I'm fully recovered from some jampacked days in Washington, D.C.! What a fun city! Love the metro, love the Smithsonian and all its glorious free-ness, love the restaurants, love the shopping.

The conference was quite motivating, what with Congressman Chakah Fattah speaking to us about how he framed GEAR UP as a program for his native Philadelphia, and then seeing its success, proposed a bill in the U.S. legislature to make it nationwide. And look at us now, seven years later! Then Stedman Graham (that's right, Oprah's Stedman, who is apparently a motivational speaker and author and in some sort of vague business) gave me goosebumps, talking about how if we don't define who we are, the world will. They will judge us based on our outward appearance and place in a box where we don't belong. What's the most powerful word in our language? he asked us. Education? I thought. Nope. Love. Find out what you love, who you love, what you love to do, and do it to the best of your ability. Use everything around you to make yourself a better person, and better able to do what you love. Be able to grow. This excited me not so much for myself, but as messages to pass on to my future students. Love it!

I attended a few group sessions, but mostly I sat in them just thinking from the perspective of a future teacher, and not so much as a current GEAR UP coordinator. I took some notes about effective programs and strategies, but let's just see if my director ever asks us what we learned at the conference so we can implement new ideas at our program. I've met with frustration too many times from her when I approach her with program ideas. OKAY! Enough venting!

On a brighter note, I was the chaperone for two excellent boys from our program who were selected to participate in the Youth Leadership Summit portion of the conference. This was SO rewarding--the boys learned so much, and the entire group did an amazing presentation at the end of the conference about the major obstacles students face in being prepared for college. They also proposed solutions. Part of the presentation was completely inspiring for me: these kids crafted poems to express how difficult it is for them to be prepared to succeed in college, and delivered them in slam poetry/drama style. It brought tears to my eyes to see young people be so passionate about important issues in such a creative way! I can't wait to teach poetry like that in my classroom, and see kids express themselves so powerfully.

Highlights from the sightseeing part of my jaunt:
  • The Holocaust Memorial Museum was a soul-changing experience. I wish I could have spent longer in it, but I saw enough to understand that I am definitely going to teach a unit on the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel's Night is now on my reading list.
  • The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum was just awesome. The spectacular dinosaurs, the beautiful gems, and the leaf-cutting ants were so cool! My seven-year-old brother was enraptured with pretty much everything.
  • The Smithsonian's American History Museum was pretty good--it's about to undergo renovation, so many exhibits were closed, but the fantastic war exhibit was still open.
  • Our tour of the Capitol building brought back some great memories of when I was a tour-giving intern for Congressman Wes Watkins.
  • Dinner at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, VA, was really neat--George Washington and James Madison ate there! (G-dub's favorite dish: roast duckling--yum!)

21 July 2006

Headed to D.C.

I leave tomorrow for a conference in Washington, D.C. Mom, Amanda, and Tyler are going with me. Jay is staying home to feed the dogs. He's already seen D.C....from the Potomac River on a fishing boat. *Sigh*

17 July 2006

Kiddie Pool fun

Abby, Zach, and Carson play in Carson's pool. Abby narrates.

Sweat, Sunburns, and So much fun!

We had a long, fun weekend on Lake Texoma. Triple-digit-temperatures all weekend long!! Here are the highlights:

  • My 10-year-old niece Abby fell out of a tube (while it was being pulled) for the first time. Ah, a rite of passage I went through at about her age, to be followed by many, many, rough landings in Lake Texoma, due to my dad's tube-pulling method of making us hold on for our dear lives.
  • Zach, Abby, and I were starting an Uno game and discovered four blank cards, so we wrote up our own silly commands on them to inflict on each other. Abby's at first wrote down "Stick a licked sucker up your nose," but then Zach played that card on her, so she changed it to, "Draw two cards and spell PIG backwards and then say "funky colors." If you're under the age of 10, this is HILARIOUS every single time. Zach's said "Draw 9 cards and shout Zach is the king!"
  • I caught three fish on topwater all by myself! This is a little more difficult than just dropping a lure in deep, I think.
  • Steak night!! Kansas corn, fresh fruit, baked potatoes....yum!! The Maucks know how to cook a steak, let me tell you.

I loaded all my pictures from this weekend onto my Yahoo! Photos, so click on the link on the right to see them and even print them (there you go, Audrey!).

14 July 2006

Maucks on Lake Texoma!

Hello from the annual Maucks on Lake Texoma Week! My pa-in-law's brothers, kids, kid-in-laws, and grandkids camp out on Platter Flats for a few days. Good thing it's the hottest week in I don't know how long. It's hit 100 degrees for the last three days, and unless we get some rain, it's going to stay that hot for a few more days!! The top left pic is Kim Mauck and Kim Mauck. That's right, I'm Kim Mauck No. 2, because Jay's cousin Matt also married a Kim. Jay's brother Kyle called me Kim No. 2 for a little while after we were married. The top right picture is my niece and nephew Zach and Abby, my brother- and sister-in-law Brian and Jennifer's kids.

Now I gotta go--Fish fry for lunch!

07 July 2006

Let's hear it for hot pirates!

Woo-hoo! Pirates finally comes out tonight!! Mom, my brother Kyle, and already have our Fandango tickets! Okay so the reviews are a little mixed, but who cares? It's Jack Sparrow, the pirate who's so cool he's hot!

Of course my hubby will be nowhere near the theater. So what interests do we really have in common? Well, I'll watch a basketball game, but remember it about as well as Jay remembers the rented movies he watches with me. Ah well...such is our sometimes odd brand of love. It works!

03 July 2006

Family on the First of July

I have not a single photo of the fabulous weekend that just transpired. My mom's three brothers and sister and their children (except for two-missed you Dani and Dave!) all came in for the weekend. In that family, there's no such thing as a family lunch--the Fourth and Christmas are always at least a three-day family get-together: meals together everyday, games every night, lots of food food food! Great times. I got to see my new second cousin, Emma Grace, who is totally beautiful.

I believe that the more my mom sees other young couples, such as my cousin and her husband, or a couple at our church, with babies, the more she subliminally urges me to get pregnant. I can't even imagine my mom as a grandmama (or whatever she would be called). She's got a six-year-old, for crying out loud! But that's beside the point. The real question is, are Jay and I ready to be parents? Or...is this blog ready for a new name? Well anyway, rest assured family, Jay and I are thinking over these ideas.

23 June 2006

Jay and Carson

This is about as close as Carson let Jay get to him last weekend. It's so funny; all kids ages 3 and up just seem to be magnetically attracted to Jay; they love him! But Jay gets a little nervous around kids younger than that. He will hardly even hold a baby.

22 June 2006

Low posting...sorry

Sorry about the lack of posting in the last couple weeks...I've been studying for the Teacher Certification tests, and so have had several teaching ephiphanies. If you want to see what's been going on inside my head, you can check out my other blog.

But back to the present: last weekend (almost a week ago I guess), Kyle, Audrey, and Carson came down (Jay's brother, his wife, and their adorable almost-two-year-old son), and so we hung out at the Mauck manor quite a bit. This pic is of me reeling in a fish that Jay caught. (What I call a pity reel--I can't catch anything, so Jay lets me reel his in.) It's actually a good-sized catfish, caught at one of Paul and Diane's ponds. Also pictured are the back of Diane's head, holding Carson, and little Spike, who was recently injured. That's my camera dangling from my wrist, but I have yet to upload the pics I took last weekend. Anyway, thanks for the picture in the meantime, Audrey!

Wish me luck on my tests this weekend: the Oklahoma General Education Test and the Oklahoma Subject Area Test in Journalism. I'm really most nervous about getting up on time: for the second time this week, I'll have to leave the house before 6:30 a.m.! (This is waaaay too early for me.) Yesterday, I rode with Paul and Diane to OKC, where we all had engagements: I had a daylong training seminar, Paul had a meeting at the zoo, and Diane had a doctor's appointment. My meeting was a bit superficial and boring, Paul's was a little boring, but he got to look at the seal tank the whole time, and Diane got good news back at the doctor. Plus, we ate at Red Lobster and made a stop at Westies shoes! Yay!

13 June 2006

You are my Sunshine!

Here's the video clip of our camp's closing serenade! To me! Fun times!

Ride a little horsey, don't fall down!

Hey check me out, conquering my secret fears! Last week at camp, one of our evening activities was a Western playday at the SOSU Equestrian Center. I wore my urban cowgirl boots and everything but had absolutely no intentions of straddling one of those beautiful beasts. I rode horses when I was younger, but because I haven't in so long, I had this kind of subconscious fear of them. I'd love to ride again, only with my family and/or close friends, so that if I burst into tears or fall off or something, it's the people who love me who will laugh at me, not total strangers (does that make any sense at all?). Anyway, that was my thinking last week, but Jay's buddy Seth, who was also one of our camp counselors, made a big deal out of me trying it, so I did it. And I didn't get kicked in the face or thrown off by the horse or slide out of the saddle! I did it!

12 June 2006

Two years of wedded bliss!

Two years ago today was the happiest day of mine and Jay's lives! That's right, it's our anniversary today, and we just got back from our little getaway. We couldn't miss a whole lot of work, so we spent last night a great bed and breakfast in Ardmore called Shiloh Morning Inn. We had a picnic at Turner Falls yesterday, along with about 250 other vacationers...we hiked around a bit, checked out the 77-foot falls, and we even found a cave or two! The inn was awesome: we had our own hot tub, and a library of books and movies to entertain me while the NBA championship was going on. That's right, we watched [most of] a basketball game on our little trip. Ah, the joys of being married to a sportsfan.

09 June 2006

Summer Camp is OVER!

I just finished up my first supervisory experience with teens since I decided I wanted to teach the little darlings. SOSU GEAR UP Summer Camp is officially over!! I can only describe the experience with two words, which I must type in allcaps: EXHILIRATING and EXHAUSTING. Isn't this kind similar to the teaching experience in general? Anyway, this only solidified my belief that I am meant to serve these young people. I love that their persepectives, personalities, and ideas are all so beautifully unique. I love their energy and their ambition. I love their enthusiastic responses when you teach them something they understand is useful and important. More reflections to come, but now I must study for the teacher certification test I'm taking soon.

I can't wait to be a teacher.

05 June 2006

Summer Camp is under way!

So our GEAR UP campers are taking the ACT right now, so I'm back at the office for a few hours. It's been crazy so far, and waaay too disorganized for my taste, but still we've got a great group of kids who make me excited about teaching high school.

Over the weekend, my mom, sister, and cousin Dani Rose and I all went to see Little Women the musical in Dallas. I LOVE that book, but next to 1776 the musical (a musical story of the first Continental Congress), it was the most boring stage production I've ever seen. Amy was doing a subpar imitation of Kirsten Dunst the whole time (remember, Dunst played Amy in the GREAT film adaptation), Laurie was childish and pompous, and Professor Bhaer had what sounded like a clipped Indian accent. What should have been a fun girls trip turned into a snorefest. I basically watched the movie in my head, picturing the beautiful Christian Bale as Laurie and the spot-on Winona Ryder as Jo.

Sorry bout all the griping. Here's an example of how celeb-savvy (crazy?) my mom is: we were all trying to remember who played Meg in the movie (because the others are easy: Dunst as Amy, Ryder as Jo, and Claire Danes as poor Beth), and Mom popped off with, "Isn't it Trini Alvarado?" Who??! Guess what? She was right!

Bottom line on Little Women? See the movie.

30 May 2006

Summer Camp is OVER!

Hey all, I'm back in the blogging world after finishing up my first supervisory experience with teens since I decided I wanted to teach the little darlings. SOSU GEAR UP Summer College Camp is officially over. Two words that I can only write in allcaps: EXHILIRATING and EXHAUSTING! I loved it: I loved getting to know these individuals who are just learning who they are and what they think of this old world. Their perspectives and ideas and personalities are so beautifully unique and I love that! I loved talking to them and helping them and playing with them.

I can't wait to be a teacher.

Write this down: I. was. ... WRONG!

And my being wrong did not just affect me. Several people will now think I'm an idiot, and my husband could get in trouble. You readers are somewhat a party to this little debacle also. Remember my lovely little post about my dear hubby who I THOUGHT was quitting his jobs at the college? Well, turns out I was wrong. How could a wife be mistaken about her husband's quitting or continuing his job, you ask? By not listening very well, apparently. Jay did resign from his basketball job, but not his golf job. He has until June to decide whether or not he will continue on with that. Those imagined conversations my siblings have been accusing me of storing in my memory as fact appear to be real. I distinctly remember Jay telling me about talking to his boss about quitting the golf job. Me asking what his boss' reaction was. Us discussing his health insurance, how I would need to add him onto mine, since he would no longer be getting any from the college. So many of our conversations were based on my foregone conclusion that he has through with the college. How did he not catch me in this misconception? How did I continue on under it? Even telling my rather...ahem...talkative boss that my hubby would finish his employment at the college in June. This news then spread to a friend of hers whose son was just accepted onto the golf team, which was then spread to the son, which was then spread to the entire golf team!! The worst part of it? My boss' boss is Jay's boss, also. Did you catch that? This news could easily get back to Jay's boss, who has not been informed that Jay is resigning, because in fact, he's not. Oh, woe is me....

25 May 2006

[Not] Working

I kind of feel like I'm working in The Office sometimes. Inappropriate remarks. Petty behavior. Zero productivity. With all women in the office, you never know what we're going to end up talking about. With two of them new grandmas, our group conversations often go back to motherhood and grandmotherhood, which inevitably leads to asking the other young married girl and myself when we plan on having kids. I never realized how inappropriate this question is until I'd been asked it. Ten. Times. A. Week. Yesterday I walked into my boss' office where everyone was congregating to hear the most recent dramatic episode in our coworker's personal life, and I felt a little dizzy. I'd popped up out of my chair so fast after staring at my computer for an hour or so and raced into my boss' office when she yelled, "Kim get in here, Granny's about to tell her story!" Granny immediately asked, "Are you okay?" I replied with my earlier reasoning. "Are you pregnant?" she responded. Good grief! If I am pregnant, you guys will know in good time, okay?! I was a bit flustered, and responded a little too uncertainly, with an "I don't think so." Granny replied, "Have you been exposed?" like fertile males just radiate with potent sperm. Hahahahaha. And so I sit here blogging, documenting the inappropriate remarks on my personal blog. Here at The Office. (Oh, how I'll miss the new JAM moments over the summer....)

22 May 2006

Early retirement for Hubby

Jay has resigned from both his positions at the college: Assistant Men's Basketball Coach and Head Men's Golf Coach. Why would he drop such fun, easy positions, you ask? Because my hubby wants something more, that professional satisfaction and gratification I myself have so desperately been seeking. He will be devoting himself full-time to his homebuilding business, SunView Homes, LLP. (They have a pretty cool website that one of Jay's college buddies did for them.)

I'm really happy for him, because he loves that business: meeting with people, helping them get into a quality house at a reasonable price, being outside a lot (riding his Bobcat and burning stuff, especially!), and working with his best friend (besides me of course), Preston. He and Preston are a great team, a perfect yin and yang. Preston's very logical, but he can also dream big. Jay's very abstract, and has big ideas. Their personal skills are perfect for this kind of sales, too.

BUT, the downside is, now I have to work. This is the first time in my life that my income is actually very necessary. In college, I worked hard and long at the school newspaper, but my income barely paid my monthly cell phone bill, let alone tuition, rent, or other bills. Then after graduation, I got married and Jay was working full-time, we lived in a very affordable rent house (conventiently owned by J's parents), and I was free to pursue writing, school, real estate, whatever caught my fancy. My current education/PR job at the college is my first full-time, professional job sinc e graduation in May of 2004; I've only had this job since December of last year. Reality is finally popping my little dreamworld bubble!

16 May 2006

Check out my photos!

Hey all, I just added a link at right where you can go check out all my recent pictures on Yahoo! Photos.

Graduation weekend!

Tyler graduated from kindergarten last Thursday night, and my sister Amanda graduated from OU last weekend. Congrats to my beautiful sibs!

15 May 2006

JAM moment!

Bear with me dear readers: the following post will have only a contrived and superficial tie to being a newlywed. But I MUST gush about the season finale of The Office. JAM! FINALLY! GOT! TOGETHER! We went from completely heartbreaking in the parking lot, to utter bliss in, where else, the office. Jim's confession to Pam of his true feelings was so true to life, so touching. "I just need you to know. Just once." And Pam looking completely shell-shocked--"What am I supposed to say to that?" and then, giving perhaps a glimpse to her true feelings, "I can't. I can't." So complicated and so touching. The first time I watched it, I was squealing, covering my eyes, shouting at Pam--it was like a scary movie! The second time, I cried! (And I wasn't even PMSing!) Of course, me crying while watching TV translates to Jay as a cue to enter the room. It doesn't matter what show it is, if there is a touching moment, Jay will enter the room and interrupt my little moment of cathartic tears and vicarious emotion. Drat that hubby for scorning my emotion! Anyway, I love that Pam called her mom after THE BIG MOMENT--so realistic. Then the last scene--oh, I melted.

But hold the phones, folks! How on earth can Jim and Pam be a couple when they work together? I'd hate to see one of them quit Dunder-Mifflin so they can be together, but John Krasinski is moving into the realm of film (with six, count 'em, SIX films coming out in the next year!), so will he be leaving his position as sales rep? Who will put Dwight's calculator in a Jell-O mold or move his entire desk and computer into the men's bathroom? Who will make moony eyes at Pam while she whiles away her hours at the reception desk? Never has a comedy had such an effective cliffhanger ending!!

P.S. Sorry Lissa, but this uncertain love affair is waaay better than that annoying, sex-driven relationship of Ross and Rachel!

05 May 2006

In sickness and in health...

Poor J has been sick since Tuesday, and not getting *enough* sympathy from me! Tuesday we were both sick with a stomach virus--we both just slept and made trips to the bathroom all day. Yuck! I was better Tuesday evening, but J has stayed sick! He had it worse than me, and I think he got dehydrated. Yesterday and the day before, I kept asking him, "Are you still sick?" because I didn't think he should be anymore...but I guess he is vindicated now, because last night he came down with a fever and was up half the night. Good thing I had a paper to write, too, so i was up until 1 a.m. to nurse him a little. Poor boy! Look at Ranger; he's such a good puppy--he felt J's pain!

24 April 2006

Church weekend

J and I went to Caddo church of Christ last night for the last night of a "Campaign for Christ" meeting. The meeting was hosted by a group of preachers-in-training from Bear Valley Institute in Denver. So anyone who knows our church situation can see there was a tad bit of awkwardness in seeing the upstarts who left our church last year amid a series of arguments over God's Word. In short, they made a big ruckus about elder qualifications before leaving the church and taking a good chunk of the membership with them.

These people were our friends, but they're really not now. No big falling-out; we just stopped keeping in touch when they chose to leave our fellowship. I'm not sure if this was sinful. I think we should have tried to come to some sort of understanding, or at least let them know that we thought what they did to the Lord's church was wrong. But I didn't really understand myself that it was wrong until months later. God doesn't want His people to waste their time bickering about His words. That's one of the reasons He did away with the old law; so that His children could unite in the Spirit, and not live by the law anymore. We've got so many things to do, and arguing about the "little stuff" should not be on that list. People win souls by preaching Jesus, not arguing doctrine. It's taken me a while to realize this, but I think a lot of people at our church learned this lesson in the past year, as God gave us the strength to persevere through that tough time of being without a preacher, down to two overworked elders, and about 25 members smaller.

19 April 2006

Am I a loving servant or a genocide-leading dictator?

So the first time I took this test, I took it with only 27 questions, and was told I was Sadaam Hussein!! I was immediately thrown into a murderous rage, so I re-took the test with more questions, and was justified! Oh wait, we're sorry, we seem to have miscalculated...you're actually Mother Teresa!

Online quizzes are awesome.

17 April 2006

Croquet, Candy, and Cousins!

Here's a glimpse of our Easter weekend activities. Jay's family gatherings work totally differently from mine, so he's still getting used to dedicating an entire day to family for major holidays. We were at my aunt and uncle's house from noon to 9 p.m.: ate two meals, played two marathon games of croquet, played Spades and Taboo, and watched home movies. We didn't both do all these things, but this is what kept both of us busy the whole time. Tons of fun! The top photo is Jay and my brother Tyler; the next one is the remaining egg-hunters: Ty and our cousins Holly, Jenny, and Mattie; next is my brother Kyle and mom playing some croquet; and last is a highly rare photo of my Grandad smiling with teeth (!) and Mattie playing outside.

07 April 2006

It's the Chronic(What?!)les of Narnia!

Everyone has to watch this video if you haven't seen it already. I haven't watched SNL in forever, but this is hiLARIious!! Also, watch this one on youtube of two 11-year-old boys lip-synching it. They recreated it so closely!! Equally hiLARious!!

"We're 'bout to get taken to a dreamworld of magic!" (so shouts two grown men in a theater about to watch The Chronicles of Narnia.)

06 April 2006

DVR saved my marriage

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is only partially true. But seriously though, DVR rocks my world. Or rather, it removes what could be some rocks in my otherwise smooth marital relationship (ho! so clever, so clever...).

Anyway, instead of shushing Jay when he walks in the house in the middle of one of my shows, I wait and watch the shows when Jay won't be home, or if I must, I can always pause when he walks in and pay him all the attention he deserves. Life is good. And so are all my awesome shows! Veronica Mars is generally the coolest girl I [don't] know, young Chris Rock is hiLARious, the Lost castaways are lost in this crazy mindgame I'm lovin', and The Office is the funniest show on TV. Period.

29 March 2006

It's my [work] party!

Check out my festive office, courtesy our student worker, Brittany, and my boss' son, Tyler--also two super-hip college kids who I like talking to! They couldn't find balloons, so they printed out pictures of balloons and taped them all over my office. And check out my adorable birthday doughnut!

The roses are from my darling hubby--I feel so loved! Last year I got a car detail as a birthday surprise, this year a dozen red roses...I never know what I'll get from him. He likes to do one surprise and then a few regular gifts.
Right after this picture was taken, another bouquet arrived! It said Gear Up office on it, and so for some reason I assumed it was from the office. I even thanked Paula and Leah Anne, my coworkers and they were like your welcome! Then I set it down in my office, pulled out the card (duh!) and it said from Dad and Sharonda...I went back in Leah Anne's office and was like, Don't worry guys, you don' t owe anybody anything, those were from my dad...Many laughs were had...ah, good times on my b-day.

27 March 2006

Nobody likes you when you're 23...

Well my birthday is approaching--March 29 (go out and get those last-minute gifts, everyone! Just kidding...), and I find myself giving a sigh of relief to be moving on from my 23rd year. In the immortal words of Blink 182, "Nobody likes you when you're 23" (What's My Age Again?). I have to say, I have seen some of the meaning behind those profound lyrics this year. I turned 23 during my first year of marriage, and although I always felt loved, I didn't always feel liked. I also struggled through two part-time jobs during my 23rd year. However, I got my first full-time, professional job, and my first cover story this year, too!!

Praise God for both times: the lows and the highs!

Also, happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Kyle, who turns 33 today! Check out the blog my sister-in-law Audrey writes about their family happenings at right.

22 March 2006

Back to the daily grind...

Oh, it stinks to be back... No I was definitely missing J, who stayed home to clean house (yeah right!) and fish. But vacation time was so sweet. I read a goofy chick lit novel that was most definitely not required reading, and I started Pride and Prejudice. Now I'm halfway through it and have had to stop to read a South African novel for my World Lit class... *sigh* C'est la vie.

Here's the official report of our trip: Taos, NM for three days of snow skiing. Jay didn't go because he doesn't want to risk hurting his knee. Next year we're going to learn to snowboard together, because I've heard that's easier on your knees.... any input on that? I'm just going on hearsay... The skiing was awful at first, and excellent the third day. The first day, we were skiing in a blizzard!! It was survival of the fittest, and I'm sorry to say, our group wimped out and went back down the mountain early. The next day, it was better, although the icy wind was still pretty brutal. The third day, the sun came out and smiled on us and our skiing (whoa, too much Native American lit for me!). These pics were both taken the third day. The first one is my sister, our cousin Dave's lovely, lots of fun wife, Liz, and me. The second one is my sister and brother pretending to have a crash. I don't think my sister has fallen skiing since her first trip, which was like 14 years ago. Me, I spend a little time on my rear still. Usually only at the end of a long day when my legs are tired and I hit some bumpy or icy spot, and I'm just like whatever, do I eat snow anymore. I hate that Jay will probably never see me doing this one athletic thing that I'm kind of good at...he had the audacity to tell me he thought I would be a conservative skiier! I handle the blues with the best of them, thank you very much!!

06 March 2006

SOSU ends season with heartbreaker

Hey, do I sound like a sportswriter or what? Well, our beloved SOSU men's basketball team ended their season in a disappointing loss to West Texas A&M Commerce last Friday. All the fans had such a great feeling about the game, because we'd played incredibly Tuesday, thereby securing our position as host for the rest of the tournament. All we gotta do is protect home court, right? Couldn't do it. We lost by two points as Robert "Auss" Aitken, the only senior on our team, bricked a three-pointer, which ended his scoreless evening. If that's not heartbreaking enough, let me push you over the edge to pathetic with this bit of locker-room gossip from Jay: After the game, Auss laid down on the FLOOR OF THE MEN'S LOCKER ROOM BATHROOM and bawled his eyes out! Okay, a) Who knows what kinds of diseases he'll be taking back down under with him after that decision, and b) Poor guy.

In good news though, God is blessing Northwest Church of Christ tremendously with Andy and Terri Burns, our new preacher and his wife! They have such love for Jesus and the church and the lost, it's really helping us grow. My favorite thought from Andy so far is this: Meeting with the church isn't the purpose of the church. Worship is our privilege, spreading the Gospel is our purpose.

21 February 2006

Husbandly and wifely duties

Jay's duties as husband:
  1. Adjust the thermometer before we get in bed.
  2. Lock the doors before we go to bed.
  3. Take out the trash every Tuesday, and whenever the trash can is visibly overflowing.
  4. Mow the lawn.
  5. Clean the hot tub.

Kim's duties as wife:

  1. Everything else.

Can I get an Amen, wives? You'd think I was telling him he has to drive nails through his own eyes when I ask him to get the trash out to the corner before noon on Tuesday!

17 February 2006

I'm a cover girl!

So that story to the left, the one on the cover (!!) is mine!! I can't believe it! My mom and Diane have both received their copies already, and I'm waiting on pins and needles for my comp copies!!

I suppose I've "made it" as a freelance journalist. That story is definitely a pinnacle. Now I've just got to figure out what story I want to turn into a book, write it, and get it published in the next five years. (That little phrase--"write it"--is so huge.) That's what I feel I need to do to keep moving up.

08 February 2006

Me as a boring teacher!

So today, I tried out what it would be like to be a high school teacher, and let me tell you, it was scary! I spoke at the Silo Career Day about journalism, and those kids mostly looked like they were half-asleep or totally ambivalent toward what I had to say!! However, Steffie, editor at Oklahoma Today, and former high school English teacher, assured me that high school kids can look like that, but actually be soaking it in. I hope so, b/c I was talking my heart out about freelancing and PR!

You're also looking at the next cover story writer for Oklahoma Today magazine!! Steffie just told me today my story on Oklahoma museums is going to be on the cover of the March/April issue!! I'm so pumped!

02 February 2006

My hair is gone!

Hello all!

My looks have drastically changed since yesterday--I chopped my hair off a la Nicole Richie. I love it!!

01 February 2006

Happy birthday, Mama!

Actually, yesterday was my mom's birthday, but I think today would be a good day to write my "Ode to Mother."

Where did I get my pretty face?
My beautiful mom.
How did I get such a smart mouth?
My trash-talking mother.
Why do I believe I can be a writer?
My encouraging, intelligent mom.
Who made me an expert on everything?
My all-knowing mother.
Who brought me into this world and can take me out of it?
My Mommy.
Why do I love to go home again?
My mother.

30 January 2006

We are the Savage Storm

Goodbye, Spirit Pony. Goodbye, hatchet chop. Southeastern Oklahoma State University is savage no more. Or are we? We're having a bit of an identity crisis. At the basketball game against Texas A&M-Commerce the other night, the SOSU jazz band still played the hatchet chop, even though we officially became the Savage Storm two weeks ago. A group of middle-aged men in the stands, however, adapted the supposedly Indian gesture to our new mascot by moving their arm in a circle instead of in the chop motion. (Get it, like a tornado?) Even President Johnson and his elite crew did it a few times. (I noticed PJ was wearing that uneasy grin, like Am I being made fun of or are they accepting this well?)

Here's my soapbox on the issue: We sidestepped the entire issue with our new mascot. SOSU made a political move to remain in good standing with alumni who are stubbornly attached to Savage. The defense I've heard for Savage a hundred times is that it doesn't offend Indians in this area. I think that's beside the point. The fact is, savage has throughout history been a derogatory name for Native people, not just Native Americans. I'm reading Wide Sargasso Sea for World Lit right now, and Mr. Rochester (yes, of Jane Eyre) continually refers to the Caribbean people and ways as savage. Do you think Mr. Rochester valued these people he's calling savage? He allowed them to wait on him, but he did not trust them, and considered himself superior to them. That's always been the connotation to the word savage. In Southeastern Oklahoma, the word savage has been tied with our school pride, rather than its historical meaning. But in the rest of the country, they think we're perpetuating racism. To me, tradition in the rest of the world should trump tradition in our little corner of the world, so that we can continue to be a university for all people.

Okay, I'm stepping down now. That's what I think about the issue. However, it won't bother me too much either way, because I really think a mascot is more about athletics than it is about academics.

26 January 2006

Action-packed life

Sorry it's been a while everyone!

I'm now gainfully employed for SOSU as Information Technology Coordinator for the GEAR UP Partnership. GEAR UP is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. We help high school kids prepare for college! I'm loving it! So busy I can hardly think straight! There's my office! (It needs some wall art, I know!)

Last night, Jay and I went to OKC to watch the Hornets/Spurs game at the Ford Center. We scored some free season tickets from one of Jay's rich Edmond contacts, so we were like 20 fee behind the Spurs bench! Hornets lost, and no Eva Longoria sighting, so it was a little disappointing in the end, but all around lots of fun. Shoutout to all the Edmond people we saw last night!!

Get this: Jay and I are dragging home in that weird vehicular state when you've been sitting down so long you feel full of energy and dead tired at the same time, and we're driving through Kingston when we see a cop. Don't worry, Jay wasn't speeding; we could actually see the cop's face for a split second, and J knew the guy--he sold him a house. I'm kinda like Hmph, and then after five minutes, he's still following us. Then his lights come on! I instinctually asked J if he was speeding , but it turned out to be a bored policeman friend who just wanted to chit-chat at midnight on the side of the road! It was a good conversation, but when we pulled out, J groaned and said, "You can't really not pull over when a cop turns on his lights..." and then headed for the house.

I'm going to take a digital pic of our doggies and post it...they're what makes our house a madhouse! We've just picked up another stray, a little cowdog mix (little now, but will be BIG) that is absolutely adorable. We named him Ranger b/c of his black mask markings. And we still have good ol' Shadow, who thankfully is no longer able to court all the ladies on the block all night long. Thank you, Dr. Frieda!