Thursday, July 24, 2014

My bestie visits

Last night my best friend Becky and her husband Bobby had to come to Tulsa for an insurance class and we met for dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  They didn't bring their kids (they have 5) and we definitely missed them.  We took Tyler and Hunter to dinner, I always want my friends to see how much the kids are growing.  Becky's oldest is leaving for college in a couple of weeks and that makes me feel so old. Geez.

We had the best time catching up with each other and discussing the crazy antics of having 6 boys all together.  Yes, 6.  Crazy, huh!?  In college, if you told Becky and I that we'd have six boys between the two of us, I would have laughed my head off!  I'd have never thought we would be responsible for that many humans, ever! Ha!

It's amazing to me that no matter how much time has passed between our visits, we can always just start right off where we last stopped.  I love that. We've been friends for twenty-five years now.  Actually, I think this year is our 25th friend anniversary. She's one of the only friends I've ever had that has been with me through thick and thin.  She's always supported me in everything I've done and been a shoulder to cry on when I needed one.  That's a true friend and I'm so thankful for her.

We think we're selfie queens!

With the family - Hunter loves to look goofy in our pictures

I'm even wearing a necklace she gave me

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My hometown

Our niece Madie is going to Oklahoma State in the Fall for her Freshman year of college.  Jim and I wanted to go to Stillwater with her and scope out her dorm etc.  While there we drove around Stillwater, which happens to be where I grew up until I was twelve years old. I still consider it my hometown and have the best memories from living there.  I think it's because my Aunt and Uncle lived in the same town with my older cousins as well as my Grandma.  Every week on Wednesday night, my Aunt Nila and Uncle Carl would come to our house with their dog Fritz and have an ice cream cone with us.  I looked forward to it every week.  

That's the only time I've ever lived with family in the same town that we did things with all the time.  Now that I have very little family, I really miss those times.  I wish my kids had family like that to spend quality time with on a weekly basis.  

When I was a kid, my Grandma (Mama Lou) was a fraternity housemom.  She lived in the fraternity house with her own little apartment throughout the school year.  She ate every meal with the boys and taught them manners and etiquette classes.  When I would eat dinner at the frat house, I would have to eat ribs or fried chicken with a knive and fork.  

Imagine being eight years old and having to eat like that in front of 100 cutie pie fraternity boys.  It was so embarassing but I loved every stinking moment of it.  I think this is where my boy crazy started.  OSU fraternity boys!

My parents would even go on vacations and leave me with my Mama Lou for the week.  I loved it.  She had a cook named Amy that would make me cinnammon toast in the mornings with chocolate milk. In the afternoons, about ten of the boys would come into my grandma's apartment and watch Jeopardy with her. Every day they did this.  Now that I'm an adult, I realize how sweet that was to spend time with their Mama Lou.  They loved her just like I did.  She was the best. 

Delta Tau Delta fraternity

My first church, Salem Lutheran
After driving around campus, we went by Eskimo Joe's and my church, Salem Lutheran, where I was baptized.  My Dad was best friends with our pastor David Turner, who was our backyard neighbor.  We are Lutheran because my Dad just loved David.  He was such an interesting person and very sweet.

We finally drove by the house on McDonald Street I lived in when I was in Kindergarten and First Grade.  My parents rented this house and I remember it being a little odd.  They had a basement that had two poles on either side of the house and I used to spend hours roller skating down there.  There was also a mud room that really freaked me out. It seemed huge but in all honesty it probably wasn't. I used to think the window on the second floor on the house right in front was soooo big.  In my mind, it was a gigantic, huge picture window. Funny how things look so small as an adult when they were gigantic when you were a child. The hill on the right also seemed like a mountain.  I remember running up that hill all the time thinking I was king of the mountain.  Now that I look at it, it's barely a hill. 
This house looked much better in the 70's

The house below is our final house in Stillwater.  When we moved here, we thought we had made it.  It had a swimming pool and my parents were so proud.  I spent my days hitting tennis balls against that brick wall.  That's when my love of tennis started. 

The last house we lived in in Stillwater

The temperature guage on the wall below is the original one that my parents bought for the pool area in the early 80's.  I thought that was awesome that it was still there.  Old looking but still there. 

This backyard about killed me. 

We had a beautiful pool back here with gorgeous landscaping that my Dad worked so hard to put in.

Who fills in a pool?  I was so mad that I called the real estate agent (it was for sale for $182,000) and asked when they filled in the pool.  It's sad when you have such great memories of pool parties, swimming all summer with your friends and it's gone.  Just dirt.  

This is the Country Club where I first took golf and tennis lessons.  I played golf here every weekend with my Dad, my Uncle Carl and my cousins Brian and Craig.  I'm seeing a pattern here and now know why I prefer being with men than drama filled women. 

My greatest regret is that my boys didn't get to grow up next to a Country Club with a pool, tennis courts and golf course.  They've missed out on a lot of fun being stuck in a boring small town.

My elementary school Sangre Ridge.  I loved it.  It was an open floor plan, we had no structural walls separating classes, just partitions.  It sounds strange but it was the best place to go to school.  My favorite teacher was Mrs. McPhee, she was the first teacher to really convince me that I was smart.  I love her for that. 

This is a picture of my last school, the Paul Miller Journalism school at OSU.  I still work at the same job I was recommended for by my public relations professor Brooks Garner.  I love that.  So thankful!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Soccer State Championship Game

Last Friday our Bulldogs played for the soccer state championship in Norman at the OU soccer complex. To say it was nerve-wracking and exciting would be an understatement. Last week was a complete roller coaster of emotions. 

It all started when we played NW Classen in Oklahoma City last Tuesday. It was the third round of the playoffs.  It was such an exciting game and we pulled off a 2-1 win. The boys went ballistic with joy, even walking towards our bleachers full of fans and giving us a round of applause. That might have been my favorite moment after the win. Coach Campbell wanted to make sure the boys thanked the fans for all of the love and support they've received throughout the season. 

Fast forward to the end of the week. Our town was so excited. We hadn't had a state championship in 10 years. All the businesses had signs up wishing the team good luck. It was incredible. We planned a send-off for the boys and they didn't know about it. 
I don't know if there's anything more exciting than seeing your team being led through town by the police with sirens. So cool to watch!

We left around 3pm for the 7:30 game in Norman so we could stop and eat. We ended up running into traffic so we met our friends at Taco Bell for a quick bite. I was so nervous, I could hardly eat. 

We arrived at 6:30 for the game and were so impressed with the OU soccer stadium. Biggest soccer complex I've ever seen. 

The game started and two minutes in I knew our boys were scared and playing like it. I didn't even recognize some of the boys, they playing so nervous. The other team was phenomenal. We were in trouble from the first goal four minutes into the game. We ended up losing 6-1 but we were so proud of our team. What an honor to even make it there!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Soccer state semi-finals!

We're traveling to Oklahoma City tonight for the state semi-finals in soccer.  We play Northwest Classen at the Putnam City West stadium.

Our family's so excited that we're taking nine people with us.  We have to support our Bulldogs in their bid for the state championship.  I'm so proud of these boys.  They've fought hard and stuck it out to get to number 3 in the state of Oklahoma in classs 5A.  That's no small feat.

Tyler is out with a knee injury.  The orthopedic doctor thinks he has a torn meniscus. We go for the MRI next week.  I'm just happy that Tyler has had the opportunity to be a part of such a great team!!! I've enjoyed every second watching these boys play!

The boys after the Oologah Tournament - we won!

Tyler running after the ball

These boys have worked so hard! They deserve all the success in the world!

Coach Campbell giving words of advice

Great boys and even better friends

Monday, April 7, 2014

Six months later.....

I went for my first Rheumatologist appointment last week.  I've been on Plaquenil, my Lupus medicine for about six months now.  

I have to say, I feel better right now than I have in the past six years. For the first time, I don't wake up and have a cold sweat, flu-type feeling.  I never realized how often I felt that way until it went away.  

The doctor said I'm doing really well. I lost a pound from my last doctors appointment at the urgent care. I guess they even have my urgent care appointments in the computer, which is convenient.  I told him that I constantly feel swollen or inflammed.  My sock line shows if I ever wear any kind of socks and that tells me I definitely am swelling.  Not...a....good...look.

The doctor did tell me that he would like to increase my Plaquenil, which I thought was odd since I'm doing really well. He told me that what I think is doing well might actually just be called functioning.  I'm so used to not feeling well that I just am now able to function day to day and think that's terrific.  He said once I get used to the medicine doubled, I could actually feel great.  

I can't imagine feeling great....I would love it.  

I'm now going to take Vitamin D3, 2,000mg a day, which is the sunshine vitamin and a prenatal vitamin.  The Plaquenil is changing the condition or texture of my hair.  I have super fine hair but a ton of it.  It feels finer and like it's thinning considerably.  Do not put it past me to go buy a Kim Zolciak wig. I would totally rock the blonde Real Housewives of Atlanta look!

The other big suggestion is....he wants me to follow the Eat to Live Diet by Dr. Joel Furhman.  He said that's the best lifestyle change for autoimmune disease sufferers.  Apparently, the mostly vegan lifestyle reduces inflammation in Lupus sufferers.  

How on earth am I going to do that with two teenage boys and a husband that only eats meat and potatoes?????  Talk about a challenge!  I will say that they are very good about only trying to go places that have good, healthy food when I watch my weight.  I am thankful for that.  

Now to just get my hubby on board this would be amazing for him too! 

On the kid front, Tyler is busy with high school Varsity soccer and Varsity track.  He plays mid in soccer and goes in on the games where we are winning.  If it's close, he doesn't get to play as often, but that's fine with me.  I'm so proud he's going in and he's a Freshman!  In Track, he's pole vaulting with his friend Hunter.  Tyler's been able to clear 9 foot so he's on his way.  He just wants to try to get better so he can get a letter on his Letterman jacket for Track also.

Hunter's in Track right now and it's been fun for him.  He doesn't like to run so he's just pole vaulting.  He hasn't qualified to go to a Track meet yet. They only take three kids so it makes it hard when you haven't made it to the three best yet.  Hunter's up to clearing six foot though.  I think with a little practice, he's going to be great!

Tyler told us the other day he isn't playing football next year.  
That's a big negative.

That kid loves football.  I don't know who's gotten it into his head that he shouldn't play football but they are ticking me off.  He will regret it so much if he doesn't.  I guess time will tell.

On the work front, I'm working again at the same company I've already worked twice.  I've always been the Business Development Coordinator and they brought me back as a Consultant.  I like it because I'm working with all my best friends.  Fun times.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring sports

Tyler and Hunter have both been busy with sports, of course. Hunter been working on pole vaulting in Track this Spring. He hasn't had much of a chance to really pole vault because they don't do that everyday in morning practice. I hate that for him. He's got good form, he just needs to keep working on propelling himself up and over the pole.

He got out in the first round at his first track meet at the starting height. He was disappointed but I wasn't considering that's how his brother started out when he first tried to pole vault.

Tyler also decided just yesterday to join Track again this Spring and pole vault. He hadn't started out the Track season with the Track team but on a whim the other night said he was going to ask Coach Miller if he could. I think he might be doing it just to join his best friend, also named Hunter, at all the track meets. That way they get to pole vault in the morning, then have the rest of the track meet day to just hang out and watch all the races.

I just talked to Tyler and the track meet today didn't go that well. He and Hunter both got out at the starting height. We are having forty mile an hour winds so that might be a slight factor in their unsuccessful day.

Tyler had a soccer game on Monday night against the town that the boys Dad lives in. It was a very rough game with a lot of mouthing and shoving. Two of our boys got yellow cards and both teams almost got into it at the end of the game. One of the other teams players actually came over to the stands and was yelling an obscenity at a Grandma on our team. It was crazy. I hate confrontation so it completely freaked me out. Soccer can be a crazy game with crazy players and fans. We suffered our first loss that game so our boys were mad anyway. Hopefully, we'll take some lessons from our loss and go on to win big the rest of the season.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pork Carnitas

Monday I put a pork butt in the crockpot with a Pot Roast seasoning packet, I believe it was McCormick. I added about a cup of beef broth and cooked the roast all day on low in the crockpot.

It was phenomenal. So tender and yummy. We ate it with buttered white rice and green beans. Very simple dinner but so tasty. 

Tonight I decided we would eat the rest of the pork roast as pork carnitas. I simply put the shredded pork in a small skillet and let it crisp and develop a crust on the bottom before stirring it. The crust on the pork made all the difference in the world. I added taco seasoning to the pork for a spiced up flavor. We ate them in flour tortillas.  I love anything Mexican!  

I cooked a box of Mexican style Rice-a-Roni to serve with the carnitas. 

We ate the carnitas plain with the tortillas but in the past, I've served them with all the taco fixings-lettuce, cheese, guacamole, salsa, chopped onions,diced  tomatoes.  

My favorite salsa actually comes in a can in the Mexican food aisle. It is the brightest, freshest flavor of any salsa I've tried. You will love it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A triumph

Last night the hubs and I decided to take Allie the Boxer on a walk. We headed to the nature trail and told Jim that I'd probably not be able to walk very far since I hadn't done any exercise since last summer. For the past two years, when I'd walk, I'd get a horrible aching pain in my rib cage and have to spend the rest of the walk holding my sides and my back. I just thought I was fat and feeling the effects and wouldn’t think another thing about it. Well…last night was the first night in a very long time that the feeling of pain didn’t hit me right after beginning my walk. It was a realization I had about three quarters of the way. I didn’t have that pesky pain feeling. I couldn’t believe it. The pain must have been from my Connective Tissue Disease all this time. I don’t know if anyone that doesn’t have Lupus will ever understand what I triumph that walk was for me. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like quitting. I could keep walking without having to hold my ribs. It was the best feeling in the world. Slowly by surely, I’m thinking of more and more symptoms or pains I’ve suffered from in the last three years that were probably Lupus. All the times I thought I was really out of shape or just overweight, I felt bad because I was actually sick. In a twisted sort of way, that’s such a relief. Now, at least, I can take one pill everyday and all of my pains go away. All the times I thought I was going crazy because I never felt good are slowly being explained and I love it. Thank God for Rheumatologists!

Our soccer team is #4 in the state

Class 5A Soccer (Boys) Week 2 Rankings as of 3/17/2014 Rank School (#1 Rankings) W-L Points 1 EAST CENTRAL (5) 5-0 121 2 HERITAGE HALL (4) 2-0 110 3 NORTHWEST CLASSEN 4-2 86 4 SKIATOOK 4-0 70 5 CLAREMORE 2-0 62 6 CASCIA HALL 4-2 56 7 PIEDMONT 3-0 53 8 COWETA 3-2 52 9 DEL CITY 2-1 44 9 MEMORIAL 2-2 44 11 PRYOR 2-1 42 12 DEER CREEK (EDMOND) 1-3 33 13 WESTERN HEIGHTS0-0 31 14 EDISON PREP 1-2 27 15 EISENHOWER 1-0 21
We won the Oologah tournament this past weekend and the boys were so pumped about it!
I copied the listing of rankings on the OSSAA website and we are number 4 in the state! That is unbelievable! We are so proud of our Bulldog soccer team! They are doing terrific! Tyler's on the team with his two best friends, which makes it even more exciting. They are the only three Freshmen on the team. Our soccer schedule really kicks into gear soon so we will a busy soccer family. I don't mind, I love watching soccer. We are on our tenth year of soccer so it's all we've ever known practically.