Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Oklahoma ice storm

When we got back from beautiful Florida, we discovered Oklahoma was covered in a sheet of ice. It was unbelievably cold and the ice was destructive — but the ice also sparkled like glitter and was just so beautiful. It was hard to not enjoy it at least a little.

Our ice-covered trees, complete with fallen limbs.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Miami 2013

After our trip at Disney World we headed down to Miami to spend more time with Nathaniel's side of the family. It's been a while since we've been to Miami and we had a blast catching up with family and old friends. We are really grateful for our loved ones there and feel like we are leaving a bit of our hearts in Florida every time we come back to Oklahoma.

While in Miami we talked our heads off and ate more food than was even remotely reasonable. We slept in, went to the mall, walked around Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and generally just enjoyed ourselves.

At Vizcaya. So beautiful and peaceful.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Disney World 2013

We headed to Florida the week before Christmas to enjoy some time at Disney World with our families. And when I mean family I mean like Nathaniel's third cousin and their best friends, totaling up to 20 people at some points. It was loud, crazy and totally awesome. Sadly, we did not get a group photo. But at least we have the memories!

My parents with Pooh and Tigger, and me and Nathaniel with Pooh and Tigger. Once we noticed both Nathaniel and Tigger were "wearing stripes" there were a lot more shenanigans going on than just smiling and posing!

Friday, December 13, 2013

December N-town

The December N-town cover was all about what makes Norman a remarkable arts community. It was really fun for me to reflect on how much the community supports the arts, as well as look forward to what 2014 will have to offer as far as our arts and entertainment scene goes! Lots of amazing things set to happen in Norman, Okla. Check out the story and edition here.



Always,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jewelry photo shoot

My dear friend Caitlin and I modeled for a fashion jewelry shoot for Norman magazine recently...I promise you won't want to miss the finished product! Stay tuned!


Always,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in Lubbock

We had the chance to head to Lubbock, Texas, to spend time with our families for Thanksgiving. We spent a lot of time eating food — of course — shopping and watching movies. Love the chance to spend time with family!

video
After shopping with my brother, Tyler. He was so psyched for new drum gear.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A visit with artist Paul Moore

I recently had the opportunity to visit with artist Paul Moore, the genius behind the Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument. Paul is a truly gifted artist and I was humbled to have a peek into his life.

Panoramic view of Paul's studio 

Friday, November 8, 2013

November N-town

November N-town was supposed to be the holiday equivalent of the October N-town...beefed up page count and all holiday-themed. Unfortunately, because of a lack of funds, we actually had to go down in pages. I was unbelievably disappointed. But all is well...I still hung out with Santa in the flesh! Read it here.



Always,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween puppet makeup

For Halloween this year Nathaniel and I dressed up as a puppet and puppet master. I had an absolute blast doing my makeup. This will be a semi-tutorial to help anyone else who is interested in doing the same thing...also, for myself, for future reference. I took a million photos in a million angles, so hopefully you get the idea of what I did.

The finished look before we left for the party.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Note from Grandad

I recently had a long heart-to-heart over the phone with my Grandad over something I am struggling with. I then received a letter in the mail a few days later. By letter I mean the most beautifully written sticky note attached to some news clippings he wanted me to read. I have never been so moved by a sticky note! I sure love that man!



Always,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Texas Tech football game

My parents and brother, Tyler, came into town for the Texas Tech versus University of Oklahoma football game. It was a really great guy — though our beloved Red Raiders lost! We still had a great time visiting and being together. Thankful for family and football!

Me, mama and Tyler.

Always,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oklahoma Arts Conference in Ardmore

I went to the Oklahoma Arts Conference in Ardmore this week and had the most incredible time learning about Oklahoma's arts community and networking with other artists, arts administrators and advocates. Oklahoma has a wonderful community of people striving to improve their communities and the state at large through the arts. I am grateful to be a part of a city and state that truly values the arts and recognizes the many ways arts benefit us as a community! The conference is coming to Norman in 2014, too...can't wait to see Norman's fabulous arts community be shown off to the rest of the state!

Always,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween

We were invited a friend's Halloween party this year. We literally agonized over what to dress up as, seeing as how the host wanted all couples attending to be coordinating. We first joked about going as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, considering my hair is short and blonde now. But we ditched it. I then landed on a puppet and puppetmaster, quite simply because the costume was going to be cheap and so easy to execute. And comfortable. We knew we were going to be doing a scavenger hunt so we needed costumes we could easily run around in. Our costumes were definitely a hit — something we'll have to revisit in the future.

You can't really tell, but Nathaniel is even wearing black eyeliner!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Santa! I know him!

I went to Santa's house recently. Seriously. I met him. He lives in Norman. And is the most warm and fuzzy guy I've ever met. Mrs. Claus was amazing, too. Did you know Santa likes to bar-b-que? And that he works a day job as a camera man at a local news station? True story.

Photo credit: Lisa Monahan Photography

Read my piece on Santa Opa Claus here.

Always,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Visit from Dana

My dear friend Dana came to visit recently, just for fun. While she was here we shopped, ate a ton of food, enjoyed Norman's art scene and cleaned — yes, cleaned. Dana's crazy and loved cleaning out my closet. Always good to have a visit from an old friend!

Me, Caitlin and Dana at the 2nd Friday Circuit of Art in Norman. Photo credit to my freelancer, Doug Hill!

Always,

Friday, October 11, 2013

October N-town

A lot of blood, sweat, tears and creativity went into the October N-town. We bumped up our page content, included a fashion shoot and of course everything was Halloween-themed. I am SO thrilled with the results! Check it out here.


Always,

P.S. Isn't the covergirl beautiful? That's my sweet friend, Kathleen! Check her out at Don't Stand On That You'll Break It.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Halloween photo shoot

When we were brainstorming ideas for the October N-town Halloween edition we realized we didn't have anything that touched on costumes. I didn't want to write another text-heavy story, and I got the crazy idea that maybe we could pull of a full on fashion shoot. I got busy contacting a local costume shop, to see if they'd be willing to furnish some costumes. From looking at their costumes, we thought about where we could find free locations to shoot that would match the costumes. We then contacted one of my favorite photographers, Benita with BRC Photography, as well as a hair and makeup team. I recruited some of my friends to act as the models, and a shoot was born!

It was wild coordinating all the different pieces to make the shoot happen but the day of was quite simply a blast. All the talent we had on board were creative, dynamic and excited to work together. We all brought our best to the board. The finished product was just outstanding!


My dear friend Caitlin dressed up as Marie Antoinette. We spoke with a local bakery, Crimson and Whipped Cream, about shooting in their space. They even let us purchase a few cupcakes to shoot with. Andrew Freeman Creative Studio provided the amazing hair and makeup. 

How this final spread turned out:


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Person in the Arts

The Norman Arts Council recently awarded me with a "Business Person in the Arts" award for my work supporting and covering community arts at The Norman Transcript. I was so tickled! It felt great to be recognized by a group of professionals that I truly respect. I even got a free lunch out of the gig! Here's a link to the story another reporter wrote about the awards luncheon.


Accepting my plaque at the luncheon

Woohoo!
Always,


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Belton's First Birthday (and art)

We recently went to Dallas to celebrate the first birthday of Belton, the baby of my sweet friend Laura and her husband Matt. We had so much fun visiting with our friends and celebrating their sweet boy!

The big guy!

I also gave Laura some art I had recently worked on for her and Matt. The first is the "You are my sunshine" song for Belton's nursery. The second refers to Matt and Laura's anniversary.



Always,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

I interviewed Jeff Kinney, author of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, because he was coming into town to do a fundraiser for those affected by the May tornadoes. During the interview I told Jeff that my 11-year-old writing student was a big fan but wouldn't be able to attend the fundraiser. I asked Jeff what kind of advice he would give to a young aspiring author. He answered, saying to practice writing in the style of favorite authors. And then the kicker: He offered to talk to Miles on the phone. I was shocked but so excited!

I emailed Jeff and Miles' mom, Amy, later to set up the phone interview. And then during our next class we practiced how the interview would go and what types of questions he'd ask Jeff.

From what Miles told me, the interview went really well! Amy texted me a picture of Miles after the interview:

A little excited!

So excited he got to talk to such a great author! Jeff is a humble, great guy. The kicker is...he still even has a day job!

Always,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Miles-ism

Writing class today with Miles, I had to lecture him because he isn't doing his homework or really putting in the sufficient energy to improve. All this after having several discussions about how creative endeavors take a lot of hard work and elbow grease. He did change one detail in his story. So in the middle of being lovingly chastised he exclaimed "Every good story has to have a space bazooka!"

***

Miles was working on writing his chapter story, and we were discussing different elements of a story. The week before, we had discussed what a cliffhanger means. At the end of one of his chapters, Miles' character had fallen off of a cliff.

I laughed when I read the ending.

To which Miles said:

"I told you it was a cliffhanger — more like a cliff-faller!"

***

During class we frequently use my iPhone to ask Siri questions, like how to spell a word or where something is.

At one point Miles asked if he could ask Siri something. I handed him my phone.

Miles: "From now on call me 'Big Mama,'"
Siri: "From now on I'll call you 'Big Mama,' okay?"
Miles: "Yes!"

***

I made a dollar bet with Miles during one class about a fact he needed to check. The next class he showed up with this:

A dollar in quarters.

Always,

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Chop

It's no secret that I change my hair. A lot. The only thing I hadn't tried was a pixie cut. So I figured — what the heck. Why not give it a try?

Before and after.

I went in with several photos of Michelle William's pixie cut, a la...


I really loved it at first. And then I felt totally neutral about it. Figured I'd probably get bored of this just as quickly as anything else. Then I started noticing the bad parts of the actual cut and was really upset — there were some parts of the cut that weren't executed very well. My friend, Kathleen, fixed the cut for me while she was in town and then I loved it again. By the time I had it redone — by a different stylist at a different salon — I totally loved it again. Plus I upped up the blonde factor, and that was just fun!

After I had it redone.

What I love most about a pixie cut is it challenges ideas of female beauty standards. I also love it because you can't hide behind your hair when you have very little of it...you just have to own yourself and be confident! Both things I'm all about! I'm not sure if I'll keep it in the long-run, as it will be pricey to maintain the cut and color, but I do LOVE it!

What do you think about short cuts on women?

Always,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Angel Lady

As a part of my interviews for my story on the creepy and bizarre for the October N-town I interviewed the "angel lady" Leslie Draper. Leslie claims to be a "mystic" and to be able to see and communicate with angels. We spoke for a while about her talents, how they developed, what she does with them and some of the difficulties of being a mystic. We probably spoke for nearly two hours — it was definitely interesting. She even "realigned my energy." Can't say I felt any different afterwards, but hey — can't hurt. There's a first time for everything.

Always,

Monday, September 16, 2013

My friend the clairvoyant

I wrote a story for the October N-town about the spooky and bizarre in Norman. I interviewed an "intuitive" or a "clairvoyant" for the piece, Lauren Kelly. She offered to read my "chakra," so I figured why not? It was definitely interesting to hear what she had to say...the very rough manuscript is below, for anybody who wants to read:

Friday, September 13, 2013

September N-town

This one had a lot of last minute changes and was a little stressful to get out...but as always, we made it happen. Read it here.



Always,

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Girls' Night Art Night

I had the girls over tonight for some snacks and art. We had a blast visiting and being creative.

Here's what I came up with:


Detail shot

I wanted something that reminded me of how I felt shortly after my miscarriage in February. I chose the word "peace" to remind me of the scripture D&C 6:23 that sustained me through that time: "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have then from God?" I liked the laurel wreath as a symbol of victory and triumph — over death, over sorrow — but also as a reminder to "not rest on my laurels." Or not let my faith rest on one experience. 

The other girls did various phrases, some with color, some without. I should have taken photos!

Always,

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