Elsa & Fred

Dear Friends,

Due to Norman and the state of Oklahoma turning into a winter wonderland yesterday, I had the day off thanks to our conscientious university president, David Boren.  At first when I woke up to find no freezing rain, I shook my head and wondered why school was cancelled.  But as I slowly made my way to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and proceeded to enjoy 2 full, uninterrupted hours of my favorite morning show, CBS This Morning, I began to be okay with not having to rush into the shower and off to work.  I sipped my coffee in peace and eventually thanked President Boren for the unexpected day off.  After catching up on a few of my recorded shows like Downton Abbey, I decided to flip on over to Netflix.  One of the first suggestions that came on the screen was Elsa & Fred.  I clicked to read more though it didn’t take me long to want to watch.  As if the sweet, romantic plot wasn’t enough, here is the list of main characters: Christopher Plummer, Shirley MacLaine, Marcia Gay Harden and Christopher Noth.  Need I say more?  I have always been a sucker for romantic comedies and good dramatic movies and this certainly met my expectations.  I won’t spoil the movie but here’s the gist: Elsa (played by MacLaine) befriends her new neighbor (Plummer) by getting him out of his apartment and brings him out of his crusty-like appearance.  The two end up being great companions for each other and falling in love.  I would highly encourage you to watch it sometime.  The acting is great, plot is good and cast…well, they’re all award-winners so you can’t go wrong there.

Oh, and a shout out to my friend Betsy who has a movie blog of her own.  I certainly don’t have the vast knowledge she does of movies.  You should check out her list of suggestions and critique of movies.

Stay warm!


Finally Friday: Start of A New Chapter

Forgive my not having done a Finally Friday segment in a while. Tonight is the preseason “Meet the Sooners” banquet for the OU Softball team. I have been involved with the program (specifically the booster club) for a few years now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is such a fun night where we get to interact with the players, fellow donors and fans and of course get an introduction to the new season and team. I have been told the girls are raring to go and get 2015 off to a great start. Speaking of, their first game is only days away and will take place in Hawaii. When the possible tournament and their choice to play there was shared, I couldn’t help but be interested in going. I mean, it’s Hawaii…what was there to think about? How long do I stay? Who do I want to go with? Those questions were quickly answered and the ball quickly got rolling. Now, here we are, 4 days away from leaving Oklahoma City for Honolulu. Needless to say, I’m so unbelievably excited and am looking forward to the trip for so many reasons. I’m going with a friend of mine who has been there before and has been on cloud nine ever since we chose to go. I love seeing her so happy and excited…she’s been like a giddy child and has been fun to watch.
This will be my first time to Hawaii so I’m ready to enjoy every moment. As a friend just told me yesterday, “Life’s too short.”

So as I enjoy a day off from work to do some errands and get ready for tonight, I wish you all a great Friday and weekend ahead. There will definitely be more blog posts about this new chapter and this amazing trip. Continue reading

Lifelong Sooner With a Big Heart

Jakie Sandefer

Like previous times when I have received sad news of a Sooner taken from us too early, I feel the need to share my story in their honor as a way of processing.  Two days ago, I heard that former Sooner football player Jakie Sandefer, was quite ill.  My boss stood there and told me, “He’s in the hospital and they don’t think he’ll make it.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I wanted to say, “But I just saw him a few months ago…”  Word quickly spread and I made sure a friend of mine who also worked with me in the suites and private donor areas also knew of his status.  We both reached out to his secretary to share that our thoughts and prayers were with him and his family.  Just about an hour ago, I got the news that Jakie passed away after “fighting the good fight.”  Jakie was such a generous man and made it his mission to help former student-athletes with finding their passion in life.  You couldn’t help but hear the genuine, heartfelt desire to help others when speaking to him on the phone or in person.  Just this past football season, I popped up to the suites level to say hi to a few people and ran into Jakie.  He was telling Paul Massad, longtime staff member of the University Development office, how much he thought of my boss and that he was proud of the work being done to help former student-athletes.  He had just recently created the program Sooners Helping Sooners to do just that.  Because of his generous, kind spirit, I can smile through the sadness knowing he left this world better than he found it.  He not only made his mark on the University of Oklahoma, but touched so many individual lives.  I am very grateful to be one of those lives.  Jakie now joins other Sooners we have lost too early: Prentice Gautt, David Maloney, Bob Coleman, Karl Moyer and many more.  I’m sure the lively discussions have already begun.

Book Review: The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans

You know those obligatory functions and parties we are all invited to each holiday season where we (speaking as a single person) wish there wasn’t that awkward “Spouses or significant others are welcome” thrown out there? I’ve been at those parties where I am the only one who didn’t come with a date. Sometimes it bothers me…but for the most part, I go and have fun, not letting it take away from my enjoyment. My latest book review is on The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans. When it comes to the holidays, I’m a sucker for a sweet, love story. I love the season that is just about over…the season of warm holiday movies and curling up with a good book that grab at our heartstrings. No violence, no crude scenes and no foul language…just strong characters and excellently written plots that makes us not want to put the book down. This was one of those books. Evans designed a story of two characters from different worlds but yet who worked in the same building. Nicholas Derr is an attorney with a healthy income and Elise Dutton is an administrative assistant who is more conscientious of her money. Derr, a handsome individual, notices Elise on a few occasions but takes a while to get the courage to go up and talk to the woman who has intrigued him. After he finally introduces himself, he gets right to the point. Nick proposes that they be each other’s date to their various obligatory holiday functions and this will all commence on Christmas Eve. At first, Elise is not sure of this idea from a total stranger. But 24 hours later, he once again joins her for lunch and brings the requested “contract” with him showing he’s serious. After going over the terms, they agree but not before changing it to a “promise” instead of contract.  To them, it sounded better.  The story goes on and describes in detail the various events.  One of my favorite parts was how Evans created such a sweet, gentleman-like character in Nicholas.  Nick sends Elise a gift each day.  As the gifts get more extravagant, Elise tries to refuse but Nick persists that he wants to do these things.  The story gives me hope that chivalry is not dead…even if this is only fiction.  Other details unfold about Nick and Elise…..oh, and as to what happens after their “promise” is fulfilled…..guess you’ll just have to read the book and see.   Happy Reading!

Thank you, Shelby!

Dear Friends,

I received a comment on one of my blog pages today from a fellow blogger notifying me that she nominated my blog for “The Inspiring Blogger Award.” Even though I was unaware of the award, I was very touched. I proceeded to read her post where she acknowledged being nominated and how she was returning the favor. Her task to me was to answer the following questions:

1. What is the one blog post you have written, that you are most proud of? Wow, that’s a tough question because three posts come to mind where I paid tribute to 3 individuals who have since passed away. The postings brought comfort to not only me, but more importantly to their family members.

2. What is a day well spent to you? Any day that I can be around my family or good friends. A day where I laugh a lot and forget about all the cares and worries of the world.

3. What would you do with a million dollars? I would move my parents into a safer, renovated house; pay off a debt of a stranger (preferably a single mother struggling to pay her bills); create a scholarship for first-generation college students. These are just a few of the things I would do.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned? The most valuable lesson I have learned is that almost always, your gut is right and that you need to trust it.

5. Where is the best place you have ever traveled? I have been fortunate to have the travel bug early on in my life by my parents. I would say that the best place, so far, was Durango, Colorado. In somewhat of a random choice, I chose that city for a girls weekend with my sister and wow, was it breathtaking. We went in December which made it even more of a perfect choice.

6. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? Hmm, interesting question. I would say I am doing what I believe in to be my calling for this time of my life. Is it my end all career? I don’t know. Right now, I enjoy what I do, enjoy who I work with and get to see the results of my work. Not everyone can say all 3 of those things.

7. What would you do differently if no one would judge you? Wow, another deep question. I honestly have no idea.

8. What could you not go a day without doing? Drinking coffee.

9. Who is your hero? Every member of the U.S. military who volunteer to put themselves in harm’s way for our freedom and safety.

10. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

11. Why do you have a blog? I have a blog to share stories, let out my frustrations, share my joys, and interact with others who are an inspiration to me.

Time for me to nominate 5 blogs and pose my questions to them. Here are the 5 blogs that I nominate:

Trophy Wives: This is the blog of Sarah Roberts, an FCA staff member who is in charge of the women’s ministry. She’s also the “team chaplain” to the OU Softball team which I am a big fan. Sarah is an incredible person, friend and leader of Jesus’s teachings. She never ceases to inspire me with her thought-provoking

Just One Way Ticket: This blog makes me want to pack a bag and go explore the world. I got to know the author through a freelance writing opportunity. She’s been to some very cool places and gives great hotel reviews.

Charlie & Co. Photography: I’m a little biased, but this is my cousin’s blog. She is a fantastic photographer and inspires me to take more pictures. Frequently, she will photography her little boy (my cousin) in her shots so I get to share and show him off as well.

jsack1’sblog: I love quotes and this is a blog authored by a proud mom who always incorporates quotes into her posts.  I always love reading what she has to say.

Momdeavor: A blog that incorporates two of my favorite things: family and photography.  This mother of 9 also has made me start weaving in gratitude into my posts which is never a bad addition.

These nominees may choose to accept the nod or not.  If you do, here are my questions to you:

1) Why did you start your blog?

2) What is the book you’ve read that touched you the most?

3) If you could eat dinner with a famous person, who is still living, whom would you choose?

4) Where is the one place you’ve visited that gives you complete calmness?

5) Are you a bucket list person?  If so, name one thing still on it.

6) What is your goal for your blog?

7) Copying from Shelby, what is a day well spent to to you?

8) How do you start your day?

9) What is your favorite holiday and why?

10) Are you where you want to be professionally and if not, what will you do about it?

11)  What is your favorite quote?

I was touched by Shelby’s gesture and glad it gave me an opportunity to reciprocate.

Happy Holidays!


Finally Friday: Bedlam Week

I skipped a few entries on my “Finally Friday” segments, but here I am again.  The week after we come back from Thanksgiving is always hard.  For most of us, we’ve just spent the past few days with family and it’s hard to get back into work mode.  Fortunately, things are slow at the office so we can carry over “Holiday Hangover” for a little bit.  I had the pleasure of grabbing lunch with friends this week.  I’ve always had the mentality of having a small group of quality friends vs. a large number of friends that I rarely contact.  These particular friends are definitely in the category of quality.

This weekend, the OU football team plays their last game at home for the season.  What this really means is one thing: Bedlam and our in-state rivalry.  It’s always fun to be in our stadium for this game because our fans go crazy, and fortunately for the most part, they behave.  The rivalry isn’t as strong for me as I haven’t “lived and breathed” it for my whole life.  I’ve been around it for a mere 8 years.  No question though, I bleed crimson.

Tonight is our holiday office party.  I love that we are a group that wants to spend time together even after hours.  That is one reason I have stayed in this particular office, because I get along with my co-workers which is refreshing and I know not the case everywhere.  We are playing “Dirty Santa” which always brings out an interesting side of people…should be entertaining.

Sunday, a few of us are leaving for New Orleans for a conference.  A girl in our office has been kind enough to give us a list of suggestions of where to eat and some fun places to visit.  As I looked it over, I joked to the rest of the group that I hope we’re able to get in some workshops.  We’re a very talented group and are quite sure we can master the art of time management, ha!  I haven’t visited New Orleans in a number of years so it should be a fun return…especially with the group joining me.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Boomer Sooner and Beat OSU!


The Joy of Anticipation

Two months from yesterday, I will be flying to Hawaii with a dear friend of mine, Terri.  From the moment we booked our flights, Terri (and I) have been like little kids, breaking out into huge smiles as we tick away the days until we leave.   This will be my first time there (though not hers) so she’ll be able to have some insight.  When we were in the early stages of planning our trip, she asked what all I wanted to do, how much I would be up for spending, etc.  I told her I wanted this trip to be awesome and am up for it all–from a helicopter ride to snorkeling….anything that will create a lasting memory, I say “bring it on.”  We went to lunch two days ago and she reached over to grab my arm and said, “Two more months, I can’t wait.”  I just smiled because I loved seeing her excitement. Terri is one of those people who would do anything for her friends (or really anyone) so with this being a trip that benefits her as well, I’m thrilled.  Oh, and we didn’t just randomly decide to go to Hawaii.  The OU Softball team is playing there so we figured that was a good enough reason for us to join them.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Life is short” but that took on a whole new meaning in 2013.  Between my Dad getting pneumonia, a horrifying tornado ripping neighborhoods in Oklahoma to shreds and taking innocent lives with it, to losing two dear friends (one of whom was Terri’s husband), we’ve both embraced a new motto of living life to the fullest….now. We’re not waiting or wasting any opportunities.  Though I have written on this topic before, I never tire of expressing my appreciation for God giving me another chance with my Dad and my friends.

In closing….I love the feeling of anticipation and seeing it in someone else’s face.  You look forward to seeing a friend for lunch and when you lock eyes, you both smile because you’re happy to see them….I love that.  To me, life is truly about making the little things count and creating memories from them that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy each and every day.