I have Ree to thank for this…

Thanks to following Ree Drummond (aka Pioneer Woman), I’ve been itching to take pictures even more so lately.  So I grabbed my camera, got in my car and headed east on highway 9.  I landed on Lake Thunderbird State Park.  Here are some pictures from my little road trip:

Sometimes I love driving on a road…not knowing what lies ahead.  I drove slowly, not knowing when I’d need to stop the car to snap a shot.

The air was brisk….but not too cool where I couldn’t enjoy the fresh air.  It was so quiet and serene….


Pioneer Woman visits OU

I recently posted about my boss and a co-worker discussing “Pioneer Woman.”  At the time, I was unfamiliar with who exactly they were referring to….only to be educated on her moments later.  I referenced the fact that the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond,  was coming to OU.  I had it on my calendar and probably labeled it as “Important” as if it was some mandatory meeting.  Well, the moment finally happened this afternoon.  A co-worker and one of our student workers and I sat down in anticipation of the energetic, down-to-earth blogger we’d come to love.  Our boss joins us and goes, “I just met Ree! I was standing with so-and-so and then she was next to me…”  Her face lit up as she told us…it was funny and cool at the same time.  A few minutes later, Ree Drummond was introduced.  As she began talking, she made you feel like you had known her for years.  It didn’t take long for the audience of mainly women to break out in laughter, silently thinking, “oh my gosh, I can sooo relate to her.”  Ree talked for about an hour and then took questions.  It was a neat time and glad I have become acquainted with her and her blog. 

Now when someone asks me if I’ve heard of Pioneer Woman, I can say that I have…and she’s inspired me to keep blogging.

Leigh Anne Tuohy: “Get out of your comfort zone”

 If you’ve seen the movie, The Blind Side, you are familiar with the character Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock.  We’ve all seen Sandra Bullock portray lots of characters and she’s done it well.  The movie was based off the best-selling book with the same title.  Many times we read a book and go see the movie and walk away thinking, “I wonder how much of it was true.”  I’ve seen The Blind Side many, once or twice in the theater and numerous others at home after purchasing it.  I can say it is one of my favorites.  I loved the message of it.  I loved that it made me laugh and cry and tugged at my heart more than once. 

Just a few short days ago, I received a campus-wide e-mail advertising a lecture that was to take place tonight.  The guest speaker would be none other than Leigh Anne Tuohy.  I had the choice of a basketball game or hearing her speak.  My choice was made the day I received the e-mail, no question about it.  There will be other games.  There is only one time to hear her speak.  I arrived at the lecture with minutes to spare.  Even though I shouldn’t have been, I was surprised at the crowd.  It was standing-room only.  After her introduction, Mrs. Tuohy took hold of the mic and starts talking in what I would imagine is typical Leigh Anne Tuohy fashion: frank and no-nonsense.  I loved it.  It was obvious to most everyone in the room who had seen the movie that Bullock mimicked her “to a T.” 

Touhy discussed the movie and how things have changed since it came out.  With her southern charm and down-to-earth personality, she even brought up the silly questions people have asked her.   

   “Has this movie changed your life?”  was one she shared.  She basically answered the person with, “Are you kidding?  Of course it has.”  After sharing about the movie, she encouraged the audience to do something to help others.  “There are Michael Ohers everywhere,” said Tuohy….referring to there being opportunities for us to help people all around us.  Place value on human beings around you….give of your time.  Get out of your comfort zone.  It’s not about the money for the Tuohy family.  It never was.    It’s about placing value on Michael’s life and those around you. 

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy have wrote a book titled, In A Heartbeat.  I don’t know about you but it never hurts me to read about how I can be a better person…how I can continually appreciate what I have been given….and how I can return the favor.

Right before her closing, she again encouraged the students and audience members in the room to get involved on campus.  She said that she wouldn’t think twice about calling back 6 months to check on our progress.  She’s one of those people that you just can’t help but like and can’t help but want emulate. 

One of my favorite lines from the movie is where Leigh Anne is having lunch with some girlfriends.  One of Leigh Anne’s friends says to her, ‘Wow, Leigh Anne, I think that is incredible.  You’re changing that boy’s life.”  Leigh Anne smiles and turns to her friend and says, “No, he’s changing mine.”


Tonight at Bible Study, we were asked this question: What is the one thing that keeps you from being “all in” and surrendering to God.  It was one of those times you didn’t have to answer but could if you were so inclined.  I sat there thinking to myself, “one thing…I have too many.  I am not about to divulge all of them.”  One person shared their ‘one thing’ then another.  The subject of guilt was brought up.  As it was discussed, I felt my head nodding, knowing I totally agreed.  As I sat there, I felt the guilty feeling start to consume my stomach….like a barbell was placed on my chest.  I know I should watch certain shows.  I know I should read the Bible more than play on my phone, read books for pleasure or watch tv before going to bed.  I know I should…yet I don’t do it.  Our ‘coordinator’ of the Bible Study brought up this very eloquently-put saying how we “fight temptation and flee opposition” when should do the opposite.  Temptation stares us in the face and we want to fight it and win.  But when we hit opposition, we run like hell.  We feel guilty and cower, hide so no one can see us.  We feel ashamed.  Yet the thing we forget so easily is that God isn’t ashamed.  He’s patient and is there waiting for us, no matter what. 

My goal is to start running away from temptation and toward God.  That is how I will win and become who I am supposed to be.  Fighting temptation increases chance of giving in to that temptation.  I can’t do that.

Pioneer Woman

There’s 3 women standing in the hall way.  A dialogue begins (and I’m paraphrasing)…co-worker to our boss: “Oh, I saw Pioneer Woman. I can’t wait to hear her.  I should be able to make it”   Our boss: “Oh I know.  I thought I was going to miss it but my schedule is open.”  My eyes are darting between the two of them, half-confused, half-smiling at their enthusiasm bordering on giddiness.  Co-worker leaves.  I turn to our boss and ask, “Who’s Pioneer Woman?”  She looks at me and says, “Seriously?  Ugh, get in here…” We walk to my office.  She sits down at my desk and types in “Pioneer Woman” into google and poof, up comes the blog that has taken the blogging world by storm.  She proceeds to tell me about this woman and clicks on the different links of her blog.  “You have to read about how she met her ‘Marlboro Man’..you just have to…start from the beginning.”  She says “has to” as if my job depends on it.  Standing behind her, I say “okay, I will.” 

In typical OU fashion, they get the speakers people want to hear on campus.  “Pioneer Woman”  will be here next month.  Oh yes, it’s now on my calendar. 

I’ve now spent the last hour or so reading her blog.  For those who follow my blog (and yes, forgive me Father, I know it’s been like a hundred years since my last posting)…you know I love when writers have that knack for transforming the reader.  Pioneer Woman has that knack.  For those who have no clue who I’m talking about….google her like my boss did for me.  I promise, you’ll be hooked just like I am.