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!

Mary

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!

Mary

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.