Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oklahoma football & the domination of Iowa State

I couldn't be further behind in my blogging. I have several posts in a hold pattern right now because they involve some non-digital photos and I can't remember how to scan them, or to ask bobby to help me for the gazillionth time. So I'm just going to skip those events and tell you about this past Saturday. :)

We have been trying all season to go to an OU football game, but so far were 0-3. Fortunately the Sooners won those first 3 games and were 3-0. But bobby & I were losers. Last season (our first couple of months here in Norman) we went to 4 home games, with much ease and little money. You see, OU lost their first two games last year, as well as their star quarterback and tight end, so tickets were flying out of people's hands at very reasonable prices. Well, do you know what happens when all of your team's starters are healthy and you are ranked in the top 10? Economics is what happens. People have tickets to sell, but they are selling them at a MUCH higher rate. I learned that in the city of Norman, you can sell tickets for over face value. (did not know that before) We are not able, or willing, to spend $300 a ticket. Especially when we live 5 miles from the stadium and have a pretty nice tv to watch it on. so.... we went to campus for the first three home games hopeful, and left empty-handed.

But wait!

Another thing happens when your team is REALLY good (and still undefeated) - when they play really bad teams, people aren't quite as interested in watching a blow-out, so they sell their tickets for a cheaper price.

See how much you are learning today?!

We were able to secure some great tickets to this past Saturday's game for quite a bit under face value and sit in a section we've never sat before. bonus! There are a few people I would like to thank for this opportunity: First of all, Craig, and his list; because otherwise I would not have known that a woman named Lindsay was selling them. Secondly, Susan, my GPS lady, for getting me to Midwest City to pick them up. And finally, my parents for buying us the tickets! Glad I found a good deal for you, Mom & Dad!!

See how happy we are to be at the game!

I have to admit, I took more photos of the marching band than the football team, but they move slower and stop in cool formations, so they are easier to photograph. Plus, if I pause to take a photo of the team, I usually miss a play and get mad. So here is the Pride of Oklahoma during pregame (my favorite part!)

Looks like drum major, Matt Sumner is saying, "are you ready?!"

Yes, we are!

see how close we were to the field? awesome!

pulling out the GIANT state flag for singing of O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a

here comes the team!

this requires lots of flipping...

...and twirling.

yay megan from western pennsylvania! (sorry I didn't get a better picture)

So it turns out that I only took ONE picture during the game. (oops) It's an action shot during a field goal or extra point. Probably an extra point because OU scored a heck of a lot of touchdowns! Can you find the ball in the air?

It's too bad that guy's big red hat is in the way. jerk.

the student section looked like it was having a lot of fun.

We got to see the sooner schooner come out a lot because the sooners scored so many times.

resting the ponies in between scoring

final score

final photo

Sunday, September 05, 2010

a few of my favorite things: summer edition

I know I complained a lot about the heat this summer, but I did find a few things that made me happy despite the oppression, so I thought I would share them with you.

Cherry-Limeade Punch

I was pretty much obsessed with Sonic Happy Hour this year, so when I found this (very simple) recipe on Kelly's Korner recipe page, I knew it was the perfect way to get my cherry limeade fix at home. plus, it's really refreshing!

1 - 2L bottle of Sprite (I use Sprite Zero)
1 - bottle of maraschino cherries
1 - can of frozen limeade concentrate

pour all 3 items in a punch bowl and stir. I also add some ice and sliced limes.

Everytime I've served it, the first batch goes really quickly, so I normally have two or three of each on hand.

Zenni Optical


Where else can you get $8 prescription glasses (frames & lenses) ?!? We heard about it and were skeptical, but when we got 4 glasses in the mail for a total of $52, we were sold. You just have to have all of your prescription info and then you find frames you like and order them. It's so easy.

McDonald's Frappes

From their website: This is one frosty cup of love: the coffee-chocolate goodness of mocha blended with ice, topped with whipped cream. I couldn't have said it any better.


You all know about netflix, but we had our first subscription this summer and really enjoyed it. We started out with a free month, and then just kept it active for a couple more. The fall is a lot busier than the summer (for us) so we are going to put a hold on our account - which is another great feature. We only get 1 dvd at a time, but we hardly watch those at all. the money is in the instant watch stuff, and thanks to our wii, we can watch it on our tv. because of these sweet amenities, we watched way too many episodes (I mean, seasons) of 24 this summer. it got kind of intense, so we had to take a break, but it was awesome!

Friday, September 03, 2010


I think I made that word up, didn't I?

Like our friends, Abby & Currie, we also just celebrated our first year in our "new" house! Yes, it was one year ago (last week) that we drove from Greene County, Pennsylvania to St Louis, Missouri to Norman, Oklahoma. I had all 5 animals in the car with me, and the cats only stopped crying & yelling for about 3 out of the 20 hours. (it was awful) We stayed the night with our wonderful friends in St Louis and I remember not wanting to leave their house the next morning. I was eager to get to our house, but it was unfamiliar and no one was there waiting for us, so it was kinda sad. We had friends in St Louis, so why couldn't we just stay there?? But after delaying as long as possible, we began the drive southwest. The second half wasn't nearly as bad as the first. Boring, yes, but better. No major cities like Columbus, Indianapolis, or St Louis to drive through, and certainly no mountains like West Virginia or eastern Ohio. Just flat boring plains. And then we ran into a major thunderstorm. I think that is the reason Paisley is afraid of storms now. I am too. I think one of the weirdest sights was when we got to Tulsa and I saw a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. I thought we must have made a wrong turn. A Hard Rock in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Oral Roberts wouldn't be happy about that. That was a nice diversion for my brain so I wasn't so obsessed and terrified about the torrential rain. and the screaming cats.

I was so happy when we finally reached our little abode. the garage was open and I pulled the car in to avoid getting too wet. I think the car has only been in there two times since then. ha! We unloaded the animals and slept on the bedroom floor. Home Sweet Home.

We've done quite a few small updates to the house this year. And because I LOVE before & afters, I present these to you.

Front of house then:

Front of house now:

Living room then:

Living room now:

bedroom before:

bedroom now:

backyard then:

backyard now:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

I'd like to live almost anywhere but here this week

I know there are hotter places than this, and we're fortunate that the humidity isn't super high. But this is getting downright ridiculous. Week after week, and month after month. Will it ever end?!?!?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Chi-Town and The Lou

Last week and weekend we went on a little tour de midwest. We flew into St Louis, then rented a car and drove to Chicago. We did this so that we could spend some time in our old stomping grounds. After grabbing a frozen cappuccino at QT for 83 cents, we drove by our old apartment. surprisingly (or not) it hadn't changed at all. except for the folks living there. for the first time in many years, no seminary students reside there, and that's sad. but apparently they are still finding some time for fun, as evident by the bouncy house in the court yard!

for all you non-athertonites reading this, our apartment was the one in the far left corner - to the left of the black door, behind the tree on the first floor. (in case you care) we lived there for the first four years of our marriage. The friends that we visited in St Louis (you'll hear more about them if you keep reading) lived in the apartment above ours and diagonal from ours. The only thing missing from our great reunion last weekend was our neighbors across the hall from us. we missed you joy & erik!

After driving thru the hood, we trekked up to chicago. For 3 days, we attended a church planter training event/conference sponsored by our denomination. it was a nice, small group and i think we learned a lot. other than the teaching being helpful, the time spent networking, sharing stories, and encouraging each other was immeasurable. and from what I've observed, church planters are some pretty crazy people. I can't believe I'm married to someone like that. haha!

and the food! oh, the food. they fed us well in chicago/naperville. we had sandwiches for lunch one day from a place called potbelly. yum. then for dinner, we had giordano's deep dish pizza. wow! lunch the next day was chicago-style hot dogs, which i butchered by only putting ketchup on mine. totally against the rules, apparently. and then for dinner that night, we were invited to the hodge's house (the host pastor) for some home-cooking. the event ended friday at noon, and we began the drive back down to st louis.

I feel asleep in the car at some point, but woke up to pouring down rain & rush hour traffic and then I saw this.

we safely arrived at the new (to us) home of our former upstairs neighbors, currie & abby. we were so excited to see their house and be a part of their day-to-day lives, even if for just one day. we enjoyed yummy pizza from dewey's, experienced the goodness of raw honey, and delighted in the blessing of sweet ellie. and bobby enjoyed staying up til 2 am talking to currie, like the old days.

after a slow & relaxing saturday morning, we left the bishops and headed west of the city to visit our former diagonal neighbors, jen & darren. but first, we took a few pictures:

bobby rode currie's motorcycle around the block

abby in her living room

abby & I on their awesome front porch

on our way to "west county," we stopped at the seminary, to see the new buildings they built right after bobby graduated.

and one more stop at QT for another 83 cent drink. yes, we're addicted.

seeing jen & darren is so much fun for us. and even moreso now that they have two of the most awesome kids we've ever met, katie & jack.

flashback: we were with them the night jen went into labor with katie and i got to ride in the car with them on the way to the hospital. we weren't there at the exact time of birth, but were still one of the first people to see katie. I think she was only 3 hours old when we got back to the hospital. so we have a very strong bond with her. and I think she knows it. it could be because we keep telling her the story over and over again. we are special and want her to know it! ha!

these two became good buds

we had such a blast with all of them, we always wish our time together was longer. while we were there, they took us to get frozen custard concretes (a st louis tradition), had our legs & arms "sawed off" by jack & his chain saws, played memory with the smartest 4 year old I've ever met (I won, but only because she helped me. seriously), and had fun with katie & jack trying to wake up bobby sunday morning. we (actually, just katie) pushed him off the bed, shouted his name as loud as possible, giggled a lot, and finally, katie said to me, "how are we going to wake him??? maybe you should kiss him." I replied, "eeeewwwwww" and as serious as can be, she said, "mommy and daddy don't think it's gross to kiss." whoa! nothing like being reprimanded (respectfully) by a 4 year old! of course I told her I was kidding and kissed him. ;-)

we tried again to convince them to move where we are, and darren told us again that there was a house for sale on their street. maybe one day we will be in the same place again! i hope so!! who wouldn't want to be neighbors with this guy?!?

sunday after church, currie, abby & ellie came to jen & darren's house for lunch. it was so good to see them all again once more before we had to leave.

we flew out of st louis that evening and returned to oklahoma city and 100 degree temps at 10 pm that night.

what a fun week/end it was, but it made me miss my sweet friends even more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Tags

I put this off as long as possible (and actually a little too long because we got a ticket) but we finally had to change our plates from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma last week.

I don't know why I was so attached to those yellow & blue pennsylvania plates, but I did not want to let them go. Not only are the Oklahoma plates unattractive, but it seems so "official" now that I live in Oklahoma, and all of a sudden, I think I am a little homesick. (most likely it's the heat, though.) Fortunately I didn't have to surrender the cool PA plates to the tag agency (like how they meanly took my PA driver's license. jerks!) and now we get to hang them proudly in our garage.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you can't find me, I'll be at Hobby Lobby

I've really liked Hobby Lobby ever since I was introduced to the store back in 2003, but I've never wanted to go back so often as I do now. It's not just for the craft ideas, the cute home decor & wall hangings that are 50% off, or even the free air conditioning. When I walked in there last week, my eyes were happy... the shelves were lined with fall decorations! And you know what that means? Summer will be over soon!

Now, there is a lot that I love about summertime. Relaxed schedules, more free time, a break from ordinary obligations, traveling, etc. But this heat is just too much for me. Day after day after day of mid to high 90's mixed with humidity is just miserable. I just want to enjoy going outside again. We have a fire pit and I've been roasting marshmallows on my kitchen stove because it's too hot to go outside and do it. how pathetic is that?!

I want summer to slow down, but I want the heat gone. I'm probably in the wrong place (geographically) for that to happen though. So either I need to adapt and deal with the fact that I will have to be housebound for 3 (or 4) months a year, or ... well, I don't know what other option there is!

Monday, July 12, 2010

wonderful sunday

Life hasn't been easy lately. Yes, I know we get to go on some great little getaways/vacations, we live in one of the best small cities in america, we finally own our own home (and it's a really good one), our families & friends are wonderful, etc. But we have struggles, upsets, anxieties, and brokenness.

For example, one of the features that we like most about this house is about to be ripped up. A few weeks ago, we noticed water coming out of our living room floor. Two days before we hosted an awesome dance / birthday party (more to come on that someday.) For weeks we tried to figure out where the water was coming from, talked to our home warranty company, insurance companies, and other trusted experts. Finally, we called a plumber and he discovered it in less than 10 minutes. The pipe that carries the condensation from the air conditioning unit to the drainage area (?) in our garage was disconnected, so all the water was going under the floor. I know it sounds weird, but once he reconnected the hose, the leak stopped. we are thrilled at this discovery because originally, I envisioned our floor being ripped up only to find out that our slab was leaking or a pipe burst, and our house would have to be condemned. (I never used to be a pessimist.) So now we are waiting for a check from the insurance company (hallelujah!) to see how much we are going to be in the whole/how much we can spend on a new floor. Even though the leak has been stopped, the floor is warped and ruined. Not to mention all the water trapped under there. wonderful.

The floor has been one of our biggest stressors lately, but now our brand new (purchases in april) television is broken, so I'm waiting to hear back from the manufacturer. I'm skeptical yet thankful for warranties. hopefully this one will actually help us out.

And beyond those things, I just got done paying a huge stack of bills (including a bill from a doctor's visit I had february 2008!), bobby's out of pocket work-related expenses have been way higher than we anticipated, fundraising for our salary (beginning in september) has been a lot slower (and less productive) than we hoped, I'm depressed that I still can't rid of this extra weight I gained from last year's surgery & medication, and we are still childless which breaks my heart a little more each day. (after 4 1/2 years, it's amazing I still even have a heart.)

so what does all this have to do with the blog title, "wonderful sunday?"

yesterday, bobby led the worship service at our church and I stayed for both services because it was such a blessing to me. we sang sweet songs, including my favorite one that reminds me of our time at greene valley presbyterian church in pennsylvania, "on jordan's stormy banks I stand." it sounded quite a bit differently than when the band played it at gvpc, but I could still picture those awesome teenagers (and bobby) belting it out and banging on their instruments. I am so thankful for that memory. but also, bobby's sermon talked about disappointments in life and how to respond when "life" doesn't go the way we planned. it takes more than just "turning our eyes upon Jesus." Jesus didn't die so that life on this earth would be easy for us, or that when something bad happens, we just "look at him" and magically all our troubles go away. He died on the cross to share in our sufferings, to identify with our pain, to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins. Jesus claimed victory over sin at the cross. And we need to see his victory to put our troubles in perspective. I encourage you all to listen to his sermon. It's not posted to the website yet, but it will be soon. Title is "Jesus Wins."

After church we were able to enjoy lunch & fellowship with 3 other families. Our hostess made a fabulous lasagna and PW's chocolate cake. We were pretty full (in more ways than one) and tired when we got home, so we relaxed the rest of the day by watching a couple more episodes of season 2 of 24. (strangely enough, as I typed that, a helicopter flew over my house. hmmmm... are they still looking for kim bauer?!?!)

While struggles and agonies of this fallen world bring us despair during the week, I'm always thankful for Sunday. :)

Friday, July 09, 2010

january & july

Remember when the crepe myrtles in our backyard looked like this in January?

Well, this is what they look like in July:

We are so glad someone planted these "trees" several years ago, because we are really enjoying them now.

(I apologize for the poor photo quality, I took the pic with my cell phone and the glare couldn't be avoided.)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I've Got Friends in Southern Places (part 2)

part 1 concluded with the awesome Indelible Grace concert.

Thursday morning my dad dropped Bobby off downtown for early morning meetings and my parents & I had breakfast at the hotel and then joined him late morning. We all walked around the convention center for awhile, checked out the exhibit hall, and then sat in on the business meeting/assembly before having lunch at Ribby's (?) bbq on Broadway.

That afternoon, I went back to the convention center and my parents walked around downtown. They found Elvis!

Once the business meeting recessed for dinner, it was a mad rush to figure out how to coordinate a gathering between me, bobby, erik, joy, currie & abby. (all neighbors from seminary) the original plan was to meet downtown, but that didn't work, so we had to all drive from several different directions to meet at abby & currie's hotel room past the airport. it was crazy, but so worth it! I loved every minute with them and wish we all still lived in the same apartment building. they are part of the biggest reason I didn't want to move away from st louis. I can't believe we are all so far apart now - Missouri, Oklahoma, and New Jersey - oh my! thank goodness for GA! :) We didn't get any pictures of our hotel room dinner gathering, but we all drove back to the convention center for the worship service, so I got to get these two pictures.

Currie, Abby, and Ellie

Me, Joy, & Abby

I thought the night was over following the service, but it had only just begun... the business meeting resumed and went until 12:15 am! My parents went back to the hotel room and I was a zombie waiting around. Fortunately some friends from oklahoma had mercy on me (they saw me sitting by myself dazed and bored to tears) and invited me to hang out with them at the hotel lounge. But then they left and the meeting kept going! I really wanted to listen and follow along with what was happening, and I tried, but it was soooooo looooooong. ;-) here was my view that night:

and then... it was finally friday. normally the assembly would be over by now, but they reconvened for a few more hours in the morning. bobby spent the morning and early afternoon downtown and my mom & I spent them at the neighboring hotel's pool. I was foolish and got way too much sun. the worst burn I've gotten in a LONG time. that evening, we met up with Joy & Erik again, along with two more seminary neighbors, Parker & Nicole, and had dinner at Otter's. We love Otter's. And friends!

we said our goodbyes to the swansons for the last time and did some touristy things like walking around centennial park & the parthenon.

saturday morning we drove out to franklin - went into a couple shops on main street, walked around a cute little shopping mall thing and got some kettle corn at the farmer's market. we looked for celebrities but never saw any. boo! we went back to the hotel and got ready in the afternoon, ate pizza & food my mom brought from new castle, and then went to the Grand Ole Opry! Because of the flood, they had to move the Opry from the Opry House back to the Ryman Auditorium, so we got to go downtown again.

The show was lots of fun. Our seats were one row in front of where we sat for the hymn sing. Isn't that funny?

There were not a lot of people that we knew, but the Opry is still great because it is unique and classic. We all watched/listened to it growing up, so it is still a part of our history. Everyone sang a song or two, including the main attraction, Wynonna.

sunday morning we all went to worship at christ community church (pca) in franklin. we've been there once before, but it was my parent's first time. we all loved & appreciated it. after lunch in franklin, we went back to the hotel to begin packing and surprise my mom with early birthday presents, and my dad with a belated father's day present: playing catch in the hotel parking lot. after all that fun, we got ready and went back downtown to check out nashville's 4th of july festivities. we knew it would be crowded and hot, but it was way more crowded and hotter than we imagined.

we weren't able to get anywhere near where the entertainment was - julianne hough, jaci velasquez, and trace adkins had a little concert on the riverfront. my mom sneaked down and took this picture of julianne

so after battling the crowds for a couple hours (and seeing some cool things) we decided to check out a few honkytonks, since it was our last night and that was one of the things we wanted to do most, and it was a blast. we went into robert's western wear and heard some of the greatest musicians I've ever heard.

we stayed for a few songs, then headed to our car to start driving out of town and find a place to park to watch the fireworks.

what a great way to end our visit to nashville! :)

we left monday morning after stopping to see some friends from norman that just moved to nashville that weekend. my parents arrived back in western pa at 9/10 and we arrived back in norman at 11. we were quite tired, but so happy to be home and see our sweet little furry friends. we missed our animals a lot on this trip, but are so thankful they could be safe at home, and that we have great friends who came to take care of them!!