Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Major Storm

I salute you, Major Storm of June 14, 2011. (HIMYM fans should get that joke.) You came out of nowhere. Normally I know about storms (especially spring ones) days and weeks in advance. But you knew I had my guard down - recently home from vacation, I had a lot of housework and new real estate work to do, so I didn't have the tv on. Gary England didn't call to warn me.

I left home at 5:45pm and it was hot & sunny - 100 degrees to be exact. We were inside a training facility when it started raining, maybe around 7 or 7:15, then we heard a little bit of your hail. "Well, that sucks," we said. Then the skies turned a little darker, the rain picked up, and then the wind. Whoa, the wind! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I've only seen such things on tv when watching hurricane footage. And the funny part is, the trainer never missed a beat. She just kept on talking like nothing was happening. We never lost power, but the lights flickered a lot. We were about 5 miles from home, so of course, my mind was wondering what you had done to my house.

We were dismissed around 8:40 and I was super anxious to get home. The skies were a vast array of colors - beautiful clear skies and sunset to the north, gray clouds directly above, and dark, blueish black skies to the south - it was creepy. I wish I had my camera. As we drove home, traffic lights were out everywhere, homes & buildings were dark, the hospital by our house was operating on emergency lighting, an intersection near our neighborhood had a downed power line that apparently had once blocked the road and even gone onto I-35. You have created quite a mess, Major Storm.

Still, I wonder, what will our house look like. Surely we won't have power. The rain had stopped for awhile and the temperature dropped 30 degrees. (yay!) But as we pulled in the driveway, it started back again. We wanted to pull our call into the garage in case we got more hail, and guess what, we could, because we had power! I love OEC and our underground utility lines! So as we scurried to do that, I decided to look on the right side of the house and to my dismay, a tree had split and it was now "resting" on our fence. and our roof. Crap.

We didn't know what to do. Everyone was saying storms were about to hit us again in 10-15 minutes, so do we risk being outside cutting the tree down during the storm, or do we risk the storm causing the resting tree to push over the fence, possibly causing damage to fence, roof, and possible bedroom window? Plus, we didn't have a chainsaw. And neither did our neighbors. But, our neighbor's father did, a few miles away. So neighbor's wife jumped in car with 3 kids to drive over there and get it for us, and 20 minutes later, Bobby, and two neighbor men were out there cutting down our broken tree, and I held the flashlight. Fortunately we never got that second round of storms.

We think we got away with minimal damage. The roof is still yet to be determined because we do have a couple damaged shingles on the edge. But we know we were spared, once again. We have a lot of clean-up to do, but manual labor is good, right? (ha! not in 100 degree weather!) I think it is so strange that tornadoes come and go around here all the time, we've have blizzards and ice storms, and a crazy thunderstorm sweeps through and does more damage than all of them combined. Major Storm indeed!

According to the experts, Major Storm was considered a microburst, which can have effects of a EF1 tornado. Yeah, no kidding.

As you can see in the previous photo, the cats are quite curious about what has happened in their yard.

The next photo shows where the branches landed once they were cut. these were once on our roof. and that is our bedroom window. also, the area between the bended tree and fence is where my hammock hangs. It was once a shady area. :(

The following photos show the damage done to our window screens and flowers.

Again, we know we are very fortunate that this is all we have. Many people in Norman are still without power, siding was ripped off of houses, fences & roofs totally destroyed, etc.

Finally, watch this video of a storm chaser driving through Major Storm, and prepare to be amazed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

obligatory catch-up post

so since my last real post, the thunder basketball team's impact on our lives really changed. we went from casual/regular fans to psycho/obsessive fans. we not only watched most of every game, we started watching every minute of every game, every post-game interview, followed every player on twitter, hung a flag outside our house, and put a sticker on our car. (those players tweet a lot, btw!) and so, did this obsession pay off? you betcha! the thunder, in only their third year of existence, not only made it to the playoffs, they played for the western conference championship! I was fortunate enough to go to one of the playoff games - game two of the first round, and it was a blowout against the denver nuggets. the oklahoma city arena (aka "loud city") was the loudest arena I have ever been in. it was awesome!

let's see. what else?
  • bobby is working hard getting ready to plant a church - city pres!
  • our friend, doug, the former (founding) OU campus pastor left RUF to co-plant city pres.
  • two babies were born (not ours) - meghan had paige and bobby's sister mindy had gracie (I'm an aunt!)
  • one of our favorite toddlers turned two; bobby turned "more than two"
  • we planted a garden that is now like a forest (what is in that soil!?)
  • did I ever blog about the cruise we went on?!?
  • I've been going to a bible study at our church on John
  • bobby got a motorcycle (a small fixer-upper for $200)
  • a pretty bad storm came to central oklahoma a couple weeks ago, and since it was shortly after the devastation in joplin, I was super freaked out. we were spared.
  • we went to a pretty fun wedding of some folks that will be a part of our church plant
  • other good friends moved to downtown OKC to be a part of the church plant :)
  • but other friends are moving to delaware :(
  • we hosted another international student through the university of oklahoma. it was an interesting experience.
  • I started going to a chiropractor/kinesiologist/nutritionist. so far she is helping my reverse-curved neck, and telling me that I'm allergic to all the foods I love. so it's good and bad.
  • we just got back from our denomination's general assembly - PCA GA. it was at virginia beach and it was a blast. I will blog about that soon.

oh, and I am now (well, almost...) a real estate agent! I have passed my exam, paid a million fees, and chosen a broker to work for. I think I still need to "join the board," pay a lot more fees, and go through a bunch of training before I can actually sell, but I'm certainly on my way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

good grief

will I ever blog again? stay tuned to find out.

Friday, March 04, 2011

new link

you may or may not have noticed that I just added a new link to my list of favorites (in the right column) - it is the prototype website for CITY PRES! check it out, let me know what you think. again, this is not the "real" version of the website, just something bobby started so we would have something out there/here on the world wide web. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


If you haven't heard, Oklahoma City has an NBA team. But of course you knew that because in their first season (last year) they made the playoffs! Having never been a huge fan of the NBA (other than following Duke grads) I am surprised by how much I enjoy the Thunder. I guess it's part of that "love your city" thing we're always talking about. We watch at least 1/4-1/2 of every game, sometimes the entire game. Usually the second half because they're so exciting...I have never seen a team play in so many close games, and especially overtimes. We've been wanting to go to a game (or all of them) since we moved here, and this week we finally got to go. and boy, did we go! We got free tickets to sit in the champions club seats. otherwise known as, ten rows from the court padded seats. super swanky. my only complaint was that the game was a blowout, so the stars (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, & Krstic) didn't play much. I kept jokingly saying, "I paid $3 (for bottled water) to come here and I want to see KD play!" and "I drove TWELVE miles to get here, put the starters in!"

I am still not sure what these "people" were, but they moved around well for being in giant blowup costumes

crazy fans trying to distract the free throw shooters

check out the guy with the megaphone. you really should click on the photo to see it full size.

self-portrait-at-the-thunder-game fail

let's try some further away shot of each other

much better

newly inducted governor mary fallin was there

game over. thunder win!

cue the streamers

after-game handshaking

KD in center, wearing blue jacket

Thursday, February 10, 2011

gluten (free) update

it's been nearly two weeks since I decided to go gluten free, so I thought I'd give a little update. and just as I predicted, I have very little to update. which, in my case (I don't have celiac disease) that's probably a good thing. I haven't had any adverse side effects other than grieving over my loss of soft pretzels and pb&j sandwiches (as I know them.) a few days (like yesterday) I have noticed that I am super hungry all day long, which is not good, but I don't know if that's any different than when I was eating all the gluten in the world. however, I have had more energy throughout the day. not sure if that is because of the lack of gluten, or because I'm taking all my vitamins/supplements more regularly, or because I've amped up my veggie intake (yuk), or if it's because of the snow and how happy it makes me. maybe all of the above?

confession: I did cheat on superbowl sunday. I just had to eat some of my cookies. and a piece of pizza. and maybe something else. ;)

mealtimes take a lot more planning, especially because we (ok, bobby) have to make two meals. bobby likes the gluten free (gf) stuff, but because of its extra cost, we need to save most of it for me. fortunately he still really enjoys preparing the main courses while I make the salads or steam the broccoli.

here's been a typical daily menu for me:

breakfast - rice chex drizzled with honey, banana, or hashbrowns & bacon, or low-fat yogurt, or gf pancakes

lunch - baked potato & broccoli/carrots, or lunch meat/cheese/apple, or chicken/salad

dinner - whatever bobby makes me. :) gf pasta/salad, or an asian meal (pad thai or something similar with chicken or pork), salad/veggies

snack - popcorn & cheese, or gf chips & scoop of peanut butter, or hard boiled egg white & gf pretzels

I know that's not very creative, but I'm a boring eater; I always have been. I'm starting to read about gf recipes to get a few more ideas so I don't quite out of boredom.

I also wanted to give a shout-out to Ted's Cafe Escondido. we went there the other night because we needed a break from making meals at home. this is quite an adjustment for us. we like making all of our meals from scratch and know the benefits of it, but we often choose convenience which means too many fast food hamburgers & french fries. but no more! ok, back to Ted's. we got a gift card for christmas (not relevant) and we heard they had a gluten free menu, and btw, we looooove ted's, so we went to check it out. first of all, we had the most amazing server. before the words "gluten free" came out of my mouth, she put in an order of gf chips & tortillas, and brought me the "menu." I loved those chips so much, maybe even more than the regular ones; I was so happy to still be able to enjoy my beloved teds and their amazing cheese sauce. I ordered a chicken tamale which wasn't too bad. I talked to the manager to tell him about the awesome service and he suggested the beef tamale with cheese sauce next time. I don't mind if I do, sir!

Monday, February 07, 2011

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

the best: the Pittsburgh Steelers made it to the Super Bowl for the 8th time! more than any other team in the NFL. for two weeks, the world (ok, america) focused on the steelers. no matter where you live, sports radio stations talked about the steelers, sports television channel showed steelers clips, sports illustrated highlighted the steelers, etc. I got to keep my flag waving proudly outside and wore black & gold almost everyday. people in lowe's & walmart wore their steelers clothes with pride. camaraderie was created even here in central oklahoma amongst steelers fans. my NFL neutral friends cheered for the steelers for my sake. we got to throw a (small) party and I got to make cute little cookies, and I love making the steelers helmets.

the worst: the steelers lost

Monday, January 31, 2011

goodbye gluten

well, folks, I've made the decision to stop eating all the foods I love. I am going gluten-free. ugh.

I've been reading for years about the possible benefits of a gluten-free diet, but we switched to a whole wheat diet 6 years ago and it's been treating us really well. why would I want to change that? besides, I get to eat everything I like (bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, chips, pretzels, etc), I just trade it in for the whole wheat version. but gluten-free is a whole new ballgame. now I have to eat the rice version of everything, and it is NOT just as good.

today is just day 4, so I can't report any great effects yet. in fact, I really don't expect any significant effects (other than withdrawal) because I'm not switching due to a wheat/gluten allergy. it's not like I've been getting sick eating wheat, so now that I'm not eating wheat, I won't be sick. it's just that I have this pesky disease named endometriosis, and I've read that gluten may be contributing to it. I am also cutting out fatty meat treated with hormones. [fortunately I don't have to give up red meat all together because a friend of ours is giving us some venison, and as far as I know that deer probably wasn't given any hormones, and most deer (especially here in oklahoma) aren't fat. so yay!] caffeine intake really isn't a huge concern for me, but I'm going to cut back my 1 cup of coffee a day down to one or two a week. (baby steps, I know) of course, sugar has always been an issue, so I'm going to work harder on cutting that out. I don't eat many processed or fried foods, so that's not really an issue, but if the opportunity arises, I will just say no.

Dairy is another main concern. all the experts say to cut it out. but I don't want to. I love my milk & cheese! we buy our milk at braum's and they claim no hormones are used, so that can't be that bad, right? Of course though, I just read this sentence on an endo website: "dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses." dangit!

my overall expectation of these dietary changes is: that they are going to suck. but fortunately my husband has been very supportive. primarily because this means we are going to (have to) eat much more asian food (and he LOVES asian food.) we went to a gigantic asian market and the health foods store in oklahoma city saturday and stocked up on everything rice-related... rice noodles, rice flour, rice "spaghetti," and... rice.

here is what I will be trying to survive on for the next who-knows-how-many-weeks/months/years.

Monday, January 17, 2011

a radical review

My scheduled reading topic for this month, church history, has suffered because I got distracted by Radical by David Platt. I really enjoyed this book even though I often caught myself thinking that most of it didn't apply to me since my husband (and therefore, me) is in the fulltime ministry, and surely the author is just talking to lay people (those not in fulltime, professional ministry.) ha! I need some radical in my life just as much as everyone else.

So while it is fresh in my mind (I just finished the book this morning) I thought I would go ahead and give a brief synopsis of the book and highlight a few sections that jumped out at me. Keep in mind that I am not an expert book reviewer, in fact I don't think I really even know how to write a book review (and apparently my grammar ain't too good either.) but I liked this book and I'm going to tell you why.

The first thing I liked was that he talked about the difference between the american dream and biblical christianity. The american dream is about big, comfortable houses, cars, bank accounts, self-reliance, surrounding ourselves with people who like us and creating the perfect family; whereas christianity is about being uncomfortable, putting ourselves in (possibly) dangerous situations, abandoning everything we've earned for the sake of christ, choosing jesus even if it means offending coworkers, friends, family, and realizing how dependent we actually are. another aspect is realizing that christianity isn't an american religion. so he didn't really talk about this too much, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and it extends beyond the american flag in the sanctuary. but, I need to stay on topic.

he also talks a lot about making disciples. while one (me) can read this and get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done (1.5 billion people in the world have never heard about jesus!), we realize we can't do it all or alone, we need to follow jesus' example and make disciples. this is one area where enabling is encouraged! now I admit (like it is mentioned in the book) I don't fully understand what it means to make a disciple. but I do understand this, "love them, serve them, and lead them. lead them to follow me, and lead them to lead others to follow me." multiplication of leaders & followers!

The rest of the book is much of a challenge. A radical challenge. (I think that word was used 50 times.) There are stories of others who have done it. And you can do it too. You don't have to sell everything you own and move to the sudan, but you could sell your ipad and give the money to world vision. (just a little suggestion) I have a LONG way to go in this area. My life is very comfortable. we are not wealthy by any means, but I'm never worried that we might not eat tomorrow. what are our goals in life? does it matter that we have two new cars when billions of people die & go to hell because no one told them about jesus? if anything, I hope this book opens up our eyes a little. our lives and perspectives are much too small. (and I hope this little review doesn't turn you away from the book.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I figured I should document this since it might not happen again this year. We did get a little bit of "snow" the other day. Of course it hardly seemed like real snow at all, it was more of just a dusting. But... it was white and it was falling from the sky, so I suppose it counts.


table in backyard

another backyard shot

front yard/street view

and where were the kitties during this? snug as bugs in their little bitty bed. together!

Monday, January 10, 2011

we went to austin

Hey y'all, we went down to austin! I'm kidding, they don't talk like that. well, actually, maybe they do.

anyway, we decided to take a little trip south to see the home of OU's biggest football rival. (well, until this year when texas was awful! ha!) yes, I realize there is more to austin than just the longhorns, just as there is more to norman than the sooners (but not much.)

we loved austin. it was the first time there for both of us and we were really impressed. first of all, austin has an awesome downtown scene. the last place I had been that had a downtown like that was nashville or kansas city, and I think this one had them both beat (maybe.) there were streets lined with restaurants, bars, night clubs, taco trucks, live music, outdoor seating, whole foods, ice cream shops, boutiques, antique stores, and more!

on the way down, we stopped at ikea in round rock. at first, bobby thought it was a smaller store because it was only one story, unlike the one near pittsburgh, and so of course, I had to say, "everything is smaller in texas!" (go ahead and roll your eyes.) but then we walked and walked and walked, and realized it was larger than any ikea we had been to (of course.) we only bought a couple small things. everything else we wanted wouldn't fit in our car.

Friday night we headed downtown to the whole foods market where we were blown away. the store was HUGE! it was like a whole foods mega(lo) mart! aisles and aisles of health products, wine, produce, fresh seafood, bulk foods, and a gigantic walk-in beer cooler. we're not in oklahoma anymore! there was also a large eat-in cafe and an outdoor ice skating rink.

after we picked up our jaws from the whole foods experience, we went to eat at green mesquite. bobby found it on the triple D website. if guy's been there, we go there.

bobby had a pulled pork & sausage po-boy, I had a grilled chicken sandwich, and we split a delicious order of fries. they were like fair fries. sooo good!

after eating, we went to book people - which is a two story book store downtown. we definitely recommend it.

then we walked several blocks over to see the nightlife on 4th & 6th streets. like I said earlier, we were really impressed. you gotta go see it for yourself.

saturday we slept in and missed the hotel breakfast, so we walked a few blocks to IHOP and ate their delicious whole grain & nut pancakes with a mix of sugar-free syrup and hot maple syrup. yum! then we drove north to a new shopping area and I got to introduce bobby to the wonderment that is sam moon. :) we also shopped at marshall's where I finally got myself a big purse (for $16, nonetheless), another natural foods grocery store, a fancy furniture consignment store, and a couple other places.

we then headed downtown again and visited the capitol building and grounds, drove around campus, and took a few racy photographs (see below.)

the capitol building

the rotunda at the capitol

a long hallway of doors at the capitol

me at the capitol

bobby at the capitol

george w bush at the capitol

and LBJ at the capitol

the UT campus

UT football stadium (boo)

and now the fun photos... some of you may not know (and I don't blame you at all!) that UT's mascot is a longhorn named Bevo and they have several statues of him around town & campus. one of our goals for the weekend was to get a photo with Bevo, proving that he is indeed an OU fan and not a Texas fan. Here's the proof:

we are so funny, I know.

finally, we had dinner at chuy's where they were having an elvis birthday bash (who would have thought?!? - apparently if we had read their wikipedia entry, we would have known. oh well.) and had the most amazing ice cream EVER at amy's.

one bad picture of chuy's and two good ones of amy's

we were so wonderfully full, that we just went back to the hotel room and watched the colts/jets football game until we went to sleep.

we had planned on going to church the next morning in austin, where our friend is the pastor, and do a a little more sight-seeing (and eating,) but I checked the weather forecast and a winter storm was supposed to hit dallas and south OK sunday afternoon. (it was originally forecasted for monday.) so we decided to get up early and leave as soon as possible sunday morning.

fortunately the first 3 hours of our trip we drove through only rain. it was a LOT of rain, but the temperature stayed above freezing. until... just north of dallas, before gainsville, it started to snow! and it was beautiful!

however, everyone that was driving seemed to panic and we passed over 40 cars that slid off the road. it was nonsense!! why, stupid people (not you), do you do that?! there was no reason at all. the roads were not slippery, and they were certainly not frozen. it was just like they said, "oh no! it's snowing! I can't drive in snow. I must slam on my brakes and force my car to spin out of control and steer off the side of the road into the ditch. I have to. that's what texans & oklahomans do. I must live up to my stereotype!"

at no surprise to us, we arrived safely at home, and to zero snow. it's in the forecast for this week though, so we will see. and we will stay away from the bad drivers!