Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An A+ Weekend

Once in a blue moon, I have a stellar weekend where I actually remember to take photos and then actually take time afterwards to recap for my future self.  This is one of those instances.  Lucky you, lucky me.

First, my sister is in town!  She flew in last Friday morning for a quick visit and we're having a grand, laid back time.  She's our first official house guest in the new abode so that's been fun.  Rio is LOVING having her around, as are we.  We kicked things off by having our folks over for dinner, drinks and some Cards Against Humanity.  Try playing that with your parents.  Belly laughs galore.  During this visit, my sister also gifted us with song.  She recorded 'Rio' for Rio and it's fantastic.  Hear it for yourself.  The gift that will forever give.
Saturday was a whirlwind of goodness.  Rio and I first met up with my best friend and her two little girls for some kid-focused time at Philbrook.  The second Saturday of every month, they open up the museum for free and fill it with all sorts of kid activities.  I've been to Philbrook approximately 5 million bajillion times, but never while this was going on.  It was wonderful!  We will definitely be going back.

Fast forward several hours after a quick cat nap, I was back out on the town with the ol' bff without the kiddos.  We were headed to a concert (more on that in a minute) but ended up smack dab in the middle of Tulsa Tough on the way.  Up unto that point, I was a Tulsa Tough virgin and now I wonder why I waited so long.  It was amazeballs.  The energy of the crowd, the speed of the riders, and the excitement of everything coming together was indescribable (even though I've tried my best to describe it to everyone I see).  Oh, and there was a double rainbow after a random rainstorm.  The race ended up finishing up RIGHT when we needed to head over to our concert.  Serendipitous?  I think so.
Let's take a trip down memory lane now.  Many years ago, my bff introduced me to this band that was impossible not to love.  Kunek.  And when I say introduced, I mean we got to know the band.  They were talented, kind, humble, and fun.  We saw them several times over the years and before we knew it, the rest of the world discovered how talented they were and they blew up.  I'm talking opened-up-for-Radiohead-in-Europe blew up.  Yeah.  Over the years, they changed a few members and rebranded as Other Lives.  You may have heard of them.  They finally made their way back to Oklahoma last weekend to play at Cains and m'lady randomly won free tickets so of course we went!  Hell, we would have gone without free tickets!  It was a great, great show and we got to say hello to some old friends and reminisce some great times.

Our night wasn't over yet!  After THAT show, we headed to another show!  My mister's!  Brent started playing drums for a new band called American Shadows at the beginning of the year and the fit couldn't have been better.  They've been playing shows left and right and are even working on recording an album!  It's been awesome.  :)  It's not often that I'm able to get to one of his shows though but this night was different!  I love being able to see him in action and that night it was the icing on the cake.  The end of a perfect day!
Sunday started out slowly, of course.  We headed over to my folks' house later in the day to celebrate my sister being in town and her upcoming 30th birthday!  It was great fun getting together, as it always is.  I topped off that day with a grand nap, lesson planning, and binge TV watching.
The weekend may be over but the excitement still continues!  Tonight I'll venture to see a family favorite and the band my sister used to tour with, Tears for Fears.  Tomorrow, my sister will be performing at Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow (come out!), and then it sounds like we'll be doing all we can to keep the house from drowning.  The fun never ends!

Until later!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nine Months In

When we bought our house out of the blue last September, we knew the house required quite a bit of work.  It may sound strange to some, but we prefer a house that needs some TLC.  Owning a fixer-upper means that we are able to make the house our own, bring our style to its bitchin' bones, and learn about home improvements in the process. 

In a nutshell, everything needs something in this house.  That's not a problem but there are times it can be a little bit overwhelming!  With the recent torrential rains in Oklahoma, we learned that irrigation and landscaping is a top priority.  We knew we'd be working on the drainage at some point but had no clue it would be this soon.  Thanks, monsoon season.  ;)  Step one was removing several trees that had created dams and that were growing waaaaay too close to the house.  That was accomplished last fall.  Step two has been to remove the thousands of rocks laid back in the early seventies by the original homeowner.  Our neighbors have been great at re-homing many of them but we've still got a ways to go.  Anyone in the rock market?  Step three will be to have the stumps dug out, followed by bringing in dirt to level everything out again.  Finally, after working with the natural slope of the land and good ol' gravity, we'll have everything sodded and phase one of flood mitigation will be complete.  Sounds simple, right?!  

Our other 'big' current project is having some drain line leaks fixed.  We determined where the leaks were last week and much to my surprise, it's not the end of the world!  I was absolutely dreading what we would learn (like I-can't-sleep-or-eat type dread) but was thrilled to discover they are in two locations that are a) easy to access, b) in a room that we wanted to remodel anyway, and/or c) not dire.  Shew! 

In more fun house news (as opposed to a funhouse news), we are making our windows function!  All of the windows are original to the house so they are these great aluminum crank windows with crazy character.  The problem?  No screens in any of the windows.  Luckily, we located the majority of the screens and have started to clean them up and reinstall them.  It's been SO nice to be able to have open windows!  There are a few windows in the addition (circa mid-seventies) that will need to be replaced to function properly but we'll get to that eventually.  We made windows at our old house a low priority so we only got to enjoy them for a short amount of time before we moved, hence why were are making them a higher priority this time around.

The kitchen is getting some lovin' as well.  It's very, very, very seventies which sounds cool and is up to a point buuuuuut, needs some tweaking here and there.  Honestly, I really didn't care for the kitchen at all when we moved in.  That was probably due to the fact that I was enamored with our old kitchen and nothing would ever compare but I'm learning to love the new one!  It's definitely got potential and I'm finally seeing it.  :) 
We recently completed a full electrical overhaul (hooray family biz!) and Brent's now in the process of building an entertainment center out of an old game closet in the family room.  I've learned the art of caulking so we can now fully use our hall bath and we've made the guest room functional enough to house my sister next week during her stay.  One of these days we'll pull paint cans back out and continue the endless of job of covering up the butter-colored walls. 
If you need us, we'll likely be at your neighborhood home improvement store.  ¡Hasta luego!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


After a near month of nonstop rain and flooding, things have finally dried out and the sun is no longer a stranger.  Perhaps it's been the soggy weather, but I had been a bit glum lately.  I'm feeling better lately though and am trucking on along!  Perhaps it's that forgotten sunshine.
I started back teaching this week and am leading a new-to-me class, American Cultural Readings.  It's basically an American history course for ESL students that focuses on reading skills.  One week in and I'm really finding that I'm loving it!  It's been several years since I've taught a summer course and I had forgotten what a different vibe they have.  Almost half of my class is made up of Mexican high school exchange students which I love.  It reminds me of the summer I spent studying in Mexico many, many moons ago.  The classroom refreshes me.

With my time off from school, I've been working on building a new website for my folks' company that we'll be launching soon.  The images in this post were taken for that purpose.  I'm surprised how much I've been enjoying the process and how much I've been learning!  I'm thinking another new site is near on the horizon as well.  More on that later.  :)
In house updates, we've encountered several large projects that need to be tackled at once.  Yay.  Tomorrow we'll get some big answers as to how many kidneys we'll need to sell to pay for said projects.  ;)  Feel free to buy some stuff to help us out!  They are all things we knew we'd have to deal with, we just didn't know they'd all be at once and would be so soon!  We are still in absolute love with the house, don't you fret.  I'll share full updates as to what we're dealing with once we have more of a plan.  In response to house stress, I've been deep cleaning and organizing a bit more fanatically than normal.  I'm cool with that though.  We're still knocking out little projects as we can which make us fall in love with the house more and more.  Hello, functioning windows!

And yes, I've been sewing here and there.  But more so, I've been doing a MAJOR clean-out of fabric and old projects that need to be finished or passed along.  I connected with an artist friend of mine preparing for a large-scale project that requires more fabric than one can imagine so what did I do?  I gave her every little bit of fabric that I didn't need or want.  Damn that felt good.  Purging is just as cathartic as organizing, ya know?  I've busted out a dress for the kid, curtains for the guest room, some top secret gifts, and tons of mending for myself.
I think about writing here all of the time.  I know I've been less present here lately.  There are so many things I think of discussing here, so many things I want to share.  I want to share my thoughts on having an online persona and being a teacher; on having my child with me 24/7 while I work; on spreading myself too thin; on the fine line of being humble and bragging; on learning to be proud of myself; on living with anxieties, depression, and obsessive tendencies; and so much more.  It's in all in my noggin, it's just figuring out how to get it all out.  And I think it would be very beneficial for me to share.  And perhaps it'd be good for you too, somehow?

Anywhoodle.  I'll be back.  Soonish.  Perhaps.  :)
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