Monday, November 26, 2012

OU Football

One of my favorite parts about being back in Norman is getting to go to all the football festivities!  College football is not nearly as important to me as it was as a student, but it still holds a very special (and wonderfully fun) place in my heart!  What can I say - I love my Sooners!

A special thanks to Brad who has taken me to so many games over the past two years!
I have LOVED them all! :D  You have made football season so much fun!

Saturday was the last home game I'll go to for quite some time... a bitter sweet realization.
We played Oklahoma State - a huge, but friendly rivalry.  I was glad it was a close game - exciting down till the last second... when we won in overtime!! Here are some fun pictures that capture some of my favorite parts of Sooner Football:

Sooner pride and pregame:
 So many great memories and amazing friendships from my time with the Pride!
 The pregame videos... aaaah they get me so excited for the game!

 Brad did a good job heckling the OSU fans behind us. 
 And most of all, I will miss the festive time spent with friends!

There is a certain feeling that I get from being in this beautiful stadium with 84,000 other people all cheering for a common purpose... and that is why I love college football.

Another major highlight of the weekend had to be included - seeing these two lovelies!!!

Boomer Sooner

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Devil's Den

This weekend, Sally and I went on an adventure to Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas.   
The drive to the park was really nice in itself.  I love winding roads over rolling hills... especially in fall!
 I was really hoping to catch some of the fall colors the Ozarks are known for.  I missed the peak season by 1-2 weeks, but I still enjoyed the ground being carpeted with all the shades of brown and orange, with the occasional red and purple.  The weather was beautiful - sunny, mid-60s, with a crispness to the air.  

Devil's Den had a very friendly and helpful staff, and the trails were very well maintained.  Additionally, there were park facilities closed for the off-season, and I think it would be a wonderful place for families to enjoy.  

Hike #1: Devil's Den Trail
1.5 miles

One of the parks most popular hikes, this trail winds around a lot of very cool rock formations and caves.  Honestly, I think caves are very cool and fascinating .. and creepy.  I don't have pictures form my favorite sights on the trail, but here are some that'll give an idea of what it was like.

Hike #2: Fossil Flats
5 miles... +1.5 miles in correction

This trail is primarily a moderate mountain biking trail and I highly recommend it as such (particularly the Sawmill Loop section).  This hike was a pretty typical trail in the woods. 

Hike #3: Yellow Rock Trail
3 miles

Another one of the park's most popular trails.  The most desirable part of this hike is the lookout/photo op.  There is a rock that sort of jets out over a valley and its a very pretty scene.  Tons of couples were up there picnicking - adorable.... almost as adorable as me and Sally! haha

Sally was a wonderful hiking buddy!  It is so nice to see her happily explore the trails - I love watching her have so much fun.  And she is very well behaved, which is impressive if you know Sally. haha She nearly got bitten by a snake so that was a little traumatizing for her.  She was super tired and didn't really want to go on the last hike, but I was really happy with her for keeping up! Here is Sally, taking a break. (hehe)

Lessons learned:
1. Clip toenails before a full day of hiking... ouch!
2. Consult the map.
3. Trust your instincts, trust the trail. 
4. Arkansas is for lovers... there were couples all over the place!

Then we drove home, chasing the sunset arriving just in time for the OU game, drinks, and pizza with a friend. 

Good weekend. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I'm stuck.

Write... delete... write... scratch out... write more. 
Start over. 
Sit... think... stare at the page.
Do something else.

It doesn't even feel like writer's block... it just feels like an overall block.

I want to go to grad school, so I have to apply, so I have to write this statement of purpose... but I can't seem to do it.  It's not just the statement - I'm dragging in every part of the process.  I'm not sure why... is it a fear of rejection?  A fear of actually going through with this new plan for my life?  

Its odd that I want this, and I know I want this.... but can't seem to go through the steps that will get me there.  

And I can't figure out why.

But deadlines trump my worries. So I'll write something and I'll submit it... I just want to feel differently about it... or at least figure out why I feel the way I do.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

naturally happy

On Saturday Sally and I took a trip to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK.
We saw some wildlife, went on 3 hikes, and had a grand ol' time. 
 "Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam..."

Sally had a wonderful time!  If you know Sally, you know she is terrified of just about everything, but her happiness and pure exhaustion made her forget all her fears!   
 I was reminded and inspired by the effect dogs have on people.  Without fail, when I'm out with Sally, she brings a smile to people's face.  I think its the happy-go-lucky innocence and unyielding love... it sounds silly to say, but it would be nice if we could all be a little more like dogs. 
 She was a really nice companion to have along the trip... and I learned how out of shape she is! She slept the whole way home. 

The scenery was beautiful... not really comparable to other parts of the country but I was happy to appreciate a different part of Oklahoma.  After being in NYC, I feel like I have a new appreciation for openness. 
 The fall foliage was so wonderful.  I feel like every year there is one day where I suddenly realize all the color that is around me... it's one of my favorite days of the year.  Everything seems to pop and stand out in a unique way, calling extra attention nature's beauty.

As I was walking, I got to thinking... like ya do.  Every person I passed was enjoying themselves, their company, and their day.  Every person offered some type of pleasant communication.  Every person.  Our natural surroundings had created a simple happiness for us.  It made me think about two different dining situations.  Situation 1: fancy, expensive restaurant with delicious food.  Situation 2: a simple picnic on a beautiful day.  Both experiences provide joy.  But I would argue that situation 1 brings us a satisfaction that we have learned to find joy in whereas situation 2 brings a more pure kind of joy.  As a society, I feel we undervalue the simple, pure forms of joy that are just given to us... that we in no way need to earn or buy.  

Get out there and live in the pure joy.