#loudlife#quietlife

Another week in the books. Less than 24 hours away from my favorite day: MARATHON DAY!!!

I’m so excited that Mark is going to go with me and get to meet Martha and see the awesomeness that is Marathon Day. Amy and Sean are going to join us and we will cheer on our friends and just be a part of this awesome thing that our city does! Gold Lame Elvis is ready for his debut!

and the added plus for this year? Our first rehearsal with the LTYM cast!

I’m so excited for the read-thru that I cannot stand it. We are THIS CLOSE to being ready to open. 7 days actually. The programs are printing. Meetings with tech are scheduled for Monday. I’m making and printing list after list after list to check off. Our press is starting to roll out. We were in the Norman Transcript today *though I cannot find it online, next week Heather will be doing an interview for the Tulsa NBC station, and I will be on NBC Monday at 6am and FOX Wednesday at 9am. Our ticket sales are gangbusters and we are–ARE– going to sell out this week. I think I’ve got the show order set and we’ll see tomorrow if it works. It’s just down to the details.

Magic in the minutiae!

The week was full of goodbyes and tears at the salon. I’ve called, emailed, texted, facebooked everyone I can think of. I wake up at night with names to contact on my mind. I’ll just do the best I can with this and have to bless it and let it go I suppose.

Tonight, I’m staying in. I’ve cleaned up most of the raccoon fiesta debris that met me when I got home, as well as some of the bird feathers in the floor. Sammy has started hunting. I’ve been telling him he’s going to have to really behave when we move to Norman. He just looks at me like, “No Habla Meow”

The windows are open (man I’m going to miss those windows) and the breeze is flowing and it’s quiet. The Thunder plays tonight, but I don’t have cable to watch it. Sad trombone. I think we’ll have a trip to Target, get some mouthwash, toothpaste, etc.

living the #quietlife

 

 

Dearly Beloved…

So remember when I told ya’ll that my Pseudo Sis 3 got engaged? Remember? It was the perfect engagement that involved all of our favorite people (lots of people)and places (the Wormy Dog during daylight hours) and things! (All things icy, shots, beers, diamonds!)

Well I had dinner/drinks with Maggie and Shiny (Chris) on Friday night in Norman. It was so fun to have friends IN Norman!!! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but really it is. I miss my social life here in OKC and wish for it to be the same down in Norman. I want people to Sunday Funday with, to sit and listen to music with at the concerts that Mark helps produce. I miss MY friends. So this was a real treat.

During our meal and beers and laughing and kind of tip-toeing around PseudoSis1’s. . . fierce arrival. . . Maggie finally broke the news and spilled the real reason for our gathering.

She and Chris asked me if I would get ordained and along with Michelle (PS1) would we officiate the wedding ceremony!

WHAT!!!!!

I started laughing and crying and I was still chewing my bite of nacho and it was a messy, hysterical glob of family love. At this point Maggie handed us both hand stitched handkerchiefs that said NO UGLY CRYING. Michelle’s in orange. Mine in Fuschia.

Such a nice touch. Sweet Sweet Sweet.

Of course I accepted the honor and my brain immediately started racing, going through the files of quotes, passages, special writings that I love about love, movie quotes, song lyrics.

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever…Yeah. You know I said that about a million times. The scenario of Michelle and I at the end of the aisle, both nonchalantly sucking at our custom designed Xanax Necklace (patent pending) was enough to send us all into a tizzy. I at one point said that at the end of the ceremony,  instead of a nice presentation of the couple I was just going to clap my hands and exclaim:

“BOOM. MARRIED.”

and walk away.

I’ve also got a puppet just dying to do some interpretive readings of some Journey lyrics. Do not tempt me.

Do. Not.

All kidding aside, I don’t know if I can express what an honor this is. To be a part of this relationship, to be a witness to the life they are building, to be a part of the foundation of family and friends and love that they’re building it on…

This is what it’s all about ya’ll.

This day has given us some pretty devastating news. People near and far are hurting and experiencing profound loss.

Tonight, as I sit here and watch The Voice and sip a little jelly jar of $3 wine and proof my final research paper for That Grad School Thing, I choose to focus on this.

This life.

This love.

That’s what sustains.

 

#goodlife

Coming off of a weekend that was just chalk full of socializing it’s taking every bit of effort to force myself to get out into the world and get errands finished today. I just kind of want to lay on the couch, watch a movie, play on the computer and be nonsensical.

Alas, there is no time for nonsense.

Rather than tell you all about the things I need to do for LTYM:OKC, or my research paper, or the laundry issues that are quickly becoming something akin to a natural disaster, or the oil that hasn’t been changed in my car for…awhile***. . . I think I’ll tell you about last night.

***I haven’t taken any big drives in my car since Mark and I started dating and that’s when I would always get the oil changed. I used to be really on top of things like this…I’m doing it today. I swear.

Yesterday was a beautiful Easter Sunday. It’s one of my favorite things that BonusMom and I do, and this year I worried (unnecessarily) about managing a two – family day. I was worried that I would have to choose between Mark’s family celebrations and my tradition with BonusMom. I don’t want to set a precedence for spending holidays separately. But taking into account another person is…well that’s the compromise in a relationship now isn’t it?

There was nothing to worry about. We had an early Easter breakfast with his whole family,  and it was lovely. It feels like I haven’t seen any of them in eons and truly…TRULY I just love these people. They feel like family. Real family.  I know so many things that come with a relationship are just kind of adapted to, dealt with, something that must be done to appease…but I genuinely enjoy this bunch. It’s so nice to have family that lives close by. I miss mine terribly so to be able to just everyone have breakfast together and laugh at the kid and her Easter basket presents…well that is just fine by me. Soul filling.

We then jumped in the car about 10:20 and headed out to Yukon for church service and then dinner at the Frontier. It was Mark’s first time at the Frontier, and we walked the grounds, looking at all the plants and flowers and vegetables and birds and cats and the creek…lots of Nature out there. Lunch was delicious and slow, great food and wine, full of laughter and easy conversation.

Sunday afternoon with my best friend
Sunday afternoon with my best friend #goodlife

We had planned on attacking the rest of the yardwork at his house but by the time we got home via a stop at my house (more clothes) and Lowes(ilovethatstore) our desire to work turned into a desire to sit on a porch and have a beer and just enjoy the sunshine. I love those moments, just the two of us, more easy conversation, and easy silence. We talk about everything and nothing. There is no one I would rather sit with.

Pinterest is jealous of us #goodlife
Pinterest is jealous of us #goodlife

We ended the night with popcorn made on the stove the real way, a few beers, a fuzzy blanket and a movie theatre set up in the back yard.

the PERFECT date #goodlife
the PERFECT date #goodlife

I tell ya my friends, when this man puts on his woo-ing mood…he knows no boundaries.

It’s a good life that we’re forging together. Navigation may be tricky at times. Friends must adjust and understand that there are new boundaries, but time spent in both worlds … trying to balance time with everyone is important to us.  It takes effort and scheduling and some grace on all parts to make that successful and mostly, I think we’ve done okay there. Negotiating holiday time and having new families to consider can be tricky, but we’re doing it pretty well. At times we may communicate worse than Mars and Venus, because he’s a guy with a guy brain, and I’m a girl with feelings on my shoulders and we both bring our fair share of scars to the table. Sometimes dinner is late and doors break and everything goes to hell in a handbasket . . . but some days, you sit in the sunshine and then you sit under the stars, watching a movie and turn the passing trains into a fun little make out game and you hold hands under the blanket and you fall in love all over again.

I’m actually starting to trust this feeling of security…steadfast and safe. I never really thought that would happen.

It’s a #goodlife.

Happy Monday, ya’ll

Taking a Breath.

It’s been a week.

Mark’s brother-in-law lost his fight with Fucking Cancer this week. It was, as it always is, just bullshit from the get go. It’s not really my story to tell here, but as we all know, this kind of thing just sucks.

I’ve been in Norman every night, spending time with family, being together, and that part has been lovely.

Last night, I dreamed crazy. I dreamed about school. I dreamed about being so far behind on writing my thesis. I dreamed about not graduating until the Fall and everything just falling apart. I dreamed about this assignment we have for my Shakespeare class…

I had emailed my professor with questions about this last night and then dreamed that his reply…well his reply was nothing that I could do. It had tons of information, tons of stuff to help me…if I were Chris. I kept looking over the paper, and saw prompts that would make the assignment easier and I kept saying, “But I don’t know that episode of the Simpsons. I didn’t watch the X-Files. Dr. Who has never been on my television. Chris would know this. Chris could do this.”

It was like that all night long.

Cindy’s post today was really on point. “It doesn’t get easier…” It really is a relief, I think. . . to know that. Of course, the interpretation of  “easier” is up for grabs…just depends on your journey.

The closer we get to February, the more I’ve been thinking about him. About Cindy. About that day, about that trip with Amy and how it is still just so raw. I guess I too, have been waiting for it to get easier. This week has just kind of peeled back the scab.

I was thinking this week about Mark’s sister. I was thinking about having lived an entire life with someone…only to have another entire life ahead without them.

I was thinking about my friends who are on this path already…some many steps ahead of the other but walking it, nonetheless.

The list is just way too long.

Today I’m paying bills, reading more homework and heading to class. I didn’t go on Tuesday. My place was in Norman. So I’ve got some catching up to do. A little time in the salon with clients, then load the car, feed the livestock and head back down.

I’ve said for years, “You never have to do this day over again.”

Eventually something shifts and it becomes, “You never get to do this day over again.”

We’re somewhere in the middle this week, and that’s okay.

 

cancer

Placing Blame

Sunday night I sat at the Depot wedged between people that I love, and the minute that Gretchen Peters opened her mouth, everything I’d been carrying with me just dissipated and I was instantly lighter. The bulk of the week, the emotion of the weekend all of it immediately dissolved and I was at once in a moment of magic.

————————

I’d had a little bit of a pity party this weekend, and since there really was no good reason, we can just blame it on the full moon. For whatever reason, I felt a little lonely. I wished for my friends. I wished for my friends to be in Norman, to be in my circumference, to be close. I always wished for a “plus one” so that I could “couple” with my friends…and that has happened maybe once thus far…Don’t get me wrong. I’m not laying out a big guilt trip for those who read. I’m well aware of the busy and the children and the schedules and the Life that requires planning. Lord, am I aware. I’m merely just laying out there the shape that my psyche was in.

Are we still blaming it on the moon?

Maybe I should blame it on the weather.

The weather was gorgeous. Unseasonably gorgeous. Mark was at the Depot setting up for the show. I was at the house ostensibly doing my reading homework…yet I was not. I was wallowing in the ridiculous…and took it out on my bangs. I put Urban Cowboy on, turned it up and sang along. I love that movie. I love those songs. I’m unapologetic for my love of country music. Mainstream country, Old School country, I don’t care. It’s part of my fabric. It’s part of my quilt. I was emotional, and the Bloody Mary was delicious and before I knew it I had cut the everlivingbejeasus out of my poor, friendless bangs.

I’m not mad about it. 

I wasn’t mad then.

But I was feeling lonely.

I’m going to blame it on the music actually. The movie AND the music. Lotta memories wrapped up in that package.

Bangs!
Bangs!

—————————–

Last week George Strait came through town on his final tour. The Cowboy Rides Away, and after a lifetime of seeing him at the Myriad every October with Audra, layer after layer of memory and tears, we went to listen, to clap and sing and say good-bye. This year however, we took our sisters with us. The four of us. All in a row.

My sis has her own hectic life, choc full of children and a husband and family and work. Her escape is reading these days, and for her, this was a weekend of uninterrupted words. Staying up late, no drinks to get for anyone, no snacks to fix. All her. Only her. I was so happy she was here.

Now, I go see live music a lot. From the time I could drive, that’s what I’ve spent my money on. Audra and I would pile in and drive to the City and land in an audience of whoever. Or we would head down to Lloyd Noble or the Myriad. We’ve seen big names, little names and a  Beatle. My sister has not. Not really. And raising two rowdy boys doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to run off to a music festival. Tae kwan do lessons don’t always allow for today’s ticket prices.

It was even more special for me, to see her enjoy the show. To see it all through her eyes. As we were getting ready, we listened to George tell us how good we looked in love. We put on our boots and headed out for our possibly first ever Sister’s Weekend.

Red Boots!
Red Boots!

The night was magic.

We danced in our chairs. We sang at the top of our lungs. We watched as a woman pert near 75 years old told a much younger, much drunker, obnoxious concert goer standing in front of her seat to “SIT DOWN. I CAN’T SEE THROUGH YOUR. FAT. ASS.”

I was both amazed and a little afeared. There she sat with her perfectly coiffed white hair and her pocketbook in her lap, her sister sitting quietly next to her. The drunk girl got kicked out. We were all relieved. Seriously, she was That Drunk Girl. I’m glad she went elsewhere. I told Taryn, “that’s probably going to be us someday. But you’ll be the one screaming for her to sit down. I’ll just sit back and watch the shitshow.”

We laughed. Oh how we laughed.

Me and my Sisser
Me and my Sisser

Martina McBride sang to us about broken wings and concrete angels. We all sang about Independence Day and as Maggie said at intermission “hit every single note as if it were my own.” George took us to Marina del Rey, we blamed it on Mexcio and much to our chagrin *we sang right along to all of the Pure Country songs.

*ahem. Taryn. ahem*

Best Friends Forever
Best Friends Forever

When the cowboy finally did ride away, we’d been given over three hours of music, we were choking back tears and waving goodbye as if he could see each and every one of us.

If only I would have known, if only I’d have been as nostalgic in my 20’s as I am in my 40’s…maybe I’d have kept every ticket stub, or written down all the dates, or collected every shirt. As it stands, what I have are memories. Memories of my best friend, Ropers and Wranglers, holding hair and sneaking backstage. Added to that, I have this night, full of sisterly love. The cowboy gave us a great show before he rode away. A great show.

Oh The Concerts We Have Seen
Oh The Concerts We Have Seen

When she left that Sunday to head back home, she said “if you see anyone else coming get us tickets! I’ll come back!”

The magic…she got a taste of it.

Sisters
Sisters

———————————–

Gretchen Peters is an award winning musician and song writer.

She wrote Independence Day, and when Martina recorded it, she won Song of the Year.

She sang it Sunday night after a year of taking it out of rotation.

I’m ever so grateful.

I loved everything that came out of her mouth that night.

She sang, and I sang, and and looking down at the hand holding mine I knew that I was in a place that was safe and secure. There would be no shenanigans from the past come to hurt us anymore. There was only to be honesty and trust. I looked over and saw Marks mom, who had snuck in from her post out front where she spends most every show working. She was watching and listening and taking it all in.

There's no age limit on the magic of it all, is there?
There’s no age limit on the magic of it all, is there?

I looked over at Brad and Lisa,  my friends, our friends who were as emotionally engaged as we were with every note. . . I looked at all of us and knew in my heart that I wasn’t alone. 

I never had been.

This man. This man I love.
This man. This man I love.

And maybe it was the weather,

and maybe it was the moon.

But I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the music.

Because it…it was magic.

 

 

Everyday Grace…and a Little Forward Motion

Today was a day full of progress.

Forward Motion at it’s finest.

I finished all the bits and pieces of my ph.d program applications. I refined, and tuned, I printed and printed again. I put everything in nice little manilla envelopes and took them to the sending place and paid some money so that both packages will be delivered to the Graduate School Offices by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The final bits that are out of my control such as official transcript requests, letters of recommendation, GRE scores have been requested, have been sent, are in the process of…It’s finished.

As I walked out of the sending place, leaving what was essentially two envelopes of my soul, …it was all very Julia Roberts in Notting Hill…

I’m just a girl.

Standing in front of a ph.d program.

Asking them to love her.

…as I walked back to my car I was overcome by a profound sense of peace. Ok. Here we go. If they don’t want me, if neither program admits me…we will know that it’s not time for me to do this…yet…if ever. And I will get on with figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing. I felt a sense of calm, and a dissipation of this, this…presence that had been with me since I began This Grad School Thing.

Ok. Well…then okay.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts, a lot of words whirling around in my head. Combined with the questions that I’m fielding from everyone else…it’s been kind of cluttered. So much of this part of this year is up in the air for me. For a person that craves stability…it’s not comfortable. However…I realized that I’ve been focused on the endgame. The unknown place where I’ll wind up. How will I get there? When will I know? I realized today, that my focus has solely been on getting to the finish line with so many of these things…and I mean to change that. I think by sending off those manilla envelopes that weighed less than half a pound each, that I began the process. I could have really missed out on the joy that’s becoming self evident every day had I not had the realization.

I wasn’t just doing this with the ph.d program. I was doing it with everything. I was focused on my relationship and the endgame and listening to all the questions about “when are you moving in together…are you going to move to Norman…are you going to get married…what will you do when…what would you do if…” I know these are posed with the best of intentions. It’s a good thing that’s happening here. I don’t know the answers to these questions, and though I come from a long line of women who fall under the category of “when you know, you know, so why wait” this is my thing. It’s Our thing. And we’ll let you know as soon as there’s anything to tell. In the meantime…I’m happy. I’m not going to spend my minutes focused on the what if, and when. Life is good. Here. Now. Right now. And that’s enough.

I wasn’t just doing it with the ph.d. program and my relationship either…LTYM:OKC has been weighing on my heart since I got word that we were selected to produce a show. I’ve been working and muddling and worrying and trying…and really the endgame is going to be amazing. But this journey is going to be an experience that I know…I KNOW will be forever changing. I don’t want to miss out on any part of it. I don’t want to get mired down in the muck and forget why we are doing this.

Finding your voice. Finding the empowerment that comes with your voice. Our voice. It may well be my life’s work. Helping others to find their voice. Empowering those voices. Giving them a platform and the cheers and the courage necessary to share that voice. I believe in this. From the bottom of my heart I believe in this.

Getting permission, getting validation, seeking comfort and sharing your story…that’s what this experience is about. And the opportunity to be changed, to be moved, to experience grace…that doesn’t only happen the day of the performance. There is possibility in every day.

Everyday grace.

That’s what it is.

Today I secured the venue and set the date for our LTYM:OKC production. 

Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 5th, 2013. We’ll see you at Will Rogers Theatre, here in the heart of my hood, in OKC. We finalized the details for our local charity that is Infant Crisis Services. I cannot tell you how much love I have for this organization.

Everyday Grace.

That’s what happens there. It’s what happened today. I won’t be surprised at all if we see a little tomorrow, too.

Today was a good day. Tomorrow I’m back in class. Tomorrow I tackle the big things like initial Thesis research and readings.

But you know what? That’s ok.

Because I cleared some space today. I put away a few things, I made some room for new. Forward motion, ya’ll…

It’s just a car length ahead…just a mile or two faster.

 

The Long Night’s Moon

I’m home. It’s been a week, whirlwind, stuffed full of fun and emotion and family and friends and weather and food and drink and love. I can’t remember the last night I spent here, I think it was perhaps last Sunday night. Time is, once again if not still, playing with me.

The holidays are what they are for people. I’ve never been one to stand firmly in any camp. I love the holidays. I abhor the holidays. Most of the time it depended on where I was in my own life, and what was shaking down from my family life as to how I was going to approach this time of year.

Some years, especially after my parents divorced, were as miserable as a burn. It was a pain that had no simple solution nor any end in sight. . . until all of a sudden. . . it was gone. There were especially good years, during my early relationships, after my family seemed to heal a bit, those firsts with the babies that bring out the excitement and love…and then that went away and I was miserable again. Depression a few years ago struck so hard that I didn’t even put up a tree.

I. didn’t. even. put. up. a. tree.

It’s hard for as many reasons as it is special to people. I chose not to dwell on the misery. I really do love the lights. I love my house decorated and homey. I love the tree and the smell and the ornaments that I recall from years past. I push the little red ball with Wonderboy’s picture and his voice recorded and I think…”that was when he loved us all more than the computer.” But it can be wonky, to be sure.

Navigating this season, coming off of the most intense semester to date, really trying to be sure of my next steps, professionally, juggling the financial pressures, the time off and scheduling as well as maneuvering it all with a new relationship and trying not to trip and fall…

Well I didn’t do it this year.

This year, I tripped.

I’m learning, though. I’m learning to vocalize what I want and need, even though it may not coincide with what I’ve always done, where I’ve always been. Understanding that communication is the most important item on the list, and checking it twice is a lesson I’ve learned again this season.

It hasn’t been time without hurt feelings, or shitty behavior. I will learn to be better at the gift buying and giving. I will not screw up the buttermilk pie because I’m DrunkBaking.

I think for the most part, this Christmas was a success. His family liked the roasted vegetables and the cranberry salsa/creme cheese appetizer. My dad met Mark, and we all spent some time laughing together as a family. I was astounded more than once at the awesome things I got. Three Le Creuset cookware pieces, a new NorthFace and some gloves that I can use with my iPhone and a pen carved out of the ugly tree that used to live in front of my house (remember my wine glasses from last year?) I’m using it to take notes for next year. I’m figuring it out. I’m not convinced that my big gifts were the WOW that I thought they would be…Who knows. I’ll keep a better list this next year, make some mental notes…who knows where we’ll all be in 12 months, right?

Tonight, I’m about to go make chili and get some cleaning done for my holiday party here tomorrow night. Talaura, Cindy and our friends will all gather round and have a drink and a nosh and just enjoy the time before it all winds down. Sunday is my first meeting for our Listen To Your Mother Show, and I’ve got to start making some notes for that. It’s cold and brisk outside, the cats are all snuggly and happy to have me home.

All in all, on this night of the final full moon of 2012, I have to say I think we did our first couple Christmas well. I’m excited for the next few days that are minimal obligations. And like most of you, I’m looking forward to putting a tag on this year. The Long Night’s Moon is what they call it tonight…I think I’ll go howl one last time.