Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Trip to Fayetteville!

Last weekend, we traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to surprise our good friend Traci for her birthday. We were very close friends with the Sips in Ohio and had not been together since Mark and I moved to Oklahoma. Matt, Traci's husband, invited us down to surprise Traci and boy was she surprised!

The weekend was awesome! It was also incredibly cold! We walked around the farmer's market in Fayetteville's downtown square and we also were able to see beautiful views of the city. We spent the rest of the day catching up, watching football and playing with Jack. Mark and Jack become the best of friends through a unique and hilarious version of catch!!

That evening we had dinner at the Hog Haus Brewing Co. near the University of Arkansas Campus. Imagine our surprise, when in the lobby of the restaurant we saw our current Oklahoma State Senator Andrew Rice. Andrew had recently ran and lost the US Senate race in Oklahoma. We, of course, introduced ourselves and were reminded at how small our community really is.

We are so excited that the Sips live so close to us and we hope there are many more reunions in our future.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mizzou Homecoming 2008 (game)

So here are a few more pictures from our trip to Mizzou Homecoming 2008. I think our campus is the best looking campus EVER (of course I am not biased as a former MU tour guide) but here is a great shot to show those that have not had the pleasure of being in Columbia, MO on MU's campus.While Ellen and I were in Columbia, we had to go to Bouches to get some burgers and who did we happen to sit next to at the bar... none other than the voice of the Tigers... Mike Kelly!!! He was very nice and I was able to get my picture with him. Great start to the weekend!!!

If we only had one game to make it to, this was a good one to be at... and our seats weren't that bad. 6 rows up even with the endzone. Here is a Chase Daniel pass that went for a touchdown early in the game:

Here we are cheering on our TIGERS!!!

Isn't that a beautiful site... 58-0! I had never seen Mizzou shut out anyone before (let alone a Big XII opponent). Of course Ellen did not see that as she left part way through the 3rd quarter to go hang out with some of her friends at a bar, but I will not leave a Mizzou game until the clock reads 0:00!

What an AWESOME weekend!!!

Mizzou Homecoming 2008 (friends)

Ellen and I made our annual trip back to Columbia for a MU football game. This year we were able to make it the actual Homecoming weekend for the MU vs CU football game. Of course we wanted to see as many people as possible and trying to split our time between 2 different groups of friends is always difficult, but I think we did an excellent job and all in all had an AWESOME weekend. Here is a quick recap of all the good friends we got to see:

First of all, Sarah Jean was gracious enough to offer her beautiful house for us to stay at on Thursday night. It was great to see her, Adam (her husband) and her 2 cute kids (Molly and Luke). Unfortunately, I was an idiot and never got a picture with any of them.

Then on Friday after some Mizzou shopping for me while Ellen was working on homework at Panara we were able to stop by Amanda's house and see her and her 2 (yes now 2) kids Cole and Chase.

Then that night we had to get some pizza at Shakespears and met Chelsie and her husband Jason (who recently got back from Iraq). Always lots of laughs with Chelsie!

A little later Ellen's friends Jill and Suzanne met us a Shakespears and we went to House Decs with them. Both KKG's and KA's house decs left a little to be desired (although admittedly KKG's were better).

After a night on the town, the next day we had some tailgating to do so we met Katie & Andy at Katie's parent's tailgate.

And finished it up at John & Jen's tailgate where Travis was there as well! It was good to see some old med school friends again. Ellen and I also got schooled by Travis and his wife Allison in a game of washers.

All in all a great weekend for visiting with some old friends that we unfortunately don't get to see often enough. Hopefully they all know that we have a couple of spare rooms here in OKC if they ever make it down this way!

Halloween Weekend

We had an awesome Halloween weekend. Both of us dressed up for work! Mark was Clark Kent/Superman. He wore a suit, but underneath he had on his "superman" uniform! If you look closely at the picture, you can see his Daily Planet Press Pass. I wore my German Beer Maid outfit that I bought while we were in Germany last March.
We bought a lot of candy to pass out and we invited our friend Colen over for the festivities. When we went outside, our sweet neighbors invited us to hand out candy with them. Afterwards, we went to dinner with our other neighbors.
On Saturday, we drove down to Paris to celebrate my Dad's birthday. It was another great day! We ate burgers at a new Paris joint, went on a long walk, ate a delicious dinner and cursed as the Longhorns lost the game in the last second.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dolores Arrives!!!

Ellen and I have decided to put down our roots in OKC and found the perfect neighborhood and house to do just that in:

Well, we decided to take that phrase (putting down our roots) literally and plant a tree. We think our front porch is pretty cool and one day we even plan on actually getting some patio furniture for that as a great place to just relax. However, the front porch is a little exposed and so we decided that planting a tree there will not only give us some privacy, but will also help the environment. We also thought it would be cool to plant a tree the first year we lived here and be able to watch it grow. So, after a recommendation for K & K Nursery (actually closer to Norman than OKC) we went there to learn about what tree would be good for us that will grow well in OKC. We had some limitations: could not be too tall (20-25 ft max) as it would be close to the house (and gutters), it had to be able to take full sun, wind, and the occasional ice storm, and of course, had to look cool. After a few suggestions and some extensive Internet researching (by Mark) we decided on the Shantung Maple. This glorious tree needed a equally awesome name and that is where Dolores comes in. She is the great woman who helped raise Ellen and Walker Clark in Paris, TX and we thought it was a fitting name.

We are proud to introduce to you the newest member of our family... Dolores!!

But, you can call her D-Lo!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lindsay Visits!

This past weekend our dear friend Lindsay came and spent the weekend with us. Each time Lindsay has visited us, we have tried to plan the perfect Oklahoma City weekend. We are hoping that by the end of the trip, Lindsay will decide to stay! While Lindsay did not decide to stay, we still had a wonderful weekend. The highlights included a matinee movie, drinks on the rooftop, lots of football and an evening with our friends Abby, Scott and their cute son Jude. I also ordered the BIGGEST cookie cake for the weekend festivities. Fortunately we did not finish it, but we made some major progress over the weekend!!

Aubrey's Dedication

Two weekends ago, Mark and I traveled up to Ozark, Missouri (between Springfield and Branson) to see our niece Aubrey's dedication. We were fortunate to stay at our brother in law's parent's beautiful home. It was a great trip and we were so glad that we were part of such a special ceremony.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The State Fair

Mark and I had not been to the State Fair in years!! I honestly think my parents took my brother and I once to the Texas State Fair. This year Mark and I had the opportunity to go not once but twice to the Oklahoma State Fair. The first trip to the state fair was to volunteer to serve wine at the Grape Ranch Winery Booth. Part of the profits for the wine booth went to a local nonprofit. We worked the booth with several of our friends. The wine tasters loved Mark. They kept lining up in his line. I guess he looks like wine connoisseur!!
The next weekend we went with another group of friends to spend the evening walking around the fair. We decided to splurge and we bought tons of different foods to try and share. Sharing was critical because the bite of one item of food was probably 300 calories!!! We ate fried macaroni and cheese, fried mashed potatoes, fried ravioli, french fries, fried oreos and a gyro. I honestly don't know if I would attempt this feast of foods again!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Ladder Mystery??!!

Last night, Mark and I both came home late. We were talking in the kitchen, when Mark noticed a ladder in our backyard and the motion sensor security light was on. (Exhibit A Above) We, of course, do not own a ladder, so this meant suspicious activity was occurring!! Suspicious activity can be described as any activity that is scary and may cause serious harm to your loved ones. You should report all suspicious activities to the police, so I immediately called the non-emergency policy number and made a report. Looking back now, I can't imagine what the woman thought of me as I described this "harmful" ladder!! She did say that she would send out a police officer to our house. After a five minute conversation with Mark, we decided that my police call was INSANE! Who has ever heard of a suspicious ladder?? Mark also remembered that he had asked to borrow a ladder from our neighbor and we assumed that he had dropped it off. I canceled our police officer and went to bed hoping not to hear the sound of someone on a ladder!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Reunion!

Last weekend Mark and I were reunited with our dear friends Heather and Jeremy and their daughter Annie. Jeremy was assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico or Kirkland Air Force Base in July. We were so excited to have them so relatively close to us.

Mark and I left early Friday morning and our first stop in Albuquerque was my Grandmother's place. It was great to see her and our next trip will not be so short so we can see other family members!

The rest of the weekend centered around good friends, good food, good views and good weather! The highlight of the trip was finally meeting Annie. Jeremy and Heather had just learned that they were expecting when we left Dayton, so this was our first chance to meet the growing Sikora family member. Annie was so cute!! She laughed at everything and she was up for anything!

On Friday night, we drove around the city and ate out at this cute restaurant where I ate New Mexican style chicken fried steak. We learned that New Mexican style means "red or green chillies on everything!" This includes on top of breakfast foods! That night we sat outside on the Sikora's patio enjoying beer and ice cream and their lush green lawn. We also solved the problems of the world!

On Saturday, we walked around Old Town and that evening we went up the Sandia Mountains within the Cibola National Forest. Our ride to the top was the Sandia Peak Tram, the world's longest aerial tramway. From the top the panoramic view is 11,000 square miles. When we left the bottom post, the temperature was around 75 degrees. The temperature at the top was a completely different story. We were literally in the clouds and the temperature was around 45 degrees. BRR!! The views on the way to the top were incredible! After descending we had a traditional Al Fresco Mexican fiesta complete with Blood Orange Margaritas, chips and guac, tacos, rellenos and quesedillas overlooking the city of Albuquerque. The night ended with Mark and Jeremy watching the Mizzou game and Heather and I crashing on the couch. We had a blast and we hope to see each other more often!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We moved!!

Mark and I moved to our new home last week!! Once we decided that we were going to stay in Oklahoma City, we went on an aggressive hunt for a house. We had already predetermined the neighborhoods that we liked and they all had the theme of historic. Our house was built circa 1920 and we love it! We discovered in our search for an old home that many old homes have character, which includes very poor layout. Luckily, we think we found the best of both worlds an old home with a functional layout and minimal house projects. We moved in last weekend with the help of my parents! There are some major advantages with living close to family, they can be roped into helping with big projects. We honestly could not be happier with our house and we would love for everyone to come and visit. As Mark says: (1) We have a spare bedroom and we are not afraid to use it & (2) Oklahoma City was recently listed as the top tourist attraction in central Oklahoma! Come and enjoy the fun!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wedding Weekend!

My mom is catching the ground, but it is early so we are convinced that she has caught a big one!

Mark, my parents and I all traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri for one of my best friend's Katie and her fiance Andy's wedding. We had a blast!! My parents and I made it up on Thursday night and enjoyed a barbecue hosted by Katie's parents. On Friday, my dad played golf, while my mom and I took fishing lessons. The lessons were really fun. We decided fishing can be addicting like gambling, because we kept casting out "one last time". Neither of us caught a fish, but a few times our hook latched on to the bottom of the lake and gave the feeling of catching a fish. The rest of the weekend revolved around wedding festivities. Katie and Andy have dated since our senior year of college so it was so exciting to finally watch them tie the knot! The reception was a blast and I think we were all sore from dancing the night away. The other highlight was seeing my cousin Charlie and my sorority sister Kristin together as a married couple!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Fridays!

I love Fridays! I currently work part-time mainly because I have taken a full load of classes for the past year. My schedule rocks because I have Fridays off. I am hoping to move to a full time job in the near future, so I am enjoying this amazing schedule while I have it. So each Friday I can read the Oklahoma Gazette (OKC's independent newspaper) or study, clean up our apartment or  venture to a local coffee shop. My favorite coffee spot in town is Coffee Slingers. My mom, the connoisseur of cappuccino's, had two cappuccinos the morning she visited Coffee Slingers!! So I hope you have at least one day a week where you indulge in something that makes you happy! I know when I begin a full time job, I will have to transfer my Fridays to Saturdays! 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mark's Camera Skills!

Mark has major picture taking skills. In the future, I know he wants to purchase a professional camera so he is able to enhance his skills. Below are two pictures that Mark took in Paris. We were leaving a party and the night time sky was beautiful. The picture is of the Paris Chamber of Commerce which is an old train station.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July!!!

Our original plans for the 4th were to visit our friends the Sips in Memphis. Unfortunately, our plans did not work out, but the Sips are moving to Little Rock in the fall so we will soon be state neighbors!!! We were lucky because our fall back plans were to go to Paris and see family! My Aunt Terry, Uncle Fred and Aunt Nancy were all going to celebrate the 4th in Paris. The highlight of the weekend (besides seeing the family!) was the Paris Parade. Only in Paris does the parade include free Twinkies and a huge cow on wheels. Other highlights included a 4th of July barbecue, picking food from the Clark/Swasko garden and sitting outside at Buffalo Joe's enjoying a frosty beverage! The weekend went by too fast!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We are Okies!!

Mark and I have decided to plant our roots in Oklahoma City!! For the past several years, we always talked about where we would settle down after Mark's military service was over. I don't think Oklahoma was even on the short list during these discussions! But after living here for a year, we have really begun to appreciate the OKC community. It also has major location perks (near both families and in the Big 12) and major conviences (Airport and Amtrak). This is all pretty new to us still but we are excited!!! We are even starting to look at buying a house. As always there is an open invitation to get the royal treatment next time you are coming through Oklahoma!