Thursday, November 19, 2009

things I like about living in oklahoma (specifically norman)

haha, I love pretending to be a norman-snob. it's fun.

I have been observing life here in god's country. ha, that is a total joke. I actually HATE the whole "god's country" thing. and the "...on the 8th day" thing too. I don't know why I typed that.

anyway... as a citizen of norman for almost 3 months, these are the things I like about living here:

  • people are really stinkin' friendly. a couple weeks ago, I was in Lowe's and no joke, FOUR different people asked me if I needed assistance. and not in a, "oh, there's a girl in lowe's, I'm sure she needs help" way. actually in a nice, friendly, "how are you? can I help you with anything?" way. and it's like that everywhere.
  • the weather has been awesome. yes, fall was definately the time of year for me to move to oklahoma. I was terribly sad about missing western PA's fall with all the beautiful foliage (and I am!) but the weather we have had these past two months has been absolutely divine - mostly sunny with mild temps.
  • football!!! we have gone to THREE sooners football games this year. can you believe it?! but can you blame us? we live 4 miles from the stadium. we found a place to park for free. we tailgate with our friends from OU RUF. we buy cheap tickets from people selling them at the last minute. we go in, watch some (pretty) good football, and are home within 30 minutes of the end of the game.
  • shopping! have I mentioned that I can see super target from my driveway? 'nuf said.
  • lake thunderbird
  • our church. we are really enjoying the quirky, intelligent, and super interesting folks of christ the king pca.
  • happy hour at sonic
  • walking around the OU campus. earlier this week, I texted bobby and said that I saw there was a freshen's yogurt place on campus. he wrote back, let's go! so within 20 minutes he was home and we were out the door. we put our quarter in a meter which was good for one hour and walked all around campus, including the student union (where freshen's no longer exists. ugh), inside gaylord memorial stadium, the south oval, and even past the practice fields where we could see & hear 100+ players wearing crimson & cream. twenty five cents sure can buy you a lot here in norman.
  • campus corner. restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, salons, a theater, churches, and antique shops - it's pretty much "the bomb."
  • this place is hopping. everywhere I go, I see lots of people doing lots of things - shopping, driving, eating out, golfing, going to movies, sporting events, tailgating - you name it, the people of norman are doing it. ain't no sign of a recession here.
  • celebrities' houses.

This is just what I came up with off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more. And there are definately things I don't like so much. And for sure there are a bazillion things I miss about western pennsylvania that are better than norman (gasp!) but since it's thanksgiving week and all, I'll just keep this post positive.

I just realized, norman needs a slogan. Because if they had one, I would end this post with it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

the Visit, reVamping, and Vegas - part 3: REVAMPING PICTURES

ok, so I know I was stretching it when I chose the word revamping for the title instead of saying "projects" or "home improvements," but I was going with a "v" theme and that was all I could think of! In case you missed them, I recommend reading Part 1 and Part 2 first.

So anyway... as you read in part one (see? i'm testing you) my parents offered to help us with a lot of projects that bobby and I do not know how to do while they were in town for a few days.

Without further ado, the befores and afters.

First up - master bedroom closet doors. BEFORE:


I still need to paint the trim and the doors white, but they are such a huge improvement over the mirror doors. Not only were they ugly and dated, but the rollers & track were broken and so to open/close them, I had to pick them up and slide them. They were very heavy. I love my new 6 panel white doors!

Bobby installed a bunch of door hinge stopper things.

We all worked on replacing the glass section of the back door. The trim was cracked in several places (no before pictures, sorry) and I thought we could just replace that, but what I didn't know was that the glass & trim are all one unit. We thought about just buying a whole new door, but then we went to the habitat restore here in norman and found the section we needed for just $20. the old glass was removed and the new one installed.

Here is the after picture with the exterior side showing.

I will be painting the door & trim this week.

Oh, and bobby installed also two new dead bolts. One can be seen in the previous picture.

The most visible "makeover" was probably the door going into our office (aka BR3). This is the room that we replaced the flooring in several weeks ago. But the door HAD to go. It was a plastic accordion door that was basically taped on. Yes, with scotch tape. Ugh. So my dad installed the brackets, the door knob, and everything else (my mom helped.) And now we have a real (6 panel white) door that looks awesome. I cannot find our before picture of that hideous door, but here is the after...

Last week I painted the trim white. This is the view from inside the room. Door still needs a coat of white paint, but a major improvement over the accordion door.

Bobby had already replaced one kitchen ceiling light, but I really wanted a pendant light for over the kitchen sink. I've been looking for one I liked for weeks now and we finally found one. It was silver, so I painted it black and now it looks fabulous!



And finally... remember this hole in the attic floor/garage ceiling?

Well, it now looks like this:

Actually, it looks even better than that now because bobby has covered it with spakling and texture to match the rest of the ceiling.

There you go. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


was my birthday! my day started at about 6:11 when bobby had to get up to go to a men's bible study. sometimes I don't even hear him get up, but yesterday I was wide awake, but that didn't last long... he said, happy birthday, I said, thanks, and went back to sleep until he got back from the bible study. he woke me up with a card from paisley & shadow that said, thanks for feeding us! and their present to me was hotcakes from mcd's - which I have always loved. thanks kitties!!

bobby left for the office shortly after breakfast and I had a nice, relaxing morning in which I did some reading, went for a nice long walk, and watched a little tv. the weather was delightful - sunny and about 73. definately the warmest birthday I've ever had. throughout the day I received a bunch of calls from family, emails, and a gazillion birthday wishes on facebook! (that's the real reason I've racked up 434 friends on there. just kidding.) I feel very loved, which I'm thankful for, because otherwise I would have felt very lonely yesterday. Because once again, my birthday arrived just a couple months after moving to a new place, where I "know" very few people. Yes, I've met a ton of people here, but none well enough to say, hey, come over and see me on my birthday! ha! well, actually I probably could have done that, but I am just not bold enough. I just assume everyone is always busy and wouldn't be able to/want to. Eventually I'll get over that... maybe.

So my day was spent mostly just with Bobby and it was fun. When he got home from work, I was ready and waiting for to go out on my surprise dinner.

I should have cleaned up the clutter a little bit behind me. I took this picture in our GIANT mirror in the "dining room" as sort of a joke, but then decided to post it because of the cute cat in the background.

Our first stop was Coach's in Norman. Bobby's been there quite a few times for meetings and such, but I had never been. Then we got in the car and drove to downtown OKC (Bricktown) for dinner. He had not yet told me where we were eating, but when we couldn't find it, he told me the name so I could be looking for it... Deep Deuce Grill. He said he had been to their website and it looked like a really cool place. (and he had a coupon!) We drove up and down the street that it was on and we just couldn't find it. Then on our third pass, I finally saw the sign. But it was not lit up. And the door was open, but there were no tables inside. But I did see a ladder. THEY WERE CLOSED FOR REMODELING! we called to double-check and sure enough, they were closed until Dec 1. UGH! would be nice if they could put that on their website. This is 2009! (I have contacted them to complain.)

Ok, what do we do now?!? First up, we need a restroom, so we go to bass pro shops of course!

oh so funny, isn't it?!?

back to the car now, deciding where to eat, I suggest driving all the way back to norman to try the place that I suggested a couple days ago, Victoria's Pasta Shop. I had seen it recommended a few places recently and it sounded awesome.

And that's where we ate. I had chicken parmesan. It was very good! Chicken was lightly-breaded and the sauce was light and yummy.

Bobby had a sampler of their signature lasagna rolls, whole wheat linguine, and pesto. He loved & devoured every bite. (I helped a little...)

Then we walked around campus corner a little while. It is so nice there, I just love it. For some reason they have these phone booths so we took a picture.

We grabbed a little dessert at Cafe Plaid - peanut butter & chocolate chip granola bar. Yum! when we got home I heated it up and ate it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. :-) we watched some dvr'd shows and went to bed. unfortunately I had a mild migraine for most of the evening, but overall it was a pretty nice day!

(P.S. part 3 of the visit, vegas, and revamping should appear within the next 36 hours)

Friday, November 06, 2009

the Visit, reVamping, and Vegas - part 2: VEGAS PICTURES

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1: INTRO. I will not offer much explanation in this post, mostly just pictures.

And if you made it all through the intro, congrats! you are now being rewarded with lots of pictures! (fyi, captions are above the pictures)

Freezing in the lazy river

Watching the fountain show at Bellagio our first night.

Headed to the strip on day two, we stop first to take a group photo.

One of my new favorite places on Las Vegas Blvd, the m&m store. The four of us bought nearly $50 worth of m&ms and ate them all in 3 days!

after bobby finally dragged me out of the m&m store, we went to the mgm grand, home of the lion habitat. this is way better than those white tigers. I took a lot of pictures, but I picked these two to show you.

that trainer is as brave as that lion I suppose.

what has become my favorite hotel & casino, Paris Las Vegas... I don't know what it is about that place, but I love it the most. Don't bobby and I look like we are sitting in a cafe on the streets of paris sharing a gelato?

dad & daughter in paris

mom & dad standing in front of a replica of the Fontaines de la Concorde

bobby really enjoyed his meal at pampas! we all got just the meat entree, but convinced him to get the surf & turf. yeah, we really had to twist his arm really hard...

it's kind of strange that I have never been to the real new york, new york, but I've been to this fake one twice.

bobby is standing in "times square"

loving our burgers at in-n-out!

It took about 12 takes to get this photo, but it's a good one. Here we are, going out on our last night in vegas.

Close-up of the giant sphinx in front of the Luxor hotel & casino.

and finally, we had to get a picture in front of the famous sign!

two final pictures... here is what the ground in denver looked like when we landed there thursday afternoon on our layover.

I thought we were still in the clouds, but no, that is snow!

denver got hit with a horrible snowstorm that week, and even that day that we flew in, there were 4 hour delays and canceled flights. but not for us, southwest got us in and out with only a 15 minute delay. we love southwest. and even when we got to OKC and realized that two of our suitcases were missing, we didn't start hating SW, because they got it the next day, called us, we went and got them, and got two $50 travel vouchers!

Coming soon...

Part 3: the reVamping pictures

Thursday, November 05, 2009

the Visit, reVamping, and Vegas - part 1: INTRO

we have been waiting for nearly two months for my parents to come out and see our new home. they kept offering to come out with us when we moved and help us unpack and all that, but they have always done all the hard work for us everywhere we have moved that we decided to give them a well-deserved break this time. besides, they had already done all the hard work in pennsylvania packing us up to move out here. it really wouldn't be fair to make them do double work, now would it? additionally, I figured it would also be a good opportunity to get bobby's family in on the action and to get to know our new church family during the unpacking process. well, neither really happened due to miscommunication, and we did almost all of the unpacking on our own. haha. oh well, it was probably good for us.

but ANYway... we tried to work really hard to get the majority of stuff unpacked and settled for when my parents could come down. and that day finally came the afternoon of thursday, october 22nd. we really were so proud to show them our very own house, nestled in our little cul de sac, in our cute little neighborhood, in the great town of norman. I think they really liked it and were proud of our accomplishments so far, but right after dinner, we began discussing what projects we were going to work on while we had the time & talent of my super handy dad. bobby went to a meeting at church and we went to lowe's. that was our first of at least 9 or 10 trips there.

work began friday morning (I don't even remember eating breakfast.) the projects on the slate were: replacing the awful plastic accordion door that was taped onto the doorway going into the office with a real door (I can not figure out why they didn't do that in the first place), replacing the mirrored closet doors in our bedroom (not only were they mirrors, but the trim was brass, and the track was broken so it was like lifting a ton just to open them), fixing (which turned into replacing) the glass & trim in the back door, changing out 5 light fixtures, several switches and outlets, and repairing the hole in the attic floor.

it was so great to get all of that done, and really I can't believe we did it all in that short amount of time. we worked most of friday, saturday, and a little sunday, but then we started packing for las vegas! a little explanation in case you have a problem with vacationing in vegas (hopefully you don't) - my parents purchased a thing that is sort of like a timeshare at Tahiti Village in Las Vegas which includes a free vacation there every other year. so we picked this week and off we went. the three of us (mom dad & I) had already been to LV several times, but it was bobby's first time. you can explain vegas all you want to someone, but you really have to be there to fully experience it. I was starting to worry that maybe we had hyped it up a bit too much, but he was not at all disappointed.

We arrived Monday afternoon and it was sunny, but the wind was chilly and we couldn't believe it. we were in the dessert for heaven's sake, it's supposed to be hot all the time, right?!!? we were mostly disappointed because Tahiti Village has an amazing pool area and lazy river, and we had hoped to spend some quality time there. We tried it out for a little while the first day because that was supposed to be the warmest, but the chill was too much and we headed back up to the condo. After getting ready, we headed to the strip for the first time. Fortunately it was just getting dark so we got the full effect of the lights. And thus began the walking... I had warned bobby of the amount of walking we would do and he responded by wearing very comfortable shoes. Did I take my own advice? no. I wanted to look cute so I wore my tall black boots. and yes, I was in a lot of discomfort at the end of the night. oh well.

Since we couldn't go to the pool, we spent the rest of our vacation driving to and walking around the strip mostly. We even ventured to Freemont Street once because bobby really wanted to see the old part town, but it was just too windy and cold, (I had on 4 layers!) so we didn't stay long. Driving around in the rental car was probably my favorite thing to do because it was nice & warm and didn't hurt my feet. haha. Finally by the next to last day I got smart and ditched the fashion sense and went for comfort by wearing tennis shoes. it was so nice.

One of the perks of being an owner at TV is that you get coupons and show tickets, so we went to see the Fab Four Live - a Beatles tribute show. We really weren't too excited about it, and especially after we discovered that we were the only ones under the age of 50 there, but it turned out to be really fun. and the guys were really good. Then we ate at this amazing restaurant called Pampas. It is a Brazilian steakhouse where they bring the meat to your table on a skewer and carve it for you. I really can't explain much more than that so you just have to go to their website.

Bobby and I had a few hours to ourselves one day because my parents had to go to a meeting for all the TV owners so we went to Tropicana, New York New York, and Monte Carlo. We went all the way down one side, then walked all the way back. I'm not sure why. When my parents were done, they picked us up and we went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Yum! Then that night, our last night, we got all dressed up (well, my mom & I did) and hit the town again, visiting the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and the Venetian. It was a great way to end our trip because the next morning we had to fly back to OKC to finish our projects before my parents had to fly back home.

Coming soon...

Part 2 - "vegas pictures"

Part 3 - "the revamping pictures"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: gee, thanks for the warning!

* photo taken at Lake Thunderbird on the outskirts of Norman, OK

** I am working on a 2 or 3 part post recapping my parent's visit and our trip "out west." stay tuned!