20 Scarves and 2 Tubes of Toothpaste


I've been nominated for a blogger award by Amanda (not me Amanda, obviously) and Lauren. Thanks, ladies! Per the rules of the award, I'll give you 11 random facts about me, as listed below, and then answer 11 more questions that Amanda gave me! This will be a great way for my new followers to get to know what the Lady Okie is all about. 

1. I've run 4 half marathons and am currently training for my first full marathon in April 2013.

2. Every year I celebrate my half birthday. It's just more fun that way.
3. I have 20 scarves. (Seriously, 20. I just counted.)
4. My husband and I currently have no debt. We paid off my last student loan in August 2012. We are awesome!
5. Sometimes I still sleep with Bunny, my stuffed animal I got when I was 2.
6. I don't know if Bunny is a boy or girl. 
7. I guess Bunny probably should be a girl, otherwise that would be weird. Right? Now I'm confused.
8. A strawberry margarita is my drink of choice. Although tonight I went out with some friends and had a white peach margarita. It was gooood.
9. I bake really good chocolate chip cookies. 
10. I bake not-so-good cupcakes.
11. I honestly love watching sports. I like to remind Jordan that he got really lucky.

Now here is a list of questions I was given to answer: 
1. How long have you been blogging? 
Since March 2010

2. If you could go anywhere in the universe, where would it be and why? 
I'd actually love to go to Alaska. My cousin lives there and sends such fun pictures. They're always building igloos and tunneling passageways in the snow between their house and garage. That, and they actually have snow on Christmas, which I'm jealous of right now. Did you know it was 70 degrees in Oklahoma this week? Crazy sauce.

3. What is your favorite thing about your town?
What? You're not obsessed with the NBA like we all are in Oklahoma?

4. What is the best advice you have ever received?
Anything my mom has ever said to me.

5. If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you want to have with you?
-A toothbrush
-Another tube of toothpaste

One time, I forgot to brush my teeth before leaving for work.
Worst. Day. Of. My. Life.

6. Favorite Disney movie?
I've never had a favorite. They are all equally as amazing.

7. What is your go-to winter accessory?
A scarf (see #3 of list 1)

8. What is your go-to beauty product?
Honestly, the only thing I always use no matter what is chapstick. That and maybe lotion. 
I'm super low maintenance.
I'm also pretty sure my coworkers think I'm homeless. Either it's that or they just think I don't own a hairbrush. 

9. If you could do anything, what would it be?
Crochet a hat! Seriously, I can make blankets and scarves with the best of them, but my hats come out looking like round potholders. It's embarrassing. 

10. What is your favorite hair product? Or are you all natural?

11. What is your most embarrassing moment?
You'll have to go here for that one.

* * * * * 
I'm going to nominate Stacey for the award now. 
This girl has a beautiful story of faith and hope in the midst of a heartbreaking adoption story. You really should read it and be encouraged. Start here for part 1.

*I'm supposed to pick 11 bloggers to give the award to, but it's late, and I'm tired and lazy.
I'm going to go brush my teeth now.

2 Creative DIY Christmas Wrapping Ideas


How soon is too soon to start wrapping presents?

Someone tell me I'm not the only one who already has presents wrapped and under the tree. Let's not talk about the fact that it's all the presents I bought last year that I'm finally giving out this year because I'm a crazy, gift-buying fiend. (Fun fact about me: fiend is my favorite word.)

Whether it's birthday, baby, wedding, or Christmas, I love wrapping gifts. I'm the obsessive type to save tissue paper and leftover wrapping paper and bags and boxes, so I have a huge bag of loot and haven't had to buy a gift bag since never. 

The only problem is that it's hard coming up with creative ways to wrap a gift. While browsing Pinterest a few weeks ago, I saw this pin and got really excited. It had some really fun ideas for creative Christmas wrapping.
I highly suggest trying these suggestions out for fun, creative Christmas gift wrapping this season. You can find the directions for the DIY poms and a few other wrapping ideas at the original pin source here.

God bless Pinterest.

Sexual Innuendoes. Let's Talk About Them.


This is a family friendly blog, but there's something I really need to get off my chest:
Whoever comes up with sexual innuendoes is mean. Mean, I tell you!

I went to public school, so this isn't a case of the sheltered homeschooler. But unless I just blocked it out, I didn't get a birds and bees talk, and my parents didn't shove a book full of naked people into my lap either. 
I learned sexual innuendoes all on my own. 

And by on my own, I mean from my high school friends (you know who you are).
And by high school friends, I also mean college friends.
And by college friends, I also mean current friends.

If I had a dollar for every time I made a fool of myself for accidentally saying something sexual without knowing it, I would have at least 52 dollars. And you know how people ask for your most embarrassing moment and everyone just stares at one another because no one can think of anything good? Well not me. 

The most embarrassing moment of my ENTIRE LIFE happened because of a sexual innuendo. Let's just say that it involved high school Spanish class, verb translation, and the Spanish word fingir. 

I would talk about it, but I don't want to talk about it.
I want Sandra Bullock to play me in the movie.

It was better when I was single. My friends were like, "Oh, silly Amanda, she's so pure and innocent." Then I got married, and all of the sudden it's 1000x funnier when I have conversations with my friends and someone mentions meat, and I think we're talking about hamburgers. Seriously, that happened a month ago. 

And now they're all like, "But you're married."
Last I checked, pastors weren't handing out a copy of Urban Dictionary after the wedding ceremony. I know just as much as I did before I got married. Maybe less, because I'm getting older and having memory loss issues. 

You know what I like? Inside joke innuendoes like how my high school friends and I said "scrabble" when we meant sex. Then they gave me a travel Scrabble at my bachelorette party, and it was hilarious. (At least, we thought it was hilarious, and that's all that mattered. We were really cool in high school.)
Here's what I propose: I think we should all be kind to the poor, unfortunate souls who haven't had the dirty-minded friends that most of us do. Don't laugh at their expense. Kindly explain the innuendo so they can be in on the joke too. Otherwise, they'll learn what motorboating is at the age of 26 during an office game of Things. (Have you ever played Things? It's a great way to learn sexual innuendoes.)

With that, I will share a short story about something that happened to me three days ago. Because while this is not a sexual innuendo, it's pretty funny and fits with the theme. 

Jordan pretending to kick me away because I'm bothering him while he's trying to sleep. 
Me: Hey, be careful. Don't kick me in my scrotum. 
Jordan: WHAT?!
Me: Isn't that something in your stomach?
Jordan: Um, no. No it is not.


[See also: My Most Embarrassing Moment]

Loaves and Fish: A Unique Thanksgiving Story


Why didn't I think of that? 

It's a common thought. You're watching TV, for example, and the commercial for snuggies comes on. It's nothing more than a blanket with arms, and some idiot is making millions, and you wonder, Why didn't I think of that? 

Last November, my parents actually had an idea that hadn't been done before. This time, they were the ones who thought of it first. 

They were sitting at the table with my aunt and uncle talking about plans for Thanksgiving. In 2005 our families participated in the Dallas Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and they wondered if we should do it again this year (2011).  Almost immediately, all four adults voiced their concerns. It was too far of a drive. They didn't want to deal with the crowds. It was too expensive. 

That's when lightning struck.

"Why don't we just organize our own turkey trot here in Double Oak?"

At that point, it was 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. 

Furious planning began. We* needed to get the word out. Buy food. Map out a route. Get the chief of police on board. Figure out parking. Design a logo. Order t-shirts. The list seemed endless. 

It was decided that all proceeds would go toward North Texas Youth for Christ. My dad is the director of YFC in North Texas, and he's had a difficult time getting donations, to say the least. This would be an annual turkey trot to benefit YFC, and we all hoped it could grow into something that could bring in major support to and awareness of the program. 

For the first annual Double Oak turkey trot, 187 people showed up to run. We were feeling good. That was more than we'd hoped for, especially with only 3 weeks of planning. 

For 2012, my parents and my aunt and uncle decided to get more serious. We added timing chips and bibs for 5k participants, and we also added a 1-mile fun run. Our best-case scenario was to get 300 runners. By November 1, there were less than 100 signed up, and we started getting worried that our "annual" race wouldn't last past the second year. 

Signs were put up everywhere around town, the newspaper ran a story about the trot, and the numbers started to increase. Whether it was through word of mouth or our signs on every possible street corner, we'll never know. I personally believe it was the hand of God. Numbers like these don't make sense any other way.

November 5: 130 
November 10: 260
Later that day: 276
November 12: 324
November 14: 413
November 19: 665

By race day, we had a whopping 703 registrants. We even had to make the tough decision to close registration due to parking and overall safety concerns. No one had expected the surprising and overwhelming interest in our small-town 5k. 

We had blown past being concerned about not getting 300 and switched to freaking out that we had too many people. After registration closed, we had another 200+ who voiced disappointment and, in some cases, anger that we couldn't accept any more runners. But we needed to make sure we could handle the crowds, and the police were concerned about road safety, so we stuck with our decision.

We got up at 4:45 Thanksgiving morning, and from there it was fast and furious. I'll spare you a long narrative from this point and instead just share some photos from the day. I will say this, however: the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 kept running through my mind.

Even the day of the race, we still weren't sure we'd have enough of anything. Enough volunteers. Enough parking spaces. Enough food. Enough water.

And Jesus, just like he did with the loaves and fish, took our small offering and turned it into more than we needed.

Winners in each age group got a sweet medal. Next year we plan on adding finishers medals for everyone.

(Throughout this story I use "we" to mean a collective group effort of my parents, aunt, and uncle as the leaders. I am, however, including myself and my siblings and cousins as volunteers and helpers with planning, etc.)

A Hundred Pictures of Leaves


You know those bloggers who take a hundred pictures of leaves and then post them on their blog because they think you'll be interested in a hundred pictures of leaves?

I hate those bloggers.
Oh, hey, by the way, check out the hundred pictures I look yesterday of leaves!

No but seriously. Look at them. I promise I did nothing to them. No editing. Nada. The lighting was gorgeous. Why can't I find this kind of lighting when I take pictures of people? I don't know, but the leaves were working it for me. 
I keep writing about leaves on this blog (like here and here), and I don't know why. I think maybe it's because I'm missing Illinois a lot this year. I miss my friends, and this year is also the first Thanksgiving since my grandma went to be with Jesus. I've been missing her lately. Missing her makes me thankful for family this year, as always. And I'm also thankful for sunsets and leaves. 

With that said, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. My family is organizing a 5k turkey trot in our neighborhood for the second year in a row. Last year we had 187 people run. This year we have almost 700 registered. Please pray for us. If you don't know, runners are all sorts of crazy. 

I'm the official photographer for the race, so I'll be sure to share pictures next week. Until then, don't go shopping on Black Friday! You might get trampled. It's a serious concern.

Tis the Season for Christmas Pictures (and Babies)


Jordan and I aren't taking Christmas pictures this year. Not that you care, but I just wanted to get it out there in case you were waiting for a post full of cute pictures of us. It ain't gonna happen. Instead, I'll give you this:
Rocking my new glasses in style. Word.
(I don't know what's happening to me. 

I'm getting a cold and might be delirious right now. 
Don't listen to anything I say.)
Our decision to not take Christmas pictures seems to not have affected anyone else, and this weekend I took THREE sets of family photos. I have so so so much to learn about taking pictures, and sometimes I really think I suck a lot and I should just stop pretending to know anything. Those are the days I spend looking at other people's photography sites and wishing I could take pictures like them.

But then there are other times where I feel like I'm getting a little better, and those are the days where I don't spend any time looking at other people's photography. 

I think there's a lesson in that somewhere. But now I'm rambling, and no one except Audra is actually reading any of this. The rest of you have skipped to the pictures.

So let's move on.
All three sessions involved children/babies (and 2/3 involved a dog), and man are the kiddos hard to wrangle. See that greenish/blue frame the little boy is stepping in in the above photo? Well, my friend brought it thinking it would make a cute photo prop. 

Clearly the child thought it would be a nice thing to hop through. Am I the only one who thinks this next picture is hilarious?
Children are nuts. N.u.t.s., I tell you.
Not these children in particular. Just children in general.

I also had small babies in family photos. 
Babies aren't going to do things like hop around with your photo prop. But they are going to A) get fussy because they B) need to eat before they C) fall asleep.
Which is exactly how you end up with the following:
But then said baby wakes up for about five minutes, so you get a few awake pictures, and mom and dad are happy. So sweet!
And then, last but not least, there was Albert. 
I wanted to take him home, but I'm told it's bad to steal other people's babies. 
I tried to take an artsy blurred one of the baby holding the leaf in front of his face, but he wasn't having it. Albert just wanted to eat the leaves. (P.S. My friend made the pattern for that baby hat. MADE THE PATTERN. I know crafty people.)
So that's what I did this weekend. Wrangled children and babies and dogs and braved the elements. And by elements, I mean it was 60 degrees on Saturday. Calm down, Oklahoma. I'm just waiting for the cold front to come so we can get another run on eggs at the grocery store. That was when the crazies came out.

What about you? Are you taking Christmas pictures this year?

Four Eyes for FREE with Firmoo


This is me with my baby sister circa 1997.
Important notes:
I have ridiculously huge glasses. 

Does anyone else remember this horrible mistake fashion trend? I'll bet my eyebrows this is one that isn't coming back (unlike pleather and jeggings, unfortunately).

Thankfully, I upgraded to a less huge pair of glasses in high school, and I've been rocking those ever since. But seeing as how I'm well out of high school and college, it's been time for a new pair for a while. The problem is, I'm cheap, and prescription glasses are expensive.

Now let me tell you a secret: when you buy them from Firmoo, they're free! 
Yes, free. All you have to do is pay shipping with their "First Pair Free" program!

Firmoo offered to send me a pair to see what I thought, and I'm happy to report that I love my new glasses! They arrived in a nice blue hardcover case with a cleaning cloth.
They have a virtual try-on, so you can upload a picture of yourself and actually be able to see how the glasses look on your face! The ordering process was easy, and Firmoo offers refunds or exchanges if you are not 100% satisfied with your glasses. 

I went out on a limb with these white and black frames (my current ones are all brown), and I'm so happy I did! So cute, right?

What is not cute is my greasy Sunday afternoon hair. 
Hello, my name is Amanda, and I don't like to shower.
Also, I have crazy sideburns.

Oh, and let me introduce you to my contemplative stare-off-into-the-sunset pose. I know what you're thinking: it's too bad America's Next Top Model is off the air. 
Hello, new glasses. Where have you been all my life?

If you have four eyes like me and are looking to upgrade on the cheap, check out Firmoo

Remember: you get your first pair of glasses FREE. You just have to pay shipping! That's the kind of deal I can get on board with. I almost want to buy another pair just because I'm loving these so much. And if you are annoying enough to have 20/20 vision, Firmoo also sells sunglasses. 

Now go check Firmoo out right now and thank me later.

*I did receive a free pair of glasses in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own. 

My Drive Home


To say I had a rough summer would be a bit of an understatement. Personally, things were going well, but it was tough professionally. In July I quit the job I'd had for four years and started something new. The reasons for leaving what I would consider to be my dream job are not something I want to share here, but what I will tell you is that the transition was rough for me. 

The biggest thing I had trouble with was the schedule. It sounds silly, but I had a really hard time adjusting to an 8-5 schedule. At my previous job, I got off at 4, plus I was much closer to home. At my current job I am farther away from home and I work an hour later every day. My six-minute commute turned into 40, and I wasn't happy about it.

It felt as though the best part of my evening was chopped off, and Jordan can tell you I was in a terrible mood every single day when I got home. As time went on, it wasn't so bad, and thankfully I stopped being completely mean and grouchy all the time. But I still wasn't happy about getting home so late. 

Then the time changed for fall back, and I was even more annoyed. It was going to be so dark outside when I got home, I thought. What a waste. 

But guess what? 

Every day I drive home, and for 40 minutes every day I get to watch the sun set. When I leave work, it's starting, and it's just going beneath the horizon when I get home.
I know being thankful for a sunset is pretty cliche. 
But I really am finding so much joy in the beautiful colors I get to see every single day. One day last week I even found myself hoping for a red light so I could stare at it a little bit longer. 

Don't get me wrong. Traffic isn't fun, and my gas is taking a hit with this longer commute. 
But I am blessed, and I have so much to thankful for. 
Particularly this November, I'm thankful for my drive home.

Hashtag This


that's right! 
i'm officially registered for the oklahoma city memorial marathon. 
after 4 halfs (halves?), i've finally decided it's time to go for the big one. 

anyone with training tips, PLEASE hit me up. 
i know nothing.

Oklahoma Fall Smack Talk and a Hula Hoop


So, for the past few months I've been all, "Oklahoma, you suck at fall. Your leaves don't change colors. They just fall dead to the ground."

Apparently I just had to wait until November. Oklahoma is behind in the times. 
We still drive around in covered wagons, you know.
And we fly Confederate flags. 
And carry pistols in our pockets. 

Now that I've made you afraid to come visit, I will tell you that a few weekends ago a few friends and I drove up to Kansas for a wedding. That's when I learned that northern Oklahoma knows what's up with fall.

*Excuse the semi-blurry car photos, but the truth had to be told.
Then we got to Kansas, and the leaves were more brown, but whatevs, right? It was an outdoor wedding in November. And the weather was actually nice. 
I've lived in Oklahoma for 4 years now, and the only thing I've figured out about the weather is that it's impossible to figure out. Even the weatherpeople don't know what's going on most all of the time. 
And then it ended, as most weddings do, with a girl in a short skirt and her boyfriend's suit jacket alone on the dance floor twirling a glowing hula hoop.

That she brought with her to the wedding.
It's Oklahoma. 
I can almost promise you no one ever knows what's going on.