Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Groundhog's Day and plenty of reasons why

On this the EVE of the Groundhog, I find myself -as I do every year at this time- reminiscing. I think of my friends in Oklahoma and I would give anything to be on a plane at this moment with some big plan to all get together and celebrate tomorrow. It is so funny the traditions that we make and the different days of the year that hold such meaning to each of us. Why is it in the fall that I feel like I should be getting ready for school? Why is it in the summer I still get that urge to think about what the theme will be this year - even though it has been several years since I did either. And why is it that Christmas wasn't Christmas this year and not only because I didn't spend it with my family but because my friends and I didn't have our annual party. And why is it that February 2nd is one of my most cherished days of the year?

As I sit here thinking back a flood of memories fly through my mind, excuse my prose as I share a few little memories...

A few for you ladies reading this who can still close your eyes and suddenly remember what high school felt like and how it felt to giggle with your girlfriends about a boy and the adventure of our first groundhog's day celebration...the one that started it all- And wasn't that also the night that we sometimes refer to as "that Thursday night" (which might be why Thursday is my favorite day of the week). Or maybe no one else remembers..."Count on Me" from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. You know, despite the fact that several of us were in sororities and pledged our sisterhood just between us - it never meant to me what this "Groundhog" sisterhood did and will for ever. And to think! We got into that without the pledge process and swimming in a pond and whatever else we had to do (wink wink). Sorry Koinonea Filia...(hee hee...)

So, here are a few memories of random moments that came to me this morning as I typed...

The murder mystery video in Woodward Park, the shot of several of us talking and then in the background below you see Kristin chasing Brittany, another shot of Britt going through the woods to hide and then later Heather saying, "that Brittany has some big strides (or something) and then trying to cover up her laugh)

Another memory in Woodward park where Heather and I had the whole week - sending all the girls a flower at school and then a note to meet us at the park where we had prepared a picic with real plates and really yummy food in a picnic basket. (another memory captured on video) and that night we sat around talking in Heather's apartment about who we thought each would marry or what we would all do when we grew up.

Senior Prom when we pulled Mr. Snow onto the dance floor - who would do that but us.

Sneaking out of a play at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and going to Olive Garden, yelling "Hey Scotty" and barely being able to eat our food when a vegatable italian song came over the radio...don't even get me started on the median...

Our first few months in college, all of us piled all over someones dorm room - barely any room to walk..for hours..what on earth did we do?

The groundhog's day sophomore year where everyone met at Heath and I's dorm and for some weird reason we all wore red...and we didnt plan it...

I remember leaving a note on someones car in high school after we had had a fight, lunches in Pam's eclipse with Shaggy and the Cookie Jar, Tanning at Pam's before Prom, Jumping in the Pool in December, Bras worn over other the hot tub..(who were we?), Then there was a trip to Florida and How big is an 8" pizza? And Friends in Close Compacted Spaces, Peach stands....

Ski trips, Drives to Pryor listening to N'SYNC, the summer of sonic, school plays, sitting around in kitchens talking.......

I could go on forever and I have barely even mentioned college... going to Joes with Britt and Sara (and others), something with an apartment and a guitar..was anyone else there? (wink), Sneaking into the football field and taking pictures on the goal line, Walking all over campus talking, Football games, Stopping by Sara's unannounced and catching up, college was so different but somehow we were all still connected in a way, just like we are now...

Watching Heather get ready for her wedding, the first time we met Pam's crazy Patrick, Britt and Kristin's terrifying apartment, The reason Heath and I didnt eat grilled chicken for a year, a peach smoothie that wasn't drank, The night before Pam's wedding when we played Friends Scene It, dancing on the sand at my wedding with my best friends, Speaking of wedding..Pam's sisters wedding and the day of 3 events to attend..., meeting Henata, one word..KROT, two words...HEATHRE JEANS, three words...

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Here's to our first decade of friendship! And here's to plenty more to come!

Take care and I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you just read this and have no idea what any of it means....Well, it means that we don't care about whether or not spring comes early or we have 5 more weeks of winter....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

4 things about MEME

I received a comment from a fellow blogger
awarding me with this blogger bling and following her example I am playing along.....

4 Things about MEME
I cannot stand things that are tacky
I pretend to hate Beef Jerky
I hate t-shirts
I chew more than 2 packs of gum a week

4 Jobs I Have Had
YMCA camp drama teacher & counselor
Shakey's Frozen Custard
Interior Design Consultant

4 Movies Watched Over and Over
Life is Beautiful
The Holiday
You've Got Mail
Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth)

4 Places I Have Lived
Sand Springs, OK
Stillwater, OK
Mannford, OK
Plant City, FL

4 Shows I Watch
How I Met Your Mother
Ace of Cakes
Hannah Montana (I am not ashamed!)
Grey's Anatomy

4 Places I Have Been
Maui, Hawaii
Deadwood, South Dakota
New York City
San Francisco, CA

4 People Who E-mail Me

4 Favorite Things To Eat
French Fries
Lemon Passion Cake at Macaroni Grill

4 Places I Would Rather Be
New York

4 Things I Look Forward To This year
Our 1 year anniversary!
Going on a cruise!
Moving into a house!
Going to New York City!

Well, I guess that about does it!
I love these little blogging games!
Thanks Tracy! ( to check out her MEME list)

L. Hall

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Working Girl

Well, I am sitting here at work on a SATURDAY!!!!!!! Seriously..who am I?
The reason I can blog while I am here is because I am waiting for my computer to render an animation that I am working on for a project. I am the only one in the office and I am singing along with my radio, "I am the king of wishful thinking....." (Not sure who sings it but it was on Pretty Woman and always reminds me of it). So these last two weeks of work have been really crazy, for the first week I was so excited and felt like the stress and added responsibilities were a good thing. The second week when I am loosing sleep at night and unable to leave work at work I feel a bit differently. Thats what I get for taking on a challenge. I am working on a program that I havent used since college and I am trying to do something for a big job we are working on that no one else in my office has ever done. This would be an awesome learning experience and great thing for the company if only there wasnt an ever closing in DEADLINE. I think that DEADLINE is a great word for what it means..don't you? I never really thought about it before.
Well, that is what is going on with me at the moment....working on a Saturday (at least I am in jeans and a t-shirt!)
Thats all I got for now....

Have a good weekend-


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Date with Disney

Well, it took me a whole week to get to writing a blog about my day at Disneybut here goes...
Kyle and I were lucky enough to have the chance to meet up with some friends who were in Orlando for the weekend. My dear friend Pam and her husband Patrick along with her amazing parents Gary and Cindy. We met up with them at Disney's Animal Kingdom park for a day of fun! We actually met up with them while getting onto the tram to head to the park. It was pretty fun to "run into" them there. It is always so good to see friends and Pam is one of my best friends in the whole world. In fact the last time I had been at Animal Kingdom was with Pam and all of my girlfriends for our Senior Trip in high school. Her brave parents took six of us girls on the trip of a lifetime. We all reminisced a bit during the day.

Pam and I at the Bug's Life 3D show inside the Tree of Life.

Here is the crew at Rainforest Cafe for dinner after a rainy afternoon.

Here we are in front of the Tree of Life.

Pam and Patrick as bugs.

The Poncho Posse at the crazy swirly ride in dinoland. This time we all rode it but, when they went for the second round, a few of us backed out. Wow, what a rough rollercoaster!

Well, that was just a short little look at what was a great day of catching up and laughing with friends. We had such a wonderful time, it was the perfect way to spend a day at Disney.

Well, maybe I will get a bit more posting done this coming week. Work has been MEGA hectic lately. Good and busy with growing responsibilty...but it cuts into my carefree lunchtime blogging. Have an awesome weekend -

Much love-

L. Hall

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tuesday's Blog

"I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your journey.

I wish you peace in the world in which you live and in the smallest corner
of the heart where truth is kept.....

More I cannot wish you except perhaps love to make all the rest worthwhile."

-Robert A. Ward

And that is Tuesday my friends!
I know I have posted it before but my little date calendar just reminded
me how much I love that quote!
For all of you who I love so much, this is my wish for you today!

L. Hall

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Holiday

Here I am on Christmas Eve unwrapping gifts from Kyle and his parents.

Me again! With a moose in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul airport.

Kyle with his DVD stocking stuffers!

Kyle, Uncle Alvin, and I on Christmas Day in Spearfish, South Dakota.

The Holiday
Well, we have fully recovered from our Christmas vacation having been home a week now. Back to work and into the swing of things. Back to the grocery store and to Dinner Done to restock our food as we had empty cabinets and fridge since maybe before the wedding! Back to church. Back to lifegroup, finally starting a new series!
Back to normal life...(sigh) it’s good to be BACK!
I grow pretty weary of traveling and I just start to crave my own home with my pillows and my dishes and my afghans on the couch. My own closet and my very own bathroom!
Home sweet tiny smushed apartment Home!
So, let me kick back into the recesses of my memory of the week before last and tell you about how we spent our holiday.
We flew out of Tampa on the Saturday before Christmas and headed for the freezing state of South Dakota. After about 5 hours in Minneapolis/ St. Paul we actually boarded the plane to Rapid City where Kyle’s parents, Joyce and Kurt were waiting for us with their puppies, Domer and Cowboy. Yes, the puppies were in the airport! This seems to be a growing trend.
After we gathered our bags we walked to the doors that opened to the outside and OH MY GOODNESS! I thought I was going to freeze in that spot. My body wanted nothing to do with going out into the coldest air ever!! I gritted my already chattering teeth and headed for the truck. I was a blue popsicle by the time I got there and climbed into the not much warmer vehicle. Next we ran some errands before heading into the hills and up to Deadwood.
The next day was Sunday and not too much occurred. Kurt had to work (he supervises a casino in downtown Deadwood) so we headed down to play some penny slots until he got off work. Later that evening my dear husband got extremely sick (this is turning into a typical thing when we travel, we always get soo sick!). He was sooooo sick! It was awful! At first we blamed food poisoning but later on realized it was the stomach flu. He was still very sick on Christmas Eve so I stayed with him while the rest of the family went to the get together with the rest of the family. After they returned, I accompanied Kyle’s mother and Uncle to a lovely midnight mass at their Church in Deadwood. I really enjoyed it, except for the incense which sent Joyce and I both coughing while we were attempting to sing. Uncle Alvin is pretty ornery and we really had a good time though maybe not as solemn as the priest had hoped, we seemed to be in the ornery section in fact! Too much holiday spirit. It was a lovely service though and I enjoyed it very much. When we walked outside, bidding Merry Christmas to Father (I don’t remember who) it was snowing and car was covered already! My Oklahoman heart would have been nervous at the idea of traveling on the steep roads with ice and snow but not with these South Dakotans! They do it everyday and they never let the weather keep them inside!
On Christmas Day Kyle was feeling good enough to go to the festivities but not quite good enough to eat much. We had a good day and I learned how to play pinochle which is the card game that his family loves to play. We brought wedding photos to share and had a really good time munching on the goodies Joyce made. She goes ALL out for the holidays and make every kind of goodie you can think of, the only way to explain is to name as many as I can remember. She started pulling them out of containers as I helped her make up the dessert trays to take to Christmas Dinner. There were turtles, chocolate chip cookies, toffee bars, lemon bars, angel food cake bars, oogey gooey chewy bars, peanut butter cookies, butter pecan fudge, regular fudge, sugar cookies with icing, chocolate mice (little bite size treats made out of cherries and Hershey kisses-decorated to look like little mice! So cute!), ummm let me see here….no bake cookies, thumbprint cookies…..ok that’s all I can remember but there are at least 8 things I am forgetting!
It was serious dessert time folks! And it was seriously delicious!
Christmas Evening we headed to the casino with Kyle’s cousin Katie from Texas who wanted to spend some time with all of us. She did really well while Kyle and I lost again! We had quite a good time until I started feeling kind of sick and then BAM!
Sick for two days! Joyce was mildly sick the next day as well as Katie and another one of Kyle’s aunts was terribly sick as well.
So, the next night I stayed home while the whole gang went to the weekly burger night at the VFW. I was sad to miss it but way to sickly to be out and about.
The next day was better and Kyle and I went to Spearfish to visit his Grandpa and got to spend more time with his family from Texas. Then we headed back to Deadwood to hang out with Joyce at The Gallows casino where she works part time. We had a good time shooting pool and playing some penny slots (losing of course!). I did however beat Kurt in pool! Wahoo!
The next day we went to Rapid City for some light shopping (Kurt was at home sick this day, poor guy) and then we ended the day with some yummy Culvers ( a fave burger and custard place) and headed back to Deadwood.
Friday we woke up early and met some friends for Breakfast at Hickok House (as in Wild Bill Hickok) and had a pretty lazy day after that. Later on we went to Kyle’s Uncles house and got to talk to his Aunt who is in Iraq on the webcam.
Saturday I have no idea what we did and on Sunday we headed home after meeting some other friends for breakfast that we hadn’t got to see yet.
We got home about 2 o’clock Monday morning after yet another delay in Minneapolis/ St. Paul.
We were tired and we sooo happy to be home in our warm muggy Florida!
And that my friends was our holiday! Hope yours was just as fun and memorable as ours minus of course the stomach flu!

L. Hall

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Two Month Anniversary Hunny Bunny!

Sometimes we blog. Sometimes we don't.

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldon Emerson

Last night on our way home from lifegroup Kyle and I were talking about the different characters of people we know. The conversation came up concerning a few comments made at our lifegroup. As you might know Kyle and I are considering moving due to a possible job opportunity that has come up. We mentioned it to friends is passing and they threw a fit- the cause being that they claim that every time they make a good friend the friend ends up moving away. So, now we bring it up jokingly on occasion, last night they mentioned off hand that her parents were considering moving out of state. She said that if her parents moved then she would have to follow because she could not live without them nearby. Her husband feels differently...anyone with in-laws can most likely attest to his feelings…
That got Kyle and I to thinking, why is it that some people do not have the desire at all to live anywhere else other than where they grew up? Not that this is a bad thing at all – we were just considering the people we knew and who lived near their parents where they grew up and who moved away. It doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with being a so called “family person” or anything. I myself love family and have always been very family oriented and yet I also always wanted to move away, see and experience other things with no real intention (or opposition) of ever living again in my hometown or state. So, it really has nothing to do with missing people or not being close to your family. Some people just choose to stay near home and choose to not venture out into the unknown. The “unknown” is not a fear, just maybe not even a desire that they possess.
We are all very different with different dreams and goals for our lives. As we discussed this we wondered if it had to do with childhood experiences, with parent’s being still married or divorced and remarried, did it have something to do with just being from a small town and being eager to see what the world had to offer? We didn’t really come up with any was just one of those wondering why kind of conversations. But, it got me thinking.
A close friend of mine plans to move back and live near her family where we all grew up and I totally and completely admire her for it. She has a wonderful family that she is close to and she wants to live near them because that is what her happiness is.

(Entre le soapbox)
I am blessed with a wonderful family as well, but we seem to have a few ugly under the surface issues (that most have dealt with and set aside and we live our lives for the future and not the past, but there are a burdened few who can’t look past the past.) And it is those few issues, those ghosts of other’s past decisions, those little heartaches are what keep me so happily situated with a once or twice a year visit home. It’s just who I am and who I will always be. I don’t do “drama”, I don’t do gossip, I am happily an ear to listen, I will always be a shoulder to cry on, and willing to give my opinion when asked. But the hurt hurts me way to much; I just can’t live in it. Old or new -I will not dwell in my own issues or the issues of others – there is nothing to gain by doing so. There are only feelings to hurt, hearts to break, tears to shed and depression to overwhelm – if there is nothing gained then there can be no loss to me for not playing a part. I do not ruin other other’s special occasions whether I am mad or not, I do not dig up long ago issues and throw them at others feet. I do not harbor jealously. I keep my problems between my prayers, myself, my beloved. But, I do not and will not crowd his mind with the past drama and issues of my family because not only do they not matter now but they never will matter to what we have to do today or tomorrow. We are all different than we were 10 or 15 years ago. Some of us are different than we were 15 days or 10 minutes ago. We grow, we change, we learn from life and the journeys that God places before us.
As you can tell from my paragraph here- I am one of those who live away from home because it helps me be a better me. A better friend, employee, daughter, relative, and wife. It’s not for everyone but it is for me. I guess what I am trying to say is that although I did not move away from home to “get away from home” I have found in living at a distance that my life, my mind and heart have all grown very happier. I have had a happy life. I moved to follow my love and a dream, not to escape family drama – nope, that was just a bonus that I have come to appreciate. Call it selfish, call it genius….hee hee……call it what you will. It is what it is. We all have our own lives to live and we live them for the Lord (at least we should) not for our mothers and fathers, siblings etc.

My husband is different. He lives away from home because he is from a small town with a seemingly set amount of jobs and occupations. He wanted something different, not better, just different. He loves his hometown and shows it off with pride when he takes me home to visit.
Other people live at home because that is how life happened. My brother always planned to move from home but he happened to find a great job nearby, he married a woman whose family is nearby as well and he seems to live quite happily 3 or 4 miles from both parents. He could move or stay-he seems to be neutral.
Some of us are neutral, others are settled. Some would not live within a plane ride of their birthplace while the next wouldn’t live more than a block from their childhood home. God built us all differently – VERY DIFFERENTLY – he gave us different struggles, different happy moments, different grief, different family, friends, passions, appetites, thoughts and opinions.
How else could I quote Garth Brooks in one blog and Ralph Waldo Emerson in another? We are unique creatures all living here together. So back to my quote at the top-
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”
My take:
It doesn’t matter so much where we are going or where we have been. It matters who we really are and how we are perceived by those we love and respect.

But that is just my opinion. Maybe I am going overboard…………(wink)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Dance

For some reason this year as I reflect, Garth Brook's song The Dance came into my mind.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars alone
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have chanced it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

All this talk of New Year’s Resolutions and goals started the little memory wheels in my mind to start turning. I thought about the different defining moments in my life and how the year began. What is it about the holidays and such that caused such reflection in our hearts and minds? I am not sure if it is just something about that holiday feeling that reminds you of friends and family far and near.
I remember a New Years party when my parents were married. All the people from our church came up to our home on Prue road and all of the kids were in one end of the house watching a movie and steering clear of the loud crazy adults who were playing Win, Lose or Draw on the dry erase board. We snuck down the hall and looked through the banister to see what they were doing and why everyone was laughing so much. The music minister has Ritz crackers on his eyes and another fellow had a piece of ham on his tongue making it look as long as a dogs! I was 5 or 6…I thought it was hilarious! Why weren’t we allowed to enjoy all this fun? Rough being a kid, huh? But it’s a great memory that I keep tucked away of when life was good and divorce was not a word in my vocabulary.
I remember another New Years that I did not welcome quite so merrily. I brought in the New Year wrapped in the hug of a very dear friend with tears streaming down my face and my stomach aching over...yes, you guessed it...a boy. Love found and love lost….and that was how I began the year. And it was definitely a precursor to a year of mopey dopey teenage drama. Love sure does hurt.
I remember a New Years Party with my girlfriends. We all sat around on the kitchen floor and talked until the early hours of the next morning. If I had a nickel for all the memories I have of my friends and I on a random kitchen floor talking about life and swapping stories. For some reason the kitchen floor is where we always migrate and it has nothing to do with food or drink...I am positive there is no real reason other that it is just something we do.
I remember a New Years in Deadwood, South Dakota that involved a lot of pink champagne and party hats. I remember another New Years there that I always try to forget.
I remember the New Year that I spent with my fiancĂ© surrounded by family. There was talk of wedding dresses and invitations and an aggressive Texas Hold’em Tournament.
And this year I brought in New Year’s with my husband of almost two months! We spent a nice evening with friends drinking a lovely sangria and playing Liar’s Dice, Apples to Apples and Disney Scene-It. It was peaceful and quiet and just what we needed after returning late the night before from 8 days visiting family in South Dakota for the Holidays.
With each New Years memory I think back to who I was at that time in my life. A happy innocent child, A heartbroken teenager with a world of issues of her mind, a girl who knew her friends would always be there, a woman falling in love with a man, a college graduate independent and far from home providing for herself and still trying to grow up, a woman planning her wedding, a wife looking at the future and wondering what it will bring her and her husband.

P.S. More to come about the Holidays and our White Christmas in South Dakota!