Tag Archives: Oklahoma

It’s Okay To Not Know Everything.

By Nicole

Lately, all of these recent changes have brought me to a reflective state.  There are so many questions in my head and mild frustrations as I make this new world my home: “What am I called to do in this new chapter of my life? Why is my family eight hundred miles away?  Why can’t I navigate this new place? Why do all of these landmarkers have to look alike? How did this meal turn black?” In summary, I have been experiencing a few growing pains as I ajust. However, I have found peace amongst the questions.  I have peace in the knowing that it’s okay to NOT know all the answers. It’s okay to get lost on these county roads; might as well enjoy the view. It’s okay to burn a meal once in a while, Rob will eat (almost) anything. It’s okay if some days all I accomplish is daily mass, a cup of coffee with Grandma, one job application and a tennis match with the girls. It’s okay to not have an employer right this second, a decent job is bound to turn up. My current state of life is one of learning. Everything is new and requires some investigation on my part. It’s all bound to work itself out. With this knowledge and new resolution to not worry, all of my reflections have turned to thoughts of thanksgiving. I have many things to be thankful for. I’ll show you a few…

Though my family is far away,  I now have a beautiful, new bunch of sisters.

My relationship with my actual sister is even stronger these days. Possibly due to the fact that I am not in Oklahoma.

I am blessed with dear friends. Even though most of them are states away from me now. Except Mary, I am very thankful you are near.

In addition to my good looking friends, back in Oklahoma I have a wonderful family that I love and miss. They are an excellent support system even from eight hundred miles away.

I suppose you could say that I am pretty thankful for this guy too. He has been my host, my GPS, my roomate and a very gracious consumer of my meals.

Lastly, I am thankful for my youth and happy to admit… I am okay with not having life all figured …just yet.

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Red Dirt Wedding, Part Two

by Mary

At 8:30, my now Sister-In-Law Nicole, picked me up from my hotel room where I was huddled on a bed flirting with sleep after a restless night of insomnia.
Wearing a robe that read “bridesmaid” on the back, I rode with Nicole to the church and started in on getting ready for the big day with Nicole and company.

Much to my relief, my bridesmaids dress that I had lost the night before manifested, and the very kind girlfriend of my brothers friend Nick, took mercy on my horsetail like hair that had been more than a little tangled from riding around Oklahoma City in the bed of Robert’s truck the previous night. Kelly brushed it out for me while I watched Nicole transform into a” Princess Kate, you totally just got outdid” bride.  The new Mrs. Slattery exuded an aura of calm radiance. She looked so gorgeous that I gave her the helpful suggestion for future financial gain. I said that when she and Rob are broke, she can pick up extra income by becoming a bridal magazine model.
 
Look!!! She is so calm that we have no work to do. I literally have my hands in my scapular-lined pockets!
 
Getting ready for the wedding was so organized that I was able to steal off to the church to have a visit with Jesus in my cheery yellow robe. As a veteran bridesmaid, I can compare and contrast bridal stories. After this last one, I shall put it in its very own category as a VERY non-Wisconsin wedding. Don’t worry, I won’t hold you hostage by pulling up a ton of bridesmaid tales. I will just pick one for a case example. I choose Kate’s to share with you all.
 
Wisconsin weddings usually mean crazy, disorganized, excited energy. And work. Lots and lots of work. Often times I end up doing the flowers for weddings as well as cooking and baking. Trust me, I never get the time to float off into the church to pray.
 
Pictures can piece a story together can’t they? Please enjoy viewing some of these pre wedding pics from Kate’s extravaganza. Here are a few of the gals getting the reception meal ready.


Chicken Pickin Bonding
 
We have heart!

At this point, I get even more excited about flowers than normal! Making pies and doing flowers SOLO are my kind of thing!
 
Ok, I give up now, or I will end up posting way to many pictures. The moral of this little post is I am honored and humored to stand as a bridesmaid. Weather I am wearing a yellow Beauty and the Beast dress on top of a silo, or chatting it up with my Maker alone in a quiet church in my yellow robe, I love the excitement and variety of each special day, and am grateful to have such fine friends and Sisters to share life and laughter with.
 
Blessings,
mary

Red Dirt Wedding Part One

by Kate

When we arrived in Oklahoma great gusts of wind were chasing billowing clouds across the sky. Nicole had feared a tornado would snatch her wedding away, but the sky was blue and the sun shining brightly. We had flown into Dallas and had a long hot drive ahead of us. Just after crossing the Oklahoma border we overtook Cale chugging up a hill with the old 4runner packed full of siblings.

That vehicle is a trooper. I crossed the eastern continental divide hundreds of times when I owned it, spun gravel up a dirt road leading to my mountain cabin every day and night. I’m glad he has taken it on. That is a southern vehicle at heart and never took to the cold harsh salty Pittsburgh winters. But I digress. Right now, I bet you are thinking that the only vehicle that you’d like to see is the famous Amish Special, the old 15 passenger van.

Yes, that’s it. Grandma’s right there in the front seat. Who could drive this beast over hill and dale, you ask? Why, my Uncle Roger. Who appears to have been taking sartorial tips from his Amish brethren, particularly regarding hats, glasses, and facial hair.

I will admit here that I rode the van back to the motel from the reception, and I found it to be an unexpectedly peaceful experience. There was a faint sweet scent of alfalfa, a deeper tone that may have at one time been a hint of a cow pie. A hushed silence. All in all it reminded me of a dairy barn early in the morning. Not a bad place to be at all. However, back to the beginning!

We arrived in time for the dress rehearsal. This gave us a chance to check out the church, which was modern but perhaps my favorite modern church architecture in a long time. There was a great foyer with high light arched beams.

And a dynamic statue just asking to be imitated by 95 percent of my siblings.

Pretty stained glass.

A lot of great art, but perhaps the most unique was a full size blackened crucifix. It turns out that the old church burned down, but the crucifix, though charred, remained. It was striking and beautiful.

The night ended with Rob’s white truck heading off into the twilight full of siblings and cousins. It was a beautiful thing.

At this point you may be wondering if there are pictures of the bride and groom featured in this series. Rest assured that there are many glorious pictures to come. Stay tuned for the rest of the series- the wedding! The roses! The Dress and all the dresses and the Jim Beam bottle in the barn at the dance.  Y’all come back soon.

The Ants Go Marching In

Clare

We’re back from the Great Oklahoma Wedding, and as promised I’m making my full report on the trip down and back in the 15-passenger van. We loaded up and started out at about 9:30 on Thursday morning, with all but one place unfilled in the van. I was plunked down in the middle of the very back seat in between my niece Claire and my other niece Adeline. At first they weren’t so bad, but as the trip progressed they soon became restless and made frequent trips back and forth to their mother’s seat. At some points I’d have my nephew Thaddeus and Claire by me, Adeline and Thaddeus, or all the three. Needless to say it wasn’t very comfortable back there for me when I was wedged in between three small, fidgety children.

Soon it came time to pop in a movie in the portable DVD player and get the kids to stay seated. I had been attempting to get my homework done all this time, and was so sick of trying to balance my book on my knees and write down ledgible and sensible answers that I finally gave up and tried to watch the movie. The choice of entertainment turned out to be Barbie Mermaidia. After a bit I just couldn’t take it anymore and turned back to my homework. Someone suggested singing. And so started an upbeat and greatly annoying “The Ants Go Marching In” song to end. I’ll forever hate that song.

After dropping off Peter with relatives in Missouri, we soon arrived in Kansas City, Kansas, where we stayed the night at our aunt and uncle’s house. The next day we got down to business and made it to Oklahoma City in the early afternoon in good time and without too many crying fits. Then followed our own personal Royal Wedding and after all the excitement was done, we started out again on Sunday morning, this time going all the way back home, no splitting the trip. We had to tackle those 14 hours in one Sunday. Whew. I didn’t think it was going to be that bad. The ride up had been almost nice most of the time. But the ride up was… different.

We had added two people to our caravan, brother Gabe and Colleen. Gabe started out in the back seat with Claire and Adeline, and I moved up a seat. But neither of the girls were happy with that. Both wanted to sit with their mom, knowing that Gabe wasn’t going to be easy on them. So early on, we had crying. Not a good sign. Drinks were spilled, bladders almost overflowed, and it seemed it would never end. The trip went on, and on, and on. Night came. People fell asleep, but not me. I don’t usually sleep in cars. Thankfully I was saved by Thaddeus, who was still wide awake and happy at midnight, and was at a dangerous level of cuteness. Showing me how he could “nap his fingers”, and that “akchuawy he’s kind of shy” shed a ray of light in the darkness of that van. At 1:00 A.M we finally made it home with our heads still on and the beautiful memories of a beautiful wedding. Bags were collected, and I walked into the house loving the look of home sweet home.