Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank you for Praying

I believe in the power of prayer.

I believe that it brings us to our knees in surrender, and that's when real change can occur.  If people say, "I don't feel God", then it's probably been a while since they've hit their knees.

I know the transformation of my own life, with prayer and studying God's word.  The shift was subtle, and before I knew it, I was changed.  It took a tiny baby to change my life in a big way.  It took seeing firsthand God's love for me through our angel baby to finally "Get" it.

Lacey & I were talking about how "Deep" we like to get.  How we "Get" it.  And I don't say that like I have more than you, neener neener neener.... I say it, because I passionately want everyone to "GET" it.  Because before I had God constantly present in my life, I was discontent, worried, frantic, always in drama, racing around trying to fill a void....a void that was SO easily filled by ONE thing.  God.

It sounds so silly.  And I know, because I was the one saying  "WHAT?"  God can't fix my broken car, God can't fix my broken washing machine, God can't get me a new job, God can't get....(Insert your problem here). I did that for YEARS.

And I bought shoes, and saw movies, and went on trips, and ran and ran, trying to fill a void, that could only be FILLED by ONE THING.  and it was God.

Now, I have a bad day, and I'll just give it up to God.  I cried pretty much all the way home today.  And I cried to my heavenly father, who held me in his arms and just let me spill it.  And then I heard, in His still small voice, that He speaks to me in..... "Child, I have this".  

And I was ok.

Prayer will do many things.  Prayer can cover the people you are praying for, prayer can fix many things, but mainly prayer changes the open, willing heart that is earnestly seeking God in prayer.  And it makes you a calmer, gentler soul.... and makes life so much easier to handle.'s the only way to go.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Living outside your Comfort Zone

I've been considering something for awhile now.  I haven't put it into words, because once you do, I think it takes on a whole new reality.

It goes from a thought, to a vision, to a goal.

This morning, Hallie & I walked a mile with little bitty suitcases, (Along with about 2000 people) for the 8,068 kids that are in foster care in Oklahoma.

I don't know about you, but my heart is broken for these kids.

I've been going to CASA training, to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate...which in short means I am the ears and eyes of the judge.  I advocate for the child that has been removed from the home.  I get to know the child, their parents, all the adults in their lives, all the "players", so to speak.  Then I tell what I find out to the judge, and he decides if the child should stay in the home or go into the system to be placed for permanent care.

In other words, they lose their family.

Even in a crapped out family, it's all these kids know.  It's their "Home".  And they are taken away.  And depending on their ages, they are separated, or put into group homes, or shelters.  I don't even want to talk to you about some of the things that I hear go on in some of these places.

And all these children, think in their poor little heads, that somehow THEY caused it.  I don't know about you, but my heart is broken.

There are NOT enough foster homes for these kids.  And the older kids??? Forget about it.  They carry problems from their background, and who needs problems, right?  Who needs to add more worry to their homes?  Who has time to add one more kid?  Who has the money to add one more kid?  Who wants DHS to have the ability to drop in anytime they want to check on these kids??

Well, I do.

I can't be a CASA and a foster parent at the same time.  So I think after today, that I am choosing to be a foster parent.  I want the older kids, the ones that everyone says are "Broken" and "Too damaged" to blend in a home.  Because GOD LOVES CHILDREN.    I can't think that He would EVER have walked by a child needing help and ignored them.

I'm so consumed with worry and "What if's?"..... God has this and He will carefully guide me through this next journey.

Hallie is SO in.  She's not concerned of the problems or the potential of stretching herself too thin...the worry a 13 year old has...."She can totally have my old phone...and use your plan."   Maybe it can be as simple as that.   All I know.  God has it, and He is calling me to open my home to these kids that need love and fun and stability, and I'm going to do it.

They just better get ready, this family is going to rock their socks off their feet.

God is good, all the time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ARTS FESTIVAL IDOL....Hallie style

Hallie's stepmom sent me a link a couple of months ago, talking about the OKC ARTS FESTIVAL Idol competition and suggested that I send in one of her performances and enter her.  I talked to Hallie, and she was like..... "Whatever".

So I did what I always do, and promptly forgot about it, until the last day.  I watched all Hal's videos of various performances and finally selected Hallie's 6th grade talent show

She was mortified.  "MOM, I wasn't even good... I'll never get picked".


They totally picked her.  I assumed she would play the guitar.  That's what she does.  Play the guitar.

But no, I came home from work, and she had been figuring out (On the piano, BY EAR) this song by Rob Thomas, called SOMEDAY.  I was amazed.  She's only had a couple of years of lessons, and for the most part sticks to the guitar... so, being a piano player myself, this made my heart muy happy.  "I'm doing this",she informed me.   Sweet.

Find out, if she wins the first night round, (against 7 other kids) she advances to finals on Saturday night, and will sing against the other 4 winners (each night) for the title of ARTS FESTIVAL IDOL.  Cool.

She totally won.

Lacey made this video (until 1 am, I tried to stay awake to rally her and just could not keep my old butt awake to save my life) andI think it is just fabulous....

Lacey's Video of Hallie performing with pics

When they called her name as winner, she all the sudden became (in her words) a "Dorky Robot."  On the way home she lamented, "MOOOOOMMM (which they all have to a fine art).... you coached me in EVERYTHING.  Wear the right clothes, fix your hair, sing the right song, look up when you sing, smile at the judges, look out at the audience, don't hit the wrong keys, be confident....but YOU (I love when blame is cast), DIDN't TELL ME WHAT TO DO IF I WON!"  

She's right.  Totally forgot that part.  So, she acted like a dorky robot.  LOL.  But she was a cute dorky robot.

SO, our little superstar is going to hit the stage at the ARTS FESTIVAL IDOL on Saturday night, and play the piano, and get to play her guitar too.   She's going to knock their socks off.

And we'll work on that dorky robot thing.  Just in case she wins.... 

If you happen to be in OKC Saturday night at 6:00, come join us at the LAWN STAGE in the children's area at the ARTS FESTIVAL.  (North of Crystal Bridge).  We would love to have you help cheer her on!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Living through Loss

Life sometimes just sucks.

It just does.

Dads die when they are 60.  Teenagers that serve with you at church in the nursery have accidents and die.  Children get sick and die.  Brothers have car accidents and die.  Friends get cancer and die.  Friends have aneurysms and die.

There is one certainty in LIFE.  You are going to die.

Some of you know I worked in the funeral business for almost 10 years.  I saw MANY things during those years.  I witnessed acceptance of a loved ones death, I witnessed despair, grief so deep, I witnessed happiness that the suffering was over, I witnessed anger, I witnessed questioning, I witnessed love and hate.    I saw it all.

And from the wise old souls that walked through the door, this was the one thing  I heard repeated constantly, "It was their time".  

SAY WHAT?  That used to make me so angry.  What do you mean, "It was their time?  They were 18 (20,25, 40,50) It couldn't be THEIR time!  They were just starting their lives...."

Here is what the wise wise soul was trying to say....that no one wants to hear.  We are born to die.  And because our lives are so full and so special and so wonderful, that is hard to accept.

Before we found out about Laynie, I was reading the bible one night and read Psalm 139, and I called Lacey to share it with her.  I told her, "Lacey, God has had this baby's plan before we even knew she existed. And His plan for her will be perfect."   Then we found out, and I struggled with that for awhile.  GOD?? WHY?  Why us?  Why THIS baby?  And His answer was clear,  "My plan for her is perfect".

We aren't born with guarantees.  We aren't given a baby and told  "Love them for 86.5 years and God speed".  We are entrusted with a life, and given FREE WILL to live that life as good as we can.  Some choose well.  Some choose poorly.   God doesn't say, "I'm going to give you everything abundantly and you will live without pain or worry and life will be just peachy."    What he does say, and promise is that HE will NEVER leave us.  EVER.  In our darkest of hours, In our saddest of times, He is right there, holding us close and loving us with a love we cannot even possibly understand.

This world is broken.  Bad things happen all the time.  I truly believe that when we are born, God already knows our heaven bound destination date.  WE DON"T know, but He does.  And as we blindly run from one thing to the next, we NEVER know what tomorrow will bring.  EVER.

I wrote this the day we found out that Laynie wasn't responding as well to treatment that we had hoped, and that our time was becoming limited...

Today we are going to live full out. We are going to be happy and bask in the goodness of what it is bringing. We aren't going to worry, we aren't going to fret, we are going to be blessed in what we have right this minute. We are NOT going to be gripped in fear, of the unknown.. because the victory of this life is learning to live it each minute. Full out. 

That applies every single day. 

To everyone.  We need to live fearless, and focus on God.  It's hard to "Feel God" when something terrible happens if you aren't living in His pocket.  The enemy uses ANYTHING to break our bond with God.  He uses our worst pain to drive a wedge.  Just like a relationship with a best friend, you have to seek God.  You have to desire to have Him be with you and He is there.  It's tough to understand.  When you are mired in pain and loss, it's hard to understand that there is a loving God that wants to help you with that pain.  It's easy to blame God and say, "YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS." God isn't like the Gamemaster in the Hunger Games, up in a booth looking down on us, dictating the moves. It's easy to put Him there, and use Him to blame.  But the reality, it WAS their time.  They were born with that last day imprinted on them.  We just didn't have any idea.  We are all born with a "last day" imprinted on us.  It's how we LIVE before that Last day that makes all the difference.  We can do it alone, or we can do it with GOD beside us.

We are all born with angel wings.  

God is good, ALL the time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Restless Soul

We started a new series at church this week, "Soul Detox".  It had a funky loud crazy preview video every week for the last few weeks at church, and I was ready for it today.

I love my church.

Have I said that before??

Today's service was great.   I have been running like a headless chicken for a couple of months now.  Once Lacey & I decided to go to Haiti, we have been full blast full speed ahead fundraising for our trip cost.  It's been exhausting, thrilling, and exhausting.  Oh, did I say exhausting?  That, and working full time, and church, and starting CASA training (another blog on that) plate is runnething over.  For reals.

So, today as Craig talked about Finding REST for our SOULS.  I kind of chuckled.  REST?  Now, that's a four letter word.  Who has time to REST?

Sometimes I am so wound up from the day I can't even get my mind to click off so I can sleep good.  REST?  

I'll rest later.  My cousin dropped some stuff of for the "Garage Sale of the Century" a couple of weeks ago, and she said to me, "How do you do all that you do? Are you crazy yet?"  and it kind of took me by surprise, because I guess I'm so used to running like a wild turkey, that I don't even notice it anymore.  Kind of like that frog sitting in the water that is slowly heating up.  Before that frog even knows what's happened, his garage is full of crap and he's sitting in the driveway, selling stuff for a quarter to people that have 100 dollar bills.  But it's ok, because WE MADE enough to go to Haiti.  PRAISE GOD.  

But I digress, because i learned A LOT from today.  In this world of rush and bustle, you have to BE STILL. You have to BE STILL.  You have to slow down, and stop moving and BE STILL.  I loved that Craig said, "It doesn't say, you "Rush around and know that I am God, or Speed to grocery store and know I am God, or Rush your kids to football practice and know that I am says BE STILL and know that I am God." That was powerful for me.  I don't "Be STILL" very often.  I always say that God wakes me up at 5:30 and talks to me then.  Only time He can get me still.  But we talk, and I listen, and I am calmed and KNOW HE never leaves my side.  

I didn't always know this.  Before Laynie, I had an IDEA of God, but I didn't KNOW God.  Now??  God's my go-to Guy, my Rock, My strength, my EVERYTHING.  And I'm NEVER alone.  

I love this picture because back in the day, I shared with you how when my mind is in an uproar at night, and I can't rest, I envision God reaching down and holding out his hand to me.  I climb over His thumb and I rest in the palm of his hand.  During the saddest times of those last days with Laynie, I had to almost nightly envision His hand reaching down and holding us all.  It got me through.  

We live in a crazy, fast paced, frenzied world, full of tv, and internet and constant contact with people.  Sometimes, you just have to be quiet and Enjoy the Silence.  

I think this is going to be tough for me.  I talk to myself to keep it from being quiet.  This is almost true.

But, I'm going to work on it hard this week, just being quiet, and learning to be still.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I'm not a superstitious person.  I will step on cracks, walk under ladders, and run over black cats that get in my path.  It's just the way I am.

But I am a Believer.  And most of you know that. (or you better)

When I saw Kip's teammate, Jenn post about her desire for her brother in law and sister to be able to raise funds to bring home precious little Zi-Ping home, I decided I would rally her and help.  I'm cool that way.  I love a good cause, and I can't think of a better one than this.

After I watched that video that Jessica made, I wanted to quit my job and go move to China and work in that orphanage.  True story.

I'm tired of limitations.  I'm tired of thinking "I can't do that".  "I'm scared that I won't have the money, the time, the experience, the desire..."   BOTHER.

God doesn't call the equipped.  I read today that God equips the called.

And I believe that Jenn's family was CALLED to bring Zi home.  And we were here to help.

They needed $30-35,000 to complete his adoption.  They had a company pledge to match his donations dollar for dollar today.   Last I heard (and they still have about 5 hours to go) they had raised $14,986.
Does that just give you goosebumps??  I know I teared up this morning when they reached $4000.  After they reached $8000 I quit tearing up and started smiling.

By the time they hit $11000 I was doing the happy dance, and now, I'm so overwhelmed with joy, I'm singing outside in the tornados.

Because GOD CAN DO ANYTHING.  It takes BELIEF and FAITH, and HE CAN DO IT.  When it's His will and His plan and for HIS GOOD, nothing is impossible.

He proved it today.

Welcome home, my little friend.  You are already well loved by hundreds and hundreds of friends.

It's not too late to donate tonight.  There is still 4-5 hours left.  Just click on this link and go to the top DONATE and click.  It's that easy. 
 Kip wished we could all have stickers like when you vote, "I helped bring Zi home".   I don't need a sticker.. I just take delight in knowing that little smily sunshine is soon to his forever home.   

God is so good, all the time.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dating 101

I am borrowing this from my facebook note back from January 2011.  It's been 15 months and there is STILL truth in the pudding.

Here goes....
You will all remember that I dipped my big toe into the dating arena for a few mad-capped, ridiculous outings. Well, apparently, even after you have left the highly esteemed, I have forever re-named it Match.ho) .your picture and profile live on and on.... and on....

Let me just tell you....If the guys that are still "Winking" and "Favorite"-ing me, are the big indicators for what is left out there....stick a fork in me...cause I'm done.

First, here's what I'd really like to say on my profile, and I may just do it to slow down the crazies, but here goes....

Slightly Awkward tallish woman seeks non-freak. 
If you feel compelled to have a picture on your profile of you either

1)standing on a beach wearing only a banana hammock, 
(OR, update from yesterday) standing holding a fish the size of a minnow, with no shirt on, and have an overhang that puts Buddha to shame

2) decked out in camo standing in front of your jacked up 4 x 4,

3) same camo in front of your carcass you just bagged,

4) have 16 pictures of your harley,

5) have a plethora of pictures of yourself with other women,

6) have a picture of yourself dressed in a very tight cop suit, with the sleeves cut out, caressing a 45 on your cheek (oh, I so wish I was kidding on this one. In fact, you can thank this bozo for today's note)....

7) have more mispelled words than correctly spelled words, or

8) have a picture of yourself in your cut out armhole redneck tshirt showing your bulging pecs AND biceps ,

9) have a wide variety and assortment of your Pomeranian doggie,

10) have a lovely, greased handlebar mustache that compliments your pony tail, or

11) any combination of any of the above...... then, I'm probably NOT going to respond to your kind "WINK". That's just the way I roll.

Really, I realize these guys clearly don't suffer from self-esteem issues, but .... Eeeeuuuhh?  I'm crawling under my bed and staying there...maybe forever.

I'm destined to be single, I feel it in my bones. And that's ok by me. I know how cool I am .

Peace out.

Boot Camp.... Kip Style

I miss my Kipster so much.  I know she is having a blast on the Race.  I know she is seeing many things, and experiencing many highs and lows.  I know she misses okra.

And her mom.

Except when I embarrass her.

And that is almost everytime I open my mouth.

Which is my job.

One I relish.

So, when her teammate Ashley posted these awesome pics of Kip playing with the kids in Bulgaria, I asked if I could borrow them, and she agreed wholeheartedly.


Here, Kip is rallying the group for a bit of "Boot Camp- Kip Style".

"Ok, guys, it's not going to be easy, and you are going to sweat, but you'll end up feeling and looking like a million bucks!  Who's IN?"

"First, you will need to see who can jump the farthest.  I will win because I have my mother's legs."

Good attempt...

Kid can fly.

Hey, good job.

It helps to use your arms as windmills.

Ok, now we are going to see who can run the fastest.

And they were running  (Say that in Forrest Gump voice)

And we have a winner, and it's way fun when Kip is the finish line.

Now we do sit ups.  This boot camp is hard core.

Now, we are going to do Lolly's favorite thing in the world, and that is rolling down a hill.  She doesn't really mean for this to be her favorite thing, but it happens quite often.

Now we do the crab walk.  It has no redeeming bootcamp value, but it makes for fun pictures.

Come on, guys, keep on crabbin'!!!

Finally, the bear crawl.  Another fun photo op.  

I don't know about you, but I'd do boot camp with this chick anyday.  


Monday, April 9, 2012

Bringing Zi-Ping Home

You know I am fairly obsessed with Kip and her fellow racers.  I stalk them like crazy and look for anything I can share with you, and this is beyond wonderful.

And I'm asking for everyone to consider sharing on April 13, and helping this lovely family bring this even lovelier little boy home for good.

2nd month of World Race.....China.   (Absolutely not Kip's favorite month), but one of the squad's visited an orphanage that was full of disabled children and if you are a follower of my blog, you will remember I shared their pictures while playing "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.  ("Define Miracle" December 8)...


This lovely little boy... met this lovely girl, and it was LOVE at first sight.  Jenn phoned her sister and brother in law, and in the span of one phone call, started the wheels turning to having her family adopt this precious little pumpkin boy.

God works amazing in that way.

In China, little girls are pretty low on the society totem pole.  Little girls.  Imagine how much lower children with disabilities are.  They aren't even on the totem pole.  So when they get institutionalized, that's where they stay.  Until World Racers that are God's children come running through and in the course of a month, not one but TWO children are adopted from there.

Kip's friends, Jessica and Matt made a video and after sharing it with their friends, and their friends, and their friends, this little boy got adopted..

So I am asking everyone, THIS FRIDAY, APRIL consider giving a donation to Jen's brother in law and sister.  They have a donor that is going to MATCH DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR any money donated on the 13th.

ZI's website   gives you all the information you need to make a donation.  I don't know about you, but having Zi-Ping home with this family makes me happy in ways I can't even put in words.

Let's all work together and bring this precious boy home.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My favorite Easter

It happened way back in 1992.  Twenty years ago.  That can't even be possible.

It happened at Blackburn Chapel Baptist Church, and it really was magic.  We put together an Easter musical, and it was a bunch of country folk that didn't act...and anyone that was there that day, can tell you it was a powerful day.

We had an OBU student as our Music Director, Sean Paul was his name, and I was playing the piano at the time.   We had practiced our choir numbers for many many weeks prior to that day, and it was one of the most difficult piano and choir pieces ever.   When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, and it changed keys about 5 times.  Ending with 5 sharps, which is the hardest thing in the world for me to play.

Before we came together and sang, though, we had a re-enactment of  Jesus carrying his cross through the street and the people gathering around yelling "Crucify Him".... It was powerful, and still sits in my memory to this day.

We had a real lamb, and one of our choir members, James Bond, led the lamb and his then 3 year old at the time, through the crowd, and helped Jesus carry his cross.   It. was. amazing.

After all that, the preacher spoke a few words, and the choir ended with "When I survey".  I have to tell you, we sounded like the Morman Tabernacle Choir that day.  God reached down and blessed our choir, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been able to accompany before and since.  It. was. Amazing.

All those people that loved the Lord, and weren't singers, just sang in the choir, cause they love to sing.  Sang their hearts out, and in 4 part harmony, ended with a High A  (Thank you Valorie Reeves, and Denise Flowers), and it was just spectacular.  I have it on VHS, and need to figure out how to convert it to DVD so I can upload it on here.

So you can see what I mean.

God reached His hand down on Blackburn Chapel, Easter 1992 and the angels sang with our choir.  Here's another one of my all time favorites by Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin... "The Wonderful Cross"....

Happy Easter, loved ones.  He is Risen.  HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

(get a kleenex)

Friday, April 6, 2012

My mom's a Spring Chicken

Today is my mama's 75th birthday.  She will beat me with a stick for saying that out loud.  But I think at some point, you should jump up and down, be proud of your age, and I believe that 75 is a good place to start.

She said she was 29 until I turned 29, then she upped it to 39.  Then I reached 39, she grudgingly moved to 45. Then she just let me pass her.

Until she turned 70, then she was proud of that (for a minute), and reverted back to 60 with experience.

She's a mess.

I wish I had listened to her, instead of learning the hard way, in a lot of key moments in my life.

But hindsight is 20-20, and I wear bifocals.

My mom has been my rock, and it really tugs my heart to watch her start to get older.  She was pulling weeds in the back yard and totally faceplanted into the dirt of her flowerbed, and we really thought she had broken her nose.  Turns out she busted her lips up, and for a few days sported Julia Roberts lips.  They would have been totally hot, had she not had purple bruising all the way around them.  Totally looked like she had "Botox-ed" up.  I told her, "MOM, you can't be doing that kind of stuff, you aren't exactly a spring chicken anymore."  Which made her look at me, shocked, and reply, "OH, Shut Up."  See the sass??  I said, "I know this because I am NOT one anymore, either, and despite your attempt to stay the same age as me, we are NO longer spring chickens".  When she finally demurred, "You're probably right."    Whoa.

You can kind of tell in this pic, bruised around the mouth-al area.  At the run this past Saturday with the Wall chillen's.  

I'm pretty rock solid sure I get my massive strength from my mom.  And I don't mean bodaciousness, I mean, ability to accept what life throws at you.

Though my children definitely got their looks from her.  :)
Gram & Kip at Children's Miracle Network Dancing for a Miracle

She became a widow, very suddenly when she was only 57.  That's too young for anyone to become a widow.  Especially to the love of their life.

And she handled it with grace and acceptance, and moved on with her life, and showed resiliency that showed up in all of us, during our precious time with Laynie.

She's my neighbor now, and I enjoy the stuffing out of having her close and at hand.  She co-parents the dogs with me, she help haul Hallie to her many activities, she has sweet tea in her fridge anytime I need it, and she always, always, always, can tell you up to date weather or any celebrity news.

My mama, my heart, my go-to girl, my friend.

When we took on Vegas.

on my 49th birthday (she was still 50)

Laynie loved her as much as her taggies.  

And with her precious Lacey.  

Happy 75th birthday....may we celebrate my 75th birthday together ... (it will be easy as you will still be 75 too).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't you love music?

Music is life in our family.  We love worship music, pop music, Justin Bieber (yes we do), certain country music, MUSIC, 



It's who we are.  

Hallie has been selected to sing at the Oklahoma City Arts Festival this year at the "Arts Festival Idol" and she is frantically seeking a "COOL" song to sing.  Our friend, Kristen Martin, suggested I look at Boyce Avenue, as they are an acoustic band, and do some AWESOME arrangements of some pretty swag songs.

I found this last night, and I have been bopping to it in my head ALL day.

Now I'm giving it to you so you can bop along too.  Get ready to enjoy something.  And then Boyce Avenue will be your new favorite too.   These cats can sing. singing.  And ANYONE that wears an Elmo tshirt, over the age of two, has my undying devotion.  Seriously.  No one (unless you are into music, too) understands how hard it is to produce "pure" "Unadulterated" music.  Just your voice, your guitar, and your beat box at your foot, and a mic.  That is pure, incredible talent.  I was blown away.  There are a few singers out there that inspire that feeling in me....our worship pastors, Dameon Aranda, Trent Austin, Stephen Cole, back in the day Brian Bruss....these guys are the "real deal" too.... no mixing, just pure talent.   Few out there..... oh yeah, my bubba is himself.   But listen to this cat..... wow.

See what I mean?  You tube them.  They are Ah.May.Zing.

Me and Ree

I have stalked Ree Drummond like a crazy woman for awhile now.  She cracks me totally up.  In fact, she and I could be total twins.

Except for the whole "happily married" thing.

Oh, and her ability to dance.

Oh, and the cooking thing.

And the red hair.

And the country living thing.

Except for those few things, we could totally be twins.

For reals.

After I sweated my tata's off at the Wings of Hope run Saturday morning, I raced to Full Circle Book Store in  OKC to listen to my favorite blogger on the planet.  And have her sign 2000 books for me.  Ok, 4.

She was hilarious.  She sang on stage.  In Ethel Merman for a minute, and a bass bravado for another minute, and then she tried (and laughed) to finish seriously.  How can you sing Endless Love in a serious manner while we are looking at pics of her dog, Charlie??  Can't be done.

Here's the view I had of her.

Yep, I had her back view.  She would glance over her shoulder as if to say "What are you people doing over here?" and being the swift photographer that I am, I never caught her looking at us.  It's ok, I could make out her slides on the tiny laptop sitting on the table by the projector.  She was precious.

When I heard she was coming to OKC, I hurried and bought a cookbook from the store, so I could get in the first group of stalkers, uhm, FANS to get to meet her.  Normally, I wouldn't be so wild to meet someone (especially after I've sweated all morning at a run), but she is something special.  

At Dale Rogers Training Center, I have the job of selling and promoting our spice kits.  Our clients in our workshop, on site, package the Made in Oklahoma spices and individually label them.  They are delicious and unique and fabulous.

I got it in my head that if Ree Drummond would talk about them on her blog "The Pioneer Woman" that we would sell about a trillion of them.  And I could keep our clients busy making kits for the rest of time.  I'm pretty sure that would happen.

So last August, I threw caution to the wind and sent her a box with our spices in it, and crossed my fingers and waiting breathlessly by the computer, certain she would blog about the wonderful kit that she had been been given.  Weeks passed, Nothing.  It's ok, she DOES have a life, and 4 kids and a dead sexy hub, so I knew she has her hands full.  

Then, as I was at the Oklahoma Roundup, with Children's Miracle Network, attending with Lacey and LOVING on those sweet little kids, I spotted "Drummond Land and Cattle" as one of the competitors... COULD it be possible??  The Pioneer Woman would be in the same arena as me??  (taking the other 10000 people there out of account).... and wiggies, after scanning the crowd with Lacey's zoom lens on her DSLR, I found her.  (I"m telling you, I'm so weird).  Instead of looking like a stalker, I just scanned the room with the normal stuff, right??  Anyway, I agonized on how I could go and meet her.  Lacey just looked at me like I had flipped my lid, but I was convinced she would want to meet me.  Right?? I'm funny, we are practically twins.  It could happen.  

Nope.  Totally chickened out.  But in hindsight, I wished I had gone to her and suggested a picture with the Miracle kids that were there, because SHE would have LOVED them.  Precious little gifts.

Moving on.

Phase 2 of stalking commences.  We add a new spice kit to our spice line and I know that she will LOVE them, because they have the cutest little acrylic cowboy hats, so I send her 2 (because one isn't enough, and yet another Prairie Spice kit, on the chance she has used the two I have already sent her.)

Isnt' that adorable?  You can use the hat as a serving bowl for the cheese ball you make with the spices, and it has the cutest boot spreader in the world.   What a great gift.  I KNEW this would propel her to write about us.  Weeks pass.  Nothing.  She is busy.  She is filming her Food Network show.  She is homeschooling 4 children.  She is knocking over donut cases in Circle K's in northern Oklahoma.  She has things to do.  It's ok.  She's really going to do it.  She is.  

Then Valentines Day is around the corner.  I have been Dale Rogers stalking her for about 6 months.  I decide that since babies are her kryptonite, that the clients at Dale Rogers, as precious as they are, will tip the scales in our favor.  So I enlist our workshop to make valentines for a scrapbook for the busy, but loveable P-Dub.  (get it?)  Here are a few pictures of the adorable scrapbook that we ( "we" meaning Gayle, our amazing graphic arts person at DRTC) made for a token of our love and appreciation...

So now you have a small taste of what we have been sending to Ree Drummond.  Finally it was my turn to get my books signed.  I had my HR director with me, taking pictures, and it never occured to any of us to just look at the camera and smile..  we were too busy becoming BFF's, just the way I knew we would, if ever given a chance...

I look so amazing, I just don't know how she could resist me.  Remember, came directly from the fog, rain run, so I am LOOKING good.  I think at this point she is trying to avoid eye contact.  

She finally looks at me and kind of stops writing, so aghast at my lovely hair.  

She finally connects the dots and exclaims to me  "OH MY GOSH, I LOVE that scrapbook!  It's on my coffee table at home!"  I'm like "YES, YES, that is us!!"  though her hand could indicate, "Hey, you are THAT person, and where is security?"  

I'm not even sure what my face is doing here, but she is saying she would like to come visit the facility and I am pretty sure I was happy about that.  Even though my face looks like I might be having a small coronary.  (I might have been, she was such a delight)

Here I am cracking her up with my quick wit and extraordinary hand gestures.  Good thing I was holding books, it could have gotten out of hand.  I could be circling windmills.  

I really like this one, because she has decided we could be BFF's at this point, in spite of my lovely visor, and hat hair.  I am dead certain.  

I remember back last year, when I met Karen Kingsbury, and we became BFF's too (she really did call me after I proofed her new book for her, and we had about a 45 minute conversation on my cellphone, true story, yes, Karen K is in my phone) yet, initially upon meeting her,  I was rendered speechless and only after the fact, able to tell her what I wanted to through my blog, and as usual..... that's how I will send my message to  my newest BFF, Ree Drummond.

Ree, what a pleasure to meet you.  You make my day bright with your humorous blogs and yummy recipes I will probably never make (though I do love your enchiladas, i make those all the time).  I am YOUR Dale Rogers stalker and nothing in the world would thrill me (and our clients) more than for you to, just one time, blog about us and our spices on your home and garden page, and direct your trillion readers to our online store, so they too, can have the spicy yummy goodness in their pantries (where she told me all my kits were presently in her home).  We would be HONORED to have you come and tour our facility, and I know you will be right at home with our clients, because your brother Mike has pretty much taken all the mystery out of disabilities for you, as he is our hero at Dale Rogers.  Self sufficient and full of life and love, everyone in his town loves him and that's the way it is every day around Dale Rogers.  We'd also love to invite you to our 60th anniversary next year, when Roy Rogers & Dale Evan's grandson, Dusty, will be here with his band, and we will have events galore.  What an honor for you (and your family) to be here.  

That's what I would have said.  I'm always really good after the fact.  
  When I'm there, I'm all sweaty pits and palms, wild hand gestures, and it gets ugly in a hurry.  

But I know in my heart, we are truly BFF's.  

It could happen.

If you don't already read her blog, you totally should.  The link is over on my Favorite Blogs on the right side of this page.  She'll be your BFF soon too.  

All I know is I need a haircut and a tan, and not necessarily in that order.