Happy Birthday Dearest

20140912_161010I wrote this out much earlier but forgot to add the photos and post it.  So last weekend two weekends ago was Richard’s 26th birthday. We’ve decided that perhaps we’re too old busy for an entire birthday week but a whole birthday weekend is just right. I always feel like I drop the ball on birthday celebrations. I didn’t grow up celebrating birthdays so I’m not very good at planning out big to-dos; which is perfect because Richard doesn’t like big to-dos. This year we had what felt like a 3 day weekend together. I don’t have class on Friday and Richard only had one class early in the morning. It was a cold rainy weekend so we couldn’t do much outside so instead we decided to stay in almost all weekend, except to go get food. We had lunch at one of our favorite places, Queenie’s in Utica Square. Queenie’s food menu is pretty simple, think sandwiches, salads and a burger. We always split a delicious grilled cheese and anything else. But really we go there for the desserts. We split a little chocolate cake and a lemon bar. Our waitress went above and beyond making them both very pretty and extra tasty.

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Because of some other issues earlier in the day, we weren’t able to make it to the museum like we wanted so instead we built a fort. We made it super cozy with extra pillows and blankets. We ran to target and I bought Richard a few gifts. I’m not sure if I should call them presents since Richard picked them out and most didn’t get wrapped. I bought a battery pack for our dead X-Box remote and bought Plants v Zombies. I’m not a gamer at all. I only like silly and simple games that usually include repetitive tasks and beating a timer. Richard LOVES video games. The kind that involve shooting and memorizing some sort of map. Those give me motion sickness. After buying our supplies we returned to our cozy fort and played video games for the rest of the day.  We only stopped to go get soup from the Whole Foods up the street.

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The rest of the weekend was a perfectly lazy event filled with more yummy food (steak from Texas Roadhouse… yum!)and plenty of time in our fort.  We watched the OU football game from our fort on Saturday night.  Sunday Richard’s mom came over late that evening and brought a yummy chocolate cake.  I busted out the multiple boxes of Oreo’s I bought just for him.

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I’m thinking this fort building may be a new tradition in the making because Richard LOVED it. He got so excited when I pulled out sheets and he realized I was being serious about crafting our fortress.

p.s. Sorry, the pictures are so grainy… I really need to bust out our real camera more often just around the house.

Canoe Trip

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When I envision natural beauty I envision mountains and slow lazy rivers perfect for canoeing and kayaking. Usually I envision those places reside in other states that aren’t Oklahoma or Texas… the only two states I’ve ever lived in. This summer I discovered that lazy river canoe trips can be had and enjoyed in Oklahoma. I’ve lived in the Sooner state for going on 7-years now and I’m still discovering new things.

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We drove up to the Diamond Head Resort in Tahlequah to rent a canoe for the day. We took a slow 6-mile ride down the Illinois River. Apparently, Richard and his family would do this annually when he was a kid but he hadn’t been in ages.

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I was blown away by the cool but not cold river and all the green trees and grass. Usually, Oklahoma drought makes everything yellow and dry but this summer was a little wetter than usual.

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We also decided to take our doggy because we’d been wondering if he knew how to swim. He does. And he loved it!

We went on a week-day so there weren’t many people around. It felt like our little family was the only group on the river. We packed a picnic lunch and found a nice area along the river to stop and eat.  Since our 6-mile canoe trip was rather short we spent lots of time “swimming.”  I say swimming but I really mean lounging in the river.  Not many spots were deep enough to swim.  But it was still a nice way to cool off once we got too hot.

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We went again later in the summer on a Saturday with Richard’s mom. There were so many people! I would definitely recommend a week-day if you can manage it. I am the kind of person who just likes to enjoy nature in its entirety, meaning sights, sounds and smells. The large groups of people came along with radios and lots of floating beer cans. It was definitely a fun little adventure that I would love to go on again next summer.

Also, for your enjoyment I’ve linked to (above) a quick 30-second video I made showing the beautiful river and our sweet puppy showing off his skills!  Baxter would get so anxious for his humans when they were too far away from him in the water. For any of my Okie readers what adventures would you suggest we go on this fall?

Update on the Newly Weds

Photo taken by Rachel Photographs.

Photo taken by Rachel Photographs.

This summer I had all these plans to keep the blog up to date… but that didn’t end up happening.  I decided just to soak in these first few months of married life.  Even though we didn’t go on any many big adventures we did have fun and we took tons of photos.  I’m hoping I can continue to write a post or two a week highlighting a few things we did and are currently doing.

Richard is back in school.  He’s now an ms-2! Big man on campus.  After second year he will be doing rounds, so pretty much I’ll never see him again.  He is prepping (more like stressing) for boards which he’ll take this summer.  People continue to ask him what he plans to specialize in and he still hasn’t made a decision.  He often asks me what I think and I always say whichever kind gets to spend lots of time with his wife.

I’m also back in school.  It was a last-minute decision and I enrolled within a week of classes starting.  I’m now a student at Tulsa Community College getting my associates in Digital Media with a specialization in Adobe Programs.  Really I’m just learning the basics on all of the programs like Photoshop, Flash etc. while also learning some about coding and graphic design.  When asked why I chose to go back the answer is always, “To make myself a more competitive job candidate in the ever expanding world of digital media.”  Sounds good, right?  The truth is I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do in the future and the short answer is I’m not sure.  I love being creative.  I love writing.  I love photography and videography.  I get lost in my crafting.  I day dream about owning a shop.  I just wish I could type all my interests into some sort of generator and it would give me the answer.

I often miss that feeling I had while still in undergrad and working in student media.  You felt like everyone you worked with was your friend and that was great because you spent all of your time together.  The whole production was a team effort and when you criticized each other it was only because you really cared about what you were putting out there for people to see.  I think I’ve also learned that I don’t love news.  It is depressing and eating and breathing it every day gets me down really quickly.  I’m really hoping to redirect my path towards marketing, video production or maybe a magazine of some sort… I’d love to write gushy love stories for a wedding magazine or maybe something in home decor!  Or better yet put me on one of those shows where I can travel the world and tell you all the best places to eat and the best things to do.  Yes, I think I can picture myself doing that!

I keep telling myself not to stress about my career.  After all many people don’t begin their careers at a young age.  Julia Child didn’t become a television star until she was in her 50s.

 

Painting Party

Since the stress of the wedding has ended we’ve been working hard to make our house feel more like a home.  We are renting a small two bedroom house in Tulsa.  We chose it because it was within our budget and right off Riverside and near Brookside.  If you’re not familiar with Tulsa then you have no why those two -side places are a big deal.  Let me just say they’re pretty hoppin’.  There are great restaurants and shops on Brookside and a large, safe park for early morning runs and puppy walks on Riverside.

The problem with this house, we’ve discovered, is that it’s too small.  Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to come up with some interesting organization tricks because we’re stuck for at least another 3-years, once Richard is finally done with school!  We finally convinced our landlord to let us paint so we’ve been slowly converting the rooms from a yucky tan color to cool grays and vibrant blue in the bedroom and office.  Richard has recently picked up the hobby of making time lapse videos so he decided to capture the long process of bedroom painting.

Check out the video below!

A Busy Bee

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I have recently made some major changes in my professional life, namely by changing careers.  I left my teaching job to begin taking freelance jobs in reporting, photography and videography I also opened up my own Etsy shop called Light Cage Effects.  The quote above by Howard Thurman has always been one of my favorites and was really something I took to heart when making this decision to change paths.  The photo quote is also an item listed in my Etsy shop here.  The photo is an original taken by me on a trip to Durango, Colorado.  I  took my first trip to Colorado about 2 months ago and really loved it!

If you’d like to keep up with the latest products on my shop or the stories I write please follow my new blog called Light Cage Productions.

Search for the Tulsa Pizza King

We LOOOVE to eat out.  We probably shouldn’t do it so often as it can get pricey.  We also probably shouldn’t always eat at the same place.  We have our favorites and seem to get stuck in this rut where we don’t try anything else but we’re breaking out I tell ya!

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We’ve decided to set ourselves a task of finding the best pizza in Tulsa.  I’m always up for pizza.  It is my favorite food and if I could eat it every day for every meal I would.  I got this idea to search for the best pizza in Tulsa… I’m calling it the Search for the Tulsa Pizza King because I like to give our adventures titles… after I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, Love Taza, for hours and somehow made it back to some of her earlier posts… I’m talking aallll the way back to 2009😉.  She and her husband searched for the best burger in NYC & DC.  So I decided to change it up a bit and make ours a search for the best pizza in our own hometown.  I’m crazy excited about trying new pizza places… maybe a little too pumped about this.

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The first place we tried was Pie Hole Pizzeria.  We’ve actually been here before but we decided we’d go again and try and make note of what we liked about it so we can compare it to other local pizzerias.  This pizza place is near Tulsa University.  The restaurant isn’t very big inside but we’ve never had a hard time finding a seat.  I also really love the art they have on their walls.  That Yoda poster makes the Star Wars nerd in me really happy!

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What a cutie patootie!

We ordered a 16-inch pizza half was the Tiki Pizza, our favorite, and the other half was the Pollo Blanco, which we were told is a popular choice.  I really like Pie Hole because they are generous with their toppings and their crust is so good!  It’s crunchy on the surface and warm and soft inside. I also like that for $20-ish dollars we get two meals out of one pizza. (We warmed it up in the oven the next day, the crust wasn’t as good on day 2… Just fyi.)  I also really like that the “plates” are actually individual sized pizza pans.  They’re so cute and industrial looking!

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Me in the background taking a quintessential Insta-pic.

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Back to the toppings for a second, check out those big chunks of yummy veggies and mushrooms.  YUM!  They also do individual slices here which is what we usually do.  I love ordering a slice with a random assortment of toppings.

Next on our list is La Roma Pizza.  If you have any suggestions for other pizza places to try in Tulsa (no national chains) tell us please!  Are you a pizza fan?  What’s your favorite topping?  I can’t pick one I love them all… except anchovies, no thanks.

One Month Anniversary

We’ve been married for one whole month… so that means I’m a total pro when it comes to this whole marriage thing. Right? I kid!  Being married has been great!  Why has it been great?  Well, let  me tell you my top 3 in list form… because lists are my favorite.

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Photo Taken by Rachel Photographs

1.  I love getting to introduce Richard as my husband.  For so long, introducing him as my boyfriend didn’t seem sufficient.  I always felt like I also needed to work into the conversation that we’d been together for 6 years and he was the most dedicated and loving person because the word boyfriend just didn’t express all that he was/is.

2.  I love getting to say, “Goodnight husband,” every night and he responds with, “Goodnight wife”.

3. I love that the wedding is in the books.  Though it was tons of fun and so perfect, it was stressful as heck leading up to the big day.  Plus, now that it’s over, we get to finally focus on making this house a home.  We’ve really put a lot of energy into that project and it’s coming along quite nicely!  But that will be another post for another day.

If you have any advice for us in our first year of marriage, please share below! What are some traditions we should start?  What are some things you wish you had done in your first year of marriage?  Thanks for reading!

Engagement Photos

Photo by Rachel Photographs

Photo by Rachel Photographs

We have been together 6 years and somehow have never had our photos taken.  Though it’s only two weeks before the big day our wedding day photographer, Rachel Photographs, and we finally found a convenient time to meet and take some engagement photos.  I am in love with every image she took!!! We took them at the beautiful Woodward Park here in Tulsa.  Everything there is in full bloom right now and absolutely gorgeous. Our little pupsicle joined us for the shoot.  As animals tend to be, he was completely unable to hold still or not be crazy.  So our fabulous photographer offered to juggle him along with her camera, and my bag of makeup and other supplies.  She was kind of awesome!!!  She gave great direction and made us feel comfortable and not conspicuous. We both tend to be a little shy when it comes to being lovey-dovey in public so I think we kept giggling about the situation instead because… well, we’re children.  We also kept cracking up because Richard is incapable of making more than two faces – happy & smiley or disappointed and frowny. Enjoy the beautiful photos!  To see more go to Rachel Photographs website by clicking http://rachelphotographs.pixieset.com/whitneyrichard/.

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Wedding Website

So I’ve been working on the wedding website for quite a while.  Slowly but surely it’s come together and it’s finally prepared for visitors.  Family, friends and well wishers can check out all the wedding details by clicking here.

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Listening to She & Him – Volume 3

One time during a family gathering my daddy and I hopped in my car to run an errand – typical.  Naturally, being my car I chose our tunes – also typical.  My dad made some comments like, “Why do you only listen to old music?”  To which I replied, “Is there a problem with that?”  Now the band in question wasn’t actually oldies, it was a little Black Keys but since then I have been contemplating the music I enjoy… it all does seem to have a bit of a retro-vibe to it.  In answer to my own question.. No, there is nothing wrong with that.

I have a few songs from She & Him‘s earlier albums but I’ve never listened to their latest one which was released last year.  If you’re not familiar with She & Him that’s them below.  You may recognize the she part of She & Him, Zooey Deschanel, as she’s on a top rated Fox Network Sitcom that I also adore… New Girl.  If you’re into the retro-vibe like me this is good feeling music that will have you toe-tapping and trying to sing along while you surf the web or in my case answer emails and grade papers… so many papers!!!!  Enjoy!

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Click to purchase Volume 3 on iTunes.

P.S. If you can’t use the Spotify link… sorry! 1) You should definitely find some youtube videos of She & Him like this one or this one…. and 2) You should most definitely download Spotify because it is the best!