Thursday, January 27, 2011


So last night I put on my cute little, black, capri sweat pants and a tank top and left the house to FINALLY start going to a yoga class.  Everything I was wearing was a little tight (which is one of the many reasons I was going to Yoga) so I felt a little self-conscious.  I have also never taken a yoga class so I was even more self-conscious.   Then I got a little lost because, even though the numbers on the buildings on Classen are HUGE, I am still so challenged in remembering on what side of the street the odd and even numbered houses or buildings sit.  So then I was late and I have a feeling that yoga people don't want someone coming into their class all flustered and exasperated and messing up their energy.

When I finally arrived, the doors were locked and the lights were off. Whew! I was committed to giving it a go and to embarrassing myself if I had to, but I was really glad that people's first impression of me wouldn't be that I was a flake who couldn't make it to class on time.

When I got home, Phillip had set up the Wi Fit for me so I just stood on the board and did some poses there.  I'm getting ready to do that again and will continue until I can make it to a beginners class.  I'm ready for the change that yoga my body, in my mind, in whatever area it will bring change. I think this will help.

In the meantime, can we talk about how sassy that Wi Fit can be? :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OKCBiz Article! Yay!

Ahhhhh!!!!!! I'm so excited! OKCBiz's February issue came out today and there is an article (click here) about James, me, the building and our plans! I can't believe how lucky we are sometimes.  There is something that I'd like to make clear (and I have all over Facebook).  I didn't save the building alone. James and I did that together, along with the help of so many people, especially Sam Gresham and his office team.  We've actually had help all along the way.

There's still so much left to do, but we're going at the pace that graduate school and learning as we go allow.  We're getting it, though! And it's really great to know that people are interested in what we're doing because the more people that get involved, the more people we can serve.  Thank you so much OKCBiz!

College Art Association Annual Conference

Well, it looks like I'll be headed back to New York again soon and it could't have been better timing! I have a few friends that are either living there or will be up there in a couple of weekends and it also happens to be weekend of the College Art Association's national conference, so woooohoooo, I'm going back! This was such spur of the moment plan but I found a cheap flight and I have a wonderful friend who is going to let me sleep on his couch so it's going to me a pretty affordable trip.  I am grateful!

This will make three times I have gone to NYC over the course of a year and usually I try to spread my trips over different locations, but something keeps pulling me back up there.   I'm glad, too, because there is so much to see.  I haven't taken nearly all of it in, but I am sure that if I lived there for a year I still wouldn't get to do it all.   Wouldn't it be nice to get to do it all?  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I've been giving a lot of thought to the topic of courage lately.  Just like I seem to have to clean my house before I write a paper in order to remove distractions and improve focus, I have been cleaning house emotionally because I want to focus on and direct as much energy as possible towards finishing my masters and working on this project in the Paseo.  I know that I need to deal with some things that I have been carrying around and not addressing.

You have to have courage to face your faults and weaknesses.  Nobody wants to be labeled in a negative way and, in my case, fear can be overwhelming so sometimes it's easier to just ignore things.  However, I'm finding that as hard as it is to work through issues, your load is so much lighter when you work through things and let them go.  How sad it is to realize that, at times, I've been my own worst enemy and that I've been carrying so much more than I needed to.  But such is life.  We learn as we go and as we live, so I'm excited for all of the progress and growth that is happening right this very minute and for all that 2011 is going to bring.

James and I went to see the Kings Speech yesterday.  He had told me that he wanted me to see it.  I understood almost immediately why he felt that way.  How lucky I am to have a partner and friend that encourages me to face my fears and to realize my full potential...and someone who believes in that potential sometimes even more than I do. How lucky I am to have many friends who do.  

Here is the trailer for the movie.  Watch it and then go see the movie if you haven't already.  It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  If you've ever had the fear that you weren't worthy of the task ahead of you or that you weren't cut out for your calling, watch this film.  I love that the arts have the power to remind us all that we can achieve anything if we just have the courage to take the chance, the perseverance to see it through and the confidence in our contribution to this world.

I have a voice.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Something BIG!

Something big happened yesterday and it's something that I need to keep close to my chest, but I had to include something about it in the blog because one day soon, I'll be able to write about it.  It's monumental! It's something that will allow us to dream as big as we can for our project.  IT.WAS.PIVOTAL. I couldn't be more grateful. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Strategic Planning Retreat 2011 - Big Cedar Lodge, MO

James and I have had a great time on this little planning retreat we've taken.  It's been productive too! We've contemplated many things, including a mission statement, our core values, our goals and needs and an organizational chart that reflects all of these things. I'm most excited to firm up what responsibilities we each see ourselves taking and to know how that affects the programming.  It won't be long before we can start fundraising and interviewing people for jobs...although the interviewing will be months and months down the road.  It's just never too early to start planning.

There have been a few changes that I'm really, REALLY excited about and they have to do with naming the programs we have in mind.  I think we've decided to keep Young Lab for the adult programs and I'll get to go back to Young School for the preschool part of the non-profit.  I dearly loved that idea, but I was flexible about the naming of things because I've learned that sometimes when you demand your own way, you miss out on the opportunity for something greater.  However, I think that after talking and talking this weekend, we're both going to get to integrate our hopes and ideas into the greater whole of the project and I couldn't be happier about it.  There's even a chance that a name James chose years ago and bought the domain online for will be what we name the after school and young adult programs.  Isn't it amazing how these dreams that we've had for years are perfectly meshing together?  It's just one more piece of proof that we're on the right track.

I know that all of the back and forth can seem wishy-washy to people following what we're doing, but the truth is that we are just letting everyone in on the development and evolution of this project because it's a gift that we want to give the community.  I believe that it's never too early to include everybody. I'm so grateful that we had this opportunity to get away and hash some things out because the growth and further solidification of our partnership during this time has been monumental.  I'm still amazed, even a year later, at how lucky we are to have this opportunity to see our dreams realized.  My heart is so full.

Here are some shots from the weekend and the extra day we were able to stay because of the weather. Thank you snow!

The Road Ahead - Taken from the McDonald's that bridges over the interstate in Vinita, OK

New Bangs and the Log Cabin

The View From Our Balcony Before the Snow


View From Our Balcony After Snow

We Probably Won't Be Dining Al Fresco Today

Snow Covered BBQ!

I could live in this little cabin. I love it!


Strategic Planning Central + Room Service Menu

It's So Beautiful Here

Lincoln Log Session - Our Paseo Building

Fun Times

We built this together. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today, James and I signed our names on the dotted line to form Spark LLC.  This is the company under which we bought the building and started an almost year long process of filling out files, making requests, attending Historic Preservation hearings, applying for national tax credits for historic preservation, working with the city, applying for a loan, making plans, traveling to other venues for observations, and so much more!

We've found that many, many people along the way have been willing to help us and we've been humbled by it.  I can't speak for James, but I know that, for me, it's also been a year of finding our groove as partners and figuring out the best ways to communicate and share.  I've been very fortunate and because we are basing our goals and dreams on what we can give back to the community and to each other, we've both been blessed beyond measure.

So in honor of the year behind us and the year ahead, we're off on a mystery trip to a place where we'll create mission statements, state our core values and goals, draw up a plan and really narrow in on what it is that we want to provide and to whom we want to give.  I can't wait!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year! 2011 Promises to be the best one yet!

I just realized that I haven't posted anything yet in 2011.  How could that be? might have something to do with the fact that I've not sat still long enough to even look at my computer since I turned in my papers for this past semester.  I've been visiting family for the holidays and then went to New York City for New Year's Eve with lifelong friends.  It was such a great trip and I won't ever forget the experiences we had. Here are a few pics of the fun!

Taking a Walk, December 31, 2010

Suzi and Me, The Breslin, December 31, 2010

First Time to Visit MoMA, December 31, 2010
I was so moved by the works that I saw here that I had to hold back tears multiple times. I feel such gratitude.

On the Way to MoMA we saw these cars lined up on some church steps.

I thought it would be fun to take a close up shot!

Lifelong Friends, Braden and Me, January 2, 2011 - Outside of BAM for the Nutcracker!

Tomorrow brings a new adventure. (Doesn't it always?)  James and I are leaving for a retreat and I haven't told him where we are going, but I'm really excited about it because we are going to be doing some strategic planning for YoungLab.  This project needs more focus and direction and we need to communicate so that we're 100% on the same page about what is going to be going down at 612 NW 29th Street.

It's amazing to me to think that the building will be finished sometime this year and my masters will be finished in December.  This year is huge!!! Progress really does bring balance and fun, doesn't it?

Happy 2011 Everybody!