Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Look/New Blog

James' and my building at 612 NW 29th Street is coming along and I feel that because it's looking better all of the time, I wanted the blog to have a new look and feel as well.  In the past, I have written about my own evolution as well as the building's.  That won't entirely stop either because I think that it's important to document my growing confidence and what it has taken to get me there.  I am evolving in a parallel way to the changes taking place in the building, but I might hold back a little on the more personal stuff in the future and focus on the business side of things.  We'll see what happens.

For now, though, I wanted to update the look of the blog because 612 is changing more and more every day! We now have a new roof, painted brick, new windows, a new door on the way and more!

Here is a picture of what the building used to look like and the image that I just placed at the top of the blog is what it looks like now.

I'm so excited for all of the wonderful changes taking place! We should be finished with the inside sometime next year! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I'm currently in New York City visiting friends and having a great time! I feel so lucky to have a couch to sleep on and I found a great deal on a ticket so it's been quite easy to get here. Yesterday's travel went really smoothly too. I even sat next to someone on the flight from OKC to Dallas that I think will be a very valuable resource. She was a kind and open lady who works at OU's College of Continuing Education. She is the director of the testing department and no matter what you think of standardized testing, evaluation and assessment are things that have to happen in an educational program. I hated standardized testing as a teacher, especially as a teacher in the fine arts. I am pretty sure that I won't be using it in the preschool but you have to know the measurement instruments out there before you can decide what's best for the kids. This wonderful lady I sat next to is the expert on testing in Oklahoma and the perfect person for me to go to with questions. I sometimes can't believe my own luck.

Oh and then last night I met a guy, Roy Lightner, who is here, helping to choreograph broadway shows and he said he would come to 612 to work every now and then. Astonishing!!! I'm so excited! He's talented, kind and was generous enough to start giving me the lowdown on people in Oklahoma that he really respects and thinks would be good for me to work with as well. We've had fun talking and getting to know each other and the gratitude I feel keeps filling up my heart!

I am consistently reminded that I have everything I need and that I always will.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Well, I think it's finally happened. I'm finding my confidence.  I'm not just feeling good, I'm also thinking correctly about things and this campaign of mine to put fear behind me is working.  I'm finding that the more I respect myself, the more I believe that I can do anything.  I know I have a lot to learn, but I'm also confident that life will be consistent in giving me chances to stretch and grow.   The things that I was unwilling to let go of before are starting to slip out of my hands and heart and I'm letting them.  I never really had control over them anyway so it's best just to let them go.  It's scary sometimes, but I believe that letting go and trusting that I have everything I need will bring peace.

It's good to know that even when you get a little sidetracked by your own humanity, you can jump back on course and accomplish great things.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meetings = Fun When It's Your Passion You're Meeting About!

This week has been full of meetings...mostly over meals, so they've been fine by me! :)  And it's felt more like getting together with friends to talk about my passion for Sixtwelve than the traditional meeting, but it's progress just the same.  I love it!

Kat, Me and Lindsey at Big Truck Tacos!

On Tuesday I had breakfast with my friend Kat at Big Truck Tacos and met a wonderful new friend, Lindsey.  She and her fiance are starting a new non profit to help educational institutions with building web sites! Woohoo! We are going to need help with this because James has some big ideas for the ways in which our website will integrate with what we are going to offer.  And Kat just asked if Lindsey could join us because they were having a hard time making their own schedules work out for meeting.  I'm so glad that I said yes! Just one more example of having everything we need as we need it!

Yesterday I had lunch with Jeffrey Gordon and talked about committee meetings for our First Friday events in the Paseo and ways that he can help.  I'm so grateful for everyone's support and I know that we are going to provide some fun stuff for people when we get these events going.  I feel like I can handle one thing a month right now while I'm still in school.

Last night I met with a friend just to eat dinner but it turned out to be a time for sharing ideas about travel and ways that she can work with us too.  I can't wait for that part of the job! Haha!

Tonight I'm going to a pick-up site in Edmond for the Oklahoma Food Cooperative and will be training in order to make Sixtwelve a pick up site for the coop sometime in the future.  I am really, really, really, really thrilled about this because it will make things so convenient for people in my own neighborhood and those surrounding to use the coop if they choose to and that's what James and I have been saying is our goal from the beginning.  We want to make it easy for people to incorporate things into their lives that are good for them and our community!

What a productive and fun week!

(Did I mention I'm going to the Ghostland Observatory show tonight at the Diamond Ballroom? Can't wait to dance, dance, dance!!!)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Paseo Arts Festival Music

My band, "The Jones," performing at the Paseo Arts Festival (with Ross Becker' getting the crowd going with his dancing)
photo by Romy Owens
Me and a great volunteer & friend, Sunshine Hahn!

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I had the privilege of seeing months and months of work come to fruition.  I was the chair of the music committee for the Paseo Arts Festival this year and scheduled all of the music for the south stage.  It was my first time to do anything like that and I learned so much! There are things that I will do differently next year, such as scheduling really loud bands to play later in the evening and softer bands during the day.  I heard a few complaints about that and totally understand.  I also learned something about being clear with people about your expectations so that there is absolutely no way they can misunderstand or be confused about what is expected of them.  Ah humanity.  It always stretches you to collaborate or work with other people, and I have a lot to learn so I'm grateful for these experiences!

What I can say with full confidence is that I worked with some really awesome people.  The Paseo Arts Association board was so welcoming and kind.  They supported me in ways that I wasn't used to. Haha!  James planned a great event over on the lot next to our building and it seemed like everything we asked permission to do, they approved or found a way to help us find the resources we needed.  I couldn't be more grateful!

And the musicians and volunteers I was lucky enough to work with were stellar! I kept meeting band after band, volunteer after volunteer, and performer after performer that I admired and enjoyed.  Kindness is the quality I value most in people and it was evident in huge quantities that weekend...even with the heat.  Here are some pics!

The Tarpley Tappers opened the South Stage!

Lauren Zuniga moved me with her words. It was my first time to hear her!

Edgar Cruz! What a superb musician and a very kind man!

Colleen our intern and her boyfriend, Nelson, taking a break from the heat.  Thanks for all that you did during the festival Colleen!

I thought this bike was really cool! 

Tracy Reed Band opening the stage on Sunday morning! They were awesome!

Robby, Amy and Preston - Volunteers Extraordinaire! 

Colleen and Robby - This duo and Preston really kept the parking issues at bay and the stage flowing smoothly!

Me and one of my favorite volunteers, Preston!

Ballet Flamenco!

Kyle Dillingham brought down the house! I can't believe the things he can do with a violin/fiddle! :)

So honored to have my picture made with Kyle! He's so talented and kind!

Camille Harp and the boys! She rocked it!

Klondike5 was a great headliner.  I love me some bluegrass!

612 is really coming along! More pics of the event to follow when I get them from James!

Wakarusa 2011!

Last Night Family Portrait - Almost the Whole Gang from Our Campsite in Ross' Glow Creations!
Last week I returned from one incredibly fun experience. Wakarusa was such a great get away!  I haven't been writing much recently because after the stress of finals and the PAF, I wanted to keep to myself a little.  I wanted to retreat from feeling like my life was on display and to keep technology at bay.  When I arrived, I had a little juice left in my phone but when it was gone, it was gone. I didn't have a power source to plug into.  We were camping! Wooohooo! I also didn't have much service when I got to the campsite anyway, so it was the perfect time to do what I said I would. I unplugged.

I had so much fun! My favorite shows were Thievery Corporation and Big Gigantic.  The music was great and I danced and danced the night away.  In fact, I didn't get back to my tent until 6am that last night we were there.  I felt free from the worries that I left behind.  For so long I've been controlled by the feeling that I'm constantly being judged.  I've worried about the comments from others regarding not moving fast enough with the 612 project (I'm moving as fast as I can), not focusing enough on school, not taking good enough care of myself (someone pointed out that I wasn't as thin as I was when I was doing boot camp), not being a good enough friend to some (constantly hearing that I'm too busy), feeling like some friends are doing me a favor by spending time with me (probably not going to spend as much time with those people now), or not spending enough time with my family (mostly hearing that I'm too busy from my Paw-Paw.)  Even with all of the hard work, I've felt like a huge failure.   

What I've realized is that I've really done it to myself by taking all the comments to heart and by judging myself so harshly.  From now on, those days are gone.  I'm not doing it anymore.  There will always be more to do. In fact, my goals are to finish school and then to set off on an even more intense study of educational methods relating to creativity and sustainability.  I want to do this right! James and I are learning so much with every step and if we aren't patient with ourselves, how will we ever be patient with our students? And isn't that the point of all of this? Don't we want to create a place where people can learn and grow without the same fears they had to face while getting their education in the traditional school?  We want to offer something different, a place where people feel safe from judgement and encouraged to thrive.  For so long we've been held back by the fear of not getting a good grade or by a fear of not being the smartest person in the room. I don't want that for anyone! I want people to realize their passions and dreams.  Fear has no place in that.

So when I went to Waka, I decided that I would be as open with the people around me as I could, that I would leave the fear at home and that I would try to make a change right then and there in my life. I need to love myself as freely as I do my friends and family.  I need to be gentle with myself and nurture my own growth as much as I do in others.

I needed this get away so badly.  I was lucky to be with the kindest, most fun people at our campsite.  I didn't talk about work or school with any of them unless they asked.  I basically focused on being in the moment and enjoyed living in a more minimalistic way.  I had everything I needed right there at that camp site and I was more than spoiled by their hilarious ways and the awesome music.  

And somehow, now that I'm back, all I want to do is focus on ways to make the future better.  Thank God for vacations! I'm a lucky gal!

Now for some pictures!!!

Main Stage

This fence reminded me of "Where the Wild Things Are."

Backwoods Stage - Loved the Awnings!

This was on the front of a truck down the row from our campsite.

Hipstamatic Ferris Wheel

Love these awesome ladies! They are so kind and fun!

Ah Kayti.  I can always count on you for a giggle.

Jarad and Mick! 

Hanging at the campsite while it was too hot during the day to do much else.

Home Sweet Home

Colleen the Glow Queen

Ross the Glow King

I thought these guys were great!

Ross did great things with glow connectors!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PAF and Waka! - part 2

Well, last week was crazy!!! That's putting it mildly too.  The Paseo Arts Festival was a success! I learned a LOT about  running a stage, scheduling the music and things that I would do differently next year.  I don't have a lot of time to go into it now because I'm still getting everything packed for my camping trip at Wakarusa! I can't wait for this get away.  The music is going to be great, the people will be so much fun and I need this vacation more than anything right now!  So for the time being, I'll just say that I'm excited and grateful and will catch up with pictures when I get back!

It's finally summer for me! Yipppppppeeeeeee!!!!!!