Monday, November 16, 2009

College 101

One of our favorite people, Andrea, is in her second year at OU.  She's kinda like my surrogate teenage daughter.  She's definitely like Bridget's big sister.

This past Saturday was "Family Day" at OU.  Andrea invited us up and Bridget and I jumped at the chance!

When we arrived, we met Andrea at her boyfriend's house as it was a convenient place to leave the car since we'd be walking all over the campus.  Bridget got her first idea of what, um, well, there's no polite way to put it, PIGS college-age boys can be.  Thankfully, most of them grow out of it.  Bridget's eyes grew round as saucers when we went into the house, and I could tell she was politely fighting the urge to pinch her nose.  Thankfully, The Boyfriend is much tidier than his housemates and was happy to show us that his room was definitely liveable.  This guy has potential.  And a puppy.  So that made it all OK in Bridget's eyes.  Even though they'd shaved their fraternity letters into the puppy's side.

What a beautiful fall day it was, and what a great day to see the campus.  The leaves are turning and blowing, there was the classic fall nip in the air, and OU would be playing A&M later that night so there were plenty of crimson clad fans all over the campus.  There were tailgate parties, live bands, and many campus organizations had events organized all over campus for the day.

Our first stop on campus was the Kappa house.  Andrea pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma this year and they were hosting a BBQ for Family Day.  Bridget really enjoyed the tour of the house, she thought it would be really fun to live in a mansion with all your friends.

Bridget took this shot of Andrea and her mom, Lori, in front of
the Kappa house.  Lori is like my sis.

Andrea had fun introducing her "little sister" to all her sorority sisters,
and especially showing them Bridget's t-shirt.

After the Kappa house, we toured the rest of the campus.  The architecture is gorgeous and it has that classic college feel.

This is the main library complete with gargoyles!

The interior of the library is just as stunning as the outside!

The reading room of the library made
Bridget feel like she was at Hogwarts!

Bridget took this photo of the stairwell in the
College of Journalism, where Andrea spends most of her time.

All in all, it was a gorgeous day to be in Oklahoma!  Thank you, Lori, for sharing your wonderful daughter with us.  Thank you, Andrea, for taking so much time out of your busy day to host us!  We had a wonderful time!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Journey

"Oh lordy, I see a new journey in our future," were my last words of this blog post.

The journey continues.  I remember phoning my sister, who has MUCH more performance art experience than I.  I was worried about the disappointments, the rejections.  The stress of it all.  Auditions, performances, etc.  The drama.  My sister advised me to "enjoy the journey."  It is a journey and here are some highlights.

At the end of last year, Bridget's music teacher suggested she try out for the All District Honor Choir.  Each school could only send a limited number of kids to the tryouts.  Our school's music teacher worked with her chosen few for weeks.  Vocal instruction, pitch practice, confidence.  Once you were selected by your school, the odds of making the choir were about 1:4.  Making the choir is a huge commitment. Oh, and an honor too.  I was only worried about the commitment.

Bridget did not make the Honor Choir.  She was disappointed but she handled it really well with minimal tears and hand-wringing.  She was genuinely happy for her two friends that did make it, but had trouble talking about it.  The good news here is that because she went so far in the audition process, she did NOT have to try out for her school choir.  She got a "golden ticket" to skip that.  Thank goodness.

The choir is doing a Christmas Performance.  Bridget tried out for a part instead of just being in the chorus.  She rehearsed.  She fantasized about costumes.  She built imaginary casts of all her best friends side by side performing the special parts.

She did not get a special part.  There was crying.  Their was prostrating of the body on the floor.  Huge, gulping sobs.  The declaration that she "sees right through that!" when telling me that instead of a special, solo part, she was put on the "confetti team" to toss confetti during part of the performance.  More sobbing.

Oh lordy.  Isn't the journey fun?

Her school produces a music CD every year.  Each grade performs, the school choir performs, a few selected soloists perform.

Bridget tried out for a solo part.

Oh lordy.

She brought home a CD of songs to rehearse.  Like all her tryouts before, she refused to let us hear her sing.   She rehearsed ALL the songs and finally selected the one she would use for the audition.  There was fantasizing about seeing her name in print on the CD cover.  Fantasizing about getting selected to sing her particular favorite song.  Stress on the morning of auditions.

I was the last mommy to pick up after auditions.  The choir teacher came out to chat with me and I jokingly said "Can I slip ya a C-note to make sure my daughter gets a part?"  The teacher smiled, winked at me, and said Bridget could sleep easy tonight.

The results were posted the next day.  Bridget will be a soloist, performing the first verse of her particular favorite song.  So, with last year's talent show, Honor Choir tryouts, Christmas show auditions, and CD soloist auditions, she's batting .500 on this journey.

Your holiday CD can be pre-ordered by leaving a note on this blog and are $10.  You, too can be a part of this journey and say "I knew her when..."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crazy Weekend

Aidan's vomiting pumpkin 
This was my kind of weekend.

The highlight was a visit from Kelli. Thanks, Kelli, for making the trek to The Republic of Texas and hanging with us. As I was tucking him in last night, Aidan sleepily said, "Kelli is my good luck charm" because he had such a fun weekend.

After the kids got out of school Friday, we headed to the pumpkin patch. It's a yearly ritual and it was left so late because it's been raining for the last 40 days. But the skies cleared 1 hour before Kelli's plane landed, the Texas prairie and woods were in all their beautiful fall glory. The kids played in the hay maze, and did all the other stuff and we selected our pumpkins and headed home.
After the pumpkin patch it was time to get on our fancy duds (the clean jeans) and head out to dinner. Another marvelous dinner at our new favorite restaurant, the Lonesome Dove Bistro. Just love seeing Picky Boy order rabbit off the menu and I enjoyed my elk sausage and foie gras sliders. Then we sauntered down the street to the Stockyards Rodeo for a couple of hours or bull ridin', ropin' and watching the kids participate in the Calf Scramble.

Saturday dawned early for Aidan and I as usual, and he headed off to swim practice and a team Halloween party. Kelli got to accompany Bridget to her riding lesson. It was a crisp fall morning, and she got out of the car at the barn, looked around, and said "Am I in heaven?" Yeah, that's exactly how Bridget and I feel about the barn. Especially on a glorious fall day like that. She had so much fun watching Bridget work with Cherry Bomb and watching the psychology play out among the other riders and their horses too. I left the two of them to attend other errands and they finished their morning with a visit to the tack shop and lunch at the local Mexican restaurant.

Once we all rendez-voused at the house, we began what was probably the busiest and craziest 8 hours since this weekend. Ray, Kelli and the kids pulled out all the Halloween decorations and proceeded to turn our place into The Scariest House in the 'Hood. I started rolling dough to make my soft pretzel amputated finger hors d'oeuvres. We carved pumpkins and crimped Bridget's hair.

4:30 and the festivities began! We hit the first party of the evening, and it was a hoot to watch the Daddy Squad play football. Ray even got grass stains on his knees. We abandoned Bridget there and moved on to the next party where we stayed until dusk. Ray, Kelli and I then quickly ran back home and got all the strobes, torches, black lights, candles and scary music fired up before the Parade of Trailers began.
Since we live in a semi-rural area with no sidewalks or street lights, the best and safest way to get the kids around is in hay-filled trailers. There are several that slowly make their way through the streets, attended by a flotilla of golf carts. All vehicles sport lights, streamers and other Halloween decorations.
We three big people had fun answering the door and seeing the little one's reactions to all our scary decorations. It's fun to sit in the dark dining room and watch them tenatively make their way up the walk. Kelli and I would hand candy to the kids while Ray would ferry trays of absinthe shots out to the adults.

Once Bridget's trailer arrived, Kelli and I abandoned Ray to accompany the trailer to it's second-to-last stop of the evening, a Very Posh Horse Barn where we all went in and gave the perplexed horses treats and loves. The stop at the Very Posh Horse Barn gives Mr. Haunted House Guy time to get the last stop of the evening prepared for our arrival.

On to Mr. Haunted House Guy's place for a tour through his foggy, spooky place. By this time, the trick-or-treaters were done and Ray had caught us up. Then back to the party for the Great Candy Swap and way too many sugar-loaded kids.

Then back home to collapse.