Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tomorrow's going to be a fun day

So I get to spend several hours tomorrow hosting an international celebrity on campus. I will be picking him up from the airport early in the afternoon and will be by his side for the rest of the day.

I'm not really nervous, but I've been thinking... "how do you make small talk with someone who worked side by side with the President of the United States of America?" Is there anything I can really say that he will find interesting? Everything I read about the guy says that he's very down to earth, and laid back so (like I said) I'm not really nervous, but I do want him to leave with a positive impression of Oklahoma, OC, and his time here.

The last person I did this kind of thing for ended up coming back to OC a few years later to work. While the chances of that happening with this guy are slim to none, it would be pretty cool to have someone who worked in the White House working at the same place I do.

I wonder if his people (or mine for that matter) would mind if I took a little detour between the airport and campus tomorrow to give him a little mini-tour of all the exciting things Oklahoma City has to offer. I probably won't be doing that, but if you read this and have any suggestions on "fun" little side-trips to take or any must-see OKC landmarks, let me know.

I'll be sure to post a re-cap of the day (possibly including pictures) tomorrow or Friday after it's all over. Have a great Thursday... I know I will.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Bedlam Game Day!

UH OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that's better! :)
The Bedlam Santas
The ponies during their retirement ceremony
Drum majors last home game march for the season

My friend Michelle from OSU (we were both cheering for OU!)
Victory after the game!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving! In thirty minutes the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will begin. This is one of my favorites at Thanksgiving time. This Thanksgiving is turning out a little different. Yesterday morning Michael's Dad, Alan, passed out at work several times and went to the hospital. They're not sure what's going on with him, but they decided to keep him overnight because every time he stood up his blood pressure dropped 20-30 points. While there Michael passed out and threw up a few times so I brought him home, and then his mom got nauseated and sick. As of this morning I am officially hosting Thanksgiving at my house as it is close to the hospital! The Mitchell's are dropping like flies...whose going down next?!

Well I don't have much time, but some things I am Thankful for:
1. God who is so faithful to me
2. Michael
3. Family
3. great food (we will probably consume more food today in America than some small nations do in a month!)
5. a house to randomly host thanksgiving in
6. a reliable car
7. great friends
8. the gift of sleep
9. the opportunities I have had, and being able to go to school
10. and a hundred more that I don't have time to write because I gotta get ready to host thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

P.S. Anonymous comments will be deleted

Apparently one of my recent posts is getting the blog quite a bit of traffic from Google. A lot of those visitors have felt the need to leave comments which is no big deal. However, they are doing them anonymously, which I am not a fan of. If you comment, please don't do it anonymously. One of the great things about blogs is there potential for creating connections with and dialogue between people. It's pretty hard to connect or have a dialogue with someone if you don't know who they are.

Things I'm thankful for this year:

•A gracious and loving God who desperately wants a relationship with me and who is always faithful to me no matter what.

•A wife who's quiet inner strength, compassion, and love (for me and others) inspires me daily. I stole this phrase from someone else, but that doesn't make it any less genuine: I honestly feel like I won the lottery when I married my wife.

Parents. Throughout my life, they have always supported me, always loved me, and always provided what was best for me. The older I get, the more I appreciate these two people and the better friends I become with both of them.

Friends and family. Despite the fact that we all lead extremely busy lives and could all make more time to deepen our relationships with each other, I couldn't ask for better people to share a circle of friends and family with. I can count on one hand the times in my life when I've ever felt truly alone.

Education. Both AM and I have had great opportunities and access to all of the education that we've needed and wanted up to this point in our lives and no one can ever take that away from us. In less than a month, AM will complete a graduate degree that will enable her to pursue one of her lifelong goals to be a therapist. I'm also thankful to God that we have not lost our capacity or desire to learn despite our formal education.

Work. I work for Godly people who let me make a significant impact on the direction of an organization whose mission is to transform lives for Christian faith, leadership and service. I know a lot of people who hate what they do for a living and I'm truly blessed to be in a job that allows me to use my strengths and creativity to bless the lives of others (albeit indirectly at times) while also allowing me to provide for the physical needs of my family.

Food and shelter. A lot of people (even in my own city) lack these two basic needs. I'm not sure why God has made them available to me, but I can't make a list of things I'm thankful for without including them.

Safety. When was the last time a grenade went off in my living room? While the community that I live in is certainly not immune to crime, it could always be worse, and in many people's lives around the world... it is.

Reliable transportation. I always take this one for granted, that is... until it goes away.

Health. I realize that I'm young and sure I get the occasional congestion, cough, cold, headache, or backache, but all in all, my life up to this point has really been pretty un-problematic in the health department.

Change. Most people don't like change, and to a certain extent, I'm sure I don't always like it either. Often times change is difficult and scary and even when a specific change is good, there is always something familiar that is lost or left behind. However... nothing causes me to grow and appreciate all of the blessings in my life more than change. I look forward to the ways that God will use change to both stretch and bless my life in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

This list could go on and on... the very fact that I have access to a computer and the time to sit down and write a blog post on things I'm thankful for is, in and of itself, A WHOLE LOT for which to be thankful. However, there are other things that I'd like to do this evening and so I will end what is already, even as I look back over it to correct any spelling or grammar errors, a very incomplete list.

Psalm 34: 17-19

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"OKC Police arrest alumni relations director"... and it wasn't me.

Someone at work sent me a link to this story that ran in the Edmond Sun today. All I can say is... this is what happens when you get sloppy.
John A. Williams
The Edmond Sun
EDMOND The University of Central Oklahoma’s Executive Director of Alumni Relations was arrested last week on a complaint of shoplifting.

Stacy McNeiland, 36, of Edmond was taken into custody Nov. 5 by the loss prevention officer at the J.C. Penny store at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City.

According to an Oklahoma City Police report, the loss prevention officer allegedly saw McNeiland enter the store with what appeared to be an empty brown bag.

The officer told police she observed McNeiland allegedly select five items from the women’s department and enter a fitting room. She said McNeiland allegedly come out of the fitting room and hung up only four items on the courtesy rack.

The officer said she checked the stall after McNeiland left and allegedly found the discarded tag from one of the blouses she had picked up. According to the police report, McNeiland left the area and went to the fashion jewelry department before exiting.

The loss prevention officer escorted McNeiland back into the store. The police report states the concealed blouse was in the paper bag McNeiland was carrying. She was arrested and taken to the Oklahoma County Jail, the report states.

McNeiland was named to her current position in 2004 after working in the Office of Prospective Student Services/Scholarships.

“She is a longtime dedicated, excellent employee, but is now on paid administrative leave through next Wednesday,” UCO News Bureau Director Charlie Johnson said. “This will allow her time to deal with these allegations and will also allow UCO time to evaluate the situation as the facts become available."

I wonder if it was the pressure of homecoming that got to her?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

Bridesmaids and Bride at the bridesmaid lunch

My cousins Autumn(who came in from California) and Heidi (who came from New Zealand)

Before the wedding

Heidi and little lady picker

Our family at the rehearsal dinner

Our family with Mr. and Mrs. Roberts

Well...Michael and I survived our very busy weekend! The wedding was beautiful and everything went well, as did OC's homecoming (which is a HUGE weight off Michael). Hooray for Sunday night! A night we have been looking forward to for a while. We are so excited that David is officially part of the family now...we have felt that he already was for quite some time. Marriage has been such a blessing to us and I am looking forward to watching David and Heather grow in their marriage. It was so fun to see so much of my family this weekend. I was excited to see the Pickers since they have been in New Zealand for the last year and a half. Heidi is 6 months pregnant and she is looking so beautiful. I got to feel the little lady Picker kick this morning in church! So fun!

Michael's big events are wrapped up until OC's baccalaureate and graduation in December. He will be escorting Tony Snow around at the end of the month and is looking forward to that opportunity. Everyone knows what I have going on the next couple I won't even go there... The days are flying by which are turning into weeks. Soon we will be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade (my dream is to be there some day), having Mitchell tree decorating night, celebrating Christmas, and ringing in the New Year. 2007 has been a year of great blessings.

On another note, my grandad Hartman is not doing very well. He will be having surgery this Tuesday morning, so please keep him in your prayers.

Duet. 32:3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
I am so grateful to God for blessing our weekend in every way! Now I am off to bed for some MUCH needed sleep. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

One week closer...

I am so relieved to have this week over. (Clinically speaking I am finished on Thursday night). This has been a really difficult week. Sometimes I really have to work to separate myself from listening to things that people experience that are so horrible I don't know how they function in the aftermath. I wish I could be guaranteed that I would never have to make another call to DHS, deal with lawyers, and that every one would be ready to make the life changes they need to. But realistically I know there will be more calls to DHS, hard days, and people who are just not ready to overcome things. Although there are hard times there are also very rewarding times. This week I have definitely appreciated even more serving such a faithful and compassionate God. I have taken refuge in one of my favorite verses this week "Be still and KNOW that I am God" Ps. 46:10. Again and and again God reveals to me in my weakness he is strong and in my darkest hour he is my light.

As of tonight I have made it to 402 out of my 500 hours!!!!!!! Every week I am getting closer to graduation...and more importantly, to my dream. My brother and sister were not always sure what they wanted to be, but I think around 3rd grade I started saying I wanted to be a counselor. Other than being a weird kid, (I mean I did want to be a walmart cashier too because I thought it was cool to punch numbers on the cash register, but now they have those fancy scanners so that isn't as appealing) I have always known generally what I wanted to do. It is looking like I will have a few weeks to finish up my hours after graduation, but I am planning on walking and finishing before the next semester begins so I don't have to re-enroll. I made a plan this week of what I need to do each week to have my thesis finished before Christmas. I have decided this would be the best Christmas/birthday present I could give myself. Next week when I go to Stillwater I will buy my cap and gown...I am so excited I might sleep in it! :) It is hard to believe I am so close to my dream and so close to officially being a marriage and family therapist.

Homecoming Videos

My office sponsored a contest at OC and asked students to produce videos to be shown at Homecoming Chapel to our alumni about the University. Below are the top three... which one do you think should win?

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3