Monday, June 30, 2008

AKC in OKC and so much more...

**The pictures here are from my cell phone camera so please excuse the poor quality**

I'll get to the title in a minute...

You know when you have SO much to blog about that you almost don't want to start? Well, hang on to your seats people, because this may be a mini-novel!

It all starts Friday morning. It was Rough, yes that's with a capital "R", for personal reasons that I will not share at this point, but just know it was frustrating, disappointing, sad, and just overall not a good time for Richard and me. So, he leaves for work and I am left alone in a quiet house with only my thoughts; not my favorite choice.

I have been telling Richard I really wanted to go on vacation for a while now, probably the last six months, but I meant I really wanted to vacation; i.e. Hawaii like my fellow blogger Kelly and her husband, or somewhere equally tropical would suffice. He kept putting it off, saying he couldn't take time off of work, we weren't going to be able to do it this summer, etc...

Well, Friday morning I said it again, and he said we could go camping over the extended 4th of July weekend. I couldn't wait that long (yes a week was too long at this point).

So, secretly, in an effort to surprise him, and because I knew we needed a getaway of some sort, be it short or long, I started planning. I didn't want the typical Lubbock or Amarillo trip so I started first looking at lodges and things that were more remote. That didn't pan out, so I landed on Oklahoma City. I have heard many of my friends talking about how great Bricktown is and how they all wanted to go. So, after much investigation, talking to my SIL Amy and getting some advice, and a little bit of prayer, I dove in head first and booked us a room for two nights at the Sheraton downtown OKC, a block from Bricktown.

I went to Wal-Mart to get the oil changed for the trip, picked up a card for Rich as my means of telling him about the surprise trip, and headed home. I cleaned the house and got everything packed except for some of his clothes I knew he would want to do himself. He was in Amarillo all day with a friend, picking up a horse, and I kept calling and asking when he would be home.

He finally got home, found his card, opened it, got a little misty-eyed (but don't tell anyone I said that), and said he was going to pack.

We left C-town about 8:00 Friday night so we didn't get to OKC until after 11:00 but it didn't matter. We checked in, settled in, and woke up the next morning already more relaxed and ready to see downtown OKC.

Well, here's the AKC part. AKC is American Kennel Club, as in the prestigious dog membership club you see on Animal Planet, ESPN sometimes. When I was in elementary/jr. high school I was in dog obedience in 4-H and showed a miniature schnauzer named Pepe. So, I've always loved dog shows! The OKC Summer AKC show just happened to be at the Cox Convention Center which was literally a walk across the street from our hotel! Woo hoo (I know, I'm SO dorky but I love it)! Richard, bless his sweet manly heart, indulged me and paid the $7 TWICE, so I could see the schnauzers and experience a real dog show...this is the big leagues, people! ;)

And, although he might deny it, he actually did like it once he was there. And the mini-schnauzers were the CUTEST little shotzies you've ever seen! I wanted to take them home with me! If you were watching it on ESPN, I was the crazy girl in the turquoise skirt taking pictures with my cell phone camera!

I got a little ahead of myself there.

Before we left for OKC, I made Richard check our fence twice because I was so paranoid to leave the dogs in the backyard. Remember, two weeks ago we had a tornado here and it blew down our fence. While we wait for it to be rebuilt, it is just propped up with posts and holes are plugged with bricks and pieces of wood so the girls can't get out. Well, I was so worried and the whole way up to OKC, I kept saying to Rich, "Please just tell me they're going to be okay. Please tell me they aren't going to get out and the fence won't blow down. I just need you to tell me that." Of course he did, and it would make me feel better briefly, but I couldn't shake this nagging feeling that something wasn't right. One of my BFF's, Donna, was coming over twice a day to check on them and I wasn't worried about that part...just the fence issues.

Fast forward to 6:30 Saturday morning. My cell phone starts ringing and I KNEW it wasn't good. I answer a strange number, and the man on the other end says, "Uh, yes maam, I have Maggie and Marlee here with me," and my heart just sank. Turns out he was the foreman on a construction project with TXDOT and Rich knew him. But what freaked me out was the girls had run ACROSS Hwy 287 to get there! Oh.My.Goodness. I about died.

So, I had to call my MIL at 6:30 a.m. and have her go into town and get the girls and bring them home. She just left them inside. Meanwhile, poor Donna had come to the house after her early morning run to find the dogs gone and she started looking for 45 minutes not knowing that my MIL was taking care of it. Poor thing. I know she almost had a heart attack because she told me so! Turns out a small piece of the fence had blown down sometime in the night or early that morning...we had gone over a week with no problems and the DAY we leave, it falls down...figures!

So, puppy fiasco averted, we start our day with breakfast in the hotel restaurant and then decide to do some shopping. We hit Target and Mardel and then found some other places to peruse, as well. We had lunch at Cici's (which we love and miss from College Station), spent a lot of time that day looking for flip flops for Rich. We did go to the dog show, and were able to watch the group judging in the big ring. It was so cool! After a rest back in the room, we headed to Bricktown and the movies to see Love Guru. Don't do it. So dumb. Funny at times, but so dumb. What did I expect you are asking? I know. But now I can warn you. Maybe a renter, but not a theater movie.

After the movies, we walked over to get some dinner. Have you ever heard of The Way of the Master? I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago while perusing the web. It is a ministry started by Kirk Cameron. Anyway, part of the ministry involves them going into the streets and asking people questions about sin and salvation. It is really interesting and you can go here to see some of the videos. Anyway, on our way to dinner, we saw something across the river that was attracting a crowd and as I strained to listen I recognized the questions the guy was asking as those from The Way of the Master website. You can't see it very well, but the guy in orange is asking questions and the lady he's asking is standing in front of him. The recording equipment is to the side of him. Check it out if you have a chance. So, Bricktown is the sweetest little area. It is literally a miniature version of the San Antonio Riverwalk, from the canal, to the restaurants/bars along the canal, to the river barges/booze cruise/dinner cruises, to the bridges to walk from side to side. We found a restaurant with live music (a great 3-man cover band that sang only mid-80's to mid-90's alternative rock...awesome), called Jazmoz Bourbon St. Cafe.

It was a Creole style place and we had alligator bites for appetizers and stuffed shrimp for dinner...and we sat outside on the canal so we could see the boats passing and watch the people. It was amazing! Afterwards we hit Starbucks, walked to the end of the riverwalk where we saw this beautiful fountain and mosaic-tiled wall, and then back to the hotel.

I highly recommend Bricktown if you need a little getaway for some R&R! It was perfect! We laughed more this weekend than I have in a long time!

Sunday, we checked out and headed back to the dog show because we had missed the schnauzers the day before.

Then, we started out of town, but stopped at Circuit City to look around. Friday on our way to OKC I had, in frustration, mentioned to Rich that I forgot my camera. He said, "You know, we've talked for the last year about getting a new one, let's go look." I was so excited, I just grinned. So, Sunday, we look and because this could turn into a VERY long story, we end up finding a GREAT deal on a Sony Cybershot, exactly the kind of camera I wanted. After some negotiating on my hubby's part (I'm so proud he is able to do that, because he can find or make a deal on anything; sometimes I'm thinking, 'hello, this is America, you don't barter at Hobby Lobby!' But he seems to get us good deals on things all the time from trucks, to lawn mowers, to crafts at Hobby Lobby and now on a camera. Let's just say we ended up getting this camera about 50% off (it was already on clearance then we got another $30 off).

So, that's how we drove home...Rich driving, me with my new camera in my lap practicing, reading and playing. Oh, and we just HAD to stop at Carl's Jr. for a burger on our way out of town. I don't really get the appeal, but I was happy to oblige R because he was excited about it!

Whew...I told you it would be long!

But, I do want to end by bringing this all back to the One who deserves the credit for a great weekend. The Lord knew my needs, and knew our needs as a couple, and He allowed us to connect in ways we haven't EVER, and in other ways we haven't in a long time. We laughed, and laughed and laughed and were really like newlyweds again; we were able to focus on one another without the distractions of computers, cell phones, home repairs, horses/cattle, work, etc...

So, I pray that you will find YOUR Bricktown and reconnect.


  1. Yay! I've checked this a hundred times today, eager beaver to hear about how it all panned out!

    Well, for now my Bricktown will have to happen via Skype, but we did have a wonderful weekend sans computers/phones/showers (so not all of it was rosy!) right before Will left.

  2. I am so glad that y'all had a great trip... There really is nothing better than just getting away with the one person that you love the most...even if it is just to Amarillo....We just went to Amarillo Sunday to pick out all of our stuff for the house...THAT WAS DESTROYED and HAD TO BE REPAIRED....and had one of the best days for a long time...just getting away is the best...I have been meaning to take Toby to OKC...I think I am just going to have to plan it like you did as a surprise...I am so happy for your weekend...thanks for sharing your story...don't let it end....

  3. Ohh Charlie...You and the Rich needed time away...I don't know details but I know that the Lord has given you what you needed and I am so thankful for that.....You mean the world to me and I would walk on fire for you....Thanks for letting me keep the pups...LOVE THEM...(someday I'll tell you the whole story of the little lost dogs!!) Just thankful they were found. I am so glad Bricktown was the answer for you guys...You two deserve it!

  4. Glad you had a great trip. Greg and I were able to have a mini vacation when my mom took the baby for the night and we went to a movie. Hope you have a great rest of the week!


  5. Thanks for my new background--I love it. Glad to get the "whole" story about the weekend. Lots of love!

  6. I'm glad y'all had a good trip. Maybe I can sneak Ryan away for a weekend!! Glad your girls are ok too!!

  7. Hey Charla! It's your bloggy friend, Jennifer, from Bible study. I am so glad you had a chance to reconnect with your hubby this weekend! You obviously needed a time of refreshing and renewing, and I am thrilled that you got it! I can understand that myself...we've lost our connectedness many times because of parenting. I am making a goal for us within the next year to take a couple trip. Not FAMILY, BUT COUPLE. Notice the all caps. I mean business, girl.

    I am glad you and hubby made it home safe! God bless and Happy Tuesday!!!

    Jennifer :)

  8. I am so glad that you guys had a great trip. You deserved that time together. Hope your week is off to a great start! What email do you check regularly? will you send it to me...
    hang in there, Char!
    What a wonderful wife you are!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing in the amazingly honest way that you do! I don't think there is a married woman out there that doesn't understand the need to reconnect with their spouse; no matter what trials they are going through. No matter what the issues are, God was able to bring you through and that much you know for sure. You both obviously needed this trip and it was provided. God is good girl! Love and Prayers ~ Kristy

  10. Charla, I am so glad you had time to reconnect. That is more precious than gold. You are loved!

  11. I see what you mean about grey hairs in ugly shoes> heheheheheh

  12. ok cowgirl, where are you? your Pops was just bragging to your aunt and uncle about getting daily updates on your blog....... are you busy painting???

  13. Glad to hear about your trip with McHotterson...the AKC thing is such a great story...reminds me of the movie "Dog Show"??? I hope after the fabulous weekend you are feeling much better. I miss miss miss our daily discussions in first period and can't wait to have lunch with you again...maybe this next week? Love ya, BFF and talk to you soon.


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