Don’t Miss It

April 20, 2015

Submitted by April Blogger of the Month, Katherine Mason

There’s a phrase in the sport of rowing called “missing water.” It’s where you extend your oar like any normal pre-stroke recovery and just before you drop the blade into the water to take a stroke, you hesitate a bit. Most novice rowers don’t realize they’re doing it, but it’s a common thing to do. It’s bad, by the way. You don’t want to miss water. When you “miss water” you lose valuable speed for the boat. Experienced rowers work diligently at perfecting this, along with their timing, form, and about 3.5 million other things that challenge rowers one stroke after the next.

I used to row competitively. It was, hands down, the most rewarding sport and commitment that I’ve ever been a part of. Rowing taught me lessons in life that I still to this day find parallels to. “Missing water” is just one of them. It’s also called “hesitating at the catch.”

So you’re probably like “Cool story, Kath….soooo…what does this have to do with this month’s theme, ‘renew,’ and where’s the parallel here?”

I’m so glad you asked ☺.

I went running yesterday and realized that I hesitate a bit before I plant my foot on the ground after each stride. It immediately reminded me about how important not hesitating at the catch in rowing was to me back in my rowing life…and then it hit me…I’m missing it! I’m missing my opportunity not only to improve my stride, but to improve my strength, and ultimately my speed.

This post isn’t an attempt to tell you how to row or run. If it helps with either of those – sweet! Instead, it’s simply a suggestion on how to not miss the opportunities in life; to not hesitate when you know you have something good, something beautiful in front of you that can better you if you choose to learn from it. That’s where my “I love life” book comes in. It helps me not to “miss it.”

My “I love life” book is an endless list that I started back in high school after picking up the book 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, by Barbara Ann Kipfer. HIGHLY recommended little coffee table book, by the way. I keep it on my desk at work. It’s literally what it sounds like: a list of 14,000 things that the author has documented as making her happy. How brilliant of her! In its simplest form, life is celebrated just as it should be – through both the little and big things that make her happy. I adore this book, y’all; so much that I started my own years ago. After years throughout high school, college, my post-college years in Seattle, Chestertown, and Washington, D.C., and of course…falling in love and life as a married woman – it’s all there. Things that make me happy. I got up to 1,500 things before our move out West here to Oklahoma and guess what – I lost the book in the move. I was so sad.

That won’t stop me though, no ma’am. I recently bought a new journal from Barnes & Noble and started making my list. Here…I’ll let you peak at a few pages just to give you an idea of what I’ve included:

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IMG_9535So now, it’s your turn. I dare you to start your own “I love life” (or whatever you wanna call it) book/list so that you don’t miss it; the little things surrounding you and ultimately propel you into well-deserved happiness. In this month’s theme of “renew,” I promise you that it’s one of the most rewarding daily practices where you keep yourself accountable for your own happiness, embrace each day, and keep track of true goodness wherever you are. Now…in true Katherine-post style…I’d like to hear about your happiness! Please reply to this post in a comment and list 5 things (or more…go crazy if you want!) that make you happy. I can’t wait to read them!

Happy listing, ladies!

April blogger of the monthKatherine Mason is the owner/freelance writer for Newlie Creative, LLC and author to her blog, “Newlie.” By day she works in Admissions at Clary Sage College in Tulsa. She was born in Charlotte, NC, grew up near Philadelphia, PA, and is a proud graduate of Washington College in MD.

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Sunday Potluck

April 19, 2015

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This weekend I have been taking advantage of the gerogous weather we have been having.  Newsletters and blog posts seem to just flow from the tips of my fingers with a slight breeze at my back and a carpet of green at my feet.  What have you been up to?

It’s Sunday Potluck time!  Use the linky to add your post(s) from the week.  Don’t forget to visit someone else’s blog and give them some comment love. You never know the new connections you could make.



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The Oklahoma Standard

April 16, 2015

Contributed by OKWB community member Mari Farthing

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It was an event whose impact was felt far and wide, which reached to all corners of our country and even beyond.

After the attack, the people of Oklahoma committed to healing. To help where help was needed. To give—and then give more—to those in need. This terrible act allowed the best part of humanity to shine through, something that’s being celebrated this year as The Oklahoma Standard.OKStandardCommit

The Oklahoma Standard consists of 3 parts:

  • Service: Help someone in need.
  • Honor: Show honor to those directly impacted by visiting the Memorial.
  • Kindness: Be kind to others.

These acts can be small to big, and all of them are necessary. We all hear about how random acts of kindness make someone’s day—this is a way to incorporate that into everyday life. I love this program and how my children are responding to it. You can sign up at The Oklahoma Standard site, and download a badge to show your commitment.

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 The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

One of the parts of the Oklahoma Standard includes a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which serves the dual purpose of honoring those who were directly impacted by the bombing and to educate new generations about how that event turned into a story of hope and healing.

I took my kids to visit the Memorial—they have been aware of it, and have even visited it before, but they are older now, and have a more full awareness of why it exists. It’s a somber place, but also hopeful. A place of meditation and contemplation. We visited on a drizzly Saturday but managed to get there during a break in the weather.

We talked about what happened, about how it changed things, about what it means to honor.

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Visiting the Survivor Tree

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Cloudy, clear reflection

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We didn’t visit the museum on this visit, but we did go into the museum store. I picked up an Oklahoma Standard bracelet for $5 and my daughter picked up a pin to leave at the fence in honor of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Eat Local: Irma’s Burger Shack

Just down the road from the Memorial is Midtown, home of a wonderful revitalization that includes many local eateries. One of my favorites that’s been around for more than a few years is Irma’s Burger Shack. The original Irma’s opened on 63rd near Western in 2003, and the Midtown location at Plaza Court, just a 15 minute walk from the MVersion 2emorial.

This part of town is hopping busy during the week, but on a weekend during the day, traffic is lighter and it might be easier to get a seat at one of the restaurants around the area.

If you choose to drive, you get to do laps in the traffic circle… or maybe that’s just me. I’ve had many different items on the menu and have never been disappointed—the only problem we seem to have is not ordering too much food. We chose to start with fried pickles and fried okra and both were awesomely hot, crispy and delicious.

The kids complained about their kid-sized drink cups, but the refills were frequent and plentiful, so that quieted down quickly.

A few other must-visit places in the area include:

  • Verdigris, on 7th St between Walker and Hudson. A shop first opened by two sisters, you won’t leave this shop without finding something you can’t find anywhere else, from antiques to art pieces.
  • Bleu Garten on 10th between Harvey and Hudson, which is like an al fresco food truck court. Their website has a schedule of what food trucks will be available when.
  • The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which includes permanent exhibits and special exhibits, is just a bit south on Couch Drive between Walker and Hudson.

IMG_7704Mari Farthing is a writer and editor in the Oklahoma City area. She blogs about all the things at MariFarthing.com and likes to spend her free time creating things, enjoying things and traveling with her husband & two kids.

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181 Miles. 12 Girls. 1 Journey

April 13, 2015

Contributed by April Blogger of the Month, Katherine Mason This past weekend I ran in a relay race in Southern California called a “Ragnar Relay.” Ever heard of it? Ragnar Relay races are all over the nation and consist of teams with 12 runners split up into 2 vans. As a team they run nearly […]

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Sunday Potluck

April 12, 2015

Sunday Potluck time!  This week after you link up your post(s) from the week please consider giving your fellow Oklahoma bloggers some comment love.  Click on the post in front of yours, go see what they have been up to, and leave them a comment.  Oklahoma Women Bloggers is all about growing community and supporting […]

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Meet Our April BOM: Katherine Mason

April 7, 2015

Contributed by Stephanie Clinton, OKWB Community Manager A new month for Oklahoma Women Bloggers and that means a new theme, new ideas and a new Blogger of the Month. Our theme for April is “Renew” and how perfect is that for the month when the earth seems to be turning itself inside out?  Just when […]

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Renew Your Senses

April 6, 2015

Contributed by April Blogger of the Month, Katherine Mason I just love this month’s theme: renew. The word alone packs a powerful dose of meaning for me, and I imagine for you too. Sometimes we don’t even know that our souls needed to be renewed, while other times a renewal is an answer to a […]

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Sunday Potluck

April 5, 2015

It’s Sunday again and you know what that means for OKWB…Sunday Potluck.  This particular Sunday may have been filled with potluck.  I don’t know about you but my house was filled with family and their Easter offerings; deviled eggs, carrot salad, french bread, buttermilk pound cake, pork roast.  (okay, the last two may have been […]

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Why I Blog

March 30, 2015

Contributed by Blogger of the Month Peggy Chambers This week was Palm Sunday—the beginning of the most holy of all days in the Christian faith. It celebrates the day that Jesus walked into Jerusalem as a hero, only to be crucified by the end of the week. It is a new beginning to Christians everywhere […]

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Sunday Potluck

March 29, 2015

Guidelines for the Oklahoma Women Bloggers Sunday Potluck Link up your favorite post from the previous week. The purpose of our weekly link party is to gather and connect with one another, so please visit your neighbors’ blogs in the link up! If you are not yet a member of OWB,please sign up. We want […]

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