Posts tagged friends
house wine + s'mores

Once upon a time I made a happy hour date with an Oklahoma girl named Emily. She’s a small town Oklahoma girl who happened to move to Austin the same weekend as the Haney team. On this particular Friday (ahem, last Friday), I was somehow granted an easy commute. Basically, an Austin miracle.

We met at House Wine, which happens to be one of my favorite places to hang out in all of Austin. It’s a house that serves wine. Get it?

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And, they serve s'mores. S'MORES.

Unrelated and not particularly important: I wore a floral dress I scored on the cheap from Nordstrom Rack. 

While we talked about housing markets, Kendra Scott knock-offs, Emily's recent wedding, traffic patterns and vacations we destroyed a plate of urban campfire s'mores.

I've never been so messy in public in all my life or had a more delightful happy hour. 

Big shoes to fill

In college I found interviews to be a challenging hobby of mine. I'm weird, I know. This came about because the first time I interviewed for a job I was a nervous wreck. As the aspiring shoe saleswoman at Stillwater's Shoe Bank, I couldn't keep my hands from shaking. Bless my recent high school graduate heart. As part of my over-achieving undergraduate status, I served two years as a Career Liaison. Read as: I edited a lot of résumés and fell in love with mock interviews. It became a game to me. Once, I was even offered a job during a mock interview. Uhg, imagine the discounts had I taken that job with Target!

My senior year, I applied for Homecoming royalty. One of the rounds consisted of round-robin interviews. In each interview for 15 minutes, you faced a firing squad of questions. Honestly, this was one of the best experiences of my life. I was forced to think on my toes, swallow my emotions and showcase any ounce of confidence I was containing.

One interview session was unlike the others. The room was quiet, the words were few and there were no windows. Good thing I'm not claustrophobic. The first question, "What do you do when you're having a bad day?"

My response was genuine. "Well, I've decided when you're facing a rough day, you must first decide you're going to turn it around. Your attitude directly influences behavior."

He wasn't satisfied.

Channeling what limited knowledge I had of public speaking, I rephrased my response; however, sticking to my same point. It wasn't a canned answer. To this day I believe it's a critical piece of character. Deciding you're going to have a good day is half the battle.

Still, he wasn't satisfied.

I took a deep breath and smiled. "Sir, I believe what you're asking me is what I literally do when I'm having a bad day. If that's the case, I grab my copy of Charade, order pizza and call my best friends to a girls night."

With that, he was satisfied.

SonicIce_BrookeClayWhere am I going with this? Today, I was randomly surprised with an anonymous gift. Why yes, it is a Route 44 ice water. It was a simple reminder that I have really, really great friends. I'm not having a bad day, but this did remind me that if I were - I have a huge safety net of friends.

North Carolina, you have big shoes to fill when ever I make my way your direction. Fall? Next winter? When ever it is - get ready.

Monday recap.

Monday.Wake up. Shower. Remember it’s a day off. Watch inauguration.

Brooke_Clay_Oklahoma_Farm_Bureau

Hang out with a few folks at Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Discuss social media, agriculture and Oklahoma. Reaffirm my love for social media.

FlowersFrom_Kelly_Rivard

Come home to flowers from the lovely Kelly Rivard. Gush about orange flowers to everyone. Watch the best episode of How I Met Your Mother. Window shop a new Macbook Pro computer on the interwebs.

Flowers_From_Kelly_Rivard

Write a Monday recap just to gush about orange roses. Remember this is the second post in one day. Turn computer off and hit the hay at 9 p.m. Monday over

Chaperone like a Champion.

Per the obligations of a social media manager, I'm required to work every five or six weekends and manage a few pages. This means a few things. First, I need to access high-speed internet at regular intervals and I must be wearing my customer service happy pants. It's quite the deal, really. This weekend I decided I could work just as efficiently from Stacy's couch as I could my own and made my way to eastern Oklahoma to see Stacy's [and her husband's] new house. Stacy's husband, Cody, and I go way back to my early days as a freshman on Oklahoma State's campus.

Cody is molding minds as an agricultural instructor and FFA adviser, which translated to me serving as a chaperone at the FFA bonfire.

Yes, this is just as funny to me as it is to you.

As we stood around a bonfire observing high school students discussing their respective drama-filled lives, boys listening to red dirt music and girls wearing their camo - I had a single thought, "am I old enough to be a chaperone?"

Obviously, the answer is yes. I mean, I have a Master's degree for crying out loud. It's just that with all the changes that come with growing up I still feel very much like a young adult most of the time.

Maybe that's the point? Life is all about finding the balance between personal and professional and embracing the joys of life - as random as they appear.

Chaperoning like champions.

Friday night, sans lights.

A social media manager’s responsibilities are all encompassing, and on this Saturday morning I find myself up in the 7 o’clocks answering a few questions on various pages. This is customer service at its finest, really. The good news is there are always a few episodes of Boy Meets World or Saved by the Bell in these hours. To be fair, my rural friends are shaking their heads at my 7 o’clock whining. To many it’s calving season and they’ve been up all hours of the night checking cows. I tip my hat to you, folks.

A good night is easily defined as one with good company, good food and an infinite amount of laughter.

Last night knocked those criteria out of the ballpark.

Your evening is bound to be worthy of a few stars if you start it while listening to Whitney Houston, Biz Markie and Eric Church while applying that extra coat of mascara. Can that be topped? Courtney and I had a serious discussion of putting on our comfiest clothes and watching a movie, or three.

We decided to continue our Friday night in the Plaza District catching up with a few friends at The Mule. That was the plan, anyway.

While walking into The Mule someone exiting looked quite familiar. With the sky already dim, it took a few steps before we had that moment that happens in every random movie.

"Alex? Is that you?" "Brooke! Omg. What are you doing here!" "Well, I live here!"

Calm down, people. This isn't the beginning of some dramatic run-through-the-rain lifetime movie. Alex and I hail from the same small town in Oklahoma and walked the same graduation stage in '05.

Alex and his brother were headed to Saints - and I tagged along until our table was ready at The Mule. Until well, the mouth-watering grilled cheese called my name. It called to me, creepers. If there was a contest for the best grilled cheese west of the Mississippi - Saints has it on lock.

I'm about to flirt with that line where creativity meets abstract-random and pleads to stay within the boundaries of normal. But, here's the deal. While boasting about our graduation class, I spotted Marek and Casey playing darts and Courtney and Lindsay walking through the door. Sure, this wasn't Cheers - but, in that moment it was pretty close.

I felt, for a few seconds, like Oklahoma was saying "It's okay, Brooke. You're doing all right here and we'll always welcome you back." Hope I didn't make that weird. Moving on...

Speaking of our graduating class. We graduated with 76 of the most amazing people in the world. We have doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, novelists, photographers, video producers, teachers, models. High five to you, classmates. (Also, if you're creeping - thanks for that, too.)

Smiles with Lindsay at Grandad's.

We ended the night playing checkers at one of Oklahoma City's newest venues, Grandad's. Yes that's correct. I asked for board games this year and that's exactly what happened. The appeal of Grandad's is that you feel like you're sitting in your grandparent's house.

A lovely Friday night, Oklahoma City. You - you've got what I need.

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In other news, I've been working on a new project: Just a little .com to help with job searching. You know, when we're ready for that.

Perkins does Tulsa.
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Seven years ago I put on my first of three graduation gowns. To be fair, it was the only one complete with glitter. How sneaky we were hiding cans of glitter under our gowns until we reached the edge of the football field, giggling I'm sure.  It's funny how then, as bright-eyed eighteen-year-olds, the thought of being in our mid-twenties was absurd. Our one stop light town, made to feel a little more important by the new addition of a Sonic Drive In, became the place we needed to escape. To leave, far away from our one horse town, was a priority. Granted, far away was - and is still - only 9 miles north, but it was far enough away to create a new path, create a new identity and distance ourselves from the typical lessons learned through our high school tenure.

As college students we became enthralled in our new paths; however, we were always flirting with our friendship established over prom dress dramas, Sadler Road escapades and Thursday night bonfires.

Our friendship became a places of comfort. Always necessary, always taken for granted.

This past weekend we laughed at our eagerness to separate from what we knew. We gasped as we uncovered truths that had been forgotten. We smiled as we realized high school wasn't that bad.

How fortunate we are to have a common childhood, a town that was a constant place of encouragement, and shared memories of things we sometimes wish we could forget.

In seven years I went from liking these girls because the options were slim to respecting these girls because they've grown into really amazing women.

Friend date at the Plaza.

My job is incredible. I love it. But, because of it I rarely make weekend plans. Working in tourism affords the opportunity to attend a lot of festivals; however, it also books a lot of my weekends. So last night, a Friday mind you, when I was sitting on the couch at 5:30 p.m. watching a Real Housewives of Orange County rerun I was exuberant when Courtney asked what type of trouble we were going to find.

After a little Pinky and the Brain banter we were off to Live on the Plaza with Allison in tow.

This marks my third official visit to the Plaza (I know, a horrible OKC resident). The first for Lacy's birthday at Lyric and the second was to meet a stranger at an unfamiliar bar. Both true accounts from my life.

Did I purchase this T-shirt from the sales rack? Of course. Why would I do that?

These panties are the single reason I'm going to attempt to keep cash on hand. There is no excuse for my lack of forethought. Zero.

Every now and then you need a night where you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.

Last night was good for my soul.

While chasing the most amazing grilled cheese of my life with my beloved Boulevard Wheat, I offered dating advice to the lucky girls at the table. It's hard work keeping a straight face discussing the mating patterns of Peacocks.

It may have been because it was the first time I'd walked through the doors of Saints since I met that certain stranger. Or, it could have been because my advice is so poor it's just funny.

My advice: Listen Court. You're not going to meet a man in the Plaza unless you happen to be in the market for skinny jeans and ironic T-shirts. Tomorrow, you're going to stake out the nearest farm store and hang out in the medicine aisle because men who care for their animals are patient. And, as a card carrying member of the female population, we need all the patience we can get.

I'm so fortunate to have quality friends. They're the Club to my Babysitter.

Thank you.

If we're social media friends (and in real life friends) you may have noticed I made an impromptu road trip my birthplace. Aka: Indiana. It's true, it was for a funeral. And, I truly thank you for the encouraging texts, phone calls, emails, tweets (I could keep going here...) I know, with all my heart, my Papaw is in a better place, a cancer-free place, and I look forward to joining him someday to talk basketball. To me, he'll always be the man who bought me my first basketball goal. Which lead to hours upon hours of playing "HORSE," with my little sister.

The man who played Santa Claus at Christmas.

And, the man who forgot he was an IU fan just long enough to put an Oklahoma State sticker on his car.

It's truly astonishing how wonderful my friends are. I'm thankful for each of you every day, without fail.

Thanks, Twitter.

Things my parents will never understand::

That girl on the right, you know.. Lindsay. Well, when I moved to OKC (two entire years ago.) I talked to her on twitter. I knew who she was... because of a social media. I bet if you told me then that she'd be my partner in turtle-saving-heroism I would have believed you. Seriously, it just makes sense.

Then, that girl on the left, you know... Marek, started working where I work. She has the best job in the world, cleary. Everyday she gets to witness first-hand my awkward dance parties and ridiculous chain of thought. And, well, she's not so bad herself.

Well, Lindsay and Marek are real-life friends. And happen to be friends with ... well, different post for a different day.

Anyway. I believe twitter made it possible that I had the most spectacular Friday night, watching softball (not to overlook Marek's battle scars.), drinking wine, and making plans of paddle-boating on the river.

Twitter, thanks. You're sort of awesome.

Everyone needs a Monday Laugh.

You shouldn't dislike Mondays. It's illegal. And, I'll tell you why. If you happen to be in the 405, it's beautiful outside. That should get you motivated for any number of reasons. Secondly, this text message should make your day.

If this offends you, or if you just don't understand it. Laugh anyway. And, naturally, watch this video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NBLvwE7DU0]

Thanks to my many friends who make me laugh daily. You guys rock.

How was your day? Good. How was yours?

Sometimes I don't know what to post about. Generally, I'm not that interesting. Not even generally - all the time, I'm not that interesting. I'm extremely typical.

I dislike bootcamp, but I go anyway. Shoes are my downfall - I want them all. I use I too many times in a post. If I was editing this post it would already have 9 big red circles, but I'm not so I can do what I want.

The question that often catches me off guard and make my heart skip a beat is when people ask me how my day is, and genuinely mean it.

Not the generic, "How is your day - fine - how is yours."

But the, "How is your day today, how was work, how is the project you told me about last week."

I'm telling you - that question - means more to me than ice cream cake on my birthday.

Those are the type of people I want to surround myself with. When they ask me that question - I just want to skip over the answer and ask them about their day! I enjoy hearing about people's lives. Generally (there's that word again), their day is so different from mine.

Chelsea and I at the Eiffel Tower during a study abroad trip junior year. Fact: Of the entire study abroad trip, we were the only two who went to the Eiffel Tower. What a missed opportunity for the rest of them... 

Chelsea and I at the Eiffel Tower during a study abroad trip junior year. Fact: Of the entire study abroad trip, we were the only two who went to the Eiffel Tower. What a missed opportunity for the rest of them... 

Chelsea, who now lives in Phoenix, is one of those people. We've currently discovered how easy it is to Facetime on our iphones. From 9-5 she works for an incredible organization raising money for cancer awareness and research. During the evenings, she's a regular twenty-something loving life, her family and her friends.

When is the last time you asked someone about their day, and kept listening (really listening) to see how it was?

Never - give the mic to me.

I make horrible first impressions. When I first meet people {you} my hands get sweaty, I forget my first name, I don't know how to formulate sentences. Honest, it's completely awkward.

It's honestly baffling. Why? Meet for the second time and you won't be able to shut me up. If you make the mistake of laughing at one of my horrible jokes - you're a goner. I'm going to assume you think I'm funny.

My ability to make people laugh is a complete shot in the dark. That certain boy who makes me weak at the knees thinks I'm anything but funny. Or maybe he does think I'm funny but doesn't want to feed the flame.

But, what I do know is that speech I talked about yesterday - the one I gave at Jodi's wedding was a hit. But, for some reason it didn't end up on the video.

However, my sass was filmed, unfortunately.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoECpYUHOzQ&w=640&h=390]

If you throw a party.

Last night I made the mistake of announcing to the wonderful world of twitter that I hadn't slept in my own bed in a week. Big mistake.

On the flip side, I didn't realize I had so many "big brothers" on twitter. By Big Brother I'm not referencing George Orwell's 1984 , I simply mean, big brothers: ones who sit on the front porch with a shot gun when you go on your first date.

For clarification I haven't been bed hopping across the 405.

I've been playing that big sister card while my parents were on vacation in Colorado. For the record, dropping by for a short visit, stirring up trouble, and  then heading out of dodge is how I usually play the sister card.

Not this past week. Nope, not at all. Can you believe I had to make sure teenagers finished their homework?

Lets get real. I didn't do that. I just made sure they weren't up to anything sketchy and had a year's supply of hot pockets in the freezer.

My big-little brother even made me pull the mom-voice I didn't even know I had - out of my back pocket. Apparently, the 'shop' is the cool place to hang out.

Oh, did I mention Jodi jumped ship and got married?

She's such a diva :-) No, really. She had a complete wardrobe change between the ceremony and reception. Falling into line, I obviously had to change out my heels for my dancing boots.

Also - if you can believe this - she let me give a speech at her wedding. In the four steps from my chair to the microphone I whipped up a pretty decent little dialogue.

I've always wanted to give a speech - and since, well, I'm here - might as well give this a go. Jodi, {pause}, thank you for being a friend. {pseudo-emotional pause.} We've traveled down the road and back again.

Jodi: Are you singing? Is this a song? Me: No, if this were a song - I'd be singing. I'm talking. Therefore, not a song.

Your heart is true, you're a pal and confidant. And, Since you've thrown a party -  Invited everyone you knew. You can see - that biggest gift... it is from me And, just incase you don't have time to open it tonight, The card attached says - thank you for being a friend.

Student Union for Adults

When you get in your not-mid but not-early-yet-either twenties, you start to look around and see who your real friends are. It's not some epic event that happens, and it doesn't just happen to a few people - it's just part of life.

I have this friend, Jenna. & She's pretty awesome. She was my first friend outside of my cousin realm. Which, is a really big deal when you're the only girl in a house full of boy cousins.

By the way - can someone please appreciate those turqouise pants I'm wearing in this throwback picture?

We {Jenna and I}  talk on the phone every few weeks and when I happen to make it back to the 317 we always, always, meet up for a trip to the outlet mall and/or lunch.

During my Easter trip 'back home,' Jenna took me to the cutest place - with this blog in mind! The Cafe Patachou in Carmel, Indiana, is uh-mazing.  It's the 'Student Union for Adults.' For the record: I can get on board with that.

The chalk board wall was right up my newly urban alley. We need one of these in Oklahoma City. I pinky-promise I'll go atleast twice a week for lunch.

It's apparently where the cool kids go. Thanks, Jenna, for letting me be a cool kid!

Tuesday I joined in on a twitter #foodchat session. To one of the questions I replied I let my pocketbook and my tummy decide where I'm going to eat. This place is deffinetly somewhere I want to eat.

On my next trip back we're going to have to work on our picture taking skills. Because this Wilson-Wilson picture just isn't cutting it, Jenna!

Social Media Magic

Social Media has opened so many doors that its actually really hard to count them all. It's lead to real-life meetings which has lead to real-life #agnerd friends. {What's an agnerd? Read about that here.}

A few weeks ago I went on a work trip to San Fransico . One night Jodi (my Kansas neighbor), Jennifer (my uh-mazing friend in Ohio) and myself rented a car and trecked to Sacremento to meet with a few Social Media friends.

Pictured above: Jennifer, Brent, BrandonRay, Katie, Jeff, myself, and Jodi.

Obviously, we'd never met anyof these wonderful people in real life but the great guys at Brew It Up Sacremento spotted us before we even knew what hit us and quickly said, "the group with the Cowboy hat is in the back..."

I can't explain how much fun dinner was - and that's really not the point of this post... so I'll keep pushing through.

A few weeks ago - right in the middle of moving one roommate out and another roommate in - Katie sent me a tweet:

And, then, like magic - I recieved this in the mail:

To be fair, I tore through the box and gobbled every ounce of the Bacon A'mond Chocolate Brittle before I even considered taking a picture. Thanks, Jodi, for letting my "borrow" this one from your Facebook.

And, yes - I will call the phenomenon "magic," because it is truly magical to recieve BACON goodies in the mail from North Dakota, from someone you met on twitter, and met in real-life in California.

You never know where a a conversation may lead, so take advantage every opportunity to make a new friend. I'm serious. Whether its at church, standing in line at the post office, twitter or even the dentist - the chances are you're not going to regret it.

Interested in making your own batch of Bacon A'mond Chocolate Brittle? Visit the Pinke Post for a step-by-step tutorial. Oh, and tell her I sent you!