We Will Remember. Always Remember.

**note: feelings expressed here are my own and are in no way a reflection on OSU's feelings -- my own thoughts**

The fact that I am actually writing a blog like this just blows my mind right now. I never thought it would happen again.

This morning, I got a text message from a good friend who's an OSU grad. He asked if I'd heard about Coach Budke. With all the scandals going on in the NCAA right now, my mind thought for a split second that he might've gotten dinged for something, so I did an Internet search. Nothing came up. Then I went to NewsOK.com and was greeted with a breaking news headline that summed it all up: Coach Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna were killed in a plane crash last night. I wanted to throw up when I read that.

How in the world does this happen to this university TWICE? We had to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the men's basketball plane crash earlier this year, and that was hard enough. But to have to do this all over again...it's just unfathomable.

I know that today will hit some more than others, especially the families of those we lost, the girls they coached and the university staff who knew them best. But today, all of us are mourning. OSU is a big family, and we're a close one. When something like this happens, we have to bond together and vow to never forget the memories and spirits of those that we lost, whether we knew them well or just in passing. The fact that a plane crash has taken the lives of OSU people we love and know twice in a decade is just too weird to comprehend.

Today has been a sad, solemn day on campus. People have given each other looks of sadness when one person mentions something about the crash. I was at an event this morning, and I heard people whispering about it and shaking their heads, not believing this happened again. I watched the press conference where President Hargis nearly broke down at the microphone. I've read the articles, seen the Tweets and Facebook messages, gotten the texts and emails about it. There are no words to describe the incredible sense of loss that the OSU community as a whole feels right now - and I know it will take awhile for everything to get back to as normal as it possible can. I just hope that nothing like this ever, ever happens to this university ever again.

We Will Remember. Always Remember.


What I'm thankful for...the not-so-traditional version.

So, we all know it's November. We all know that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means that people are doing their "What I'm thankful for" lists - and the standards are on it: good health, roof over their heads etc. One of my friends on FB came up with an alternate list of things she's thankful for that aren't the "traditional" ones - and I love it. So now, I'm going to try and find things I'm thankful for that don't normally fall on that list. Today's the 10th, so 10 shall be forthcoming:

1. [Sometimes drunken] nights with friends post-college graduation. Now that my friends are all older and have full-time jobs, we can't see each other as often. But when we do, we make it count. We hang out before and get caught up, hit the club and dance after a couple of rounds of shots. I think that our nights out have been more epic since college, which I thought would never happen. I thought that once I graduated from college, my fun nights out were done. Nice to know that's not the case.

2. Sleeping in/taking naps. Ever since I became a mom, sleep has been a precious commodity in my house. I've spent more days with my son than without - and while I adore my son more than anyone in my life, mama needs her sleep. So when he spends weekends with Grandma [my mom], I can almost guarantee I'm not going to do anything but sleep. It's awesome.

3. Las Vegas. That's my new favorite vacation spot - someplace I never could've gone to before I turned 21, that's for sure. I've been three times, and each time has been more and more fun. I plan on going again next year, and I'm sure it'll be one to remember.

4. Oklahoma State University, my alma mater. This university has been my home for almost a decade now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I had a great time here, got a wonderful education, and the spirit here is like no other. From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew I belonged - almost eight years later, it still feels that way. It'll never, ever get old.

5. My engagement ring. J knew two things when we started talking about getting married: the ring had to be silver, and the diamond had to be square. It didn't matter the size, as long as it those two criteria. I will never forget my initial [mental] reaction when I quit blubbering and got a good look at the ring in the box: Holy freaking cow. This is incredible. Then, I proceeded to cry again, because it was more than just a pretty ring - it was a symbol of our future together [feel free to gag here if you wish]. We got engaged four years ago on Thanksgiving - and I still love it, and I still love him.

6. Heels. So what if I'm nearly 5'10"? I don't care. Heels are fun, heels are cute, and I wear them whenever I can. It's a good thing I have a big foot and crappy knees, because I'd probably wear them more if both weren't the case.

7. Wineries. I've found some fantastic wines through local wineries, and they've opened my palate to diverse tastes. I love it.

8. Gilmore Girls. God I miss that show. Once a year, I usually watch all the seasons in succession - I'm on season three right now. I could probably get through the next three before Christmas and finish the last of them during Christmas break.

9. Coffee. It's probably a good thing I didn't have a love of it when I was in college, because college would've been more full of sugar and late nights than they already were.

10. Coupons. Ever since I really started sticking with couponing and saving, it's been awesome. To pay little for things I actually need is like one big game - I hope J is prepared for it when I move.

I'll continue to update this list as we go through November. What's on your thankful list?

The sports side of me comes out.

Pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but...I love sports. I wasn't always this way, but I kinda fell onto the sports bandwagon when I started college. Well, senior year of high school - my high school's football team was awesome that year [state runners-up], and that got me interested in learning more about it. I grew up on basketball but now have a passion for several different sports.

Anyway. This calendar year has been a freaking incredible sports year for me:

1. Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship. I don't care what anyone says about me having to pick one team over another or blah blah blah - I've been a Mavs fan since 2000, and I've stuck by their side [even after the meltdown of '06 that I'd rather not discuss]. When they won it all in June, I screamed like a schoolgirl. It's about.damn.time.

2. The Thunder played an incredible year of basketball. It's been so fun to watch such a young team rise so quickly. I hate that the NBA lockout is going on right now, because the Thunder were ON IT last season. I just hope that momentum continues after basketball resumes [whenever that will be].

3. This fall has been fantastic for OSU sports. Our women's soccer program finished the year with only one loss [in the Big 12 tournament; still got a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament though, their highest seed ever], our cross country team is kicking butt [again], and football...oh heavens football. No. 2 in the BCS? Are you freaking kidding me?

4. My high school's football team is killin' the game again. I hope to see them play this weekend - haven't been to a game in ages, but gotta rep the Mac [even after nearly eight years have passed since the last football season of my high school career].

I wish I could add the Boston Red Sox to that list, but uh...they suffered a monumental collapse back in September and are currently revamping their club. Maybe next year fellas. And, once Sid the Kid hits the ice again [I hope he does this season], I can hopefully add the Pens to the incredible sports year list, too.

As a sports fan, I have my own opinions about the things going on in the sports world. Since I just feel like talking about sports tonight [and promise to catch up on life soon, since it's been nearly two months since my last blog post], I'm going to throw some opinions out there and then peace out.

1. This whole Penn State thing is a hot freaking mess. I'm not sure if the university should've been so quick to fire Joe Paterno after he seemingly did what he was supposed to [report the incident to higher authorities]. But there's so much still coming out about the case that it's hard to pick a side, I guess. Bottom line is, there are young men out there who were sexually violated by a man who used to work for that program. That fact alone disgusts me, and the fact that he got away with it for so long is appalling. If that EVER happened to my son, hell would be raised on SO many different levels - I don't care who the hell you are. NO ONE is untouchable if you touch my son inappropriately.

2. This NBA lockout needs to end. Pronto. I can't believe the players got 57 percent of the revenue under the last CBA - and I can't believe the owners thought it'd be a good idea to give them 10 percent less than that as a threat. The whole situation is a confusing, legal mess, but bottom line is this: the fans want basketball. Don't pull an NHL, cancel an entire season and then spend years coming back. Get something hammered out so I can spend New Year's Eve in the Chesapeake Arena, kay?

3. The Red Sox collapse is depressing - but needed to happen. A shake-up is good every now and then, and I think the team needed a shake-up. It'll be interesting to see how they regroup next season.

4. I'm so glad the NFL came together and made an agreement. I missed football in the offseason, and be able to watch games on Sundays make my life complete. Oh, not to mention fantasy football. Now I just need to find a team to fully support instead of just hopping around the league...and no. Dallas Cowboys are NOT an option.

5. Dear OSU Cowboys: you have made this season one I will NEVER forget. It's been an incredible ride, and there's three games to go. No matter the outcome, it's been freaking awesome. I think about that no. 2 BCS ranking and get chills. I can't put into words how proud I am of my alma mater right now. Loves it.

I hope that eventually I can blog about the NBA coming back. Until that day comes, sports may take a back burner for a little bit. But, I just had to get this out in the blogger world. For those who aren't sports lovers like me but read it anyway, you rock. :)