New Blog

Stu and I have decided to start a blog together to keep everyone up to date on our happenings and to start reviewing beers we try. Visit our new blog here.

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Beer Galore!

This weekend Stu and I attended our friend Sebastian’s wedding in Springfield. It was a really cool outdoor wedding that was completely perfect for the couple.

On our way out of Springfield, we stopped at the Brown Derby International Wine Center to check out their beer selection. Our jaws dropped when we saw all the beers they had! We didn’t even know that Missouri could get a lot of the beers we saw. Since none of those beers could be found in Norman (or probably anywhere else in the state), we stocked up on some great ones.

We got the Stone Russian Imperial Stout, Founders Devil Dancer Double IPA, and the Firestone Double Jack Imperial IPA, just to name a few. We also bought two bottles of the Boulevard Collaboration 2 since those haven’t gotten to Oklahoma yet. That’s what we’ll be having tonight! Yum!

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Lucky

This morning as I was walking around in the hallway outside my office area, I started thinking of how lucky I am.

About 10 months ago, Stuart and I started our long-distance year – me in Norman, him in Columbia. We never had any doubts that we could handle it, but we knew the separation would be pretty awful. Up until that point in our relationship, we had spent nearly 100% of our time together. We were inseparable. Then, because Stuart needed to go 5 years (because of AFROTC commitments) and I couldn’t justify delaying my graduation, I applied to several grad schools and eventually decided to attend the University of Oklahoma. My apartment was about 7.5 hours from his house.

The beginning of fall semester was rough. The night before classes started I had a breakdown and called my mom to tell her I was going to drop out and move back to Columbia because I already missed Stuart so much. She talked me down and told me that I had to at least try things out for a while because the situation would get easier. She was right, but I couldn’t see that at the time.

Things got easier as time went on. We saw each other every 2 or 3 weekends. One of us would leave on Friday afternoon, arrive at the other location on Friday night, spend time with each other until early afternoon on Sunday when whichever of us came to visit would have to start the drive back. The visits were short, but wonderful.

All along we’d hoped that Stuart would be able to join me here in Norman after he graduated. To do this, he would need to be approved for an educational delay from the Air Force and get offered an assistantship at OU, one of the best meteorology schools in the country. We hoped and hoped that things would work out, but we’d already started thinking about how things would go if this plan didn’t work. He’d already received his first base assignment – Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA. We hoped and prayed that we wouldn’t have to continue the long-distance journey once we were married by driving back and forth between Norman and Shreveport.

Stuart had never known anyone at his ROTC detachment who had even applied for an educational delay so he had no idea how difficult they were to get. No one at the detachment seemed to know.

In March Stuart received an offer from OU. We were both thrilled, but knew that we still had one more hurdle to overcome. Finally, at the end of March, Stuart got the news that he had gotten the educational delay! He would be coming to Norman to get his masters degree!

Since that point, life has been wonderful. We rented a nice little house in Norman with a big fenced backyard for Penny. Our offices at even on the same floor of the NWC. I can literally walk out of my office and be in his in about 15 seconds.

Our little rental house in Norman.

As I was walking around in the hallway this morning I started thinking of all the things that had to go right for us to be together today. The months of long-distance helped us to realize how lucky we are to not only be living in the same town, but to be in the same house, work at the same building, and even have offices on the same floor. We are so thankful that things ended up the way they did and we realize how many couples aren’t as fortunate.

At some point Stuart may have to go overseas with the Air Force, separating us again, but we’re not worried about that right now. We’re focused on what we have right now and that makes us very lucky indeed.

Us on our wedding day.

 

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A Family Beer-cation

So a couple weeks ago, Southwest Airlines was celebrating their 40th anniversary by having a sale on tickets! Depending on how many miles you were from your destination, one-way tickets costs either $40, $80 or $120! Since we love to travel and knew that we would have a 3 day weekend when OU played TX in football this fall (that’s right – the university is closed the Friday before that game), we looked into taking a trip! Our first ideas were to visit San Francisco, Chicago, or LA since we have either family or friends in each of those cities. Then we started thinking about Colorado – a place that we had both fallen in love with several times before. Stuart and I have a tentative plan to build a house near the Rocky Mountains when we retire (assuming we make money someday) because we love the area so much.

I took this when I visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time 2 summers ago. Gorgeous.

So, we decided that Colorado would be the destination and consulted with our lovely sister, Hannah, to see if she was in for a trip. Like a true Burnett (or Miller?), she was sold at the idea of spending 3 or 4 days in the mountains and drinking at some of the finest craft breweries in the country. Since it is actually cheaper for Stu and I to drive, we will be driving out there the Wednesday before OU/TX weekend, staying in Denver that night and picking up Hannah from the Denver airport early Thursday morning to begin our adventures!

Our tentative schedule is to explore Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver while also making a trip to beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. There are quite a few breweries in the area (see map here) and we hope to explore as many as possible! Yay for a family beer-cation!

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Hot Hot Hot

Like most of the central US, it has been uncomfortably warm in Oklahoma recently. Today is the 12th straight day that OKC airport has been at or above 100 degrees and the 39th straight day that we’ve been above 90 degrees. According to the NWS forecast, these streaks don’t look to end anytime soon.

Yesterday we hit 110 degrees – the hottest we’ve been since 1996 and the third hottest temperature OKC has been since records have been kept. Yesterday was also the first time in the history of the Oklahoma Mesonet (commissioned in 1994) that all 120 mesonet stations were above 100 degrees simultaneously.

We plan to take advantage of the heat sometime soon by attempting to cook an egg on blacktop 🙂

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The End of Wedding Things

Stuart and I have been trying (and usually failing) to get at least 5-10 thank you cards sent out each day for the past couple weeks. We have been getting some done, though, and only have about 12 left to write. Those are on the agenda for this evening and after that, we’ll be officially done with wedding-related tasks.

After an almost 2-year engagement, it is a weird feeling to know that we don’t have to plan anything else for our wedding. Now all we have left to do is wait for our DVD of wedding photos to arrive in the mail.

Now I will be able to fully commit myself to living vicariously through our other brides’ planning experiences (that’s you, Lyndsey). Plus, today I got asked to be a bridesmaid in one of our friends’ weddings next summer! That should help to keep my now wedding-obsessed mind occupied 🙂

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Meats & Sweets

Throughout the past year, my weather center friends and my love of bacon, chocolate, and humor sparked the running joke of a party called ‘Meats and Sweets’ that would require all guests to bring a dish combining a meat and dessert. Since Stuart and I had been back from honeymoon land for a couple weeks and had pretty much gotten settled into our house, we decided it was time for Meats and Sweets to happen!

It took place at our house yesterday afternoon and was a great success! All in all, we had about 21 people over to enjoy some surprisingly delicious dishes. Stuart even busted out his meat smoking skills to make some amazing ribs!

Here’s a quick list of the most memorable dishes:

  • Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing with bacon on top
  • “Little Heart Attacks”, little smokies wrapped in bacon, covered in brown sugar and baked
  • Smoked pork spare ribs with a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and orange marmalade glaze
  • Smoked pulled pork with an ancho chile/Buffalo Sweat Stout sauce
  • Chocolate chip bacon Sam Adams pancakes
  • Hot dogs covered in salami, bacon, cheese, and melted chocolate chips
  • Bacon cheese ball
  • Jack Daniels marinated pineapple bacon burgers
  • Candied bacon
  • Pineapple pie with bacon lattice
  • Brownies with ground beef in them

It was quite the event and we can’t wait for Meats and Sweets Part II next year! I hope to have pictures of the event up tonight.

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