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About Shelley

Meet Shelley, who is sharing her experience as an OC parent through her blog. Her children Emily, (OC '13) Rachel, (OC '15) and David Michael (OC '18) are only mildly embarrassed by her stories.

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Friday, January 23, 2015


Last semester, OC promoted “Makeup-less Monday” on campus, an event designed to remind women they are loved by God, and so they are “enough”.  The video promotion for the event (filmed by the inimitable Colten Sikes, no less) featured that Colbie Caillat song “Try”, which tells girls they don’t have to “try so hard”.  They don’t need designer clothes, diets, makeup, etc., to be beautiful.
Well a few nights ago, I dreamed that Emily, Rachel and I were out shopping and I was buying ridiculous amounts of makeup for each of us. So I would venture to say I must not think, at least subconsciously, that we’re “enough”. Apparently, I think we do need to try, try, try…try, try, try.

But this post is not about that. This post is about another bothersome aspect of my shopping dream…the one where I was picking up the tab for all that makeup. You see, I have a dream.  A dream that someday, in the not too distant future, my children will pay for their own ridiculous amounts of makeup. And maybe even for their cell phones and car insurance.

And maybe I have this dream because I’m cheap, but I like to believe it’s because “emerging adults” need to become financially independent for their own good. Sort of a cousin to the old “this hurts me worse than it hurts you” rationalization, only in this case it’s “this helps you more than it helps me”.  That’s my story anyhow.

My only problem is that my husband isn’t exactly on board with the whole “cut ‘em off” plan. So he’s constantly coming off as the good guy. Sometimes I think I’m making headway with him. I say things like, “Don’t you want them to be responsible adults?” and “What’ll happen when we’re not around to help them out? Huh? What then? What then?”  And after enough bullying, he will back down and put his wallet away.  But for all I know he’s sneaking them wads of cash, the same way he used to let them sneak into our bed when they were little, even though I insisted that they sleep in their own beds FOR THEIR OWN GOOD OF COURSE.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the video for the Makeup-less Monday event. All the women are students and staff at OC…and beautiful ones at that.

In closing, may I just say that I also have a dream that all races will someday live together in harmony, and as an apology to MLK for commandeering his speech title for this trivial post, here is a recent photo of my great-nephews doing just that.

Sweet dreams everyone…

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I “joined” twitter fairly recently.  And to tell the truth, I haven’t exactly figured out the appeal.  I mean my primary motivation in joining was to see what clever things my kids had to say, but David and Rachel rarely tweet (if ever) and Emily mostly tweets about Lebron James, which is slightly nauseating.  My husband hails from Cleveland and we made the mistake of taking her to her first NBA game there when she was a young impressionable middle schooler. So we have only ourselves to blame for her obsession.  And by the way, just to be clear, she dutifully despised the man after he defected to Miami.  But after he returned “home”, she eagerly unearthed her Lebron paraphernalia and went back to adoring him.  I even have a photo of the event.

So there’s that. 

And here’s a caveat for you parents of younger children…CAREFUL THE THINGS YOU DO WITH YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS…CHILDREN WILL LISTEN.  (Into the Woods reference for you afficionados of that sweet musical.) 

But that was just some bonus advice for you, and not really what this post is about.  My point is, I don’t really get this twitter thing.  And in truth…it sort of scares me. I mean, on a sliding scale of scariness, it doesn’t rank up there with a masked man in a dark alley, but hey, it’s at least equal to walking into a party where most of the guests are strangers.  And so, even though I’ve had a twitter account for several months now…I have yet to tweet.  Or twitter.  Or twitt.  And yes, part of my fear stems from the fact that I’m not positive I can conjugate the word “tweet”. I mean, assuming it’s a verb and all. 

I tweet. He tweets. They tweet. We are tweeting? Twittering? Twitting? I’m so confused. 

So since I don’t really contribute anything to the world that is twitter, and just read what others post, what does this make me? A twitter-bystander? Or a twitter-couch-potato? I guess I feel more like a twitter-wallflower. A shy girl over in the corner, afraid to make eye-contact, just waiting for someone to ask her to join the party.  The thing is, I know it doesn’t work that way. No one is going to ask me to tweet.  Or twitter even.  I know it’s all on me to summon the courage I need to dip my toe in the twitter water.  And I plan to do that…but maybe tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.  (Gone With the Wind reference, not Annie, in case you were wondering.)

Honestly, even if I never manage to tweet anything, I do highly recommend joining the twitter-world if you are an OC parent.  Here’s a screen-shot of a recent twitter “page” on my account.

I don’t always take the time to read those newsy parent emails, so I’m happy to get all the news that is news on OC happenings via twitter, in 140 characters or less.

And yes, okay, that character limit might be the real reason I can’t seem to post any tweets of my own. I do like to ramble on. And on. And on and on. It’s not that I don’t appreciate brevity. Just not in myself. But I think you get that.   


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I’m currently reading Cary Elwes’ memoir on the making of the movie The Princess Bride.  And I’m only a little bit embarrassed this piece o’ fluff is actually totally entertaining me.  But there it is.  #thenakedtruth

But no.  My lack of activity here is not the result of my deep and serious reading schedule.  It’s because I’ve been contending with my very own princess bride, daughter Rachel.  Yes, folks, we had us a wedding one month ago. We also had Christmas, and other crazy goings-on, so with all that I’m just now coming out of the fog, enough to put some words on paper (or on a screen).  And for the delay, I apologize. #thestruggleisreal

It’s difficult to know where to begin, when you’ve been away for so long.  So I’m just going to ramble a little…and call it good.

First off, the wedding.  I could regale you with quite a few details, but instead I’m going to post a link to Colten Sikes beautifully succinct video version of the affair.  Colten is a sophomore at OC and this is reportedly his first wedding video.  I think you’ll agree with me that the boy is gifted.  #OCsgottalent

Next, you might recognize the dear boy (my mom’s favorite adjective) in the role of groom in the video.  He is Todd Williams, son of an OC staple, Kerri Cunningham. During Todd’s last semester at OC, his mom suggested he ask Rachel out, and being a nice, cooperative son, he did.  I believe it was only about two weeks later that they were #inarelationship as they say.

You might be thinking “that was fast”, but you would be wrong.  In fact, we could legitimately ask them, “What took you so long?” because they have known each other for pretty much their whole lives.  Todd’s mom’s family, his dad’s family, and my family all lived in the same town and attended church together back in the 60’s and 70’s, and our hearts and lives have been intertwined ever since.  So much so that if arranged marriages were still the norm, this same event would more than likely have happened.  #happyendings or more like #happybeginnings

Next, a word about Freshman Fanfare.  Because, for me, it was a show like no other.  I mean, sure, it had the same-ish witty emcees, cheesy song-and-dance routines, and flavorful individual acts.  But I might have enjoyed this one a tad more because David was one of those individual acts.  I had difficulty spying poor Emily and Rachel on stage in their years, so actually being able to see and hear my child was novel.  I even bought the video AND WATCHED IT.  Yes.  #iamthatparent

But enough about last semester.  We have here upon us a brand spanking new year, and more importantly, a brand spanking new semester.  David reports since he’s been home (#OCishome, you know), he’s already missed two classes, and sent a fellow Freshman to the ER after a rollicking good spring sing practice (my adjectives, not his).  So there shouldn’t be a shortage of news to go to print. 

So here’s that link to the wedding video.

I’ll be back. #forbetterorforworse

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Friday, October 03, 2014


Weeks ago, I went to the trouble of asking Jana Miller if OC wanted me to “parent blog” again this year.  So she checked with her people and then told me to, “write on”, or something to that effect.

Here’s how I imagine the whole conversation with “her people” going down:

The Players

John deSteiguer
Neil Arter
Jana Miller

Enter players, jogging on the Eagle Trail:

Jana:  Guys, that woman asked if we want her to parent blog again this year.  What should I tell her?

John:  Who?

Neil:  We have a parent blogger?

Jana:  Yes, Neil.  She’s actually been at it for four years now…in a hit and miss sort of fashion.  And her youngest just enrolled here. 

John:  Well let’s see Jana.  Will her blog be a game changer?  Will it help our students succeed academically and become intentional with their spiritual lives?

Jana:  I don’t think so John.

John:  Will it dramatically upgrade the learning experience for our students?

Jana:  No John, it’s not exactly geared towards students.  It’s for parents actually.

John:  Well Jana, will it at least set the table for an exciting new chapter in our social media presence?

Jana:  (shaking her head sadly)  I doubt it, John. 

Players jog in silence for a short time. 

Jana:  But…there is one thing.  She works for free.

John:  (eyes lighting up) Well, okay then.  Sign her up!

Jana:  Will do, John.

Neil:  Seriously though.  We have a parent blogger?

Exit players.

But never mind all that!  I am back in the game, and here’s what’s in store for Season 5:

THE CHANGEUP – Right off the bat, we could tell that moving a boy into a dorm would be different from moving a girl into a dorm, and I have to tell someone about it;

PEANUTS AND CRACKERJACKS – This might be coming out of left field, but since we recently discovered there are good eats in Oklahoma outside of Edmond, I can’t resist doing another restaurant review;
SEASON OPENER - Musings about the rookies’ show at OC, also known as Freshman Fanfare;

CURVEBALLS – Also entitled #OCFAILS.  Not a reference to the dorm by the way, but rather a no holds barred expose on what happens when OC drops the ball; and

KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK – The story of Rachel’s engagement to precious OC grad Todd Williams has proven to be a tough write, but I’m determined to reign in my emotions, step up to the plate, and swing that bat. 

So that’s my windup.  Watch for my first pitch, coming soon.  Haha.  Or maybe not. 

Just because, here is a photo from one of those restaurants I’m going to review…if you are the first to guess in a comment where this lovely confection is from, I will give you a Starbucks giftcard.  Luke.

P. S.  I’m not a baseball fan, but this post is dedicated to several of my family members who have Royals fever right now.  You may know why.  Here’s a photo of the more fanatic of them…

The one in the middle might have missed class to attend that wildcard game, but chances are no one will find out. 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014


I’m a fraud.  Totally and completely.  For four years now I’ve been writing this blog thinking I understood, at least to some degree, what the old “empty nest” syndrome was all about.  But I was wrong.  Oh. So. Wrong.  I mean, I knew how it felt to have an EMPTYING nest, but turns out that’s a far cry from how it feels to have an EMPTY nest. 

It’s not as if I wasn’t warned.  A few well-meaning friends actually MOCKED me when I told them I was looking forward to having time again to quilt and read and even clean out my sock drawer. But the majority just gave me pitying looks, while advising me of the impending period of “adjustment”. 

And I promise I dutifully listened and dutifully dreaded the inevitable day of my youngest leaving home.  But still I was caught off-guard, shell-shocked really, when we dropped David at Warlick Hall and returned home to what honestly felt like an empty nest, complete with tangled twigs and a forlorn feather or two. 

So what’s a mama bird to do without her young’uns around to tend to?  Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but during the first few weeks I discovered some highly effective coping mechanisms.  Oh, I stayed away from the standard drugs, alcohol, strange men, and sports cars.  But I embraced a few others and highly recommend them for the short-term, when the pain is especially raw.

First is REALITY TELEVISION.  (America really does have talent, and now I know it.) 

Second is SITTING ON THE COUCH, STARING INTO SPACE.  (Sometimes napping.)

Third is EMOTIONAL EATING.  (Donuts and circus peanuts seemed to work best for me.  Personally, I consider emotional eating to be the most under-rated of the coping mechanisms.  Not sure why it gets such a bad rap.)

Of course, now that we have survived a whole month in this empty shell of a house, the wounds are less tender.  And I am determined to leave childish ways behind, and especially destructive ones.  So I’ve taken a break from the staring into space and emotional eating, and decided to substitute prayer and exercise instead.  And, oddly enough, these new activities seem to be working just as well. 

I guess I could also give up reality television.  But then how would I ever know if Carlton makes it to the finals of DWTS? 

I’ll close with a couple of pics of the happy children, hardly seeming at all concerned about their old parents rattling around in an empty house…

And a shot of my oldest nephew Zach, taking his oldest to school on his first day of first grade.  Tomorrow, he’ll be moving that kid into a dorm.  Or so it will seem.

So I hope to be back shortly.  No promises, no guarantees.  Just some hopefulness. 

Thanks for listening.

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