On the morning of Friday the 13th the local weather guys started hitting that frequency that only dogs and Oklahomans can hear. I packed a bag of Ava's best toy friends, our firebox with vital documents, and our bike helmets -you know, just in case. Everyone kept talking about Saturday being the real day to watch, but my favorite news station on CBS said not to overlook chances of severe weather starting at 4:00. I had two big events at work, one that filled the morning and one taking up much of the afternoon. Josh was safely in Oklahoma City at work, Ava was staying with a good friend who has quick access to another good friend's tornado shelter. I thought we were all 'Weather Aware' (Oklahoma's answer to 'cleanliness is next to Godliness').
Turns out two of the three Locketts were covered. Just like with dental care, showering and free time, mom is always the most over looked. We had planned a cocktail hour from 3:45 - 5:00 for our afternoon event. If we'd been at the law school all would have been well, but we held the event in a restaurant downtown. Remember how the weather folks said severe weather starting at 4:00? Evidently this tornado was Swiss, because at exactly 3:59 it began ripping through Norman. Josh was tucked away in the safety of his new office, Ava was in a tornado shelter, and I was two bellinis into a cocktail hour in an old downtown building with no interior rooms and tons of windows.
Before the sirens sounded someone saw the tornado alert on their cell phone (I have this app now). We moved to the most secure location possible and I got into tornado position with 25 of my new best friends. We heard it and, forgive me as I put on my 'Who Farted?' cap and pop in my bubba teeth, it sounded like a high pitched train. The wind was howling and things were popping. We could feel it. The sirens were screaming and the power went out. Somehow Josh got through on my cell phone and was able to tell me where the tornado was touching down and that we should stay put. A group of 3L students were also having cocktails at the restaurant and one of them started praying. Within seconds the violent howling subsided and that's when I started shaking uncontrollably. Mommy friends, remember how you shake after you give birth? It felt just like that. I was so scared and just so thankful to hear from my friend that Ava was safe and having flashlight battles while watching Disney movies in the shelter. Scary scary scary.
Both of the following pictures were taken just on the other side of the wall where we were hunkered down.
Here is a picture of that Swiss tornado taken by someone at the football stadium. We spent Friday night at our friends' house with the shelter. Thanks Waggoners for hosting us!
On Saturday morning even more severe weather was predicted.
I baked and cooked, mostly to calm my nerves, and we headed up to the law school to wait out the storm.
I packed a few more supplies, not knowing how long we'd need to stay underground.
Yes, hula hoops were necessary for this trip; though they've been banned by Josh for future tornado trips. Boo.
I love News 9 for their accuracy and reliable weather, but even more for comical postings like this during really serious times.
I'd like all of you non-Oklahomans to meet my new bestest friend, Gary England. Listen to the man predict weather one time and you'll be hooked. I feel like I'm listening to my grandpa tell me weather advice. Sure, his catch phrases have spawned a drinking game with quite the cult following, but he's amazing and I will cut anyone who tells you otherwise.
When Gary said Norman was most likely safe from the worst bulk of the storm we headed home to sleep. After quite an adventurous weekend, we were all zonked and ready to sleep a few winks in our own bed. I set an alarm clock to check on the squall line, after my brush with a real tornado I feel comfortable using weather jargon like 'squall line' in everyday conversation.
When the alarm went off Josh and I woke up and watched the weather. We would have had time to make it underground at the law school if Gary had advised, but after calling and texting some friends (who were also up checking weather) we decided to ride out the storm at home. We slept through the rain and woke up to a beautiful Sunday.
Late that afternoon the wind finally died down enough for us to get outside for the first time all weekend. Can you believe how high Josh threw her?
First sno cones of the season!
During our time hunkered down for the storms I had time to address most of Josh's graduation invitations. How fun is this?
On Thursday Ava's school celebrated Land Run Day. They all dressed in cowboy or Native American clothing and prepared to stake their land.
Ava's little family
The director talked to the kids about the Boomers and the Sooners. Boomers followed the rules and waited until the race for land began at the sound of the gun (boom, get it?). Sooners cheated and ran for their land before the race began. The teachers advised all of the kiddos to be Boomers.
I spy a would-be Sooner
Uh oh, this land is already taken.
Woohoo! Ava's family staked a perfect piece of picnic land right near the swing set.
Windy, windy, windy day. Josh and I are learning all about Oklahoma state history from Ava. Don't worry Texas folks, we're also teaching her Texas history.
Happy little Boomer babies
After all of the Land Run fun we hopped on a plane to take Ava's 8th flight. We flew to Houston for Jaryn and Dusty's wedding.
The one hour flight was so refreshing after the last time we all three flew together. Here were our respective in-flight activities:
Studying Criminal Procedure
and playing Scrabble
This girl LOVES The Music Man. I bought her the soundtrack, and listening to her little voice sing along with the songs is one of my new favorite things. My goal is to get it on video before my next post so you can all melt along with me.
We arrived late Thursday night and by Friday evening we were all ready for the wedding rehearsal. In true Houston fashion, Friday evening turned into a monsoon. We had to move the rehearsal indoors, but sweet bride Jaryn didn't let it dampen her spirits. She and Hannah had peanut butter pie races with Ava in the hallway of the hotel. I've never seen such calm and focus. Jaryn, you are truly beautiful inside and out. We love you so much and were honored to be a part of your special day.
I love these next three sibling shots. Josh and his dad tag-teamed performing the ceremony, leading to some absolutely precious moments throughout the wedding weekend.
Despite the soggy Friday, Saturday dawned beautiful and absolutely perfect.
Gray skies gave way to pink everywhere.
Cousins were reunited for the first time since Christmas and spent the whole day playing together.
Beautiful bridal luncheon
This venue was unbelievably gorgeous.
Just when you thought she couldn't get more beautiful, the makeup and hair session began.
Oh my the guys
Catching a few minutes to love on Coach
All looks were truly a team effort
Our last day to be the three Lockett girls
Sadie Sadie Married Lady
Heading down stairs to see her groom
My petal perfect flower girl
Dresses or not, girlies gotta' play chase
Turns out Aunt Jaryn wasn't the only red-headed bride that day. Ariel tried her best to steal the show. (Ava insisted on taking this picture and I promised her I'd include it in the post.)
So happy together
Tables during preparation
Just a girl and her Coach
Walking the grounds between pictures
Notice that you haven't seen Mimi in any of these pictures? That's because she was like a blurry decorating fog that swarmed the place and appeared at the ceremony. Here were my attempts to capture her presence for the day:
All ready to go
The Reverend Lawyer with Nan and Pa
Kiddos after the ceremony
My favorite three Lockett shot of the day
The new Lockett/San Miguel family
OMG, do you spy a Mimi?
Three Locketts + Two San Miguels = HAPPY
Huge family shot
Still stuck like glue after a whole day together
Is that a Pops I see?
Baba and Pops drove in for the wedding, and were we ever happy to see them.
A sweet family shot
My handsome, hunky husband
And the Farmers?! What a special treat.
Love these two and their little two more than I can say.
My gorgeous parents
Dancing on Coach's fancy dance floor, custom built that day for the wedding.
Catching snowflakes, silly girls.
Ava was a big fan of Jaryn's choice to have cupcakes instead of wedding cake.
At sunset a magical glow and twinkle enveloped the whole party.
And then the Twist Champion of his second grade class brought his A game on the dance floor with his baby girl.
A precious mother son dance
Getting ready to send her off
Turns out weddings are super hard work.
The next day Josh drove to Galveston to pick up bride and groom from stage one of the honeymoon.
They came home to pack and flew out to Mexico on Monday morning.
Before flying back to Oklahoma we were able to stop in to see Beene Beene at her new home in New Caney.
I love these two sweet girls.
Graduation in T- 18 days!