Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

More than textbooks and bar crawls.
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Stilly, Stillville, Still-H20.


Call it what you want, but this town holds a special place in our hearts, whether we gladly admit it or not. For some, it is their collegiate playground. For others, it is their forever home. Let’s bring the old dusty boxes out of the shed and talk about our favorite Stillwater past times, places and memories; or at least some of them.

1. Our unconditional love for Stan Clark Companies.

Eskimo Joes, Mexico Joes, Joseppi’s, Stillwater Bay and MoJo’s. Otherwise known as Stan Clark companies. What began as a small bar in the heart of Stillwater, is now a legacy within the community. Home of America's greatest cheese fries. Whether it is chips and salsa at Mexico Joes or a beer and a bowling alley at Mojo’s, you will feel right at home. RIP Joseppi's and Stillwater Bay, you are dearly missed.

2. The hidden pioneer wagon statue tradition.

An oldie but goodie. The tradition that tops any other. The hiding of the Stillwater High School pioneer wagon. Every year the seniors would hide the wagon and the upcoming seniors would have to find it before their homecoming took place. This tradition was shut down before I attended Stillwater High School, but it never fails to create conversation when brought up with numerous Stillwater alumni.

3. Chris' University Spirit

Originally known as the Balfour House, today is known as Chris’ University Spirit. Located in the thick of Stillwater and the OSU campus, carrying everything from OSU gear to Greek monogrammed items, it is a true gem. You can find me here whenever I am buying gifts for my brother, dad or grandpa.

4. Tumbleweed Dancehall and Concert Venue

Now this is a true legend in Stillwater. Growing up I always heard my parents make remarks about “how back in my day we would spend our Friday nights at the Tumbleweed”, so with no doubt, I spent my first few weekends in college at the Tumbleweed. I can promise you that most of our parents met at this little country music joint. Every year the Tumbleweed also hosts the big “Calf Fry” where the community, family, friends and mostly college students merge together and listen to live country music. It is definitely a golden keepsake of Stillwater.

5. 4th of July "Boomer Blast"

This hometown celebrates 4th of July like no other. You can find the whole community every year located at Boomer Lake, with their families, relatives, friends, beer and cameras. Or you can find a higher spot of land within the city limits and watch as the Boomer Blast show unfolds from afar.

6. Saturday's spent at Shoe Bank, Bath and Body Works and Hobby Lobby

Growing up, once every few Saturdays, my mom would take me into town and we would go roam around to our 3 favorite stores. We would smell every scent in Bath and Body Works, pick out some sporadic décor from Hobby Lobby, and spend way too much money in Shoe Bank. Side note for those who do not know what Shoe Bank is – you should. Shoe Bank carried some of the best and most wanted shoes in Oklahoma. Jana and David never failed to make you feel like family, but after 34 years of business, David and Jana Swain closed their doors. I will always remember Saturday's spent in this shopping center.

8. Kruse's Caribbean Ice

Once the weather began to get warmer, the first thought we always had was Kruse's Ice. Kruse's is a family owned, Stillwater loved, snowcone stand. You can find all of the Stillwater High alumni here every summer.

9. The treasured Wooden Nickel

The Wooden Nickel is a Stillwater, Oklahoma staple. The Wooden Nickel has had their doors open since 1976. The store carries the most trendy clothing for men and women, and literally everything else you could possibly want. They are now offering an online store, which makes my heart swoon but my wallet cry.

10. America's Greatest Homecoming

How could I leave this one off the list? I can promise you, that this is probably one of the most sacred traditions in Stillwater, and I do not see it leaving anytime soon. From the parade to the house decs, you can find the whole community and the college students at every homecoming event.

11. Washington St.

Preferably known as "The Strip" is the location of all things tequila, palm trees and dancing shoes. The Strip is a great place to create your collegiate memories. Other than the Tumbleweed, this is where the other 50% of our parents met.

12. Our obsession with Aspen Coffee

Aspen first opened their doors in 1994, and I don't see the doors ever closing. Aspen has 4 locations within city limits, and 1 located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Filled with roasted craft coffee, espresso and numerous baked goods. Besides the coffee, it is honestly the reason for the pep in this small town.

13. Coney Island

Established on The Strip in 1969, it holds the best late night food in Stillwater. I am sure that the atmosphere looks exactly the same as it did in 1969, which makes it a true keepsake in town.

14. The most obvious, Oklahoma State University

We sure do love our Alma Mater but it wouldn't be the same without the town it resides in. The university holds around 25,000 students and brings so much to our beloved town.


Thank you, Stillwater. Thank you for always being the place we can call home.

Go 'neers (and Cowboys).

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Wolfe Photography

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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

SEE ALSO: 51 Things My Mom Didn't Think I Was Listening To...

I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

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I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Yes, I'm A Babysitter And Yes, It Is The Best Job In The Whole Wide World

It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it.

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When I turned 16 years old, I started babysitting during the summer to make some extra money and get myself out of the house and off the couch. Now, I'm 19 years old and I still babysit during the summer, but this school year I've had the opportunity to babysit on the days that I don't have classes. When people ask me where I work or what my job is, I'll sometimes get strange looks and questions like, "Is that your real job?" when I tell them that I babysit. Sure, I don't have a typical job and I often wonder how different my life would be if I had a 'normal' college job, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Babysitting, to me, is more than a job. It's giving hugs, wiping tears, and kissing boo-boos. It's listening to "Let It Go" and playing "Ring Around The Rosie," even though you feel sick from spinning in circles for the last hour, just because it makes the kids happy. It's watching "Blippi," "Barney," and "A Bug's Life" for hours on end, thinking you might pull your hair out if you hear the 'Excavator' song one more time.

It's so much more than what meets the eye. It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it. I wouldn't trade the hugs, kisses, or giggles for anything in the world. So next time you ask me where I work, I'll proudly respond that I'm a babysitter. I'm proud to be a babysitter, I'm proud to be "Lowey" and I love being a babysitter. I truly have the best job in the world.

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