Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Mom Always Knows How to Make You Feel Better

I was at my parents' house the other day and showed my mom how my incision was healing. She took a look at my soon-to-be-scar and said, "That's probably going to look better than the one on your face."

Ah, thanks mom.

If you know me ROI, you're probably thinking "what scar on your face?" Which is exactly why this wasn't actually a mean thing to say, but it sure was funny.

It got me thinking a about the last time I had three stitches. I don't actually remember it because I was only 2. I cracked open my chin jumping on the bed. The railroad track scar (which luckily lines up pretty well with the natural crease in my chin) is an inch long, and it got 3 stitches. My new incision which is a quarter of an inch long also got three stitches.

It seems illogical to me, but more stitches per inch=less scarring. Dr. King admitted he was being a bit "stitch-happy" last week, but he wanted the incision to heal as neatly as possible since it was in a spot that would show in a swimsuit.

So, thanks Army Hospital for taking such great care of my face. I'll remember you every time I look in the mirror.

Boo, Army Hospital

Hooray, Dr. King

Friday, May 29, 2009

PRSA-OKC 2009 Professional Day

Today, Valerie and I turned in our travel requests for the 2009 PRSA-OKC Professional Development Day. It's always great and I'm looking forward to it. Maybe you'll join us?

9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.-Session 1
Twitter: How To Use Twitter as an Advertising and/or Public Relations Tool in Business
Presenter: Nora Burns, SPHR, Insightful Endeavors International, Inc.
Twitter, one of the power-players in this era of social networking is a force to be reckoned with. Learn how to use this tool to your organizations advantage.

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.-Luncheon Session
Is the News Release Dead?

1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.-Session 3
Crisis Simulation Training: How Would You Really Perform in a Crisis
Presenters: Dan O'Hair and Shari Veil, MBA, Ph.D., Center for Risk and Crisis Management, University of Oklahoma
Discussion on relevant risk and crisis theories, research and best practices in risk and crisis management.

For full program details visit

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're Walking for Autism Research. Want to Help?

On June 6, the Cain family is once again joining the Oklahoma City Autism Speaks Walk to raise funds and awareness for Autism Research. Our team name is The Penguins, and you can visit our team home page at

One in 150 children is diagnosed with autism. With a statistic like that you often hear of families being "touched by autism." That always sounds kind of mushy to me. We’re not a mushy kind of family. I prefer to think of it as a poke, a quick unexpected jab that demands your attention. Our family has been poked by Autism.

Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. It's time we started poking back. You can help us raise awareness by joining our team and/or participating in the June walk. You can also help support Autism research by making a donation from our homepage:


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Austin So Far: Tasty, Expensive, Educational & Embarrassing

The week-long celebration of my 32nd birthday is on. I'm tagging along for John's Austin conference trip. As my only goal is to get out of town and relax, it's ok that John is working for half the trip. I've still had tons of fun.

Tasty: So far most our activities have involved eating, and boy have they been some tasty meals. Who knew crepes could be so delish? Cafe Crepes knows. We had breakfast there this morning. I didn't realize crepes came with anything other than fruit. I had one full of veggies and cheese.

Expensive: All our meals have been priced proportionally to their yumminess. We are staying at the Four Seasons, and while it is incredibly nice, they are pretty impressed with themselves here.

Educational: Today we hit the LBJ Museum and Library. It was really cool and learned all about LBJ and Lady Bird. Obviously, the Museum is going highlight the best of Johnson's presidency, but it was interesting to learn about the socially progressive work the Johnson's administration did. He had hoped his legacy would be as the "Education President," but sad for him, he'll always be the "Vietnam President."

Embarrassing: As I said, all I really want to accomplish is some quality relaxing. What's more relaxing than lounging in a shady hammock, with a beautiful view of the lake and a fluffy beach read? I climbed up into the hammock, scooted to the center, steadied myself. Just when I thought I was good, the hammock swings around 360' and drops me on my butt. And, of course, what embarrassing moment is complete, without an audience. At least they didn't clap; they just laughed along with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Punched: I Did Not Sign Up For This

After a week of prodding from John I finally made an appointment to check on this weird rash on my chest and back. (TMI, but it's pertinent to the story!). I thought I'd get a prescription ointment and maybe, worse case scenario, a cortisone shot.

Doc took a look and said it could be an infection, but to be sure we treat the right thing, we should scrap a sample and send it off to lab. Um, ok. So scrapping didn't exactly sound pleasant but how bad could it be?

Then he comes back with a syringe, and said you know really we should do what's called a punch biopsy. But, we'll only do it if it's ok with me.

That Dr. King, he's such a nice guy. He wants to punch a hole in my chest but only if it's ok with me. It would have been easier if he 'd just come in and said this is what we're doing.

So I'm thinking that little syringe that's what you're going to punch me with, right. "That sounds like it'll hurt." That's when Dr. King cheerfully held up the syringe and said "Oh, no, I'm going to numb you up first." Holy, shit. This just starting looking really, really bad.

This is point where inside my head, I totally lose it. But I tried to suck it up. I'm laying down, so Dr. King can give me a shot in the center of my chest right over my breast bone (Gah! I know, right!) and I'm sure I'm cringing so badly you'd think he was about to stick leeches to me.

After I have a few minutes to numb up and let the whole idea of punching a hole in my chest sink in, Dr. King and the nurse are back. And they start talking about sutures, and needle drivers. Um, excuse me, what!

Ok, in all honesty, the actual procedure was not bad as far as pain goes, but it was so incredibly creepy and horrifying. I told my nurse, I was taking a sucker on my way out because I totally earned it. He told me I could have three, one for each of my stitches. That's right, three stitches! I'm still totally wigged.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's on the APR Exam?

When I talk about the APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) I have many people ask what is on the exam. The test covers a variety of topics and is broken down like so.

Researching, Planning, Implementing & Evaluating Programs (30%) Basically the four-step process. It counts for so much because it's the basis of what we do.

Ethics and Law (15%) Not only do you need to understand relevant laws, you'll need to know the PRSA Code of Ethics inside and out and understand how to apply it.

Communication Models and Theory (15%) Understand the implications and applications of various theories and models.

Business Literacy (10%) You need to understand and explain revenue generation, perform SWOT analysis, and identify other divisions that need to be involved in any communication program.

Management Skills & Issues (10%) You must understand audience diversity, make sound decisions, and hold strong leadership and organizational skills.

Crisis Communication Management (10%) You'll need to understand the roles and responsibilities of public relations at the pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis phases.

Media Relations (5%) Understand the relationships between PR and media organizations, have news sensibility and understand the media and various distribution systems.

Using IT Efficiently (2%) The category basically gauges your tech literacy.

History of & Current Issues in PR (2%) Identify key figures in the history of PR, major trends and key forces that influenced the field. You'll also have to differentiates among related concepts like publicity, advertising, marketing, and press agentry.

Advance Communication Skills (1%) This covers topics like consensus-building, consulting skills and negotiation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We Made It!

This morning was the first-ever Guthrie Clearwater Ride. John and I signed up about 6 weeks ago and we had the best of intentions to train for the ride. Unfortunately, the non-stop rain really put a crimp in that plan.

So, I was a little worried when we headed out this morning. Turns out the original optimism I had when I signed up was actually on track. I thought 18 miles on a bike isn't so bad, we're in good shape we can do it. What do you know, I was right!

We hit one rest stop at mile 7, and that was the only break I took. I was pretty proud of that fact. I will admit about that time I was thinking, "ok I could really use an endorphin rush right about now." Luckily, my body obliged around the half-way point. I was feeling really great, happy even. When I saw a huge hill looming around mile 12 and thought with a bit of glee "oooh, that's a big one!" I realized I was definitely high on something, because that was certainly not my reaction during the first 5 miles.

So big pat on the back to me!! Oh, and John and Mom and Dad. They did it too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

30-Day Blogging Challenge: Done & done

Yesterday marked the first day in a month that I didn't blog. That's because we finally concluded our 30-day office blogging challenge. Valerie and I both made it a whole month posting daily. Ruth, um... well... she gave it a shot.

The challenge was fun and I, for one, am glad I did it. I learned a few things about blogging and I think it'll help me blog better in the future. Here's some of what I learned:
  1. I can actually post everyday.
    At first, I thought what in the world do I have to blog about every day? I'm not saying they were all great, but really it wasn't that hard to come up with stuff. Now that I'm "trained" to blog consistently, I find myself coming up with ideas throughout the day.
  2. The techie tricks.
    Learning new tricks gave me something to blog about, but I feel like I have more options now, too. I updated my template, embedded You Tubes, and posted my own video. I also learned how to blog from my Blackberry.
  3. I even developed a loosey-goosey editorial calendar. Sort of.
    I found there were a few things I liked to blog about regularly. I have the APR tips (something I desperately searched for when I was studying) and the This Week I Love posts. Tada there's two posts a week.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

By a Hair!

Power went out here thanks to May thunderstorms. I nearly missed the last blog of the 30-day challenge!!

Nearly missed it

May thunderstorms knocked out the power and I nearly missed my last blog! Thank goodness for mobile blogging.
Sent on the Now Network� from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

APR Flash Card: Defamation

Here's the Tuesday APR Tip. Hey look, it's actually on Tuesday!

Category: Law
Front Defamation
Back: Communication that hurts someone's reputation, must be untrue. To be defamed or damaged one must prove hatred, contempt, ridicule.

Written or pictorial defamation is known as libel; spoken or verbal defamation is known as slander and need not be spoken in a public setting.

Wow, well that was thrilling I know. But ethics and law make up 15% of the computer-based examination for the APR. So if you are pursuing your accreditation, you are going to get very familiar with all kinds of fascinating information like this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Planning, Planning, Planning

I love to plan stuff. My husband can attest to this. He is not so much the planner I am, but he does enjoy my detailed itineraries, lists, and thorough packing system. Don't get me wrong, he mercilessly teases me throughout the planning process. But, he readily admits he appreciates the results.

This summer, I have ample opportunity to put my planning skills to work. John and I are juggling six major trips between the two of us, including one set that overlaps, and one international trip. I think I may actually be overwhelmed by the need to plan things.

Just an example of how freaky-deeky I get with the planning: I actually created a customizable things to pack check list. Check boxes for things you need, place for quantities (for both me and for John) and extra lines to add things specific to that trip. You see now why John makes fun of me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day: the Second

Well, today was Mother's Day part two. John and I got up with all the good intentions of training for the upcoming Guthrie Clear Water Ride, but just as we were pulling out the bikes it started to rain. Drats.

So instead we began getting the house guest-ready. Kathy (John's step-mom) and Mary (Kathy's mom) were due for arrival at 12:30. We all enjoyed some quality time over lunch at On the Border. It was delish, of course, and they were giving out flowers to all the moms. Very Sweet.

After we parted ways, John and I continued making plans for our busy busy summer. Honestly, I'm not sure how we are going to fit it all in in: Austin, Family Reunion, Indianapolis, Colorado, HS Reunion, Dublin, and Colorado again. Whew!Good thing I love summer, and I love planning thing. Bring it on!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day: the One

Today kicked off our whirlwind Mother's Day weekend. John and I met up with my mom and Emily at the OKC Zoo bright and early for the Annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast. The breakfast was good, and ostrich eggs taste (surprise!) just like eggs. There was a line of chefs making the omelets to order; and those guys sure knew how to make an omelet. It was fun to watch them flip the eggs in the skillets, all fancy like.

We wondered the zoo briefly, but the rain chased us away after we hit the various indoor exhibits.

Next, it was on to Bricktown where we caught the matinee of Star Trek. It was awesome, everyone got a kick out of it. In my opinion, it's everything you look for in a typical "summer movie."

Then we struck out for the Cox Convention Center. Unfortunately, at this point we had Mother's-Dayed-out Emily. So she and mom headed home before we got to the Dachshund Dash. John and I continued on and got to see a few races. Judging from twitter and my RSS feeder I missed lots of friends and family while we were there. Everyone was off to the wiener races today.

We grabbed some Abuleo's on our way home then crashed for a nice long nap with the animals. All-in-all a stellar Saturday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Not too Late to Join me for Ostrich Eggs

Tomorrow, John and I are taking my mom and baby sis to the Zoo for the annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast. I can't wait. We've wanting to attend this event for a couple years, but something always seems to come up.

The breakfast includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, scrambled hens’ eggs, waffles, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and ostrich egg omelets cooked to order. There will be live music and a free Sea Lion show. What fun!

Tickets are $10 ($8 if you happen to be a ZooFriend) and you can buy them at the door tomorrow. Breakfast starts at 8 am and runs until 10 am. Maybe I'll see you there.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

APR Flash Card: Samuel Adams

Wow, so I had this really cute editorial idea, the Tuesday Tip. I have all these APR flash cards and I thought wouldn't it be great if I posted one every Tuesday. Only, I often forget what day it is, so that doesn't so much work out for me.

So if you follow my Tuesday (but-not-usually-actually-on-a-Tuesday) Tip, or if you just stumbled across this searching Google for APR tips, you might want to just search the blog for the label "APR."

Here's your flash card:
Category: Key People
Front: Samuel Adams
Back: In the late 1700s, used a variety of tools to manipulate public opinion.
Organizations included Sons of Liberty, Committees of Correspondence
Utilized symbols, slogans and staged events.

Learn more Sam here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hey, I Know Them!

Tonight, I thought I'd send a little linky love to all my blogger friends. Over the past few years, I've become quite fond of blogs for a variety of reasons: entertainment, education, professional development. But, my favorites tend to be the blogs of folks I actually know. Here are a few. If I miss you, post your URL in the comments!

The fam
Wood Works for Guthrie by John
Dust on the Mirror by Daddy
The Miller Spot by Andrea
The Lopez Family by I think you can guess who

The Bonnie-pire
Naked Wife by Valerie
Clear as Mud by Ruth
When Reality Hits, Am I Ready by Germaine
Marissa Chavez's Blogosphere by Marissa

Other friends
The Czar of PR by Sean
Oooo, Shiny by Sam
Eschipul by Ed
Personal PR by Tiffany

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Meeting Highlight: Rudy the Police Dog

Three policemen.

But this one was the cutest.

The highlight of tonight's city council meeting (for me at least) was getting to meet Rudy, Guthrie's police dog. He was so sweet, such a lover. Rudy is 3 and a half and has been working for Guthrie since October.

I asked his "partner" what Rudy does for us, and he told me Rudy is a multiple purpose canine officer. He does narcotic searches, tracking, body recovery and biting. Yep, that's exactly how the officer put it: "biting."

It was hard to believe as Rudy was nuzzling my knee and trying to give kisses, but evidently this dog will take you down.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Best PRSA Conference Ever!

Today, Valerie and I trekked down to OKC to meet with the rest of the PRSA-Southwest District 2010 Conference Planning Committee. In my humble opinion, it's going to be the best conference ever!

I am the PRSSA-liaison for the conference. That means it's my job to work with the PRSSA (that's the student PR society) liaisons and advisors throughout the southwest district to promote student attendance at the conference. Even more difficult than that is making sure that the students at schools without a PRSSA chapter learn about the conference also.

Now that I have my head around the project, it's actually a bigger undertaking than I originally anticipated. Still, I am so excited and so very honored that I was asked to do this. I love working with the PR students and I hope that beyond promoting student attendance I can also help develop some conference programming that will make them all very happy they decided to attend PRSA-Southwest 2010.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hooray for Summer Movies!!

I love summer. It is my favorite time of year. I love the heat, the slower pace at work, time off, vacations. I even love the hot humid weather we get here in Oklahoma. Another thing I love is the summer blockbusters. Memorial Day is just around the corner and that means the summer blockbuster season is about to start.

Here are a few on my must-see list.
Wolverine-May 1

Star Trek-May 8

Angels and Demons-May 15

Terminator-May 21

Harry Potter-July 15

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Competition Drags Me from Bed

As you may know, from April 13 until May 13, Valerie, Ruth and I are participating in a 30-day blogging challenge. And today, for the first time, I nearly blew it.

Our day started early, because Sarah and her dog Newton spent the night. Sarah had to be up and out of here at 7 a.m. for life guard training. Newton stuck around for a few more hours to have puppy play date time with Boogie.

It was both a relaxing and jammed packed Saturday, as we paid bills, ran errands, cleaned house, went out for lunch, and made a terrific from-scratch dinner (thanks, Rachel Ray for the fantastic Spinach Artichoke Calazones). Then we settled in to watch a travel video on Ireland in preparation for our July trip. All in all it was an awesome Saturday.

I had tucked into bed and was finally beginning to drift off when all of a sudden I realized, "Gasp! I have blogged today!!" I dragged myself out of bed to throw together this entry. I couldn't let Valerie beat me. As much as I love sleep, I love competing just a tad more.

Friday, May 1, 2009

This Week I Love: Netflix

The weekend is upon us, and that always makes me appreciate our Netflix subscription. John and I love movies, and we had trouble supporting our cinematic habit at the local rental shop. The trips back and forth, late fees, and roaming the aisles looking for the perfect pick were sucking a lot of the fun from our favorite hobby.

Enter Netflix. We've upgraded to the unlimited four-at-a-time plan. With this plan, we are only forced to go one or two days a week with no DVDs on hand. In those instances we can always fall back on the "watch on demand" programs. Hundreds of movies and television shows can be streamed directly from Netflix's site if you are member.

Other great benies include
  • No late fees! John and I were spending as much in late fees as rental fees.
  • Easy decisions. We add movies we want to our queue and arrange by genre. That way we never really have to decide what to watch when. We get a mix of comedies, dramas, documentaries, etc. and then just pick from what came in the mail that week.
  • Massive selection. If it's on DVD, Netflix probably has it. We were sold by their selection of documentaries.
  • Recommendations. You can rate movies you've seen and Netflix will make recommendations for other movies. We've seen so many great movies we never would have heard of this way. (we've rated nearly 1200 movies. um, yeah, we don't have a problem)
We currently have over 300 movies in our queue. If we stopped adding things, it would still take us a year and a half to watch them all.