Monday, April 24, 2017

21 And Gettin Stuff Done

21 and dumb... absolutely not.  Not really my thing.
21 and wise.... we're working on it, not quite there.
21 and rich ... Isn't that what college is for (wait, student loans)

Im just going to stick with 21 and getting stuff done.

21, the year you officially reach adulthood.  17 was kind of cool because you could purchase your own rated R movie tickets.  18 is cool because of cigarette and voter registration.  19 and 20 are pretty irrelevant, but 21 is flat out magical.  There are official no age restrictions on what you can do and places to attend.

In my 21st year of life, I decided to take a semi non-traditional route.  I'm not really into the non-stop party that the average 21 year old is stereotyped into.  I'm somewhat of an old sole.  I value the little things that you can't remember while under the influence of alcohol.

21 has been a big year of preparation for the future.  With a nearly finished college career, and a full time job, I tend to be a pretty busy gal.

While I do enjoy being a busy person, I am very much looking forward to the conclusions of 21.  22 brings the end of a college career, the death of a full time retail position, and the beginning of a "grown up" life.

With 22 rapidly approaching, I felt like it was appropriate to pay homage to the good ole 21.  Peace out dude.  It's been fun.


PK Life

Here's a little secret for you.

I'm a pastors kid.  SURPRISE.  Bet you didn't know that about me.

The most common thing people ask when I tell them my family has relocated multiple times is "Is your dad in the military?"  Which if you think about it, is a really excellent question, considering nearly every state I've lived in has had a military base.  That's besides the point though.

PK life is definitely an interesting one.  Not to brag or anything, but my siblings and I, are pretty much the ultimate pastors children.  What I mean by that is, both sets of my grandparents are involved in ministry.  My dad's parents do missions work in Africa, and now serve as elders at their church.  My mothers parents have served as pastors for nearly 50 years, and even as retired citizens serve as senior citizens pastors.  But wait, I'm still not done. My Uncle Carl is the lead pastor at a church in Illinois, that my grandparents previously pastored, and my parents got married in. So it's only natural that my parents met at bible college.

But why is this relevant? What does this have to do with my DC to OKC trend?

Well, really everything.

The entire reason I ended up in Oklahoma City is due to being a PK. Well, I suppose that isn't entirely true, considering I am now "grown" and could have easily made the decision to stay in Virginia.

In all honesty, I didn't choose the PK life.  The PK life chose me.

That may be something that some people really try to separate themselves from, but not I.  After a certain point, it becomes a whole new part of your DNA.  After visiting the new church for the first time, something deep in my tummy knew that I needed to be here in OKC, and embark on this new midwestern journey.


Land Of The Buffalo

I've made a new discovery: Buffalo's are pretty freaking cool. 

I've always thought it was interesting that the Oklahoma's state animal was the buffalo.  For the most part, I feel as though state animals are slightly underrated.  You hear more about state birds then you do animals. However, Oklahoma is quite the opposite.  

Buffalo's are everywhere. They're on T-shirts, posters, the side of highway, and one even makes an appearance as the mascot of Thunder Basketball.  

The pictures below are from my first experience seeing a buffalo in real life.  Who would have thought that such weathered looking creature, meandering slowly across the prairie would bring me so much joy.  

Bill the Buffalo (Yeah... I named him), will forever have a special place in my heart.  


So Long Dancing Shoes... Hello Green screen???

I used to be a dancing fool.  Oh who am I kidding, I still am.

As I've said before, I previously attended Christopher Newport University.  In my time at that university, I was incredibly involved.  Much of my involvement was due to the fact that I was a member of the CNU Storm Dance team.  Dance team is the East Coast equivalent to Pom here in Oklahoma.  

I was a member of the team during my freshmen, and sophomore years in college.  During that time, I was able to perform at football and basketball games, and compete at national competition.  

My first year as UCO, I was basically anti UCO.  There was just really no part of me that wanted to try and become an involved student.  I suppose majority of that relates back to being a bitter boots about transferring in general.  

This past semester, I decided that it might be important for me to try a little harder, considering im graduating soon, and living a bitter life, is no way to live at all.  

Thus, the beginning of a new chapter.  Kaitlyn Hawpe officially retires dancing and enters the world of broadcasting.  

TADA! I'm a weather girl.  Well... I have been for a semester at least.  

While I wouldn't necessarily say the weather is my passion, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to be the UCO weather girl for a semester.  

If you ever want a good giggle, go ahead and check out some of our previously aired newscasts on Facebook, and watch me struggle to pronounce the word precipitation, or over mention what the weather in Guymon is like.  Please note that in the picture above, I am most definitely talking about the evening temperature in Guymon.   

I definitely wish there was no part of me that had to retire my dancing career, but being a part of UCentral was an amazing opportunity.  It gave me a sense of purpose, and kept my schedule a tad more occupied.   


Thursday, April 20, 2017

I'll Be C-N-U Later

I abandoned a tiny column kingdom, for the land of the broncho.

A huge culture change I endured in my transition from DC to OKC included transferring to a new university.  

SPOILER ALERT! Transferring sucks.

Transitioning to college can be somewhat difficult.  It takes time to establish yourself, and figure out how your are going to go about your college career.  Transferring at your junior year, is like becoming a freshman all over again.

I started my college career at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News Virginia.  Located only 45 minutes away from Virginia Beach, 15 minutes away from Williamsburg Virginia, and the amusement park Busch Gardens, there was plenty to do.

There is absolutely no exaggeration when I call CNU the column kingdom.  in fact, there is really no better way to describe it.  Don't believe me,

Literally every academic building and majority of the dormitories are decorated with columns.  CNU is most definitely a column kingdom.

So, transferring.  Yeah, that was a grand time.  I transferred to UCO as a Junior.  It was an interesting transition because my degree program was drastically different, and I knew absolutely nothing about the school.  I went from living on my own, to moving back in with my parents.  All in all, the entire change was a huge adjustment for me.

As difficult as it was to come to terms with the entire transition, I am truly thankful that I ended up in Oklahoma City, and finishing my college career at UCO.  CNU is an extraordinary school, but all in all, the professional media program at UCO, is far better then anything I could have done at CNU.

Even though I am sometimes still a little bitter about transferring, I am pretty glad that I traded the column kingdom for the land of the broncho.  


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Real Life Twister

No, i'm not talking about the party game, that makes people get into awkward positions with very little personal space.

I'm talking about the movie junk.
The dark gloomy skies, and swirling gusts of wind.
The natural phenomenon.
The grab your kids and run to the cellar kinda stuff.

These are obviously statements coming from a new Oklahoman, who has only been apart of one tornado season. 

I have yet to come across an Oklahoman, who is actually a little scared of tornado season.  In fact, most actually find a great source of pride in the dreaded tornado season.  

Large part of my initial apprehension regarding moving to OKC was tornado season.  There was just really absolutely no way in hell you were going to move me from a weather safety zone to tornado alley.  But here I am!

I am beginning to adapt to Tornado season.  It isn't quite as bad as I made it out to be.  I do however live in a less tornado centric area.  Even still, tornados are somewhat scary.

I personally find the Weather broadcasters in Oklahoma particularly entertaining during tornado season.  A funnel cloud descending from the sky brings them pure joy.  Tornado season is their favorite season.

My favorite example of this would be David Payne, the Chief Meteorologist on News 9.  His giddiness while delivering incredibly vital information for the safety of Oklahomans entertains me.  I particularly love that even his twitter handle, @tornadopayne displays his pride in Tornado season.

It has taken a lot for this east coast girl to get used to the tornados that sweep through this great state.
Who knows though?  Perhaps eventually I will display the same excitement and pride as my Oklahoman buddies.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taco Mucho?

It seems to me like there is never ending options for tacos in Oklahoma. In Virginia, if you were craving some fast Mexican, there was one, and only one option.  That option is the fine Mexican cuisine that is Taco Bell.

The very first time I ventured out to the great state that is Oklahoma, prior to my family's relocation, I couldn't help but notice that the options for a quick taco were seemingly endless.  I was completely baffled by the amount of taco joints I had to choose from. 

 When I drive from my house to school, I pass the classic Taco Bell, Taco Bueno, Del Taco, and Taco Mayo.  I feel as though it is important to express that my drive from home to school is only a five miles! 

So, for those of you that are potentially considering a geographic relocation, and have a strong and frequent hankering for Tacos, Oklahoma City is the place for you.  


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Oklahoma Sky

There has always been something so captivating to me about the sky.  I am completely fascinated by it.  As far as skies go, the Oklahoma sky is truly a masterpiece.  Wether is be a sunrise, or sunset, or just a starry night, the sky in Oklahoma never disappoints.

I am a person that finds great peace in the sky.  There is something about it that makes my heart feel at ease.  Morning drives as the sun rises, or evening walks at Lake Hefner to watch the sunset, are things that allow me to stop and be appreciative for the life I live, and the blessings I have a received.

The sky speaks for itself.  


Thunder Up

Going to an Oklahoma City Thunder game is like a right of passage to truly achieve the title of "Oklahoman".  When it comes to college football, fan support feels like a nation divided (I suppose in this case it would be a pan shaped state divided.) However, in my mind support of the Thunder is one of the things that unites the people of Oklahoma.

To the left, are a few photos of my right of passage ceremony.  Also known as my very first Thunder game.  The second I walked into the Chesapeake Energy Arena, I instantly felt the energy (that was not initially intended to be a play on words, but I decided to stick with it) There was something so exciting about sitting in the nose bleed section with some friends, and observing the excitement amongst the audience.  It honestly didn't matter where we were sitting.  It was just a blast to be apart of such a high energy "cultural experience" if you will.

I basically became a super fan after going to my first Thunder game.  I have been to several other NBA games before, but never truly followed a team.  Now that I reside in good ole OKC, it's safe to say that the thunder is my team.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Learning about blogging

There have been a lot of things I have learned about blogging, since starting this process.  In just a few short months, I can see how much I've learned about the blog world.

For one thing, I never truly knew how huge the world of blogging truly is.  For example, I never would have thought that I could potentially become a professional blogger.  How cool is it to think that writing about something intriguing  to someone else could potentially provide me an income! I don't know about you, but that is definitely something that I think is pretty cool. 

My blog has changed a lot through out the semester.  I feel like every time I publish something on my blog, I go back and make changes at least three or four times.  There is always something to make it a little better.  

I've learned a lot about making an emphasis on your blog.  Whether it be through an intriguing introductory sentence, or through strategic punctuation.  exclamation points aren't the only way to convey a point.  

Blogging is huge for my major.  It is gradually becoming more and more implemented into the news industry.  Certain mendia conglomerates have created blogs where they have certain corespondents blog.  It is another way for the media to reach an audience.  

Blogging in this class has affected me greatly.  It has forced me to do a great deal of thinking.  I have to think about what might be interesting in my life for other people to read about.  It has also been a great creative outlet for me. It is really interesting to think about all of the difference between my previous lifestyle in Northern Virginia, and my new life in Oklahoma.   

The most important lesson I've learned in this class is probably about being creative, and reaching an audience.  If I want to make any kind of impact with my writing, it is important for me to think about how I can convey a message in a creative way, and keep the audiences attention.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

I Could Be A Professional Blogger?

Have you ever had the desire to become your own boss? The idea of being

your own boss is something that many people find quite appealing. In today’s

society, that idea is no longer far from reach. People all over the nation are finding

ways to be self-employed.

Social media is already wildly popular, and many people are finding ways to

be paid for their creative personal online works. In recent years, professional

blogging has become more and more of a career phenomenon. People from all over

the world are turning their personal blogs involving hobbies or travel into their


Perhaps there is a common misconception when it comes to being your own

boss, especially in the world of professional blogging. It’s quite possible that people

assume that professional bloggers spend all day in their pajamas, drinking coffee,

and occasionally jotting down a few thoughts for their blogs. If you have plans of

making your hobby into a professional career, it will require a lot of skill, knowledge

and time.

Successful blogs obviously need creative and interesting content, as well as

good writing. However, there are many other traits and skills professional bloggers

need in order for them to be successful. These things include search engine

optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and management skills. It is

also important to insure that your blog includes good grammar, and a

representation of some knowledge of photo editing.

It is really important to take your time as you enter into a career in

professional blogging. Take your time, and make sure that you are going about

everything in a manner that will lead you to success. For example, you should

ensure that you have a back of plan for income before you solely rely on your

blogging career.

There are many people that are taking this leap into self-employment in the

blogging world. With some preparation and hard work, you are completely capable

of being able to create an income from your blog, and earning the title “Professional



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Boomer Sooner

There is something so magical about watching college football on a Saturday.  Whether it be on the couch at home, or in a stadium full of painted up college kids, and outrageous fans, game days are the best days. I suppose that is definitely a matter of opinion.  To my family however, OU football is everything.

Living in Northern Virginia for my family, meant ten agonizingly long years of less magical OU football Saturdays.  For one thing, the east coast time zone isn't the greatest.  They are an hour ahead of Oklahoma, which obviously means that football games were broadcast later.

My family tends to go all out on game day.  My mom makes all kinda of finger foods, like buffalo chicken wontons, wings, sliders...etc. We have a lot of extended family that also live in Oklahoma.  Now that we have relocated, everyone comes to our house on game day.  It's usually pretty wild.

As I have stated in previous posts, I've moved around quite a few times.  One major thing i've notices is the way Oklahomans rally around their football. Whether it be OU or OSU, they're fans are incredibly passionate.  It is incredibly less likely for you to find as many over the top UVA and Virginia Tech fans.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sitting Still

Here are some interesting questions for you:
  • Have you ever put your car in park because you were sitting in the same place for so long? 
Okay, maybe that one wasn't crazy enough. 

  • Have you ever have to bounce in the seat of your car because your butt was numb from sitting in the same position for so long? 
  • Have you ever made friends with people next to you on the highway? 
  • Have you ever kicked your feet up on the dashboard of your car while on on the highway, in attempt to get comfortable?
If you have answered no to any of these questions, then you're probably not from the DC area.  

One of my favorite things to hear oklahomans complain about is traffic.  There is absolutely no comparison between traffic in Northern Virginia and Oklahoma.  When you live in Virginia, simple plans like going to the movies our out to dinner require strategic planning just because of how horrific the highway traffic is.  You can almost guarantee that if you are on 1-95 around rush hour it will take you a minimum of an extra hour and half to get home.

We should be honest though.  Traffic is the spawn of satan.  No matter what part of the world you are driving in.

Lets compare pictures of Oklahoma and Northern Virginia highways, shall we!

On you're left we have a lovely picture of a clear Oklahoma highway.  It's hard for this little east coast girl to see that picture, and not get giddy and excited to drive! My Northern Virginia traffic on the other hand, makes me wish I never got my drivers license.

This is one thing that makes me thankful for the DC to OKC life.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Local Brews

One thing that has truly amazed me about Oklahoma City, is the amount of local coffee shops.  I am a person who very much appreciates a good cup of coffee.  As I'm sure you could imagine, I absolutely love this fact!

I have two friends named Jacob and Danielle, who have dedicated themselves to educating me on all of the local brews.  We often meet up at various coffee shops around town.  The first time I go to a new coffee shop, I tend to be a tad hesitant with my order.  I usual get something that is very basic, an unlikely for a barista to mess up.  An example of this would be some sort of Mocha, or a caramel latte.  Yeah, I'm not that cool when it comes to my coffee selections. However, with friends that are particularly coffee cultured, I've found my taste buds are either becoming more sophisticated, or I am becoming more adventurous.  That is most definitely up for debate.

Taste bud maturity is definitely a good thing.  As long as the sweets portion always remains the same.  I absolutely love a good pastry.  I recently had the most life changing lemon bar.  I mean, it was absolutely phenomenal.  The zest of lemon and the texture of the crust, coupled with the dainty sprinkling of powdered sugar makes for one very happy tummy.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Would You Move to Oklahoma?!

When my family first moved to Oklahoma many of our friends in Virginia would ask questions or say things like "why Oklahoma?", "There isn't even anything to do there!", or my personal favorite "aren't there a lot of cow pastures there?" I personally wasn't quite as anti Oklahoma in terms of activities and cow volume. I was more anti Oklahoma in the sense of why move? What is so special about Oklahoma that I can't have in Virginia? Outside of my wonderful family of course!

When I made my first journey to the Mid West prior to my families relocation, it was my fathers mission to fill my two week visit with all kinds of OKC specific Shenanigans.  These included a variety of things like exploring Bricktown, and taking me to all sorts of local shops and restaurants. My father was basically the ultimate Oklahoma City salesmen.  He brought up literally ever pro he could imagine from food, to cost of living, all the way to the dramatic difference in highway traffic.  

Incredibly long and overly dramatic story short.. It worked!  About seven months later I ended up following my parents to good ole Oklahoma, and discovering all of the okie-isms for myself!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kicked To The Curb

Have you ever literally been left on the side of the road? I have. Although, my experience of being "kicked to the curb" wasn't an act of abuse (I suppose that may be up for debate), it was one that left me feeling very lonely and teary eyed. The  photograph to the left is about ten minutes prior to my pathetic exile in a Cici's pizza parking lot.  What a glamorous setting to say goodbyes.

After ten years of living in Northern Virginia, my parents had made the courageous decision to transition my family from our very comfortable routine, to an entirely different way of life in Oklahoma.  Moving to Oklahoma meant huge job transitions for both of my parents, and my little sister, Chloe, becoming the dreaded "new kid" in the middle of the school year. As far as I am concerned, moving to Oklahoma was not even close to an option. I was going to basically continue living in Virginia, graduate from college, and start my adult life there. I was very unaware that this heartbreaking moment was just the beginning of an entirely new way of life.

So, as a girl who is incredibly close with her family, living only two hours away from them was incredibly difficult. You can only imagine how much of a train wreck I was when they decided to add a solid 22 hours to that.  The first time I saw my family in their new home was a little less then two months from their departure.  That was the longest I had ever gone without seeing my family, and getting that good ole fashion lovin in.  Long story short, being reunited with them was one of the most dramatic things I've ever been apart of.  There were heavy amount of ugly crying, and hugs bigger then what I knew could exist.

I had been to Oklahoma City many times before to visit family and what not.  This time it was an entirely different experience.  Since I was completely set on absolutely never moving to Oklahoma, it was my father's mission that in my short two week visit I experience nearly everything OKC has to offer.  We were obviously unable to complete everything, but enough headway was made to start convincing me that a new life in the Mid west might not be such a bad idea. Thus the beginning of my transition from DC to OKC.      


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Moving moving moving.

In my 21 short years of life, I have moved 7 different times. To the average military brat, that number is absolutely nothing. To the average Oklahoman however, big moves typically include moving out of their parents house, and into their college dorm room. Each new transition, whether it be across the country, or to a college campus is uniquely challenging. Now that I am "grown", well grown-ish, the lessons I've learned from my most recent move are seemingly endless!

A year and a half ago, I made a semi drastic move from the fast paced lifestyle of Northern Virginia, to a much more relaxed and simple lifestyle in Oklahoma City (Please note that in my opinion, simplicity is never a bad thing).

As I'm sure you can imagine, the lifestyle in Virginia is quite different from that in Oklahoma.  So, I've dedicated this little blog to telling stories about all of my new Oklahoma specific adventures. From new experience involving food, sports, communication and even traffic, there is a lot of new stories to share! And so let it be known that this little geographic mutt, is transforming into an Okie.