Throwback Thursday – Okla-home

We have been living and working here in Korea for six months and have been loving every minute of it. However, there are still times when we think about home and reminisce about all the amazing things we left behind in order to start this new life together. We were both born and raised in the great state of Oklahoma. Many people only know about our state because of the musical, but for us it is a very special place that will always be our Okla-home.

When we tell our students that we are from the middle of America, they all seem to think we all ride horses and wear cowboy hats. Well, I guess that’s not far off, as most of our families do in fact own many horses and cowboy hats, or at least graduated from Oklahoma State University whose mascot is THE cowboy, Pistol Pete. Another misconception our kids maintain is that, not being from New York or California means that we must be from Texas. I assume this is their thought process…


Here is a list of some of the things back home that we miss dearly. First and foremost we miss family. Nearly all of our family members still reside in Oklahoma. From family reunions to quick trips to visit immediate family, wonderful memories were always made and a deep appreciation for those special individuals was always better understood. Ryan particularly misses shooting guns and fishing with his family. I miss my own crazy, wonderful family as well and all the spontaneous moments we have shared.


Shooting clay pigeons at the Kennedy Family Reunion


Untitled-1 copy

My dad and brother at a thrift store in Branson, MO and my mom and I being normal.

Another thing we miss is all of our friends. We have had some great summers spent at the lakes of Stillwater and have had some incredible road trips, some of which we barely survived. Some of our best stories and most memorable lazy days were shared with these amazing people. From Team Z to our lake buddies, Stonewall regulars to roommates and coworkers; we miss you all!


Team Z Oklahoma Road Trip



We miss all the idiosyncrasies that our state possesses. Greasy spoon diners where all they serve is beer, gravy soaked chicken, and a crappy cup of coffee are never far from our thoughts around dinner time. We’re looking at you “Mom’s Diner.” These places go above and beyond their spectacular menu to provide the highest aesthetically pleasing decor possible.


Growing up in tornado alley, we have watched more of our state be pommeled than we care to remember, but it was always an exciting time of year. The storms that Oklahoma can brew up are truly a sight to see. Sitting on porches watching wall clouds approach and finally going inside when the state’s most famous weatherman, Gary England, said,”Take Cover,” for the third time.


Even though this state can seem boring and backwards to some, we see it’s people and its beauty above all else. Our favorite pastime was always driving the country roads and watching the sunsets at the lake. Afterwards, cleaning the red dirt off our car after driving all day was always a pleasant reminder of the unique place that we lived and the opportunity that we had to live so freely.






11 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – Okla-home

  1. Dad (Jeff) says:

    Great post and pics! You are both missed greatly, but we are proud of you and happy to see you enjoying this adventure. So in the diner pic….get a look at the size of those stripers!

  2. Elicia Shepard says:

    I love this post. My mom told me when we were moving to korea “now that you are married where ever you are with Tom is your new home… But don’t forget where you came from, the place you can always go back to, and how much we love you.” It makes me teary eyed even today! Even though we aren’t from Oklahoma, and we call Wisconsin and Minnesota “back home” I was able to appreciate the things you miss from your home state. We too love fishing and hunting up in the north! Thanks for your thoughtful post… I love reading them! I can tell you put your heart into it, and it’s so fun to read! Keep on writing! -elicia

    • Hedger says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Elicia! We are loving our new life together here in Korea, but it is always nice to take time to remember where we came from and all the happy memories we’ve made. We were so excited to share this post. I am glad that you found some commonalities with your home state and it sounds like we share some of the same favorite past times as well!

  3. Jill says:

    Oh, Sis~ This made me tear up! Love “our” picture! That was a fun day–one of many. Elicia (above) put it very well when she quoted her mother. We miss & love you both so much. Praying for you. Note to Jeff: You kill me!

    • Hedger says:

      This post was so much fun to write! It is easy to write about such a wonderful place that is filled with so many happy memories. Love you and miss you both!

  4. Dad (Van) says:

    This is a great story. That is one of the reasons we moved back to Oklahoma was the people and grandparents. This is truly a wonderful state. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. We miss you so much.

  5. Grandma says:

    We miss you too. We especially missed you in Colorado and other times when the family is together. We love reading your reports on your life there. I have trouble responding , though, because I am technologically handicapped. Keep sending us news and I will try to overcome my handicap. We love you. Grandma

    • Hedger says:

      Well you managed to make this comment, so I have complete faith that you are indeed not internet handicapped but instead handicapable! We love hearing from you guys, as well 🙂

  6. cartasdecourtney says:

    I´m so happy I´ve stumbled across your blog! I´m a fellow Okla-homie (from Owasso/Stigler) teaching in Spain with my boyfriend. We´ve just begun our second year here. It´s nice to know there are people who can relate to missing the same things! I can also identify with your most recent post of how to handle comments from friends and family back home… it can be so tough being pulled both ways. I´m really looking forward to reading more posts!

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