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As women, we feel responsible for the well-being of our families, but keeping our kids healthy starts with our health. Many of us count calories, get regular exercise and never miss our yearly wellness exams, but you might have overlooked the largest threat to your health – heart disease. We tend to think of heart disease as a man’s disease, but the fact is it kills more women each year than anything else. And for women, the symptoms are different: in addition to chest pain, shortness of breath and upper body pain, unshakable fatigue and sleeplessness can also be signs of a heart attack. Whether you’re a patient of INTEGRIS Health Edmond or Lakeside Women’s Hospital, you have access to cardiologists from INTEGRIS Heart Hospital, and you can make an appointment now to see a cardiologist at either location. To schedule an appointment at the location most convenient for you, call 405.951.2277.

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Outlook December 2014

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Outlook December 2014

December 2014

Christmas Memories

What happens during the holidays shouldn’t stay in the holidays! This year, some of the busy elves at Back40 Design and Outlook Magazine took a moment to share their personal Christmas memories. All the while, we recognize that ‘family’ isn’t just who you go home to each evening, but also who you share life with over deadlines, projects and coffee at the office each day.

Peace Corps

“My favorite Christmas memory occurred when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. It was our group’s first Christmas there, and a small group of us decided to go camping on the beach. The small group quickly ballooned into 50 volunteers. We made our own stockings out of traditional African fabric we bought at a local market, and each of us had a secret Santa.” - Matt Flick, Web Designer

33 Young Yoga

Children find their own style of peace and balance with yoga

Middle Child

“Our family laughs because I, the middle child of three girls, didn’t always seem to get as much attention as my sisters. One Christmas I proudly received a doll that wet her diaper when you fed her water. In the Super 8 home movie from that Christmas Day, I can be seen running around the house, announcing repeatedly to no one in particular, ‘Well, my baby finally hasn’t wetted yet.’” - Laura Beam, Advertising Sales Manager

Non-Traditional Dinner

“When we don’t host a traditional Christmas meal for the family, our standby menu is mushroom soup and french bread, escargot with parsley butter sauce, and filet mignon with mashed gold potatoes and asparagus. I think snails is about as nontraditional as you can get!” - Jessica Hough, Web Programmer

A Family Reunited

“Several years ago, I had the opportunity to adopt one of my retired racing greyhounds’ littermates after following her racing career online for over a year. We drove to Council Bluffs, IA to pick Lucy up the day after she retired from racing, and brought her home to be with her brother just in time for their 4th birthday on December 23rd. That Christmas was a really special time having both of them together again.” - Emily Hummel, Account Executive

Happy Holidays to All!

10 Louise

A Hallmark Christmas

13 Food

All About that Baste Local chefs’ holiday blunders and wonders

16 Business

80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034


20 The Winning Decision Michael Squires knows what it takes to be one of the best gymnasts in the country

24 Life of the Party Home and personal fashion for the holidays

Armstrong Auditorium presents Swan Lake Clothes Mentor Dr. Carl Limbaugh

27 The Tsunami Effect

30 ‘Tis the Season

34 Down on Your Luck

Holiday events & attractions

38 My Outlook

Pat Darcey, Creator of With Joy Nativities Front cover photography by Ryan Kirkpatrick To advertise, contact Laura at 405-301-3926 or

Dave Miller, Publisher/Back40 Design President


8 Facts & Figures


Timothy Trujillo reflects on his experiences during the after math of the 2004 Asian Tsunami A local organization takes “citizens helping citizens” to a new level

36 An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Reflecting on the memories and traditions that make our community a wonderful place to be during the holidays

Volume 10, Number 12 Edmond & North OKC Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. © 2014 Back40 Design, Inc. PUBLISHER Dave Miller



Account Executive Emily Hummel

PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins

Graphic Designers Ryan Kirkpatrick & Matt Flick

DISTRIBUTION The Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes.

Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.





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Around Town

Enjoy delicious food & a silent auction at Edmond Memorial High School’s 4th Annual “Taste of Memorial” on Tuesday, Dec. 9th from 4:30-7:30pm. Funds raised will support athletic programs. E-mail for additional information. Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink has a NEW location! Now located at Mitch Park, 1501 Covell Road, the ice rink is open noon-10pm every day through Jan. 4th. Visit or call 274-1638 for more info. Choose & cut your own fresh Christmas tree at Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree Farm! Open weekdays 1-7pm & weekends 10am-7pm, they’re located at 7121 Midwest Lane in Edmond. Main Event Entertainment is now open! Located at 1331 W. Memorial Rd., the Main Event experience features bowling, laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, virtual video games, dining & more. For more info, visit

Thanks to the kiddos from Back40 for their wonderful (and entertaining) answers!


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Outlook December 2014

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A Ha ll mark Christmas by Louise Tucker Jones

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas, but those heart-tugging, tear-jerking Hallmark card TV commercials remind me the holiday is just around the corner. You know, the ones where the long ago student comes back to thank the teacher, or the grown-up daughters find the cards their dad saved all of their years of growing up. Ah, sweet! I almost had one of those Hallmark moments several years ago. At least I thought I was going to have one. My prodigal daughter came home for the holiday, and as I watched her stroll through the living room, lingering at the Christmas tree and touching ornaments her little hands had made, I hoped she remembered good times. Special times. Then suddenly, she walked into the kitchen. I stopped what I was doing and turned toward her, noticing the look of remembrance on her face. “Mom, do you remember…” I hung onto every word, certain this was the moment I had been waiting for. That priceless connection. Then she finished. “Mom, do you remember when you swatted that huge, weird-looking spider and baby spiders flew all over the place?” Did she really ask that? Yep, she did! I’m not sure what happened. I just know I was stunned. Shocked, in fact. And yes, I remembered that incident, but certainly not with fondness. A Hallmark moment it wasn’t! But most of our lives are not made up of Hallmark moments. Most of our lives are just plain old everyday stuff—the good, the bad, even the exceptional and horrendous, with everything in between. Today,

someone is experiencing each of those emotions. For every death being grieved there is a birth being celebrated. While one household is deafeningly empty and lonely, another is bursting at the seams with generations of family members. Being a person who ponders things, I find myself asking God the big question. Why? Why does He seem to bless one person, family or country and not another? Why does one person die from cancer while another survives? Why is one couple blessed with a half dozen children and another remains childless? Why is a teenager cut down in the prime of life by a drunken driver? Why do evil people make shooting galleries of our schools? I have no answer to these questions or a thousand more. And sometimes at Christmas, memories of these painful events are all too heavy. We miss loved ones who are no longer with us. We remember our favorite Christmas, and it isn’t the one we are having right now. I know those feelings all too well. But I also know there is a God in heaven who has not forgotten us. He sent his Son to this earth that first Christmas over 2,000 years ago. Jesus came so that we might have life and love, even in our most difficult times. Life in Him—not in a holiday. Love in Christ—not in Christmas. A life of hope and peace in the midst of our pain, and joy in spite of it. So this Christmas I wish you love, laughter, happiness and goodness in every season of your life. Know that our circumstances will never predict or dictate God’s character. His eternal love, mercy and grace can invade our hearts and penetrate our souls, no matter what phase of life we might find ourselves. His presence reaches beyond the holidays. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we prayed blessings on everyone we meet this Christmas season? Not just family and close acquaintances, but every person. Now that, my friends, would be a real Hallmark moment. In fact, I’d call that a Hallmark Christmas!

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker and founder of the organization, Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. Email or visit

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All About that Baste ste

Local chefs’ holiday blunders and wonders by Laura Beam

What is it about those first years of marital bliss that embolden young brides to want to host the big family holiday dinner? A rite of passage? A declaration of womanhood? Sheer naïveté? Whatever it is, it’s powerful—and not always pretty. My first foray into holiday hosting left me humbled. After hours of cooking my prized turkey, wondering why the all-reliable timer hadn’t popped up, I was distraught. Sweating profusely and trying to be charming over small talk at the relish tray, my husband came to my rescue. He ingeniously turned the turkey over and realized I’d cooked it upside down. Leave it to an engineer to save Christmas. Luckily, the turkey was delicious, even if I was scarred for life. Turns out, we domestic novices aren’t the only ones fumbling with timers and turkey basters in the quest for picturesque holiday moments. Even the pros have botched a dish or two in their day. Though we live in an age when we can Google anything and tap our culinary genius with a mere click, no meal is fool-proof. In my defense,

there was no Internet, no Google and no cell phone to help me through my first homemade holiday dinner. Thank goodness there was wine. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relish the menu highlights and mishaps of local chefs who, likewise, have had their share of holiday cooking moments to remember.


ebbie Mills makes to-die-for desserts at The Meat House in Edmond. One year, as she made truffles for her home holiday dinner, she left the spoon in the chocolate and went about multi-tasking. Returning later to the kitchen, the spoon was solidified in the block of chocolate. She broke the spoon trying to remove it and hasn’t made truffles since. Her specialties now are bon-bons and rum balls.


wners of two Colby’s Grill locations in Edmond, Colby and Jessica Mason are known for their show-stopping home style breakfasts and lunches. The honor of the family holiday cooking, however, has so far continued on next page

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All about that baste, cont.

stayed with Colby’s mother, who Jessica admits is a wonderful cook. “However, it is her tradition to burn the first batch of bread for the dressing. Happens every year!” Jessica giggles.


eems the breaking of bread often begins with the burning of bread in many families. Owners of Edmond’s renowned Twelve Oaks Restaurant, Gregg and Lisa Janes recall that their family repeatedly forgets to pull the bread out of the oven each year. Gregg’s mom used to scream out, “The bread! The bread! The bread!” Now the whole family joins in the chorus each year when the bread is discovered. Another tradition is “the family’s informal dinner on Christmas night, complete with Lisa’s killer chicken chili,” Gregg says.


lack-eyed peas are more than a token of good fortune on New Year’s Day at the home of Vance Gregory, owner of Edmond Wine Shop. They’re an attraction, prepared Hoppin’ John-style from recipes like those of Ree Drummond or Emeril. One year, the family accidentally doubled up on the cayenne and no one but Gregory’s wife could eat it. “Her father is from Sri Lanka and when she’s asked at a Thai restaurant how spicy she wants her dish, from one to five stars, she always replies, ‘seven,’” Gregory remarks.


ottinvilles’ chef, Meliena Martin’s favorite non-traditional holiday dish to make is Crab Rangoon. “I usually prepare it as an appetizer but it ends up at the dinner table every year,” Diane & Rachael Hummel enjoy cooking, sans disasters, for their family at Christmas. Martin says. Chicken Alfredo and Rice Pilaf sometimes make appearances as well. A few ebbie Lowery, owner of Running Wild Catering, oversees the years ago, Martin made cherry cobbler and apple crisp, but hadn’t preparation of more than 500 turkeys in November, yet still loves labeled her ingredients and accidentally used salt in the recipe instead cooking one for her own family. Her Aunt Dorothy’s Chocolate Ice of sugar. “Needless to say,”Martin concedes, “everyone was in for Box Pie, a secret recipe even the kids don’t have, is also a holiday a savory surprise when they got to what was supposed to be the mainstay. Lowery once taught her sister-in-law how to cook a turkey. sweetest part of the meal!” Since then, she’s labeled everything but her Everything was done beautifully but as they cut it, they realized she’d family hasn’t let her live it down yet. left the giblet bag in the cavity. The melted plastic bag made the turkey completely inedible!


Laura Beam is a business and food writer and 20-year advertising and marketing executive in radio, newspaper and magazines. Share new business tips and trends with her on LinkedIn or email




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BUSINESS Armstrong Auditorium Presents

Swan Lake by Amy Dee Stephens The Russian National Ballet Theatre performing Swan Lake

Swan Lake is considered the greatest classical ballet of all time. Seeing Tchaikovsky’s romantic tale unfold in its original form—as it did 137 years ago—mesmerizes audiences. The Russian National Ballet Theatre has not only preserved the original choreography and musical score, but also the historic sets and costumes. The Russian National Ballet Theatre is making its third visit to the Armstrong Auditorium on January 26th and 27th. According to Shane Granger, Armstrong’s marketing director, the last two performances sold out, and the same enthusiasm is expected this time. “People come back because the music is incredible, and the dancers have a level of perfection that is spectacular,” Granger said. “It’s also an intimate experience because the

theater is small, with only 823 seats.” With such a close-up view, the audience can appreciate the large backdrops, done in a Russian art style that is almost extinct. They are so beautiful and intricately made that the company is still using backdrops dating back to the 1960s. Some of the costumes worn on stage also date back half a century. “They are trying to preserve them as long as possible, but they add new ones, too.” Granger said. “I’ve seen the performers spray vodka on the costumes and steam them clean. It’s an old style of cleaning and preserving—so vodka has more uses than just for drinking.” Granger has the privilege of seeing performers arrive, set up and tear down for shows, and he recalls the unique formula followed by the Russian ballet company. When the dancers arrive, they eat a light broth. Next,

they warm up and practice their leaps and jumps. After the show, the performers and staff eat a heavy supper. “Ballet dancers are petite and muscular, without an ounce of fat—but they consume an enormous amount of calories, so it’s interesting to see how much food they put on their plates.” This particular touring group is committed to carrying on the traditional ballet of Russia, which was created back when Tchaikovsky wrote the original musical score and Marius Petipa choreographed the dances for Swan Lake. “This ballet was written in Russia, by Russians, for Russians,” said Granger. “This is serious theater, fastidiously preserved, and beautifully executed.” For ticket information, visit

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Clothes Mentor by Morgan Day Melanie & Mike Harris , Owners of Clothes Mentor

With their daughters grown and moved out of the house, Melanie and Mike Harris contemplated what they wanted to do when the curtains opened, and it was time for their life’s second act. The couple built their family in Texas but dreamed of returning to their Oklahoma roots. When an opportunity arose to open a location for the resale women’s clothing franchise Clothes Mentor, it was clear a homecoming and new business venture were in store for the empty-nesters. About a year ago, Melanie and Mike set out to find the perfect location, an area that women already frequent. Their location in Edmond, nestled among a Hallmark store, a salon/spa and a Hobby Lobby, couldn’t be more ideal. Customers describe the store as light,

bright and very open. But what they often find the most impressive is the store’s setup. “It’s organized. I hear that word repeatedly every day,” Melanie said. “Everything is organized by sleeve or pant length, sized and colorized.” This is not a consignment shop; customers can sell their gently used, namebrand clothing and accessories to the store, no appointment required, and walk out with cash immediately. Clothes Mentor accepts clothing and accessories of any season as long as they are less than three years old. The unparalleled customer service is another factor that keeps people coming back. Employees aim to help in any way possible and make it a point to know customers’ names. When a customer has three items in her hand, an employee asks for her name and keeps the items gathered behind the counter until the

customer is ready for a fitting room. Melanie and Mike enjoy offering an alternative to the high prices of department stores and malls. Clothes Mentor offers business and casual clothing in sizes 0-26, petites and maternity—carrying only what’s in style, making “frugal look fabulous,” as the store’s slogan goes. “It’s very on trend. It’s very current,” Melanie said. “Women on a budget can still look modern, current and fashionable. You can still find more for your dollar but not sacrifice quality or style.” For more information, head to Clothes Mentor of Edmond’s website at or stop by their location at 3208 S. Broadway in Edmond.


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Outlook December 2014


Dr. Limbaugh with OSSO by Kristi Eaton

Dr. Carl Limbaugh with OSSO Healthcare Network

Ask Dr. Carl Limbaugh about his patients and you’ll see what commitment and service are all about. A trusted member of the Edmond community, Dr. Limbaugh is a family practice physician with the OSSO Healthcare Network— providing care for patients ranging from newborns to seniors. “I used to deliver babies, and now I’m seeing the children of the kids I delivered. That’s a pretty unique thing,” he says. “That’s what is so nice about being around for so long— you get to see the kids of the kids.” Caring for Edmond’s families since 1989, Dr. Limbaugh takes great pride in serving his patients--especially those who need same-day appointments. Dr. Limbaugh’s clinic, located at 1616. S. Kelly, routinely adjusts the day’s schedule to accommodate new and existing

patients who are in urgent need of a doctor’s care. “There is instant gratification in helping someone who is feeling bad,” Limbaugh remarks. Dr. Limbaugh and his team take great pride in providing personalized care for all ages—knowing they are making a positive difference in the patient’s life. “Patients are often surprised to discover how quickly they can get well,” he says. A product of a modest, working-class family from Lubbock, Texas, Limbaugh chose the medical profession after serving as a medic in the Army. He attended pre-med classes at Oklahoma Baptist University and medical school in Texas before moving back to Oklahoma to establish his medical practice.

As a child, Dr. Limbaugh recalls viewing his family’s physician as a role model and leader in the community—two positions he gladly accepts today as he enters his 26th year as a family practice physician in Edmond. Dr. Limbaugh has witnessed monumental changes in both healthcare and the community since those first days, but as Edmond’s longest-practicing family physician, his love for practicing medicine, an unwavering sense of service to his patients and his strong commitment to the community is still the same. “It’s something that is rewarding every single day,” he says. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Carl Limbaugh, call 348.8838 or visit


Gymnastics—it’s one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet. For Michael Squires, it means constant soreness from grueling workouts every day. Twice now, the United States has honored him as the best Still Rings competitor in the nation. What’s surprising is that he’ll tell you that he started out as good gymnast but not spectacular. Then he made a decision… Squires was eight years old when he discovered gymnastics. He attended a friend’s birthday at Oklahoma Gold Gymnastics and enjoyed jumping on the trampoline. “Mom, this is cool! Can I take some classes?” After two weeks, the coaches put him on the competitive team. He stuck with it until his senior year of high school. “I was never anything to brag about,” Squires said. “Always the middle of the pack. I hated pommel horse, but I won a few times on rings and parallel bars.” His senior year, Squires decided to attend the national championship in hopes of meeting college recruiters. He expected to do well on the rings, but things didn’t turn out how he planned. “I didn’t score well. I didn’t make it into the finals. I didn’t talk to any recruiters.” So Squires enrolled at the University of Oklahoma to follow a degree plan in accounting. He did talk to the head gymnastics coach, Mike Williams, about walking on as an athlete. Williams said that his only chance to make the team was to enroll in a summer course and start training at the gym to see if he could


Outlook December 2014

by Amy Dee Stephens

impress the coaches. “I have two advantages—I’m a naturally strong guy, and I’m short,” Squires said. “The coaches decided that I lacked a little in technique, but I was teachable.” He was invited onto the team and spent a rough freshman year in gymnastics “boot camp.” During an inner-squad competition, which would secure Squires a spot on the team, he fell off the rings. “I was so angry with myself. I knew they were going to cut me.” He spent the entire Christmas break driving from Edmond to Norman, working out, improving his dismount. When he returned to school, the coaches saw the improvement and selected him. “Whoever was expected to get the lowest score went first. I went first.” He scored fine, and remembers flying through the air for his final landing and thinking, “Cool! I’m competing at OU as a walkon.” He was excited. It was a satisfying freshman year, and Squires was proud that although he wasn’t impressive, he didn’t hurt the team in any way. But that summer, he made the big decision which would change his course. He resolved to upgrade his skill level. A lot. A ridiculous amount. “I decided to make myself stronger and work harder than anyone else. I had such an unrealistic plan that the older guys mocked me. They said I was crazy for trying to train on this incredibly hard rings routine.” During Squires’ sophomore year, his vast improvement was obvious. It was so far above what he’d done his previous year that during competitions other teams asked, “Where’d you get this guy?” “They didn’t believe it when they heard I’d been on the team last year, too,” Squires said. “Nobody had noticed me before.” The only person who did notice him was the assistant coach at OU, Nory Iwai, a former Olympian from the Japanese National Team. Iwai was a huge influence in Squires’ life, both physically and mentally. Iwai told Squires, “Trust yourself to win. Accept nothing less than first.” “So I did,” Squires said. “At the collegiate nationals, I nailed the dismount and won first place in the individual championships. I was stunned. Euphoric. I honestly don’t remember what that moment felt like, but when I look back at the video, there’s so much feeling and emotion on my face. In two years, I’d gone from a walk-on to a national champion. Coach said he’d

never had a person do it before— and he’d coached three Olympians.” Squires was about to learn that although his big decision had paid off, it would lead to an even tougher decision—to do it again. “Once you win, you lose a little drive. Suddenly, my biggest competition was myself. I had to push even harder. It was a nervewracking, stressful thing. I had to make my routine look like it wasn’t hard.” Even with a small step on his dismount, Squires won the championship again. “My dad’s reaction was almost frightening. He doesn’t typically show much emotion other than shaking your hand—but after that championship, he hugged me and started crying.” Now, Squires faces his next tough decision. He will end his gymnastics career and focus on his business degree. “You have to understand that gymnastics is one of the hardest sports in the world, and I’ve been doing it for fifteen years. I can’t qualify for the Olympics because I’m a rings specialist—and they want their guys to be good in at least three events. The world rings championship would require two more years of training to maybe make the roster.” Without apology, 22-year-old Squires likened his decision to retirement. “You start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My body is sore, and you know when you are done. I have a renewed sense of purpose in focusing on my next career.” If he decides to tackle his business career with the same dedication, he’ll likely go far. Squires is proof that incredible determination can overcome average talent. “I decided to make myself stronger,” Squires said. “To win once can be called a bluff, but to come back and win twice—that is proof.”


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employees or family members.” Edmondite Christy Dowell says, “We have a home full of Kregger’s floors! New wood floors, tile floors, rugs, a shower and soon to be carpet. Paul and Chris and the rest of their crew have been a pleasure to work with; always courteous, respectful and punctual. They are also very trustworthy. We left our home to them for a week and came back to beautiful wood floors. It seems to me that ‘satisfaction’ is their number one goal...and I am completely satisfied! I highly recommend Kregger’s Floors and More.” Kreggers is now offering an unbeatable $5.99 psf on genuine Mohawk hand-scraped wood

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Season’s Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! There are a number of ways to celebrate the joy of the season. No matter how you choose to revel in the spirit of the holidays this year, make sure you do it in style. Let’s face it, the best part of holiday parties is being the envy of all the guests as they gawk at your Martha-Stewart-approved décor and Vogue-inspired fashion trends.

by Lance Evans

Fashion & Home Décor Guide for the Season

Statement coats. Think Olivia Pope meets realistic woman on the go. The coat is winter’s number one fashion accessory. It’s the statement piece that everyone remembers. It’s what guests see you in once you arrive and it’s what catches their eye once you leave. Remember, you’re dressing for a party, not the slopes of Aspen. Above all, make sure you pick a coat that compliments your frame. Narrow frames should stick with long-tailored coats while shorter coats with bell shaped skirts will help accentuate your curves. Last year, the peplum dress was all the rage, and now the peplum has made its way onto the coat. Try out this trend by finding a structured coat full of personality. The work soiree. After you’ve decided whether to actually

attend the work event or not, your next big decision is probably what to wear. Keep it simple with black and white. Never underestimate the power of the little black dress. Dress it up with statement jewelry or a nice shoe. Go for a tailored look. You can easily turn your everyday office wear into the perfect office party attire by embellishing your

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basic black pants and white blouse with a higher heel and accessories. Trade in your typical cardigan for a sweater or blazer cape. It’s the new chic way to dress up your basic jeans and pants.

House party. Who

cares if it’s cold outside? You’re the host! Forget the freezing temps and be the belle of your own ball with a hot party dress. This is the time to get creative—glitter, gold, sequins, bright colors, lace and even prints. Be the holiday ornament that the party revolves around.

of greenery. Next, secure the mesh to one end of the garland. Take one piece of garland and wrap it around the mesh to create a loop. Continue this pattern while making pretty bows up and down the bough. You can crisscross or do two colors on each side. Just remember to have fun! Nothing worse than being stressed over the holidays!

One centerpiece will do.

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Mesh it up. A little garland mixed with a whole lot of mesh goes a long way. Deco mesh is perfect for the small apartment Christmas décor and can even help glam up your mansion-sized Christmas party. Most craft stores provide mesh in a wide variety of colors and patterns. First, start with your garland. Unravel and straighten the branches. Next, intricately wrap lights throughout the bough

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Instead of filling tables and the mantle with every ornament and arrangement you can find, keep it simple with one eye-catching design. If all your Christmas budget goes to gifts, find items around the house that you can use for centerpieces. Old wine bottles turn into the perfect holiday vases. Spray paint them white and arrange tea lights around the bottles. It’s also the year of the mason jar. Everyone is using them for everything! Instead of dipping into your nonexistent holiday budget at work, ask your fellow employees to bring empty jars to decorate. Take tree branches, spray paint them your favorite color and place them in the jars. Hang ornaments from the branches and create a rustic Christmas.

No matter how you celebrate, revel in style this year!

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Photos By Timothy Trujillo

The tsunami effect A local author recounts his excursion of healing

Two tectonic plates collide miles beneath the earth’s surface, unleashing a chain of events that devastate surrounding landmasses. Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, billions of dollars of property are destroyed, and entire nations are left in ruins after suffering the worst that Mother Nature has to offer. While this may read like the plot of Hollywood’s latest disaster film, this was a brutal reality for hundreds of millions of people during the horrifying events of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Thousands of nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations and governmentsponsored enterprises provided medical, financial and human services support. Timothy Trujillo’s Tsunami Effect is the story of a man and his work in India following the devastating tsunami of December 2004. Trujillo’s career as a performance artist abruptly ended in 1993 after several years of struggle with chronic pain. Directed by his doctors to “find something else to do with his life,” he had to cancel auditions with Cirque du Soleil and walk away from a career he knew and loved. “I had no idea it was the obstacle that would lead to a course correction setting me on my path of destiny,” Trujillo recalls. Trujillo was forced to reassess what he wanted to do with his life and found his calling in alleviating the pain of others. Founded in 1996, his organization First Medicines works to reduce suffering and enhance health worldwide by using traditional and integrative therapies. First Medicines focuses its services on people with cancer,

by Austin Marshall

HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis and other debilitating illnesses. Trujillo’s innovative approach is non-pharmacological and non-invasive— allowing people to take control over their physical and spiritual wellbeing. Trujillo wrote Tsunami Effect to reflect on his organization’s work and to outline his own beliefs on the power of human connections to alleviate physical and mental pain. The book draws on Trujillo’s first-hand experience in helping others cope with discomfort, and it provides an intimate portrait of what it was like to work in the ravaged landmasses surrounding the Indian Ocean after the 2004 tsunami. The tsunami’s destruction was captured in media reports and photographs, but Trujillo feels that they insufficiently conveyed the scale of the devastation. “Those images could not convey the thickness of the air and the odors of fetid, seawater-soaked household goods,” he remarks. Being there in person gave him a true sense of how powerful those destructive waves were. “The media reports could only portray a passing moment of the victim’s despair. Their suffering was constant and pervasive, affecting every aspect of life,” Trujillo writes. Trujllo’s work throughout the Indian countryside took an emotional and physical toll. “I make it a rule when dealing with any crisis to take care of myself first,” Trujillo explains, because he is unable to help anyone else if he himself is in subpar physical or mental shape. Trujillo finds a deep sense of fulfillment in his work with the continued on next page


The Tsunami Effect, cont.

victims of the 2004 tsunami and in the various projects undertaken by First Medicines. “I have been fortunate to see what individuals are capable of in coping with pain and trauma,” he explains. “I see people moving beyond their suffering and find their true power. We will only know what we are capable of when the time comes to take on a challenge,” he adds. “Since childhood I have wanted to help people feel better. The work of First Medicines has allowed me to achieve this beyond measure.” A recurrent theme in Tsunami Effect is the marginalization of groups of society. Trujillo calls marginalization “one of the greatest problems in the developing world” because “these marginalized populations have the highest risk of impact from natural disasters,

Timothy Trujillo, Center Photo by N. Dhamodharan

yet have limitations on resources for recovery.” Tsunami Effect creates a powerful contrast between first- and third-world definitions of poverty. Trujillo thinks our relative affluence has desensitized many to the plight of the poor, especially in the developing world. “Running hot water, light switches, stovetops with pilot lights, beds and walls are all part of our essential needs. These are grand luxuries in many of the places I have worked”. He offers cautionary advice for those wanting to serve in disaster relief efforts. “Expect difficulty, prepare for the worst and have a plan to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.” Trujillo is particularly insightful when discussing how to measure success. “Expect exhilaration over small feats, for every effort is a grand accomplishment. Expect to need deep rest and the company of friends and laughter at the end of the day.” If readers could take just one lesson from Tsunami Effect, Trujillo hopes it is that anyone can heal. “There is a power beyond them that can enhance their own abilities. Just as the resistance and strength of the Tamil villagers aided me while facing my own tsunami effect, it is my greatest aspiration that one who is in need will find help in the pages of this book.” Learn more about Timothy Trujillo and where to purchase Tsunami Effect at

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Young Yoga by Morgan Day


eadying herself to show off one of her favorite yoga poses, 7-yearold Zeyda Bates flattens herself on the ground as if she’s preparing for a pushup. Then, she eases her torso up and out, extending her upper body to resemble a snake about to strike. The spry little blonde has mastered this one: the charging cobra. But, it’s not complete until she lets out a playful, throaty hiss. Zeyda’s instructor Kelly Cramer explains the sound with a smile: “It is kids’ yoga.” The kids had just wrapped up their 30-minute yoga class at Balance. Yoga. Barre. in Edmond but stuck around afterward to show off some of their favorite moves. Zeyda and her classmates—Zack Logeman, 7, and Payton and Claire Cramer, 8 and 7, respectively—tell about what yoga means to them. The reasons why the four enjoy the class aren’t what you’d expect from kids. Payton finds “peace and quiet” after spending his day surrounded by other kids at school. Claire enjoys the breathing techniques that help her relax. And for Zack, it helps him channel his energy and calm his body. The breathing exercises, Cramer said, are probably the most useful skill a young person could learn in yoga. “They learn tools that they can take with them when they get in stressful situations or they get frustrated,” she said. “I probably tell them 12 times a day ‘just breathe,’ when they’re ready to react to something or they’re going to get in trouble.”

Another world

Yoga also gives children a chance to exercise their imaginations. In a kids’ yoga class you’ll likely hear words and phrases that deviate from Sanskrit, the religious and classical literary language of India that’s typically used in adult yoga classes. Instead of using the Sanskrit names like Matsyasana, Tadasana and Vrschikasana, kids instead hear words like fish, mountain or scorpion. It’s much easier—and more fun—for them to imagine themselves transforming into animals and objects they’re familiar with, said Ashly Bates, Zeyda’s mother and owner of Balance. Yoga. Barre. “There are so many fun terms that are relatable for children, and they’re excited for that,” Bates said. “They can say, ‘Oh! I know how to look like a puppy. It allows them to take themselves to imaginary places, safe places where they can create on their own.”

Something spiritual

For Zeyda and her mother, yoga has transcended exercise. When looking at the physical, mental and spiritual side of yoga, the two find a great appreciation for the spiritual. Bates said she always encourages her classes to connect with something greater than themselves. “It can be anything for anybody,” Bates said. “The most important part is connecting to a divine source, a higher power. For us, that’s God.” At age 7, that’s not lost on Zeyda. “It feels like peace and quiet and like God is all around you holding your hand,” she explained about why she enjoys her yoga class. Sharing the same passion for yoga has also strengthened their mother-daughter bond. “I get so inspired by her, to see her practice and grow, to see the spiritual side of her that grows through that,” she said. “She also looks up to me for being a leader and a spiritual guide for others. It’s just so powerful to see I’m impacting others, and my daughter as well, in a positive way.”

Children’s yoga around OKC

Kids’ yoga has certainly caught on in the Edmond and Oklahoma City area, with classes offered not only at Balance. Yoga. Barre’s Edmond location, but also at This Land Yoga and even through Oklahoma City’s own traveling Kidz Yoga Fairy, Darci Parker. Parker, mother of four, touts the benefits of yoga for kids ages six weeks through teens as she instructs at schools, libraries and studios. “Children thrive in an atmosphere that is positive, loving and designed to let them be themselves,” she said. “My mission as the Yoga Fairy is to tap into each child’s imagination and help them realize their own unique potential, on and off the mat.” Parker has seen children blossom and transform from unsure to self-confident with the help of yoga. Her classes often incorporate team-building and confidence-building exercises. The stretching, lifting, breathing and balancing is just plain good exercise. “The yoga poses we practice help lengthen the children’s muscles, keeping them long and flexible,” Parker said. “This is especially helpful for preventing injuries in children wanting to participate in sports.” Want to give kids’ yoga a try? Check out or to learn more.


n o n w Do k c u L r you in Oklahoma by Heide Brandes

When Trish Ferguson of Edmond was granted custody of her two granddaughters, she found herself in a tough situation. She didn’t own any baby items, baby clothes or even diapers and formula. With six children in the home, the Fergusons were already living on a tight budget. Baby items are expensive, and Trish simply didn’t know where to look for help. She turned to Facebook, asking for ways to get items for her new babies. “A friend told me about this group called ‘Down on Your Luck in Oklahoma’ on Facebook,” Trish said. “I posted that I needed baby items, and within days, I had baby clothes, diapers, a case of formula and so much more. That’s when I got hooked. I knew I wanted to be a

part of this community.” For Oklahomans who are seeking help or for those who want to give items away to a worthy cause, the community Facebook page called “Down on Your Luck in Oklahoma” is filling a need. Though she wasn’t an administrator yet, Trish said she wanted to “pay it forward,” so she sorted through everything her kids had outgrown and offered it on the site. Less than six months later, she—along with fellow administrator Laura Williamson—now runs the page which has more than 9,500 members intent on receiving, trading, giving or offering items to those in need. The rules are simple—no buying, no selling. Everything is freely given. Everyone pays it forward.





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“I know what it’s like to be down on your luck and need help. At one point, everyone needs help,” Trish said. “We all are passionate about what we are doing, and it’s an amazing thing. You find that the people with the least to give end up giving the most.”


The “Down on Your Luck in Oklahoma” Facebook page was originally started by Oklahoman Brandon Vandagriff. When Ferguson and Williamson joined, the group had less than 100 members. In mere months, that number jumped to more than 600, and the group today has more than 9,500 members. Items range from furniture, toiletries, clothes, food, appliances and even specialty items like roller skates and wedding dresses. The most requests are for baby furniture, appliances and other large items like beds. For the ladies who run the site, Down On Your Luck in Oklahoma is a labor of love and one that takes time and money. They are responsible for pick up and delivery of donations, and many times, they use their own money to get items like diapers, formula, shelving and strollers.


The number of community members for Down On Your Luck in Oklahoma keeps growing. In the past three months, the needs and donations grew so large that the group started hosting distribution days at Trish’s home. In September, more than 150 families arrived at what looked like a giant garage sale to select items they needed. In October, the

line of people weaved down the neighborhood and cars choked the residential street. “We are learning as we go,” said Trish. “We give one large bag for clothes, for every four members of a family, but that doesn’t include bedding, strollers or things like that. People have taken advantage, but we are constantly improving the process.” “But we do so much more,” Trish said. “We have helped homeless people get into shelters. We have helped people with job interview clothes. We have a resource list for those needing help with bills. There’s just so much need out there.” Currently, Down On Your Luck is asking for donations to secure a permanent storage and distribution facility, and eventually, they need legal assistance to become a 501(c)3. Until then, however, the group refers to itself as concerned citizens trying to help each other out. “That’s the whole spirit of the site,” Trish said. “I can’t even begin to count how many people have been helped. The people on this page are awesome, they want to help other people and people who don’t have the money to give are still helping because they know what it’s like to struggle.

I can’ t even begin to count how many people have been helped.

For more information about Down On Your Luck in Oklahoma or to donate, visit


by Jennay Lutomski

he BC Clark jingle rings through every store and car speaker as the temperature drops and the holiday season blows into Oklahoma. In Edmond, more than 80,000 residents start to prepare their families for the joyous season. Even though it’s one of the state’s largest cities, Edmond’s small town charm and historic roots become evident as local storefronts are decked with festive lights and holiday cheer. Residents and family members who call the city home for the holidays partake in citywide traditions that have been around for more than three decades. Similar to the first Christmas celebrated in Edmond that included a Mass held at the Catholic Church led by Father Scallon and a Christmas program conducted at the schoolhouse, social gatherings are at the heart of the Edmond traditions. Nearly every church will be hosting their own holiday celebration—children’s plays, prayer services, and Mass ceremonies celebrating the birth of Christ. But, Christmas cheer isn’t limited to the church walls. Ever since the mid to late ‘70s, families have gathered to hear local elementary students stand at the microphone in the middle of Shannon Miller Park and shout their essays to the crowd, proudly sharing their winning Christmas stories for the annual Mayor’s essay contest and tree lighting. “It’s fun to see so many cute kids in the park filled with holiday spirit,” says Mayor Charles Lamb. “I was selected in 2011 to be the

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Outlook December 2014

Mayor, and I was able to bring my grandkids into the city’s celebrations. Kids are the first to get in the holiday spirit.” The celebrations aren’t just important for the youth, adults get really into them, too. “We used to just do the essay contest and Mayor’s tree lighting, and decorate the old amphitheater,” said Gary Johnson, Edmond Park Maintenance Supervisor. But the tradition quickly grew at the desire of Edmond employees and residents. “After the library and Shannon Miller Park were renovated in 2000, the parks department staff decided they wanted to do bigger and better things for the community on their own. We added lights to all the trees in the park,” said Johnson. “The trees were small and we used old-style twinkle lights. It has grown a lot in the past 14 years, and with the use of LED lights that use less power, we can have more lights while using the same amount of power.” “For years, my favorite part of the ceremony was the way we did it,” said Johnson. The children help count down to the annual Christmas tree lighting. 3, 2, 1… the park is set aglow as the lights are turned on. “The park would be totally dark and we would kick all the lights on at the same time.”

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The park has such a draw from the community that the lighting and decorations have expanded. “Now we light the park after Thanksgiving to give people a longer time to enjoy the lights. In the past five to six years, we have been adding larger displays, not just shrubs or trees. We try to get one or two new displays every year,” said Johnson about the park’s light displays. Part of what makes the tradition so special is that all the lighting and stringing work is done completely by the parks’ employees, rather than contracted workers. “We all just love it. We have a two-man crew that takes care of our maintenance repair for the city. This is just something that they’ve really sunk their teeth into. They really enjoy hearing the comments and seeing the pictures of people enjoying it. They get a hoot out of it,” said Johnson. It’s not easy work, either. “It takes about 3 weeks to get all the lights placed, but they enjoy the results.” For Johnson, it’s more than a work tradition. He’s been able to share his joy with family, too, “I will go by at least a couple of times a year and look at the park lit up. My wife and I go by together, too. I’ve been with the city for 32 years and going to an event in the park isn’t something I’d normally do because I’ve done it for so many years. But, I always make time to go to the lighting ceremony.” The city of Edmond has worked to promote the true magic of the holidays with traditions that resonate with workers, residents and visitors alike. Among other events occurring throughout the city, you can find local shops open, ready to help find the perfect Christmas gift. Community organizations and associations provide a little extra magic through carriage rides and photos with Santa. For those that help make the magic possible, it’s more than just job, it’s a tradition that they look forward to each year. For more information, go to

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MY outlook

Pat Darcey, Creator of With Joy Nativities

by Bethany Marshall

How did you get started making nativities? I was making sheep for sale when a bored friend asked to join me. A few sales later she suggested we make nativities. It took her four months to convince me everyone didn’t already have one of their own. She was right. How long have you been creating these? We designed and completed six sets of five pieces each. We were so pleased that we entered them in what I believe was the very first An Affair of the Heart in 1986. What are your nativities made from? Pine and oak are the base woods. We wrap them in hand-spun and imported yarns and embellish them. How do you make them? Meticulously. We wrap the wooden piece strand by strand in fine yarns. How long does it take you to make a whole set? In the beginning it took us about eight hours to make a five-piece set. The set has grown to 40 pieces and our skill level has increased considerably, but they are very time consuming. How many nativities do you make in a year? I have no idea! There are no pre-packaged sets. Every collector creates his own set from our pieces. Therefore we create the individual pieces rather than a particular set or sets. We also help select the pieces if the collector is unsure.  Do you sell your nativities locally? I have a home studio show once a year (the first weekend containing a December day). My studio is in Arcadia and I sell there by appointment throughout the year but do not sell to retailers. Where is the furthest you have sent a set? Hong Kong, maybe Norway. When did you know this could be a business venture? After the first An Affair of the Heart show we found ourselves still wrapping orders in February of the next year. Do you create any other types of items/crafts? We struggle to keep ahead of our nativity collectors. All other ideas have to take a back burner which looks unlikely to be lit, at this point in time. Which part of the nativity is your favorite to create? I like designing the new pieces best. Fortunately for me, I have Betty Bennett who wraps the individual pieces even better than I. There are a few steps only I do on the wisemen, stars, palm trees and saddles.  Do you think nativities should only be reserved for Christmas or displayed all year long? Some of my collectors keep them up all year. Most don’t. Every family has their own tradition. For example, one of my collectors keeps The Baby Jesus in the bread-box all year to remind her family where their daily bread actually comes from. What is it about your business that keeps you going? With Joy Nativities have an emotional impact on the people who are drawn to them. Each collector chooses which pieces, which colors and also which traditions they will establish with their set. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I am grateful for the way many things have opened up allowing this creation to unfold. People have appeared soon after we needed them; excellent woodcutters, wrappers, even helpers for the Home Show. All of them love what they do. I am very grateful for the people who have contributed ideas and opinions that impacted the collection. And I am amazed at the beautiful combinations the collectors put together before me. Explore all the nativity options at

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Outlook December 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

Outlook December 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

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