The Avett Brothers

I missed the Avett Brothers the last time they were in town. I was determined not to miss them again. Brian and I braved the cold Thursday night to watch them perform at Intrust Bank Arena. They’re not normally Brian’s cup of tea but he went with me anyway. I have the best husband ever!

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I posted some video clips from the concert on our Facebook page. The videos don’t do the show justice, though. You really should have been there.

I found a video of the Avett Brothers at Austin City Limits on YouTube but it has been since taken down. This NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert is the next best thing. Enjoy!

Change is Hard

I’ve worn the same bowling shoes for a almost twenty years. I love these Dexter bowling shoes because they’re specifically made for right-handed bowlers. The left shoe has a leather/microfiber bottom for sliding. The right shoe has a rubber sole for traction.

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Here’s a picture of the soles of my old bowling shoes.

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They look pretty rough because I haven’t exactly taken the care of them. Plus, what do you expect after two decades? I’m surprised that they don’t look much worse.

Anyway, when we were at the YMCA bowl-a-thon at Northrock Lanes a few weeks ago they quit sliding on me. It’s super uncomfortable when you end up coming to an abrupt stop rather than sliding to the foul line. I’ve been pretty careless with my shoes and I figured that I probably stepped on food or a puddle of something. I tried everything but couldn’t fix the soles so I would start sliding again. Finally, I put some baby power on the soles of my sliding shoe. That was the only way I could get it to slide. However, after looking at the worn out soles, I figured it was probably time to buy a new pair of bowling shoes. I would have ordered the exact same shoes but they quit making them years ago. I had to settle for a generic pair that has leather/microfiber on both feet so it can be used by both right and left-handed bowlers.

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I ended getting another pair of Dexters (Dexter Women’s Groove II Bowling Shoes) because the old ones worked out pretty well. The new shoes look cool but they’re not nearly as good as the old pair. I remember the first night I wore them. They felt so weird. I didn’t think I would ever get used to them. I had originally given the old pair to my sister but then ended up asking for them back so I could just get them resoled instead. I didn’t think I could ever get used to the new pair.

The first time I wore the new pair, I complained the entire time. Brian was like, “You just have to break them in. I’m sure you had to do the same to the old pair when you first got them.” I told him that the old pair felt great the very first time I wore them. They didn’t require breaking in. Maybe that’s true. But maybe Brian is right, and I just don’t remember breaking the old pair in. After all, that happened almost twenty years ago.

Change is hard. I never would have bought a new pair of bowling shoes if I didn’t have to, and I wanted to immediately go back to the old pair even though they were clearly worn out and should be retired. I’m really glad I gave the new shoes a chance though. It took a few weeks and several games to break them in. They’re just now getting to the point that they feel comfortable. Right now I don’t think they’ll ever feel as comfortable as the old pair but only time will tell.

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Last week I bowled a 199 — just shy of a 200 game — with my new bowling shoes on. While they may not feel the same as my old bowling shoes, I have a feeling they’ll be even better. Sometimes you just have to give things a chance.

21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball

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Brian and I had a blast last night at the 21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel. We were excited for the opportunity to attend the event again this year because we had a great time last year.

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Our table consisted of a bunch of young people this year — my coworker Josh and his wife Jessica, Isaac and wife Crystal, Nykole and husband Allen, and Shanda and Nykole’s sister Tyfanee who was her plus one. Brian and I were definitely the oldest in our group, but not the oldest there. With the exception of the Sweethearts, most of the people who attend the Heart Ball are older. Let’s face it. Not many people in their 20s or 30s can afford the $300 ticket price ($500 per couple).

I’m not sure that Brian and I would even be able to go if it weren’t for the free tickets from work. Well, we probably could but I’d have to reallocate all my charitable contributions. If I dialed back my United Way and YMCA donations then we’d have the funds to go. LOL.

The free tickets to the Heart Ball are a nice perk, though. And one that I really appreciate because it allows me to not sacrifice any of my other charitable giving.

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The Wichita Heart Ball is probably the fanciest fundraising event/gala that we attend. The decor this year was even better than last year. The food looked fantastic as usual, but Brian and I agreed that the food wasn’t as good as last year.

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My steak wasn’t tough to eat but it was touch to cut with a regular knife. I think it’s because of the way they cut the meat. I don’t think it would have been as challenging had they provided everyone with steak knives. Brian’s main complaint was that his steak was too pink in the middle. He’s a well done kind of guy.

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The flourless chocolate torte was delicious and I ate every bit of mine. Last year there were two dessert options — the chocolate torte and creme brûlée — but this year you only had once choice. I’m thinking maybe the creme brûlée wasn’t as popular last year and so they just decided to go with the safer choice.

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Of course, if you didn’t quite get enough to eat, there’s always the chocolate fountain at the official after party — the Pulse Party is where everyone gets to cut loose to music provide by The Source.

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Had to take a selfie at the Pulse Party.

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We danced to a couple of songs and then had to rest our feet.

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My feet were killing me because I had to wear my extra tall heels. I would have worn the heels that mom loaned me to wear with the dress that she also loaned me but the dress was too long. The only way to keep the hemline from sweeping the floor was to wear super tall shoes.

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We took a few more selfies while we waited for the silent auction to close. We won a couple of baskets and had to wait to check out, which we couldn’t do until 10:45 pm.

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I was exhausted by the end of the evening but we had a lot of fun. I hope we have the opportunity to attend again next year.

Couples Painting Night

Despite the challenges we ran into trying to do a couples painting project together last Valentines we still decided to have another go at it this year. LOL.

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We initially had a few couples interested but then everyone bailed at the last minute except for Holly and Meader.

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When we first decided to do the couples painting thing this year, I was bummed that it wasn’t going to be a private event like last year. However, after everyone started bailing, I was relieved that it wasn’t a private event because we would have been on the hook for all of those painting fees. Another benefit of the event being open is that we got to meet some really cool people, who we never would have met otherwise. We also bumped into one of Brian’s former coworkers at T-Mobile, Levi.

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This is the couple painting project that we were going for; unfortunately, ours didn’t turn out as successfully. Brian wouldn’t even let me take a picture of his final painting.

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Mine started out a mess. Brian’s started out really well.

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Meader’s and Holly’s paintings started well and ended up awesome.

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I guess it works out well when you are creative and have a plan.

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Here’s a picture of my final painting.

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My painting actually looks better after I painted over everything. Brian didn’t like the way his turned out after he painted over it so there is no picture of his painting. I don’t think we will be putting these paintings on display. We will try this again next year. Hopefully with better results.

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Fun With Friends – Old and New

Jay and Becca hosted a super fun Super Bowl XLIX party last weekend. We wouldn’t have been able to attend were it not for our bowling league (we’ve been bowling in a league with my parents on Sundays for almost a year now) being canceled that night.

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The funny thing is that we play through on most holidays but they actually canceled bowling on Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t care what people say. Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday in the US. They should just declare it as such. LOL.

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We were all smiles because we knew our team was going to win. ;-)

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They sure made it exciting, though.

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Jenni joined us and had a lot of fun playing with the kids.

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I came dressed appropriately for the event in my one and only Pats shirt and my most patriotic earrings (acquired a few years ago when we visited the East Coast and toured Sam Adams with the Dills).

Our friend Rune was like, “Are you really a Pats fan or are you just trying to be nice to Jay?” To which I replied, “I don’t know enough about football to have any real favorites, but I do like the Pats more than any other football team because their team colors coordinate with the colors of my other favorite team (Boston Red Sox and KU).” #trueconfessions

We had a great time. Thank you so much for hosting, Jay and Becca!

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Yesterday Brian, Jenni, Eleanor, Nicole, and I bowled in a fundraising event for the YMCA Strong Community campaign. Angie and her husband Cory bowled with us. It was my first time meeting Angie and Cory but they seem really cool and fun. And, they’re really good bowlers too!

Here are some pictures from the bowl-a-thon yesterday.

Here’s Jenni and Nicole, goofing around.

Angie looked so cute in her orange tutu!

Angie with our boss lady Kristen, the Group Exercise Coordinator at Andover YMCA.

And, yes. This happened.

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Brian and I had a great time. Don’t mind my greasy chin. The pizzas were really greasy yesterday but I couldn’t help myself. I ate a few slices. Who can resist AJ’s pizza?

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A J Sports Grill on Urbanspoon

If there’s one thing that Northrock Lanes has going for it, it’s that it’s got a pretty good sports bar on site. Most other bowling alleys just have okay food. AJ’s serves pizza that I don’t mind eating and that says a lot because I don’t like pizza.

Granted, it’s no Ziggy’s but the pizza is good and reasonably priced. Whenever I feel like bowling, I always think of Northrock first before any of the other bowling alleys because it’s just set up better all the way around.

The only other bowling alley that would be better would be the Alley but their prices are expensive. So if you want to bowl cheap and eat decent food, my recommendation will always be Northrock.

Because We Absolutely Love Food

Cy's Place (Hoof & Horn Supper Club, etc) on Urbanspoon

Because we love food, here are some more food pictures for you. These pictures are from our dinner with Jim and Karen (aka our favorite neighbors) last Saturday at Cy’s Hoof & Horn in Sedgwick.

Brian had the chicken fried steak. It was big enough for three people to share and it was fantastic. The breading had excellent flavor and texture. This was easily the best chicken fried steak I’d ever had.

I’m totally getting it on our next trip there.

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Jim had the prime rib, which is on special every Saturday. I hear that it is amazing.

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Karen and I both had the filet.

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I’m not much of a steak eater but my filet was perfect. I asked for it medium well because I don’t like any pink in my steak. My steak was pretty darn good. I didn’t even need any steak sauce.

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For dessert we got to try their lemon merengue and chocolate pies. Both were very good.

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Cy’s Hoof & Horn is known by many names. I’ve heard it referred to as Cy’s Place or just Hoof & Horn. The sign out front reads The Hoof & Horn Supper Club.

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That’s also the name listed on the menu.

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We arrived a little after five thirty, which seemed to be the perfect time. More diners arrived shortly after and the place started to get pretty busy.

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Here’s a picture of Brian with our neighbors Jim and Karen.

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This is only the second time we’ve been out to dinner with Jim and Karen but we really enjoy their company. We had good conversation and the food was great. I’m really glad they recommended Cy’s Place or Hoof & Horn – whatever you want to call it.

The food is so good that we can’t wait to return. We are definitely taking Brian’s parents there on their next trip to Wichita. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend going. It may take 30-45 minutes to get there depending on where you live in Wichita, but it is totally worth the drive.

What Happened Last Week

Wouldn’t you know it? I’m still behind on posting blogs. My life needs to slow down a little. LOL. Here’s what happened last week…

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We got to check out Satish’s fancy new limo. If the logo looks familiar, it’s because Satish owns Quick Stitch — the best alterations places in town. You can find out more about their services by checking their web site. Now they have a limo!

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It makes sense because they work with a lot of brides.

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This thing is awesome, though. It comfortably seats eight people and it’s got multiple video screens. It even has one in the back along with a killer sound system. It’s the perfect vehicle to take to your next tailgating event.

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It was so cool I almost wished I was a true sports fan. Unfortunately, I’m more of a casual spectator. I have teams I like but I’m mostly just a fan because I graduated there (Wichita State) or the team colors coordinate with other teams that I like (KU, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots). LOL.

The other night I showed up to Jay’s Super Bowl XLIX party in my Pats shirt. I just have the one and it comes in handy every now and then. Rune was like, “Do you really like the Pats or are you only wearing that to be nice to Jay?”

It’s a little of both. I mostly like the Pats because their colors go well with my Red Sox gear, which I have more of, and my KU shirts. I’m already invested in red, white, and blue so I can’t like any teams whose colors do not coordinate.

Although, no matter how hard I try, I will never be as stylish as my little sister.

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She looked adorable in her lace dress, jean jacket, scarf, and boots when we went to the movies last week. She looked absolutely darling! I could learn a thing or two from this little fashionista.

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On Thursday night we met a bunch of friends at Taste and See for dinner. I was really disappointed that they’re no longer doing $12 sangria pitchers. Regular price is only $18, though, so it’s still a really good deal.

Here are some pictures of our delicious food…

The cornucopia is my new favorite starter at Taste and See. Brian and I used to be on a queso fondue kick there for a while but, since I’ve discovered the cornucopia, it’s what I always order as an appetizer any more.

The dates are another delicious starter. I’m really glad Chef Jason sent it over because it’s mot something that I would normally think of ordering.

It should come as no surprise that Brian got the Cuban. That’s what he always orders.

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Taste & See on Urbanspoon

Instead of getting the same old thing, I decided to try something new this time. If you can guess which meal I had from the pictures above, I will take you out to dinner at Taste and See and throw in a pitcher of sangria. LOL.

Honestly, I will use any excuse to go back. The food is fantastic. And, the sangria is delicious and reasonably priced. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. When you go, tell Chef Jason I sent you!

I Don’t Always Beg People for Money

I don’t always beg people for money… but when I do, it’s usually for some kind of bowling charity fundraiser. LOL.

So what’s the cause this time? Well, it’s an important one that is close to my heart.

I’m bowling on Saturday, February 7, to support the YMCA’s Strong Community Campaign. So yes, I’m begging for donations and I’m not ashamed of it. I hope you consider making a donation to support the YMCA’s Strong Community Campaign because the Greater Wichita YMCA is the region’s largest provider for:

Child Care
Swim Lessons
Summer Day Camp
Youth Sports
Health & Wellness
After School Programs

When you give to the Y, you continue to strengthen our community and move everyone forward. Your gift makes a meaningful, enduring impact right in our own neighborhood.

Please help us build a Strong Community by supporting the Strong Community Campaign Bowl-A-Thon. Your support and generous donations are the reasons why we have the best YMCAs in the nation.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference. Thank you.

Last Weekend Was a Fantastic Weekend

Last weekend was a great weekend but some had it way better than others for sure.

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We played in the 2015 Kansas Poker Championships (also known as Cards for the Cure, a charity poker event benefitting the Susan G. Komen foundation) with some friends. Brian played in the Kansas Poker Championship, the main poker tournament. I didn’t play in it because it started at 10 AM and I have a couple of Zumba classes on Saturday mornings. I don’t get done until noon. However, it is a great cause and I enjoy playing poker so I registered for the Ladies-Only Poker Tournament later that day. It didn’t start until 4 PM so I had plenty of time to shower and get ready for it.

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Brian was out by lunch but our friend Jay got deep into the main tournament and eventually won the whole darn thing. He is now the second person we know to be a Kansas Poker Championships champion. Our friend Michael Abay won it a couple of years ago. Incidentally, Jay’s winning cards were pocket queens — the exact same hand Brian was holding when we got knocked out of the tournament.

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The ladies poker tournament was fun but had a low turnout. I was thinking that the 300 seats would fill up so I pre-registered on the web site. The day of the event they were begging women to play and I think they still only ended up with 99 players. My friend April took 6th in the ladies event and won $300. Not as much as Jay’s $10K first place finish, but it was a much smaller field. Still, it was great because it made up for their entry fees and then some. Great job, April!

After the dust settled Jay took everyone out to Red Robin for a celebratory dinner. It was really too late for us to eat, but I didn’t want to miss Jay gloat and bask in the glory of his win. He said buying everyone dinner was the least he could do considering some of his $10K was our money. We had to be there to celebrate the momentous occasion with our buddy. I figured we’re going to hear about Jay’s big championship win until at least one of us achieves the same feat (otherwise read: forever) so Jay’s gloating over dinner wasn’t going to be his last. Might as well get used to it. LOL.

Jokes aside, we are really proud of Jay’s achievement. Way to go, Jay! Way to represent!

Brian and I have decided that we really need to start playing more poker because we have a couple of friends now who have won the Kansas Poker Championship. Playing once or twice a year will no longer cut it. We’re going to have to play more if we intend to do better in next year’s tournament. It’s going to take a lot of practice. If Jay and Michael can do it, we should be able to do it too. We just need to get our heads back in the game.

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Anyway, at least my bowling performance last Sunday made up for my disappointing finish in the ladies tournament. I can’t believe I beat mom. She usually bowls over 500 and I typically score around 400. It’s like we switched bodies. It was a good bowling night for me, which was great because I bowled extremely terribly the previous Sunday. A lot of it had to with arriving late though because we came from my staff meeting at Andover YMCA. I’ve decided that I cannot be late at all for bowling because it completely messes me up. I could not recover at all. It took me all of the first game to find my spot and didn’t really do that much better in the second and third games. It was a very bad night.

Last weekend was fantastic, though. Granted it was more fantastic for Jay, but it was great and it made me happy all the way around.

Rib & Chop House

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Yup. You guessed it. More pictures of food are coming your way. This happens when I get behind on blogging. Sorry, guys. We are almost caught up, though.

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is trying restaurants that I wouldn’t find in Wichita and trying dishes that I wouldn’t normally get back home. Our friends in Saint George took us to Rib & Chop House, a restaurant conveniently located next to our hotel.

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I had the stuffed red snapper with a side of asparagus (above). The filet was stuffed with crab meat. It was almost over the top. The dish was delicious but it was so rich that I couldn’t finish it all. It’s a shame too because I want to eat it again just thinking about it. I wish I could have found it in me to eat every single morsel.

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The surf and turf was popular with several people in our group. You could get with either lobster or crab legs. As soon as I saw the surf and turf plates arrive at the table, I regretted ordering the red snapper. The surf and turf plates looked amazing.

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I didn’t order it because I didn’t want to fight crab legs which tend to be difficult to eat, but Rib & Chop House has pre-split the crab legs. They’re already cracked open so you don’t have to do any work. You just dig the meat out of the shell with your fork and chow down. It required little to no effort at all.

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The restaurant also served mutant baked potatoes as a side option. That’s not what they’re called on the menu but that’s what they looked like to me because these potatoes were ginormous.

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Speaking of ginormous, check out this ice cream sandwich.

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It’s not like any ice cream sandwich I’d ever seen. It was huge!

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Rib & Chop House on Urbanspoon

I had to get a picture of Josh’s beer. That’s something else not readily available in Wichita. LOL.

I’m not a beer drinker so I didn’t get to try it but now I wish I had. I mean, when will I ever return to Utah? Sometimes the things we regret most are the things we didn’t get to do.

Oh, well. Maybe work will let me go again next year. If so, I’m definitely having a Polygamy Porter. Bitter beer face and all.

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