Every now and then I’ll participate in Throwback Thursday on Facebook. Throwback Thursday is a meme where you post an old photo. Today I wanted to do something more. I’m giving you links to over ten years worth of photos, thousands of them, on my Flickr photostream. But be warned, it might just make you hungry.
|2002:||July (39) August (70) December (19)|
|2003:||January (4) March (63) April (6) May (10) June (98) July (5) September (1) November (14) December (20)|
|2004:||January (18) February (31) March (6) April (4) May (101) June (7) July (19) August (107) September (211) October (391) November (178) December (60)|
|2005:||January (75) February (74) March (43) April (136) May (120) June (368) July (160) August (172) September (33) October (55) November (51) December (166)|
|2006:||January (152) February (192) March (178) April (132) May (340) June (330) July (286) August (164) September (91) October (238) November (79) December (290)|
|2007:||January (79) February (44) March (165) April (82) May (312) June (439) July (781) August (247) September (342) October (186) November (354) December (463)|
|2008:||January (248) February (102) March (99) April (611) May (520) June (1049) July (919) August (672) September (199) October (1481) November (523) December (896)|
|2009:||January (216) February (229) March (374) April (510) May (1255) June (592) July (1258) August (945) September (663) October (1592) November (240) December (588)|
|2010:||January (718) February (1600) March (915) April (222) May (296) June (332) July (691) August (774) September (590) October (858) November (557) December (922)|
|2011:||January (381) February (466) March (474) April (709) May (380) June (520) July (853) August (198) September (289) October (698) November (292) December (440)|
|2012:||January (235) February (383) March (474) April (263) May (560) June (235) July (176) August (277) September (299) October (223) November (131) December (248)|
|2013:||January (192) February (162) March (190) April (249) May (177) June (379) July (195) August (512) September (333) October (256) November (318) December (534)|
Many years ago before I met my wonderful wife, back when I didn’t know any better. I professed that I would never own a suit. Back then I never thought I would ever need one. I had not needed one in the past and I never saw myself in a career path that would require me to wear a suit every day.
Fast forward to a few years after we get married. I find myself in a position that I need a suit. My wife, a firm supporter of the “Dress for the job you want” philosophy in life, persuaded me to finally “Man Up” and get a suit, and I did. I now own three suits: a dark gray one, classic black, and a pin-striped one. And, I can tell you with the upmost certainty, I look fantastic in my suits!
Now fast forward to present day. My wife has again persuaded me to do something that I told myself I would never want, need, or desire ever in my life… buy a tuxedo. Today I get to go and get fitted for a tux for an upcoming black tie event. I spent a good deal of time last night trying to convince her that I do not need a tux, that I can just wear my black suit and get a black tie (get it, black tie event, lol) but after a few moments and several web page searches that defined black tie attire, she made the decision that we would buy me a tux.
This morning I told her that when I’m 50 will probably be the next time I wear the tux and I will be one of those old guys that suck in his gut and are proud of the fact that they can still fit (though barely) into their old tux.
I guess I need to embrace change instead of fighting it. So in order to embrace this change, I’m going to take a series of James Bond inspired pictures when I get my tux. Stay tuned!
Brian wanted to pose next to this sign and crack a Hulk joke.
I don’t know of any other people who have as much fun visiting hospitals as we do. Seriously. Even my surgery last year was a blast. Well, the parts I was conscious for anyhow. The trip to ER the year before that was pretty fun too actually. If there’s anything that we do well, it’s making the best of things.
I’m so grateful for having a husband who is fun to be around, who doesn’t whine incessantly, and who focuses on the positives in life. It took several years to get you to this point but it took just as long to get the crazy out of me too. I’m thankful that we’ve helped to transform each other to the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be. I look forward to continuing to get better with you. I love you, baby!
My wife and I decided a long time ago that we would not make New Years resolutions but instead make New Years Goals. In the past she has been better at achieving her goals than me. But in 2014 I wanted goals that we both could accomplish.
Here is a list of our 2014 Goals.
1. Eat Better: Last year we started off OK, but as the year progressed we slipped more and more, eating out a lot and not making health choices. The fall out has finally caught up with us in the form of weight gain. This year I want to eat out far less, No more than once a month. This means we will have to say no a lot. Hopefully our family and friends will understand.
2. Exercise More: In 2012 my wife and I both met our weight loss goals. However, in 2013 we slowly watched those goals wither away and the weight come back. I blame no one but ourselves. We both have busy lives with work and such and we both traveled a lot last year, so making time to work out was difficult. In 2014, we will need to overcome these hurdles. Make time to workout, even if it’s just doing push-ups and sit-ups in the basement at home.
3. Save Money: This is a big one for us. We have some money in savings but I really want us to build up a nice little nest egg. I grew up in a family that had little in the amount of savings. My wife and I were in a large amount of debt several years ago and we pulled ourselves out of it and have worked very hard to stay debt free. However, I think we have room for improvement.
4. Shop Less: This falls in line with the previous goal. In order to save more you will need to shop less. We let this get away from us last year (and a little the year before that) but in 2014 we need to reign this in and focus more on the saving and less on the spending.
5. Sleep Better: This is something that I personally struggle with. I tend to have a problem going to sleep, I just can’t seem t turn my mind off sometimes. I also struggle with staying asleep. I am one of those people that need absolute silence to sleep comfortably. in 2014 I want to see ups going to bed early (8:30 or 9:00 PM) and wake up early (around 5:00 AM), well rested and ready to tackle the day. I have learned that there are a lot of things that you can struggle with if you don’t get a good nights sleep. Memory is one of them and I have a really bad one.
Hopefully together my wife and I can achieve these goals. Some might find them silly or not worth the effort but we both feel that you should always have goals in life. It makes you productive, attentive and gives you something to work for.
What are your 2014 goals!
Before we start recapping the year that passed, allow me to catch you guys up…
- 2008 is the year that Brian started working for Viega, I completed my MBA from Wichita State University, and we dealt cards on a cruise ship.
- 2009 is a year of firsts. We attended Zoobilee for the first time. Brian had his first trip to Germany. He also visited the Philippines for the first time. I completed Leadership Westar. Tita Sol adopted Molly.
- 2010 was the year that we spent a lot of time with the Dills. It started out when we rang in the New Year at Kansas City Power & Light with Jay, Becca, and Mama Dill. A month later, we were traveling with them again. This time to San Francisco. We did a lot of traveling that year.
- 2011 was the year that we started by getting stranded at McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas). That didn’t deter us from traveling, though. We traveled through the East Coast with the Dills that summer and had a lot of firsts. We also got to see James Taylor perform twice: once at Intrust Bank Arena and again at Tanglewood. I also had my first ER trip and my first biopsy. Exciting stuff!
- 2012 we attended a few weddings, most notably Cousin Tracy and Jeff’s destination wedding at Coral Cove Resort in Jamaica. I got my Zumba Basic 1 License and I took Brian to Nashville for his 38th birthday. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by closing on our house and then I ended the year with a thyroidectomy.
Now that you are all caught up, let’s talk about what’s happened to us since then.
- Brian and I both played in the Cards for the Cure poker tournament. Neither of us did well, but we had a lot of fun. I have a couple of Zumba classes that I teach on Saturdays now so I’m thinking of skipping the tournament this year, but Brian will likely be playing in the tournament. I’m hoping he takes the whole thing down this year.
- Sheryll, Clayton, and their kids drove up from Dallas to visit us. It was a short visit but we had a wonderful time hanging out with the Orbases. We were hoping that they would visit us again but that may not be happening anytime soon as they’ve moved back to the Philippines, which makes me really sad.
- After years of attending various fundraising events, we finally made Splurge! magazine. After the first one, we made the magazine a few more times this year. You’d think we were stalking their photographer or something. LOL.
- I had to endure the worst winter we’d had in years without Brian. He was in Arizona at the time.
- Brian and I got each other handguns for Valentines Day. I know. How romantic, right? We made a few trips to the shooting range this year to get further acquainted with our new toys… err, weapons.
- I survived the Fight for Air Climb (a fundraiser for the American Lung Association) at Cessna Stadium. Thanks to my friend Jodi for talking me into it.
- Brian and I went on one of my most favorite dates of all time. We completed a sculpture scavenger hunt on the Wichita State University campus. The best part was that we both got mistaken for a couple of college students. LOL.
- We had some Walking Dead watch parties. The best one being the Season 3 finale watch party because Chef Jason actually joined us for dinner, though he could care less about the show.
- Dad gave Brian his airboat. Things haven’t been the same since.
- We attended the annual Filipino ball at the Marriott after several years of not attending the event.
- We attended the Celebrity & Chef Cook Off benefit for the Orpheum. As fundraising events go, this one should be on everyone’s list because it is super fun. And the food is amazing to boot!
- In the realm of professional development, I completed Leadership Elite.
- We threw Brian’s parents a nice 40th wedding anniversary party catered by Truffles. Thanks to all who helped make the event possible, specially Kevin and Kasey for the decorations.
- We discovered Cards Against Humanity, my new favorite card game.
- Brian learned how to make lumpia.
- I attended my first Zumba Instructor Convention and picked up a couple more licenses in the process. I’m now licensed to teach Zumba Toning and also Zumba Kids + Kids Jr.
- I delivered my first webinar.
- I attended the MEA Customer Relations Roundtable in Minneapolis. While I was in the area, I got to check out Mall of America and the famous spoon bridge.
- Brian and I helped with the Labor Run.
- I got a new double oven electric range for my birthday, which wasn’t without its challenges. We’ve made pretty good use of the two ovens though so, in the end, it was all worth it.
- We got to see some amazing performances such as MOMIX: Botanica and Cutter J the Absurdist.
- Brian’s parents officially moved to Oklahoma so we ended up hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house this year.
- We had our first ever post-Halloween party.
- I had my first trip to Davenport, IA.
- I completed the 8-week land instructor training at the YMCA and started teaching Zumba at Andover YMCA.
Man, it’s been a busy year! Here’s hoping that 2014 is just as amazing!
While in Davenport we had dinner at Duck City Bistro, a restaurant that was recommended by our awesome bartender Laura at the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge. The restaurant is also conveniently located just across the street from our hotel so that worked out well for us. It was a no-brainer.
When you enter the restaurant, which really doesn’t look like much from the outside, you are greeted by a very enthusiastic chef and a display case full of beautiful food.
Here are some pictures of the food that I took as Chef Jeremy Charles gave us a quick rundown of each one with flair and flamboyance.
I have never met a more animated chef my entire life. This guy would give Chef Jason a run for his money. Naturally, I had to take his photo.
Here’s a picture of the wine list which was stuffed in a plastic mallard.
We had their appetizer sampler which was “perfectly portioned for the table” or so our server told us. The plate consisted of the Thai chicken skewers, East Coast crab cakes, and portabello mushrooms.
Isaac also ordered a side of the pomme frites, which is just a fancy word for French fries. Except these fries were fried in duck fat.
The fries were wonderfully crunchy and fried to perfection but I wasn’t really fond of the duck flavor. Truffle fries will always be my favorite.
This is a picture of the lobster bisque with pieces of lobster floating in it.
Isaac opted for a salad instead of the soup and was the odd man out.
The restaurant has a very masculine feel and great character. I really liked the exposed brick walls and the photos on the walls. If they have mobsters in Iowa, this is probably where they’d eat.
I had the Iowa stuffed smoked pork chop, which was hand-stuffed with ham and swiss cheese and then smoked. It was served on top of smashed potatoes and beside chunky applesauce.
This is Isaac’s entree, but I can’t remember what it is.
This is Faith’s entree. I think it’s the bone-in prime rib chop.
Lance had the Duck City duck breast served Duck City style. And, true to the chef’s promise, they wrote Lance’s name on the plate.
By the way, I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of food that night. Then again, food this fancy deserved to be photographed.
None of us had room for dessert but they gave us chocolate covered strawberries at the end of meal when they brought the bill.
I think this is possibly the fanciest restaurant that I have ever tried. Leave it to Faith to find a super fancy restaurant. I’m actually glad she picked Duck City because I would have never had the chance to try it if it weren’t for her. Everything was good but dinner was really expensive. I’m glad we got full off our appetizers and entrees because we didn’t have any money left for dessert. LOL.
I drove one of our electric vehicles to Topeka the other day. When I got to about El Dorado, I got a TPS alert. The right passenger tire had low tire pressure.
I know that QT has free air so I called Brian and asked if there were any QTs between where I was and Topeka. No such luck. He did tell me that there’s free air at the Matfield Green service area, though.
I parked the car with the tire that needs air closes to the air compressor. I don’t think I did it right at first because the tire pressure actually went down instead of up. I tried again, making sure that the hose was securely fastened to the valve. It worked that time. Except, now the car wanted air in the other front tire. Yup. That’s my luck.
Although I had to wrestle with the hose to get it to reach the other side of the car, I was able to inflate the other tire without any problems. And, I got to Topeka and back home safely. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Chevy Volt hates me.
Brian is getting his studying in whenever and wherever he can. Yup. That’s my studious hubby!
It was a good excuse to fire up the fireplace.
By the time Christina and I got home from MOMIX: Botanica Brian and the rest of our visitors were already three sheets to the wind, on account of Ron Zacapa (Brian’s new favorite rum).
Yanila and Guille.
Jorge, Christina, and Brian.
Los tres amigos.
It was a wonderful evening of conversation and companionship. We look forward to hosting our Latin American friends again. Until your next visit!
Flip and Ching
I didn’t want to mope around the house after dropping Brian off at the airport so I ended up driving to Jersey’s to watch some friends play sand volleyball. The tournament was a fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Leaders Achievers and Winners (LAW) Camp.
It looked like so much fun that I’m now trying to convince my coworkers to host a sand volleyball team building event. I mean, who doesn’t like playing volleyball?
Anyway, I worked up an appetite watching Rachel, Michael, and Stephanie play so I found myself at mom and dad’s in Derby looking for food. They didn’t have anything so mom took Jenni and me to Hibachi Boy in Derby.
Hibachi Boy serves food that you would typically find at fancier Benihana-type restaurants minus the performance and the high prices. If you need something to compare it to, it’s a lot like Emperor’s. Except I think that Hibachi Boy actually offers a better value because you get fried rice, noodles, hibachi veggies, and bean sprouts along with your choice of meat. As far as menus go, I also think that Hibachi Boy offers a much greater selection because they also serve Thai, Vietnamese, and sushi. I’m pretty sure that if it’s Asian, Hibachi Boy serves it. LOL.
Places like Emperor’s and Hibachi Boy are a great alternative to Sumo or Sake (two of the most popular Benihana-type restaurants in Wichita) if you could care less about the performance and you don’t have that much time anyway. It’s a fast hibachi meal at a lower price. Once Brian gets over his “I don’t want to eat out anymore” phase, I’ll probably bring him to Hibachi Boy.
I ended up hanging out at mom and dad’s after lunch. I figured it was better than hanging out alone at home. Jenni rented The Bling Ring so I ended up watching it with her. Did my homework and ended up staying for dinner. Mom made bok choy. We ended up visiting for a while and, before I knew it, it was almost eight o’clock.
After twelve hours away from my own house it felt so good to home. It also helped that Brian and I thoroughly cleaned the house the day before so the house smelled fresh and clean when I returned. Sometimes time away from something makes you appreciate it even more. The same holds true for people. I was so happy to see Brian when I picked him up from the airport this afternoon. Welcome home, baby!