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Archive for "Events"

New Year’s Eve Festivities

Posted on January 18, 2019 by under Events.    

Brian and I got roped into throwing a New Year’s Eve party this year. Although, I did offer so it’s not like we were forced into it. I did it to myself. LOL.

Leading up to NYE, our friends were talking about going to this party that costs $75 per person. I don’t care if it’s all you can drink, I’d rather not pay to go to a party. It’s one thing if it’s a charity benefit. Plus, I don’t drink that much. And, if I’m drinking, I’d rather stay home and drink.

Other people were fine with the cost but the Phelpi weren’t so keen on the price either. I’m glad April said something. But then we were trying to figure out how to get together for NYE in the group chat. That’s when it came to me. If we just want to get together and we’re not really particular about where, then they should all just came over. And, that’s how the party started.

I usually don’t prefer to host on NYE because we have this superstition that whatever you’re doing on NYD is what you’re doing all year so if you’re hung over or you have a messy house or you’re stuck cleaning the house on NYD, that’s pretty much what your whole year will be like. Our typical MO is to hit other people’s parties (my parents’ for the food and Hideki’s for the booze — most of the time) and then be home by midnight so we can ring in the New Year by having sex. Yes, it’s been our long running tradition. We figured if we’re having sex on NYD, then we will be having sex all year long. And, yes, it’s important enough to us that this is a must. Our friend all know that we have to be home by midnight.

It was fun hanging out and ringing in the New Year with everyone but we obviously didn’t get our midnight sex this year. We had to wait until later on NYD. At least we got it done before the day was over otherwise we would have been cursed with lack of sex all year. And that just cannot be. LOL.

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No midnight sex aside, we had a great time celebrating with everyone. Here are some of the pics we took…

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I’m glad Jess and Marc took a photo in front of our gold fringe backdrop. At least it didn’t go to waste.

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Me and Jess with our party tiaras.

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Jay and Brian (with Becca and April in the background).

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Me and the Massingills, my favorite Zumba family.

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Jess and me and Madison and Brian.

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I made a jug of Carlos O’Kelly’s margarita.

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We laid out the party favors for everyone.

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I may have overestimated how many people would show up.

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We pulled out some of our favorite games and decided that’s what we would do to pass the time because I wasn’t allowed to have Zumba.

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We played What Do You Meme? downstairs and Disturbed Friends upstairs.

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I love having people over but I’m not a huge fan of hosting NYE parties because of our superstitions. All things aside though, it was a great night overall. But, I suspect we will resume our normal NYE tradition next year.

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Our First Time at Twin Peaks

Posted on January 12, 2019 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Twin Peaks is one of those restaurants that’s been around forever but we’d never had a reason to go there. Brian said he’s heard from several people that the food is actually decent. I guess it’s just not a place that immediately comes to mind when we’re looking for some place to eat.

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We finally had a reason to go recently. We met some friends there for Brynden’s birthday dinner. We tried it for the first time and, I have to say, it wasn’t bad.

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Here are some pictures of our food… Madison had the fish and chips, which I thought of getting but decided against since I had fish and chips at Hereford House just a couple of days before.

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Brian had a hamburger and Lindsay had the pot roast, which was presented in a cast iron dish — the presentation was better than what I was expecting from a sports bar type place. It looked good, actually.

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I was dull and just got chicken tenders. I wasn’t that hungry so I didn’t even eat much of it. I think I had one chicken tender and then Lindsay and Madison helped me with the rest. Brian ate most of the fries.

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Here’s what the inside of the restaurant looks like.

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I can understand why it’s popular with the guys. I’m not just talking about the scantily clad girls either. They actually have a bunch of TVs showing various sporting events. I suppose if you want to watch sports and drink some beers with your buds, this would be a good place to go.

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It was a convenient place for us to meet for dinner after Zumba and before the rest of the evening’s festivities in honor of Brynden’s 19th birthday. I had just subbed for Joel at South YMCA and, after my crazy work week, didn’t have the energy to continue on to Club Rodeo with the rest of the gang. We were only in it for the dinner part. I’m glad I got to celebrate Brynden’s day, even though it was just a small part of it. It gave me an opportunity to give Brynden’s mom Laurie her prize for winning my little guessing game on my Zumba page (I’d been hanging on to her prize for a few weeks because we hadn’t been able to connect until then) and also give Brynden her present, which I purposely matched Laurie’s prize so they could be matchy-matchy together at some point.

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Oh! One of the Zumba guys, Luis, made both Missy and Brynden pineapple Zumba birthday cakes. I missed Missy’s but Brian and I got to share a slice of Brynden’s cake. It was delicious!

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Fun Times with Friends

Posted on January 6, 2019 by under Events, Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

Brian and I had a bit of fun over holiday break. We got to hang out with some friends we don’t normally get to hang out with. First was the the annual beer gift exchange at the Smiths, who are always such fabulous hosts.

Here are some pictures from that evening…

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This is a pic of me and Jeff, our friend who sometimes joins us for breakfast and coffee chat. We met him through Twitter over ten years ago.

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This is a pic of me and Cindy, another Twitter friend.

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This is one of the beer gifts (click to watch the video).

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This is Laura, taking her turn (click to watch the video).

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Just a silly Boomerang (click to watch the video).

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Brian is so good at the group selfies. It was a super fun night. And, although I didn’t participate in the beer gift exchange, I did get to sample some beers and found some that I actually enjoyed — much to my surprise.

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The next night we went on a double date with the Dills (above). I had some Illuminations passes from work that I’d been trying to use. The four of us were actually supposed to go to Illuminations a few weeks ago when we went to have dinner with them at the ramen place but it was cold and rainy and none of us felt like going so we ended up enjoying some wine at their place instead. It was a good night to stay indoors.

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It worked out that the four of us were free and we actually had nice weather this night. Except, it seemed everyone in Wichita had the same idea. Botanica was ridiculously packed.

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Still, we got some nice photos courtesy of Jay’s fancy, new Pixel phone. It has a front-facing wide-angle lens that’s perfect for group selfies.

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The was s’mores for the kiddos and child-at-heart.

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Just a goofy pic with the giant bird’s nest.

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After Illuminations we went to dinner at the Hill where Mama Dill met up with us.

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Here are some pictures of dinner…

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A couple of things that we didn’t get pictures of are the chicharrones and the beignets. You know Brian and I cannot go to the Hill without getting chicharrones. They are just so good and so fresh. Anyway, we scarfed them up before I could get a photo. Then, we had beignets for dessert and we also ate those before I could get a photo. Overall we had an amazing time.

To top it off, the Dills picked up our dinner tab, which was so generous and unexpected. Thanks, guys!

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Andrea’s Superhero-themed Zumba Birthday Party

Posted on November 26, 2018 by under Events, Zumba.    

We had a blast celebrating Andrea’s 32nd birthday on Friday night. Charis turned her normal Friday night class into a 90-minute Zumba party in honor of Andrea’s special day. We invited several instructors to teach and it turned it in full-fledged Zumbathon for the ages!

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Here’s the official instructor line up (from left): Johnna, Andrea (the birthday celebrant herself), me, Jessie, Rose, Francie, Charis, and Amanda.

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I wasn’t the only Wonder Woman. We had a few people dressed as Wonder Woman that night, including Danielle above. Jessie also wore her Wonder Woman head and arm bands. I love it when we have theme parties.

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We had a wonderful turnout and a few even stayed for the group photo after class.

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This one of me and Charis is one of my faves. She’s an excellent selfie-taker.

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After Zumba we kept the party going at Los Cocos.

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Here’s a video from dinner. It was such a fun night. I just love Zumba birthday parties and can’t wait until the next one!

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Thanksgiving Day 2018

Posted on November 25, 2018 by under Events, Family.    

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I had a Zumba-filled Thanksgiving this year. I volunteered to teach a couple of classes. One at the Andover YMCA at 9:30 AM and then another at VASA Fitness at 11:00 AM. It was the best way to start Thanksgiving Day!

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Brian even got in on the Zumba fun and danced with us! Click on the picture below to check out his awesome dance moves.

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It’s always so hard to get people to stay for a group photo. At least we got this one at the end, though. Such troopers!

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The next class was at VASA Fitness where I taught with a team of amazing Zumba instructors: (from left) Victoria, Lauren, Liz, and Jessie.

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Lauren had Zumba bags for everyone.

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Speaking of presents, one of our Aqua Zumba regulars (Cindy) made us shirts.

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The pic above is before I customized the shirt. Below is the design I did for the back.

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This is Cindy, the awesome lady who made us the shirts. I wanted to show her how much I appreciated her present so I wore it to Aqua Zumba yesterday.

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The rest of Thanksgiving Day was pretty simple and quiet. We didn’t make too much food this year. We opted out of turkey and just had ham. We didn’t want to have too much food because it was just Brian, grandma, and me this year. After our Thanksgiving meal, we played Uno which is something we always do when grandma is here. She actually won this time. LOL.

We also had brownie a la mode for dessert. Grandma only wanted ice cream though, and took her brownies to go instead. After everything, we had our usual video call with Brian’s parents in Oklahoma. I did some snaps but forgot to take actual pictures. I need to make sure I take some next year.

After Brian took grandma home, we decided to finish the rest of our Christmas decorating. It was a super nice day and so we both agreed it was the perfect time to install our outdoor lights. We simplified this year and opted not to wrap the tree in the middle of the yard and our river birch. Not only did that take forever to install last year but it always took forever to take down. Brian decided that wasn’t going to happen again this year. After some negotiation, we compromised and decided to only light up Fern (our evergreen), the driveway, and our plants/bushes.

Installing all the lights (we have six sets of solar-powered LEDs) actually took less time than looking for the lights. Brian couldn’t remember where he stored them. We looked all over — in our storage area in the basement, the garage, the coat closet, the linen closets, everywhere! We could not find them. It wasn’t until after our third time searching the garage that Brian finally found them.

It would have helped if we knew what we were looking for… Brian and I both thought they were still in boxes. Brian had actually moved them to a reusable bag. We overlooked the bag several times thinking they were just our reusable grocery sacks. Once the lights were found, it took less than an hour to achieve our new and improved (and significantly simplified) lighting design — which was a good thing because Brian rented four movies for us to watch that night.

Many years ago we used to do the whole Black Friday thing but things have gotten quite ridiculous and so we’ve opted out of the madness the last few years. Stores are starting their Black Friday and opening their doors at 2 PM, which is when most people are doing their Thanksgiving celebration. That’s crazy. Brian and I decided we would just stay home and watch movies instead.

Our Thanksgiving movie marathon consisted of…

…in that order. Gotta love Redbox. I told Brian this reminded me of the days we would go to the drive-in and watch three movies back to back. Except this time we were watching four movies from the comfort of our own living room. Inevitably, I would doze off at some point. Not this time, though. Believe it or not, I stayed awake for all four movies. I amazed even myself.

Brian originally doubted that we would be able to get through all four movies in one go. I think I stayed awake partially to prove him wrong. LOL. That, and the movies he picked were actually better than I expected.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving Day overall. Brian and I got to do all the things we enjoy most — Zumba, food, cards with grandma, family, movies — and even finished the rest of our holiday decorating.

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