Thanksgiving 2014

My coworkers take Thanksgiving very seriously. Our lounge area and break room were totally decked out last month for Harvest Feast.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Our coworkers who organized Harvest Feast really outdid themselves this year. They even got matching aprons. How cool is that?

Untitled

We all chipped in $5 for the meats but Brian didn’t want me to show up to work empty handed so he made me the banana pudding dessert thing that we love so I would have something to bring to the potluck.

Untitled

It was a huge hit. How could it not be? This thing is like crack. Anyway, if you’d like the recipe or if you’d like to see all the other variations we’ve made in the past go here.

Untitled

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year so I decided that I probably ought to decorate. We found this beautiful wreath at the store that matched our Christmas tree on the main floor, which is natural and woodsy, so we had to get it. It looks great, don’t you think?

Untitled

This is the Christmas tree in the basement.

Untitled

We didn’t decorate too much but we put up enough decorations to be somewhat festive.

Untitled

Untitled

We like personalized things. Can you tell?

Untitled

I liked these napkins and placemats not only because they’re personalized with our last name initial but mainly because they’re neutral and match the rest of our decor.

Untitled

We brought out our wine glasses for mimosas so I finally had the opportunity to use my festive wine charms.

Untitled

This was Molly’s first Thanksgiving back with us.

Untitled

Molly and grandma kept each other company as we reheated the food that was carefully prepared by the Fresh Market.

Untitled

We had a great time celebrating with family.

Untitled

Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed at Thanksgiving.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We were wise this year and created a project plan for when things needed to go in the oven. It worked out perfect. Everything finished right on schedule.

The food was delicious and we had way more food than we needed. I’m thinking either we order less food or invite more people to our little Thanksgiving shindig next time.

Untitled

Jenni’s birthday was the day before Thanksgiving so we celebrated with her.

Untitled

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Until next year!

Lights on the Lake 2014

It’s been a few years since we’ve attended a Lights on the Lake launch party. The last Lights on the Lake launch party we attended was at Abode back in 2011. The event has gotten so much bigger since then. Last year and this year it was held at Murfin Stables, an amazing venue.

Untitled

They really upped the ante this year with the upgraded dress code (cocktail attire was recommended) and lavish decorations. Check out these photos.

Untitled

The opulent table setting made me feel very fancy.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We were assigned to table 22, Brian’s favorite number.

Untitled

Meddys catered the event.

Untitled

Untitled

Here’s what was on the menu. The hors d’oeuvres consisted of creamy tomato soup, vegetarian lentil soup, baked pita, hummus, and fresh vegetables.

Untitled

Untitled

There were people walking around with trays of hummus and soup until dinner.

Untitled

Untitled

Salads and desserts were already at the tables but dinner was served buffet style. The salad was a delicious Mediterranean salad with salmon. It was very good.

Untitled

For dinner we had chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, rice, and roasted vegetables.

Untitled

Savories provided dessert. We had a couple of options: brownie bottom cheesecake and cherry cheesecake. Yummy!

Untitled

There was a silent auction, my favorite thing to check out and do at these events. I didn’t win any of the items I bid on this time, though.

Untitled

There was also a live auction. That’s something that I generally don’t participate it because I don’t have as much money at my disposal as other event guests. Live auction items usually go for thousands of dollars.

Untitled

At this event, however, there were a couple of things that went for just $900 so that was a pretty good deal. One of the most successful auction items was this black goldendoodle puppy that went for $3500.

Untitled

She’s going to be one spoiled puppy!

Untitled

There was also a wine pull and signature cocktails for sale for people like me who weren’t keen on the drink selections at the open bar. For $30 I got a signature drink with a commemorative champagne flute and $5 refills.

Untitled

Brian and I got to play with the TapSnap photo booth.

Untitled

We took a group photo of our table also.

Untitled

Brian and I had such a great time. Brian will say he still prefers Brew Ha-Ha but, overall, Lights on the Lake is a really enjoyable fundraising event. It also benefits a great cause – Heartspring Pediatric Services. I highly encourage you all to support the organization and participate in the event next year.

Also, remember to check out Lights on the Lake this year. It’s one of the most amazing Christmas light displays in here in Wichita.

Brew Ha-Ha 2014

Untitled

We had a great time at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Brew Ha-Ha fundraising event on Friday night. The event, which is our most favorite fundraising event every year, is always a great time but it was even more meaningful for me this year because I started my journey as a big sister volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters in over the summer.

We saw several of my coworkers and former coworkers. We also met friends from outside of work. We spent most of the evening hanging with the Shermans and the Washingtons, who also happen to be our neighbors. I know I’ve raved about our neighbors before. We really have the best neighbors. If you are looking to buy a house in Southeast Wichita, Sierra Hills is the place to be.

The food this year was provided by Freddy’s (always our first stop because the beer milkshakes are a highlight of the event for us), P.F. Chang’s, Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, Newport Grill, and Woodfire Grille. No Carrabba’s this year, which was a bummer because we always enjoy visiting with Joe. They donated to the silent auction though, so they weren’t completely absent from the event. My favorite food was the braised short ribs that Woodfire Grille served. It was delicious. I don’t really drink beer. I mostly like to go to sample all the delicious food that the vendors offer.

Brian was hilariously inebriated, but not embarrassingly so. Thank heavens. I would like us to be invited back next year. =P Jokes aside, we both had a wonderful time and are already counting the days until the next one.

Thank You

Untitled

Thank you to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me. Thank you for all the cards, presents, hugs, and birthday wishes. You all really know how to make a girl feel special!

Sales Tax Referendum

On Tuesday, November 4, Wichitans have a chance to make a difference for our community by voting in favor of the one-cent sales tax to fund plans for water, transit, jobs and streets.

homepage_slides_photo_1

The proposed ballot question is as follows: Shall the City of Wichita, Kansas, be authorized, pursuant to K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., to impose a one percent (1.0%) city-wide retailers’ sales tax to be effective April 1, 2015, and which will terminate no later than April 1, 2020, with an amount not to exceed $250 million dollars of such tax applied to pay the costs for the purchase, development, maintenance and operation of a long-term water supply, with an amount not to exceed $80 million dollars of such tax applied for job development and creation, with an amount not to exceed $39.8 million dollars of such tax applied to support Wichita Transit operations, and with an amount not to exceed $27.8 million dollars of such tax applied for street maintenance and repairs?

Joyful Noise Twilight Concert

image

Brian and I had the privilege of attending the Joyful Noise Twilight Concert at Camp Wood YMCA last night. There are few things in this world more breathtaking than the Flint Hills. It was the perfect setting for a concert. Here are some pictures.

Untitled

Brian waiting for dinner to be served…

Untitled

It was a beautiful day for an outdoor concert.

image

image

This one time at band camp…

Untitled

The council ring is the perfect setting…

Untitled

We scarfed up dinner quickly and went to the concert site to scope out a good spot.

Untitled

Our vantage point.

Untitled

The weather was perfect and the surrounding view is fantastic.

Untitled

Have you ever seen a Flint Hills sunset?

Untitled

Now you have.

Untitled

Pictures don’t do it justice though.

Untitled

Brian got some reading done as we waited for the concert to begin.

Untitled

More people started showing up as dinner service concluded.

Untitled

There’s nothing like an outdoor concert in one of the most beautiful settings.

Untitled

Wow.

Untitled

Fiddler Darol Anger, singer/songwrite Emy Phelps, cellist Eugene Friesen, mandolin player Kenny White, and concert master John Harrison were just a few of the amazing musicians who performed during the concert.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Check out our Facebook page for some of the videos. I highly recommend attending this event next year if you can because it’s simply amazing.

Zoobilee 2014

And now we resume our regularly scheduled programming… The posting of pictures and other not so serious stuff.

Before Zoobilee…

10405473_10154590778250643_2208058077794218869_n

After Zoobilee…

image

Pictures from in between…

20140906_203029

20140906_190351

20140906_195459

20140906_194444

image

20140906_191411

20140906_191236

20140906_190850

20140906_185903

20140906_190351

20140906_190002

image

Zoobilee was fun. It gets more and more crowded every year but it’s always a great time to hang out with friends. The weather was perfect this year. Last year it was super hot. Anyway, here are some pictures from Zoobilees past. Enjoy!

Blue Jean Bingo

Brian and I attended Blue Jean Bingo at Abode last night. It’s a benefit for Goodwill Industries of Kansas. It’s actually one of the more fun fundraising events I’ve attended. I’ll have to remember it again next year. Here are some pictures.

20140801_195816

If Brian doesn’t look like he is having fun, it’s because he never smiles in photos. Oh, and he was seriously concentrating on the game. He did not want to miss any of the bingo numbers. He held on to that bingo dauber like a weapon!

20140801_193547

I have never gotten as much use out of my official name tag as I did yesterday. Seriously. That thing was on me for almost 18 hours.

Fwd: NoSubject

They asked us to wear our metal name tags at our leadership conference so it was already on me when I left the house yesterday morning. I didn’t want to lose it so I just kept it on when I went back to work, so then I didn’t have to wear my regular badge. I didn’t plan on wearing it to the event, but I ended up staying at work until after 6:30 pm because of a problem.

I actually went back to work after our meeting because I wanted to complete testing the Spanish IVR. Darcy assigned it to me on Wednesday and I told her I wouldn’t be able to really test anything until Friday afternoon because of the leadership conference. Anyway, I didn’t get much testing done because of said problem. Things don’t always go according to plan I guess. You just have to roll with the punches.

I didn’t have time to go home and change. Brian picked me up from work and we just went straight to Abode. When we got there they had name tag stickers for everyone but I still had my official name tag on so I just kept it on. Who needs a “Hello, my name is…” sticker when you have a fancy metal name tag? LOL.

It only took ten plus years for me to finally get an official name tag. I’m really glad I have one now because I’ve gotten good use out of it.

Yes, I am nerdy. Please don’t make fun of me.

The food last night was actually not bad. The vendors who participated were Emerson Biggins, Old Chicago, Il Vicino, Abuelo’s, Chapada, P.F. Chang’s, and Truffles Catering. Of course, when drinks are free it makes everything taste better. There was also a chocolate fountain in case the delicious and decadent dessert selections weren’t enough.

I really wanted to win one of the bingo prizes. No such luck, though. The big winner at our table was Brigid’s sister Mary. She won bingo game number four, called by Bonnie Bing. Bonnie was the best bingo caller that evening by the way. The other celebrities were great, but Bonnie stole the show.

Anyway, Mary won a $100 gift card to Bradley Fair. Lucky girl!

At the end of the evening we checked out the results of the silent auction to see if I won anything. Brian always tries to stop me from bidding on items and he always fails. LOL. Since he often fails to stop me, I think he just prays that someone outbids me on my items most of the time.

I’m glad we checked the silent auction results before we left because I did win one of the items that I was bidding on. It was silent auction item #217, a necklace and a sign from Pink Boa. As we were leaving, I enthusiastically (it doesn’t take a lot to get me excited) showed Misty what I’d won in the auction.

She was like, “Did you WIN it or did you BUY it?”

She can be such a “Debbie Downer” sometimes. I WON my loot in the silent auction and she’s not going to convince me otherwise.

Anyway, I had so much fun playing bingo last night that I’m actually considering hosting a bingo night at our house. Do you guys think anyone would come? Or is this just too nerdy of an idea to catch on? What do you all think?

And They Say There’s Nothing To Do in Kansas

Looking for something to do? Here are some options:

KEYN Summer Concert Series
Every Friday, July 11 to August 15
Wichita, KS

Kansas Biggest Rodeo
July 31 to August 2
Phillipsburg, KS

Midget Nationals
July 31 to August 2
Belleville, KS

Busker Festival
August 22 to 24
Lawrence, KS

Tumbleweed Festival
August 22 to 24
Garden City, KS

Heritage Day
August 23
Yoder, KS

Little Balkans Days
August 29 to 31
Pittsburg, KS

Did I miss anything? Add your event in the comments.

All Star Adventures

Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted a friends and family event last week at All Star Adventures. The cost was $7 per person for all you can play — go karts, carnival rides, and mini golf. Brian and I hadn’t been there in ages so we couldn’t pass up the deal even though it was a work night. Lucky for us, the event fell on a Thursday so I didn’t have to teach Zumba. We wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.

I’m glad we got to go because we had a blast playing with Faith and her kids, Becca, Jay, Addison, and my little sister Kira.

Untitled

Addy and Kira got along fabulously.

Untitled

I think Jay had more fun than the kids. LOL.

Untitled

Here’s a cute one of Addy.

Untitled

This is my favorite pic of me and Kira. Don’t let that angelic smile fool you. This child is a dare devil. She wanted to do all of the really crazy rides. After we rode the go karts (I had to ride with her because she wasn’t tall enough to drive herself), we did her favorite carnival rides. After the second one, I had to start looking for rides that she could do by herself because I couldn’t take anymore. I seriously felt like throwing up my dinner if I rode another dizzying ride.

She said this was her favorite because it scared me the most and made me scream a lot. Though she told me later that if another ride scared me more, that would have been her favorite instead. Can you believe such an angelic child could be so mischievous?

20140710_193610

This a photo of Kira that I took when we rode bumper boats together. She tried to make me dizzy in the bumper boats too. LOL.

Next Page →