Dad’s 60th Birthday Dinner

And we take a break from all of the DC blog posts to show you pictures from dad’s 60th birthday dinner at Cy’s Hoof & Horn.


They say that it’s better to spend money on experiences rather than buying things so rather than buying a present for dad we opted buy dinner for the family instead.


For dad’s birthday Brian and I took mom, dad, and Jenni to our new favorite place to eat steak. Jenni get the filet mignon, which is what I had the last time. I thought it was good but I really, really liked Brian’s chicken fried steak so I ended up getting the chicken fried steak this time around.


Brian and dad both got chicken fried steak also.


I don’t know why we each had to get one, all three of us could have shared one piece. The chicken fried steak portions at Cy’s are enormous.


Mom got a steak salad. Only my mom would get a salad at a steak place. LOL. At least her salad was topped with slices of beef, I guess.


Brian and I can’t wait for his mom and dad to visit because we want to take them to Cy’s also. Now that we’ve discovered Cy’s we just want to bring everyone there.

Cy’s isn’t just a great place to eat steak, it’s a great place for a nice family dinner. I hope dad enjoyed his 60th birthday dinner just as much as we did.

Things are Getting Serious


I just ordered a new ball. I haven’t bought a bowling ball in 20 years. Things must be getting serious. The next thing you know I’ll be sporting a wrist brace and everything.

Speaking of, we debuted our new team uniforms at bowling on Sunday. You can’t see them very well in this photo but this is what the outfits look like.



Brian and I already had the sweatpants. We got them at the last Zumba Convention. Brian actually found the sweatpants when he was shopping at the store while I was in one of my training workshops. When I got back to the hotel room and saw them, I sent him back to the store to get me a pair also. They are so comfortable that we’ve been wearing them to bowling every Sunday. Rather than buying a whole new set of uniforms for everyone, I ended up just ordering the same sweatpants for mom and dad. So then I just had to buy us all some black shirts to wear with them. Voila! Bowling uniforms.

Mom and dad really love the new bowling outfits. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, though. How can you go wrong with comfy sweats? I joked today that if we start doing really well, I will spring for “real” bowling uniforms. Like legit bowling polos (complete with our embroidered team name and logo) and maybe khaki pants for the guys and khaki skirts for mom and me. But then, after getting used to wearing sweats to bowing it’s going to be hard to go back to wearing regular clothes. Our current bowling uniforms are super comfy.

Anyway, I saw some videos of the jet black Hammer Taboo bowling ball and it really made me want to buy one. However, dad said that drilling will run me around $60 and it might not even be the right ball for me. He suggested that I talk to someone from the local pro-shop about a suitable ball and if I buy the ball from them then the price of the ball usually includes the cost of drilling.

I still really like the jet black Taboo but after talking to both dad and Kevin Andes at Wichita Bowling Supply I realized that the Taboo may be too much ball for me. I ended up just ordering a Blur Pearl because it’s going to give me more predictable results and will suit my style of bowling better. I’m really optimistic that the new ball will improve my game. Anything is better than my ancient Columbia 300 Quantum, which is at least 20 years old. Surely.

Incidentally, the Blur Pearl is also manufactured by Columbia 300. And, this entire time I thought I was using a 12-pound ball but my current ball actually weighs 13 pounds. I wanted to go up to 13 pounds anyway so I get my wish. LOL. Eventually I’m thinking of going up another pound but it may be a couple of years before I’m ready to throw a 14-pound ball. I need to get stronger first.


Speaking of strong, I’m off to a great start this year. I bowled a 500-series last night. It felt great. I was the only one on our team who consistently bowled above my average every game. I earned my new bowling ball, I’d say!

When I bowl a 600-series I’m totally getting that jet black Taboo! I don’t care if it’s too much bowling ball for me. It will serve as a trophy to commemorate my achievement. LOL.

Ted’s Cafe Escondido

We had the opportunity to try a new restaurant a few weeks ago when we were in Oklahoma to deliver Brian’s old truck to his dad. We’d been looking to buy a new vehicle for a few years now and just hadn’t found the right one. Plus, we were saving money because we didn’t want to finance it. We paid for Crichton in cash in 2007 and we finished paying off Bebot in 2008. We didn’t want another car payment. However, we promised that we would give the truck to Brian’s dad once we got a new vehicle.

Goodbye, Crichton.

We finally found the exact car that we wanted to add to our family in October. We would have delivered the truck to Oklahoma sooner but we promised Jenni that Brian would help her move in early November so we couldn’t get rid of the truck just yet. Our opportunity came Thanksgiving weekend because neither of us had to work.

It was fitting too. Rather than participating in the consumerist juggernaut that is Black Friday, we used the day to drive to Brian’s parents’ home in Oklahoma and deliver the truck to them. We gave it to them for several reasons. Brian’s dad likes to do projects at home and in his workshop and had been looking for a truck to haul stuff to and from the store. They have a couple of four-door sedans that aren’t really conducive to hauling big, bulky items. We figured that he would get more use out of the truck than we would. We also wanted to get rid of the truck because Brian doesn’t really enjoy helping people move and he got tired of me volunteering him and his truck long ago.

It didn’t make sense to sell the truck or trade it in because we wouldn’t get what it was worth. Plus, Brian’s dad was looking for a truck and it didn’t make sense for him to buy one when we had a truck that we no longer needed. Giving them the truck was a great way to say thank you for everything they’d done for us over the years. And, how appropriate that it happened on Thanksgiving weekend.

Ted's Cafe Escondido on Urbanspoon

But I digress… I really wanted to tell you about this restaurant that Brian’s parents took us to that day. The place is called Ted’s Cafe Escondido. We don’t have one here in Wichita, but it’s very similar to Abuelo’s. They have the same kind of tortilla chips that I like and the menu options are similar. Prices are comparable also. I guess the restaurant is more like Abuelo’s and Felipe’s together. You’ll see what I mean when you see the food pictures.


Brian had a bean and cheese burrito smothered in queso. This is what my unadventurous husband gets everywhere. Unless we’re splitting something. Then he is forced to eat what I’m having. LOL.


I had the pork chile verde and Brian wanted nothing to do with it.


Donna had the handmade tamales.


I can’t remember what kind of burrito David had because so much time has passed. I really should have blogged this weeks ago but we’ve been super busy.

The restaurant gives you a free sapodilla on request. It’s good but not as good as the mini, bite-sized sapodillas at Felipe’s Jr. You have to pay for those, though. One could argue that free is better. LOL.

Of the places we’ve tried in the area, which is not many because we’ve only been down there a couple of times since they moved, this one is my favorite. That doesn’t say much, I suppose. Check back in a few months.

Thanksgiving 2014

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




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


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.


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.


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?


This is the Christmas tree in the basement.


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



We like personalized things. Can you tell?


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.


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


This was Molly’s first Thanksgiving back with us.


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


We had a great time celebrating with family.


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










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.


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


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

Bowling Update

So I’d been trying to bowl a 500-series since the Fall league started and I kept failing miserably. Well, guess what. I actually did it twice while mom and dad were in the Philippines. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not been there to witness myself do it. LOL. Even an blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.


Seriously though, I may be a better bowler than I believe myself to be. Perhaps it’s time that I stop selling myself short and start concentrating so I can live up to my potential.


I’m obviously capable of bowling a 500-series. I just need to do it consistently.


Brian says I bowled well because I was relaxed and was having a great time. Mom says I bowled well because I was bowling with friends and I was trying to impress them with my bowling skills. Either way, we had a great time bowling with Linsday and Dawn over the past three weeks. They were the best subs ever and helped us earn 11 points, almost a perfect run. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.

Now, instead of being one of the bottom teams, we are one of the top teams. I hope that we can continue our streak now that mom and dad are back. We shall see how it goes tonight. Wish us luck!

Thank You


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!

My Favorite Time of Year is Here

Fall is my favorite time of year not just because my birthday falls during this season and I milk every stinking second of it and force everyone to be nice to me, but because the weather is absolutely perfect. It’s neither too hot nor too cold and the foliage begins to change colors. It’s probably prettier in New England but, even in Kansas, Fall is breathtaking. I love Fall!

We had some fantastic weather this weekend so we took advantage of it and drove around in Alex, the newest member of our household fleet.


Grandma was super excited to ride in Alex yesterday citing that it’s her first time riding in a convertible in all of her 92 years. Brian was like, “Had I known she we be so excited to ride in a convertible I would have gotten one years ago.”

Alex is definitely flashier than Bebot but to me, a car is a car. I actually still prefer driving around in Bebot so I’ve only driven Alex a couple of times. Brian gets to drive Alex a lot more than I do even though Alex is technically my birthday present.

I know, I know. My new Frye boots and my new iPhone were supposed to be my birthday presents but I’m milking this birthday thing, remember?

Anyway, since we haven’t given Brian’s truck to his dad yet (we promised Jenni that we would help her move so we’re hanging on to the truck until then) I’m either driving the truck or Bebot. Mostly because Bebot has great gas mileage.

My little sister Nickira noticed Alex in garage last week when we came home to say hi to Brian after spending the afternoon at the Wichita Art Museum and the Keeper of the Plains. She was curious about the new vehicle because she hadn’t seen it before and wanted to know whose it was. After she found out it was mine, she wanted to ride in it. It’s amazing to me how a ten year old can tell the difference between cars and know that one is better than the other. I suppose Bebot can’t transform into a convertible but the top was up on Alex the first time she saw the car parked in the garage yet it still intrigued her. Maybe it’s mostly that she hadn’t seen it before? Whatever the case may be, I found her reaction to Alex quite interesting.

Here are some more pictures of Alex. Enjoy!

Family Brunch at Cracker Barrel


Jenni and Ben were in town visiting this weekend. They spent the night on Thursday night before heading to Kansas City on Friday and spending the night there coming back on Saturday. Since they were in town, they joined us for the monthly poker game at Rune’s. I was worried about taking them to poker for fear that they would be bored. Little did I know, Ben is an avid and skilled poker player. He took third last night. As for me and Brian, let’s just say it was an expensive evening and leave it at that. LOL.

It took us about an hour to get home last night, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, we were up too late and had to be up early to meet everyone for brunch. I’m glad I’m a morning person or I would have been cranky about the wait.

Jenni and Ben got there first. They were told there would a 35 minute wait, which is long but not unreasonable. Anyway, we find out later that a group of nine who arrive after us got seated before us while we continued to wait. After waiting almost an hour, we were finally seated. In the mean time, the wait gave me a chance to play Ben a game of checkers. I’m thinking that I might switch to checkers because I’m actually not bad at it. I have a better record at checkers than chess this year.

Brunch was good despite the slow service. Our server was nice. I can’t really blame her for the mix up with the seating. It took a long time for our food to arrive but that could have been the kitchen’s fault. They were probably just busier than usual that day. I didn’t want to let these things affect the rest of my day though, so I chose to be more tolerant about the whole situation. Plus, I was just really grateful for the wonderful company (and free lunch because mom and dad paid – LOL).

After brunch Brian and I took grandma to Kohl’s to pick out a watch. We had promised her one for her birthday but didn’t get a chance to buy it because we had a busy week following our trip. This actually worked out better because then grandma got to pick out the exact one that she wanted.


Overall it has been a great day so far. We had a great time with family, got grandma’s watch, and Brian fixed her computer. Hope the wonderfulness of the day continues tonight at bowling. I’m looking forward to winning some points again tonight so we can start moving up in the rankings.

Pictures From the Annual Filipino Ball

The Filipino Ball is a celebration of milestones — debutantes, wedding anniversaries, achievements — in the Filipino community. It’s a chance for us to relive prom night in that we get to wear our fanciest clothes. Women are in beautiful gowns and men are in colorful and stylish barongs. It’s a pretty formal event so you can be as fancy as you want to be. Brian opted to wear his tux this year. Yeah, we’re still trying to get our money’s worth. LOL.


These are some of my favorite photos from last night. Huge thanks to Jennifer Cannady for taking the photo above. I’ve put on some weight in the last couple of years and actually don’t look too bad in this photo. LOL. Brian, my very own James Bond, looks amazing as always.


If you recognize my dress it’s because I recycled it. It’s the same dress that I wore to the American Heart Association benefit earlier this year. I would have preferred to have worn a new dress but life has been hectic and I didn’t have time to shop. Rather than stress about it, I figured I’d just wear one of the ones I already had hanging in the closet. I wore new jewelry to freshen it up a bit. This is the Kahlo line. If you’d like to see it up close or want to schedule a trunk show, contact me.



Mom and dad with the Cannadys at the Filipino Ball.





Obligatory selfie… because we have to take at least one of the two of us.


The Filipino Ball is the one time a year that we get to see people who we don’t normally see on a regular basis. Kids babies and children grow up to be adults almost overnight it seems. It’s like one year they were children and the next they’re hosting the event. Yes, I’m talking about Jenna. She was a baby when Brian and I first started attending the gala and now she’s a grown woman. Amazing. Brian and I still feel pretty youthful but this is the one event that’s guaranteed to make you feel old. Before the evening is even over I always end up wondering, “Are we really that old?”

We must be because I actually enjoy the event now and I didn’t used to. In my youth I used to dread having to attend. “Do I really have to?” This was one of those parties that was forced upon you by your parents. I don’t know how the other kids felt or how the kids today feel. It was not a fun party for me. It wasn’t really that much fun watching old people drink and make fools of themselves on the dance floor. Now I’m one of those old people. It’s awesome how time can change your perspective.

It used to that you couldn’t pay me to attend now and I’m actually paying to go. If you told me years ago that this would happen, I never would have believed you. LOL.

The Filipino Ball has become one of those events that I actually look forward to attending each year. I love watching the kids grow up and watching families expand as they welcome new family members. As long as I can look youngish and have my handsome James Bond by my side, I really don’t mind feeling old for a night.

Grandma’s 92nd Birthday

We celebrated grandma’s 92nd birthday at Firebirds last night. It was also a late birthday dinner for Brian and late Father’s Day celebration. We didn’t have time to figure out what to do for gifts for everyone so we just decided to buy everyone dinner. It was a little lazy on our part, I know; but what can you do when you’ve just gotten back from traveling and you have to get on with everyday life real quick? I was back to my day job and teaching my Zumba classes right off the bat.


Without further ado, here are some of the pictures from last night.


Mom and dad were able to join us so that was great.


Brian got a card that makes noise and some cash for his birthday from his mom and dad. He is so easily amused.


Mom really thought this was a half portion.


Brian got ribs. He said they were very good.


Grandma got pasta.

Dad got a wood grilled salmon.


Kevin got a cheeseburger.


I had a Fireside BLT with grilled salmon.


Donna got meatloaf.

David got a steak filet and fries.

We all shared a couple of slices of the banana cream pie.

Close up!


Grandma got a nice card from the Firebirds staff.


We had to take a selfie!


Here’s a photo of the Brubakers outside the restaurant after dinner.

Picture from last night.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill on Urbanspoon

Food at the restaurant was actually better than I remembered. I have always liked their bread because it reminds me of pan de sal. The servers brought us several loaves well before we could even finish one.

I’m not sure about the others but my food was pretty good. The last time I had salmon at Firebirds it was a little overdone. It seemed that way anyhow. I thought I would give them another chance and get salmon again. This time to just add to my salad. The salmon was done absolutely perfectly. It didn’t dry up so that was great.

Our server recommended their seasonal dessert, a banana cream pie on steroids. We shared two slices of the pie. It was delicious. I hope Brian learns how to make it because I would love to have some again. LOL.

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