Most Exciting Birthday Party Ever

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Brian and I attended Stephanie’s birthday party at Ciao last night, despite the inclement weather. We had severe thunderstorms forecasted and we were literally on tornado watch, and we still went. I was afraid, but we’d made a commitment to Stephanie and Braden that we would attend. Braden put so much effort on Stephanie’s party planning that we couldn’t let them down. Brian was not afraid at all and didn’t think it would be a big deal. Plus, we live just down the street from the restaurant. Brian’s attitude was pretty much like, “It’ll be a couple of hours before it (the scary weather) gets here. Let’s have this party!”

I’d never lived through a tornado before. Sure, I’ve been living in Kansas for almost two decades and we go through this every year in the spring time; but the tornados are usually miles away and nowhere near us. This time though, it was forecasted to plow right through our part of town; so yes, I was definitely scared.

Even though I’d heard about McConnell moving the refueling jets out of the air force base to another location, all of the hype in the news, and all of the chatter on Facebook and Twitter, Brian’s nonchalance did rub off on me a bit and I was pretty unaffected early on in the evening. I didn’t worry so much about the storms moving faster than 40 mph, headed straight for us. I was so carefree in fact, that I was taking picture of our food and ordered an entire pitcher of sangria (after having a glass of it already) as if nothing was wrong. Though it didn’t taste particularly strong, that must have been some sangria because it seriously impaired my judgement. Anyway, I have to take pictures of the food. It was our first experience at Ciao and I figured you were all counting on it. As much as I didn’t want to disappoint Stephanie and Braden, I don’t want to let you all down either. So here are some food pictures.

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Brian said his soup was good.

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My Caesar salad was just okay.

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Brian ordered the lasagna. It may not look like much, but it was sooo delicious! One of the best lasagnas I’d ever had. It was even better the next day when I ate it for early lunch just now. I always eat lunch early on Sundays because I need a couple of hours between lunch and Zumba, otherwise I feel like regurgitating the meal. It’s very unpleasant. But I digress, the lasagna is so good that I’ve decide it’s what I will order on my next visit to Ciao.

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This is the big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. It was good, but the sight of it was quite overwhelming. I think it can feed a family of four.

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I had one of the giant meatballs and some of the pasta, and then had to box the rest of it up. There was no way I could finish it, even if I had the entire evening to do so. Brian said he could eat it for lunch today or take it to work for lunch on Monday.

The service was okay all things considered. I think the staff was frazzled, and understandably so. As much as we all wanted to get out of there, I’m sure they did too. I would go back on a normal night and see how they do. As for that pitcher of sangria, I remembered what they had done for us at Carrabba’s a few years ago so I asked for it to be re-bottled. Our server obliged, so that was nice. Speaking of which, I’m tempted to have a glass of it right now. Actually, I might just do that. LOL.

It was a mad rush to tab out as the storm quickly approached. I was surprised when our bill only came to $36. I was expecting to spend at least $70. As it turns out, Stephanie and Braden bought dinner for everyone. That was super nice. Thank you, Stephanie and Braden!

By the way, I have to give kudos to Braden for throwing a fantastic birthday party (all things considered). Stephanie’s cake was not only beautiful, it was also delicious. Each layer was a different flavor. I think one layer was strawberry, one was white, and one was chocolate. Yes, as everyone was frantically leaving the restaurant, I took a moment to enjoy a slice of chocolate cake.

I think when Braden was planning a memorable 30th birthday celebration for Stephanie, this type of excitement was not quite what he had in mind. The original plan was to have dinner at Ciao and then head over to Louie’s for some karaoke. Brian hates karaoke but, when it’s one of your Zumba wives’ birthday, you will do anything. I think some people ended up going to Stephanie and Braden’s house to seek shelter until the storms passed. Who knows? They might have sang karaoke in their basement to pass the time.

As for me and Brian, we figured that we would just go home and brace ourselves for what was to come. The tornado sirens were blaring as we hopped in the car to go home. That’s when I really got scared. Brian was still nonchalant about the whole thing and was like, “It’s no big deal. All of the tornado sirens are connected, so when one goes off, the others do also.” It didn’t really work this time, though. I was in full on panic mode. The fact that I saw a bunch of people head over to the tornado shelter at the apartment complex didn’t help matters any. As soon as we pulled Bebot safely in the garage, I ran upstairs to brush my teeth and put my braces back in. I took my extra tall heels off in favor of my black and gray Nike+ Free Runs, which coincidentally also matched my black and gray outfit from dinner. So even if we get blown to smithereens by a tornado at least my outfit will be well-coordinated when they find my corpse. LOL.

Brian was like, “Can I go to the bathroom first?” I was like, “Yes, but hurry!” I grabbed my work laptop (for the sake of business continuance, in case there is nothing left of our office building) and my Macbook. I packed up Brian’s laptop into his work backpack that already had his work computer. I was yelling for Brian to go.

As soon as he was done, we ran to the truck to ride it to the clubhouse. Jenni was in the parking lot. She and her friend had just gotten out of their movie so she was still in the area. We motioned for her to follow us to the clubhouse. Once down there Brian goes, “Had I known we were going to hide in the shelter, I would have gone to Coley’s or Braden’s.” That’s when I realized that he truly had no intention of evacuating. I think he mostly just went down to the tornado shelter to pacify me.

Jenni didn’t seem scared at all either. I was worried for her friend from Oklahoma, who I thought was driving home through the storm. We managed to talk him into coming to the shelter and waiting the storm out with us. He didn’t answer her calls at first, which caused me to worry even more. We found out later that he was at Walmart buying some windshield wipers for his Jeep. Cellphone signal is pretty sporadic in there. The inclement weather probably just makes it worse. Anyway, he also picked up a flashlight and some batteries but was like, “Had I known we were going to be here a while, I would have picked up a six-pack.” To which Jenni replied, “I still have the jello shots (from this afternoon) in the car.” I thought, “Great. We have no water and no food, but we have jello shots.” We are so prepared for the apocalypse. That’s when it hit me. Maybe those crazy doomsday preppers are on to something after all. We need a bug-out bag. We’ll be more prepared next time.

But wait, the evening didn’t end there. Everyone slowly started to leave the shelter around 11 pm, when we found out that the major storm had passed us and was on its way to Andover. Jenni’s friend decided he would drive home to Oklahoma. Jenni went home to Derby. Brian and I went back to our townhouse. He didn’t sit for too long, though. As soon as we got in, he found out that the Southeast part of Wichita (where his parents live) had suffered extensive damage. They were without power and were afraid that the basement would flood because they couldn’t get their generator to work. He was there until about 3 in the morning. I stayed up and waited for him, so we didn’t go to bed until 4 this morning. Yup, it’s been one heck of a weekend!

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"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."

~ Leo Tolstoy