Little Sister Gets Her Wish

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Every time I pick up Kira we drive by a Spangles and she always asks to eat there. Influenced by Brian’s dislike of the chain, I usually find ways to dissuade her by offering a better alternative. Last week, on our way to Color Me Mine, I finally caved.

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Kira and I had fun painting our projects. I cannot post the pictures here because they are meant to be presents. I’ll post the pictures once the have been presented to the intended recipients. Until then, have a fantastic week everyone!

Dinner with Friends

First we had dinner with our favorite neighbors on Wednesday night. We wanted to do something nice for them since they’ll be watching Molly while we’re in DC next month. But then Jim just had his surgery earlier in the week so instead of having him hobble over, we decided to just bring dinner to them. It took a few trips but worked out great in the end. Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed that evening.

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Brian made pork roast. He had it in the slow cooker all day and it was nice, tender, and flavorful by dinner time.

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Mom made lumpia earlier that day and shared some with us. She gave Brian uncooked ones. Brian fried them up right before dinner so they were fresh.

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These were frozen rather than fresh (corn is not in season) but they were delicious just the same. Brian intended to make potatoes too, but said he got the wrong kind of potatoes so he nixed the idea and made rice instead. He got no argument from me because I prefer rice over potatoes any day. LOL.

We also had some rolls. Seems like Americans have rolls with most of their meals. It’s the strangest thing ever. I could take or leave rolls. At least Brian got Hawaiian sweet rolls, which is the kind that I like (when I do eat rolls).

Incidentally, Wednesday night was the same night that we had a work dinner at The Hill for the AllConnect launch. I heard it was a great time. I wanted to go but I was already committed to dinner with our neighbors which we had planned ahead of time.

I’ve never been at The Hill either. Tammie says it’s pretty good. I guess Brian and I will just have to check it out. Maybe we will go with our lovely neighbors.

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On Saturday night we met the Dills (Jay, Becca, and Mama Dill), the Larnengs (Rune and Kristen), and the Phelpi (Cory and April) at Sumo (the Phelpi’s favorite restaurant for celebrating birthdays) to celebrate Cory’s birthday.

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Just a few months before we met the exact same group at Sumo to celebrate April’s birthday. The funniest part is that we got the exact same hibachi table. I’m thinking we all sat in the exact same spots too.

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One of my favorite things at Sumo is their garlic fried rice. You can’t go there and not get it. It’s super good. But, man! It’s really garlicky. Even after brushing my teeth, I still had garlic breath. I bet my sweat will smell like garlic for days, too.

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We didn’t finish dinner until almost 10 PM. Brian and I were invited to go dancing with another group of friends to celebrate Holly’s birthday and I really wanted to go but we were both exhausted. Not sure why. probably because we watched a movie with grandma earlier in the day and didn’t get our afternoon nap. LOL.

Jokes aside, we are a couple of old farts and we go to bed around 10 o’clock most nights. Even on weekends. I think Cory’s birthday celebration continued at Club Rodeo after dinner. We missed out on that too.

I was out like a light within minutes of getting home. I may have even slept with my makeup on. I was that tired!

Even though we didn’t go to the after party at Club Rodeo, I’m glad that we were able to celebrate with everyone at dinner. It’s not everyday that one of our dearest friends turns another year older. Belated happy birthday, Cory! Until next year!

Celebrate Love Everyday

Remember to celebrate love everyday. Not just on special occasions like Valentines Day or birthdays or Christmas. Brian got a surprise gift this week.

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I’ve been really lazy about creating books of our recent travels because it is so much work. Finally got around to making one of Brian’s 40th birthday celebration in Dominican Republic. What I love most about photo books is that they let you relive fun memories of travels and various life experiences.

Photo books make great presents. I can attest to this as both a receiver and giver of photo books. If you need a special reason to make one, Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Plus, right now you can get one free 8 x 8 photo book from Shutterfly using code 1FREEBOOK. If you want to make a larger book the coupon code gets you $29.99 OFF the total. Hurry! This offer ends tomorrow, March 23.

Super Pi Day

We had the most amazing Pi Day celebration this past weekend thanks to our awesome friends who stepped up to the occasion. Check out these photos.

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Brian made mini Nutella pies.

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And also a Nutella star tear-and-share bread. It was a bit of a disaster actually but Brian managed to find a way to save it.

We didn’t plan very well when we were making it. We assembled the bread on our large cutting board and by the time we were finished it had gotten so heavy that we couldn’t move it without obliterating it. We tried to use various spatulas. Even our largest spatula wasn’t big enough to lift the heavy lump. We almost scrapped the whole thing if it weren’t for Brian coming up with a brilliant idea.

Rather than moving it, Brian devised a plan to just flip it over on to a pan. Except it looked horrible because we had jabbed it underneath so many times already with all those spatulas. So we flipped it over again and it didn’t look as bad. I’m glad Brian didn’t let us give up on it because it was delicious. At least now we know for next time that we need to assemble the bread on the pan that we shall use to bake it.

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The Frito chili pie didn’t take as much work.

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Neither did the Papa Murphy’s pizzas.

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Pizzas are pies! We took the easy route. LOL.

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Brian also made chocolate pie. The other pies in the photo above are banana pudding pies and were made by Kristen’s sister Cynthia.

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Shanda made cookie sandwiches.

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Nykole made cheeseburger pie.

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Sunni made quiche.

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Jay and Becca made a Whole 30 compliant pie.

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Kate’s shepherd’s pie. I was too late to take a picture of it intact.

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Hideki’s clever contribution to the pie theme was a huge hit.

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Another contribution from Jay and Becca. While technically not pie, it was delicious and we enjoyed it all the same.

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Meader and Holly’s avocado pie.

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We also had lumpia, courtesy of mom. Brian did not get to have any because by the time he got around to having some they were all gone.

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April made Nutella cheesecake.

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Thank you so much to all of our friends and most of all to Kate who celebrated not just Pi Day or Super Pi Day but also her birthday. Until the next century!

Bowl For Kids’ Sake is Around the Corner

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I recently put a new sign in sheet by my door to help raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kid’s Sake. I was hopeful that I’d have several donations by now but I’ve actually had fewer visitors lately. I’m really bummed.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a cause that is close to my heart so it would really mean a lot to me if you guys help me support them through our generous donations.

Did you know that 67% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big played a role in their decision to attend college? Donate today to help develop more college grads, community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Will you make a donation today and join my effort to give a child the resources he needs to be successful. Your donation can start a child on the path to academic achievement. Click here to visit my personal donation page.

Don’t wait! Donate Today!

Your donation will help change a child’s life for the better, forever.

I Have the Most Awesome Coworkers

Fwd: Backstage makeup studio

I have the most awesome coworkers who have taught me a lot, including make up and crafts. Here are some pictures from our outing at Backstage Makeup Studio.

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Fwd: Backstage makeup studio

Fwd: Backstage makeup studio

Besides learning about make up, I also learned to crochet. Thanks to Jodi and Krystee’s lunch time lesson a couple of weeks ago.

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Crocheting is actually helping my bowling. I’ve bowled a 500 series twice since I learned how to crochet. I consider it cross-training.

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Here’s a picture of my 200 game last Wednesday. I hope I can repeat it tomorrow. It’s the cleanest game I have bowled in a long time.

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My newly acquired skill allowed me to create this beautiful scarf for grandma.

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I foresee handcrafted Christmas presents for everyone this year!

We Didn’t Let the Snow Scare Us

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Remember that weekend we had an Arctic blast? Yeah. We we didn’t let that scare us at all. My little sister, Brian, and I met up with Faith and her kids, and Peter and Eleanor and Ella for brunch and roller skating.

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I got some Groupons for Roller City a while ago and Faith and I have been trying to get together to take the kids skating. This was the only weekend that worked out. The weather was a bummer but the upside was that the skating rink wasn’t as crowded as it would be on a typical Saturday.

I don’t know how to skate very well. Actually, I don’t even know how to skate on my own. Brian has to help me. Everyone else knew how to skate. Ella’s still learning but she had a trainer-thing. They only have those for little kids, unfortunately, so I had to rely on Brian as my human-trainer-thing the entire time. I still had fun though.

If you’ve never been roller skating or if it’s been a while, you should definitely check it out. Everyone had a blast! Including me!

The Groupons for Roller City is only available on the web site until March 12 so hurry before the offer runs out. If the link doesn’t take you straight there, just type Roller City in the search field. The Groupon is good for 90 days from the date of purchase so you don’t have to use it this week. We can use it later. We plan on going back so maybe we’ll see you there. Let us know in the comments and we’ll meet up!

The Avett Brothers

I missed the Avett Brothers the last time they were in town. I was determined not to miss them again. Brian and I braved the cold Thursday night to watch them perform at Intrust Bank Arena. They’re not normally Brian’s cup of tea but he went with me anyway. I have the best husband ever!

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I posted some video clips from the concert on our Facebook page. The videos don’t do the show justice, though. You really should have been there.

I found a video of the Avett Brothers at Austin City Limits on YouTube but it has been since taken down. This NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert is the next best thing. Enjoy!

Change is Hard

I’ve worn the same bowling shoes for a almost twenty years. I love these Dexter bowling shoes because they’re specifically made for right-handed bowlers. The left shoe has a leather/microfiber bottom for sliding. The right shoe has a rubber sole for traction.

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Here’s a picture of the soles of my old bowling shoes.

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They look pretty rough because I haven’t exactly taken the care of them. Plus, what do you expect after two decades? I’m surprised that they don’t look much worse.

Anyway, when we were at the YMCA bowl-a-thon at Northrock Lanes a few weeks ago they quit sliding on me. It’s super uncomfortable when you end up coming to an abrupt stop rather than sliding to the foul line. I’ve been pretty careless with my shoes and I figured that I probably stepped on food or a puddle of something. I tried everything but couldn’t fix the soles so I would start sliding again. Finally, I put some baby power on the soles of my sliding shoe. That was the only way I could get it to slide. However, after looking at the worn out soles, I figured it was probably time to buy a new pair of bowling shoes. I would have ordered the exact same shoes but they quit making them years ago. I had to settle for a generic pair that has leather/microfiber on both feet so it can be used by both right and left-handed bowlers.

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I ended getting another pair of Dexters (Dexter Women’s Groove II Bowling Shoes) because the old ones worked out pretty well. The new shoes look cool but they’re not nearly as good as the old pair. I remember the first night I wore them. They felt so weird. I didn’t think I would ever get used to them. I had originally given the old pair to my sister but then ended up asking for them back so I could just get them resoled instead. I didn’t think I could ever get used to the new pair.

The first time I wore the new pair, I complained the entire time. Brian was like, “You just have to break them in. I’m sure you had to do the same to the old pair when you first got them.” I told him that the old pair felt great the very first time I wore them. They didn’t require breaking in. Maybe that’s true. But maybe Brian is right, and I just don’t remember breaking the old pair in. After all, that happened almost twenty years ago.

Change is hard. I never would have bought a new pair of bowling shoes if I didn’t have to, and I wanted to immediately go back to the old pair even though they were clearly worn out and should be retired. I’m really glad I gave the new shoes a chance though. It took a few weeks and several games to break them in. They’re just now getting to the point that they feel comfortable. Right now I don’t think they’ll ever feel as comfortable as the old pair but only time will tell.

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Last week I bowled a 199 — just shy of a 200 game — with my new bowling shoes on. While they may not feel the same as my old bowling shoes, I have a feeling they’ll be even better. Sometimes you just have to give things a chance.

21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball

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Brian and I had a blast last night at the 21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel. We were excited for the opportunity to attend the event again this year because we had a great time last year.

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Our table consisted of a bunch of young people this year — my coworker Josh and his wife Jessica, Isaac and wife Crystal, Nykole and husband Allen, and Shanda and Nykole’s sister Tyfanee who was her plus one. Brian and I were definitely the oldest in our group, but not the oldest there. With the exception of the Sweethearts, most of the people who attend the Heart Ball are older. Let’s face it. Not many people in their 20s or 30s can afford the $300 ticket price ($500 per couple).

I’m not sure that Brian and I would even be able to go if it weren’t for the free tickets from work. Well, we probably could but I’d have to reallocate all my charitable contributions. If I dialed back my United Way and YMCA donations then we’d have the funds to go. LOL.

The free tickets to the Heart Ball are a nice perk, though. And one that I really appreciate because it allows me to not sacrifice any of my other charitable giving.

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The Wichita Heart Ball is probably the fanciest fundraising event/gala that we attend. The decor this year was even better than last year. The food looked fantastic as usual, but Brian and I agreed that the food wasn’t as good as last year.

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My steak wasn’t tough to eat but it was touch to cut with a regular knife. I think it’s because of the way they cut the meat. I don’t think it would have been as challenging had they provided everyone with steak knives. Brian’s main complaint was that his steak was too pink in the middle. He’s a well done kind of guy.

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The flourless chocolate torte was delicious and I ate every bit of mine. Last year there were two dessert options — the chocolate torte and creme brûlée — but this year you only had once choice. I’m thinking maybe the creme brûlée wasn’t as popular last year and so they just decided to go with the safer choice.

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Of course, if you didn’t quite get enough to eat, there’s always the chocolate fountain at the official after party — the Pulse Party is where everyone gets to cut loose to music provide by The Source.

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Had to take a selfie at the Pulse Party.

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We danced to a couple of songs and then had to rest our feet.

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My feet were killing me because I had to wear my extra tall heels. I would have worn the heels that mom loaned me to wear with the dress that she also loaned me but the dress was too long. The only way to keep the hemline from sweeping the floor was to wear super tall shoes.

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We took a few more selfies while we waited for the silent auction to close. We won a couple of baskets and had to wait to check out, which we couldn’t do until 10:45 pm.

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I was exhausted by the end of the evening but we had a lot of fun. I hope we have the opportunity to attend again next year.

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