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Casual Friday

Posted on December 20, 2011 by under Outfits.    

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I love Fridays because it’s usually the only day we can wear jeans at work. Unless we’re doing fundraising. Until recently I only had one or two pairs of jeans that fit me properly. Now I have a few so I’m starting to really enjoy jeans days. It’s so much easier to throw on a nice blouse and pair of black jeans. Last Friday I paired a shimmery Ann Taylor shell with my freshly tailored dark Express jeans and wore a black blazer. It was casual, but still suitable for work. What do you guys think?

I thought it transitioned from daytime to evening well, which was something that I had to consider as we had dinner plans with Carla and Paul that night. Brian and I were both busy and didn’t really have time to change after work. I think the outfit was versatile enough for both work and dinner. I was pleased with the outcome.

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Good Friday was a Great Friday

Posted on April 24, 2011 by under Life, Zumba.    

Brian was worn out from the hectic week he had last week. The week of the National Sales Meeting always drains him. While it’s fun and exciting, the long days are exhausting. We talked about taking last Friday or Monday off, but we both had stuff going on and couldn’t miss work. The first day that we both could feasibly take off was Friday, April 22 (which happens to be Good Friday).

Since we were both off work, we figured we could clean house and do some chores. The house specially needed attention because Brian and I have been so busy the last few weeks that it’s been messier than usual. Brian had invited his ex-girlfriend (from almost 15 years ago; the one he was with right before we got together) over for dinner so we really needed to tidy up the place.

Anyway, something came up and she couldn’t make it. Other than making too much spaghetti (and having to eat the leftovers the next day), things turned out okay. Brian and I actually work better on a time crunch. I didn’t want dirty clothes all over the laundry room when we had guests over so I didn’t do laundry in my usual leisurely way, which usually takes all weekend and sometimes carries over into Monday night. I got all the laundry done (all four loads) before 5 PM. It was quite a productive day overall.

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Brian and I ended the evening at Lizards Lounge. We were mostly there to see Skrapyard, but the first two acts (Kingshifter and Death Valley Wolfriders) actually weren’t bad. Brian really liked Kingshifter. I appreciated Death Valley Wolfriders for their Black Sabbath cover. Both bands had some good original songs, but not having seen or heard of these guys before, it was nice to hear a familiar song.

Skrapyard was amazing. This was Brian’s first time watching them perform live. I’d played some of their songs for him before and he really liked it. “Deeds of Man” was the highlight of the evening for me. I love the mellow part of the song toward the end.

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Charlie Withers is awesome! I told Brian that we’ll have to drive to the West side Granite City to watch him perform solo one day.

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Since Danielle bailed on us, I falsely assumed it was going to be just the two of us (Brian and me) all night. We were just lounging around the house (killing time before the show, letting our spaghetti dinner digest), when I got a call from Doug. He and Tammy were already at Lizards Lounge. Brian and I were both like, “Crap!” And then we scrambled to get cash (it’s a “cash only” bar) and head out there. It’s a good thing that the bar is pretty close by. I think we were there in less than ten minutes.

I’m not sure if the bands were too loud for them, but they were both really good sports and seemed to have a good time. I feel awkward inviting people to Lizards Lounge because of its bad rap. I’d never been there before until Jenni invited us to see Surphace there a few weeks ago. I had heard so many bad things about the place before, I was totally surprised that I liked it. I think it was really bad before when people smoked inside. I had such low expectations of the place that they were quite easy to exceed. Then again, I’m pretty easy to please. I’m not a “bar snob” like Misty. =P Give me cheap drinks and good music and I’m all set. LOL. I could totally add LL to our regular rotation.

Brian said he figured out why I liked their fuzzy navels there. He watched the bar tender make my drink and he said they put some vodka in it. Instead of just using peach schnapps and orange juice, they do peach schnapps and orange juice and vodka. So it’s like a cross between a screwdriver and a fuzzy navel. I’ve decided to call it a fuzzy screwdriver. LOL.

The two glasses of coconut rum and pineapple juice that I had at home after dinner and the fuzzy screwdrivers I had at the bar made me feel quite fuzzy the next day. I never really get hung over, but I wobbled to the restroom when I got up the next morning. I still made it to step class, though. I even had enough energy to spare for Zumba, but decided to skip it (since Gina is out of town). I’ll tell you more about Saturday later today. Check back in a few hours.

Anyway, we had a really great Friday. I love, love, love Skrapyard!

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Post Pickleball Chow Down

Posted on November 29, 2019 by under Hobbies.    

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A few weeks ago, before we left for vacation, my friend Amy and I decided we wanted to check out the open plan at Nahola. Nahola is where all of the really good pickleball players play and Friday night is 3.5 and above night. I know some of the better players might not like playing with less skilled players so I had the brilliant idea to invite a bunch of pickleball friends so, even if we did get snubbed, we for sure would have people to play with. LOL.

The players, those who stayed (some people left and went to the single court inside) and played with us, were actually pretty nice. The drop in fee of $7 is a bit steep (compared to the $2 and $3 that we normally pay at the rec centers and local churches) but I wouldn’t mind playing over there again. At the time, Immanuel Baptist Church Family Life Center (FLC) had 4.0 and above listed for Friday night so if you’re under 4.0 you really didn’t have any options. FLC has since opened up Friday nights to lower rated players. It is cheaper ($3 drop in) and actually closer to our house. Nahola is all the way out West. I’ve yet to play on Friday night since returning from vacation because we’ve always had stuff going on and FLC isn’t playing tonight due to the Thanksgiving holiday but I’m super glad that we now have a couple of really good options for Friday night play.

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We worked up an appetite playing pickleball that night so afterwards a bunch of us went to Old Chicago for dinner. It (clockwise from left in the below pic) was Cody, Matt, Michael, Eric, Kimberly, me and Brian. I invited Brian because I figured he would want to eat dinner too. Except that was an expensive night because his Lyft ride cost $30 (going from almost Andover to the West side of town during prime time on Friday night). The price you pay for convenience.

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Oh, well. I think at some point I’m going to have to get over the not wanting to drive two cars thing because this aversion is costing us money. Speaking of money, we’re actually saving quite a bit by opting out of the whole Black Friday insanity. LOL.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the weekend!

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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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Thanksgiving Holiday 2016

Posted on December 12, 2016 by under Family, Things to Do.    

We had a super quiet Thanksgiving lunch this year. It was just Brian, grandma, and me. Brian’s parents usually do their own Thanksgiving in Oklahoma. I invited my parents but they were still both recovering from illness and feeling antisocial. They didn’t feel like joining us. I even offered to bring them some food but mom declined. I also invited Jenni via text but never heard back.

All of our friends were doing their own Thanksgivings. Initially, our friend Chad said he would swing by but he ended up canceling last minute. We ended up with way more food than three people could eat. It worked out great though, because then grandma was able to take some food home with her.

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This was our first year without Fresh Market. We ended up getting food from Dillons. The food was okay but definitely not as good as the quality of the Thanksgiving meal we get from Fresh Market. Most of the items were off the shelf rather than prepared fresh like the Thanksgiving dinner we get from Fresh Market. This is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for” except Fresh Market is no longer an option since they closed their store.

Brian and I agreed that we will need to figure out a better plan for next year because we are definitely not going to order the Dillons Thanksgiving dinner again.

Brian had to work on Black Friday this year so I was pretty much on my own. In years past, we’ve both had the day off so we’ve braved the Black Friday mobs and have actually gone shopping. We switched gears the last few year and have done most of our shopping online so I didn’t really feel an urge to go Black Friday shopping this year. Besides, it’s not as much fun without Brian.

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Instead of shopping, I decided to spend the day with my little sister.

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We started with breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner. I love that they give you free monkey bread while you wait for your meal. It’s my most favorite part of eating there.

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Doo-Dah was busy that day so we just sat at the counter.

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Nickira originally wanted pancakes but then she saw chicken and waffles on the menu so she switched to that instead. I was worried that the meal would be too big so I convinced her to split it with me. I’m glad we split it because it was not quite what Nickira expected.

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She was not a fan of the chocolate dipped bacon. She actually gave me hers. Oh, and you can tell which half is which by the egg. Nickira wanted a runny yolk on her egg, while I wanted mine fried hard.

It was just the right amount of food for me.

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After breakfast we were off to Winter Art Mania at the Wichita Art Museum.

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And then after doing all of the activities inside, we decided to go for a stroll through the art garden and take some photos. I just love the Wichita Art Museum!

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This hasn’t been our typical Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Actually, this hasn’t been our typical year. Yet, despite all of the obstacles and challenges, we managed to find joy in everything. I’m so grateful for the love of our family and friends and for all that we have. We are truly blessed.

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