Friday, August 3, 2012

Did You Know?

Did you know it's been forever since I posted?
It has been quite a while...basically 3 months. 
Life has been crazy during the summer. 
I hate saying it because everyone else says it, but it's true. 

Life keeps going. 
The world keeps spinning. 
And my watch keeps ticking. 

So, to catch you up to speed, I will be providing some pictures
of all my travels (which was pleasantly abnormal)
and some of the everyday kind of stuff.

Earlier in the summer, when it was still bearable to go outside in the evenings,
my whole family and I have been relandscaping our backyard. 
Mom has been reading her HGTV magazines and watching all those
home improvement shows and felt the need to redo the backyard. 

I found myself actually enjoying the physical work, especially when I was stressed out
and all I had to do was dig up some grass and everything was better!

Here's what the partially finished product looks like!

At the end of June, my friends Jenae, Amanda, Saundra,
and I made a spontaneous trip up to Colorado Springs just before the fires
started.  We had a blast during those couple of days and many great inside
jokes. Luckily, the fires were about 15 minutes away from us and we were
still able to go hiking...even though people on the news told us not to. 

This was the view from the house we stayed at.

This was the start of the fire on that Saturday afternoon. 
We just couldn't believe it was happening. 

A few weeks later, we had VBS at our church, which was an absolute blast! 
The kids really enjoyed SKY VBS and as far as we know,
11 kids made salvation decisions!
I had the joy of decorating (with a great team of ladies)
as well as co-directing VBS.
These kids here are trying out some awesome science experiments.

During VBS, the previously mentioned girls and I took a little swim at the
amazing La Torre, just a few minutes out in the country. 
I was absolutely blown away
 by how pretty this Italian villa was, and to think
I had never known it was in Inman!

Right after VBS, I took a mini vacation to a lovely cabin,
because well I was exhausted and needed some time to myself.
Spending time in this little cabin definitely rejuvenated me and
helped me get back on track.

Then, just this past week I went to Omaha for our church's conference.
It was great being able to spend time with our pastors' kids
(who I absolutely adore) and find out what God is doing through our church
 conference. Plus, I love road trips, and I had a lovely
time driving and listening to music.

So for now, things are kinda settling down, but not really.
The DVR at home is full of Olympic coverage which fills up my evenings.
I wish we didn't have to wait every 4 years to watch so many amazing athletes!

At work, we're gearing up for our fall ministries here at church. 
I get to make a huge announcement this Sunday about something
I'm very passionate about.  I can't wait!

And hopefully, I can remind myself to post more often. :)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reunited in St. Louis

This past weekend I got to spend time with the best of friends from college.
When we graduated from college we made a pact that we would
stay connected and have mini reunions with lots of food.
This is becoming quite a favorite tradition of mine.
This weekend's destination: St. Louis.
Because Lynnie lives there.
And all of us wanted to see her place.
As well as where she works.

The weekend started on Thursday evening for Linzy and I. 
I picked her up and then we headed to KC to stay at Melissa's place.
We had decided to split the driving into two days rather into one.
Road trips are fun, but a sore neck is not.

Then on Friday afternoon, we added Sarah and Kassie to the
car and embarked on a 4.5 hour drive to the Gateway City. 
I loved our conversations and responding to billboards along the way.

When we arrived in St. Louis, Lynnie had prepared a black bean
and sweet potato burrito supper for us which was super delicious! 
Mealtime conversations are wonderful.  Time and distance were no longer in the
way, and we just picked up where we left off. 
I think that's the stuff of real friendships :)

We headed out for St. Louis custard at Ted Drewes and I got a
TerraMizzou custard which was chocolate and pistachios. 
Sadly, with each bite I took, I felt like I was betrayed my beloved Jayhawks. 
But, at least it tasted good.

Later that night, some girls crammed into Lynnie's car and went to the
airport to pick of Tina, the last of the Magnificent Seven, as I will now call us. 
My eyes were heavy with sleep, but I waited until she came
through the door to give her a hug.  The weekend could now officially begin
now that we were all together.

Saturday morning we headed to the Arch to do touristy things and
then headed over to Lynnie's Plowsharing store for a proper tour. 
We stopped by Fitz's on the way to enjoy some homebrewed pop
and some good burgers and wraps. 

A thunderstorm was also brewing so we quickly got on the Metro and bus
to head back to Lynnie's house.  Fortunately for us, we were able to escape the
rain just before the heavens opened up.  While lounging around, making fruit salsa, 
and watching NASCAR, the tornado sirens went off and we bumbled downstairs
into a creepy basement/cellar.  We were a little freaked out as the sky changed
colors and the hail began to pelt against the windows, but sharing embarrassing
stories always seems to lighten the mood. 

We ate some spaghetti for dinner, changed into some "kid-friendly clothes" and
headed off to the City Museum where we got to be kids for a couple of hours.

This place has a lot of random items stashed all around, including ginormous
underware!  I can't imagine washing those!  And then the rest of the museum is
composed of random elements from the city welded together to create an adult
playground where you crawl through tunnels and caves, slide down slides, and
just forget about your worries.  But for me, a slightly claustophobic, germophobic
person wondered how in world I could climb through all of this junk and not freak out.

Needless to say, the Magnificent Seven split up into two groups:
more adventurous ones and more cautious ones.  I was grouped with Kassie
(the mother to be, again), and Tina (with a bum knee).  I had no physical excuses.
Just that small spaces and weird smells and crazy people are not a good mix for me.

But at least I got to pose with a giant whale.

Sunday came too soon and we had to say our goodbyes after our lovely brunch.
We packed the car and headed on I-70 back to Kansas City only
 to find ourselves coming to a complete stop.  Little did we know that we
had missed an accident that had clogged up the interstate for miles and miles. 
The news said it would take 4 hours to clean up.  No thanks.
So we took a frontage road and eventually made it back onto the highway.
I felt sorry for all those people waiting in their cars, wishing they could
drive through the ditch to the frontage road.  And some crazies did. 

We dropped Kassie and Sarah off in KC, and Linzy and I stayed with Melissa
again since we did not want to add another 3 hours of driving to our day.
A game of Fishbowl completed the evening.  And we were off to bed. 

Can't wait to see everyone again in October when Tina gets hitched!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Serenity Bed & Breakfast

This past week I took some time off from work and went on a little vacation
to the Serenity Bed & Breakfast in downtown Wichita. 
It was absolutely the thing that I needed: a relaxing place to unwind. 

The past couple of months have been very hard for me. 
In the latter part of January, my grandpa died, and then nine days
later my uncle passed away.  There was so much sadness and grief
in my heart and I didn't feel much like doing anything. 

I had a dilemma before me: do I continue working and push
through it all or do I take some time off to just breathe?
My mind wanted both and yet neither one. 

But eventually I decided that I didn't need to prove to myself
that I was strong enough to endure the sorrow.  So I took care of some
logistics, packed my bags, and headed for the comfort of a
historic house and king size bed.

This was my home for a few days (with a jacuzzi in the bathroom to the left).
And I quite enjoyed it, not to mention the most delicious (and large) breakfasts.

My time away definitely helped me recharge
and reignite my "spark" as some have called it. 

I highly recommend this B&B for anyone wanting
to go away (but not too far) for a relaxing time. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Puff Jacket Premier

Some friends wanted to know how I would "style" these
Goodwill finds that I wrote about in my last post. 
So here's two pictures of how I've managed to incorporate
these cheap finds into my regular wardrobe.

After wearing my new puff jacket for the past two days,
I must admit that it's becoming one of my
favorite pieces for the winter months. 

The lime green shirt is also another Goodwill find.

As long as I top it all off with a great scarf, I'm good to go!

What's your favorite piece of clothing to wear in the winter months?
Boots? Sweaters? Puff Jackets? Scarves?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Frugal Living: Less is More

Today while I was in Wichita, I decided to stop by Goodwill
just on the chance that I could find some lovely clothes for super cheap. 
My past experiences haven't always been successful,
but I'm always curious to see what different store locations have. 

Fortunately for me, today was my lucky day.
I found 5 tops for under $12.
Yay for frugal living!
It just proves that buying clothes doesn't take a lot of money.
Though scrounging around Goodwill for 45 minutes
takes diligence and perseverance.  

This was my first find because its' pattern basically screamed at
me to take it home.  I really love sleeveless sweaters and can't wait
to add it to my collection.

I was very excited to find one of these "puffy" jackets
in my size because I've always wanted one.
I believe I'm going to wear it tomorrow!

This is an Ann Taylor shirt and what I consider the creme-de-la-creme
of my shopping experience.  I know that these shirts go for much
more than what I want to pay, and are sometimes too "old-ladyish" for me. 
At first I was hesitant about the ruffles at the neckline,
but this emerald beauty is growing on me!

This is just a basic lime green long-sleeved shirt from Target. 
It's so soft and absolutely comfy. 
I believe I will pair it with my puffy jacket and wear it tomorrow.

I was also very suprised to find this flowy shirt from Maurices.
This design makes me think about sophicated tatoos, for some reason.
Nevertheless, I will gladly pair it with a pretty purple shirt.

Those are my frugal findings for the day!