Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sooner Redemption

Several weeks ago, Jay and I talked about how much fun it would be to go to the OU/K-State game with our good friends, Jonathan and Heather Sterk (especially since Jonathan is such a big K-State fan).  Well, Jonathan made it happen for us by finding and purchasing tickets for the four of us!  We planned to spend the day in Manhattan seeing the campus, eating lunch and of course, watching the game.  We had decided that no matter who won the game, we would still have a fun time all together.  However, after last weeks tough loss for OU at home, Jay and I were hoping for a pretty sound victory yesterday.  And that, we got.  But it wasn't just about football yesterday, we even celebrated Jonathan's 31st birthday and had a wonderful time with great friends.

Sweet friends

Eating a birthday lunch at So Long Saloon - the food was sooooo good!

Snap shot at the Pi Phi house - holla angels!

We even found Stewart Court!  (That's my maiden name for those that didn't know)

Our seats - we weren't too surrounded by purple and actually sat next to some OU fans!

My favorite: a fly-over!

About to score our second touchdown - it was a close game in the first half but OU came out for some redemption in the second half and the final score was 58-17

Cuteness!  Heather is a good sport wearing her purple (she's a KU alumn)

No animosity here - just great friends

Here is an adorable kid who sat in front of us and made quick friends with us.  He was so funny and VERY friendly - not in the least bit shy - trying to convince us to become Wildcat fans!  

After the game we both got a pic under "Lovers Lane" 

We couldn't have asked for a better day yesterday.  It was such a different experience being the minority fan but we all enjoyed ourselves immensely!  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Love and Loss

We all know death is a part of life.  Well when that part means a life has to end, it gets a little more tricky and a little less cliche.  I alluded to our sick kitty in my las post and from there, things got pretty bad.  Folks, this will be a fairly wordy, fairly sad post.  Nonetheless, I figured my readers would want to know what happened to a part of our family this week.

Most of you know that I got a cat at the very beginning of my senior year of college.  She was a rescue, found in my brother-in-law's backyard, only 8 weeks old at the time.  I took her into my home (with the go-ahead from my roommate) and became a caregiver for the teeny tiny black & white, long-haired kitten.  We named her Millie Mocha.

After college and the wedding, she made the transition to Jay's and my apartment here in KC (our first home together).  She transitioned well until we blind-sided her with a new addition to the family, our dachshund, Dash.  Our wish was that they'd become great friends and get along well.  She did not take to him at first, but after we moved into our rental home (thanks Wes and Catherine!) she began to warm up to him and even more so when they started spending the days together in the laundry room.

Just a few weekends ago, she began using the doggie door (we aren't sure how or why she learned, but all the sudden, she knew) and would go in and out as she pleased, just as Dash did.  We weren't concerned; however, I did buy her a new collar and nametag in case she wandered outside the boundary of our large yard.  Last Saturday, when Rachel and David were over, she was a perfectly happy kitty.  On Sunday morning, it was quite a different story.  She had vomited several times in the laundry room and also had very abnormal stool.  We thought she had just eaten something and would pass it in a day or two.  Suddenly she became very very lethargic, stopped eating and drinking, and we knew something was wrong.

We were able to take her to the vet on Tuesday evening and after and hour and a half of waiting, the doctor diagnosed her as severely dehydrated and told us he was very very concerned for her.  He did not know what had caused her to be so dehydrated but knew that she needed immediate help and overnight IV fluids.  We then took her to the emergency vet care and specialty clinic where she was admitted and immediately put on an IV for overnight care.  We were very sad to leave her in that condition but felt if she truly was dehydrated that she would be feeling better by morning.

It was hard to deal with the reality of the severity of her condition and I kept thinking "Dehydrated? That's not that serious.  She'll get better."  We talked about the different possibilities and outcomes on our way home and decided that we would go see her in the morning to make a decision about her treatment.  After a restless night of sleep we drove back to the clinic at 4:30am to speak with the doctor. She told us Millie had not made much improvement overnight and the cause of her illness was still unclear.  At that time, we knew she would not get better without significant, costly treatment and did not want to put her through more than she already had gone through.  We knew, as hard as it was, what we had to do.

On our way home, I told Jay, "You prepare for the worst but you never expect it."  We never expected we would have to make that decision so soon or how emotional it would have been.  She will be missed here in our home and the memories we have are still very fresh so that makes it tough.  But as I said before, death is a part of life - it just happens to be the end of it.

Here are some pictures of Millie we've collected over the past few years...  She was such a sweet, furry, vocal and beautiful cat. :)  A homage to love and loss:

Halloween costume

The window was her favorite spot.  Jay caught this on a hot summer day :)

We took this the weekend before she got sick.  Glad we got a good family pic!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celebrate Football, Celebrate Friends

This weekend has been super fun (aside from my poor cat who is very ill and the Sooners' loss to TTU) and we've had great weather to top it off.  Saturday Jay and I planned for our dear, dear friends, the Rainwaters, to come over for the Hogs vs Ole Miss game and also to celebrate Rachel's birthday (which is Monday).  We have in the past cooked dinner for each other for our birthdays but we did a little something different this weekend.  I made some hors d'eourves and tasty treats and we all celebrated by doing things we love - eating and cheering on our beloved hogs!  Rachel came over right when the game started so we got some girl time in while the boys joined us a little later (Jay was at a conference and picked David up on the way home).  We all had a great time together and the Razorbacks came out with a victory in the end!

I will take this time to say how blessed Jay and I have been to have David and Rachel living in Kansas City.  They are such wonderful friends and knowing them from college gives us a history that we both share.  We've shared so many memories together and it has been a blast making some of them here where we've started both our married lives.  I think just knowing they are only a few blocks away is a some kind of security for me.  When Rachel and I can squeeze in a quick walk with our doggies or when we can share a special celebration like this weekend, it all means great friendships are being forged even more.  We love you Rainwaters - thank you for being such true and loyal friends.  And Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Blessed friendship

Times two :)

I made Rach a pumpkin pie for a "birthday cake"

I love this one.  Rach looks overcome with emotion or laughing hysterically.  P.S.  the candles were arranged in a 2-6

Even Dash was tailgating.  I tried to snap a cute pic of Millie but she was being finicky.  Typical cat.

Overall, a great day.  We pretty much watched football and rested the remainder of the day and went to bed severely disappointed after OU lost to Texas Tech ending their 39-game winning streak at home.  Super frustrating.  Today we had another beautiful day and I did some more yard work while Jay was meeting with some guys from church.  Another quiet night in tonight, resting before another full week of work!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Rest of the Weekend

Saturday Jay had to work at the hospital and while he was there I spent the whole morning cleaning house, doing laundry and getting organized.  It was all much needed because we've been out of town and so busy on the weekends lately.  After Jay got home, we ate lunch and he reviewed some questions while I worked out in the yard.  I raked, weeded and cut down my irises - winterizing, folks.  That's what you gotta do.  Next weekend I will have to plant the approximately 80 bulbs my mom bought me!  Thanks, Mom!  After yard work and questioning, Jay and I went to the grocery store for the week.  We invited Leslie over for dinner and to watch the OU/KU game later Saturday night.  We had a great time all together and Jay even made a fire for us after dinner.  A fun family night indeed!

Doggie and Daddy


Well look who's an outside kittie now!

Millie's in the Halloween spirit already.

The game was a little more a nail biter than we'd wanted (at least during the first half) but OU pulled out another sound victory in the end.  Sunday was another relaxing day that ended with great fellowship with our small group.  Back to the office and the hospital today... another normal work week for the both of us!

A Diamond in the Rough

We had a great weekend here in KC.  I'll start with our spontaneous date night on Friday.  I was driving home from work and talking to Jay about our plans for the weekend (and mainly dinner that evening).  It had been awhile since we'd been on a real date where we sat down at a restaurant and spent the evening together enjoying delicious food and the company.  I had been wanting to try out a new restaurant called Jasper's which is just down State Line not too far from our home.  We met up at home and then headed down to Jasper's.  We pulled up in the parking lot and there it was, not anything special, quite plain actually.  When we walked inside, however, it was a different story - dim lighting, waiters dressed in whites and ties, a friendly hostess and even a full pastry/bakery bar!  We were quite impressed and felt, honestly, like we didn't belong there!  The hostess took us to our seats in the back of the restaurant to a windowed room facing a beautiful creek and the autumn-touched trees.  Again, we were so shocked by the quaintness and romantic-ness (if that's a word) of the restaurant.  We felt under-dressed and out-of-place but we decided to stick it out and get comfortable.  Our waiter joined us shortly to offer help with the wine list and dinner menu.  His name was Douglas and he was the epitomy of good service - so friendly,  helpful, soft spoken and very knowledgeable about the menu.  I ended up choosing Fettucini con Parmigiano and Jay chose Pollo Parmigiana (so typical, I know).  We were definitely not disappointed by our choices and the atmosphere provided at Jasper's.  It was so authentic and relaxing. 

Halfway through dinner, the whole room lit up with white tube lights on the ceiling.  I wish I had taken pictures of that and our view of the creek outside the windows.

After dinner, Douglas boxed up our leftovers and brought out a huge tower of desserts to choose from!  We were so overwhelmed but ended up picking a cold apple raisin pastry with carmel sauce and almonds.  YUM! 

Obviously we enjoyed dessert because I forgot to take a picture BEFORE we ate it all!

We will definitely be revisting Jasper's (and maybe next time dress a little nicer!).  We had such a pleasant evening there and were definitely surprised at this diamond in the rough.  The rest of our evening wasn't quite as romantic but we spent it together relaxing at home, catching up on our recorded TV shows (the junkies we are) and going to be early!  A wonderful Friday night indeed. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ben Rector - Yeah, We Know Him

A few months ago Jay and I heard that Ben Rector was coming to Kansas City.  We, of course, bought tickets to see and support our soon-to-be famous friend!  The concert was this past Saturday night and we had an absolute blast!  The show was at The Beaumont Club in Westport and we got there about an hour early to steak out some seats.  The line was already really long when we walked up and we were so shocked and excited to see so many people there!

Here's the line...

Inside waiting to see Ben!

The show was packed!  There were probably about 300 people there.

Rockin' on the guitar...

And on the piano!  Such talent.

The crowd loved him!

For the last song he got in the middle of the crowd to help us sing.  There were so many girls screaming for him and after him - he was literally a star!

After the show about to get in line to "Meet the Artist".  Ha ha, we already know him. :)

Picture with BEN RECTOR!!!  He was thrilled to see Jay and Conner - a friendly face in the crowd of high school girls.  We even got a shirt and he signed it for us!

We had such a wonderful time at the concert and it was so great to see Ben being so successful.  We had a great weekend all together with victories for both our Hogs and Sooners, I got my fall decorations out and even went to a bridal shower (which I hope to post pictures of later).  Hope your week is off to a great start!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

HOUSTON, We Have a Problem

You are too big, too busy and too fast.  I could never live in Houston but it was a really great place to visit for a long weekend! My cousin Lily got married this past weekend and I was able to take off work to travel down to Houston and see her and the rest of the family.  My flight left very early Friday morning so that I was able to spend nearly the whole day with my family.  When I got to Houston, I met up with my sister, cousins and aunt for Sarah's birthday at the Chinese restaurant.  After lunch my cousins, sister and I went shopping for a few hours before I had to head back to the airport to pick up Dad and Mom.  It was hot there so I got a new shirt to wear for the rest of the afternoon!  I headed back to the airport for Dad and Mom and we got checked in to our hotel, rested for a bit and had a nice dinner downstairs.  Friday night was also Lily's lingerie shower so I met up with my cousin Genessa, we picked up Sarah at the rehearsal dinner and headed to Kingwood again.  We all had a great time hanging out, watching Lily open her gifts, eating Gigi's cupcakes and drinking coffee!  It was so late and I was exhausted from traveling I completely forgot to take one photo.  Bummer.

Saturday morning was the wedding so we were up and about Saturday morning and headed to the church!  It turned out to be a beautiful day in Houston and it was a truly wonderful ceremony.  It was such a great reminder of the covenant and commitment of my marriage.  Jim and Lily looked so happy and in love and it was such a special time!

Here's a picture of the stage set-up.

Mom and sisters before the ceremony

Cousins from L to R: Rachel, me, Allison, Sarah, Genessa
Before the ceremony

Alena was the flower girl - she did such a great job!

 Allison & Rachel and Elizabeth & I were coordinating!

Cousin picture with the beautiful bride

Family picture

Grandmother, mother and father of the bride!

Dancing at the reception!

Bride and groom :)

A showering of bubbles

Saying good-bye to only daughter!

Siblings!  Julie, Carolyn, Edward, Laura and Mom

After sending Jim and Lily off, we headed back to the hotel to rest before Uncle Carl and Aunt Carolyn had us all over for a backyard grill out - hang out!  It was a fun time with family.

Breck and Kohen playing

Serving up dinner!

Dad, Matthew and Uncle Carl

Sunday while the guys golfed, we went to church and then out to lunch at Fuddruckers.  After lunch I spent some quality time with my aunts and mom.  We just talked about life and working and kids and everything in between!  My flight left Sunday evening so when Dad got back from golfing, we headed back to the airport so I could get home to see my honey!  What a great weekend full of family, fun and celebration!

This week will be pretty normal.  Back to work and the hospital then fun this weekend with football, a wedding shower and Ben Rector concert on Saturday!!!