Monday, January 26, 2009

At a loss....

After a great trip to DC this weekend, I received some really sad news yesterday that one of my best friends passed away on Saturday. Katie and I have been friends since we were toddlers and I have so many great memories of her. I am of course really saddened and trying my best to remember all of the good times; it seems surreal. Her family is in my prayers at this tough time.

My friend Kylie showed me how to cover a book with fabric and I am going to give this to Katie's parents so they will have a place to put some cards that they receive this week. Hope they like it.

Things that I will always remember about Katie:
-her truly contagious laugh
-how good she was at Jeporady
-being in the fifth grade play together and that she knew my lines better than I did
-her love of Diet Dr. Pepper
-her pretty blonde hair
-walking home with her from school in second grade
-our club in fifth grade called "The Five Froggies"...pretty such it only lasted a few weeks and not sure the point but we enjoyed it. :) $1 dues every week!
-visiting her at KU and her trips to KSU
-how excited she was about becoming an aunt the last time we talked
-visiting her in Chicago
-doing handstands on the side of the school during recess in grade school
-when Kenny S. gave her a Valentine's gift in fourth grade and she was super embarrassed. ;)
-how she always said "I love you Mo!" at the end of a phone conversation
-popcorn with salsa
-the long-sleeved t-shirt she gave me from Old Navy
-the awesome posters she made for me when I ran for student council in high school
-decorating gingerbread houses in KC
-going to church togther growing up
-her creativity
-her bunny named "Bear"
-Girl Scouts in grade school
-Student Council in high school
-going to Sonic or Applebees in high school
-her pride for Scholars Bowl
-the jewelry box she made me covered in colorful paper
-spring break in KC senior year of high school
-that our phone number growing up was the same except the last two digits
-how we shared size 11 shoes
-listening to TLC's CD in middle school
-what a good friend she was.

Love ya' Kate!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

To Do.....Immediately!!!!

In three weeks I will again become the nomad that I am at heart and pack up my stuff for Topeka....before I hit the road, I have a list of things I would like to do!! Here are some things I have thought of and if anyone has suggestions for other "must do" Wichita items, let me know....the clock is ticking. Let me know if you want to join me as I attempt to complete the list! :)

1. Go to the Wichita Zoo if I can catch a nice's supposed to be great!
2. Eat at Cafe Moderne
3. Go to Botanica if all the flowers aren't dead (not sure about this one)...
4. Eat at Chelsea's.
5. Eat sushi at Hana Cafe.
6. Go on a walk at Sedgwick County Park; I have done this once and liked it so much, I want to do it again!
7. Go to Finn's bar (I have never been and not even actually sure I really want to, but am curious).
8. Eat the chicken salad sandwich at Watermark's Books (going to do this with friends for lunch tomorrow; pretty excited cause it's been on the list a long time!)
9. Check out "The Nifty Nut House" was closed when I tried to go this weekend.
10. Eat at "Jimmy's Diner"....have always been intrigued cause it is always super busy!!


The last bunko. :(

Since I am moving during the next month, last Tuesday was the last bunko that I will be able to attend as a "regular member." Don't get me wrong, I definitely plan to crash it every once in awhile when I can sneak away from work in Topeka. It's been such a great group to be a part of during the last year and I will miss our monthly gathering to talk, snack, complain, laugh.

We had a really good time, even though the TV in the background showed KU beating KSU...things were made better when my friend Kylie served an amazing oreo ice cream pie that she good; I will definitely be making that recipe sometime soon! I am hoping to get some new bunko groups going as I migrate north! Here are a few pictures taken during the evening.

Me, with our host Kylie
Jenny and Lyndsey....
Libby and Tasha...
Katie and Lindsay....
The newest Mommy, Molly....hard to believe little Elena is almost 4 months old!
The current pregnant crop: Katie who is due in July, Libby due in May, Emmy due in August and Kylie due in February! I have learned a lot about prenancy during my time around all these girls- craziness! :)

Good deals and girl time....

It has been quite the week for shopping in my world. An awesome quilting/fabric store in McPherson, Kansas is going out of business (so sad) so they are having an amazing liquidation sale. My friend Kylie and her mom and I went up Thursday after work to check out the deals and we all came home with some pretty fabric. Excited to use it for something, just need to decide what! :)
Yesterday my mom and one of her best friend's came to Wichita to help me move some stuff to Topeka. While they were here we did quite a bit of shopping and found some great bargains! My mom had seen an ad that "Dean and Deluca", a gourmet food and cooking store that is headquartered here was having their annual warehouse sale after the holiday season. It was UH-MA-ZING!!! We weren't really sure what to expect but for any of you that have been to "Dean and Deluca", you know it can be a pricey trip. Everything was SUPER marked down, like if it started at $9, it was maybe $1. I can away with probably more stuff than I need but it was very fun! Definitely something I would like to attend again next year!

We also went to "The Spice Merchant" here in town and it was a really neat store....lots of cooking sauces/spices/tools, as well as coffee/tea. Somewhere I would definitely recommend. We also went to "Cocoa Dulce", which is a chocolate store that I had a gift card to for my birthday that my co-workers have given me...we had fun picking out some tasty treats. The one bummer of the day was that "The Nifty Nut House" closed at 2:00 and we didn't try to go until 3:30, so nuts! :( Here are some of the great steals of the day.

Some of sweets I got from "Dean and Deluca" that were crazy cheap, and my capers for my dad...

Kettle corn, olive oil with herbs to dip bread in, the "Dean and Deluca" holiday cd, along with HOT Wasabi peas for a friend and mango hot sauce for my dad that we found at "The Spice Merchant"....
The wine rack I got for my sis at "Dean and Deluca"....

Friday, January 16, 2009

On the move....

This isn't news to most of you, but as of February 8th, I will no longer be a Wichita resident. I have accepted a job at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka and will start there Feb. 9th. It's a very bittersweet move for me as I love my friends and job here, but it just feels like the right move for me. I am really going to miss all of my Wichita friends and co-workers!! I wish I could just put everyone that I care about in one city! Life doesn't seem to work that way but I am excited for my new job and the changes that await me. And, don't think for a minute that I will be a stranger to Wichita; I will definitely be here visiting.

Some things that I will miss, besides the obvious of my friends and their kiddos, is the salad at Red Rock, the Warren theaters, happy hours at Margaritas, chicken strips at Cheddars, bunko, cooking club friends, Thursday nights watching Greys Anatomy and Private Practice, my first apartment by myself, and Bella Luna hummus.....there is more, but that's all I can think of for now. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The anticlimatic 2-7....whoop whoop!

Last weekend I celebrated my 27th year of birth....couldn't have asked for a better celebration. My sister drove up from Dallas and my parents came down from Topeka. It was a very laid back weekend with a few highlights. My sister treated me to a pedicure which was awesome, we all went to see "Gran Torino" which I continue to claim as the best movie I have seen in years, and Saturday evening we had our inagural visit to "Bonefish Grill" which was awesome! All in all, a great day as I celebrate gracefully entering my late 20s, which I am still wrapping my head around!

Meg, shocked at my old age....

My mama and me on the big day!

The "Sunshine Cake" that I made for my birthday (yes, I made my own birthday cake because there was a Pampered Chef recipe I wanted to try with my new bundt pan and my sister threw a fit that I wasn't going to have a birthday cake) was pretty good; would recommend it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let's get cookin' in '09!

Tonight the girls came over that I cook with once a month or so and we tried some new recipes that I think turned out to be keepers. I went with an Italian/pizza theme...pretty tasty!

Chicken Pasta Toss
Caprese pizza (tastes like margarhita pizza)....very good!

Peanutty Brownie Pizza....with peanut butter, cream cheese, bananas and reeses peanut butter, but good!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Holidays- A Belated 2008 in Review

Well, I had wonderful intentions of sending out holiday cards prior to the holidays and as it is obviously after New Year's, I am thinking it's not going to happen, so I thought I would just send out a "blog card" with an overview of what would have went into that fabulous card (I thought about trying to claim wanting to be "green", by going paperless, which would have made some people very happy- Jenn/Liz, but truth is I just didn't get around to it) is a recap of my 2008. It was filled with weddings, friends new babies, trips to KC and Hays to visit friends and many other good memories. Hopefully, '09 will be just as great and a blessed year for each of you. In true Dave Letterman top ten:

10. At the end of January '08, I joined the staff at Wesley Medical Center as a speech therapist. I have really loved working with the adults in an acute care setting and have learned so much from my coworkers. It has been a really great move for me.
9. In May, my parents and I went to Seattle for my cousin's college graduation. Meg couldn't go as she was busy with work. However, we had a great trip touring Seattle and surrounding areas and seeing my only cousin graduate from Pacific Lutheran University. If you have never been to that area, I would really recommend it- so pretty. Congratulations Jenn!!
8. I have to brag that my baby sister (yes, she is 25 now) had a huge accomplishment in '08. Meg passed all four parts of the CPA to make her a Certified Public Accountant. Why anyone would want this role is beyond me but I am very proud since she is apparently a genius! I do not really understand what she does as an auditor, and that's okay cause it seems to make her happy and I don't think she would be caught dead doing speech therapy!! Congrats sister!!

7. Since my sister moved to Dallas in August '07....I made 3 trips to Dallas this past year (including one on the way to College Station). It's only a 5 hour or so drive from Wichita so not too bad. It's fun to explore a new city and see where Meg spends her time. My parents went for one of the trips as well, so it was a nice little family vacation!

My sis and my friend Lindsay who carpooled to Texas with me when she went to visit friends.

6. In February, I started a Bunko group with some friends. The group consists of several girls I lived with in college and other friends of each of ours. We have been meeting the second Tuesday of each month and enjoy snacks and catching up on life without husbands/kids/etc. I would highly recommend it to anyone! :)

5. In July I joined a little Cooking Club with my friend Kara that I worked with at the time and a couple other girls that she knows. We get together about once a month and all bring ingredients and try different recipes. It's a lot of fun to try new recipes and cook with friends who enjoy it!

4. This year, my family again had season tickets to Kansas State football games and my sister and I also went with friends to watch the Cats beat TX A&M. Very fun!! Hopefully next season will go better with Coach Snyder returning. Time will tell!!

3. Since I had to work over the Thanksgiving weekend, I got the chance to host my first family holiday. My parents and sis met up here and we spent the weekend hanging out in Wichita. Cooking that meal is a lot of work but it was great to have them here since I couldn't go home!

2. In October of this year, after having a curiousity for quite a while...I learned how to sew/quilt with the help of friends. I used my grandma's machine and made my first quilt for a friend that is having a baby in February. I gave Lacey and baby Hunter the quilt at her shower the weekend after Christmas. Such fun!
1. Since neither my sister or me moved for the first time in 9 years (since I first left for college), my parents apparently felt like it was their turn. In March '08 they made the decision to build a new home west of Topeka and out of the house Meg and I grew up in. Many weekends were spent helping them paint/move/decorate/etc. and they closed on their new house Dec. 16th, the same day that the people who bought their house closed. Mildly hectic, but they are settling in and enjoying the new place to call home.