Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The saddest thing ever...

Last weekend, it was announced that the Dillons grocery store that I grew up going to my high closing. :( This is because they put a newer Dillons in less than a mile away. Why would they do that?! No one here is happy about it....I am sure of it; not one single person in Topeka! An older lady was quoted in the paper that "she wanted to shoot them." I second that!!! Some memories I have at the Dillons at 21st and Belle Dillons:

1) The first time I ever drove somewhere with my mom outside of the cemetary where she taught me to drive was to that Dillons. After getting some groceries, I was apparently nervous and forgot to look in my rear-view mirror and backed into another car as it was backing out. No harm, no foul. Whoops!

2) It was a frequent lunch stop in high school since we were allowed to go off campus for lunch. We would often go there for salad bar or chinese food. Yum. :)

3) While I was growing up, my grandma lived down the street after about the time I turned 8. I would often go to the store with her to "help"....and then when I was old enough to drive, I would take her sometimes. Well, I distinctively remember when I was maybe 9 or 10, we had went to get groceries....after we bought them and got out to the car, Grandma remembered that we forgot to buy bread. So, she sent me back in with $2 and I remember going in and looking at the prices and thinking that I didn't have enough money!! I used to get mixed up that there was 60 cents in a dollar vs minutes in an hour. Since I thought I didn't have enough, I returned to her car to tell her the bad news. :( Since then I never forget that there are 100 cents in a dollar!! Whoops!

Farewell Dillons....I will have to find another grocery store to be loyal to; you will be hard to replace!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Boston recap....

This past Thursday, I headed to Boston to attend some training for my job (mentioned in the previous post). I got home Sunday night and had a really good time. I definitely saw a limited portion of the city and it makes me want to go back someday for some more extensive exploring.

I was off to a rough start Thursday, when my flight out of KC was almost 3 hours delayed and I didn't find out until I was almost to the airport....longest. day. ever. (I would not be considered a "patient" person by any standards, so this was really hard for me.) I finished reading "Twilight" and read the majority of "The Firm" that day. FINALLY arrived at my hotel by the medical center (where the training was) at 8:30 Thursday night.

The training was 8-5 Friday and Saturday with about 22 other SLPs (Speech-Language Pathologists) from all over the country. It was a really great group and everyone was super nice (but then, what speech therapists aren't great?!). There were people from New York, Maryland, Connecticut, South Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Kentucky....and even two women from Germany. The training was all-paid by my employer and I was lucky to get to go through training with the women who invented the procedure in 1988. So, I need a little more "supervised practice" with the procedure and then I will be able to do it with patients and it will be really beneficial to have, especially in the ICU where it is more difficult to transport patients out of their rooms for testing. Today I got my first practice on a fellow co-worker. I am bribing the physical therapists with chocolate chip cookies for use of their noses. :) My dad is also "volunteering" sometime this week.

Besides the ever-exciting training, I got to see a sliver of Boston. Our hotel thankfully had a shuttle that went to the Prudential Center, which is where a lot of shops are in Boston....Friday night a group of us went there, walked through some neat residential areas, by a few historical landmarks, and through Boston Commons, which is a park that has been there for a very long time. We ended up in the "North End" where Boston's Little Italy is nestled and we had a really good Italian dinner....I tried shrimp scampi for the first time- not too bad! Here are a few pictures from the trip:
Some really beautiful homes near downtown; I love all the brick!
Some beautiful flowers in Boston Commons...
The speech therapists I went to dinner with Friday group!

After our training Saturday, I went to The Cheesecake Factory with one of the therapists from South Carolina because the tour that I wanted to take was sold out. Dinner was really good though, however, I tried to banana cheesecake since it always sounds good (I have an insane love of bananas). It is not good. Stick to what you know Michelle! The Snickers cheesecake is amazing- why I ever veered from it, I don't know, but I have learned my lesson!

Sunday morning I flew out at 11, layover in Charlotte and back to Topeka by 8:00, just in time for some heavy rains!! Nothing says spring in Kansas like some storms! So, I am back at work and will hopefully get some more experience with using this procedure and will definitely make a second appearance in Boston at some point!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am just finishing packing up for my trip to Boston tomorrow morning. I am going for training for work....more on that when I get back, but the main idea of things is that I will be trained to thread a fiberoptic scope with a camera on the end up a patient's nose and down into the throat to evaluate their swallowing mechanism.

So, that is NOT why I am excited....I am excited to get a little taste of Boston! It has been on my Bucket List for a long time, probably especially since "Good Will Hunting", and although I won't have too much time for exploring, I think I will have some time in the evenings to look around. I am planning on doing a "Duck Tour" which from what I understand will offer a brief overview of some landmarks. I will of course have pictures to share when I return pictures....hopefully of touristy stuff and not of pictures from inside someone's throat. :)

Any tips on fun in Boston? Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Raining on Sunday.... one of my favorite Keith Urban songs, but it is not one of my favorite themes when in a car driving back from Dallas on Easter Sunday. It rained for most of the way back to Kansas, however, it was worth the trip. My parents and I went to visit my sis in Dallas for the weekend and had a good time. Meg was an excellent host and our weekend was good, even if it was too short! I made some treats to take on the trip....pretty good!


When we got in town Friday night, we went to a great pizza place that Meg likes and then hung out at her place.

Saturday, we did some old-school Easter activities from our childhood: we decorated Easter eggs! I think they turned out pretty well....mine are the ones with glitter. :)
Saturday evening we had our "traditional" Easter dinner since we had to hit the road in the early afternoon Sunday. Meg did a good job and everything tasted great!! Here is the ham that came wrapped up like the shape of a pig's head....weird!

Sunday brought a COLD and rainy Easter morning! We went to church and then had a first for Easter morning.....a brunch at a mexican restaurant! That is my kind of Easter- chips and salsa at 10:30...I guess that's how they do it in Texas! :)
After that, we hit the road for the LONG journey home, but we made it and we will look forward to our next visit with our little Texan. Hope all of you had a wonderful Easter with your families as well!! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

The proof is in the trophies.

This weekend when I was in Wichita, the subject of bowling was brought up. I mentioned in passing that I had bowling trophies from when I was younger. I thought I would post a couple pictures just to show that it is in fact true; however, that fact is unfortunately not reflective of my current bowling skills....I also found some bonus plaques and some other misc trophies- I couldn't get all of them out (there were too many boxes of them Meg; it would have taken too long...ha ha). So, it cannot be denied that I one point in time, I was a master bowler....or something like that!

The ongoing choice....

To go with dinner....
To go to the physical therapist at work tomorrow who got an order for me today....

Which looks better?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A visit from Aunt Shell...

This weekend I got to enjoy one of my favorite roles; Auntie Shell to my friends' kids. When I was in Wichita visiting, I got to spend time with Lilah and Graham, my friend Kylie's cute kids. I love hanging with them but so much work!! It's great to see them but I am not for that as a full-time gig- a round of applause for all my friends that are mommies.

How many candles?!

This weekend I was back in Wichita to see friends, friends' kiddos, get a hair cut (yes, I will find a person here locally, I just haven't yet), and etc. I lucked out that I happened to be in town to attend a friend's birthday party. Kelly is married to a friend that I met through my roomies in college and I played bunko with his wife and sis-in-law in Wichita. A fun group of friends! Well, this wasn't just any was Kelly's 30th birthday. Weird that we hang out with someone that is 30 years old! That means we are closer to that milestone!! Ahh!! It definitely spooked a couple of my friends quite a bit. I am not quite as phased. I told them that since I spend my days with the 90+ crowd, 30 doesn't seem so bad. Get back with my feelings on that when I am a couple years are some pictures from the party; good times!
The birthday guy Kelly with his sis-in-law Emmy....

Me with the pregnant sisters: sis-in-law, Emmy, and wife, Sarah, of the birthday guy Kelly.

Lindsay, Kylie and me....

Jenny and Lindsay....

Brady and Kylie- one of their first big nights out since having a son in February. Kylie is proudly displaying the t-shirt she won in the door prize drawing.

Quilt for Madeline...

My friend Libby that I worked with in Wichita when I first moved there is having a little girl soon. Little Madeline will be joining twin brothers who are 9 and I am sure there will be quite a bit more pink in their house but I thought I would add to it. She is due in early May and I was lucky to have lunch with her when I was in town this weekend. I got the chance to give her a present for her newest addition. Here is a picture...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hidden Treasures....

Last weekend when this little place in the world was snow-covered and yucky, my mom and I spent a LOT of time putting stuff away into their basement storage at their new house. Anyway, I found one of my FAVORITE things from my grandma that has been in my parents' basement. They are mixing bowls that she used all the time. Nothing too fancy but I like the idea of using things that other people that are important to me used to this for example. The green bowl was what she used to make "green salad" for holidays, which is marshmellows and pistachio pudding, etc. My dad remembered from when he was growing up that the yellow one was always for potato salad. I look forward to finding future distinctions for these pretty bowls.....any of you have any favorite things you use from your family?

Have you thanked your social worker?

I got my computer back and it is up and running! Yea!!! So, I am a little behind with sharing pics, but have a few I wanted to post. When I first moved to Topeka, I took a cake decorating class. I needed something to decorate and I don't really need to eat cake on a regular basis so I decided to make cupcakes and give them to the social workers and case managers at the hospital since March was National Social Work Month. I think they turned out pretty well! I will definitely be experimenting with other designs for future creations! :)