Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Phone Dump

  • Lunch at Panera with an old college friend.  Life-long friends really are the best. (Can't believe I didn't take one pictures of us!)

  • Lemonade Stands.  Matt absolutely can not pass one up.  This particular one, however, he probably should have.  Despite the sign saying glasses are only 25 cents, he only got 50 cents change out of a $5 bill.  And had to do some talking to even get that much back, hahaha!  Clearly these girls needed some help with counting change back... Oh well, at least Hunter enjoyed it!

  • Tuesday night family dinners.  They're my favorite.  And by "family dinner" I really mean I just invite myself over to be part of their family for free dinner ever week.  Either way, sometimes Allie gets fancy and sets the table and makes name plates.  I always get to sit right by her.  My favorite girl in the world. :) 

Right where I want to be.

  • Riley Jo (the dog) already knows exactly who to sit under at the dinner table.

  • Marathon training continues.  I pretty much ran a half marathon every Saturday this month.  Ugh.  On the up side, this is about the best shape I've ever been in!

  • Goliath the giant mastiff.  Matt's roommates parents dog.  I scratched and scratched her belly - which got her leg going -  and wore her out at Sunday night dinner.
  • Trampoline time always follows Tuesday night dinners.  I'm not sure if the parent or kids enjoy it more.  They're all going to be sad when summer is over though, that's for sure.
Hunter can officially JUMP now, and has the cutest facial expression when he gets his little feet off the mat!
  • Saturdays with Hunter.  Every other Saturday (usually) I get to babysit Hunter.  He tested out he dog food and played on the stove.  I'd say that should get me nominated for Aunt of the Year, for sure!

  • Late birthday presents.  They're totally the best.  I got an unexpected package in the mail the week after my birthday.  The perfect necklace to remind me of my favorite spot.  A pine-cone (I've recently become obsessed with the ones in Tahoe, and a charm in the exact color of Lake Tahoe - which also happens to be my favorite color.  Love love LOVE it.
  • I'm a sucker.  This author was selling his book at Barnes & Noble.  I felt bad and bought it for my niece for her birthday.  Maybe she'll think it's cool since the author wrote a note in it to her?  Here's hoping...
  • I'm also cheap.  I actually took pictures of just the certain pages in a book that I wanted.  (A travel book for my trip to India next month.)  But then I felt bad and ended up buying that book, too. 

  • More running.  Enough said. (Going for distance over time on these runs. Don't judge the pace! ;) )

  • Park visit.  My mom and I took my niece, Hadley, to the park for some afternoon fun.  My mom did the work.  I sat on the ground and pretended to be a bird that Hadley continually fed wood chips too.  Awesome.

  • Shawnee Mission Dog Park.  The first dog park visit of the summer!  The dogs LOVED swimming and playing fetch with the tennis ball.  Hadley, however, wasn't too impressed.  And the walk back was just too of course she ended up on my shoulders.  Now that was more fun.

  • Unleashed Pet Rescue.  I just happened to drive by this place, which is near my work.  I called, and ended up at a volunteer orientation meeting that week.  I haven't had a chance to get in there yet to actually help out with the animals.  But I am definitely looking forward to it!

Puppies that needed fostering.  SO hard to say no to those faces.
  • Lunch Date with my mom AND boyfriend.  Isn't he lucky, haha.  Hey, it was free lunch.  I don't remember what was going on in this picture, but let's just say that my mom isn't the best picture taker on the 'ole iPhone yet...
  • Insanity workouts.  I've been doing them once or twice a week as my cross-training days instead of running.  Well my mom thought she might enjoy trying one. That lasted all of 30 seconds in to the warm-up.  I thought the poor woman was going to have a heart attack.  Shortly after this picture, she called Shaun-T (the instructor in the videos) a "jack ass" -- which is about as much profanity that ever comes out of my mothers mouth.  I could hardly even do the workout for laughing so hard at her!

Monday, July 22, 2013

AHF 2013

AHF = After Harvest Festival

In high school, it was the highlight of the summer.  Now, it's just an excuse to go home once a year. 

The drinking and dancing isn't near as fun as it was 10 years ago, but the people watching and time in the wide open country is even better.  (Especially now that I live in a city.)

So I left work early on Friday, packed up the car with my brother, sister-in-law, and three kids and made the 4 hour trip home to central Kansas.


I drove and Christa sat in the front seat, which left Tony to fend for himself with the three kids in the next two rows.  Hunter screamed most of the trip, and Allie was bored out of her mind (especially since we somehow forgot her iTouch) so she did her best to antagonize Tony and Brody. 

We made a couple of stop along the way - either for bathroom breaks or because Hunter just needed out of his car-seat.  Alco was one of those stops.  We were all happy to stretch out our legs and do some shopping!

Notice the clouds.  There's nothing like watching a storm roll in across the Kansas plains.

(Yes, I let Hunter run around barefoot...against his mothers wishes.  His little feet were black!)

We got home kind of late, but everyone was wide awake...well, except for me.  I went to bed shortly, but everyone else stayed up - kids included.  

The boys LOVED playing with Tony's cars from when he was little.
 The plan was to get up early and run 9 miles on Saturday before the parade.  I had my alarm set, however, I also had a large, loud fan blowing so I didn't hear the kids upstairs.  When I rolled over and saw the sun already up through the basement window, I knew I had overslept.  And sure enough, the alarm was going off next to me, but I couldn't hear it over the fan.  I was SO mad.  Jumped up, threw my clothes on and ran out the door to try and get at least some workout in.  
7 miles later, after lots of weaving through blocks to avoid the sun since I forgot my sunglasses, and I was back at the house.   I ran harder than I was planning on - partially because I was mad and partially because I was in a hurry - so I felt okay about missing the last two miles. 

I didn't even have time to shower.  Just changed clothes and took off for the first AHF event:  the big parade down Main Street, complete with a fly-over by a crop duster.

The kids were so excited - Hunter, especially - and each ended up with a gallon size baggie over half full of candy!  Not bad for just sitting on a curb and waiving. :)

Two of my friends from high school were "advertising" for a local bridal store in the parade.   Lacy tried to talk her boyfriend in to running behind the golf cart and she was going to be the "Runaway Bride."  He declined, but they were still hilarious!

It was a hot July day - too hot for us girls - so we went back to the house for naps while the boys went shooting in the country.  I mean, what else is there to do in small-town-Kansas besides shoot anything that moves? ;)  We girls made our annual trip to Wal-Mart - the only place to visit in town - and had fun trying on lots of clothes.  We actually bought some stuff, too!  How can you pass up $6 t-shirts and $3 tank tops!?

When Hunter woke up from his nap, I thought he might be hungry.  So being the awesome Aunt that I am, I provided him with the best food: chocolate milk, mini pop tarts, Cheetos, and M&M's.  He loves me.  That's why he poses for pictures where ever I prop him up. ;)

We attempted to walk the dog with my mom,and made it approximately 1.5 blocks before we turned around from the heat.  She kept walking, and we hopped in the car and met her down at the park for a quick jaunt around the fountain.  Much better than walking (and carrying Hunter) the whole way.

My mom's dog, Deuce.  Isn't she a beauty?  (Old, but still a beauty.)

The boys finally made it home from the country, so we all cleaned up and went back for more AHF festivities: the carnival, dance, and beer garden. 

Matching outfits and we didn't even plan it!

It had been raining on and off most of the afternoon, but it had just started clearing up when we left town.  By the time we were out in the country, we saw the most beautiful rainbow.  It started out not that bright, and only one side was visible, but we stopped for pictures anyways.

Slowly, as the sun came out more, you could see both sides.

Then it got brighter and brighter as we kept driving...

And soon it was a double rainbow that you could follow all the way across. 

Isn't this such an awesome picture!?  I almost want to frame it...

This was the view the opposite direction from the rainbow...the sun coming out from behind the clouds and shining on the wet pavement. 

Now since it had rained and the sun was going down, it wasn't quite the hot summer night we had anticipated.  We were actually all freezing.  And there aren't an abundance of stores in Ellinwood to purchases clothes.  However, we totally lucked out at the one gas station in town...  In a separate back room, they had a rack full of old sweatshirts.  And by old, I mean, they actually had a thick layer of dust on them from not being moved.  Not joking.  But hey, when you're cold, you sacrifice.  We bought two of them - one for Christa and one for myself - for $3.50 each.  Marked down from $14.50!  What a steal! 

By the time we got up to the city park for the dance, the kids had decided they wanted sweatshirts, too.  So back up to the Pop 'N Shop we went...for two more sweatshirts.  We were quite the spectacle then: 4 people (two kids) in matching dusty sweatshirts huddled together in a beer garden.

With the rain delay, the band hadn't started playing yet, so we walked over to the carnival, and the kids each got to ride two rides.  They went together on those things that spin around and around...ugh, makes me sick just to think about them.  Then Brody went down the giant slide on a gunny sack and Allie rode some rocket herself.  Girl is crazy.  Meanwhile, I somehow managed to avoid the cotton candy.  It's a small miracle.

We made our way back to the dance (ie the basketball court in the city park) since the band had started playing.  By that time, it was already 10pm.  Brody was done.  He was up late the night before, Hunter woke him up in the night, he got up early, and didn't get a nap.  He lasted all of 30 minutes at the dance before we all had to pack up and call it a night.  Why we didn't bring two cars is beyond me.  We had talked about it and planned on it, but somehow we all hopped in the same car when we left town.

Poor little guy could hardly keep his eyes open.
Everyone slept in on Sunday morning, and had donuts for breakfast.  I think the boys enjoyed them, yes? 

You'd think they were starving!

Like I said, there really just isn't much to do in small towns, and you can only entertain three kids around the house for so long.  So it was off to Wal-Mart.  Again.  This time, to look at there iPad's for my mom. 

I forgot to mention I hooked up a Wireless network at the house on Friday night.  Her computer is an ancient piece of nothing and too slow to even work.  She needed a way to see her babies in KC when she is back home...and what better way is there than free FaceTime with an iPad!?  Luckily, she was down with paying for it, haha! 

While we dealt with the iPad, the kids had fun trying out the toys in the store.

Christa was SO close to winning!

Everyone went out to eat lunch with one of Tony's friends while my mom and I stayed home to clean up the house and have some quick iPad lessons.  Once they were home, Hunter was tired, and we decided it best to just throw our stuff in the car and start making our way home so he could sleep for some of the drive. 

He loves to cover up his head for some reason, so he stole Allie's blanket.  What started out as a cute game of peek-a-boo turned in to him falling asleep under the blanket.  When we finally pulled it off an hour later, his poor little head was soaking wet with sweat!

We made another stop at Alco to buy a move for the kids to watch.  Warning: RV is NOT a good movie.  The original thought was it would still be better than watching nothing, but that ended at the next pit-stop and we didn't turn it back on.  Hunter continued to scream on and off - the napping thing didn't last long - so we were all glad to make it back home around 5:30. 

 Next year, we'll be more prepared for the AHF trip home.  Allie will remember her books and iTouch, we'll be sure to get a movie that people actually want to watch, and we'll take two cars to the night festivities.  And hopefully Hunter won't scream in the car. ;)

**Thanks, Christa, for about half of the pictures in this post! :)