Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Phone Dump

My random November pictures from my phone:
  • We put together shoe boxes this year for Samaratin's Purse "Operation Christmas Child" and came up with some pretty good stuff from Dollar General!  My niece and nephew also put together boxes this year.  Allie wrote a nice letter to go along with her box (which included a Justin Bieber watch and some clear mascara!), and Brody put a picture of himself in his along with some toys.  So sweet!
Finished boxes:  one for a girl and one for a boy
  • I bought a couple of Ralph Lauren outfits on clearance last spring at Macy's for Hunter, in hopes they would fit him this winter.  Somehow I lucked out and they do fit him.  And oh could he be any cuter in it!?  The other outfit has a red sweater vest that is equally adorable.  Christa sent me this picture before church one Sunday...

  • One Tuesday night I was watching Hunter.  Somehow, after about half a gallon of chocolate milk and no diaper change, I realized he had soaked clear through to his pants.  Oops!  So he got to run around diaper-less for awhile...which included some time to lift weights in the nude.  Hilarious! 

  • After my Halloween costume disaster last month, I decided I wanted  needed to learn how to sew.  Joann's offers a Sewing 101 class, so I signed up to take it one Saturday morning.

Turns out my niece's sewing machine (that I've been borrowing) doesn't hate me, and all the problems weren't' completely "operator error" either.  The sewing machine has a short of some kind, and that is why it will only sew backwards from time to time!

I didn't learn a terrible amount from the class, and I was the youngest one in there by about 20 years, if I had to guess.  I did have some fun making a pencil bag and practicing some fun stitches, but that was about it.


  • Later that same Saturday, I decided to keep the creativity flowing with a Crocheting 101 class at a different Joann's.  Now that  was an epic fail.  I absolutely can not crochet.  I'm not patient enough for that, and my fingers just couldn't do it.  I think I'll just stick to letting Christa crochet for me.  

This crocheting literally took my over two hours.  And this is all I got!
  •  I went to the Holiday Boutique in Overland Park with Christa and her other sister-in-law, Nickie.  I hadn't ever been before, and wasn't too sure what to expect, but it was a great time!
Top right: before shopping             Bottom right, after shopping!

Here are just a few of the items I bought: 

A Kansas City baggy top, KSU jeans, and some amazingly 
soft leggings that I now wear a few times a week, at least

When I handed my phone to a guy working and asked him to take a picture of us girls with all of our shopping bags, I sure wasn't expecting to see THIS (below) when he handed the phone back to me!  

He took a selfie on my phone, hahaha!!
  • The picture I tried to take didn't turn out at all, but I got pulled over on my way to the airport for, get this:  speeding, not using a blinker to switch lanes, AND having a headlight out.  And I just got a warning again!  Another sccore for playing the dumb female.  Works like a charm every time. ;)
  •  Shannon text me a picture of the new bathroom stuff I got for her mom for their Tahoe house.  Looks pretty amazing, if you ask me! 


  • Somehow I managed to run over one of the tires for my lawn mower.  It fell off, I didn't realize it and kept mowing, and ran over it.  Sparks flew, the mower quit...pretty awesome.  I took a picture of it so I would know what kind of mower I had and so I would remember to look online for how to replace the now shredded tire.  I figured it would be simple enough...until I looked at the diagram below.  Yuck.  I might just take it somewhere to have it done now...

  • With another trip to Vegas on the books for January, I decided to look up what shows there were to see this time.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill play there a few times a month, and just happen to be there when we will be!  I would love to see them...but I'm not sure I would be willing to pay over $100 for a ticket!  We'll see.  I'm sure it would be pretty amazing!

  • My mom's best friend (for the last 50 years, I might add), and my namesake, Terry, met us for lunch one day at J Alexanders in Overland Park.  I don't even remember the last time I saw her, so it was so great to catch up!  And the food was SO good!  
Terry and Terri - I'm named after her :)
I can't believe they've been best friends for 50 years!  That's crazy!
  •  My friend, Kathy, asked me if I wanted to volunteer with her colleagues to work on a house with Habitat for Humanity.  Of course I said yes!  But man, we picked a bad Saturday to be working outside.  Check out that nice warm temperature of 23 degrees!

All bundled up for outside work!

 Our job for the day was to finish putting the siding on the house.  There wasn't much left, and I thought it would go quickly -- since I have zero siding knowledge.  It didn't go by quickly - it took us all morning to do that little spot, but the before and after picture makes it worth it!  
Top:  before               Bottom:  after

 It was so cold that we had to take turns cutting the pieces and putting them on the house.  So in the down time, a few of the girls drug pieces of scrap wood over to a pile and made a fire to keep warm by.

 There was also a space heater they set up inside for us.  One of the girls stood a little too close and melted her pants!  And while I was mocking her for doing that, I did the exact same thing, haha!  Karma...

Our melted pants :(
  • Date night with Spenser and Ashley in Lawrence at a restaurant called 715.  While I don't like that town, I have to admit, the food was really good!  As was dessert. :)

  • It's basketball season!  I help "coach" - I use that term lightly - a high school girls basketball team, and their first game was at the end of November.  Final score:  64 to 4.  Not much of a game, but I'll take a win any day!  The girls surprised me with how well they looked.  I think it's going to be a good season!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Napa Valley and the Golden Gate Bridge

Day three.  We had ambitious plans to get up super early and drive out to Napa for the morning.  Those were thrown out the window when Shannon groggily woke me up after 8am.  Obviously we needed some sleep after the previous two days adventures.

After some discussion, we decided to get moving quickly and still make it out to Napa -- just for a shorter amount of time.  We were on the road - with smoothies - in no time!  I had NO idea that Napa was just over an hour away from the bay area!  

I should have zoomed this in, but you can see
all the giant cranes and barges in the bay 
In no time at all, the buildings and highways turned in to rolling hills and rows and rows of grapes.  I couldn't believe it!  Shannon was used to the drill now.  She just pulled over to the side of the road every time I said, "OH WOW!"  so I could get out and take pictures. :)





We drove all over Napa Valley - up an down the little roads with different wineries on either side.  It really was beautiful with all of the fall colors!  Since it was a Monday, there were hardly any people around.  We walked right in to the fields at several spots. 




It was still early, and we had already driven all over around Napa.  We started heading back towards the city to hit some more wineries on the other side of the valley, and decided we couldn't leave without actually going in at least one.  So we pulled in to Domaine Carneros, which just happened to open at 10am. (It was about 10:15 when we got there!)  

I don't really enjoy wine, and certainly don't know anything about it.  So I didn't really appreciate Napa quite as much as most people would who drink wine.  But I still thought it was gorgeous and really something cool to see!  I just need to watch some documentaries on the wine making process and Napa, etc.  It would probably mean more then. ;)  Either way, the winery was beautiful!  We didn't do any tasting because it was so early still!  And we had to drive back shortly.  So we just checked the place out, walked around a little, and then hit the road. Shannon had so much more she still wanted to show me!

Wine tasting at 10am??

Northern California is so funny.  In no time at all, we went from the Bay area (city), to Napa Valley, and then to this flat swamp land!  I know it's an awful picture, but I know what it was. ;)
Swamp land
After a few wrong turns and sweet maneuvering skills by Shannon, we ended up at Whole Foods for lunch  I love that place!  And this one, in San Rafael, was way better than the one we have in KC.  

I grabbed a giant piece of lasagna, and a pre-made salad for later, and we took off again.  No time to sit down and eat.  Shannon ate her piece of corn bread (can't believe that was her lunch) and I had tried not to spill my lasagna while we sped down the highway.  

We got off the highway once so I could grab my NorthFace out of the trunk, and then again when we got close to a NorthFace store to call and see if they had the size I wanted to exchange it for.  No such luck.  But somehow, with some nice moves from Shannon, we ended up right back on the highway we were supposed to be on...even if that did involve a few u-turns in the middle of the road. :)

Our next stop was a quick driving tour through Marin and Sausalito, two of the most expensive neighborhoods in the bay area.  The houses were huge, they had ridiculous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the cute little streets were lined with awesome shops and restaurants.  I definitely could have spent some time there...

From there, we kept driving to the Golden Gate Bridge - the last thing she just had to show me before I left.  And we barely had time for it.  She drove crazy fast up a little windy road to get to this good view point:

As soon as we had the shot (above), we took off down the hill -- flying past people driving too slow for us -- and decided to take the extra few minutes to actually drive across the Golden Gate Bridge!  I mean, it's one thing to say I saw it, but I had to actually be ON it, too!

Driving across the bridge.  A must.
We didn't even stop once we got across.  No time, haha.  We just turned around and drive right back across it.  We were cutting it close on time, but we decided we had time to stop for literally one minute to take another picture from a viewing point back on the other side of the bridge:
It was hazy, but that is downtown San Fran across the bay
Golden Gate Bridge - we were at this spot for all of 1.5 minutes

We raced back to San Leandro, stopped at Costco for gas -- and Shannon parked on the wrong side, haha.  She improvised though (see pic below).  After a quick stop at her house to go to the bathroom and grab my bags, we were off to return the good 'ole rental car.  Shannon was so sweet and picked me up from there so I didn't have to deal with the shuttle bus again. Plus we were officially cutting it close on time after the "just one more stop"s we had that day!
Gas at Costco
Shannon dropping me off at the airport
I thought the airport might be busy since it was a holiday, but no, it was dead.  I found a spot right outside my gate that had a couch and a tv...with no one around.  So I plopped down on the comfy couch and watched some tv before my flight boarded.    

We took off a little late, and I already had a quick turnaround.  So I had to do the airport sprint in Denver.  Why couldn't I have lucked out and had my new gate be right next to the one I came out of?  That always seems to happen when I have plenty of time.  But today it was pretty much at the opposite end of the terminal, and I was L A T E.  So I took off running, and there wasn't one person at my gate when I got there.  Not even anyone working to scan my boarding pass.  I was just sick.  I knew I had just missed my flight.  But I looked out the window and the plane was still sitting there, so I just took off running down the little bridge thing...boarding pass still in hand.  One of the workers was standing at the other end and laughed at me -- clearly out of breathe.  I wasn't the last one on.  Everyone else was already on the plane, but it wasn't anywhere close to full, and they were waiting on two more people with late connections, too.  Ugh.  Either way, I made it, and I got a whole row to myself to lay down and sleep.  Which is exactly what I did for the whole flight back to KC.


Coming home to cold weather is so much worse when you've been somewhere warm.  I was NOT excited about the below freezing temperatures when I stepped outside.  At least my flight was on time and I didn't get home in the middle of the night like I normally do.  That would have been double-whammy. ;)  

It was such an awesome weekend in California.  Seriously awesome (like, one of my favorite vacations ever), but oh so exhausting.  Definitely slept well that night!