Saturday, June 30, 2007

My New Royal Family

For a while now, my mom has been talking about getting a cat. I've never really known her to be a cat person, but her good friend Jinna started a cat rescue (called Purrfect Paws) a few years ago, and after several years of prodding from Jinna, Mom finally decided to adopt. On Sunday, she went to the rescue in Manhattan and brought home not one, but TWO cats!

Mom and Cliff had gone to Purrfect Paws with the intention of picking up Kingston, a cat Jinna had matched Mom up with months ago. However, when they got there, they also met Princess Patches, who was apparently a good friend of Kingston's. Cliff suggested that they should take Princess home as well since the kitties liked each other so much, and Mom agreed, although she sounded a little unsure about the decision when she called and left me a message later that evening! Kingston is a pretty young cat--only about 16 months old--but mom says he's very calm. She has no idea how old Princess is because she forgot to ask and never planned on taking her home in the first place.

While I know that cats aren't nearly as time consuming as dogs, I still worry that my mother has bitten off more than she can chew. Since she is still commuting from Topeka to Emporia State almost every day, she is generally very tired (who wouldn't be?) and doesn't have a lot of spare time on her hands!

Honestly, while I'm trying to get excited about the new family additions, I'm not really a cat person at all. I try to like them, but inevitably, as soon as I start holding or petting a cat, they turn around and bite me. I don't like it so much. Cat owners tell me that's normal, but I can't quite see how that behavior is appealing in a pet. It also frustrates me that you can't really train a cat to stay off of the furniture and countertops. At our friends Bill and Lindsay's last weekend, their cat Harry jumped on the kitchen counter like 5 times trying to get the pizza that was sitting there! He didn't really care how many times he got yelled at and thrown off (and he didn't really care that it hurt when he bit me later in the evening!).

Despite the fact that I'm obviously not a cat person, I'm definitely going to give my new feline "siblings" (they are my mom's kids, you know) a chance. Hopefully soon I can get over to Topeka to visit the pair--I'm looking forward to meeting them (and hopefully liking them) and taking some pictures!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

3-Day Workshop

In 3-Day related news, last night my friend Vikkie and I went to a workshop at a Dick's store in KC, put on by a few walkers who are participating in their 6th 3-Day this year. They presented information about shoes, packing, gear, apparel and event logistics. Although most of it was review, it was good to be reminded of some things I probably would have forgotten!! There were a few new tidbits of information that were helpful, and I was also glad that Vikkie came along to learn a little more about how to prepare for the event.

We also met a really nice woman named Beth, a breast cancer survivor herself, who is walking in the San Diego event this year as well. She actually grew up in that area and has walked San Diego for the last four years, and she says it's absolutely wonderful! She gave us a few climate and travel related tips, and also informed us that around 4,500 people walked in last year's event! It's going to be huge!

Another (very silly) reason I wanted to go to the workshop was so that I could put another sticker on my milestone badge! Although it seems a little childish, each participant is given a little badge that you can use to chart your progress as you prepare for the event. There are stickers for reading through the manual, getting your first donation, taking your first training walk, reaching higher donation levels, taking longer training walks, etc. There is also a sticker for attending a workshop, which I can now add to my badge!

I have to admit that before I registered last year, when my friend Cindy was telling me about the badge and how you record your individual milestones, I thought it sounded kind of silly. Then as soon as my milestone badge came in the mail and I started putting stickers on it, I realized it was kind of addictive, even if it is a little childish!

Last year the only milestone I didn't reach was securing a matching gift. I couldn't seem to find any of my donors who worked for a company that would match, which is ironic since both Chad and I work for companies that have matching gift programs! Unfortunately KU Endowment only matches gifts to KU, and last year I didn't have any donors who worked at Westar! I'll have to remedy that situation this year!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bittersweet Birthday

I can't even believe it, but today is the 10th birthday of our dear little boy Celtic Bird Luce. The little man and his 9 brothers and sisters were born 10 years ago today, to a little Beagle named Irene, in a beautiful home outside Vinland, Kansas. His father was originally thought to be the tiny Cocker Spaniel who also lived at his birthplace, but after a few months it was clear that he and his brother Steeler were not Cocker mixes. Based on their size and the appearance of one of their brothers, we guessed that Irene was fooling around with some sort of German Shepherd mix. :)

Since Chad and I were both gone for the evening, we didn't get to do anything very special for Celtic's birthday, but at lunch I gave him a couple of tiny bites of some awesome BBQ pork ribs that our neighbors brought us last night. That special treat will have to suffice until we can go out and get him a real present!

Celtic is one of the most loving, nurturing and sensitive little dogs you'll ever meet, and we are very thankful that he's part of our family. We're also so thankful for his good health, and yet we can't help but be somewhat saddened today as Celtic celebrates his birthday without his sweet brother Steeler. We all miss Steeler very much and still feel the pain of his untimely death last September. We hope that he's having a wonderful birthday celebration with all of his doggie friends in heaven.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Think We're Dead

Apparently this was all over the news a few weeks ago, but somehow I completely missed it until today when my friend Erin sent me this news clip. I thought it was pretty darn funny.

I have to say that while the 911 call made me laugh, the snorting reaction of the newswoman is what almost brought me to tears and made this worth sharing.

As I was looking for the video clip on YouTube, I found a full length clip of the 911 call, which contains a few other very funny moments, one of which involved the "victim" asking the dispatch operator the score of the Red Wings game. That's an odd thing to throw into the conversation when you think you're dying!

The other thing I happened across on YouTube was a hilarious "dramatization" that someone created, using the actual audio of the 911 call, much like the TV Funhouse "Fun with Real Audio" segments on SNL. Although the humor is a little more "adult" in nature, I still thought it was quite creative! If you're interested and have a few extra minutes, you can check it out here.

This story is not only good for a chuckle, but teaches a good lesson as well: don't get stoned and then make moronic phone calls to get yourself fired!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day of Beauty

Today was a very exciting day at the Luce household (uh, that's just a little joke). The first order of business after church and lunch was shaving Chad's head. He needed a haircut terribly, and he'd been wanting to get another buzz cut like he'd done last year around this time, so we finally got out the clippers and mowed it down. I should have taken before and after pictures, but I didn't remember to go grab the camera until we'd already gotten started! I thought this reverse mohawk was a good look for Chad.

Actually, I wasn't that excited about cutting Chad's hair super short again, but I think I must be more used to it this year, because I don't think the final product looks half bad!

Hope and Celtic went through through a little beautification today as well, as they endured their first bath of the summer. This is always a huge ordeal at our house since we don't have dogs who enjoy the water, but we managed to get everyone relatively clean. Celtic is such a hairy little guy his coat takes forever to dry, so I thought I'd take a couple of quick shots of our goofy looking wet dog.

Now that he's dry, he looks nice and fluffy, but it doesn't seem to have slowed down his summer shedding any!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet; I'm Hunting Wabbits

Last Friday, I was cleaning the kitchen when suddenly out of nowhere Celtic came flying through the room to the back door. When I went to open the door for him, I saw what he had seen from the bedroom window that had piqued his interest: a rabbit was sitting out by the basketball court. When I opened the sliding glass door for him, instead of sprinting straight out to begin the chase, he instead decided to practice his stalking skills. This was something I'd never seen him do with a rabbit before, but I knew he had the ability because he used to stalk Steeler all the time. Even when Steeler had quit playing their game of chase, Celtic would position himself around a corner, frozen solid with just his head peeking out, waiting for Steeler to wander by so he could pounce. I think he'd never practiced these skills on a rabbit before because there was normally another dog also racing to the prey. Since Hope was still inside and unaware of the backyard visitor, Celtic finally had the opportunity to do his best Elmer Fudd impression.

I stood there and watched him as he tiptoed (as much as a dog is capable of tiptoeing) across the patio. He was hardly moving at all at first, and after about 30 seconds I wondered how long he would hold his position. I reached for the Palm Pilot in my purse, with which I snapped a couple of pictures using its low-res camera. Celtic remained in his stalking pose, so I ran downstairs to get the real camera, and made it back upstairs to find Celtic still inching his way to the yard. I sat down on the floor and started snapping some shots through the glass:

And he's off!!!

While I'm slightly embarrassed that our yard consists almost entirely of clover (and that it wasn't mowed because that was the week Chad was in Boston), I am kind of proud of the pictures (note the rabbit), and I'm certainly proud of my little puppy's patience! :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Green Machine

The other day I introduced Chad's new company car, the Green Machine. Yesterday, the Green Machine had its first Lawrence area adventure, when Chad traveled over to a car accident involving a Westar power line. Upon arriving, he ran into his friend and coworker Rex, who runs Westar's Lawrence service center. This is an approximate transcript of their conversation:

Rex: "Hey Chad, is that the Green Weenie?"
Chad: "What?"
Rex: "Is that car number 648?"
Chad: "Uh, yeah."
Rex: "That's my old company car!! I called it the 'Green Weenie'!"
Chad: "Uh, I call it the 'Green Machine', thanks. So I'm getting stuck with your leftovers, huh?"

Clearly, the Green Machine is such an awesome car that its last driver nicknamed it as well! I thought about combining the two nicknames into one, but somehow "Green Weenie Machine" doesn't sound quite right!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rhett, Murray, Ken and Philip

Honestly, it's crazy that in my 10 months or so of blogging I haven't talked more about these four boys. As far as I can remember, there's only been one post in all that time pertaining to my Old 97's. In that particular post last November, I mentioned that the next time they toured anywhere near here I would be bugging everyone I know to go see them. Well that time has finally come! They will finally be in KC on July 11--less than 3 weeks from today!

Let me first tell you how I came to love this rather obscure alt-country band from Dallas. In the year 2000, our friend Jason sent Chad a couple of CDs that he'd burned, either from one of their studio albums or from a bootleg of a concert of theirs he'd been to--I don't even remember. I listened to it a little bit along with Chad and thought it was kind of fun and catchy; I was definitely drawn to the toe-tapping beats and slightly goofy lyrics. So when Jason subsequently asked Chad to go see them at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, I decided to tag along.

Even though we sat like old people the entire concert and I only knew a few of the songs, I still had a terrific time. The band (well, mostly Rhett) was amazingly energetic and so much fun to watch. In a live setting, they seemed more like a rockin' punk/country group than their alternative country label implied. The venue was so small you felt like you were almost a part of the action. I was amazed at how the young, crazy crowd knew the words of every song of a band I'd never heard of until a few months before. It only took this one concert for me to become a die-hard fan. I was hooked.

So for the next few years the 97's toured, coming back to Lawrence twice during that time. The second year we saw them, again at The Bottleneck, we stood on the floor much nearer to the stage, and being up close made the concert even more amazing! For my third concert, which was at the Granada (since the band had outgrown the tiny Bottleneck), I stood in the front row with Jason's sisters who'd driven in for the concert, and it was absolutely incredible! We could see the stain on Ken's pants, the bulging veins in Murray's neck, and Rhett's every eye roll. My heart stopped every time Rhett jumped up and down on the stage and I thought he was going to trip over the cord to his amp that was wrapped around his foot!

When the tour dates came out in 2004, I was devastated that the boys weren't coming to Lawrence--or even the KC area! Apparently they'd outgrown the Granada too! Thankfully, my wonderful husband took me on a birthday trip to St. Louis, where we saw them the opening night of their tour at the now closed Mississippi Nights and spent the weekend seeing the sights and sounds of the area. We stood on the floor during that show as well, and it was a blast! This time I was smart enough to bring my camera, so I could actually document some of the awesomeness! We were so close to the stage that Chad started getting embarrassed at how many times I was flashing the camera in the band's face, so I switched to video mode after a short while to be a little less conspicuous.

So today over the lunch hour I uploaded the pictures from that trip to our Picasa page, excited to share them in the hope that my friends would get an idea of how cool the upcoming concert would be. What I didn't realize was that Picasa automatically loads all of the video clips in the folder as well (I didn't even know you could share video on Picasa), which would be great for showing off the energy of the concert if it wasn't that I'm a terrible videographer. When I switched the camera from picture to video mode, without even thinking I continued to hold the camera vertically as if I were taking pictures. Let me just say that you'll get a kink in your neck if you watch them. It's really embarrassing that I'm so completely dense. Many moons ago I downloaded some software that enabled me to rotate the video images, but it distorted them so badly that all of the band members looked about 50 pounds overweight, so I just left them as is. I could have just deleted them from my Picasa page, but I wanted everyone to at least get a sense, albeit a crooked one, of the experience!

So please enjoy my pictures if you get chance, and check out the videos too if you're interested (make sure your sound is turned down if you're at work!). Hopefully some of you will find them entertaining and want to check out the 97's for yourself next month! They're playing at a new venue called The Crossroads, and tickets are only $16 each. I know it will be a late night for a Wednesday, but I'm still hoping I can drag a few people along to enjoy the show. I mean come on, people, we're not that old yet! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wedding Picture WOW

I've been meaning to share some gorgeous pictures of my cousin Bri's gorgeous wedding ever since I received them a few weeks ago--they are absolutely gorgeous! The photographers did an amazing job. It makes me wish that digital photography and the Internet were actually around 13 years ago when we got married (okay, maybe they were invented, but they certainly weren't commonplace)! My dad thinks I could just scan all of our wedding photos and download some movie making software and turn it into a slideshow, but I really doubt it would look anything like this!

You know what I just thought of? We actually know someone who could take our pictures and scan them and turn them into a slideshow set to music! Our friend Dillon has a video production company called BadHairCut Productions, and they specialize in stuff like that! I'll bet he could even take the videotape of our wedding and put it on a DVD right along with the pictures! I need to put that on my list of things to do!

Sorry for that epiphany right in the middle of my blog. Back to the real topic: great wedding pictures. Check out the slideshow for the awesome ones. Here are a few more that were actually taken by people in my family:

There are actually a few more that I loaded into a photo album, but I couldn't download them full sized, so the quality isn't very good. Hopefully you can see how beautiful everything was though!

Monday, June 18, 2007

That's One Sweet Ride

Many of you might know that during the last few years, Chad has been spending a lot of time on the road for Westar. Based on the number of miles he's driven during this time, he's eligible for a company car, so he finally decided to take advantage of this fringe benefit. Today was the big day that he brought home his new ride:

I am totally serious when I say that this car is the exact make, model and color (albeit two years newer) as his grandma's current automobile. Needless to say, I laughed my tail off when he told me--I mean this is so funny it sounds like I made it up!

Chad has already dubbed his lovely new Chevy Lumina the Green Machine. Try not to be too green with envy. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Softball Saturday

The other day when I started to blog about last Saturday's softball tournament, I got so caught up in talking about the little boy who is the tourney's namesake, I didn't even get around to talking about any softball! We started our first game at 10 a.m., and unfortunately it wasn't much of a game at all. The first team we played seemed as though they'd just gotten together the hour before, so needless to say we run-ruled them in the first few innings. Our second game an hour or so later was a little bit more challenging, but we still ended up winning pretty easily. Probably the biggest challenge of that game was playing on the super tiny kid's field. Our guys (and even some of our girls) really struggle not to hit the ball over the fence on this field, which can only happen twice before it counts as an out. Thankfully, we didn't have to play on the tiny field again for the rest of the day!

We played our third game sometime around 1:00, and unfortunately, we didn't play so hot this game. I think it was a combination of several factors: no good warm-up game, the heat, our overconfidence that we were going to sweep the tournament like we had the previous year. Regardless, we ended up losing to a pretty good team. Chad hit really well, but most of the rest of our team didn't. Not only that, but the other team's cocky shortstop plowed into our first baseman, Hope, causing a major collision which actually chipped her teeth! He was taking it way too seriously considering it was a benefit tourney with only about 8 teams! It most certainly didn't make the rest of our team very happy, that's for sure!

We had a break of a couple hours before our fourth game, so we were able to eat some snacks and recharge our batteries a little. We won that game pretty easily, and although I hadn't been hitting well all day, I did manage to hit a line drive to score the winning run in this one. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a competition since we run-ruled the other team again!

After the fourth game we had a short break for the candlelight vigil in memory of Trevor, and then we went back to play the only undefeated team in the tournament, which was of course the team that had beaten us earlier. They had some really young players (like under 20) who were clearly skilled ball players, but I'm still pretty sure we could have beaten them had we been playing our best softball. Unfortunately, we most certainly weren't playing our best ball, and we also lost one of our best girl players along with one of our best guy players. Our friend Faith had to leave after the second game for a bachelorette party, and then our friend Dan started feeling sick, so he ended up leaving before the last game as well. Those losses obviously hurt us, but what hurt even more was knowing that we would have to beat this team twice in order to win the tournament, since it was double-elimination. None of us really felt like we had the energy or the drive to do so!

Although it was a reasonably close game, we certainly didn't play well enough to win, and the other team certainly wanted it more--to the point that the same cocky shortstop who'd trucked Hope earlier slid right into Nolan's legs trying to break up a double play (which Nolan made anyway, by the way). When our friend Robyn got hit in the foot with a ground ball, which was extraordinarily painful since she had a pin placed in each foot during surgery a few years ago, the other team joked happily about knocking one of our players out of the game. Overall, the other team's players were just kind of jerks to play against, which made it not so fun to play against them, let alone lose to them twice!

The good thing was that the tournament didn't last nearly as late into the night as it normally does, which I appreciated since I was still working on one hour of sleep from the night before. Although we would have rather been going home winners, we were very glad to be going home while it was still light out!

Overall it was a fairly fun day (click here for pictures of the fun), but it would have been much more fun had we been winning! Hopefully next year we'll win back that trophy!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Got Talent?

This morning I saw something on Good Morning America that I really have to share. Diane Sawyer and the gang played clip from a British show called Britain's Got Talent. Apparently, the show is kind of a cross between American Idol and The Gong Show from the 70s. There's apparently an American show of almost the same name, but I really have no idea if it's the same format, nor do I really care enough to find out--which is really beside the point entirely and more information than you needed to know.

Really, the clip doesn't need any more explanation. Just watch:

Honestly, I'm not a fan of opera at all, and maybe he's not the best opera singer in the world, but for a cellular phone salesman lacking in confidence, I thought he was amazing! I think the overwhelming reaction of the crowd is possibly the best part though. You can almost feel his emotion, along with that of the judges and crowd, while he's singing! It definitely gave me goosebumps and even brought a tear to my eye!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love You, Tomorrow

I am so excited for tomorrow! My dear hubby has been gone since early Sunday morning when he flew to Boston for a training conference. Late tomorrow night, he'll finally be coming home! In our 13 years of marriage, there have only been three other times I can think of that we've ever been away from each other this long. All three times, Chad was home alone while I was away on business. He thinks being the one away is more difficult, because the person at home has the comforts of their own bed and the companionship of the dogs. I, however, think being home is more difficult. First of all, I'm constantly reminded of Chad's absence when I'm surrounded by his pictures and belongings. Secondly, I don't have the sights and sounds of a new and different city to distract me from the fact that I miss him. Finally, being with my best friend all the time makes those mundane tasks of everyday life a lot more enjoyable, so without him, I begin to notice how mundane life really is! I can't wait for him to come home!

Hot Dogs Should Not Be Breakfast

This morning I witnessed just a couple of the many reasons that there is a huge obesity problem in our country. I stopped by Kwik Shop on the way to work to splurge on one of those ridiculously unhealthy cheap cappuccinos, which I do every couple of weeks on days when I need a little extra boost to get going in the morning. The first problem is that Kwik Shop used to sell 12 ounce cups for coffee and the like, but these days you have to buy 16 ounces at the least. I don't even want to know how much fat and sugar is in 16 ounces of that cappuccino...but I digress. That wasn't really the main point of this post.

What truly horrified me this morning is that I saw not one, but two people purchasing hot dogs or polish sausage type foods for breakfast. Now in one case I'm making an assumption that this was for their morning meal, since it's certainly possible that they may have been saving it for lunch. However, one guy actually put the condiments on his dog, which clearly indicated he was planning to consume it immediately. Honestly, I can't think of something I would like to eat for breakfast much less than a hot dog--even more so a hot dog from Kwik Shop. Yuck! Our society needs major help when it comes to proper eating and nutrition!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trevor's Tournament

Over the weekend, our coed softball team played in a small tournament in Baldwin called Trevor's Tournament. The tournament is in memory of a little boy named Trevor Leeker, who passed away in 2001 at 21 months of age. Trevor died of a hereditary disease of the nervous system called Krabbe Leukodystrophy. This genetic defect disables the production of a particular enzyme in the body which is supposed to break down a particular type of fat. When that fat begins to build up, it begins to destroy the myelin sheath that protects the nerves, which then begin to deteriorate. The affected infant begins to lose motor skills and mental functioning at 3-6 months of age.

Krabbe disease is extremely rare, occurring in only 1 of every 100,000 U.S. births, so not many people have even heard of it. The disease started receiving a little more attention in 1997 when Jim Kelly's son Hunter was diagnosed, and Hunter's Hope was created to spread awareness and raise money for research. Still, even many people in the health care field have never heard of it, which is why the early signs of the disease are often ignored or misdiagnosed. The sad thing is, there is a relatively new treatment for the disease where donor umbilical cord blood is transplanted into the bone marrow of the affected infant, halting or even reversing the nerve damage. This procedure has saved the lives of many children, but the transplant has to be done before the disease manifests itself or when the symptoms are extremely mild. The only way to detect the disease before the symptoms begin to show is through genetic testing, but since doctors don't screen for the mutation except in families with a known history, it usually goes undetected.

So along with building awareness, Hunter's Hope and all the families of "Krabbe's Kids" are pushing for universal newborn screening, in which all infants would automatically be checked for Krabbe disease and other similar genetic defects through a blood test within their first few days of life. Currently, every U.S. state practices newborn screening, but only 2 states have started screening specifically for Krabbe disease. Some states screen for as many as 50 diseases, but our state screens for less than 10!

The great thing about Trevor's Tournament is not only does it promote awareness, but it also raises money for a scholarship fund in Trevor's name, which will be awarded to students in the medical or educational field. As Trevor's dad says, each student who receives this scholarship makes one more doctor, nurse or teacher who is familiar with Krabbes!

I've talked so long about Krabbes, I haven't really talked much about the tournament itself. That will have to wait for another day. Today, the important story is Trevor's.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Relay Results

After several months of planning and organizing, Friday night's Relay for Life went fairly smoothly! My team managed to pull everything together to get the setup done, the food and drinks supplied, the walking delegated and the money raised! I invited my mom and my friend JoAnna to come walk in the survivor walk with me, along with the 3 other survivors on our team who were present. There were over 200 survivors walking this year, and the event raised around $175,000!!

We had lots of food, with burgers and dogs grilled up by my dear husband, and a nice time socializing with our fellow coworkers on a lovely evening. The luminaria ceremony was a bit long, but there were a couple of very inspirational and interesting speakers. One was a man named Pat whose family had this very rare hereditary form of stomach cancer. I remembered hearing this story on the news a couple of years ago, but I didn't know that one of the family members was from Lawrence. You can read the print article about the family online, but in a nutshell, his grandmother died of this rare stomach cancer, and then all of her remaining children (one of his parents and all of his aunts/uncles) died of the disease as well. The article online says that his grandmother passed the faulty gene to 7 of her children and 6 of them died in their 40s and 50s, but Pat said that all of her children died of the disease, so I think maybe he meant all that were still alive. Regardless, when one of his cousins was diagnosed, they did genetic testing right before his death to allow for testing on other relatives, and so the remaining 18 grandchildren were tested. Eleven were found to be positive for the gene, which gave them a 70% chance of developing the disease. Although Pat was not a carrier of the defect, of the 11 who were (one being his older brother), all had their stomachs completely removed to prevent dying from the cancer themselves. As it turns out, each of those 11 did have early signs of the cancer in their stomachs and would have developed the disease. I thought it was an amazing story!

There was also a really inspirational woman who spoke who is battling breast cancer for the second time. She is a 41-year-old mother of 3 who had a mastectomy a few years ago, only to have a body scan reveal over 100 tumors throughout her body a couple of years later. Despite the difficult treatment she's undergoing and what I would imagine is a grim prognosis, her attitude is absolutely amazing and astounding. She looks at each day as a blessing and goes on living her life like nothing's out of the ordinary! It was really neat to hear her speak.

The rest of the evening was very enjoyable and the weather was relatively good. The skies were clear, which was a huge blessing, although it was extremely cold for a night in early June. The temperature dropped down below 50 and those of us who braved the entire night were definitely bundled in several layers and sleeping bags!

Although I made an attempt to get a little sleep during the night, I only managed to lay in the tent for 2 hours, listening to the DJ and to the teenage girls in the camp next to me--who were attempting to sing Hotel California in its entirety! Ugh!! I think I dozed for about 15 minutes of those 2 hours, so eventually I just gave up and started walking. During my official 4-5 a.m. walking shift, I managed to walk 4 full miles, which was nice because that really warmed me up! We had pancakes just before 6 a.m. and started cleaning up our campsite soon after, so I was home around 7 a.m.

Friday night's Relay for Life was great fun, but I am definitely glad the whole weekend is over! I need to start concentrating on my next fundraising activity! :)

Enjoy the pictures!

For a larger version of the slideshow or to download any pics, check out my Picasa page!

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Let's just say I'm a little tired. For the last 41 hours, my ratio of waking hours to sleeping hours is 40:1. I've slept a total of 1 hour since 6 a.m. Friday morning. I dozed about 15 minutes at Friday night's Relay for Life, then slept 45 minutes before leaving for our softball tournament in Baldwin, where we played five games. I'm pretty sure this is a new record for me, so I had to record it before I crash. Within minutes I'm sure I'll be sleeping like the dead, but unfortunately my slumber won't last long! I have to be up before 6 to take Chad to the airport!!! ACK!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Save the Cookie

This is a quick post just for my brother. He is a big fan of flying Midwest Airlines, and although I've never flown with them, I've heard lots of other people express their love for this airline as well. Apparently, Midwest is currently trying to fight off a hostile takeover by AirTran. Now I don't really know much about how a buyout of this type works, but from what I gather, AirTran is offering Midwest shareholders a certain price to buy up all their stock...or something. So loyal Midwest customers like my brother are signing the online petition at to convince shareholders not to sell out to AirTran...or something. Despite my lack of understanding and knowledge about the whole hostile takeover process, I'm trying to do my part to save my brother's favorite airline, so please join me in signing the petition!! :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fundraising Frenzy

I mentioned on Monday that things had been crazy busy lately, and this week has been no exception! The primary culprit has been this weekend's Relay for Life, which has taken up a great deal of time at work and some hours at home as well! I don't feel too terrible about using my office hours to spearhead the Relay Team, since after all, we are Team KU Endowment, and the in-house fundraising events were sanctioned by our administration. Regardless, I didn't get a lot of regular work accomplished this week, so I'm thankful that my regular workload was fairly light!

I just went to put another appointment on my calendar, and I honestly started laughing when I looked at the week at a glance and saw this:

Maybe for some people that's not such a busy schedule, but it felt a little crazy to me! The funniest thing is, that doesn't even show you Saturday, when the real insanity will start with an all day softball tournament. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to play softball after getting little to no sleep at the Relay, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

So this week we had a bake sale, a silent auction, a pizza party and an ice cream social at the office. We raised over $1,100 with those four events! Our auction brought in just over $500, with baked goods and coffee earning us $225. Pizza sales were almost $210, and other snacks and ice cream raised over $100! We also had almost $100 in general donations, not to mention the personal fundraising of the team, which totaled over $2,500. My friend and coworker Laurie raised $685 on her own, while Emily reached $300 and Leigh Ann $250. They kind of carried the team, but overall, we rocked!

I'm excited for the event on Friday, but I'm also excited for this week to be over! I'll post pictures from the evening as soon as possible! :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby!!

I haven't had much time for blogging lately, but today is such an important day I have to take the time to write just a few words. Today is the 13th anniversary of the happy day I was married to my dear husband Chad! I am so very thankful for my terrific hubby and our fun and happy marriage. I know we are very blessed!!

Chad and I went to lunch and spent the afternoon together, and my wonderful hubby even came to an extremely boring softball double header that unfortunately fell on our special day. He's such a trooper! Best of all, this morning the love of my life and my best friend surprised me with tickets to an upcoming concert of my favorite band in the world, the Old 97's! I am so excited!!

I'm sure I'll be blogging more about the 97's more very soon, but in honor of today's celebration, I have a fun and amusing history of our marriage in pictures. Enjoy--and try not to laugh too hard!! :)

June 4, 1994--Just after we were pronounced man and wife! :)

Our first Christmas in 1994--Although I might look 18, I was actually 22!

Christmas 1995--Still in our first one bedroom apartment.

Christmas 1996--Our first year in our first tiny townhome.

Christmas 1997--Celtic and Steeler make their first appearance, as does Chad's spare tire! ;)

Christmas 1998--Our first year in our current house...a much better picture of the boys than of us!!

Christmas 1999--The boys do not look amused.

Christmas 2000--Chad does not look amused.

Christmas 2001--just days after Chad got out of the hospital!

Christmas 2002--Looking more like the Chad and Kim of today!

Christmas 2003--No time for a formal picture this year!

Christmas 2004--I'm trying to grow out a very short haircut!

Christmas 2005--Our first 3 dog Christmas.

Christmas 2006--Our first Christmas without our dear Steeler. :(

No one probably enjoyed that as much as I did...I've always wanted to put all of those pictures in sequence to see how we've changed and aged over the years. I hope you found the anniversary entertainment at least mildly entertaining as well! :)