Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, but today was a fun day at work, with lots of treats and a few people even in costume. I mean really, is there anything better than seeing the VP of your department dressed as Robin Hood? I think that was the highlight of my day. I actually have a picture of the boss in the aforementioned attire, but Chad talked me out of posting it (always the sensible one), reminding me that I shouldn't mix work with blogging pleasure. He's probably right. Our VP does have a good sense of humor (obviously, if he wore a Robin Hood costume to work) and I do have a pretty small blog readership (besides my friends, who really cares what's going on in the Luce household?), so maybe I could have gotten away with it, but I guess since I love my job it's probably not worth the risk. Oh well. Instead of pictures of my boss, I'll post for you some cute pictures of our nephews, who came trick-or-treating at our house a couple of days early when they were in town visiting Chad's mom (Grams) here in Lawrence.

Miles, as Anakin Skywalker

Quinn, who was supposed to be Spiderman, but forgot his costume so he became a "Phatom Soccer Player," using Miles' clothes from his soccer game and a mask at Grams' house

While probably not as entertaining as seeing my superior costumed from head to toe, they're pretty cute munchkins none the less!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brilliant Blog

On the Blogger website there's a page called the "dashboard," where bloggers can see a snapshot of all their blogs, find help on blogging, read blogger news and updates, and edit their profile and all their blogs. On the dashboard there is also a list called Blogs of Note, where the Blogger "powers that be" list blogs that they've found interesting or noteworthy, in case other bloggers feel like browsing blogs (wow, that's a lot of blogs, bloggers and blogging). On occasion, I glance at the list, but until yesterday I hadn't seen anything that I found worthy of passing along.

The blog I did happen to see yesterday, I really think some of you may like. I think it's brilliant. I can't even count the number of times I've had conversations (probably with some of you) about this very annoying phenomenon. It drives me so batty, and I'm glad to know there are other sane people in the world who are equally as flabbergasted by this common grammatical error! Behold:

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Football Fever

Clearly, I've had football fever as of late. I think this will be my 6th post of the month that has mentioned football in some way, shape or form. Obviously, I'm a fan. If you're a fan too, or even if you're not, I think you'll like this. I'm guessing it will be all over the news tomorrow, but hopefully you'll see it here first! :)

If the video above is unavailable, you can click here to watch it on ESPN's site. Freakin' amazing. That's all I can say!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

From Boulder to College Station

Wow. For the first time in 98 years, the KU Jayhawks are 8-0--in FOOTBALL! Crazy! Although yesterday's game against A&M and last week's outing at CU were a bit more stressful down the stretch than we would have liked, as Chad always says, a win is a win is a win! Saturday's 19-11 win over the Aggies shouldn't have been nearly that close, since we dominated the time of possession and drove the ball the length of the field at will, only to miss several field goals and other opportunities. Our defense was pretty amazing, keeping A&M scoreless in the first 3 quarters and putting some massive hits on those boys from College Station. KU gave the Aggies too many chances towards the end, but they managed to hang on for the win in a very exciting second half!

Last weekend's game at Colorado had a similarly stressful ending, but overall it was a wonderful day in the foothills! After sleeping in a little and enjoying free pastries, bagels, muffins, fruit, coffee and juice on the 8th floor at Glass House (the breakfast buffet is actually inside and not exactly next to the pool, Beth:), we headed up to Boulder and parked near the beautiful downtown Pearl Street Mall. The weather and the mountain views were both wonderful! We walked, shopped and enjoy
ed the scenery for a couple of hours, and then sat down for an early lunch at a sports bar and grill called the Lazy Dog, where we watched lots of college football! The wait staff was a tad bit cold to us at first, probably because we were decked out in our KU gear, but after killing them with kindness we ended up having a great meal and great service!

We strolled around a bit more after lunch and then walked over to the CU campus, which was just a couple of miles away. The campus was very pretty, and the trees were a lot more colorful there than they were in Kansas at the time. We took a few pictures while wandering around, and then I made Chad take a whole lap around the stadium (trying to get extra training miles in) before we headed in to sit down. It was during this lap that we heard one of the funnier comments of the weekend. We came upon some fellow KU fans, and one guy gave us a friendly hello even though he was talking on the phone as we approached. As we passed, the guy says to the person on the phone, "Hey, Kenny Chesney just walked by." I'm not sure he intended for us to hear, but it was so funny, I think even Chad found it amusing!

We headed into the stadium, which at first looked like it wasn't going to be very full. The Jayhawk faithful began pouring in, and soon the visitor's section was full of KU blue. Slowly the rest of the stadium began to fill up with black and gold, and by the time the Buffs kicked off, the Colorado fans were really loud. The game started off a little slowly, and KU's offense really didn't get going until the end ofthe first quarter. We only scored a field goal in the entire first half. Thankfully, our defense played really well so the CU offense didn't get going in the first half either. They scored on the first drive of the second half, but the Jayhawks put together a great drive immediately following to score a touchdown, and then scored a field goal on the next drive to put us up 13-7. We scored another unanswered touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter, and then went for the 2-point conversion and missed. Unfortunately, CU marched right down the field and scored a touchdown with almost 4 minutes left in the game, making it 19-14. When we failed to get a first down on our next drive, we left the door open for them to score in the last minutes of the game. Thankfully, our defense played awesome down the stretch and managed to keep the Buffs from even getting the first down!

It was so much fun being there to cheer on the Jayhawks with so many other KU fans, including our friends the Campbells from Lawrence. After the game we walked back down to Pearl Street, where we ate at an incredible pizza place called BJ's Restaurant and Brewery, which had great Chicago style pie--and I don't even really like Chicago style! As we sat on the patio and ate, the weather which had been so beautiful all day suddenly took a turn for the worse: a freezing blast of cold air blew into town and the temperature dropped 20 degrees in about 2 minutes! It was crazy! We finished eating and rushed back to the car to get out of the cold, and then drove back to Denver where we crashed at our comfy little loft. It was a wonderful day with some wonderful football!

For more pictures of the game and the entire trip, check out our Picasa page!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Loft

We had such an awesome trip to Colorado last weekend, and I'm so excited to finally talk about it! One of the most wonderful things about the trip was the spectacular accommodations. Our Colorado friends Steve and Becky recently purchased, along with Steve's father, a beautiful loft apartment in the newly revitalized Riverfront Park area near downtown Denver. Even though they live in the suburbs, they love the downtown area, so they thought it would be a great investment as well as an awesome place for friends and family to stay when they were in the city. Their building is called Glass House and it's an absolutely gorgeous complex! I totally want one of these!! :) Here are just a few pictures:

The living room

A view of the kitchen from the living room

The bedroom

The view from the balcony

The pool on the 8th floor, where they also served breakfast each morning.
The view of downtown from the 8th floor deck

As you can see, it was beautiful! We were so thankful for Steve and Becky's generosity. It made the trip so relaxing we felt completely spoiled!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Last night I didn't have time for blogging because we spent most of the evening at Set'em Up Jack's. It was the night that our friend Dan offered to donated 25% of each ticket to our 3-Day team, provided the patron brought along a flier for the event. Between us and our friend Mike (who decided about 2 weeks ago to do the 3-Day in Dallas this weekend), we brought in at least 40 people to Jack's, so it was a pretty good showing! I just wanted to say thanks to all of my wonderful friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members who came: Amber & Jake, Dante, JoAnna, Brenda, Paula & Aaron, Christy & Chris, Joanie & Rory, Ann & Ben, Nate, Linda, Robyn, Faith, the Andersons and the Hilliards. Thank you all so much for your support, and a special thanks to Danny for his generosity!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Audience Participation

This post probably really belongs on my other blog, but since that one has an even smaller readership I decided to post it here as well, because I need some audience participation here. I had hoped to finish the post prior to leaving for Colorado, but in my frantic dash to make the final preparations for our trip, I didn’t get around to getting it done. Last week I was working on making a logo for our 3-Day team, despite the fact that we’ve already established that I really have no graphic design skills whatsoever. I just thought it would be fun to have something to put onto t-shirts, so that in a crowd of 4,000 walkers in a far away city, people will be able to tell that we’re a team. While none of my attempts at a logo are really that original or exciting, I’d still like some assistance from my few loyal readers to help me figure out which is the best option. So here are your choices:

#1–Pink KU Jayhawks on dark jugs

#2–Pink Jayhawks on lighter jugs

#3–Grey Jayhawk on pink jugs

So there are your choices!! Vote below for your favorite, and thanks for your input!

Best Intentions

My intention was to wake up early this morning and go out and walk 8 or so miles since we only walked around 6 miles yesterday around Boulder, even though I was scheduled for 10. We didn't set the alarm, since generally as soon as the sun comes up I'm awake, whether I like it or not. This morning, a woke up and rolled over to look at the clock, and it said 8:13, which I found rather shocking. I jumped out of bed and started getting dressed, putting on my layers since I knew it was supposed to be cold today.

When I rounded the corner from the bedroom to the main area of the loft (which is gorgeous, by the later), I realized why the sunshine didn't wake me up this morning. The normally picturesque view from the plethora of windows in the loft was completely clouded by SNOW! ACK!! There will clearly be no walking this morning, since I have no access to the health club here!

While we're enjoying a cozy morning up on the lounge level of the loft building (there's Wifi here but not in our room because of all the concrete in the building), where there's free breakfast and drinks and newspapers, we're still a little bummed about the weather. The first problem with this weather is that I'm not going to get my scheduled 8 miles in. Secondly, we did not drive the Escape, but brought the Hyundai instead!!! ACK!! When we left Thursday evening, the weather was still saying that there would be RAIN in the Denver area instead of SNOW! The Hyundai just seemed like the logical choice based on gas mileage, but we should have realized that the weathermen and women in Colorado were just as unreliable as they are in Kansas!

The third problem with this weather, of course, it that tonight we're supposed to be sitting outside, at Mile High (the football stadium) watching the Steelers and Broncos play. The snow is supposed to stop by then, but the temperature is still supposed to be in the 30s. Thankfully, we brought lots of layers of warm clothing, but I have a feeling the game isn't going to be quite as enjoyable as we had hoped!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pregame Show

So Chad and I are sitting here at Folsom Field in Boulder, waiting for the game to start. The weather is beautiful, the 'Hawks are warming up, and the KU fans are starting to pour in. Our seats aren't so hot, considering my sightline is directly behind the endzone, but hey, I'm thrilled to be here! Since I'm typing on Chad's BlackBerry, my thumbs are getting a little tired, so I'll save the rest of my commentary for a later date! GO JAYHAWKS!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Football: Past and Future

On Saturday, my brother Eric was in town visiting from LA, so he joined Chad and I at the very rainy KU/Baylor game. Our day got off to a bang when we left the house and walked to the street where Eric's rental car was parked, and about half way there we heard/felt/saw the LOUDEST lighting strike any of us had ever experienced! We saw the flash of orange/red in the sky just a fraction of a second before hearing a boom so loud we felt it throughout our bodies! It was really scary. We all expected to see one of the neighbor's houses in flames, it felt so close. Needless to say, we hurried to get in the car at that point--that is, after I screamed like a little girl!!

We stopped for a quick breakfast, where we received a phone call from a friend, telling us that the kickoff had been pushed back to 12:30. We headed back home, where we discovered that kickoff had been pushed back again to 1:15. We finally made it to the game, and thanks to our good friends Heather and Grant, we had some of the most perfect seats in the stadium! Since my brother was with us for the weekend, and Heather and Grant weren't planning to go to the game, they swapped us their 3 tickets under the press box with our two tickets that they were going to give to another couple. At the beginning of the game when everyone in the stadium was getting rained on, the three of us were perfectly dry! At the end of the first quarter, when the lightning strikes started getting close again, we were able to safely stay put while most of the fans were running for cover. It was awesome!

The weather eventually dried up a little, and the Jayhawks' 58-10 domination of the Baylor Bears continued. It was still a little blustery, but I thought it was actually good football weather. It was great hanging out with my brother and watching KU win yet again!

So that was the football of the past week, but the future football that I'm SOOOOOO excited about is the KU/CU game in Boulder and the Steelers/Broncos game in Denver this weekend! We're leaving Thursday and staying in Salina with Chad's folks that night, then driving to Colorado bright and early Friday morning. I'm so excited just to be back in Colorado--I think it's been a couple of years since we've been there. I'm such a huge fan of the mountains and can't wait to see that horizon! I also can't wait to spend a relaxing weekend away from the responsibilities of home, just hanging out with my best friend in the world and cheering on our favorite teams. I can hardly wait!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Good Food for a Good Cause

In case I forget to mention it later, and in case I don't happen to send you an email on the subject at some point, next Tuesday is an important night you should mark on your calendar. On Tuesday the 23rd, we're having the second annual Breast Cancer 3-Day benefit night at our favorite restaurant, Set'em Up Jack's. Our friend Dan who owns Jack's has offered to donate 25% of each food and drink bill during the evening to the 3-Day, provided the patrons bring in this flier and give it to their server.

So, if you're looking for a good excuse to not cook dinner next Tuesday, come to Jack's for a great meal that will help a good cause. It should be tons of fun! We hope to see everyone there!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Supermen and Squirrels

One of the things I meant to blog about last week was the previous weekend's work frenzy by my husband and father. In one afternoon, Chad, my dad and Dante put up all the siding on a whole section on the front of our house. I was pretty impressed by their progress!

While the boys were working hard at home, I was where I usually am on a Saturday afternoon--taking pictures of dogs at the humane society. While following my little canine friends around the yard with the camera, I captured another little critter's antics that cracked me up. I'd never seen a squirrel do this before!

In case you can't tell, he was hanging upside down with no hands. It was almost like he was very interested in what we were up to and was just trying to get a look at us. It was so cute I had to take a picture. Later in the afternoon, I caught a few more pictures of a squirrel in the same tree, and I just assumed it was the same squirrel because he seemed to be watching me again!

He was such a cute little guy, but the fact that he was almost social should have probably been cause for alarm, not taking more pictures! For all I know he was rabid and waiting to take a bite out of me! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Goodbye Baby, Hello Brother

We said goodbye to our little baby Fresco today. We're going to miss him so much! We took a few family pictures before we went to the shelter to meet his new family. I just hope they end up loving him as much as we do!

Just over an hour after Fresco left for his new home, we welcomed my brother Eric to Kansas for a weekend visit. I'm always happy to have him here, but it's even nicer to have him here this weekend to help me forget about missing Fresco!

Yea Brother! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sore and Sunburned

This post seems completely untimely now, but the picture is still a little funny so I thought I'd share it anyway. Last Friday, in preparation for the new siding project that Chad and Dad started over the weekend, we moved a bunch of perennial flowers from one garden to another, so that they wouldn't get trampled during the job. Chad had expanded the main garden over the summer to make room for these transferred flowers, and we also pulled up some stuff that we really didn't like in the first place. In all this moving, I decided to dig up my daffodil bulbs and replant them in the newly extended garden. I knew that daffodils divided, but I had no idea how much! I had planted about 8 bulbs about 8 years ago. When I dug them up, I had at least 80 bulbs. It was crazy!

Of course I didn't have room to plant all of the bulbs even with the expanded garden, so I gave some away and started planting as many as I had room for. Unfortunately, the soil I was trying to bury them in had never been turned over, since it was previously part of the lawn. Everything underneath the one inch of topsoil was solid clay, sometimes as hard as a rock! I had to dig about 8 inches deep, then loosen up the bottom layer and mix in some peat moss to make it usable soil. I dug a trench along about half of the front border of the garden, working and enriching the soil as much as I could so that the bulbs could actually grow there. It was an exhausting job, and by the end of the day my back ached something fierce. The next day, my legs were super sore from squatting and my hands and wrists were sore from digging with the hand trowel. The most obvious painful side effect from my day of gardening, however, was this:

You'd think that at my age I would have learned to put on sunscreen, but seriously, who gets a sunburn like this in October? I know it was a very warm day, but aren't the sun's rays supposed to be less potent when fall gets here? What's up with that?!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Happy and Sad All at the Same Time

Today we got the wonderful news that one of the potential families for Fresco with whom we met over the weekend has been approved to adopt him! We're so happy, yet so sad at the same time! We feel great about the family, who has a big yellow lab named Riley who seemed to enjoy his wrestling match with Fresco during their visit. They also have two very active young boys with whom Fresco enjoyed galloping around the yard. He will be an inside member of the family, but they have tall fenced backyard so that Fresco will stay safely on their property when he goes out! I really think it's the perfect situation for him!

With that said, Chad and I are still very sad to see him go. He is such a loving and goofy guy who has brought such joy to our lives in so many ways. Although it will be nice to get back to being a two dog household, we'll still miss him so much. Thankfully, I think we'll have a better chance of getting regular updates because his new "mom" Kelly is an acquaintance of ours from high school. Better yet, Kelly recently started her own photography business, so there shouldn't be any shortage of pictures of Fresco with his new family!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hero of a Houseguest

On Thursday evening, we welcomed a special houseguest to our home--my dad Merl is here for a visit! A few months ago my dad called and asked us to think up a big home improvement project so that he could come help us with it. I assured my father that we'd love to have him come visit, but that he should come here to enjoy himself rather than to work. He insisted that he wanted to come help out with something sometime in October, since he was going to be in Kansas anyway for a college reunion and Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg.

To people who don't know him, it might seem a little odd that Dad would want to go on vacation just to do work. However, maybe if you know another restless retiree, you wouldn't think it that strange for my dad to want to be busy doing something productive during his retirement. Here's what makes my dad unique and slightly obsessive: my dad is coming to work at our house to get a break from his regular volunteer job. He normally spends 40-50 hours a week doing manual labor and supervising construction for Habitat for Humanity. Let me say that again: Dad volunteers 40+ hours a week. Now that's crazy...even for a work-a-holic!

Dad's craziness is definitely our gain. He's already put in hours of labor at our house, and most importantly, he's been loads of fun to hang out with! :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Joyous Jayhawks

There are so many things that went on over the weekend that I want to blog about (future posts: soreness and sunburn, supermen and squirrels), but definitely the most exciting was the KU/K-State game on Saturday! How about those 5-0 Jayhawks!!!!

I wasn't really worried about this game until the Wildcats beat Texas last Saturday, and after that I was super nervous all week! I honestly wasn't sure what would happen when we played a decent opponent since all of our pre-season games were blowouts. We started a little shaky with an interception on the first play of the game, but the 'Hawks hung in during the first half despite several mistakes along the way, and managed to tie up score by halftime.

Our running game really got going in the second half, and our defense stepped up and made several great plays, like the interception pictured at left. Just moments before this happened, they'd shown number 81 (Russell Brorsen) on the screen because he was the scholar of the week or something, because he's a chemistry major with a 3.96 GPA. What a great day for him to have a great game!

It was such an exciting game because it was so close throughout, and my heart was absolutely pounding the last 30 minutes. I was such a stress case it took me at least an hour to get my heart rate back to normal! The stress was all worth it though, since the outcome was a dream come true--our first win in Manhattan since 1989!! That was my junior year of high school! Amazing!

The greatest thing about this important win is that for the first time in more than 10 years the Jayhawks are ranked in the top 25 in both the AP and coaches poll! It's so exciting! I can't wait until next week's game--especially since my brother will be here to go to the game with us!

For more on the game and more pictures, check out the Lawrence Journal-World, where I found this classic photo. I must admit it's a tad bit obnoxious, but I just couldn't resist posting it because it made me laugh so hard! :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Let's Put a Little Light on the Subject

The title of this post kind of makes me laugh--it's something that my mom used to say when I was a kid. I'm not even sure what it was in reference to, but it seems like she used it frequently--probably in response to the many times she turned on a light for me while I sat reading in a poorly lit space. That's really besides the point though--this post really has nothing to do with phrases uttered by my mother.

It does, however, have to do with light--specifically the new light fixture Chad put up this week in our foyer! In the last couple of years we've been on the lookout for a entryway fixture that we really liked, but we just never saw anything that fit our tastes and the decor of our house. Granted, we shop at places like Lowe's and Home Depot, so the selection was not as good as if we'd gone to an actual lighting store, but all we found were ridiculously ornate chandeliers similar to this that just did not appeal to us at all. We have such simple tastes, and we could never seem to find anything that was quite simple enough for us!

So last weekend we went to Home Depot to pick up some new fence posts, and while Chad was in the lumber section I wandered into the lighting aisle, since we're also in the market for some new ceiling fans. That's when I saw this fixture that was perfect for our entryway!

I wish I could explain to you how awful the previous light was. I could kick myself for not remembering to take a "before" picture. It was a little bit like this brass and glass beauty, but without the pointed top and bottom and without as many lights. Just looking at it made me throw up in my mouth a little. Okay, just kidding, but I am super glad that it's gone! :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you're reading this right now, you probably know me well enough to have received my mass email the other night about Fresco. If you clicked on any of the links I provided, you probably noticed that in addition to my videos of Fresco on our Picasa page, Fresco now has his own video on his Petfinder ad! Pretty cool, huh? It's a new feature that Petfinder just added this week, and now everyone who clicks his link will get to check out our adorable little goofball in action. I'm looking forward to capturing some video clips of the shelter residents as well, and my goal is to get at least one of them filmed each week, starting with those who've been there the longest. I really think this is going to help those harder to place dogs find forever families, because video captures their personalities so much better.

While I can barely edit my video to make them presentable, another nearby shelter has gone to great lengths to create awesome professional-looking videos of their dogs. I can't even imagine the time/resources this took--they are so great. You have to check these videos out! They will definitely bring a smile to your face.

My video clips will certainly pale in comparison, but I think some video is better than no video! Oh, and in case you're wondering, the mass email about Fresco the other night did some good! We have two appointments with potential families for him on Friday! :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Calling My Fellow Fans of San Diego

In just over a month, my friend Vikkie and I will be traveling to the beautiful city of San Diego for our 3-Day adventure. I can't believe our big event is coming up so quickly! Despite the fact that we walked 17 miles together over the weekend and therefore spent more than 4 hours talking, we entirely forgot to talk about our travel plans for next month! We have our flights booked already, but there are huge decisions to be made regarding transportation, lodging and what we want to see and do while we're vacationing in the days after the 3-Day!

So I need help. Although I visited San Diego a couple of times many years ago, I know a few people who've been there a whole lot more than I have, and a few more who've actually lived there (Eric, Erika, Matt--I'm talking to you guys!). What attractions/sites in the city are definite must dos? Are there touristy things we really need to avoid? Will we want to hang out on the beach at all in early November? Would we be able to navigate the city and suburbs using public transportation alone? If we get a rental car instead, will we pay out the nose for parking? There are so many questions I just don't know the answer to! I've looked over some travel related websites, but there's just so much information I'm not sure where to begin or what to believe!

One of the logistical problems of our trip is that our walk begins in Del Mar, which is actually about 20 miles north of the city. Plus, since we have to be there between 5:30 and 6 in the morning, that might eliminate some of our public transportation options--I'm not sure. However, getting a rental car would mean that we would have to pay to park it for the 3 days we are walking--not to mention pay to rent it when we're not really using it! So many dilemmas--I need help and recommendations! If anyone out there is knowledgeable about the San Diego area, I would greatly appreciate your input!! :)