Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I think everyone in Jayhawk country and beyond has probably seen this by now, but it's just too funny not to share! Happy Halloween, everyone!

My brother was convinced this baby must actually be part of the Mangino family because he has the Mangino neck (or lack thereof). My take is that any fat baby with a moustache is probably going to look like our coach.

Do you think when this baby's parents sent this picture out to their friends and family they knew it would be passed all over the Internets every Halloween for the next 20 years?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote--Or Else!

You've probably already seen this by now, but I wanted to post here anyway because I think it's hilarious. Plus I'm too tired for real blogging tonight. Hopefully it will be funny regardless of who is getting your vote on Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Goodbye, Dear Sweatshirt

Tonight I have have to say goodbye to one of my favorite articles of clothing, which met its demise earlier this evening. Chad will attest to the fact that I was completely devastated. When we returned from our evening walk and I attempted to take off my wonderfully warm and versatile fleece jacket, the zipper broke. Not only did it break, but it became so immobile that I couldn't get the darned jacket off. There were a few minutes of near panic while I was attempting to pull the jacket over my head through a hole that was entirely too small, but I managed to escape unharmed when my husband used his herculean strength to get me unstuck. Unfortunately, the zipper broke into so many pieces it is completely beyond repair.

I loved this sweatshirt for its warmth and comfort, but also because it was reversible--it was like having two favorite sweatshirts! I will miss them both!

To honor the memory of my lovely sweatshirt, I thought I'd share a few pictures of our life together over the last few years.

From 2007-06-09-Relay for Life

From 2007-11-15-San Diego

From 2008-01-06--Florida

From 2008-01-06--Florida

From 2008-04-08-NCAA CHAMPS

From 2008-06-05-California

From 2008-06-07-California2

Goodbye, dear sweatshirt! You will be missed!

Monday, October 27, 2008

KU Highlights

Saturday's homecoming game here at KU left a little to be desired, to say the least. In case you missed it, we got stomped. Badly. There were a couple of highlights though.

The balloon Jayhawk at Tim and Trish's tailgate

The flyover of military jets before the game.

That was pretty much it. That was the point at which I stopped taking pictures.

We had been so upset when our friend's wedding was scheduled on the same day as homecoming, and then so relieved when the game was scheduled early enough that we could go and not miss the wedding. After the game started going downhill, we actually became thankful that the wedding was scheduled on homecoming--it gave us a good excuse to leave early and escape the pain of the terrible beating!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Small Town Wedding

On Saturday afternoon we went to a wedding in the small town of Valley Falls, with a reception following in the even smaller town of Meriden. The bride was the daughter of our friends Steve and Beth (Steve was Chad's boss at the Wildlife & Parks Department), and we just love the whole family dearly. Steve and Beth moved back home to Pennsylvania about 5 years ago, and we don't get to see them very often, so it was wonderful to see them and be there for Heidi's wedding.

It was a lovely ceremony and the flowers and dresses were beautiful. We had to laugh though, because only at a small town wedding do you see guests wearing this:

I guess because the camouflage was just on the sleeves that made it wedding attire?

Steve and his son Matt are avid hunters, so our friend Dick apparently felt it appropriate to wear these pants, which I'm pretty sure you would only see at a small town wedding:

Yes, those are tiny pheasants all over his pants.

The reception was in a large (and thankfully heated) storage building out at the groom's house, and the food was terrific. There were lots of drinks to choose from, but only at a small town wedding do you ask for a glass of red wine and get this:

Uh, yeah. That is red wine, and it's poured over a full glass of ice, and it's at least 12 ounces worth. Needless to say, we fished the ice out of the glass before I actually started drinking. I wasn't able to finish the wine over the course of the next 3 hours because there was so much of it!

So those are some things that you probably don't usually see at weddings, but we also heard some unusual things at the celebration as well. When our friend Dick accidentally spilled his drink onto his wife's sweater, an older gentleman (I use that term loosely) actually shouted out "wet booby!" Seriously. Wow. Only at a small town wedding!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Show In Pictures

It's crazy that it's been like 5 days since the big concert and I have yet to talk about it. I've been rather consumed with 3-Day stuff lately, so this blog has been neglected a bit. Unfortunately, I think my play-by-play and analysis is going to have to wait another night, since right now I'm too darn tired to form a coherent sentence. This evening I went with some friends to the Gabriel Iglesias show at the Lied Center, which was fairly entertaining but pretty much took up the entire evening. I guess blogging about THE show will just have to wait another night (or two).

In the meantime, I'll share the pictures I took last Thursday, despite the fact that they aren't really very good pictures at all. I of course didn't take my good camera, and when the Granada staff reprimanded someone for taking flash photos, I had to quickly learn how to use my Pentax on manual! The lighting was so bad it was really difficult to get good pictures, but there are maybe a couple that are worthwhile! Enjoy the slideshow of the show!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Good Excuse To Go Out

This weekend has pretty much been consumed with 3-Day related activities. Mom and I walked 18 miles yesterday and 15 miles today (yea, Mom!), so there wasn't much time for anything else. Tonight I didn't have any time for real blogging because I was busy sending out an email about an upcoming 3-Day event this week, which you probably already got if you live in the Lawrence/KC/Topeka area! On Thursday, our friend Dan is supporting our 3-Day team by hosting the 3rd annual 3-Day fundraiser at his restaurant, Set'em Up Jack's. Dan will donate 25% of every bill to our 3-Day team between the hours of 5-9 p.m., as long as you bring a copy of this flier to give to your server when you pay for your meal. It's a great way to support our cause just by eating out--and a great excuse not to cook dinner! :)

We'd love to have as many people as possible pack Jack's, because although I finished my fundraising officially last week (hooray!), my mom and brother still have about $1200 left to raise--each!! Come eat lots of food and bring all your friends and coworkers! :)

Not only would we love your support of our team, but we'd also love to see the smiling faces of all our wonderful friends! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I woke up this morning and thought
"Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's Old 97's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Did I mention I was excited about tonight? In honor of the concert, here's the video for one of the songs off their newest album. I'd never seen it before today. So funny!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take On Me--Literally

I've had kind of a rough week, so this morning when I came across this video, it was a laugh I really needed. Maybe I found it especially funny since I loved this video and song so much as a teenager. Even if you've never heard the song before I think it's flippin' hilarious. Check out the literal version of Take On Me.

When they start up with all the pipe wrench stuff it absolutely killed me. Maybe I'm just weird that way!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A few weeks ago my good friend Amber shared a blog with me that is right up my alley. It's the blog of a dog photographer in the Seattle area who takes amazing pictures of puppies. Her name is Erin Vey and she also happens to be the sister of Amber's brother-in-law!! They're practically related (much like my coworker's daughter Neha is now famous)!

The other day on Erin Vey's blog she shared a story which had been entered into a contest she's currently having for a free photo session anywhere in the country. This story brought me to tears. It was so incredibly sad, incredibly touching, incredibly moving--just incredible. Even though I already shared it on one of my other blogs, I couldn't resist sharing it here as well. I highly recommend you read it.

The author said it so well:
" never forget that selfless complete love that a wonderful dog gives you back. I guess only a dog lover could understand how deeply a dog can impact, enhance and shape your heart and your life… Like Buddy did for us."
Those dogs like Buddy--those shelter mutts with no pedigree or papers but with hearts of gold--they are the reason I've spent over 3,000 hours volunteering at our animal shelter during the last 10 years. Every dog at the shelter has that potential--the potential to be a live-saving, love-giving, heart-filling Buddy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Famous Friends

Okay, so this might be a stretch, especially since my brother has been on TV on multiple occasions, but today I kind of felt like I knew someone famous. My coworker Kiran emailed me this video featured on, which was actually a “news” special from Nickelodeon, and his daughter Neha was featured in the piece! It was so cool! She got to pose a question to both presidential candidates—unfortunately not in person. I thought it was still pretty neat though!

I think she made Senator McCain a little nervous by the very important and thought provoking question, don't you?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Softball Season Finale

Well I'm only a week late in blogging about this, but last Sunday we got together with our softball friends (I can no longer call them our softball team since I didn't actually play on the team this year) and enjoyed an end of year picnic/BBQ/party. It was also our friend Faith's birthday, so we had two good reasons to celebrate! Our friends Matt and Adrianne opened their beautiful backyard for the fun and games, Chad fired up the grill, and everyone brought tons of food. The weather was absolutely perfect!

Since I can no longer play softball I've designated myself as the official team photographer. As usual, I went a little crazy with the camera!

As you can see, it was a beautiful day, we had a great time, and I had a terrific time taking pictures!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lake Shawnee

A few weeks ago my mom and I went for our long weekend training walk around Lake Shawnee. I immediately fell in love with the botanical garden area and vowed that next time we went to walk there I would bring my good camera. After our 15 mile walk (twice around the lake) late last month I grabbed the camera from my car and spent what seemed like an hour taking pictures of the flowers and beautiful scenery there. It was partially a photo session for me to practice shooting with the camera on manual, and partially a photo session to show how pretty the area is! Hopefully you can see the beauty despite my questionable photography skills!

For anyone who cares about photography, the first section of pictures were taken with my point-and-shoot camera while Mom and I were walking. The bigger ones were obviously taken with my SLR, and I did have to adjust quite a few of them in Photoshop because I discovered in my practice photo session that I definitely tend to over-expose my pictures while shooting on manual! I have lots to work on!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Heartache and Happiness

Wow...what an exhausting day. It's amazing to me that having an especially emotional day always seems to drain me so much physically. Today was the funeral of my Uncle Tracy, my mom's older brother, who passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. His death didn't really hit me until today.

I have so many memories of my uncle from my childhood--tons of family dinners, holiday gatherings, a few float trips down the river, and hours of listening to him sing and play guitar. Sadly though, I don't have a lot of memories of him from my adult life. The last time I actually saw him was when this picture was taken, which was two years ago when my mom was in the midst of her chemotherapy. It makes me so sad that I hadn't made an effort to see him more recently.

It was such a sad day in so many ways, but it was also so wonderful to see so many extended family members that I haven't seen in years. I was so happy to see my dear cousins that I grew up playing with, and yet it was heartbreaking to see them mourn the loss of their father. Sharing my mom's sorrow as she buried her second and last brother was so painful, and yet getting to see my mom's older sister and my cousin who live in Houston brought such great joy. It was a day filled with tremendous heartache but also happiness.

The service was really quite nice. Some of my uncle's former band mates played music that my uncle would have loved and played himself. There were tons of flowers and the church was packed--Tracy was definitely loved by many. After the burial at the beautiful Chapman cemetery, which is right across from the golf course, our family gathered at the clubhouse for a meal provided by the women of the church. In traditional church potluck fashion, there were some...shall we say...interesting items served. We had to laugh, because it truly looked like people had cleaned out their fridge and thrown together some sort of salad while doing so. I couldn't resist taking some pictures.

This was the most bizarre "salad" I'd ever seen--fettucini with apples, pineapple, and cherries. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I tried it only because I was so crazily curious. It tasted as bizarre as it sounds.

This was some sort of potato salad, but it had eggs and some sort of cream cheese mixture on top that was sprinkled with pepper. I didn't have room for it on my plate but I tasted Chad's, and it actually wasn't horrible.

I actually didn't bring the camera along to take pictures of bizarre food items--the intention was to get some pictures of my extended family. I'm so glad I did, since you never know when we might all get together again. Hopefully next time it will be under strictly happy circumstances.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

When Your Hut Is On Fire

A friend of mine sent this to me via email recently, and I thought it was worth passing along. As many of my friends deal with major life challenges right now, and as my family deals with the death of my Uncle Tracy, it's a good time to be reminded that there is often a greater purpose to life's obstacles. It's not a true story, I realize, but I think it's a good analogy regardless.

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?' Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Over the weekend I was so thankful to be able to spend a few hours with my good friend Erin, who was visiting Kansas City for a few days from her home in Mississippi. I've probably talked about Erin enough on my blog that you feel like you already know her, but I don't think I've mentioned that our families lived within a few hundred yards of each other growing up. The strange thing is that even though I could see Erin's house from mine, I didn't even meet her until 7th grade when we started going to the same junior high. It seems kind of odd that we really didn't become good friends until high school considering we lived so darn close to each other!

Speaking of high school, I think that 90% of my good memories from those years probably involve Erin in some way. We had so much fun together--it makes me sad that now we can only see each other every few years. As we chatted on Saturday, we couldn't even remember for sure the last time we were together! How sad is that?

I made sure Erin's sister took a picture of us this time so we would remember our short visit! Don't you think we look exactly the same as we did back then?? Minus the hair, of course! :)

Okay, maybe Erin hasn't aged a day, but I certainly have!

I miss you, Paiger! Thanks for hanging out with me on Saturday!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Star Sighting

One evening last week Chad and I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so we ran over to Jersey Mike's to get a sandwich. We've kind of become big fans of this place recently because not only do they have really good sandwiches, but they also have a buy one get one free coupon that always appears in a local paper, so it's a really cheap meal. Anyway, that's really besides the point. The point is, while we were eating, Rod Stewart walked into the restaurant. By Rod Stewart I don't mean Rod Stewart, I mean OUR Rod Stewart--as in Rodrick.

I love living in Lawrence and getting to see the players I love around town on occasion. No matter how many times it happens, I'm always starstruck. I remember my freshman year of college when my brother and I were playing tennis on campus and Adonis Jordan walked by and I practically flipped out. My first basketball star sighting was almost 18 years ago and yet it still makes me giddy with excitement!

I can't imagine what it's like for KU basketball players to be recognized and revered everywhere they go in town. When Rodrick walked into Jersey Mike's every head turned in his direction. Chad naturally said hi and waved, since we obviously feel like we know Rodrick, and graciously he said hello back. I'm sure he's used to complete strangers saying hi all the time. The staff helping Rodrick kept it together as they took his order, but as soon as he walked out with his sandwich they began giggling like lovestruck schoolgirls (even though one was a guy) and other people in the restaurant began pointing and talking about him. We were all trying to get a glimpse at his knee, which didn't appear to be braced or bangaged, which was good to see after poor Rod had such a devastating fractured kneecap in practice during the NCAA tournament. Thankfully, he didn't seem to be limping or anything--hopefully he still has those amazing ups!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Conference Play Begins NOW

Yesterday at work I received an email from the KU Athletics Department with a link to this video. The link didn't work--it took me a to a page with a black box that played nothing. When I clicked on the "share video" button, I found a different URL that took me directly to the video itself. After being lulled into a relaxed state from staring the blank black box, when the video finally started, the dramatic music made me jump out of my freakin' chair. I still liked it. :)


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pawsible Dream 2008

Last weekend Chad and I attended the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Lawrence Humane Society, the 14th annual Pawsible Dream Benefit Auction. We pretty much go to the auction every year as long as we're in town, and it's always a lot of fun (although this year I missed my friends JoAnna and Brenda!). Most of the time I usually bid like a crazy person on the less expensive but still fun silent auction items, but after I won a bunch of things last year that I have yet to use, Chad made me promise to be a little more responsible about bidding--as in I could only bid on stuff that I would actually put to use. This time I only bid on 10 or so items, and I came away with only one: a black hand-knit scarf made by none other than our former mayor. She donates bunches of lovely scarves for the auction every year and this year I finally got one!

Normally we're not actually active participants in the live auction portion of the evening, but this year there was so much really cool Jayhawk memorabilia from the Orange Bowl and National Championship that we actually bid on quite a few big ticket items. One of them was this huge digital collage of basketball pictures that was like 6 feet by 4 feet. Since our basement is decorated with a KU theme, it would have been perfect for our house. We started bidding, got into a war with one other bidder, and when we had the high bid the auctioneer egged and egged the other people to keep going up--which they finally did after much prodding. Chad and I gave in, and only after that did Chad realize the collage wasn't of the 2007-2008 championship team--it was the year before! I had kind of realized that right as we started bidding, but still thought the collage would be neat. Chad, on the other hand, would have never bid that high had he known it wasn't from our winning year!! When we lost and he realized it was the wrong year he about had a heart attack knowing that we came about $50 from getting it! I think it was a definite blessing that we lost!!

I also bid on a framed cover of Sports Illustrated, with a picture of Mario's miracle shot, signed by Mario himself! I had taken Chad home and come back to bid on it without him, hoping that I could get it for a Christmas present. When the bidding went up to $175 over the listed value, I decided to bow out. I was bummed! I guess at least my bidding wars upped the total dollars for the shelter a little!

Speaking of total dollars, I don't even know how much money the event raised this year. I was at the shelter on Sunday and Tuesday, but I never even thought to ask. Strangely, the newspaper doesn't seem to have run a story on it either (besides the one before the event), which I think they usually do. The auction usually raises around $30,000, but it really felt like this year people were much more reserved in their bidding. Understandably so, since the economy is totally in the tank!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


While were on the subject of politics, my friend Amanda sent out some good information today about how to check and make sure you are registered to vote in the upcoming election. There is a Google Maps page that you can put your address into, and then it provides you with links to pages where you can check if you're registered, find your polling place, and find out how to get registered if you're not. It's pretty handy! Oh, and just a tip--I couldn't find myself in the voter registration search until I took out my middle initial!

If you don't know who you should vote for, you can check out one of the many president picking polls available on the Internets to give you a good idea of which candidate represents your views!

The Lady Is A Sham

Okay, I know it's not especially difficult to make fun of Sarah Palin--at this point the material is writing itself. Still, I thought this video I came across this morning was funny and rather clever:

This video which I saw on GMA this morning, however, I found downright frightening:

Really. Really Sarah Palin? You REALLY couldn't think of the name of ONE newspaper that you read regularly? Really? I can hear Seth and Amy now. Really.