Friday, October 28, 2011

Back Home

I go through a camera a year.

My husband swears that I'm careless with them, but I think it's because the el crapo cams are made in China.

So before I headed home on my most recent visit to Kansas, I had to get a new camera. Because of course in the two weeks since my last visit I managed to ruin mine.

I gave up on the sorta cheap $300 cameras.

I've given up on the fairly cheap $200 cameras.

And this time I made the mistake of buying a $100 camera.

It ate most of my pictures.

They disappeared into thin air when I was uploading them.

But somehow, about 50 extra pictures showed up. And they all looked a lot like this:

Apparently my friend's little toddler son can operate the stupid thing better than I can.

But I was able to salvage a few pics from my trip home. And thanks to my continued Instagram obsession, my phone had a plethora of pictures.

Like this one.

Forget the "Welcome to Kansas" signs leaving the airport.

All I need to see is a sign that says "Drive it like you stole it" to know I'm back in the Midwest.

Gotta love the 75 mph speed limit. It's more of a suggestion really. You can push the limits to near 90 in my experience.

People drive at a snail's pace back here in the East.

There was a big Swedish festival in my hometown while I was there.

My best friend and her dad road in the parade.

He is the mayor of a town of 641 people -- making him pretty famous around those parts.

I spotted this guy across the street from me during the parade.

Who in their right mind would sport a half blue, half yellow mohawk ... complete with hot pink goatee?

Oh hey Pastor Ethan, what's up?

That'll teach him to challenge the youth group to a bet again.

Thankfully he cut his hair and rinsed out the dye for my grandmother's funeral a couple days later.

Later that night after the parade, I went by the liquor store to pick up a case of Boone's Farm.

Because that's what you do when you're going to your 10 year high school reunion.

You act like you're in high school.

Which, by the way, the reunion was AWESOME thanks to Sarah at Elegant Occasions by Sarah.

I am so mad I lost all of my other reunion pictures because she did such an amazing job. Girlfriend hooked us up.

If you live in Kansas and need help planning a big event -- call Sarah. She thinks of every last detail, down to interviewing potential babysitters for party-going parents and putting together a little resume for each one. She is simple amazing!

I was able to salvage a class photo.

It was so fun seeing old friends -- many of which I hadn't seen since graduation.

That's the downfall of leaving town and never looking back.

During the next couple of days, I got to spend some much needed time with my best friend and her daughter, Sophia. They were visiting from Las Vegas.

Just for the record, Sophia is the coolest 4 year old on the planet.

It was her idea for me to chill in the backseat with her and make her mom chauffeur us around town.

Cruising in the PT Loser. I mean PT Cruiser.

Sucks when you are in from out of town and you get stuck driving whatever vehicle your parents leave around for you.

At least you didn't have to drive the Smart Car, Eva. You would have had to strap me to the top.

Sophia had all kinds of fun activities planned for us.

We went to Dollar General.

Because that's what cool 4 year olds do.

We went downtown and ate at the Sugar Shack.

With a name like that, what preschooler could pass it up?

And we hit up the park.

Where Miss Social Butterfly made friends with strangers in minutes.

I swear I didn't beat the child, she managed to bruise up her legs all on her own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Anniversary

As we celebrate my grandmother's life this week, I am also celebrating my third wedding anniversary.

This poor man has put up with me for seven years, and actually had to live with me for the past three.

This is no easy feat, people. I'm kind of a space hog.

On our first anniversary, we had a big party. But the following day (on our actual anniversary) we hung out on the couch, eating pizza and watching football with Cousin Eddie.

On our second anniversary, I made a feast of a meal. Only to have him work late on the farm. We ended up splitting our dinner for two between ourselves, our farm manager and another worker in the shop that night.

And now on our third anniversary, he is on the farm plowing and I am at home in Kansas. Too busy to talk, we texted each other happy anniversary.

So yes, you could say romance is alive and well in our marriage.

But somehow I manage to love him more and more every day.

I never did understand married people when they would say they love their spouse more with each passing year.

I get it now.

Without him, I am nothing.

Without me, he's probably having the time of his life with the house and farm all to himself right now.

And just for that, I'm going to post this picture that he hates.

Sorry honey, I know you think you look bald in it, but it's a decent one of me.

And for the record, I tried to find an editing tool online to add in some hair. But was unsuccessful.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye

She was the farm wife extraordinaire.

Putting everyone before herself.

I could only hope to be the kind of wife and mother she was.

On Friday, after twenty years since their last meeting, she finally went home to her farmer.

It was just one day after what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary.

She's from a generation that will never be matched.

Humble servants of the Lord.

A generation that put family first. And believed in doing what was right, not what was easy.

She was so thoughtful.

And such a wonderful grandmother.

I will forever treasure the memories we made.

Goodbye Grandma.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am headed home to Kansas for the third time in recent months.

This time for my high school class reunion.


As in, yikes, so much for that bangin' hot body I planned on achieving for this momentous occasion.

As in, yikes, I hope everyone doesn't think I turned out to be a giant loser.

As in, yikes, I'm going to have to field a thousand questions about why I don't have kids yet.

Because apparently that is a requirement for a woman at my age.

Good thing this thing is going to have alcohol at it.

(Pretend you didn't read that Grandma.)

But before I head home again, I still needed to dump off all of the pictures I took on my phone and camera from my last visit a couple weeks ago.

So here goes.

By the way, sorry for the Instagram insanity. It wreaks of I just got my first iPhone.

I caught a college football game while I was home last month.

Well, it was more of a slaughter than it was a game.

In our favor.

Hung out at the bar with old friends, like my man B.

Watched my sister-in-law school my brother in a game of pool.

That was embarassing.

Don't let the sweet little demeanor fool you.

She's a little pool hustler, you gotta watch out.

That's when a random little dog came in the bar off the street.

I planned on stealing him. But he had tags.

And only in a dinky little town can someone look at the phone number on the tags and recall exactly whose number that is. 

We celebrated my Grandmother's 80th birthday, where I gave her this sunflower apron.

She loves all things sunflower and Kansas.

On Sunday after church, my cousin's little boys invited us over to check out their new fort.

And don't you dare make the mistake of calling it a playhouse.

You will be corrected.

Kelton gave us the grand tour.

He was pretty proud.

As he should be.

This thing was amazing.

Little Marcus showed us how his rock climbing wall works.

But he wasn't about to go off the zipline.

So big brother Kelton showed us how it's done.

A perfect landing on the big round bales waiting at the end.

Then my big brother had to try it out.

We looked a little ridiculous in our church clothes. But it's not like there are neighbors out there in No-Man's-Land Kansas. No one was watching.

He glided down with perfect ease.

As did the boys' mom, my cousin, Kristi.

She can rock a pair of stilletos on a farm like it's her job.

Even my sister-in-law braved the zipline.

A little nervous at first...

..but she came in for a textbook landing.

Where she got help off of the bale from Mr. Newlywed Husband.

Give it a few years Shannon, those kind of gestures stop.


Alright people, look out.

I'll show you how it's done.

I'm practically a professional at this kind of stuff.

Watch me glide it in and land with complete poise.


Maybe not.

As usual, I'm the idiot of the crowd.