Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

National Championship Banner!!!

Ryan and I went to the KU game last Tuesday for the unveiling of the 2008 National Championship Banner. The video was amazing. I'm still trying to find it on YouTube because I didn't get the whole thing. Nothing gets me more ramped up than loud music, clips of your team winning the National Championship and 10,000 screaming fans. Seriously...I get chills watching stuff like that. Here are the still photos I took (and finally, a YouTube video that loaded correctly!):

This isn't my video, but it's the best one I could find. If you search YouTube for "KU National Championship Banner" it will bring up a couple of options. Some close up, some far away, some super-shakey, some really loud, some not loud enough...I've been watching them all morning. I even cried a little. CHILLS, I tell you! CHILLS!!!! (or is that my drafty office?)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Nelson-Atkins Museum

I can't believe how behind I am on this's almost like my life has been really busy, except that it hasn't and I don't have any excuses.

My group staff went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum last Friday where we had lunch at Rozelle Court, toured the contemporary art exhibit, saw the new Bloch Building (which is gorgeous) and had a guided tour of a new exhibit (only showing in two cities) called "Art in the Age of Steam". It's about trains and the way they changed our world...kind of like the internet - everybody was suddenly connected. The exhibit had four galleries. The first focused on architecture and the conscious decision to design bridges and train tunnels to mimic classic architecture (so they would blend in). The second was about the social impact of trains and train stations - first class passengers interacting with third class passengers; families saying good-bye in public train stations, never to see their loved ones again). The third gallery was about the landscape and the way farms, mountain ranges, and cities began to change - trains connected cities but also split them in half. The fourth gallery was a mixture of photography, modern art and surrealism around trains and tunnels. A lot of abstract art and sexual references. The exhibit was really cool, but I wasn't allowed to take any pictures.

Here are the pictures I did take:

Sunday, November 9

Not the way I'd typically start a family brunch, but Ryan and I went in for an IUI this morning. It just happened to fall on the same weekend as his birthday celebration, so most of our family and friends knew we were going in. We got up at 7:30 and we were back before anybody was really awake. It went really well. We'll find out on Nov. 24th if it worked.

Bev, Wayne, Stu and Roady all stayed the weekend at our house. It was so much fun. Like a whole weekend of Christmas mornings. At 9:30, my mom came over with an arsenal of egg casseroles, coffee, banana bread and sticky buns. It was awesome. We invited my whole family and Ryan's whole family, plus a bunch of Ryan's friends. It was a good way to spend some more time together before I had to take everybody to the airport. Shannon took pictures (which I should mention, she took ALL of the pictures of Saturday night's party as well. It's awesome because she takes awesome pictures, but it sucks because she's never in them. But I swear she was there! Both times!) and the entire family played Wii. It was great. We even convinced Papa to do some bowling! It was like a Wii commercial...every generation was playing the same game.

At 3:30, I drove Stu and Ryan's parents to the airport so Ryan could stay home and play Mario Kart with his buddies. (technically, it was still Ryan's birthday weekend so Ryan was getting whatever Ryan wanted - besides, the Prius wouldn't hold all 5 of us, plus luggage.) I nearly fell asleep on the way home. I had lost my voice and I was hitting a wall. I could tell I was going to crash the minute I got home. I fell asleep in a chair while the guys played Mario Kart and watched the Chiefs lose (again). It was the perfect end to the perfect weekend.

Saturday, November 8

Saturday morning, Bev (Paula Dean) Westhoff made biscuits and gravy for breakfast and then we broke out the Wii.  First on the agenda - making Miis for everybody!  We bought the KU vs. Nebraska game on Pay-per-View. I fixed Hearty Taco Soup which was perfect for sitting around in pajamas, playing Wii and watching football. Roady helped me finish my decorations for the party (which he called "making crafts") and then I had to start getting ready around 3:00 to head to Lawrence.  Here's the morning in pictures:

A birthday shot of gravy:
Ryan, trying to decide on his "head-shape":
Picking out his eyes:
We got his nose exactly right:
The facial hair is coming along (but the angry eye-brows have to go):
Here we go...that's starting to look like Ryan:
Stu boxed the computer for about 30 minutes, which made us all tired just watching him:
Wayne played golf, which made everybody sleepy and bored (sorry, golf - you're just not my favorite):

Here are the decorations I'd been making for the last two weeks. (and the project Roady was kind enough to help me finish.)  Jeff was sweet enough to hang them for me:
We arranged "cafe style" tables and chairs, and Sarah created art by weaving colorful streamers on every other table. I made the "30" flags for each table, and my mom loaned us her jelly jars (filled with candy!) to hold them up. We used the ping-pong table in the back for food (which was AMAZING! - it's not there yet...but that entire table was full of food): 
The manager of Jo Shmo's rented the whole upper level to us for the night, but I needed some directional signs (I'm all about the signs) to help get the people up the stairs:
The room started to fill up around 7:15 and you can sort of see our DJs in the back, right corner (they even brought the party lights!):
Ryan and Lindsay - both turning 30 - both VERY smiley. So many people were there to wish them Happy Birthday. 
My crew of helpers. Chris and Holly on the left (who wrangled 30 balloons and brought them to the party!) and Sarah (who brought Ryan's special bahklava dessert request and made the room party-ready):
Bev, Miles and Raegann (I'm sure there's some conversation going on about Bev wanting a kiss...)
Papa and Mimi (Ryan's grandparents) and Bev and Wayne (Ryan's parents):
Ryan, my mom and the back of Bobby's head. Clearly a funny moment. I just love Ryan's laugh:
My sister and my mom - taking a moment to stop and breathe with me - and pose for a party pic! 
Ryan felt like it was a good moment to jump in for a group hug. Or he's dancing, I'm not entirely sure:
He just wanted to be in the picture:
The other cool thing about this room was the bocce ball pit. It entertained all of the kids for a good 3 hours. It stirred up a lot of sand and dust (because they were mostly building castles in it) but I decided, from now on, I'm providing a sand pit at all of my parties:
Ryan's cousin Tom and Tom's girlfriend Kara:
Steve (Ryan's uncle), Urban and Tom:
My super-awesome-craft-making-assistant, Roady (and my giant, freak hand):
Pam (Ryan and Chad's Aunt), and Chad:
Roady and Ryan:
Bev and her sister (Pam), clearly dancing up a storm:
The only line-dance of the evening:
Reagann, teaching Pam how to do the electric slide (or yelling at her, I can't really tell):
Fun Bobby (Shannon's husband), Whitney, Sarah and Troy:
My parents (they're so cute):
Ryan and my dad, sharing a hug and a laugh:
Chris and Holly (they're also very cute):
Pam, giving Lindsay (what I can only assume is a normal) kiss good-bye: 
Steve and Bev (brother and sister-in-law) dancing totally appropriately:
Bev and Wayne (who also celebrated birthdays not long ago. Wayne turned 60 and Bev did not...because she is younger than Wayne...and she will always be young(er).):
Hard to tell, but we're actually making a Roady sandwich. Later, Stu joined us and it was just a big mob-o-friends: 
The end of the evening. Exhaustion is actually setting in and we've got an early morning to look forward to! "Viscosity!"