Welcome Back, Boys!

It's finally time to play ball!!  That's right, today is Opening Day 2011, and that includes the Royals Home Opener!  I'm not going, but I'm totally okay with that because today's high is only 52 with a chance of rain.  Definitely not my idea of a fun time.  According to the news this morning, there are only two starters on today's team that started on Opening Day last year.  Maybe that's good.......seeing we weren't good last year, or the previous gazillion years.  But I definitely won't get my hopes up.  Either way, I look forward to many games this summer and all that they include.....food (can't beat a stadium hot dog), beer, friends, fun, fireworks, and some good 'ole tailgatin.  

Here's a look some games we attended during the previous three seasons.  

Our first Royals game together, June 2008
Later that summer, tailgating with friends

May 2009, first game at the "New K" - we had outfield fountain seats!

Rally caps again the Cards, June 2009

Tailgating in July 2009
May 2010, our ONLY game of the season, the wedding sort of got in the way

Thank You Mr. Cornhusker

I was at school for 12 hours today.  7:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.  Why, you ask?  The dance team's Spring Show is this Saturday which means late practices every night.  It certainly makes for a long week.

Anyway, I left school tonight and decided to grab something to eat on my way home.  The hubby is out of town for work and I can only eat leftovers for so long.

After grabbing Panda Express to-go, I hop in my car, only to find that it will not start.  *Sigh*  I waited a few minutes and tried again.  Still nothing.  Not really knowing what else to do, I called Craig, despite the fact that he's hundreds of miles away in Nebraska.  I think I just wanted to hear his voice.

After hanging up with the hubs, I started calling friends that live near me.  I called four friends before I got ahold of anyone!  Geesh!  Good thing it wasn't a true emergency!  (No offense to the three of you that didn't answer. =) )

My friend Katie headed my way.  She's a good ten minutes away though, so, of course, I dug into my chow mein and orange chicken!  I can only imagine how ridiculous I looked sitting in my car, eating my Panda Express in the Panda Express parking lot!

Katie arrived and lucky for me, she even had jumper cables!  Good thing......except that neither of us knew how to use them!  She called her boyfriend Jason for some guidance...meanwhile I was freaking out because my manual reads "Jump-starting is dangerous if done incorrectly.  So follow the procedure carefully.  If you feel unsure about jump-starting, we strongly recommend that you have a competent service technician do the work."  Lol!  "Competent" would definitely not be me!

Not to mention all the fuzzy-looking corrosion on my battery.  Yuck.

Finally, I spotted some guys across the parking lot.  Thank goodness!  Men know how to jump-start cars like women know how to apply make-up.  I sprinted to them just as they were getting into their cars.  I was so desperate at that point, I knocked on one guy's window to get his attention and practically begged for his help!

I don't remember his name, but know based on his front license plate that he's a Nebraska Cornhusker fan.  If nothing else, I was prepared to welcome him to the Big 10.

Fifteen minutes and many thank-yous later, I finally had a running car!  Turns out Mr. Cornhusker was  originally from Iowa and said he loves Iowa City (who doesn't?).  Iowa peeps are always so nice!  Thank you to my friend Katie and the parking lot strangers who helped me find my way home this evening!

C'mon Summer!

My dresses are ready to be worn!!!  Just bought two new ones last night at Target.  LOVE that place!  I could spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) in that store.  I had a $50 gift card so I limited myself to two $24.99 dresses....though I could have come home with a lot more!

Here's the first.  Super cute.  Super girly. 

And the second!  Strapless with a sweatheart neckline.  More girly-ness!

Those two are definitely going to Hawaii with me!

Here's one I bought at Macy's in San Fran.  Again, $27!  What a deal!  I bought it to wear it to my cousin Beth's wedding in July because it's the perfect color....but now trying to decide if it's dressy enough.  We'll see!  If not, it'll work for yet another summery dress!

Hurry up summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Dog Thinks He's Human (Part 2)

He wears a coat in the winter

Loves to sleep on a pillow

Drinks beer with Daddy (please don't turn us in for animal abuse for this pic)

Runs on a treadmill

Swims with a life jacket

Plays cards with Grandma


And gives "hugs" - such a sweet doggy!

Our Happy Family

Craig took this photo last night after Kinnick and I fell asleep on the couch. He was fake sleeping. =)

Creamy Baked Ziti

I saw this recipe on my friend Erin's blog. The best way to describe it - creamy, amazing, deliciousness!

Creamy Baked Ziti
4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked (I used a 16 oz. package which was about 5 cups)
1 jar (26 oz) marinara sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the kind with olive oil and garlic)
6 oz pkg cream cheese (I was too lazy to split it, so I used all 8 oz)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 pkg (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1) Heat oven to 375.
2) Cook pasta in large saucepan, as directed on package, omitting salt.  Remove from pan; drain.  Meanwhile add marinara sauce, tomatoes, and cream cheese to same pan.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.  Return pasta to pan; mix well.
3) Layer half the pasta in 9x13-inch baking dish; cover with layer of sour cream, 1 cup mozarella, and remaining pasta mixture.  Top with remaining mozarella and Parmesan.
4) Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Yummo!  Sooooo healthy, too, with all that cream cheese and sour cream.  =)

Pair it with a nice glass of wine and you have yourself a fancy-shmancy dinner.  This is our wine from Napa.  The same wine that rode home in my boot.  We thought we'd break it open for a special occasion.  Monday night Dancing With the Stars seemed appropriate enough.

Ugh....It's Def a Monday

That's my countdown for the number of Mondays remaining this school year (not counting today).  Did I mention I'm really looking forward to summer?  Lazy days by the pool, grilling out, tank tops, shorts, dresses, sandals, tan skin, mojitos, baseball...  Not to mention, weddings, friends' 30th birthdays, and a trip to Hawaii!!!!!  It's gonna be great!

But first, I have to make it though those 8 remaining Mondays.  Here's to hoping they don't all start like this morning did...

First, here's what I woke up to.

Pure misery.  Just one week ago, it was 80 degrees!  And now THIS!  Not a happy camper.

That leads me into my next point.  I'm so sick of my winter clothes!!!  I'm ready to wear skirts and dresses and capri pants to work.  And short sleeves!  Not today though, with a high of 44 whopping  degrees.  Instead I decided to wear my jeggings - a mix between jeans and leggings.  (I bought them at Target last week for $8, great investment!)  I figured it was the only way I could get away with wearing "jeans".  Not to mention, they are super comfortable!  And look great with Uggs.  And since it's cold, I'm not wearing anything other than my Uggs.

Anyway, I looked and looked and looked for my jeggings this morning.  Even woke up the hubs to see if he knew where they were!  I spent a solid 10 minutes searching for them...on the bench, under the bed, on the drying rack, in my drawers, in HIS drawers.  Not an easy thing to do when I have less than an hour to get ready.  Ten minutes is like 16% of my morning.  After throwing a fit and cursing myself for not being more tidy, I finally find them folded in my closet, with all my jeans...right where they belong.  Ugh. 

Now I laugh at myself and have a good story to blog about, but an hour ago, I was NOT happy! 

And then I remembered I was out of coffee.  Oh well, it's a small thing I guess.

I'll just keep telling myself: 8 more, 8 more, 8 more, 8 more......

My Dog Thinks He's Human

Eating an ice cream cone from Sheridans
Ready for bed with mom!  (This is not a joke. This is what normally happens most nights.)

Just chillin, watching a little t.v.

Naps on the couch under the blanket.

He even sits with his legs crossed.

And wears a Snuggie!
But how could you not love him with a face like this??

And So It Begins...

It's been over four years since my last class as a college student.  I think I'm finally ready for the next step...and no I'm not talking babies just yet.  I'm ready to begin taking classes for my Master's degree.


I met with an admissions adviser today at Baker University.   My friend Erica got her Masters from there and honestly, that's the reason I called them.  It's also very close to our house.  They have a good Masters of Education program for the "working adult" and I can finish in about a year and a half, taking one to two classes per session.  Each session is 7 weeks long, except summer sessions which are 6 weeks.  For each on-campus class I take, I'll have a 6-10:00 class one night per week.

A Masters degree means two things: more money and more potential.  Teaching calculus is something I've always been interested in.  I can't teach it, however, until I have my Masters.

More moolah is always a plus!

I'm not sure I'm ready for class and homework again, but I know it's something I should do.  And should most definitely do before there are little ones running around our house.

So, here I go.  Summer Session 1 starts the week of May 17.  Wish me luck.

Spiked Burgers

In honor of the nice weather earlier this week, we grilled out two nights in a row!  Grilling is my fave!  The first night, we tried a new burger recipe the hubs saw in People magazine.  (Yes...he caught up on all his celeb gossip on the flight back from San Fran...)  The actual burgers were pretty normal.  It was the sauce that made them so phenomenal. 

Spiked Burgers

1/2 cup majo
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp roasted garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
5 Tbsp vodka

2 1/2 lbs ground beef, formed into 6 1/2-in thick patties
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
6 potato rolls
6 Tbsp melted butter
6 slices cheddar cheese
Bread-and-butter pickles

1) In a bowl, combine mayo, mustard, and garlic.  Add ketchup and vodka; mix. 
2) Season patties with salt and pepper and coat with oil.  In a very hot skillet or on a grill, sear patties for 4 minutes on each side.  Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and keep warm.  Wipe out skillet.
3) Brush potato rolls all over with melted butter.  Toast on both sides, in the skillet or on the grill.  Put 1 cheese slice on top half of each roll.  Grind some black pepper over cheese and toast until cheese melts.
4) Place 6 pickle slices on each bottom roll, top with hamburger, and spoon 2 tablespoons spiked sauce on burger.  Top with other half of roll.

I only used 1 pound of ground beef and made it into 4 burgers.  I cut the sauce mixture in half and it was still WAAAAY too much.

Paired it with some garlic mashed potatoes...my other FAVE!

Update: New Camera

I love it!  It seems to take MUCH better pictures than our old one.  Check these out that I took today on our way to Wichita to get K-dog. 

They make me feel like a real photographer!  And sort of make me want to take some photography classes or something!

Spring Fever

The day has finally come when our windows are open, our flip flops (and even shorts) are on, and the smell of the grill is again in the air!  I.  LOVE.  IT.  Even though Spring Break is over and I'm less than 12 hours from being back at school, it's refreshing to go back knowing we're ten short weeks away from summer.  And lazy days by the pool.  Ahhhhh I can hardly wait!

This evening I was in the mood to clean.  It happens every now and then, especially when our kitchen is disgusting (or at least what I think of as disgusting).  I can't stand a dirty kitchen.  In cleaning, I found some plant leaves we got from my parents' neighbors last August.  They've been floating in water ever since because I've been too lazy to plant them.  The Spring-like weather was enough motivation to do so though.  I couldn't help but take a picture, because like I said before, spring makes me very happy!  Isn't the flower pot cool?  My brother-in-law painted it and gave it to us last summer as a shower gift. 

Happy first-day-of-Spring everyone! 

You Know You're Getting Old When...

...you go out for St. Patty's Day (over Spring Break when you don't have to work for the next three days) and you're home shortly after 9 p.m.  That's how we rolled yesterday.

My friend Katie and I met up with other friends in Westport yesterday afternoon, but only stayed for a few hours.  Drinking and leaving our car in shady Westport overnight did NOT sound appealing to us.  Instead, we headed back to Johnson county to Maloney's to finish our celebration of the Irish holiday.  I think I had....ummmm.....4 beers in the 7 hours total we were out.  Crazy day, right??

Our friend Brandi met up with us after work and we chilled and talked girl stuff all evening.  But in the end, we headed home around 9:00 when two guys tried to buy us Irish Car Bomb shots.  I guess it's nice knowing guys still want to hit on us.....but we were content heading home to bed.

It was a beautiful day!!  Probably the nicest St. Patrick's day I can remember (other than the year I celebrated in Cancun, that is).  I enjoyed wearing sandals and going coat-less all day!  Here are the few photos I snapped throughout the day!

In Westport - Alissa, Erica M., Erica C., Katie, and myself

The random bagpipe player that paraded by Maloney's

Me, Katie, and Brandi

And here's the one that was taken for NightlifeKC.com.  We're famous!