My sister Lauren graduated from KU Law on Saturday, and I have about nine million (or 50) great photos from the weekend. We were so blessed to have tons of family there to celebrate, and my sister and her friends had a very fun party Saturday night on the Oread.
On Sunday, Mom and I drove back over to Lawrence to see the law students lead the procession down the hill. This is a serious KU tradition and families line the hill to see their graduate walk down and into Memorial Stadium for another ceremony. We knew Lauren wasn't planning to stay in the stadium, but she couldn't miss walking down the hill. The law students led the lines on the west side and the med students led the east side of the hill. Lauren's friend Jenna was in this line.
Mom and I were laughing to ourselves as people take their spots along the line very seriously. People didn't want to budge one inch for us to get a photo of Lauren and her friends on the hill, even though they weren't waiting for law students. But it all worked out fine, and there are some cute photos of Lauren and her friends in their robes, hoods and tams and as they passed us on the hill.
But my favorite photo from the day is one that someone else took. By pure luck, Lauren, in the law school line and Jenna, in the med school line, walked through the Campanile at the top of the hill together. And someone captured these besties triumphant walk as seen on the big screen in the stadium.
This was the photo that pushed me over the edge and made me dissolve into tears. My sister graduated from law school! And her best friend who I've known since they were 18-year-old freshman at K-State is a doctor! They worked so very hard, and it hasn't always been easy.
I'm so proud of Lauren. She's a brave, tough, smart kid and now has a J.D. after her name. I think this photo just says it all - it's my favorite memory of how cool it was to watch this all happen.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Rachel already blogged about our trip to Deanna Rose, but if I don't write it down too then it didn't happen. Also, I took all the photos from our trip to the petting zoo so I might as well use them! I love those baby goats all waiting for a bottle. And the chickens! They were cute too.
I invited a fun game to get Finley to look at the camera. I put a number of fingers on top of my head and asked him what it was. And then I would switch it up so he would keep looking and calling them out. In the photo on the right, he's explaining something to me not counting numbers. Favorite Finley phrases from this trip, "BUSTED!" and "Not gonna happen!"
After tractor races (that went nowhere), I went in Vic's General Store and bought a postcard souvenir. Finley took a photo with me because we're buds. The thing about four-year-olds is they are just a lot of fun. He will talk to me about stuff, play games and do puzzles, and help make the pancakes. I'm so blessed this little guy loves me and calls me Tori.
And a very special happy 30th birthday to Rachel! She's my partner in crime, partner in Etsy, and partner in planning the most ridiculous parties ever. My life is better because of Rachel, and I'm without a doubt a better person because of Rach. She holds my six-foot-tall frame to high standards and lovingly supports me as I try to be the best Victoria I can be.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
We had a very special wedding on Saturday. Our friend Amy married Chris, and it was a great big party! It was at the Marriott in Overland Park, also known as the same legendary ballroom from Kate and Adam's wedding five years ago. But as Kate points out, her wedding happened DURING renovations, so the whole place looks totally different. Some people got new duds (Abbey and Drew!), and I wore my standard black dress because I'm a better dancer when I wear it.
So Amy looked like a million bucks and all of my friends except Nan and Tara have exceptionally long hair right now. This is what 30 does to you.
I'm a huge fan of the purple bridesmaid dresses. It practically screams that in it's second go it will be worn to the Wabash Cannonball. That IS a dress that you can cut off and wear again.
The drinks were poured, we all ordered the beef, and we had a good time. Without talking to each other, we pretty much all chose the beef entree. When the bride is marrying a man from a cattle family, it's easy to assume the beef will be the best.
I spend a lot of time with these lovely ladies and their babies, but it's also nice to have a night out together with everyone and lots of dancing! We sang the Alpha Chi song for Amy and didn't sound terrible (surprise) and followed it up with Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy because we're classy like that. It was wonderful to celebrate the start of Amy and Chris' life together - cheers to the happy couple!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This came in Martha earlier this year, and I tore it out immediately and put it in the "to bake" pile. A couple of small details made this great cookie just outstanding. And really really big. I looked back through the cookies I've made so far this year, and I'm most likely to make these cookies again. Or the Peanut Butter Oatmeal. Yum.
I wrote about yesterday how I'm giving myself some grace to not finish Project Life for the whole year. But I still very much intend to bake my way to 13 cookies. Too many people benefit from that project. Cookies for everyone!
Here's the recipe from Martha Stewart (I'll make my one change at the end).
Giant White-Chocolate Pecan Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar (I used light)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces (I used chips)
8 ounces pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (highly recommend those cookie pecan pieces - I toasted them first!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda to combine.
2. Beat butter and sugars on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg, then egg yolk, until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined (do not overmix). Beat in white chocolate and pecans until just combine.
3. Place scoops of dough 3 inches apart on parchment with a 4-ounce (2 3/4 inch) ice cream scoop. If you don't have a scoop, measure level 1/2 cups of dough and roll into balls. Gently press to flatten. Bake cookies, rotating pans until golden but still soft in the center, about 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Serve warm, or transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Or deliver to your friends and hungry Mortar Board officers at UMKC. They inhaled them and thought they were macadamia nut. As I am on a budget - pecan pieces were cheaper, better and fooled them.
My one change was to make the cookies a little bit smaller. I really wanted to give away more than 10 cookies, so I weighed the giant balls of dough as I made them. I found that 75 grams was perfect for me, and I baked sixteen giant cookies. If you can make more than sixteen cookies, good for you. I had to sample the cookie dough a few times before I started.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Hmm..not my best month of photographing project life but definitely some photos that I love. Also, the order got a little wonky a couple times, so I tried my best to use a somewhat logical set-up here.
I love this project a little bit less than when I started it, but I think it's mostly because I got "behind." That was NOT the goal because I don't want another project that goes on my to-do list. It's not that I don't love putting it together and more about the logistics. I don't have a great easy way to print photos that can be quickly secured and tucked into pages. It takes a lot of planning if you're not printing at home, and the local KC photo shops have kind of failed me!
I also struggled to make this a different kind of book and not my blog 2.0. The blog gets printed each year in a blurb book, and I want this little album to be a reflection of some of the other stuff that either didn't make the blog or was too personal. That means more instagram and iphone photos a lot of the time.
I have two favorite pages in this section. In the top right corner of the layouts, I love the section of intagrams from my trip to Virginia and all the delicious food we ate. And I'm fond of the layout on the bottom left with a large printed picture of my sister's fridge. I journaled a bit about when she wrecked her car on that page and the large format photo was fun.
My goal is to finish getting caught up soon-ish and finish out the little album until my 30th birthday in July. That will be half a year of Project Life, and that feels about right. If I want to paste in instagrams and other mementos, I'm going to do that instead in my little "For the Love of 30!" album that I bought. It's the same style as the Christmas one I adored.
I'm too old for starting and continuing projects for no good reason. I can give myself grace to leave something I don't truly love or quit something because it really is just too much coordination. That's why I only signed up to run one 5K. Didn't love it and it required too much coordination. And then I went back to walking, thank you very much.