Thursday, December 5, 2013
So very thankful. For this man and being so very happy.
So very thankful for brothers (of all ages) who embrace the photo props.
So very thankful to put my phone in a basket during the meal and have another adult sister as of Sunday - Gabby is 18!
So very thankful for hosts, families blended, cherry pie (though the Nebraska pie is still best!), and my dad's skills with a 22 lb. turkey.
So very thankful that Blake loves a whole drumstick (the dark meat never gets enough attention), my grandma Mary and my sister.
So very thankful Kip nicely cut the dowels to be used with the photo props - and sanded the ends so no one would get a splinter. (Check out the other photo props in this fun etsy shop - she has a set for Christmas too!)
So very thankful my brothers dressed up as Santa and his helper to deliver the pajamas from Bonnie. Cooper even looks like a happy elf in this photo!
So very thankful I'm not too old to get a pair too. They are Dr. Seuss and darling. What a very happy Thanksgiving with so many loved ones!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I can see why so many people get out and do 5K a Thanksgiving morning. Burn some calories and get the blood flowing before a lot of sitting and eating. It was a brisk 21 degrees at the start of the race on Thursday morning, so Lauren and I moved quickly on our walk, and Mitch and Cooper RAN. Kip was our driver and an ever improving photographer. I'm not bashful about being bossy with instructions when I hand over the camera. Surprised?
We had a great big brunch at home with my favorite Quiche Lorraine and extra cups of coffee to warm up after the race. Because my step-grandparents live across the street from my dad, they can easily slip over to join the meals. Tracy's brother and my grandma from Nebraska were also in town, so the table was expanded for us all to enjoy our meals together, fire blazing in the background.
Someone named Spencer drank hot chocolate, obviously. Little brother is eight-years-old, still into football players and jerseys, Minecraft and has been really working on some pretty sweet dance moves. We're totally related when it comes to our surprising agility on the dance floor. Don't let our height fool ya.
The sweet labradoodle Wizard is still hanging on, but he is certainly aging. Then there is puppy Flynn - he's an Irish Setter mixed with poodle and is darling. FLUFF ball. He wasn't super impressed with all the hullabaloo and also was down for the count with a double ear infection! Normally he's a little smilier than this.
After brunch we started to do more napping and prepping. Dad prepared the TWO 22 lb. turkeys, I finished a book, and Kip carried stuff. Like firewood so it was cozy while I finished the book. Later I learned how to make Tracy's pecan rolls, and I'm pretty proud of myself.
Kip was practicing some photo skills in these shots - and what a difference manual makes. I gave him my canon rebel on P, and all the photos were overexposed. After a couple quick switches on the settings, and we ended up with these pretty shots of the rolls coming together. We actually made a double recipe and ended up with six pans of rolls. I kind of want to try them again just to cement the process in my memory!
Eventually I changed to get ready for dinner, but I was happy to just rest and watch some football with my family in between projects. I mean, I totally deserved that nap - I walked three miles in the morning!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Thanksgiving break was good. So very good, friends. As an extrovert who loves to travel, Thanksgiving break was good for my soul. Went on two little trips and spent hours with loved ones just sitting, no computer, no cell phone and loads of stories. I didn't open my computer until Friday, and then it was brief. Just a little tiny bit on Saturday too. No shopping, just t-i-m-e. It was so very good.
Wednesday morning Lauren, Kip and I left bright and early for Indianapolis. Then we just chilled. Ate an easy lunch, watched TV and ran some errands for Thanksgiving. My brothers and Gabby were home from school to entertain us and then we joined up with everyone for a big family dinner at Crust, a new pizza restaurant, and bowling!
I'm not a bad bowler for someone who doesn't bowl often. I won the first game pretty easily with a 132, and Lauren and I tied the second game! It was fun to all be together on three lanes, dancing, bowling and talking a fair amount of smack. And the beer pitchers were in the shape of bowling pins which was really just too funny.
My step-grandparents Fred and Bonnie are two of the loveliest folks around. I love this photo of them. Love love love. By the time the two games were up, we were ready to pack it up and head home. Some of us signed up for a very chilly 5K in the morning...
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Luhrs Ladies took our final trip to Manhattan for a football game last weekend. If you can't tell from the photos, it was cold. COLD.
Luckily we all own long Lands' End down coats. Last year when we were in Chicago for Jennie's wedding, we went to the Lands' End flagship store and tried on ALL the puffy coats. We walked out with three different styles, all in black. That's how we roll. We also all have these awesome Athleta gloves that allow you to use your smart phone and work out at the same time, all in purple. Not quite warm enough for Saturday's game, but super convenient for the cold weather that already settled in. (I got some pairs on sale this summer!)
It was an early kickoff at 11 am, so we didn't leave too early for Manhattan. We pretty much rolled in just in time to have a little breakfast and warm-up inside the RV with the Nortons. We LOVE our tailgate - the people are great, welcoming and the food is always awesome. On Saturday we had homemade maple nut twists, breakfast casserole and hot coffee.
We were definitely cold inside the game, but not miserable. Lauren and I each had a blanket, and we added hand warmers to our boots about halftime for extra warmth. Hot coffee and a warm salted pretzel at halftime definitely helped. We hung in with the Cats as they did well against the Sooners, but we left at the last interception when it was clear it was over and K-State couldn't win. There were points in the season that we thought there was little hope, but we're thrilled they pulled out 6 wins. And I believe they'll probably beat KU on Saturday!
After the game, we warmed up at the RV again with hot piping soup. It was nice to spend a little last time with the tailgate crew before we headed for KC. The parking lot cleared out, and we hit the road home from our last game in Manhattan. It's been another good season at the Bill; regardless of the final record, we love the Cats.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Happy Monday! Short week! If you ask any teacher about Thanksgiving break, they'll tell you it's one week too late. We lost our students a week ago. But each one of those teachers will also tell you that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas break will go super quickly. Only three weeks for us!
Fiona's been quite the star lately on the blog. I took some snapshots of her for her family Christmas cards and let me tell you, 18-month-olds are a tricky age to capture accurately. Mom, Dad and Tori were NOT as funny as the dog running by in the yard. Tuff won all the smiles from Fiona. But how about those pigtails!? And toddlers reading books always kills mes.
I saw Gary Lezak's winter weather forecast last week, and he predicted 22 inches. Gary is the best meteorologist ever - this isn't open for debate - and I'm both delighted and a little worried. Snow day make-ups are already on the schedule and just push my end date back further into June. But I LOVE SNOW DAYS. My house is cozy on snow days, and I love not leaving the house unexpectedly in the middle of the week. Maybe we'll have a white Christmas!
Here's a piece of real talk for you: I hate to take the trash to the front curb. I don't mind putting it in the trash can in the back. I will faithfully put recycling in the garage one cardboard box at a time. But I HATE to drag the trash cans to the curb. It makes me extremely fussy. I put it off for weeks until all the recycling bins are full and the trash can is almost too heavy to move (thankfully racoons never break into my trash bin). I made myself do it last week so it wouldn't get in the way around Thanksgiving, but man did I groan and whine while I did it.
Kip thinks this is hilariously illogical. I willingly vacuum my house all the time. This takes four times as long as taking out the trash. Baking five dozen cookies is no big deal to me, even with all the dishes. But the five minutes I have to spend taking out the trash are easily the worst minutes of my life. And then I still have to drag the trash cans back to their places after work. So rude. And yes, illogical.