Sunday, October 26, 2014

dirt road

today i met up with the game night girls for a fun outing in miami county.  the day started with janel, erin, michelle and i having lunch at one of the good mexican restaurants in paola. complete with margarita's and mixed drinks.  it has been over a month since the four of us last got together so it was great to have some time to visit and catch up on the latest happenings.  after lunch we met up with the rest of the girls for the big adventure...a trolley tour of the country stopping at four different wineries.

i will be honest, i had low expectation on the actual wine tasting.  i have tried my fair share of kansas / missouri harvested wines and have never been a big fan.  but today was about the adventure and having fun with the girls.
first up was nighthawk.  i seriously have no idea how we got there besides a bunch of twist and turns of country backroads.  i was pleasantly surprised at how cute the place was. great ambiance set amongst the kansas countryside.

the tasting room was actually packed upon our arrival and a little bit of a cluster at the beginning. i ended up joining part of the group bellied up to the tasting table and had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the wines we were tasting.  we tasted at least 6 different wines and they ranged from super sweet to really dry.  none grabbed my fancy to buy a bottle and take home.

 the trolley dropped us off at each winery and allotted about an hour at each location.  after tasting the wine there was still had plenty of time.  so janel and i opted to check out the space and quickly found a large jenga set. natalie ended up joining us for the second game.  game 1 found me toppling the pieces, while game 2 had janel pulling the piece that toppled it over. too much fun and definitely something i want to make for my place.
 stop two found us at middle creek winery.  michelle and keri have experienced this tour before so they offered up some thoughts about the different stops.  in the past this particular winery was working out of barn which sounds like was located next to the actual vineyard.  recently they had moved the tasting room to historic building of the new lancaster general store.  once again we tried about 5 or 6 different wines.  i ended up talking to the owner for awhile and really enjoyed hearing his story and learning more about how he was taking some creative approaches to the wines.

as i looked around the tasting room i recognized a heavy scandinavian influence to many of the antiques.  come to find out his wife family is swedish. his father-in-law has passed down the family recipe for lutefisk, to which he swears is amazing. i had to seriously question him how that could be.

i always enjoy hearing the stories of others.  especially when those stories are about taking a chance at something and they are so passionate about what they are doing. definitely saw and heard that while talking to steve. and i wish him all the best in this endeavor.

the tasting room was very cute. but you miss something when you can't actually see where the grapes are grown and where the wine is made.  the nice thing was there was plenty of shade for each of us to cool off and relax a bit.

next up was somerset ridge vineyard and winery. of the four stops today this was the location that you could sense the moment we drove up was the most successful. there was a whole production of catering to those who wanted to do some wine tasting and make a day out of it. and these guys had it down to a science.

there was a band playing, plenty of tables scattered around, a few vines of grapes near by for people to explore. they had yard games available as well as a food truck present for those who wanted something to munch on.  all very well done. and the wine was also good. but again i left with no bottles to enjoy later.

our fourth and final stop was whitewind farms.  this tasting room is located right off the highway so ambiance was a little askew.  there was nice rose garden patio you walked by complete with chickens running around. upon entering the tasting room it was a little stark with white walls and a few patio tables to sit at while the owner poured the different glasses of wine. also when we walked in there is a flyer for land auction that makes you immediately question how well this place is doing and if they will exist a year from now.

each wine had a different animal face on it and given a cleaver name in reference to the animal.  the animals are ones that can be found in the fields here in kansas. including one of a mountain lion whose wine was named rumor. as in rumor has it there are mountain lions in kansas.   but they haven't actually seen any at this location.
we really could not have asked for a better day.  the sun was shining, fall is definitely in the air with all the trees changing colors, and everyone was laughing and having a grand old time.  many thanks to erinn for pulling this together.

i so enjoyed spending the day with these girls and learning more about some of the true hidden treasures available. you just never know what you might find down a dirt road here in kansas.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


 it's game day and we are back in manhattan to watch the boys in purple take on the texas longhorns.  it's another 11am kick which meant early to rise. what sucked is there was a wreck on the viaduct off 177 why leading into town which had traffic at a stand still for over an hour. so much for grabbing breakfast on the way into the parking lot. ugh. (positive, no one was seriously hurt in the accident)
 we finally did make to the parking lot and had a chance to decompress and say hello to the crew.  seeing these girls definitely help to get in the game day spirit.
 and the boys were full of stories and ready to cheer on the cats.
 ashton was recently accepted to attend k-state next year.  so he and his dad uncle b were here to take in the game but it had a different feel for them too as what may come for next year. so excited for ashton to go to k-state and fall in love with this school like the rest of us have.  can't wait to hear the stories.
 the game was great and half time i opted to stay in and ran into these two lovely ladies. it was great to catch up with rhonda and jill. i am still trying to figure out where everyone sits to find them in the future more easily.
 dad and sherry were also in attendance. it was interesting sitting between the two boys.  both were breaking down the game and well nick was getting a little smart mouthy which only seemed to fuel the banter and the volume.
the cats won. and did so in style by having a shutout over texas.  woo-hoo go cats!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

wish list

friday night prior to a k-state home game will usually equate to time spent with the family.  tonight found us headed to jb's place with pizza in hand.  we got to spend a little quality time with the kiddos. cheered on the royals to a great win and had a overall good time.
chase and i even talked christmas...the boy has a big wish list for santa and anyone else whose interested. now if only plans for the holidays could be finalized so we all could plan accordingly. that is my only item on my wish list at the moment.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


this is normal, right?  i got home to find nick working in the yard. well sort of he was burning three tree stumps.


i wasn't sure how well i would be feeling after the big day yesterday.  but, i agreed to meet up with sarah and check out this years holiday mart. we toured the booths, sampled the food, checked out the decors and had a fabulous time.  we left with our arms full of food items of all things this year.

always so good to spend some quality time with this pretty lady.  thanks for the fun outing and being so understanding when i needed to stop and stretch for a few minutes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


this is how we cheer on the wildcats. what a game. woo-hoo! we won! we won! ouch my knee freaking hurts!


 for some odd reason meg declared this summer she had the idea of training for a half marathon and was hopping some of her friends would join her in this bucket list item. honestly when she made this announcement to me i looked at her like she was freaking crazy.

then the next time we hung out, i heard all about her sunday training runs and that she really was going to do this. i thought about it and said what the hell...i have run plenty of 5k over the last few years but why not actually train....and run/walk something a little more substantial.  so i looked into the race and mapped out the training schedule and was a week off of doing the recommended training schedule but thought why not.

from there we talked more about training and i met a few other girls that were going to be running as well and was actually getting somewhat excited for it.  then i ran 9 miles my first long training run and was in major pain in my knee.  i researched and learned i had the dreaded runners knee. strength training, ice, and rest was what was best recommend so with 4 weeks until the race...never ran again.

when meg and i got together for the ballet i learned she had also experienced the same fate of runners knee but, she had actually done the smart thing and gone to a physical therapist who was helping her with a few exercises. she stated she wasn't sure if she was going to do the race. we talked and both said lets see how we feel. i hadn't run for awhile and wondered if i could even run a mile. (going down stairs was the worse).  we agreed to talk again on tuesday and make a decision. well i never ran but remembered how much i paid for this damn race and said fuck it, i was going to do it. other friends who have run a half before said we could do we agreed to do it.

i learned my friend renea was also running the race and reached out to her about possible carpooling. this way nick and her hubby could car pool down later and cheer us on at the finish line. hell if i was going to do this, i wanted nick there at the end. renea agreed to car pooling and she was just so stinking cute. she had two other friends joining us who were running the full marathon and then meg and i running the half. renea originally was signed up for the full but changed to the half as she has been fighting a cold.  she kept talking about being in a car full of virgins, which just made me laugh. and she just got all of us psyched up for the race.  the reference to virgins was it was meg and i's first half and the other two girls first marathon.

we made it down to the start line and the energy was high.  meg and i lined up at the 3 hour 15 minute pacer behind the crazy banana suite group.  something about running makes people wear some silly things.  and then we were off.  it was a beautiful day, perfect weather and the sun was just coming up as we crossed the start line.  meg and i stayed together and high fived each mile marker post.  we were running really well and ended up spending a good chunk of the race pacing with the 2 hour 50 minutes.

around mile 7 we briefly stopped for a potty break. that stop did not do me any good. trying to either catch back up to our pace group and pushing it at one point or stopping dropped my adrenaline that the pain i was inflicting on my body had started to set in. my runners knee was acting up which had me then over compensating on the left side and probably ended up tweaking my left hip and left hamstring. as much as i was moving forward i could feel my body cussing me out asking me WHAT?!?! the hell was i think i was doing.

meg and i settled in running with the 3 hour pace group and our pace leader was awesome. she knew the trail and knew when to walk a little longer because of the hill.  we stuck together through mile 9 and i started to fall behind. meg looked back at me and i told her to run her race...i would see her at the end. and with that she was off.

now it was just me and with hopes of very few other pacers groups passing me by.  i did fairly good making it to mile 12  before the second 3 hour pacer passed me and was gone.  the 3 hour 5 minute lead soon after mile 12 marker past me and i was hurting. on top of my knee and hip hurting i swore i had a piece of glass between my toes and just wanted to cry.  but i kept moving and knew i was going to finish.

once i turned the corner for the final mile the crowd of bystanders and finishers was getting bigger. i started to question if nick made it down or not. and honestly was getting a little emotional as i passed mile 13 that i was going to accomplish finishing a half marathon something i honestly never thought i'd ever do.  i was walking when i did finally see nick. we locked eyes and he motioned for me to get going...and though i didn't want to run more step...i did and crossed the finish line running. my official time was 3 hours and 2 minutes and 47 seconds.  not fast by any means but i finished.

thank meg for cheering me own and being a great race buddy.  thanks renea for being a great cheerleader.  thanks to my friend heidi for the text and words of encouragement...why were you up so early? thank you to nicky for making it down and for driving my sorry tired ass home. it was great to see all the comments and likes on social media, too. yes this was a crazy idea. and a crazy idea that maybe might do again...will see.