Hey friends! We are having a rockin' Christmas party full of Hanthorne friends, babies, vomit and old school and scandelous presents. We loved showing off our house and bragging about our little girl, Fatty. Fun was had by all. Merry Christmas.
I am elated to announce that my older sister is pregnant and due in April. I am so unbelievably excited! Some have said that I'm a little baby crazy and I would have to agree, note the baby countdown on the right side of our blog. Since she lives overseas and doesn't have access to all the wonderful materialism of the USA, I've taken the liberty of buying lots and lots of baby items for her. We are going to visit her and my younger sis in November and can't wait!
Two weeks ago, Alisha and I got a surprise visit from her Dad. He was in town from North Carolina visiting family. We decided that Alisha's sister and niece Haiven Fiona (10 months) needed to spend the weekend with us. I hadn't seen Haiven in forever and as mentioned earlier I LOVE me some babies. We spent the weekend catching up, playing in the backyard, taking pics of little Boops and hitting up some garage sales for baby books & toys.
Haiven Fiona (10 months)
Auntie Alisha pulling Baby Haiven around our backyard. I was going to use that old wagon for a herb garden but pulling around little ones is more fun.
I'd rather suck on my hand than hold on for safety
Haiven wanted to pull on Alisha's face instead
Thank ya, Thank Ya very much!
Haiven the ham, she loved having her picture taken and would even look right at you.
It was a great visit since Alisha hadn't seen him in five years and I was just meeting him for the first time. I really enjoyed seeing the similarities between Alisha & her father. He's even more of a fiery Irish than she is. Since this was the first time they had all been together we decided we must get some pics, The weather was gorgeous all weekend so we went out back again and took some family shots, which turned into another mini photo shoot. I blame my camera's fast shutter speed, but I will spare you all multiple shots. Alisha's birthday was also this weekend so on Sunday afternoon we had some friends over for pizza, wii and guitar hero. For some reason I didn't take any pics of the birthday gathering.
A couple weekends ago we went to the Weston Applefest and camped out at the State Park with a few friends. The weather was gorgeous. I am always amazed at how beautiful it is in Weston, the drive through the sprawling hills and farms to downtown Weston is so relaxing. I love the old buildings downtown that house Antique and other specialty shops. The campground was really great. It included a scenic overlook of the Lewis & Clark Trail along the Missouri River in addition to hiking trails and a bike trail that leads into Main Street. We definitely want to camp up there again. Both Saturday and Sunday we went to the Weston Red Barn Farm to check out their pumpkin patch & apple orchard. That place is amazing. They also have a corn maze, hay rides, bon fires, various farm animals to pet plus they sell delicious treats in their country store as well as fresh mini doughnuts and other apple and fall goodness. This past we tried the pumpkin pancake mix and man, oh man it was dynamite! We forgot our camera so the pics were taken with my iphone...not the greatest but they work.
Crystal & James sitting around the fire
Alisha whipping up a yummy breakfast for us all
Alisha @ Weston Red Barn Farm
Alisha with her new friends
Alisha pretending to smoke in front of the Tobacco Farm (she's sooo funny)
My older sister Charlotte that lives in Seoul, Korea came to visit at the end of July and then we both headed to Chicago for a few days before she flew home to Seoul. We were so thankful that we were able to stay with my good friend who is actually in the process of moving to KC. While in Chicago, we walked a lot the first day and did some shopping. The second day we were feeling lazy so we rode on the Double Decker tour bus. Riding on Double Decker buses in Cities is my all time favorite tourist activity. Alisha and I rode them around NYC and loved it. The Double Decker in Chicago did not disapoint. We rode all over Downtown and enjoyed the interesting architecture, history and of course the views view along Lakeshore Drive. It started raining while we were on the bus so they gave out white ponchos and continued the tour.
Goofing off in our white ponchos on the Double Decker
After the bus tour, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago Museum for free admission. Gotta love the free stuff! We only had an hour before we headed over to Amphitheater at Millenium for their free concerts. We heard some amazing Afro Latin Jazz and enjoyed yummy snacks compliments of Lauren & Rene. Rene brought along Martje who is from Amsterdam that was in Chicago for business. I really enjoyed chatting about Amsterdam and travelling with Martje. I never realized before how beautiful Chicago is, especially in the summer and around Millenium and Grant Park. I couldn't get enough of the gorgeous skyline all around me while listening to great music and chilling with good friends and family.
Apologies to our fellow bloggers, we do realize we might be the laziest blogger ever since we haven't updated in over 3 months. I ( April) promised an update by Labor Day so here you go. Since it is the end of summer in my mind, (Alisha informed me summer isn't over till Fall Equinox) I have decided to do a summer wrap up. There will be several postings so I can put a lot of pics and info as so keep checking back
My parents are in town visiting for my sister Holli's graduation which was on May 17th. Since she was super busy finishing up class work and preparing for the big day, I entertained my parents all day Friday. Since we had the most beautiful weather this weekend that I've ever experienced in KC we decided to go to the Kauffman Memorial Gardens, which is across from UMKC. I went there 5 years ago and I pass by it everyday on my way to work but never think to stop in. I forgot how beautiful and relaxing it is (and free). It's a little oasis in the city with fountains and vibrantly colored flowers all around. The gardens even came with a cute sleeping cat. Late Friday evening we had dinner with Alisha and Holli at Potpie. My sister has wanted to go there for months and months and either they would be closed or we wanted to eat something else. I’m really glad we finally ate there. It was delicious and such a quaint little local restaurant with a great chef. We were sitting in a booth in front of the entrance and Alisha noticed the restaurant name was casting a shadow on the brick wall and almost immediately we all thought it would be a great picture so here are some from that night and from the gardens.
Saturday morning Alisha and I hit up some garage sales, it seemed like the whole neighborhood was having one and didn't want to miss any. On Friday afternoon while driving my parents around, I took a detour through our neighborhood and stumbled across a garage sale that had exactly what I have been wanting for a month or so. I spotted the treasured items out of the corner of my eye so we just had to stop. I got an old wagon, the red ones that kids ride around in and an old wash basin, the ones that stand on four metal legs with wheels. Everything he was selling was from the 50's or later and I loved it! I want to use both to plant our herbs, vegetables and flowers. I also found a bunch of old soda crates and army trunks on Saturday. I've never been to a garage sale in the Midwest before and I can't believe what I've been missing all these years. In Florida all you usually find is worn out crap from the 80's or 90's that should be thrown away or donated but not here. Here you find awesome shabby chic stuff from farms and old antiques. I love it!! After the garage sales, we took Mom & Dad to the City Market for the Farmer's market to o get some fruits & veggies for the week. Holli's graduation took place Saturday afternoon and was probably the most entertaining and shortest graduation ever. Gotta love those Artists! Afterwards they had a catered reception on the school lawn with some live jazz. I wasn't able to snap any good shots of sis at the ceremony and by the time we caught up with her at the reception she had stripped off her cap and gown so no pics of that momentous event. I just want to send a big shout out to my lis sis and let her know how proud I am of her!
Yesterday we had a graduation brunch and then headed to Powell Gardens after a brief stop at another garage sale :-) This was my first time visiting Powell Gardens and it was really beautiful. I enjoyed the drive out there through the rolling hills. The gardens are are great and like my Dad said, need to be visited a couple of time a month or more to see all the different flowers in bloom. The iris were in bloom yesterday. My favorite part of the whole place is the chapel looking over the lake. There was a wedding going on so we couldn't take sunset shots at the Chapel as planned.
This past weekend we went to Pella, Iowa for the Annual Tulip Festival with our roommate and Graceland Friends. We had a wonderful time and the tulips were incredible. Insanely huge and all kinds of variations. Pella is a really nice small town, with a beautiful downtown. Unfortunately I didn't check my camera beforehand and it turned out my sister gave me my camera back with a dead battery and no memory card so I couldn't take any pics. Holly got some great shots so I am sending you to her blog http://hollyslife.com/ Thanks for the great post Holly!
So far this year several of my good friends have had babies and several others are due this summer. The most recent ones being Nanthida(Khampakdy) Horton with her second "little" girl named Zoe. and Ann (Swails)Fritz with her first, an adorably cute little boy named Nolan. Congrats to all you new mothers out there! I love all the litte ones, well because they are so darn cute, but also because I have a thing for buying baby clothes. It began in college and I can't seem to resist those soft cuddly outfits.
Things have been good for Alisha and I. She is doing well at her new job and the "peeps" are really liking her. Some even write her letters, which are too funny! I love having her home on weekends and evenings. It's amazing how much joy I get out of us doing nothing in particular together. We haven't had much going on, I'm just wrapping up the semester. I finally finished some incomplete classes that have been looming over my head since I went home to help Mom a long time ago. I was officially accepted into the Counseling program and will begin that coursework in the fall. I will be graduating with my M.A. Curriculum & Instruction this August. Since the programs have a lot of overlap, I already have the school counseling emphasis completed which will make the Counseling Degree much shorter for me. Yipee! The sooner I can start my professional career the better!
My younger sis Holli is graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute next month so Ma & Pa will be coming up which will be fun. I got to visit with them at the end of March in Florida and we all went to Deerhaven, my church campground for a young adult retreat. It was great to see so many old friends from my childhood and relax in nature. Some Graceland Girls were there too including Katie (Hunter) Hensley, Stacy Watkins and Melanie Grimes.