Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Spiced Life...

On Saturday my friend Jill had a few girls over to decorate pumpkins to celebrate the Fall season.  I am not talking about carving pumpkins, we were full on painting these pumpkins.  It was such a great time!

She had asked us to all bring a favorite Fall treat.  Well, everyone just knew that I would bring something very pumpkinish.  What did I decide on?  I made homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.  Talk about a hit!  They were quite good if I do say so myself.  Ken walked into the kitchen with me and the rolling pin and thought he had gone back in time to the 1950's.  Which by the way, I would have made a fabulous 1950's housewife, without children of course.

Heather and me with our pumpkins, bless my pumpkin's heart!  Can you believe that Heather is just 14 weeks away from having her baby? 

Heather, Jill (our hostess), and me

Heather, Jill, me, Jen, and Jamie
I had to laugh because I always think of myself as a full size person, as in normal sized.  Um yeah, I am a good head shorter than everyone when we are all lined up in a row.  We like to call that Fun Sized.  :)

Thanks for a fun evening girls!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Crew...

As I was flat ironing my hair this morning, I looked around the room and noticed that I had quite the audience. 

It is quite obvious that Theodore is having a rough start to his Wednesday

Angel is all about the make up tips

Of course Kya was in the bathroom with me.  I mean, if the two cats are in there, she has to be in there to make sure her mama does not love them more than her.  She suffers from a little thing we call jealously, but she is oh so cute!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Winery Kind of Day...

Today was a gorgeous Saturday in Kansas City.  It was 70 degrees, sunny, and no wind.  That does not happen very often.  The wind is almost always present.  We had decided to spend the afternoon at one of our favorite places, Somerset Ridge Winery.  We have been visiting the winery since 2007, back when it is was our little hidden secret.  Now, they are much busier and have expanded their patio.  We absolutely love spending afternoons laughing and talking the day away.  Oh, we also enjoy drinking wine as well.

Michelle enjoying her Saturday afternoon

Ken was being his usually silly self.  

Oh so glad that the days of spending Saturday on a 90 mile bike ride are over.  :)

He was such a sport today hanging with us girls.  We may have lost him at one point due to the conversation.  Never a dull moment!

We have had many, many bottles of wine at the winery in the last 5 years.  I cannot wait for the next time!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Did I Get Myself Into...

Yes, that is what I was asking myself at approximately 10:30 am on Sunday morning while I was gasping for air thanks to the terribly cold water that I was just forced into.  Before I get to that, let me back up a bit.

My husband loves camping.  I mean LOVES camping.  Unfortunately for him, he married a girl that thinks camping is where you are pretending to be homeless.  Think about it for a moment.  You are sleeping in a tent with very few belongings, you have to walk to go to the bathroom, and you heat your food up outside.  The only thing missing is a shopping cart to schlep your stuff in. 

In my defense, Ken grew up camping.  I did not go camping until 2005 and it was with Ken.  I feel as though I must mention that the lows at night during that first camping trip were in the 30's and it was raining.  Not a good introduction to someone that is terrified of sleeping outside. 

Anyway, back in 2009 we started going on a small camping trip with each other during the Fall.  I mean, if I can drag him all throughout cities to watch me run a marathon, I can handle pretending to be homeless for one weekend right?  I mean talk about scoring major amazing wife points.  Now don't get any ideas, this trip has rules.  I am like the queen of making rules. 

Keri's Rules of Camping:
1. No more than two nights
2. Running water is required
3. There must be s'mores

Easy right?  Oh, these camping trips also involve floating down a river at the request of my husband.  Another thing you may or may not know about me, but up until this past year when I did my Ironman, I had NEVER and I mean NEVER been in a river for the purpose of swimming or hanging out.  I mean, they are dirty for Pete's sake!

Miss Kya started attending the annual camping trips with us starting in 2010.  I am a bit of a freak when it comes to Kya and made her wear a life jacket.  I am sure all of the other doggies on the river called her a wimp, a mama's girl, a princess, but I did not care, she is not a water dog.  I mean have you seen her?  I know, now is probably a good time to start feeling really sorry for Ken. 

Prior to leaving this year, it was noted that for the last two years that Kya attended, it has poured down rain at some point.  She is now called the Rain Goddess.  Quite honestly, I am not sure that she will be asked to return next year.  And you know what, I do not think she is going to be disappointed after what happened this year...

We left on Saturday morning at 6:00 am to make the drive to the middle of Missouri to the Current River.  I always struggle with these drives because part of me cannot wait to get out of the car and the other part of me knows what is ahead.  I try to focus on the s'mores that I get to eat. 

This year upon unloading the car, it was realized that someone had forgotten to pack the tent.  My first reaction was that we should just drive back home, because I am not sleeping outside without a tent.  I also may have asked Ken how on earth you forget a tent while packing to go camping.  He may have reminded me that he was in charge of everything due to his high maintenance wife or something of that nature.  Whatever.  Instead of driving back to Kansas City like I had suggested, Ken drove to Salem to buy a tent. 

When he left, he told me that we would not have time to float on Saturday and would only be able to float on Sunday.  Okay, no skin off my back.  I will read.  It was later determined that we did indeed have time to go floating on Saturday, so off we went.  Kya of course was wearing her life jacket and someone asked me if she was a seeing eye dog.  What?  I guess when you are wearing a life jacket coupled with a lady with big sunglasses, you equal seeing eye dog.

We finished floating and it was rather uneventful.  We did decide that when we are asked what kind of a dog Kya is that we are now responding with a boxer to see what people say.  The evening was finished off with s'mores. 

This is one of the only reasons I agree to go camping

Then, all hell broke loose.  It started pouring.  I mean POURING.  I told Ken that I was on high alert in case Kya and I needed to take shelter.  He laughed.  I was serious.  I hardly slept at all.  Oh and guess what, that new tent from Salem was a POS and leaked.  Ken had to wake up and put the pop up tent over us to keep the tent dry. 

As you can imagine, I was super pleasant when I woke up.  I mean sleeping on the ground, in the rain, in a tent.  Sign me up!  I told Ken I was not sure if I would be back, that I am getting way too old for this.  He grumbled at me.  I took Kya for a quick run and then it was time for day two of floating.  We had 10 miles to do before we were at our car. 

About one mile into the float, we came upon a spring with a lot of people in kayaks and canoes around.  Ken had our nice camera out and I told him I thought he should put the camera away.  He informed me that he had floated 1,000 times and had never flipped a canoe or kayak and that we were fine.  Okay.  I also told that Kya could come up front with me instead of in the center of the canoe where she was walking back and forth.  He told me she was fine.  Okay. 

Take special note of the people on the right.  This is the last picture of the day.

Then it happened.  We went over a tree root that was in the water but hidden.  And bam, the canoe was turned over and Ken and I were both in the water.  Not just water, cold water, water that was under 60 degrees.  I looked around for Kya in the water but did not see her.  Where was she?  Oh she was still standing in the canoe while Ken and I were trying to hold on to the canoe.  Yeah, she did not want to get out of the canoe.  The canoe started filling up with water and she had to get out.  I looked over and Ken and he was holding the camera up out of the water and I watched it fall into the river.  Did I mention that this part of the river was really deep and Ken could not touch? 

I yelled at Ken to get Kya.  Get Kya, save the dog.  Ken later reminded me that Kya was the one wearing a life jacket, but I did not find that funny.  The canoe was completely sinking and Kya was apparently going down with the ship.  A few very nice people had paddled over to help us and Kya swam over to hop in some lady's kayak.  See, I told you she hates the water.  Ken grabbed her and got her to shore.  A nice man helped me get over to the opposite edge of the river.  I was mainly cold and upset about the entire situation, but I probably should have just swam over to the other side to be with Ken.  Honestly, for Ken's safety, he is probably glad I didn't.  I was a little on the mad side since I had just told him to put the camera in his dry bag and he did not listen. 

So here I am, completely soaked and cold and only one mile in.  Fortunately, there was a trail leading back to our campsite and we were only a mile away, so Kya and I walked back to the campsite and called it a day.  Ken ended up paddling the entire 10 miles so he could get his car.  He did come upon the super nice people that had assisted us and they were curious where his passengers went.  Ken had to explain to them that his passengers just come along once a year and are by no means actual paddlers.  I do not even touch a paddle the entire time. 

While I do realize it was not entirely Ken's fault, Kya and I were still under is care during the camping trip so we hold him responsible.  Fortunately, we were all okay and I had time to calm down before Ken got back to the campsite.  In summary, I did not kill Ken.

The entire campsite was pretty empty, so we were quite surprised and annoyed when these two mean set up their tent right next to our campsite.  The one guy walked by and told me that we have a prize German Shepherd and then he used to raise them.  Um, well sir, if you used to raise them, then you would know that our little prize German Shepherd is actually a Siberian Husky.  Neither Ken or I had the heart to tell the guy, because he kept going on and on about it.  He was old, so maybe he could not see all that well. 

The rest of the evening was very uneventful.  We did not take any pictures, since our camera had gone swimming in the Current River earlier that day, but we did have s'mores. 

At approximately 3:00 am, I heard commotion coming from the campsite next to us.  I of course, instantly think that something shady is up.  I told Ken I did not feel right about the situation and that I was going to go sleep in the car.  Ken laughed he told me the guys were probably very cold and were packing up to leave.  I of course did not believe him and sat up and opened the tent window to see what was going on.  I quickly tell Ken that the old guys next to us have set up some canopy thing and that I cannot completely tell what they were doing.  (In my mind, they were either setting up a huge breakfast spread or setting up an area like on the movie Hostel to torture us.)  Ken told me to stop staring, and leave it alone, they are probably going to a hotel.

I just knew that they were murders and were packing up to leave.  Why else would they be leaving in the middle of the night.  Ken said they would leave due to the cold.  Whatever.  I was prepared to bail.  I then heard a noise, that turned out to be the hood of the car closing.  The canopy that I thought they had put up was no canopy at all, it was the hood of the car.  The area where I saw the guy "working" was actually the car engine and not a table for breakfast or a torturious table.  Oops. 

Both guys got in the car and I had my eyes on them.  Maybe Ken was right, maybe they were going to a hotel.  I had to make sure the car turned to get to the road and not towards our tent.  I watched them slowly turn away toward the road and felt relief and jealously all at the same time.  It was pretty cold and all I could think was take me with you! 

There you have it, our camping adventure from 2012.  While this is certainly not my favorite thing to do, I do enjoy spending time with Ken doing one of his favorite things.  I am just glad it is only once a year and we have 51 weeks until it is time to go again.  :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lake Tahoe: Day Seven...

Time to head home!  We did have an afternoon flight in Reno, so I was able to shop a little in the morning before we left.  There was an owl shirt that I had my eye on since we arrived and ended up going to buy it.  The highlight of our day was stopping in Reno for Inn & Out on our way to the airport.  We saw Inn & Out when we were leaving Reno when we first arrived and I told Ken that we must stop there on Friday!  We first had it during our Grand Canyon trip and it was sooooo good!  Have you ever had Inn & Out?  It is delicious!  It was one of our better meals while we were in Lake Tahoe.  Sad that it was, but Tahoe was definitely lacking in the food area. 

We learned that Ken and I are apparently becoming super high maintenace when it comes to restauarants, but that is a post for another day.

A little bit of Heaven

All and all, we had a great week.  We enjoyed our time together and not having an agenda.  Thank you so much Ken for taking me on vacation!  I always look forward to our trips together and cannot wait for the next one.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lake Tahoe: Day Six...

When we originally planned this trip, we were going to take a few days and drive South to hike up Mt. Whitney.  We had our permits and everything, but Ken had gotten bronchitis when we came home form Louisville.  We did not think that me dragging him up the tallest mountain in the continuous United States would be much fun.  I mean, we do both want to stay married for a while longer than just three years.

I had read about Mt. Tallac and told Ken I wanted to hike it while we were in Tahoe.  When Ken saw the mountain from Edgewood while we were playing golf on Monday, I think he was sold.  I did a small amount of begging and he agreed.  I mean the mountain is only like 9,800 feet at the summit.  Just a small hill.  :)

Thursday came and we left the hotel to head for the trail.  The one thing I will say about this trail is that there were very few switchbacks.  We started at 6,500 feet and ended up at 9,800  feet all in just under five miles.  Not too bad for two people that live at 800 feet.

Happy Ken

Floating Island Lake
You can see the top of the mountain.  Yes Ken, we are going all the way up there!

We just came up the steepest part of the trail.  I asked for his best smile and he was none too happy with me.  

Hands on the hips, still not a happy camper.  No smiling for Ken.

The view from the other side of the mountain, almost to the top!

We made it to the summit!  The views were amazing!

You could see all of Lake Tahoe except for one tiny section

Ken taking in the view and enjoying a snack

Since the hike up was so steep, we really had to watch our footing hiking back down.

Almost back to the car

At our final happy hour at the Embassy

Ken's model pose

My model pose at a sushi dinner

Ken and another model pose

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lake Tahoe: Day Five...

Day Five took us to Truckee, CA where we were playing golf at a golf course called Coyote Moon.  We left a little early to go shopping and find a place where I could get a latte and some pastries.  We pretty much struck out on both accounts.  The shopping was not great and the place where I got my cupcake and latte was horrible.  Have you ever known me to only eat half of a red velvet cupcake and throw the other half away?  Yeah, that just does not happen.  Ever.  It was not a good cupcake.  Huge bummer.  Truckee was the biggest disappointment of the entire trip.  We did have a blast playing golf and guess what we saw on the course?  A coyote.  Three of them actually.

Ken taking it all in.  The course was pretty, surrounded by all the mountains.

This squirrel had the longest tail I have ever seen.  He was so cute.

The course had a completely different look than Edgewood, but it was still very pretty.  

Caddy Advice:  Grab your nine iron

On our way to the fairway, I looked up and saw this guy.  I almost peed my pants.  Wow, he was just hanging out looking for a snack.  He could careless that we were there.  I thought it was the best part of the day until...

We came around the corner and saw this guy in the bunker.  I very calmly told Ken to look.  I was so excited and shocked.  I was even more excited when I saw him digging and pull something out of the sand and tossed something in the air.  

He had a squirrel and he was going to town on having his lunch

This was definitely the highlight of my day.  He could have cared less that we were there.

Beautiful scenery and a coyote having lunch

I wanted my picture with the coyote and apparently, he wanted to have his picture with me as well.  I named him Chester.

I love this picture

After our little picture party, he decided he was full and walked over to a tree and dug a hole and buried the remainder of the squirrel.  It was priceless. 

He buried it at the base of the tree on the left

We were so close to him the entire time!  

I took my duties as caddy equally as serious today as I did at Edgewood

Hole #14 had a huge drop off from the tee box to the green (don't you love that I know all the golf lingo?).  You can see the area for the tee box where the trees are open.  We were at the very top.  It was such a pretty hole.

While Ken was waiting to tee off on one of the holes, I made a new friend.  Ken had just dropped this piece of ice and this guy picked it up. This guy and his friends were crazy!  They were borderline molesting us.  They were obsessed and would not leave us alone.  I still wanted to put him in my pocket and run.  I mean, look at that face!  Is he precious or what?  Yes, I know he is a rodent and probably has a disease, but remember Chip and Dale (get your mind out of the gutter, not the Chippendales) from the Disney Channel?  I mean, come on all children from the 90's!

Even though Truckee was a bust, we still had a blast at Coyote Moon.  I am not going to lie, it may have been Chester that made my day!

Since Ken had enjoyed a few cocktails on the course and we were over an hour from our hotel, I drove us home.  Yeah, I drove.  At night.  After we were in the car and it got dark, I realized that it had been a good six to eight weeks since I had driven at night.  I am married.  Why do I need to drive at night?  I am apparently and old lady that suffers from night blindness.  I do drive a Lincoln for Pete's sake.  Did I mention that there are 90 degree curves by Emerald Bay?  I was white knuckling it the entire time and threatening to pull over because I could not see.  I panicked, I had sweaty palms.  In the end, we figured it was way safer to have me, the apparent blue hair driving instead of a slightly buzzed husband.  I am not so sure Ken felt the same way and he may have thought he was going to die.