Tag Archives: Date Night

Party Time!

6 Dec

Last week, Josh and I chaperoned the StuCo banquet at one of our favorite restaurants in the city. It’s a revolving restaurant way high up in the sky. I couldn’t find a dress that I liked for a price that I liked, so a few days before the banquet, I dug out some fabric that I bought 10 YEARS AGO and has been sitting in my closet all these years!

The seamstress whipped up a cocktail dress in a couple days (a major benefit of living here!) I really love how it turned out. I might do my grocery shopping in it next week just so I can wear it again!


We arrived early so that we could monitor the students as they arrived. There were some dress code restrictions, so we had to be on the lookout for violations. Thankfully, we didn’t have to send anyone away. I’m not sure I would’ve been so good at kicking a kid out of their fun evening!

Some of my friends were also chaperone’s, so we pioneered the photo-booth line.


Before dining, there was a program of beautiful performances. These kids are so talented!!! Then came the food. We had ribs, salad, rolls, and rice.  Ribs. Perfect for fancy clothes! They were good. Not Kansas City good, but good!


I had a fun night with my main squeeze. We had a lot of laughs.


Two of my volleyball girls snuck up on me while I was reapplying lipstick with the camera.


And the rest of the team. They are so pretty.


This is more our personality as a team.


While everyone was taking pics, Josh cleaned plates. This one belonged to one of my volleyball players. The fudge cake was really delicious!

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The banquet was over by 8 and all of the kids graciously laughed when I asked them where the after-parties were, so Josh and I met up with some other friends in the area. It was a fun way to finish out the fun evening!


La Maison Blanche

23 Nov

So, the Business Class teacher at FA has been known to rub elbows with quite a few well-known Filipinos. In fact, he’s buddy-buddy with the PacMan himself! In addition, he’s also friends with the head chef at the White House! So he put his connections to fun use and had his business class host a dinner, featuring recipes all used to fuel and sustain the world’s leaders. Cool, right?

I know he used it as an opportunity to teach the students all kinds of business principles, but I was sold the second I heard, “semi-formal” and “free childcare.”


We sat with two other couples and had a blast with them!

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See how it is to live in a humid climate? I curled my hair and completed it with all kinds of product. Five minutes later, straight straight straight.


And the group shot. Please don’t submit my photo for any award consideration without my permission.


During the evening, there was all kinds of different music performances. It was great because it was live, but in the background, so we could still chit-chat, and I love me some chit-chat!


We started with some de-lish soup with different kinds of seafood in it. I must have gotten the bottom of the pan, because my bowl was loaded with all kinds of yummy sea critters, including a clam shell, or mussel shell, or a krakin shell , I dunno.

Then we waited a lonnngg time for our entree, but we didn’t mind. (I think that I’ve had this blog long enough that my faithful readers know that when I say “WE didn’t mind waiting for our food, ” I really just mean “I didn’t mind waiting for my food.”) But it was worth the wait! We had some steak with a fantastic sauce, mashed potatoes, and asparagus and some other green leafy something.

To think that some of America’s life-altering decisions have been made over this meal…!


The final course was a fantastic piece of cheesecake. Having had a big ol’ slice of NY cheesecake just one week prior, this one was just a bit too small, but still delicious. It’s probably time that I stop eating as if I’m still training for a marathon anyway…

I realized that I didn’t have a pic of the two of us, (oh yeah…except for the one posted above) so I grabbed one when we got home. I must have had my phone on the “sandstorm” setting….


Anniversary getaway!

23 Sep

Since we were at a wedding on our actual anniversary, we wanted to wait for a free weekend to do it up right! Josh had won a free hotel night, so this last weekend, we were able to get away together. It was so fun, relaxing, and wonderful to be together. I love that it started with just the two of us, and now we have this amazing family, and when they have families of their own, it’ll be back to just the two of us.  I find it exciting and look forward to being sweet old couple with my Josh. I’d like to think that we’d be that adorable elderly couple sitting on a park bench, holding hands. But in reality, I see us sitting in recliners, eating Oishi salt-n-vinegar Cracklings and playing the 3958 level in Candy Crush.

I didn’t take many pictures (of things besides food, that is), but I was excited to use the new Vera Bradley bag that my mom got me for my birthday! It’s called a “weekender.” Doesn’t that just sound like a fun time? I made sure I just tossed it casually into the back seat, put my sunglasses on, and zoomed off, as I’m sure you’re supposed to do when you have a weekender. (Only I’m sure it is supposed to be a convertible instead of a mini-van, but whatev.)


This is the only pic of us that I took, headed off to dinner together. The ginorm smile is because I had a 24-hour break from my 18-week sweets fast!!! I do believe I made up for the last 10 weeks…with a vengeance.


But first, I need to mention the cheese room! While we were in the US, our favorite hotel buffet upgraded from a table of about 10 cheeses to an entirely climate-controlled room of about 20 cheeses, along with other antipasto treasures. It was amazing! I feasted on my favorites and tried any new ones. If I could’ve slept in there, I would’ve.


We both feasted on prime rib, lamb, indian cuisine, sushi,…and repeat.

I loved the dessert set-up! There was a table of open luggage and apothecary (or library card catalog) storage, and in each compartment, there was a sampling of candy, truffles, and chocolate. I loved it! I wished I had brought a ziplock bag to bring the kids some of the candy. oooh, I’m closer to old-ladyhood than I thought!

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This was my dessert plate….#1. I didn’t get a picture of #2…or #3… or the bowl of ice cream.


That night, we just hung out on our porch together. There was a typhoon beginning to blow in (and it’s still here two days later,) so it was pretty windy. There was a fun skyline to look at, but of course, my little iphone camera can’t capture all the brilliance of it.


While we weren’t at all hungry the next morning, the buffet was included with our room, so we dug in and muscled through the full tummy feeling.

As you can see on the top right plate, I hit the cheese room again, along with the pastry table. It was all delicious, and even though I ran a total of 21 miles this weekend, I think I stored up enough calories to carry me through a winter of hibernation.

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Instead of heading straight home after check-out, we headed to a nearby mall for a movie, new shoes, and dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Good Mexican food is hard to find here, so when we heard that our favorite Greek restaurant owner had a Mexican place, we needed to scope it out. It was good timing too, because they are shutting down next week!!! I guess it didn’t take off, but we liked it and are sad that its closing up shop. Boo.

When we got home, we loved seeing a “Welcome Hom” sign from Bella and big hugs from all the others. Caleb was so excited to see us, he couldn’t contain himself. He just kept jumping up and down and screaming. It makes a gal feel good.


Soft cheese or hard cheese?



The Birthday Bash

21 Apr

Today is one of our good friends birthday, and we wanted to be the first ones to celebrate with him, so we all signed up for a midnight 5K nearby. His wife is one of my running inspirations, so part of me wanted to see if I had a faster pace inside by keeping up with her. The other part of me wanted to just party-hop from one mile to the next. I couldn’t make up my mind, so I figured that it would just be a game-time decision!

It’s been pretty cold for April and last night was no different. It was around 40 degrees at midnight and we were definitely feeling it!


I bought glow-in-the-dark bracelets for all of us, but they don’t really show up in this pic. I guess I should have turned off the flash??


I also got some glow-in-the-dark Happy Birthday balloons, so the birthday boy pinned one to the back of his shirt and wore it the entire race.


My favorite races have been with friends, and I especially love it when my bestie is with me!


Ok, here’s Lisa, the super-speedy runner!


Her fastest 5k is in the 21:– range. My last official 5k race was 26:30, so I decided to plan to land somewhere in between those two times. I told her that I wasn’t going to use my Garmin and that I just wanted her to pace us at a just-under-8:00-miles.

Prior to the race, the director told us a little about what they were raising money for (The Special Olympics) and we took a moment to remember the victims of the Boston and Texas tragedies and then we lined up.

Lisa and I were right at the front of the pack, and when the gun went off (there was no gun, just a guy with a megaphone shouting “Go!”), we took off down the course.

It was the longest 3 miles of my life because I was pushing so hard!

Here were my challenges:

– I didn’t have music, so all I could hear was my labored breathing. It gets in one’s head when one is trying to convince one’s self that one isn’t tired.

– My torso was hot under three layers, but my thighs were numb from the cold in my running skirt!

– The course messed with my mind! I thought I saw a mile 1 marker, but it just turned out to be a water station. So when I heard Lisa’s Garmin signal a mile, I thought we were at 2 miles, but we were only at 1! Also, there were 3 turnarounds, and each time, I thought it meant we were headed back to the finish line, but we didn’t. Then, we overshot the finish line on the last turnaround and that’s never a good thing.

– At one point, I thought Lisa had said that we were a little short on our time, so I thought we needed to speed up to stay under 8:00 miles. I felt like I was pushing myself so hard, so I didn’t know how much left  I had to give!

Lisa was so encouraging and inspiring, without barely breaking a sweat mind you, and she pushed me to the finish line every step of the way. She kept quiet about our pace the entire time but just before 3 miles, she said, “If you keep this up, you’ll be 3rd female overall!” She kept saying other encouraging things, but I usually just responded with a grunt. There was no conversation in me!

Since there were three turnarounds, we saw Josh and Johnny three times. The first time, I had a woo-hoo for them. The second time, I had a smile. The third time, I didn’t even turn to look at them because I was too focused on the next step. The only reason I knew they were there was because Lisa waved at them.

As we approached mile 3, she told me that we were at 21:00! That gave me the extra energy I needed for that last push and we crossed the finish line at 22:27! I was so happy. Lisa let me have a .03 of a second lead to give me the 3rd overall title and the 2nd place in our age group.We got silver and bronze medals and everything!!!


As soon as we crossed the finish line, we got our cameras to capture the boys coming through the finish line. We both caught them, but our pics both look like we snapped the photo with old-lady shaky hands. I realized that my camera was on a nighttime setting, which can’t capture much movement. Anyways, the boys rolled in at 25:19!!! I was pretty proud of them!


In our post-race rehash, Lisa gave me all the deets, yeah I said it, about our pace. I was shocked when she told me that we went out at a 6:30 pace! No wonder I was beat! It turns out that she had never said anything about being short on our pace goal, so I don’t know what I heard. Either way, I think it really helped to not know my pace and just try to keep up with her.

Josh and Johnny both dragged at different times, so they were able to encourage each other to the finish line, using inappropriate joking of course.


Another nighttime setting/old lady shaky hands shot.


We were done with all of the post-race hoopla by 12:30am, so we ran to the warm car and headed back to Johnny and Elisa’s house, via Taco Bell! It was such a fun night and a fun race with friends.

Thanks Johnny and Elisa, for a memorable and super-fun time!

4 People, 12 Helpings

29 Nov

Josh’s brother and his wife, Jake and Katie, share a breath-taking love for The Melting Pot and all things fondue with us. In fact, our favorite conversation starts with, “Which is better? Cheese or Chocolate?”

So since our last double date 4 years ago, we’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time! Between the local weekday specials and the black Friday deals, we got a great deal indulging in 3 hours of stuffing-your-face-with-as-much-fondue-as-you-want, otherwise known as their more marketable and classy phrase, “Endless fondue!”

I went into it believing it was too good to be true. In fact, when Josh told the waiter that we wanted the Tuesday All-you-can-eat deal, he repeated it back to us with a look of “uh, seriously? You think we’d offer that kind of pig pen chaos as this establishment?” But he was really nice and went to his manager who knew exactly what we were talking about. Phew!

At first, they seated us at a booth meant for 4 people, which meant only one burner. Between that and being able to rummage through the pockets of the folks sitting near us, Josh asked if we could please sit at a bigger booth, using the never-fail excuse, “We’re big people.”

Naturally, we started with cheese. I had to be careful because I would easily use up my stomach space on the cheese fondue. We started with a spinach artichoke fondue on one burner and a cheddar cheese on the other. With the assorted breads, apples, and veggie dippers, with cleaned those out in record time. After some serious thought and meditation, we picked a Wisconsin trio for our next cheese fondue. It was all so so amazing.


Next our waiter brought out the salad. We all ate a few bites just to make our mommies and daddies proud of us, and then set our eyes on the next prize.


The entree put the boys in carnivore heaven. Stocked with filet mignon, terriaki sirloin, chicken and shrimp, we went through SIX platters of meat! That was in addition to the mushrooms, broccoli and potatoes that compliment the meat. Our waiter kept asking if we were ready for the dessert menu and we kept refusing with a grunt of, “More meat!”


Finally, it was time to choose from the selection of different chocolate fondue. Is there harder decision to make in life? If so, I haven’t discovered it. Thankfully, with the all-you-can-eat option, we knew we could pick all of them if we wanted. However, the six platters of meat in our stomachs told us that three chocolate fondues were all that our bodies could handle before it would start rejecting the food.


It was so delicious! We feel like we’ve ruined ourselves for future Melting Pot experiences. How can we possibly enjoy just one cheese, one platter of meat, and one chocolate from now on???

Before we had the chocolate fondue, Katie and I agreed that the cheese was the bees knees and won the cheese/chocolate argument, but after our wildberry crunch chocolate and flaming turtle fondues, the age old question remains.

Which is better? Cheese or Chocolate?