July 4th

Fourth of July 2016

Few places are more fun to spend the day than the Farm!!

Swimming at Thomas'

Beckham spent most of the day looking for a turtle in the pond and his persistence paid off!

Fourth of July 2016

The 6 wheeler is always a hit!

Fourth of July 2016

Muddy feet are cool at the farm!

 Fourth of July 2016  Fourth of July 2016

Buckle up SP!!

Fourth of July 2016

I don’t know if they have ever done sparklers before! Two out of three loved them!


Berkley still had an enormous dislike of fireworks. As in, they still make her break down and scream. So she makes sure she’s inside with Daisy long before they start! upload  upload

I thought it was a mirage at first

Carolyn texted to let me know my birthday present had been delivered and was waiting at our front door.

But NEVER in a million years was I expecting to see THIS:

I think I hyperventilated trying to get the box open! There were FOUR cartons in there! It was real live Blue Bell in our real live house!!


For the record, Blue Bell has this shipping stuff down, it came rock solid!


We had to make room in the freezer. So this was the only smart way to do that (they were never going to get eaten anyways, we only got them to try to fill the Blue Bell void, ate a scoop and decided having no ice cream is better than these): upload

It’s even better than I remember! Which makes it bittersweet…I LOVE eating it cause it’s the best food ever, but hate eating it cause, well, it gets eaten!


I’m not the only one who thinks Carolyn is the best either: 

Doesn’t get more thoughtful than this! You’re the best C! Love you!

Arm parties, hot air balloons and blow outs


This is what Berkley’s arm looks like at all times. She calls it her “arm party.” If anyone needs a hair tie at any time, she’s your girl. I taught both our girls to keep hair ties on them cause it’s how I got one of my best friends.

Freshman year of high school. Biology. This girl sitting near me needed a hair tie and asked me if I had one. I did and I gave it to her. That’s how it started, and I can’t imagine my life without her still today. So they keep stocked, cause I don’t want our girls to miss out on a friendship like Carolyn and I have just cause they don’t have a hair tie! 🙂 She’s drop dead gorgeous, wicked smart, so much fun, super generous and did I mention beautiful?!


Carolyn, her mom and I celebrated Carolyn’s birthday with a sunrise hot air balloon ride!





AugustOur pilot looked just like Travis Shanahan!!


The venue for the balloon was close to Slovang, a little Dutch town! We decided it was worth seeing, once! 


Then birthday brunch at Lucky’s, amazing!! 
Why does our hair look so great? Cause there’s this amazing thing I’ve heard of but never experienced before now: blow outs.

Then there’s the sushi. We ate it every day. Sugarfish’s sushi is my favorite food in the history of ever. 

While Carolyn was at work one day (yes, birthday girl worked and we played…the irony was not lost on us, I told you she was amazing…) she had Cathy and I go on the TMZ Celebrity Tour of LA!


We learned that rumor has it if Louis Vuitton doesn’t sell something at full price, instead of putting it on sale, they burn it! August

We had a great time celebrating a wonderful girl!!

Brian brought the kids to the airport when I got back in their robot outfits. The signs they made were the best!


SP’s says “You are my battery, I am low on battery”August


Sarah and David’s wedding!

Seriously, they are adorable right?

Sarah and David asked these two to be their flower girls, and they were pumped!

They also got to spend the day with these gorgeous girls, bonus!

sarah and davids wedding

SP was excited about the rehearsal, because although she’s been a flower girl, she said she didn’t remember how to do it, so she was glad she got to practice!

Brian helped with the ceremony, but did NOT do this on day of! 🙂

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

This is what Berkley “practiced”…tipping her basket over. She did this during the ceremony as well. sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

The kid table at the rehearsal dinner, they hung with Dunning kids and loved it!

sarah and davids wedding

Pretty pumped about her name tag! sarah and davids wedding
Wedding day!! Could Sarah be any prettier?! She was stunning!!

sarah and davids wedding

Sarah and David are so perfectly matched! We are so excited for these two!!

SPandBoo Tompkins Wedding

Nicola curled their hair, Morgan did their make-up. These girls thought they were princesses!

sarah and davids wedding

Top it off with a “crown!”sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding


Berkley’s already a little hippy, this crown put her over the edge!! sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding


After the ceremony they had a sparkler send off. Which Berkley was so excited about. Until she realized sparklers are fire. Which she hates. So she became the screaming flower girl in the flower beds trying to get away from all the beautifulness!


Also, proof that our kids at least have one parent with a heart, here’s Brian going to get her…while I take her picture! a


The other two loved it! a

Thanks for letting all of us share in your special day Sarah and David!!



Spying on Berkley and Isaac…

These two kids were making me laugh when they were playing together…

November 2014

Berkley: “Are you going to come to my hotel and get a room?”
Boo: “Isaac asked for a football drink but I told him all we have is milk so I gave him milk”
November 2014

Isaac: Gypsy (their dog) did stinkies in my face. 

Berkley: oh, we call it poop

November 2014

Berkley: “What is the funniest dream you like to dream?”
Isaac: “Football”
Boo: “Isaac, come look at my room while I have one sock on”

November 2014

Bethlehem Revisited


This Advent season MPC got a group to go to “Bethlehem Revisited” a live reenactment of the story of Christ. We were severely out numbered in the kid to adult ratio! IMG_0384


It was cold this night, but they served cookies and hot chocolate while you waited, so everyone was happy! IMG_0392

They bus you out a few minutes to a property set up for this walk through the story. This was the first time Boo had ever been on a bus!IMG_0407

The thing I loved most was that they started at the beginning, just like God did! So first stop was Moses. There was a fire and a prophet at each stop who foretold Christ’s birth. So you would walk to a station, stop and listen to them explain how they waited for Christ, and then go to the next one.


They have this whole property decked out for this event. It’s impressive!! Lots of live animals!


When we got to Bethlehem, it too was so realistic!


The people got super loud, selling and begging and talking to us!


Mary pulls up on a real donkey!


This was my favorite part…it was so dark, but then they got to the part about the angels announcing Christ’s birth, this spot lit up and the “angel” choir sang!




If you live in Manhattan, make sure you put it on your bucket list! It was great!!


We just go for the photo ops…

We ride bikes. But we really go for the photo ops. #katytrail

I can’t believe I never posted this. It’s a throw back, but I think well worth documenting!

The last two Katy Trail trips that Tony and Brian took, Shari and I tagged along on the last two days. (They try to play it off as being super sweet and taking us to a bed and breakfast for a night, but we all know they just need a ride home! But they let us stop at the Gap outlet on the way home, so it’s a win-win!) The guys go to ride bikes. Obviously Shari and I go to take pictures. And for some reason, this year we were super into jumping pictures.

Shari started by claiming her vertical jump wasn’t high.

Katy Trail 2013

After we all laughed that she was right, I demonstrated that if we bend our legs, we would look like we had more air:

Katy Trail 2013

Continue reading

LoveManhattan: Trains, Wildcats and Adventure

(Found this straggler in the “drafts” folder…it’s a little retro now…)

This Saturday we slept in, then we headed to Wamego to ride the train. After this weekend it closes until the spring so we had to find out what it was like. Wamego is a small town about 20 minutes eastish. Below is the train station.

The is free, which is really hard to beat.

Even us adults get to ride.

It goes around a cute park.

I totally fit, though not real well.

"Look Laura, I fit!" Sure Brian, sure!

Here is a video of the train in motion, it’s worth checking out.

After the train we stopped by this Wizard of Oz House, the wicked witch of west’s legs are sticking out. It was then that we realized our children had never watched The Wizard of Oz. Which is sad cause that’s literally all we knew of Kansas when we moved here 7 years ago. So then we watched Wizard of Oz the next day. The kids didn’t like it when it started out black and white.

Berkley the next day said “Dorothy wanted to go back to Kansas. But why? Kansas was dirty.”  Laura: “You mean black and white?” Berkley: “Yes, it was dirty”

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!!

After that we headed the Hilton’s tailgate where we munched on some walking tacos and a John Daly, we were told it’s called that because it’s like an Arnold Palmer with alcohol. They drink Purple Lemonade instead of Pink Lemonade at these tailgates. Very cool. That’s Laura and Heidi here.

The stadium was upgraded this past year and looks fantastic.


Damian is showing Beckham how to make a pretzel.


They met a Cheerleader. I was in line at the port-a-potty. I asked the guy behind me if he minded if I held their place while they went to get a picture with the cheerleader. He said sure as long as you’ll hold my place when I go get a picture with the cheerleader. Seemed like a good deal to me.

We bleed purple now...kids excited to find a K-State cheerleader at tailgate!

After the tailgate Laura and the kids went to a birthday party, Beckham and I went on a bike ride.

He wandered down some railroad tracks.

Collected some railroad nails and wanted to bring them home for his treasure box, seemed like a bad idea.

He caught some frogs and minnows.

Climbed a “mountain”

Caught  more frogs

Became very afraid when he thought water was about to rush out of this gate. No idea how we got the idea that would happen.

Finally  proved he was a little taller than 8 feet tall.

Played in what I believe are soybeans.

Then found this grave stone grave yard. It’s a bunch of typos and such. I guess the delete button on marble slab doesn’t work so well.

Beckham wanted to try and ride down the tracks. It’s hard and bumpy and not fun.

Then he wrecked and scrapped his knees. I’m not a bad a dad. At least not for the reason you’re thinking. I checked on him first and then had him turn back over to take the photo placing him back how I found him. Public Service Announcement: When you drive off sidewalk don’t drive back on if there is a lip/curb. It ends like this.

Then put Beckham in a tube the looked to be steady.

Did some trampoline jumping in the backyard.

Then watched the New York Cosmos online.

How Carolyn and Laura “Survived” Laura’s Trip to NYC

 So, Carolyn and I “survived” our weekend in New York City pretty well! 🙂

(By that I mean it could not have been more fun!)

After waving goodbye as I pulled away in the car for the airport, Berkley (still waving) looked at Brian and said, “I miss Mom. She was a good Mom.”

So there’s that.

I went from the Little Apple Manhattan to the Big Apple Manhattan!

Night one we went to an AMAZING sushi restaurant. The last time Carolyn and I ate sushi together we were on the other coast! Few things yummier than sushi by the ocean with a great friend!!

New York 2014

Carolyn is only in NY for a few months, but she’s settled in like a local! We rode around all weekend on CitiBikes. Brilliant. You check a bike out at any of the MANY racks like this around town, ride, then check it back in at any other bike rack. You can get a yearly unlimited pass, or a daily unlimited pass.

New York 2014

There’s a great bike/walking/running path right next to the Hudson River.

New York 2014

Saturday morning we went to a fun workout class (a huge treat for me!) and rode bikes and explored.

New York 2014

This is the landing pad for people’s private helicopters. Every single time we rode by there were helicopters landing or taking off. That’s a crazy lifestyle to get my head around!!

New York 2014

The one request Brian had of me was to take pictures…with the Wiffle Ball. Carolyn and I decided it was kind of like our Flat Stanley for the weekend!

New York 2014

We had to get creative!

New York 2014

New York 2014

I had no idea the big New Year’s Eve ball stayed up for the entire year. Thinking about it, this makes perfect sense (cause where are you gonna store that?!).

New York 2014

What’s NYC without the Naked Cowboy?? (and the Wiffle Ball of course)

New York 2014

A HUGE yoga class in the middle of Times Square

New York 2014

The real Subway signs and the restaurant Subway signs threw me off. They are eerily similar fonts.

New York 2014

We stopped by an entire block of food vendors!! It was so stinking hard to decide what we wanted.

We passed on this donut slider the first day…but couldn’t pass on it the next day because we had been thinking about it for an entire 24 hours. It failed to deliver. It was sad. But not that sad cause we decided it’s probably best that we didn’t love something that the bread was a donut. It had a lot of potential…

New York 2014

These tacos were the best!

New York 2014

We didn’t eat there, but the Shake Shack is VERY popular. The line was unbelievable.

New York 2014

We went back to Carolyn’s adorable apartment to shower for our next adventure…her apartment is right across the street from the “Friends” building!!

New York 2014

Then, we took the subway to Coney Island!!!

New York 2014

Brian and I recently discovered Nathan’s hot dogs.  (I won’t buy any other kind now!) But I honestly thought it was a small little undiscovered brand. Turns out it’s not. We just live under a rock.

New York 2014

The big hot dog eating contest is on Coney Island every 4th of July!

New York 2014New York 2014

So when we got there we both mentioned to each other that we didn’t realize people dressed up to come here. Then we noticed everyone dressed up was a Mermaid. Turns out there was the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island that day!! We were super bummed we missed it…it would have been an experience! But we still saw many of the costumes, very creative ones! 🙂

New York 2014

We rode the funnest roller coaster ever, and ate a hot dog of course!

New York 2014

Then back to Manhattan (the big one) and that night we went to The Comedy Cellar and watched stand up! I’ve never been to stand up before, much less by people I recognized!!

The next morning we rode our CitiBikes to a SoulCycle class.

New York 2014

It’s only the funnest and hardest thing I’ve ever done! My legs were sore for a week!! Very worth it!!

New York 2014New York 2014

Then we saw a little play, Wicked! 🙂

New York 2014

It was every thing everyone says it is…and more!! I’m bummed it’s not a movie cause I think our Kansas kids need to know the real story…:)

Two Houston girls on Houston St in NEW YORK!

New York 2014

It was an unforgettable trip with one of my very  favorite people!

Thanks Carolyn for sharing New York with me!!!

Oh, so even though I drove to the airport (you park for free about 100 yards away at our little airport that I love!) I still walked off the plane to these Crazies

K-State Open House

 I saw signs around town advertising K-State’s Open House, and I wrote it off an something for incoming freshmen and their parents. But then Christine tipped me off that’s it actually put on for the town to visit and see the cool stuff all the departments do! So good to have tried and true local friends! 🙂

We visited Rudy in the architecture building. This is what architects do all day I think.

Watching Rudy hard at work in his major is very similar to watching my second grader at play. @rudyprins

These are really impressive!!

Finally he revealed his senior thesis #ksu

Brian drew a little before leaving the architecture school…

Not really.

Made a Call Hall ice cream stop. Best ice cream ever!!

Little call hall for lunch

After the Coke and Mentos explosion demonstration by Call Hall, these crazies asked to finish off the cokes. They ran the rest of the places we went!

It's how they roll

I love Andrew in this picture…eating his ice cream as he poses among a bunch of girls!  Such a good sport!

K-State Open House was super fun. #kstate

The Animal Science (or maybe Vet School?) had a station to make your own dog treats!


They said they were human edible too. So Tim was the first (bravest!) to try one!

Tim eating a fresh baked dog biscuit...and liking it

I’m a little behind, cause this event was in March, but why does Sadie look so much younger than she does now already?!!?


Becks ate almost his whole bag. Cause we give away dogs. So we don’t have one.

We only hit the tip of the iceberg, and can’t wait for next year!