Monday, November 22, 2010

Buckeyes and Bananagrams

We are both officially on Thanksgiving Break (after Kara gets out of class at 5:00) - which I must say is much needed. Kara and I have both had difficult semesters this year. What makes it even harder is that some of our friends are either taking a lighter course load this year or have just lost motivation in general. But Kara and I are still our typical nerdy selves, studying and working hard like always. So, when a break comes along (like Thanksgiving), we are definitely taking full advantage.
To start off the "festivities", Kara brought over her set of Bananagrams to play. Since no one else wanted in, we both played by ourselves. Let me tell you from experience, playing Bananagrams with just two people makes for a much longer game, but we enjoyed ourselves. I think Kara enjoyed it more because she not only won both games, but she also called me out when I had claimed to win and one of my letters was misplaced. Let's just say that apparently when this happens, gloating is encouraged. And since I know you are curious, our boards are below. (Note: In Kamaron Gray-like fashion, after losing the first game, I quickly destroyed my board so no pictures could be taken).
Kara's Winning Words
My Not-Quite-Winning Words
As you may have noted in my picture above, there were several strange ingredients laying on the table while we were playing the game. Most notably - Gulf Wax. The only thing I have ever known this to be used for is Buckeyes, but apparently it serves some sort of canning purpose that I am not yet aware of. Anyways, Kara and I spent an evening this weekend making some Buckeyes!
Step 1: Mix and Mash
We had a lot of fun making these together. Last year, we resorted to using one of Kara's bobby pins to poke the Buckeyes with in order to dip them in the chocolate. This year, there were no bobby pins or toothpicks to be found, so I suggested what I thought was a great idea - Q-tips with one end cut off. Kara definitely objected, but I ended up persuading her, and I think it turned out pretty well (although you won't hear her say the same).
We only had two problems with the entire operation: 1) We had excess chocolate. 2) We had no wax paper.
The excess chocolate, of course, was not really a problem at all. We were dipping everything we could scrounge up into the chocolate - including my roommate's LIFE cereal. The second problem turned out to be kind of frustrating. After cooling the candy off, we tried to remove them from the pans. Needless to say, they were not coming off very easily. We even resorted to flossing them off at one point (Kara's idea - Again, let's compare the Q-tip idea to the floss idea...)
Trying to Pry Them Out
Overall, it turned out good, even if 1/2 of our Buckeyes are bottomless. Enjoy Thanksgiving Week! I know we will.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Judging by the weather over the weekend, you wouldn't have guessed that Thanksgiving is only a handful of days away. But I'm not one to complain about sunshine and warm temperatures. Saturday morning Kyler called (at 9am, mind you) and asked if I wanted to take a trip to Nashville. We went there last year about this time, maybe a little earlier, and it was very pretty. And from what Randy the weatherman had been telling me, last weekend was probably the last we will see of 60 degree weather until next April. Yuck.

So off we went to Nashville.

Everything was decorated so appropriately for the upcoming Christmas season! It's hard to see, but the owners of the house below had definitely decked the halls.

Kyler and I loved this house!
We looked in some pretty cool shops. There were tons of Christmas crafts shops, a local art gallery, home decor shops, a glass molding shop, and tons of CHOCOLATE! There was a Chocolate Walk going on to raise money for the local animal shelter. Apparently this is an annual event that benefits various agencies. We didn't want to pay for the tickets to participate, but it's definitely something we think we'll check out in the future.

(About the glass molding--a guy literally took two sticks of glass and molded a nativity scene Christmas ornament over a giant flame. It was definitely one of the coolest we visited. I so wanted to take a picture, but I didn't think the man needed a distraction with that flame so close.)

And then of course there were the not-so-cool shops. One of the first ones we walked into boasted a sign offering "Quality Gold and Jewels". It was a brief stay to say the least. I would compare the quality of the gold and jewels to something I got out of a vending machine at Kroger when I was little.

My sole purchase of the day was a little bitty Christmas tree adorned in bells. Now our apartment says Christmas every time you walk in the door...not really. The tree is so small that almost everyone just walks right by it, and we have to point it out to them.

We ended the trip to the same fudge shop we visited last year. Now, the fudge was delicious, but it was not the fudge that kept all the visitors talking and gawking. Just outside the shop doors was a fake man telling of Nashville's history. Here is Kyler with our loot and this "local" man.

Kyler with our fudge, and the old man holding my little Christmas tree.
And just when we thought our trip was over, and all the sites had been seen...

This is the "sale" going on right beside our parking spot. Apparently some of the locals take advantage of the crowds and hope to sell off some of their unwanted possessions too! And just in case he was in the house when a customer came by, he left a nice little sign with directions...

"If your interested in something here, Im in the white house were the dogs are Just holler at me Thanks"

What an entertaining ending to our time in Nashville.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Return to Glory

First things first - a follow-up on the shoe mitt post. Blogger allows you to do mobile posts by setting up your e-mail address, then taking pictures and e-mailing them to Blogger. I was under the impression that I was also allowed to write text under the picture, which didn't turn out. (Kara later notified me that my joke of a story wasn't all that funny anyways).

What I wrote was: "Really - what is a shoe mitt? I saw this in the hotel this morning, thought about it, placed it on the toe my my left shoe since it was a little chilly and walked around town. Wait...that's not what it's for? Okay, I didn't walk around town with it, but after some careful analysis I put it on my hand and wiped my shoes. Didn't see much of a difference...but isn't that what it is supposed to be used for? Then why call it a shoe mitt? Quick-hand-mitt-shoe-buffer seems more appropriate. Who comes up with these ideas?"

Okay, maybe Kara was right (dont' tell her), but seriously, it was the strangest product I have ever seen.

In other news, you may have heard that IU got a commitment from Cody Zeller to play basketball next year. This is the same kid I met with earlier with some other Kelley students to try to persuade him to play here. So, I am not taking complete credit. for the signing...all I am saying is at least my conversation with him didn't hurt anything.

Which brings me to my next point, IU's "Return to Glory". This is similar to what Kamaron thought Notre Dame's return to glory would be, only this time it might really happen in less than ten years. Cody's commitment opens IU back up to recruiting major Indiana high school talent, which has typically gone to other schools since Knight's departure. Also, we had a few other recruits who were sitting on the fence, and Cody's commitment could open the door to their arrival as well.

My friend Jason claims we could be contenders for a title in two years. While I think that is some wishful thinking, it may not be too surreal if all of the pieces fall into place. The regular season for IU starts this weekend, and Kara and I have season tickets. We have been along for the crazy ride the past three years, and we are hoping that this year we will continue to improve. I am calling a .500 record this year, but I think we are capable of more than that if everyone stays healthy and a little luck comes our way.

So, I am excited, and you should all be too! Cheer on the Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers but don't curse during the "Dr. Hoosier (GO BIG RED)" chant (if you know what I mean siblings).

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I am engaged to the very best man on this planet. (Do all brides-to-be think that?)

No seriously though. Kyler just gets me. (What? I suppose all brides-to-be say that too.)

It's the little things he does that lets me know he cares.

Exhibit A:

I received this much anticipated CD in the mail the DAY it was released. Somehow he knew I wanted it. I doubt it had anything to do with the fact that I had been talking about it since August.

And to say I've gotten its money's worth out of it is an understatement...

Above is a screen shot of my iTunes (taken on Friday morning, 11/5). It's actually quite embarrasing to admit that this only counts the times I listen when I'm at home. I'd hate to see the numbers if you added in listening in the car and on my iPod walking to class.

Note the 2:39 AM play time. Taylor keeps me company when I'm up late preparing presentations.

In other news, this week we have been crazy busy. Kyler was actually out of town Thursday and Friday interviewing. We're both getting somewhere in the interview process and decisions are needing to be made. Please keep us in your prayers that we'll know where we're supposed to be (and that we end up with offers that compliment each other's in regards to travelling distances). As of now we both have offers that work well together, but we're waiting to see if a couple of others come through. Hopefully by Thanksgiving we can let everyone know where we'll be spending our first year together as a married couple!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Basketball Season!

I wish I could plead guilty to losing this account's password. Because that's the excuse I would use in regards to my absence on this here blog. However, I have no such excuse. Life is just running away, leaving me in its tracks, and I'm constantly trying to catch up.

Tonight I finally caught a break, and it came on a wonderful night: Season opener of IU's basketball season! Kyler, Jason and I have seats together again this year and added Jordan, Jason's lady friend. She couldn't make it tonight, and I was worried Jason was going to miss out too since the Pacers were playing. But the three of us made the trek to Assembly Hall once again to watch the Hoosiers kick off the season of our senior year. (Insert sadface).

This sums up our car ride to the game...

So Serious. Not dealing with traffic and jaywalkers very well.

Jason jamming to Journey, even though Kyler wouldn't turn up the volume.
We had great seats. Student Section. Right under the National Title banners. Maybe 15 rows back. Incredible seats to watch....Franklin College? Seriously, it was like watching high school basketball. But gosh darnit. We had great seats!

Then we saw my cousin Cory and a friend from high school Luke. They both go to Franklin and made the trip to Bloomington. We thought we had great seats. They had great seats! Second row, on the floor, across from IU's bench.
Cory, me, and Luke...I have great school spirit.
As if Shenandoah wasn't represented enough, one of the IU cheerleaders is from our high school too. I tried to take a picture of Caity, one of my sister's good friends, but the light was horrible. Maybe next time.

The game started off a little scary. Seriously, Franklin matched us point for point until about 15 points. Towards the end, I got a little distracted. I think we all did. Jason was anxious to get home and watch the DVR'd Pacer game. Kyler was busy giving Jason a wet willy...

Doesn't look like Jason minds.
And I was just ready to go home and relax. We peaced out in the second half. The last score I remember was 62-26 maybe. I don't remember for sure. Basically, we secured a "W" and headed out.

It was so great to finally get out and do something normal--something that doesn't include homework, studying, an exam, or an interview--for a little while. Starting tomorrow, it's back to the wind and grind, and it will be pretty crazy again until next Thursday. Good thing Kyler's around to keep me from losing my mind...