Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Recently, my parent's took us kids on a family get away to St. Louis. I have been to St. Louis only a handful of times, but it might be one of the most underrated cities ever. The last time we went was almost 3 years ago when I experienced the joy and wonder that is CITY MUSEUM. Little did I know that was just the tip of the St. Louis iceberg.

Before we left for this bustling city to the north east (home of the 1904 World's Fair, no big deal), we asked ourselves the usual: "Well what will we do once we get there?" questions. We were actually floating in the lake discussing this when my mom said: "what about that one place that does those one things....oh you know...murder mystery....and you like go and eat..."  I was shocked. How could a murder mystery dinner theatre be in existence and I didn't know!?

I quickly did some research and found this elusive place that is full of murder....and mystery...and dinner....and discovered it was known as Bissell Mansion Theatre; I immediately called and made reservations.

The woman who took our reservations asked typical questions like 'how many in your party?' and 'what date would you like to attend?' But THEN she asked the best question of all: "Would you like speaking parts for your group?" I practically shouted, YES! You mean, WE get to be a part of the murder mystery?! Sign me up. My enthusiasm was not matched by my family. I'd say they were down right annoyed I said yes without consulting them. Too bad.

We arrived in style, and right on time. There was a big dining room filled with about 40-45 other diners. Appetizers were served as we waited for all the guests to arrive:

I must admit, I did find it a bit odd that Crab Rangoon was one of the appetizers...I thought maybe there would be something a little more mysterious-y. 

The killer is DEFINITELY in this picture....have a guess who?

Soon it was time to start the show, and figure out who killed "Bitsy" the Mardi Gras Queen.

We were introduced to the main characters, given our "names'' and script pages.
It was fairly simple, follow along the script until it's your turn to speak.

I can't work with this! What's my motivation? Where does my passion come from?

This was Christian's role, a detective. He didn't come in until Act III. 

My role was Georgia Peach, and my daddy owns the largest peach farm in all of the South. 
Here I am speaking my lines with grace and one heck of a Southern accent: 
I expect my Tony award in the mail any day now.

Andrew is turned around trying to figure out where the voice of "Harry Conduit, Jr." was coming from. I'll tell you this: Harry was NOT the murderer. 

Christian was obviously in deep thought about what the actor,-er, I mean- John Lafeet,  was explaining to my dad- uh, I mean- Carlos Violincello, the mobster and concert violinist....

I told Christian in all of the pictures I have of him he looks very confused. 
He said: "Well duh, it's a murder mystery....."

Andrew played the Cajun chef....his one and only line was uttered after Chris said: "Whoo-whee! I love me some steak!" Andrew had the tough line of: "I like my steak medium rare!" 
And that was it for those two...they definitely weren't the murderers. 

At one point, accusations were flying, alibis were called into question, and fingers were pointed. 

 I can tell you it was not one of these three people below:

Which only leaves one person as the killer of poor Bitsy, the Mardi Gras Queen.....

I will tell you Carlos was just as surprised as the rest of us that he was in fact, the murderer. 
It was discovered that when Carlos went to play for Bitsy she told him he had the "smallest fiddle she'd ever seen" and Carlos did not appreciate that one bit! I was sort of hoping Georgia Peach WAS the killer because Bitsy seemed like a real jerk.

Don't worry, dad  Carlos wasn't sent to jail. He was such a superb actor, they didn't want to arrest him....

 ......just his picture. 

I think there might be a new profession for all of us in the near future......

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Can you feel it?

'Round these parts there are two seasons: football season, and baseball season; the rest is just filler in between (what is this Christmas you speak of?). We might be at the perfect storm of 'seasons' right now since football season is gearing up and baseball season is still going strong. If you come to our house at any given moment you will most definitely find one of those two sports on the t.v. no matter the time or day.

Chris is obviously a glutton for punishment. For one, he married me and two, he is an insane Kansas City Chiefs fan - aaand they break his heart every year.

He's into it, man. Like REALLY into it. Like reads off-season reports, watches youtube videos of his favorite players being awesome, and has extensively studied the history of the Chief's franchise into it.

We even toured the stadium last year which I highly recommend: 

"Can you imagine if we LIVED here?!"

"Ok I'll take a picture with you, but have you felt this grass?! I'm never washing my hands......"

"ok but seriously, the players come in HERE! Can you believe it?!"

This is us at my first Chief's game vs. the Broncos waaaay back in 2011:

It was so cold I literally spent half the game in the gift shop.....

We've been lucky enough to attend games the past couple of years as well:

I literally thought football season didn't start until around  September, 
but I forgot to account for one teeny tiny detail: pre-season games.

I was sitting in my office earlier, working, when I could feel, nay, I could sense a nervous type of energy growing in the house. Chris was pacing back and forth, in and out of my office through the living room into the bathroom out of the bathroom back into the living room and into my office again, WASHING THE DISHES, letting the dogs in and out the back door, and just generally being a pain. 

When I asked him what the heck he was doing his reply made it all clear: 

Chris: "Chief's play the Bengals in the first pre-season game tonight."
Me: "ohhh that's right, I forgot tha-"

Chris (quasi-yelling): "and the guide on the t.v. doesn't say it's going to show the game, but I know it's on channel 12 because I checked on Arrowhead Pride and they said it would be on channel 12. It's says it's gonna play some show called "Blue Bloods" or "Quest" or some crap like that!"

Me: "Ok let me just look it up online-"
Chris: "I already did! It's doesn't say! Let me show you!" (I'm putting all exclamations here because there was a slight panic to his voice).

"Now let me get you to the right screen..."


Me: "What is my life right now!?"
Chris: "Hey don't take my picture, this is serious!"

Finally, enough was enough I called our local cable company to MAKE SURE the game would be shown. Fortunately for me, it was. Chris was still skeptical. 

I thought: So what if it's the beginning of August? Chris' Chief's spirit is exciting. 
What the hell, let's get out the Chief's knick-knacks:

I even ventured into his man cave, procured and displayed this cool tiny little truck: 

Chris took one look at this little gem, nodded in approval and said: "Just look at that craftsmanship!"

When I turned around from finishing up my little display and saw chris, I was not surprised: 

I think we're ready. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My brush with greatness...

I'm not sure if you guys are aware of this or not, but I'm totally married to someone famous. Remember  this post about Chris being awarded a Star Teacher? Well let me just tell you, he's only going up baby!!

Chris received a random voice mail one Wednesday morning of a women's voice telling him he needed to be in full uniform ready to have his picture taken, and answer a few questions for an interview in the next couple of weeks. Being the naturally skeptical person that he is, and thinking no one would possibly want to interview him, he promptly deleted the message and forgot all about it.

However, as fate would have it, someone DID want an interview with him: Show Me The Ozarks Magazine to be more specific. Turns out they were doing profiles on 10 area coaches and Chris was chosen to be one of them.

Naturally, I assumed it was really a ploy for them to interview ME....I you even KNOW what it's like to be a coach's wife? I was primed; I was ready; but alas, it seemed the interview was really to get Chris' philosophy on coaching.

Chris met with the writer/photographer, Rose, at the baseball field. In addition to being a super cute writer and photographer, Rose has a blog called The Flying Farmers where she talks about her adventures as a pilot, her gardening, and even her border collie, Pax. To say I was intrigued is putting it lightly, I have since told her she is my new best friend. By the way, what's a restraining order?

It was rainy the day of the interview, so we set up inside the equipment shed, and Rose got to work. Layla was also there to answer any questions if necessary:

 I was surprised when Rose started my interview with questions to Chris asking how long he had been coaching, what his record was, and other various coach questions.

Rose nodded politely when I told her all about what I did while Chris was gone getting the field ready before games, how I make sure Chris is always mentally prepared, my own pre-game ritual, what items are essential to bring as a spectator,etc. I did notice she didn't write any of it down though.....

After Chris told all of his coaching secrets it was time to brave the rain for a quick picture:

"Make sure you get my good side...."

Ummm....Rose? Shouldn't you be pointing the camera elsewhere? More specifically to the lovely lady standing behind you? The one who is having a good hair day and wore a cute outfit!?

After the interview and picture I insisted my new best friend, Rose, and Chris take a picture to commemorate this momentous occasion. It's not everyday I ALMOST got interviewed for a magazine:

I said: "Both of you look like you feel very awkward." To which they both replied: "We DO feel awkward."
I should add that these photos were taken with my phone, and are NOT up to Rose's photography skills....

Chris and I waited with anxious anticipation for my- I mean Chris'- article to make it's way to news stands. Finally it happened, the August edition was out. We turned to page 45 and there he was:

Good picture, honey!

I do have to say, I'm quite proud of him and the coach he's become. Chris works really hard to make sure he's making the best decision, carefully considering all possible angles and weighing his options.

 He's like this when we're trying to choose a restaurant takes forever. 

So even though Rose forgot some of my quotes, and decided to use Chris' picture instead of mine; I understand. My day in the sun will come....

Besides, I think we all REALLY know who the star of this family is:

....and it's this snaggle toothed beatuy!

Here is the magazine if you want to read the article for yourself, and be extremely impressed: 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

When I was young....

When you are young, you get the luxury of living a relatively burdened free life. The dramas and challenges that rule your universe, while huge and in your face at the moment, become a bit trivial when you get to "grow up" a few short years later- faced with big bills, relationships that require a lot of work (and pride swallowing), and a job you might hate waking up for everyday. 

When you are young, even death seems like a far off thunderstorm. You see it looming ahead, its ominous dark blustery clouds swirling menacing in their fierceness, but it's so far away- why be concerned about it now? Sure, you may have the death of a grandparent and, although sad and life-altering, it might be expected. Friends and relatives will say: "Oh they lived such a life! How lucky they had a family that loved them with grandchildren and great grandchildren!"

When you are young, such sayings mean little to you because YOU are the one living your life at that moment, and you're comfortable with the fact that the deceased lived to an "old age."  You have not met the hard, often cold truth the world likes to smack you in the face with occasionally.

The truth is that life is two sides of the same coin: spectacularly beautiful yet unfairly cruel.

When you are young, you hold the world by the tail. Strong in body, overwhelmingly optimistic in spirit and powerful in the mind, there isn't much you can't do.

When you are young, you absurdly think love is easy. What is so hard about the concept of "I love you and you love me"?  It's as simple as that, right?

When you are young, exciting life experiences are expected. The hard stuff will come later you're sure, but for now the unfair cruelty hasn't showed it's ugly self. You still get to be young and carefree ...... so let the good times roll:

When you are young, life may knock you around and you feel some pain, but you get back up quickly....why? 

Because you're young that's what you do.

Then time, as it often does, moves swiftly and without your permission.
 Life begins to show you how unfair it really can be...........

....but certain truths become illuminated to you. 

The beauty of life, the other side of the coin, is ever present even if buried underneath the brutality. 

The beautiful truth that authentic friendship never leaves, regardless of distance:


The humbling truth that there is no support system like that of your family:



The gorgeous and hopeful truth that true love really does exist:

You learn the often overlooked truth that real heroes come in many different packages.

 Heroes are heroes even if they are small....

Or furry.....

..... or beautiful....

....or the strongest, toughest person you've ever met...

But the great thing about the hero in this story is 
even his unfair and cruel death......

you learn he still wins.