Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where There's Smoke...

Thankfully in this case there was no fire.  When you look at the picture below you may initially think Ryan is pretty terrible at taking pictures and the haze is due to poor focus.  In fact, the haze was due to mass amounts of smoke coming from the oven. In my defense I wasn't actually burning anything that we were planning to eat tonight.  I had turned on the oven to preheat and some extra goodies that had bubbled over from the delicious cottage pie I made on Monday started to char.  Ryan quickly cleaned out the oven and turned on fans and opened windows and doors.  Dinner (baked tilapia, cous cous, and snap peas) still turned out yummy even if we were a bit chilly from the fresh night air blowing in...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Yesterday I got the chance to visit one of my company's mine sites in Moab, UT.  It was the only site I hadn't been to and it was also my first time in Moab.  Can I just say that Moab is GORGEOUS!  Can you imagine this being your commute to work everyday?

Here we are coming up to the mine:
Here are the four of us that were taking the mine tour:

The mine in Moab is a solution mine which is a mining process by which potash is extracted from mineralized beds by injecting salt-saturated brine into a potash ore body.  The density of the brine increases as potash dissolves in the brine.  The dense, potash-rich solvent then sinks to the bottom of the mine where extraction wells pump the salt and potash saturated brine to the surface for solar evaporation.  Solar evaporation is a mineral concentration process where solar energy is used to evaporate water and crystallize out the salt and potash contained in the brine. 

Below is a picture of one of our solar evaporation ponds that is still full of water and then another of a bed that is fully evaporated and ready for "harvest".  The giant machine is called a scraper and it picks up all the ore in the evaporated bed.

To give you an idea of how huge the scrapers are, I took a picture standing by one if its replacement tires. 

The mine tour was extremely interesting and informative.  It didn't hurt that the setting was amazing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nom Nom Nom

Our neighbor Karen is an AMAZING cook and is always making something yummy for her family.  She knows how much we love her cooking so she often brings us some of the goodies.  Tonight we were lucky enough to get some of her delicious green chili!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nice Little Saturday

We had a nice little Saturday today.  I started my day by being pleasantly woken up early by an eager Ryan (after he'd already been to Sherwin Williams, Ace Hardware, and the grocery store).  Then we went straight to work painting our master bedroom.  Here are some before pictures:

Here's Ryan cutting in:

And here I am "helping".  Sometimes I think Ryan would prefer I didn't "help" but is just too nice to say anything.  For some reason he didn't believe me when I told him I was going slow and being very careful with the roller.  Apparently it is not okay to paint the ceiling.  Oops.
China and Peanut just chilled on the bed the entire time we painted while Mojo pouted right outside the door because we wouldn't let him in the room.  (I don't have a good picture of Peanut because she just blends right into the duvet.)

After we got the first coat up we headed over to Amy and Dion's and finally got to meet Lily!  She was delivered on Fat Tuesday (March 8) and for various reasons we hadn't had a chance to visit.  Such a tiny little bundle and so cute with a full head of hair. 
Then we headed to the Melting Pot in Louisville with Scott and Sue as a late celebration of Sue's March birthday.  It is in such a cool building in old town Louisville and supposedly is haunted!  Everything was so delicious and we always have such a fun time with Scott and Sue.

Saturdays just go by too quickly, don't they?!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hope Totes

Ryan and I realize how extremely fortunate we are on so many levels so we both find it important to give back in various ways.  Recently, I received an email at work about Hope Totes which is a program organized by the Denver Rescue Mission.  The purpose of Hope Totes is to provide needy people with toiletries that they may go without or struggle to afford.  I can't imagine what it would be like to go without these everyday items that I often take for granted so I definitely wanted to participate.  I grabbed two of the "Hope Totes" and Ryan and I set about filling them as you can see below. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness

We did our best cheering for K-State last night.  We were hoping China in her sweater might be a good luck charm.  Guess not.
Here's Ryan enjoying the game the best way he knows how:  with a Blue Moon.  I'm not sure if the orange peel in the mouth enhances the flavor of the beer more than just having the orange in the beer? 
Today and for the rest of the tournament (hopefully) we will be cheering for KU.  You won't see Ryan in a KU shirt but because I went to KU for my master's I feel there is no shame in cheering openly for both K-State and KU; however, I will always cheer for KSU during any head to head battle and my closet has much, much more purple than red and blue.
I think the girls might be ready for March Madness to be over as they seem to be a bit worn out from all the cheering.  Oh wait, they always look like this unless there is mention of cheese balls or scooby snacks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Snooze or Snooze?

You can see which Snooze I chose bright and early this morning!
I have been wanting to try Snooze ever since I heard of it but I'm not exactly a morning person and the place is notorious for having a long wait every morning.  Ryan surprised me by taking me this morning but I had to get up at the crack of dawn so we could beat the crowd.  It was a good thing we got there at 7 because by 7:45 there was already a wait!  It was so delicious and definitely worth getting up early on a weekend.  My pancake flight consisted of a red velvet, pineapple upside-down, and sweet potato pancake and it was so yummy!  It definitely helped me start my day off on the right foot.  See how happy I am so early in the morning?

Ryan was pretty happy too until I accidentally ruined that for him.  I decided it would be a good idea to bounce a bouncy egg I saw in a store and unfortunately it bounced directly into a sensitive area.  (Yes, I realize it was a little evil of me to take a picture of him in his pain).

On a a different note, you can see we've both been decked out in our K-State apparel all day.  Go Cats!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rough Day

This is what I call a rough day at work:

I got to attend the Louisville/Morehead and Vanderbilt/Richmond March Madness games at the Pepsi Center today and it was so much fun!  The games were both amazing and ended up being upsets!  It was so much fun to see the underdogs win even though they weren't the teams I picked for my bracket.  Even with the losses I'm still tied for 3rd in my pool.  Too bad my pool is so small that being tied for 3rd is also the same as being tied for last...minor detail.  Below is a picture right after Morehead upset Louisville by one point with a last second 3-pointer.

On another note, I couldn't get a good picture of Richmond's spider mascot but if anyone is aware of what this mascot looks like, can you please verify with me that you also think this is the creepiest school mascot ever?

Anyway, Happy St. Pat's and Happy March Madness!  Now I need to cheer on KSU against Utah State.  Go Cats!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making Memories

What a great weekend!  Ryan and I took a quick trip back to Kansas City and had a short but very sweet weekend with family and friends.  We are so very fortunate to have these awesome people in our lives!  We spent Friday night with Ryan's family and had some delicious tacos.

We helped cheer on KU as they beat CU in the Big 12 tournament (because K-State didn't - yes, if you're wondering, I was listening to that game). 

We had fun playing with Kylar and Ashlynn.  Uncle Ryan taught them how to play Angry Birds on the iPad; however, they kept referring to it as Grumpy Birds.  Ha!

We also ate wayyyyy too much of Jaime's delicious strawberry rhubarb upside-down cake!

On Saturday we had some Kansas City barbeque for lunch.  We went to Papa Bob's Bar-B-Que which Ryan and I saw on the Travel Channel Show "Man vs. Food".  The eating challenge there is called the Ultimate Destroyer and it is 4.5 lbs of meat, 1.5 lbs of french fries AND bread and pickles!  We actually saw someone take on the challenge while we were there!  The guy didn't finish it.

Then Saturday we spent the evening with my family.  We got to play outside with the Kya and Cole because it was so nice!

Then we played games inside too.

Here the boys (and Kya) are just chillin.

On Sunday we got to meet Luke and Leslie for lunch.  I did a very bad job of taking pictures on Saturday and Sunday and didn't snap any shots of Wendy or Luke and Leslie so next time I see them I will be chasing them around with a camera!

We got back on Sunday evening and were very tired from the travel and the time change (and Ryan was sick) so we decided that warranted a trip to the DO.
It was tough getting up Monday morning but I walked into my office to find this cute orange M&M.  One of my colleagues brought it back from Vegas for me (along with a bunch of actual chocolate M&Ms).  What a nice surprise to start the week!