27 November 2012

A visit to Omaha!

In October, we were able to make a last-second trip up to Omaha to visit my aunt, Buffie Somers. Buffie and I have been trying to plan a visit for a while, but with the move and timing, it never worked out. Well, we connected up on Facebook one night, found we had the same weekend free, and made a plan. Uncle Rob even joined us for the weekend, and we had lots of fun! 

We arrived late on a Friday and tried to get Max to sleep while the adults stayed up to visit. The next morning, I woke to find Max jumping giant piles of leaves Buffie had raked up for him in the backyard! 

Here are some sweet action shots from my phone.

After everyone was up and ready, we headed to the Omaha Zoo. We've been dying to take Max there for a long time. The weather was perfect: cloudy, not too hot. We spent a whole day there! 

Seeing all of the giraffes, including a new baby! 
The crew heading to the next stop.

Silly monkeys.

Riding the zoo train!

Look! I was even there! We have proof.
In the aquarium part of the zoo. Very nice!

I think he was trying to make a fish mouth. 
Me, with my fake happy smile. Ha! I think my feet hurt.
I think we were looking at jellyfish here.

We enjoyed some ice cream after the zoo, and then we had a nice leisurely spaghetti dinner at Buffie's house.  
The next day, we visited a park with giant train engines, Big Boy and the other one whose name escapes me. Rob will holler at me soon, and I will get the info updated. But Max liked it. As did Rob.

Couple of awesome chics.

Thanks for a great visit, Buffie! We love you! We will be back soon!

12 November 2012

A Very Special Grandma Cathy's B-Day

So, for my mom's birthday this year, I hatched a secret plan that I didn't even share with Paul. She and Joe came up to Lawrence for the weekend, and we went about things as if we were having a nice, normal birthday celebration.

On Sunday night, we went to the Oread for dinner. After dinner, we went up to the 5th Floor Terrace for the view! 
The happy couple.
I like to think that Joe is looking over campus and thinking,
"Boy, KU is awesome. I will never tease Susan again about their losing."
Sweet picture of the Campanile, Spencer, and Strong.
Wrangling the kiddo for a picture! 
Oh boy! Party time!

Little did my mom know what I had in store for her the next day. Ha, ha, ha.

My mom attended KU in the late 60s, a time of tension and upheaval in the small town of Lawrence. Lawrence itself was targeted by Vietnam war protesters, the Black Panthers, and the Weathermen as a place where they could "work" with very little interference because of the small population and weak police force. Needless to say, that did not make for a comfortable situation in many ways. 

A month before my mom was to graduate, this happened - the Union was set ablaze.

Because of this, the war protests, and the racial tension, the university did not have its usual graduation proceedings. Usually, my mom would've walked through the Campanile, down the hill, and into the stadium to graduate. In May of 1970, KU held a very small ceremony in Allen Field House. 

So, every time my mom comes up and we visit the Campanile (because Max loves it for some reason), she laments a little that she didn't get to go through it at graduation like I did. 

Well, we all know that I will ask anybody for just about anything. So I made a few connections through the Chancellor's office, and so this is what my mom got for her birthday: KU GRADUATION!

Provost Jeff Vitter escorted my mom through the Campanile and gave her a tassel.

Mom and the Provost, graduating and stuff.

Mom and the new #1 child, me!!!!!!!!!

Max with Grandma and Grandpa.

Joe and Mom, cuteness.

So, yeah, that happened. Step it up, Rob and Ben. Step it up! Muuuahhhh hahahahaha.

Couple of other notes... steam engines. And Bill.

Over Labor Day, Uncle Rob and Aunt Sara came over to Baldwin City to check out a steam engine.

Max's favorite car is the caboose. This day, he got to tour one! 

Hello up there!

Inside the caboose top.

Watching the steam engine come in.
Max said this was a little one, like Thomas. Smart kid.

Birds of a feather.

Uncle Rob also brought Max a pretty sweet gift: a real lantern from the UP.

Other kids (and some parents) were super jealous. 
Fun afternoon! 

And now, because I haven't really gotten a lot of time with Bill in this fall, here is a picture from a charity game over the summer. :-)

Yeah. We're hot. :-)