Saturday, April 25, 2009

My 21st birthday - for the second time!

It was so much fun waking up in my old apartment - even though it looked totally different! I enjoyed my morning coffee standing in the window looking out over the balcony and thinking about the numerous mornings I sat ON the balcony and watched the people in the park below. That was such a peaceful place for me! Lesa, Mom and I went for a morning walk around Mill Creek Park (across the street) and took pictures by the fountain - which I always referred to as "my fountain." You can barely see my apartment in the background just to the right of the spray of water.
The park looked beautiful with new landscaping! We found a gorgeous pink dogwood tree which is my mother's favorite! It was so wonderful to be able to spend my birthday with the woman who gave me birth! She truly is the very best a mom could be - she loves me unconditionally, she encourages me, she supports me, she challenges me, she inspires me and she continually teaches me! She is and always has been my mother but she is also my friend - and for that, I am so very grateful!

We checked out of our hotel at noon and I took her on a mini-tour of Kansas City showing her some of the new highlights of this magnificent city! We stopped at Bob Jones where we both found some fabulous new sandals and then headed home to get cleaned up for dinner. Mom took me to the Melting Pot for my birthday dinner - and it was fabulous! We realized the last time we were there was 2002 when we were celebrating my new eye!! That's probably about as often as one should go to the Melting Pot because we left completely stuffed - but hey, it was my birthday!! It was a spectacular day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Orange you glad it's (almost) your birthday?

My mom is amazing!! She put together one of the neatest birthdays I could have imagined! When I graduated from college, I moved to KC and found a very cool apartment on the plaza - even before I found a job! I lived there for three years - first in a studio apartment with a murphy bed (very cool!) and then in the penthouse apartment (in my eyes!) with a balcony. It was paradise! In 2004, the Park Lane Apartments were added to the National Register for Historic Places, spared from destruction and sold to the Winston Hotel Group.

In 2006, it opened as the Courtyard Marriott. I always thought it would be fun to go back and spend the night in "my apartment" so for my birthday, mom booked the J.C. Nichols Suite - room 616 - just for me!

It was a bit of a shock when we first walked in the door to discover there was now a wall dividing the apartment into two rooms and room 615 was also part of the original apartment. We were tempted to ask the guests next door if they would let us take a peek - but we didn't. Obviously, nothing inside the room was the same - the dining room is now the bedroom, the kitchen is now the bathroom, the balcony is no longer accessible and the windows are completely sealed shut - but the view is the same!

Mom also invited some of my wonderful friends - many that were a part of my life then - to stop by and relive the good 'ol days. We had pictures of the apartment when I lived there which seemed to stir up so many stories. It was fun to remember the good times that were shared there - and we certainly laughed!
Everyone brought me something orange to celebrate my 42nd birthday - everything from dish soap to a chinese lantern. It was awesome!! I had so much fun unpacking when I got home and enjoying the various orange items that will now decorate my home. Orange is a color that brings me joy - along with very special friends and a family that showers me with abundant love! I am so very blessed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Penguin Park

As I'm sure you can imagine (if you know me at all), one of my favorite places to play in Kansas City is Penguin Park. I have even been known to go there with other adults but I particularly enjoy going there with kids - it makes me feel like a kid again. Michelly and I took the girls there for a little afternoon fun before I had to go to youth group and they had to get in a car and drive across Kansas.

We were a little unsure if the weather was going to cooperate but as we finished lunch, the clouds parted and the sun peeked through. It was meant to be!

We climbed, played on the swings, hugged the penguins, drove the school bus, and had a marvelous time! I'm almost sure the girls had as much fun as I did but that's hard to say. You really can't go wrong with good friends, nice weather and giant penguins!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kite Festival

My high school friend, Michelle, and her two girls drove up on Saturday for a visit with mom and me. It was raining in the morning but by noon the rain had stopped so we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Lee's Summit for the kite festival. It was fabulous!! It was windy which is a good thing for kites and it was cloudy which made it easier to stare up into the sky to watch them fly!

The sky was filled with hundreds of kites - from paper kites that the children made themselves to a giant squid that was the size of a small house!

They also had fun activities for kids - face painting, balloon animals, kite making, candy drop, etc. Abbi had beautiful eye swirls painted on her face while Danielle had a bright orange, yellow and green butterfly. I really wanted to have my own face painted but they said it was only for the kids! Darn the luck!

Both the girls had a frog made out of a balloon but when a younger child burst into tears as her balloon animal popped, the girls gave her theirs. They are such sweet girls!! I had a fabulous time catching up with Michelle and getting to spend time with her girls.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Royals Home Opener

There is really only one thing I like about the end of winter - the arrival of baseball season!! Knowing that very soon I will be back at Kauffman Stadium cheering on my Royals or going to Mackin Park to watch my friends play makes it easier to accept the arrival of spring.

I really wanted to go to the Royals Home Opener but alas, ticket prices were outrageous. Hard to believe considering most people seem to be "fair weather friends" and the Royals are not at the top of their game these days. I guess the hope and excitement of a brand new start brings people out in droves.

I was sitting in my office when I heard Jim (my pastor/boss) declining an offer for tickets because he already had some and I yelled "I want to go!" Thankfully & not surprisingly, he heard me and passed the free tickets on to Craig (Associate Pastor) and myself. YAY!! I'm going to the Home Opener!

The festivities began with a dedication of the "The New" Kauffman Stadium. It was fun to see so many of the old favorites back for the occasion. The stadium looks great and you can now walk all the way around - which, of course, I had to do! Despite the fact that the day started out a little ominous, it turned out to be perfect weather for a ball game!
I was more than excited to discover that our tickets were in one of the brand new Hall of Fame Suites. I think I actually prefer watching the game from the other side of the stadium but I did enjoy the comfortable seats - inside and out - and, of course, the free barbecue buffet, pop and water that were provided. It was a fabulous way to kick-off this baseball season. Go Royals!!