Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Go Chiefs!

This past Sunday Zach and I went to the Chiefs game with my family (well, minus mom, just not her thing). Dad, Vince, Chris and their girlfriends, along with a bunch of their friends all met up to caravan into the stadium bright (or cloudy) and early!  We were a bit worried since the forecast for Sunday called for a *zero* percent chance of rain.  One guess what we all woke up to? Yep. Rain.  Luckily it let up right as we got to Arrowhead.  It was a bit chilly, but that made for perfect tailgating weather!  We had lots of yummy food grilled up by my brother and chips and beer till our hearts were content. 

Since Vince and Chris have season tickets already we were all split up in the stadium, but all within the same two sections, and as luck would have it, the tickets I purchased were right next to my brothers friends, so it was great! Chris came up and sat with us and we had a totally fun time.  It doesn't hurt that the Chiefs totally stomped the 49ers either!  Such fun!  I hope to make it a yearly tradition!
Zach grew up a big Joe Montana fan. Since South Dakota doesn't have a Pro team, I give him a pass.

Tailgating fun! See the guy in the #88 jersey? I used to babysit him.  *sigh*

Here come the Chiefs!

Jessi (Chris's girlfriend), Sheena (Vince's girlfriend) and Me

Vince, Chris, Dad, Zach and Me

Serious grilling business going on here.

Our seats were wayyyyy up in the corner, but I still thought they were good. Plus I had some nifty binoculars. 

Chris sitting down in his seat (jersey with the white hat, standing)

Decided to take a parking lot shot, I guess.


I have a feeling Zach will be switching football teams soonish.

I love Arrowhead!

Post Game Re-Tailgate. I am officially too old to hang with this crowd!

So, that was my one Chiefs game for the year. I'd love to have season tickets too, but we already have Nebraska season tickets, so I think that's enough football for us. Plus I like watching on TV just the same.  Next up, we head to Northwest for a game this Saturday!  Oh and a Nascar race on Sunday. Yes, Nascar.  I will definitely recap.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kansas City Zoo Run - 2010

Saturday was the Kansas City Zoo Run. I'd heard lots about this race and how fun it was, but always forgot about it until it was too late. This year, I remembered right in the nick of time and registered a couple weeks ago. Apparently each year they pick an animal to "run for" and this year it was the new Polar Bears.

I haven't been to the zoo in 11 years. I remember going right after I graduated high school and that was the last time. Eleven YEARS ago. Yep. I'm old. Since I hadn't been in so long, I wasn't even really sure where the Zoo was located. Thanks to my Garmin, I discovered it wasn't too far away! I got there early and super tired. I was up way too late the night before, for no good reason either. I parked in the first lot I came to and headed in the general direction as everyone else was. It appeared to be the main entrance to the zoo and "Race Day Registration". Typically race day registration is pretty close to the start line so I just waited, and waited and waited. I began to think "geez, I guess this isn't a popular race" because there weren't but a hundred or so people standing around. Then I noticed that people seemed to be walking up this hill toward Starlight. So I pretended like I knew what was going on and followed. After what felt like a forever long walk, I got to the actual start line and boy was it packed! It was on a slight hill, so I couldn't even tell how far back from the real start line I was. One thing that I noticed right off the bat that was different from other races I've done was the amount of kids! They were everywhere! I thought that was super cool! I can only hope that my future kids will want to run races with me. That would be so fun.

The race started at 8:30 and after the National Anthem and some announcements I couldn't hear, we were off!

Mile 1: The whole first mile was nearly all downhill! I forgot my watch, but I would be willing to bet that was the fastest first mile I've ever run! I couldn't even believe it when we got to the Mile 2 sign, just inside the Zoo. I just kept thinking "what goes up must come down except, the other way around". I just kept waiting for that big ol' hill!

MIle 2: We headed into Africa! As I said, I haven't been to the zoo in a very long time, so I had no idea where I was going. I saw lots of "employee only" signs, so I'm guessing a lot of it was some behind the scenes stuff. I think it was mile two where I saw the Giraffes. They were neat! Otherwise, not many animals to see. Just lots of trees. The paths would go from regular walking paths to narrow dirt/gravel paths every so often, so a lot of how fast you could run, depended on how fast the person in front of you was going as there wasn't much room to pass. I was ok with this since I wasn't really aiming for (or expecting) a fast time. I spent most of the race behind a 10 year old boy and his dad. Kinda funny! Also, much to my surprise mile 2 was pretty much straight or downhill as well!

Mile 3: Ah yes, finally some hills! And lots of narrow passages. Still, no animals. Very strange. I think Mile 3 took us into Australia. After looking at the Zoo map just now, I'm realizing that the whole zoo is comprised of only Africa and Australia. Is that true? That's all we have? Weird. No wonder I don't go to the zoo. I did see the nasty apes/monkeys/primates though. Eeeesh. Monkeys give me the heebejeebies. I also noticed at this point that I am obviously developing fall allergies. In addition to the sweat pouring into my eyes, I had to deal with a stuffy, runny nose. Lovely.

Mile 4: lots of looping around here. Ups and downs, super narrow paths and some wide open spaces through some common areas. About halfway through the last mile we passed the new Polar Bear area. Didn't see them/her/him (?). Good thing I wasn't in this race to see the animals, or I would've been pissed! The finish was after a bit of a hill, which is just mean, who ends a race on an uphill?! I was pooped, but very happy to see on the finish line clock that I had made it in less than 40 minutes! I'd been slacking on my distance running lately and didn't think I'd make it in less than 40. Thank goodness for all those downhills!

I had no idea where I was after the race ended though. I knew I needed to hurry in order to make it to the baby shower I had at noon, so I skipped the food line all together (and I was starving!) and tried to find my way back to the parking lot. I felt like I was aimlessly walking around, and just couldn't figure out where I was! I started panicking after I was walking for what seemed like another mile and finally asked a zoo person where the exit was. Of course it was literally right around the corner from where we were standing so I felt like an idiot.

I really liked the race though! I would definitely do it again. It might be fun next time to actually go walk around the zoo afterward and see some of the animals for real. They have to be hiding in there somewhere, right?! The atmosphere was really relaxed and I could tell most people just do this race for fun, not to be competitive, so that's refreshing. Plus it's always awesome to run in new settings, I loved feel like I wasn't in the big city, plus the paths were challenging but not too rough. Good mix! Highly recommend this race.

Now, I love, love, love running races, that much should be obvious. However, my body does not like it, not one bit. I'm not sure what happens, but after every single race I get really sick. I could run 5 miles through my neighborhood or on the treadmill, with absolutely no problem and feel great after. But I run a 4 mile RACE and I'm done. I can only assume it's the combination of nerves and adrenaline and the fact that I push myself much harder during a race, but lord, it is not pleasant. I did some googling and I guess it's common, but it is terrible. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep it off. Usually I can, but this time I had a baby shower to sit through. Luckily I made it and just spent the rest of the night camped out on the couch watching football. It would just be so fun to do a race and NOT get sick after, ya know?! Races are supposed to make you feel GOOD!

Ah well.

Here are the stats!

Distance: 4 Miles
Time: 39:22
Overall: 544/1531
Female Place: 242/977
Division Place (female 25-29): 59/197

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alarm System

Hey guess what?!

Another video of Ted! Oh, you know you love it.

We back up to the main street through Greenwood. While it's a small town, for some reason the fire department sure does get called out here a lot.

Ted is not amused by the fire trucks sirens.

We are.

Here, Ted takes a break from watching the football practice across the street to let me know that there's an emergency somewhere in Greenwood.  

Ah Woo Woo Woo! from Stephanie Swalley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's time to grow up

Zach and I are on a mission.

Operation: "Grown Up Bedroom"

Neither one of us came into our marriage with decent bedroom furniture, it all stayed with our parents. And, after going furniture shopping this weekend, I can't blame them for keeping it. That stuff's EXPENSIVE!! Sheesh!

Currently, our bed sits on a plain metal frame that I've had since I was 1 year old, we don't even have a headboard! Our particle board "dressers" are from K-Mart and I've had them since I went away to college. They are actually serving double duty as our nightstands as well. I also have a lovely matching lingerie chest that is falling apart so bad I can't even open 2 of the drawers.  So, as we creep up on our 3 year wedding anniversary, we have decided it might be time to grow up a little and get some real furniture.

We made the trek out to Nebraska Furniture Mart this weekend to get some ideas of what we like. I was afraid we wouldn't even have the same taste.  Luckily, it turns out that we do for the most part.

 This is an example of the style we are going for...

I was kind of disappointed in NFM's selection. Everything in our price range seemed a little "cheap" and the "expensive" stuff wasn't exactly what we were liking either.  Plus the store was pure insanity. I should have known better than to go furniture shopping on Labor Day weekend since I know that's one of the busiest sale times.  It was a complete madhouse. I got really overwhelmed and we ended up leaving and headed over to Granite City for some soft pretzels & cheese (the best EVER) and a Bedda Chedda Bacon Burger to re-evaluate our strategy.  After some thinking, a new plan has formed....


I've been reading a few DIY blogs lately (much to Zach's dismay) and over and over and over again I see Dresser re-dos. They are everywhere! I've been drawn to black furniture anyway, so how hard can it be to sand down and paint a dresser!? Surely not that hard! The hard part is finding a dresser to re-do. Then finding a chest that sort of matches. But dang it, we are going to try! I just emailed my very first craigslist seller tonight (a solid wood dresser for $25?! Yes please!) and am on pins and needles waiting to hear back.  I probably won't, but I'm just glad I took the first step. I've said it before, but I'm a major chicken when it comes to Craigslist. It just gives me the hebejebies  But, Zach has actually sold a few things recently, so I'm putting my brave pants on and going for it. (don't worry, if I ever do find something to buy, Zach will be coming with me to pick it up!)

I'll keep you posted!  Here goes nothin!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fitness Challenge 2.0 - Week 4 Update

I finally buckled down this week and lost almost 3 pounds! Whew! I was going to be really mad if nothing happened. 

I just ate lighter lunches and dinners and tried to squeeze in a little more cardio. Apparently it did the trick. I plan on doing more of the same this week!

I also signed up for my next race.  The 7th Annual Kansas City Zoo Run on September 18!

This one is a 4 miler.  It goes all throughout the zoo and even has some trail portions. I've heard from people in the past that it's a fairly difficult race, so I'm looking forward to it.  I've got to get in some good training runs though. I'm a little rusty right now.  I did a couple nice long runs through the neighborhood this weekend since it was SO nice out and hopefully the weather will cooperate for the next two weeks so I can do more.  I hope I finish with a decent time. Not just because that's cool, but because I totally forgot that I have a baby shower to be at WAY up north at 12pm. Oops! I'm going to have to do some hustling to get there on time, that's for sure.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! Mine was fab!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

No-Guilt Chocolate Cupcakes

I'm sure most of you have heard of or had one of these little bad boys, but I thought I'd share anyway.  These are the "One Point Cupcakes". I still have a hard time believing that these are just one little Weight Watchers point (I don't do WW), but I figure they can't be TOO bad anyway.

They are so simple to make too.  Just 2 ingredients are required, three if you want to be a tiny bit on the bad side.

No-Guilt Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box Dry Chocolate Cake Mix
1 can Pumpkin
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Mix cake mix and can of pumpkin together, add chocolate chips. (batter will be thick) Scoop some batter into a cupcake pan fitted with paper wrappers.  (the batter doesn't rise like normal cupcakes, so fill them however full you want them to be in the end).  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until done

It doesn't get much easier than that, now does it!? The cupcakes aren't really as "cakey" as they are like a brownie. I lovvvve them!  Plus, they are so rich tasting that you really only want one! Try for yourself!

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States