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Derby Day

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
I love the Kentucky Derby. I am no Southern girl, and I didn’t grow up riding horses. In fact, I’ve really never spent a lot of time around horses at all – and besides the Belmont and the Preakness, I really don’t care about any other horse races.

But I LOVE the Derby. I’ve loved the Derby as long as I can remember. As a child my parents and I would gather around our TV on that first Saturday in May – we each had a notepad to write down our predictions of the race. With plenty of baby kittens at the farm that time of year, we started naming the kittens after Derby winners. I’d get so excited to check out the list of horses names –picking my favorites in hopes they’d win so we could name the kittens. As I grew up, I began to love the Derby for more than just kitten names. The tradition of it all fascinated me. The beautiful pastel colored dresses, the fabulous hats, and the frosty Mint Julep glasses. It’s the ultimate Southern spring soiree.

I also love watching the champion horse trot proudly adorned with gorgeous red roses around his neck – I always like to think they know they’re the winner, and I think they do!

For my bachelorette, my girlfriends, mother, and mother-in-law came to get ready for a night out at my house and we watched the Derby together. My husband and his friends made everyone Mint Juleps and many of my friends wore big hats. It was one of my favorite memories of the Derby!

The past few years Mike and I have watched the Derby with my parents when they’re in town for the Prairie Fire half marathon. Mike usually makes a round of Mint Juleps and we cheer on our favorites together. Last year, my parents surprised me with REAL Mint Julep glasses. I love them!

Next year I plan to skip the half marathon to host a Derby party instead – and someday I hope to be in the crowd singing, “My Old Kentucky Home” with a Mint Julep in hand watching the fastest two minutes in sports.

The 141st Kentucky Derby will air on NBC on Saturday, May 2. Place your bets!

*Does it surprise anyone I live in “Derby, Kansas”? ☺

Deviled Eggs

Saturday, April 4, 2015
With Easter upon us, I’ve been reminded that this week we mark three years in our home. I don’t know where the time has gone! Just a minute ago we were moving in, and now it’s been three long (short?) years.

It’s funny how certain things instantly take us back to a memory, and Deviled Eggs will always remind me of our house on Arbor Meadows, and of Easter.

Mike and I went to close on our house on Monday, April 2, 2012. I remember it clearly. We were in the midst of getting ready for our wedding the very next month (perfect time to pack up and move, right?!) and our Kansas Jayhawks were playing in the National Championship against Kentucky that night. We were full of excitement, happiness, and did-we-really-just-buy-a-house emotion.

The entire next week was spent moving from our rental to the new house. The first night we stayed in our new house was Good Friday. We had worked until the wee hours of the morning moving things in and unpacking. We were exhausted but running on adrenaline. Neither of us could yet comprehend that this was OUR neighborhood, OUR house.

The next morning I woke up and it was one of those moments I’ll never forget. I opened my eyes and saw the kitchen from where I was lying in bed. “That’s my kitchen” I remember thinking. “Granite countertops, breakfast bar, all that storage!” “I can cook to my heart’s delight in there!” I still couldn’t get over the fact that only a year ago I wasn’t engaged and living in a one bedroom apartment by myself in Kansas City. I felt like Cinderella.

I instantly jumped out of bed and wanted to cook something in my fancy new kitchen. My options were limited though. Our fridge was pretty bare with the exception of some condiments and some Coors Light that Mike had bought for the move. Most of my kitchen things were still packed away in the piles of boxes that lined our living room. I tried to think of something easy I could whip up and something I could make for Easter at Mike’s parents the next day. Deviled Eggs!

You would have thought I was the Barefoot Contessa making ganache in my kitchen that morning. I was so happy – and still to this day simple Deviled Eggs bring back these happy memories.

Happy Easter friends! Be thankful for all the simple yet meaningful blessings in your life this Easter holiday.

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