Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yes, I've Been To A Monster Truck Rally

Yesterday I got to play monster trucks with Ariane's cute 4 year old nephew, Allan. I'm pretty sure that I didn't follow all of his rules or play the "right" way, but it did remind me of the time that I went to a Monster Truck Rally.

Yes, several years ago I went to the Energy Solutions Arena (that's in Salt Lake City where the Jazz play) and watched a whole evening of this:

Amazing, huh? It was quite an experience. I can't say that I'll be attending any more Monster Truck Rallies, but I'm sure glad I got to go to one.

And it was all thanks to this wonderful friend.
Thanks, Jen, for breaking up with the boy that you bought the tickets for (she's now happily married) and inviting me to go instead! We always have a ton-o-fun together!

And that's my monster truck memory for the day. :)

The Madness of March (Almost)

It's almost time folks!

The family bracket challenge gets pretty intense.

Can you guess who my pick usually is?

I made that shirt. Pretty good, huh? Too bad I don't have it anymore.

Truth be told, though I now know that Duke is truly a good basketball program and I love them, I started rooting for them in 6th grade when I had a crush on a boy who liked Duke. Thank you 6th grade crush for teaching me about Duke basketball. :)

Also, BYU may make a good showing this year. It's the year of the Jimmer.

Bring on the tourney!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adventure: Fan Fest 2011

Hello baseball season!

For the past three years I have enjoyed going to San Francisco early in February to partake in the SF Giants Fan Fest. They open up the ballpark and all the players are there. You get to see the clubhouse, walk on the field, and have an all-together enjoyable day.

This year we recruited more friends to come with us. The more the merrier, right?

Well...apparently every Giants fan recruited more friends to come with them. Maybe this had a little something to do with winning the World Series last fall. I don't know. The gates opened to the public at 11:00 am. By the time we got there and parked about 11:30, the gates were already closed because they had reached capacity. And the first line we saw to get in wrapped about a mile around the park, across the bridge and through the parking lots. Yikes!

Instead of standing in line, we decided that the next best thing to do would be to eat. Why not? We zipped across the street to Amici's East Coast Pizzeria, and pretty soon we were enjoying delicious pizza with a great view of the park.

Clockwise from the left we have Ariane, Ben, Chris, Kristen, Nicole, David, and Chandra. Doesn't that look good?

After lunch we headed back to the park where the gates were still closed. We decided to wait until 2:00pm (about 30 more minutes) to see if anything happened. Here we are enjoying our time in line. It really was a gorgeous day in the city!

Finally, at 2:00, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren't going to get in. I suggested that we make the best of it and give ourselves a self-guided tour of the outside of the park. Everyone went along with that, and pretty soon we were off - looking at the plaques and statues that they have around the park.

THEN - we came to the next corner of the ballpark where there was one small gate. There was one security guy there, and the gate was open. We, surprised, asked if we could go in, and he said sure! No line. No wait. Why hadn't we done this sooner?!

That entrance took us pretty much directly on to the outfield. It was so packed with people, but it was still so fun to be there - where the game is played.

Last year we easily walked through the dugout and clubhouse. This is the mass hysteria of people that were in the dugout this year. We still went in though. :)

Then we went up to the press box - one of our favorite places. It has such a great view! Here are Ben, Chandra, and Ariane. I believe I was this year.

We left the press box with about 10 minutes before they started to shoo us out. We decided to go upstairs rather than down, so Ari and I led everyone (well, we led those who could keep up) to the Q & A stage where we found these four (and this guy's big head): Will Clark, Mike Fontenot, Nate Schierholtz, and Barry Zito. Not bad for the last 10 minutes, huh?

Now, before I go on, you have to know that for the past two years, I have brought three baseballs and a sharpie with me to Fan Fest in the hopes of getting an autograph. But I've never even gotten close. This year, in the rush to get out of the house, I forgot. As we were pulling away, Ben reminded me about them, but I wanted to get on the road, and I figured it would be an exercise in futility anyway. So I left them.

After the Q & A, Ben grabbed his baseball and got an autograph from Will Clark! I was kicking myself (and still am)! I guess I'll have to go back again next year!

Here's Ben chatting it up with Will the Thrill as he pushes his baseball toward the front.

Triumphant! Ben was so excited.

We may have only had an hour inside this year, but it was still a total success! And now we can look forward to the season starting and the Giants going for a repeat. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Melt My Heart To Pieces

I know that everyone thinks that their niece or nephew is the cutest in the world, right?

I hate to break it to you people, but you're wrong.

I have the cutest. Period.

I'm not even going to discuss the adorableness of the twinners in the hats that Mollie made. I'll let the picture do all the talking. And besides, that's not really what this post is about.

But they ARE cute. :)

No, this post is about Kallie and how she melts my heart to pieces. Many moons ago she and I read the book Pinkalicious. It's a fun little book, as are its sequels. Just for fun I started calling her Kallilicious. Then she would call me Jennalicious. It's been our little thing for a while now.

Well, earlier this month my mom went to Idaho to visit their family, and she took Kallie on a date to Wal-Mart (her favorite place for some reason) to pick out a treat. She found a Pinkalicious box filled with stencils and stickers and all sorts of fun things. That's what she picked.

When my mom got home she said that she had something for me from Kallie. Here's a picture of what she sent from Idaho.

Mom said that Kallie wanted to send the whole box home with her so that I would be able to see all the Pinkalicious stuff. Since my mom said the box would be too big, they decided to just cut the top of the box to bring home. As my mom was leaving to go to the airport, Kallie realized that mom had forgotten to pack the box top and was a little upset. But she was appeased when she knew that I'd at least be getting her picture.

Isn't that the sweetest thing?

I have hung my picture by my bed so that I can think of my Kallilicious every day.

I wish we all lived closer.

Heart melting. :)

Four Generations of Keils

On Thanksgiving, with the exception of one cousin (Kristen was saving the world overseas), we had all of my family on my mom's side together. Since this doesn't happen very often, we decided to take a few pictures. Below you will find four generations of the Keil family. My grandparents at the top of the stairs, their three children next, then the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren intermixed at the bottom. First we took a nice picture.

And then someone made some sort of joke, and this is what we ended up with:

But since laughing hysterically is how we like to enjoy our family gatherings, I guess this is just about as perfect of a family picture as we could take.

The only people (besides Kristen) who were missing were the spouses who were looking on. I think they looked at that staircase and decided to stay as far away from this idea as possible. :)

I love my family!