Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snyder's Hope

From September through the first of November, all of my extra time is focused on volleyball, but with another successful season under our belts – my downtime can be filled with friends, family, and one of my favorite pastimes…reading.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving and like always, it was a fun and entertaining afternoon at Grandma Bea’s, but after we got home – I didn’t know what to do…I was a bit bored. I “pinned” a few things on Pinterest, I came up short while looking for bargain Christmas gift, and finally I gave in and went to bed. Before I shut my light off and closed my eyes for the night, I looked to my bookshelf to find my Friday’s entertainment.

My book of choice was Bill Snyder’s They Said It Couldn’t Be Done. If you haven’t read it, you need to. It was published after he retired the first go around and tells the story how he took charge of the greatest turnaround in college football history.

I have always been a K-State fan and knew they had a phenomenal coach, but I was ignorant to how great of a man and how caring Snyder was…that was until I first read this book back in ’06 when I received it during my initial rehabilitation in Houston along with a letter that gave me so much hope. Don’t believe me, read Letters from Home.

In addition to hope, Snyder’s letter and book left me with some great life lessons…famously know as The 16 Wildcat Commandments. If you’re not aware of them, google them…they are some of the most basic, yet most important life lessons one could receive – and impressed me right off the bat.

Fast forward to 2012, I got to meet Bill Snyder thanks to my dear friend Tamren – see Hot Date in Manhattan. It solidified what I had thought about the man since 2006. He was so genuine, down-to-earth, and one of the nicest men I have ever met. I remember telling him that if I could be even ¼ of the coach he was, I would be a happy lady.

This afternoon, I finished his book for the second time and once again I was amazed and inspired. Ideas are running rampant through my head and it makes me think and dream of if/when I get the chance to head a program of my own.

It has been a pretty great Thanksgiving weekend and I have enjoyed both my time spent with family and my time spent with my nose in a book. Monday will come all too soon, but once again Bill Snyder has left me with hope and dreaming of what might lie ahead.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#TBW Random

This post is just as the title states, random! I have no rhyme or reason as to why I picked this picture to post other than the sheer fact that my shirt is clearly awesome. 

I can't tell you where we were going, but it had to be somewhere special and Cowboy Up?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nothing Short of a Little Hiatus

“Write a blog post” has been on my To Do List for little over a month. Obviously I have not gotten that done since my last covered my last week in Detroit which is pretty darn pathetic on my part. I wish I had some grand reason as to why I haven’t been writing, but I don’t, and I can’t use the excuse of being too busy and not having the time because that’s not true either.

 Sure, I’m back to work at BTI and volleyball season is underway (Side note – we’re really on a roll right now, 8-0 baby, undefeated!), but by no means am I swamped beyond my control.

 Nonetheless, when I began writing this blog I didn’t want to be something I forced myself to do. I wanted to write about things I was curious and passionate about and let you into my life a little bit – I never meant for this to be something that ends up on my To Do List for the day and I think that right there is the reason I haven’t wrote since I have been home.

 I feel as if I was trying to force myself into doing something that I first intended to be an effortless, yet fun thing to do and we all know how much fun things are when you feel forced into doing them!  We all encounter these situations, but I am beginning to see the importance of taking a step back and taking that break – whether it be for a few days, a few months, or even a few years – to regain that interest and spark that passion once again.

 I really enjoy writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and adventures to whoever is interested in reading it. I can’t guarantee you anything, but I am going to try to write more often…I have taken my break and refueled, but if you don’t hear from me for awhile know that either I have absolutely nothing going on in my life or I needed another little break! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#TBW Kirkus

September 11th is a day that no one will ever forget...I'm sure that everyone can recall exactly where they were and what they were doing when the Twin Towers were hit...I know I sure do. However, what everyone might not know is that September 11th is also one of my best friend's birthdays.

Kirk and I have been friends forever and to say that we've been through a lot together, would be an understatement. 

He's the guy who I know will always have my back and be by my side when I need him, the guy who I've spent countless night cruising Main Street and all the country roads with, and the guy I think of every time I hear "Smooth Criminal!"

Kirk's laugh is infectious and his smile can light up a room. The guy can always make me smile, no matter how bad of a mood I may be in. 

Happy Birthday Kirk!

Thank you for always being by my side!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#TBW Love Birds

My parents hit a milestone earlier this week... a milestone that is becoming less and less common in today's society. 

On Monday, September 2nd, they celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary.

To celebrate, they headed back to the city in which they met, but opted to head to the casino instead of the student union. It was there a long-haired hippie with an army jacket and "stupid hat" approached the studious, naive girl from the farm. After much persistence she finally agreed and the rest is history!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! 
May there be 35 more years of love, laughter, and joy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#TBW School Crush

This past weekend was Southwest Country Fest in Ashland, KS and if you've never heard of it, you should definitely check it out. It is two nights jam-packed with some of the best red dirt country music! 

I was able to go both nights, but for Friday night's concert, I scored me a hot date with the new PE teacher in town!  

By Monday afternoon, his students knew all about his "new girlfriend" and my volleyball girls gave me quite a bit of grief and seemed a bit jealous that I had a date with the dreamy Mr. Stegman!

What they don't know is Joe and I go WAAAYY back! I vividly remember playing at his house with him and his cousins when we were young and in our high school days, he was like my little brother!  

Truth is, I had a great time on Friday night with a great friend of mine. I'm so proud of Joe in all he has accomplished and am glad to have him back home and teaching in the Bucklin school system. 

I can't wait to have many more "hot dates" with Mr. Stegman!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#TBW 'Tis the Season

Guess what started on Monday? 

Can you tell I'm excited? I mean I've only waited 10 or so months for this week to be's one of my most favorite times of the year! This is my third year being one of the assistant coaches for the BHS volleyball team and quite frankly, I love every minute of it! Doubt me? Read  For the Love of the Game!

Nonetheless, since I am more than excited to be in the gym again with a great group of girls, I thought it'd be fitting to post a picture of a great group of girls who I was blessed to call my teammates.

Here's to another great volleyball season! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#TBW Rainy Days

I know I’m a day late for thus post to be considered it a #TBW, but that is why this post is not based on a picture from the past. It’s going to be based on a fun-filled memory spurred by a present day rain.
Rattlesnake Creek on 8/8/13

It rained almost every day while I was in Detroit and at the time it sickened me a little bit knowing how much we needed moisture back here at home. I just wanted to bottle it up and send it home. Well, there’s no need now – we went from severe drought to flash flood warning. The amount of water standing around is absolutely amazing and it makes me think back to my younger days.
Whenever we had a significant amount of rain in the summertime while I was growing up, you could guarantee one thing – my best friend Tamren was coming over…we were getting our inner tubes…and we were headed to the draw(a drainage ditch that simply runs north to south through town).

 We would start at one end of the block and float downstream to the other end, always daring each other to go through the concrete culverts under the street. I don’t actually remember going through with any of the “double dog dares” - those culverts were always a bit too dark, scary, and smelly for me!

Although I don’t remember going through the culvert, I do remember losing one of my favorite and totally awesome clear jelly sandals during one of our float trips. Do you remember those sweet shoes? They were the best and I was completely devastated. I looked for days for that sandal, but it somehow slipped into the water and made its way down the Rattlesnake Creek.

It’s supposed to rain again tonight…too bad Tamren lives four and a half hours away because tomorrow would be a great float day!

(Photo by Scott Tilley)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#TBW The Bells

As you all know I consider Detroit to be my little home away from home for numerous reasons, but one that you may not know about is family. 

My cousin's wife, Emily, grew up in the surrounding area of Detroit and her parents continue to live in at least once every summer, Chris, Emily, and the kids make the trip from Ohio to the Detroit area. While visiting her family, they have always taken the time to come see us or invite Mom and I out to their family celebration. 

We don't get to see Chris, Emily, and their kids on a regular basis so it is always great to see them and it is a guaranteed good time! We have celebrated the 4th of July with them on Milford Lake, made a trip to Frankenmuth and Bronner's, the world's largest Christmas store, and so much more.

This year we decided to switch it up. Instead of them making the trip to come see us, we are going to them! We are heading out tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. 

This is exactly why I chose them to be the topic for my #TBW post.
 Check out some of our adventures!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dragging My Feet

“But I don’t want to go!” That phrase is often heard in our household when Jason & Heather come to pick up their kiddos after a day of playing and I can’t help myself, but I want to yell the same thing now as I head into my last four days of therapy…my last four days in Detroit. I’m just not ready to go home.

Once again we had a great week - therapy was good as always and as we head into the home stretch, I need to not only continue to focus on the tasks at hand, but also how to incorporate some of what I have been doing here into what I do at home. If only I could kidnap one of my trainers and take them with me! Just kidding...kind of.

This past week Mom and I actually ventured out of our normal area and headed north a little bit. On Wednesday, we made a trip to Warren to visit my Great Aunt Ruth and on Thursday, we went to the Holocaust Museum in Farmington Hills.

Aunt Ruth is my Grandma Bea’s younger sister and boy, can you tell it! We spent about two hours sitting around her kitchen table talking. When Aunt Ruth pulled out the cookie dough to make chocolate chip cookies and put them in the oven, I was immediately reminded of sitting around Grandma Bea’s table. Grandma and I always had our discussions over hot tea and chocolate chip cookies and it just made me feel at home with Aunt Ruth. It was a great afternoon trip and the only thing that would have made it better was if Grandma Bea would have been there as well.


Thursday’s trip was to the Holocaust Museum was a little bit more somber. I have studied the Holocaust quite a bit and although this may be somewhat morbid, I am fascinated by it. I think my fascination lies in the fact that I don’t understand it – I don’t understand that level of hatred and how one person can have so much power to cause such hurt and devastation. The museum was extremely interesting as it covered Jewish culture, WWII, the reign of Hitler, and the mistreatment of the Jews. They had numerous videos of Holocaust survivors telling not only their personal stories, but what life was like in a concentration camp and on the death marches. I don’t know how to describe it other than sad…and sickening. It is something I will never fully grasp.

It was Mom’s birthday on Friday so after therapy we walked down to the Hudson CafĂ©, ate a late lunch, then continued onto Campus Martius where a bunch of vendors has set up shop for the weekend. We browsed quite a bit, but nothing caught our eye enough to buy!

Also in celebration of Mom’s birthday, we went to the Tigers game on Saturday evening! After a one hour rain delay, the game began and the Tigers took no mercy on the Phillies. At the end of the 1st inning, we were up 5-0. Tigers ended the game 10-0 and despite the colder weather and burning my tongue on my hot chocolate, I would say the evening was a success!

This week will be a short one here in the D as I have moved my Friday therapy session to Thursday and as soon as I am dismissed, we are hitting the highway. In the meantime though, they’re moving right along with the Transformers 4 set and will start to film this week…maybe I can become an extra and will have to stay!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

#TBW Ricky J + Susie Q

Happy Anniversary Uncle Rick and Aunt Sue!
21 years ago today, Mindy and I walked down the longest aisle I thought I had ever seen and we forgot our only job for the day - to throw the rose petals. However, nobody seemed to notice our mistake. Their eyes weren't focused on us, but on my Aunt Sue as she cascaded down the aisle. 

The Evans family hasn't been the same ever since.
 (and I mean that in a good way)

I can't even begin to tell you how much these two mean to me, but I am sure am going to try. Here's to two of the most caring people who can always make me laugh and put a smile on my face...who have supported me in every step and stage of my life...who makes any time, a good time...who loves me unconditionally.

Here's to you, Uncle Rick and Aunt Sue! 
May there be many more years filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Love you!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barmaid Play Me Some Buffett

 Drunk girls on my left…drunk girls on my right…the smell of marijuana wafting through the air. Where was I last night, you ask? Nope, it was not some shady club in downtown Detroit…I was simply attending the Jimmy Buffett concert at Comerica Park.

Jimmy Buffett is amazing and he puts on one heck of a show! He is so fun, charismatic, and entertaining – one of those people who you would love to spend a day with! He performs effortlessly and puts out such a laid-back vibe, one can’t help but have a good time at one of his concerts.

Thanks to Dr. Bill Restum and DMC, we were able to take in the show in the amazing Tigers Suite with some great people! There was free drinks and food everywhere and it didn’t take me long to think that I could get used to watching Tigers games from Suite 202…a girl can wish right?

Speaking of wishes…I wish I could stay longer! We will be home exactly 2 weeks from today and like I mentioned last week, time is just flying by.

This week is therapy was great. Instead of boring you with tons of detailed exercises, we kept our focus on what it has been since I have gotten here. I continue to think I am improving each day and I think one way to see that is in my transfers. I am needing less help each day and am feeling much more confident.

Today after church Mom and I made our usual walk down to Greektown where had some delicious food at Pegasus and knowing my recent luck (see Greektown - 2, Emily - 0), I decided it was best to stay away from the casino today and so we ventured back home.

This week brings 4 days of therapy, a trip to the Holocaust Museum, Mom’s birthday, a visit to Aunt Ruth, and a possible Tigers game…sounds like a pretty good time to me!


Here's a few more pictures from the concert!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#TBW Scotty

Last week, I wrote about my brother Jason for his birthday...this week I write in honor of my oldest brother Scott as his birthday is just two days away.

Scott and I have always been close and have had the ability to talk to one another with no boundaries. When I was younger, I remember sitting on his bed just talking to him about all of life's happenings in the evenings. Even to this day, if he comes by while I am still in bed - he comes down to my room, plops on my bed, and we discuss life.

I have so many memories with Scott, but some that stick vividly in my memory are the time just he and I went to Coldwater Lake. I'm not certain exactly how it happened, but both he and I ended up in the lake and the boat's throttle was still pushed forward. As the boat circled, we exhausted ourselves swimming to catch it. Finally, I did.


Fast forward numerous years later, I was prepping myself to go to my junior prom. My date that year was Jack Ramthun who was new to Bucklin and never had met my brothers. I was still down in my bedroom when Jack came to pick me and guess who answered the door? Yep, that's right. It was Scott. As soon as we got in the car, Jack turned to me and said, "Don't worry, we're going to have a great time and I won't try to make any moves." I laughed and asked what prompted that. He simply replied, "Your brother...he's huge and could definitely kick my a$$." If only Jack knew how much of a teddy bear Scott is. 

If you know Scott, you know he loves to go driving around in the country. We have spent countless hours dinking around, but it was when I came home from Houston after my accident, we went for a drive down south, through Giles Ranch and by Clark County Lake that I will never forget.

Speaking of vehicles, did you know that Scott was the person who taught me how to drive a stick shift? It was in his green Chevy pickup on the way home from Moscow one summer. I won't say that I was an expert by an means, but I could at least get around if I needed to, thanks to him.

Scott has always been my protector and I look up to him more each an every day as I see him be a wonderful husband to his wife, amazing father to my nephews, Eli and Carson...and great friend and brother to me. Thank for you always being there Scott.

I love you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Another week down and time is flying by entirely way too fast! I can’t even tell you how much my heart sank today when I received an email from our apartment complex with departure instructions…I don’t want to leave, I’m not ready! We’ve got 19 days left and you better believe that I plan to make the most of each and every one of them!
Every week we have been up here has been pretty awesome, but this past one was one notch above the rest…I might even go out on a limb and call it phenomenal. In therapy, we continue to work on the same target areas which I have mentioned in my previous posts and I still think I am improving more each day. I just feel stronger. Speaking of strong, listen to this news…I lifted my butt up off the mat this week! This is HUGE (and no, I’m not talking about the size of my behind). Never before did I have the balance or the strength to off-weight myself like this and it is a huge step in the right direction for transferring independently.  

It’s no doubt that I miss home – my family, work, and friends...but it is improvements like this and other little things that make me wish I could just pack my bags and move to Michigan. It makes me wonder what I could have if I were able to stay for a long period of time. If I ever win the lotto, you can bet that I will become a snowbird – I’ll be in Michigan from the Spring to the Fall and back to Kansas for the winter!

Nonetheless, we had a pretty eventful week on the entertainment front… and it mostly consisted of baseball. We made it to three games this week: Thursday afternoon against the White Sox, Friday night against the Rangers, and this afternoon again against the Rangers. A little much? I think not. Although the Tigers lost against the Sox, that game was probably the most eventful. There was a small brawl that got both Putkonen and Leyland ejected from the game. Friday’s game was great – I have to send a special Thank You shout out to Shannon and Greg for the tickets! We had a good time watching the Tigers claim a 7-2 win and the beautiful fireworks after the game! Today’s game was also awesome. Verlander pitched a no hitcher up to the 7th inning and we got some great hits in. It was a quick game, but fun, nonetheless.

On top of three great days at the ballpark, the President of RIM, Dr. Bill Restum, presented Mom and me with one AMAZING gift…suite tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert next week! Earlier this week I ran into Bill in the hallway and he was making sure we took in the sights and scenes while we are here which brought up the concert. Before I knew it, he left with telling me he was going to make some calls. The rest is history!

Once again, we started the week off right…this time in Grosse Ile Township. Shannon and Greg invited us to their church this morning as they were hosting an outdoor service at their house. With the Detroit River in the background, we sat and partook in a beautiful church service. It was picturesque. Following the service, was brunch, and we couldn’t have joined a more friendly and welcoming group. It was a great day of fellowship!


Hope you all have a great week and stayed tuned next weekend for the next update! I also ask that you keep my coworker, Tim Milford, and his family in your prayers. He was involved in a catastrophic accident yesterday that has left him paralyzed from the chest down.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#TBW Jas

Isn't it funny how time flies by so fast, but yet you remember certain memories as if they were yesterday. Today marks my brother Jason's 30th birthday and I have spent the evening remembering some of my most favorite memories with him.

When we were kids, we spent many of afternoons "farming" all of the carpet in the house, building blanket forts in the basement, and so much more. However it was when Jason would reluctantly agree to play "store" with me that I will never forget. We'd gather things from around the house to sell and most of the time he let me be the cashier while he was the customer.

There was also the afternoon games of hide-and-seek in Grandma Bea's barn and the nightly games of kick-the-can.

When we got older, I relished the summer days we would spend at the lake with friends, but I will never forget the night my freshman year of high that he yelled at Fritz for having his arm around my shoulder during a party out at Demuth's. 

As we have gotten older, there's not as much sibling rivalry as there used to be and I find myself looking up to Jason as I never did before. He's one of the hardest working people I know...he's a great husband to amazing father to Karlee and Jake...and a great friend/brother to me. Thanks for always being there Jas!

Happy Birthday Jason!
Love you