Monday, December 5, 2011

And a Great Weekend it was…

Friday evening started out with a private dinner at the zoo.  The room as decorated beautifully and the food was so delicious (it was made by the same person who is catering the appetizers for our wedding)!  However I think that I was faced by one of the scariest moments of my entire life.  My brother, Knox and I decided to take a private tour of the Lied Jungle.  It was quiet, dark and eerie.   Most animals were put away, and the silence was overwhelming as we ventured through the depths of the jungle in near dark.  All was well until we decided to tour the bottom level of the jungle…in the dark.  For those of you who have been through the bottom half of the Lied Jungle, there are many dark long tunnels.  This is fine during the day, when a certain nocturnal animal stays away, however in the night, they were filled with BATS!  I did fine through the first tunnel as we only saw one large bat fly by us, however when we got to the other side, there were HUNDREDS of un-caged, ENORMOUS bats!  I of course started screaming and panicking as they swarmed around us, zipping around at lightening speeds, while Knox and Pete remained fairly calm.  That too only lasted momentarily as Knox looked ahead to the next long dark tunnel to see it LINED with large bats hanging upside down.  So there we were, frozen still, with the bats swarming around and the dark tunnel in front of us FILLED with these creepy creatures.  I stood there screaming, and decided I was ready to head for the emergency exit (I’m sure at that point lights would have gone on and some siren would have sounded when I opened the door, but I didn't care), when yet  ANOTHER bat whizzed by my head and I nearly passed out. 
Knox and Pete both refused to proceed, so it was time to turn around and backtrack.  But again, we were frozen between the two tunnels with swarming bats all around us.  I couldn’t even open my eyes!  Knox lead the way back through the first tunnel as I held his hand and with my other hand I had my brother.  I had to close my eyes the entire way back as the bats where swirling all around us in the tunnel.  When we got back to safety, I honestly thought I was going to throw up or pass out…I wasn’t sure which one, but needless to say, I think I was more scared than I have ever been in my life!

After calming down back upstairs, we enjoyed our dinner, a brief presentation that was rather amusing on the history of our church, and then off Knox and I went to change into our matching Luau gear and headed to Leigh and Grant’s for the big shin dig.  When we arrived the party was in full force, and we stuck around until the end, enjoying the time with friends.

Saturday we picked out our wedding invitations and then headed home to stay out of the storm.  We completed a few projects around the house and watched nothing less than FOOTBALL!  We both love college football, so we had a really great evening.

Yesterday we headed out to complete some Christmas shopping (we’re on a roll J) after lunching at and grocery shopping at one of our favorite places, Whole Foods.  We really enjoy going there and scouring the aisles for unique items to try.  Sometimes Knox’s picks are a little “too unique” for my enjoyment, but we find many, many goods that we both like.  We plan to make lamb burgers this week which we are both just stoked about!  We also put up a few Christmas lights outside, which makes me so happy.  I love Christmas!  Knox did most of the work, but I stood there, bundled up in support, even when he was dumping snow on me from the roof!
This week is going to be VERY busy for us.  We have a few wedding things to work on and then our goal is to wrap up Christmas shopping.
We’ll see how far we get!  J
Cheers to a great week!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kalo Mina!

I’m getting very excited for this weekend! 

Why?!  Because it will mostly be spent relaxing with my fantastic fiancĂ©, which we haven’t had the joy of doing, uninterrupted, in quite some time!  It’s so nice to be putting our own little house together, just as we want it, in addition to all of the Christmas decorating!

We have been so busy lately with many, many things.  I have been working on an event for our church, to be held this evening at the Henry Doorly Zoo.  The land that was purchased to build our new facility off of 180th and Dodge is officially paid off; therefore it’s time to party!!!!  Knox has been so helpful, whether it be punching programs or running errands, I couldn’t have done it without him.  I’m excited for the evening, which will be followed up with ANOTHER party this evening.  Yes, I know!  Our good friends, Grant and Leigh, host a holiday shin dig each year which also happens to be this evening.  After the zoo party Knox and I plan to hurry home and get changed into our best Hawaiian gear as we are headed to their Luau! Can you tell why we’ll be so excited to get a little R*R tomorrow?! 

This weekend we will also be working on wedding plans as we are knee deep in them right now.  There are so many things going on, so many details to work out, I just can’t thank, once again, my groom and my family and friends for beings so helpful and assisting in getting things done.  For all of you out there that have planned a wedding, I envy you!  It is SO much work!  It seems as though the process begins very simply, but as time goes on and details need to be nailed down, the entire process seems to get a little crazy.  We’ve had so much fun along the way, and we just hope that our friends and family have a FUN night, helping us celebrate our marriage!

I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated the blog, so be on the lookout for new photos and posts.

As the Greeks say “Kalo Mina” or “Happy Month”.  Cheers to a wonderful December!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Market to Market!

I am getting so excited for this weekend and the big Market to Market race!  (  For those of you who do not know what that it, it is a relay race from Memorial Park in Omaha to the Haymarket Park in Lincoln.  WOWZA!  The race is difficult to get accepted into, as returning teams are grandfathered in and new teams are placed into a lottery, and clearly, we're in!  I am definitely the slowest runner on my team, lol, but I am so inspired by the seven other amazing runners of whom I get to join in this adventure, giving a big shout out to Lindsey, Dan, Amy, Jeff, Christie, Nate and Naresh!   You guys rock!
Knox & I Completely Destroyed Our Shoes after Lucky Bucket
Out of the eight of us, there are about half who have to run 3 different legs, each leg averaging 3-6 miles.  I, thankfully, am only running two legs, Stage 8 and 16.  Stage 8 is 5.41 miles with the baton passed to me for my big start in Springfield, NE!  My second leg, Stage 16, is 4.14 miles, and my starting point (i.e. exchange) is in Eagle, NE.  Starting at 8:15 in the morning, it is estimated that our team will have run the 78 miles in 10 hours, YAHOO!    I am very excited and honored to be participating with these super runners, and will definitely do what I can to cheer them on.

Cheryl, Myself, Heather and Gayle
@ the Lucky Bucket Off-road Race

I’m also excited for the post-race celebration.  My best friend Gayle and our very good friends Heather and Bruce are also running the race, and we plan to meet up and cheer on our Huskers!  I can’t wait for a win; I just know they can do it!  I, no doubt, will be fast asleep on the ride home from Lincoln after such an exciting and eventful day.
Knox is leaving for Vegas in the morning. I hope he has the best time as he has never been before.  It’s such a weird place, lol!  I love all of the shopping, food, shows and gambling, and I am excited that he is experiencing it with his best friends.  I can’t wait to hear all of the stories!  They are staying at one of my most favorite hotels, Planet Hollywood, which is a young and hip hotel/casino right in the center of the strip.
The band is confirmed for our big day! I’m so glad that we were able to get our first choice, and I look forward to having a ten piece band to help us dance the night away!  I finally made Knox dispose of all of the wedding cake samples that were remaining in our house as it was getting a little out of control eating a “little” slice of cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
My best friend Michelle is coming over tomorrow night for dinner and to hang, which will be a wonderful prequel to Saturday’s big race. 
Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, What a Weekend!

What a weekend!  We were SO busy this weekend and I’m not sure that much got done, but we had fun!
Knox and I decided to have a few friends over for the Husker game on Saturday, and therefore a trip to good ole Costco was in order Friday evening after work.  Oh, how we love that store.  J We first made a quick stop at Scheel’s  as I needed to pick up a new pair of running shoes as I was getting a hole in the toe of mine (way to pay attention, right?).   Arriving home at 9:30 p.m. without having eaten, I quickly whipped up some Croque Monsieur’s and a little salad with raspberry, walnut and gorgonzola dressing for the two of us.  Delicious!

Saturday we were up early and off to the Cake Gallery to sample wedding cakes.  SO GOOD (!  Minds made up we were off to our monthly massage appointment.  Oh heaven, I look forward to it every month!  I love nothing more than spending my Saturday mornings with Knox, and we soon returned home for an afternoon walk (the weather was absolutely beautiful) and to prepare for our evening guests.
The Huskers showed a nice win that evening over the Wyoming Cowboys.   Yahoo!  It was a great day and Knox was excited to get a brand new PlayStation3!  He was literally glowing.  I guess for some of us, it’s the simple things!  J

Sunday I was off to church and Knox and Zach went to shoot some trap.  Knox met my parents and I for lunch, and then we were home again, surprisingly enough, for another walk!  This time we had the three pups with us (we are babysitting Matilda who is Knox’s parent’s dog), and for anyone to see us walking all three, it had to be better than the circus.   Over the last week it’s like we have a herd of 10 pound cattle.  With Skeelo being the smallest (7 pounds) and Gussy the largest (17 pounds) it was a riot as they ran around the house in a little pack, all chasing the same bone after  each having been given their own.
Sunday evening I went and saw Jersey Boys at the Orpheum Theater with my best gal Sarah Spooner. ( The show was WONDERFUL!  I was surprised at how many songs I recognized that were performed by The Four Seasons, and I found myself frequently dancing in my seat!  I came home to make Knox listen to “Oh What a Night” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” before bed. J  What a FUN night!  Sarah and I enjoyed a cocktail and appetizer and the ZIN Room prior to the show, and I must give it a two thumbs up.  The spinach artichoke dip appetizer was superb!  (  I think it’s one of those foods that had there been an endless supply, I just would have continued to eat it!  The happy hour pricing was also stellar, with two glasses of wine and the appetizer totaling just $13, service was wonderful.
This weekend went by so fast!  Volleyball tonight, and then Knox will be off to Vegas Friday to celebrate his best friend Bob who is getting married October 14.  I am working on the OPA Ball, our church’s biggest fundraiser, which will be held Saturday October 15th at Champion’s Run Golf Course.  The evening is a blast and I can’t wait to get dressed up with my fiance for a night out!  If you are interested, please let me know and I will forward you an invitation.  The food and dancing are great, and there are some pretty awesome silent auction and auction items…condo in Aspen anyone!?
Saturday I’ll be running Market to Market and plan to do nothing but relax and get some things done around the house on Sunday.  I am SO looking forward to it.  And best of all, my person will be returning home!
Anastasia Ephtyhia

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Yassas, everyone!  What an awesome weekend!
First and foremost, I bought my wedding dress on Friday! Hioh!   I am completely in love with it, and I am so excited to wear it on my big day!  The experience was simply delightful! From the women in my life who were there to support me in buying the most important garment I will ever wear (thank you Mom, Julie {Knox’s Mom}, Holly {Knox’s Sister} and Patty {Knox’s Grandmother}), to the most wonderful bridal consultant, Linda at Bridal Traditions who assisted me in finding the most perfect dress, I couldn’t have asked for anything more!  We rounded out the day having lunch with Maria, Eva and Mia (Eva and Mia are our flower girls) and viewing where we would be having our reception. I just can’t wait!
Friday evening we headed to Pizza King in Council Bluffs to have dinner with my family.  LOVE Pizza King (, and it very special to us as my brother’s godparents own it.  So delicious!  We ended the night with a trip to Harrah’s casino where my soon to be husband, The Slot Whisperer, had his usual success with the slot machines, leaving with $80 more than what he came with.  He is the sweetest and always splits his winnings with me as he will tell you I can probably lose money faster than anyone you know.  We had a great time and soon returned home so we could prepare for Saturday’s big game…
I will save my observations relative to the Huskers for another day, but will say I am very glad they won!  I am fairly confident the two young boys that sit in front of us each game are becoming increasingly unsure of what to think about Knox’s commentary as they frequently turn around and look at him with very perplexed looks on their faces, and sometimes the evil eye!

We had a GREAT time tailgating with Knox’s parents and a superb dinner at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln after the game with Knox and Julie, my parents, Pete and Abbe, Greg and Debbie Boosalis, Bronson Boosalis and my god sister Lia Sleder.  We stayed out a little too late, and could totally feel it the next day as we ran the Corporate Cup race in downtown Omaha (  So proud of my little brother for finishing in 53:51, go Pete!  We were exhausted afterwards, but the workout felt great!  We had a little lunch, made a trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart to purchase ANOTHER new couch (we love this one so much more) and then a quick nap before my godson’s 1st birthday!  I can’t believe that he’s already one, time flies!  Happy Birthday, Jackson!

I’m excited for the rest of this week as I am getting a little scrapbooking time in with my good friend Dani Hampton, a trip to River City Round Up with lots of good friends, date night with my fiancĂ©, and what I know will be a win by the Huskers!
Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthdays, Weddings and Huskers

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!
It’s almost time for the weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited for it to be here!  Tonight we are going to Katie’s Greek Restaurant ( to celebrate my parent’s birthdays!  Yahoo!  I can’t wait.  The food is absolutely delicious and the restaurant is owned by very good friends of my parent’s.  I think that Knox and I have both been dreaming about Greek food the last few days in preparation for tonight’s festivities!
Tomorrow will be a fun filled day, though sadly Knox and I will be spending it apart.  A very good childhood friend is getting married, and therefore I will be attending the wedding with my family.  At the time I had received the Save the Date card, I had told Knox he could still go to the Husker game as we hadn’t been dating that long and I knew he would be bummed to miss it.  Well here we are, so many months later, engaged and both committed to separate events tomorrow.  I know that we will both have a really good time, but having fun is never the same without your best friend in tow!
We are kicking off our United Way campaign here at work this week.  Our department is donating three baskets for the Business Services Center raffle.  I have completed two of them (lots of help from Kelli Erhart and a few other members on my team) and need to get the remaining goods for the final basket.
The first basket is an “all seasons” basket full of items for all seasons of the year…beach towels, Christmas candles, holiday pillowcases, gel potpourris, flower seeds, Easter eggs, cocktail napkins and so much more.
The second basket is a date night basket, primarily French themed, which includes a bottle of Moscato, two wine glasses, chocolates, a candle, cocktail napkins and Visa gift card.

The last basket will be Creighton themed as my former boss in Internal Audit, Jude, generously donated a pair of tickets to the winner’s game of choice to a Creighton basketball game (thank you, Jude)!    I need to grab a few more goodies for this basket and accessorize with the required white and blue before sending it off on Monday.  I know I would love to win any of these!
Sunday I am trying on wedding dresses…WOWZA!  I can’t believe it!  I am very excited and will be accompanied by my Mother, future Mother in Law, and Knox’s Grandmother, Patty.
Last but not least, enjoy this photo from last week’s Ke$ha concert.  I’m following quickly in the footsteps of my Great Grandma Houghtaling, having a superior ability to cut people’s heads off!

Just love Gayle, Liz and Angie!  We had so much fun!

Have a great weekend, and Go Big Red!
P.S.  I will get into this more later, I’m sure, but has anyone watched the first episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!??!  Knox came in and commented that I looked like a zombie glued to the TV.  My response was “don’t you know this is my “watching a train wreck” face”?!?!?  All I have to say is WOW!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flower Girls!

So excited!  We officially have two flower girls and a very cute ring bearer that will be helping us celebrate our big day!  We had dinner last night at Bonefish Grill with Maria and Jim Sanderson (two of my favorite people) and their little girls Mia (5) and Eva (3) who have agreed to help us celebrate and participate in our big walk down the aisle!
If you haven’t met the two girls, they are absolutely HILARIOUS and completely adorable!  While at dinner, Mia decided to show us what our family was going to look like.  She started by drawing just two babies, but in the end, Knox and I were destined, per her table drawing, to have a family of eight.  Thank goodness I am far too old for that!

Oddly enough, we ran into Maria and the girls today at lunch.  They were SO excited to see us both, and if you know the two girls, they definitely have each selected a favorite between Knox and myself.  Mia’s eyes lit up when she saw me along with a huge shriek to tell me that she has made my wedding present already.  Eva, upon seeing “Mr. Knox” let out a loud shrieking “Knooooooooooooooooooooox” and ran right past me and flew into Knox’s arms giving him a big hug.  They are simply the cutest girls, have the best sense of humor, and I am so honored that they are going to be a part of our big day!
Last weekend was so busy and we’re already nearing this next weekend (no complaining here).  It’s just incredible how fast time flies.  I am returning to softball tonight in hopes that I won’t:
a) Be afraid of the ball!
b) Won’t get hit again!
I am in a ton of pain after last week’s debacle!  While there wasn’t much pain in the beginning, as the bruise has “subsided” (can you feel my eye roll on that one?) the pain has increased, and I’m just livid!  I am to run the Corporate Cup run on September 18th and Market to Market (a relay race from Omaha’s Old Market to Lincoln’s Haymarket) on October 1, and since the softball incident I have been able to get in a few baby runs.  But with the increase in pain, I haven’t been able to do much but lift, and so I’m a little nervous and frustrated as to what will happen when I take on the challenges!
Tomorrow evening we will be celebrating John and Kathy’s birthdays.   Happy Birthday, Mom and Dad!!!!  You guys rock and I love you!!!