Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We had a very busy three days last week. Busy but so much fun! Thursday night, we went out to dinner with my parents, Greg & Kerrice to celebrate Greg's birthday. Everyone was in a great mood, we laughed, we ate and we laughed some more.

Friday night was the Works of Heart event. It was the first time we'd attended and it was wonderful. Really moving. This is Kerrice's event and it benefits Family Guidance & Service Center. We did some bidding at the silent auction before dinner. But the highlight of the night was the live auction. Pieces done by children at the Center were put up for auction alongside pieces done by working artists. I got goosebumps watching (and participating) in the bidding wars that took place for the children's artwork. As always, when we are at a live auction, John has to give me the eye and take my bid number away.

Saturday night we attended the Topeka AIDS Project Gala. Kerrice's magazine was a sponsor and she invited us to sit at the SevenEightFive table. We met some new people, saw some friends, enjoyed the open bar and the lively atmosphere. Lots of interesting things to bid on at the silent auction and we left with a few things. John and I both can be a little shy when it comes to doing new things or going to new places, but I'm glad we went to this, it was a fun evening. We'll be back next year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This past Wednesday, for the fourth time, John and I saw Dar Williams in concert in Lawrence. And it's been 4 years, much too long. We were in the second row at Liberty Hall and it was like seeing an old friend again. Dar's song, "After All", inspired the name of this blog. I can still remember the first time I heard her sing. It was 1996 and I was driving in San Antonio and listening to KSYM when the song "As Cool As I Am" came on. I called my friend who was the dj that afternoon and asked her about the song. Thankfully, John grew to love her music as much as I did.

Stephen Kellog (minus The Sixers) opened for Dar and we liked his music right away. He was a good storyteller too and amused us between songs. I spoke to him after his set and bought two cds.
Dar came on about 9:30pm and Liberty Hall erupted with applause. After a few songs, there was some mic trouble and awful feedback. While this was taken care of, Dar sat on a stool and sang "What Do You Hear in These Sounds?". It was so still and quiet, we didn't want to miss a note. Time flew and as she played her second encore, I got teary. We'd waited four years to see her again and I didn't want it to end.

We walked back to our car and took the long way. What a wonderful night!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We celebrated John's birthday at the end of July and the only thing the poor fellow asked for was cake with frosting. Well, he also asked for the creamy angel food dessert that Heidi gave us the recipe for. The man likes cake.

I can't make an ordinary cake. I have to try something new. So I search and search for something wicked and decadent and chocolate. And I come up with Nigella Lawson's Nutella Cake. Nutella, ground hazelnuts, chocolate ganache...I couldn't wait. Saturday comes and I wake up very excited to bake the cake. Ingredients are bought and waiting for me in the kitchen. This is a little work...grinding hazelnuts, whipping egg whites, folding into the batter, prepping the springform pan. And it goes into the oven and it smells delicious. I take it out on time and the edges look like they may be more done than I'd like. So I flip the clip on the pan to loosen the sides...but for some dumb reason, I think I can take off the side of the pan. The cake is hot. The pan is hot. But I've got my oven mitts. It went smoothly until I burn the side of my arm. I panic and try to balance the cake, but to no avail. It falls, upside down, on the stovetop in one glorious mess. Of course, I flip out and start crying. John runs into the kitchen, thinking I have seriously injured myself. "The cake...sob...and my arm...sob...and it fell...sob...and all I...sob...wanted was to make you a cake for your birthday...sob"

John was so sweet, he started scooping up chunks of cake with a spatula and putting it all on a cookie sheet. After I stopped crying hysterically, I decided to turn the chunks of cake into a trifle, layered with some ganache. It worked, but it wasn't as fabulous as I wanted it to be. There are no pictures of the glorious mess, but there's a picture somewhere of the trifle.

We celebrated his birthday with an incredible steak dinner at home. And "cake" and ice cream and movies. Not to mention, the angel food dessert I made on Sunday and took to his folks' with us. Oh, and Tuesday, my mom made Coke Cake for him. Did I tell you that he loves cake? And everyone loves John.