Friendship, Kansas

Long Weekend in Kansas

This past weekend I flew to Kansas for a long, fun-filled weekend.
If I’m being honest, after having K-State season football tickets for 6 years, I just couldn’t imagine NOT going to a game at all. So when I discovered I had Columbus Day off (Thank you Christopher!) and found reasonably priced airline tickets, I decided to make a visit to my second home.


I’m actually surprised that I haven’t been as tired this past week because I really couldn’t have fit more in a little more than 72 hours. I flew in late to Wichita on Friday night and was picked up by my bestie/college roommate Megan. We got up early and road tripped to Manhattan on Saturday, and spent the morning hanging out with Leah and having lunch and coffee at my favorite study place, Bluestem.

Megan and Leah.

The afternoon was filled with tailgating and catching up with lots of friends. All of my main group of friends in college have gone a lot of different directions, but almost all of us were in town. It is so refreshing to be reminded of the value of those friendships and memories, but equally exciting to see how well everyone is doing now.




The game itself was crazy. I was prepared for disappointment, and while the ending was indeed just that, the Cats reminded everyone to never disregard them too quickly. Regardless of the ending, I was still so excited to be back in one of my favorite places on earth. And on such a beautiful day! Seriously, fall sunsets in Kansas are simply gorgeous.

The family.


My view from inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The game with Cary and Nathan.


On Sunday I went to breakfast with a few more friends and then Megan and I headed out to Ellinwood, KS to visit our other bestie/roommate, Kyla. While her husband Nathan had been able to make it to Manhattan for the game, she had to stay behind for a school function (she’s a music teacher.) Overall, we traveled over 380 miles that weekend, but nothing was stopping me from including Kyla in my visit. We eventually realized that it was almost a year (a week later) than Megan and I had made similar trip out to see Kyla for my birthday.

Megan and Kyla.


We returned to Wichita that evening, and spent Monday relaxing and setting up some things in Megan’s new duplex before my flight left in the late afternoon.

Sometimes surrounding yourself with your favorite people, places and things is just good for the soul. Thanks to everyone for such a great weekend!

Megan’s pup Luna.


Friendship, Kansas

Bowling with the Cats

bowl trip 2
Jess, Joe, Nathan, Kyla and I at the K-State Pep Rally.

So the bowling trip wasn’t quite rainbows and sunshine. Literally.
It rained the entire time we were in San Antonio. The Cats lost. And that car ride was a bit too long.

But the rest was pretty great.

After spending two weeks at home in Oregon for the holidays, I flew back to Kansas just in time to jump in a car headed to San Antonio, to watch my K-State Wildcats play in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Our group of 14 got into town in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Riverwalk.
People, put that down on your places to visit. I don’t know if it is decorate with Christmas lights year round but it was beautiful. And I sure do love pretty lights. There are so many fun little restaurants, beautiful architecture and history. Be prepared to do lots of walking though, and getting lost a time or two, or eight. It’s definitely on my vacation list to go back a enjoy at a bit slower pace.

It never ceases to amaze me how dedicated the K-State family is.
I know they say every year that K-State fans travel well but seriously, EVERYWHERE you looked there was purple. In many ways it really did feel like a home game.

On a side note: As a communicator I was pretty darn excited to see the stats that my tweet below got.


Despite the disappointing loss, the game really was fun. It wasn’t fancy, but the Alamodome was a nice facility and we were SO thankful that there was a dome covering us at game time.
This year’s senior class is the last group of players that I recognize from being a fellow student, so it was a little bittersweet watching Tyler Locket & Co., play in purple for the last time.

Congrats to Coach Bill Snyder for being selected to the College Football Hall of Fame 2015 Class.
This makes him only the sixth active coach inducted.
I can’t speak for Coach Mora, but it would be an honor to shake that man’s hand.

Happy 2015!

Friendship, Kansas

Luna the K-State Puppy.

Warning: If you have puppy fever, you should definitely look away.

Meet Luna.

She’s a red heeler x corgi, 10 weeks old and just as sweet as can be. And she’s all not mine. (But I did help name her.)

My best friend Megan adopted her up here in Manhattan earlier in October, so they spent the weekend with me and did some K-State tailgating for Luna’s first adventure.

My work was hosting its annual pork tailgate so I had my fancy work camera with me all afternoon and got some good practice in on my friends, both furry and human.


Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: K-State Gameday

Guys, guess what?!?

This photo belongs to K-State Sports.

It’s K-State Gameday!
And this football loving, purple bleeding, K-State alumna is as giddy than a kid on Christmas Day. Go ahead and roll your eyes at me, but there is something a bit magical about Manhattan, KS on a Gameday. And it’s contagious, I have had family and friends that are  fans of other schools sound off on their respect for the camaraderie and school spirit that they have witnessed from K-State fans. And now coming off Big 12 Champion seasons from football, men’s basketball and baseball, and with the dedication of the brand new gorgeous West Stadium Center, “Titletown” is ready for its annual family reunion. That really does have a nice ring to it, now doesn’t it.

Now let’s get to the music.

Those who know me well, know that sports and music are the two things that I could talk about endlessly, so when I attended my very first K-State game as a freshman, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that I took note of the music in the stadium. Having been clearly born in the wrong era, I immediately approved of the playlist that was heavy on the 80’s. But it wasn’t until at least a year later that I realized that I was hearing the exact same playlist at every game. “That’s the Snyder way” someone informed me, rather annoyingly, as if it were I crime that I was even questioning the subject.

And it was a crime.  Snyder is all about his routine and his traditions and it is the traditions that Snyder has built here at K-State that help define what it means to be a part of the K-State Family. I know I’m getting a little nostalgic here, but if you don’t bleed purple, just replace that feeling with the spirit you have for your own sports team or alma mater. Understand? Now if you don’t understand or believe that there something magical and poetic about sports, well then, I can’t help you.

Last week when I was thinking about a Gameday Friday Jam Session, I stumbled across an article from earlier this summer from everyone’s favorite K-State newsman, D. Scott Fritchen of Powercat Illustrated, that tells the story behind Snyder’s music tradition. K-State fan or not, it’s worth the read.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC
This one off of Snyder’s playlist shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. My guess is Thunderstruck is probably the song most universally used in football stadium’s across America. It even draws up a few good ol’ Hermiston High School football game memories…

Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
If only I had been a teenager when U2 was in their prime. Bill, I highly approve.

Right Now – Van Halen
That piano introduction says it all…

Welcome to the New Age (Radioactive by Imagine Dragons)
So “Radioactive” isn’t on Snyder list, but back in summer 2012 when my roommate and I were first discovering the band Imagine Dragons, I would go on and on about how this song would be such a great sports song.  Then ESPN started using it last season, but hardly anyone knew the song yet. So needless to say I was REALLY excited when K-State Sports used it in this {awesome} feature of our three Big 12 Championships. Now when you watch the original version don’t get freaked out. The video is really….really weird, but the band and their music is worth it.

Proud of The House We Built – Brooks & Dunn
So I have always been a B&D fan and always liked this song. But becoming a K-State student gave it a whole new meaning. This song is played with a video at the beginning of every game and hearing it, always gives me chills, and sometimes, makes me tear up. Again, roll your eyes at me if you want, but relate it to something else near and dear to you, and you’ll understand. {Here is the original version.}


So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 4

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. This is my# postgradlife.}

1. 11 Days…

Photo belongs to K-State Sports

11 days until the family is back together! {And until my social media becomes increasingly, possibly obnoxiously purple again.} In the meantime I recommend checking out this article on the two young men vying for starting QB. It’s well written and just another reason why I’m proud to be a Wildcat!

2. Thankfulness
I was cleaning out/off my desk this week and finally decided it was time to file away all of my cards from graduation, but not until I read through them all again. Wow. I am one lucky kid.


So…this post is turning out to be a bit mushy so I’m intervening with a bit of humor from some celebrities that put the words ‘respect, talent, hard work’ back into the Hollywood dictionary.

  • Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Awards Speech
    Okay, still a bit more on the mushy side, but if you haven’t already seen this viral video, then be ready to have your faith in humanity restored, at least for the day.
  • Jason Sudeikis’s futbol commercial

4. Best Friends
My childhood best friend Richole is finishing up her last year at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and after spending the summer at home in Oregon she decided to chart her course driving back to pass through Manhattan to see me! After growing up together and both moving away for school, I’ve learned to cherish the small amount of time that we usually get together, but I am so proud of the beautiful person inside and out that she has become and am so lucky to still be able to call her my best friend! Thanks for stopping by to see me Chole!

5. Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s my sweet mama’s birthday today! Special days are always a bit harder to get through than the regular ones, but I am so thankful that in my coming into adulthood my mom and I have grown even closer than before. Basically she’s the bee’s knees. This picture is from her birthday a few year back, taken by the wonderful Shannon at fotonovella. It’s one of my favorites. Love you Mom!


Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: March Madness

It’s finally here. The time of year when it is both acceptable and expected to watch basketball all day long. It’s time for March Madness.

Holy buckets do I love basketball.

Much to my dismay, I did not turn out to be the greatest athlete, but I did play up through my freshman year of high school and more importantly, I come from a basketball family. Among many players, my dad, grandpa and uncle all were, or still are coaches. I grew up on the sidelines watching my dad play city league and attended practice almost every day when he coached and became his stat book keeper. My grandpa has owned Blazers tickets for years, used to call high school games for the local radio station and expects a routine update and discussion on how our Wildcats are doing. I have learned to love the game inside and out.

Yes, March Madness is upon us. Between questionable refs and what I’m sure must be record for the amount of courts rushed, this sure has been an exciting season of college ball. This week’s jam session is dedicated to music that motivates us, gets up pumped up and reminds me of the hardwood.

More by Usher
This song was released to promote the 2010 NBA All-Star game. The coolest part….besides the fact that Usher and the song are just plain awesome? His dance moves in music video reflect moves on the court. So. cool. You’ll have to go directly to YouTube to watch it though, the settings wouldn’t allow the video to be embedded.

Hall of Fame by The Script ft.
Beautiful blend to two very different voices, beautiful piano and beautiful message. Everyone needs a little bit this from time to time. Personally I love the dancer’s story in the music video.

The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder
This was one of my musical obsessions of 2012. Yes, basketball is by far my favorite, but I would consider myself an all around sports fan. I love the grit of this song and the story they weaved with U.S. gymnast in the music video gives me chills. Athlete, sports fan or just an average joe, I’d argue that everyone can find a way to connect with this one.

Lose Yourself by Eminem
Go ahead and get your raised eyebrows out of the way. I not so secretly love Eminem and this one takes me back to high school sports. And if you are going to judge me, don’t, and judge my sister instead. She can rap the whole thing. I’m so proud

The Champ by Nelly
This one was original released for college bowl week in 2012 but is featured here in a season highlight for the 2012-2013  K-State men’s team. You can view the original video here. I’ll admit, I have a hard time relating to people who look at sports and just don’t get it. So if I told you that I’ve lost count of how times I have watched this or that I might have teared up a bit, many of you would roll your eyes, but others, regardless of whether or not you are K-State fans, would understand.

Enjoy March Madness everyone! and Go Cats!

Go Cats!

Year in Review

My 2012 Year in Review

If I were to describe my 2012 Twitter style, I would “hashtag” things like #musicjunkie #growingup #EMAW #itsthesimplethings #internlife #family #thingsmyroommatessay #ksuagmag #agcommproblems #awesomesauce #AFAlove #blessed…just to name a few.

Yes, it has been good year with many great experiences and opportunities filled with love and laughter. I am so blessed and fortunate to have shared it with so many. So, I’m jumping on the band wagon and sharing my Top 10 Moments in 2012 (in no particular order of course.)


  1. Family vacation in Cabo San Lucas
  2. Summer internship with ICM, Inc. and experiencing living in Wichita, Kansas.
  3. Being on leadership staff for the Fall 2012 edition of the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine
  4. Became quite the concert-goer taking in Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band, Kyle Park, Kevin Fowler, Logan Mize, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and ……attending Country Stampede!
  5. Was able to make four visits home to Oregon for the Oregon FFA State Convention in my hometown, my baby sister’s high school graduation, attending Caitlin and Matt’s wedding, a quick trip to the cabin, the Umatilla County Fair and of course, the holidays.
  6. My parents and grandparents visited me in Kansas and witnessed a Wildcat victory over Miami.
  7. Speaking of Wildcat football…Can you say Big XII Champs? What an amazing season to be a part of.
  8. Moved in to an apartment with my two best friends Kyla & Megan. We’ve laughed, cried and went a little crazy. I couldn’t imagine senior year without these two by my side.
  9. Those I love are happy and healthy, and with the exception of a wee sprained ankle, this fall was the first semester in college that I did not get ridiculously sick.
  10. Finished up my year of service on the Agriculture Future of America 2011-2012 Student Advisory team with a trip to Washington D.C. and attended fall conference again as a regular delegate, all with eight teammates who are now eight of my closest friends.

2013, you have big shoes to fill. I’m looking forward to being editor of the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine, graduating from K-State, further enabling my concert junkie status and starting my new job with the Kansas Pork Association. And, considering I’m writing this as I sit on a plane on my way to watch my Wildcats play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, I think it’s going to start out pretty good.

Thanks for being a part of my crazy adventures.

Here’s to the New Year!

– Amanda

Kansas, Life Notes

Mason Jars, Indie Records and Bleeding Purple

It seems to be that we tend to mark our miles or associate different times in our lives with the things that we obssesed over during that time. Whatever the fad was that we were addicted to or spent what later seemed like a ridiculous amount of time talking about. And they are not always big obviously things, but items, anecdotes, inside jokes and trends that serve as the placeholder for the memories and experiences that stuck with us the most. So in this case, I just finished my senior fall semester, and what does that make me think of?

Mason jars, indie records and bleeding purple.

I’m sure I could give a much more thorough explanation, but I also believe that obsessions are never quite supposed to be understood, so I will give you this. Everything tastes better and looks better in a mason jar; the weirder name, the better the band…and my indie record will always be much cooler; and this semester will always be remembered for its football season that gave me chills because of the moments as a fan and not because of the weather. I think I actually lost Twitter followers because I used the hashtag #EMAW one too many times for some people’s taste.

This semester was a rockstar one, marked with lots of things, mostly good that make me extremely thankful to be where I am at and surrounded by wonderful people both near and from a far. Looking forward, if my last semester as a student is anything close to my one this fall, I think I will do just fine.

These are just a snapshot of some of my favorite moments from this semester. Thanks for being a part of the fun. Enjoy!

Family at the K-State vs. Miami tailgate
Family at the K-State vs. Miami tailgate
Excited to share one of my favorite parts of being a student.
Excited to share one of my favorite parts of being a student.
Reunited with my AFA Student Advisory team family.
Reunited with my AFA Student Advisory team family.
My IGP work girls.
My IGP work girls.
Smurthwaite shenanigans during the annual alumni dinner.
Smurthwaite shenanigans during the annual alumni dinner.
My very best friend and soul sister. Happy birthday Megan!
My very best friend and soul sister. Happy birthday Megan!
Tailgating girls.
Tailgating girls.
Waiting for the football team to arrive after the big win at Oklahoma.
Waiting for the football team to arrive after the big win at Oklahoma.
Logan Mize Concert with Jancey and Megan.
Logan Mize Concert with Jancey and Megan.
One of my favorites came for the Logan Mize concert.
One of my favorites came for the Logan Mize concert.
Ambassador friends.
Ambassador friends.
Eastern Oregon > Western Oregon....but Oregonians + K-State = Awesome!
Eastern Oregon > Western Oregon….but Oregonians + K-State = Awesome!
Gosh I'm going to miss this one.
Gosh I’m going to miss this one.
Blaine and Tanner.
Blaine and Tanner.
Smurthwaite Class of 2010
Smurthwaite Class of 2010
Two steppin' swing dancin crippled fools.
Two steppin’ swing dancin crippled fools.
Happy Birthday Kelly!
Happy Birthday Kelly!
Keeping with old traditions.
Keeping with old traditions.
Roomies. Best Friends.
Roomies. Best Friends.
Big sis/Little Sis Football buddies.
Big sis/Little Sis Football buddies.
Beautiful night for some K-State football.
Beautiful night for some K-State football.
Logan Mize concert at Longhorns.
Logan Mize concert at Longhorns.
Old roommates back to visit!
Old roommates back to visit!
Big XII Champions!
Big XII Champions!
My favorite band geek.
My favorite band geek.

– Amanda