New Look Bulls

I was quite pumped to watch the NBA Draft last week and see the Bulls select Derrick Rose with the first pick. Along with a new coaching staff and some pending big trades the team will likely make, this stands to be a very exciting year for a new-look Bulls team. Count me excited, at least! Gotta love those ping pong balls bouncing Chicago's way.

Rebuilding the Wall

This Saturday, members of our house church had the opportunity to volunteer with Rebuilding the Wall, a really cool Indianapolis organization attempting to help families in some of the poorer areas of Indianapolis and repair the relationship between different classes in the city. They gut and repair rundown houses in the community and then sell them very inexpensively to local families, all of whom have never owned a house before. We had a great time learning about the organization and working on an old house downtown. I had fun pulling nails and lathe for about 3 hours, but it was cool to see how much could get done with the work of so many great volunteers. We hope to keep up a relationship with this group and volunteer somewhat regularly to work on the houses.


A Summer Haircut!?

Did I go on a diet? It feels like it since I just lost some pounds thanks to the haircut mommy gave me! Now I can be cooler on our summer walks and look sharp for my girlfriend, Izzy (she lives across the street, and I'll tell you more about her later ;)

New York Part 2 - Lynne is In!

So Friday, after the work conference concluded at noon, Lynne flew into NYC so we could spend some time enjoying the city together (and it was her Christmas present...I know, a bit late, but she was patient). We spent Friday-Monday evening in the city, and had a blast.

Highlights of the trip via category:
Friday--late night stand-up at The Comic Strip, which was hilarious
Saturday--Avenue Q (hilarious musical) on Broadway
Sunday--Joao Gilberto (the father of bossa nova, "Girl from Ipanema") serenading the audience at Carnegie Hall (hands down the coolest concert venue I've been to)
Monday--NBC tour where Kirk got to geek out over being in the Conan, SNL, and NBC Nightly News studios

Dinners--Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain's former place, "Kitchen Confidential"), which was tremendous, Molyvos (amazing greek cuisine), and Brio (in-law's favorite Italian joint, great seafood pasta)
Lunches/Snacks--Gray's Papaya (I had to!), the Stage Deli (only plate of food Kirk couldn't finish on the trip), random hot dog cart (Kirk only!), and an amazing little brunch spot in the West Village (thanks to wonderful coworker Neeta!)

Misc: Walking through Central Park (more beautiful than I anticipated), listening to some street performers there, walking through Soho, walking through a cute West Village flea market, walking up and down 5th Ave. and Times Square (too crowded), and lots of walking in general!

Shot from Central Park on a misty Monday

A wonderful idyll in Central Park sitting in the sun at the fountain and listening to this guy play some great music (but sadly he didn't know any good Ben Harper tunes)

Mmmm...Gray's Papaya

Lynne outside Carnegie Hall before the concert

Saturday in Central Park

The spectacular Literary Walk in Central Park

Central Park

Brasserie Les Halles, former home of Anthony Bourdain...so delicious, and yes, as Bourdain attests, the BEST frites in the entire world!

Wonderful subway performers!

Rockefeller Center (the NBC tour was really fun!)

The infamous sandwiches at The Stage Deli, the only plate of food I couldn't finish (including finishing Lynne's food every other meal!) on the entire trip. It was about 3 pounds of corned beef, brisket, and pastrami (the Conana O'Brien sandwich).

New York Part 1 - DonorsChoose.org

So last week I had the opportunity to spend Tuesday-Friday in New York City for my job with DonorsChoose.org. We had an amzing all-staff conference where I not only learned a ton but also had the pleasure of meeting so many of my wonderful coworkers (who, since I am solo in Indiana, have never met before). It was a ridiculously fun and inspiring time, complete with days packed with thought-provoking sessions and evenings filled with (to name a few things), dinner and drinks at our founder's brownstone, a funk concert in Brooklyn (Go Maceo!), a subway adventure to Harlem at 2:30am, rooftop views of the city, random delicious eateries (mmm...Creperie at 1am!), Burgers and Cupcakes (yes, both at the same time), and fun chats with new friends. Pictures (hopefully) to come, courtesy of my colleagues.

Hey Hayden!

So we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to hang out with Hayden a couple weeks ago. Otis was excited too, since he hadn't seen her in a while. We had lots of fun playing, running through the sprinkler, playing guitar, and dancing. Then Hayden got all dressed up to go to a wedding with her parents and party the night away.


Sushi Dinner with New Friends

Meet Alex and Sonja, the hosts for our new house church through Common Ground Christian Church. We are so excited to be a part of this wonderful small group, and we have really enjoyed getting to know everyone, especially Alex and Sonja (they garage sale, too!). After they hosted us for a wonderful dinner (with an addicting mango salsa), we had them over for some sushi! Kirk prepared a few maki rolls and some nigiri, but then everyone joined in on the fun and got to roll their own, choosing from tuna, salmon, cucumber, and green onions. Overall, the "sushi beginners" did a fantastic job, and the meal (complete with miso soup and homemade ice cream) was delicious!

Birthday Bikes!

So our birthdays came and went and were pretty uneventful, but we are very much enjoying riding around wonderful Indianapolis neighborhoods on our new bikes! Thanks mom and dad!


John & Megan are Married!

The last weekend in May was a wonderful time celebrating John and Megan's wedding in Muskegon, MI. It is jarring to think that our two great friends are (finally) married, and we are so excited for their new life together (despite the fact that they are moving to Columbus, OH...boo!). The wedding was beautiful, the priest did an excellent job, the happy couple were looking sharp, and we had way too much fun with all of our fantastic friends. Congratulations Dr. and Dr. Hertig!!! (Calling them doctor is even weirder than them being married).
John and Megan at their rehearsal dinner

Toasting at the reception.

What are these troublemakers up to?

Riding on a trolley around Muskegon is fun...until it breaks down!

The little man who stole the show, Liam Zolman. You should totally be his friend on Facebook. He is the world's most interesting man.