Getting into the Christmas spirit in Indiana

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Stephanie and I (and Frank) are hanging out in Indiana for the next couple of weeks, which we’re both really happy about. Even though it’s way colder than San Francisco and there’s a ton of snow everywhere, getting to see all of our friends and family make it all totally worth it.

We had a heck of a time catching all of our flights to get here (we waited over 4 hours at SFO just to check out bags and get our boarding passes), but we finally made it and it’s been pretty much a whirlwind of eating, meeting up with friends and family and driving (with a little bit of napping thrown in there for good measure). This is really the first time that I’ve been able to hop on my laptop for an extended amount of time, which should tell you a little bit about how busy we’ve been. But, the way I figure is the more I can hang out with the people I never get to see anymore, the better — even if that means sacrificing my beloved laptop time (did I really just say that?).

Both Stephanie and I are having a lot of fun catching up with everyone and telling them all about our upcoming mission trip to the Congo. We’ve got really positive reactions when we tell people about what all we’re doing and some have already donated some cash to the cause. Of course both of our parents are worried about us, but what’s new?

We both hope that you’re getting into the Christmas spirit and if you need any help with your holiday cheer I think that this video might give you nice nudge in the right direction. Now let’s get festive!

A digital happy Thanksgiving from our family

My sister Angie is always looking out for me and to come to think of it she pretty much always has. I guess that’s what family is for, right?

When she sent me this video I couldn’t hear the audio, but I knew that it was my nieces and nephew telling Stephanie and I happy Thanksgiving and that they miss us, which is both cute and kinda sad all at the same time.

It’s pretty sweet that I can watch my family grow up over the Internet (I know they’re always watching me on this blog), but I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something that I won’t ever get to do again. I’m missing seeing all of those crazy kids in the video grow up into real people (it’s happening really fast). Being in Indiana might not seem as cool as hanging out in a city like San Francisco, but Stephanie and I seem to be asking ourselves more and more if it’s worth what we’re missing back at home.

It’s a tough question to answer, but the longer that we stay out here in California the better of an idea it sounds to go back to somewhere closer to our family. Of course, when we start popping out some little Hup and Stephs it won’t even be a question. We’ll be out of here before you can say ‘Castro Street’.

But, until then we’ll keep on doing what we’re doing. I mean, it has been quite a ride so far.

p.s. We just bought our plane tickets for Christmas and we can’t wait to go home! We’ll be home from December 17th – January 3rd, so be sure to say hi while we’re in town!

Hupfer home remodeling, how may we help you?

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One of the things that Stephanie and I talk about a lot is how great it would be to start a business that we could run together. We don’t really know what that business would be exactly, but I’m sure that it would be pretty awesome. I mean, if our friends Holly and Ryan can do it with wedding photography I’m sure that we can do it too, right?

As with most things it’s easier said than done, but thanks to Bart (Steph’s dad) and Shannon (Steph’s step-mom) we had the chance to get a taste of some home remodeling today, which might just end up being something we could really go after from a business perspective. You never know until you try and today was an opportunity to do just that. You see, Bart and Shannon just moved to the Los Angeles area and have bought a house that’s about to get a serious makeover thanks to Bart’s remodeling skills.

Since Bart already has a good idea of the walls he’s going to be knocking out, we all thought that it would be a fantastic idea if we went ahead and got some of the demolition started by kicking a hole in one of them. I know what you’re thinking — kicking a hole in one of their walls might not be that helpful in the long run, but to be honest who cares? Even if we didn’t help out that much it sounded like it could be really fun to try.

So, is home remodeling going to be Hup and Steph’s next big thing? I highly doubt it, but feel free to take a look at the video below and make your own conclusion.

This video begins with our friend Adrienne kicking the wall a few times with no success. Then Stephanie gives it a couple of shots that don’t even make a dent. Finally, Adrienne gives it a couple more kicks that eventually make it through and then Bart follows her up with a few more kicks that end up going all the way through the wall.

After the wall had the hole in it, I thought that it would be fun to get a few shots of me getting thrown though the wall, head first by Bart. Needless to say, I think he had some fun taking these.

Why I would vote for Kyle Hupfer if I still lived in Indiana (even if he wasn’t my brother)

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As many of you probably know by now (especially those of you in Indiana), my brother Kyle Hupfer is running for a public office in Indiana. More specifically, he’s running for a spot in the Indiana House District 37, which covers the area you see below in Madison County. You can also check out what District 37 covers in Indiana over here on this Google Map.

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Up until now I haven’t really been involved in my brother’s campaign due to a few reasons such as:

1. I don’t live in Indiana anymore (I’ve been living in California for nearly 3 years now).

2. I don’t have a political bone in my body. Really, I don’t.

3. I didn’t want to screw up his campaign like Chris Farley’s character almost did for his brother in that movie Black Sheep (vote for Al Donnelly + KILL WHITEY!).

4. I don’t really like to wear the color red (it makes me look even more pale than I already am).

But, even though I haven’t been that involved Stephanie and I did get the chance to help my brother out and represent team Hupfer in one of the gajillion small town parades that he walked in this past Summer. The pic below shows me, Stephanie, my sister Angie, my bro and other friends and family who came out to help the cause. Yeah, I know — we’re a good looking crew (and yes, I do look really pale in the red t-shirt).

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With the election coming up soon I wanted to give some of my thoughts on Kyle and why, even though I’m not very politically minded, I would still give him my vote if I lived in the District 37 area. Here are a few reasons why I think that Kyle is the right guy for the job that mostly have nothing to do with the fact that he’s my brother. These reasons are more based on his character and what I’ve grown to respect about him outside of being part of my family and an awesome brother (most of the time).

He loves District 37 and the people who live there
I know that his competition has made a lot of noise about the fact that Kyle and his family moved a whopping 20 or so miles back to Pendleton so that he could run for the District 37 spot, but the fact of the matter is that the Hupfer’s are as Pendleton, Madison County and District 37 as any family could possibly be. My grandma still lives there, my mom grew up there (and still lives there with my dad) and I was raised there and listed it as my home address up until college.

Me and the rest of my family have deep, deep roots not only in Pendleton, but all over Madison County and if any other family wants to go head-to-head with how many miles we’ve driven in and around Madison Country while going to every gym and field you could rattle off I’d love to hear it. Bottom line: saying that my brother is out of touch with the area is ridiculous — just ask the regulars at Donnie’s, they’ll tell ya.

He has the state’s best interests at heart
I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed this or not, but my brother does not have to run for this seat in the house. In fact, he’s out knocking on doors, walking in parades, throwing fundraisers, speaking at various events and who knows what else all during his free time (which he doesn’t have a lot of to begin with). Oh, and he’s doing this all while raising a family with his wife and helping run a multi-million dollar business as a senior level executive.

I’m not exactly sure how much my brother’s time is worth, but it’s A LOT and to be spending so much of it doing all of the little things that it takes to win a local election like this not only shows the high level of his character, but also his dedication and willingness to doing things the right way.

He’s going to stand up for his beliefs
I’ve met a lot of hard-headed people in my life, but none of them compare to what Kyle brings to the table (which is why he’s a ridiculously good lawyer) and even though he always thinks he’s right, he recognizes when he’s not and is willing to hear others out on their opinions. Whether what you have to say will actually change his mind is a crap shoot, but he’ll listen to you and tell you why he thinks what he thinks and will then make the best possible decision given the information he has been exposed to.

I mean, that’s what government officials are for, right? We all think we’re right all the time, but there’s got to be someone who can weigh all sides of an issue and be able to put their personal interests and emotions aside in order to make the best decision possible. If Kyle isn’t that guy, then I don’t know who is.

He understands business, education and many other important issues
You want someone who knows a lot about business and managing a budget? Check out what my brother did at the Department of Natural Resources for the two years that he was there and how much money he saved Indiana taxpayers in the process. Not to mention how he’s helping manage and make decisions for Proliance, which is part of Vectren, which just happens to be one of Indiana’s largest businesses and employers. Speaking of business, you need to look no further than our dad Clarence if you want to hear the voice of a business owner, entrepreneur and someone who knows how money should be managed. Yep, Kyle pretty much has the business thing covered.

Maybe you want to talk about education? Well, the Hupfer family is packed full of teachers and if you visit the Pendleton Elementary school you should definitely check out the library. It’s named after my grandma, Ruth Honnold who taught there for more years than I can count. So yeah, Kyle also knows all about education and with his kids now making their way into the Pendleton schools he’s going to make sure that it gets the attention it deserves.

There are many other reasons why I would vote for my brother if I still lived in Pendleton, but I guess that this gives you a good look into some of the reasoning behind my choice. If you want to find out more about what Kyle stands for I suggest that you go check out his website KyleHupfer.com and his Facebook page (which he surprisingly uses quite well and often). He also has a lot of commercials running on TV (which I think are a little cheesy, but are needed) and has a few other videos on the interwebs which you can watch below or over here on YouTube.


Kyle talks about why he thinks he’s the man for the job


Kyle takes some Q&A from the people of Pendleton (my hometown)


Kyle’s closing thoughts during his first debate


Kyle’s first commercial (I like this one because he does the voice over)


Kyle’s second commercial (can you say cheesy?)

With that I’ll step off of my virtual soapbox (which I don’t step up on very often) and will let you make your own judgments about who’s best for Indiana. You know who I’m rooting for.

Ice skating at Pan Am Plaza in Indianapolis, IN

It’s been about 10 years since I had been ice skating, so we felt like it was about time to give it shot. The video was taken at Pan Am Plaza in Indianapolis, IN and man, did it end being a lot of fun. Some of our friends and family came along with us, too which made it even more entertaining (as you’ll see).

Check out the video below or over here on YouTube when you get a chance and here’s to the beginning of an amazing 2010! Stephanie and I (and Frank as long as he can still fit on the plane) head back to San Francisco tomorrow, but it’s been so great to see all of our friends and family the past month while we’ve been home. We’re extremely blessed to have all of the amazing people that we have in our lives and we can’t wait to see you all again!

Check out my niece Madison (the praying pilgrim)

My sister just  sent me over this pic of my niece that was posted on the Cincinnati Enquirer. Doesn’t she look great as a praying pilgrim (she’s the smiling blonde in the first row, second from the left)?

I wonder what she was praying for? :)

The Hupfers invade the 2009 Indiana State Fair (and we have the pics to prove it)

fair_split-overOne of the things that Stephanie misses most about not being in Indiana during their hot, humid Summer months is missing the ultimate in Hoosier hillbilly hi jinks, the Indiana State Fair. Out here in California I’m not even sure if they even have a state fair, but if they did I guarantee that it wouldn’t be nearly as awesome of an event as what the good ol’ State of Indiana can put together. It’s definitely something that Stephanie wishes that she could go to and honestly, I guess that I wouldn’t mind seeing a nice tractor pull or two if I had the chance.

One cool thing that you should know about the Indiana State Fair is that my brother Kyle is it’s official chairman and although I have no idea what that actually means, I do know that it includes him making an important opening speech during the first day that the fair is open to the public. Well, this is the first year that Kyle has had a beautiful new baby to show off, so he decided to take advantage of the opportunity to show little Adah to the rest of the world by holding her while he opened up this year’s state fair installment to the masses.

There  are a couple of cool things that happened as he held baby Adah during his speech:

  1. He was able to show the world (well, at least Indiana) the new tomato-themed outfit that my mom hand made for Adah to wear for the occasion (they gave my mom a shout-out in the caption, see below). You can see the outfit over here in this photo that was taken after the speech. I also have posted it below for you to check out. The outfit is themed Red Gold because they’re a very important Indiana-based company that is also a HUGE supporter of  the State Fair each year. If you ask me, it’s about the best product plug that I’ve ever seen.
  2. Adah was able to have her picture taken with this year’s Miss America, Katie Stam (who is from Indiana and who went to my alma mater, The University of Indianapolis — Woot!). You can check out that photo over here on Indy Star, too.
  3. Kyle’s wife Jill, their son Ashton and my sister’s daughter Madison also got some face time in the photos as well. You can see their photo as well over here on Indy Star.

Of course, others took notice of the fact that Kyle made the opening ceremonies a family affair. The Indy Star State Fair blog aptly named “Deep Fried Blog” had this to say about my big bro:

Red Gold is the big corporate sponsor of the fair this year, prompting state fair commission chairman Kyle Hupfer to take note of the many “tomato colored shirts” at the fair. Nothing is red, all is tomato – even the Red Gold bonnet on top of his baby, Adah, who he cradled during his remarks.

I think that it’s pretty cool that my brother did this and that my mom turned into Martha Stewart and made Adah her cute, little outfit that caught everyone’s attention. So, I guess that even though Stephanie and I couldn’t make it to the fair this year, it’s good to know that the rest of the Hupfer’s were still able to make such an impact. Can I get a YEEEE HAW to that?

Here are some of the photos that I linked to above, as well as a bonus shot of this year’s official Indiana State Fair fat-filled delicacy, chocolate covered bacon.

It’s about time for an update, don’t ya think?

Hey everybody!  Our apologies for the lack of posts recently.  Things have been mighty hectic out here in San Francisco recently, so now that I have a few minutes while sitting in the airport, I thought I would write up a little update.

And now for the past two weeks… by bullet

I’m on my way back home for the week to do a litte bit (actually A LOT) of wedding planning.  I have a meeting set up for every single day, but I’m certainly hoping to fill in some extra slots with some much needed friends and family time.  Unfortunately, Frank coud not join Ryan and I for the trip but he’s soaking up the good life at my co-teacher’s house for the week.  I told him he was just going to puppy day camp and that he would have the time of his life.  So far it seems to be the case :)

That’s about it for the updates… I’ll keep you all posted on the wedding planning.  Oh, and one more thing, we obviously did not make the Today Show wedding….. oh well…. we’ll have more fun at our own wedding anyway right?!

Throw’d rolls at The Potatoe Patch in Houston, TX

We had to check out just one more thing before we left the beautiful, yet somewhat odd state of Texas. That one thing was The Potatoe Patch, a restaurant that’s been made famous through the fact that they throw their fresh, hot and tasty rolls at you while you’re eating. None of this pansy, non-Texas handing out of rolls. Oh no — they throw them at you. I mean it’s says ‘Throw’d Rolls’ right on the side of their restaurant in bright neon, so they are definitely not kidding around. Of course, it says ‘Fried Green Tomotoes’ on the other side, but that’s a whole other story.

Check out the video below or over here on YouTube to see some of the famous Throw’d Rolls in action.

Going down to China Town in Houston, TX

Today was our first full day here in Houston, TX and it was a pretty exciting one thanks to a visit to the local China Town. Now, the China Town here in Texas isn’t quite like the China Town in San Francisco that Stephanie and I visited last Summer, which is a huge part of the city and feels like you could literally be in China. This China Town is really just a weird, slightly rundown section of Houston that just happens to be where a large number of Asians decided to live ta some point. It was a little more cluttered than most other parts of the Houston suburbs that we’ve seen, but besides the Chinese signs and banners everywhere and an over abundance of fake purses, it felt fairly normal.

Between Stephanie’s dad’s love for the Asian culture (he especially loves to see them hit the live catfish with a pipe before they chop them up to sell) and Stephanie’s love for cheap purses and fake flowers (helllllo wedding decorations) we practically had no choice in visiting Houston’s China town and as always, it provided not only good shopping, but great entertainment as well. Here are a few pics that I snapped during the adventure — enjoy.

This place had a lot of nice stuff, which I thankfully didn’t broken because I would’ve need buy if I did.

You would think that they would have more than just that one Obama picture for sale.

Stephanie and her super-awesome stepmom Shannon pose with some potential wedding decor.

If you get invited to our wedding, you might just see one of these fabrics on your table.

You wont find these at Safeway.

100 year old eggs — a delicacy in Asian culture. Check out my buddy Kpet eating one on YouTube.

Which one of these is not like the others…?

This has been a great day here in Texas and we even had the chance to tear up some of Stephanie’s dad’s famous spring rolls and sushi and Stephanie even helped make them, too. Tomorrow we’re going to hit up the Bodies: The Exhibition that’s currently being shown at one of Houston’s museums. It should be pretty freaky.

Oh, and I realized that I never posted up our video from when we visited China Town in San Francisco a while back, so feel free to check it out below of over here on YouTube.

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