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Prairie Fire Marathon

Posted on October 14, 2017 by under Events, Things to Do.    

After a late night of partying at Haus of Brews, Brian and I decided to get up super duper early the next day to support some friends who were running in the Prairie Fire Marathon. #PFM has been going on for years but we’d never really had any interest in being part of the mob before.

This year was an extra special one, however, because our friend Jimbo was in town over the weekend to run in the marathon AND also sing the national anthem.

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Here’s us at around 7 am, waiting for the event to start. I still can’t believe I managed to talk Brian into going. If we we look rough, it’s because we didn’t go to bed until 1 am that morning. It took that long to unwind after Haus of Brews.

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We got there early and found a good spot. We also found Jimbo.

We realized later that the reason we got a good spot that morning is that very few spectators actually show up for the start of the race. Most people just show up to watch their friends and family finish.

Not us, though. We were committed. We wanted to see Jimbo sing the national anthem so we got there early and found the perfect spot.

Here he is singing the national anthem.

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Here are some pictures of the runners as they waited for the race to begin.

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The race started shortly after. As you can see from the pics above and the video below, there were hundreds of runners participating in the event.

The sea of runners continued for several minutes.

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Brian’s reward for getting up early was supposed to be a big breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner but, when we got there, we found out that they wouldn’t open until 8 am. So we snapped this photo and then decided to go elsewhere for breakfast.

My friend Derek recommended the app RaceJoy so we were able to track the progress of the runners we knew. We decided to make our way back to #PFM around 9 am to watch and cheer as the half marathon runners crossed the finish line. It was about half past 9 by the time we made it back to our spot near the finish line. Derek had already finished. However, we did manage to find him and get a couple of photos of him and his fancy medals.

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He got a #Back2Back medal in addition to his finisher medal since he also ran the #PFM earlier this year in Spring.

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As we waited for Jimbo to reach the finish line, we saw several people we knew complete their respective races. Tammie, Alicia, and Angi all ran the half marathon. Francie, a friend and fellow Zumba instructor, ran the full marathon. The husband of one of my friends from high school also ran the full marathon.

It was quite inspiring to watch runners from such diverse backgrounds cross the finish line. There were young people. There were old people. They came in various shapes and sizes. And they all crossed the finish line. It was amazing.

There were at least two couples that we watched cross the finish line holding hands. It was adorable. I told Brian, “That could be us, except you don’t run.” LOL.

Here’s a video of Jimbo crossing the finish line.

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His parents were there to watch him finish the race as well. We caught up with them afterwards. This was Jimbo’s 50th marathon and you could tell they were very proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

We didn’t linger too long downtown because I still had to teach my Zumba class. Mostly we wanted to be there to cheer Jimbo on and also watch some other friends finish. It was a beautiful day to be out and about but we were both ready to go once all the people we knew had crossed the finish line. We’d been standing out there for several hours already after all.

P.S. KWCH featured our friend Jimbo in their race coverage that evening. You can read about it here. So glad we could there to witness his 50th marathon and watch him sing the national anthem at the start of the race.

Congrats, Jimbo!

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I Finally Made It!

Posted on October 13, 2017 by under Shopping, Zumba.    

After years of spending hundreds of dollars on Zumba wear, I finally made it! Just in time for my birthday, too! I am officially a three-star Zumba Wear Insider!

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Zumba Wear Insider is a program that launched a few years ago.

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I slowed down my Zumba wear shopping because I had way too much gear already. Anyway, earlier this year they sent me a note about qualifying for two-star status, which was nice but didn’t really offer any real perks (not to me, anyhow).

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However, I met a three-star Zumba Wear Insider at #ZINCON this year who told me that the three-star Insiders got to shop the Zumba Wear store at #ZINCON before it opened. Now, that’s a real perk considering that Brian and I spent at least a couple of hours of our time in line for the Zumba Wear store on Wednesday waiting for it to open. If I had been a three-star at that time, I would have been shopping instead of standing in line.

Although, I didn’t find this out after I had already spent over about $800 on purchases at the store that didn’t count toward my Zumba Wear Insider status. Blech! You live and learn.

After this realization, Brian and I agreed that I would not be shopping at #ZINCON going forward — since it doesn’t count toward my status. If I need to buy anything, I would buy it from the web site so that every penny counts. We made a pact that the only reason that we would shop at the Zumba Wear store at #ZINCON is if I made three-star between now and then and got first dibs on everything.

Of course, the universe being the enabler that it is, ended up bestowing upon me three-star status further fueling my Zumba Wear and shopping addictions.

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How do you find out when you reach three-star status? Well, they send you a gift. It comes in a box similar to the one pictured above.

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Inside is a card/letter informing you of your new status and explaining the program. I don’t remember if the two-star letter came with a present. If it didn’t it wasn’t anything memorable. The three-star letter comes with an exclusive three-star Zumba Wear Insider t-shirt, which is pretty cool.

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Here’s what the front of it looks like. The back has your three-star status.

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Also on the same day, in a separate mailing, I received an early birthday card from Zumba. I love getting birthday cards in the mail because no one ever writes letters or sends cards to people anymore.

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It’s kind of a treat when you get something besides junk mail in your mailbox. Anyway, this one is extra special because it contained the added bonus of a $30 OFF coupon for Zumba wear.

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Now, that’s a REAL perk!

It was a wonderful surprise because I didn’t know that Zumba Wear Insiders got birthday cards with discounts. I’ve found out since that you do and the amount depends on your status/level. I’m so glad that I made three-star in time for my birthday! Thank you to Zumba for feeding my Zumba gear addiction!

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P.S. As a bonus for you guys, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Well, it’s not that much of a secret but not everyone knows this. I am a Zumba Wear affiliate so I have a special code you can use that will save you 10% OFF every time you shop on Zumba.com. Yes, it’s good EVERY, SINGLE time! There is no limit to the number of times you use this code so wear it out!

If you click on any of the links on this post, the discount should automatically apply to your items. If you don’t see the discount, use affiliate code CHING when you check out. That should apply the discount to your shopping cart.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

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9th Annual Haus of Brews

Posted on October 12, 2017 by under Events.    

Brian and I had a fabulous time at Haus of Brews this weekend. I’m not sure how the our Rotary Club did but I think we did pretty well. Mother Nature did us a solid and gave us great weather this year, which was awesome considering how terrible it was last year with the rain and everything. We still had a great time despite the stormy weather but, man, it was rough!

This year the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. So perfect, in fact, I think we broke the attendance record for the event. We had so many people that we actually ran out of food and, I was told, we’ve never had that problem before.

I volunteered both me and Brian for helping with food service and clean up from 9-10 pm but by 8 o’clock we were completely out of food. There was nothing to serve. They actually had to order some pulled pork sliders to supplement the food shortage because, while many people had already eaten, people were still arriving.

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Here are some pictures from the event.

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This is a picture of me with Andover City Council Member Troy Tabor who dressed festively for the occasion. You can see his full outfit in the next photo.

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Here’s Brian and Misty, just chillin’ at the end of the evening. Not much to do since there wasn’t any food for us to serve. The pulled pork sliders eventually arrived but there wasn’t much to that as well and we had more than enough volunteers.

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Here’s a photo of just a few of the people — Rotarians, spouses and friends — who made the event possible.

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We had such an awesome time that we are looking forward to attending and helping with this event again next year.

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Strike a Pose!

Posted on October 10, 2017 by under Events.    

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Brian and I attended the opening of a new exhibit at the Wichita Art Museum last weekend. The exhibit is called Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty and will run through February 4, 2018.

Irving Penn was an American photographer known for his fashion photography and portraits. He passed away in 2009. This exhibit, which includes 146 photographs from all stages of Penn’s career, is the first retrospective of his work in nearly 20 years. His photos are amazing. We will probably be back multiple times this season.

We highly recommend checking out Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at the Wichita Art Museum before the exhibit closes.

I wouldn’t consider us art geeks but we do try to attend the exhibit openings whenever we can. We love a good party, for one, and WAM throws the best ones. Secondly, the idea of seeing exhibits first appeals to my competitive nature. LOL. Thirdly, we can’t tell people to check it out if we haven’t seen the exhibit ourselves. And, last but not least, the parties give us an opportunity to see our friend Teresa, PR genius extraordinaire.

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Here’s picture of us with Teresa (above) and then a selfie of just the two of us. Why? Because a party isn’t a party without at least a few selfies. Plus, if there are no pictures, it didn’t happen. LOL.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one got a picture, did it really fall?

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One of the highlights of the opening party was a fashion show by Planet Hair. But before the whole runway extravaganza, they had these models stand perfectly still on wood blocks throughout the great hall.

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Here are a few pictures.

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The “statues” gracefully made their way to the stage through the crowd, one pose at a time. Once they were all on the stage, they performed a sort of dance.

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I snapped a few photos of the performance.

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Then the fashion show commenced.

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I wish we would have checked out the exhibit first and then watched the fashion show because the costumes probably would have made more sense.

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The Planet Hair team basically recreated some of Penn’s iconic photographs and brought them to life. The show was incredible either way but I think we would have enjoyed it even more had we seen the photo inspirations first.

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Here’s a picture of the Planet Hair team at the end of the fashion show.

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My friend Emma, who happens to be one of my favorite makeup artists, helped with the fashion show. She is awesome and has done my makeup for various events a few times. Here’s a picture of me and Emma…

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GOODING performed after the fashion show.

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And, because we are nerds, Brian and I both got selfies with the band’s front man, Steven Gooding. He is super nice, BTW!

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Here are a few pictures of the band performing…

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GOODING was the final act of this year’s Carnegie Concert Series at Heritage Square. I was really bummed because I was in training at Wichita State on the day of the final lunch time concert but then quickly got over it when I realized that they would be performing at Strike a Pose! — the art museum’s opening party — because then I would get to see them after all.

The universe likes me.

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As always, WAM delivered on yet another great party. Check out the related posts below for pictures from other parties that we’ve attended at the art museum that we’ve attended in the past.

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In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a couple more selfies. Strike a pose!

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Fun Times at Greater Andover Days

Posted on October 8, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

These are pictures from Greater Andover Days last weekend. I know. The blog is behind again. Sorry, grandma!

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This first set of photos is from the VIP Tailgate Party on Friday night. I kind of volunteered us to help at two different tailgates so Brian and I had to split up. I left Brian with the Andover Rotary Club. Misty volunteered with them as well. I volunteered with the Westar Energy tailgate.

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Alicia brought her handcrafted cornhole/beantoss game and it was a huge hit.

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We had people at our section playing the game all night long.

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The free hotdogs and hamburgers were also a huge hit. They were lovingly prepared by the Happy-Bowman grilling team consisting of Glen and Bridget.

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You might recognize them from the Home for Doc Benefit Gala that we attended the previous weekend. No tux and ballgown this time.

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Alicia and Ron also helped at the tailgate. As well as Roy, who is usually always with the trailer. I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of him!

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Anyway, this is Ron with the fancy tire marks on his face. They had face-painting at the event and, apparently, they were painting faces for everyone — children and adults alike. I didn’t go because I thought it was just for kids.

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This is me with my coworker Stacy. She volunteered to helped with the Westar tailgate as well. It worked out great because her husband’s band Lucky People was the entertainment for the evening.

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This is Brian, hanging out at the Andover Rotary Club tailgate.

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This is Brian and Misty presumably “working” at the tailgate.

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Lots of people came out to tailgate. Some people tailgated privately, while others shared their food.

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Here’s a picture of the band performing on stage.

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It was a pretty relaxing evening and didn’t feel like work at all. Here’s Misty visiting with Ron at the Westar tailgate toward the end of the evening.

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In addition to giving away free burgers and hotdogs, Westar also had free popcorn, candy, and water as well as other fun goodies for the kiddos like baseball cards, fake tattoos, little stuffed animals, slap bracelets, and frisbees.

It was a successful tailgate party overall.

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Brian and I were back at Greater Andover Days the next day to support Ron as he competed in the hotdog eating contest.

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Though not as competitive as the hotdog eating competition held annually in Coney Island, it was just as gross. LOL.

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The guy standing next to Ron is the reigning champion of this event. He has won it the last few years and he won again this year. Ron has competed a few times and has always come in second.

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It’s kind of a local version of the the Stonie-Chestnut rivalry.

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They also had a car show going on at Greater Andover Days that day which was a nice treat for Brian who wasn’t too thrilled about watching the hotdog eating contest. It’s definitely not for the squeamish.

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Anyway, it was a beautiful day to be out and about and enjoying Greater Andover Days. It’s the first time that we’d actually spent a considerable amount of time at the event and we had a great time. I’m actually looking forward to attending the event again next year.

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