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Archive for "Life"

The Winter Soldier

Posted on September 30, 2020 by under Confessions, Life.    

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I had some friends from pickleball over one night and, when we went down to the basement, Jen T was like, “Is that Pat on your wall?” I burst into a fit of laughter because of my sheer and utter nerdiness. Why, yes, it is Patrick Smith (and also Jocelyn Devilliers). What do you guys think of it? The poster was an early birthday present from my friend Matt Mayfield and, being a fan girl through and through, I had to frame and hang it.

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Here are a couple of pictures that Matt took of the guys signing the poster, which proves the authenticity of their signatures.

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I actually saw these photos posted on Facebook and, at the time, had no idea that the poster was for me. Matt said he would give me one but I thought he was just joking. I didn’t realize he was serious. I happened to be at Chicken N Pickle the Tuesday before Pat’s birthday when Matt came over and surprised me with the poster. I thought it was ironic that I was getting a present when it wasn’t even my birthday but I guess it’s in honor of Pat’s birthday. Besides, any reason to get (or give) a present is as good an excuse as any.

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Anyway, Pat and I are friendly but we aren’t close friends. Our relationship is mostly fan girl to pickleball idol but I still felt compelled to do something nice for him for his birthday. Karen had this brilliant idea to get fan shirts made. It was perfect timing too because that previous weekend Lauren McLaughlin (of Live with Lauren fame) christened Pat with his official pickleball nickname – the Winter Solider. Karen gave me free reign on the t-shirt design so I decided to embrace his new nickname and hashtag by putting it on our fan shirts. I pictured something like the “I <3 NY" shirts but with #WinterSoldier underneath it and Nicole with Simply Charming Designs executed on this vision perfectly.

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Karen and I gleefully wore our “I <3 PAT SMI" fan shirts to pickleball during Pat's birthday weekend proving, without a doubt, that we are his biggest fans.

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Karen, who is an amazing cook, also baked a delicious cheesecake for Pat on his birthday. We got to enjoy it on Saturday evening and then she brought him a slice the next day. Karen makes such delicious food. So far I’ve had her lasagna (twice), peach pie, Dutch baby pancakes, and cheesecake, and I have enjoyed all of it.

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Anyway, Lauren saw the fan shirts we made and she wanted one too but she wanted a tank top instead of a t-shirt. I got these very special white ones made for the two of us and sent hers as a gift to show my appreciation for the very awesome nickname that she gave to Pat. I can’t wait to see her wear hers! There’s an APP tournament coming up that it will be perfect for — the Cincinnati Pickleball Open coming up in a couple of weeks will be hosted by Jocelyn Devilliers and Patrick Smith. Lauren will be one of the commentators for that event so I’m hoping to see her wear her shirt then. I won’t be there in person but I’ll wear mine at home to show my support. At least we can twin from afar.

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Speaking of showing support, I got a couple of other shirts made for me and Karen for the weekend of the Cincinnati Open. We got blue shirts this time because it’s Pat’s favorite color. I’m so excited to wear these shirts because I think they turned out great. Also, Nicole got them done early enough that we can even wear them this weekend for the Texas Open, which Jay and Pat are playing in together.

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Besides the Texas Open, the Wichita Fall-Out pickleball tournament is also happening this weekend. It sucks that they’re happening at the same time because I know some people really wanted to be able to play in both tournaments and had to make some difficult choices (can’t be in two places at once). Anyway, I’m glad that tournaments are happening again. One of these days I’ll be able to play in one. Until then, GNG.

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Going Back to Normal, Kind Of

Posted on July 10, 2020 by under Life.    

Before the pandemic, I’d started gradually giving up some of my group exercises classes to free up more time for pickleball. When COVID happened, everything came to a screeching halt. All the gyms closed and I even quick playing pickleball during the lockdown (stay at home period). Some of my friends didn’t quit playing but I followed the rules and really buckled down. I started doing ZOOMba (that is, Zumba via the ZOOM platform) just to keep myself sane.

Of course, I had to quit offering ZOOMba once the stay at home order was lifted and we could go out again because then I could rejoin my pickleball-playing friends at the park. When the gyms reopened in June, I really wasn’t eager to reclaim my crazy busy Zumba schedule so I only took on Monday nights at VASA. It was and has always been my all-time favorite day to workout because if my schedule works out well, then I can attend STRONG with Liz at 5:30 PM before teaching my 6:30 PM Zumba class and make it a double.

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Anyway, I’m so glad to be back. I’ve missed my gym family so much. And, in case you were worried about exposure, our classes at VASA have always been really small so there’s plenty of room for social distancing. Liz and I would love to see everyone do doubles with us on Monday. If we stay for Jamey’s express yoga class after, we could even make it a triple! Oh, yeah!

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Until next time. GNG.

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Atypical Pickleball Weekend

Posted on June 20, 2020 by under Life.    

Instead of spending all weekend at Seneca Park, I found myself at the Wichita Country Club on Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t have a mixed doubles match lined up on Saturday so I accepted my friend Sharmin’s invitation to join her at WCC. It worked out because we wanted to do some shirt cutting after. Followed by a delicious poolside lunch.

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Here are a couple of pics of our food.

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While there, I got a glimpse of their new outdoor pickleball courts. They were beautiful and empty. It made me wonder how often these courts are actually used.

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The following day (Sunday), Karen and I had mixed doubles matches with Rick Thompson and Chris Wilson. We agreed to meet at Seneca Park at eight o’clock in the morning. I usually get there early to secure a court but, when I got there at 7:30 AM, all six courts were already taken. I’m always prepared so I had my portable net in the car. Rather than not playing at all, I managed to convince the other three to meet me at Aley Park just a couple of minutes South so we could still play.

Aley Park has six lined pickleball courts but no nets. It’s a great overflow option for days when Seneca Park is super busy. The only downside is you have to bring your own net. I think this is why Aley Park rarely gets used. People don’t want to lug around nets and hassle with assembly and tear down. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Had I not had my portable net with me that day, I think we might have had to raincheck.

After we played our mixed matches for a couple of hours, Karen and I returned to Seneca Park to join Jimmy and the rest of the Asian pickleball posse for a cookout. The funny thing is, they didn’t even have a grill. Instead they had a burner and a wok. I called Brian to bring our portable propane grill over to help them out.

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That night, I got to use my portable net again when I met mom and dad at Styx Creek Park in Mulvane. It was a full weekend of pickleball. Until next time. GNG.

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Grandma’s Flowers

Posted on May 23, 2020 by under Life.    

Late post from Mother’s Day weekend. Brian and I went in on a big bouquet of flowers for grandma for Mother’s Day.

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Karen’s Homemade Lasagna

Posted on April 25, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Life.    

Life is pretty dull these days. There’s not much for me to really look forward to besides #ZumbaVirtual classes (basically Zumba classes held on the ZOOM platform) and some ZOOM happy hour socials.

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The one positive thing that’s come out of this pandemic is I finally made one of the Women of Rotary Wichita socials. I’ve been missing them for several months because I was teaching Aqua Zumba at South YMCA on Wednesday nights last summer and then, after that was over, I joined a Wednesday night pickleball league at Chicken N Pickle. There was always something going on each Wednesday that they’d have the social that prevented me from attending. Now that we’re pretty much on lock down, I have nothing to do so I was actually able to attend.

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Besides ZOOM happy hours and ZOOMba, I really had nothing going so I was super excited when my friend Karen invited Brian and I over for homemade lasagna night. She makes amazing lasagna!

Here are some pics of our dinner that night.

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Dinner was amazing and Karen was a fabulous host. I really enjoyed our visit that night. I’d been really depressed because of the whole stay at home thing so I really needed it. Thank you so much for the delicious dinner and wonderful conversation, Karen! Until next time. GNG.

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