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Archive for "Life"

The Best of 2018

Posted on January 24, 2019 by under Life.    

For the past ten years, I’ve been doing a “Best of” blog post highlighting the most memorable parts of the year. Here’s the post from last year.

I usually try to post this either toward the end of the year or around the beginning of the year. It’s a bit late this year but at least I’m beating last year’s post which wasn’t published until the 30th.

So, what happened last year? We attended a ton of parties for one.

This isn’t even counting all the Zumba parties that happened. LOL. My philosophy is — never miss a party if you can help it. I never turn down an invite as long as I’m available to attend. That said, I’m not the kind of person that you extend courtesy invites to. If you don’t want me to come, don’t invite me — because I will show up.

Speaking of Zumba parties, these are just a few of the events that I can think of off the top of my head…

I also got a new Zumba job teaching for VASA Fitness. I started at the end of July. I actually taught a class the same day that we arrived from ZINCON.

Speaking of ZINCON, here are some highlights from that trip…

We also got to go on the Zumba Cruise!

Another somewhat significant part of 2018 is, after being a ZIN member for over six years, I finally attended my first ZIN Jam. I know, isn’t that crazy?

I just love hanging out with my Zumba family. We even went to several group movies together.

Other fun things that happened last year include…

  • Kansas City Restaurant Week – It’s like the most wonderful time of the year! You get to have $100 dinners for $33. Most of the restaurants have lunch promotions too. And, almost every restaurant in the city participates. It’s pretty amazing.
  • Boulevard – If I remember correctly, I think we got to do it twice last year.
  • Salsa Lessons – I also got to participate in some salsa lessons at Viva Social dance studio in Shawnee Mission.
  • Coffee Chat – Brian and I started our live video series on FLIP + CHING and actually kept it up the whole year!
  • Stitch Fix – While I technically discovered Stitch Fix in 2017, last year was the year that Brian and I were both on it and getting boxes on the regular.
  • Logan, Madison Graduation – We attended a couple of memorable graduations to make us both feel old.
  • Water Bottle Project – Brian made us some awesome custom insulated water bottles.
  • Ginger’s Retirement – We attended the retirement party of my boss of over thirteen years.
  • Master Certificate in Project Management – I completed my Master Certificate in Project Management from Wichita State University’s Center for Management Development. My plan is to eventually take the PMP exam but just not at the moment.
  • Grace Hill Winery – Brian, Jay, Becca, and I got to tour Grace Hill Winery with the Young Professionals of Wichita group.
  • Corporate Challenge – I participated in the Wichita Corporate Challenge and actually got a bronze medal in one of my events (corn hole).
  • The Dead South – Brian and I watched the Dead South perform at Nortons.
  • Kansas State Capitol – I got to tour the Kansas State Capitol with my project teammates.
  • Open Streets ICT – Brian and I finally got a chance to participate in Open Streets ICT. We rented a couple of Zagster bikes and cruised up and down Douglas. It was a ton of fun!
  • Mural Scavenger Hunt – Brian and I did a mural scavenger hunt. We went on a mission to find all of the murals painted for Avenue Art Days.

Finally, I picked up a new hobby. Brian and I decided to take a break from bowling over the summer. We normally resume our bowling league for the fall but we decided to skip it this year because we started playing pickleball on Sunday nights. It’s around the same time as our Sunday night bowling league. Brian’s not really that into it but I’m completely addicted. I event bought myself a real paddle, which is an upgrade from the pickleball paddle set that Brian and I had been using.

Anyway, that’s pretty much 2018 in a nutshell. Now to see what fun things we will discover and experience in 2019!

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Double Date with Hideki and Amy

Posted on January 14, 2019 by under Food and Drink, Life.    

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We had a fun double date with Hideki and Amy a few weeks ago. We met up at AMC for Aquaman and then had a late dinner at Carrabba’s after. It worked out great because it had been a while since the four of us got to hang out and, since we were all having our own NYE parties, we couldn’t be together on NYE. Brian and I would normally attend theirs but decided to take one for the team and host our own NYE party this year.

The movie was great except for a few gratuitous scenes which made me chuckle. Brian calls it Jason Momoa’s version of Blue Steel. LOL.

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Dinner was fabulous, as always. Joe even came by and visited for a bit and took a photo with us. Brian and I usually order the same thing every time so we were excited to show him that we actually ordered something different time.

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Brian got a pizza and I got the pork tenderloin.

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Amy and Hideki split the trio.

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Brian had a beer, while Hideki, Amy, and I shared a pitcher of the blackberry sangria (it’s my favorite sangria at Carrabba’s). I’m sometimes tempted to get a pitcher of it for myself, which Brian frowns upon. I have actually drank a whole pitcher by myself before. It’s not pretty. It was nice to be able to share it with others this time around.

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We wanted to do something nice for Hideki and Amy so bought dinner but Amy got an added bonus of getting a bag of gluten free pasta imported from Italy. What a treat! Speaking of treats, it’s always a pleasure hanging out with these two. They are such a joy to be around! Perhaps we can get together again after they return from their trip to Thailand. I can’t wait to hear about their adventures.

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Another Year Older

Posted on November 9, 2018 by under Life, Zumba.    

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Made it through another revolution around the sun. We didn’t do anything exciting this year because it wasn’t a big birthday like last year. We did, however, celebrate all month long and we’re still celebrating. Yeah. I milk the heck out of birthdays.

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One of my Zumba besties, Cristy, made some delicious Zumba-themed cookies.

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Then a couple of my VASA girls got me presents. Eylaf made a cat shirt for our Mala Mujer song with the cat moves. Luwam gave me some workout pants and bunny costume accessories. These Zumba girls are so thoughtful!

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It’s weird being the giftee because I’m usually the one giving gifts to people. For example, I had buttons and wristbands and cellphone holder thingamabobs for my Sunday class on my birthday weekend. At VASA I gave Zumba shirts to everyone who attended either all four Saturdays for Aqua Zumba or all five Mondays for Zumba. It was their reward for hanging with me during my birthday month. I couldn’t do that for my Y classes which are typically bigger than my classes at VASA so I had to settle for just little trinkets for the Y.

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I got Brian a box of delicious chocolates from Sweet Granada since Darcy and I were in Emporia for a meeting a couple of weeks ago. We hit the chocolate shop before heading back to Wichita.

Brian earned it for baking the most delicious brownie cake for me to take to my VASA Fitness staff meeting on my birthday weekend, among other things. He started making it on Saturday afternoon and we ended up missing the Halloween party in Mulvane because the cake took longer to make than we originally thought. But it turned out so delicious and was such a huge hit. It was totally worth it!

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Speaking of, Brian is making this brownie cake again for our annual Harvest Feast at work next week (Friday before Thanksgiving). He’s also baking me some brownies to take to my VASA Fitness staff meeting on Sunday.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for the birthday recap. We will probably do something special next year for my second 21st birthday. This year was pretty much just another day, though. Until next time. GNG.

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Ginger’s Retirement Party

Posted on June 23, 2018 by under Events, Leadership, Life.    

The longest boss I’ve ever had retired a few weeks ago. She was my boss for thirteen years — starting on August 2004 when she hired me as a Contact Center Supervisor to June 2017 when I got transferred to Michelle’s team. But she was more than just a boss to me. She was like a second mom. For years she and Terry (another wonderful leader who I’ve had the privilege of working for; he retired a couple of years ago) looked after “the kids” — that’s what they called us. When Terry retired, I knew this day would eventually come but I had always been kinda sorta in denial.

I’m not really in our Wichita office as much because I’ve been reporting to Kansas City the last few months. Mostly I am there on Fridays (and late on Thursdays when I have to return the company car that I’ve borrowed for the week). Even so, it still feels weird to me not having Ginger around. At least before she retired I knew I could pop in once in a while and see her. Her old office is now Isaac’s and, whenever I walk by, it’s just not the same.

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Here are a few pictures that we took from her retirement party at the Pumphouse a couple of weeks ago.

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What you don’t see in these photos is that my black dress turned white from getting cocktail sauce spilled allover it and then being cleaned up. It was pretty bad. I was lucky that it was dark in the restaurant because it didn’t look as bad. However, as soon as Brian and I walked out into the daylight, you could see the entire mess all over me. The only thing worse was the smell. LOL.

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It was a great turnout.

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Carmen did a great job on Ginger’s picture board.

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For our part, Brian and I didn’t get too fancy. We just put together a “retirement care package” consisting of a “No Work All Play” pilsner and Ginger’s favorite beverages (Tito’s Vodka and Coronas).

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Here are some progress pics of putting the present together.

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Brian printed nice labels for us to spruce up the crate.

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The part that required the most effort were all the origami flowers which took me several hours to do. I tried to get Brian to help me but he has such a short attention span that he gave up after making only one. LOL.

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I had to make the rest of the origami flowers by myself. It’s totally worth it, though. I wanted to put our special touch on the present. Or, I guess, my special touch.

Anyway, I’m super sad about Ginger’s retirement but at the same time I’m really happy for her. She no longer has to be bogged down with work and finally has the time to pursue all the things that are meaningful to her.

I hope someday when it’s our turn leave the working world, we have the opportunity to retire at a reasonable age to still enjoy life (#Goals).

I guess that’s all for now. GNG.

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What Happened Last Week

Posted on March 25, 2018 by under Events, Home Ownership, Life.    

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I walked over to City Hall last Friday to celebrate my friend Gavin’s retirement from WPD. They showed pictures of him from when he started his career in law enforcement 26 years ago. Many people came to wish Gavin well and the Police Chief said a few words before turning it over to Gavin to address the crowd.

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I didn’t partake of the cake and punch because I wanted to get back to work but I wanted to be there for Gavin on behalf of all of our Leadership Wichita classmates. The walk to and from City Hall and the reception itself was a welcome break from my workday although it was super windy that day and I thought I would be blown away several times.

Incidentally, this was the same day that Wichita State was eliminated from the NCAA tournament. In case you hadn’t noticed, I was sporting my WSU colors that day. I also wore my new Rothy’s flats, which are my new favorite shoes for work. More on them next time because I plan to post a video review.

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Saki and I took a super awesome selfie.

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I think this was on Saturday morning because I look like I just woke up. Speaking of Saturday morning, Brian went outside to take pictures of house for reference for the house painters. We are paining the house next month but we are repainting it the exact same colors so we don’t have to hassle with too many HOA approvals. If you keep the same colors, they tend to leave you alone.

When he was outside, he hollered for me to come out. Apparently, our new lawn service company completed spring cleaning on the yard earlier in the week and we didn’t even notice.

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Here are some pictures of the fabulous work they did.

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They trimmed the fountain grass, removed all the dead and dried up parts of the yucca and these plants that line the path that I can never remember the name of, and put fresh mulch.

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They also cleaned up around the day lilies, which are spreading like crazy. After our coffee chat today, I plan to pull the overgrown day lilies out.

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They did the same thing on the other side. They also pulled the weeds from the side of the house and put down fresh mulch. I don’t know why we kept trying to do this stuff ourselves when other people can do a much better job than we can. Plus, it didn’t take up any of our time at all. It was done just like magic. We didn’t even know when they came to do it.

Brian and I agreed that they must have come during the week but neither of us noticed until Saturday morning. If they did complete the work on Saturday morning, that’s even more impressive because we didn’t hear anything at all.

The company is called Commercial Lawn Management (CLM) and so far we’ve been really happy with their service. I think we may hang on to them. The spring clean up they did usually takes up so much effort on our part, not just in the time to complete the work but also planning, and we always end up putting it off and putting off and then the yard looks like crap all summer long.

We highly recommend CLM. They do all sorts of stuff and offer free estimates so if you need a job done, be sure to contact them.

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