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Archive for "Events"

Symphony in the Flint Hills 2018

Posted on July 4, 2018 by under Events, Things to Do.    

I’m super behind on the blog so it’s now July and I’m only getting around to posting pictures from this year’s Symphony in the Flint Hills. Before you call me a slacker, you have to understand how crazy busy my schedule has been both in and out of work. It was actually very lucky for us that we were both able to carve out some time for the Symphony this year. If there was any year to go attend the event, this was the year to do it because the site was only 45 minutes from our house. It’s usually about three hours away. It’s rare and special when it’s this close.

The last time that the Symphony was at Rosalia Ranch was four years ago. I couldn’t for the life of me remember why we missed it because we never would have skipped it knowing full well how conveniently close it would be to Wichita. I actually had to look up what we were doing that year. It turns out, we missed the event for a very good reason (and I can’t believe I forgot). We missed the 2014 Symphony in the Flint Hills because we traveled to the Dominican Republic that year to celebrate Brian’s 40th birthday. Can you believe that was four years ago? It’s wild how time just seems to fly by.

Fast forward to 2018 and the Symphony is back at Rosalia Ranch again. The event usually falls around Brian’s birthday but, as soon as we found out about the location, we made a pact not to make any plans that would prevent us from going. We even took it a step further this year and volunteered with the Westar Energy Green Team on the Friday before the event.

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Here’s a picture of some of our group in waiting in the parking lot of the school in Rosalia, down the street from the site. To minimize the impact to the prairie, we met and parked most of our cars at the school and then carpooled to the Symphony site. That way we’re not parking a bunch of cars there.

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Here’s a picture of Ben giving us our briefing.

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Here’s a panoramic view of one side of the Symphony site.

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I took a fun selfie with Caylin (left) and Alex (right) during one of our breaks.

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We worked on several tasks that day. Setting up the patron chairs was one of them. It was very meticulous work. The chairs had to be a specific distance apart and the rows had to be spaced just so.

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A few more selfies… I think we took these during the lunch break.

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This might have been when we were in line for food. That’s my friend Faith with me in the next photo. She and Krystee volunteered with me last year. Krystee wasn’t feeling well and didn’t make it this year but we had a great group from the Contact Center with Alex, Alicia, and Mike volunteering with us.

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Brian disappeared after lunch. He had a heyday driving the telelift forklift. When it was time to leave, we had to have Ben track him down and tell him to quit. He just wanted to drive that thing all day. If it were up to him, he would have worked clear up until sunset and we would have missed Ginger’s retirement party.

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Brian and I went back the next day for the Symphony.

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Here are a few photos.

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These next ones are from the after party.

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Here’s an aerial shot of the Symphony site that I found online courtesy of Kansas Drone Imaging. Do you see us? 😉

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I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to volunteer and also attend the event this year. Next year the Symphony will be back in Chase County. It will be tricky to attend but I hope that we are able to find a way. I just love this event. There’s no better way to enjoy the Symphony and the beautiful Flint Hills sunset. 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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Sweat in the City

Posted on June 20, 2018 by under Events.    

Here are some pictures from Joel and Sarah’s Sweat in the City Zumba Master Class featuring Gwen Atkinson. Joel and Sarah pulled off what is I’d consider the best Zumba event I’ve ever attended in Wichita.

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The playlist was great. The venue (Distillery 244) was perfect, size and location-wise. They did a fabulous job of decorating the place. They even got the restaurant next door, Egg Cetera, to open and offer a taco special that night so our group would have refreshments. Oh, and I forgot about the cash bar with the “Zumbanade” specialty drink which was a super great deal at $4.

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I also loved the event shirt which went really well with one of my Zumba leggings. Rose and I decided to wear identical outfits and I cut our shirts the same so we were twinsies almost head to toe.

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My friend Lindsay, who has recently started really getting into Zumba, was there. It was an amazing turnout.

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My Zumba besties and I had a fabulous time. Can’t wait until the next one! Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another year. Sarah hinted at perhaps doing one in the Fall. Until then, GNG.

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‘Tis the Season for Celebration

Posted on June 19, 2018 by under Events, Family, Zumba.    

The Wichita Zumba community has had two “Zumba in the Square” events so far this year and I’ve yet to teach at one. It’s been really hard because it’s been a super busy season for events. Last month’s “Zumba in the Square” event fell on the same day as Logan’s graduation party. We weren’t sure what time we would make it to Old Town so I popped in, danced a bit, and took some photos but couldn’t really help with the event. Here’s one of the group photos:

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At least we were able to stop by for the “Zumba in the Square” event last month. They had another one on Saturday, which we missed altogether because we were getting ready for Brian’s birthday party at the house. We hosted it on Saturday, the 16th, because Brian’s birthday fell in the middle of the week and we couldn’t celebrate with friends the weekend before because we were Rosalia Ranch for Symphony in the Flint Hills (more on that next time).

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As far as Brian’s birthday get together on Saturday, I didn’t take a lot of pics. Brian doesn’t really like having HUGE parties so we just had a few people over for pork and chicken street tacos. Others also brought food to share.

A few people went to do “Zumba in the Square” first and then came over. We kept it pretty casual because we knew we would be playing games and also we wanted people to come straight over from “Zumba in the Square” and not have to change clothes. However, there were two couples who went above and beyond.

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Amy and Hideki showed up in coordinating outfits in Wichita State colors.

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Todd and Missy did the all white thing. Both couples looked fabulous.

We had a lot of fun playing Disturbed Friends and Just Dance and just hanging out and visiting in general. It was a great birthday celebration overall but we’re not quite done yet. We are celebrating again this coming weekend.

Brian’s parents are coming up from Oklahoma so we can do our traditional joint celebration. We usually celebrate Brian’s birthday, grandma’s birthday (which is today, by the way — Happy birthday, Grandma!), and Father’s Day all in one go. That celebrating is happening this Saturday. We’re going to have a BBQ/cookout and this event will be family only.

I think that might be it, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if we come up with another celebration in honor of Brian’s birthday. The two of us have been celebrating all month long. We had a couple of dinners for just the two of us (Carrabba’s and Bonefish, two of our favorite restaurants). Then we spent a weekend volunteering at Symphony in the Flint Hills on Friday and then attending the event the next day. Then Brian got his latest Stitch Fix box (new birthday clothes). Then Brian got a new watch band and protector. Then he got a deluxe massage from Mindy (his favorite massage therapist) at Sveta’s. Then he got a Smove (basically a new toy to play with) but this was more my idea. LOL.

It’s not a milestone birthday but I sure hope it’s been a really good one!

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Pics From This Year’s Celebrity & Chef Cookoff

Posted on June 15, 2018 by under Events.    

The Wichita Orpheum’s Celebrity & Chef Cookoff was held almost a month earlier than usual this year. As luck would have it, I happened to be in town so Brian and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend. I was so happy because it’s one of Brian’s all-time favorite fundraising events. And, this year our VP of Customer Operations Jeff Beasley was one of the competitors.

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He was paired with 6S Steakhouse‘s Kayson Chong and their team was dubbed “The New Guys.” Presumably because they’re both somewhat new in town.

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Reverie Coffee‘s Stephanie Hand teamed up with Roger Scholfield. Their team was called “The Cookie Monsters” because Stephanie enjoys baking cookies and Roger enjoys eating them.

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Team “Bon Appetit Artistes” consisted of Sienna Tuscan Steakhouse‘s Josh Rathbun and Mark Arts‘ Katy Dorrah.

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District VI City Council Member Cindy Claycomb teamed up with Woodfire Grille‘s Jennifer Reifschneider, who happened to win last year’s event. Their team was known as “The Boss Ladies.”

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Next there’s “The Cut Ups” team of Ben George from SAVOR at Intrust Bank Arena and Bill Gardner of Gardner Design.

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Lastly, there’s Cynthia Wilson of Parsnipity Cafe and Lumpiapalooza, Jennifer Ray, owner of the Monarch. Their team was known as “The Downtown Divas.”

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Jeff and Kayson looked like they were having a blast up on the stage.

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Everyone was cooking up a storm up there.

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We really enjoyed watching all the celebrities and chefs cook their hearts out that night. Defending champion Jennifer Reifscheider was looking for a repeat but it was not to be. The big winners that evening were Stephanie Hand for “best use of the main ingredient” and overall winner Josh Rathbun.

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The craziest part of the evening was that Brian and I almost didn’t get in. I forgot to check my mailbox earlier and didn’t realize I was supposed to have tickets for the event. Luckily for us, Jimmy Washington came to our rescue and got us through the door without our tickets. You can do things like that when you’re a big shot. I found my tickets in my mailbox days later.

I’m usually out of town Monday through Thursday so I’m used to only checking my work mailbox on Fridays. The event was on a Tuesday night. I didn’t realize that I had tickets because I forgot to check my mailbox on Monday and Tuesday. I’m such a dingbat, I know. I haven’t forgotten to check my mailbox since!

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Anyway, here are a few more photos from the event.

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Here’s a picture of our great looking group. From left, starting with the lovely lady next to me, Erica and Jimmy Martinez, Jeff and Flo Beasley, Evette and Jimmy Washington, Bridget and Glenn Bowman, Don Sherman, and, of course, Brian front and center. He is the ultimate group selfie picture taker.

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Obligatory selfie, just cause.

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This is us earlier that night when were trying to figure out how to get in without our tickets and we ran into my friend from Leadership Wichita, Jessica Dunbar. We are very lucky that we still got to attend the event despite the whole ticket situation. I would have been really sad to miss Jeff’s Celebrity & Chef Cookoff debut. Plus, it’s such a fun event. I hope we get to go again next year.

Stay tuned for the next post! GNG.

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