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Archive for "Events"

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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Home for Doc Benefit Gala

Posted on October 3, 2017 by under Events.    

This event is probably the fanciest that we’ve ever attended. We’ve been to some fancy, black-tie parties but this one takes black tie to an entirely new level. You know the party is going to be amazing when the invitation itself is a keepsake.

I was so impressed with the invitation that, when I found it on my desk at work, I immediately I took a bunch of pictures of it and sent it to Brian.

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The presentation of the impeccable invitation was amazing. It looked like a little book. It is the most elaborate invitation I’ve ever received. Seriously.

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Here’s the inside.

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The invitation was full of surprises.

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Inside there was a magnet and a challenge coin.

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The details of the party were on cards under the challenge coin.

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Obviously, we already had another event on the same day but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the event of a lifetime! So we attended both. LOL.

We had grandma over for lunch earlier on the day of the party. This is a video of her checking out the invitation. (Don’t mind the laundry that hasn’t been put up in the background. It was laundry day!)

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The event was held inside an airplane hangar, which makes sense, since Doc (the B-29 plane) was on display.

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I’ve never seen an airplane hangar look quite like this before.

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Lots of people came out to attend the event, admire the beautifully restored plane, and support the cause. The gala was a benefit to raise money to build a permanent home for Doc.

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I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to attend this event because Brian is in complete awe of this plane. Every time it’s flying about, he just has to record it on video for his dad. It was a pretty special evening.

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One of the highlights was getting our photo taken with Doc.

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Here’s a picture of the photo that the official photographer took.

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This one is a picture of our group photo.

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We still had to take a bunch of selfies with Doc, though. Just cause. We couldn’t help it. I mean, when would we have another opportunity to be up close with the plane — scratch that — B-29 superfortress like this? I think there are only two in existence and this is the only one that can fly.

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The highlights of the evening included a 40’s style big band.

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They also had a “candy bar” that had a full spread of 40’s era candy.

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Brian and I took a bunch of pictures because we thought it was a neat idea. Another thing that was really neat was the cigarette girls walking around serving cigarette and cigar candy. They had guys in suspenders walking around with trays as well but their trays were full of delicious and very strong cocktails.

I didn’t get pictures because they greeted us as we were checking in and then I was overwhelmed with the opulence of our surroundings. I just kind of forgot. That was a really nice touch, though.

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I did, however, get a couple of pictures of Brian playing with his cigar candy.

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Here’s a picture of Brian’s cigarette candy.

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This panoramic is a bit blurry but it shows you the set up. They had a circular bar on one side as you enter. Beyond that on the left is where they showcased all of the silent auction items. Then you see Doc on display with a platform for pictures. There’s a specialty bar beyond Doc that is next to the stage. To the right is where all the banquet tables were set up in front of the stage. It was a very nice set up.

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There was plenty of space in the hangar for everything so, despite having Doc in the hangar with dozens of guests, it didn’t feel crowded at all.

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In keeping with the theme for the evening, they had a female and male quartet perform for us. Here are a few pictures.

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Courtney and her team also performed a swing dance demo.

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Here’s a selfie of me and Courtney.

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Here’s a group selfie of those of us that stayed for a bit to do some dancing at the conclusion of the program.

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This pretty much sums up our night.

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It was a truly amazing event and one that I will remember forever!

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Ava’s Army Pub Crawl

Posted on September 29, 2017 by under Events.    

When you think you’re finally caught up and then get behind again… Here are some pictures from the Ava’s Army pub crawl last weekend…

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Brian and I ended up getting double-booked because there were two awesome events on the same day that we just couldn’t pass up. Actually, there were multiple events going on but we had to prioritize.

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There was Zumba Jam and Master Class at Northwest YMCA that I ended up missing. We had already committed to the pub crawl though. Plus, there will be other Jams and Master Classes. This event only happens once a year and I missed it last year. Who knows when and if I’ll ever be able to do it again?

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I’m not typically in full makeup for a pub crawl but we had a black-tie event immediately after.

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This is me with Ginger’s daughter Sarah.

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Sarah and Carmen.

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Carmen and Nick.

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Brian and I didn’t have enough for a team so they ended up adopting us on their team: Smarty Pints.

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Here’s a much better pic of me and Carmen.

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The pub crawl had a huge turnout, even more than last year. Rachel did a great job of organizing everything.

It was a hectic day but totally worth it. I’m so glad we were able to participate even though it was just for part of it. Until next time!

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Zoobilee 2017

Posted on September 22, 2017 by under Events.    

I didn’t take as many pictures this year as I’d had in years past. This was our ninth year consecutive year attending the event. In some ways it was more of the same but still super, duper fun. I highly recommend it if you’ve never been.

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Our 4th of July Weekend

Posted on July 23, 2017 by under Events, Home Ownership.    

Remember when I wrote about hatching a plan to host a cookout at our house because we hadn’t had company in a while and an old friend from college was in town so that made the perfect excuse to have a party? That actually happened a few weeks ago on the Sunday before the 4th of July.

The weather was near perfect and it turned out to be a fabulous day for a cookout.

Notice that the word “cookout” is italicized. When Brian created the Facebook event, he originally called it a BBQ. I made him change it since we were only grilling burgers and there was no actual BBQ food involved. Apparently, to some people (like Brian), the word BBQ is a generic term synonymous with grilling or cookout.

Well, literal ol’ me, I think BBQ specifically means we are eating BBQ. I prefer to use the term grilling or cookout if no actual BBQ foods would be served. In my mind, if someone invited me to a BBQ and I they didn’t have pulled pork or ribs or brisket, I would be extremely disappointed.

I’d be thinking, “This ain’t no BBQ!”

Anyway, Brian relented and replaced “BBQ” with “cookout” on the event title. But that’s just the start of it. On Saturday, we got a surprise visit from Hideki and Amy because they thought the party was that night.

Hideki was like, “I thought it was weird that Facebook didn’t remind me because it usually does that before event but I thought nothing of it because – WHO THE HECK THROWS A PARTY ON A SUNDAY?”

Well, the Brubaker do when they’ve got Monday off. LOL. Since Tuesday was a holiday, I went ahead and asked for Monday off as a day of vacation to get a four-day weekend. Rune was out of the country and agreed to close his office on that day so Brian got the day off as well.

It was quite a productive weekend actually. My college friend Chad agreed to come over early and help Brian with the installation of our third card garage door opener. Our neighbor Raj gave the opener to us a couple of years ago because he didn’t want/need it anymore and it sat on our garage floor for over year. Brian never got around to installing it. It was either too hot or too cold or I had schedule too many things so there was no time. He also couldn’t get anyone (friends or family) to come over and help him. So I hatched a plan to rid him of his excuses and finally get it done. Chad is fit and strong and I figured that I should take advantage of this opportunity while he’s in town.

Brian’s been trying to get this garage door opener install done for over a year. I think he actually made a couple of plans with his dad for him to come up and help but all of those plans had fallen through for one reason or another. Our final resort was my dad who is also quite “handy” like his dad and doesn’t live that far away but I was really trying to avoid asking for either of our dads to help because, you know, how shall I put this delicately? THEY’RE OLD.

Chad was the prefect age and health for helping and, naturally, the opportunist in me kicked in and seized the opportunity to cash in a favor. He reached out to me out of the blue a few months ago to use me as a character reference for a job application. He has since gotten that job and, though I can’t really claim any responsibility for that, I figured that I was at least entitled to one favor, which I enthusiastically cashed in that weekend.

Brian was amazed that I got Chad to agree to help because he had no success with any of his friends. Not that he’s put much effort into asking for help. I’m thinking he didn’t really want to do the garage door opener install and not having any help was the perfect reason not to get it done. I even offered to help him complete the task on numerous occasions (an act of desperation on my part because I don’t really enjoy hanging out in our garage — that is Brian’s realm). However, Brian rejected all of my offers because he said I’m too weak and too short — my height being the biggest factor. Apparently, we don’t have a ladder tall enough to compensate for my physical shortcomings (pun intended). It’s a two-person job that requires specific skills and abilities, some of which I lack. This isn’t the first time I’ve been underestimated or excluded because of my physical stature or gender or how I look period so I’m used to it. It doesn’t even offend me anymore. At this point, I just want the garage door opener installed — DARN IT!

Brian was like, “How did you get Chad to agree to help me?” I told Brian that I mentioned to Chad how we were debating on how “handy” he is. “I told him that you (Brian) told me that he didn’t look handy and I argued that I thought he was handy because he restored a classic car years ago and he enjoys working on cars.”

Perhaps he agreed to help Brian with the garage to show him how truly “handy” he is. LOL.

Jokes and manipulation aside, I think Chad would have helped regardless because he is just a super nice guy. He told us that he appreciated the break from packing. This was the weekend that he was packing all of his stuff in Wichita in preparation for the big move to Kansas City for the new job.

Anyway, I was thinking he agreed to help but there was a small chance that he could still flake out at the last second. I’ve had friends do that. I didn’t think Chad would pull something like that but you never know. Not only did he show up to help as promised but he even brought Brian beer! Who does that? Usually the person getting help buys the beers. I suppose he felt like had had to bring something for the cookout even though we told him he didn’t need to bring anything.

I had to teach a Zumba class so I left the guys to do whatever they needed to do. Although, I kind of wish I stuck around because neither of them read the instructions. Our cookout started late because they spent so much time working on getting the garage door opener to work and I’m thinking that, had I stayed to supervise, it might have gotten done in half the time — and correctly.

I can tell Chad is an optimist because when he sensed my disappointment he was like, “Hey, it’s mounted and off the floor. I call that progress!”

They set the work aside for the evening because people were starting to show up for the cookout and we had no burgers. LOL. At this point, Chad’s part was done. All of the physical labor of mounting the garage door opener to the ceiling was done and Brian just needed to troubleshoot the darn thing and figure out why it wouldn’t work. It was sort of working but wouldn’t stay shut so we all figured that Brian just needed to make a few adjustments. Here’s video of Brian explaining it all.

SIDE NOTE: Zumba class was super fun that day. I had quite a few people despite it being a holiday weekend. Brynden was in Augusta with her cousins and she brought them to dance with us. They even wore pink, which was the color of the day.

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Even Alicia’s son Brandon, who has been coming to Zumba to represent the family while his mom Alicia and sister Kariana are vacationing in Panama, got in the spirit. He went all out for pink day!

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Back at home, Brian and Chad were both still alive when I returned. There were no injuries and, like Chad said, the garage door opener was off the floor and mounted. I guess that’s pretty darn good.

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This photo shows (from left) Becca, Misty, Chad, Jay, Jake, Meader, Holly, and Christina. They were playing my new What Do You Meme? game. We also had a some people playing yard games outside. We pulled out our old Ladder Golf game, which is always a favorite, and the new corn hole (bean bag toss) game that we got from Academy (which was extremely disappointing because we just bought it the day before, after dinner with Hideki and Amy, and the next day, after only a few rounds, it was already broken — I was told the store-bought ones are always made so flimsy that you are better off making your own — but that’s another blog post).

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Speaking of Hideki and Amy, these two are such great sports. It was a pleasure hanging out with them twice in one weekend (the first time by accident).

It was a pretty relaxed weekend (except for a bit of drama with Jenni and her boyfriend — some people are happy drunks and some people are angry drunks and I’m going to leave it at that — LOL) and people were in and out playing various games. I started out playing the What Do You Meme? game and then had Becca take over for me. Hideki had Jay take over for him when he and Amy went outside to play some yard games. I took a picture of Hideki and Jay because they ended up winning What Do You Meme? that night.

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The funny thing is, while Hideki and Amy were playing yard games outside, they decided to walk over to the Pok√©mon gym in the pond out back but then when they walked back, there was drama on the back deck so they decided to walk all the way around and came back in through the front door. I was totally confused when I let them back in because I didn’t see them leave. That’s when they explained that they didn’t want to get in the middle of the argument that was ensuing.

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Oh, I forgot to mention the funny thing about the beers! Brian and I went and got some beers to share with everyone. Nothing fancy: a 24-pack of 16 oz. Bud Light can, a 12-pack of Summer Shandy, and a 12-pack of the festive Smirnoff bottles. The Smirnoff thing was completely spontaneous. We had run into one of Jenni’s old friends from school Jennifer (Canare) who was doing a promo of the Smirnoff. The case consisted of four blue ones, four red ones, and four white ones. She let me do a taste test and they weren’t bad. I didn’t really care what they tasted like, though. They looked so festive that it didn’t take much to convince to buy some.

Most people are pretty specific about what they like to drink but we like to provide some options for people who are fine drinking whatever is provided. Brian was drinking the Fat Tires that Chad brought for him most of the night until that ran out and he moved on to the Bud Lights. LOL.

We had cooler full of bottled waters in addition to the beer cooler and, as we were getting ready for the party on Sunday, I remembered that we still had a bunch of those Cheap Date beers that Brian won (bought) at a beer pull at one of the fundraising events we attended recently. I had the brilliant idea of throwing the Cheap Date beers in the beer cooler so that we could finally get rid of them.

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This is what we had left in the cooler the next day. The Summer Shandy was a hit. I only found one left in there. Misty told me that the only reason that we had one left is probably because it ended up in the bottom and no one could find it. LOL. We still had a bunch of Smirnoff bottles and Bud Light cans left and, despite there being the fewest of them, three Cheap Date cans survived.

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I guess it didn’t take long for people to figure out these beers are horrible and to stay away from them. LOL. Generally, all beers taste horrible to me so I had no idea that people could actually distinguish the difference. Apparently, they can.

The cookout was so much fun that I toyed with the idea of throwing a Halloween party again this year and then realized that I will be celebrating my 40th birthday in the Great Exuma (Bahamas) so that won’t work. We will just have to find another excuse to throw a party.

I hope y’all are having a fabulous weekend. Until next time!

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