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Archive for "Events"

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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Child Start’s Brews & Books Event at CSB

Posted on July 9, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

Here are some pictures from Child Start’s Brews & Books event at Central Standard Brewing a couple of weeks ago.

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I thought I would post the pictures first this time and tell stories later. Anyway, I invited a ton of people to this event but only a handful showed up. Boo!

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Although, I can’t say anything about Shane because he was the man! He gathered up a huge box of children’s books from Sara and the kids’ collection and, since he couldn’t make it to the event, he gave me the books at work so that we could donate them to Child Start on his behalf.

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Brian got a workout carrying the big box full of books from the car to the event inside CSB. He is also the man! There is no way I could have gotten that enormous box full of books to the door by myself.

Story time!

This night was kind of interesting in many ways. First, I’d known about it a while since I’m on Child Start‘s development committee. It had been on the calendar for at least a couple of months and I even invited several coworkers to the event.

About a week or so before this Chad, an old friend from college who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years until recently, mentioned he would be in town for the week to pack up his stuff and move Kansas City. Chad was on Facebook for a while before he deleted his account almost two years ago and then just disappeared completely. I had no real contact with him after our MBA commencement other than playing Words with Friends on and off. It’s a game that he is apparently addicted to — I can’t say anything though, because I derive enjoyment from playing it as well.

Here’s a picture of Chad from our MBA graduation/hooding ceremony in 2008.

The Chad

Obviously, we’d known each other for over ten years. I knew him mostly through school but I didn’t really know him very well outside of that. I was surprised when he hit me up to use me a reference for a job he was applying for earlier this year. I liked Chad. He was smart, hardworking, and easy to get along with. We worked together on some projects while in school and I never had any problems with him. There are people in college who are such slackers that you absolutely hate working with them and you hope to never see them again — ever. He was not one of these guys. Even though I knew very little about him personally other than he liked playing Words, and the request took me by surprise, I was happy to be a reference.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when he asked if Brian and I would like to meet up for dinner and catch up. I told him that sounds great but I would need to check with Brian. Brian and I checked the calendar and every single day after work already has stuff going on. We were completely booked up. I told Brian that I was just going to invite Chad to the Brews & Books event at CSB and kill two birds with one stone.

Chad showed up. We had a nice time visiting and catching up. He also got to meet a few of our friends and acquaintances. Two of them were my coworkers. Yes, out of all of the people from work I invited, only Alex and Tisha showed up. They are the cool ones, though. Tisha even went above and beyond by purchasing books from the Blue Baboon book truck and donating some to Child Start. She helped in a couple of ways because Blue Baboon committed to donating a portion of the revenues from that evening to Child Start. The rest of us helped by drinking beers. I think CSB donated $1 to Child Start for every beer sold that night.

Despite most of my invitees not showing up, it was a great turnout. The place was completely packed inside. That’s how come we ended up sitting outside. It worked out great because it was a nice evening and it’s a lot easier to have conversation on the patio where it’s not as loud. Were it not for Alex who got there first though, we probably would not have had anywhere to sit at all — inside or outside — it was that busy! The organizers did a great job of spreading the word but also part of the credit goes to the Flying Stove, my first favorite food truck. CSB is always packed on the nights when the Flying Stove is parked there.

Speaking of invitees, Brian and I were at the dog park in Andover with our girls the day before and we met Ray (the dog pictured with Brian above) and his owner Megan. She’s really friendly and we had good conversation. We found out that she’s looking for a new home for Ray for when she moves to the East Coast for school. We mentioned that we would be at the Brews & Books event at CSB and that she could come and bring Ray and perhaps introduce him to some of our friends and one of them may fall in love and adopt him. We really had the Travel Junkies Jay and Becca in mind but they couldn’t make it.

Actually, we didn’t think Megan would actually show up, after all we were complete strangers. Not only did she show up and bring Ray, she also brought a couple of books to donate to Child Start, which was a really nice and generous gesture considering that the day before, when we were chatting at the dog park, she told us that she’s one of these people who cannot bear to part with books.

Anyway, how is it that my friends don’t show up to events I’ve invited them to but someone I’d only known a few hours does? I really like Megan and she did me a solid by showing up. I think she should become my friend. LOL.

Later that evening we run into Misty’s sister Michelle and her friend Sonny. They end up sitting and visiting with us. The funny part about this is Alex also knows Sonny from her days working at Heroes. As they’re catching up they realize that they live only a few yards from one another. Wichita is such a small world!

There were lots of positive things that happened that evening besides the book drive and raising awareness for Child Start. Some of our friends got to meet one another. Brian and I got stamps on our Wicked Brew passports (more on that next time, probably when we finally earn our shirts). The best part is I managed to plant the seed for hosting a party at our house. Brian hates throwing parties because he doesn’t like having a bunch of people over. I love having people over but, because it takes so much effort to convince him, we hadn’t had a party in over a year. Maybe it hasn’t been that long but it definitely feels like forever.

It took a little bit more discussion after that night at CSB but I did manage to get Brian on board and in party mode. The party happened last weekend and it was interesting. Come back next time and I’ll tell you that story.

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Andover’s Summer Concert in the Park

Posted on July 8, 2017 by under Events.    

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I actually got to volunteer at the Summer Concert in the Park this year! Last year I had a bunch of other stuff going on so I couldn’t go. Misty was my proxy and volunteered on my behalf. This year my schedule had some flexibility and so I made sure to sign all three of us up to volunteer.

It was super busy. We worked for five hours straight, selling beers, and didn’t get to take any breaks — but it was so much fun. It’s probably one of the most fun volunteer gigs I have ever done.

This is the fifth year of the event and they actually brought a couple of big names out to perform for everyone: Clint Black and John Michael Montgomery. I really have no idea who these guys are, and neither does Brian, because we don’t listen to country but, apparently, these guys are HUGE and SUPER FAMOUS in the country music scene. Anyway, that’s why we didn’t care to take any breaks. We didn’t even care if we could hear the music or not. LOL. We just worked, worked, worked.

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Here are couple of pictures.

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This second one is actually from Misty’s phone. I didn’t take hardly any pictures at all because I was too busy working. My main job was to fish out the Coors and Miller cans from the giant beer tub.

I was so busy that I had dunked almost my entire arm in the tub more than half a dozen times before I realized that I was submerging my watch and it was soaking in water for extended periods. Thankfully, Brian and I both have Series 2 Apple Watches, which are water resistant. This was a good call on his part because I would have been perfectly satisfied with a Series 1. He’s the one who insisted we get the water resistant version.

We’ve both had our watches for several months now but this was the first real test of the water resistance feature that my watch has ever had to endure. It made it through with flying colors.

You’ll notice that we’re all wearing blue shirts. It’s because the Andover Rotary Club, which is the Rotary club I belong to, takes advantage of this event to raise money for our club community service projects. We always wear our blue shirts at our club volunteer events.

Brian isn’t a Rotarian and doesn’t have a blue shirt but the Symphony in the Flint Hills volunteer shirts for this year just happened to be the same shade of blue so I made him wear that one. He fit right in.

It was another stormy night. Though not as bad as last year, the concert had to be cut off 30 minutes before the scheduled end time so that the park could be cleared. We were one of the last ones to leave because Misty and Brian were trying to help empty out the tapped kegs. Crazy kids!

They drank so much that Brian actually got sick. Lucky for us, he puked in the grass and not his car. That would have been so disgusting and hard to clean. At least the storm washed his vomit away. In his defense, he planned to eat dinner at the park but we were so busy that he didn’t have time to get something to eat. He drank on an empty stomach, which can make anyone — even the most experienced alcoholics — sick. Although, he is kind of a lightweight compared to all of our other drinking buddies. We both are. I’m usually done after two drinks.

Misty is a bit of a drinker herself. She drank so much that she went home without her shoes. We found her flip flops in the back of Brian’s vehicle (the three of us carpooled to the park) the next day. That was pretty funny. Good times!

We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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