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Archive for "Community"

Zumba at Relay for Life

Posted on August 5, 2017 by under Community, Zumba.    

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A few months ago, a friend of mine who was on the Relay for Life organizing committee this year reached out to me and asked if I would volunteer to teach a Zumba class on July 14 at 11 PM. I love volunteering for things so I told her of course I’d do it but I did want to clarify the time because I thought it was a typo at first. It turns out, she really meant it.

The Relay for Life event goes from 7 PM to 7 AM and they planned various activities every hour to keep participants awake and fully engaged throughout the 12 hours. She needed something for the 11 PM time slot. The instructor who volunteered last year had moved away and so she decided to ask me this year.

Though the time made me pause, of course, I agreed to do it. I live for this kind of volunteer work. It’s so fun!

Anyway, when she asked me back in January, we hadn’t finalized the summer schedule yet so I agreed not realizing that I would be teaching an 8:45 AM Aqua Zumba class the next day. I was a little bit worried but I had faith that I’d be able to handle it. I think the excitement of dancing from Friday into Saturday outweighed my apprehension. I hadn’t danced that late into the evening/next morning in years! Plus, this is my first ever 11 PM Zumba class.

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Dancing alone is never any fun so I decide right off the bat to recruit some people to help me. I had five amazing Zumba instructor friends who answered the call. More people wanted to help actually, but we only had a one-hour time slot so we couldn’t have too many instructors. I took the first five to confirm. Huge thanks to Andrea, Nick, Melissa, and Charis for helping me!

All of our friends who agreed to stay up and dance with us that night deserve recognition too. I mean, I realize they were sacrificing sleep time to help. The party wouldn’t have been any fun without people to dance with.

Here are few pictures from that evening…

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This is one of my favorite Zumba people, Melissa. She is just so vibrant and full of life, and she’s always willing to help me out with my Zumba volunteer events.

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I’m glad we brought a few Zumba addicts with us because only a few of the Relay for Life people participated and most of them didn’t stick around for the full hour. I’m sure they were trying to conserve their energy for the long haul. After all, they had 7 more long hours to go and we were only there for the Zumba bit.

Brian is always really supportive and around for all of these events but I decided to give him a break from having to drive me around all over the place that evening. I managed to hitch a ride with Andrea to Melissa’s 6:45 PM Zumba class at East YMCA and then I hitched a ride with Melissa to Carlos O’Kelly’s (our usual post Friday night Zumba hangout specially right now because they’re doing that summer drink tour) and then I tagged along with her to her house and Bishop Carroll High School where the Relay for Life event was going on. Her house is just around the corner, less than 10 minutes from the school.

That was actually one of the craziest 24-hour periods of Zumba I’ve had (not counting ZINCON). Basically, I took Melissa’s Friday night class, then the Relay for Life Zumba at 11 PM, then I taught my two classes (Aqua Zumba at 8:45 AM and Zumba at 10:30 AM) at Andover YMCA the next day on about five hours of sleep (if that). That’s four Zumba classes in 16 hours. It was nuts!

And, Andrea did it all with me!

Anyway, I considered it my warmup for ZINCON, which is a grueling schedule of four straight days of 24/7 Zumba. It’s so fun though! I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I may have time to blog about it tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are the posts from last year:

Day 4 of ZINCON 2016

Day 3 of ZINCON 2016

Day 2 of ZINCON 2016

Day 1 of ZINCON 2016

Kicking Off ZINCON 2016

Then these are from 2014 (we skipped 2015 because we used 2015 ZINCON budget for the 2016 Zumba cruise instead):

ZINCON 2014: Highlights

ZINCON 2014: First Impressions

The very last Zumba Instructor Conference in LA in 2014:

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 3

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 2

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 1

My very first ZINCON in 2013:

Crossing Items Off the Bucket List

The Peabody Orlando

The Peabody Orlando Pool at Night

Pictures from Zumba Kids Training

Zumba Toning Training with Madalene

Salsa & Merengue Mash Up with Wally

My First Zumba Fitness-Concert

Zumba Wear Fashion Show and Live Concert

Pictures from the ZIN Soiree

Mastering the Warm Up and Cool Down

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Wichita Wicked Brew Tour

Posted on August 3, 2017 by under Community, Date Ideas, Things to Do.    

Have you gotten your Wicked Brew Tour shirt yet?

Brian and I have been diligently getting stamps on our passport in hopes of earning our shirts before the deadline or they run out of shirts. I actually completed my passport already and got my shirt. Brian would have completed his already too, except he left his passport in one of his shorts and it ended up getting obliterated in the laundry a few weeks ago.

Being the persistent people we are, he’s decided to start over and I decided to start over with him. So, I may have talked him into starting over. I mean, how are we going to be matchy-matchy if he doesn’t get his Wicked Brew Tour shirt?

I got my first shirt in a Medium size and I now want one in size Small. That’s pretty much my motivation for starting over with him. Anyway, we need a few more stamps but we’re getting there slowly but surely.

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I’m not generally a coffee drinker but this whole Wicked Brew Tour has got me drinking way more coffee than I’ve ever drank before. Brian is a coffee addict but he don’t really like the kind I drink. He likes to drink his coffee black — plain and unadulterated. He was really excited for the beer drinking part of the tour, though.

The Wicked Brew Tour has got us visiting places we don’t normally get around to visiting. Here are a few photos.

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The picture above is from our trip to the Donut Whole a few weeks ago.

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This one is from River City Brewing Company. Incidentally, the night that we decided to go there for dinner was the same night as Automobilia and that was a real treat. Mostly for Brian but I enjoyed watching his eyes light up as he walked up to his favorite cars.

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Automobilia surrounded River City so we decided to look check out the car show while walking off our dinner. There were 1500+ cars on display downtown from Washington to Broadway. It was car heaven!

We’re really enjoying the tour so far and I think we’d enjoy it even more after we get our Wicked Brew shirts. I’m hoping we can get the rest of the stamps in the next two weeks because the deadline is just around the corner. I sure hope they have some shirts left!

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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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Summer Heat Relief

Posted on July 3, 2017 by under Community, Free Stuff.    

Pictures from our free fan giveaway at the Salvation Army a couple of weeks ago.

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I only volunteered to help with the one in Wichita, but we’ve distributed free fans in Topeka, Newton, Salina, and a few other cities. I think work still has a bunch more fans to give away so they may be visiting a town near you here in the next few days. Be on the lookout!

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Heartspring Recognition Breakfast

Posted on June 29, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

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I attended the inaugural Heartspring Recognition Breakfast a few weeks ago and look who I ran into! What a happy coincidence!

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That’s not even the best part. The best part is that Jarrica and I were wearing the exact same Lularoe dress (the Amelia, which is my favorite LLR dress style) just in different prints. Oh, and her friend between us was wearing a Lularoe dress too. She’s wearing the Julia style.

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Another nice surprise was seeing Jenn Canare, a girl that my sister went to school with, receive several awards. I thought that was pretty neat.

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I had no idea that she’s a huge supporter of Heartspring.

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Brian was by himself at the office that week so he couldn’t attend. Since he couldn’t go, I recruited my coworker/friend Faith to be my plus-one. However, something came up and she couldn’t go either. She felt bad for bailing on me but I told her not to worry. I was sure that I’d run into some familiar faces.

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Besides running into Jarrica, I actually ran into another coworker who was seated at the same table as me. This is my coworker/friend Kristen. She recently joined the Heartspring board of directors and was a late addition to the event. As luck would have it, there was an empty seat at our table and we got to sit together. That worked out nicely. I didn’t have to be alone after all.

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The event was very nice. Heartspring President & CEO David Stupay provided an update about the organization and then they gave out several awards (a bunch of them to Jenn Canare and her team – LOL).

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At the end of the event, all of the guests got to take home coffee that was specially blended for Heartspring. That was a really nice touch. I took Faith’s back to the office for her at Kristen’s suggestion. The coffee smelled delicious but I ended up giving mine away. I don’t really drink coffee and Brian is allergic to blueberries.

which reminds me. I should ask Matt, my coworker that I gave my bag of coffee to, and Faith how the coffee was!

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