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Archive for "Events"

New Year’s Eve

Posted on January 9, 2023 by under Events, Pickleball.    

New Year’s Eve was super fun. We started the day with the One Last Dink team tournament at the Pickle Club. This is my second team event with Ramon Lozano and Katie Merrill (the first one was the DUPR Teams event at Northland Racquet Club last month) and my first one with Jared Smart. Last month our fourth team member was Kyle Rinck.

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When we first talked about playing in team events, Tanner Rice was going to our fourth team member but he missed the DUPR Teams event last month due to a hamstring injury and then couldn’t play One Last Dink because he was spending the holidays in Las Vegas with his family. Kyle and Jared were both amazing teammates and definitely complemented our team well.

Here are some highlights from One Last Dink:

Brian was such a trooper. He spent the entire day with us to help me run the event so I could also play in it. He even went to grab lunch for a few of us so we didn’t have to leave the venue. Brian proves time and time again why he deserves the title of “Best Husband Ever.”

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We rang in the New Year at Egan’s. Since Molly and Cory Sager were staying with them, Cindy decided to host a small gather for NYE. We had a ton of fun playing games with everyone. Coincidentally, Levi Hobart (one of Brian’s former employees at T-Mobile) and his wife stopped by to return a suitcase to Cindy. They happen to be neighbors. What a small world!

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This New Year’s Eve was absolutely perfect from start to finish. I’m hoping that this sets the tone for me for 2023. Happy New Year!

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Holiday Gatherings with My Favorite Ladies

Posted on December 19, 2022 by under Events.    

I love this time of year because it’s the one time that I can get together with friends who I normally wouldn’t be able to catch up with throughout the year because of our busy lives. Some ladies I see at league or in our other play groups but others are on different schedules and so we don’t get to see much of one another throughout the year. I wholeheartedly appreciate these gatherings that bring everyone together to celebrate our friendship.

Holiday celebrations began two weeks ago with our “Second Annual Happy Hollitini Social,” organized by Debbie Fanning. Last year we had it at Todd Brian’s. This year Debbie picked Rain. I think because the girls love to karaoke and it’s just a super fun place to be. I enjoy the food there so I was all for it. Thankfully, I was able to get my Aqua Zumba class covered so I could join the celebration. Here’s a video I put together from that super fun night.

Here’s a fun group pic from that night:

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These ladies fill my heart with so much joy!

The next night, a bunch of us were at Cindy Egan’s for some holiday fun and games. Here’s a group photo from that night:

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Our fabulous host, Cindy, made some delicious, festive treats for everyone to enjoy.

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Celebrations continued this past weekend when I met my Kansas City besties for lunch at Ocean Prime. I met Molly Brave (then Williams), Joy Jackson, and Mary Ann Steinlicht while on a work project a few years ago and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. The three of them have even taken one of my Zumba classes!

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I feel so grateful to be able to take the day off work and join these ladies for lunch. It was totally worth the three-hour drive.

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Our lunch at Ocean Prime was amazing. Brian and I haven’t made a trip to KC together in a while but I’m totally thinking it might be time for a weekend getaway so he can try this new restaurant.

I am so grateful and blessed to have all these amazing women in my life. And I am equally grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them this holiday season to celebrate our friendship. Until next time, GNG.

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Smash 5 Pickleball Tournament

Posted on December 6, 2022 by under Events, Pickleball.    

I had the opportunity to play in Gene Click’s Smash pickleball tournament for the first time last year and, even though I didn’t bring home any hardware from that tournament, I had so much fun that I vowed I would return. This was the fifth year for Smash and my second time participating. And, I’m proud to report that I did bring home home medal this time.

Here are pics of me and my awesome women’s doubles partner Nicole Mathis.

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We had the potential to take silver because we actually beat Deana Holman and Kali Wilson (aka Team Razzle Dazzle) in the main bracket but they ended up beating us when we had to rematch in the bronze medal match. Ultimately, I was happy with how we performed and glad that I was able to earn a bronze medal with my first time partner.

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I first met Nicole at the WPT Kansas City Pickleball Classic tournament in Overland Park this summer. She and her partner ended up taking silver, while Kimberly Howe and I took bronze. I just loved her sense of humor and was super excited when she agreed to play in the Smash tournament with me. It is her first tournament in the state of Oklahoma so I felt quite special that she was willing to venture out of her bubble to play with me.

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Nicole is just the right amount of goofy and she loves pictures just as much (if not more) than I do. I had so much fun with her both on and off court.

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For mixed doubles on Saturday, I played with Isaiah “Big Z” McAllister (the youngest of the McAllister kids). I was originally signed up for 4.0 35+ with Jason Doll and already had visions of sitting atop the Smash medal podium but, alas, it was not to be. Jason had been nursing a knee injury and he wasn’t sure he could play both days. Ultimately, he chose to play with Ramon Lozano in men’s doubles on Friday and skip mixed doubles. Totally fair since the two of them were set to play together in the Diamond Amateur Championships and could use the additional practice. That left me without a mixed doubles partner but, luckily, Karen McAllister was able to loan me one of her children. Isaiah was already signed up for 4.5 19+ (I think by then 4.0 19+ was already full) so I ended up not only having to play with someone I’ve never played with before (essentially a “blind date” except that I know that he comes from a great pickleball family and we did meet on Thursday night for open play) but also playing down in age and up in skill. So yeah, I basically made my path to the podium a lot tougher.

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Isaiah and I didn’t make the podium (it was a tough bracket) but we did have a couple of great games considering we’d never played together before. I really didn’t want to play 4.5 because I knew Ramon was playing 4.5 and — this never fails — every single time we are in the same bracket he ends up being my first round match (because the universe hates me). And so, I’m immediately sent into the back draw. However, Isaiah and I actually won our first round (13-11, 11-8) which is amazing because it’s the first time ever that I’ve come out on top playing against Ramon.

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Our next match was against Morgan Douglas and Matt Mauldin. Matt is a 5.0 player so we had absolutely no chance but we actually scored a decent amount of points against them. Our 6-11, 9-11 loss was quite respectable considering our opponents’ experience and skill level compared to ours.

Honestly, I’d rather not play 19+ if I can help it but Isaiah was such a pleasure to play with that I would totally make an exception if he asked me to team up in the future. I cannot recall another time that I had this much fun playing with anyone and I’ve been really blessed to have had an opportunity to play with some really great partners. Best. Blind Date. Ever.

I have lots more to get you caught up on so come back soon! Until next time, GNG.

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Spooktacular Sunday Funday

Posted on November 16, 2022 by under Community, Events, Pickleball.    

We were all so very excited about the new pickleball courts at Sedgwick County Park that we started using the courts as soon as the nets were installed. We even had a cookout the very next day. I couldn’t believe how well the cookout turned out with very little notice (just a few hours and some notes on PlaytimeScheduler.com) and absolutely no planning whatsoever. So for Halloween, I wanted us to have a proper cookout with at least a few weeks to plan ahead.

This is our group picture from the September cookout.

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Anyway, my birthday is the day before Halloween so Brian wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday. When I need something, I usually buy it so I didn’t really want anything — except I did want him to grill for us at the cookout. That was the one thing I wanted for my birthday — I wanted him to come out and bring the portable grill and be grill master at the Halloween cookout.

He still let me buy things so I think I got a new pair of pickleball shoes and a new pickleball paddle but grilling at the cookout was the most meaningful to me. Stuff is just stuff. I think I used to like getting gifts but over time my love language has transitioned to “Acts of Service” because I feel like that requires more effort from the other person. Also, I don’t ever like when Brian buys me stuff because he usually pays twice as much. I get discounts on everything so anything he gets for me I can usually get waaaay cheaper. LOL.

Here is an awesome view of the pickleball courts at the park.

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Some people came dressed up, which was so much fun!

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I think the funniest part is that only 2 people got Noi’s costume. The rest of us had absolutely no clue what (or who) he was supposed to be.

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The event had a huge turnout. A couple of days before the event, I checked the list to see if the 32 burger buns and 36 burger patties that we had purchased for the cookout would be enough and, at the time, it looked like it was. However, that number doubled to over 60 the day before the event. It turned out okay though because there were several of us who double dipped (we had the cookout and also Tim Satterfield’s 40th birthday celebration at Chicken N Pickle) so not everyone ate. I think some people waited to eat at CNP.

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Here’s a fun video montage I made from the pics and videos taken at the cookout. The drone footage is courtesy of Jonathan Thorne.

After Brian packed up the park and went home, I went and stopped by Chicken N Pickle to make the last part of Tim’s birthday celebration.

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It’s always kind of hectic when you go from one event/thing to another but how often does a friend turn 40? I wanted to be there for that too.

I didn’t play at CNP but I was glad to be there for Tim’s celebration. It looked like everyone was having a great time. I just love how pickleball brings everyone together. I met so many new people and made so many new friends at both events that day. Now that it’s the holiday season, the next round of get-togethers is about to begin and I cannot be more excited. Stay tuned for more fun events and pics!

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Tulum, Mexico Wedding Highlights

Posted on September 8, 2022 by under Events, Travel.    

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Mexico was a quick getaway for us just to get a break from our day to day. We had planned to stay at Hotel Xcaret, currently our favorite resort in Mexico, during the week of our 20th anniversary but then I found that Erica and her fiance Phillip were getting married in Tulum that same week. We quickly decided to change resorts and stay at the resort where they are having the wedding instead.

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Pictures of the beach and pictures of the pool… Our room had a great view of both but the location wasn’t the best when it’s “party time” at the pool. The most peaceful time is first thing in the morning when people are still asleep.

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Brian and I arrived on Wednesday and had a day to ourselves on Thursday before wedding festivities began.

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Guests arrived throughout the week with everyone pretty much at the location on Friday. I was so impressed with how many friends and family members came to celebrate with Erica and Phillip. The bride and groom hosted a “meet and greet” on Friday night that gave everyone an opportunity to meet all the the other guests. Several people toasted the lovely couple and Big Lou gave a nice long speech.

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Here’s a group pic of everyone from Friday night.

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These next set of pics were taken at the ceremony and reception.

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Between the ceremony and reception, we were treated to cocktails on the beach while being entertained by a local Mariachi Band as the family and wedding party took photos. Erica’s dad and aunt even sang along with the band.

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Here’s a picture of the beautiful couple at the rooftop reception.

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Brian and I had a wonderful time and even danced to a few songs. I stole this pic from Erica’s Facebook.

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Then I made a highlight video consisting of pictures that I took and also some I grabbed from Facebook. Dreams Tulum did such a fabulous job with Erica and Phillip’s wedding. It almost made us want to renew our vows.

Until next time. GNG.

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