Monday, October 22, 2012

Lunch with the girls!

October 17, 2012 ~ One of the little things I enjoy is having lunch with some amazing ladies I don't get to see or spend time with very often. Jennifer posted on Facebook that she wanted to try out the new Cheddar's here in town and we all invited ourselves to tag along! Yippie! The food was good and I know next time what I will try different (besides the chicken and waffles)!

I think what I enjoyed the most was hearing them laugh! Life is sometimes stressful, busy, hectic and unruly but when you listen to someone else's life you stop and think how grateful you are to have it! It was nice to spend lunch catching up. It's always great to hear about their kiddos and all the stuff they are involved in. Not sure how any parent can get multiple children to multiple locations all over town and still be able to remember to grab something from Walmart! Geez... I don't have kids and I can't remember what it was I walked into that store for in the first place!

Thank you ladies for a fun lunch! It makes me smile knowing I have such amazing people in my life!

Photo Walk in Columbia, MO!

October 13, 2012 ~ It's funny how your taste for things change as you get older. I was always one that loved summer but now I am beginning to love fall! I now have a little more time to take in the beautiful view that mother nature gives us and today my girl, Shelly DeVore and I sat out on yet another photo walk in downtown Columbia, MO!
This tree in Peace Park on the University of Missouri campus was stunning! The colors were vibrant and beautiful. All the other trees were somewhat still pretty green and this one was really about the only one that had lots of color.
I think this would have been a perfect spot to do some cute family photos or fall engagement pictures! Shelly and I started our walk here and ended here....
This is my little shutter-fly friend, Shelly! I can't wait to see how her pictures turn out... this girl was getting all creative and stuff... you know... all artsy fartsy!
This was a really cool picture... Shelly and I stopped to take some pictures of flowers when she pointed this perfect little heart! Awww.... look at it! We had a lot of fun and want to create our own photo walks in other towns.... only problem... finding time! Guess we'll have to pencil in some girl time this spring!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Google+, Virtual Honor Flights, Virtual Photo Walks & Veterans!

October 5, 2012 ~ Many of you have heard me talk about the ability to "hangout" via Google+ with some amazing people all over the world. I have personally interacted and met some of these awesome people since Sarah Hill started using hangouts in the news almost a year ago on KOMU Channel 8. It's an awesome thing to be able to be in a hangout with up to 10 other people actually seeing each of them face-to-face with a thin piece of glass between us. Rather than typing behind the screen hoping that your emotion is captured in a post you see the smiles, laughs and body language from those you are talking to. This is all done in a safe manner as I have met these people through someone like Sarah. I have met people from all over the world that I consider friends and would go to them for advice or questions I might have.My network of people is now global rather than just local. It's really an awesome world!

These hangouts were an idea that Google’s senior vice president for engineering, Vic Gundotra, had bounced around and eventually created. Google+ hangouts have taken things to a new level and because of this new platform he allowed anyone in the world (with an internet connection) the ability to "virtually" see, hear, talk and visit locations around the world. One of the neatest things more recently was the 1st  Central Missouri "Virtual" Honor Flight. I was asked by Sarah Hill to help do a hangout with a veteran in Jeff City, MO who was too sick to fly on the real Central Missouri Honor Flight yet wanted to see his memorial in Washington, D.C. while she was taking another veteran on this "virtual" Honor Flight. Using Google+ allowed them to be there with the rest of the veterans as they saw the WW II memorial. Because of so many people behind the scenes as well as several awesome G+'er's being at the different locations (Jimmy Gardner was at BWI airport as the veterans came off the plane and then went over to the WW II memorial, Laurent Jean Philippe was at the beaches of Normandy, France and went into the water which you could hear the waves crash on the land (way awesome) and Michael Tucker in Australia). Bruce Garber & John Butterill own a company called "Virtual Photo Walks" ( and helped this Google + hangout along with Sarah Hill and Scott Scheafer along with other great volunteers allowed these 2 veterans on the first ever "Virtual" Honor Flight. It was an amazing experience to be a part of and one I will never forget. What was really cool is that Vic Gundotra wrote about this experience in an article called "Google+ Goes Looking For Love". (Click on the link below to see the article. The part talking about this specifically is under "Select Audience, Universal Emotion".

How awesome is that? Special thank you to Mike Downes who originally posted this information. Mike has been equally huge on this platform and someone that I consider a ROCK STAR in all of this! A very special thank you to everyone that makes the live and now "virtual" Central Missouri Honor Flights  possible. It take a whole team of people to make this possible. I know it is appreciated. Thank you for caring enough to make this experience.... well, in the words of Chief Master Sergeant Dr. Robert Malone.... AWESOME!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fundraising for a great cause ~ Central Missouri Honor Flight

October 2, 2012 ~ Those of you that know me realize that I am not a selfish person. In fact I am all about paying it forward and doing things for others so that they may enjoy a slice of the "good life". The "good life" to me means to be happy, loved and appreciated. Everyone should be able to enjoy the "good life" each and everyday.

I really love young kids as they are candid when they talk to you and some of the stuff they come up with keeps you laughing. I also really enjoy older adults. They often times get pushed to the side and never really get a lot of attention paid to them. They are taken for granted more than appreciated most of the time. They are full of stories that I love to hear. Our veterans are no different. I really enjoy and appreciate the stories our veterans are willing to tell. I think it surprises them that someone younger is really genuinely interested in their life and if I didn't have to work or worry about money I would volunteer to help with our aging adults. We don't realize the wealth of knowledge we have available to us.

I have been working on a little project for a few months and I am finally ready to fill you guys/gals in! I have made it a personal challenge to try and raise $10,000.00 for the Central Missouri Honor Flight here in Columbia, MO. I have been working to get donations from various organizations and so far I have received many great items to get a great start at this large goal. I have been working with Jeff City Correctional Center through the restorative justice program to receive donations and a local artist, Lawrence L'Hote has also given 11 pieces of art he has designed. I will continue to work on additional donations and in the near future figure out a way to sell/auction these items off with 100% of proceeds going strait to Central Missouri Honor Flight.

We are loosing our WWII Veterans at a rapid rate and I believe they need to see their memorial in Washington, D.C. if they are able to travel. It's something they deserve to do and one that takes money to fund. I will work directly with the Central Missouri Honor Flight to coordinate the series of events that need to take place so that we can raise the funds under their guidelines. Here's some of the items I have received (this is not everything but rather a few items of the 65+ items I have received so far).

If you have something that you would like to donate to directly benefit the Central Missouri Honor Flight here in Columbia, MO please let me know and I will make arrangements to get the item(s) from you. This really is a wonderful organization that makes it possible for our veterans to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.

It costs about $300 per veteran to see their memorial. If we could raise $10,000.00 that would allow 33 veterans to go on this amazing trip. Thank you!