Monday, December 31, 2012

2012... A Year in Review!

December 31, 2012 ~ I can't believe it's already the end of 2012! Seriously, where did this year go? This year seemed to go a lot faster than previous years or we were so busy we didn't notice. I think this year was a productive year and one we crammed a lot into and I would like to take a moment to reflect back on an amazing journey that 2012 was for me!

This year was full of "firsts" for me (and some for Brandon too). This means that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone even more and had a blast doing it! (Honestly I haven't been in my comfort zone for years... but I somehow manage to push myself to try new things to experience what life has to offer) Here's a quick list of some of the highlights from 2012:

This year also marks our 5th year of being a Partner in Education to the best little country school in Midway, Midway Heights Elementary School, and my 5th year of judging for DECA for the high school and college students!

January 9, 2012: I purchased some amazing St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia that I have had my eye on for awhile. I truly enjoy seeing it hanging on our walls!

January 13, 2012: I attended a Cardinals Caravan in Mexico, MO. I had never gone to one before and won a Stan Musial figurine!

January 17, 2012: I met Sara Evans at her sister Ashley's store (My Favorite Things) for her book signing. We even got our picture taken with her! I have those things she signed framed and on my wall with my other signed memorabilia!

January 19, 2012: We were "Roadies For A Day" for the Rascal Flatts concert held at Mizzou Arena. During this awesome adventure we met (and had pictures taken with) Hunter Hayes during his sound check. We then got to meet Rascal Flatts and had our picture taken with them! I also have these framed hanging on our walls.... what an awesome experience!

January 21, 2012: We sent Half-Moon (our horse) to a great retirement home so she could be pampered and loved on every day. She has great friends and a warm barn and blankets to wear. It was sad to see her go but she is going to be really happy! 

January 25, 2012: I went to see the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series trophy that was on display at US Cellular. To see it up close was awesome! I love my St. Louis Cardinals!

February 14, 2012: On behalf of Midway Electric, Inc. we won the Flag of Freedom Award for hiring veterans. Thank you to our veterans: Kim Wischmeyer, Jason James and James Kroon.

February 16, 2012: My gal pals talked me into attending the "Red Shoe Gala" benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. Yep, you guessed it... I had to get all fancy and wear a dress!

February 16, 2012: Jaxon James Adams (my nephew) turned 1! 

February 22, 2012: I have been active in a Women's Network committee called Changing The Odds. It's hard to explain what this committee does so I made a video to show and tell what we do. We have used this video to tell others what great things we do for women in our community.

March 13, 2012: As chair of the Chamber Ambassadors I have earned my 1,000 point tree! This was our last Quarterly Membership Breakfast for the 2011-2012 year and this was the perfect place to earn my 1,000 point!

March 21, 2012: I began my journey with Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge. There would be four sessions 2 1/2 days each starting in Columbia/Jeff City, Kansas City, Kirksville and St. Louis.

April 16, 2012: We traveled to Las Vegas to attend the NAB Show with Sarah Hill and met several people we have been hanging out with on Google+. What an amazing trip and upon check in at the Mirage they upgraded us (no special reason and we didn't ask) to a Penthouse Suite.... AWESOME! (With our upgrade we hosted everyone at our place... perfect place for friends to gather!)

April 19, 2012: Joined BCOTN (Boone County Offenders Transition Network) to get involved with helping Mike (Brandon's brother) transition back into our community when he is released from jail. (Great program of organizations helping those coming back to our community)

April 25, 2012: My friend Shelly DeVore and I painted for the first time ever! There was a new place in town called "The Canvas on Broadway" and we painted the American Flag under the direction of the owners.... Amazing to think that you can actual paint something and it actually look good!

May 6, 2012: After sending Half Moon (our old horse) to the retirement home so she could enjoy her days being pampered we had to put her to sleep. She was a great horse and spent many years with us and now she isn't in pain anymore. (she had problems with the bones in her feet)

May 11, 2012: Midway Electric, Inc. was the "Award Sponsor" for the Chamber of Commerce 2012 Small Business of the Year Awards. Since we received this award in 2009 I wanted to be a part of this awards ceremony.

May 17, 2012: I attended "Dancing with Missouri Stars" to support Chief Chuck Witt & Joe Becktold! Amazing to see how much work all of the contestants put into dancing that had never danced before.

May 25, 2012: I pumped gas for charity today at Break time gas station on Nifong. It was for Youth Empowerment Zone and a lot of fun!

June 2, 2012: We started footings for our new barn on our little farm. (Nothing has ever been built on this property until now!)

June 22-23, 2012: We went to Kaufman Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals. We met Johnny Knoxville, Jon Jay, Jake Westbrook, Carlos Beltran as well as some of the Royals players. Awesome time!

June 28, 2012: Joined the Board of Junior Achievement

July 10, 2012: We attended the All Star Game in Kansas City, MO

July 21, 2012: Attended the funeral for Spc. Sterling Waytt. The funeral wasn't a happy moment but what made me smile was knowing that our great community came together to celebrate a life taken too soon but one that died fighting for our country. Truly amazing to be one piece to the thousands of people in downtown Columbia making sure this young man was honored for his service.

August 3, 2012: Our barn package was delivered one one very full 18 wheeler! 

August 5, 2012: Took a ride to Illinois starting at 6 pm to drop of a truck our friends sold. It was a long trip and we were tired the next day but it was a blast!

April 9, 2012: Mom turned 60 years old today! 

August 29-September 2, 2012: While traveling to Montrose, CO to visit friends I began writing a book.... getting it out of my head and on to paper (typed on my computer). 

September 4, 2012: 1st Virtual Honor Flight.... This is similar to the regular Honor Flights where the veterans would climb on a plane and go to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials except this would be a unique experience because we took laptop computers to the veterans that were too sick to fly and took them virtually... via a Google+ hangout! A-MAZ-ING!

September 7, 2012: Massive hail storm in Midway. Over $350,000 in damage to our buildings, vehicles, barns, house, etc. 

September10, 2012: Signed the contract with Archer Ellison, Inc. to turn a dream of writing a book into a reality! Woo Hoo!

September 13, 2012: Brandon and I got married 15 years ago today!

September 22, 2012: I attended the Mid-America Emmy's! As a surprise to Sarah Hill we (Chad LaFarge, Dan Weil and myself) attended to cheer her on for the 3 categories she was up for including one for using Google+ hangouts in the news... and she won all three! Yes I had to get all fancy again with a wearing a dress but we all got to go on stage to accept the Emmy with her! 

September 29, 2012: I was a photographer for an outdoor wedding! I wasn't nervous but I wanted to make sure I got plenty of great photos for the bride and groom to have from their special day! It was fun and they were very happy!

October 21, 2012: We drove NASCAR's! We went to the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Gateway in St. Louis and what a blast! We are ready to do it again!

November 1, 2012: This is the 11th Anniversary of Midway Electric, Inc.

November 4, 2012: Brandon and I started dating 20 years ago today! 

November 6, 2012: 2nd Virtual Honor Flight (which is now called Veterans Virtual Tours). Truly amazing experience to be a part of!

November 9, 2012: Graduated from Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge!

November 17, 2012: Met Joe Walsh backstage in Las Vegas at the Eagles concert!

November 25, 2012: Attended our first NFL Game with the Chiefs vs. Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium (never been there either)

November 27, 2012: Met Tony LaRussa at his book signing held at University Bookstore! (We had a great conversation about baseball, Las Vegas and retirement!)

November 27, 2012: Mom and Dad got married 41 years ago today! 

November 29, 2012: I did a photo shoot (taking photos) for Women's Network... so fun!

December 1, 2012: Helped Ashley Simpson (My Favorite Things) with a wine stroll! Amazing weather and an amazing turnout of people!

December 8, 2012: Took our employees on the Columbia Star Dinner Train for our Christmas Dinner.

December 14, 2012: Introduction of the Mizzou Ambassadors! (Something I have been working with the University of Missouri Athletics Department / Mike Alden on since October 2012. I have committed 3 years (or more) to this program as a co-chair along with Krissy Ellis)

December 31, 2012: Written and now published a children's book titled "Tom T's Hat Rack"! (What an awesome feeling!) 

As you can see this year has been full of great things for us!  Brandon and I are happy with all the opportunities that we have had throughout 2012. I am excited for the new opportunities that 2013 will bring us.  We love being with our friends, both old and new, and enjoy traveling when we can. Thank you for your encouragement, support and love. We are very lucky people to have you in our lives!

Goodbye 2012....
Hello 2013! 

Merry Christmas from the Crews Family!

December 24, 2012 ~ This is our Crews family! I love this little family because as we have gotten older we have become closer. I guess with age you seem to cherish each other a little more and don't sweat the small stuff in life. (Pictured from left to right: Brandon & Michele (Crews) Spry, Judy (Crews) Daly, Justin Secrist, Stephanie Daly, Jaxon Adams, Ashley (Crews) Adams, Marsue Crews, Greg Adams & Jim Crews)

We all went to my mom and dads house for Christmas Eve dinner. It was awesome... something about being home is magical and relaxing. Now that my sister, Ashley and her husband Greg has Jaxon Christmas is really fun! He is 22 months old and this year he was ready to tear into his presents! He is a huge kid weighing in at 37 lbs and is 3' 2" tall and wearing 4T clothes... told you he was big! He certainly has a mind of his own and it's often his way or no way! (little stinker!)
See I told you he was tall! 
Jaxon's silly momma decided to put on his construction workers outfit since he wouldn't! 
(Jaxon's daddy is in the background... see where he gets his height from!)
Then he was ready to put it all on....
Jax the builder! 
"Hey Papa, you think you can help me build something for granny?"
He loved opening presents!
 (Little stinker doesn't like to smile when a camera is around!)
"Dang Aunt Shell... what kind of tape did you use on this?"
Tacos? (I think he was wanting something more than felt food... but after all he is a boy and does like to destroy things... this seemed like the best thing to get him! Santa brought him a kitchen so the food went well with everything)
This boy loves to eat... he didn't quite understand the "fake" food!
It was pretty cute watching him say names to all the pieces of his burrito!
After opening his gifts he was ready to go play with the guys and their toys! (notice his smile!)
He loved putting the styrofoam balls on the base to shoot at them!
Jax loves his mommy!
This little elf made out pretty good this year for Christmas!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Paying it forward....

December 24, 2012 ~ Today I took something I normally do and blended it with something I felt compelled to do and the end result... My heart was happy! Since the tragic news in Newtown, CT of 26 lives taken much too soon from this earth I wanted to do a random act of kindness to benefit 26 people. I gave it some serious thought and decided that I wanted to pay for 26 random cars going through the Starbucks I always go to in Columbia, MO. so this morning I made up 26 of these cards, drove to Starbucks and purchased a $200 gift card (to cover the cost of beverages as we didn't know how much all of this would cost) and gave the ladies the gift card and these cards each marked with a number to start "Paying It Forward"!

As I sat inside drinking my hot chocolate (I had to make sure they had enough money otherwise I would have left) it took about 4 cars to go through the drive thru to get started as those people had paid for the person behind them... what a wonderful feeling as it's something I do each time I go to Starbucks! Once it got started you could hear the employee tell the recipient that their drink(s) were free today and handed them a card and then awesome comments started! "Oh my gosh, really someone did this!" or "What a great surprise... Thank you!" It warmed my heart to know that such a simple gesture on a busy day could really make someone's day so much brighter!

I didn't do this for the recognition but rather to remember those 26 precious lives taken away from their families and community way too soon. I hope they are smiling down from heaven knowing that I am only one of many that has done 26 Acts of Random Kindness in their honor. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Kinly Ann!

December 22, 2012 ~ Today was the 3rd birthday of Miss Kinly Ann Greening! It's hard to believe that three years ago I was there to witness her coming into this world. She took my heart then and still has it today! She is such a great little girl and loves to "text" Aunt Shell messages from her momma's phone. I get a bunch of random letters and smiley faces and I always text back "Good morning/afternoon Kinly Ann... Aunt Shell loves you!" then Jill (her momma) will text me with what Kinly was telling me. It's so cute!

She had her birthday party at her Grandma & Grandpa Deckers house with the rest of the family. She originally wanted a Minnie Mouse cake then changed her mind at the last minute to a Hello Kitty cake. So the lady that makes her birthday cakes whipped one up (as the cake pan Jill ordered hadn't came in yet)! When I saw this huge Hello Kitty I had to get it for her.... and I think she liked it!

I got a text from Jill later that evening that the Hello Kitty cake pan had just arrived....
Her daddy decided to make his little girl her Hello Kitty cake with the right cake pan! I love this!

Happy Birthday Kinly Ann... Aunt Shell loves you baby girl!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Breakfast with the girls!

December 21, 2012 ~ I met these wild and crazy folks back in 2010 when we all went through Leadership Columbia, a program through the Chamber of Commerce. We instantly became great friends! Over the next couple of years we would all have lunch together once a month and then the "girls" adopted Tom and inviting him to our fun stuff. We started having breakfast at the Waffle House randomly earlier this year. (We met there, maybe for the first time, when Tom was starting his chemo treatments) Today we celebrated a great friendship, Christmas and Barb King leaving us. It's true... this group of 6 will be a group of 5 and we will miss her but know she'll have a blast in Colorado. (She says we can come visit her sometime but has never given up her address.... just sayin')

Bombshell, Butts, Boobs, Barb & Boy Toy .... 
Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Y'all make me laugh and some of the crazy conversations we have about some of the most off-the-wall stuff cracks me up but I love you crazy people to the moon and back! Never a dull moment with us together!
Love, Boots

Reception for Don Laird's Retirement

 Don Laird and his family
December 20, 2012 ~ Tonight was the reception for Don Laird's retirement. Don has been an instrumental piece to our Chamber of Commerce. He has dedicated 24 years to this organization and because of Don at the helm we have achieved many successes over the years. Although I have only known Don for the past 6 years I can say that my professional life is better because of him. Don has supported me in various decisions I have made with my involvement in the Chamber of Commerce and Women's Network. He has allowed me to make choices based on what I thought was the right thing and stood behind me without hesitation. I felt that I could step up to a leadership role and not think twice about it.

Taking on the role of Chair of the Chamber Ambassadors was a huge leap for me but one I was willing to try. There were a couple of interesting situations that the Ambassadors were put in and I dealt with it and then either called Don or went to the Chamber and sat down in his office to discuss what happened and how I dealt with it. Don was great at listening to my reasoning and my solution and supported the decision I made. It was nice to know that I wouldn't be in trouble or question my ability to run a group when a problem would arise. Now of course we laugh about those situations as they were a learning experience for us all!

I appreciate all that Don has done for me, the staff and our community over the years. I will miss him like crazy but I understand his family will love having him around more.... right Joey??? LOL! I am gonna miss seeing him around town but know that he will be a phone call away (and we can't talk about Chamber stuff if I call.... I got it!) and hopefully he will come out to Midway to visit every once in awhile! Good luck Don on your next chapter in life.... it's all unwritten and you have pen and paper to write your story!

December 21, 2012 ~ This morning there was a special dedication. The community room at the Chamber of Commerce was dedicated to Don Laird. What a perfect way to end his 24 years of leadership at the Chamber.

Of course nothing in this town is ever "official" until the Chamber Ambassadors cut a ribbon....

Columbia Star Dinner Train

December 8, 2012 ~ We decided to do something a little different for our company Christmas dinner and booked with the Columbia Star Dinner Train in Columbia, MO! We wanted to have a unique experience and thought with Christmas so close we would get to see lights from the houses that we passed on our way.

We met at the train yard at 6:30 pm, got our boarding passes and headed on the train shortly after. (There were a ton of people and later that evening we found that they were completely sold out and had 217 passengers on 4 train cars!)

It was fun and certainly an entertaining experience!

Everyone started with some shrimp cocktail
(not me... as you know I don't eat anything that stays in the water longer than I take a shower!
Which means no seafood!)
They then brought out this little number....
(As a picky eater you can imagine I wouldn't eat this goat cheese creation.)
Then they brought out this Tomato Bisque (I did try it!)

As you can imagine I was starving by the time they brought out the prime rib. No picture but it was AWESOME! Perfectly tender and a nice chunk of meat!

Then it was time for dessert! This was different but not bad. It's so tough being such a picky eater because you are limited to things you will try. It was fun and I encourage everyone to take at least one train ride with dinner to say you have done it!

Chamber Christmas Party

December 7, 2012 ~ The Chamber staff was going to have their Christmas party and for the past few years I have had the pleasure of crashing it to have a ribbon cutting! Well this year wasn't any different except this was Don Laird's last "official" Chamber Christmas party. Victoria was the host this year and it was good meeting the spouses of some of the staff!

I am thankful they let me stop by! Our Chamber is a unique place.... we have a strong membership with dedicated members and very caring, compassionate, dedicated and awesome staff! Each staff member is a great asset to our Chamber and they are ROCK STARS! 

Here's to a great 2012 year and hopefully an even stronger 2013!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Women's Netowrk Holiday Party!

December 4, 2012 ~ So I had the pleasure of taking pictures at the Women's Network Holiday Party last night and what a blast it was! I am in no way shape or form a professional so I wasn't nervous or worried at all that the pictures wouldn't turn out..... which made everything so relaxing and fun!
 A huge thank you to Ashley Furniture for being our presenting sponsor and bringing some beautiful furnishings! (You'll see that we all had fun with this group of furniture in a bit!) 
 So while I was waiting for everyone to arrive I started playing around with my camera to get a feel for lighting, cool shots and just random artsy fartsy stuff....
As others started to arrive we thought it would be fun to capture a few pictures on the beautiful furniture as a way to kick off the night! 
And then it happened.... We went from a nice social event to laughing like crazy! 
Then there was this!
 (I love my wild and crazy friends whom we wouldn't have found each other if it hadn't been for Women's Network!)
Huge kudos to the co-chairs of the Special Events Committee, Nellie Symm-Gruender & Tennille Dorsey for all of their hard work and dedication to make this event successful! Awesome job ladies!
Also a huge thank you to Clay Cumbie who was our entertainment for the evening! He was awesome! He did a great job singing a mix of music which everyone seemed to enjoy!
As you can see everyone was having a great time! 
There were groups networking....
One-on-one networking....
People bidding on silent auction items.....
and more people bidding on silent auction items....
and even more people bidding!
(A special thank you to the many people that donated items for the silent auction!)
 We had people trying to eat...
People trying to explain how important Women's Network can be to your business (or palm reading... not sure which one...Ha!)
All in all the best gift of the night was that all money raised from the silent auction would go directly to Changing The Odds committee to help women re-enter the workforce. The total amount raised was $1,130.00 which is huge!!!! Just think of what we can do to help women get back to work! Truly amazing night! Special thank you to our other sponsors for making this event possible: Gold Sponsor was Columbia Daily Tribune, Location Sponsor: Stevens College & Printing Sponsor: AAA Mailing Service, Inc.

The cherry on top is that Women's Network is under guidance of our Director, Elizabeth Tate! Because of her dedication, support and guidance it has allowed the wonderful volunteers that support all aspects of Women's Network to be an amazing organization! We are lucky to have the great members we have that jump in and get their hands all over what Women's Network has to offer... Y'all are rock stars!