Friday, November 27, 2015

MU Step Up Challenge Ends

November 24, 2015 ~ So I thought the MU Step Up Challenge ended yesterday but apparently we still had one day to go! This was a fun event the MU Health Care put on in an effort to help anyone that signed up for this FREE challenge to become a little healthier! Since a group of us ladies were walking every night we figured it would be a great idea to get signed up. I love challenges and couldn't wait to see what we could with this challenge as our motivator!

This 11-week challenge started out by challenging each person to get 5,000 steps per day. Each Tuesday the weekly step goal would go up 1,000 steps until the final week when you would get 15,000 steps per day. I'm not even gonna lie... this past couple weeks wasn't easy! In the beginning it was super easy because our nightly walks would help us reach nearly 10,000 (including what we did during our normal daily routine) but as the weather changed and the number of steps increase it was really a challenge!  

 So many people gave up on this challenge once the steps go above 10,000 per week but I've gotta say that I am so proud of our team for not giving up! It was hard and some days you just didn't really feel like doing it but every single person did the best they possibly could and turned in their steps every single day until the end. The overall goal of this challenge was to take 770,000 steps and the "Midway Walkie Talkies" all reached and exceeded the 770,000 step goal! {insert high five here}

I think many people lost the idea of what this challenge was intended to do which was to move you, motivate you and inspire you!  This was based on you being honest and not cheating your way through the challenge and not giving up. It's supposed to be hard... that's why it's called a challenge. If it was easy then everyone would have done it. Changing your lifestyle to become a little healthier is meant to be done in baby steps and while in the beginning it may seem super easy it does become harder and makes you think about your activeness on a daily basis. Why not take the stairs instead of the elevator to get more steps or perhaps parking your car further away from the door of the store/mall/office? If you can stick to these habits within a few weeks you don't really even think about them and you just start doing them. 

Thank you MU Health Care for having a challenge like this. You pushed me, encouraged me and inspired me! (Of course I am glad I don't have to get 15,000 steps per day! Ha!)

Ugly Sweater 5k - Adopt-A-Soldier!

November 22, 2015 ~ In an effort to keep our motivation of walking going and figuring out how to blend it with a good cause our Midway Walkie Talkies (Our team name for the MU Step Up Challenge and one we use when doing fun stuff as a group) decided to Adopt-A-Soldier and create the Ugly Sweater 5k!

We created a Facebook Event Page titled "Ugly Sweater 5k" 
The Midway Walkie Talkies love walking and talking. We also like coming up with reasons to host a 5k for a good cause. We want to invite you to join us for an "Ugly Sweater 5k" where we have Adopted-A-Soldier and we need your help to make his/her holiday a little more special! This is a public event and anyone is welcome to join us... kids included! (So help us spread the word)

The rules are simple....
1. Grab a your ugliest sweater (please keep it clean) from way back in the very back of your closet or a second hand store - but it must be cheap or free!
2. Grab your favorite and comfortable tennis shoes!
3. Grab your spouse/significant other and kids to get in on the fun! 
(Just remember they need an ugly sweater too!)
4. Bring some holiday cheer! (smiles and laughter)
5. We will be posting a list of needs/wants for our soldier soon!

We will be WALKING this entire 5k (3.1 miles) while laughing, acting crazy and just plain having fun! (No running allowed) We will determine where this will be held closer to time but somewhere in Columbia, MO! We will have a drink station set up to quench our thirst and some snacks too! Oh and we will have someone taking photos.... I mean you just won't understand how much fun this will be without some photos right?

We know there will be at least 10 of us but the more the merrier! Your entry fee will be an item (or items) on the soldiers wants/needs list.

We know the holidays are coming and while our soldier is away from their families during this holiday season we thought it would be nice to send a little bit of home to them! Help us show our support and thank them for protecting our country and our freedoms!

Just let us know if you are planning on attending so we can have enough "finisher prizes" at the end for you! We will be posting a picture soon of the awesome finisher prizes! :)
As plans began coming together we would post the information!  
 We are excited to have Cherie Rutter with Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room making mini cupcakes for our Ugly Sweater 5k! 
 Even though it's not supposed to rain it will be cooler temps for the Ugly Sweater 5k so we will have hot chocolate and apple cider to warm you up with a special thanks to Jacki Swank! See just one more way we are taking care of our awesome walkers for this event! If you help recruit others to join us then we'll have marshmallows for you!
 We are super excited to have Nicole Hunt capturing the many smiles, giggles and ugly sweaters for the Ugly Sweater 5k! Thank you so much Nicole for agreeing to help us out so we can send some pictures to our soldier to brighten his day when he receives the many care packages! 
 Just finished up the finisher prizes for the Ugly Sweater 5k! Just a small token to remember a fun event that is supporting an active duty soldier currently serving our country!
The Ugly Sweater 5k will be held in a subdivision located in Midway! 
(Midway is just outside Columbia's city limits)
 Happy Tuesday everyone! Special thanks to Clear 99 and Scotty and Cara in the Morning on Clear 99 (a local country radio station) we now have Adopted-A-Soldier! Our soldier is a United States Marine and serving his first tour overseas. His name is Chance and the following is some of his needs and wants:
Moisture Eye Drops
Cosmic Brownies
Beef Jerky
Powdered Gatorade or Water Flavors
Unscented Baby Wipes
Long Black Socks
Chips Ahoy

He also loves country music, especially patriotic songs. Other great items we can collect are sunflower seeds, snack packs of crackers, cookies, etc.

*I would like to ask the kids attending this Ugly Sweater 5k to please draw a picture or write a note to our soldier and anyone else wishing to send a note of appreciation and thanks is welcome to do so. We will be sending a group photo of this event along with a note of how we got his name while sending a little piece of home to him.*

We bring to you the Ugly Sweater 5k! 
(Photo Credit: Nicole Hunt)

Your Midway Walkie Talkies! 
(Ashley, Michele, Megan, Kelly and Suzanne)

Midway Walkie Talkies plus Momma! 
(Ashley, Michele, Marsue, Megan, Kelly and Suzanne)

Kelly Schultz and her beautiful daughters Mylisa and Brianna

Dawn and Nicole Ettleman

The Swanks!
(Jacki, Craig, Alex and JJ)
Craig has served two tours overseas and knows exactly what these packages mean from back home.... Thank you Craig for your service! 

Jacki, Cindy Mutrux and Michele
(Cindy brings the sparkle to any fundraiser/party!) 

Kelly, Tracy Eichhorn and Michele

Jaxon sampling the hot chocolate! 
Time to get this Ugly Sweater 5k started....
What a fun and purposeful day! 
We laughed, we ate snacks and laughed some more! 
So. Much. Fun.

We turned this into....
9 heavy and fully packed boxes that we sent to Chance! 

I would highly recommend checking out the Adopt-A-Soldier program through Clear 99 and instead of buying things that you don't really need why don't you Adopt-A-Soldier and show him or her how much you appreciate what they are doing for our country. They can't be home for the holidays and it's a great way to brighten their day and send a little home to them! I promise it will make your heart happy! 
Clear 99 - Today's Best Country
Columbia, MO


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk - Check Presentation!

November 18, 2015 ~ Tonight was an exciting night because Jacki Swank and I got to present the check from the #no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk to the Welcome Home, Inc. Board! A lot of hard work and planning goes into event like these and through the amazing support of sponsors, donors and participants this event was a huge success for the very first 5k for the  #no1leftbheind campaign!

We knew it would take about 3-4 weeks to get the final checks in from the online registration and we didn't want to announce any numbers until we knew for sure what the totals were but we are super excited to announce that everyone together as a team raised.......


Thank you again to the many supporters, volunteers and every one else in between.... 
You are the reason this event was so successful! 

Did you miss my blog post on the #no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk? You can read it here:

Interested in learning more about Welcome Home, Inc.? Visit their website here: 

Finding A Cure To Remember - Alzheimer's Virtual 5k

November 15, 2015 ~ Tonight we completed another virtual 5k supporting Alzheimer's. This race was put on by Races for Awareness and was called "Finding A Cure To Remember". After a whirlwind trip it was time to get these happy feet moving and these awesome ladies made it easier! This walk tonight was for our Grandpa Pete Crews as he had Alzheimer's and I hope one day they will find something to slow it down or possibly even a cure. It's extremely sad to watch someone you love forget you. 

Interested in doing this virtual race? 
Visit their website and get signed up! 

Our New Mexico Adventure Continues - Day 2!

November 14, 2015 ~ Today's adventure would be awesome so we got up a little early so we could head to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a class I signed us up for! Santa Fe is about an hour drive from Albuquerque so it would be a perfect time to get the sleepers outta our peepers and be ready to have fun!

We arrived early enough that we had time to grab some breakfast. I did my research and I found this place so we thought we would give it a try! 

I knew we picked a good spot when they brought out fresh homemade biscuits and chocolate chip muffins... Oh my yummy goodness! 

Brandon and momma got some sort of an omelet. Brandon couldn't understand our waitress and said "Sure" so he got a "Christmas Omelet" which has 1/2 red chili and 1/2 green chili sauce on it. I kept thinking to myself this isn't going to be good.... (Y'all know he can't hear very good and he can't understand those that don't speak really good English. I did my best to help him understand... bless his little heart! Ha!) 

I went with a safer approach... Pancakes! 
(They were excellent!)

Tecolote Cafe
1616 St Michael's Drive
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

I was really excited to take a class at this place! We were going to make our own paperweights! When I was researching fun things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico this place popped up several times and I figured it would be a really cool experience and a great memory from our trip! 

There was 8 of us in this 10:30 AM class. Of course we were from Missouri and the other ladies were from Illinois! I can say that we were all excited to be trying our hand at this craft! 

We would get to pick out whatever colors we wanted in our paperweight! 
Then you got to pick out the shape you wanted and the style you wanted! 
This is our instructor, Cia Thorne! 
She explained what the process of today's class would look like and explained what our role would be as we created these masterpieces! First they would get some glass from this oven to get us started! 
We would then be choosing colors for our paperweight but first she explained the various colors and how they would be important in the style, color and design of each paperweight. 

Now it's our turn to see what we can create! 

Momma trying her hand at this artsy fun stuff with a little help from Al Leedom! 
Mixing a few colors....
Melting those colors to get ready to blend....
Time to make some colors mix...
Getting ready to watch Cia shape the paperweight while momma holds the mold! 
Go Momma Go! 
Next momma hit the metal shaft with a tool to knock the paperweight off the metal....
Pretty cool to see this project start to almost finish! Just a little more and it will be ready to go into a big fire-pit to slowly cool down over the next 24 hours! 

Next up Brandon's turn....

 Awesome job Brandon! You looked like a professional babe!
(I think secretly he had fun)

I would end up making a paperweight for Mommy-Dearest as she wouldn't be able to stand and do this without assistance. So she picked out her colors and I went to work on mine and her's! 

Working on Mommy-Dearest's paperweight!
(Such serious business!) 

Now my own paperweight!
This was so much fun! Huge thank you to Cia and Al for their help and teaching all of us how to make paperweights! Now we have a really unique and cool piece of artwork that we created to remember our trip to New Mexico! (They would have to mail them to us on Monday as they weren't ready to take home just yet. I can't wait to see the finished projects!)

The store was filled with so many neat pieces and it's hard to imagine creating this in a similar way to what we just did! Certainly a lot of talent goes into each piece! (I might have ordered these dinosaur eggs that look like robin eggs.... too cool to not have them!)

Liquid Light Glass
926 Baca Street #3
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Now it's time to hit the road and see what we might find next!

See those snow capped mountains in the background.... 
Seems like a perfect spot to check out!
First time I have seen a sign like this...
but we were excited to see this sign! 
Crazy how the landscape is changing and temps were getting cooler!
We've reached snow!
Sounds fun!
Although we couldn't talk Mommy-Dearest into skiing ....
we did stop for a few quick photos! 
Funny how we could be somewhere that was high 60's and go up to a spot that had snow and was 40 degrees! It was pretty and reminded me of Colorado! 
Now it was time to get out and take a family photo! 
Mommy-Dearest thought I was crazy that we would lean against this rock. She just knew it would roll down the big hill and we would have a heck of time getting back up it!

Across the street was a neat scene...
so I grabbed the hubby for a quick photo! Awww! 

Just as we were getting ready to load up Brandon and Momma start a little snowball fight!
These two kids were laughing and trying to see who could throw the most snowballs....
Just as soon as Momma reached the back door to take shelter....
Brandon launched a good snowball and hit just inside the back seat blasting both of our mom's! Mommy-Dearest was screaming and hollering... it was hilarious! You wouldn't think that little woman can move but she was ready to get him! Ha! 
It was time to visit the oldest church and the oldest house!
This is the San Miguel Church the oldest church in the USA! 

Information taken from a flyer: Few people question whether or not the San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico is the oldest church in the United States, but many do question just how old is it. It is not easy task to sift historical fact from traditional belief. The earliest documentation we have of the existence of San Miguel Chapel is from 1628, so we know it was built sometime before then. Oral history holds that San Miguel Chapel was built around 1610, and it has been rebuilt and restored several times over the past 400 years. The original church, the "Hermita de San Miguel", was built on the site of an ancient kiva of the Analco Indians. It is believed that it was constructed by the Talaxcalan (Tas-cal'-en) Indians, who came to New Mexico from old Mexico in 1598 with a Spanish contingent led by Don Juan Onate. In its early years, the church served a small group of the Tlaxcalan Indians, laborers and Spanish soldiers who lived in this area on the south side of the Santa Fe River.

Continued from the flyer: The church was partially destroyed in 1640 at the hands of Luis de Rojas, a provincial governor who feuded with church authorities. It was reconstructed but was severely damaged again during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Twelve years after the Pueblo Revolt drove them out, the Spanish returned to Santa Fe, led by the Governor General Don Diego de Vargas, who ordered the repair and restoration of San Miguel Chapel. By the end of 1710, the work was completed and a new roof was in place. In 1798, the mayor of Santa Fe helped fund major repair and the construction of the beautiful altar screen in the front of the church. An elaborate three-tiered bell tower was erected around 1848, followed by the installation of the 780-pound San Jose Bell in the bell tower around 1856.

Continued from the flyer: In 1859 Archbishop Jean Baptist Lamy purchase the Chapel and adjacent land for the De LaSalle Christian Brothers, who developed a school on the adjacent site. Repairs were initiated again in 1862 by the Christian Brothers. A wooden floor was added, as well as the Communion Rain and large door at the entrance. In 1872 a strong storm struck Santa Fe and brought down the bell tower and along with it the San Jose Bell, which is now on display inside the Chapel. By 1887 the Chapel was in serious need of repair, but with no funds available, the Christian Brothers came to a painful decision to demolish the structure. When the local community learned of its plight, many people came to the rescue. At this time, the first of two stone buttresses were built on the front of the building to shore up the adobe walls, and the interior and exterior walls were plastered. A tar and gravel roof replaced the old mud roof and a new smaller bell tower was added. Two years later, two additional buttresses were added on the north wall.

In 1955, a major restoration was carried out under the direction of Ms. E. Boyd, a Santa Fe painter and Spanish Colonial art expert. The original dirt floor and sanctuary steps were uncovered and can be seen today just beyond the Communion Rail. During this investigation, many human remains and pieces of pottery were found buried under the church floor.

San Miguel Chapel
401 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Next up... The oldest house!
(While we do understand this isn't "the oldest house" in the US it's still an old house!)
This was neat and something to see. While I wouldn't plan a trip just for this it was right next to the San Miguel Chapel and was worth checking out. No fee to enter but they do suggest a small donation.
The Oldest House
215 E De Vargas Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

It was time to get moving as we were burning daylight! 

Next we stopped by to see Camel Rock Monument!
(It was a pretty good hike up to it and Mommy-Dearest needed a smoke and to pee so we grabbed a quick picture instead and drove off into the sunset)
Camel Rock Monument
17500 US 84 Frontage Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico  

I will say the sunsets were beautiful but very quick! 
Next up... dinner time!
So I was back to researching places to eat in Albuquerque, New Mexico since we would be flying out in the morning. So I stumbled across a unique dinning experience and figured let's give it a try! I called the restaurant and made reservations in turn they gave me an e-mail with specific instructions and a pass code to use at the door. Mommy-Dearest and Momma were already thinking about this place and were we going to a strip club with instructions like this.... "We are located at 6855 4th St. NW, 1/4 mile north of Osuna on the westside of the street. You will see a sign for PRIME indicating the entrance for the Village Shops of Los Ranchos. You will see a large black door under a RED light. Please knock on the door. The Doorman will open the grate and ask for your password."

Once you give them the correct pass code (leave it to me to screw it up) you enter the building. You are in a small room and this bruiser will give you the run down. Awesome experience and behind these bookcases you would enter the restaurant! 

From the wait staff to the General Manager giving us a complete tour after dinner this place was awesome! The food was excellent and what a fun place! I have never heard of a speak easy and was impressed! This whole place was Al Capone inspired and seriously a really cool place! Highly recommend this place if you want something different, unique and dang good food!

Vernon's Speakeasy
6855 4th Street
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107

Since we fly out in the morning we headed back to the hotel with our bellies stuffed and ready for a good night's sleep!

You've got mail....

Update... I received our paperweights in the mail! They turned out awesome and now we have something fun to remember our trip!