Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Great Race: Rally Down the Mighty Mississippi

It's been a crazy week!  My work was a huge part of bringing the Great Race, a time/speed/endurance rally for vintage cars, to town for an overnight stop.  After over a year's worth of planning and lots and lots of work, they arrived on Tuesday evening.  And it rocked!

One of our committee members got this HUGE American flag hung up over the main street that the Great Racers came in on, it was amazing.

The community really turned out for the event.  The Great Racers were bowled over by the amount of community support they received not only in the downtown area where the finish line was, but all along their route into town.  I am very proud of my town for the welcome they gave this national event!

Also, I got to go up in a bucket truck.... take this picture:


Just a few more things to finalize for the event and I can file it all away.

Also, last Friday was take your dog to work day....

Oscar had his bow tie on for the office and everything.  They did really well!  I don't give them enough credit; they're much better at adapting to new situations than I assume they will be.

What's new in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Furry 5K 2013, aka the Best Day of my Dog's Lives

Yesterday morning my sister Alli and I ran a Furry 5K with Oscar and Ninja, and we had SO MUCH fun!

I'm cheap, and I rarely sign up for races-why pay $25-$30 to run 3.1 miles?  (Like I said, cheap)  Alli thought this would be fun and I am so glad she suggested we sign up.  The puppies got these cute little bandanas to wear, and Alli registered to run with Ninja and I ran with Oscar.  I have a double leash where I can run with both of them but their combined pulling power is too much on 1 leash.  Ninja was READY to run:

The race had a great turnout, they doubled last year's numbers.  Here's me and Alli + Oscar and Ninja taking off:

It was HOT you guys, and I was coming off a 2-day migraine and I was worried that the heat was too much for my dogs.  Per my usual, I was just being neurotic and they did just fine, though they were tired after the race.

The running puppies got free puppy frozen yogurt, which was VERY popular:

Oscar and Ninja got to meet lots of other dogs, eat 2 frozen yogurts a piece, go for a run and get loved on by the other runners, and Alli and I had a blast.  This race is definitely on my calendar from here on out!

Have you done any fun races lately?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Day in the Life: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This might be mind-numbingly boring for you, but I LOVE reading these when other's do them-so I thought I'd take a crack at it!  This is a completely normal, typical Tuesday with the exception of my dental appointment.

5:32 a.m.:  Wake up.  Ryan's alarm goes off, and he quietly gets ready to leave for an early morning workout.  I lay in bed trying to fall back to sleep but no dice.  I check Instagram and finally roll out of bed 20 minutes later.  I change into workout clothes and my sweet puppies comes trotting up to me, tails wagging, wanting their morning hello.  I pet them and let them out into the backyard while I fill up a water bottle and get Netflix rolling in the office/work out room.

6:12 a.m.  I'm on the elliptical, watching Randy Knows Best on Netflix. I wish I knew why I love the Say Yes to the Dress franchise as much as I do, but I just don't.

6:44 a.m.  Off the elliptical and headed to the shower.  Ryan's still gone.

6:45 - 7:20 a.m.  I get ready and try not to change my outfit an obnoxious number of times.  I hate that.  I dress business casual for work, but if I don't have any big meetings that day I'll tend to the more casual side of business.  Today we're doing a training session for our tour guides/volunteers who help greet visitors at riverboat dockings, and I know we'll be on and off a bus a lot so I make sure to wear comfy wedges.  I get my baked oatmeal ready and throw it in the oven.  While it bakes I walk the dogs.  I read my book (Dark Places by Gillian Flynn) while I blow day my hair.

7:35 a.m.  My baked oatmeal is ready, today it has blueberries in it, yum!  I make a smoothie to take to work for my 10 a.m. snack.- I make Ryan one too and stash it in the fridge.  Ryan calls me, he's on his way home.

7:40 a.m.  Ryan's home.  He's hot and sweaty from his workout so he's not upset about the smoothie in the fridge.  I throw together my gym bag, grab my snacks for the day (smoothie + apple/peanut butter), take out the trash and get ready to leave.

7:52 a.m.  Kiss Ryan goodbye and head to work.  It's a short drive and since the local college is out for the summer there's hardly any traffic.

8:00 a.m.  Get to work.  Head inside and get the coffee started; our volunteers are already arriving for the morning's training session.

8:30 a.m.  Paddlewheel (we call our riverboat greeting volunteers "paddlewheelers") training is underway!  I think I'm getting more out of this than they are, it's all great info.  We really hash out the boat dockings, who will be at the table at the riverfront welcoming passengers, who will be giving what tour on what bus.

9:00 a.m.  A city "bus" (more like a small trolley) has arrived and we all board.  Each volunteer gives a 15 minutes speel; I learn things about my hometown I didn't know before, and take lots of notes on the practicalities of giving tours-our volunteers are aging, and we had 2 step down this summer, so we're short staffed and I'll be manning some of the tours for this year's dockings.

10:30 a.m. Done with the tour and back to the office for more hashing out.  Jimmie John's arrives with our lunch around 11.

11:30 a.m.  Volunteers are headed out the door.  I sit down and start on e-mails, which I haven't managed to check yet today with the training going on.

12:15 p.m.  I text Ryan that there's lots of leftover food; I know he most likely will not make it home for lunch today.  He stops by and we talk for about 5 minutes while he eats, then he's out the door and on the way to his next meeting.

12:20 p.m.  Staff meeting to go over everyone's calendars.  We normally do this on Monday mornings but 2 of our 5 staff members were out yesterday so we buzz through schedules now.

1:00 p.m.  I walk down the street to the printers to pick up a poster...bring it back, immediately determine it's wrong, so back down the street I go.  It's HOT-heat index of 102!  The temp is only 94 but Southeast Missouri has wicked humidity, which makes it always feel hotter.  Before I even get back to the office the printer has called to say their laminator is broken and it'll be at least two weeks.  Boo.

Doesn't it just LOOK hot?
1:00-3:00 p.m.  I try to bust through as much of my to do list as I can.  We have 10 riverboat dockings this summer with 2 different companies, and it's a lot of logistics and wrangling on my end.  The Great Race is also coming through on the 25th, and we have all of the last minute details involved with that.  I had two work conferences in last few weeks, and we're having a family travel blogger visit on the 21st so I need to get that organized.  I also register for another conference and book my hotel while Facebook chatting with one of my tourism buddies who's town is getting that event.  I get my desk and my to-do list organized for tomorrow morning-100% clear calendar, I see a catch up day ahead!-and leave for the dentist right at 3.  I hate leaving while I still have so much to do but knowing there's nothing on my calendar tomorrow makes me feel better.

3:05 p.m.  Arrive at the dentist.  I hoped I could get in earlier than my 3:20 appointment, as neither Ryan nor I got home to let our puppies out at lunch like they're used to, but they're backed up.  I get my teeth cleaned and a good report card.

4:10 p.m. I get to Ryan's office, which houses the track teams weight room.  Ryan has encouraged me to lift this summer, as I complain about being soft.  He says my problem isn't weight, but that I'd be happier with myself if I worked on my body composition.  I hate lifting SO MUCH but I want to stick it out through the summer to try to see a difference.  I'm finally feeling a little more confident in the weight room and I get done with my workout in under an hour.

5:00 p.m.  Home!  I let Oscar and Ninja out of their crate.  I sit outside on the porch swing with my book while they run around in the yard.  Drag the trash can in, start hanging up a load of wash that Ryan put in this morning.

5:20 p.m. Ryan's home.  We both get started on dinner-we have a bunch of tomatoes from the farmer's market to use up, so he's making one of my absolute favorites, his homemade tomato sauce!  I slice up zucchini and squash on the mandolin for zucchini noodles.

5:40 p.m.  Sauce is simmering.  I touch up the polish on my toes and start working on this post and have a snack of chips/salsa since dinner is an hour away.

6:45 p.m. Dinnertime, and it's SO GOOD!  I have been loving zucchini noodles lately, I can eat a ton and not feel overly stuffed.  Now that Ryan isn't in season he cooks about half the time and I cook the other half.

7:00 p.m.  We clean up from dinner and Ryan turns on Borderlands while I read some more.  Oscar gets his favorite chin scratch.

7:40 p.m.  My mom calls, she and my sisters are headed to get Fro Yo and do we want to come?  Not being one to turn down Fro Yo no matter how full I still am for dinner, we crate the dogs and hop in the car. At the fro yo place, I assemble the following masterpiece of honey vanilla greek yogurt fro you with fresh strawberries, mini chocolate chips and crushed oreos on top.  Honestly a perfect creation, there's nothing I could have done to make it better.

8:30 p.m.  We get home, let the dogs back out.  Ryan plays more Borderlands and I read.

9:30 p.m.  I kiss Ryan goodnight and head to bed and turn on an old episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on Youtube, I'm out in less than 5.

What does a Tuesday look like for you?

Monday, June 10, 2013


Kind of crazy how a cute new outfit will make your day better, isn't it?  The week before last, my family went to Gulf Shores while I dog sat (Ryan and I are taking a long vacation to Colorado next month so I didn't have enough days off to go with).  My sisters and my mom naturally hit up the outlet mall and brought me back all kinds of cute stuff!

My dogs you guys....they're ridiculous.....

A new spring tradition for us is this free concert series on Friday nights called Tunes at Twilight.  We enjoyed the gorgeous weather there Friday night, and chowed down on homemade steak sandwiches, Shiner Ruby Red beer with strawberries for dessert.   The week before when we had went, Ryan made up his mind that we had to have the most enviable snacks there.  I feel like we accomplished this.

Our CSA is in full swing so I've been getting creative to use up that yummy produce.  This garlic scape pesto has a KICK to it but I'm a garlic fiend and I love this on toasted bread or zucchini noodles.  These corn and kale fritters kind of rocked my world (Full disclosure:  I added white cheddar cheese, and I am NOT sorry). Lucky for me Ryan wasn't sold on them so the leftovers are all mine!  Who doesn't love a good fritter?  Zucchini fritters are a staple in our house.

What have you been up to lately?  Do you have any veggie-heavy recipes to share?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All over the State

Whew, I feel like I've been all over Missouri these past few days!  We traveled to a Missouri Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau's conference in Joplin, MO this past week, leaving Cape Girardeau on Saturday at 3 and arriving in Joplin Saturday night at 9:30.  So yeah, ALL over the state!  We just got back last night, it was a great trip but I am very glad to be home as I was in Memphis the week before last for another work conference too.

On the way, we had dinner at this insane diner called Uncle Rooster's.  It was a phenomenal find, and if you're ever on Highway 60 in Seymour, MO, go to this place with an appetite.  When I ordered a side of corn on the cob I was reminded that it came deep fried.  And soaked in garlic butter.  YES.  1st timer's sign their names on the floor....

Dessert was homemade blueberry pie, warmed up with a scoop of ice cream.  It was this good:

We got to Joplin a day before the conference started to help out with a community service project that involved de-seeding fescue, a non-native Missouri grass, to help return this land to it's natural wetland state.  Take that, fescue!

The Joplin CVB director took the group on a really powerful tour of Joplin's tornado recovery efforts.  Seeing how far they've come in 2 years was beyond words.  Here's our group at a memorial to the miracle of the human spirit, located in the park they used for all of the press conferences during the disaster:

Here's what the park looked liked in the days after the disaster:

How quickly and how well they've rebuilt makes you all misty eyed.  They've taken it as an opportunity to completely review lots of infrastructure and are truly making Joplin even better.

My co-worker Alyssa's friend Lenny from the Joplin CVB was kind enough to take us around and show us the town.  I had to stick my head in their public library, which had this really cozy and unique Art Reference Reading Room built on...doesn't this look like a beautiful place to cuddle up with a book?

We also stood in 3 states at once, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas!

I was ready to get home to my husband, my family and these sweet guys:

Do you have to travel much for work?  What have you been up to lately?  I need to get caught up on my blog buddies, I'm out of the loop!