Gala Girls

Previously.

Mom and I ditched the boys for a girls night out at the FWMoA annual gala. As usual, our dresses matched the theme of black and gold.

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Not usual, Mom was off the hook for running the event. We were able to relax, mingle, and enjoy the evening. Another not usual was that I enjoyed the first course meal, a delicable salad.

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It still came with a cold crab bisque soup that one of my tablemates gladly helped themselves to seconds.

The room looked spectacular again using very simple decor.

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Every year they have the Fill The Frame open donation period during the live auction. Besides bidding on a few silent auction items that catch my eye, I always give $100 to FTF. It’s for charity! This year they had a new fundraiser. 100 Gold boxes priced at $100 each. As we are sitting there waiting for the program to begin, the emcee announced only 6 boxes were left, “Buy a box and get a chance to win a $3,000 necklace.” I didn’t even know what the necklace was. I just looked at Mom and said, “If I’m going to give a $100 anyway, why not take a shot?” I went over to the where they were selling them. Which one do I pick? To justify my pick, I chose the box closest to the necklace.

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I returned to the table and began eating and chatting. When the time came they said unwrap your box to reveal your number then announced, “The winning number is 15!” I look down, that’s my number!!!

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A beautiful Tahitian pearl with 22 round and baguette diamonds. Me likey! Me lucky!

Ladies Day Out

I love friends with similar interests! K planned a Mom & Daughter day for us. On the agenda, theatre production of The Sound of Music. I’ve never seen the movie but I always think of Ricola when I hear the title. Count Momma & I in! There was a photo opt spot in the lobby, so the family in front of us offered to swap cameraman duties with us. The lady taking the picture was having trouble. She kept saying, “This box thing is popping up?!” So as I walk over to help, she moves my assisted touch dot and got the camera working!

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Sadly K’s momma couldn’t make it with the weather, so Spawn invited a stand in who fit in perfectly!

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Before the show started, I shared a Tweet – I’m trying to keep up with technology or as the kids call it, social media. At intermission, I got this from the lead actor!

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Mr. Ben Davis, an Indianapolis raised artist! Love seeing these guys come back and entertain in the city that molded them. First, Josh Kaufman. Now Ben. I might look into shows a different way now. Support local! Great show!

I Pick Italian

It was my month to pick for GDC. I figured I’d double dip and choose a locally owned eatery where a friend worked. Except, he was on vacation in Mexico. Where’s my server!?

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Regardless, what was once a RSVP of 4 turned into 8 overnight. Welcome to The Italian House on Park.

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I treated the girls to an app of Fried Ravioloi, it was hit! All of our food was served hot and delicious. 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this place if you live near Westfield. It wasn’t even a far drive for me.

Presents

With all the traveling over the holidays, I put up the tree before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, presents started showing up!

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I couldn’t talk CS into opening any early, so K and I celebrated early instead! I wanna open presents! We are such good gift givers.

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Headed to the Fort this year with 2 of my favorite people to celebrate with my 2 more of my favorite people. Mom and Dad went all out with the Chrismats lights this year…

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Just kidding! This is a house across the neighborhood from them. Calling Clark Griswold! Speaking of kidding, Mom got me this as a gift?!

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I kept staring at it going “NO. No way.” I read it all and still was like no. Once you start to open the box it says “Gag Gift!” on the sides. Phew. The real gift inside was the wildly popular new game Speak Out.

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Everyone but Dad was on board to play. The giggling takes over during the game and you have to pull it together. It was a lot of fun. Puzzles are still a favorite of mine. This one combined 2 into 1. But then once I did the Sudoku, the puzzle was done. I felt bad throwing it away.

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A bit harder was my 1000 piece Shoe puzzle!

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6 combined hours over 2 tries. It was a bit of a headache, but I got it done! Only 4 more puzzles to go.  I always buy myself a present and this little guy caught my eye. After a long debate, his name is Bungina. I don’t know where I am hanging him yet but I say hello to him every morning!

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Happy Holidays!

Eat, Drink and Get Sandy

Take me back!

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K and I took a great escape down to FL before the bitter cold arrived to the Midwest. As we enjoyed the warm salty air, this washed up and scared the shit out of me as I was blissfully taking pictures!

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I had seen a bright blue jellyfish on one of my previous beach walks, so I was hyper sensitive. We ventured out one night to see how the locals do it. Meet our Florida snowmen.

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K found this man more appealing. At 10 pm, it was half price tequila shots. Twist our arms.

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This vaca was all about good food, great drinks, and sand.

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After being beach bums for a few days, we needed to get some culture. Florida style. We found a holiday lights boat tour on the Intracoastal Waterway. I was hoping for a boat like this…

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Just kidding. That’s Steve Spielberg’s boat. Our boat was more this style…

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But it came with a tree. I’m not the only one who puts Christmas trees near water.

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The yachts and homes on this waterway were unbelievable and massive. Like stuff you see on TV.

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According to our guide, this family fell in love with the Harry Potter movies, then had there home updated to reflect the homes in the movie. $$$$$.

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Our farewell toast to the beach. Who needs stemware and flip-flops?!

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Turkey Travels South to West

Mama and I need a shopping fix. We hit Holiday Mart again and left with empty hands and mostly full wallets.

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Most of the boutiques that we loved, weren’t there. They must not need the publicity anymore. The clothing selection looked liked it was purchased online and overseas. Just not the quality and style we were looking for. We made up for it with a shopping cart full at TJ. Ahhhh we felt better!

Mom offered to make a turkey. Mannie wanted lasagna. Mannie rules the roost and even dressed up for the festivities. Then he requested a selfie.

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CS has a built in selfie stick. I tested out my new real selfie stick that I swore I would never own. It was free, so I call it a wash.

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To get our Thanksgiving turkey, we headed west to visit the lake CS grew up around, a beautiful sunset on Smithville Lake.

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My tour guides!

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To add a little fun, everyone donned Thanksgiving themed headgear.

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J-Man and I collaborated on some decorations for the table.

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After the meal, I was treated to the annual lighting at the plaza. Before:

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After! Bonus fireworks!!

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Thanks to all my non-laws for the tour! Go-go-CS-selfie-stick-gadget-arms!

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Repeat Fitz

Previously. Time for a road trip with my resident make-up advisor!

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After a quick oh shit moment, we made a hot stop at the Macy’s make-up counter to get some touch ups done. They were closing in 45 minutes and the Bengals game just let out. These girls were eager to help us.

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You have to look good when seeing Fitz & The Tantrums! Sing it please!

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I act like a fool hearing this music. Actually witnessing it, I’m a woo girl. I love these guys! On the drive, I did make a plea to them.

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I got my wish!

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I wonder how much a confetti cannon operator makes?

I’m Not Tough Like This

The Runner’s Forum was offering an outdoor movie night. Yes please!

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I’d never heard of The Barkley Marathons (as I will find out later why) and was instantly intrigued with the tag line. The hardest 100 mile race around. I’ve seen a few. Heard of a dozen. What is this all about? Before the show started, I was motivated to be out with the old, and in with the new!

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From Nike to New Balance, so let’s try Saucony. On with the movie!

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Holy shit this is nuts. 100~ish miles in 60 hours in Tennessee. Watch this movie if you feel like you are a bad ass. You might not be. I am not.

Zoo Brew

Mom’s been talking about this event for years but it sells out literally 3 minutes after tickets go on sale. She made some networking calls and finally we had 2 tickets to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo fundraiser called Zoo Brew!

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I can’t even remember the last time I was here, but I do remember my first job working with the ponies and horse rides. That lasted one summer due to my hay allergy. But it did give me a great memory of one car ride home with my Mom… I was 14 and couldn’t drive yet so she carted me and my lunch there every day. This was back in the day of the hard Igloo coolers. A rabbit had built a nest in the middle of the pony ring. Once the babies were ready to flee, my fellow co-workers were trying to catch them. Once you touch them, the mom won’t take care of them anymore. Dad and I had raised bunnies in our neighborhood quite a few times. So I thought, I’ll just bring them home. I put some grass in my cooler and in went 2 bunnies. Mom picks me up and asks

Why do you have grass coming out of your cooler?

I have 2 bunnies in there.

Natalee, you can’t steal animals from the zoo!

Duh! Back to present time… She got us VIP so we could get access to all the food and drink an hour before the general public. Very good choice as the lines got ridiculous as the night progressed. The zoo is laid out by continents so we headed to Africa first.

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Each continent had about a dozen food vendors and a dozen drink tastings. I was happy with my Mo’s tacos, but the caprese salad looked great.

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Bourbon tasting? Yes please!

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But we were really there to see the animals. A lot of the cats were sleeping.

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Hyena

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Zebras on the veldt.

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As we watched this monkey, he started to relieve himself from all ends. We hightailed it out of there. No poop thrown at us please!

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As we headed to North America, we hear the classic train horn. Mom got giddy like a little kid! She wanted to ride the train. I walked over to the empty station and asked the worker if it was open to the guests. It was so waited for it’s return… it had 4 people on it. 4. We were the only ones in line, everyone else was scarfing down food and booze. Alright Mom, let’s ride the train.

Alone. Seriously hilarious that we were the only ones. This is not a small train.

After our ride we headed to Austrailia.

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They turned the old bat exhibit into an interactive sting ray pool.

Roos hanging around the walkabout.

The huge aquarium is still a favorite of ours.

Puffer!

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Penguins weren’t very active in heat.

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I was excited to see the Lion drinking fountain was still functional!

Great day & memories with Mom! Thanks Momma!

Family Day in Nappanee

Since last summer, I’ve been threatening to take my parents some where in Nappanee Indiana they will never believe. Today, I made good on my promise. Introducing the Nappanee Horse Track!

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We parked in the shade, popped the hatch and waited for the race to begin!

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We were in turn 4. There were people lining the fence in turn 2 around the finish line where the grand stands were then down to us. Still had 5 more cars add to our turn after a few races.

A red El Camino would pull up to the finish line with these huge gates on the sides. The drivers and ponys would do a big walk down and back to get in line behind the car.

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Drive around to turn 2, then the El Camino takes off, folds up his gates, and off they go!

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Go ponies!

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It was so crazy! These guys get some major speed. We even saw one guy wreck and had to watch in agony for a few minutes to see if the pony could get up. After 7 races, they take a break and it’s practice time. We counted at least 30 ponies out there at one time. There were 19 races tonight! We had our fix after about 10. Carole needed chicken.

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Afterward, we headed into town to dine with some of Mom’s new friends at the Mexican restaurant. Someone’s getting a bonnet for Christmas.

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Afterward, I had one more stop on our visit. My friend’s parents help Nappanee create quilt gardens each year. I’ve only heard of these so I was ready to see one. It was gorgeous! With the State’s bicentennial this year, they are State themed.

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What city is next?!

A little video of the ponies. After a few races, Dad and I really enjoyed watching the El Camino try to pull off the track after the start. Comin’ in hot! Not a lot of room there! On lap 2, this was the race a pony went down. Hard to watch, but remember he did walk off the track on his own. Oh, and the driver was fine too.