Where The Rubber Meets The Road

CS had the idea to run the 2016 Dragstrip Dash Express 10K this year. Uh, not for me. I just did a 10K last month and hated it. I’ll do the 5K.  Once we saw this race benefited the B&O Trail, it made sense why the word Express was added on. Two races have merged.

I have never been to Lucas Oil Raceway, so this would be a unique way to meet the track.

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You start exactly where the dragsters start. A look down the strip.

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They split up the boys and the girls in the separate alleys. They do a fun thing at the start where there are awards for the first male and female to cross the quarter-mile finish line. I wasn’t in the mood for a sprint, just wanted to run. CS crossing that 1/4 mile line!

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Since the race started at 6:30 pm, we were treated to a beautiful sun set.

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The course was a double loop around the race track (another reason I was not interested in the 10K). I felt pretty slow but it’s been a heavy workout week for me.

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After I finished, I ran to a few spots to cheer CS on. The first time I saw him he grumbles, “Yea, this was a bad idea.”

Turns out it was a great idea for each of us. I won my age group in the 5K! Along with my finisher medal, I got a special 1st place pin to accompany it.

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As I’m walking up to get my award, the WISH TV 8’s correspondent Lori Wilson says, “You had to cheat to get into this age group.” My age group was 35-39. As I’m getting my official winner shot taken. They camera man calls me “Purdue”. “Hey Purdue, are you in school there now?”

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I laughed hysterically and said, “No sir, I graduated 16 years ago.” Glad I started that wrinkle cream at 30!

CS took home the 3rd place award in his 10K age group! His first running award ever! Next year, I’m going to rethink that sprint. Trophy’s at this race are retired pistons from a real dragster. I want one.

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#Motivation

I had some really exciting opportunities come through work. First was getting to hear Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri share his insights and experience on team work and how it relates on and off the field.

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This guy is so cool! (I sound so old.) He’s a living legend that will be in the Hall of Fame someday. He just took the Most Consecutive Field Goal record to 43 and he’s the oldest player in the league at 43! He was very humble and grateful for what life has afforded him.

Next, it was time for some women empowerment. I’m totally going to name drop because the speakers I had access to are globally recognized power-house women. I kicked off my morning at the 2016 Indiana Conference for Women listening to Arianna Huffington speak on the importance of sleep and how it has shaped her career. An area I definitely recognize I can do better in.

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After a breakout session, our lunch panel consisted of Moira Forbes, yes like the magazine. Jessica Herrin of Stella and Dot fame. Along with Miki Agrawal who is revolutionizing women’s hygiene.

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Miki has been racking up the awards lately, 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year at World Technology Summit and her Company THINX was named Time Magazine’s Best New Inventions of 2015. And I’m pretty sure she’s in her 20s.

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I left with a head full of concepts, a heart full of passion, and a bag full of books that will soon be read.

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I can do anything I put my mind to.

Boos Booze & Carving

Previously. A bit previously. And waaaaaay previously.

I built a pumpkin cairn so our 22 RSVP’d guests could find the party!

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Thanks to Joann’s 50% sale, I added a lot of new pieces to the Halloween theme.

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Mom RSVP’d for 3. Huh? Mom + Dad + ? = 3. I was scared they were bringing a dog which they planned on leaving here. No time for that right now. I was delighted to meet Mannie instead!

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His face just says “wwwwwwwwwwoooooooooaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh”. Mannie welcomed our guests to a delightful spread courtesy of CS, me, and Carole. CS made his world famous chili, homemade salsa which accompanied my meatballs, taco dip and Carole’s devil eggs with eyeballs! Our guests were well fed, which is always our goal.

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Based on what we learned last year, we brought out the heavy equipment. “Bring out yer drills!”

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We had plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep the youngsters entertained. Paint, chalk, Sharpees. Ok, maybe Sharpees wasn’t the best.

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Who wants pumpkin glasses?! This kid!

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Thanks to karma for the great weather! It was a beautiful outdoor day to spend with friends and family.

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Finished product by SJ, who was in love with using a drill. Such a cute design!

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I was a bit nervous about my bat design choice. It wasn’t looking great during day light. Come sun down, I was surprisingly pleased!

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I think we have a great tradition building.

2016 Indianapolis Prize

The Indianapolis Prize is the world’s largest individual monetary award given for animal conservation and is one of the ways the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc. empowers people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conversation. With my love of animals, I was thrilled to be invited to this event. Mom warned me not to take any animals home and don’t even think about a job change. I grew up wanting to swim with Orca whales. My parents never fostered that idea and Mom continues to remind me of all the lovely things I have in my life because of what my job has afforded me. I get it. But I still want to swim with THEM! I’ll just have to charter my own boat!

We were welcomed by beautiful banners showcasing the finalists and their missions.

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This was my first visit to the main JW Marriott ballroom. I was intrigued to see how the show would be produced. Of course, Markey’s delivers with a light show on the ceiling!

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Bring on my entree!

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These awards are every 2 years which makes sense when you think about the dedication it takes to save an animal species. This year’s Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador was Sigourney Weaver. As they were announcing her name, I was expecting a video to pop up on the big screen. Nope. She was here. Really in person. Holy shit. That is cool!

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This year’s winner was Carl Jones. On the island of Mauritius, he brought the total population of the rarest bird on the planet, the kestrel, from only four individuals to nearly 400 over the course of a decade.

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It was a spectacular event and a wonderful reminder that we share this planet not just with humans but with animals. They deserve for us humans to do our best to make their home great too. I know this crew will do our part!

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Music Mash Up

Been to a bunch of concerts this year, mostly new bands and one repeat. CS found us a Halestorm concert with opening act Lita Ford. I’ve been off the heavy music scene for awhile, so it was nice to get back to some head banging-ish.

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On an unseasonably cold May evening, we settled in for some Ellie Goulding.

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Giant screens are all the rage now.

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K keeping me warm.

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Paint me up and lets dance! Do you know this album cover?

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Got to see Fitz and the Tantrums again in an intimate Bloomington, IN venue. I love seeing these guys up close. I just feed off of their energy.

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Left straight from work and still had 7500 steps recorded on my Fitbit doing my best Noelle impression.

Next up was Chad’s favorite, the gorgeous Gwen.

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Even from our seats you could see how incredible her body is.

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We rounded out our summer back outdoors at White River for Ray Lamontange. Rumor was he didn’t have an opening act and felt he didn’t need one. Excuse me?! We sat and waited about 90 minutes for him to take the stage. He’s lost my future ticket sale if he continues down that path.

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At least 3 more to concerts to go!

Girl Power

I was invited to attend The Power of Women’s Fund Philanthropy 20th dinner. Anytime I can surround myself with greatness, I’m in! Little did I know champagne and bagpipes were included!

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Bagpipes?! At first I was really confused about how the bagpipes fit in. They were our dinner bell to signal it was time to go inside for dinner and dessert.

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The Women’s Fund shared their 20 year history and highlighted the kids in their programs all the way to the Emeritus members. The highlight of the night was the keynote conversation moderated by Andrea Jung. The spotlight was on Angela Ahrendts, an Indiana native. Check out these massively impressive bios.

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We were treated to an intimate journey through Andrea’s life and career choices. I took away some really great nuggets of info and drew connections to the career journey I am on.

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In the past few years at this venue, I’m running around sweating for the Corporate Challenge. It was nice to be dressed up and professional for change at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thanks for hosting IMS!

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2016 Stars of Pink Fashion Show

Previously.

My favorite and most nerve racking part of planning the Pink Ribbon Connection’s annual fashion show is the music.

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All year, I start jotting down songs that would be possible for the show. My first pass of selection eliminates songs about taboo topics, explicit lyrics, or mention death. None of that is needed at this uplifting event. I had a moment this year while stressing out about it, that I am in control of what stresses me out. Well shit, let’s just not stress out about this then. I’ve done this 3 times before and it’s been fine every time. Deep breath. Move on. This year’s line up kicked off with my #1 favorite group:

*HandClap by Fitz and the Tantrums
*I Like How It Feels by Enrique Iglesias
*This Is What You Came For by Calvin Harris
*Hollow by Tori Kelly
*I Won’t by Little Mix
*Stand By You by Rachel Platten
*Finale – Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

I arrive each year to an empty and bland ballroom. I am always amazed how this room is transformed overnight by our event sponsors and volunteers.

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Before heading off to bed, I had a task to organize the display at our main table. I was humbled that our staff wanted me to design the look for this part of the event.

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I got a room with a great view!

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Time for the show!

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Soup & dessert are pre-set and my table wasted no time digging in. They looked too delicious to hold back.

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My trusted team at my side to pull off this event.

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After lunch, the Fashion Show begins!

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All of our beautiful models out on stage for the Finale walk!

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Even though this was my 4th year, I learned a lot! I did the same training as prior years but I overly stressed “Have fun” & “The audience doesn’t know the program”. And the models heard those messages. Our timing this year was off. Way off. For me, it was so bad I said over the backstage mics “The train has officially come off the tracks. This is bad.” Well turns out, I was wrong. Feedback I received today:

Well, you have outdone yourself again this year! I have had RAVE reviews all day today. One guest said she had a friend at her table who does fashion shows professionally and thought this was the best fashion show she has ever seen. I think many things contribute to that, most of all, the models themselves. But you are the star for putting it all together and making it work!!

Goes to show (show, funny?!) , we are in charge of our own stress. I own mine and this reminder tells me to drop it. I hope this gives you insight to join next year!