Relay For Life 2016

Saturday night was my 7th American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. I love Relay for so many reasons – from the cause, to the camaraderie, to the symbolism. A few of this year’s highlights:

  • I had the biggest team to date, with 30 people representing Team Dukes.
  • Our team raised over $3,000 – approximately $27,000 over the last six years!
  • I’m proud to say we had a breast cancer survivor on our team this year!
  • My husband made a couple of awesome light-up signs for our team – one we carried around as we walked the track for eight hours.
  • Thanks in part to all of the above, our team won the Spirit of Relay award!
  • My thoughtful team gave me a framed, signed print and a pedicure thanking me for being team captain (even though I couldn’t do it without them).
  • My 2-year-old stayed up until 1 a.m., playing hard around the track, in the long jump sand pit, and in the bounce house. She was a crazy, fun, hot mess!

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Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Yesterday my office hosted its annual Bring Your Dog to Work Day in support of the American Cancer Society Bark For Life event. The day began with a doggie meet-and-greet, and the dogs hung out around the office throughout the day. We wrapped up the afternoon with an ice cream social, complete with ice cream doggie treats! I didn’t have a pup to bring to the event, but I did get to doggie-sit while one coworker was on a call. It definitely made for a lively day at the office!

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Nicaragua Mission Trip – Day 1 (Travel)

Saturday, July 18 – Jerod and I said our good-bye’s to Lil’ Miss K (so hard!) and left her in the very capable hands of my mom, while my dad dropped us off at the airport late morning. We met up with our group, checked in to our American Airlines flight, and left Kansas City around 1.

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Jerod and I at the start of the trip

We had a quick 1-hour layover in Dallas, but it proved to be plenty of time to get to our connection. The flights were smooth until we got to Nicaragua, where a storm was passing through. Our seatbacks had screens with a flight map – so after a lot of turbulence and elevation loss and gain, we could see that our plane was going out into the ocean rather than landing in Managua. Come to find out, it was doing a loop to avoid the storm. Upon heading back to the city, we did three more loops before finally landing. I know at least one person had to use his airsick bag – it was definitely a rough 45 minutes.

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Our flight path into Managua, Nicaragua

Customs was similar to any other airport, except we had to pay a $10 entry fee to get into Nicaragua. Nicas picked up our luggage and transported them to the exit for us for a $1 tip. Because we got in late, we didn’t have time for Eddie, our bus driver, to drop us off at basecamp and get back to pick up the next group of missionaries, so we waited at the airport for what seemed like eternity. We finally got to basecamp around 10:30 (11:30 Kansas City time). We had a very quick meeting, then we finally got to eat cold pizza for dinner. We found our room assignments and tip-toed around to get settled, as an earlier group had already gone to bed. I was in a room with 3 other women (the room had 8 beds), and Jerod got to bunk in a large room with 14 other guys. But overall, the accommodations were extremely nice for being in a 3rd world country. We didn’t exactly have to “rough it” like my previous mission trip to Haiti. It was a long first day, and I went to bed excited for the next day!

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My accommodations for the week

Relay For Life – A Celebration of Hope

Friday night was my 6th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I look forward to the Relay event every year, but for some reason, I was even more excited this year. From watching survivors walk the track, to a silent auction and fun on-site fundraisers, to a beautiful luminaria ceremony, I’m always crying and laughing by the end of the night. My 15-month old daughter had a blast running around the track and field – she didn’t crash until almost midnight! This year our team has raised just over $2,800 for the American Cancer Society, but of course we’re still accepting donations! I’d love to reach $3,000. Here is where the money goes.

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Spring/Summer Portrait Special

It’s official – my husband and I are taking a mission trip through Project H.O.P.E. to build homes in Nicaragua! To raise money for the trip, I am running a portrait special. You can get a one-hour Kansas City-area photo shoot, plus 20 of the best high-res photos on disc for just $79. My portrait session typically runs $79, so basically you get 20 digital photos free! I’ll be running this special through the end of June. Contact me to schedule your portrait session – dates are filling up quickly!

My last mission trip to Haiti was incredibly impactful, as I know this one will be too.

Photo of the Day: Celebrating a 100th Birthday

100 years ago today, the American Cancer Society began the fight of a lifetime – the fight against cancer. With the help of volunteers, they’ve made a lot of progress in that time. In 1913, 1 out of 10 people survived cancer. Today, 2 out of 3 people survive. There is still more work to do, but together, we can finish the fight. Let’s make this cancer’s last century. Join the American Cancer Society at cancer.org/fight.

Celebrating more birthdays today!

Photo of the Day: Birthday Wish

In honor of my birthday today, would you please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life? The Society is celebrating its 100th birthday next month, and it’s the official sponsor of birthdays, so the cause couldn’t be a better fit. I’m just a few hundred dollars away from my $1000 goal. Every amount helps!

Donate to Relay For Life

Cute birthday cupcake in a cone

Donate to Relay For Life, or purchase a photographic print for Relay