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!

IMG_7398 copy

IMG_7421 copy

IMG_7433 copy

IMG_7442 copy

IMG_7453 copy

IMG_7481 copy

 

 

 

 

Family Portrats – Liberty Memorial

I loved working with this family last fall, and I couldn’t be happier that they asked me to do their extended family portraits this spring! Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial is a great place for photos – the obvious iconic memorial, the city skyline, the steps and stone, and the greenery offer a ton of variety. I was pumped that they had a few of their own ideas for fun poses. And what’s not to love about mint green Chuck Taylor’s?

IMG_4735 copy

IMG_4752 copy

IMG_4821 copy

IMG_4833 copy

IMG_4867 copy

IMG_4940 copy

Kyleigh’s Gift 5k

This weekend we participated in a very special event – the first annual Kyleigh’s Gift 5k/3k Run/Walk. It was held in conjunction with National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in memory of Kyleigh, a baby who passed away unexpectedly during childbirth. The money raised goes toward a fund her family started to provide sleep sacks for each baby born at Liberty Hospital. It’s a cause near and dear to many people’s hearts – most of us know someone who has lost a baby or had a miscarriage.

On a more upbeat note – I loved the lively atmosphere with all the kiddos! Check out the photos below.

Best balloon animal ever.
Best balloon animal ever
A butterfly release to remember Kyleigh.
A butterfly release to remember Kyleigh
Kyleigh's parents and brothers.
Kyleigh’s parents and brothers
Adorable kid's fun run.
Adorable kid’s fun run
This cutie was more interested in my camera than the fun run.
This cutie was more interested in my camera than winning the run

Photo(s) of the Day: Nature Sanctuary

One of the aspects I love about where I live is that despite the size (pop. ~30,000), and the location (the Midwest), there are still fun things to do. The Matha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. We’ve taken a picnic and gone on a few hikes there twice now, but this was the first time with Baby K. Saturday felt like a nice day, until we started hiking in the sun. It was hot. We saw a lot of small wildlife though, and it was so nice to have a laid back Saturday afternoon – the first one in months! If only we had Labor Day once a week instead of once a year!

9-4_IMG_1330
These flowers attracted a lot of bees. (What kind of flower is it?)
9-4_IMG_1334
Along the Rush Creek trail. The water was too high to cross and continue the hike.
9-4_IMG_1347
Can you spot the frog?
9-4_IMG_1350
Baby K taking a breather after being in the hot Ergo carrier.
9-4_IMG_1359
Baby K observing a caterpillar. She loves The Hungry Caterpillar book!

 

Photo of the Day: Date Night at the Corn Maze

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had a rare, fun evening date at the Liberty Corn Maze. Their mazes are amazing – five different mazes form a really intricate design – this year was the Kansas City WWI Museum. Four of them are over 2.5 miles long! We had a lot of fun finding the checkpoints throughout three of the four mazes.

A side note … this week we had a date night at our local library, watching Charles Dickens’ great-great grandson perform A Christmas Carol! Not only was the performance top-notch, but it was free. As infrequently as we do it, unique date nights are really key to keeping a relationship strong.

Photo of the Day: Free Love Van

I’m a day behind on posting a photo, but yesterday was so busy. We started the day at 5 a.m. when we woke up to participate in the Hospital Hill run with a few friends. My husband and I ran the 10k in about 57 minutes, which I thought was pretty good considering all of the hills. I placed 169/1189 women. Check out my friend Julie’s blog to see photos and read more about it. After that our group had brunch at a cute downtown restaurant, then we went with Julie to the Liberty Arts Festival. The weather was gorgeous, and we enjoyed that the festival wasn’t overwhelmingly large. Although we didn’t purchase anything, it was fun to look at all the local artists’ talent. And all of that happened before 1 p.m. Below is my favorite piece of “art” from the art fest!

Two little girls decorating a chalkboard van at the Liberty Arts Festival