Friday, August 30, 2013

Food City Race Nights (Part Two)

Thursday, August 22 we took our time getting ready at the hotel in Knoxville.  There were a couple of special shops that I wanted to check out when they opened at 10:00 and then the plan was to meet Jeremy for lunch.

Mom, Brooke, and I strolled over to Market Square.  We made our first stop at the Bliss store....that's right there is a Bliss store in Knoxville.  It is a cute little gift shop with unique little gifts.  When you come in the store, the sales girls always say 'Welcome to Bliss'.  My mom and Brooke, of course, had to tell them that I was Bliss.  Lol!!  I love having such an unusual, pretty name.  We all left will a little something special from the Bliss store.

The next stop was across the plaza into the Bliss Home store.  Two Bliss stores in one know we were in a cool part of town.  Lol!!  This was almost a repeat from the previous store as we were greeted with a 'Welcome to Bliss Home' and again, my mom and Brooke informed the cashier that I was Bliss.  We are so silly, I know.  Jeremy surprised us in the Bliss Home store.  It was lunch time already!

We headed down to Soccer Taco for some yummy Mexican food.  It is very hard for me to EVER pass up Mexican food.  After lunch it was time to hit the road, we had an event in Bristol to make it to!!

One more pit stop along the way to the Reese Group headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee.  Brooke and I met all the wonderful people my mom works with.  It's always nice to put a name with a smiling face.  Most of the girls in the office even follow my Facebook page.  I  love knowing there are 'fans' all over the state!!

We arrived at Bristol and a Food City volunteer showed us to our table.  This event was much different and larger than the event in Knoxville.  It was outside on State Street.  One side of the street is in Tennessee and the other side of the street is in Virginia, so you can literally be in two states at once!!  The autograph tables where placed at different points along the sidewalk and not all together like in Knoxville.  When we saw our table was all alone on the sidewalk, we pulled the map out to find our friend Chris Lafferty.

Chris and his band instantly welcomed us.  I asked if we could hang out with them and they loved the idea.  We had a great time talking with the band and all the fans.  I even got to test out the most awesome pink guitar.  I always say real men can wear pink, now I need to add that real men can play a pink guitar, too.

I was even asked to do TWO different interviews with a couple of local news channels.  What a great way to spread the word about the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee organization.

As the time for our autograph session came to a close, we stopped by the hospitality room before we hit the road.  Talk about perfect timing!!  I was able to meet one of racings greatest, Rusty Wallace.  I got his autograph and had my picture made with him.

When we thought it couldn't get much better than that, in walked Jeff Gordan!!  I got another autograph and my picture made with an all star driver.  I even told him that we had a mutual friend.  Who would have ever thought I could say that, but it's true!!

Mom, Brooke, and I left on cloud nine.  It was another super successful Ms Wheelchair Tennessee event.  Thanks Food City for letting me be a part of it.  :-)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This & That Interview With Sarah Jennings

If you missed This & That today on News Channel 9, I have posted the interview on You Tube.

I hope you enjoy and share, share, share!!

Annabelle has been walking around the house all night saying,

"Mommy's on TV!!"

She's too sweet!!

Food City Race Nights (Part One)

Wednesday, August 21 was the first day of Food City's annual customer appreciation event.  My mom works for Reese Food Group and arranged for me to be apart of Food City Race Night. I was going to be signing autographs alongside race car drivers.  How cool is that?

My mom and Brooke (BFF) left the house around 11:30 to head to Knoxville. We didn't make it far before our first stop. In Cleveland, mom needed to run in a grocery store to check on something for work and she wanted to stop by Kohl's to look at luggage for Annabelle and Lila. No worries, I found cute shoes for Annabelle and me while we were there. After a stop by Chick-fil-a we were north bound on I-75. 

We arrived at the Knoxville Expo and parked in the back with the trucks and trailers that hauled the cars in. I, of course, wanted to have my picture made with a few of them. 

We made our way inside to the hospitality room for a little snack. Jeremy was off work and hooked up with us at that point. With our bellies full we were ready to explore. All four of us oohed and awwed over all the cars and mingled with everyone at the booths. 

I meet a super sweet lady at the Dixie Stampede booth. This is a Dolly Parton owed attraction.  I really want to connect with Dolly Parton to see if she could add a couple of books to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.  This is a program that is free to sign up for.  After signing up, your child receives one free book a month for the first 5 years of their life.  It is a truly wonderful program.  I would love to see a couple of the books that I read when I visit elementary schools added to the list.  What a great way for children to learn about disabilities.  I was given a name and number of someone that could be a good contact for Dolly!!

As the time neared for the autograph sessions, we made our way to the tables.  To my surprise, Food City had a sign with MY name on it!!  They were treating me just like the drivers!!

I was seated next to the nicest guy, Chris Lafferty.  He was so easy to chat with and very down to earth, oh and he's easy on the eyes too!!  As the fans came through the line I began to realize that he was a pretty busy and popular guy!  Chris races the #89 Ford F-150 in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.  He also has a television show that airs from his garage in Concord, NC called Chris Lafferty's Motorsports TV.  Oh and in his spare time, he has a band called '89 Reasons'.  WOW!! WOW!! and WOW!!  I would have never known all these facts if the fans hadn't been mentioning them as they came down the line.  I must say I am now a life long Chris Lafferty fan.

We met drivers young and old.  One of the gentleman was a driver in the last beach race.  I didn't even realize there was such a thing.  This is such a wonderful event that Food City puts on for its customers.  I would love to come back year after year.  :-)

At the opposite end of the autograph line was Knoxville's own Trevor Bayne.  Trevor is best known for being the youngest driver to win the Dayton 500 in 2011 at the mere age of 20.  An awesome lady that works with Food City arranged for me to meet Trevor after the autograph session was over.  Ladies, I must admit he's awfully young but he's cute!!  

All and all it was a fabulous day!   

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This and That

Today Sarah and Wallace from News Channel 9 came to my house to film an interview for This and That.  

Sarah and I chatted about this and that (hahaha) while Wallace set up the lights and camera.  We talked about our children and just day to day life. Sarah is a super sweet lady and very easy to talk to. I really enjoyed getting to know her.

Once Wallace had everything ready it was show time. Sarah and I never missed a beat as the camera rolled. It is always a pleasure to talk about the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee organization and to share my platform. 

I don't want to give to much away because the interview should air next Tuesday, August 27.  I can't wait to see Wallace work his editing magic. He did a couple different camera angels and wants me to send him pictures to use. (Y'all know I can manage that!) 

We even joked about me being on This and That as an anchor. How cool would that be?!?  I know I would have a ball but more importantly how awesome for children with disabilities to see someone in a wheelchair on their television everyday. 

Stay tuned for next week's airing of my interview. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gun Powder and Lead

Saturday, August 17 was another successful day for the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee organization. Jeremy (my husband) organized and hosted a benefit action pistol gun match to raise funds for the organization. 

There were a total of 81 shooters that arrived at the range Saturday morning. Jeremy had 53 shooters that preregistered so the other 28 were a great bonus!!  One of the shooters stopped by Krispy Kreme on the way in for some coffee and doughnuts.  I will have to talk to them about advertising with my name.  ;-)

It would be a long, fun day of shooting because there were 7 courses of fire. Two of the courses were steel targets. I must admit these are my favorite because when the bullet hits the steel you can hear the ting ting sound all across the range.  Four of the courses were scenario based. Those are always good for getting your adrenalin going because there is always a bad guy involved that you need to neutralize. And last but not least, there was one standard course of fire. 

The range was hot around 9:00 am with all seven stages going in full swing.  Safety is always the first concern at the range.  There are trained safety officers at each stage to insure that all rules are followed.

Josh and I were at Amigo's at Island Cove Marina & Resort around 10:30 am to pick up lunch.  This is the SECOND meal that Amigo's has donated for a Ms Wheelchair Tennessee fund raiser.  I cannot thank them enough for their continued support.  All they asked for in return was to spread their name throughout the community.  And that is something I can do!!  So, if you haven't already, please stop by and enjoy lunch or dinner at Amigo's at Island Cove Marina & Resort and don't forget to tell them that Ms Wheelchair Tennessee sent you!!

By the time we arrived at the range with yummy Amigo's, there were 81 hungry shooters who were glad to see me.  I positioned myself at the end of the food line so I could have a chance to talk to and have my picture made with (almost) everyone.

The overall conscious was that everyone was super excited the range was hosting its first charity action pistol gun match.  How awesome to be apart of the first very successful charity match at that range?!?

After lunch, it was back to the range because there was still a lot of shooting to be done.  I enjoyed speaking with family and friends of the shooters who came out to watch.  Competition shooting is a really fun sport to watch.

As the afternoon drew to an end and everyone was awaiting their final scores, I took the opportunity to share the history of the Ms Wheelchair organization.  I was very impressed with the quick overall silence of such a large group as I began to speak.  I was very excited to share with such a large group my platform and its meaning to me.  This is how changes are made by educating one person, one group at a time.  I am honored to help educate others about living with a disability.

After sharing my story and the history of Ms Wheelchair Tennessee,  it was time to start drawing for the prize table.  And let me tell you, there were a LOT of prizes on that table.  But it didn't stop there, after the prizes, it was time to announce all the winners and hand out their medals.

All and all it was a spectacular day!!  I had the pleasure of meeting some great people that Jeremy speaks very highly of and that were a tremendous help in making Saturday a success.  I want to thank all the volunteers, safety officers, sponsors, shooters, and of course my incredible husband.  He planned and executed a wonderful charity gun match.  I am one lucky girl to have such an awesome supportive husband!!