Such a great day!

Today was such a great day! It was definitely one of those days that you look at the time and go, “Whoa! How is it 4 o’clock already?!!” That’s how you know it’s been a great day!


First stop after walking Mack to school was to go to Grandma Shirley’s for coffee. I love having this time each week to visit with grandma and my aunts. It’s starts my day off on the right foot 



Loved seeing Grandma’s fall wreath on her door and decorations around the house!


This is my s-hero Martha. She’s the director for the Good Samaritan Center and here she’s showing two ladies from the Harvest Ball Society the hygiene closet on a tour of the building.

The items in the closet are ones not covered through food stamps, but still imperative for individuals to have not just to keep a job or go to school, but to maintain a level of dignity that everyone deserves.


We are now less than a month away from an event we have been planning here in Excelsior Springs called Project Homeless Connect. This one day event will bring immediate services to those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless here in Ray and Clay Counties.

There we will not only be working to find immediate housing for families and individuals who are in this position. We will also be able to offer haircuts, family pictures, a hot meal, and hygiene items thanks to the local donations and volunteers who are giving their time and talent.

If you are interested in being involved, please let me know!


This afternoon I was asked to come to a meeting with some of our most dedicated employees in the district. They are working on ways we can better honor our teachers. When I reached out to the community about it, there was an overwhelming amount of support. We definitely love our teachers here in Excelsior Springs! I’m
excited for all the things to come!


Went to pick up Mackenzie at Art Room withRoberta Hammer and found her finishing up a “sugar skull.” They were listening to Latin American music which was really energetic. Love the cultural appreciation being exposed to her here, under Roberta’s care.


After we ran by Aunt Molly‘s Studio to drop off the list of students who were participating in her painting class. Aunt Molly is partnering with the educational foundation to offer weekly paint classes to the students! She’s also donating 20% of the proceeds back to our foundation! I really appreciate this opportunity for our students and absolutely love working with her in this effort.


On the way to the house I stopped at the post office to mail some surprises out! They are clearly having fun with Fall, which is great to see! I love all those folks there!


Dropped Mackenzie off at play practice. She’s going to be in the Halloween show coming up!! They’ve almost got the new stairs ready for use again!


When I got home, our kind neighbor Edward walked to meet me with a handful of coupons to fun places in the area! Did I mention how much I love living here and all the wonderful people I’m surrounded by? Thank you, Ed!


The usual scene in the evening, as Jason prepares Mackenzie’s favorite: hot dogs w/ mac & cheese!22405585_1719514464727861_5074515004606987138_n

It’s cold so the cat actually came to sleep by me and my electric blanket!! Perfect end to such a great day!!





Fall has fallen upon Excelsior Springs

Fall has suddenly made an arrival here in Excelsior, leaving my teeth chattering!! Tuesday’s are some of my favorite days and this one certainly didn’t disappoint, regardless of the chilly weather! 



We recently had a tree removed from the backyard. They stopped when they realized the tree had grown through the fence. Now we just have this crazy stump. Any ideas?


Between the staircase railing, I spot an ornery cat!

My amazing co-workers redesigned our meeting space in the office! It’s so cool! I can’t help but hum the Friends theme song when I see it 🎶

My friend Julia invited me to meet our friend Kim for lunch at the new Opportunity Cafe across town. This is a new cafe/coffee shop in our community.
They are working to provide opportunities for those who are trying to turn their lives around, and I think that’s a pretty cool mission.
It was such a gray day, I was looking for color anywhere I could find it. Found some!
My next meeting was back downtown at The Mugcoffee shop. Each Tuesday I meet with Molly, our City Manager, Melinda, our City’s Economic Development Director, and Sonya, our City Councilwoman, to discuss City projects and plans.I live for Tuesday’s because I learn so much about the process for how you can leverage your dollars to go further with the governmental resources that are available. It gives me a new appreciation for the work that our City governments do, and I feel fortunate to be included.Today we talked about improvements that will be made to our local library!
This evening was Mackenzie’s last elementary school music recital. Each year S. Jason mic’s her up so he can record her voice above all the others. He also had dual video cameras set up so he can edit together a fun video to send to Grandpa and Grandma Cole.
The students did a great job and had all the moms in the audience eagerly taking pics with their phones the whole time (me included!)  Great job to Mrs.Gillespie
On the way home we stopped at the store and S. Jason ended up helping these ladies jump start a car. He’s such a good samaritan!


Great Start to the Week

This has been a great start to the week! I was super productive at work today; able to cross about ten things off my list! Woo hoo!!


Mackenzie was asked by her teacher Mrs. Clark to make the ballot box for those running in her class for Mayor. I asked her why SHE wasn’t running for Mayor: “Because I have to make the ballot box, Mom.” #fairenough


She can sit on her hair it’s so long. When we ask if we can cut it, even for a trim, we get sideways looks like “don’t you dare!”


The memorial garden was calling me this morning. Can you see why?



You might not be able to tell, but there is a huge patch of these beautiful purple flowers, whose stems are super long, as the buds stretch all the way over toward the Sun


This is what Sketch does in the morning when I’m fixing my coffee. “Hey, did you happen to notice me here?”


Jason harvested some from his garden this morning.


They’re doing work all along 10 Hwy and putting in sidewalks all the way through town. It’s something we have needed for a long time and will be so nice when they are through.


There’s Mackenzie waving to me as I dropped her off at play rehearsal this evening!


I had about an hour before the board of education meeting tonight so I spent it in the backyard with Sketch.


At the apartment complex next door to us. 


Couldn’t resist getting a shot of the Elms fountain on the way to the board meeting.


These five women are our elementary administration here in the school district. Tonight at the board meeting they got up as a collective team to give their report! It was dynamite!


Came home to find Mackenzie in her usual spot. Tonight she discovered a brand new season of My Little Pony has been added to Netflix. Her all-time favorite!


Chef J has been busy making hummus for Mackenzie’s lunches and a spaghetti squash dinner!— with S. Jason Cole.


My co-worker Terri Combs gave us the squash from her garden and then told us how to make it. We tried it and I’m not willing to give up my pasta, but Jason enjoyed!


Dinner’s done!


Ok this is us being silly but will probably result in a meme of some kind, given how creepy it is! Happy Halloween!!!

Hello Weekend!

This week has kept me very busy, in meetings, and also working on some really important grants being offered through the USDA. On Monday I dropped one in the mail asking for assistance in replacing a parking lot that is often used by the community and today I finished one that will expand telemedicine services in a rural hospital, which could save hundreds of lives. Now it’s just a matter of keeping my fingers crossed! 

Mackenzie has been working on blending with her artwork.

Jason saw an owl here on the boulevard and was able to snap a pic. He continued walking toward the hotel when it swooped him and then not far after, another owl swooped him, too! Guess they’re camera shy! 

Enjoyed celebrating birthdays with my best friend Nena’s family this week at the Mexican restaurant. 

Stopped by the ESHS Athletic Hall of Fame to congratulate all the inductees. 

The 4-H Club celebrated our year anniversary with a pool party in Richmond! 

After the rain yesterday morning here on the boulevard. 

Was the speaker for Rotary this week and got to update them on all the great things happening at the educational foundation. 

Mackenzie had drama camp all week and tonight finished with a performance that she played the lead in! We are so proud of her dedication and hard work! She had all of her lines memeorized by Tuesday! 

Finished the week enjoying Second Friday’s in our downtown by hanging out at Aunt Molly’s studio. Her guest artist was Kevin Callahan, whose son is a good friend of mine. Saw lots of friends and made some new ones, too! Such a great way to end the week, for sure.