Sunday, October 20, 2013

Great Adventure 2013

This past weekend was the 2013 Great Adventure Dinner & Auction for Medical Teams International.  I can't believe this was my 5th auction to be a part of.  But different than other years, this was my first auction to lead as the as the event manager.  And boy did I learn a lot in this past year.  I've never been pushed to grow as much as I was during this year of planning.  It was hard, but it was good.
In years past, I've always been involved with the majority of the event planning, but this year I was a part of every little aspect of the event (and those of you who have ever planned an event know that there are a million little details that go into making that one night happen).  So what details took up nine months of my working year?  Procuring auction packages (live, silent, wine, international), lining up the auctioneer/emcee/event participants, working with a graphic designer for all event materials, working with an outsourced events company to line up vendors, setting up and managing two databases, coordinating volunteers with our volunteer manager, menu tasting with the caterer (the best part of the job), working with our development team to create strategies around this fundraising event, running the raffle of a Lexus car (nearly an event within itself), and a million other details that make a 5-hour event a success.
It was a lot of work, but it all came together in the end and raised over $1.2 million for people all around the world.  Worth it.
But I have to say that I'm pretty glad to have this year's auction behind me.  And will definitely need a vacation before I even think about starting to plan for the next one.
the view of the auction (our normal warehouse and distribution center) from above
 My sweet mom came to help out in the office on the days leading up to the auction. Thanks, Mom!
And Robby was a rock star putting up with my stressful work schedule leading up to the auction, and then working the crowd (while also being my go-to "volunteer") on auction night.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This past weekend my sisters came all the way from Texas to visit me (for the second time!). I can’t tell you how excited I was when they recently told me they were planning a trip up here. I think my parents' trip this summer spurred them to come visit again. Last time they visited was April 2011 and we all know that April is a dreary, rainy month in Portland. I was hoping that they would catch the tail end of our great summer, but this past weekend ended up being the rainiest weekend in September ever. It wasn’t just drizzle and mist, it was monsoon downpour! Ugh, but we still had a good time.
I picked them up from the airport around noon on Friday. We headed to NW Portland for soup at Elephant’s Deli and then did a little shopping on NW 23rd Ave. After checking into our hotel downtown, we met up with Robby for dinner at Ox, voted best restaurant in Portland this year. It was amazing! Such a delicious dinner and pretty great company. We went to a spot around the corner from the restaurant for a drink after dinner and unexpectedly ran into a big group of my friends who were having a Great Gatsby party at that same spot. What are the odds! It was fun getting to introduce my sisters to those friends.
Saturday morning we went down to the Portland Farmers Market, but the weather continued to be wet. We walked around for a bit, got some breakfast burritos and coffee then headed out. Saturday afternoon we met up with Robby and Valerie at the Allison Inn out in Newberg for a day of wine tasting. Valerie, the queen of wine tasting, had scheduled several tasting appointments for us and even drove us around to each place. We started at Adelsheim Vineyards, stopped into Briar Rose Creamery to taste amazing goats cheeses, moved to Vista Hills where we were able to sip wine while sitting and feasting on our spread of Trader Joe’s snacks, then we ended at Argyle where we tasted bubbly bruts. The day was amazing – I think we can all agree that going wine tasting was the best part of the weekend. We headed back to Portland for a sushi dinner at Yama, then back to the hotel after a full day.
taking cover at the farmer's market to eat breakfast

Sunday morning, we had a nice brunch over at my house with some of my favorite people: Fr Ganz, Steve and Thanne, Madison, Drew and my roommate Laura. Fr Ganz led us in a special Sunday service. I know this was not the most normal or comfortable thing for my sisters, but I am so grateful that they were able to see a glimpse of my life here in Portland and the community I’m surrounded by. We had planned to drive the Fruit Loop that afternoon, but the weather was so crummy that we decided to bum around Portland instead. We ended up in the cozy lobby of The Heathman Hotel where we were able to sit by the fire. Robby joined and we headed to The Matador for happy hour nachos before getting some delicious ice cream at Salt and Straw. Emily and Sarah were definitely exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel for an early night.
I dropped them off at the airport early on Monday morning and headed to the office and my “real life.” Emily and Sarah: thanks so much for buying plane tickets, leaving your husbands and kids, and traveling thousands of miles to visit me in Portland! Y’all have to come back sometime in the summer when you can experience sunny, beautiful Portland (it isn’t always rainy here – I swear!).