A Day Without a Woman

Today is International Women’s Day, and women across this country will celebrate by participating in A Day Without a Woman — taking a day off from paid and unpaid labor; purchasing no goods unless from a small-, woman- or minority-owned business; and (or) wearing red in solidarity.

I woke up this morning and went to work.

I work for a woman-owned business. We’re a small team, and I have a lot of work to do coming back from six weeks off with a new baby.

I guess, with an infant at home, I won’t be taking the day off from unpaid labor either. He requires a lot of labor (and it’s all of love).

Last night, I attended a Junior League of Wichita Diversity & Inclusion Committee panel discussion with local female leaders in the community — some truly amazing women from public service, higher education, law, non-profit and small business ownership. The panel discussed careers, obstacles women face in the workplace, including themselves, and — a recent topic for me — “mom guilt.”

The Wichita Eagle recently compiled a collection of survey responses from women in the workplace: Wichita women talk about workplace obstacles, which addresses obstacles, such as maternity leave, breastfeeding and child care — all things we talked about in last night’s panel discussion.

I almost did not attend the panel discussion, even though I’d been looking forward to it for a month, because of mom guilt. My husband had been home all day with our son who was suffering from gas and discomfort.

So he was fussy.

When I got home, I nursed him, burped him and gave him back to my husband so I could leave again.

He was still fussy.

My husband told me to go knowing I’d stand there staring at them with keys in hand fretting… and feeling guilty.

“Mommy guilt is real,” the panel agreed, and it’s a challenge women face in the workplace, in our home life and in our relationships.

One woman said, when her children were young, she feared the Kindergarten teacher would judge her seeing her son in the same T-shirt two days in a row “because we like that T-shirt” and some mornings can be difficult.

Another woman lamented about being asked how she could open her own business and plan her son’s birthday party at the same time.

“I can do it,” she told them.

Whether it’s the guilt we put on ourselves or the guilt we put on each other, listening to these women talk about their own mommy guilt assuaged my fears leaving my son — missing developmental milestones, not being there to comfort him, not being there to feed him.

I am going to miss things happening in his life, and that’s OK. He’s going to be OK. One of the women made a point to say: “You’re children will be fine.”

A small business owner on the panel with four children said she couldn’t do what she did every day — working, managing her business, mom-ing — without her husband. As a woman, a business owner and a mother, she wasn’t doing it all all of the time all alone.

Her message was of support — whether from a spouse, a family member or a community.

Years ago, I wrote about how my village raised me. Today, my village empowers me to be a mother, a wife and a woman.

Without the women and men who support me, throughout my pregnancy (and during the fourth trimester, especially), I could not do what I do every day — working, writing, mom-ing.

My husband, who is an amazing husband to me and father to our baby…

My mother, who taught me hard work and who loves my son so much…

My mother-in-law, who gives and gives of her time so my husband and I can go to work knowing our son is in good hands and loving arms…

My sister-in-law, who flew in just to meet him (and make us dinner — thank you!)…

My friends, who called or texted to check in on me weekly after he was born…

The women who gave so generously of new and used baby gear so I didn’t have fork over an arm and a leg to keep him diapered, clothed and soothed…

The women who became my tribe and who never passed judgement on me or my decisions.

I went to work this morning.

Wearing red.

Because — even though I went to work — I stand with women.

For an end to violence and harassment.

For reproductive rights.

For equal pay, affordable childcare and paid family leave.

For civil rights.

For women.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Because St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Thursday — figures — Wichita held its festivities the weekend before with bar crawls and a parade.

I avoided the bar crawls and missed the parade (on purpose… crowds) because I really only wanted one thing.

Corned Beef Hash.

Where does one go to get a great Irish-themed meal on St. Patrick’s Day?

One goes to the Public.

Public celebrated Opening at the Brickyard Saturday, March 12, welcoming spring-like weather in early March and crowds of green-clad patrons excited for Irish fare and Irish beer.

Public Oldtown Wichita KS
An empty patio, but wait…

 

St. Patrick's Day crowd in Wichita Kansas
Full patio! With bagpipers!

But I did not get an Irish beer.

I know, I know! I should have ordered a Guinness or an Irish Red or something… but I really wanted an IPA, and Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point out of San Diego was on tap.

Craft Beer Dedicated to the Craft
So delicious IPA by Ballast Point.

Of course, I had to have one. (It was awesome, by the way.)

I also had to have Corned Beef Hash, and I’m a lucky duck because I got to watch my meal being made by Public Chef and Owner Travis Russell in the Brickyard’s super awesome food truck — a refurbished trailer that I think really needs a name.

Public at the Brickyard Food Truck Trailor in Wichita Kansas
What do you think? Betty? Stella? Frank? I’ll have to ask if it already has a name…

 

Public Oldtown Chef Owner Travis Russell cooking in Wichita Kansas
Hash on the grill!

 

Public Old Town Wichita Kansas
Looking at this menu makes me hungry again.

 

Corned Beef Hash at the Brickyard
zomg. Corned Beef Hash.

Super tender beef. Amazing flavors. I want to eat this everyday forever.

I happily also ran into a friend and listened to some pipers!

skinnyshae St. Patricks Day

 

Bag pipers play at the Brickyard in Wichita Kansas

 

 

My husband and I also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on the actual St. Patrick Day with a kilt, a checkered hat and a Wichita State University game.

St. Patricks Day Date in Wichita Kansas
We went out. In public. Together. That nearly never happens. Go couple!

Neither of us wore green.

Oops…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Er… late.

Wichita Kansas Restaurants

#WRW16 A gastronomical review

gastronomy (n.) — The art or activity of cooking and eating fine food; the art or science of good eating — Merriam-Webster

Wichita Restaurant Week 2016 was such a blast! I already can’t wait for next year. I visited two of my favorite places and three restaurants for the first time.

Of all the restaurants, including my favorite BBQ joint and the best spot in Old Town (no joke!), I think I have to say that Lou’s Charcuteria truly blew me away.

Lou's Charcuteria Wichita KS Charcuterie

Sharing those delicious deviled eggs, that perfectly pulled Venezuelan pork sandwich, the charcuterie board and decadent Tres Leches cake with a friend was the perfect lunch experience, and I bet sharing one of their larger boards — I mean, have you seen these things? — for dinner would be just as astronomically amazing ;)

Here are quick links to my reviews for #WRW16:

I hope Wichita Restaurant Week has done its job of fundraising for Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas — I can’t wait to hear the results — and I also hope it has shown the Wichita community all the amazing local flavors just around the corner.

Wichita really is a foodie’s city.

I am happy to call it home :)

#WRW16 skinnyshae Preview

Wichita Restaurant Week starts today!

I already have lunch plans with a friend next week to eat for the first time at one of the participating restaurants downtown — you’ll have to wait and see!

Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to every restaurant. Full-time job, full-time house, full-time not leaving my house very often…

(Some day I’ll write a blog about how much I love being in my house and not in public.)

Since I can’t eat at every restaurant this week, I have a preview of restaurants I’ve eaten at in the past and can say  for certain that I love the food and support them with all my food-loving self.

Delano Barbeque Company

If you know the Midwest, you know about our barbeque. If you know about me, you know I love barbeque.

Evidence (again): This bucket of ribs.

Ribs

One of my favorite places to get barbeque and my absolute favorite place in Wichita is Delano Barbeque Company.

It’s on my list for Wichita Restaurant Week — I’ve never met the pit master, and it’s about time I had another Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. During #WRW16, at lunch, it comes with two onion rings and choice of side. (Hint: I’m getting cole slaw.)

Jon and Michelle Suddeth, owners
Jon and Michelle Suddeth, owners

Here’s hoping I can find some BBQ-loving friends to go with me!

The Monarch

Not the butterfly, but I love those, too.

The Monarch is chill, has a great patio, great sandwiches made with smoked meat and cheese THAT THEY SMOKE THEMSELVES and a fantastic beer selection.

They have Gutch on tap. I love Gutch.

They also have this giant cheese ball — not on tap, on the menu.

Monarch Cheese Ball

While the cheese ball isn’t on the #WRW16 menu, all of the other greats are:

  • Peppadew Hummus (recommend)
  • Fried Green Beans (seriously recommend)
  • ANY OF THE SANDWICHES — My favorite is The Roundabout.

And, apparently, on Monday, it’s $2.75 Mystery Beer, and that sounds like the most fun game in the world.

It’s $30 for two people, excluding drinks (get the Gutch), tip and tax.

Public at the Brickyard

Oh, Public, I love you — as a restaurant.

Public at the Brickyard
…because without beer, things do not seem to go as well…
I have about 3,000 pictures of this drink. You know, about.
I have about 3,000 pictures of this Bloody Mary. You know, about.
Salmon Benedict at Public at the Brickyard
I have eaten this dish approximately 3,000 time. Pretty sure on this number…
And I've read "user comments" in their ticket books too many times to count :)
And I’ve read “user comments” in their ticket books too many times to count :)

I. LOVE. Public.

It’s my favorite public place. Hah!

My husband and I are deciding where we want to go together to dinner, and Public is at the top of the list. It’s always on the list. Every day.

I MEAN HAVE YOU HAD THE PICKLES?

You should. (They’re not on the special menu, but just remember that you need to go during #WRW16 AND again just for the pickles.)

Wine Dive

Wine Dive is in my neighborhood. So, of course, I’ve eaten there. Often.

For #WRW16, they’re featuring an Italian tasting menu with wild mushrooms, arugula salad and tiramisu with a choice of one of two entrees — and the Tuscan Grilled Strip Steak sounds like a little piece of food heaven.

I’ve also eaten at The Hungry Heart, The Hill Bar & Grill, AVI, Chester’s Chophouse, Playa Azul and River City Brewing Co.  (another favorite).

There are 25 participating restaurants on the list, and I think I’m going to get to five.

Ugh. Decisions…

I am taking non-biased recommendations.

Hard Charge. Wichita. Hell.

For some unknown reason, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to run a four-mile obstacle course on one of the coldest April days ever.

Let me start by saying that it was NOT a wonderful idea. It might just have been the worst idea I have ever had.

Hard Charge. Hell.

I ran (read: lugged myself along in a limping jog) for four miles through mud, freezing cold water, barbed wire, sand and grass.*

*Why does the grass matter? The Allergy Obstacle. Sneezing. Watery eyes. More hell.

My husband, our friend, Bryan, and I ran the obstacle course together despite my pleas for them to run ahead of me because I would just hold them back from enjoying the CHARGE.

Hard Charge Wichita

Thankfully, they did stay with me. I needed both of them to help me over both of the 10-foot walls. Ten feet is twice my size! I am especially grateful for my dear husband who made sure I didn’t quit when I felt like I was close to death.

Hard Charge Wichita

Bryan and my husband destroyed the course. They probably could have gotten great time if it were not for them staying behind for me.

Hard Charge Wichita

The hubs is such a beef cake.

I ran out of gas at the halfway point. My shoes were filled with mud and gravel and my clothes were soaked. I felt like I weighed an extra 20 pounds. I shamelessly skipped three obstacles.

  • The monkey bars, which were like four inches thick. I have tiny hands. Who are they kidding?
  • The ice bath. Just no. No.
  • The cars because I don’t trust the Hard Charge folks to duct tape the windows properly. I’ve seen people fall through a car.

I completed all the other obstacles. Even the freezing cold water ones and the ones where I had to climb over things that were bigger than me.

Hard Charge Wichita

But I made it through! (With COPIOUS amounts of help from Matt and Bryan.)

Hard Charge WichitaHard Charge. Hell. Never again.
(But if we sign up for next year before May 5, then it’s like super cheap.)

Do you have any advice for training for an obstacle course, warrior dash or tough mudder?

Thunder, snow and lightening very VERY frightening!

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of thunderlighteningsnow.

Thunderlighteningsnow is when it is snowing and thundering and lightening all at the same time while also being ridiculously cold.

This is what thunderlighteningsnow looks like, and it’s all up in Kansas’ business.

At 5:30 in the morning, I bundled up in two pairs of pants, two shirts, a sweatshirt, my boots and a water-resistant jacket. A hat that could have been a lot warmer and my husband’s gloves rounded out my SNOW SHOVELING outfit.

Our driveway was covered in at least a foot of snow and took an hour to shovel it. While it was still snowing. (An hour after my husband left for work, all the snow was back.)

Wichita KS Winter Storm

This is at 4:30 a.m.

Husband and I took turns shoveling and going inside to get warm. Of course, when we went inside, the snow that had accumulated on our clothing melted.

Water puddles everywhere! I am grateful for carpet.

We had to shovel the snow so Husband could go to work. Unlike me. Since I work at a bank, and all the bank branches are closed due to inclement weather, I did not have to go to work today! <—Adult snow day.

Downtown Wichita snow scene

Yesterday at work. No work for Shae today!

Husband, however, cannot NOT go to work because hospitals don’t close. Poo.

So Ivan and I have to play in the snow without Husband, and play in the snow we shall. Well, he shall.

Wichita KS Winter Storm

Wichita KS Winter Storm

This is at 7 a.m.

Wichita KS Winter Storm

Wichita KS Winter Storm

This is at 9 a.m.

Ivan isn’t always the biggest fan of weather… unless it’s sunny and awesome… but he jumped around like a moron in the snow. He really doesn’t understand why his footies are cold, but he does understand that eating snow is almost like drinking water.

Which he’s all about.

I am going to spend the rest of my snow day feeling bad for my husband and catching up on blogging, reading and menu planning.

OH! And check out the deathcicles hanging from my house!

Deathcicles

I set my PR during the Jingle Bell Run

I started the Runner’s World running streak this morning with the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. I pledge to run one mile every day starting today!

My goal for the race was to finish with a 12-minute mile, but I would have been OK with a 12:30 mile since I haven’t been much of a runner lately, and since I’m so disgustingly out of shape.

I finished the race with the race clock at 12:34. I felt pretty good about that time, but I knew it wasn’t my time. My race bib had a chip connected to it that timed my run rather than the race’s run.

(I love this chip thing! I didn’t cross the starting line right after the race began because there were SO many people, but I didn’t have to figure out any of that time because my race bib did it for me.)

And OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS… my race time: 11:59!

I finished my one-mile under my goal time! Under is better than over, even if it was only by one second.

…just makes me think I could have sprinted that last stretch a little faster. Ah, well!

I had plenty of encouragement at the start…

Jingle Bell Run in Wichita KS

First time I’ve ever seen that sign in person. Guess that’s one step along the way to becoming a real runner.

Or spending less time on Pinterest…

One of my co-workers also ran the one-mile with his children. (He ran a 7:22, and I’m pretty sure his daughter beat him. She’s fast!) As I was running, I came up on his son, who had stopped running and started walking, which I was told he might want to do because he’s not as into running as his sister. I waved ‘hello’ as I passed him, and then he started running again.

I asked: “Are you going to beat me?” He said: “Oh, yeah.” And he did.

Beaten, with intent, by an 8-year-old. If it wasn’t so cute, I’d be mad at myself. I’ll just say I let him win.

Downside to the charity racing gig? The crowed.

It was soooooo crowded, and the track had several tight turns that people all tried to go around at once. I actually had to walk through a turn because there were so many people around me. And we crossed a few bike bridges which just are not wide enough to run through.

Future reference: I don’t do well in crowds.

Before I went to the race, I mapped out a one-mile route in my neighborhood so I wouldn’t have to go to the gym and run on a treadmill every day for 31 days. That just sounds awful.

My goal over the next month will be to reduce my one-mile time by one minute. Is that a good goal? I would like to run a 10:59 mile on January 1, 2013. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind running a 10-minute mile…but let’s be realistic.)

I also practiced 70 minutes of Power Yoga before the race. Do you think my time would have been better or worse if I hadn’t warmed up with some serious sweat at the Y?