Where to start?!?
This was our fourth time around and I just can’t help but SMILE at all the ways that God has blessed this event. When I say that lives have CHANGED because of Blend, I’m not exaggerating. Friendships (solid ones) have been formed, people have moved across the country, small companies have grown larger….it’s just amazing and I’m blessed to be a part of something so big. Bigger than me.
As you may remember, I adamantly HATE recap posts. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reading them but just hate typing them out. Something about sitting down at the computer after a long weekend – it’s the last thing I want to do. But I have to do it now or it’ll never get done. I’ll just start today with a recap of Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday will come another day; there’s just too much to cram into one post.
Here we go….picture heavy, word light.
Thursday, May 14th.
Thursday morning started WAY too early with a 5:20am wake up call. Lauren teaches BodyPump at a gym in Boulder so Janetha and I joined her for the 6am class. It was my first time taking a BodyPump class and I loved it; Lauren is a phenomenal teacher. I don’t know how the instructors remember all that choreography.
After the class, I popped home for a few hours to shower and eat breakfast. Protein pancakes for the win (with Marley Coffee – our Blend coffee sponsor this year!).
At 10am, the three of us took a tour of the Justin’s headquarters on Pearl Street. We got to meet all of the faces behind the team and even met THE Justin himself. He’s such a great guy – very personable and genuine. People keep telling me how much we look alike. I’m not sure if I should be offended (that they’re saying I look like a boy) or take it as a compliment (since he’s pretty decent looking). I’ll choose the latter.
Julianna (the marketing manager) sent us home with SO many goodies – those peanut butter cups are bomb plus I got a few jars of my personal favorite – Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter.
Immediately after we left Justin’s, we walked a little further down Pearl and checked out the Bhakti Chai office. If you like ginger, you’ll LOVE this stuff. I tried the non-sweetened almond flavor while we chatted with their employees and picked up 100 yoga mats for Sunday morning’s yoga class.
Thursday afternoon was spent with the kids – I wanted to soak up as much time as possible because I knew I’d be away for most of the weekend. Clara and I got pedicures and froyo; she was in heaven.
Around 5pm, the family and I drove 25 minutes east to Lafayette where Lauren lives. Stuffing 100 swag bags was the goal of the night. All of our company contacts had been shipping swag to her house so her basement was chockful of products. Every year Thursday night before Blend is just THE WORST – we’re often stuffing bags up until 1 or 2am. It’s a long process. Thankfully Lauren is super organized so we had those suckers packed in no time. Tina and Katie also came to help so that made things go even faster. We rewarded ourselves with pizza and beer then headed home and crashed.
Friday, May 15th
After a solid night’s sleep, Tina and I decided to hit up a local Crossfit box, Roots for their 7:30am class. The WOD consisted of running and squats (overhead, front & thrusters). My quads were smoked.
After the WOD, I raced home to shower, eat and nurse Porter. Then I was off to Chautauqua to put the finishing touches on everything before sponsors and attendees arrived. Registration opened up at 3pm and it was wonderful to hug so many of these people whose names I’ve been reading for the last few months.
The Expo Room opened up during registration and we had some amazing companies represented (Bhakti Chai, 34 Degrees, Epic Seed, Earth Balance, Arctic Zero, Quest Nutrition, Adora, Love Grown Foods, WB Kitchen, Wellcoin, General Mills & NestFresh Eggs). As attendees kept filtering in, the buzz in that room was amazing.
The first “official” event on the schedule was the General Mill’s Trail Mix & Run. The concept was pretty cool – a “Create Your Own Trail Mix” bar and then a trail run in the Flatirons. (I didn’t get to run but I heard it was pretty muddy but worth it).
After everyone got registered (and received their swag and nametags), I checked into our cabin at Chautauqua. It was such a cute spot for our family – like a vacation while on vacation. Chautauqua Park is a historic landmark so all of the cabins have a great history to them.
(room drop by MealEnders!)
I had enough time to brush my teeth, change clothes and run a curling iron through my messy hair and that was it before we had to be at the Cocktail Reception. Our cocktail this year was sponsored by three companies: Sizzlefish, WANU and 34 Degrees. I think everyone had a good time mingling with signature WANU cocktails and smoked salmon/34 Degree crisp appetizers.
Could have sworn I got a picture of the dinner plate but I can’t find it; we served chicken, beef, pesto polenta, roasted fingerling potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, an herb salad and rolls. The food this year was seriously the best yet. After a day of eating random bits of bars and snacks, I gobbled it down FAST.
For dessert, Arctic Zero created a “ Make Your Own Sundae” bar, complete with the new “chunky” pints and all sorts of fun toppings. I had their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with caramel syrup and brownie bites on top. It was perfect – light but indulgent all at the same time.
Travis took the kids long before we ate dessert so I had a chance to mix and mingle for a bit before heading to bed around 10pm. I think it took me 30 seconds to fall asleep once my head hit that pillow. Long, long (wonderful) day.
Come back tomorrow for part II of the recap! It’ll be a doozy so set aside some time. ;)