June 27, 2009

Showering Melissa & Chris

The main reason that we made our way back to Texas was to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Melissa & Chris. I co-hosted a shower for them with a barrage of hostesses (and host Jay) who all love her dearly! Thanks to Kelly for opening her lovely home for all the guests!! We had a great time....and it was wonderful to see my Texas girls again.

A Sister Story | Jessica & Ali

When Amy and I were trading emails, she mentioned that her Aunt Cindy wanted to get some shots of her girls - Ali & Jessica. Amy said that I'd have a blast with them, and that they were gorgeous....well, Amy was right! On both accounts.

The girls were great, and up for whatever I asked them to do...including sitting on top of cement bags....and had pretty smiles on their faces the entire time!

J & A - I had a blast hanging out with you both!! Have a wonderful rest of your summer, and enjoy the rest of school when you go back! :) I hope you enjoy your story!

Cousin Amy jumped in on a few shots too! Look at the all the pretty girls!! Three is better than two, right? :)

For more of these beautiful sisters, check out the slideshow.

The Stoker Family Story

A month or so ago, I posted a status on my Facebook something about my car, to which Amy replied "I soooooo wish you were in DFW! I need pictures made of my boys.".

Her response had nothing to do with my car....but after I saw that....some planning was set into motion. I was actually already planning on being in Dallas for Melissa and Chris' wedding shower....so I looked at the calendar to see how I could make it work! I was excited when we figured it out...and so, on a Saturday morning in Dallas....when it was already nearing 90 degrees, I made my way out to Coppell to meet up with Amy, and her boys!! :)

I was excited to meet the rest of Amy's family - Trent, Luke and Clay!!! Amy and I actually both went to HS in the same town, college at A&M, but had lost touch with each other until Facebook - doesn't that happen with so many people? The one thing that I always remember about Amy is her beautiful voice - this girl can SING!!

Besides that....she and Trent were blessed with cute kiddos!! Luke and Clay are adorable, and I had a great time with all of the Stokers! They were all champs to brave the heat with me as we traipsed around the nearby park. We had to take a couple breaks to wipe away the budding sweat (seriously...I already forgot how hot it can get in Texas), but we didn't wipe away the smiles!!

Amy - I had such a great time seeing you again, and spending time with your family!! I only wish I had remembered to ask you to sing me a little tune while we were together. :) I had a wonderful time with you and your boys - I hope you love your story - and that the wait wasn't too grueling!!!! :)

I absolutely love this next one - looks like Little Clay is just up to no good! :)

For more pictures from the Stoker Story, watch the slideshow!

June 26, 2009

Esparzas with The Smith Family

Brett and I made it to Dallas without any hiccups. We're all setup with a snazzy little rental car too - nice!! I was excited for Brett to meet Camille. She is one of the first people I met when I moved to Austin and started working for Dell - we've been friends for over 10 years. We found our way to downtown Grapevine, saw Camille sitting on the front porch waiting for us....and then finally met up with her about 10 minutes later after finally finding a parking spot.

I was thrilled to see Ben and Claudia walking up at the same time we were - I wasn't expecting to see them too - score!! We ate a perfectly yummy Mexican dinner at Esparzas, and had a great time getting caught up.

It's now their turn to come visit us in California.....and they might just do it too! :) Hope you guys decide that you can make it out to see us soon!! :)

June 24, 2009

Who knew the capital of Washington was Olympia?

Federal Way in the morning. Driving to Chehalis in the afternoon.

The way to Chehalis has us driving way south, and we happened through Olympia. We found a great little Thai spot for lunch, and as we were driving through the town, we saw a building that looked a whole lot like a capital building. Embarrassingly enough, none of us knew off the top of our head that Olympia was the capital, but we learned it pretty quickly!

After lunch, we looked for a Starbucks, and walked through old downtown Olympia. Albert was just in amazement, as were we all, with how neat it was! We took a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the views!

This is the old capital building that is still standing in the middle of town.

We had a great time out in Chehalis, and after it was all said and done....back in town, we decided on Wendy's drive through, and to retire to our rooms for the night.

It's been so wonderful to visit and see a little bit of the US that I hadn't before. There are so many great places to vacation, I mean, visit for work, in our country! Can't wait to see more!!

June 23, 2009

A little speaking engagement, Whidbey Island and Kerry Park!

Our day started off with a yummy birthday breakfast for Chris at Denny's! It's been YEARS since I'd had a Grand Slam...but it was pretty tasty! Great way to start off our day!!

Next it was my boss giving a great speech at a local NARPM chapter meeting. I hadn't seen Albert in action yet in front of a crowd - he's really pretty amazing. Maybe I'll be able to get up enough nerve to address an audience like that! I just hope I'm not going to have to do it too soon!!

After that, it was more driving to visit some other customers. I'll say that it's not 100% scary with my boss driving...I mean, he does use his headset while talking on the phone in the car. Isla (the lovingly nicknamed Australian speaking Garmin) giving us directions, Albert on the phone, Chris in the front seat trying to direct traffic, Chris and I in the backseat reminding our driver of red and green lights....all in a day's work!!

We got to take the ferry to Whidbey Island, and it was awesome again. We got to take our car on this time, so it was even a little bit more fun. The drive out to visit our customer out there was so green!! Seriously, we were spoiled with great weather, and beautiful views on our driving. It was hard to remember that we were actually working! :)

The folks in Whidbey told us that we should take the other route back to town, and we decided to give it a shot. It was the best suggestion. We stopped at the bridge at Deception Point and had to get out to get a better look at the view - AMAZING!! I decided to bust out the camera. We had some fun documenting our sales trip here! :)

There was something about Charles Whidbey being duped by the folks that told him to take this path in the 1790s, and so he named it Deception Pass - clever!

It was GORGEOUS!! This is my work crew - Albert, Chris, Chris and me! :)

Water, and a really big bridge. Both were cool!

When we were walking back to the car, I noticed these names written on the wall. I said for them to get near their names....and they posed like this without any direction. I love this pic!!

We found an awesome little sushi place in the Queen Anne district and celebrated Chris' birthday with a nice dinner!

Afterwards, we were right near the park with the great view again, so we made the quick drive there to check out the skyline at night. We ended up getting a parking ticket while we were there (oops for parking too close to a fire hydrant), but it was definitely worth it!!

Another great work day in Seattle. Just one more before we head back home!!

June 22, 2009

Bellevue, Kent, and Sammamish - Making my way around Washington!!

So, I left early this morning to catch the bus back to the airport to meet up with my work people that were flying in. I was totally stressing because the bus was running late, and I didn't want anyone to have to wait around for me. Luckily, they were still at baggage claim when I got there, so it all worked out great!

We were off to pick up our other coworker, and then on our way to visit customers. We went to Bellevue and Kent today, and the more we get to see of Washington, the more I see how beautiful it is! The customer visits were great, and makes me more excited about starting to work with my own customers!! :)

I had the work folks drop me off at the airport and I hopped on more public transit to meet up with Brett and Eric at the Bellevue Park & Ride. I was a little nervous that I wasn't on the right bus, but when I got off, I saw their smiling faces, and knew I was in the right place.

We got to take the pretty drive through Sammamish to Marisa and Eric's house. Talk about gorgeous!! Their place was great, and the view was to die for. Right out their back windows, is Lake Sammamish!

Marisa whipped us up some really yummy risotto....I don't think I'd ever had it before, but I really liked it, so maybe I'll have to make some myself (yeah right!). We had pudding for dessert....and I even ate the strawberry! :)

It was so wonderful to get to spend time with both Marisa AND Eric and see their new place!! Now it's their turn to visit us! :)

June 21, 2009

Sunday in Seattle

I was excited to get up to catch the bus to get to Ballard to attend Mars Hill Church. We met a really nice Mom and her son, Cherylanne and Josh, while waiting, and had a great time chatting with them on the way there. Mark Driscoll was great, and we both enjoyed a Sunday at a different church than the norm.

We headed out to have lunch at The Lockspot Cafe.

We spent a little bit of the afternoon at the Ballard Locks. We were fortunate to catch a few boats being lowered to get to the other side of the water while we were there.

Thanks to the iPhone and Brett's great sense of direction, we were able to rely on public transportation the entire weekend. We'd been told about Kerry Park near Queen Anne to see the best view of the Seattle skyline, and got ourselves up there. The buses only took us so far....there was quite a hike to get to the park, but it was worth the effort.

A recommendation from Marisa took us to Wasabi Bistro for dinner on Sunday night.

When we were on one of the buses in the afternoon, a stranger said that we had to take a ferry ride while we were in Seattle, so we decided to listen to his advice. After dinner, we walked down to the ferry docks and caught the last ferry to and back from Bainbridge Island.

Having Brett here in Seattle with me has been such a treat. I'm off to meet up with my work folk tomorrow while he'll be slaving away in the hotel before we meet up again for dinner. :)

June 20, 2009

Saturday in Seattle

Brett and I made it to Seattle!! Our flight left super duper early this morning....6am.....same as 3 other flights out of Santa Barbara. If you've been to the SB airport, you know it's not very big, so why there are that many flights leaving from that small of a place all at the same time is beyond me...but we made it out.

After getting to Seattle, we found where we were supposed to be, and immediately went out walking. It's the home of Starbucks here....there were signs, and stores, on every corner. Sometimes two to a corner! Crazy!!

Seattle reminds me of San Francisco with all of the steep roads. We went downhill, towards the water, and made our way to Pike Market. This is the famous place where they throw the fish.

Since we couldn't take any fish home with us to cook, we asked one of the market men where we would be able to eat some there at the market, and have it already cooked. Lucky for us, we asked the right man, and enjoyed some fish and chips at Jack's. It was really tasty!!

I just had to stop in the first ever Starbucks to get a drink. The line was crazy long, but it was worth it for the pictures! :)

We kept on our walking path, and made it to the Space Needle in Seattle Center. We didn't go up in the building, but instead decided to go through the Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project.

The outside of the building was all different colors, and the perfect backdrop for a fun picture, and course a JUMP shot!

We pretty much walked the entire city, and then we walked some more to meet up with Eric for the Mariners vs Razorbacks baseball game at Safeco Field. It was a super exciting game, with the home team pulling out the win!

Great first day in Seattle. Brett and I both were saying all day how beautiful it is up here!! Granted, we had really great weather, but it's still really wonderful to get to see a new part of our country!

June 19, 2009

Friday - comes the same time every week!!

Whoa, I can't believe it's Friday again already. I'm rather enjoying the speed at which the weeks go by now that I'm working again! Since I haven't posted anything since Monday, I thought I'd journal are a few random thoughts from this week.

TUESDAY - When I got home from work, I checked the mail, and heard a rustling noise across the street. I looked to see what could be causing this ruckus. In broad daylight, there was a skunk across the street digging in the neighbor's yard!! I really think these smelly creatures are pretty cute....but if I got sprayed by one, I'm sure I'd feel VERY differently.

So....I snapped this picture with my phone from FAR away. I did run in to get my zoom lens, but by the time I got back outside, he was gone.

I had the yummiest $4 shrimp tacos for dinner on Tuesday night. Brett and DJ swung by to get me, and we tried out the Mexican food place right near Blenders on the Mesa. I'd heard it was good from a co-worker, and she was right. It's something like Salsa Fresca or something like that.....but anyways, it was really good!!!

WEDNESDAY - SYTYCD night!! I went over to DJ's for dinner.....with about 20 other people. No joke. Everyone was there (except Brett, he was working...They are trying to get out some really awesome updates right now, so he's putting in long hours!). Jeff was slaving away in the kitchen making Mexican Pizzas....and they were delicious!!

I wasn't that impressed with the show this week.....but I still love it. One of the girls there had been at the taping the night before in LA, and that is totally something that I want to do now!! (I already signed up a few of us to get tickets!! Fingers crossed that we get some before the end of the season!!)

THURSDAY - I'm one step closer to getting my CA license plates. I went to the DMV early in the morning with the things that they told me I had to get from the last time I went - SMOG, and the power of attorney from my leasing company. My # for waiting was 007. When my # was called, I was to report to booth 7. After getting done what needed to be done, I got a new temp sticker for my window....and it had a 7 on it! Lucky 7s!! :) How cool! I'm trying to decide now, between now and when I have to go back again, if I should bite the bullet and get a personalized plate. It's a lot less expensive here in CA to do that, so I might just do it....but I'm having one heck of a time trying to figure out what I'd put. The one I really wanted (ALTHNGZ) is already taken. Got any other ideas???

After work, I spent about an hour wandering aimlessly through Michaels....picking up little things here and there....and when I got home, I was motivated to finally hang things on the big wall in my room. I've had the picture frames sitting on the floor at the end of my bed for over a month now. I have such a hard time committing to what I want to put on the wall!! I went ahead and hung all the frames in an un-orderly fashion, and I'm kind of liking it. I need to now print pictures for half of the frames, but hey, they are on the wall!!

FRIDAY - YAY!! It's Friday!! This week at work has been great. I'm super happy with my job, and I'm really enjoying it too! I got my territory (FL, GA and one of the Carolinas) so now it's real!! I did my first presentation/demo to my co-worker, and it was fun. I'm excited about actually getting to talk to customers here in the next few weeks.

This is silly, and really very embarassing....but I'm not too proud to share. So, it's pretty cold in our offices. After lunch today, I asked if anyone had a jacket or something that I could borrow. Linn pulled this 2X AppFolio shirt out of her drawer....and I put it on. We use all Macs at our office....so knowing how ridiculous I looked, I went ahead and used PhotoBooth to snap a quick picture of me. Totally dorky, with my headphones, at work. Hope you enjoy! :)

Ok...that's all for now. I have to pack!! Brett and I are headed to Seattle tomorrow morning......at 6am (ugh)....for the weekend. I have to be there for work Monday - Thursday, and so we decided to make a weekend trip out of it for the two of us. We've both been wanting to visit there....so it works out perfectly!!

Ok...I'm off to pack. Hope you all have a great weekend!! :)