Monday, June 29, 2009


I haven't proofread ANY of the past 4 posts...please excuse any typos :)


No, not me.  Marleen Eilene (oh, wait, Elizabeth).

Friday I went through security again and this time I got on a plane!  I was heading to San Diego to see Marleen.  It had been close to a year since I had seen her.  We both left Boulder...smarty pants went to get her PhD in Illinois and here I am in San Francisco.  Hearing that she was going to be a quick flight away I decided to crash her conference and spend a little girl time by the pool!

We had SO much fun and I am pretty sure my cheeks are still sore and abs a bit tighter from all of the laughing.  

Dinner in downtown San Diego.  We managed to see this restaurant and that was about all outside of the two towers of the Sheraton!

You see, Marleen and I are on the same page...dinner, and back to the room to enjoy a little in room movie action and candy action!  I am pretty sure we didn't see 11 either night.  A very relaxing a perfect weekend! daiquiris!  We pretty much had this pool to ourselves which was probably good because I am sure people would wonder what was so funny all day!  Oh, that's just us...we are HILARIOUS!

As I mentioned Marleen was in town on business.  Here you can see that she was on the agenda for a little speaking engagement.  I hear it went great!!

Thanks to Marleen for a GREAT weekend.  Let's do it again SOONER rather than later!

Gab comes to visit

On Monday we got a house guest.  Gabrielle traveled from Dallas all by herself (apparently she is a pro at this) to visit the family in San Francisco.  She stayed with Kyle and Chrissie on Saturday and Sunday and moved into our house on Monday.  

Gab was a huge help during the morning with Kayla and Tanner at the zoo and then in the afternoon we took off for an adventure in Chinatown.  
Gab showing her feathers at the zoo
Gab at the entrance to Chinatown!

Tuesday Libby was nice enough to invite us down for a day of swimming and a fajita dinner!
Chrissie, Natalie, and Gab enjoying the warm weather and wonderful pool!
Based on his glasses I am thinking his judgement might be VERY impaired.  :)
Gab, Chrissie, and Natalie tanning their arms.
Thanks to our hosts; Libby, (Kayla), Mia and Steve (next time we will get him on camera!).  It was a terrific day!!

On Wednesday it was time to say goodbye to Gab :-(.  We traveled to the airport and I got to take a trip through security without getting on the plane (my kind of trip to the airport!).  After a slight delay Gab was on her way home.  It was a great visit and hopefully Gab felt the same way!!


Father's Day.  

Of course we were both missing spending the day with our dads but we made it a great day anyway!  

This being Scott's first Father's Day (yes, being a dad to Lola counts) we decided to head out to dinner.  
Home after a delicious sushi dinner.
It might have been Father's Day but I needed a picture with the princess too!

Happy Father's Day (ok, slightly belated) to:
Bernie.  We all miss you!

Get ready...

Lots of overdue recaps are getting ready to be thrown your way...

It all started with Father's Day weekend and a trip to Twain Harte.  Lola didn't make the trip with us this time so we were able to get out and explore all the summer activities the town had to offer.  
Scott relaxing on the deck (not too bad, eh?)
We made a little journey to Ed's Bar.  Interesting place.  Definitely a small town feel!  But a REALLY fun time.
Kim the bartender (apparently this seemed like a good idea at the time)

After a night at Ed's we decided we would enjoy the next day relaxing by the Lake.
The Lake!
I would like you to recall the last time you had a snow cone.  My blueberry/banana one was WONDERFUL!
Putt Putt!  (no, Scott didn't start smoking, that is a lollipop!) Scott won (does it count if I won the front 9?)

Of course Barbara put Scott to work...
Getting ready to hammer the nails down in the deck.
And then into the attic to fix the fan.

All the hard work was well worth it!  We had a great weekend of relaxing and enjoying summer (which is apparently taking a hiatus from San Francisco for a few months).  

Monday, June 15, 2009


As I mentioned last week, I was on vacation.  This is because my "employers" were on vacation. Lucky for Scott and me, they invited us along for a few days of their Calistoga get away.  We intended to spend two nights up there but the sun, fun and company sucked us in for a third night.  It was a GREAT long weekend with lots of suntans to show for it :)! 

The weekend in pictures...
Libby teaching Mia how to chop an onion (she did a fabulous job!)
Dinner on night #1
Scott and Kyle waiting for the ladies to sit down so we could eat!!
Kayla Sue showing off her new floaty in the pool
Too cute!
Tanner working it out in his entertainment gym
I was catching up on some VERY important reading
Kyle catching any extra minute of sleep he can
There really just can't be enough pictures of this one!
Of course Lola enjoyed her vacation too!
Saturday the Hyland family came up to join the fun!  Of course it was great to see them and I got to enjoy some pool time with Hanna and Paisley.  Note my fancy goggles...Chrissie was nice enough to let me borrow hers!
Scott and Tommy getting in a little bocce ball

*I swear Chrissie and Cortney were there but somehow I lack photographic evidence. I do have a nice video of Chrissie's flip turn in the pool...won't share it though as I would like to keep my job!

I cannot express how happy I was to find some summer out here in Northern California. Everyone tried to tell me how bad the summers were here but I was definitely not expecting this! It is seriously foggy and cloudy almost every day.  Luckily the pool in Calistoga was heated up to 88 and the air temp was around 75 everyday.  While it made for nice laying out weather, it was also perfect for a run.  Scott and I ticked off 6 miles on the Silverado Trail.  As Scott put it, "Boulder doesn't have this", as he pointed out the rows and rows of growing grapes.  It really was gorgeous and to be able to hit the pool when we got back was even better!

One other note...did you know when you are stargazing you actually see satellites flying by? They look like really quickly moving stars as the cruise across the horizon.  Take a look on the next really clear night!  

I will leave you with a little video for your entertainment (Scott might have had one too many glasses of vino!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A few reviews...

Since I am on "vacation" this week I have had a little spare time to catch up on some reading and movie viewing.  I wanted to share a few favorites with you...

I should probably preface this with my taste in books.  The first books I can really recall enjoying are my "death books" as my dad termed them.  They were all by Lurlene McDaniel and not one of them was happy.  In fact, 99% of them dealt with childhood cancer.  Well, this bizarre theme has continued throughout my life as far as my enjoyment of books.  I mostly stick to non fiction but I can handle a fiction book as long as I am learning something from it (i.e.-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime-while fiction, it did teach me a lot about autism).  Sybil was another recent favorite (getting the picture here).  I even found myself in the "parents with troubled child" section of a bookstore recently picking out a new read.  I guess I just like to learn something when I read (and apparently about terrible things).  

So, the point of that last paragraph wasn't to freak anyone out, but to explain that I prefer non fiction reads.  The next two books are true stories...
This book was recommended to me by Cortney and it is a GREAT (and fast) read.  While it does deal with cancer it truly is uplifting and Kelly has some great insight and advice to give to her readers.
Again, a fast and fun read.  Not only is Kristin hilarious but the book is actually really good (not a hopeless attempt of a celebrity to get a little extra cash).  It gets a little all over the place at times but I think that is how my brain works so I am getting through it just fine.

Both of these would be great beach reads if you are planning a vacation.  Also, neither are about odd illnesses or anything that doesn't come out with a silver lining!

Movies...let's see...

Revolutionary Road-left both Scott and I going, "hum...".  Never really felt like you knew the characters so you weren't really invested in what happens to them. Great acting though so worth a watch.

Seven Pounds-Scott found it a bit slow up front but thought it recovered at the end.  I really enjoyed the whole movie.

Doubt-different than expected but definitely better than expected.  Rent it.

Ok, enough from me...time to run (ugh)!

Monday, June 8, 2009


That is what this weekend made me!  By Sunday I was completely spent and ended up spending 99% of the day on the couch.  It was nice, though, since it seems that is a rare way to spend a day around here!  

It all started Thursday with a trip to the Strand's for dinner.  Always a good time and I never go home thirsty :).  

Friday, Chrissie had to fight the city on their error and so we took a trip to City Hall.  WOW!  I have driven by this place multiple times but haven't been inside.  GO INSIDE!  It is absolutely gorgeous in there.  I think I could spend the day people watching there too.  There were people doing business, holding meetings, press conferences, and even getting married.  I thought about giving Scott and ring and having him come meet me but preferred him alive instead of dead of shock!  KIDDING of course...

After a much needed nap Scott and headed out to meet the Strand fam (sans kids) for dinner at Terzo.  Once again a great dining experience in San Francisco and we will make a return trip at some point undoubtedly.  Of course, we have about a million other places to try first!  

Chrissie and I actually done up for a change! 
(our normal here and here)
Kyle, Chrissie, me, Scott

Saturday morning I woke with the thought, "why did I sign us up for this half marathon?".  And the answer quickly became, "to get my lazy self out of bed and have some exercise before our next social activity!"  And that is exactly what we did.  Ran.  Lucky for us it was a gorgeous day in the city and we headed out to the coast and I pretended that I was in Hawaii the entire time (3 months away!).  

Speaking of 3...

As for the activity on Saturday...Ian's third birthday party.  We will just call this organized chaos.  There were 20+ kids running in and out of the jumpy castle and weaving between the legs of chatting adults.  There is something about that energy that really is just so fun.  Who can argue with listening to little kids having fun and giggling while enjoying catching up with friends?
Me and Robert (and the reason I was probably so tired on Sunday!)
The night ended with a little concert by all the kiddos

Well, it is a good thing I was so tired on Sunday or this post would be even longer and more boring than it already it is!  Happy Monday everyone! 

Something about this video reminds me of a Christmas video or two from my childhood!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Wine Guy

blog.. blog.. blog!  When I first met Steph almost a year ago the only time I really felt our "more than a decade" age difference was when she would reference all the social media products out there (facebook, twitter, blogging etc.)  Now for the record I did have a facebook page, but had it so tightly secured that I think I only had 3 friends on it.  Whereas Steph had more than 300!  So while on our long journey out here moving Steph from Colorado to SF when Steph mentioned she was going to start a blog, I was somewhat unsure how it would all turn out. I loved the premise for it of course, as it would be a great way for family and friends to keep up with Steph and I and of course our furry friend Lola, but was a bit worried that this would be out there for anyone to read outside of our close circle.  I must admit this blog idea has been amazing, as not only has it kept Steph's family and friends informed, but many of my friends outside of SF have truly enjoyed catching up on our weekly/daily activities.  So I feel fortunate to be able to step in today and send out my first blog ever!  Yes I have officially become a blogger... SCARY!

My topic of the day will be WINE...
As you have seen from Steph's many posts in the past we love to go to Napa/Sonoma and taste, drink wine.  Most of my friends love wine and some (Kyle) are even obsessed with wine. Kyle has a large wine fridge filled with wine that he can't drink for 15 years and about 20 cases sprawled out on his floor next to the fridge!  He definitely is on the higher end of the scale with regards to being a  "wino".  Kyle has definitely sucked me in to learning and tasting/trying wines from other regions of the world and not just California.  Kyle loves Bordeaux from France and thus why he has so much wine he can't drink until 2025, because most Bordeaux will reach their peak 15-20 years after they hit the market.  
The wino (and future trainee)

I on the other had would describe myself as in the middle of the "wino" pack. I love trying new wines but honestly am looking for that wine that I love and also cost in the $10-$15 dollar range, and trust me they are out there.  You typically won't find many of these wines at the winery especially in Napa.  I LOVE Napa wines especially Napa cabernet sauvignon, however to find one in this price range is very hard.  

Lately Steph and I have been really into drinking Sauvignon Blanc wines.  As the weather has changed a bit in SF and it's a bit hotter, sitting in our backyard with a chilled glass of a crisp, light, citrus Sauvignon Blanc hits the spot.  Here are a few bottles that Steph and I have really enjoyed and the best of all they are all less than $15 dollars a bottle.

If you like wine and want to start learning a bit more about it, I suggest getting together with a few friends on a Friday/Saturday night and play some wine games. My favorite is to do some blind tastings.  Buy three wines (priced from low to high) and cover them up so no one knows which wine is in which bag.  Try all three of the wines and try and guess which one was the cheapest and which is the most expensive. You will almost always be amazed at how it turns out and which one is your favorite.  For the more experienced drinkers try buying one varietal from one winery but from three different years and try and see if  you can taste the difference!!

That is the uniqueness of wine, each year is so different from the other.  I hope you enjoyed my first entry.  I will leave you with this, no matter what anyone says, the reason to drink wine is because you like it, not to prove how much you think you know.  Wine drinking is individual and so is your taste so don't let anyone make you feel you don't know what your doing! 

Proof-me enjoying a bottle of Scott wine!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


On behalf of my mom and dad...

This guy is a Dyson vacuum.  I have heard that this might be the greatest invention ever, but I didn't know how great until I talked to my dad today.  First, my dad is not one to rave about household appliances unless it is in the form of serious electronics (speakers, computers, TVs, etc...).  So to hear that he had a vacuum story took me by surprise and frankly I thought it was going to involve it blowing up or something to that effect.

Quite wrong.  Apparently they borrowed my aunt's and ran it through the downstairs of our house and managed to fill up half a trash bag full of gunk from the carpets.  Now, my mom keeps a CLEAN house and never slacks on her vacuuming duties so this is an impressive amount of crap to suck out of the carpets.  Same story upstairs too!  

Kind of crazy that a little machine can create so much power.

So, to those seeking a new vacuum...spend the $500 and pick up a Dyson today!  Your allergies will thank you!

Saturday at the park

The ballpark that is!!!  


Scott and I got all suited up to cheer for our respective teams and headed to the stadium.

As you can see over my shoulder I wasn't the only Cards fan there (actually there were LOTS)

All my red paid off as the Cardinals pulled out a victory!  Although I will have to say I felt really bad for the little boy sitting next to us at the game.  He was all of 7 and had his glove ready to catch a foul ball and was decked out head to toe in Giants gear.  Well, I was showing my St. Louis pride in clothing and spirit and he seemed pretty upset that I was cheering for the opposing team.  I thought about taking it down a notch but decided he had to learn sometime, right?!  

It was great fun and wonderful to see my Cardinals play.  It did make me realize how long it has been since I have truly paid a ton of attention to our roster though since I didn't know half of the players (I know, I am a bad fan).  BUT, we did see Pujols knock one out of the park, which, regardless of who you are rooting for is pretty spectacular!  

Ok, the rest will be told in pictures:

Giants/Cardinals second layers!
All Star ballot (being held in St. Louis-how fitting).  I love filling these out.  I have very find memories of going to games with my mom and dad and punching out the holes with Dad's keys.

Scott showing us that St. Louis isn't so bad after all and enjoying a Budweiser.
Representing my journey.  Cardinals (St. Louis), Coors (Colorado), and Giants (San Francisco)

Nothing quite like baseball season!  GO CARDS and Giants!