Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Well with the imminent arrival of Santa Clause tomorrow night, I wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas... or a wonderful holiday... whatever you celebrate!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Follies

This winter has come on really quickly. We were really lucky to be in the suite for Dan's work at the Big 12 Championship. Unfortunately, the game wasn't that exciting but hey at least we were in the heat. The heat is also probably why I fell asleep towards the end of the game. Hey, when you're not drinking and its 10pm, you get tired! Blame it on pregnancy, blame it on a boring blow out of a game... whatever... I am only slightly ashamed that I fell asleep sitting next to one of Dan's clients. At least she thought it was funny.

My little man Tristan is really active now. He actually runs... I mean... RUNS everywhere. Its like all of a sudden he wants to catch up for the last 15 months when he was just hanging out in one spot. To that end, he is really hard to get a clear picture of anymore. He won't sit still. My sister asked me to take a picture of him for their Christmas card and I had a pretty hard time getting very many that were any good. The one above actually turned out ok. Another funny thing about him lately is that he is full on with the adult food... give him a chicken pattie fresh from the microwave and he is happier than a pig in sh&*. (Dan would disagree with that statement because he says pigs don't actually roll around in their own feces... but whatever.)
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season so far.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Rabbit Died...

Well, its official. I am 12 weeks pregnant today. I feel like the last two months have been the longest months of my life, just waiting to see if everything is "ok" and we actually make it to the 12 week mark. I'm an odds person and once I found out that my odds for a miscarriage after we saw or heard the heartbeat went down to less than 5%, I felt so much better. When we actually saw the ultrasound and the heartbeat, I felt even more relaxed. Dan is really excited too and surprises me daily when he either acts nonchalant or brings up some small detail of how we'll raise our child. I guess we're both adjusting and getting used to the idea.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mizzou Homecoming 08

We had a great time at Homecoming for many reasons.

1. My sorority had an informal reunion tailgate that allowed us to see many familiar faces and their spawn.

2. Some of Dan's fraternity brothers always tailgate at the games, and just happened to be in the same lot as the Theta tailgate.

3. Mizzou beat Colorado in a SHUTOUT!!!

Here's a pic of all the old sorority gals, it was great to see them and their families. Its weird how time flies, huh?

The Mansions of Newport, RI

Last week when I was in Providence, Rhode Island for work, we took a side trip to Newport for the day. First of all, Rhode Island is basically an annex to Boston. They are fans of all the Boston teams and there was not a restaurant that didn't serve "chowda" or New England Clam Chowder as most would say it. So our little trip to Newport was surprising on many levels including the beautiful mansion tour they tout to the tourists. We, of course, could not pass up the opportunity to take a look. Below are a few pictures from the mansion tour, and the cliff walk.
You can go into the mansions but we were too late since that morning I was too busy beating my boss at Madden 09 on Xbox. Yeah, it was my first time playing... ever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dan & Isiah

This past weekend we went to Columbia for the Mizzou game. Alas, we lost. But the weekend wasn't an entire bust, we got to spend time with the family. Dan was playing with our nephew, Isiah, or rather he was playing with the tractors and Isiah joined in. Amy and I watched from inside the house and really enjoyed watching the boys.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Real Life Gossip Girls

Alicia, Shawn, Gannon, Sam & Jill

Last week when I was in NY, I attended the 21st birthday party of my new boss's son. Well he's really my boss's boss... but you get the point. All of his children attend NYU, though he lives in Detroit. He asked that Shawn, my boss... (are you following this?) arrange for a small party at a great place, the Sixth Ward. This is the same bar where I had my going away party, and is owned by a great friend, James.
The Orley Family, my boss's boss is the third from the right.

What did I expect? I expected a bunch of 21 year olds to come in and act stupid, drink a ton of shots and have to go home by 11 because they haven't quite grasped how to handle liquor yet. Mind you, it is a Tuesday night and thus a school night.

Not quite...

Here's what we got, real life Gossip Girl. If you haven't seen the show, it revolves around the lives of the NY elite high school kids. They drink and have more adult experiences than any high school kid I ever knew. They also have luxuries that put my Gap wardrobe to shame.

I decided I needed proof of these real life Gossip Girls so I randomly went around taking pictures of them under the ruse of being the party photographer. I am sorry to say that I don't think I got Keith Richards' daughter or Sting's son in any of my pics even though they were in attendance. Just for the record, I did not socialize with these kids... I merely sat at the edge of the bar and watched them like they were in a fishbowl. I'm not jealous of them, it has to be exhausting to live their life. I'm already tired enough as it is.

What's with the plaid? Don't worry, it's probably Gucci plaid... very chic.

Back at New Horizons!

I am happy to announce that on 9/22 I accepted a job back at my old home, New Horizons. I'll be doing Marketing for New Horizons of the Northeast... which means NYC, Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Connecticut. I spent last week traveling around to some of the offices that I'll be supporting and found that while many things have changed, plenty has stayed the same. It's great to know that so many of my old friends are still around and in some ways I can pick up with them where I left off.

I'll be primarily working from home, which I love. I get so much more done and my life is primarily run through this wonderful invention called a cell phone. All I can say is, I love my bluetooth headset, it never leaves my ear. I guess that just confirms that I am a total geek.

I am really excited about this new venture and happy to say that for the first time since we left NY, I feel like I'm home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I quit my job! Yay!

I won't go into the specifics but while I'm on a roll in sharing all the news... I quit my job! It just ended up being a really bad fit and was a very dramatic situation at the time. Now that I've had time to reflect on it and the anger, stress that came along with the situation, I realize it was just the wrong position for me. Along with Dan, I made the decision to quit and find something better. So, I'm home full time right now enjoying unemployment. Fortunately Dan and I are in a very good position to do this so the normal worries of not having a job don't necessarily apply to our situation. However, if I sit at home forever, my mind will go to mush. There's only so many days I can watch "The View" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" before I will start to go insane. My time off is not without great perks, however, since I really enjoy sleeping in. :)

More to come on my next career move but for now I think I'll just take a break... or a nap... whichever I feel like doing in the moment.

This also allows me to be a stay at home mom to the cat, Monroe. She doesn't seem to notice or care, though.

Sara & Justin's Shower

My step-brother, Justin, is getting married this October and recently had the wedding shower. One of the things we've noticed since returning back to Kansas City is that our social agenda is about 1000 times more busy than it was in NY. I never knew there was so much stuff to attend that we were missing. Sometimes its not such a good thing since it keeps us really busy and I do miss having Dan all to myself but overall we've got to do a lot of things that we would have normally missed. Hopefully things slow down just a little this fall... although I don't know how that will happen with the football schedule.

Anyway... here's the link to some cute pics from Sara & Justin's shower. They live in Chicago and are enjoying the life away from home similar to what Dan & I enjoyed in NY.

Lobsterfest '08

I was invited to Lobsterfest over at the Jackman household this year. This was apparently the 6th year but my first since I've never been around before. I took Julie to be my partner in crime since the boys were at "guys weekend" down at the lake. Basically the deal was, for $25 you got unlimited beer & lobster etc. Some people chose steak instead but you get the idea. When the day came, the lobsters were flown in that morning for their inevitable death to serve as nourishment to many party goers. There were about 50 people there and overall it was a great party. Julie and I did not know how to approach breaking down the bodies of the lobsters so we offered them up to Chris Bix to finish them off. He ended up not figuring it out either...

Epitome of surf & turf...

Julie and Sam

I got to reconnect with some people from high school including these two, Mike Jacobi & Matt Kartsonis. They were hilarious. I particularly enjoyed geeking out with Jacobi over his new Blackberry.

Chris Jackman (host of Lobsterfest) and me

Sam, Bix & my newest friend Annette. We joked that we were all going to Facebook each other after the party... low & behold... Annette found me a few days later and 'friended' me.

Golfing with Matt & Lori in the country

I realized that I haven't been diligent in posting the goings ons of the Shepard Family lately. I'm going to try to catch up over the next few days.

Golfing with Matt & Lori Hill: Dan and I made a trip down to Clinton to visit Matt & Lori and go golfing a few weeks ago. We decided to go to this country golf course that is about an hour south of Clinton. Notice the tractor in the background and the gravel golf cart paths...

I had to get this pic with the tractor... priceless.

We only drink the best on the course... Busch Light (Lori says "Cheers!")

Matt & Dan pose like pros.

After golf, they tooks us to Lucas Oil Speedway for a Dirt Race. I've posted a video here but here is a pic. It was surprisingly awesome. I completed the evening with the requisite beer & corndog dinner.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charlotte Elaine Fulton, my grandma

I've been dreading posting this news but have decided that it will be good to just get it out there. My Grandmother Elaine, who I am named after, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma early in the summer. She has just completed her chemotherapy and begins radiation soon. She has been amazingly strong throughout the entire ordeal and inspiring to me. I went with her on her last chemo treatment where she schooled me on the "red devil", aptly named for its red color and ability to make your hair fall out. I took her picture to mark the occasion for her to look back on for years to come. Her doctor has been extremely positive about her prognosis and has assured us that this is "curable".

When we moved back here there were many factors that played into the decision. The first reason I usually give people is that my sisters have started to have children and we wanted to be around to see them grow up. Of course explaining the other factors usually isn't necessary because most take the first reason as enough explanation. One of the reasons I don't often share is to be with my grandmother. I can't explain the relationship we have other than to say we are connected in some way. She understands me like no one else and I'd like to think that I understand her better than most. I missed having her in my life to guide me and help navigate situations that life brings. Moving back to Kansas City brought us back together. She's wonderful and I hope I can be just like her when I grow up. Go Grandma!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lake Party Weekend

Beware: Debauchery Below!
This year was our first year at Lake Party Weekend and we really had an awesome time. Liz & Mike came in town from New York which made it so much better. I filtered out all the really bad pictures but here's some good ones from the weekend.
Dan & Mike in front of an establishment that seems to define them.

Who knew a noodle could be such a good beer bong?

Mike & Lizzie, so happy.

Julie & Doug... so happy... with wingy.

Here's the group all having a great time... wait, are those swim trunks I see on the boys' arms?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Weekend at the Lake!

We opted for a more laid back weekend at the lake this time. Julie & Doug invited the Estep family (Jeremy & Amy are Tristan's godparents) while we invited Dan's side of the family down. The kids had a great time squirting each other with waterguns for about 10 hours. I couldn't believe how long the game lasted. Isiah was fearless and barely got his lifejacket on before he ran up the slide to get in the water. At age 2, we can already tell he is going to be one we'll have to watch. I'll update this post with the link to the pictures on picasa.

We also went to the Royal's game again this weekend. This time we sat in the suite, so Dan felt much better. Good thing too, it was wicked hot! (ah, Jake, I miss you). Dan got an extra ticket this time so Dad could come along. I think he had a great time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Section 104

Many of you know that Dan has become a social sensation since taking his job here in KC. He entertains clients constantly and not a week goes by when I don't have to ask "when am I going to see you this week?" since he's always on the move. Well, sometimes he lets me tag along.

Last night he had an extra ticket to the Royals game in Section 104. Now, to give you some perspective, Dan usually sits in the front row behind home plate or in the luxury suite. He jokingly complained about having to go back to Section 104. I took a picture from our seats. Literally 12 rows behind homeplate. BUT, it's not all inclusive and it doesn't have a waitress... c'mon Dan! I think he has become extremely spoiled with these new company perks.
This is where we sat. See that jumbotron, oh yeah, Julie and I were on it doing the "shoulder dance".
See those those two guys standing? That's where Dan usually sits. He was very angry with whoever that was.
It was "Girls Night Out", so all the lovely ladies were sporting these pink hats. I only put it on at the end because it started to rain. Julie was actually there for a work event but snuck over to our seats towards the end. I took all these lovely pictures with my new camera that I purchased yesterday. You all know how much of a gadget geek I am and I happily report that this one does not disappoint. Its waterproof and even has a floaty strap incase I drop it in the lake. Uh, hello awesome!
We are off to the lake this weekend. I'm hoping to get my burn on since I've officially made it through most of the summer in my normal pasty state. I just want a little color! Hope you're looking forward to a great weekend, wherever you are!

The passing of Randy Pausch

If you haven't seen the "Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, then I would highly encourage you to do so.

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor inspired many, including me, with his final speech on how to live out your childhood dreams. I would encourage everyone to go to his website and see it if you haven't. It truely is inspiring and its a very sad thing to see him pass on.


Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a gardener!

I have moments when I really, really miss New York. Dan and I saw the movie, Sex and the City, and it made us both ache for the city. I have to remind myself often why we moved back because otherwise I know we'd be so homesick. It's weird to think that we're "homesick" for New York since it isn't really "home". The truth is, it became our home. Many members of our family is still there, even though they aren't blood relatives. Family is who you spend holidays with and who you confide in during rough times. "Home" is where your family is. Well, our family is in KC AND NYC.

So, as you can probably tell by the title of this post, I have a gardening story to share. I've been trying to find new hobbies back here in the country and one that I've been trying my hand at, is gardening.

I am fortunate to have married into a family of horticulture experts. Not only did my sister-in-law and mother-in-law major in horticulture at MU, they both have pursued it as their career. So you can guess who I went to when I decided to grow some tomatoes on my patio this summer. Amy, Dan's sister, hooked me up with some patio tomato plants. I'm proud to say that they have NOT died. In fact, they have started to bear fruit... literally. Here's a picture of my beautiful tomatoes.

Now I must admit... they aren't any bigger than a golf ball right now. But hey, these were delicious. Here are the green ones that should be ready soon!

I hope your summer is going well, wherever you are!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July at the lake

4 days of relaxing at the Lake of the Ozarks. Hmm, or should I say, 4 days of partying at the Lake of the Ozarks.... ? Yes that seems to fit better. I was so tired yesterday that I stayed home from work!

The weekend was extra special because its the first time in a long time that all my siblings and their significant others have been able to get together. Justin and Sara came down from Chicago. Bret & Josh came back from college and of course, Dan and I live here now.

Here's a great pic of whole group on Julie & Doug's dock. We quickly went through over 8 gallons of margaritas as well as too many beers to even count. I was shocked at how much we can drink! Well, not really shocked... but surprised definitely.

From the left: Me, Dan, Bix (not really a brother but a partier with us nonetheless), Sara, Julie, Doug, Josh, Bret & Justin.

Bret's girlfriend, Catie, is missing from the picture because she couldn't hang. She had to rest. It was her first time meeting the whole family so I guess it's excused.

Hope your 4th was just as much fun as ours!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Midwestern Lunch Fare

One of the things that continually shocks me about the midwest is the variety of "acceptable" lunch fare here. Each day as I stroll into the lunch room to prepare my frozen South Beach Diet meal in the microwave, I am surprised at the things people will eat for lunch. Here is a list of some of my favorites:
  • Cup O'Noodles - this is a staff favorite because its in the vending machine
  • Pizza Rolls - lovely little pizza bites that will cost you about 500 calories per bite
  • Chinese Food - The delivery guy knows this place so well he's taken to bringing the security guard free eggrolls everyday.
  • Pop Tarts
  • Bowl of Strawberries - yep, that's it. Just a bowl of strawberries for lunch.
  • Ramen Noodles with cut up hotdogs (saw this one today... the fact that I was intrigued and thought it looked good is probably not a good sign.)
  • La Michaela Frozen Meals - Also in the vending machine

Don't get me wrong, I get the convenience factor but how can you just eat 2 pop tarts for lunch and not be starving 5 minutes later? I eat my SBD meal, pudding, beef jerky, and whatever else I can get my hands on and I'm still about to chew my arm off by the time I get home and eat dinner.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proud Sister

It's official. My little brother Bret Beachner was just announced as the Captain of the football team at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. For those of you who know me, there are two teams I follow during football season... Mizzou Tigers and USF Cougars. Luckily one of them has my brother as the Quarterback and the other team is my alma mater so I can have dual loyalty and not feel bad about it. Plus they are in different divisions.

I'm very proud of Bret and all his accomplishments. The fact that his teammates recognize how great he is to elect him Captain, just validates what I've always seen. Good Job Bret!

Safe to assume what I will be doing every single Saturday from Labor Day to New Years.... watching football of course!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Socializing with KC's finest!

Dan and I had an exciting night last week as we attended the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission annual banquet. Receiving an award was Mizzou Tiger, Tony Temple for best male collegiate athlete. We tracked him down at the after party and took a picture. He's a great guy and we're looking forward to seeing him in the NFL. Him and his "5'9" of fury", as he calls it. He just recently signed with the Cleveland Browns, which is awesome for him.

Also in attendance at the VIP party was a bunch of former KC Chiefs players, including Louie Aguiar. Again, not being able to resist myself, I got a picture. You know, after a few drinks... everything seems to be a great idea. Anyway, he was a great sport about it and took a picture with me.

I also got a great call from my old gang in NYC while they were celebrating a birthday. It made me really jealous that they were out partying without me but it was good to hear from them. Miss you guys! For old times I thought I'd post one of my favorite pics. :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

$45 = Dinner & Beer for 5

Now I ask you, where in the world can you successfully feed 5 people pizza and 2 pitchers of beer for $45 total? Apparently in Kansas City you can. Specifically at Minsky's Pizza. Believe me I was a little skeptical as we walked into the joint because I'm a NYC pizza lover. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the pizza was not only good, but very cheap. Top that with two pitchers of Bud Light and you've got yourself a pretty satisfying dinner.

No, it wasn't as good as a NYC slice but for KC, it'll do just fine. (There was even half a pizza left over)


Monday, June 9, 2008


This past Friday Dan and I had the opportunity to go to Jazzoo! This event benefits the Kansas City Zoo and was sponsored primarily by his company. The dress was "creative black tie" which meant that most of the men wore tuxedo on top and shorts on the bottom. Trust me, I did not believe it until I saw it. I will post the link once all the pics are on their website. It was a great time and really helped us to launch off our summer.
We also had a great time at the lake celebrating our friend Clint's birthday. I posted the pics on picasa here: http://picasaweb.google.com/samantha.shepard/LakeClintSBirthday.
Over the past week we've been hit with some crazy midwestern weather but luckily we've been fine. So for those of you in NYC, I feel bad about your heatwave b/c even though we are trying to dodge tornados, those subways can be awful in the summer! Still missing NYC though. :)
Hope your summer is off to a great start!

Monday, June 2, 2008

6 Years and Going Strong!

June 1st marked 6 years for Dan & I. To celebrate we went to Capital Grille on the Plaza and had a great time. I can't believe that its been 6 years, and yet sometimes it feels like its been forever.

I thought this picture of Dan and Isiah was so cute. They are both so serious.
I'll sign off for now. Have a good day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Welcome to the Shepard Family Chronicles

After many different thoughts on how to keep everyone informed across the country of how life is back in KC for Dan & I (and Monroe), I've decided to start this blog. We'll see how it goes.

We just returned last night from being down at the lake for the weekend. My little nephew, Tristan, simply must be the happiest baby in the world. He laughs constantly and enjoys playing by himself or with anyone who will join him. We spent most of our days on Julie & Doug's dock (my sister & brother in law) where Tristan enjoyed his "johnny jump-up". The picture captures it perfectly.
Dan and I just received our furniture this morning, which for those of you who know, has been a nightmare. Its taken over a month... we'll just leave it at that.
So, tonight will be like Christmas, opening all our boxes. Half of me wants it to just disappear and the other half is excited to have my stuff. I have a feeling my apartment will not be clean for a while.
So that'll be it for now. But I hope to "blog" often so those of you who'd like to know can see what is going on with the Shepard Family. Later!