Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I Tweet...

Image Credit

Alright friends & family. I know many of you think that I'm nuts because I'm on twitter and foursquare. I have an active Facebook account and I even put videos of my darling daughter on You Tube. It's silly you say. You don't want to know when I'm using the facilities. You don't care if I'm having turkey for lunch.

I get it.

What you don't get is that the social world via the internet is a frontier that will revolutionize the way people interact. I want to know how my daughter talks to her friends. I want to know how the "bad guys" find their targets. I want to be very informed. So I tweet… and now you know. :) And I continue to tweet because I enjoy meeting people I would never have met before. So if you want to learn how to do it, just ask me. It's actually really easy and not nearly as crazy as you think.

Oh and also because it's fun.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I feel like pumpkin pie

Last weekend Dan and I took Laina to her first Numismatic Society Money Show. What does that mean? It means there was a bunch of Senior Citizens who gathered at Lenexa Community Center to buy/sell/trade their old money. I personally don't get it but Dan is crazy about money (as if I needed to say that) and really enjoys collecting it. This show happens once/year so we decided to head on over there and see what they had.

I wasn't prepared for what happened.

They had pumpkin pie.

Perfectly shaped triangle individual pieces of pumpkin pie for sale served on a styrofoam dessert plate with plastic wrap covering it.

What is it about little concession stands where the goods have been donated by the wife of the man who runs the event that make me feel so at home? Maybe it's because I grew up with a Grandma who made the best pumpkin pie… and just about anything else that had at least a stick of butter in it… Maybe it's because Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE meal of the year…. Or maybe it's just because fall is here and pumpkin pie served on a tiny little styrofoam dessert plate sounds delicious.

Maybe I will make a little pumpkin pie. From the can of course… what do you think I am, Martha?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From here to Timbuktu

The Shepards have been traveling like mad the past few months. I'd love to blame my lack of blogging on work but sadly that's just my own procrastination that turned into a ridiculously long hiatus.


This past summer I had the privilege to travel to two conferences in Washington D.C. The first one was for Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference which was my first time attending and the most awesome geek trip I've ever taken. The second time was for my company's international conference which was even more tiring than the first trip since my night owl co-workers were all there. You'd think that after a summer full of trips to the East Coast we'd be done. Well you would be wrong, my friend.


Dan has recently started his new job and has been traveling all over the South in his new territory of Ark, TN & Miss. So let's take a tally… we conquered the East Coast (that is clear), Dan is off conquering the Bible Belt and what does that leave? The Western US? Oh well let me just tell you that I recently returned from a trip to Seattle where I visited Microsoft's Campus…


So yes, we have been from here to Timbuktu and we made all the areas in between our ______. (insert your word of choice, I personally like "friend")



Friday, August 6, 2010

Kitty Love Hurts

We've been trying to show Laina that petting the cat is something that can be fun, but we have to be GENTLE... so far the cat has been tolerant of Laina. The more and more that she discovers, the more and more we have to show her the ways of the world. This is just one little glimpse into that.

Laina's First Year

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1 Year of Bears

As a gift from our close friends, Laina got 1 full year of bears! So each month, she will receive a new bear. The first two months have already proven to be very cute themed bears so I'm excited to see the future ones. Thanks Shawn & Jill for such a fun & memorable gift!

Laina and Mr. June:

Laina and Mr. July (with Mr. June hangin out)
As a side note, Dan was disappointed it wasn't 1 year of beer even though the inappropriate nature of that as a gift for a toddler was obvious.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zootiful Life

We went to the zoo and it was H-O-T.... Laina still enjoyed seeing the sights and being outside, despite the amount of sweat that was coming out of our pores. I think she really enjoyed watching the animals sleep, especially when they were toe to toe with her.

Baby Girl On The Move!

Laina has been considering her options when traveling lately. "Do I take the mature, more accepted route of transportation by walking? Or do I go with the faster more efficient method of crawling... decisions, decisions." Usually she takes a couple steps and then get impatient and proceeds to crawl to her destination. However, more recently she has started to WALK there. That's right, my tiny little baby girl is walking. The doctor said she was officially considered a walker once she consistently took 5 steps or more on her own. Well that occurred officially on July 21st, 2010 when she went from point A to point B (A=Dan, B=Me) on her own two feet. We were so proud but it was a few more weeks before we actually got it on tape. You can see the video here:

We are so excited about this milestone. It has been such an exciting year and I can't wait for the coming months as her language expands to include more than mama & ball.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Laina's First Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Laina's first birthday party. It poured rain just before the party was about to start but then the clouds parted to a beautiful afternoon! Laina really enjoyed her cupcake (although she wasn't sure about the icing and really wasn't sure about everyone staring at her while she ate it...). She got lots of great presents including clothes, toys and some keepsakes like a silver engraved cup from "GG" aka Great Grandmother Elaine.
I tried to make everything I could from the cupcake picks to the happy birthday pennant banner to the shrimp & watermelon ceviche. The light was incredible that day which meant all the pictures came out wonky. Enjoy nonetheless.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wedding Bliss

It only has taken me 3 weeks to finally get this post up about Kelly's Wedding.

Kelly & Kevin's wedding was picture perfect over Memorial Day weekend. We had such a good time celebrating their day! See pics below.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Laina!

Laina is ONE today! I can't believe it was one year ago that I was at the hospital awaiting her arrival. Little did I know she would not make her appearance until late into the evening. All the cliches are true, your life changes when you have kids, they're the best thing that ever happened to you, life feels more complete once you have children... but I never could have anticipated how true they'd be. So to celebrate I thought I'd write a little letter to Laina to read when she gets older.

Letter to my daughter:

When I first thought of having kids, I imagined having a little girl I could spend my days with, helping her navigate the world. I imagined a little girl who would light up when she saw me with a spark that only I could see. I imagined being filled with a love that I could never have known existed. You made all those dreams become reality. You are so fun every single day and are the greatest reason in the world to jump out of bed every morning. Your smile makes me melt and every time you learn a new skill my heart swells with so much pride. Thank you dearest daughter for giving me more than I could have ever known to ask for in motherhood. I love you so much and always will. Happy First Birthday!
Mommy, Mama, Ma, Mother.... Me.

Friday, June 4, 2010

RIP Claire

Did you ever meet someone briefly but they left such an impression that you'll never forget them?

That was Claire for me.

I worked with Claire briefly at News America Marketing. One of the first company events I went to was her soon to be husband's promotion party. He was newly promoted to a job within the company in Australia. He'd met Claire while working at NAM and she was going with him. They were to be married and live happily ever after. He said during the party "Above all, I want to thank Claire" and they exchanged a loving look that I will never forget. It's like my mind took a polaroid.

Claire's fiancee moved to Australia preparing for her to move there. And then everything changed. Next thing I remember is an announcement that Claire was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. Stage 4. They married soon after.  That was in 2007.

Claire died on Monday. She was 34. I didn't know her. I really didn't. But I have tears in my eyes at this very moment for her.

Did you ever meet someone briefly and yet they changed you? That's what Claire did.

Things change in an instant. Don't waste it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Trip to NOLA with Mike & Liz

We miss our friend Mike & Liz dearly. Our memories of NYC include many nights of sitting out in the "lobby" (the open area on the roof between our two apartments in Queens) and talking about life's greatest mysteries. Since Liz & Mike were blessed with the birth of Olivia last summer, we've all been very busy. This was the first time for us all to get away. We planned a destination getaway in New Orleans. I can't tell you how much fun we had despite all the rain. We just hung out and talked about our kids and the good times. I won't tell you what time we went to bed but lets just say it was a little earlier than our late nights in Queens. I think we've all been affected by the kiddos bedtimes.
Watch the video of Mike & Dan doing the washboards here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8 Years Ago The World Ended As You Know It. Happy Anniversary!

8 Years ago on June 1st, 2002, the music played "It's the end of the world as we know it" as Dan and I entered the John Knox Pavillion for our wedding reception. At the time I thought the song was a little edgey/dark for the occasion but it really was true. After we married, everything changed. We're so much closer now and our love has grown so much more than I could've ever imagined. I know that sounds ooey-gooey but it's true. We know more about each other and can anticipate each other's movements.

Since we were busy this past weekend attending the marriage of Kelly & Kevin McCormick (yay), we chose to go to lunch instead at our regular anniversary spot, Capital Grille. LOVE that place. They always go out of their way to make you feel special.

Attending a wedding is the perfect way to remember your own wedding. I watched Kevin & Kelly take their vows to promise to honor each other for the rest of their lives and remembered doing it myself. I had NO idea what I was in store for when I married Dan but I can honestly say everything we've gone through has made our relationship stronger. I wouldn't trade any of the moments for anything.

We toasted a glass of champagne to our 8 year marriage and promised to enjoy that moment every year for the next 80 years together. I told him I could only be married to him for 90 years, after that I think I'll have to go sow my oats.

11 Months!

The Shepard Family has been crazy busy this month. Laina has entered her last month of this first year. The invitations are out for her first birthday. Can't believe it's getting so close!

She is very active and working off some of her baby chub lately. She stands on her own but once she wants to go somewhere she sits down and crawls there. I think the walking thing will be here before we know it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laina's Swimming Lessons

Laina has started taking swimming lessons at our local community center. She was not sure about it the first time but now she really likes it. There were a few moments that I was pretty nervous, especially when we dunked her under water the first time but now she really has the hang of it. Can't wait for the lake this summer! Here's a few pics and a video!Video of Laina at Swim Lessons

Kentucky Derby 2010!

This year we attended the first race of the triple crown, the Kentucky Derby. We drove down and also attended the Kentucky Oaks, the race for the fillies the day prior to the Derby. As luck would have it, the weather was gorgeous for the Kentucky Oaks and crappy for the Derby. Luckily I had made hats for both days so we were able to dress up for the Pink Out (benefiting breast cancer research) and then wore our very fashionable ponchos for the second day.