Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jasper!

Happy 1st Birthday to our nephew, Jasper!

You surprised us all by coming so early... and had to spend 2 weeks in the NICU...

But soon enough you were big and strong

Not to mention cute

And funny

You look just like your daddy in Uncle BB's glasses.

We had so much fun hanging out with you at Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Adventures in Aviation...

Earlier this month, on our way back from England, we were stuck on the plane for 5 hours while they changed the landing gear. We ended up being 5 1/2 hours late landing.
Last night, we arrived in St Louis 20 hours late!

Now that I have your attention, we set off to the Burbank Airport on Wednesday to catch our Burbank to St Louis via Las Vegas plane. We were really excited because Ashton was leaving from LAX and headed to Chicago, but was going to have a stop in Las Vegas at the same time and we were going to try to meet him there for a bite. Kind of funny.

Arriving in Burbank, we were told that our flight was delayed. I asked about if we could possibly miss our connection in Vegas. No, he said- that is also delayed. Ok, ok, we'll grab a $10 gross airport pizza and wait. Pretty soon, the amount of people standing in line at the gate desks and the overall commotion tipped us off that something was up. Turns out Las Vegas had a huge Ice/Snow storm and nothing was going in or out. They shut down the airport! Who knew that Las Vegas gets SNOW?! Our flight was cancelled.

Caleb got in the huge line to inquire and I got on the phone and we got booked on the next possible open flight for the next day (making sure it stopped in Phoenix instead!).

And here we are. With both our bags (they arrived separately, but most importantly- they arrived!) Safe and sound. Just 20 hours late.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 3-5: DING DING DING- The Main Event!

NOTE: This is the LAST post of our England trip.  The story is several posts back and warning- it is LONG- but chronologically, start at the story (whether you read it all or not) and then work your way back up to follow our trip.  Cheers!  (PS- I couldn't say Cheers while there, I felt like my lack of a cool accent made me sound like an idiot saying it! haha)

Rock Stars

This picture does not do it justice... the crowd was huge and the floor was packed!
I am taking it from the second tier with additional people around me

Me and my merch "mates" Ian and James... 
Not Pictured: British Caleb- he was there all Friday, but not Sunday when the pic was taken.

Congratulations to Caleb and Ashton for Rocking Out the UK and thank you for taking me along on such an awesome adventure!  Having to sit out the US tour, it was really nice to not be left out of their first international adventure.   I'm really proud of these guys!  tear tear, corny... 

Day 3, Friday: English Countryside

Don't know what this is, but it looked old, so CB snapped a pic

Pretty countryside

This is us crammed in the back of the small Euro rental car Micha drove us in, we'd all just woken up I think

Day 2, Thursday night: The Legion Show

This is the only good pic from that show- our friend Chico took it, as I was stuck getting hit on at the merch table... geez

Day 2, Thursday: Sightseeing Round 2

Riding the London Underground or "Tube"- Micha, Ashton and Chico

I have NO idea what this facial expression was trying to be- it just looks like confused, tired and maybe a little angry- definitely not what I was going for

Big Ben!

Cool pic of Ashton in front of Big Ben taken by CB

Westminster Abbey

Tate Museum

Caleb's Fish and Chips

Ashton's Fish and Chips

Day 2, Thursday: Royal Sightseeing

Buckingham Palace

We waited and waited... but they never let us in.

Ashton in front of some big royal statue thing 

A beautiful memorial for the saddest tragedy.

Crazy squirrel video- he's eating a muffin wrapper!

St Pauls something or other  (where the guards were)

Right after he stomped and yelled - woah

This one looked about 16 years old.  I was not scared of him (sorry, can't get rid of the underlining)  Note: "the Pose"

CB finally ready to get in a picture.  I am doing "the Pose" again haha- I had really envisioned us both doing it though.

Ashton with the horse guard.

Gotta get the cheesy posed phone booth pics

Wednesday- Day 1: Store show

In store show

I really like this picture of Ashton in front of the display of jeans

This is one of their records on display in the stairwell of the store- super famous! haha (needless to say, Caleb didn't want to pose for this picture)

Cheers Mate!


We got back late Monday night and had a great time.  It was really great that I was able to take the time off work to go with them.  I will not feel as bad next time that I don't get to go hopefully.
While we were in London, we didn't have a lot of free time- it seems like we were always either sleeping (or lacking sleep) or moving towards somewhere- but we did manage to squeeze in a little bit of sightseeing.  

Sorry if this next part is boring, but I need to recap my trip for my mom.  I will post pictures in separate posts because I hate how they get all mixed up and hard to move, etc- but here is the story of the trip to go with the pics.
We flew out of LA Tuesday afternoon, with a plan to sleep on the plane and arrive with no jet lag Wednesday morning at 10am.  Unfortunately, none of us anticipated the allure of in flight movies and about 4 movies later we landed with no real sleep...

We were to be picked up from the airport by Micha, the European representative of the band's label.  Unfortunately the Queen must've been out and about that day, and London's traffic was awful... so we ended up taking a cab to meet him at the hotel.  The cabs there are super cool though, with flippy down seats that face each other and tvs and such.  
When we got to the hotel, our room wasn't ready, so we put our luggage and music equipment in a locked closet in the lobby (common in England I guess to have this option) and walked to the store where the boys would be playing that night.  With all of us on the verge of falling asleep, we decided to head back to the room for a 2 hour nap.  Then back to the store for their show, which went well.  I ate a really good panini from a sandwhich shop down the way. yum  That is also where I saw the "Walkers" brand "crisps" (potato chips for us americans) in turkey and stuffing flavor. bleh.

The next day we met up with our British friend, Chico (who lives in LA, but is currently in London for the holidays) who took us around sightseeing.  On my request we took the "Tube" or the Underground first to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen.  Unfortunately, she must not have received the message about our date for tea, because she never showed.  We walked around on the Princess Diana Memorial Walk, which was gorgeous and I saw the most BOLD set of squirrels and birds ever.  I got within inches of touching one before I thought better of it.
The Memorial Walk took us over to St Paul's something where we saw the guards. This is what I was waiting for!  I had been practicing my pose since the day before.  When it was my turn to stand next to one, he all of a sudden stomped and walked off.  Upon following him, we found another one who was standing alone by a wall.  No one was around him, so I thought, "now's my chance!" As I was walking up to him, I went under an archway, and then all of a sudden he stomps! and yells "STAND CLEAR OF THE ARCHWAY!"  which freaked me out, and explains the scared facial expression.  Meanwhile, the first guard has returned to his original spot, so I run go get a pic with him.  Caleb refused though to get in the pic.  He was kind of scared I think... they did have swords after all.  So back outside, where Caleb decides he will get a picture, but only with the guy that yelled at me, geez.  I resume my pose, but Caleb wasn't into it... Probably cause he was on sword side.  They also had a guard with a horse that stood very still as well- Ashton got a pick with him.
We then went past a bunch of phone booths and found Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.  Nice.
Then we jumped back on the tube to go to this free museum and meet up with another guy from the label, Simon, who'd be attending the festival with us.  Since we were starving, we went to a pub to eat.  The boys got fish and chips.  I got a falafal sandwich with chips. yum
After the museum, it was time for the guys to switch hotels and get the gear to the bar for that night's soundcheck.  The bar was called the Legion and it was in East London I think.  The show went very well, despite the fact that I couldn't see them play from where I was selling tshirts and cds and also despite the relentless drunk Brit hitting on me throughout it all.  Geez.  He even knew I was married to the guitar player!  yikes.  Let me tell you, the young British guys really like their high fives!  I must have given out like 100 that night.
EARLY the next morning we left London to go across the country for the festival in Southwest England.  I slept off and on the whole way, so unfortunately missed a lot of the beautiful countryside.  I did however manage to see sheep and some old buildings and between Caleb and I got some pictures of this part of the trip.
When we arrived at the festival Friday afternoon, we checked in, got our backstage access passes and wristbands and room keys and booklets, etc.  The festival was on the grounds of an amusement park like place called "Butlins".  I am pretty sure that if we had prepared properly/ hadn't been freezing cold, we could've participated in the indoor water park, rope climbing, mini golfing extravaganza surrounding us.  But it was VERY cold and just going from our apartment to the festival main tent, was too much outdoor time.
The guys played Friday afternoon.  There were two stages and they were the 2nd band that played on the 2nd stage.  I was worried that this would mean that they would have a small crowd size, but there ended up being A LOT of people at their show.  I left when they still had a couple songs left to go to the merch area in the main tent to sell their CDs and Tshirts.  I could tell when they stopped playing, because there was a rush of people coming to buy and rave. It was great and nearly made me a little emotional, not to mention a little overwhelmed to see so many people appreciating their talent.  I sold merch for about 3 1/2- 4 hours that night and then saw some other bands play.  We sold out of all their CDs and only had 7" records and tshirts left at the end of the night.
We slept until 2pm on Saturday and then spent the rest of the day seeing bands and watched The Thing in the cinema.
On Sunday, we decided that I should sell merch again, since some people were asking that didn't stop by Friday night.  I think I was selling for 1 or 2 hours tops, and we ended up selling out of the records too!  With all the stuff we brought with- we only brought back 3 shirts!  I would've sold them too, but they were Smalls and XL... I had some Medium sized guys try to squeeze into the small, but it wouldn't work. haha
Monday morning we were up EARLY again to head back to the airport.  I was hoping that we'd get to Stonehenge, but the route that our GPS took us wasn't that way.. next time.  We made it to the airport 3 hours early, checked in with no problems, was AMAZED by the shops in the airport- looked like a fancy mall! Boarded the plane 30 minutes early, then proceeded to sit on the runway or tarmac or whatever for 5 hours!  We didn't even realize at first that we hadn't taken off, cause we had all fallen asleep!  Once they taxi'ed us back to the gate, we realized something was wrong... Once they informed us they'd be serving dinner, we realized we weren't going anywhere fast...  I watched a movie and ate dinner and slept before we even took off.  It wasn't that bad, except I was seated next to a lady that crowded my armrest and "Humpf"'d every few minutes.  After 25 hours of traveling and 15 hours on the plane, we landed.  The entrance to the US Customs was dark, dank and smelled like trash (due to the overflowing dumpster nearby)- I don't think that's the first impression we'd like to give... someone should look into that.  Got to sleep sometime between 2am and 3am and was back at work for my 9am meeting the next day.  What a trip!
Woah, that was exhausting to write, I can't believe anyone would be able to make it through that recap.  The posts with the pictures will be separate.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I should be packing...

But I wanted to get one last excited post in.

Tomorrow we leave for here

While there I hope to see this

Possibly Recreate this

Go here 

Hoping to see her

And be invited for this...

See you in a week!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today I am thankful...

The celebration of Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims feeling grateful that they survived a long hard time adjusting to their new surroundings, making some cool new friends, and having a good meal to eat.  Today I am thankful for much the same... and these as well:

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who supported my meager attempts to tackle the entire Thanksgiving dinner today.  He blasted the Christmas music starting at 10am and helped with all the boring tedious stuff I dislike the most.  He was side by side in the kitchen peeling and slicing apples and sweet potatoes, and boiling and chopping, mashing and blending.  I am also thankful for the easy breezy - never had to physically touch it - Jennie O Oven Ready Turkey... this might be a yearly buy.

I am thankful for the roof over our head (even though it leaked on our bed yesterday with the recent rain- Hopefully it stays dry for awhile).  Our friend Arlene and I participated a couple weeks ago in the United Way HomeWalk and it opened my eyes to just how many people are living on the streets and how grateful I am to have a warm bed to go to each night.

I am thankful that I work for a company that is supportive and stable.  With layoffs and bailouts the new constant, I am relieved to work for a company that actually has it's act together.  Even though I'm often heard exclaiming "I'm so over work!" I am thankful for my job.

I am thankful for the success that Caleb is finally finding in his music.  I am overwhelmed with pride at how hard they've worked and how they stuck with it through drummer after drummer and every bump along the way.  I am thankful for the adventure that England will be for us and excited for more opportunities that his music will bring.

I am thankful for my large and ever expanding family (2 new babes due in the next 6 months).  Especially for my niece and nephews that get bigger and funnier everyday.  I am leaving this Thanksgiving post with some pictures of Haven, soon to be 5-years old.  The first two pictures were last night at Ashton's birthday party.  We realized that he was going to jump into every picture we took, so some we kind of set up like, "Alright, I'm going to take a picture of just CB now".  Here's a sampling...

And here are some from tonight at Thanksgiving dinner...

Just a tad late on this one...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  The Christmas season has officially started!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey

(To talk turkey means to discuss in a straightforward manner- I looked it up.)

Thanksgiving is in two days and I'm cooking dinner for the LA family.
We made our menu today and no where did it indicate that I intended to cook a turkey (we talked about buying pre cooked ones- but found out later that they are PRICEY!). I would imagine that 90% of those of you that might happen to read this blog would know that I don't really like touching meat. Cooking a real live turkey seems to require all sorts of "dirty work" that I don't want anything to do with. BUT while getting the ingredients for the stuff I DO plan on making, I happened upon this.

An oven ready turkey!
No Thawing!
No Cleaning!
No Stuffing!
And most importantly... NO TOUCHING!

Just take it out of the bag, cut slits in the "FOOL PROOF" bag, stick it in a roasting pan and then into the oven and 3 hours or so later- you're done.

I think we have a plan.

PS- Feel better soon Makaya!

Monday, November 24, 2008

World Traveling!

We leave for England a week from tomorrow and I'm so excited about it!  This band is playing this festival...

It has become all I can think about (well, that and Christmas!!!- I started playing Christmas music at home even though Caleb sometimes lets me and sometimes complains that it is too early).  Today at work, I was having a very busy day and I kept saying, "wow! I really could use a week in England!" and "Geez, Work Stinks!  Good thing I only have 3 work days until I leave for England!"  Tomorrow is our Thanksgiving festivities at work.  I need to make my world famous strawberry cake, since my team is providing the desserts.  I was in charge of the potluck this year, and I had the brilliant (hopefully- we'll see tomorrow I guess) idea that since the office is providing the main courses that we should have each of the 5 teams provide a course for the potluck, thinking that they'll feel more responsible that way- like- What nothing to drink!?  Team 2 you slackers!  (the last potluck that we had in October only 5 people brought sides for 50 of us!)  I am excited to eat the strawberry cake tomorrow, but can't seem to get motivated to make it tonight.  Even though my kitchen is very clean, which always helps.  Other things I'm not so motivated to do are all the sewing projects and knitting projects that will turn into Christmas presents.
Ok, I'm rambling- alright time to get to work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Team Edward

This is beyond nerdy to even admit... But this time tomorrow night, I will be standing in line waiting to get into this movie.  Friday is Tawny's birthday and for her present she wanted to go to the midnight screening opening night.  Luckily, we'll have Mari and her sister-in-law to keep us company.  I hate waiting in lines but I know that tomorrow night will be packed with all the other obsessive fans staying up late to get the first glimpse- maybe we should bring a deck of cards or phase 10 with us to pass the time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bloooooood... ew

Disclaimer- Talk about Blood- not for the weak stomach!

Last night, Caleb and I participated (for the very first time) in a blood drive.
I am terrified of the whole business: needles, blood, willingly getting rid of blood, even the finger stick to test iron levels freaks me out.  But this time, I decided that it was time to get over that and prove to myself that I was brave.  

Here is the nurse wrapping my arm in the bright blue bandage tape after I finally finished filling my blood bag. Yuck  I am pretty sure this guy didn't like me at first (probably cause I was crying just a little- That's the way I roll, I usually freak myself to tears about something I am worried about and then I calm down once it has actually began- this was no different), but by this point he was joking around with me, telling Caleb that I wasn't allowed to cook or clean for 72 hours and stuff like that and being really nice.  I think I was pretty entertaining during the 20 minutes I was lying there. 

This picture is pretty indicative about how Caleb took the whole situation... He was amazing at giving blood.  He had a great vein (unlike me- I had to switch arms), filled his blood sack about 5 minutes faster than I did, and didn't feel weak or sick at all and all the while looked cool doing it.  

I didn't really get sick, but it was actually pretty gross to feel the pressure changes in my arm at various stages of blood removal.  Nasty! 

Today we both feel pretty good.  Weak at points.  My finger stick still hurts, I am pretty sure she hit bone, but other than that we are A-okay!  We will probably not be as scared next time we have the chance to donate blood.