Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nicole's Visit - Spring Break 08!

I realize it's been a long time since I posted anything. Things have been a little crazy around here with the new job. It's finally getting much easier at work for me. Although it's getting extremely busy as we hit the peak of tax season, I am feeling much more comfortable in my daily tasks and much more like a contributing member of the team. Everyone has been extremely patient with me and very supportive and I am getting to know everyone a little better each day and learning what makes them tick, how to tell when they are stressed out, tired, irritated, confused, etc....and I can tell you that I work with a really amazing group of people. Everyone works extremely hard, but the Partners take good care of their team and everyone is very supportive of one another. Even when I am feeling overwhelmed, I am so thankful to have found this position. The drive is absolutely gorgeous, I work with so many very talented and kind people, the pay is respectable, and we're able to get back on our feet financially, which has taken a lot of pressure off of Jay, which I am grateful for.

Nicole was here visiting for a few days. She goes home tomorrow (boo! hoo!) but we maximized our time with her. Jay went and picked her up from LAX on Wednesday night. Her flight got in around 9:30 and he had to leave before Kendall got out of school and I got out of work, so he ended up going by himself. They didn't get in until around 1:00am, so I didn't get to see her when she got home, but I went in and woke her up and kissed her goodbye on Thursday morning when I left for work. I ended up going in about 30 minutes early on Thursday because I had to leave some unfinished work on Wednesday night so that I could get home and take Kendall to youth group. Kendall was still in school on Thursday, so Jay took Nicole on a nice ride on the motorcycle through the wine country and they came to visit me and have lunch with me. We had a wonderful lunch at The Red Barn in Santa Ynez and it was so nice to be able to spend a little time with Nicole. She is so big now! That little bugger is going to be taller than me as well (her sister has already shot up past me now.) I am going to have to get a cat if I want to be taller than anyone in this house. Either that, or learn to walk in 3 inch stilettos, which I am sure Jay wouldn't complain about, but they are not exactly practical. After lunch, I went back to work and Jay and Nicole rode home and played some video games and when Kendall got home they all went to Farmer's Market in San Luis Obispo. Unfortunately, they had to leave without me because by the time I would have gotten home and changed and we all made the 40 minute drive it would have been close to 7:30 and everyone closes up shop at 8:00, so they went on without me and I went to Bunko and lost my shirt! But, I always have fun at Bunko - win or lose and I did enjoy the time with my friends and it took my mind off of not being with Jay and the girls in SLO.

Friday I had to work again so Jay and the girls went and had lunch at Subway and then picked up Nicole's best friend Maddie and took all 3 girls to Lasertag and then to Boomer's for bumper boats, go-karts, miniature golf, and the rock wall. They all had a blast and wore themselves out. I got home that evening and Jay and Kendall & Nicole and I went to Red Robin in the mall for dinner and then we went and picked up Maddie and brought her over for a slumber party. She is such a sweetie and I was really glad that she and Nicole had some time together while Nicole was here, even for this short visit.

On Saturday morning, we got up and had breakfast and took Maddie home and then headed out to Ventura to go sailing with my Dad & Valerie. We got down to the boat a little past 11:30 and took some Bonine and ate our picnic lunch before hitting the open seas. It was a really beautiful day and the weather was relatively warm when we were sitting in the docks. When we got out of the marina, the temperature dropped considerably and the wind picked up quite a bit. We had a nice sail for about 2 hours, but then the wind got even stronger and there were a lot of white-caps and it was time to head back. None of us got sick this trip, but I got a little nauseated and had to eat a few tortilla chips and drink some water to calm my stomach and Jay started to get a little nauseated as well, but both cases were not extreme. My Dad had some trouble getting the boat to stay on course and we were glad that he and Valerie are so experienced because it might have been a little scary otherwise. Fortunately for all of us, they have a lot of hours under their belts and we had all been several times so we didn't get nervous. Even though we had to head back a little early, we still enjoyed the day immensely. After we got back and got the boat cleaned up, Dad & Val treated us to Macaroni Grill for an early birthday celebration for Jay. We had a delicious dinner and reminisced about our wedding rehearsal dinner that was held there just 2 short years ago.

Since we got home on the later side last night and were all wiped out, we decided to go to the 11:00am Easter service this morning. I got up first and got myself ready, then helped Kendall do her hair and Jay and I made breakfast together and we headed off to church. They don't do a big Easter production at FCC, which I kind of miss at The Lighthouse. I like seeing a big play on Easter Sunday and at First Christian, it's more like your regular Sunday service. Pastor Dennis did read about the cruxifiction and resurrection, but there were no costumes or plays but it still felt like Easter. Everyone was dressed extra special and the smiles were extra big. After church we went to Albertson's to get ingredients for dinner and then we came home and I took some photos of us all dressed up and then we changed and got comfy and had lunch and then the girls and I went back to Albertson's to get birthday cards for Jay. His birthday isn't until April 4th, but he'll be in Colorado Springs during his birthday and we wanted to celebrate while Nicole was here and I wanted to wait until she got here to get a card from the girls so that they could pick it out themselves. While we were gone, the "Easter Bunny" came over and hid some eggs and so we came home and Jay got out the video camera and the girl went looking for eggs. The Easter Bunny did a really good job hiding eggs this year and the girls had a lot of fun and were up to the challenge! The Easter Bunny also brought a new purse for each of them from Pacific Sunwear and somehow managed to get hold of some homemade crafts that I did at Pam's Stampin' Up workshop a week ago. I don't know how he got hold of those, but he did and put them in with the purses! After the Easter egg hunt, Jay opened his birthday cards & gifts. I got him a leather briefcase and the girsl got him a $25 I-Tunes gift card. After presents, we finished making dinner and sat down for some tri-tip, garlic & herb mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus w/ red bell pepper (yum!) Then we all sat down and played Uno-ATTACK! The girls were just about tied and Jay and I got our behinds handed to us but fun was had by all.

I think the highlight of the day was our phone call with the Bunns & Ludingtons! It wasn't the same as being together, but we got to pass the phone around and I think the only person I didn't get to talk to was Aaron. I don't know how we missed each other among all of the phone passing, but if you read this Aaron, I'm sorry and I love you too!!!! I even got to talk to sweet little TJ and although he didn't say much, it brought such a smile to my face just to hear his voice.

We will miss Nicole terribly and can't wait to see her again in May, but we cherished every moment with her and are so grateful for even the shortest visits. It's not enough to sustain us until the next time, but we can cling to the memories until next time.


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