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Pictures

Happy Birthday

February 15, 2012 - 12:52am

Happy birthday to a very special man in my life, my father.

Mom & Dad

Happy birthday to a very special state in my life, Arizona. Arizona turns 100 years old today. WOW, you're so young for being such a wonderful place.

Sunset

Cactus

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Silly Face

February 2, 2012 - 4:13am

There's nothing quite like a silly face to remind you what's important in life.

Madeline

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New Furniture

January 28, 2012 - 3:48pm

We've got a piece of new furniture in the house - a credenza! As you can see from the pictures, it is a wall-hanging credenza, also called a floating credenza.

New Credenza

New Credenza

This is a piece Chris and I have wanted to do for years though never got around to it. Over the holidays, I had trouble sleeping one morning and was surfing the internet when I stumbled on a post at The Brick House about a Fauxdenza. Morgan had the great idea to use Ikea kitchen cabinets for her credenza then top it with a piece of nice wood. I was in love with the idea and knew it would be perfect for us.

As soon as Chris woke up, I ran the idea past him. After some discussion, brainstorming, and, of course, breakfast, we were on our way to Ikea. Procuring materials was the easy part - it always is. There were a few hurdles that we had to clear.

  1. Wires: The first was making space for wires. Since our credenza is under the TV, it holds all the electronics and the miles of tangled wires. Chris put some wood 2x4s behind the cabinets to create a few inches of space between the wall and the cabinets. It created just the right amount of space for wires.
  2. TV: The second was hanging the TV on the wall. Lucky for me, Chris worked in professional home video and audio installation for years so he makes it look easy.
  3. Heat: The third hurdle is the amount of heat the electronics produce. Right now the solution is to simply open the cabinets to let in cool air while we're watching movies or playing video games. The long term solution will be some sort of fan to vent in air from the underside of the cabinets.

Chris and I are both very happy with this project and how it has opened up the living room. Removing the large table that previously held the TV, we regained at least a foot of space. I also love how easy it is to clean underneath the credenza.

I failed to take a proper "Before" picture but here are a couple shots that give a little bit of a glimpse of what our living room was like before this new piece of furniture.

Before:
Cowboys Game on Thanksgiving

Dogs

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Flowers

January 18, 2012 - 8:02pm

Chris brought me flowers last night "just because." He wrote me an amazingly sweet card too. I'm thankful for him.

Flowers from Chris

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Goodbye, ReadPhoenix.com

January 5, 2012 - 10:40pm

It's time to say goodbye to ReadPhoenix.com. This site was born in October 2007 when my awesome coworkers at Integrum built it with me. However, it's usefulness to me and others seems to have passed. Big thanks to Integrum for building it and hosting it all these years.

If anyone is interested in the domain, I'd be happy to sell it or possibly donate it to someone with a good idea.

ReadPhoenix.com

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Snoring Dogs

January 4, 2012 - 8:56pm

I've been working at home the past few weeks. (Thank goodness for the break from travel!) Yesterday, I moved the dogs' beds into the office so they'd hang out with me. However, I'm not sure I can handle the snoring. It's not really motivating me to work. Oh, the life of a dog!

Mac & Stewie Sleeping

This is the view from my desk when I turn around. That's Chris' desk in the picture - mine isn't nearly so messy!

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Saturday Surprises

January 2, 2012 - 1:43am

A few weeks ago, I took Chris out for a day of surprises. Each surprise began with an envelope with a trivia question. Chris had to answer the trivia question then could open the envelope to find out where we were going. Of course, he got every trivia question correct because he's so smart! And we had a fun day of activities around Phoenix.

Trivia Questions

Getting Ready
Chris Shining His Boots Erica

Surprise #1
Envelope Number 1
Question: What type of animal, although capable of flight, spends most of its time on the ground? Hint: It can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and generally prefer sprinting to flying.

Answer: ROADRUNNER! Wait, what does this have to do with where we’re going on a Saturday? We went to Roadrunner Farmer's Market at Roadrunner Park.

Chris at Farmers Market

Surprise #2
Envelope Number 2
Question: A) What is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land or a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water? B) What does the government build to control flooding?

Answer: A) Flood B) Dam What does flooding and dams have to do with Phoenix on a Saturday?! We’re going to the library to find out. What better place to do research?

Opening the Floodgates: Roosevelt Dam and the Development of the Salt River Valley Location: Burton Barr Central Library

This exhibit, located outside of the Arizona Room on the 2nd Floor, includes photographs and documents from the Arizona Room collection chronicling the construction of Roosevelt Dam, and its dedication by Theodore Roosevelt, a great supporter of federal reclamation during his presidency. Roosevelt Dam is a historically significant landmark that is celebrating its own centennial during 2011. The dam played a prominent role in the development of the Salt River Valley by providing water storage, flood control, and hydroelectric power. At the time of its construction Roosevelt Dam was the largest masonry dam in existence in the world, and Roosevelt Lake was the world's largest artificial reservoir.

Chris at Phoenix Library

Surprise #3
Envelope Number 3
Question: What country has the second best food in the world? (Hint: Thai is the best!) It’s also the same country The Mekong River flows through before it flows into the South China Sea. The Mekong is the 12th largest river in the world. It flows through China, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia before reaching this country.

Answer: We’re going to have Vietnamese food for lunch. Location: Pho Thanh Restaurant

Chris at Pho Thang

Surprise #4
Question: What activity, if done for 20 minutes, can help refresh the mind, improve overall alertness, boost mood and increase productivity? Hint: Hammocks, couches, blankets in the park are some of the best places to do this activity.

Answer: Nap

At this point, Chris asked me if this surprise was for me or for him. Hehe, it was definitely for me since Chris seldom takes naps. But we were planning to go to the Desert Botanical Gardens to see the Luminaria that night and I wanted to rest.

Luminaria at Desert Botanical Gardens
A holiday tradition for us!
Chris & Erica at Luminarias

Chris & Erica at Luminarias

Surprise #5
Question: Where are we going for dinner? Hint: We’ve never gone there before. It’s an Arizona original – opening in 1947. They specialize in beef. In 2004, it was added to the City of Phoenix Historical Register for both its central role in Arizona’s cattle industry and its relevant architectural style.

Answer: The Stockyards Restaurant

However, we ended up eating at Rokerij, which was delicious and really romantic. We drove to The Stockyards and thought it odd that the parking lot was nearly empty at 8pm on a Saturday night. Just as we were about to enter the restaurant, a group of people exited complaining loudly about their experience. I stopped the woman to ask about it and she didn't have good things to say. So we decided to go someplace we knew would be good. The Rokerij was packed, which assured us that we had made the right decision.

All in all, a very fun Saturday. I still can't believe Chris got all the trivia questions right. Next time I'll have to make them a LOT harder.

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Holiday Parties

December 31, 2011 - 2:50am

We went to two holiday parties this season sponsored by our employers. I always think it is fun to get dressed up and socialize with coworkers. Both parties were well done and made me feel even more thankful that we are both employed right now.

Erica & Chris

Chris & Erica

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Leave It...Good Dogs

December 16, 2011 - 11:08pm

Leave it...Good Dogs!
I love that we've been able to teach both dogs to leave the treats (on their paws) until we say its OK to eat them. If only I could get them to stop drooling while they wait! I love my furry family.

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