Friday, May 29, 2009

The catastrophic ride in Architecture

The last year in the Architectural and Design world has been like a season on the Deadliest Catch….a world of unknowns; are we going to catch any crab, how many, will we stay afloat and win the battle against the Bering Sea? It has been deadly, we have thrown out our net and come up empty, over half of our staff has gone overboard, we are barely afloat and it feels like we have lost the battle!

The battle is much bigger than my firm…there have been hundreds of layoffs, firms throwing in the towel, salary cuts, 4 day work week, and now our reps are getting laid off.

As I mentioned before, we interview for a huge project and I speculated that we didn’t get it. We officially found out last night and it is true, we didn’t get it. The worst part is that we came in second, and unlike kids’ soccer, there isn’t a trophy for second place. Everyone is numb.

Tuesday is when the battle comes to a head, once again. The senior principals are making drastic decisions, and I fear this will be the biggest and most severe.

Until Tuesday…

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Game 5

GO NUGGETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bolder Boulder...Memorial Day

Thanks to our troops!

Kyle and I walked the Bolder Boulder on Monday. It was a chilly, muggy and rainy event.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Lakers have bodyguards?

Dinner and drinks with the Halls’ turned into bar hopping down town. We ended up at Elways...second weekend in a row and low and behold....The Lakers. They were staying at the Ritz while in town for the playoffs.

A few drinks in, Courtney and I thought it would be a good idea to try to get a picture with a few of the players. Side note…we did get checked out on the way back from the bathroom, so with that in our back pocket we tried to get a picture with Derek Fisher and Luke Walton, and were shot down by the bodyguard. I guess the approach from their backside wasn’t the best move. Kyle pretended not to know us and Chris was cheering us on. Meanwhile, Phil Jackson sits down at the bar for a little dinner. He is the biggest human being I have ever seen in person. HUGE! We did get this shot with Brian Shaw.

We will not be going to Elways on Friday when they are back for their final 2009 playoff game:) And prior to Friday night, I had no idea who any of these people were! This isn't don't need bodyguards in this town.

On to game 5...

We are one game closer…..The series is 2-2


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our 1st Anniversary

Sunday was our year anniversary. One year!!!!! Neither of us can believe that it has been a year, it was an amazing weekend, and how time has flown by.

In our first year of marriage we:

  • Traveled to a place neither of us had been, Tahiti and Bora Bora
  • Attended two weddings, Minnesota and Annapolis
  • Went to Aspen 5 times
  • Became Zoo Members
  • Endured training camp and football season (The 3rd season in Denver)
  • I went to Casa Bonita for the first time in 20 years (re:
  • Enjoyed the BYE week in Nashville
  • Rejoiced in the holiday season
  • Kyle had 11 work trips and 1 fun trips without me
  • Rang in the New Year with Rich and Penny
  • Played at and worked the XGames
  • Kyle learned to ski
  • I Cheered on the Broncos at 7 of 10 home games
  • Whooped it up for a big birthday for both of us…30!
  • Put our house on the market
  • I had 1 work trip and 4 fun trips without Kyle
  • Vacationed for a week in Kauai

Kyle had made plans for our anniversary long in advance, and he’s “not a planner”. We checked into The Magnolia Hotel in time to get ready and get down to happy hour in the hotel bar, Harry’s. We walked down the 16th street mall to McCormicks & Schmick's (they catered our reception at The Oxford Hotel) for dinner. It was fun thinking back to all the festivities of the previous year. After dinner we bounced around to places we wanted to grab a drink…Elway’s for Whiskey and a martini, Peak’s Lounge for a couple of beers, Earl’s for beer and another martini and finished the night off at Harry’s with beer and wine. It was a great night.

Sunday we went home, grabbed a change of clothes and headed to the zoo on our bikes. It was so much fun. Pongo, the baby giraffe was adorable, and we had to stop at our favorites…the elephants and bears. Mom had us over for dinner on Sunday evening. Kyle and I arrived to see my mom, Kelly and CC (Grandma) all dressed in the outfits they wore to the wedding. It was really funny.

It was an awesome year and we can’t wait for what the future holds…

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Amber's SURPRISE cancer free party

The story has been a long time coming and finally I time to blog about it. Most of you know my Amber….she is the most inspirational, giving, kind person I know. Once you meet her, she is instantly your friend. Some of you know her as my friend that had cancer. Although she isn’t fond of me introducing her like this, people really do know who she is as I have run two half marathons and a full and fundraised twice and she is the reason.

What I’m getting to is that Miss Amber Vance has been cancer free for 5 years!!! May 5th 2009 marked this big anniversary. This is so exciting and a huge milestone.

This party started the weekend of October 19th, 2007. Anne Nail, a really good friend of Amber’s that she used to work with and I had just finished a half marathon. We were sitting around in the finishers’ tent waiting for our marathon running champion Amber. We talked about throwing a party for Amber for her 5 year anniversary. Amber isn’t the type that wants to celebrate anything for her, or be the center of attention or have anyone spend money on her…which means, it had to be a surprise. Fast forward 1 year, to October of 2008….the party planning began. Anne, amazingly, got the passwords to Amber’s email and facebook! We now had access to email addresses for everyone in Amber’s life. I thought this was going to be the hardest part. In January of 2009, we gathered the emails, and sent out the Save the Date. We were so excited:

A Surprise Part for Amber Vance

Raleigh, North Carolina

Saturday May 9th (Mother’s Day weekend)

The Red Room

3:00 pm

In Lieu of gift, please make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma society

Over the next few months, we planned, decided on food, a champagne toast, conjured up reasons she couldn’t drive Chryssie (her little sis) across the country the week before Mother’s day weekend, had conference calls with her mom, selected theme colors, plotted an event to assure she looked as cute as possible…etc. She gave us a run for our money.

The closer we got to the party, the more excited I got. Seriously, it was the only thing I could think about. Anne and I talked about how we each thought she had no idea, and even her family thought the same. I just couldn’t believe that with every person in her life, in her email and on facebook NOT ONE PERSON slipped. Impossible!

Meanwhile, Anne is a medical device rep, so just like Amber, she is on the road. I, on the other hand, am sitting at my desk in front of the computer and had time to get things printed out and pasted together. Amber had a website and blogged during treatment. I thought it would be really cool to print those out so people could read them. I came up with a page layout and copied each of her entries from the site. I cut foam core to 11x17 to match the paper size, created a stand so they would stand on their own, and craft hour was on.

On Thursday May 7th, Mom, Kel and I headed to Raleigh. Mom had never been, so we decided to play while we were there. Thursday we checked into the hotel, and headed out to grab a bite to eat. We found this great area called North Hills and had a nice dinner. It was a gorgeous night, mild humidity, warm and it’s patio season! While we were playing, we had to be mindful of where we went. Amber didn’t even know we were in town, so we were constantly on the look out.

Friday we slept much later than expected, blame it in the time difference, went to the Farmer’s Market….a must if you are in Raleigh and had lunch at NC Seafood, DELICIOUS! My policy when on vacation is do and eat what you can’t at home…..hushpuppies….I love them! We shopped at North Hill after lunch, and met a reality tv star. I was very excited about it, but mom and Kel didn’t know who she was. The Biggest Looser’s Heba from last season. I knew she lived in Raleigh as she and Ed, her husband belong to the same gym as Amber, but to run into her…so fun. We talked to her for 15 minutes, she was so nice! Part of our conversation was places to eat in Raleigh, and she suggested Humble Pie, which is where her chef husband used to work. We shopped a little while longer, had a glass of wine at this cute French place and then headed to dinner.

It was delicious food! There wasn’t a crumb left on the plate of everything we ordered. Here is where the story gets very “Up With People”. We were sitting on the patio and there is an outside bar. There was a group of two men and a lady and one of the guys looks at my mom and says, “are we being loud?” She jokingly said, “yes”. Next thing we know, they have joined our table (it was big enough for 8 people) and we found out that the lady, Andrea, had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. “You meet them wherever you go”. Previously, we had told them why we were in town….which is when she told us that is a survivor as well. It was very cool, she and her soon to be husband Keith, are planning on visiting Denver after they get married in November. Needless to say, we invited them to our celebration of life party.

On to the party….Saturday we woke with many things to get done…hot glue stands to the back of the journal entries, get creative with the surprise sign, eat lunch, shower and get to the Red Room by 2:15. Anne and husband Eric stopped by the hotel to give us the donation box and card box.

We arrived and started setting up and not 15 minutes later, people were showing to arrive. I have to admit I was really nervous all morning, and once we got there and people started to gather, I was feeling better. I had so much emotion about the entire event. We had about 60 people all around the front door and “SURPRISE”…she was shocked. I just couldn’t believe that Anne and I pulled it off. She had NO idea. She cried, we all cried….all these people from all part of her life were all in one room together. It was AWESOME!

We partied, had toasts, met new people and put faces to names, raised $580 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society and celebrated that our dear friend is still with us today.

Sunday was Mother’s day, so we celebrated at brunch at Big Ed’s City Market. It was southern eating like I LOVE!!! Biscuits, grits, collared greens, candied sweet potatoes and sweet tea, I love the south. We shopped in Cameron Village which is by Amber’s house, then walked to the Rose garden and said our goodbyes.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I’m so happy it all turned out perfect! Love you Amber!

Shock has set in...

The Party planners with our guest of honor!

The Banfells...Mother Teresa, Amber, Skip and Chryssie

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Western Conference Finals

GO NUGGETS!!!! It’s been 24 years.

Denver is a very excited town...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chopped...Round 8

Just when I was feeling better about the economy, encouraged by the small upward climb of the housing market, gas prices are decent…we had more layoffs today. Friday was the beginning of closed door meetings, which continued into Monday. The background: We bid on a big local job and were supposed to find out yesterday if we got it. We were all on the edge of our seat all day and no word. We obviously heard today, and it was bad news, we didn’t get the job which meant more layoffs.

This round, again, hit the interiors dept. and I pray it doesn’t hit us again, because I’ll be the next to go. We are down to one layer of skin before the bones on this skeleton see the light of day. This month marks one year since the layoff started for us and we’re at less than half the staff.

Once again, I have somehow held on, and I am so very thankful!

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Mason

Congrats to the Bride and Groom! We hope it was a wonderful day! Enjoy the honeymoon. We'll celebrate this summer when Andrew is in town.

Friday, May 1, 2009

135th running of the Kentucky Derby

We are so sad to not be there this year as planned….Kyle will be enjoying a weekend of rookie team camp and I will be adorning a hat, dress to match and a poncho as it is supposed to be a rainy weekend. I love Derby weekend, even thought I have never really experienced it. Just the excitement of everyone else, gets me excited about it.

Colorado now allows online gambling on horses… to research my horse.