Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is Halloween, which means its my Mom’s birthday! Although we won’t be seeing her today, we had the pleasure of spending last weekend with her in Vegas. We were in town for our friends Devin and Eve’s wedding, which turned out to be a great time, and of course we always love seeing my Mom. We got into town on Thursday afternoon, took a nap, and then I went out to Devin’s bachelor party that night. I don’t get out much anymore, or even drink for that matter, so it turned out to be a pretty epic night. We have some really great friends in Vegas and its always a blast hanging out with them. By the time I called Jessica to come pick me up it was 5:00am, meaning we had been out for over 10 hours. I managed to win $70 playing poker with the boys, which was nice because it made my night out on the town very affordable. Waking up Friday was a little rough but well worth it considering all the fun we had the night before.

We didn’t do much on Friday besides hang around Mom’s house and watch movies. I’ve been extremely busy at work lately so I brought my laptop and got a lot done while we were there. Saturday afternoon I received my results on my blue belt test and I was thrilled to find out that I scored a 99 out of 100! The previous high score for a student from my school was 98, so I now hold the record for the best blue belt test score. I was on cloud 9 the whole rest of the day after getting that great news. Saturday night we went to the wedding and had a really nice time. We couldn’t help but notice quite a few similarities to our wedding (which Devin and Eve attended) but it’s all good. I’m just glad that they enjoyed themselves and had a memorable night.

We came home Sunday afternoon and I’ve been playing catch up at work ever since. I’m also busy with school, plus I’m transitioning into a new role at work which adds more to my plate, but it’s all worth it. I think by the time we move to Denver in a couple years my career will have taken a huge positive swing. We’re going to enjoy some quiet time at home for the next few weeks, then we have a bunch of family coming out for Thanksgiving and Ava’s first birthday. I can’t believe our little girl is nearly a year old. This has easily been the fastest year of my life and I doubt they’re going to start slowing down anytime soon. We’ve always got a lot going on but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s a few pics from our fun weekend in Las Vegas. Happy birthday Mom – we love you so much!!

Having fun at the Egan’s wedding

The bachelor party crew

Someone loves chocolate pudding with whip cream

My Blue Belt Test

Today I tested for my blue belt in jiu–jitsu and it went great. The test is divided up into 5 sections that are individually recorded and sent to the Gracie University website for review and grading. My teacher Matt said sometimes people will need to re–shoot a section because they had several errors, but everything went smoothly and we only shot each section once. At the end he told me it was a guaranteed pass, so that felt good. Hopefully we’ll get the official results in the next week.

Our friends Tiko and Tina were in town from Vegas this weekend for the 5K Zombie run. They stayed the night with us last night and were kind enough to babysit Ava this morning while I did my test. Jessica doesn’t normally work Sunday mornings but its typical that she would get scheduled on a Sunday where we had something going on. Luckily our friends were here and it all worked out.

I got approval to take on some new higher level projects at work last week so hopefully I can get started with that tomorrow. I’m going to be working with a couple guys that I really like doing advanced JavaScript programming. This is a skill set that I’ve been wanting to build so it should be an excellent experience. We’re taking Thurs – Sun off for Devin and Eve’s wedding in Vegas so it should be a great week!

R.I.P. Barbara

Today we got the sad news that my sisters Dana and Lora’s Mom Barbara passed away early this morning. Barbara Pellegrini Wentz was my Dad’s first wife and was always very kind to me. She was Dana’s best friend and was instrumental in the lives of Kallan and Anna. She lived a great life and will be missed. I spoke to Dana today and had a great conversation about her Mom, and the rest of our family. Her ability to stay truly positive in the toughest of times constantly amazes me.

Amy left on Thursday after spending a week with us. She gets quality time with Ava and gives Jessica and I some extra free time. We’re looking forward to having her back along with Tom, Trevor, Emily, Derek, Cole and my Mom for Thanksgiving. We will be celebrating Ava’s first birthday that day so it should be a great time. I’m using both my floating holidays that weekend and will have 6 consecutive days off. I haven’t had that much time off since we moved to San Diego and had to find a job.

Tomorrow I am testing for my blue belt in Gracie Jiu–Jitsu. It’s been almost exactly 6 months since I had my first class and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been preparing for this test for over a month, which is the longest I’ve ever prepared for any test in my life. I feel totally confident and ready to go, so I can’t wait for 11:00am tomorrow to come.

We’re heading to Vegas on Thursday for our friends Devin and Eve’s wedding. Thursday night I’m going to Devin’s bachelor party, then Saturday night will be the wedding. Obviously if we’re going to Vegas we’re staying at my Mom’s house, so we’re looking forward to seeing her. She’s always thrilled to spend time with Ava and its nice for us to get away from home for a bit.

My nephew Kallan is going to his senior Homecoming tonight so I hope he has a great time. Today Dana told me that QFC, his employer of the past 2 years, is paying for him to go to Bellevue College after high school to major in Retail Business Management. He’s a really great kid and he’s setting the perfect example for his little sister Anna. Both of Dana’s kids are amazing; Jessica and I have both said many times that if our kids turn out as good as them we’ll be in very good shape.

Goodbye Joel & Melanie – Hello Amy!

Joel and Melanie came to visit us on Thursday and stayed until yesterday. It was their first trip to California and they seemed to have a nice time. They went kayaking in La Jolla on Friday, then went out in the Gaslamp District for a bit that night. Saturday they met me in La Jolla after I finished Jiu–Jitsu and we all went to La Jolla Shores to hang out. We played frisbee, boogie boarded, and I took Joel surfing for the first time. I hadn’t been surfing in quite a while and had a blast. I’ll definitely be in the water again soon. That night, as we were about to leave for dinner downtown, Ava took a spill and cut her upper eyelid. It freaked everyone out but only bled for a minute and I was able to calm her down by taking her out for a walk around the neighborhood. This is the first time she’s hurt herself and it killed us to see her in pain. I’m sure there will be plenty of incidents like this in the future but I’ll never get used to it. Seeing my baby in pain is the worst thing in the world but she’s such a tough little girl and shook it like a champ.

We still made it out to dinner although we had to take turns taking Ava for a walk because she started making noise in the restaurant. She was getting tired of sitting in her car seat, which I can’t blame her for, but she loves going for walks and people on the street always come over to comment on how cute she is. On Sunday I started my new quarter at school and had a bunch of work to do so Joel and Melanie went back to the beach to hang out for the day. That evening we went to the final "Symphony at the Park" series at Hoyt Park in Rancho Bernardo to see my friend Victor’s band play. Victor and I work together at ScrollMotion and talk constantly about music. He and his wife play in a band called Siren’s Crush and perform all kinds of great pop and dance cover songs. They do everything from Madonna and Michael Jackson to Adele and the Black Eyed Peas. The show was outstanding; even Ava was rocking out and having a blast. It was a really nice way to end the weekend.

Yesterday they went home but unfortunately their flight was delayed, which caused them to miss their connecting flight so they had to stay the night in Denver. I’m sure they were happy to get home today. Thursday Amy will be arriving to stay with us for the weekend, so Jessica and I will take advantage of having her here and we have some fun stuff planned. Friday night we’re going to see Taken 2 in the theater, then we’re going to another car show on Saturday after Jiu–Jitsu. Sunday morning we’re going to the beach again because I’m dying to catch some more waves. I’m also staying busy preparing for my blue belt test, which is a week from Sunday, then that following week we’re going to Vegas for Devin and Eve’s wedding. We’re as busy as ever but it’s all good!

Ava’s 1st car show!

Jessica had the day off on Sunday so we decided to head up north to Orange County to check out a classic car show. I have fond memories of going to car shows with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Brenda when I was a teenager, and since Jessica also enjoys them, we thought it would be a fun tradition for our family. Shortly after arriving I stumbled across a beautiful 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner that is being raffled off for charity. I spoke with the owner for a while and he explained that he and his wife were selling raffle tickets for $20 each and that the drawing would take place once 5,000 tickets were sold. All proceeds are going to local charities so I decided to buy a ticket. I’m actually thinking about getting more tickets soon because I like the car so much. Once this car goes they’re going to do the same thing with his wife’s 1969 Roadrunner. I received a thank you email the day after purchasing a ticket and they seem like really nice people. If anyone reading this wants to buy a ticket just go to www.earlyrides.org for more information.

It wasn’t a very big show but the quality of the cars was great and we had a really fun time. We’re looking forward to going to another one soon. Here’s a few pics from the day.

Superbee 442
Jessica and Ava with an Oldsmobile Superbee 442

Not sure what kind of truck this is but it was very cool

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner
This is the Roadrunner that I’m hoping to win!