Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kicking 2008 To The Curb!

Happy New Year/Pre-Moving Day

Today is the pre-moving day... mostly getting ready to pack the van and tomorrow we head over to pick up the keys. Very exciting... can't wait to be settled... Below are pictures of the living room upstairs that is packed with all of the stuff that we are moving. Our current bedroom still has a bunch of stuff that needs to go... I'm going to continue packing now. Happy New Year!




Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome To Amgen Basket

Last night the doorbell rang during dinner... It was the UPS guy with a box for me. I thought for sure it had to be the box my mom was sending with some clothes. It turned out to be a big basket of different goodies welcoming me to Amgen Canada.

Monday, December 29, 2008

In Loving Memory

I received the very sad news today that my mom and Erik had to put our dog Nila Rose to sleep. She had been in failing health for awhile and they found that she had liver cancer. Nila was the most adorable rottweiler... she would bounce up and down on her front legs when she saw you... wiggle her butt and be silly. She will be greatly missed... Now she can jump up and down and not feel any pain. I'm happy that I got to hug her and scratch her nose one more time before I left.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Coop Scoop

Just a quick picture I found on my sister's site...

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Domain

Just a quick little note... I have changed the site address over to zebraloudsounds.com (psst... change your bookmark...) This is because I've moved from being by myself to being with someone... It will still be the same stuff... only a week left and we're in our new place! Yay for more pictures!

Hey look it's Ian's mom, Maureen. =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas From Canada!

Hi to Mom and Erik... Please excuse the messy room behind me... It's been hit by the present monster. I miss you both so much!

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Also, here is a video of Ian, his brother Drew, and his Uncle Rod playing Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games together. Basically it's just a bunch of controller waving and hilarity ensues. Not nearly as funny as Erik trying to do the Tree Pose in Wii Fit. So sad I didn't get a video of that.... Anyway, enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Funny Little Coincidence

When Ian and I were leaving on our trip, we stopped off in Barstow to go to the outlet malls. While Ian shopped at Pacsun I went near the girl's section and found a gray and pink plaid purse that I just loved. I didn't even look at the price tag because I liked it so much. It wasn't until we were in Oklahoma I think that I noticed the tag attached to it. Below is a fuzzy picture of it... =)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please Come In... Part II

...sit down... use a coaster on my new nightstands.



Snow Is Fun

I couldn't just post one because they are all awesome =P.














Final Fantasy Football Results

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ian Is Pooch

...and I am Percival.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Working From Home

It's snowing... just a little bit...




Thursday, December 18, 2008

WOW... Weird!

So I was just cleaning up my desk, while I wait to get access to this one system. Moving pictures and stuff around... hanging up calendars, etc. I noticed that my Cuteoverload.com Calendar Ian got me for my birthday had the January 1st day showing. Since I'm on vacation and will be moving that day I decided to flip to January 5th, my first day back. See the picture below I took with my cracked iPhone of the calendar on the left. Recognize it? Look at the post below if you don't... Weird eh? <-- please note the Canadian reference. Very weird.


Better Day

Today should be a much better day. I got into work in 45 minutes... The only bump in the road is that Friday will have a lot of snow dumped on us. I think I will take my laptop home with me tonight just in case.

Tonight we are going to downtown Toronto to pick up the pieces of the desk we chose. I've always wanted this desk... even before I saw it at my sister's house. It's perfect for the set up we need in the 2nd bedroom. We will be getting the corner desktop, the small desktop with legs and 2 or 3 cabinets to support it - all in black.




Other than that... everything else is going good. I really can't wait to be settled. We are inching closer to moving into our own new place... It will be nice to hopefully have our dresser and a permanent place to put all my clothes. Right now it's the little things that I am looking forward to. Like... a permanent place for me to put my cell phone charger. Being able to put my suitcases AWAY... Store my books in an actual bookcase (granted we don't have it yet... but it's in the works!). Unfortunately, Ian has to work most of the time that I am off. But that's okay... I can get stuff done around our new place. No more boxes... no more moving... no more hopping on a plane every month. Although I must say... I can't wait to start planning our first trip back to California. I love the weather here. I love the cold... the rain... the overcast skies... however it makes me appreciate California more. I can always hop on a plane and soak up a bit of the sun. I'm very lucky.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's Worse...

...than a 2 hour commute? How about a 3 hour commute? I am not amused.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Please Come In...

Take off your shoes... sit down... Enjoy our new living room.




It's more on the gray side in person. It looks much better with beige pillows instead of the blue-gray. We got a couch, loveseat and chair from The Brick. We must have sat down on 30 couches that day and this was the first one I was like... ooooooooooooooooooh... yesssssssss..... I'm home...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Home

Here are a few pictures of our new place. More to come...


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2 Hours = Hell

Today my commute in was 2 hours. **2** Hours!!!!!! It was absolutely horrible. Rain... snow... ice... scariness. Thankfully I discovered my windshield wiper fluid about an hour in to the drive. Note to people who don't know how to drive in the snow: Use your windshield wiper fluid. It's your friend.

Work is going well. I need to brush up on my Excel skills... but I think I'm really going to like it once I get into the swing of things. I have a feeling that I'm going to be really busy which is good. I look forward to being busy and challenged. I think the drive into work will probably be my biggest challenge... When I get about 45 minutes into it, my eyes start to droop. Tomorrow I'm going to get in late to get my SIN (Social Insurance Number) and my health card. I think I only have 10 more days of this drive... and then I get to cut about 15-20 minutes off of it. Instead of taking 3 highways I will be taking just 1.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 9 - Buffalo, NY To Kitchener, ON

An American Girl in Canada. Today we passed the border and made our way to the semi-final stop of Kitchener, Ontario. It's snowing like crazy and I'm just trying to take it all in. We moved most of my stuff into the house from my very dirty car. We also went to Costco and started to get some new things for the apartment.

I'm hoping tonight I can get a good night's sleep and finish settling in tomorrow. Below are the few pictures from today. I will be posting pictures of the new place once we get to see it.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 8 - Sterling, VA To Buffalo, NY

We have settled into our room in Buffalo, NY. It's been a fairly interesting day... let's see... we've survived: a near collision with a goose in Virginia, deer "snipers" in Pennsylvania and lake effect snow in New York. I had a crash course in a horrible storm next to Lake Erie. It just dumped snow over and over on top of the car. A small Jeep spun out in front of me going around a corner. It was certainly scary and I hope to not run into a snow storm like that again. Ian says it's the worst he has ever been in... I really hope he is right.

We left Casa De Petty this morning and headed through Virginia (left the Mini Coop - can't wait to come back to see him). It was pretty clear most of the way into Pennsylvania and we only hit the heavy stuff in New York. We even considered driving straight to Niagara Falls to cross the border and then head to Ian's home. The GPS said it would only take a couple more hours. But after the storm and the possibility of a big delay at the border... I was done for the day. Tomorrow we head across the border and finish our trip by noon (hopefully). Below our the pictures for the day... Not all that exciting because we're not in them. It was way too cold to stand outside and take pictures. We both were not prepared clothing wise to stand outside for very long. I've pulled out some warmer clothes though so I should be okay for tomorrow. Be sure to click on the pictures to open up the Picasa site. There are a couple videos of the snow... First is in Pennsylvania and the second is from New York... Just crazy for a girl from California.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 7 - Cooper Day!

Lazy day for us... we spent it with the Coopster. He just a yummy ball of gooey goodness. He has so much personality for only being 3 months old. He smiles and laughs constantly (ok... most of the time... today he was a little fussy but give him a break... he's just a big baby). He seems so advanced for his age. Coop loves to stand up on your legs... Click on the pictures below to open up the Picasa site. At the end there is a short video of Cooper being the Coopster. So awesome. Tomorrow will be a little more eventful. We have a 382 mile trip ahead of us that has a million steps in the directions. Should be fun but it gets us to Buffalo, NY an we will cross the border on Saturday. Enjoy the drool.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 6 - Bristol, TN To Sterling, VA

Cooper Day! We headed across the border of Tennessee and Virginia. Longest. Day. Ever. We only drove for about 300 miles but it took forever! It seemed like we were not making any progress whatsoever. It might be because we had this gooey ball of goodness waiting for us at the end but still... Today wasn't really eventful. Mostly cows and open fields. We're going to be staying here for all of Thursday... so expect lots of pictures of Mr. Cooper. See below for pictures of today.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 5 - Memphis, TN To Bristol, TN

Another day on the road... for me today was much better. Not so much for Ian. He had to drive on a curvy mountain road and a detour on Interstate 40. We left Memphis (such a relief)... and drove probably the biggest chunk of time. We made it all the way past Nashville before stopping for gas. It's amazing when you can fill up your completely empty gas tank for less than $20. I still can't believe that in the same year we see the highest gas prices ever and on our cross country trip we see some of the lowest in years.

As fun as this trip as been... I think Ian and I are looking forward to staying at my sister's house. It will be nice to not stay in a hotel and see the Cooper Pooper. Speaking of him... my sister says he drools almost constantly and almost has to wear a bib because of it. How awesome is that??? Tomorrow we drive about 300 miles to Sterling, VA and we're going to stay there a couple days. We plan to leave on Friday for Buffalo, NY and then cross the border on Saturday. Hopefully all goes as planned!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 4 - Oklahoma City, OK To Memphis, TN

Today we left lovely Oklahoma City for Memphis, TN... This day will go down in history as the day that Ian and Brittany survived a night in Memphis, TN. I don't recommend staying in downtown Memphis and/or going out at night. It definitely made it an eventful day... but I will be very happy to leave Memphis behind tomorrow. I'm hopeful that Bristol, TN will be better.

We drove through the rest of Oklahoma and all of Arkansas. I had a lot of anxiety this morning about the weather but surprisingly it was clear all the way. A light wind and some rain but that was it... Nothing like yesterday. Ian drove for part of the way too!

We crossed over the Mississippi River and stopped in downtown Memphis for the night... Among the night's events... I drove down a cable trolley only street. Kenny the honest black guy said I had to go all the way to Canada for a man. And lastly, Ian and I ran for our lives but stopped off at Starbucks so he could get his Cinnamon Dolce Latte.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 3 - Santa Rosa, NM To Oklahoma City, OK

I have survived my first experience driving in "snow"! After leaving Santa Rosa, NM we hit a mix of rain and snow that was absolutely terrifying. I'm not hopeful for when I have to drive during snow and ice in Canada. We headed out of New Mexico into Texas and hit up the Cadillac Ranch. Erik recommended it and it was pretty cool... but see the pictures below... IT WAS FREEZING. We were able to write Ian and Brittany 08 <3 on a car but then fight the wind out of the field. Ian scared the bejesus out of me by screaming out when we got back to my car. Apparently sitting in front of us was a Xterra with a Hawaii license plate. He was extremely excited. Bordering on a little too excited. =)

In the pictures below you will see the giant cross...... It's supposed to be the biggest in the Western Hemisphere but it was just creepy... anyway... moving on. We stopped at a very nice rest stop just before Texola, TX. It had a bunch of old style signs as well as a tornado shelter. Fun stuff. After that we entered Oklahoma.... Let's just say I'm pretty sick of this state. It has been nothing but non-stop freezing wind since we crossed into it. Tomorrow we travel to Arkansas.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 2 - Williams, AZ To Santa Rosa, NM

After making it out of the high elevation city alive, Ian and I headed across Arizona to New Mexico. The car was covered in ice when we left the hotel in Williams. That was a new thing to have to deal with... warming up the car and the wipers sliding across the ice and not through it. We passed through Flagstaff and went slowly down in elevation which was nice. We're both feeling better after being so dizzy the night before.

We made it into New Mexico and even crossed the state line as Ian was driving the highway for the first time. He got a taste of road construction and detours. I got him to stop in Gallup, NM but he was done after that. This is probably a good thing as it got very windy after that. It's pretty cold and it's a little odd to see snow amongst the desert brush. Tumbleweeds flew across the road ahead of the car as we drove through Albuquerque. Other than that... it was uneventful. I did as my mom asked and put myself in a couple of the pictures. Ian was forced into them as well... (see the picture in the Shell gas station parking lot =D).


Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 1 - Home To Williams, AZ

Today, Ian and I left my home (/sadface) in Thousand Oaks, California and drove to Williams, Arizona. First thing we noticed... high elevation. That was fun. When we stepped out of the car, we immediately felt dizzy and sick. Hopefully this is just the elevation and nothing serious (yes mom, I'm still a hypochondriac).

In Williams, there is a little snow left on the ground and, to me, it's extremely cold - actual temperature 31 degrees. Below are some of the pictures we took along the way. Most were taken by Ian out of the car windows... so blame him for the bad ones. More tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Rain And The Rainbow

On my last day, I drove in to work through the rain... There was a rainbow visible near my building. It was just a little sign... my last day... a rainbow... rain... sad... but happiness at the end of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Changes

I haven't written a "I can't sleep" post in awhile. Actually, I haven't written a post in awhile period. These last few weeks have been extremely emotional. My anxiety is slowly going away. I still have a ton of worries... but I'm at least acknowledging them. As Ian and my mom both say, I'm worrying about things that are out of my hands. I have no control on how fast my immigration paperwork gets processed. Still.. I worry. I'm scared that my move will be delayed. I run into smallest of issues that ram home the fact that my life is in limbo. This weekend I had no food in the house... no granola bars... no bread... no juice... my cabinets are pretty much empty. I don't know when I'm going to be leaving... just the simplest thing... should I go to the grocery store... should I eat out... well I don't really want to spend a lot of money... etc etc. Simplest issue but just reminded of the fact that I am going to be leaving soon.

I'm slowly emptying my house. My room and bathroom are filled with echos because there just isn't the same amount of stuff sitting around. Today I took down all of the pictures and filled the holes in the wall. I can't imagine moving a full house. I have a small place... and I have accumulated so much crap. If I had any question of where my money has gone... it has been answered for sure. I can't wait to be settled. I can't wait to share my life with someone, especially because that someone is Ian.

Thankfully, he is going to be okay with me crying a lot this week and up until I leave. I'm sad to leave my mom. This is all a part of life though. You grow up... you move away (granted this is unfortunately not a short distance).. you create a family of your own... and life goes on. I have the best mom though. She raised me right. She's let me make my own mistakes and learn from them. The other day when I needed her to voice everything that was going on in my head she did. I'm having HUGE changes all going on at once. I'm taking a big risk AGAIN... but at the same time I'm engaged to the most wonderful guy. She said it perfectly... you're going to cry, you're going to be upset, you're going to be frustrated... I am almost all of those things all the time.

I went to the doctor on Monday because I got to work and just started shaking with anxiety. Interviewing people for your own position is weird and it's been stressful for me. On one hand, I care deeply about my team and the work I do. I want someone who can step in almost seamlessly. I worry about getting someone in my position that will let my team down. On the other hand, I'm leaving. It's not my problem and it's out of my hands if anything goes wrong. It's been stressful to screen people and set up interviews... I'm trying to prepare my electronic files to make the transition easier. This is on top of my normal day to day tasks and I'm also doing a bit of training for my new job. I'm definitely going to miss my team... but I'm really going to miss Emily and Amanda. I've gotten to know them better over the last few months and it's been great. I actually take lunch now instead of sitting at my desk and working through. They are really nice people; I wish that I had gotten to know them sooner.

I'm extremely excited to get started in my new job. I really think that I can bring a ton of help to my new team. That being said.... I'M SCARED TO DEATH TO DRIVE IN THE SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I have work tomorrow. I should get some sleep. I can't change the process I must go through. I can't rush the government. I can't control the weather. I can't force my heart to slow down when it starts to race with anxiety. I can't control the sadness I will feel when I finally move away. But I can control the positive and negative thoughts that run through my head. This was all meant to be. So whatever happens, happens. /keeps repeating it until my stupid subconscious believes it.

I've been listening to a lot of Barenaked Ladies lately. It reminds me of Canada and it's also a good pick me up. I would absolutely love to go to another concert of theirs. The video is from BNL's annual Ships and Dip cruise. Life, In A Nutshell... *love* it. "When we're separated, we're never alone but still... It's never enough... No, it's never enough".

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Prepared For Cuteness?

I don't think you are but click below...

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