Monday, September 10, 2007


While in NY, Rick conveniently got a little red convertible to ride around in. Since his return he's listened to Dave Matthews pretty much non-stop. I asked him what made him so into Dave again, and he said it was because he was listening and singing to Dave while driving in the little coup.
Rick also stopped by the Bianchi's home for dinner on Sunday. Rick lived with the Bianchi's in Room 1A right before leaving on a mission.

Rick and Friends

This is Rick and his friend Doug. Doug got married a few weeks ago. It provided Rick the opportunity to return to New York and see all the friends he grew up with in Lockport. I wasn't able to go since I don't have spare vacation days. Rick seems to get a trillion vacation days since he works at least one Saturday a month and is then able to take a vacation day during the next week. Anyway, I was so glad he was able to see everyone. They even got together to play some music, just like they used to!
Rick with his best friend, Aaron and his girlfriend Leah.

Are These Really Business Trips?

Rick had a number of business trips over the summer. I was going through his pictures and just thought, is this really work?? I guess that's the life of a salesman. At two of his trips they had disco themed "get to know you" functions. Rick looks fantastic, right?
This is Rick at his Boston Convention for the National Business Travel Association
And The Interstate Hotels & Resorts Sales Rally in Jacksonville, FL

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Jade and JT spent the evening with Aunt Kristina. While eating dinner T was just being a clown making one funny face after another so I grabbed my camera and here ya go - my little T-bird!
We had the movie Cars on in the background as we colored. All of the sudden, Jade stands up and starts dancing. But her bony little butt couldn't hold up her pants and they just fell down. Like a real comedic pro she hammed it up and continued to dance and do it all again. T had to join in the fun too but of course he had to actually PULL his pants down. It was really so funny to watch them!!
We had such a blast coloring and playing with Rick's crazy Halloween wigs. Here are more of the fun pics. They two crazy kids are just like their Dad though, continually joking around and being silly with non-stop energy. They make everyone laugh and then they bring on the hugs and you just melt. Being an Aunt is the BEST!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Special Guests

The anxiously awaited day is here - Natalie and Jillian have arrived! Jillian is staying with us for a month while Natalie has moved here. We are so excited to have them with us for so long. They arrived on Sunday and already Natalie has jobs lined up with Cheesecake Factory and Lifetime Fitness (providing her with a free membership to the best gym/pool/spa around). We are car searching for her now and I bet that won't take long either. Things are really going her way right now. Hopefully her luck continues!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dancing Queen

I was going through and cleaning up some files on my computer when I came across these videos of Jade dancing. The first is when she was a little over a year old. You can see JT crawl across the floor. I had to try to hide the camera from her because every time she saw a camera she wanted to see the back of it to see the picture of her! The second is about a year later. She still shakes her little butt-aye. I remember she was really tired. Near the end she drops her glasses and starts twirling her hair with one hand and sticks the other thumb in her mouth. This is/was her ritual for going to sleep. Rob and Bev still struggle to get her to stop both habits!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Rees Reunion 2007

After breakfast with the Hymas and Allphins we met up with my friend Anne Grenzebach. She and I had about an hour to talk as I hopped in her car and she followed Rick to Fruitland, UT where our family reunion was. I was afraid we wouldn't get a chance to see each other but we at least had some time together. It's so fun to visit with friends you haven't seen in awhile. I would have loved to have had more time to visit even more. I have so many in Utah now!

The Reunion started Tuesday, July 3rd, in the afternoon and we left Thursday, July 5th in the morning to catch a plane back to Austin. We camped in our new "luxury" tent (as it's about 160 sq ft with 6ft roof) right beside a mountain stream. It was so peaceful. The aunts and uncles stayed in a cabin lodge. It was the ideal place for a reunion and we enjoyed every minute of it. Rick realized he has a knack for playing horseshoes as we won the competition (by no help from me at all). I think it's all those dart games he used to play. We hiked up the nearest mountain on Wednesday and took in some spectacular views. It had been so long since I'd been hiking, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We're already looking forward to next year's Reunion.
Every year an auction is held at the Reunion in order to raise money for the next. Kylene auctioned her massage services and got a hefty bid for it at $65. Jefra framed some pictures of nature that spelled "FAMILY" and brought two of them. These were a definite hit and went for around $65 as well. Jefra and I also decided to put together a Rees Reunion DVD thanks to Rick's consistent prodding. So I've got a new project to work on for a while and I'm so excited. Jefra's pictures of the Reunion are amazing - expecially of the kids - and we've got some great video clips from aunts, uncles and Grandma and Grandpa. Rick, of course, is "executive producer" of the project and is spilling out ideas all over the place. Now I've got to figure out how to do them all!

Utah here we come

After a short visit in NY we flew to Utah. The primary purpose was to attend the Rees Reunion, however we were able to squeeze in a few visits with some friends too! We flew in late Monday evening and stayed with an old missionary companion of Rick's, Justin Allphin, and his wife, Jenny. We stayed up entirely too late but it was so fun re-living mission experiences.

The next morning we met up with Rick's mission President, Gene Hymas and his wife, Diana. Rick and Justin drove in one car to continue with mission stories while Jenny and I followed. I totally love Jenny and Justin!
President and Sister Hymas were so great and you could really tell how much they loved their missionaries. So I was able to hear even more mission stories! President is very soft-spoken and has to be one of the most humble men I've known. Sister Hymas is all smiles and personality. I instantly loved them both and can't wait to visit them again.

Lockport Re-lived

We were also able to go to Buffalo & Lockport, NY on Sunday and saw family. We drove all around Lockport as they were reminiscent. We went to Reid's for lunch in order to have the infamous fast food there (I'm not hooked yet, but everyone else sure is!) We stopped by their old home which was looking a little shabby. Rick even tried to break into his old home he lived in as a young boy. The town owns the home now and is selling the home for $15,000 because it is a mess and they are building a road there and would need to you move it as well! Good luck selling that thing! It was so fun to see everyone. We stayed at Dan and Denise's home. Rachel and Marissa have grown up so much. We love the Wolfe's!

Congratulations Franca and Matt!

Last Saturday we were in Rochester, NY to see Franca Monachino and Matt Borthwick's wedding. It was so beautiful and so fun to be there. Congrats you guys!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Cell Phone Pics

So I'm planning on getting a new cell phone in the near future. I had tried the LG VX9400 but returned it for poor battery life. But in preparation I am cleaning off my pictures and saving them to my computer. While doing so I thought I'd post a few here for memories sake.

Some may not know, some may have known, but I was in a car accident last December right around New Years. A truck basically drove over the front of my car as he was running a red light. It was SO FUN! (right) We replaced the Acura with the exact same car just a year newer. I love my Acuras! This is my 3rd!

This is my dad - he's so cute! He has an extremely contagious laugh.

This is our CTR-8 class in Fairport, NY. Rick and I taught them for a year. They were the best class. We are going to Fairport this Sunday as we will be in Rochester for a friend's wedding. I can't wait to see everyone again!

This is the INFAMOUS WOLF SPIDER that decided to scare me literally TO DEATH on HALLOWEEN NIGHT! At first I thought it was a fake spider Rick put in the living room to scare me but next thing I knew I turned around and it was GONE! I was HUGE! I immediately froze. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak. Finally, I got some nerve and ran to the bedroom, jumped on the bed and called my parents who live about 3 miles away. I begged them to come find the spider and get rid of him. (Rick was at school.) He was so big you couldn't squish this thing - it would be like trying to squish a mouse. Ew. They sent my little sis, Kylene. She was a little shocked by his size as well but did a good job of trapping him. We studied him, did some Googling and found out he really didn't hurt humans and was really good for your garden so she let him back outside.

Second side of the story - Rick found him in our yard while mowing a few weeks ago and KILLED HIM because it scared him! (Um, and yes, the picture is blurry because I was shaking like a leaf! You'd have thought it was a grizzly bear!! I had no idea I was such a wimp!!)

Kylene sent me this picture - she's a picture-aholic with her cell phone, but the thing is they are all REALLY good. I don't know how she does it. I really think she needs to make a career of it. But anyways, this is my favorite picture. It just looks so comfy - like the Snuggle Bear!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Hair

Well what was leftover of my blond has finally been removed! Well, at least temporarily. I didn't want to use permanent since it tends to not blend well and looks stark when you go darker. I quit highlighting my hair about 2 years ago and have been trying to get it back to "natural". So the rest of my hair now matches the roots. What a concept!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Senior Citizen Discounts

Yesterday was Mom’s birthday and she is officially a Senior Citizen at 55 years young! I don’t think she minds so much because now she can get 20% off at Ross on Tuesdays! Robert and Beverly brought a wheelchair and a cane. She had to sit in the wheelchair through dinner. She thought it was so funny - and surprisingly comfortable! Uncle Lynn and Aunt Barbara came down for the day. The boys went golfing and Barb and Mom got pedicures.

I don’t know what is going on with my camera but it appears my shutter is staying open too long and all my pics are getting blurred! Grrr.. Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Road Trip!

Rick and I have spent a large amount of time in the car together. Really, I know the right profile of Rick’s face much better than the rest! haha! We’ve always enjoyed traveling together and love the opportunity to get on the road. Although as I get older, I don’t like a trip longer than three hours. I can’t believe I used to drive across the US during the summers in college! Oh, and just so you know, Rick really is the driver in this pic. The camera just inverted everything!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Four Day Weekend

We were able to attend the Dallas Temple on Saturday and afterwards went to see an Improvisational comedy group “Four Day Weekend”. We highly recommend this show as we were left in stitches and continue to laugh just thinking about it. See more about the group here

Friday, May 25, 2007

Doral Tesoro

For Memorial Day Weekend we decided it was time we had a relaxing vacation. Rick’s company also manages a hotel/golf resort in Fort Worth, TX called “Doral Tesoro”. We managed to get an employee rate on a hotel room and upon arriving even were upgraded to a suite! The hotel is really the nicest place we have ever stayed. We really had little desire to leave.

The restaurant was fabulous and Rick also gets 50% off meals at the hotel because he is an employee of the same management company. This turned out really useful as they had a Friday Prime Rib buffet and full Breakfast buffets! The views at the hotel were breathtaking as well. You could tell many brides were taking advantage of the scenery as there were more than 5 weddings in just the few days we were here!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Wedding Vids are here!

Okay, so I was going to do some finishing touches on these that I still haven’t gotten to so I decided to go ahead and post them. However, I am SO disappointed that the fades from one picture to another are totally lost when you compress the video to upload quickly on the web. So you don’t really get the full effect, but I think you will still enjoy seeing them!

1 - Kylene and Jeff - Amor La Verita

2 - My Little Girl - Family Pictures

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rick Runs for Office

Rick decided back in January that he wanted to run for school board feeling it was time to get more involved. He ran a great campaign putting up signs and talking to as many people as possible. Towards the end he teamed up with Elizabeth Frey and Aaron Johnson to have a united campaign. A local parent support group who sponsor a blog called "Kids First" also gave Rick their support. This really helped get his name out there are well as his stand on various issues. This was a hot year for the election since the current superintendent is retiring.

News 8 did a story on all the candidates running for school board and Rick got great coverage. Unfortunately they've taken the video down. Boo!

Although Rick didn’t win we feel he did a great job for being new to the area, running against 4 other candidates and being the youngest - he got over half the vote in Travis County and 17% of the vote total. Go Rick! I’m so proud of you!!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Girliest Tomboy

I wish everyone could be around my niece and nephew, Jade and JT. They are too cute for words. This video perfectly depicts Jade’s attitude. She is totally all girl - from the doll-like laugh to loving jewelry and make-up, but at the same time she is tougher than tough and can do a mean wall climb!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Family Picture - Easter in Naples

Game On!

What would a vacation be without a Putt-putt Championship? We thought the winners were between Kaitlyn, Rick and Skip based on the first nine holes, but Jillian pulled out in the end beating us all! To the victor go the spoils - namely, a chili-dog and Milkshake from Checkers. Go Jillian!

Is Kaitlyn upset she lost here or that Natalie is trying to get some ice cream?

That evening we had dinner with Gary and Sally Beaumont. Skip worked for Gary and that is when he met Sandra. They live in such a beautiful home. It was a treat to be there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Leaving is always the worst. We loved our time with the family just relaxing. We’re hoping to be able to see them again at Christmas in Austin. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Where's the Bathroom?

The weather across the nation Easter weekend was cold and rainy, there was even sleet in Texas. Dad, Kylene and Jefra were kind enough to cover all of our flowers at home so they wouldn’t freeze to death. We are so grateful.

However, we in southern Florida were enjoying sunny days though they were a bit windy and not hot enough to prompt swimming in the ocean. I say that, but oddly enough the water was quite warm. We just didn’t like the idea of getting out of it into a cool breeze! But we did enjoy the beach. The breeze was nice and we all relaxed and forgot about all the stress of home.

Natalie was not as thrilled about relaxing as we were because she only could think of one thing - using the bathroom. There was a restroom down the beach but she had to go so bad she didn’t think she would make it. She urged us to go and we simply told her to go in the water. That thought made her shiver and she didn’t want to do it. But needless to say, her bladder told her otherwise. So the only one in the water that day was Natalie - squatting and crossing her fingers as she pleaded with her bladder to just let go! Thanks for the laugh Natalie!

For more pics of Natalie using the bathroom, click here.

Happy Easter!

We attended the Naples Ward Sacrament meeting Sunday morning at which the cutest old lady sang a medley of Easter Songs. You could truly feel the love she had for the Savior through her simple songs that were so heartfelt. The Stake President spoke as well. His message was beautiful. He mentioned one thing I thought I would share. It was not the crucifixion of Jehovah that made him our Savior, our Messiah, as many thousands of people were crucified by the Romans. In fact, the streets leading to the city of Rome were lined with men hanging from crosses so that those who entered would be afraid and feel the terror of the Roman Empire. How scary would that have been to see men in agony on a cross as you entered that city?!?! Needless to say, to them the symbol of the cross is a sign of torture and cruelty.

Easter is my favorite holiday. Because of the sacrifice our Savior made in Gethsamane and again on the cross, he bore our pains, felt our sorrows and took our guilt so that we could be cleansed of hurt and sin. Because he rose again on the third day, we all will rise again. He provided us all with the gift of immortal life. We celebrate His birth at Christmas but celebrate the way he lived at Easter. It is His life we try to emulate. And if humble and repentant, we are granted mercy to obtain not just immortal life, but eternal glory with Our Father in Heaven.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Hilton Naples

Rick booked us rooms at the Naples Hilton. It was such a great place to stay. The hotel was beautiful but all the perks made it the ideal place to vacation in Naples. They provided free bottled water to the rooms and offer a free shuttle to the beach twice a day. Then they send you off with cold bottled water in a cooler and beach chairs to boot! It really made for a stress free location. Their pool and hot tub was fantastic as well. The hotel is not very large so it has a more quaint feel. We really loved it.

And wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a magic maid come in every day and straighten up your things, make the bed and wipe down the sinks?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday Florida

Easter is Spring break for Rick’s sisters and we thought it would be fun to meet them on their vacation in Florida. Rick and I left Austin with only 2 hours of sleep and headed arrived at Fort Lauderdale to meet Dad. He offered to pick us up and then let us use his van throughout the vacation so that we could all fit in one vehicle. The van was so great the entire trip and enabled us to save time, money and enjoy each others company longer!

We went to a diner with Dad for lunch and had probably the rudest old woman as a waitress. Before heading out, Rick of course had to play with the cop gear, and then we were off to Naples to meet the Solotes gang. Mom and Skip and the girls were driving down from North Carolina and would arrive shortly after us.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Little Sis Gets Hitched!

What a fun wedding Kylene had! She looked beautiful and she and Jeff were just so glowy! I mean just LOOK!

Can’t beat love. :-)

They were married in San Antonio and had their reception in Austin. Rick designed the reception and set it all up at the Double Tree. It was so beautiful with the garden area and the food was awesome (okay, especially that punch - whatever it was we were all hooked and couldn’t stop drinking it!) Jefra, our sister-in-law, was the fabulous photographer and you can see some of the wedding pictures here. These are all ones I digitally altered in some way though - a new hobby of mine. I’m currently working on a video picture presentation. Well, it’s mostly done but I have a few finishing touches and then we’ll see about loading it here!

Congratulations Kylene and Jeff!! We love you!!!