Daily Archives: January 13, 2010

My Favorite Moments

I spent two weeks with my family over the holidays.  This was probably the longest visit I’ve had since I moved to Seattle.  It was kind of nice because I think I spent good quality time with all my nieces, nephews, siblings and parents.
 
My favorite moments with…
 
Jasmine – I introduced Jazzy to Bella Sara Adventures and bellasara.com (the games/site I work on).  She loves taking care of her horse – feeding it, tucking it in for a nap, etc.  Randomly I decided to "play horsey" with Jazzy as the horse and me walking along beside her holding the panda i bought her for xmas on her back.  Jazzy crawled on all fours back and fourth across the dining and living room panting as she reached one end, pausing a second to turn around and race back across the room.  Her favorite gag was when I dropped panda just like how Prince Phillip gets dropped off his horse in Sleeping Beauty.  But my favorite moment was when on her own, unprompted, Jazzy goes full-on horsey and scratches with her front "paws" (aka arms) and rears on her back legs.  It was adorable!!
 
Vincent – The second night I got into town, my brother went outside the shovel the driveway and brush all the snow off his wife’s car.  While he was out there, he started to build a HUGE snowman.  The thing was probably as tall as I was. I bundled Vincent up and took him outside to play with his dad and he had a blast!  He got a huge kick throwing snowballs all over the place.  When his dad finished the snowman, he went up and gave it a big hug.  It was SOO cute, I ran inside, grabbed my camera, and made him do it again.  =)
 
My second favorite moment, was when I tucked Vinny in one night.  To lure him to bed, I tucked in his favorite toy – Puss the Cat (from Shrek) and a new stuffed cat I bought him for xmas.  He walked into the room, pulled the new cat out of bed, walked outside his room and threw it down!  Apparently, Puss the Cat is a very territorial cat and there’s room for only 1 cat in Vinny’s life.  New cat now belongs to baby brother.
 
Kaitlyn – Katie is a riot.  She’s pretty quiet and can entertain herself — very independent.  One night she was playing with her dollhouse.  The second story flooring was broken on one side and wouldn’t properly attach on one end.  After blowing off many of my attempts to help fix it (Katie was insistent on fixing it herself), she let me install a temporary fix – basically a big book to prop up the second floor.  I return to playing cards w/ my family, when we all hear a exasperated, "Oh, man!".  You could hear the disappointment in her voice.  We all looked over, and Katie took out the book holding up the second floor and it fell.  Sad to witness, but hilarious how adult sounding her "Oh, man!" expression was.  She’s like her daddy.
 
Brandon – My favorite moments with Brandon by far are when he runs up to me and gives me a big hug.  He’s got this huge smile on his face and big doughy eyes full of excitement.  It’s sweet getting hugs from any of nieces and nephews, but Brandon is so enthusiastic every time.  He’s fiesty and a bit of a bully to his older brother, but he’s just so cute!
 
 

Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010

This past year has been fun, stressful, and extremely fulfilling. I was lucky enough to work with an awesome team to create an exciting new game (Bella Sara Adventures). It was hard work, lots of late nights and 60+ hour weeks, but it was all worth it. It was such an ambitious project and I’m very proud of what we created. We built a complete adventure game for little girls in 7 short months and the game just keeps getting better.
 
I’m still very active in my volunteer work with VNSF. Last year was my first year as Treasurer and boy did I learn a lot. My induction into the new office included having to file federal taxes for VNSF *twice*!  As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve taken over managing our Quickbooks accounting files… eek!  We also put on several fun and profitable fundraising events that will help us fund our programs.  VNSF continues help more and more students get the education they deserve.  I feel lucky and proud to be involved with such a meaningful organization.
 
I didn’t get to play as much beach volleyball this summer as I would have liked. At least I stayed in an in-door league throughout the year. I did make up for it a little during my awesome Kona Thanksgiving vacation. I think Hawaiian Thanksgiving should be a new tradition. =)
 
Looking ahead to 2010, I’m excited to share that I accepted a new challenge to work on Project Natal as a PM at Microsoft on the Xbox Shell & Platform team. Yep, I’m goin’ back! I’m sad to leave Hidden City Games and the Bella Sara Adventures Team. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked on something I loved with an amazing group of people and a supportive chain of management. It’s a tough combination to beat. But, the chance to be involved in something so ground-breaking and possibly revolutionizing is just too awesome to pass up. My first day back at Microsoft if February 8th.
 
Here’s to a great 2010!!