Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hello Houston!

My, what a difference a year makes! This time last year, as I was recapping my first NBA All Star work experience, I used words like "overwhelmed" and "panic" in my post. This time around was a completely different experience. Not only can I now take work trips and flights by myself without having a panic attack, but I entered every chaotic situation with confidence and made decisions and stuck by them. Behind the scenes, these NBA All Star events are not nearly as fun and care free as you might imagine. Especially when you're working for a larger-than-life athlete that everyone wants to talk to. Everywhere you go, there's cameras and interview requests and question after question. Still, I can't complain. It was a pretty awesome experience.

I am slightly bummed I didn't take more pictures of Houston since it was my first time there, but here are the moments I remembered to take out my camera and snap a few pictures...
The city of Houston was decked out in All Star swag. Everywhere I went, there were signs and posters and billboards. When I checked into my hotel, I noticed that what used to be windows were all filled with All Star posters. And of course my room key was also a nod to the event that had taken over the entire city...
The fun started early Friday morning with planning meetings, touch-base phone calls, and final walk throughs. Friday night marked our first media event, and I was excited to meet Rachel Nichols (formerly with ESPN, currently with CNN). I have been watching her work the sidelines on TV for years, so it was surreal to be sitting with her and talking to her like she was one of my pals. She was very nice and so sweet. We'll definitely be keeping in touch!
Saturday was another jam-packed day that started with my favorite event of All Star weekend. The LeBron James Family Foundation had completely renovated a local Boys & Girls Club gym, and we were part of the big reveal. There were hundreds of kids excitedly waiting to see their new gym, but little did they know... LeBron James was actually going to be there to surprise them! I will never forget the looks on the kids faces as they shrieked with excitement when he walked through the door. It was definitely a great moment those kids will never forget and I was so excited for them!
After the event, we did an exclusive sitdown with the Good Morning America crew...
We made a few more stops before heading back to the hotel to get ready for Saturday night's "2 Kings" dinner. This was honestly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I hesitate to even post about the celebrities in attendance because I don't want to be a name dropper... but when Beyonce is in the house, a girl's gotta share! Let me tell you, she is even more beautiful in person. After I fulfilled my red carpet media duties, I took my seat at this exclusive dinner and just looked around in awe. Of course I kept my cool and acted like I owned the place, but I couldn't believe I was actually sitting in the same room with people like Jay-Z, Beyonce, P-Diddy, Neyo, Drake, and Adrian Peterson. I kept thinking to myself 'how did I get here?' It was pretty cool.
 All ready for Saturday night's event.
After planning for this weekend for so long, it felt like it went by in a flash. Before I could catch my breath, I was back on a plane headed home (and just happened to bump into Ray J who thought it was so cool that I had my boarding pass on my phone. Really??) After Corey and Ruby picked me up from the airport, we went straight to my parents house to have dinner with my family and tell all my cool stories. And to be honest, this dinner was far better than the celeb-infested dinner in Houston. Nothing makes me happier than being home with the ones I love.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

To my valentine...

Apologies in advance to all my blog followers for this mushy love post that is directed towards my blog's biggest fan and my Valentine forever, Corey...

Happy Valentine's day mister! As our first married Valentine's Day, I am so sad to be out of town, but know that I am thinking about you all the time! This past year has been such a crazy ride, but I am so thankful to be on it with you by my side! Back when we were dating in high school, did you ever think we’d become husband & wife, homeowners, puppy parents, aunt & uncle, and so grown up all in the same year? It’s been so busy and so wonderfully insane, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I’m stressed out, cranky, and downright crazy, you always keep me going and remind me what’s important in life. There’s nothing better than coming home to your smile and your kisses, even though Ruby freaks out every time you show me affection and not her (such a jealous girl!). But you are her whole world and she loves you to death like I do.
Your big heart is the best thing about you, and I am so lucky that it belongs to me.
 You're all I need, my love, my Valentine.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Honey, I'm home!

As I'm sitting here on Sunday night, watching the Grammys and snuggling with my pup by the fire, I am realizing how thankful I am to not be driving to San Francisco for work right now. It's been a drive I've been begrudgingly making every Sunday evening for the past several months since we bought our house. Sadly, I've been leaving my husband, our fur baby, and my family behind as I work in the Bay Area during the week, returning home each weekend. We've been doing that for so long that often times when people ask me "how's newlywed life going?" I hesitate before joking that I'd let them know when I experience it.

Well, I am SO happy to report that the time has finally come where I can live in the home my new husband and I have made and help raise our little miss Ruby. Once again I can do all the simple things I've missed so much like cooking dinner with my hubs, stopping by my parents house to say hi, taking my puppy for a walk, having mid-week dates with Pixie and Nellie (and kidnapping my nephew Brendan!), playing indoor soccer with my BFF, and watching The Bachelor on Monday nights with my Shawna, Bryan and Johnny. All the little things that may seem insignificant, but ones that I will never take for granted again. I know what it's like to live without them five days a week, and I never want to do that again!

Home is where my heart is. Corey and I still have several projects going on at the new house (more on these soon), and I couldn't be more excited to be home to see it all happen. What are we without the ones we love? Life is too short to work it away, so I am looking forward to restoring some of the work-life balance I've been missing.

No more commuting to the Bay Area. No more sleeping on my brother-in-law's couch (although Keith was the BEST host, cooking me dinner and turning on the heater for me every night!). No more only talking to Corey on the phone. No more missing my sisters and my parents and my nephews! No more not blogging for days and days!

My newlywed life starts now, and I am so excited for what's ahead! Just in time for the golden years...
P.S. Thank you all for your kind words about Corey. Every single test has come back perfectly healthy, and he is doing just fine. Just hoping we can get to the bottom of this!