Now THIS is how you get picked up from the airport! (some fun with our roomie, Nic Engel)

nicWe haven’t talked a lot about the phenomenon that is our roommate, Nic Engel, but I’m starting to think that we should add a new section on this blog just for all of the amazingly wacky things that he does on a day-to-day basis. He’s by far one of the most randomly creative people that I have ever met and he never fails to surprise me with the awesome ideas that he comes up with.

For instance, Nic was coming to pick Stephanie and I up at the San Francisco Airport (SFO) a couple days ago and after we had grabbed our luggage and texted him that we were ready to roll out, he said that he’s be there in 3 minutes to grab us. It had been a long couple of weeks of traveling, a wedding, a honeymoon and lots of flight time, so needless to sat Stephanie and I were both ready to get back to the SOMA Shack (our condo) for some much needed rest. All we were expecting from Nic was a normal, everyday airport pick-up, but of course he had to go and take something that’s so simple and ‘normal’ and kick it up a notch to a level that he was a little more, ummm…comfortable with.

You see, to us we were just getting picked up from the airport after being gone for 2 weeks. But, to Nic we were getting picked up after being gone FOR 2 WEEKS and we were also COMING BACK TO AMERICA AFTER BEING OUT OF THE COUNTRY FOR MANY, MANY DAYS!!! I use capitals because that’s really the only way that I can do this airport pick-up justice.

When Nic pulled up in Gloria (that’s what we call our black Pontiac G6) with the windows rolled down while blasting a CD of an African children’s choir that Stephanie and I had got from church, it didn’t really surprise me…but, it did surprise me when he started screaming “WELCOME TO AMERICA!!” while jumping out of the car and looking like a crazy Mexican Mayan Indian warrior  that was wearing a lei and holding two juggling pins. Oh, he was also wearing a red, white and blue “Happy 4th of July!” crown that Stephanie made in her preschool class, which I thought was a nice touch. :)

As the other people who were innocently standing on the curb waiting to get picked up watched in shock/horror, Nic threw the lei around Stephanie’s neck and slapped the 4th of July crown on my head. Then while screaming “WELCOME TO AMERICA — THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY!!” he grabbed our luggage and threw it into the back seat. The tribal markings that he had drawn all over his face and body with green, black and brown markers were also looking fabulous and they definitely added a lot to the overall entertainment value of the airport pick-up and it was good to see that Nic didn’t slack on any of the details (he never does).

I’m a little sad that I didn’t get video of this whole thing, but I did get a good picture of what he looked like, which is probably good enough to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Check it out below and enjoy all that is Nic Engel. Oh, and don’t worry, there’s a lot more where this came from.

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Frank vs. the Whoopee Cushion

woopy_cushion1I was playing around with a Whoopee Cushion today after Stephanie and I got back from church and to my surprise, it seemed that Frank was practically scared to death of it. While most dog owners after learning such information might refrain from inflicting the big, bad Whoopee Cushion on their poor, little puppy I saw it as an opportunity to make Frank tougher (and to entertain myself in the process). If you check out the video below you’ll quickly see that Frank wasn’t just scared of the Whoopee Cushion, he was in an all-out attack mode whenever it got close to him. I’m not really sure why Frank would be so spooked by an inanimate object, but it might be one of the funniest things that I’ve ever seen him do. I think you’ll agree. :)

It feels like Christmas (the wedding gifts start to show up)

img_0431Getting married and putting together a wedding isn’t easy, it’s a lot more work than you would think — especially when you’re doing from about 3,000 miles away. But, as we move closer and closer to the wedding date (only 23 more days!) I think that Stephanie and I are both starting to see a lot of the work finally pay off in a few different ways. One of the first ways is that we are both getting more and more excited as the RSVPs continue to roll in. We had about 12 people RSVP yesterday alone (the Bridezilla RSVP video seemed to get more people sending them in…) and just imagining all of these amazing peope in one place, all at the same time literally gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Honestly it makes me a little nervous knowing that everyone is flying in and what-not just for our wedding, but hey — it’s going to be an amazing time, so I know it will definitely be worth it for everyone. :)

So, even though seeing the RSVPs coming in is pretty exciting, it isn’t even in the same ballpark as the awesomeness of seeing our wedding gifts starting to show up. Each day we come home and go check out our lobby like little, giddy kids on Christmas morning who are going to see if there are any new presents under the tree. Here the last few days we have seen a few new wedding gifts come in from our registries that we set up at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond and honestly, we can’t get enough of it. I think that one thing that this wedding has really shown us both us how amazingly blessed we are to have such amazing friends and family who really care a lot about us. Seeing the notes, emails and gifts come in have really reinforced this to us and if you’re reading this right now and have sent us a gift (or are planning to), we want to personally thank you for being so freakin’ amazing that it hurts.

Just to show how happy getting these gifts and letters make us, we decided to take a picture and show you. As you can see, Frank and Stephanie are very happy that my uncle Fred and aunt Bestsy got us a sweet, new KitchenAid mixer. I’m not even sure what the thing can be used for honestly, but Stephanie was practically doing back flips when she realized what was in the FedEx box.

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Do they look excited, or what??? (Frank was a little confused)

You guys rock, thanks for reading and only 23 more days until the BIG day!

Hup teaches Frank a new trick

This is whatus guys end up doing while Stephanie is at an all-ladies wine night down in Palo Alto and Nic is out of town at a wedding. We do guys stuff like set up obstacle courses in the kitchen with random pieces of furniture. Hey, no one got hurt and it taught Frank a new trick, so no harm-no foul, right?

Just don’t tell Stephanie, OK? :)

Now you’ve got Hup, Steph and Frank (the Pug)

I have no idea why it’s taken us so long to post about the greatest thing to happen to our relationship since Trader Joes Hummus, but I guess that we’ve been so busy lately that we just haven’t been able to give Frank, our new Pug, the proper introduction that he so much deserves.

If you’ve been following our blog for a while you’ve probably read something about Frank the Pug and how he’s been something that Stephanie has wanted ever since she saw the original Frank the Pug in the Men In Black movies (which was like 7 years ago). We’ve also posted about her Frank infatuation a few times and we even came close to buying Frank from a shady Pug breeder that Stephanie found on Craigslist while I was in Austin, TX. We’re SO  happy that we didn’t do that.

Anyways, I’m not 100% sure how Stephanie found the woman that we bought Frank (who was previously named Ricardo) from , but she ended up being one of the nicest and most genuine people that we’ve ever met and she loved Frank so much that she broke down crying when she eventually sold him to us. That day was about 2 weeks ago and it’s been pretty amazing to see how quick Frank has become part of our family. At 6 months old, he’s still just a puppy, but before leaving for this vacation he was already getting really close to being potty-trained (he’s definitely had his fair share of accidents) and crate-trained (I slept with one of my arms in his crate one night with him so he would stay in there). He’s tested our patience a little bit, but overall he has been such an amazing addition to our lives.

We’ll be updating more on Frank here soon (like the fact that he actually walks to work with me every day), so be sure to keep on checking back with us. But, before I go I wanted to leave you all Frank fun, so enjoy.


Frank gets a little sleepy on Caltrain


Frank plays fetch!


Me and Frank have a little fun before bedtime

Growing up and buying our first couch from SOMA Sofa in San Francisco

Some people see buying a couch as just that — buying a couch. I would guess that it’s probably something that most people do before they hit the age of 25 or so, although it took me until the ripe, old age of 29 to finally cave in and buy a ‘real one’. I say ‘real one’ because I’ve owned (and borrowed) several couches in my lifetime, but the truth is each one of them were never even close to being new and none of them have ever cost me more than $100. They have made up of either rag-tag groups of hand-me-downs from friends, dorm rooms and dumpsters or leftovers that the person renting the place before me didn’t really feel like dealing with. Whether it was an older brother or sister or just someone who had decided to move out of the place that I was moving into, their growing up and moving on was always to my benefit and hey, I was always cool with that.

Even when Stephanie and I packed up and moved out here to California nearly a year ago we ended up buying the couch that the person before us was leaving in the cottage. It was actually part of a $250 package that included a wicker hamper, a sweet toaster oven, a TV with a stand and of course a 20 year-old floral print couch that came with a maroon cover and a surprisingly comfy pull-out bed. The only thing that didn’t make it to our new place here in San Francisco was the couch, which actually ended up fitting nicely into our friends living room down the street over at the Homer House. A handed down hand-me-down if you will (and the circle of life continues).

I think that they now honestly have a couch for every single person that lives in the Homer House (and that’s 8 people!).

So anyways, the fact that Stephanie and I have decided to buy a couch together means first that we (and Nic + friends) will be lounging in comfort once it makes it way into our ridiculously large living room, which will be a good thing considering that up until now all 3 of us have been crashing and hanging out on the window sill cushion, which is the only comfortable place to sit at the moment.  (If you don’t believe me, just check out how all 3 of us fell asleep the first night that we stayed the night together up in SF):


Believe if or not, that thing is super comfy

Secondly, the fact that we’re buying the couch together also signifies that there is some major commitment to our relationship. If you think about it, what says ‘I love you’ more than buying a nice piece of furniture together? I guess that some would say the fact that I proposed to Stephanie and gave her an engagement ring and all that stuff has commitment written all it, but to me nothing says I’m sticking with you for the long haul like the purchase of a brand-new, stylish sofa sectional. :)

We decided to buy the couch from a fun and funky furniture shop called SOMA Sofa that’s a few blocks away from where we live now. It is an amazing store that’s full of the most wild and creative furniture that you’ve ever seen and even though the particular couch that we ended up buying doesn’t necessarily look like it came off the set of BeetleJuice like some other the other stuff they had, it’s still modern-looking, stylish and of course, comfortable (which I love and Stephanie could really care less about). The furniture selection was great and the owners were really cool, so we decided that it was the place for us.

Here’s the style of couch that we decided to go with — it’s called the Benson. If you’re ever up in our neck of the woods in San Francisco be sure to hit us up so that you can stop by and test it out for yourself.


Imagine this in a dark gray color with really funky green pillows

Have you ever bought yourself some brand-spankin’ new furniture? How did it go? I’d love to hear some of your stories.

Surprised by some late night San Francisco fireworks after the Giants 2009 home opener

After dinner and some chit-chatting, Stephanie, Nic and I headed to our bedrooms to eventually crash for the night. Stephanie and I had helped Nic cook up an AMAZING Italian dinner a just a couple of hours earlier and it was all we could do to not pass out once we hit our bed. But, just as Stephanie and I started to get comfy, we heard some odd gunshot-like noises coming from outside.

BOOM! KA-BOOM!

“Ummm, what is that?”, I asked Stephanie.

“I have nooooo idea..”, she said.

KAAAAA-BOOM!

“Either someone is setting off fireworks or we’re in the middle of a civil war”, I said as I ran downstairs and looked out the window.

“NIC! DO YOU HEAR THAT???”, I yelled down to Nic, who was chillin’ in his downstairs dungeon.

K-K-KABOOOM!

“Yeah, I hear it.”, he said. “It must be some fireworks??”

At this moment we both were both looking out the windows in the living room and as we looked at each other I yelled, “Let’s go up to the roof!”

We got up there just in time to see about 10 minutes of some solid fireworks that were being let off just a few blocks away at at&t Park. Nic pulled out his camera and got some amazing time-lapse shots of the explosions, with my favorite being the one of Stephanie and I watching them explode over the buildings in the distance. Notice that she has my coat on and I have my super-sweet splint on. These shots are A-MA-ZING.

Here are some other people’s thoughts on the fireworks. Well, at least the people who are on Twitter.