Showing posts from December, 2008

The Inevitable Picture Travelogue

I'm finally home and back in my own bed. Oh yes, I am blogging from my bed. If you had had to travel for over 22 hours yesterday, you would be spending New Years Eve in bed too.
Being home means being reunited with the USB cord that unites camera and laptop, and thus, means I can now share with you the carefully selected pics of my Christmas vacation where I don't look as fat in some as I do in others.
Enjoy. I'll try to explain them. Please try and keep up.

We played Phase 10. Even the dog, Trixie, played it. I bet your dog doesn't play Phase 10.

Dad opens gifts. Dads rarely show up in the Christmas morning pictures, you know? So I think it is only fair and appropriate to show a picture of Dad on Christmas morning.

I am not the only member of the family who enjoys taking self-portraits. I discovered my brother likes to do it as well after finding approximately 10 pictures of just him randomly on my camera today.

Trixie was also enthralled by the gift openings. Sadly, …

Happy Dance Time!

I think you know what this means! HAPPY DANCE!

Among other things, one of the best reasons for today's happy dance is the birth of Abigail Conklin. My cousin Tami (she and her husband are both regular blog readers) gave birth, AT HOME (on purpose), au naturel, at 5:20ish this evening to a 9 lb, 20 inches little lady. I hear Abigail has cute chubby cheeks! (and at 9 lbs probably lots of chub in other places as well).

There are other reasons to dance for joy today, but Baby Abigail (who was due over a week ago) is definitely the best reason!

More Fun With Family Conversations

*erinannie*: So, K-tux, what's new in Cow-town?

K-tux: Oh you know, this, that, and the usual.

From the backseat, KJr (an 8 yr old girl with the sassiest Southern accent you've ever heard):  There was a man dressed all in black, laying in the road, hoping for a car to hit him, and people were standing by the road watching him. My friend and I wanted to ride our scooters down to go watch too. I asked my dad, and he said, "KJr, what's interesting about watching a man dressed in black laying in a road?" And I said, "Dad, what's NOT interesting about watching a man dressed in black laying in a road?" And he said, "Well, I can't argue with that logic."

*erinannie* (trying not to run off the road while laughing hard): So did you go watch him?

KJr: No, it didn't sound all that interesting after all.

More Great Quotes by the Family

After seeing the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,"
Erin: That was really interesting. I think I'd like to go read the real story now.
Stephanie: WHAT? That was a real story??
(for those who don't know, the movie is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was what I was referring to.)

Cousin Merry Brooke: Uncle Maurice, did you get to wear flip-flops on your mission to Samoa? (Pause.) Wait, did they HAVE flip-flops back then??

After going out shooting redneck style (homemade trash targets in the woods) with some cousins and then getting the Suburban stuck in the mud for nearly an hour.
Dad: Well, I'd have to say this day started out at a 6.5. But then with the shooting it moved to a 9. But well, this (referring to the 6 family members covered in mud standing around the completely stuck car, all of us laughing at the predicament), THIS makes the day a 10, I'd say!

At the baby "un-shower" for Jon and Sarah, little 4 yr old Kaylee sudd…

Apples to Nephi

A glimpse into why the McBride clan does not play many board games.


I bet you've never had to pull out the scriptures to win a round of Apples to Apples.

... Mom and Mancub were tied at the end of the game, so we went to a lightning round. Mom and Mancub each had 2 red cards left. We turned over the last green card- Saintly.

Mom's card: Machine Guns

Mancub's card: Deer Hunting.

Mancub's argument: Nephi went deer hunting and prayed about it. And he was as close to a saint as you can get.

Mom didn't try to back hers up. But she did challenge Mancub that if he could finish quoting the scripture, or telling the story, he could win.

Mancub attempted to explain Nephi's broken bow and arrow story.

Mom did not agree.

Which is how our game of Apples to Apples was won by Dad who pulled out his scriptures to tell us the story.

And now you know why we don't play many board games around here.

Feliz Navidad, Y'all!

Happy Christmas!
I must admit I am enjoying the lovely 50+ degree weather here in Southern Virginia this week. After years as a child of hoping and praying for a White Christmas, and never having my wish come true, and then moving to Utah where we get our fill of snow and then some, I have to say, I am perfectly happy with a very evergreen Christmas.
Christmas is always a personally introspective time. I'm torn right now between writing the travelogue of a post you might expect, full of meals and gifts, or writing what is really on my mind- which is how hard it is to be single during the holidays.
I'm going with single and the holidays, because I know there are a few of you out there who feel the same and probably need to hear that you/we aren't alone.
First of all, I want to go on the record as saying I love my family, both immediate and extended. We all fit in with our families in our own special way. And nothing I am about to say has anything to do with whether or not t…

Slowly Going Crazy

Okay, I have a quick confession to make (but only because I know my immediate family never reads my blog). I should not have come home to Virginia. When you are under the gun with a major marketing campaign, feeling unreasonable amounts of work stress, questioning your entire career and life goals, and ready to just kick and scream and throw things at the computer monitor, and wanting to just quit your job because this is really not the way you want your life to be, this is NOT the time to have to make nice with family, visit with relatives, not have a car, not have an escape hatch, not have much privacy, disrupt your entire routine, and have a family that thinks it is their personal mission in life to un-addict me from Diet Coke.
That is all.

Virginia is for Lovers (and Family)

I'm back in my home state. It was surreal landing at DCA, and then driving past Arlington, past Falls Church, past Fairfax, past Oakton, and past Centreville. We just kept on driving for 4 more hours, past all of the towns I call home. And now I'm in Roanoke with my family, in our new house, in a new town, trying to get used to things.
On top of all the major family life changes going on with this vacation, I'm also attempting to work from home full-time during this trip. Let's just say that is easier said than done.
But today was great! My cousin Karma stopped by for a visit with her 3 kids. Karma and I never get time alone together anymore, so that was a fun chance to sit and talk. And then we headed over to my uncle's house for family home evening (after much debate over who has the better tv and surround sound for watching "The Dark Knight"). I got to talk shop and visit with my cousin Jon, his wife Sarah, and hold my other cousin Matthew's new ti…

too busy to find another happy dance video

I would post another happy dance for this, but its actually kind of hard to find a happy dance posting sometimes. But THIS made me happy. In case you are wondering, I am, solely, the marketing department he is referring too. (I don't want to put in names or details because I'd like my personal blog to remain somewhat personal, and not come up in a google search for certain other terms.)

They are dancing, and well, these little guys do make me quite happy...

I just found out last night that I won't be spending Christmas with the Three Nephews, which is a sad thing, but also, a happy thing, because it means I'm going to Virginia for Christmas after all! Surprise!
So add that with those other things I've been keeping a sort of secret and you get- a happy dance posting!

Win $500 from my company. I can't win, but you can!

Want to win a $500 gift card? Go to for details!! Blog it- Take the logo above and post it on your blog, and then leave a comment on the Cheapo blog, with a link to your blog (or they won’t know you did it!)
Twitter it- Tell your friends about the contest by sending out the following ‘tweet’ on Twitter-
Win a $500 gift card for travel from by retweeting this message! Details at
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That’s all it takes! Blog it, Twitter it, or Facebook it, and you are entered into the $500 gift card giveaway!
The giveaway runs December 17-22, 2008

Introducing StoryAnnie

Many of you are getting my Christmas letter in the mail this week. As for the rest of you, I either don't actually know you, or don't know your address, so you're not getting one. But if you did get one you already know that this year I decided to do something a little bit different, and instead of sending out a regular Christmas card or letter, I sent out a short story I wrote.
(I also included my blog address in my Christmas non-letter, so I'm guessing I'll have a few new visitors show up here soon. Welcome!)
I have decided to put a little more effort into my imagination and writing. And with that decision comes a new blog called, "StoryAnnie." You'll find the history behind StoryAnnie by clicking on any of the times you see me type StoryAnnie. I have exactly 1 story up so far, and that is the same story that went out with my Christmas letter.
I hope you like it. If you don't, well, no one is making you read it.


I can honestly say that I spent my entire day today in service to other people. I don't say this to toot my own horn or anything of the like. I say it because

When I become the brand

Today I'm going to branch out a little and talk to you about social media marketing (SMM). As most or many of you may know, I work in this field. But most of you have no idea what it means.
Social media encompasses the online tools that encourage communication and interaction. For instance, Facebook- it encourages communication, networking, and interaction. Because social media cannot be explained without the word networking, you will also hear it called Social Network Marketing, but not as frequently. Personally though, I think SNM describes what I do better than SMM. And yet, we're going to keep calling it SMM.
Other SMM tools include Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and any website that uses discussion boards (LDSLinkup, Cafe Mom, for instance). And blogging is a huge SMM tool.
My job(s) for the past year have all been SMM oriented. I represent brands or companies and use social networking websites to communicate the message the brand wants to share. Usually my goal is to get th…

Christmas For Me

I keep getting asked what I'm doing for Christmas, and then also, what do I want for Christmas.
To be honest, I'm just not all that into Christmas this year. I have chosen to not go "home" for Christmas, and I'm too lazy to decorate my apartment much, so other than buying other people gifts, I just don't care.
If you think there is some underlying depression or something going along with this, you are wrong. This is how I feel most years actually. I love buying other people gifts, and sure, I like getting presents too. But honestly? I just don't get into it the way some people do.
I love the music, and it is nice to see other people's decorations, but I'm just not into it.
So anyway, yes, I'm not going back to Virginia for a variety of reasons. Mostly I just couldn't see how it was a good idea to spend $600 on a plane ticket to go to a town I don't consider to be home. (My parents recently moved, and therefore, home is not home.)
So in…

Kids Say the Darndest Things

*erinannie*: Andi, I'm going to steal you, and take you home, and keep you forever.
Andi (without missing a beat): Okay, but you have to ask my mom first.
*erinannie*: Maybe I'll just borrow you for a while. You're mommy would miss you too much.
Andi (pauses and thinks): It's okay, she has my sister!

(From my sister Natalie)
The kids in Dallin's class wrote a xmas wish list on paper stockings and hung them up outside of their class room.  Dallin's said, "Dear Santa Claus, Please bring my mom some make-up so she can look pretty.  And please bring my dad some pants."  It is true that I could use some new make up but Steve owns about 12 pairs of paints.  Either way, it was very thoughtful of him. 

Dallin was concerned that we didn't have a fireplace and how could Santa get inside.  I assured him that Santa is magic and Dallin should not worry about it.  Dallin said, "Oh, he will just 'poof' himself into our house?"  Yes, …

Statistical Anamoly

Three nephews, 2 god-daughters, 12 months a year. Five birthdays to spoil my favorite kids. Doesn't sound all that complicated right?
So someone explain to me how it is 4 of the 5 have birthdays within 4 weeks of each other, and within 4 weeks of Christmas? So today I wasn't shopping for just Christmas presents. Oh no. I had to get 5 Christmas presents (for kids) and 4 birthday presents.
But did I? No. Instead, I bought zero birthday presents, and 3 Christmas presents. That would be joint presents for 2 girls, and 2 boys. And one kid is getting his very own present. And 3 of them are going to get "special shopping trips" with *erinannie* when they see her this week. And the one kid who had the decency to be born in July is getting a much better present.
(All that being said, I finished all my Christmas shopping today. And to my family that decided we're doing a name draw this year after I had finished my shopping? Well, you're all getting presents anyway. Y…

What? Could that be a happy dance posting?

I will admit that much like this video, the beginning of my day was nothing like the ending. I debated whether or not a roller coaster today with some open ended questions deserved a happy dance, but I decided if I want to choose to be happy, then gosh darn it, I will be happy. After all, there was a point in the day when the cutest little 4 year old girl I know ran up, gave me a big hug and said, "She's my big sister. Well, no she's my sister's big sister. But I love her like she's MY big sister!"
And how can you not post a happy dance after that?

Make it to at least 55 seconds in, and I promise you'll start laughing.

Oh and one more reason I am happy- it turns out that the person I am stalking, is stalking me back in his own special way. Its a little creepy and ridiculous, but I choose to take it as a good thing.

The Ups, the Downs, the Heres, the Theres

You'd think I'd learn by now. After approximately 22 years of mood swings and PMS, you'd think I'd know when that's the real problem, and not the rest of the world.
Except when sometimes it really is the rest of the world, and Mother Nature is just making it all twenty times worse.
I was thinking this was a crappy yucky week with lots of things happening that I can't control. But then today I looked at a calendar and realized, "oh no, it's just me." And why can't that be good enough??
Sorry to the 50% of the population that was just grossed out by those thoughts, but well, the other 50% can relate.
The summary of things I'm not sure if it was me or the world-

1. The realtor not calling me back in spite of my daily calls. Hello, have you seen this housing market? Can a realtor really afford to not return calls??

2. My paycheck has always been deposited on Thursday, in spite of the fact that payday is on Friday. My account is looking very empty. I…

Go Due West!!

GO VOTE FOR DUE WEST! TODAY, TOMORROW, AND SATURDAY!!  They are within striking distance of winning this thing! So help us all out and GO VOTE!!! Why do I care so much? Well, who do you think entered them in the contest??

Tell me I'm not alone in this (Please!)

This is another post for all my single friends. (Sorry, Smug Marrieds. ;-) )

There are days when you *feel* single.
And then there are days when you don't just feel it. You *know* it. You know you are going to be alone and single forever, and it just hurts and it bites, and there's nothing you can do about it.

There are days when you *think* you've got it all together. The career, the social life, the budget, the future.
And then there are days when you know that no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it is never going to be enough, and you are just going to die trying, and no one will ever care.

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way.

**post now edited**

Thanks to Laurie and Heidi for showing me this video just when I needed it most!

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

In honor of the song stuck in my head for the last few hours of total chaos, I hereby give you a youtube of it.

There's nothing magical about the video. No real reason to watch it. It's just the song I have been singing all afternoon.
Because my afternoon went like this.
1 pm- get notification I have a 2 pm conference call
2 pm- during this conference call find out I have another call coming up
2:50- start this call wondering how I am going to effectively handle said call while going to pick up Little from school. She knows to take the bus to daycare if I am not there to get her on time, but last week I was late, and she was out waiting for me. It's snowing and sleeting and she's not known for wearing a jacket. Not a good combination.
3:10- still on my call, I drive to pick up Little, opt to not use the loo while on a business call.
3:15- discover road closure 2 blocks from her school. take a totally random detour. now running late.
3:25- pass her school bus driving the op…

2 Fast Things

1. Why is it I only get migraines on Sundays? And not just any migraine, but tunnel vision migraines that are so sensitive to light and sound that going to church is completely unacceptable? And they come worse on Fast Sundays, making fasting impossible as well?? No matter what I do to ward them off, or better prepare my body for the change in activities and routine, this happens every Fast Sunday. So right now when I should be getting ready for church, instead I am laying my bed with my laptop, looking at the screen with sunglasses on, cause my head is spinning and I know nausea is the next level of this headache.

2. if anyone is on a Windows Vista computer and knows how to turn the broadband thing off, please help me. I don't have a wireless router here in my apartment, so I'm still hardwiring in. But every few minutes or so (especially on websites with large content, music, or videos) my broadband connection window pops up. And it is driving me batty! And I can't figure…

For Andi Bo Dandi

For Andi (and my mom, my sister, and my nephews, who all love this song and every year ask me to somehow produce it for them)

You know, if I could find the sound track to this song without the vocals, I would totall do it for the ward Christmas talent show this week.

Musings on Music

This morning I have had the chance and reasons to contemplate why I love music as much as I do. I've never met someone who just flat out didn't like music. I've met a lot of people with preconceived notions about variations of music, or with preferences so narrow as to limit their scope and intake. But I've never met someone who just didn't like music at all. I think it is safe to say everyone likes music of some variation, style, or taste to some degree. We even go through significant periods of our lives when we are defined and categorized by our choices in listening to or performing music.
Performance Music has been a part of my life ever since I was a very little girl. When I think back I can only recall one short period of time in my life (my late 20's) when performance music wasn't a major part of my life. I started singing and dancing around the age of 4 or 5. I was in a church rendition of the "Music Man" (still one of my favorite musical…

Friday Night Brain Dump

Things rolling around in my head-

- I never thought I'd spend a weekend working on my lawsuit against an employer. I am way too passive aggressive to sue people.

- Every day around 1 pm my kitten turns from being your average cat into an absolute nightmare. I can't wait to get him neutered.

- Every night at 10 pm my kitten turns from being the most annoying animal on the planet into the cutest most cuddly thing you have ever seen. He still insists on falling asleep on me and me only.
- I am working on the coolest Christmas card and letter ever. And seriously, if all you do is send a card with a signature on it, don't send me one. If you send a letter with an interesting amount of information in it, send it on over.

- I have to find the perfect much bigger house to live in. And figure out which town to move to. And a bunch of other crap. And soon.

 - I'm tired.

One more thing.

I'm showing great restraint not blogging about my relationship and romantic angst tonight.
The end.

The one where I impart my wisdom upon you

Okay, when I made my confession that I am a pro stalker I expected a little more teasing, and less support. But I what I really didn't expect was for people to ask me for tips on how to stalk someone online. I guess we can chalk this post up to using my powers for good.

I shall now impart my wisdom upon the masses.

Online stalking is so much more than just using Google. Google is for amateurs. If you really want to stalk you have to go beyond Google and embrace tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and Of course, these tools only work if you know the person's full name. And it really helps if you know what town they live in as well.

Now we're still only in pro-amateur country here. To really go pro, you have to figure out what the person's job is. If you know what company he/she works for, look up the company website and/or blog. A lot of companies put up profiles or bios on their employees. You can learn a lot that way. Sometimes they even (stupidly) put up…

Its All About Me and the Benjamins

In the near future there is a good chance that I am going to have to make a tough decision. It will mean choosing between career satisfaction and great money, or the chance to say I'd rather pursue the rest of my life's dreams. Prior to this point in my life I've never really had to choose between the two. My career was always the center of my life because it could be. The "rest of my life's dreams" weren't really something I could pursue yet. And my jobs have always required a lot of attention and time.
All that being said, forget it now.
This is a question for the single people out there. Marrieds, its not that I don't think you don't have words of wisdom here, but unless you got married after the age of 30, I'm pretty darn certain you probably haven't ever had to encounter this situation. And without experience, quite frankly, your input will just be annoying. Because nobody likes know-it-all marrieds who think they know what singleton …

Using My Skills For Good and Evil

Sometimes I feel like I should explain something to the world. And that is simply that I'm really good at cyber-stalking and manipulating social media tools. In fact, I'm so good at cyber-stalking and social media that I've now officially made a career out of it.
What does this mean?
It means that for the most part, with rare exception, I can find just about anything about anyone online. And I can use this knowledge for good or evil.
For instance, my blog has all sorts of invisible magic tools on it that tell me how much traffic I get in a day, where it is coming from, and even what link you followed to find it, or what operating system you are on. If you are curious, 90% of my readers are using Windows XP, and most of you use Firefox for the internet. Why does this matter? Well, it probably doesn't to you, but to a nerd like me, I can use this information for other things in the future.
Back to the links.
I can not only see what link you followed to get to my blog, for ins…

Secret Millionaires

Tomorrow night on Fox there is a new show debuting called, "Secret Millionaires." Along with a few of my friends, I am eagerly going to be watching. One of the "secret millionaires" is an acquaintance of mine. I'm not in the mood to share which one right now, because I'm tired of my blog being found in google alert searches.
Surprised I know a multi-millionaire? Well, like I said, he's just an acquaintance. He was the owner of the company that my old employer shared office space with. I doubt he recalls my name, or remembers me. But I was around during the time he took off to go do his undercover work. And I heard him talk a little bit about his experiences. I was even in the office the day the camera crews came around to interview him, and get some footage of our office space. So I'm interested to see how this all plays out. He's in practically none of the promos for the show online. But his profile is on the site, and I have seen him in one of…

If you're single and you know it, clap your hands.

Let me tell you a little secret, World. If my marital status is always going to depend upon me making the first move, I'm going to be single forever.
Which is also why there is no happy dance posting today.