Saturday, June 20, 2009

XP 2009

XP this year was great! I am continually impressed with the amount of time and effort that is put into this event every year. I love that Steve Thorne (the president and CEO of PDS) does this, that he loves to give recognition to those who work so diligently and are desrving of these awards. We always have such an amazing time. Each year there is a theme. This year it was a Saturday Night Live-esque theme...Live from PDS it's XP Live. At the awards banquet we got to walk down the red carpet, there were cameras, a hostess doing interviews and a photo shoot. John Maxwell came to speak, I missed most of that one 'cause I was getting a pedicure. James said it was great, which is saying something-he doesn't particularly care for lectures.

There were a couple things that I did catch at the end though, one is to start paying your kids to read motivational books, which we plan to implement with Brooklyn this year (he said kids 10 and older). He has written one that I would like Brooklyn to read next year called Failing Forward. The next 2 things that struck me were things I'm sure I've heard before but never really thought much about. He said that, NO ONE can MAKE us happy, we choose either to be happy or not to be, but then we should surround ourselves with people who will ADD to our happiness. But we cannot expect to go through life waiting for others to make us happy. The other is that no matter what we do out of the home, if those at home do not "like" us we have failed. He didn't say love us, he said like us. If the people that matter most to us not only love us but like us as well, we will be successful.

The second speaker was Connie Podesta whom I could go on and on about. I encourage you to google her, she's wonderful! I think the thing she said that I loved most was NEVER to trust your children. Love them, encourage them, forgive them, teach them but never, ever trust them. She asked us if there was ever a time that we kept things from our parents or did things that we hid from them and that pretty much proved her point. That and do not be your child's friend, they have their parents. Which is something I have always firmly believed.

Ok Ok, I could go on and on about the speakers alone, but I'll move on. The first day the guys had Owner Doctor meetings and so of course that left us with nothing to do but head to the mall. Where we did a considerable amount of damage. The guys, for their activity, went bowling. James and Todd were actually tied for the highest score and were going to have a "bowl-off" but then some girl on another team ended up barely beating both of them. They were pretty bummed, they are both very competitive and were looking forward to it. Their team however did win, so that was enough. They even got cool bowling shirts and a corny trophy!
The first night we all headed out. We ate at a restaurant we thought (given the pricing) would be super delish but was anything but. I think we would've at that point been happy with Wendy's. Afterwards we all went for ice cream and a little more shopping. The guys went to see a movie but the girl's were pretty tired and headed back to the hotel.
The banquet was amazing. Of course any event that allows me to get all dressed up is pretty amazing in my eyes. Kelly, Summer and I were interviewed by the host and Kelly told her we were the "real" housewives of Phoenix...good stuff. The food was great. Both of the lead assistants form both of James' office's won awards. Marty, the lead in Arrowhead had actually won it from her time in the Buckeye office. She won the gold award. Marina, his lead in Surprise won the platinum. These awards are based on the amounts of votes you get from those who work with you. So it's a great honor.

James, Rick, Todd and Chris

Kelly, me and Summer

My hot date...

James, Marty and Brandon

James and I and Brandon and his wife Dawn

Marina with her award.

Gotta get the shoes.

Any chance we have to take a vacation together is well worth it! We had a wonderful time and I can't wait until next year!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great to be 8!

My sweet little niece Skylee turned 8 a couple weeks ago. So we headed to Utah for her birthday party and baptism. I love baptism's. Sitting in the chapel with all the eager, happy little 8 year old children. I'm sure I'm not the only sitting there that thought back to my own baptism day. I realized that this is something I should be doing every Sunday. Though I may not remember every detail I do remember the way I felt. Clean, happy, loved. It was so sweet to see Skylee baptized and then confirmed by her father. Though the words of the ordinances are simple, they hold so much promise! We are so proud of you Sky!

Skylee's birthday party was the day before the baptism. My sister Charity made the cutest cake. I aspire to be like my little sister...but alas, my "homemaking" skills are far below that of hers. Not to mention I don't remember the last birthday party I threw that didn't involve Chuck E Cheese or something of the sort where all the work is done for you.

The kids always enjoy these trips. I swear we don't see them from the moment we arrive until the moment we have to leave. They LOVE playing with their cousins!

Two beauties, my little sis Sallie and my Grandma!
My wonderful grandparents.
My youngest brother and his wife and soon to be little boy!! Of course you can't really tell she due in 4 weeks.
My beautiful little sister and her sweet little Cayden
Skylee on her baptism day.
All the grandkids...and then some!
As before, the trip was wonderful and it was hard to say goodbye. James and I decided to try a new route home. It was actually faster! Not to mention prettier. We made a few stops along the way to let Kalytsa and Levi play. There were these random massive boulders on the side of the road. Pretty cool!