Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And we are home....

Well, at least Kian and I are. We arrived back in the land of FIBs and snow last night and brought some super bad colds with us. As of today Kian is on the mend, and I'm trying to be :p Needless to say, I miss The Mouse and all the fun we had in FL. I'll post more about our trip and have photos to follow :) For now we are just keeping warm in the house and keeping our plague to ourselves :p

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Look Back at 2011 - Better Late Than Never

In 2011 I thought that I would do away with our Christmas Letter, but after looking back on the year I realized that I really needed to since we had a lot of changes and fun things happen in our family! So, here it is: The Durall Family in 2011
We kicked off 2011 with a trip to Disney World! It was SO cold (yes, even in FL it can get around freezing) but we had a great time anyway. This time around Kian was made Prince of the Day at Cinderella's Castle and participated in the Jedi Training Academy where he battled Darth Vader himself. He alo got to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from the movie Tangled.

Flynn showing Kian what is in his pack while Rapunzel looks on.
(Shhhh, it's a secret and he was only shown because Kian asked).

In March we moved to a bigger house - almost double in size from our previous place! Everyone has enjoyed the extra space. Bailey has especially loved our fenced in back yard where he can roam for as long as he wants and come to the patio door and "knock" when he's ready to come inside. And there are sidewalks where Kian can ride his scooter or bike safely.
Kian turned 7 in May! (yikes!) He was a little fish this summer during his swim lessons, loved playing T-ball, and of course loved the British Soccer Camp he attended TWICE over the course of the summer. Then before Kian started 2nd grade in August, we took another trip to Disney World (yes, we are annual passholders). This time it was super hot but there was great fun had the entire time!

Kian in awe of his Phinea and Ferb cupcakes Cream and Flutter made for Kian's party

On July 5th Sarah and Jameson went up to Chicago and saw U2 perform for the second time during their 360 tour. They were able to get tickets in the (RED) Zone which gave them a close view of the stage and helped provide funds for those struggling with AIDS in Africa. Jameson thought he might have to catch Sarah after Bono walked past her, but she held her ground....barely.

The stage is "cutting through" Sarah's head and "decapitating" Jameson.
Yep, that's how close we were!

In September Sarah celebrated being a froster at Cream & Flutter (formerly Cakes on Walnut) for one year. Getting up at 5AM to get ready to frost the cupcakes is not a problem for Sarah - which only proves how much she seriously loves her job (this will make more sense to those who really know her and her morning persona). Not only does she make the frostings, she is also dyes sprinkles, bakes cookies and brownies, and frosts specialty sugar cookies for the masses in Champaign to enjoy.
At the end of November, Sarah and Jameson started a medically supervised diet. Yep, that meant no more cupcakes for a few months! But it has been worth it! Jameson has lost a total of 43lbs in the last 7 weeks and Sarah has lost 25lbs! Jameson said goodbye to two medications he has been on for several years and went down at least one pants size. Sarah is able to get in to smaller clothing - well, except for jeans. She's pretty sure there's no way to get rid of the "Kesler thighs" she genetically inherited. Before and after photos to be included in next year's Christmas letter.
Early in 2011, Jameson was promoted to Design Director on "Secret Project Y" at Volition. This was something he has sought after for many years and we all are proud of his accomplishments! Hopefully in our 2012 Christmas letter we can reveal the name of the project - we will have to wait and see! He also did quite a bit of promoting of Red Faction: Armageddon (the project he was on that shipped) which took him to London, Germany, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dublin. We know what you are thinking: Yes, Dublin as in Ireland. No, Sarah did not accompany him. And yes Jameson felt Sarah's envy all the way across the ocean that he brought her back lots of gifts to get her to turn back to her normal coloring from the green hue it had taken on.

Jameson with the pint he poured perfectly at the Guinness factory in Dublin. He also had several other correctly poured pints at the famous Temple Bar during his stay (yeah, Sarah is still pretty jealous).

And the biggest news of all for all of 2012 was Jameson's induction into the Full Sail Hall of Fame. He was selected this year as one of 6 Full Sail Graduates to receive the honor out of a pool of 30,000 grads to choose from! Both of our families made the trek to Orlando to watch Jameson receive his award and give a moving speech about his journey in the video game world over the last 10 years. Saying that we are proud of Jameson does not even do justice to how we feel about this honor - we are beyond proud of him and all his accomplishments.

Jim, Jameson's boss on the last few projects he's been on at Volition,
introduced Jameson and handed him his award.

Kian cold not have been prouder of his Daddy!

All-in-all is was a pretty awesome year. So awesome that I just had to share (ok, brag). Even if it meant it was done a month after Christmas.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

"Frying Pans....Who Knew?"

Last night we took Kian to see the new Disney film Tangled. When I first heard of the movie I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but since it's a Disney film it's a must see for all of us.

I don't think I have ever laughed so much while watching a Disney film ever before in my life! And the art is amazing to say the least! The movements of the characters are very human like and the hair.....oh my the hair! It looks as if you could reach out and touch it it looks so real! Makes me wonder if Disney has saved this fairy tale until they could animate hair that looks so very real.

The movie has everything every other Disney movie has - love, comedy, action, bad guys - but this film is so very different from any other Disney movie I have seen. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE Disney fan and have a favorite movie list about the length of my arm, but this movie takes the cake! I'm seriously thinking that it might move my all time favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, to number two!

This movie is a must see for all ages!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Dear Bose, I Love You

So, last year I started using my iPhone to download audiobooks. I started listening to them A LOT which meant I had headphones on most of the time. Well, the ear buds that came from Apple are well, frankly pieces of junk. And they apparently didn't think they would have an adult with child sized ears wearing their gear lol! After complaining and trying cheapo ear buds I finally caved and ordered the Bose ear buds. O.....M.....G..... they changed my life!

The ear buds came with small sized ear forms to put on the end of the buds so I finally had a pair that would fit me and stay in! I used the Bose ear buds all the time. I mean ALL THE TIME. It had a button that I could easily answer calls in the midst of listening to a book or just pause my book quickly.

Sadly, last month the button stopped working. I coped with it- I couldn't live without the darned things! Then, as I was scraping snow off the car the ear buds fell out of my pocket and when I picked them up one of the ear pieces was completely torn off and the wires were severed :( :( :(

So, I made a call to Bose to see about the warranty on the ear buds - after all I did get them in Nov '09. First of all, I gotta say that the customer service people are very friendly and quickly got my information and asked me pertinent questions. I would say that within 15 mins or less I was getting my broken ear buds ready to be shipped to Bose so I could start the process of them sending me a BRAND NEW PAIR of ear buds! Yep, you got it, brand spanking new for the year of 2010. And when I arrived home from our Christmas trip to see family, I got my own gift from Bose :)

I know, I know - these things look like they're made for Vulcans (you know, Dr. Spock) but really they are very comfortable! The ear buds come with the traditional style of covers in case you're not into rockin' the Vulcan look. For me, I'm a geek anyway so I don't care - they're comfortable. The pause button also works like a charm! It actually responds faster than my other pair of ear buds.

Needless to say, I will be buying more Bose products. They're stuff might be pricey but it's worth it and they treat their customers more than fairly :)