Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Jaedon Mark

Jason and I had the honor of finding out on May 15th we were pregnant. We were shocked!! We didn't share our fantastic news until we were 13 weeks and we wanted to have our first doctor visit on June 19th to confirm our positive pregnacy test.

Jason and I didn't believe the first test, we had to take two, to make sure!

Can you believe 21 weeks have already gone by since we were blessed with a growing little baby in my tummy? Every week we are Thankful another one has gone by and then cannot believe we are that much closer to actually meeting our soon to be son, Jaedon Mark Lewis.

Here is an ultra sound from 6/29/12 and Heart Beat on 7/24/12 of our precious little tyke:

Due to keeping our pregnancy a secret until the first weekend of July, we decided to find out the sex of the baby with all our close family and friends. So the party planning started. We planned the date; August 26th, Jason made the incredible invitations, the day came, and we found out it was a BOY!


The party was amazing, we shared the special day with all our family and friends. My closest girlfriend from Tri-Cities, Christina, came over Saturday and helped us get ready for the party. Everything was ready and people started showing up; Jason and I were so excited. We were able to keep it together until the cup cake/name reveal.

Jason and I decided on a very special name to both of us; Jaedon Mark Lewis. I was so lucky as Jaedon has been a name I have loved for years and Jason loves it too. Then we come to Mark; for me my father's name is Mark. He has always been there for me no matter what has happened in life, my support system when things are good and bad, my everything.

For Jason, Mark was an incredible best friend from High School who was taken from us way too soon. Everything I have heard, he was one of a kind. A guy who was always there for you when you needed him, an wonderful athlete, and a person you always wanted to have around. I wish I could say I had the honor of meeting him, sharing the memories I know Jason will hold onto forever, and to be able to share the stories when he tells them to our future son.

Here are just a few pictures from the party and of course the winning team: The Boys!

Thank you all so much for being in our lives, we appreciate every single moment and cannot wait to share our little bundle of joy, Jaedon Mark come this January.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Fan Story - Not a Love Story

Here is a story of caution and a warning to all of you out there looking to buy a ceiling fan or light.   We finally decided to buy a fan and get it wired and installed above our pool table in the living room.  We've lived in the house for over 4 years now and did not have any fixed lighting.  The room wasn't wired for a fan so we hired an electrician to do the install including wiring.  He recommended getting a high quality fan so that it will last a long time.  We ended up decided on Seattle Lighting. 

Back in mid-February Kirsten and I went to Seattle Lighting in Bellevue to look for a ceiling fan. While there we found one we really liked.  We had a couple requirements that had to be met.  They were, the fan needed to look contemporary, with nickel metal and dark cherry blades.  We also were only going to control it with a remote and since our ceiling is really high we needed the remote to reverse the direction of the blades. 

While at Seattle Lighting we worked with a person who was able to find the fan we wanted and make sure it did everything we wanted it to.   That is where everything went wrong.  See the breakdown below...

Mid Feb
  • Wife and I come into store and work with a Seattle Lighting Employee (This person will now be referred to as SLE)
  • We found one that can be run off the remote and reverse with the remote
  • The fan was nickel with dark cherry blades.
  • We ordered fan; the SLE told us it would arrive in about 2 weeks.
  • We have the fan the week before and scheduled the install for today.
  • I paid electrician to install first fan, including wiring.
  • He installs fan but finds out it won’t reverse by remote as we were informed.
    • Originally thought it was missing transceiver.
    • I call the SLE and let him know, says he will order transceiver and pay for installer to come out and fix
  • The SLE calls to let me know the fan I have won’t do reverse by remote as he originally thought
  • He will order the right model.
  • The SLE designated installer comes out to install replacement fan
  • The installer brings in the fan and it is not the fan we ordered originally
  • I wasn't told I was getting a completely different fan
  • I tell the installer not to install the fan and I will call the SLE
  • The SLE emails me picture of a replacement fan, says the fan we wanted doesn't do reverse by remote (he just now finds this out). He apologizes.
  • The replacement fan is a higher end model which is cool
  • On the picture dark cherry blades and a remote are marked to indicate I can get the same features I wanted in the original fan.
  • I reply back saying that the replacement fan will work but make sure to get with dark cherry blades
  • He says no problem.
  • The installer comes out (2nd time) to install new fan the SLE ordered.  
  • The installer brings everything in and we find there are no fan blades.
  • The SLE forgot to order the blades
  • I email the SLE letting him know, he apologizes and says they are ordered now to be shipped overnight.
  • I email the SLE about the blades as he said they should be overnighted.
  • He tells me they should be here on Monday (of the next week).
  • I emailed the SLE again about the blades, said they arrived Wednesday (5/2).
  • He informed the installer to contact me.
  • The installer comes out (3rd time) to install the fan as the blades have arrived.
  • He opens the box and finds the blades are Cherry, not Dark Cherry.
  • I call Seattle Lighting (Bellevue) and ask to speak to the manager.  I am told she is out until Sunday.  I ask to be forwarded to her voicemail.  I leave a voicemail letting her know the situation and to please call me back.
  • No call from the manager as expected.
  • The SLE calls me and personally berates himself on the phone (very professional).
  • I tell him that it has two months now of mistakes and if we don't get this resolved and installed this week, it will be another two weeks as I'm going on vacation.
  • He tells me he will get them overnighted and installed this week.
  • Installer calls to setup appointment, says the SLE told them the fan blades will be in on Wednesday.
  • Installer calls (3pm) to let me know the blades are not in yet, but they should be in later today.  Says he will stay until 4pm for the blades.
  • Installer calls again (3:45pm) and let's me know all deliveries have been made and the blades were not delivered. For the second time the blades are NOT actually overnighted as told to me by the SLE.
  • I call Seattle Lighting to talk to manager, she is out again.  Will be back Sunday.  I tell them I will call back then.
  • Seattle Lighting manager called me back and apologized for all of my experience.  She said she would take care of everything so that we can finally get the right fan installed once we got home from vacation.
  • Fan is finally installed!
As you can see it over 3 months to get what we originally requested installed at our house.  Now not to say the SLE was only terrible, he did upgrade our fan and let us keep the old one.  He also paid for the installer to come out several times to do nothing.  From my perspective he is at least making an attempt to resolve the issue, but unfortunately he is simply incompetent.  At any point in this process he could have double checked what he was doing and make sure what was being ordered was correct. He could of also kept me more up-to-date.

It is also extremely frustrating to not have the manager call me back in a timely manner.  Not sure what I could have done to get proper attention from them, maybe write the Better Business Bureau?  Simply put this is the worst customer service I've ever received from a company.

I will never make another purchase from Seattle Lighting and will tell this story to anybody that is looking to buy. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

100,000 miles and counting…

Today was a big milestone for me and my 2003 Toyota Tundra.  While I was driving to the gym the odometer reached 100,000 (see pic below) miles.  I’ve been waiting for this day ever since I got my 90k maintenance done last summer.  I wondered were I would be when I hit that milestone?  The answer, I was getting off the 520 freeway taking the 50th ST exit to head to the Pro Club.

Some of you would think that’s not that big of a deal to hit 100,000 miles, my car is way past that.  Well for me it is a big deal for a couple of reasons.  Growing up I had several vehicles, none of which I kept for more than a few years.  My first brand new car was a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, which I only kept for 2 years as it was a lemon.  I never thought I would actually own a vehicle long enough to get to this milestone.  When I was a bit younger, say in my early 20s, I loved having a new car and thought I would buy a new one every 5 or so years.  Luckily I out grew that and have had my truck for almost 9 years.  Another reason is that I truly love my truck.  It has been 100% reliable since I have had it.  Don’t get me wrong there have been things I’ve needed to replace (a battery after 7+ years), but the truck as always started and drove me to where I needed to go.

To get a little nostalgia here are the top 10 things I remember about my truck over these 100,000 miles…

10. Buying Her
Yes, trucks are hers, just like cars:-). I was getting tired of having my POS Alero that I asked my grandfather if he could get me a deal on a Toyota Tundra.  I’ve always loved Toyotas, and the Tundra really caught my eye.  My grandfather was able to get me a great deal on one and it was not a hard decision to trade in my Alero.  Even better was the 0% financing.  The icing on the cake was that it was bigger than Adam’s Toyota Tacoma, I never pass on an opportunity to one up Adam.

9. Driving to Sporting Events
This one covers a lot.  Even though now I take the bus to Husky Football games, there was a time when I drove a lot to games.  One time specifically I recall clearly.  Saturday several years ago not only did I have a Husky game to go to, but also a Battle in Seattle (CWU vs WWU).  I remember this clearly as I had to pay $25 to park near Husky Stadium and only stayed for the first 3 quarters, then drive to Seahawks Stadium (I still call it that, sellouts!) and pay another $30 to park there.  That was the most I’ve ever had to pay in parking in one day, that is why I now ride the bus.

I’ve driven to many sporting events, from the Huskies, Mariners, Sonics to Aquasox.  But the ones I remember most was with Chris, Adam and I squeezing in to the front row (as the back really doesn’t have room) to drive to Redmond Nine games.  Luckily the drive was short.

8. Moving Friends
Over the years I’ve moved several friends; it is truly is the biggest downfall of owning a truck.  The saddest one was moving my buddy Tad, even though we didn’t need my truck to move stuff; I drove the truck there to help him load his U-Haul for his move to Dallas.  It was a great move for Tad, but a sad one for me and our friends as we now don’t get to see him as often. 

7. Buying TVs & BBQs
There’s nothing better than buying stuff, I truly love it.  Just as Kirsten:-).  My favorite things to buy are things too big to put into the cabin of my truck.  I’ve purchased and drove home with 2 big TVs and 2 BBQs since I’ve owned the truck.  Aaaah the memories!

6. Driving to CWU
For the longest time I have been the one to drive down to Ellensburg for our annual watch the Computer Science students present their senior projects trip.  I drove mainly because it is held in March and a lot of time there is still snow on the pass.   There’s not much better than driving back to CWU, seeing the sights, and doing some drinking with buddies.  To top it off staying at the good ole Thunderbird Inn, wow that place is a dump.

5. Picking up Maggie Sue
Not long after buying our first home, Kirsten and I got a dog, Maggie Sue.  We picked her out from a breeder down near WSU and had to wait several weeks before she was old enough to take here.  When she was 6 weeks and 2 days old we met down in Olympia and picked her up.  Man was she small and cute.  After 4 years she is still cute, but not that small.

4. Driving To Golf Courses All Over State
I’ve played a lot of golf over the years, well over 100 rounds.  I got to most of those rounds by my truck.  I’ve driven up to 4+ hours to play a round of golf (usually in Oregon with my Dad).  Never have I been late to a tee time.  Thank you Tundra!

3. Visiting Family
Over the years Kirsten and I and myself alone have taken many trips to visit family.  One of my favorite trips was our annual Xmas cross state trip where we visit my Mom in Tonasket, Kirsten’s Grandparents in Tri-Cities, my Dad in Hillsboro (OR) and finally my Grandparents in Lacey.  This whirlwind adventure usually took about 7-10 days. The best year was when Vija-Marie joined us, it was great spending that much time with her.

2. Meeting Kirsten
I always hoped I would attract more girls if I bought a truck.  And boy was that true.  If it wasn’t for my truck I would never had got Kirsten’s attention.  The story goes like this… When I first started working fulltime at my company I parked outside and would walk through the front door where the receptionist was.  After a few months this young cute girl took over at reception.  I was instantly interested in getting to know her, but I didn’t know how to do it.  So I decided to start renting library books, which I would have to pick up from the receptionist.  Every few days a new book would arrive and I would come down and get my book.  I would also start up a little chit chat.   In one of our early conversations she says to me “Do you drive the black truck I see every morning?” and I say “Yes”, then she replies “Cool, I love trucks!”.  That’s when I knew I had a chance.  After several more book rentals we started to have lunch together.  Then after a few more weeks we went on our first date, though she didn’t know it was a date.  And the rest is history.  The funny part of the story was I didn’t even want the library books so after I picked them up from Kirsten and would walk to the book return and drop them off.

1. Getting Married
The only thing that could top meeting Kirsten, was to marry her.  We got married on July 25, 2009 at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia, WA.  It was an amazing time that I will never forget.  Starting with driving down (in my Tundra) with my buddies Tad, Chris & Adam a few days early for some golf.  I drove the truck to the wedding, several hours early for an awesome photo session with our photographers Jen & Jeff.  Then lastly after the wedding, exhausted, Kirsten and I drove away in the Tundra as husband and wife.

What an amazing (almost) 9 years I’ve had with my Toyota Tundra.  I can’t wait to see what the next 100,000 miles brings me.