Monday, October 31, 2011

Exhausted But Elated in July

Well, technically this is still part of my July catch up post, but seeing as this is the reason we made this little move to the south I figured it was worthy of its own post.  It's that special.

Back in February, we were on a mission to find an office space that fit our needs but also fit our monthly budget.  It was a pretty frustrating experience.  Everything that we found was either too small, needed construction work, or was simply out of our price range.  Then one day out of pure curiosity, we stopped at a little vacant building and took a peak in the windows and immediately fell in love and knew that we had found the place.  It was a middle suite that had a newly built Little Caesar's on one side and a new restaurant nearing its completion on the other.  So in mid March, we contacted the leasing agent and signed on the dotted line.

It was a slow going process.  The office needed work.  Mostly just paint and displays, but everything cost money so we just continued to work hard and do everything on our own.  We were at the office a lot for long hours each day.  It was just great to have a place to go to work instead of running it out of our house.  So even though the doors weren't officially open we were still able to set up Chris' office and work out of it while painting or assembling in our free time.  Let me tell you...... The painting took forever!  Ugh.  You never realize how big 2,000 square feet is until you have to paint it.  We listened to a lot of Mumford and Sons during this time.  With the days ticking by we slowly completed the paint, ordered and assembled the furniture, set up the displays, and cleaned every inch of the place.  It was exhausting.  But so worth it!

And then, on July 6, 2011, we opened the doors to the very first AXIS office.  It is set up so customers can come in and play with the equipment, cameras, and home automation features to get an idea on what they would like to purchase and have installed in their homes.

The office space was a Citi Financial before.

Welcome to AXIS.  Please allow me to take you on a little tour.

The view walking in through the front doors.

The reception area is on your left.

Loving our color scheme.  Light gray walls with a bright sky blue accent wall on the left with big bold white letters.

And a darker gray accent wall on the right that allows the displays to pop.

This is our display wall.  Every piece is fully functioning allowing you to see what each piece is capable of doing.  Kind of weird when you are sitting at the receptionist desk and all of a sudden you see the camera moving on the wall.  Sales Reps are able to control it when they are out in the field, to show customers its features.

Office one is behind those windows.

Chris' office is the back one.  I love, love, love, the world map. 

This is the training room that also doubles as the conference room.

The tech area is in the back.  Gotta love the motivational posters on the wall.  Somebody found them and just slapped them up.  Not my favorite choice, but now I just don't have the heart to take them down.

And also the little kitchenette.  We since have added a fridge and microwave so Chris never really needs to leave the office.  I make him though.  Somebody is a work-a-holic (I won't name names ;)).  I'm really kidding.  Chris' work ethic is like none I've ever seen before.  He is so determined and he makes me proud each and everyday.

Well, that's it.  Our little pride and joy.  It's exciting to see our growth and progress in the short amount of time since we have been here.  It will be interesting to see what else we will be able to complete in the next year and a half.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Joyous July

July started out with a bang (or a boom?) for Chris and I.  We faced quite the decision when thinking of how we would like to celebrate America's Birthday.  We could watch the fireworks over the USS Alabama Battleship, drive to the ocean and watch them be shot off over the water, or catch a small local show.  We decided on none of the above and simply opted for a BBQ at our house (it has a never ending back yard) with our friends and tried our darnedest at putting the "Biggest Show in Idaho" to shame.  So off to the fireworks superstore we went and loaded our carts full of the goods.  

 This huge warehouse is full of any kind of firework you could imagine.  

Love the expression on his face in this one.  He's just like a kid.  He's just walking down the isle thinking, "I'll take 4 of these and 6 of these.  5 for $10?  Don't mind if I do."  What you don't see in this picture is me following behind him and pulling out most of what he's putting in his basket and setting it back on the shelf ;).  

Ashley doesn't mess around.  No wussy stuff for her.  Look at Mya's face.......  Even she's impressed with her Mom's choice.

We decided to have dessert before our firework show and I took this opportunity to show off my master pieces.  My American Flag Cake, every time you cut a slice it was a flag.  And then the most American dessert I could think of, an apple pie with a little red, white, and blue action of it's own.

Then, after dessert it was time for the show.  Here is our lineup.  Chris was still convinced it wasn't enough.  I assured him it was.

Our friends, Casey and Kari

and Jake.

Look at that smile.  This guy was loving every minute of it.  He even found a second use for my creme brulee torch.  He's so smart.

10 points goes to you if you noticed Chris and I rockin' the red, white, and blue.  Corny or just awesomely patriotic?  You decide.  Seriously, what a great day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Juggling Work and Play in June

June is where our fun started to begin.  We found ourselves in the home stretch of the completion of our store.  At this point it was just a waiting game.  Everything was ordered but it was taking it's sweet time getting to us, so we found distractions elsewhere.  We pushed hard during the work week and once the weekend came we were in relax mode.  By this time Summer was in full swing and the temperature just continued to climb.

June weekends were spent at the beach for the most part. I accompanied a group of girls from church for a beach bum day. And it was then, with the help of these body boarder girls, that they assisted uncoordinated me into catching my very first big wave with the body board.  It was thrilling.  Then the weekend after that we had our ward's Annual Beach Day.  Jellyfish were aplenty this day.  Their little tentacles were everywhere in the water and those things don't have to be attached to the body to sting you.  But, it didn't matter......  The sting was just a mild irritation, unless you happened to get stung by a jellyfish and not just a tentacle, then it was a little more painful.  I found out that vinegar helps take the sting away.  So as I would look around at other members of the ward you would see people with mustard and even toothpaste all over their legs, arms, and faces.  It was pretty comical to see.  A jellyfish got Chris around his calf and I stepped on one on the ocean floor.  It was so painful.  It's tentacles wrapped around my ankle and in between my toes.  I still have a small scar on my ankle from it.   Thankfully we were close to a life guard station and he had a spray bottle full of vinegar that he cleaned by foot off with.  Needless to say, I didn't get back in the water that day.

When we weren't at the beach with the members of our ward, we were there with family and friends.  Playing in the waves,  soaking up the sun's rays, playing Frisbee, and simply just appreciating the freedom and relaxation that the beach helps provide.   

Just relaxing while watching some of the men play Frisbee.


    Mya building sand castles while her Dad takes a dip.

June also brought with it not one but two great visits.  I knew my sister was coming out to visit and I was so excited and grateful for that.  She works so hard for her money and to know that she was willing to spend some of her savings to pay us a visit meant so much.  But when we went to pick her up at the airport I wasn't only blessed to see her smiling face but also the face of my Mom smiling back at me.  I had no idea and was in complete shock.  It was such a great and much needed surprise.  The visit was short but so very sweet.  We celebrated Ms. Mya's 3rd birthday, went shopping, ate yummy food, went to the beach, saw some alligators, took a trip into New Orleans, played games, and simply just enjoyed being together.  

My Mom trying crawfish for the first time. 

The birthday princess telling us how old she is.

Mya couldn't take her eyes off of the new Tangled doll her parents got her.  It was her only birthday wish.  And of course Twinkee just had to check it out too.  She's such a helper ;).

Playing in the waves.  Vince is bobbing around in the background.

This time in New Orleans we decided to tour a cemetery.  

It seemed like the wrong place to take a smiling picture hence, the sad face picture.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moving Onward in May

Well, May was a lot of the same ol' same ol'.  We were still progressing on the store and got our most exciting upgrade.......  The arrival of our sign.  It made things feel so official.  We just stood outside and marveled at it.  That evening when it was all lit up we would drive back and forth just to see it in all its bright glory.  It was thrilling.  We were so proud that day.  It's hard to top that feeling of seeing your name in lights for the first time.

 Ignore the gross canopy.  It would be getting a cleaning very soon.

Unfortunately, late April and early May also brought with it strong winds, many tornado warnings, and lightning storms.  I remember one evening as Chris and I were taking Twinkee on her evening walk, that the wind was so strong that it made walking difficult.  We were very fortunate though.  Our warnings never developed into anything but a warning.  Sadly, our neighbors to the north in Birmingham were hit by an EF5 tornado.  That following Sunday our ward was getting briefed on the situation and what was being expected by each member of the ward to assist in the relief efforts.  Each ward was assigned a weekend that men were told to report to assist.  A couple weekends later Chris and a small group of men carpooled up to the area and volunteered in the clearing of debris.  The size of that man's heart never ceases to amaze me.

Pictures taken from Chris' phone driving through the area.