Year in Review 2011

The year has come to an end and it was a life-changing year indeed. As I look back I wish I had taken more photos but it was a very very busy year, from getting married to being at work for many long hours but it was a year I will not forget. I have many fond memories of the year and I look forward to making new ones with my wife by my side for many years to come. We settled into a home we are renting for our first year of marriage and I saw my brother leave for Afghanistan to serve our country. Although I did not have much personal time to see friends this year, when I was able to see them it was always an enjoyable time. This year I will have a few photos I didn’t take and that’s mostly because I couldn’t take my own photos at my wedding. My wedding photos were taken by the very talented Hal Samples. Well….let’s get to it

We ended last year moving into our home and it was a mad dash to do so. The lease was signed and our timeframe to move in was short. Trying to organize a move during the winter isn’t so bad in Texas since we don’t get into freezing temperatures usually. We got settled in just in time for the holidays last year but in January we had a chance to start to enjoy it. We were not the only ones to really dig the house. All of our guys found different spots in the house they would call theirs and Scooter found his next to the fireplace


With the wedding coming early in the year Denise had a lot of various projects outside of getting the wedding up and running. She had her class projects, which was no small task, and she took on a few other side projects to sharpen her skills. I took a few photos for her reference but was really proud of her work. Her dedication is one of the many reasons I married her.




As the wedding was getting closer my folks wanted to throw a wedding party for us back home where I grew up. This was for my side of the family that would not be able to make the drive up to Dallas for our wedding. It sounded like a small event but my folks had a big surprise for us when we arrived. It was a great time and Denise got to witness what down home Rio Grande Valley home cooking is all about. It was a great time and in the end was about as big as a wedding with all the food and dancing. It was a really great time.




I was able to attend a few conventions but not many this year. A few years back I found out about All-Con here in Dallas and it was an enjoyable event. This year I attended due to the fact that Denise was having her bachelorette party that night. It was a single guys night with going to the con and then having a few beers with my friends from Bean Pot Toiz. Later I watched the UFC fights with a few other friends. Overall a good day and night.




A few weeks after Denise had her party Josh was able to unleash his plans for my party. Being my best man I honestly wasn’t sure what we were going to be doing. It was a good plan and he hit a home run with dinner and shitty movies. The proof is in the pictures. It was my last supper as a single man…




Everything I have done and worked for has lead up to this point in my life. I found someone who I could be with that understand me and I understand her. Our wedding day was April 1st 2011 and it was a great day. The weather was just right and all our friends and family were there to share the day with us. The wedding was just like we hoped with very few hiccups thanks to our friends and family who helped set up the day. It was like a party more than a wedding and from our guests we heard that everyone had fun. The food was great the drinks were flowing and the music was kicking. I was relaxed once Denise started her walk down the aisle and we got to be the goofballs and real people who we are. Something I will never forget. Our song was Queen’s “You’re my best friend” This was on the back of our program:

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love
– Dr. Seuss

Photos by Hal Samples











After a day to recover from our wedding day we jumped on our flight to Las Vegas. It was the first time for us both and it was really to go sightseeing and enjoy the food. We are not big gambling folk so we did very little of that. The little I did play I did come out in front and that was mostly by accident. We enjoyed some delicious food and took in the Lion King show. We had a lot of fun as the weather was perfect and the few days there were pretty great overall. What a strange but a fun town.









After the wedding and honeymoon we felt like we were on top of the world but the world is still a complicated and sometimes hard place to live. Coming back to a very busy job I also had to see my brother and sister-in-law off to Afghanistan to serve our country. This was tough because of all the unknowns about that part of the world and the dangers currently happening. I was happy and lucky that my brother was in country to witness our wedding with everyone. I can’t put in enough words in this blog how proud I am to have a brother serving our country as my father did many years ago. With my brother being in the National Guard the send-off was a little different than how the standard military is sent off. The people leaving who are in the Guard are also people the local communities see every day such as lawyers, chefs, teachers and all kinds of people who contribute. The community gave them a send off with all the support they could give. It was a sad day but a proud day. As of writing this he has a little over 90 days left in Afghanistan.






Knowing the summer would be a long one at work I thought about trying to get in as much as we could before the craziness started. I thought it would be fun to take Denise to her first minor league game just north of our place. It was a nice night and the summer heat had not kicked in just yet. It was fun for a Friday night. I’m not a huge sports fan but you really don’t have to be to sit outside and enjoy the sounds and sights. Trips like this are more about creating memories of things around us.





So my favorite con of the year is hands down Texas Frightmare Weekend. If you’ve read this blog you know this and have seen plenty of photos to go along with that statement. This year was no different. This year I spent a little more money so we could stay at the hotel of the event to attend the late night events and just be around the great vibe. One event was the cast of the first SAW movie doing a QA which was fun and of course the annual Zombie Walk. Hopefully my pictures serve this convention justice.











Another proud moment for me was watching Denise head up one of her class projects. She had to create a dinner menu of a region of the world. Her task was to make an Australian meal. It is safe to guess that we have not been to Australia and doubt we will make a trip there soon. After lots of work at home of testing flavors and various ideas the day came for her to execute. These meals are served to the public and they are graded by their chef and by public comments. It was a lot of hard work but she came through and aced it. Only a few weeks later she did an internship with the Four Seasons for a week-long event which turned into her full time job. Denise is now a cook at the Four Seasons in the Dallas area. I am so proud of my wife.








Another fun convention was the Dallas Comic Con and this year the guest of honor was Leonard Nimoy. There is no way that Denise would allow for this to go by without being able to get a chance to see her sci-fi hero. It was the first year in a new location and had some issues but overall it was fun. The talk by Nimoy was very interesting and very inspiring.







There was a pretty big gap in my photos this year as work had me traveling or working long hours. It also didn’t help that Texas had the worst summer in years in regards to the temperature. It was usually 100+ for the majority of the summer so it was best to stay indoors. The next trip would not happen until September but it was a good trip as my brother and sister-in law took leave to visit family. We took a tour of the giant Cowboy stadium as the family (most of the family) watches the Dallas Cowboys during the football season. It was an interesting tour as the place is crazy filled with the world’s biggest just about everything





Halloween/Fall for me is my favorite time of the year as it brings back many childhood memories. Being in a house this year we got to dress up the house and give out lots of candy to the neighborhood kids. The temperature finally dropped to something much more comfortable and we tried to have friends over as many weekends as possible to watch scary movies. These were some of my favorite photos of the year.










This year we were introduced to a new member of the Apigo side of the family. He is the first kiddo on their side of the family. He’s a big guy.


This year I turned 35 years of age. My wife and friend Rick had talked a while back about doing something for my birthday and the idea they had was spending a weekend on a lake. Lake Grapevine was the backdrop and we great time was had all weekend. Rick flew into town and friends came over for food, cake, camp fire and rifftrax. My sister-in-law made a kick ass cake for me. This was such a great time that we are talking about going to the lake again sometime in 2012. I cannot express enough of how great it was to have everyone there and enjoyed the night sky and good times.







For the holiday season my gift was a Canon 5D Mark II. I will have that camera to use for 2012 and I’m excited to use it for the blog next year. We spent the last month of the year pretty quietly as we both were pretty busy with work. We had a few friends over but we spent most of the time trying to finally get the house in order after the year living here. We still have a few boxes unpacked and my office is still not the way I would like it but hopefully I can get that in order soon.




As we head into 2012 there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome but that is what makes life special. The sense of accomplishment makes you feel alive. There will also be adventure and new memories to be made as a married couple. This was a year I will not forget as it had its own challenges but there were some victories and more to come. I hope my blog inspires you to go out and make your own memories to share with those around you.