The Best of What's Around

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This weekend Russ and I are going up to Austin for AUSTIN CITY LIMITS!!! We are pretty stoked, and I cannot wait to see my true music love, Dave Matthews. It has been a while. (A post on ACL will come later). In anticipation of this awesome festival, I have been listening solely to Mr. Matthews himself. This morning, while stuck in traffic, I heard one of my favorite songs, "The Best of What's Around." Like a lot of music, the lyrics hit me pretty hard and reminded me what's important in life.

Ok now it's CONFESSION TIME: When we moved here to San Antonio, I didn't necessarily love it. Ok, I kind of hated it. It was hot, humid, huge, and I didn't know a soul. I would have gone anywhere to be with Russ, but adjusting to and falling in love with the city wasn't coming any too fast. Well things are getting better lately. It seems every day or week I love it more and more--I have a job/purpose, I've made friends, and honestly, I've just tried to make the "best of what's around." This song is my mantra for San Antonio.

See you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
So we can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We'll make the best of what's around


Turns out not WHERE but WHO you're with
That really matters

Russ + Camille = Working Professionals

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wow, it's been a while since we've posted. If you are wondering where we have been, that would be in the confines of corporate America. That's right. Russ and I have sold our souls to Accounting and are now two working professionals. I, for one, get to be in this lovely office building you see on the right.

Life is very different now that we are not responsibility-free hoodlums. WE HAVE JOBS. Jobs that start really early, and take up the majority of our day. As much as a job is a job, I am really grateful for this position; it has been a while since I have had a steady job and know that I am lucky to have landed this job so quickly. Nevertheless, here are some pros and cons I have noticed in this last week of work:

  • TRAFFIC, traffic, and MORE traffic getting to and from work
  • Waking up before the sun is up, getting home when the sun is down
  • Being tired -- ironic how sitting at a desk all day makes you feel physically tired?
  • Continuing from above, once I get home all I want to do is relax... what's exercise again?
  • Obvious one: INCOME
  • Feeling productive, like I actually did something with my day
  • Happily using my education (I have been preparing tax returns... some say that sounds miserable, but it's an odd sort of fun for me. Don't ask.)
  • Meeting new people and friends in the office
  • Coming home and telling funny work stories to each other (our lives are now pretty much straight out of The Office)

Boots & Bugs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I hate my feet. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I have really high arches, which cause all sorts of random problems, like not being able to fit in some shoes. While Russ and I were in Houston I found the boots of my dreams (don't laugh at me... it's been quite a search), and to make it better they were ON SALE in my size. I tried them on--perfect, great, let's buy 'em.

Ha. Not so fast Camille. Sunday morning comes along and I want to wear my new perfect boots--one problem, I can't get them on. No matter how hard I tried, how many different angles I approached the boot at, or how slippery of a sock I wore, they would not go on. Russ just said they were "evil boots" and didn't want to go to church. Well the next day, they went on as easily as the day I bought them. The next day was back to struggling to get my foot in. This morning I tried one more time with no success. My feet will not go in. So alas, this story has a sad ending--they are being returned tomorrow. I'm not happy about it.

And also, I don't really love opening my door in the morning to these lovely creatures on my doorstep. The pest controller sprays this place once a week, but then it leaves the bugs drugged out so they end up on my doorstep with their feelers and legs slowly moving, trying to figure out why they are laying on their backs near my doormat. Sick.

Oh and also, please note the dimensions in this picture. They are huge lil' buggers.

My Fortune Cookie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today has been a good day. I mean a really good day.

It began with a nice, long run.

The cable guy then came, so we finally have TV!

Tonight when I had Panda Express to-go, I got a fortune cookie that was actually correct.

That's right. The "innovation and determination" has finally paid off, because believe it or not...

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!

That's right, I'm employed! I have been in contact with the firm that I thought, as of two weeks ago, was a dead-end interview. Long story short, they called Monday to have me come back today to "meet with some people in the tax department," and almost 3 hours later the head of the tax department extended an offer and I should be starting almost immediately.

Once again, I have learned that there are no coincidences. While I was in the Junior Core, I felt really prompted to pursue an internship with BDO Seidman, which I did the summer of '07 and enjoyed. I thought it was just a summer job to get me through till fall while simultaneously building the resume. The next summer I wanted to explore the opportunities available at one of the "big four" accounting firms, and worked in San Francisco for PWC. I thought that is where my life was going--big company, big city, big career. Obviously, I was very wrong, as I met the love of my life and am now living in the heart of Texas. Unfortunately, there is not a PWC or BDO Seidman office in San Antonio. I looked at BDO's alliance firms, and they had one here in San Antonio--Carneiro, Chumney, & Co. It seemed like a great local firm--it had been in business for more than 80 years and has over 60 employees.

Russ's boss was very kind and helped find contacts for me to start networking here in San Antonio; the partner at Carneiro was the first she referenced. While interviewing, I was told that my BDO Seidman internship was the selling factor for me--the fact I had interned with their alliance company was the ticket in.

And there you have it. Anther lesson that there are no coincidences, and everything truly does happen for a reason. Additionally, many times the path you have chosen for your life is not the one the Lord has in store for you. Sometimes it is hard to swallow an unexpected turn in the road, but it always, always, always works out. The Lord does not make mistakes, and for that I am so very grateful.

Where did my independence go?

Monday, September 14, 2009

So before I dive into this incredibly fascinating post, I first just want to warn all you readers out there that you may be hearing from me a lot more than usual this week. Why, you ask? Well let me tell you. Russ left this morning on a 6:15 am flight to Dallas for a week of training. We are pretty excited his job has started, but then once I came home from dropping him off I thought, "now what." Needless to say my job hunt is still happening, so I literally have nothing to do. I mean, you can only clean so much right? It's 11:00 am and I have already written 5 letters, organized piles of stuff that needed to be organized, re-organized them, did the dishes, scrubbed down some surfaces, and gone through facebook a few times. Hmm... it's only Monday.

Enough of the pity party. It's kind of ironic how before Russ came into my life being alone and occupying the hours was no problem. Actually, I kind of liked it. You grow to be independent and thrive in that state of being. So does that mean I have grown to be... dependent? What a weird thought. Either way, I will miss him... a lot.

Anyway, things in the lone star state are going well. As mentioned above, Russ has started his job with Ernst & Young, which is great for many reasons--but mostly because we then will have some sort of income, which we have been lacking for a few months (so fun!). Last week he had a 2 day firm-wide training in Houston, and compliments of the firm, the Mrs. got to come along!

HOUSTON IS AWESOME. I really liked this city--the downtown is huge, the streets are wide and fairly clean, and the food is fantastic (which, as we all know, is the real defining factor of a city). The only picture I took is of Main Street, which is as follows:

Also, this must be noted. I made two friends yesterday. I felt like a little girl as I walked back to the car with Russ telling him about the two friends I made in church. Hey, one step at a time, my friends. One step at a time.

Up = A Must See

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So I know this movie has been out for while, but Russ and I went to the dollar theater last night and saw this most adorable movie. We both loved it.

It has a good mix of humor, adventure, cutesy stuff, and more! There were families young and old in the theater, and even after being in the theaters for four months it still got an applause during the credits. Both Russ and I walked away remembering what's most important in life, and I went to bed with a fresh outlook on life.

Really, go see/rent it. It's great.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

As with any new place of residence, there are bound to be some "adjustments" that you need to get used to. A few of my good friends have also made some major moves (Danielle to NYC and Rachel to Pennsylvania), and recently posted on some things they are needing to "adjust" to. It got me thinking--what here in Texas are we adjusting to? Here is a brief list:
  1. The humidity. Nearly 80% every day.
  2. Huge, ginormous, extremely ugly bugs. The most common are these inch-long black crickets, some of which have found a home in our closet. ugh.
  3. Making new friends -- this is turning out to be harder than expected. I've been finding that most of the women I meet here are just in a different phase of life (you know, 3 kids or so), and it's hard to fully relate. I'm sure we'll find some friends, though. I have not given up yet.
  4. Being a minority in my country
  5. Being extremely and constantly dizzy, to the point where I blacked out a few mornings ago while walking to the sink to put my cereal bowl away. The next thing I know I'm on the ground and looking at Russ's face.
  6. The roads! They have these weird "turnaround" things at every light... you get caught on it and you are unwillingly driving the wrong direction till the next turnaround.
  7. THE JOB HUNT, and having an interview for a job that didn't exist. Ok basically this is what happened: we had a lead for me at a local accounting firm, so I had been in contact with the audit partner for a few months who told me to call once I'm here so we could meet about the available audit position. I called, we met for an interview/lunch. He then tells me "so, I uh, don't really know what's available here in the company... la di da..." and we basically just had lunch. No job available. Weird and slightly discouraging.
  8. No grocery stores! There is one store that qualifies as a grocery store here -- HEB -- and nothing else.
  9. Being grown ups. Russ and I are pros at dropping hundreds of dollars every day for the last few weeks purchasing fun things, such as car insurance, inspections, car registration, Texas licenses, washers/dryers, internet, phone bills, mattresses, etc. etc. (I know I know, probably everyone who reads this blog has been doing this for a while now, it's just that we were hit with everything all at once, so it was just a minor shock).
  10. Not knowing where in the world we are... at all times.
So there you have it. An expected list of adjustments. Despite this list, we really are liking it here and are slowly getting acquainted to the people and the area. I am excited to be completely "settled" and feel like this is my home. Until then, Russ and I will continue to play tourists and explore the city of San Antonio.

Here we are on the infamous and extremely beautiful "Riverwalk," a never-ending street that is under the city (along a river) very reminiscent of the canals in Venice. I loved it.

myTouch 3g

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So we got new phones. As many of you know, I have had quite the internal debate over which phone to go with as this was my first smartphone purchase. With the iPhone maturing so well, the Palm Pre making an impact, and the promise of Android growing in the future, I didn't know what to do. Luckily the cost of phone plans and hardware helped me decide. Camille and I started out by going to the Sprint store and were sorely disappointed. I was excited to see the new Palm Pre and try it out. Last palm I used was the Palm V. The phone itself seemed nice, but the store was very busy and the plans didn't seem to fit what we wanted. Neither of our families are on the Sprint network, so the people we call the most would cost the most. They did have a nice table of costs contrasting the total cost of ownership for an iPhone to the Palm Pre and the difference was staggering. Here is a link to a great table comparing features and costs across all 3

So after that experience, we went to the t-mobile store by our apartment complex. It was a fresh feeling to walk in and the store manager helped us as soon as we entered. She asked a series of questions and led us to the myTouch. Camille immediately loved the little white phone and I thought it looked cool too. The price was great and with EY many fees were waived. Next thing I knew, we were checking out of the store with two knew smartphones.

After a week of using the phone, we love it. Calls are great, and the UI for Android has proven to be very easy to use. The seamless sync with my Google account has been great. All my contacts are in my phone and I have been adding phone numbers to these accounts as time has gone on. There are plenty of apps, and just having the internet available wherever you are is a awesome. Camille uses a recipe app while she is shopping to get the ingredients she needs. We used an app to find movie showtimes in nearby theaters while shopping in Austin and saw "Sister's Keeper". 3G coverage is solid in San Antonio, and it proved helpful in our search for furniture. While shopping we would surf craigslist, and we ended up finding a table and buying it all with the phone. With Flash coming to the phone in early October, the platform will really gain momentum and I'm excited to see more hardware come out. I have been pleased with the choice and highly recommend the phone to prospective buyers.

PS. Camille has asked that I limit my technical commentary on the phone as this is not a "tech" blog. So if you want the real nitty gritty, message me, or maybe I'll put a post up on