Todd Family Blog

Welcome! Read below for our latest news and pictures.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Congrats, Chad and Kate!

Last weekend there was an engagement party for our good friends, Chad and Kate, who are getting married in September. It was such a fun afternoon and great to see them both (they live in MI). Their parents had done a wonderful job putting together a beautiful party - great food, a gorgeous backyard and a fun group of people. It was also lovely to meet Kate's parents, here all the way from Australia! That's one of the many reasons we love being back in Indiana - we finally get to attend things like this.

We can't wait for the wedding!

Chad and Kate

Good luck, Kate! Ha!

The backyard looked so beautiful and we had a perfect afternoon. At the front table are Kate, Chad, Lauren, Matt, Jason and Brad chatting.

Brad and our good friend, Nate, who came down from Chicago for the party.

Jason and Lauren. We're looking forward to spending the 4th with them this week!

The weather was perfect for the whole party. Then, right at the very end, the skies let loose with tons of hail! That's an Indiana summer for you. I took this when I got back to the Todds'.

In other news....This past week has been pretty normal - Brad's still getting used to his new job at Roche and really enjoying it, I've been teaching a (hopefully!) growing handfull of students, we've been house hunting and hanging out with the pups. And, as seems to be the theme now that we are back, we've been having a lot of fun with our friends in the area. I had another girls' outing to see Sex and the City with Miriam and Jen Toering. (Yes, it was really good the 2nd time, too.) Tim Grino and I had a blast at the Zionsville Famers' Market - I love that place! I bought some WONDERFUL produce and can't wait to try the fresh pasta they had for sale. And Bonnie (Brad's Mom) treated us to a great dinner at DeLullo's, our new favorite Italian place on 32. (See "Two Must Tries" in the archive). All in all a very fun week (and no wonder my jeans are feeling a bit tight)!

Gracie and Luke chillin' on the Todds' deck:

While house hunting we discovered the adorable town of Pendleton. I highly recommend heading up there some afternoon, grabbing a cup of coffee and dessert at the cute coffee shop in town and then going for a walk along their 150 acre park in the middle of town. It's one of the prettiest little towns I've seen in Indiana.

Gracie saw her first duck on our walk in Pendleton's park. She was very excited - she always loved stalking the pigeons in San Francisco. You could tell she was amazed that this "pigeon" could also swim! She also discovered lightening bugs recently. Two are missing from the Todds' backyard now, I'm afraid.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Three in Four

This is my third post in four days. That's right. I'm back on the horse, definitely, and very impressed with myself.

Just had to share two tidbits:
1. My good friend from high school, Natalie Huskins Razavi, also keeps a blog. (She gave me the idea!) Recently, she posted a website that two of her friends started, and I think it is such a great idea. Many of you know that I LOVE little eco-friendly products and tips, and this is another great one:

2. Today Luke's foster mom sent me pictures of her sweet pups. They were so cute I had to share. The shepherd in the picture, Addison, was just 3 months old when Luke lived with them. She's now about six months old and already weighs in at 74 lbs! Her ears just stood up and she is just precious. The littler dog, Mochi - only 9 lbs!, was also park of Luke's foster pack. Apparently, he loved to get down on his belly and play with them both. I'm so grateful to June for being Luke's temporary home so that he didn't have to stay in the rescue kennel while he waited for his "forever home" (us!).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Roche, Baby O and More pics

As many of you know, our move to the Indy area was not without drama. Bit of a long story, but needless to say we have both been basically unemployed since our arrival on April 9th. I've picked up a handful of voice students and am working on gathering more. And Brad began a wonderful job with Roche Diagnostics in Fishers just last week! He is extremely excited about the opportunity - such a great foot in the door at a fabulous company. He really enjoys working with his new boss and is already eating up the experience of being in a new, huge company. We couldn't feel more blessed that he got this opportunity.

Brad's new position is as a recruiter for the "science" side of Roche, as opposed to the "sales and marketing" side. (This is in layman terms for music majors, like me.) He has also been brought in to eventually implement a process for how they hire, something on which he loves working. Brad is definitely all about "the process".
Below is the press release that went out on Roche's Intranet last week.
Brad Todd joins Roche as recruiter, RDO talent management
June 13, 2008 -

Brad Todd has joined Roche as recruiter in the RDO talent management department. He will be responsible for recruiting and staffing duties supporting RDO, replacing Kathy Sanders. Brad will report to Mike Lipke, director RDO talent management.

“Brad comes to Roche with extensive recruiting experience with external agencies and most recently management of other Recruiters," Mike said. "He has worked to recruit executives primarily within the finance world for major companies throughout the country.”

Brad worked for A.I. Executive as a division director of executive search. In that role he was responsible for managing two offices in the executive search division of A.I. in California. Brad’s other work experience includes positions at Harvey and Company, including director of recruiting.

Brad graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in management with a concentration on international business.

Pretty cool, huh?! On Saturday Bob and Bonnie took us out for a celebratory dinner at a GREAT spot downtown - Dunaway's. If you call a bit ahead you can get rooftop seating. The view when the sun was setting was just gorgeous and the food was absolutely perfect. A wonderful evening all-around. Thanks Bob and Bonnie! Not only have you been housing us, but you feed us well, too!

I took this in the elevator at Dunaway's for our good friends Ryan and Monique Metzing. Ryan, who works for a large law firm downtown in Indy, happened to get stuck in the elevator of his building at 1 a.m.! Not only was he stuck, but the elevator was constantly moving between floors 1 and 26!!! It is a hilarious story built around the fact that the security guard refused to call 911 for poor Ryan. He was trapped for two hours! I was crying laughing as he told this to us, and naturally thought of him when I saw this sign last weekend.
Ryan and Monique's home in Zionsville has also become our favorite casual night hang out - like last night, for instance. American Idol Wii until midnight, anyone? I had to have a rematch with Brad. He beat me by 12,000 points when we battled on Tiny Dancer last time. But I was redeemed last night by soundly beating him - by 100 points. Hmmm.

On Monday Brad and I had the big honor of being Baby Oliver's (Polly and Andrew's six month old baby) first babysitters (not counting grandma's, of course)! Polly and Andrew were craving an adult night out after having only one in six months. So, Brad and I went to their lovely home in Butler Tarkington and took care of sweet Oliver for the evening. (Well, I took care of Oliver. Brad was excellent at waiting on me hand and foot - getting me pizza, wine, a cupcake. Kind of nice really. Holding a baby is a really great excuse to ask for things, I found.) It was so much fun; Oliver is just completely precious. I expected him to be a bit worried that Mom and Dad were no longer there, but we just played with toys and read books quite happily until they returned a bit after 8. I'm always telling our friends with kids to use us as babysitters and was so happy that someone finally took us up on it! Now you all know, we come with references....but we do require wine.

My gorgeous sister, Jen, just sent these to me from my time in New York a couple weeks ago. She met us at the Biergarten in Astoria with a good friend, and fellow Butler Alpha Phi, Corey. It was SO great to see Corey again and catch up. She's just about as sweet as they come. As you can tell from the second picture, we also really enjoyed the food at the bar.
Corey, Me and Jen

Elizabeth and Corey

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Month in Pictures!

So, a couple posts ago I had "This Week in Pictures", and now I have "A Month in Pictures!" This is not a good sign. I think you will all forgive me when you hear about/see all the craziness of this past month. I've barely been home from early May to early June thanks to that Wichita audition (pictures in "This Week in Pictures"), a competition in New York, vacation in Florida and then back to New York again for another audition! This, however, was all good material for pictures. So, rather than filling you in on all the craziness, you can see it for yourself.

I'm going to write a separate post about Brad's new position at Roche, as well. Stay tuned!

On a Saturday in May Miriam and I took a day to drive to the Ikea near Cincinnati. Miriam wanted to look at some rugs and I never turn down a trip to Ikea. This is Miriam wheeling out our shopping cart of purchases. I thought we were pretty smart, too - we took pictures with my camera phone of all the things we wanted to think about. I feel another trip coming on at the end of the summer!

Creekside Nature Park in Zionsville:
Brad and I have taken some walks along the creek trail in Zionsville. It's so beautiful, and now I've started taking the dogs in the mornings. They love all the smells and walking in the shade. (It's possible that I drove Brad crazy by taking pictures on our first visit.)

New York:
My first trip to New York in the past month was to sing in the semi-finals of Classical Singer's (an industry magazine) Audition Competition. It went well, but mostly I was excited to see Elizabeth, my sister, Jenny, and Elizabeth's good friends, Patty and Sean.
Naturally, Elizabeth and I had to make a trip to Serendipity to get the frozen hot chocolate. This is now what I see whenever Elizabeth calls my iPhone!

There is the coolest Beirgarten in Astoria, Queens near where Jenny, Patty and Shawn all live. Though Elizabeth and Keith left New York to go on our annual Memorial Day Florida vacation while I was there singing, Patty, Sean and Jenny still took me out for a fun time after my audition. Below are Patty and Sean, newlyweds and adorably Irish. We call Patty, "Pretty Patty".

I LOVE this picture of Jen and Me - one of the best we've taken. So then we had to contrast it by showing how quickly two pretty girls can become very ugly (see below). Patty joined in the fun, too. Pretty impressive change, I'd say.

While I was slaving away in New York (obviously from the above pictures) Brad, Elizabeth and Keith were living it up in Florida on vacation. My parents and Elizabeth's parents have homes only about 10 minutes apart (in Palm Coast and Flagler, South of St. Augustine) and we love being down there together. It's always a week filled with a ton of good food, great beach time and perhaps a drink or two. Naturally, I was a bit disappointed that my audition competition in New York coincided with vacation. Not only that, but I didn't know how long I would need to be in New York - if I advanced in the competition to the finals I would need to stay for the final round, then a concert and then an awards ceremony.
My dilema was made even more complicated by the fact that the results after the semi-final round were to be posted by 6:30 on Saturday, and the last Southwest flight out of Long Island (where I was using a frequent flyer ticket) left at 7:50 that evening! Being the resourceful girl I am, I figured I'd go ahead and get on the the Long Island Railroad to the airport, keep checking my phone for the results, and just turn around if I made the finals. If I didn't make it, I would be able to change my ticket and be in Florida that night! Perfect, right? Well, not if they are an hour late posting the results!!! I made it to the airport, changed my ticket, was sitting at the gate with only 8 others that were on the Florida flight, madly checking my phone and not knowing what to do. Finally they posted the results (I didn't make the finals - that's okay), they announced that we could board, all 8 people walked onto the huge jet in about two minutes and we immediately took off. I literally had two minutes to spare! Talk about stress! I certainly earned the following wonderful 5 days in Florida.

Below is the dogs' first trip to the beach, the first time that Cal and Luke had ever seen a body of water! It is only a 10 minutes walk from my parents to this beach and we loved walking them down there.

The four of us were feeling very grown up having dinners at my parents' home. (Quite the contrast from our vacations while we were still students at Butler and then SMU.) Elizabeth made us a great spaghetti with meat sauce one night, and then Brad and I grilled shrimp and steak for them on our final night.

We also discovered that Elizabeth is an EXCELLENT bar tender. She kept the Nutty Irishman shots coming. (Thanks Mom and Dad for the very fancy crystal shot glasses, haha! Certainly the nicest shot I've ever had!)

On our last day, Elizabeth's Mom and Dad took us out for a lovely afternoon on their boat. It was so much fun to go zipping down the river. We stopped for lunch at a great restaurant where you could pull your boat right up to the dock and unload. As you can see, it was absolutely perfect weather.

Brad has been teasing me a bit about my obsession with the sky now that we are back in the Midwest. Not only does it seem so HUGE thanks to nothing obstructing it, but it is so different every day. I remember loving the view when I was younger, but I certainly appreciate it even more now. We've been having some absolutely gorgeous summer days lately (today is perfect and about 75), but I think I love the days with amazing clouds just as much.

This was the sunset as I flew to Florida. I have a small (okay, sometimes huge) fear of flying, but I managed to snap a picture. One of the rare times I ever look out the window when flying, certainly.

New York Trip 2:
My SECOND trip to New York was to audition for Albert Herring at the Chateauville Foundation. That went fine, but they were running very behind. All I got to sing was my aria from the show, which is a minute and a half long! Kind of funny, really. You never know though; every audition could get you something great.
Due to the schedule of when I could use my frequent flyer tickets, I ended up needing to be in NY for 5 days! It was a great excuse to just spend more time with Elizabeth, Keith, Jenny, Patty and Sean. No need to twist my arm, certainly!

I had a GREAT day at the Metropolitan Museum of art. I went by myself and just wandered until my brain and feet could take no more. (I was also wearing my new Earth Shoes - Very comfy, but they are made to make every step slightly uphill, therefore giving you a workout as you walk. I think I climbed a mountain that day. I started calling them the Devil Shoes after that.)
What an amazing place. Below are some of my favorites.

Giacometti Statues:

Entrance ceiling - now my screensaver on my iPhone:

Couple favorite works:

Elizabeth and Keith's kitten, James Wrigley, and my new purse:

Elizabeth and I met for a great lunch at Redeye Grill, where Jenny works, right across from Carnegie Hall. She looked so adorable in her uniform. She always has great stories about the people who come in - Seinfeld four times in two weeks! - Charles Barkley (huge), Julie Andrews (stunning and tall), Katie Couric (looks just like you think), and just that afternoon she'd had to refuse breakfast to Adam Sandler at 12:30 p.m. Not even he can get the kitchen to cook breakfast then!

One of the most fun nights was a girls' night with the four of us. We had dinner at a great little place in Astoria and then saw Sex and the City (Naturally! It definitely would not have been the same with Brad). And, of course, we had to grab a drink after the movie, too.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Super Bowl 2012

You may have seen this, but it's pretty exciting! Paste this link into your browser. The video they showed the committee should begin playing. I CAN'T WAIT for 2012!

I have so much to write about. Just got back from NY/FL/IL all in the last week and a half! More pics and posts coming soon.