Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Christmas in Wisconsin

Beautiful view as the snow started coming down
Since Christmas 2013 was spent on our honeymoon visiting Mexico via a wonderful cruise, we decided lets go completely opposite for Christmas 2014, Wisconsin it was. In reality Brennan had not been home in almost two years and his poor parents had been making the trip to California a lot in the last two years. Though there could be worst places than San Diego for your only son to move, just saying! 

Before the game
Always hard to be away for Christmas, thankfully technology helps a lot. I spent Dec 23 with my family at the Poinsettia Bowl to watch the Aztecs play. I know my mom loved it all her kids in one place for a few hours. There were not even any husbands this evening. Just the family. You do not realize it but those kinda days become few and far between. So it was nice to be just us Vessey's for a few hours. It was a good game of football. Close throughout with the Aztecs having a chance to win. But in the end we did not get the outcome that we had hoped for with an Aztec win.
Christmas/Brennan's Birthday

Brennan and I would leave for Wisconsin Christmas eve on the 1st flight of the morning. Thankful that weather was on our side for traveling. Which if you have traveled with me in the last two years I have not had one flight go on time. I know Brennan was worried my curse would continue. But all was good and we arrived without issue. Since we traveled on Christmas eve, made for Christmas and Brennan's birthday arrived quickly. Seemed like it snuck up on us.  We had a great Christmas day. I also spent some time of the morning on facetime with my family to watch them wrap up there Christmas. Also in perfect timing to see Sean get a new car.. Guess Santa thought he was a really good kid.  The rest of the day was spent celebrating Brennan and his day of birth. We went to the movies and saw "The Gambler". It was a good movie and different than what I expected. 

No Snow!!
A few days later.. SNOW!
Sadly I did not get my white christmas (which Brennan had promised me). Mind you this was my 2nd Christmas in four years in Wisconsin- neither of which had snow. Late on the 26th it started snowing I rushed out to play in it. But it only lasted a few minutes and did not stick. Then either later that evening or the next night we were headed to bed and Brennan noticed it was really snowing- needless to say we spent some time playing in it. That night they got somewhere between 5-7 inches of snow. I may have been the only excited person within a few hundred miles. From that point the weather was cold, but nothing crazy. Well that changed quickly and caused a very drastic change in temperature. The rest of the trip was very cold and usually started with a - sign. 

Deer in the backyard
After Christmas we had not really plans. Except for Brennan to see a few specific people. The rest of our trip was spent hanging out and visiting people. Spent a night out in Eau Claire with some of Brennan's high school friends. A few trips to the Twin Cities. On one trip to the cities we visited the Mall of America and had a fun lunch together, did a bit of shopping. That same evening we headed to Coach Hartman's house for dinner. Such a fun evening getting to know him and his wife even better. Brennan and I have a lot to thank him for. He really pushed Brennan to go to grad school (thank heavens he did). 

Stood outside in -10 for this picture
The last day of the trip we meet up with Brennan's grandpa for lunch in the Dells. It has a huge outlet mall, thankfully we were shopped out. Plus no way I wanted to be at an outside mall when it was that cold. It was great to spend time with Brennan's grandpa. Plus you could just tell how much it meant to him. 

Brennan made me try this on: guess it is a
Wisconsin thing
By the end of the trip it was a lovely -10, that is without wind chill. The coldest the thermometer said at one point was -13 while Brennan & I were driving back one night. Thus I was happy to come back to Cali. Even if when we arrived it was raining. Within two days it was a lovely 70. 

I made him go play in the snow.. I think he kinda loved it, even if he would not admit it! 
Not sure when we will get back to Wisconsin again. But cannot thank the Cassidy's enough for making it such a wonderful holiday and break.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brooke inducted into RHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Brooke Vessey ('07) was among the inductees during last week's Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony. One of the youngest inductees in Hall history, Vessey was a dominating athlete in water polo and swimming during her days at RHS.

REDLANDS >> Brooke Vessey hasn’t been gone for very long. She graduated from Redlands High School in 2007.

But her resume as a swimmer and water polo player at RHS and at San Diego State made her a natural selection to be an inductee at the Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Still, she was shocked when she got the call that she was being considered for induction.

“I think I am the youngest one,” Vessey said. “It surprised me so much. I was really struck by it when they asked to look at my resume. I just graduated seven years ago. Being so young, that is why it is such a great feeling to be here.”

This year’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class also includes Wayne Braga (‘51) and his sons Dennis (‘73) and Matt (‘76); Richard ‘Red’ Simmons (‘56); Dan Finfrock (‘64); and Sami Grisafe (‘03).

The induction ceremony was held Thursday in the Orton Center on the campus of the University of Redlands.

“This is so amazing,” Vessey said. “To be as young as I am and to be inducted, I feel blessed. I felt happy that they thought I had done enough to be a part of this.”

Vessey’s water polo career at RHS is one of the school’s most successful. She was a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 Player of the Year (2006-07), a Citrus Belt League Most Valuable Player and a four-time RHS Most Valuable Player honoree.

In swimming, Vessey was even more of a dominating figure. She was the Coca-Cola Citrus Belt Area Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 and the school’s Athlete of the Year in 2007. She was undefeated in the 100 fly and 100 backstroke during her four-year stay and was a three-time CIF Masters finalist.

In all, Vessey led RHS to eight Citrus Belt League team championships.

“There is such great tradition here at Redlands High School,” Vessey said. “I loved it here. I think a lot of high schools wish they had what we have here. The tradition is special. We need to keep special.”

Vessey, however, has moved on with her life and career. She retired as a competitive, everyday athlete, and is now the strength and conditioning coach at San Diego State.

It was a natural move, Vessey said.

“Now, as a college coach, I have a different view what it is like for athletes,” Vessey said. “I can take all that I experienced and put it into coaching.”

Vessey has learned much about fitness and conditioning. But in high school, lifting weights was not a part of her athletic agenda.

“I never lifted in my life while I was at Redlands,” Vessey said. “It was very rare for me. If I knew then what I know now, I definitely would have done it more in high school. But looking back, you can do more. I did what I could with what I had.”

Vessey and the inductees visited with RHS athletes during an afternoon tour of the campus.

Like it has been for many previous inductees, talking to current high school athletes was a special moment for her.

“I really enjoyed it,” Vessey said. “Sharing my experiences with them was really nice. I talked to them about what they can do if they have dreams after high school and how to get there.”

It was Vessey’s first visit to the RHS Hall of Fame room.

“I had never been there,” Vessey said. “I had never seen it and I didn’t even know it existed. I thought it was great. I hope I can give back and make it even better.”

Brooke's Speech in 6 period to all the athletes on campus at Redlands High School 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flash Back Friday: CWPA Champions

Flash Back Friday of the 2013-2014 Champions:

Congratulations to all the champions! What a fun year we had and a season to dream about. Undefeated ending with a sudden death victory! I love seeing the friendship, memories and enjoyment the girls show. Then the growth of the sport of water polo. It does not get much better as a coach.

The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) looks back on the teams that won league and National championships during the 2013-14 academic year. St. Francis College Brooklyn (Men's CWPA Championship), the University of California-Santa Cruz (Men's Division III Club Championship), the University of California-Los Angeles (Men's National Collegiate Club Championship), Connecticut College (Women's CWPA Division III Championship), Indiana University (Women's CWPA Championship) and San Diego State University (Women's National Collegiate Club Championship) are featured in the wake of their titles during the past men's and women's seasons.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rainbow Weather

In California we do not get very exciting weather.. Especially living in San Diego. Almost 365 days a year the weather is the same. So needless to say I NEVER check the weather. This got my into a little trouble a few days back. I was up nice and early off to the beach for a paddle. Only to realize we were having a huge lightning storm.

I ended up not being able to paddle out. But I did get to see a beautiful rainbow and light show.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


After Brooke's wedding we did a staycation in San Diego with the In-laws. It was a great time to just relax and honestly visit some places that neither of us have ever been. 

Activity 1: Paddle Boarding

Giving the sister a ride
Paddle Boarding with the family in Mission bay outside the Bahia hotel.A bunch of the family rented paddle boards and spent time going around the bay. My mom had a little trouble standing up- but once she was up she was off to the races on the board. Fun to spend time with my Aunt Kay, Cousin Mary, Aunt Martha, Uncle Dennis and my siblings. All of us just paddling around. 

Mom out on the water trying to stand
Mom is up and away
I thankfully have been out on a paddle board a few times. I used all the tips to help the family. KK really enjoyed it- for some time. Then when mom got on a board, KK came onto mine. Once we got used to the balance thing and I was willing to work a little harder, we were off and enjoying time paddling together! Though her butt was getting a little wet. Dad did not want to try but he enjoyed watching us all from the sand!

KK loving it

Mary and my Aunt Kay
For being water people- stand up paddle boarding is awesome. Especially on calm water. You can experience all the joys of being free and out on the water. Without having to be get wet. I think this is why my mom really enjoyed it. She never had to get wet. Though she did admit- she would not do it out of the surf!

Activity 2: Hike Torrey Pines

View from the bluff
Hiking the bluff
Another great activity was hiking Torrey Pines. I personally had not been to the area since college and we did not spend much time enjoying it. We went hiking with mom, KK, Aunt Martha, Uncle Dennis, Scott, Renee and Brennan. Our nice hike did end up being very long. We should have listened to dad when he said to bring extra water. Which we did not. 
Down the bluff
KK with a beautiful view

Our small hike ended up being over 10 miles. Up the hill around some trails, into the museum. Then since you always see the golf course on TV- we made the extra little hike to see it. A very beautiful lodge and lovely golf course. I know my Aunt Maratha and Uncle Dennis loved seeing the golf course. 

Cassidy Family
The hike back we took it off the bluffs down onto the beach. Which was a much quicker way back to the car. It was an absolutely beautiful hike on the bluffs then down on the beach. Even though it was long, worth all the views and beauty. 

Activity 3: Balboa Park Museums & Velodrome

Balboa Park is a live and amazing little area of San Diego. There are so many museums. We visited a few different ones. The San Diego Hall of Champions.  I have previously been to an event hosted by the museum. The banquet was amazing at a lovely hotel in Mission Valley. Seeing what I had with that event, I assumed the museum would be fascinating and amazing.  Though we were disappointed. The displays were lacking information, not all working. I want to hope that the museum it did not have more. I believe it is a newer museum- I love the idea of it. I have previously been to event hosted by the museum and it was amazing. 

After the Hall of Champions, we headed over to the Air and Flight museum. The Cassidy family has deep routes with aircraft and flying. Though any and all museums I find fascinating. This was no exception. A few of the planes they pointed out Grandpa Wixom used to own one similar. So much history in the airplanes.    
After the Air museum we headed to the Natural History museum. Brennan had seen an add for a special exhibit on Pirates. I have to say I thought a lot of it was made up. After going through this it was amazing, so much information. The way these pirate-ships were able to govern themselves, split everything equally. That long before the idea of ending slavery, that pirates had no care for color. Only about who could help the cause (not the best of course). 

Once we had enough in Balboa park it was over to the other side of the park. We had a quick snack then headed to the Velodrome so that Scott and Renee could see what this track racing was all about. Tuesday night racing is the higher levels, Brennan is working his way up to that level. I think they really enjoyed experiencing the track and all that comes with it. 

Activity 4: Palomar Mountain Observatory & Julian
A few weeks before this vacation Brennan did a race up Palomar mountain. I personally had never driven up it. And I have no plans on riding my bike up it that is forshure. He did it to test himself. Wanted to show his parents the craziness of it.  The drive was actually beautiful, we passed only two cars along the track. 

Once at the top of the mountain there is a very cute little store. We made a pit stop there. From around the corner you can get to a huge observatory. We took about an hour to view the museum they had. Then walked up to this MASSIVE telescope. I have never seen anything like that it. I definitely left there more informed and confused about the dark reaches of our universe. They did ask that we tell other people to try and keep lights we do not need outside off. All that light bounces and they have trouble seeing things in space. Thus I have been doing my part to make sure we do not leave the porch light on when not needed. 

On the way down the mountain I figured out we were only a few miles from Julian. A beautiful little town that is famous for there pie. Once in the town Renee liked the cuteness of the town. It has an old town feel still. I was super happy because I got my Apple Pie from Mom's bakery. I of course made it ala mode so that I could get my ice cream as well. The pie was amazing as always.  

Odd Activities:
Like any vacation you do a lot of eating out. Though it was nice cause we eat at many of Brennan's and I favorite restaurants. I think we did put his parents out of there comfort zone once in a while.  

Such a great vacation spent in San Diego- all while coming home to our own bed. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Brooke's Wedding Video

All the bridesmaids
Always has amazed me how quick we grow up. Not sure when college ended and we entered the real world. But to be married just seems like we cannot be old enough for that. A lot of I cannot believe we are this old happened in 2013 and 2014 as I have watched many of my best friends get married, I myself got married. But then to be planning and knowing that my sister Brooke will be getting married- a very out of this world feeling.      

The Friday prior to the wedding was like many others. Feeling like you have all the time in the wold only to learn that the clock is moving much quicker than normal. We would all meet to get our nails done. Then a lunch down in PB. Then back to the hotel for a rehearsal on the sand. Once the rehearsal was over- everyone showered got all dressed up. Off to the rehearsal dinner down in PB. It was also great to have my in laws in town for Brooke's wedding. They came during the rehearsal dinner and we had then had a staycation with them the following week. The rehearsal was a fun night to hangout with the wedding party and family. Plus the food and drinks were great. 

Wedding Day:
Vessey Girls
Since the wedding was taking place later in the evening. We were up and off to breakfast down on the ocean nice and early. Breakfast was fun with all the bridesmaids along with my parents. Dad managed to use his magical powers to make his glass completely sheer in the middle. It was a good way to start the day with everyone just relaxing.

Once back at the hotel it as a mad dash for the shower. Eight bridesmaids and a bride with one shower. You can all guess how that went! Once showered there was a lot of time spent waiting around as we each got our hair and make up done. It is always fun to get made up. As we finished getting all dolled up, it was time to get into our dresses and another round of pictures. Pictures in the room all together. Then pictures around the hotel with all the bridesmaids. Taking so many pictures prior to the ceremony was nice, it made that we did not have a mad rush to the ceremony. Plus not to many pictures after the ceremony. Just time for Nik and Brooke to get all the photos they wanted.

Nik was very emotional when Brooke was coming down 
Brooke did a fun first look with Dad & Sean. It was time to get a ton of bridesmaid pictures taken. While the boys were also doing the same on the other side of the hotel grounds.

Brooke and Nik had a cute no look where they exchanged notes. Then a few minutes of waiting and it was go time. Nik cried while Brooke headed down the isle. It was a very beautiful back drop and ceremony.

After the ceremony was another round of pictures with family and both sides of the wedding party. We would then head to the reception. The reception was hosted on the Bahia Steam Boat. A quick walk and we were all ready for the party.

The reception started with the grand entrance where the bride and groom had there first dance. It was a fun atmosphere. We then headed upstairs to the dinning hall. It had a beautiful stain glass ceiling. We would have a fun meal, with great speeches. After the speeches we headed outside for a fireworks show. The evening was beautiful in the bay.

The Happy Couple
After the fireworks show it was back downstairs to dance the night away.  I can personally say that I had a great time. Everyone seemed to have an amazing time and danced the nights away.

The evening and weekend ended as quickly as it came. With many memories, laughs and tears!

Short version of Brooke's Wedding video

Link to official pictures

My Best Friends
With Ashlyn- cutest flower girl ever!

My hot date

Congratulations Nik & Brooke. I am blessed to have you as my sister and best friend. It was an honor to be part of your special day. It was a beautiful wedding.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Women's National Collegiate Water Polo 2014 (Highlight Video)

Just watching this video made my heart race. I still have yet to re-watch the championship game for a few reasons. Awesome to see it end with all my girls smiling faces! 

Reason 1: It will just give me anxiety and stress me out. Even though I know the outcome!

Reason 2: I will be judging myself as a coach. There is always more to learn and watching will show me how I let those amazing young woman down especially in the 4th quarter. I should have called a timeout when Michigan got some momentum. But at the same time we did need those timeouts so the girls could make a few big stops and get us into overtime. Also makes you think back to what you should have taught in practice. Coaching is learning and I can ALWAYS get better!

Reason 3: I just want to go back. Relive those girls true excitement and joy. I have experienced the agony of defeat and the excitement of winning. Not sure anything compared to this win for the girls, myself and the program. What a great weekend, that we will all remember forever!

Huge thanks to the CWPA for putting together this video!