Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Redlands High School Hall of Fame

  Hundreds attend RHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony

 (left to right) John Butler (Class of 1960, football, basketball & track) Hank Mercado (Class of 1964, football, basketball and community), Jamie Vessey (Class of 2005, Swim, water polo) and Randy Orwig (Class of 1968, basketball, baseball), pose for a group photo at the 11th annual Redlands HS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, on Thursday, November 7, 2013. (Photo by Frank Perez for Redlands Daily Facts)

REDLANDS - The honorees during Thursday’s Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame all took home a little something.
New memories, new tales to tell and perhaps a renewed appreciation for being a part of such a storied tradition.
“This is what the Hall of Fame is all about,” said Mercado, a two-sport athlete and community activist from the class of 1964. “This brings all the folks together to celebrate the Long Blue Line.”
Mercado was among a group of inductees that included three sport star John Butler (Class of 1960), and two sport stars Randy Orwig (Class of 1968) and Jamie Vessey (Class of 2005). Also inducted was the 1968 Bee Football team.

The dinner and ceremony capped off a long day for the inductees. They toured the campus, strolled through the RHS Hall of Fame and talked with athletes. “I spent the day hearing things I had never heard about before,” said Vessey, the youngest inductee. “The school doesn’t have a Bee team anymore. It was quite an honor to be so young and inducted so quickly.”
A 2005 graduate, the campus hadn’t changed much. For some of the other inductees, however, it was their first tour in years.
“It was fun to be here,” Orwig said. “I explained to the kids about some of the big games I was in and to deal with them. I spoke with a couple of the pitchers on the baseball team. It was good.”

The Bee Football team seemed to be a crowd favorite. The team was based on size - they were sophomores who hadn’t fully grown in their bodies yet. They managed to produce an undefeated season.
“It was unique,” said Fred Venegas, a safety on the team. “They broke it down. There were so many kids. But it gave us the opportunity to play.”
John Butler appreciated the group of inductees.
“I think it’s a great class,” Butler said. “They are great. “Overall, it’s a class that is to be proud of.”
The ceremony itself drew more than 100 more attendees than last year’s event, which is a good sign for the RHS Hall of Fame.

“I want them to leave with the thought that Redlands history lives on,” said Clarence Butler, president of the Hall of Fame. And we want to share it with the kids at school. Maybe one of those kids will be in the hall of fame one day.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Being Inducted into RHS Hall of Fame (Article)

Aquatics star Jamie Vessey to be inducted into Redlands HS Hall of Fame

Redlands High grad Jamie Vessey will be inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies today at the Orton Center. Staff file photo

By Ed Castro

REDLANDS - Jamie Vessey is the epitome of a first ballot hall of famer.
Her athletic resume is second to none, making her a natural for induction during today’s Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame in the Orton Center at the University of Redlands.
“l did a lot and it wasn’t too long ago,” Vessey said. “We were successful and I would have liked to have won the two CIF titles when we got there. There are many athletes that can say they played in a CIF championship in front of that championship crowd.”

Vessey twice played for a CIF title in girl’s water polo. And the first CIF title match is a memory that will last a lifetime. “It’s pretty unreal,” Vessey said. “It was my junior year and we finally made it past the quarterfinals. It was at the University of Redlands. It was so thrilling to have the game here. It was amazing.” Vessey remembers the moment the RHS track team jogged to the venue and rooted for the Terriers. “I just remember all that anxiety of that whole day,” Vessey said. “So many people were there. We had students on the concrete, the ref’s had to push them back. It was a full house.”

Redlands defeated Riverside Poly to reach Vessey’s first CIF championship game. “We threw the coaches into the pool, the track team went nuts,” Vessey said. “The next day people came up to me and talked about it. It was an unreal feeling. It was really great.” Vessey wrote herself into the RHS water polo record books. She is fifth all time in career goals, second all time in career assists, and is the all-time leader in career steals. She holds the Nos. 1 and 3 spots for steals in a game and Nos. 2-5 for steals in a season.

“I was able to do well in water polo and swimming,” Vessey said. “Even when I ran in cross country I reached the CIF prelims. I always had the chance to compete at the highest levels.”
Vessey was a two-time Citrus Belt League Most Valuable Player, a four-time All CIF selection.
“My impression of the hall of fame is that it’s a great thing,” Vessey said. “I like reading about the inductees. To know that I’m being inducted in the same class as the Bee football team, which didn’t play varsity but was a great team, is really cool to me.”

Water polo seemed like a natural tuneup for the swimming season, which Vessey excelled at as well. She won two individual CBL titles and two CBL relay titles in each of her four seasons. She was the team MVP in her freshman season and reached the CIF consolation finals in her sophomore and junior seasons. When she was done swimming Vessey registered a four year CBL undefeated record in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Vessey was somewhat of a veteran in water sports by the time she reached high school. She competed in recreational basketball, softball and track. But it was the pool in her back yard that helped the most. “It was a natural to go into swimming,” Vessey said. “A water polo club started and I said I might as well as try that too. I enjoyed both.” Vessey got married last month. And today’s Hall of Fame tour of the high school will be her first in years. “I have not been on campus in a long time,” Vessey said. “I’ve never been in the hall of fame. I think that is really going to be pretty exciting. It’s going to be a cool feeling.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


They say life changes when you get married. Our life did not change that much really at all. Well except the fact that my amazing husband has started a new company. Yep you read that right started a new company called EcoKable

"EcoKable is an earth friendly technology company that focuses on eco-friendly electronic products. The first product is an environmentally friendly USB charging cable that is 100% PVC Free. Giving the world a 100% PVC Free charge. Our mission is to design high quality electronic products with materials for a sustainable earth."

They currently have a few different products.  "Made with eco-friendly cable construction braided natural cotton insulation, all EcoKable cords are 100% PVC Free. We use recycled PET for the connectors from recycled water bottles. USB 2.0 compatible, high speed data cable. Let our cables charge and transfer data to your favorite electronic device while preserving the environment around you."

Prior to this coming around I did not think much about my electronic waste or e-waste it is called.  I just got a new cell phone and charger. Never thought about what happens to it. Most of mine ends up in a drawer.  But thousands of others end up in 3rd world countries. It is very dangerous to not only those people but our world.  "The estimated amount of e-waste generated every year could fill enough train containers to go once around the world! Most electronic cables in our world are made with PVC insulation. According to the European Parliament, PVC is not even a suitable material to be recycled. What doesn't end up in a landfill ends up incinerated or exported to developing nations which harms the people tasked with scavenging the waste for metals."

I hope that you will take some time to visit ecokable.com. From the website you learn a bit about e-waste. Our next big mission besides selling product is to give individuals guidance on what they can do with there electronics. Make sure it directs them to companies that have been approved and can dispose of it properly. Brennan and the company are hoping to make a small change in the world. 

I more or less wrote this blog to help spread the word about Brennan's company. I have been using these EcoKables for some time at my job since my boss was the engineer behind them. Making it easy to say they work great. But more than anything I am very excited for the next chapter in Brennan's career. The experience he is getting in building this company. The freedom he is finding and the joy I can see when he is working on it. They say you have to find things you are passionate about. E-waste and EcoKable is something that he has become passionate about.

More than anything I am so proud of my husband. Starting a company and building it from the very bottom.  I love you Brennan! Keep up the hard work!

Visit: ecokable.com

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"I don't want to miss a thing"

October 12, 2013 was by far the best day of my life. I stood in front of friends and family holding the hand of my best friend. In front of them all I was able to say "I do".

For months all I hoped for was to get to October 12, 2013. For many reasons I was beyond ready to marry Brennan. But also because I am not one for attention. And your wedding day is a day full of attention with all eyes on you. That had me very nervous. Every decision that I made I knew people would be thinking about. So I can fully say that I did not love the planning process. Do not get me wrong there were some fun times like testing all the food and wine with my mom. Checking the mail everyday to see who had RSVP was always a highlight. But I was worried that my vision of the day would not turn out and would look funny. Turns out with the help of my mother and our vendors everything turned out wonderful!

The days leading up to the wedding were not nearly as stressful as I had heard they should be. Most of my craft projects were completed by Thursday. With the help of a few people (as usual).We dropped everything off the at the reception venue on Thursday afternoon. Where I had a final checklist with the wedding coordinator. Thursday night was the best my siblings all got home. It was good to see them and made it all start to feel real.

Friday was spent picking up a few friends from the airport and train station. Then of course a trip to the nail salon with ladies. It did not go as smoothly as we would have liked but oh well. After that it was back to my parents house were we were all staying. We helped to get the backyard set up to host the rehearsal dinner. It was great cause all of Brennan's friends were also in town. Getting set up took only minutes. Then it was off to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.

Everyone then meet up at the church to go through the process of what would be happening at the church. I was nervous for this. First because it was the start of everyone looking at you. But also cause I did not want to mess up. The rehearsal went really well. I thought it was weird that the coordinator wanted to go through the entire mass. But I was so very glad that we did. It helped to calm my nerves and feel comfortable with what was going to be happening the following day.

Practicing the hand off
After the great rehearsal we headed to my parents house to start the rehearsal dinner. Our plan was to have the dinner here so that it was basically an open door event. Everyone was welcome. It ended up being an amazing event. A few family friends were able to hold down the fort and get the taco guy set up while we were at church. By the time we arrived everything was in full swing. First stop was a shot of tequila with my fiance. Then headed to see everyone. It was a great night very low key but I got to really talk with so many people.

Once most people had eaten and everyone had arrived Brennan's parents spoke. It was nice to hear from them. Then Brennan introduced his bridal party. Telling everyone how they were friends and a great story. He was talked about Coach Hartman who was an user and Bill Sand who was reading. Then it was my turn. I ended up getting choked up talking about all these individuals. Because these girls all mean so much to me. My maid of honor Brooke and Mikayla, Mel, Anna, Alyssa and Melissa. Then Kelly my big sister from another Mr. who read in the wedding. Brennan & I got so many compliments on introducing everyone. Made everyone feel like they really knew our siblings and friends.

The night started to slow down with many of the guests leaving. At this time we just got to hangout with our friends really. The girls we were a bit stand offish because well we had a very long day planned on Saturday. But the boys had not all seen each other since college and it was like a mini reunion. Once the boys got tired out the bridesmaids ended up driving them all back to the hotel. Then we headed to sleep cause the big day had finally arrived.

I woke up well before my alarm. Plus Anna was snoring up a storm, just kidding. But we were sharing a bed. I headed into the shower to get clean- then get dressed. Once everyone was up we started getting really excited. We laid everything out then headed for the Salon. The salon was great we arrived about 8:45 and then after being made beautiful we left at 11:45. Every few minutes I got a bit freaked just nervous and my heart would race. I really freaked out when everything was finished and she pulled the veil over my face. That made it all REAL! We had breakfast and a great time hanging around. Once we got back to my parents to get dressed I got a little freaked out. It was a bit rushed. Needed to eat lunch, since I was told that was very important. While doing this the photographers were working away getting all the other pictures. Then the girls were into their dresses. Then the time had come for me to get into my dress.

Thankfully I had all my bridesmaids and mom to help me into my dress. This was very emotional for me. Brooke kept trying to tell me to smile inside, I was trying not to freak out. And just keep a straight race. Once into the dress mom helped me with my necklace. At this point she also gave me a ring to wear as my something old and something borrowed. My dad gave the ring to my mom the day I came home from the hospital. So it was pretty amazing to get to wear that.

Once dressed we got a few more pictures and then into the limo. We meet my dad and brother at Smiley Library for "First Look". While waiting in the limo alone while everything got set up I started to cry. My dad and brother looked amazing. Then they were laughing with all my friends. Once they were ready we did our first look and got a few family pictures. As I was trying not to cry with my dad and brother we realized that my dad was wearing two different shoes. This had everyone laughing so hard and I needed it. I needed to get back to just a special day with less emotion.

After the no look we headed to the church. Brooke did what she did best- diverting everyone into the church so I could make a run for the room. Mrs. Abbott who helped with all my center pieces was there with a sheet to hide me. Then into the room I went. This was where I saw the flowers for the first time. They looked beautiful. Then the photographers got me when they were ready to do a "First Look- No Look" with Brennan. They brought us up back to back and just gave us a few minutes to chat without seeing each other. I needed this moment. This whole day was about "US" and I had yet to hear his voice and I needed his hand. This calmed me. Originally we planned to exchange vows. But then decided we were not going to to do that- turns our Brennan did have something and I had nothing. I felt terrible about that. But it was just a short note and it was what I needed. This helped to settle me to hear his voice and how excited we both were to get married.

It was then back to waiting. At this point I had a quick bathroom break, Mrs. Abbott steamed out my last few wrinkles. Our wedding went off right at 2:00. We are never late in the Cassidy house. While they lined everyone up, I had to wait. Well I ended up waiting all by myself. For about 3 minutes I was alone with my heart jumping out of my chest till they came to get me. I was so nervous about walking down in front of everyone. I meet my dad in the back of the church and we waited. Then the doors swung open and I saw Brennan standing up there. He looked to handsome and my heart skipped a few beats. Then we started walking- probably to fast but we were moving forward. I tried to smile and take it in but I was trying so hard not to cry and just kept looking at Brennan.

The ceremony was amazing. The priest did such a great job. Brennan and I both got through the vows without crying. I did almost fall the first time we sat down because my dress pushed the chair out from under me and I could not feel it. We learned our lesson from then on Brennan held it steady as I sat down. Only thing he never said was you may know kiss your bride. But oh well. We then headed up the isle as husband and wife and it felt amazing.

We took a bunch of pictures at the church. Then Brennan and I were told to stay inside. What we did not know was there was a huge surprise waiting outside the church. We came out to find everyone lined up rose petals all over the ground and a horse drawn carriage. My mom had come up with it all on her own. I will admit our faces do not look surprised this being because I was just overwhelmed and unsure what was happening and Brennan thought he had forgotten I told him about this. The boys helped me into the carriage and Brennan and I headed off. It was probably the best part of the day. We just spend this time together. No camera's or people talking to us. We talked about the morning. It was amazing just us together drinking Champagne.

Once we arrived at the alumni house it was time for pictures. We took group pictures, single pictures, bridal party pictures. Then Brennan & I headed off for hundreds of pictures with us. It was a lot of fun but many pictures. Once we arrived back from the pictures it was go time. The cocktail hour was over, it was time for the big party to begin. They introduced us all. Brennan & I went right for our first dance. We decided while dancing the song we picked was to long, we had fun none the less.

The rest of the reception went amazing. I danced with my dad & laughed the whole time. Brennan danced with his mom and enjoyed it. The speeches were amazing. Found out we share our anniversary with my mom's grandparents. Mikayla said how much we both mean to her. Sean talked about how Brennan has helped him so much. I cried for it all. But Brooke really really got me. Her speech was amazing and I cried to hard. Geoff speech was funny and I hope Brennan does take better care of me than his college gold fish. Brennan also went off schedule and spoke. He thanked everyone. He also made me cry, it was just another reminder of how much he loves me. Everyone headed into the house for the cake cutting. Brennan & I had a great time cutting it. Though there was a finger mark, Brennan's grandpa was sure it was fake so he stuck his finger in it. Makes for a great story to laugh about.

After the speeches and dinner. It was time to party. The dance floor was packed the entire night. I have to say our DJ did an amazing amazing job. We really loved him. No one stopped dancing. We did the bouquet toss and then the garter. The garter we did not want to do but glad that we did (after the fact). The little kids had a great time and were so very cute. They referred to me as the princess all night.

Not even sure how the time went so fast. They say your wedding is like a blur and it really is. All of a sudden the night was over. Brennan and I were getting into the town car and headed to the hotel.

It was a day to remember. It was all just amazing. I want to go back and re-live it all. I watch our video and picture slide show all the time. So please take some time to view it for yourself. I apologize for the long blog. But I could write for hours. I am proud of myself for how short this is!

Thank you to everyone who helped us put on this amazing day. We are so very blessed! Especially huge thank you to my mother for all the hours she spent attending meetings, appointments, and making sure I was on track. I could not have done it without you mom! Also thanks to Brennan for his help- but more importantly loving me so much! I am very lucky. I love you Brennan.

PSW: Cassidy


Facebook Photo Albums:
Race of a lifetime
Time to get Beautiful
Rehearsal Dinner

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life passing by..

It has been a crazy last few months. As I am sure you are aware since there has been very little or no blog posts. In reality the last few months have been filled with events. Watched KK graduate from high school and leave for college. Yes my baby sister is in college! Brooke's fiance and my good friend Nik was signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is currently on IR, but enjoying being part of the NFL. Sean is loving his new place down near SDSU. My parents are attempting to live the empty nest lifestyle.

My last few months were completely consumed with wedding planning and training for another half marathon. Thankful I let Brennan talk me into the Ventura half marathon. It really kept me grounded and focused with all the planning. Plus I ran a PR in late September. Like always I was nervous about the race, but it went great. It started out and I felt super strong. I even managed to be with Brennan for the first three miles. Then he started to pull away. It was fun though cause I could see him in front of me the entire race (his bright orange shorts really helped.) The last mile sucked it was terrible as Brennan would say I was suffering, really suffering. I crossed the line lacking the smile, which was nicely pointed out by the announcer. But I crossed with a new PR and under my goal time. I quickly found Brennan who had ran under his goal. Then we just hugged and for a few minutes nothing else mattered except we had just left it all out on the road. Shortly after I also realized this would probably be the last time I ever raced as a Vessey. At least I went out with a huge bang- new best time.

Most of my summer weekends were spent with focusing on the wedding. Thankful for my mom who as always found time to help me with everything. She was my life savor. It is amazing what planning goes into a wedding. I have a whole new appreciation. I swear every time I checked something off my list it lead to another five things that needed to be accomplished. I will post another blog to talk about the wedding- but I can officially say it was worth all the planning. I am a married woman!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Carlsbad Half Marathon

I have been terrible at blogging lately. Mostly because I have been wedding planning (which I am not much better at). But then between running, coaching, working, planning I am just to tired to want to blog. But there are so many events that I want to share- so I am going to try and get back to it. I am going all the way back to the end of January and the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

I have run in the Carlsbad half the previous two years always raising funds for Insulindependence.  This year Brennan and I convinced my sister Brooke that she should also run. It would help her have something to focus on and she could also help raise some money. Brooke started off great training with the PEAR Pro, but within a few weeks into her new job life go in the way of training. Going into this half I was determined to stick to my training plan I wanted so badly to beat my previous best time.

My training went surprisingly well. I managed to stay away from any major injuries.  Only missing a few training sessions. Brooke on the other hand seemed to miss most of them. But our fundraising was going well. Over the course of a few months Brooke and I managed to raise over a thousand dollars together to help the organization.

Once race weekend was upon us the weather was not that great- cold and rainy. Brooke and Sean stayed over the night before the race since we would be heading out early. With the rain we decided to leave Sean at the apartment. Where he claims I left him with nothing to eat! Turns out Sean does not eat healthy stuff : ).  Brennan would leave before us Sunday morning so he could get to the aid station at mile 2 (where all the volunteers where from Insulindependence).  This meant that Brooke and I were on our own.  There is a reason Brennan and I never race together- it is so that someone is totally focused and there to help the individual racing. With this set up that was not going to be the case.

Brooke and I left with plenty of time to spare. Once we were parked our nerves started to get the best of us- so we got in the bathroom line. Woman seriously take forever! After that we headed to the Insulindependence tent where we would meet up with the other 50+ runners who had raised money as well. We got a group picture. Then we were off to get into the starting area.

All the IN racers
At this point Brooke was really starting to freak out. This is when you look back and think why did I miss those training days. I honestly was thinking the same thing. Her plan was to run 5 minutes walk 1 minute. With a goal to just finish the race. I had a plan to run faster than ever before. As we waited for the race to start I became more and more nervous. Then it was time to go- I told Brooke go get it and see you at the finish. I was OFF!!

Brooke all smiles at aid station #1 ( 2miles in)
My goal was to not go out hard with all the others. I had a plan and was going to stick to it. I had been using heart rate based training and pace over the last few months. But again when race day comes all of a sudden none of that matters. Within a few minutes into the race my heart rate was sky high as in the 190's. But I felt good.  At the first aid station I saw my amazing fiance Brennan taking some pictures. I guess I do not stand out in a crowd cause he almost totally missed me had I not yelled at him.  I loved seeing him but sad cause it was so early in the race.

Again I was just focused on my plan. Quickly it started to hurt (like any racing). But I just kept going. At the turn around I was looking and looking for Brooke but with thousands of people and no idea what pace she was holding it was worthless. With about 3 miles to go I was really hurting. My heart rate had been up in the 190's for the majority of the race. At this point my legs were heavy and my chest was on fire. When I saw Brennan at 2 miles all I could say was it hurts! He yelled a few positive things and I just kept trucking away. The last mile seemed to drag on and on. When I turned the corner for the finish line I had hardly anything in the tank to speed up. I just wanted to get across so that I could walk. 

This is what 195 average heart rate makes you look like
This is what Brooke looked like.. All Smiles!
I finished with a personal best time. It was not the time I was hoping for but better than ever before. Plus I was not injured. I managed to make my way through the crowd to get back to my stuff. I did a bit of stretching and then was trying to decide if I could get to the aid station in time to see Brooke. I called Brennan and he had not seen her yet. I decided not to risk it and to just go stand at the finish. Brennan gave me a heads up when she was at the aid station- he said she was still smiling. Which I thought was a good sign. You can see this video of Brooke finishing her 1st ever half marathon.

I cannot explain how proud I am of Brooke. Not sure if she will ever do another one. But once I got to her all she could say was "I didn't walk, NOT one time." I was not surprised Brooke has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I know.  Plus she is competitive! She beat her goal time even!

Slowly the soreness made its way for Brooke. By the time we got to the car she could barely walk. I think the next three days she was in extreme pain but she had run her first half marathon! So way to go Brooke. I could not be more proud of you!!!
With our finisher medals!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Senior Season of Water Polo for KK

Last home game as a Wildcat
I have to start this blog off by saying I wish I could have seen more of KK’s games. Being a part of the real world kind of sucks (at times). Living 120 miles away does not help my cause either. What it does make me realize is how amazing my parents are. The fact that they rarely missed a game or a swim meet. How they juggled it with work I have no idea. I only hope I can be half as amazing when I am a parent.

Riverside Tourny
Well back to KK. I wish I could have seen more games this year. But looking back I am pretty proud of the number I did see. I made it to a day at the tournament in Riverside, a day at the tournament in San Diego, was present for Senior day and the semifinal game of CIF. Maybe another tournament or two.
Earlier in the season I asked KK if I could make it to one league game which game it would be. I assumed she would be choosing between the rivalry game against RHS (where Brooke & I went to school) or senior day. She decided on Senior Day as the one league game I would see. Sadly it was against a very very bad team in the league- in all honesty I do not even remember who they played.  But senior day is always fun- it is the last time you will ever play in your home pool. 
In order to be available for Senior day I took that Tuesday off work- I figured since I am going up to Redlands might as well make the most of it and boy did I. Mom also took the day off work. I would get grandpa in San Diego at 8:00 am and we would start the day. Once in Redlands mom and I signed a contract for the preferred hotel for my wedding, went to the church and turned in a bunch of paper work, meet with a photographer, looked at a place or two for a rehearsal dinner. Then after KK’s game we would meet with the wedding coordinator and event planner both of which were amazing.  We managed to plan out basically the entire reception from the dance floor location to the table wear. Very productive day.
The most important part of the whole day was being at KK’s game. It was weird to think that my little sister was a senior. Her school held senior day much like we did. I guess she filled out a questionnaire so that her coach had a place to start with talking about her. While he is talking my parents gave KK  some flowers. Her team signed a polo ball for her that is in a nice case. I was impressed what a great gift! He did a great job talking about what KK had meant to the program, some of the awards she had received, the school records, a few of his lasting memories, and then a few things from her sheet. Like the most embarrassing moment.  That is when she was trying to get everyone going during Brooke & I CIF final game- she was leading a cheer and spelled Redlands wrong. To give her some credit she was really little at that time. I don’t think she was older than 8. During the time her coach was talking about her grandpa got dragged up & then so did I. My attempt to say I was the camera woman did not work to well. So Mom, Dad, Grandpa & I all stood with KK!

SD Touny
I was honored to be a part of her senior day presentation. Oddly enough her coach was actually present when I was honored at my own senior day. The Vessey’s will no longer be playing water polo in Redlands. I feel that we have left a lasting mark on both high schools and there programs.  Well Brooke and KK probably more than me. But their names will stay up on the record board for some time. The game itself was nothing to write home about as the other team was not very good. It is one of those teams that you watch and just feel bad for. KK had a few goals some assists. She does it all!                                                                   
Ater league ends you head into the CIF Playoffs.  This is the stressful time cause it is win or go home. I was unable to make it to KK’s 1st round or 2nd round games. But the semifinal I was not going to miss. I managed to get out of work early. Get my brother; pick up my grandpa and hall butt the 120 miles through orange county traffic. I am sure I aged 10 years with my driving and freaking out about getting to the school on time. But we parked and the game had just begun. Very quickly the other team got out a head. The bleeding did not stop right away. The other team always knew ere KK was. Many times having her double teamed. I think finally in the 3rd quarter we got on the board. We managed to score a few more times.  KK played a great game defensively and offensively. It reminded me much of Brooke in her CIF finals game.  Just only so much she could do and hard to beat two defenders every play.
CIF Semi Final Game
After the game she did not seem super upset- but you could tell she realized it was over. Her high school polo days were behind her. As Sean went to give her a hug the teams other coach stopped her. From what I was told later he basically told her she was the best player in the division.  That there game plan revolved around stopping her! That she has had a remarkable high school career. Wished her the best of luck in college. If there is a way to have it end with a loss- you at least want a compliment. That coach had some class. That team would go on two days later to win the title- beating the other team by a few goals. It was never even a game!
Riverside Tourny
I might not have seen every game but I saw a good amount of games. I saw the big stuff. I am so proud of you KK. I look forward to watching the next four years. And I am willing to part with my red and black once in a while for LMU Lions apparel! Plus by then I will be even better with my camera and take hundreds of more pictures of you!
Click on these links to see all the different photo albums:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mel's Senior Day

If you don't know already Melanie Garibaldi is like a sister. She is an honorary Vessey.  A little back story for you.

Conference 2011
My first year out of college I was working as a volunteer coach at San Diego State. The year prior when I was a senior we had recruited this amazing distance swimmer out of Australia. Since my background from swimming was in the distance events that was the group I inherited to coach. My group consisted on three girls and two that would join every once in a while. Mel and another freshman Meghan were always with me. When you see the same girls everyday for multiple hours at a time. You create a relationship. I really hit it off with these girls. They respected me and they knew I always had there back as a coach and wanted nothing more than to watch them succeed. This meant at the pool and in the classroom. I am sure Meghan loved the time I spent with her in study hall her freshman year. At this time Brooke was still competing for San Diego State and was a senior on the team. She also seemed to hit it off with Mel!
Conference Champions in 2010-2011

It seems like ancient history now but Mel's freshman year it was nearing Thanksgiving break and she had no place to spend the (weird American) holiday. So I spoke with the head coach and asked if it would be ok if she came home with Brooke and I. He of course just thought it was a great gesture. That was the beginning of the end :) Mel has spent every Thanksgiving & Christmas with the Vessey's since. She is part of the family.

Needless to say when Senior Day approached it was a big deal. I took a half day from work and headed to the Aquaplex. I was not going to miss her last meet. It was also a bitter sweet day to see the girls I recruited, coached in there first years at SDSU, be almost finished.  I could not believe how fast the time has flown by. Plus I felt that they appreciated my sacrifices and being there one last time for them! This senior day was special also because it was the highest ranked class SDSU had ever had (I was a small part of that).

All the Seniors Class of 2013
The senior meet is nothing crazy like some sports. It just consists of the girls being introduced to everyone. They talk about each girl- they include things like there bio, major, accomplishments, and career highlights. Mel's list was extremely long- All Conference, MW Finalist, Scholar Athlete, School Record Holder. I mean the list went on & on! Once they are announced they go through a tunnel of all the other girls on the team to be greeted by the coaching staff. Brooke, Sean & I were all present for the big event. 
After that the meet goes as scheduled. Sadly this was a meet over Christmas break while the other school Tulane was on a training trip. Oddly enough I interviewed at Tulane only about a year earlier for the swimming job. That would have been weird.  Since it was during a training trip it was a shortened meet- also meaning Mel would not swim her normal events of the 1000 and 500 Free.
We watched Mel swim odd events.  It was her last every meet at the Aquaplex! When the meet ended I was able to chat more with Mel. She found it just as weird that it was over! Like always she thanked us for being there and supporting her! Plus what girl does not love flowers and we gave her a few different sets of flowers!

It was a weird day. I was there for her first home meet and I was there for the last! Also strange was I coached Mel her Freshman and Sophomore year while Brooke coached her this last season. Sorry Mel you always had a Vessey coaching you!
Proud Siblings!!
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of her Aztec career. Congratulations Melanie on an amazing career! It was a true honor to coach you. That you still take advice from me even though I don't coach anymore. You are truly one of my best friends and I enjoy all the time I get to spend with you.  More importantly I view you as my sister (who is also stuck as a bridesmaid)!

The three girls I coached- thanks to them I looked like I knew what I was doing (L-R: Mel, Meghan & Kelly)

To see the press release of the last senior meet: http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/w-swim/recaps/010713aaa.html

To watch an interview of Mel from earlier in the season: Click Here

View a whole photo album of Mel Racing on Senior Day: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/media/set/?set=a.10100595980008327.2485577.24605776&type=3

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Finish out 2012

It has been a crazy last few months. As I am sure you can tell by my lack of blogging. I will try to cover the big stuff.  With a good amount of pictures!

Vessey Kids
In mid-December the entire family attended the Poinsettia Bowl to watch the San Diego State Aztecs play BYU. It would also be Nik (Brooke’s Bf) last game as an Aztec. Leading up to a bowl game there are many fun activities for the players- below is a picture of Nik at the zoo!
Leaving work early Brennan & I arrived in time to enjoy the tailgate and see Nik on the warrior walk to the stadium.  This was the first warrior walk we had been to all year. I can proudly say I did not miss a home game this season and it was awesome to watch Nik play! Congratulations on your Aztec career Nik. Been fun watching him play all over. In the last few years I even saw him play in Missouri and Seattle. One of the best memories of this season was watching the Aztec’s claim a share of the Mountain West Conference Title on TV. Then heading to school to take part in the celebration when the team arrived back on campus.  Brennan, Brooke, Sean and I were all there when Nik got off the bus. It was a fun night of celebrating. Thanks for letting Brennan and I be a small part of the picture Nik!
A little back story to the picture to the right--The picture was taken a few minutes after the Aztecs arrived back on campus. The Mountain West Conference Trophy was making its way around with the Seniors. It was finally Nik's turn to hold it. We were getting his picture and the Championship swag. When Brooke ran over there to get a picture also. An Alumni post ran the next day about the mini party held on campus for the conference champs.  This picture ran in it.  With the quote "Senior Nik Embernate takes a picture with a very excited fan" or something along those lines.  Needless to say Brooke was not thrilled with it as we sent it to everyone we knew! It sure gave Sean, Brennan and myself a good laugh. And at least Nik has a very cute fan!Then this one of Nik getting kissed by the seal is just to good to not post! 2012 Football season was a lot of fun to be an Aztec fan!

Christmas would come quick (when does it not). Brennan’s parents came for the holiday from Wisconsin. Sadly it was chilly for us California people but they got out of the 15 inches of snow they left! Not sure what they thought of being thrown into the world of Vessey’s. But I personally had a great Christmas with all my family present! Everyone attended Christmas Eve mass together(next time we are all in that church again- I will be marrying Brennan. Can’t WAIT!). Christmas day we opened gifts and had some great laughs! Mom like always out did herself. I cannot thank you enough mom for always going above and beyond. To make every holiday something to remember and for hosting the Cassidy family! We celebrated Brennan’s Christmas birthday as well! We had a truly wonderful day all together!

The Tree
While Brennan’s parents were in Redlands & San Diego. They saw our wedding reception venue first hand.  We also experienced some of the wonders of Southern California. We toured the Midway. I had never been and look forward to going back with Brennan. We did a day at Disneyland. Also over the break I got to see all my amazing college friends as our first grown up dinner party and my amazing best friend Alyssa who was home from New York!
New Year’s Eve was how Brennan and I love to spend it- together with no major plans. To be honest as I am writing this not sure what we even did. But I know that we had fun and were together. In early January I also moved- had black mold. It is not your friend. Love the new place!
2013 has been off to a fast start. I am hoping to be able to catch up on blogging.I plan to do some combining major events in the next few to hit the major events! But 2012 was a great year and 2013 will be even better.It is the year of the weddings (Anna –May, Jenna- June, Me- October, Alyssa- November)!