Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Austin Holiday Lights

My company, NetQoS, has built and posted a handy Google maps mashup of Austin holiday lights.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Writing about work: NetFlow Monitoring

Posted this story about Cyber Monday shopping to Network Performance Daily.

"The good news is, it’s not too late to mitigate the risks associated with the upcoming Super Bowl blitz that we wrote about on the Network Performance Daily blog last year. By putting your network monitoring tools to good use now, you can examine exactly how your network performs when a large spike in traffic occurs - so that you know what to do to be ready for the next spike in traffic when it occurs. Specifically, NetQoS advises network engineers to take action now to:

analyze network traffic flows with to identify recreational network traffic
quantify its impact on network performance
and implement quality of service policies to ensure business-critical applications have priority access to network resources
Admittedly, this is not the trickiest of problems to solve. You just need the right tools. As we detail in this best practices white paper on most of this online traffic is fairly easy to identify and measure if you are using NetFlow and a NetFlow monitoring NetFlow Monitoring product like NetQoS ReporterAnalyzer to analyze traffic. It’s also, in most cases, predictable – you know that every Monday after Thanksgiving, there will be a higher volume of Internet traffic. You know that the Super Bowl and March Madness will also have an impact. But do you know how much of an impact and how to prevent it from impacting application performance for those workers who are actually working? Do you know what you will need to do to mitigate risks?
network management software

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alina's Soccer Team Takes the Championship

Here's the scrapbook I made to celebrate Alina's Soccer Championship.
Click to play More+Soccer+Fun
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Click to play FirstSeasonSoccer
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Soccer Princess.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Alina in Cheetah Girl Video

Alina is in the video coverage of Sabrina (Cheetah Girls) at Steiner Ranch elementary. Check it out at

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Zara's 2nd Birthday Party

Thank you to everyone for making Zara's 2nd birthday special.

Click to play
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Alina's Graduation Scrapbook

Alina's preschool graduation.
Click to play CCoAGraduation
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More Digital Scrapbooking

Ran across these really old pictures of Alina and her best friend when they were only 20 months old. too cute!

Click to play Best Friends Forever
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Digital Scrapbooking

I'm starting to get some time to build a few digital scrapbooks to capture some of the exciting moments in our lives. Here's the first one I put together to chronicle Alina's first day of school.

Click to play Alina's First Day School
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Shot some beautiful photos of the girls in their holiday finest. Check

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Disneyworld 2007

Just returned from one heck of a trip to Disneyworld with the extended family. Lots of ups and downs, but overall a real blast. Here is the evidence:


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall 2007 Update

With a new school year, new teachers and a new curriculum, the girls are flourishing. I can't believe the progress they are already making. Zara has begun to use more and more words, and multi-word sentences. She is also more confident and happy.

Alina is making outstanding progress on reading and can now quickly sound out words and write letters if we spell the words out loud to her. We are packing today to head to Disneyworld.

There should be many new photos upon our return. In the mean time, here are a few to hold you over:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Photos of Zara Before Adoption

We were so blessed to have been given these beautiful photos of Zara. They were taken each month over the course of her first year of life by the organization that facilitates foster programs in Changsha. She's such a beauty.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to School

Alina started kindergarten last week. She absolutely loves it! Zara is also growing up quickly too. Here's a shot of her with the older girls.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer 07 Updates

It's been a busy summer of traveling, recitals, graduations and parties. Rescuing and fostering dogs has also kept us busy. Alina also attended an awesome Harry Potter party where she won a special edition of the book by guessing the number of beans in a jar. Photos below.

Zara is really growing and changing. She now says words like Mine, Shoe, Boo, ByeBye, Toe, Tea, etc. And, of course, her favorite word "NO!!" She also likes to sing. She's quite feisty right now and entering the terrible twos but I can tell she has attached fully and is doing really well in her new life.

I just received a nice promotion to Senior Director of Marketing Communications and Paul is doing well in his new position. We were both in Anaheim this week and had to jump through a few hoops to make sure the girls were taken care of during the transition. Thank God for Mom.

It has also been a Summer of sickness thanks to the constant rainfall that we've been experiencing. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in Seattle! I'm the latest to come down with this week's nasty virus. Here's hoping that the rain clears up and we all get well so that we can enjoy what's left of the summer before Alina starts Kindergarten at the end of August.

Aly and AJ Concert

Alina had an absolute blast at the Aly and AJ/Corbin Bleu concert last night. She even got to meet Aly and AJ as a friend of mine scored back stage access!!

Summer Highlights

Here are a few cute shots from the Summer including Zara as a surfer girl at the Texas coast.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alina Graduates!!

Alina graduated from Pre-K last week. She'll start Kindergarten in August. This Summer will be full of fun and learning with Swim lessons, Gymnastics and Dance. She'll be part of the cast of Cats at the Performing Arts center this summer. Check out her beautiful photos from graduation. Here's she's pictured with her BFF Samantha R.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Precious Little Fairy Princess

A dear friend and co-worker of mine painted this wonderful portrait of Zara. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Austin Photographer Blog - Pictures of Alina

Local Austin Photographer and friend Jennifer Sparks Harriman has featured a beautiful shot of Alina on her web site. Check out this beauty.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Beach Babies

Zara and Alina had the best time in Sarasota this last weekend. Zara's first trip to the beach and first time in the pool were terrific. She truly had a blast. Check out the photos.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Zara's Christening

We attended a beautiful service this morning at Unity Church of the Hills. The music was exceptionally uplifting this Sunday and we were all so happy to be together as a family. After the service we went to the small chapel where they held Zara's christening. It was wonderful. Enjoy the photos.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Alina's Birthday Weekend

Wow, what a whirlwind of a weekend. First Alina's 5th birthday party followed by a smaller slumber party. Then, a big Easter egg hunt. We also stopped to take a few bluebonnet photos. Enjoy the web album.
Bluebonnets and Easter Eggs

Monday, March 26, 2007

It's Virtual Daddy!

Paul's recent short notice trip to Singapore (following on the heels of the week in Switzerland) has prompted me to investigate the Giraffe Video conferencing gadget at The applications are amusing.
Virtual Daddy

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Zara Playing in the Park

Here's a recent shot of Zara having fun at the park.
Recent Shots

Zara's First Words

Well, it's been 3 months since we returned from China and Zara is adjusting to her new life beautifully. She wants to be just like everyone else in the family and mimics everything we do and say with precision. However, the only English she utters consistently with the exception of "Mamamamamamama" is "uh-oh." I can truly tell she understands the meaning of the word. Too cute.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

At Last - An Update

Things have been insanely busy as we settle into normal life. But, we're having lots of fun and Zara is doing so well. She's healthy and the happiest toddler I've ever met. You can see in our new photo album that she's always smiling. We could not be luckier.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Making Plans for Chinese New Year

Things have gone so well since we returned from China with our new baby girl. I'm pleased to report that the whole family is adjusting well to the changes in our lives. Zara is doing beautifully. She has attached to both Paul and me. And I can tell that she thinks her big sister is the best. Both girls are now attending the Children's Center in Steiner Ranch and LOVE it!

We are making plans to celebrate Chinese New Year next week. Just got back from the MT Supermarket, Austin's first large Asian grocery store, with banners, ingredients for Chinese New Year cake, red envelopes for gifts and a large golden pig full of candy.

When we returned home and opened our mail we found a wonderful envelope full of photos of Zara beginning at 3 months of age. Apparently Families Through International Adoption, the organization that makes foster care possible in China, carefully monitors the kiddos in foster care and takes a photo of them each month. I am going to start donating to this wonderful cause as they are expanding their foster care program and I would like to make this available to as many children as possible. It's such a wonderful cause.

I'm also reading the wonderful book The Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past. I really connected with the author. The similarities in our experience were amazing and she writes of all the same concerns. I find myself crying often while reading the book.

Make sure you take a look at our wonderful new portraits of the girls.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

We're Back!!!!!

We're back and adjusting to the vicious effects of jet lag. We're also stocking up on essentials, organizing and trying to ensure Zara is interacting well with all of our dogs. Our plans for blogging throughout the journey were disrupted by busy kiddos, the fact that Google Blogger would only display controls in Chinese, and a very bad earthquake in Taiwan that sent China back to the pre-Internet days.

So, with a backlog of about 1000 photos, I am taking a different approach - Google Picassa. Please feel free to visit the photo journal by using the link at the top left of the blog. I will add captions during the hours that I am awake and alone each night.

Welcome Home Zara

Welcome Home Zara
Alina paints a banner to welcome home baby Zara.

Meeting Zara

Meeting Zara
Here we are at Civil Affairs to meet Zara for the first time.

Good Dog

Good Dog
Fantastic book.

Zara Lan Xin

Zara Lan Xin
Zara's referral pictures received on 11/2/06.


We'll miss you sweet Boo.