Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The 12 Days of a Cannelton Christmas

The Bradley clan did something different for Christmas this year. After attending the 9am Christmas Eve service, we piled into 2 cars with our 3 dogs and all our presents and headed up to Cannelton for a fun old-fashioned family Christmas (minus Chevy Chase). Things are always chaotic when all the families get together (chaotic in a good way) but I thought the best way to break it down would be in a creative (& accurate for the most part) list to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas. So without further ado...

On the Twelfth day of a Cannelton Christmas my family gave to me

12. glasses of punch dad drank on Christmas Eve
11. times Braedon & Nicole listened to the Wiggles songs on repeat while singing and dancing
10. number of adults that fit around the Big Table on the back porch for dinner
9. Grandkids at the house
8. the combined number of stores to which Mom & Dad got gifts card this year
7. pieces of our traditional homemade coffee cake the four Bradleys collectively ate on Christmas morning
6. the number of cameras we had snapping pictures of the various family groups around Papa & the Christmas tree
5. different dogs at the house (Stockwell, Oscar, Ginger, Oreo, & Julius)
4. siblings present (Mom, Lisa, Kristina, and Michael)
3. the number of times I walked around the entire Tell City, IN Walmart to buy some last
minute forgotten things on Christmas Eve for my mother
2. Great-Grandkids at the house (Natalee & Nicole)
1. Great-Grandfather/Grandfather/dad to bring us all together in one Mr. Harry Lee Huber

I sincerely hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Getting a Handel on things

Thanks to MA, we have pics from Tuesday night's dress rehearsal. I thought I'd share a few of these with you guys since I'm on a blogging roll today:

Here's me smiling for the camera (You can always count on MA to take lots of good pictures!)

And here is yours truly, finally appearing as though she has a "Handel" on her music!

A View of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and Symphony in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Hall

A lady on the front row who Mom & MA (what a dangerous combo, sitting those 2 together) had a good laugh over, watching her mouth open to the size of a softball!

We perform tonight and tomorrow night to sold-out audiences. I have been listening to Messiah here at work the past few days and am beyond excited to finally be performing this major work! Hallelujah!

The road to the Gym is paved with good intentions

I got up this morning with the intent to go to my Thursday morning spin class at the Y, keeping in line with my 3-for-3 workouts this week so far. With "dad gum it's Christmas" still going full swing at work, I've got to stay in the gym in order to allow myself to eat all the tasty treats baked lovingly by my coworkers! Well, the alarm went off, I sang along to Beyonce on my clock radio while I got dressed, and like a pack mule, grabbed everything I would need for the rest of the day. Or so I thought. On my way out the door, I hung my clothes on the back of one of our dining room chairs and put on my coat. Then I picked up my pink gym bag, and out the door I went. Still dark, I pulled up to the Y and began to gather my things to head inside.

purse: check.
gym back: check.
Work clothes on hanger: ... I scan the back seat...
Work clothes on hanger... I scan the front seat... and begin to get frustrated...

You can see where this is going. It's going to me driving all the way back to the apartment (still in the dark, and mourning the loss of sleep), and getting ready sans workout. You can imagine my frustration when I came in and hung my coat on the same chair that my work clothes were mistakingly hung.

So what did I do to make up for the missed spinning class this morning? I got ready early, made myself some coffee, and enjoyed it in my pink Christmas travel mug along with a 7 layer cookie on my way to work!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heroin, romantic comedies- same thing

Amidst this crazier-than-ever December, we three roommates (of Nashville are) took some time out of our busy schedules to meet up for a movie on Monday night. We planned on seeing The Holiday- hailed by some as the Best Romantic Comedy EVER, so of course we had to see it!

I don't know if I would say it is the best ever (my fav is still You've Got Mail, and how can we neglect When Harry Met Sally? In fact, throw in Sleepless in Seattle and, are we sensing the Meg Ryan trend here, you've got yourself some classic romantic comedies. Seriously Meg, embrace your niche instead of (literally) fighting your way into a horrible movie like In The Cut. Go back to what you know. Heck, even Kate & Leopold wasn't that bad of a movie because of you.

So the Holiday was everything we expected. We laughed. We cried (thanks FR for the much needed tissues- "I'm a bit of a weeper!") It was better than Cats. But maybe not so much better as the classic Romantic Comedies I listed above. But it was very good- perhaps even "totally brill" which is maybe my new favorite British phrase. The movie inspired me to swap flats with some fabulous young British singleton over Christmas and meet a Jude Law look-alike to fall madly in love with in one week's time. (Hey, it could happen!)

It also inspired us to tap our arms several times during the course of the film implying that we needed another "heroin fix. See Em's infamous post Just Like Heroin for the full story, but basically her point is that women watch romantic comedies that make our emotions soar and then the movie ends and we come crashing back down to reality. So we watch more movies to bring us up again, we crash, and the addiction continues. Similar to the highs and lows of being on heroin. Or so I've heard.
All that to say, I give the Holiday 2 thumbs up. It's a fun chick flick to go see over Christmas with your gal-pals or girlfriend (guys).

Friday, December 15, 2006

To wear or not to wear?

Lately my friends and I have had numerous discussions on the Taboo act of wearing that infamous piece of festive clothing- the Christmas Sweater. It's perfectly acceptable, and particularly adorable to dress children in red velvet dresses with fur trim, and fine to dress them in red from top to bottom with a matching bow during the Christmas season. Additionally, we sort of laugh and accept the fact that many of our mothers are of the mature age now where they are donning Christmas sweaters (daily if it's my Mother, with red pants to match!). And while we agree that our moms are cute in their snowmen vests, and reindeer mock turtlenecks, we swear to each other that we will Never be caught dead in something so hideous.

But what is so bad about the Christmas sweater? What makes it a universally-unaccepted article of clothing once you hit the teens and is locked in that category until you hit 50 where it becomes acceptable once again? I mean personally, I don't see what is so tacky about a bulky sweater covered with ginormous poinsettias. Office Max has even gone to great lengths to make fun of the often-laughed-at Christmas sweater (I think maybe the only thing poked fun at more during the holidays would be the Fruitcake) that they have a website where you can create a virtual tacky Christmas sweater and email your creation to a friend.

While I agree that most holiday apparel is indeed unflattering for the trendy dresser, I myself am wearing a fashionable Christmas shirt that I got from the Gap last year. It's fitted and green and has a tiny reindeer made of rhinestones on it. Christmas socks are also festive and fun, mainly because you can wear them proudly without causing too much of a distraction to the rest of your ensemble, because how often are one's socks really displayed? And then there was that incident in college with the Christmas bra.... disaster.... but all I can say is that there are ways to wear your holiday spirit proudly, even if it's not as obvious as a snowman covering the entire length of your torso.

Post Script: Momma B took this picture with the intent of including it on her comment after this post, but technical difficulties prevented her from doing so. I am displaying here now for you all to admire. :o)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roadtrippin It part 1

Backing up one more weekend, in the wee hours of the morning (the alarm went off at 4:30 am) following the Dixie Chicks show, Steph and I piled into her gracefully aging Saturn and headed up to Lexington. We rolled into LexVegas at 10:04 for the 10 am wedding shower I was trying to make. Steph and I parted ways, and I entered into wedding shower world for the next half-a-day. Ariana's maid & matron of honor threw her a Holiday-themed shower (hence some of the less than ideal gifts, ie. not one but Two dancing Santas, and a to-die-for cookie plate with a cat on it. And by to die for, I mean, I nearly died watching Ari gush over gifts which she obviously had no use for!). It was a blast though getting to know some of her family and close friends better (I think after 7 years I just might have Beth & Katie, the twins, straight!) After a highly competitive clothes-pin game where you couldn't cross your legs, I lost (sorely, I might add) to Ari's aunt Carol. Carol and I ended up being friends though, so there were no hard feelings.

What else went on this weekend you might wonder? Or you might not. But here it is:
*Ari's secret hot cousin
*Watching (& laughing at) drunk girls playing darts
*Ang & Ari not having heat in the guest bedroom the first night
*Puccini's Smiling Teeth- the quaint little Italian restaurant in Chevy Chase for Sat night dinner
*Massive peanut butter desert (compliments of the aforementioned secret hot cousin)
*Drunk christmas caroling (ok, we didn't do this, but Liz wanted to)
*The pink bathroom at Marika's
*Being locked out of the house at 3am.
*Rekindling friendships with old (intoxicated) college friends.
*Eyeball trees.
*I really couldn't find my toothbrush this time!

Is there ever a dull weekend in Lexington? All I will say is that there was no Cider consumed on this trip, and that all parties involved are another year older, wiser, and more mature than last year's infamous tales of woe. This was all around a fun girls weekend, and the wedding countdown (6 months to go!) begins. Now if only we had some Bridesmaids dresses...

Roadtrippin It part 2

This past Sunday I was reminded again about how precious my years of Singledom really are. Me, Bryce, Bethany, and Jessica met up at the Cool Springs Starbucks on Sunday morning and took a road trip down to Montgomery, AL to hear our fellow coworker Erin, perform. She was the featured solist in their holiday pops concert, and so it was a really big deal! It was great to be able to take off for a day and not have anything to hold us back from the 8 hour round trip! The four of us sang along to Michael Buble', NSYNC (Bryce's cds!) and Jess and I had a dance party in the back seat to my Florida 2005 mix (what a great cd mix Em!), prior to singing every Christmas carol we could think of, and switching off singing lead and harmony. We took turns playing the peg game on the table at Cracker Barrel and ate our weight in food (I enjoyed my potatoes and green beans, even though there's apparently a study which says that those foods are now considered bad for you). Bryce tried to convince us he could run 60 miles per hour, and then proceeded to "demonstrate" in the parking lot of the Montgomery Starbucks.

Erin had no idea we were coming, and her face was priceless when she spotted us after the show. That for me, made the entire trip worth it to me! Her family welcomed us into their home for a visit before we had to get back on the road, and they were all so funny and amiable that it was very hard to leave! After the concert Erin's grandmamma hit on Bryce so we were in stitches about that, and Bethany called Erin's brother-in-law Scott when his name was Chris, but he thought it was hilarious, along with the rest of us. MA- Erin's fam has a big Blue Russian cat that looks almost exactly like Jack, but he hissed at me, so I don't think we share the same special relationship that Jack and I do!

I love that I work in a place where I can spend a day laughing with coworkers, and where we support each other in parts of our lives that have nothing to do with the 8-5 day. Some days the work we do can get monotonous, but it's the people I work with, and the people who benefit from the work that I do that keeps me here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dad Gum It's St. Nick's Day!

Another year almost over, another St. Nicholas Day, and yes, today also marks the beginning December-long celebration at work called Dad Gum It's Christmas!!

I'm heading home after work tonight to have dinner with the family and open our stockings to see what St. Nick brought us. For a detailed explanation, see December 2004's post on the holiday!

I have been listening to Christmas music at work, and I have my cube decorated with lights, a tree, a pink fiber-optic angel, my Kentucky Blue Santa hat, and a stocking hung by the cubicle with care, in hopes that coworkers will bring me presents and treats! (You think that's a bit over-board?) So far I've received several offers for lumps of coal, and 40 cents in my stocking!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chickens from the South

As we near the end of 2006 it is time to squeeze in one (maybe last) concert review for the year. Friday night several thousand fans put politics aside and showed up to the GEC to hear a trio of women play and sing their hearts out. (Because the only reason anyone listened to what lead singer Natalie Maines had to say a few years back about the president was because of the innovative music that shot the Dixie Chicks to the top of the charts, making them a household name.) And like it or not, the girls are still at the top of their game despite many radio markets refusing to play their records, and many conservative fans boycotting their concerts. Before introducing one of their new songs that came from the Shut Up & Sing movie soundtrack, Natalie quipped, "here's a new one that you haven't heard yet- well of course you haven't heard it on the radio!"

I am admit I am guilty for falling prey to the media influence, and the DC became out of sight out of mind for me the past few years. Friday night rekindled my devotion to the DC, and brought back many happy memories from college as former roommate Stephanie and I sang our hearts out from the audience (The hand motions to Travellin Soldier made up while tailgating for a UK football game would be one of the better memories)! It is refreshing to hear clean, pure harmonies (hey, what a novel idea- singers who can sing!) and even more impressive, to see artists who can actually play several different instruments.

The Tennessean gave them a glowing review, and so do I.