Monday, December 29, 2008

The fire's still burnin'

Today is my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. 35 years ago today they tied the knot, and then drove to exciting and romantic Nashville , TN for their honeymoon. They never left.
As their anniversary present to each other, they bought new gas logs for the living room fireplace. A friend of the family commented that the gift symbolized that after all these years, the flame's still burning strong. On the contrary, I told my dad, it represents that all you two do is saw logs together!
Congrats, Mom and Dad, on a long and happy marriage. Thanks for the wonderful example you've set for what it means to be a loving and committed husband and wife.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A very DIVA Christmas

Every year my college music BFF's get together for our annual DIVA Christmas get-together. When we were in school, it was always dinner out together before we all left for the holidays. Ever since, Nashville has been our meet up spot since Ari & I both lived here, and Conley would fly into Nashvegas before heading to Kentucky to spend Christmas with her family.

This year, sadly, we were only able to manage a 2/3 DIVA convention, with Ari unable to attend (we missed you, Ari!). So Conley and I got a few precious hours together and exchanged Christmas pressies. She hadn't seen Bradley since he was a few days old, so of course we had to take plenty of pictures!Aunt Conley & Bradley... the shirt he has on was a baby shower gift from Conley and today was its maiden voyage, now that he's big enough to wear it! The sheep and sleeper were Christmas presents from her. Also if you look up close, Bradley now has what I like to call his "old man hair" that covers his ears!

Conley with Bradleys Junior and Senior

the 2/3 DIVA quorum (we miss you, Ari!)

Grandpa B & Bradley, showing off his preppy duds! I still maintain that real men wear pink!

Christmas is almost here. I can't wait to see how Bradley handles all the chaos and see his interest in opening presents. A quick shout out to Emmy Sue- Happy Eve of the Eve!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa's Baby

Do we ever get tired of seeing pictures of Bradley? I think not. Then again, I am a proud mama and recognize my partiality.

We took Bradley to the mall to meet Santa, and darn it if my boy wasn't the cutest kid in line! One little boy a few people ahead of us even asked his mom if my Santa-outfit-clad-infant was "Santa's baby." The mom turned around and shared this with us as I beamed with pride.

Bradley was too little to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas, but the good ole' Kindermusik song came through for us with us some big smiles for pictures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Suddenly I'm not in the Christmas spirit anymore, but I'm trying for Bradley. This is his first Christmas and I want it to be special. I stumbled upon this site for free blog layouts and thought I'd give it a try. This one's called "Sassy Santa." I know this is a sorry excuse for a blog post, but Rhonda Lu beat me to the "Who throws a shoe, honestly?" joke with the Bush shoe-ducking fiasco.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

7 Things

Well, Natalie "tagged" me to do this, so I guess I have to... or should I say, I'm compelled to.

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die...
1. Get a dog
2. Have another baby
3. Visit Hawaii
4. Learn to play the guitar
5. Go back to South Africa
6. Have a reason to wear one of my many formal dresses that I accumulated through college
7. Be a good mom

7 Things I Can Do...
1. Play songs on my toothbrush
2. Sing
3. Read a book in a day
4. Eat until way past I'm already full
5. Write
6. Make people laugh
7. Obsessively organize

7 Things I Can Not Do...
1. Shop and talk on the phone
2. Run a mile without stopping
3. Be completely satisfied
4. Hate the color pink
5. Park straight in a parking place
6. Be spontaneous
7. See my family as much as I'd like

7 Things I Say Most Often...
1. Poker? I don't even know-er! (or some version of that)
2. Bradley
3. That's what she said
4. I'm going to Walmart
5. PTL
6. Bless his/her heart
7. Like

7 Celebrity Crushes
1. Brad Pitt
2. Mike Row from the tv show Dirty Jobs
3. John Krasinsky
4. George Clooney
5. John Mayer
6. Johnny Depp
7. Tom Brady

Tag: Ari, Bethany, MAB

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Handel-ing Things

Saturday was my first performance with the Pensacola Choral Society. It's P-cola's version of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, but it's apparent we aren't in Nashville anymore Toto!

Every Monday night I go to rehearsals while Brian watches Bradley and somehow manages to get more housework done in 3 hours than I do all week sometimes. Every Monday I begrudgingly go, knowing I'll have fun and enjoy singing once I get there (I did this most Mondays in Nashville too, to be fair), and every Monday while I sit in the choir room of Pensacola Junior College, I think about Dr. Mabry, director of the NSC, and all the hard work we put into Handel's Messiah last year. And then I snap back into reality and look around at the much smaller, less talented, and much older chorus in Pensacola, and I wallow in self pity for a minute and think how much difference a year can make.

A year ago I was pregnant with Bradley. I sang in a brand new, state-of-the-art Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, with a professional chorus, and I sang my butt off and perfected every nuance of Handel's masterpiece with fierce concentration, an abundance of joy, and a proud appreciation for what we as a choir, and I as a singer, had accomplished.

This year Bradley is 6 months old. Saturday night I sang in a church gymnasium with plastic folding chairs for the audience. I dreaded the concert, embarrassed at how amateur our performance was going to be. And I wallowed in a good amount of self-pity as I drove the 45 minutes out to BFE where the concert was held.

But you know what? Handel's Messiah is still Handel's Messiah no matter where it's performed. And sure there were mistakes made all over the place; we sang at one volume level the entire time: forte, and our pitch was less than perfect, but as much as I dreaded that concert, something miraculous happened that night. I sang with a joy and passion I have been lacking for longer than I can remember. My voice felt strong and clear, and I worshipped God through music paying more attention to the text than the notes! And when it was all said and done, I was glad I had sung.

To be certain, I miss Nashville for more reasons than I can count, the Symphony Chorus being one of them, but I am still pleasantly surprised when I find reasons to be happy here too.

An added bonus to Saturday was that Ann, Jim, Jesse, Brian, and Bradley were all there to hear me sing, and Bradley loved the concert! He stayed awake the entire time, and bounced on Ann's lap to the music. Maybe he recognized the music from last year's in utero hearing?

Monday, December 08, 2008

St. Nicholas came to Florida twice this year! Brian and I opened our stockings from each other on Friday night before Ann, Jim and Jesse got into town, and then we let Bradley see what St. Nick brought him.

Sunday, St. Nick came again, this time with packages that he brought to TN and then shipped to Florida. I tell you, that St. Nick sure makes his rounds!

St. Nick brought us lots of candy, candles, Christmas socks, and Walmart gift cards, and Bradley got some baby's first Christmas ornaments, and lots of new toys.

6 months!

I cannot believe it, but we have hit the half-year mark. Yesterday was Bradley's 6 month birthday. It also happened to be the day that baby Wesley made his grand appearance into the world- congrats Wes & Jess! So now Bradley has a new best friend, right next door.

I can't emphasize how true the cliche phrase is that everyone has been telling me since Bradley was born- "enjoy the time while they're young, they grow up so fast." Our little chunky monkey has exploded in size. I'll have the official measurements next week when we go for his checkup, but my back and shoulders which ache after I carry him around for very long will attest to the fact that he is big for his age. Also, perfect strangers comment on how cute he is (of course!) and then ask how old he is. When I say 6 months, their reaction is always the same- their eyes widen, and then they say something like, wow, he's a big boy, or something similar.

The other thing people are always telling me is what a happy baby he is. I guess I lucked out there because Bradley really does have a cheerful disposition most of the time. He's sitting up now, as long as he supports himself with his hands, or we prop him up from behind. He also "swims" on the floor, and supports himself great on his stomach now. We had been feeding him one meal of solid food every day, but certain digestive issues have caused me to hit the pause button there. It seems my son has inherited my bathroom irregularity! Bradley wasn't all that interested in eating from a spoon anyways, so we'll pick it back up soon. I'm not terribly concerned. One other fun thing that Bradley discovered this month was his toes! He lays on his back and holds onto them, which I snapped a picture of yesterday on his actual 6 month birthday. Maybe the next 6 months will pass more slowly! ha!

Monday, December 01, 2008

We gave Thanks

So here's our much overdue recap of Turkey Day (Thanksgiving, not the country, Ari!).

We spent Bradley's first Thanksgiving in Tallahassee with Ann, Jim, and his son Jesse. We got into town Tuesday night that week and went out to dinner at Applebees. After Bradley got bored being in his car seat, he entertained us on the table. Notice the little guy is sitting up now!
I have to watch him while he plays when he's sitting up still, because more often than not, he topples over! Wednesday we spent a lazy day at the house, and that night Ann and I went to see Twilight. It had been months since I had been to the movies, so I was ecstatic that we were able to go. I will say that going to the movies has been one of the biggest things I miss about my life before Bradley. Twilight was good because I went into the film prepared to be mindlessly entertained, and not expecting an Oscar winner as my friends and family warned me. Jim made stir fry for dinner and we all watched HGTV- there was a Househunters episode where an LA songwriter moved to Nashville, so that made me a little homesick. The house she picked was not my favorite either! We also played Scattergories that night, and I beat Brian by 2 points. I sense a rematch coming soon.

Thanksgiving Day the weather in Tallahassee was beautiful- sunny and in the mid-70s. The guys tossed the football outside and Ann, Bradley, Max (the dog) and I went for a walk. I also watched the Titans beat the pants off the Detroit Lions, so I was a happy girl.
Here's Bradley observing the Turkey being sliced

The food was delicious, and of course you can never eat everything on your plate, yet you fill up on the first helping. Even though Jim cooked the stuffing for way too long, I thought it tasted yummy, and the fried turkey was a big hit.

Here's me and Mommy's Little Turkey

And here's Brian and Bradley. Notice his "Baby's First Thanksgiving" onesie

Grandma Anna and Bradley

Jesse and Bradley

Blame it on all the travelling we've done lately, or all the carbs I ate and tryptophan in the Turkey, but Bradley and I both crashed on Thanksgiving night and took and hour and a half nap- something I rarely do! We got up Friday morning and headed out after a wonderful visit and a great couple of days. I'm sure I speak for Bradley in saying he had a good first Thanksgiving. Next year will be fun when he can actually eat some of the traditional fare.