Saturday, May 30, 2009

Palms Away!

Today I feel as though I became an official Floridian. Brian bought us a baby palm tree that we now have planted in our back yard. I have been wanting one for FOREVER, and he happened to see these on sale today for 6 bucks! You can't beat that! So here is me, lounging "under" my new palm tree before it is planted! Ahh, this is the life!
The Little One has a cold, and I decided that wiping snot and sand off Bradley's face together wouldn't make for so much fun in the sun, so we forwent the beach for a little time at home today. Brian did yard work, I layed out in the backyard and read in my lounge chair, and Bradley played in his pack-&-play in the shade. We had a grand old time listening to music outside and just hanging out. Brian even made me a fruity drink to sip on while we were at it! (Yes, it's ginormous, and no, I didn't finish it!)
Bradley at the back door!
I love this picture, because you can see all 3 of us in the reflection.
He is still such a happy baby, even with the sniffles.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spending green on Red

RedBox, oh how I love you! You make it so cheap, and so easy to rent movies, something I once considered a rare luxury, but oh, the crap I have watched since visiting your drop boxes! Can I get an amen from anyone else out there??

For a scant $1.07, I can rent new movies, watch them that night, and return them to any Redbox location the next day- the closest drop point for us a gas station about a mile up the road... but really, I am renting movies at what cost?? I'm talking about the price you pay for renting crap movies because you're only spending a dollar on it, and there isn't really a movie out there you're dying to see, but rather renting movies out of boredom. I'm talking about the price of your time for renting said "crap movies." What if something comes up, and you don't have time to watch the movie? What if the mood changes, and you don't feel like watching a movie? Well too bad, you have to, because you already paid The Man, and the man (ie Redbox) owns your time. Unless you're one of those people who shrugs it off and vows to pay another dollar to watch the flick the next night. I'm not one of those people. I hate the idea of "wasting" that dollar, so I suck it up and watch the movie- the whole movie- no matter how terrible it is, no matter if I want to or not!

And let me tell you, we've rented some crap lately! Last weekend we suffered through 7 pounds with Will Smith... not some of his finer work. The storyline wasn't clear, the characters were never developed- even the main character, and they never even explained what the "7 pounds" was! But I couldn't turn it off. I had to know how it ended, and I paid my dollar for it already dog-gone-it. Marley & Me and Benjamin Button were both okay, The Caller was awful- worse than Nights in Rodanthe awful- Doubt was dull, and Jim Carey's Yes Man was just so-so. Where are all the great films that I missed out on in the theater, and why aren't they at my nearest Redbox?! Maybe there's a "blockbuster clause" that I'm not aware of where Redbox is only allowed to rent the B-movies, lest they steal thunder from the Movie Rental Giant?

Point is, I think you get what you pay for!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a Snarky Shoutout to the Divadomain

Here's a throwback to my very first blog post, with an updated list of words I love and hate:

Here is The List of words which you should never utter in my presence:
  • Supple
  • Moist
  • Penetrate
  • Cutlet (& cutlery)
  • Breezeway
  • Panties
  • Thrust
  • Slice (as in the verb, not as a slice of pizza)
  • Shrapnel
  • Penchant
  • Chunky or chunks (when referring to food)
  • Rubric
  • Luncheon (and the the verb “to lunch”)
  • Panache
  • Secretion
  • Folks
  • Turd
  • Hunkered
And these are a few of my favorite words:
  • Ubiquitous
  • Verisimilitude
  • Quickly
  • Cantankerous
  • Zwoelf (german word for 12)
  • Presh (short for precious)
  • Cumbersome
  • Plucky
  • Snarky
  • Cusp
  • Crisp
  • Copacetic
  • Mogul
  • Diminutive
  • Penultimate
  • Elicit
Happy belated birthday, divadomain- you turned 5 years old on May 25th!

2 years baby, 2 years!

(The title of this blog is a FRIENDS reference, so let's see if anyone besides Brian gets it!)

Last night Brian and I got to go on a real, honest-to-goodness, dress-up-and-go-out-to-eat, DATE! We were celebrating our 2 year anniversary of meeting and being together. (Thanks mom and dad for the Olive Garden gift cards- they came in handy!)

It's hard to believe that it was just 2 years ago that 8 (or was it 9?) of us girls packed our bags and headed south to Navarre for Spring Break 07, and it was there that I met my hot cabana boy at the quaint little beach bar near our condo. Who knew that'd he'd actually follow through on his word and come to visit me in Tennessee 2 weeks later, and that 2 years later, here we are married with an almost-one-year-old, living in Florida!

Life has crazy twists and turns, and it's been two of the most challenging but most rewarding years of my life. A lot of people haven't supported our relationship, and many still don't, but that's okay. To those naysayers out there, I want you to know publicly and unabashedly that I am happy. Brian is happy. We've made many wrong decisions in our relationship but we're committed to each other, and committed to working everything out. Marriage is a challenge for sure, but its payoff is equally ginormous. And don't even get me started on parenting! My heart just melts when Bradley smiles at me. It about killed me to leave him with our friend so we could go to dinner last night! He claps his hands now, and looks at me immediately for approval, so I laugh accordingly and tell him what a good boy he is! Anyways, I'll get off topic if I start raving about my precious boy!
Point is, it's the relationships that take the most work that give the most back, and Brian and I were thrilled to celebrate 2 years of being together yesterday. We had a fun day together being lazy around the house- he took the day off and surprised me by being home after Bradley & I got back from Kindermusik, and I had a bag of goodies waiting on me too. Plus, here's the kicker- he cleaned up the house while I was gone- so he definitely earned his gold star from me that day!
Like I put in Brian's card, here's to the next 2 years... 10 years... 20 years!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Risky Business


Doesn't the little man give Tom Cruise a run for his money??!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Like the Desert Missed the Rain

After attending Midway Baptist Church for almost a year, we made our membership official yesterday. It's a small church (for me) of fewer than 500 people, and your typical Ready-To-Sing church for all you current/former Brentwood Benson-ites. The pastor is a big Teddy bear of a guy who's a authentic Cajun from the Louisiana bayou. If you've never heard a Cajun accent before (and I hadn't before hearing Bro. Dennis preach) it sounds like a cross between a deep southerner, and an Australian! Plus he's always throwing french Cajun words in his speech too, so it makes for some entertaining sermons, as he is the consummate story teller!

Right now we are going through Psalm 23 verse by verse, and I LOVE this style of preaching, dissecting each verse. I know there's a name for this style of preaching, and I forget what it's called but I love it. It's pretty much the opposite of what Mike Glenn usually does, though I love his preaching as well! A few Sunday's ago, we watched this "Deep Thoughts From a Shallow Christian" video about Greed to open up the message, and I thought it was so funny I had to share it with you!



Yesterday Brother Dennis focused on verse 4 of Psalm 23,


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.



He talked a lot about the valleys in our life, how they are inevitable, but temporary, why they happen, and how to get through them. Brother Dennis said, "You can't have sunshine all the time, and no rain or you'll have a desert." Such a simple statement, but it was so profound to me! I joked to Brian on our way home from church that we must be living in a tropical rain forest because we seem to be getting hit constantly with hard times, but in all honesty we are blessed. Listening to that sermon yesterday I realized I am so guilty of wanting to live in a desert, wanting warm sunny days (both literally, and figuratively) every day of my life. And I am subject to pout and complain when it rains (yes, again literally & figuratively).


Sure, I prefer the sun, but it's the rain that makes us grow. So to celebrate my new found respect for the rain in my life, I bought 2 hanging plants for $10 yesterday at Lowe's! What a great deal, huh? And I am striving to keep my positive outlook on life, no matter what the circumstance.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

803-not just an area code for Columbia, SC

Last week we hit an impressive number on here. We celebrated our 800th post on the DivaDomain. To me that sounds like a lot! The blog turns 5 at the end of May, so if you count 5 years... 803 current posts... 160.5 per year... or a little over 3 blogs per week, and that's assuming I don't blog for the rest of the month (like that would ever happen).

No, I'm not Internet obsessed, but I do love my blogging, and wonder how different my life would look without this creative and communicative outlet. Well, maybe my life wouldn't look all that different, but things certainly wouldn't be "blogworthy," you wouldn't read about me eating chicken tendons, or things falling into a urine-filled toilet, or forgetting to wear a bra, and I undoubtedly wouldn't remember 3/4 of my twenties without the Diva Domain.

Plus with our newest family addition, you wouldn't be able to see all the cute things Bradley's up to. If you care about those sorts of things, we have new videos posted on the YouTube page.

Hope you are enjoying reading the blog half as much as I enjoy writing it. Here's to 803 more posts... at this rate, I'll be 33 years old when that happens- EEK!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A mouthful of tendons

Brian & I watched the Jim Carey movie "Yes Man" last week. It was a mediocre rental, but there was this one part in the film where they are touring a chicken processing plant. The tourguide uses the phrase "a mouthful of tendons" in reference to something not going right with the chicken processing, and this is what you might wind up with: a mouthful of tendons.

EW! Gross! Could there be a more disgusting phrase? (A "moist penetration of cutlets" might run a close second, or some other phrase out there with a handful of my least-favorite words, but still- you have to agree this one's pretty disgusting.)

Flash forward to yesterday. The 5 of us were enjoying the lunch that Brian had made. Brian had seconds, but couldn't finish the last few bites of his enchilada, so I offered to eat the remains. The last bite I took was a little too chewy, and not in a good way. I think I got a bad piece of chicken I said, and went to the trashcan to discreetly spit it out. You might say I had the dreaded mouthful of tendons!

What's worse though, is that then Brian asks me if the piece of chicken I just ate came from the side of his plate. Apparently, he tried the bad piece of chicken too, and spit it out on the side of his plate without saying anything, and so the tendon I was chewing was a piece of ABC chicken!!!

I was thoroughly grossed out, as was everyone else at the table. It was a long time afterwards before I quit thinking of the recycled tendon, and wanting to throw up. The moral of the story is, always trim the fat off your meat before you cook it!

Mama's Boys

Yesterday I celebrated my first "official" mother's day as a mom. I got a really cool Snapfish card in the mail on Friday from my mom and dad that had a picture of me and Bradley when he was one day old, and another picture of the two of us at Easter. I am constantly amazed at how much he has changed and grown up in a year. Bradley also got a tshirt from Old Navy that said I love my Mom from aunt Laura. The t-shirt made me cry because I realize how much I love this little person, and can only hope the shirt is tue and he loves me that much too.
Bradley and Mommy on Mother's Day... you know I color coordinated on purpose!
Ann was able to spend Mother's day with us too, and our friend Amber and her son Micah came over for lunch since her husband is deployed right now. Brian cooked Mexican for us at my request, and he whipped up some amazing chicken enchiladas, rice, and beans. I told him now that the cat's out of the bag and I know he can cook, he's going to be getting kitchen duty more often!
Our spectacular chicken enchiladas: Mama's Boys: Brian & Ann, Micah & Amber, Bradley & me

Friday, May 08, 2009

Aunt Sarah comes to visit, & a family trip to the beach

Okay, so I am a week late posting this, but last weekend was a very eventful one at our house.

Bradley's aunt Sarah came into town from Seattle to stay a few days with us. She got in on Thursday night, and brought with her Bradley's first 1st Birthday present that he got to open. She had me intrigued because she emailed me prior to her visit and told me she knew what she wanted to get Bradley, and that it came in several different languages, and asked which language I would prefer. I told her German, and this is what she came up with:
Bradley's first set of wooden alphabet blocks, and all the numbers are spelled out "auf Deutsch" under the numerals, and on one side of each block there is a picture of a different animal, with each name in German as well. Kuddos to Sarah for a very cool gift!
As you can see, Bradley loved his gift.
Since it was the night before Brian's birthday (and Laura's too!) he opened his gifts that night as well. This is him opening the one from Bradley.


Friday we were in the car all day driving to and from Port St. Joe, FL where Grandpa Cimpher is in a nursing home. It's a 3 hour drive each way, so I spent some quality time with Dave Matthews in the car, and Bradley's Kindermusik cd when he got fussy. We celebrated Brian's birthday at a pizza place for lunch out there with his mom and aunt Bev, along with me Bradley and Sarah. This is my pitiful excuse for a homemade birthday cake. The icing wouldn't cooperate. It never does. So I jokingly told Brian it looked like Bradley had decorated his cake, although it's not quite bad enough to make cakewrecks.
After lunch we saw Grandpa Cimpher and took this "Four Generation" picture. I'm so glad we have these pictures for Bradley since I don't have any grandparents left on my side of the family.
And here's Bradley playing with aunt Sarah.
Saturday the weather was perfect so we went to the beach. (This is the day we had our near-brush with death with the shark.) We had a good 3 hours in the sun before Bradley needed to go home for his afternoon nap. We packed a cooler and ate lunch on the beach- here was my view while I ate my sandwich:
And here's Bradley and his aunt Sarah- check out her way cool vintage swimsuit!
Our little guy is such a stud! He wouldn't keep his sunglasses on though, so in this picture he's pulling them off!
I love this one because of all the different shades of blue. You can't see it, but behind the pacifier, he's doing Blue Steele.Here's our obligatory family shot. I'm going to keep taking these this summer until I have a good one that I like. This one's just okay.
I like this one even though we aren't looking at the camera.


Goodbye Sarah, come back any time!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

This one goes to Eleven

Eleven months, that is! (Thanks to sister-in-law Sarah for the idea for the Spinal Tap reference!)

Every month I get nostalgic when the 7th rolls around, and every time I say I wish I could freeze him at this age. But really, this time- I can honestly say I have enjoyed this 10th month more than any so far. It's been full of milestones, and our little guy has so much personality now, yet he's still consistantly taking 2 naps a day, and leads a predictable schedule, which makes mommy happy!

Bradley's 10th month began with his biggest milestone yet- crawling! But aside from that, he can wave bye-bye now, clap his hands, boogie, and he's sleeping and eating so much better. He's trying new foods but still prefers his "baby crack" aka Gerber Puffs and lights up when he sees the canister. He's not too sure about the ocean and sand yet, but loves putting the salty seashells in his mouth. Actually, he's still at that age where he loves to put everything in his mouth. (That's what she said.) He stood on his own last week, and is cruising around, walking holding onto the furniture now like a champ. When I read to him, Bradley helps me by turning the pages which is so cute, and he has worn out his musical Fischer Price learn and play table so much that the speaker is blown on it! (Or that could be because he spit up directly on the speaker one day.) Yes, the little man is still spitting up, but just like not sleeping all the way through the night, it's a term I've come to accept. He lets me put saline drops in his nose nightly and that's something most kids scream over, so I think it's an even trade.

We haven't had any doctor appointments since his 9-month checkup, and won't go again until his 12 month checkup (holy crap, I'm about to have a one-year-old!) so I have no idea what the chunky monkey weighs except to say" heavy!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swimming with Sharks

Saturday we had a great afternoon at the beach. The weather was perfect- sunny and low 80's, and the ocean was finally warm enough to enjoy. Brian's sister Sarah was in town visiting, and our friend Amber and her 8 year old son Micah met us at the beach. At one point Sarah offered to watch Bradley under the umbrella so I could go get in the water with Brian. This was the first time this year the water has really been warm enough to get in, so we took advantage of it.

It was high tide, so the water was really shallow for a long ways out. Brian and I waded out to what I consider to be pretty far, but the water was only waist-high. We stood there for a while jumping through the waves when all of a sudden Brian says very matter of factly,
We need to go back now.
Why?
I asked him, quizzically, because we hadn't been out there very long, and the water felt sooo great! Again, very calmly he just repeated,
We just need to go back.

Well then it dawns on me that he's seen something in the water, and I need to not ask any more questions and get back to the shore as quickly as possible. We start to walk/wade our way to shore, and I don't dare ask him what he saw until I am safely on the beach. We make it almost all the way back and then I start to panic as the undertow is strong and I'm having a hard time getting out of the water as quickly as I'd like, so then I started to hyperventilate!

To Brian's credit he stayed calm the entire time and encouraged me that we were almost there. Finally we make it up onto the beach and I ask him what he saw. Sure enough, he saw a shark swim by about 2 feet in front of us. Not a big one he said, but a shark nonetheless. I don't play around when it comes to ocean wildlife, and if it happened to be a baby shark, that means the momma shark isn't too far off. So that effectively ended our time in the water!! I spent the rest of the afternoon there helping Micah build a sandcastle!