Monday, May 30, 2011

Free advertising

Bradley's current catch phrase that he's learned:  makes us laugh every time!

(For the non-locals, Barbe-Cutie is a local barbeque place, and that is their slogan.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring cleaning

So I decided I would do a little spring cleaning to start out the long weekend and get that behind me so I can enjoy my days off.  I got the bathroom spic and span, and even hauled the Clorox mop up the stairs.  Give me a regular sponge mop any day.  The roommates don't know it yet, but I apparently pressed down too hard on the mop and cracked the handle.  How the heck are you supposed to get floors clean if you can't put some weight into it?

While I was on my cleaning streak (yes, it's considered a streak for me to get the bathroom wiped down, floors swept and mopped, and cleaned the mirrors all in one fell swoop), I decided to do a little more cleaning- this time on Facebook.

We are all guilty of having way too many "friends" on there.  I don't know my exact number, but it was around 400.  Just like phone numbers stored in my cell phone, it was hard to let some of you go, because, what if, just what if, I need to talk to you?  And then how embarrassing would it be to have to re-friend request you?  That darn Facebook, I don't why it keeps "deleting" my friends... we've all heard it before.  Usually I'm on the receiving end of that comment because I'm too much of a pack rat to purge the people I will never ever talk to.  But tonight I scrolled through the alphabet once, and unfriended the people I truly don't have a need to stay in touch with.  I may have only eliminated 20 or so, but it felt good to get that number down a little bit.

Now if only the number on the scale would move down that much too!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cicada Cinema

A few short videos to document the Middle Tennessee cicadas:

Measuring time in cicada years

It's cicada time in middle Tennessee. These are the nasty 13 year breed that hatch out of the ground, shed their brown exoskeletons, and mate, only to die, and have their babies burrow underground til the next 13 years. It's strange to think of the baker's-dozen-year increments of my life that have gone by with each infestation of these nasty bugs.

1985- I was five years old. I suppose I was enjoying my last days of childhood before starting school that August. I have a vivid memory of watching my dad cutting the grass in between our house, and Mr. Hutto's. He's wearing a brown corduroy shirt with the shirt sleeves cut off. There are cicadas swarming all over him. I can still picture the bugs crawling all over his shirt, which are attracted to the loud noise of the mower.
1998- I was nearing the end of my junior year of high school. I can remember somebody bet David Danztler a dollar to eat one that was caught in the senior courtyard standing outside Ms. Bayrd's AP U.S. History class. We would linger in the hallway for as long as possible because Ms. Bayrd's classroom was so cold. I can also remember sitting through BHS's graduation which was held outside on the football field back then, and thinking how nasty those swarming bugs were. I was up in the bleachers, but I remember feeling sorry for the graduates and their families who were down there on the field with the swarming pests.
2011- Now I'm an adult, and I'm a mom. I dreaded their coming this year. I had no idea how Bradley would take to them. Apparently I have nothing to worry about. He makes a game of stepping on as many of them as he can, and he and some of his classmates picked them up and chased their teacher with them yesterday. The cicadas inconvenience my life right now. In the warm days of late spring and early summer, when I'd like to be eating my lunch outside, or enjoying a drive with my sunroof open, I can't for fear of the pesky insects landing on me, or dive bombing my car. Even as you drive along the interstate, you can see them swarming in the air, and splatting on your car windshield.
The sound of them humming in the trees when you go outside is deafening. And if you've never experienced them, yes, you can still hear them in your car or inside the house. I will be glad when their time here is up, and I can go another 13 years without this bug bother. The next time they come, Lord willing, I will be 43, and Bradley will be almost 16, which is too overwhelming to think about! In that respect, I wish I could make the cicada time stand still.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day recap

I don't exaggerate when I say that Mother's Day 2010 was one of the worst days of my life.  Though I didn't know it at the time, it was nearing the end of my marriage.  All I can say is, what a difference a year makes.  This year was relaxing, precious, and stress-free.  I got several home-made gifts from Bradley that absolutely melted my heart, and I got to spend Mother's Day with my mom, too.

I was awakened to breakfast in bed early on Sunday morning.
 I got this vase as a baby shower gift 3 years ago, and Mother's Day was the first time I got a flower in it from Bradley- "for all the short-stemmed flowers your little ones bring to you"
Sunday marked my first time back in the choir loft at Brentwood Baptist, and it felt so good to make a joyful noise!  God was with me.  We even sang "Mighty to Save," a song that will forever remind me of Midway Baptist, but there were no tears, only joy on this morning.  Emily even texted me from France to tell me she saw me on the BBC Internet broadcast!

When I went to pick Bradley up from church, I received a card and flower pot decorated with thumbprint flowers.
Me, Bradley, and Mom on Mother's Day
Proudly holding up my homemade gifts B made for me in daycare
Holding up the hand print mold that Grandma & Papa helped Bradley make for me
A photo session with Laura is never dull...take one...
Take two...
Take three... she's still goofing off here, but it was the best one we got!
We took mom to Chuy's for an early dinner, and had a great afternoon all together.  I love being a mom, and  I love my mom.  She's one of my best friends, and a great roommate (ha ha!).  It was a decidedly sweet Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black eyes or bust

Did anyone else catch that I goofed and posed my Terrible Twosdays post on a Monday?  Man, I guess I am just ready for this week to be over already!  I didn't catch it until I was pondering a catchy title for tonight's post when I realized that tonight was not Wednesday, but Tuesday, and that I posted the wrong heading for yesterday.  Oh well.  You love me, and you forgive me.

A bit of randomness for the week so far:
  • I saw my first cicada.  I am dreading the infestation.  Right now Bradley freaks out if a fly lands on him.  That *may* or may not have to do with the fact that one day I freaked out because a roach-like bug was crawling on him, and he's been scared of bugs landing on him ever since... maybe... so what is he going to do when a ginormous flying insect with beady red little eyes land on him?  Only time will tell...
  • My boss called to ask me if I had put my personal items on her Outlook calendar.  I don't think so, I replied.  Well, said she, there's a note on here that says pray for so-and-so's job interview, and another one that says 'lunch with MAB,' and I don't know who MAB is! I was so embarrassed!  Work Fail!
  • I then called my boss back to ask her if she prayed for my friend's job interview at least, because since it wasn't on my calendar, I had forgotten!
  • I caved and let Bradley sleep with me last night.  Wrong move.  He was all over the bed, and at one point I was jolted awake by a kick so hard to my face that I thought I was going to wind up with the black eye that I've always wanted, though not in the cool way I would have liked to have gotten it.  He was restless all night, and up at 5:30 a.m.  I am exhausted.
  • Yes, I admit.  I have always not-so-secretly dreamed of having a black eye... that, and a broken arm.  I think it has something to do with a deep desire to live dangerously coupled with all of the fifteen minutes of fame attention you would get from having both.  Did I really just admit that in print?  Whatever.
  • While Laura and I griped for 20 minutes about rush hour traffic this afternoon on our cell phones, she waved at me while passing me on the interstate.  I love living close to my family.
  • Tomorrow night is my second choir rehearsal back at BBC.  It's so good to be back!
Alright kids, it's off to bed for me.  Here's hoping that B stays asleep tonight because I can't handle any late night kicks to the face- at least not without some battle wounds to justify the interruption of my REM cycle.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Terrible Twosdays: Blue Steele

At this age, it's so easy to teach Bradley to say anything.  He's both a parot and a sponge.  He will repeat whatever you tell him to, and repeat it back to you at a later date when you think there's no way he'll remember.  I've taken advantage of that, and taught him two Bible verses.  I've also taught him things to amuse myself, such as who the coach of the Kentucky Wildcats is, and this, his model face:

You Zoolander fans might recognize this as Blue Steele.  We're still working on Magnum.  It's not quite ready for a public appearance yet.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day Revelation

It's like a light bulb went off today.  Something I head my mom telling me for years finally clicked.  I went to pick up Bradley from his classroom at church this morning, and outside in the hallway was a little flower pot with his name, and his finger print flower designs on it.  Once inside the room, I was presented with a homemade card, too.  My heart melted.  This, I thought, was all I wanted for Mother's Day; a homemade gift, not anything of monetary value, nothing that came from a store, but something personal from Bradley to me, something representative of his age and stage of life;  that's what I wanted for Mother's Day, only I didn't know it til now, and now my day is complete.

Suddenly I made a mental check list of what Laura and I had gotten for mom this year, and scanned back through the memories of past Mother's days when we were kids and would make mom crafts, or cards, or coupon books.  This year's gifts seemed trivial.  I asked my mom, suddenly understanding.  You'd rather have homemade gifts every year wouldn't you?  It was more a statement than a question, because at long last, being a mother myself, I finally understood.  With her affirmative answer, I realized I will probably never outgrow that simple desire of preferring a homemade gift to a bought one.  It doesn't matter how old Bradley gets. 

It's kind of like going out to eat when you're a kid and watching as the adults fight over who gets to pay the bill.  You think to yourself, when I grow up, I'm never going to argue about that.  If someone else wants to pay the bill, I'll let them!  But then you grow up and your perspective changes.  So now I really, really get it.  The best gifts aren't ones that cost a lot of money; they aren't even items hand-picked by you and put on a wish list; they are ones handcrafted with love, and time, and all that is one of a kind and personal.

So for this year, sorry mom, but I promise I'll do better next year!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Celebrating my sister

My baby sister is officially in her late 20's. She turned 27 on May 1st. To celebrate, I met up with her and a group of her friends and coworkers on Friday for dinner and drinks at the Brewhouse, and then went to a classy cool springs establishment called Losers, where I aptly "lost" my debit card. We sang, we danced, we tried on Leah's designer shoes, and we conversed with the "regulars."
On Sunday morning, on Laura's actual birthday and the one-year anniversary of the great Nashville floods, we braved the torrential rains to go to a swanky spot in Franklin called "55" for brunch. It's a southern-seafood-Cajun-type place. Oddly enough, this is where Laura ate last year for her birthday too, before we knew just how bad the flooding would get, so it was a bit eerie to be there again this year with all of the continual rain and storms we've been having.
Laura & George shared some kind of oyster appetizer while I tried not to look. Then they got seafood-poached egg- blah-blah-blah for breakfast- more food that I won't eat. Mom and I ordered the french toast and the bacon & cheese quiche, which were both amazing, but I honestly could have done with bigger portions on both. I wish I had taken pictures of the food because the presentation was very nice. For dessert they brought Laura a heaping ice cream sundae that had chocolate sauce and nuts poured over the outside of the glass, and ice cream-cake-chocolaty-yumminess on the inside. That I DID remember to take a picture of. Note to self: take Bradley to more seafood restaurants. The crackers on the table kept him busy!
After brunch, and opening her presents at the house, I went down to the Hill to help Laura organize her closet while Bradley napped. I DO love a good organizational project! For dinner we went to the Olive Garden, and finished the evening with some homemade strawberry birthday cake back at the Murdoch place.

Laura & Bradley
 Sisters being silly
 Birthday girl with mom & dad
 the Birthday Ween
 Blowing out her candles on the homemade strawberry cake- a combo of Paula Deen & Sandra Lee's recipes
I was happy to have spent so much time with Lu this weekend. Now we have a month reprieve from birthdays until my favorite little guy turns 3 next month. Holy cow, I cannot believe I am about to be able to say, "I have a 3 year old!" Time sure does fly when you're having fun, (or when you have a boring 8 to 5 job).  Happy 27th, little Sis!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Worship Wednesdays: Making a joyful noise

Tonight I made a joyful noise unto the Lord, and it felt great!
After a long hiatus, I am back singing in the Worship Choir at Brentwood Baptist Church. Singing does wonders for my soul, and I'm so happy to be leading worship again, and so thankful for the relationships I know I will begin (and pick up where they left off) through this ministry. My heart aches every Sunday, even after all these months of being back in Tennessee. The praise and worship time during Sunday morning service covers the gamut of emotions for me. I cry almost weekly. Either a song proclaims that same brokenness and need for the Lord that I am experiencing, and I weep silently while I sing the words that ring true for me. Or perhaps it's a joyous hymn, and I am so grateful at what God has done for me, that I weep tears of joy. Or the saddest one, we will sing a chorus that we used to do at Midway Baptist, my church home in Florida, and I will weep, grieving for the life that I have lost.

Music is one of the strongest way I personally commune with God, and so I finally feel that I am ready to take that next step towards healing from the divorce, and sing from the choir loft once again. You'll be able to spot me from where you sit- I'll be the one wiping my eyes in between the songs! Or maybe not. Maybe I will be the one grinning from ear to ear because the Lord has healed me of any pain and sadness! Whatever it is, I am so glad to be using the gifts that God has given me and making a joyful noise for HIM. And he will heal me and use me for his Glory in his way and time. My job is just to follow... and to sing!