Sunday, July 31, 2011

Locust invasion

What better way to suffer through the summer heat than to sit by the pool?  So that's what we did last weekend up in Indiana with the Huber/Harris clan.  My papa Huber used to say fondly curmudgeonly that the locusts were invading (aka in swarms) whenever our whole family would converge upon his house.  My cousin Ryan's fiance Whitney's shower was on Sunday, so on Saturday, the "locusts" headed north, and we took advantage of Lisa's pool.

While on the car ride up, Buzz Lightyear decided to break it down for us:

We stopped in Hawesville, Kentucky to see Russell, Vicky, and their 2 guinea pigs, Bert & Ernie before crossing over into Indiana.  We also raided Russell's garden and came home with some fresh veggies.  Russell made the joke that it was a good thing he'd worn his "good" wife beater for the picture! 
I had my heart set on a relaxing day by the pool, but with Bradley's new found enthusiasm for the water, he didn't so much want to stay in the shallow end of the pool!  It didn't help that he was watching his older cousins run and jump off the diving board, either.  Can you believe this is the same kid who wouldn't let me turn the sprinklers on the slip-and-slide on at the beginning of this summer?!
The gang:  Michael, Mom, and Lisa
 The Huber-Harris-Bradleys
 Thanks, Michael-Missy for bringing that ginormous container of cheese balls!  B really loved them.
 Jerry doing the famous "Harold Malone" dance
 Bradley with Addison, Braedon, & Garrick
Whitney's shower was held at the K of C on Sunday, and it was such a success that we had to leave and head back to Tennessee before she even opened her presents.  This weekend was somewhat of a challenge for me since I had just started my vegetarian diet.  Sunday, we made a Tasty Freeze run for lunch- a local burger joint up there, and I had to politely decline, even though a hamburger was sounding really good.  At the shower I almost reached for one of the meatballs that Lisa had made, but then I remembered my new eating regimen, and had to pass them up.  It's not that I will stick with the veggie diet forever perhaps, but I couldn't cheat once or twice on the first week and really say I was committed to trying this.  

 "Knights of Columbus, that hurt!"
While the girls went to the shower, the guys took the kids to see the fire trucks since my cousins and uncle are on the volunteer fire department.  I don't have the pictures for this venture yet (ahem, Michael!) but I can confirm that the loud noises startled Bradley and he cried!  Oh well.

My favorite quote of the weekend came from my cousin Garrick.  Another sibling told on him for having my aunt's iPhone. 
"But I wanted to play Angry Birds," he whined. 
"Well you know better- you're supposed to ask before you take my phone."  His response? 
"But you always say no!"  Made sense to me!

We had a great weekend.  Good times were had.  Jerry sent us home with a stockpile of veggies from his garden too (it was a great week to turn vegetarian with all the free fresh produce I was given!) And the wedding is just a month away- now all I have to do is find some wedding music to sing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All up in the Mustard

That's right.  I'm all up in the mustard, and I can't catch up!  So here is my catch-all summer blog with some pictures to document the events that will never get talked about otherwise:

During our trip to Lawrenceburg at the end of May, I sprang for a Coke in a glass bottle at Argo's family's fruit market.  It's amazing to me how much better the beverage tastes in a bottle!
A Coke & a smile
Buzz Lightyear and "Woody" watching tv together one morning... and yep, Bradley has the same, sleepy wonky eyes as I do before he fully wakes up :)

This kid could have run around and played at the play place, but all he wanted to do was sit on Ronald McDonald's lap.  I've had to rescue Bradley from the tops of indoor play spaces on more than one occasion, so if all he wants to do is chat up RM, I'm fine with that.
I took Bradley to my work picnic, a Sounds game, at the beginning of June.  We watched none of the game.  He talked to a few of the baseball players, had me chasing him all over the stadium, and picked out this foam finger from the gift shop.
Proof that we were actually there, even though we saw no baseball game!

Did I mention it's been blazing hot this summer?  To cool off, Bradley plays in his slip-and-slide.
My porcelain-skinned smiling boy
Ah yes, the classic "Roar!!!!!"
The Touch-A-Truck event at Pinkerton Park in Franklin.  Bradley enjoyed seeing the semi truck, and climbing into the fire truck.  He did not enjoy the garbage truck that honked its horn and made loud noises.  Actually, to be honest, he cried.  I thought boys were supposed to like trucks- what the heck??

Eating the Fruit By the Foot that Aunt Missy sent home with him.  B was asleep on the way home, and the second we woke up when pulling in the driveway, Bradley asked if he could have his FBTF that he knew she had sent back for him!  Bradley, of course, had never had FBTF, and so he tried to put the entire thing in his mouth, wrapper and all, when we were in Evansville.  He also consumed massive quantities of cheese balls.  Thanks, M&M for remembering how much he enjoyed the cheese balls last summer, and for personally making it your quest to introduce him to every junk food known to man :)
Throwing his new football, a belated birthday present from M&M.  He's also wearing the adorable T-shirt I got for Bradley on Etsy for his birthday party.
Getting braver with the water on the slip-and-slide.  Seriously- when we began our S&S adventures this summer, I could only have the water spraying up about 2 inches.  For the most part, Bradley is an extremely cautious child.  It takes him a while to warm up to new things, and while it can be a little off-putting at times, I'm praying that cautious nature continues through the teenage years.
Finally, I was able to convince him that getting wet is fun!  Yay, we finally like the slip & slide!
More to come... and one of these days, I'll get back to blogging on a regular basis.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

But I really love technology

Why am I still up past 11 o'clock on a "school night?"  It's because this dadgum technology is too convoluted for my simple brain to figure out.

I currently am the proud owner of 2 Gmail accounts, 1 Yahoo account, 2 YouTube accounts, 2 Google accounts, Picasa, Reader, and probably some more Google related accounts that I'm probably forgetting.  And so I have been painstakingly trying to merge them all into one nice happy account tonight, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  Oh, and I've also been trying to uninstall and reinstall a printer so I can scan some pictures on another computer.  And I'm typing this from my old Mac, which is so defunct that it won't connect wirelessly, so it has to be directly connected to a modem.

I also did download a new song from Amazon tonight- Good Life by One Republic.  It's one of my current favorite whistle songs, and was free with a credit I had.

I do so heart technology (she says dripping with sarcasm).

On a side note, I am considering making the leap from Yahoo to Gmail permanently, but I'm not convinced it's going to make my life any easier if I can't link up all my current accounts.  Any whiz kids want to weigh in on this?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Whistle While You Work (and Sing)

I've noticed an astonishing number of songs with catchy whistle hooks as of late.  I'm not sure how or why this trend has taken hold, but just today I heard 3 of these on the radio, and I'm sure there are more.
  • Home- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • Tighten Up- The Black Keys
  • Foster The People- Pumped Up Kicks
  • Good Life- One Republic 
Then of course, there are these classic whistling ditties:
  • Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding
  • Wind Of Change – The Scorpions
  • Don't Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  • Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles
I guess Frauline Maria and the Seven Dwarfs had the right idea.  Whistling does make ones work go by faster, and more cheerfully.  Has anyone else noticed this trend?  What other songs am I missing? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Follow That Diva!

I've added this nifty box to the right, as you will notice, where you can save yourself the trouble of checking to see whether I've added a new blog to read, and you can now Subscribe and get blogs sent right to the comfort of your inbox.  Nifty, huh?  The box is labeled, Follow that Diva, so go on and follow.  Be that lemming over the edge of the cliff.  You know you want to...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thirty, Flirty & Thriving

A couple of my favorite gal pals turned 30 this past spring, and they also happen to be some of the best party planners I know.  These fabulous ladies threw themselves the most amazing 30th birthday parties, and I'm just glad I got to celebrate with them, especially considering I was vomiting with food poisoning on the night I was supposed to celebrate my 30th 21st birthday!

Miss Mary Anna Brown, aka Queen MAB turned 30 on April 12th.  That weekend, she hosted a group of friends by booking us a hotel suite in Midtown.  We noshed on appetizers and wine while we got all dolled up, and then had an excellent dinner at Sunset Grille.  After dinner we frequented a few bars including the Tavern, and Broadway Brewhouse  (mmmm, Bushwackers!).  If only the tattoo parlor had been open just a wee bit later, someone might have got a new piercing that night!  It was funny trying to explain to the cabbie who took us home why we were from Nashville but staying in a hotel.  He was a different ethnic background, and so I feel some of it was just lost in translation!  You would think that was the end of the night, but wait, there's more!  Our hostess with the mostess thought of everything.  We put on our jammies, and MA opened her gifts, then we capped off the evening with champagne and cupcakes. 
the birthday celebrating night-owls
Former roommate Stephanie turned 30 on May 21st.  Steph planned a spectacular visit to Nashvegas to celebrate her big birthday.  She came into town on a Friday afternoon where she picked me up, and we drove south to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to spend the night with Argo.  I made Steph an awesome mix cd, titled "Steph & Da:  the UK years" with all of our favorite songs from college, so we jammed to that with the convertible top down on our drive.  I was fascinated to learn that the horrible cicadas that plagued Middle Tennessee at this time did not inhabit Lawrenceburg, and so we were able to enjoy a festive cookout at the house that night with several new friends. 

A funny street sign in Lawrenceburg- the corner of First and First
The Nexus of the Universe (you fellow Seinfeld fans will love this.)

Me, Steph & Argo with our "mascot," Dozier
On Saturday we drove downtown to yet another Nashville hotel to celebrate Steph's birthday. Likewise, this birthday hostess provided beverages for us to sip as we got dressed and ready before the limo picked us up. That's right, a limo. We had champagne during our ride around Nashville until it was time to make our dinner reservation at Sambuca. 
Here's to being "thirty, flirty, & thriving"
 "29 Until Further Notice"
Steph had these amazing cocktail napkins for us
One of the funniest things I thought about our dinner at Sambuca was that every single one of us ordered a pizza (except for Steph who got some kind of sea bass- not the mutated kind, though).  I wondered why we bothered to go to a swanky restaurant if all we wanted was pizza!  The live band sang happy birthday to Steph, and we obligingly sang along, much to the dissatisfaction of the other diners, I'm sure.
The former Sugar Shack Girls reunite
After dinner, we hit The Big Bang piano bar, and then Paradise Park on the LoBro strip.  (I love how two different weekends going out in Nashville can be two totally different scenes.)  As much fun as the evening was, I was ready to call it a night, and ready to see my little guy the next day.

These two ladies are as smart and witty as they come.  I guess that's why they were wise to befriend yours truly.  We sassy ladies tend to move in packs, you know.  MA and Steph are each well-versed in planning spectacular shindigs, and so I am thankful to have taken part in two amazing weekends celebrating their fabulosity.

Monday, July 11, 2011

More 4th of July Fun

The weekend of the 4th we went to visit Michael, Missy, Braedon, Garrick, and Addison in Evansville, Indiana. This was our sort of family get-together for the 4th of July.  It was basically a relaxing time of sitting out in the backyard and watching the kids run around, listening to music, and doing what our family does best- talk and laugh.  We had a family water balloon toss game, which Braedon and I won.  The kids swam in the pool, jumped on the trampoline, had a fierce water baloon fight and ran around together from morning til night.

Bradley & Addie in the baby pool
Mike & Mike trying to figure out the pool filter
Garrick models the latest fashion of wearing your socks with your swimtrunks
Braedon was such a good sport by letting the little ones throw water baloons at him.  He then unmercifully threw them at his younger brother Garrick and brought him to tears!
Cousins in the pool
Our 4th of July Funfetti cupcakes that Bradley helped me decorate
Cupcake time
Stupid me, I cut off Addison's face in the picture, but it was still a really cute one of her and Bradley
Since Bradley could not get enough Cheeeeeese balls at Michael & Missy's house last summer, they made sure to have a huge container of them for him this time too.  Bradley was obsessed with them!  The proof is in his orange mouth and fingers!  When jumping into the pool, Bradley was yelling "Cheeseball!" 
"Um, I think you mean 'cannonball,' Bradley," we told him.

watching the fireworks out front
Braedon reads a Toy Story book to Ginger, Garrick, Bradley & Addison
Sunday morning Braedon practiced his pitching with Uncle Mike.  We affectionately call Braedon "Justin Bieber" because he has been mistaken for the popstar many times with his shaggy hair!
Uncle Mike the pitching coach
Made in the shade
Family picture on the front porch
Thanks Michael, Michael-Missy (Bradley's name for Missy), and kids!  We had such a fun time, and can't wait to get together again!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A City Girl's 4th of July Lament

Two things you should know about me:
I am a city girl at heart and
I like to be up front and center, in the middle of everything.

So when we decided to check out Franklin's fireworks for the first time, I tried to make sure we were going to be where the action was.  Apparently the fireworks are set off from behind Franklin High School, and some internet research pointed towards Harlinsdale park as the spot to watch the festivities.  A city park in Franklin sounded like a good place to watch fireworks to me.

Imagine my shock when we pull into a gravel road on a farm.  Next imagine my horror when I open my door and step out into grass so tall it swallows my ankles.  So this is Franklin's idea of a park, is it? 
What's crazy to me is that cars were pouring in by the dozens to line up in rows, with parking attendants organizing the whole thing.  We might have come here by mistake, but there were plenty of other people who knew what they were getting into and came here on purpose!  Where was the park?  We were in a cow pasture!  Where were the playground and the manicured lawns?  Off in the distance was a barn with a silo, and right above it, we overheard, was where the fireworks would be.  So now I'm in a field, and not anywhere close to where the fireworks would be!  Sorry, but part of the thrill of fireworks is the loud booms.  We were so far off that I might as well have stayed at home and watched them through the trees.

Thankfully we brought plenty of bug spray, so we loaded up.  Good thing too, because there were flying insects swarming, and the second I started to spread out Clifford, the Big Red Blanket, I saw a ginormous spider scurrying through the grass with a bulbous egg sack on its back.  Minutes later I caught sight of another spider on Clifford.  That was enough to give me the heeby jeebies, and I was done with the cow pasture!  I was wearing flip flops, and I wanted nothing to do with the creatures lurking in that tall grass.  Mom feels the same way I do about the country, so we made the best of it, and climbed into the safety of the back of the SUV to watch the fireworks.
 They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well this picture says exactly what I was feeling.
 I was also misinformed that the fireworks would have coordinating music on one of the local a.m. channels.  This too, turned out to be wrong information.  I guess I'm spoiled by Nashville's fireworks that draws a hundred thousand people, has live music, and are shot off right downtown on the river.  It's one of the top ten fireworks displays in the nation.  And instead, I'm in a cow pasture watching explosions so far off in the distance over a barn, that I could clap my hands and make more noise than the these fireworks.  I think we're not in Nashville anymore, Toto.
 The fireworks lasted about a half an hour, and Bradley enjoyed them.  He kept calling the multi-colored ones, "the Christmas tree ones," and this he repeated over and over.  I watched the flying bugs out of the corner of my eye to make sure none of them invaded our vehicle.  I just could not relax!
I thought Bradley's running commentary was so amusing that I took some video footage of the fireworks with him chattering in the background. 
If you want to park in a field, and watch the fireworks in near silence, hop in your cars and be home in ten minutes, then the Franklin fireworks are for you.  Not me though.  I want lots of people, and deafening explosions among the backdrop of the River, the Titans stadium, and the downtown skyline.  I want my neck to ache from craning it upwards, and I want fallen ash to float down on me.  I want to hear the Nashville Symphony play the Stars & Stripes forever while the booms and bright lights fill the sky.  You can put the city girl in the country, but you can't put the country in the city girl.  Next year, I'll fight the crowds in Nashville, thankyouverymuch.