Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guys, I'm eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me! - Kevin McAllister

William and I are in the middle of Christmas Vacation. We are constantly snacking on treats and listening to this on vinyl:

It's been magical.

Here are some images around our Holiday abode:

Yes, that is a 3rd stocking for baby girl. We are going to fill it with baby bottles filled with Southern Comfort egg nog. (According to William, Jay Coombs, and David Bradford, that's the best egg nog.)

I finally made the Dana Christmas Toffee treat. It's my favorite Christmas taste and smell...AND it's Tom Brokaw's favorite Christmas treat. (Ask me if you'd like to hear that story. It's Grandma Dora's proudest moment...next to the birth of her only red-headed granddaughter.)

And finally, William and I are continuing our Christmas tradition of recording a Christmas song. (We're hoping in 10 years, we'll be able to release an actual album that will be played over and over again on KEZ 99.9 for years to come and we'll collect royalties and we'll never have to work again.)

Last year, we sang about Christmas around the campfire in Campfire Christmas. This year, we took the traditional song, "Baby It's Cold Outside", and put our own spin on it.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beating Robs...a new Christmas Tradition?

This is my brother-in-law Robs:

He's the one on the left, enjoying a feminine-pink Italian soda with Alan.

Growing up in a house full of competitive boys, I may have picked up a little competitiveness of my own. Just a little.

And for some reason beyond me, I've chosen to fiercely compete with Robs.

For example, when I play Ticket to Ride with my in-laws, Robs is the man to take down. He's like a virus--He destroys railroad tracks in a sinister silence AND when you least expect it. Plus, he wins practically every game. So during those few times when he loses, I feel like my dad after an ASU win against U of A--I just want to run out and bear my testimony.

Recently, Robs posted a rather charming recipe for Hot Cocoa on Facebook: Hot chocolate + mint extract + whipped cream + nutmeg.

My competitive drive decided to one-up Robs by making an even more delicious Hot Cocoa recipe.

So William and I made a recipe similar to "Flanders Hot Cocoa" last night. Ned Flanders is a neighbor to the Simpsons, and in the Simpsons movie, he makes Bart a dreamy hot cocoa concoction. See the clip here.

Hershey's Bliss Hot Chocolate + Whipped Cream + Oreo Vanilla Wafers + Chocolate shavings + more Whipped Cream + a toasted Marshmallow = Heaven


Robs, enjoy your nutmeg/mint cocoa. I think I won this round. What a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's the Hap Happiest Season

(William getting geared up for the Christmas Season.)

Here's what happened on my favorite week of the year:
1. I got sick. (Of course... it's my favorite week of the year.)

2. Colonial Day on Wednesday with my students... churning butter, Bilbo catchers, and eating pumpkin pie. When asked what they're grateful for, I had 2 students say "You, Mrs. Bradford!" That's 2 more thankful kids than last year.

3. Thanksgiving meal at mom and dad's. Favorite part: It's actually a tie between Mom's stuffing and Kent claiming he's just going to "nibble nibble" (he had another Thanksgiving to attend a few hours after ours).

4. William's Thanksgiving Rap. See the great great great great great great great grandson of Governor William Bradford rapping about his favorite Thanksgiving foods here.

5. Watching the movie "Unstoppable". It's like the movie Duel, but more dramatic. If you like swirling camera angles and shots of a beastly train that the director would like you to think has a mind of its own, then go see it. I mean, rent it. I mean, don't even bother.

6. Black Friday. I'm no Black Friday pro yet, but we woke up at 4 am to go to Target. William and I went to get a hard drive for our computer (I know... very exciting merchandise). At first, the shelf was empty. But after an hour of looking around the store and laughing at the drama other shoppers were facing, we managed to snag one. Then we ate a donut and went back to bed.

7. Receiving a bunch of baby clothes from my sister-in-law Marci. Did I say "a bunch"? I really meant a truck load. I started to sort them, and after 45 minutes, I decided I needed to hire someone to do it for me... I didn't even make a dent. Thank you Londy and Marci! I can't wait for my girlie to meet this girlie:

(London had just snagged that drink from the counter. She's a sneaky one.)

8. Putting up Christmas Decorations. I'd post pictures, but my house is a mess from putting up Christmas Decorations and sorting a truck-load of baby clothes.

9. William and I recorded our latest Christmas song. I know, the anticipation is unbearable after hearing last year's song AND the amazing remix. But I can't post it yet... it's not even December.

Now that I've had a wonderful weekend, it's time to mope around to the tune of Charlie Brown's Christmas song. I have 3 full weeks of school left before my next vacation.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm just trying to be a good housewife.

(This photo was taken long before my pregnancy. In the state I'm in now, the shirt that I'm wearing barely covers my belly.)

Today I told William I wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer and he said "You only want it because it looks vintage" and I said "Heck yes!" and he said "If you will bake me something each week for the next year, I'll buy you one." and I said "You're on." so I came home and made bread AND pumpkin cupcakes. True Story.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Boy oh boy.

My parent's first were boys.
My in-law's first was a boy.
Joe's first was a boy.
Jay's first was a boy.
Four brothers.
Five brother-in-laws.
Five nephews.
I even dreamt it was a boy.

"See? It's a girl!"
"Umm...are you sure?"
"Yes. Right there."
"Really? Are you postitive?"
"Yes, in fact, let's try from a different angle...see? Still a girl."
"Oh. Okay."

So here were my next thoughts:

I wouldn't feel comfortable dressing a boy in this...

...or this...

...and I probably couldn't watch and enjoy this with a boy...

...or watch this...

...And last, I probably couldn't play with one of these...

...or one of these with a boy...

I'm going to get used to this girl very, very quickly. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

You wanna stay alive, better do what you can, so beat it.

My cute nephew Grant decided to be his idol for Halloween: Michael Jackson. This gave William and I the idea to be his back-up dancers.

But not just ANY back-up dancers, my friends.

We opted for the totally tough, totally 80's back-up dancers from the "Beat It" music video...the two who duke it out with switch blades.

So Bad... Especially Grant and his glitter glove.
(That's me in the middle, by the way.)
See the music video here if you need a refresher of the toughness.

On a related note, I'm so lucky to be related to and friends with so many creative types.

Especially the creative types that like to throw Halloween parties.

My sister-in-law, Marci "Party Host Extraordinaire" Coombs, throws a mean Halloween Party. Both this year and last year's parties were a hit, mainly because she can really gross us out with Fear Factor Challenges. (If you can gross out Scott Coombs, a man who eats mustard toast and Vienna sausages on a daily basis, you know how to factor the fear.)

Here's just a delicious taste of her party:

I suggest you read more about it here and here.

In addition, my very funny and very talented friend, Daphne "Wizard" Lofgreen, can too throw an amazing Halloween Party. This one included games of "Last Chance", "Creep Cake" decorating, creating our death certificates, and karaoke at Applebee's.

Here's a sample of her shin-dig...

...and the hostess herself...

...and one last shot of my awesome jacket...

Thanks for the memories Marci and Daphne!

P.S. Ryan and Sarah, I want a Fear Factor rematch.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Start spreading the news: New York eats are my favorite treats.

The following lists my favorite things about our recent trip to New York:

1. This Gyro.

2. This pose next to the Statue of Liberty.

3. Dreaming in Barbie's Dreamhouse in Toy's R Us. (That's me in the 3rd window dreaming about Ken.)

4. Mr. Lennon's 70th Birthday

5. This T-Rex in the Natural History Museum.

6. This view from the top of the Metropolitan Museum.

7. This piece of art.

8. This Bum standing behind me and William. (Thanks again, Bum, for letting us stay in your shanty.)

Other highlights:
9. Traveling to Sleepy Hollow, only to find that the festivities are only on the weekends and Ichabod Crain is not as scary as the PEOPLE of Sleepy Hollow. (Sleepy Harlem?)
10. Watching Robs lose in Farkle.
11. Carnegie Deli Cheesecake.
12. Shaking hands with Jimmy Fallon
13. The Roots on Jimmy Fallon
14. Basically every meal we ate
15. The guy on the subway with the dancing pecs.
16n. The awesome lamp I found for the nursery for only $12

Biggest Disappointments:
1. The $22 we had to spend to Fedex the lamp home
2. The fact that we ate at a McDonald's in Sleepy Hollow.
3. My papaya juice was not made with fresh papaya.
4. The guest on Jimmy Fallon was Whoopi Goldberg.
5. I have to go back to school tomorrow to a week of report cards and parent-teacher conferences.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chuck! Chuck! It's Marvin - your cousin, Marvin BERRY. You know that new sound you're looking for? Well, listen to this!

Yeah, I danced on stage with Chuck Berry.

He opened for Tom Petty. He needed ladies on the stage to dance to his song and I jumped to it.

Of course the moment I got up there and was staring back at thousands of people, I wanted off. So I just clapped nervously.

Jenny Be Good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Voyaging into the realm of Nerds: Part II

Last Friday, I went to the event I look forward to more than Christmas.

We had another Harry Potter Party to celebrate the release of the 7th movie coming this November. This is our 5th Potter bash, but only our 3rd costume party. It is now tradition to dress as a character from the book, have a feast, and teach a class (Hogwarts style).

(Back row, left) Fred and George Weasley, Yours Truly (Harry Potter), Hagrid, Nearly Headless Nick, Professor Dumbledore, (front row, left) Fleur Delacour, Professor McGonagall, and a Centaur (probably my favorite costume of the evening) Photo taken by the talented Janet (Dumbledore).

For my class this year, we did a little Divination and looked into the future of Harry and Voldemort. Watch the video here.
Thanks to my William for the fine movie editing and the rockin' Harry Potter theme music. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Alan, for sporting the sweaty mask and the short shorts. Thanks to my pal Carli for putting up with Sirius Black during the sweet Butt Light party (sorry he was such a jerk).

Oh, I hope there will be more parties like this soon! (Thank goodness the 7th movie is in 2 parts.)

This is my favorite picture because I'm laughing so hard at Hagrid (Ashlee). Good times, Haggy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Free Birthday Meals = A pregnant girl's dream come true

(At Pizzeria Bianco....so dreamy delicious.)

Hello again.

Here's what's happened in the last month:
1) Continued to suffer through my 1st trimester. Mornings are bad...evenings are worse. Today is the 1st day of my 12th week, which means I'm supposed to start feeling better. Please pray I do.
2) School began. 31 students this year. So far, so good. But with so many new things going on this year at school it's hard to keep up with everything on my checklists.
3) Uhhh... I thought there was more, but I guess that's it.

With being sickly + school starting, that's really pretty much all I can do. It's really hard to be sick while teaching. I feel like I don't get much done during the day.

On top of all that, because of my excessive eating of hard candies to keep the nausea down, I constantly drool in front of my students. Boy, I would love to hear their recess conversations about me.

At least I've got something to forward to... my Birthday!
Here are the 4 reasons why:
1) Free dozen Krispy Kremes
2) Free dinner at Joe's BBQ
3) Free dinner at Joe's Farm Grill
4) Free dinner at Liberty Market
Yep, I'm hitting up all them places. I told William he could have my Farm Grill dinner so he doesn't feel left out (and because his birthday is less than a month away). On top of that, my Liberty Market dinner will be my lunch on Tuesday.

As you can see, I've put much thought into this.

I MAY have even drawn a map of our route tomorrow.

Here's to being 26!!!

P.S. A letter to my William:

Dear William,
Thank you for doing the dishes for the last 2 months. My sense of smell makes it nearly impossible to even step foot in the kitchen, especially near the sink. I will make it up to you someday. Actually, I think the free Joe's Farm Grill meal will do, so, you're welcome.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I've been hiding.


Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, friends. Thanks to those of you who noticed. You make me feel special.

Here's what's happened in this wonderful month of July:
July 2nd: Went to bed feeling pains.
July 3rd: Woke up with pains. Called Doctor. Told me to take a pregnancy test. YEAH! WE'RE PREGNANT!! Happy for about 10 minutes then pains get worse. Went to ER. Gave me pain meds. Went home.
July 4th, 5th: Pains, pains, and more pains.
July 6th: Pains, then around 10pm the worst pain of my life emerged. Went to mini ER.
July 7th: At 2am I took an ambulance to the big ER. At 11am, I went in for surgery, the kind where they put the camera through the belly button. They discovered my appendix ruptured. Had to do a major incision. Took it out.
July 8th-13th: Stayed at the hospital. (Those of you who have stayed in a hospital for more than 2 days, I feel your pain. Now every time I think of that place, I get nauseous.)
July 14th-16th: Enjoyed recovering from home.
July 17th: Felt much pain, went back to ER, told me I needed to stay at the hospital for a few days. Tears.
July 18th: Ultra-sound-guided-needle-getting-fluids-out-of-me procedure.
July 19th: Recovery in hospital
July 20th: Doctor came in, I said "Seriously get me outta here.", he said "Okay."
July 21st-Present Day: Morning sickness kicks in, which consists of feeling nausea from the time I wake up, until about 5pm, then I feel a little better until about 8pm and then it's back.

So that's it. Oh and I have to be back at school next Friday, not to mention getting my classroom ready, lessons planned, and figuring out how not to feel nauseous for my poor 5th grade students.

I'm not one to complain, but it feels nice to get it out there.

Now a few acknowledgements:

First, I'd like to thank my William. Throughout all of this, he's been by my side. Literally. There hasn't been one night where I've slept alone. Whether I was downstairs on the couch, or in the smelly, dingy hospital room, my William was there sleeping on the floor next to me or sleeping on an uncomfortable hospital cot. He's brought me my meds, drinks, food, magazines, things from upstairs/downstairs, grocery shopping, dishes, flowers, trips to Taco Bell, milkshakes, and the list goes on. And worst of all, he's had to endure my daily tears and complaints, yet ALWAYS finds a way to make me smile. I love love love love you William. Thank you thank you thank you.

Second, I want to thank my family. We took a trip to Greer last weekend, and even though I was sick for most of it, I had the time of my life. I can't even put into words how grateful I am to be born in this family. They aren't perfect, but they are so perfect for me. Heavenly Father really knew what He was doing when He clumped us together. (A special shout-out to my mom: Thanks for cleaning my house, bringing me smoothies, buying me presents, and the hundreds of other things you've done that I'm too sick to think of at the moment. You're the best mom/grandmother!)

Third, I want to thank family and friends who have listened to me gripe and complain about my whole ordeal. I love getting this kind of attention... where people put their arm around you and feel sorry and ask if there's anything they can do. It feels great, so thanks again!

Fourth, I want to thank the baby in my tummy. You've caused me a great deal of pain, nausea, and worry that nobody should EVER have to feel. But I can't wait to hold you and cuddle you and kiss you and smother you with toys and treats! We're gonna be bestest buddies. (Due March 12th)

I promise my future blog posts will be more fun.
Until then, I'm gonna go throw up.