Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Things

1) The Oscars!

I loved J.K. Simmons' speech. 
Expected NPH to be funnier because I do adore that man. 
Lady Gaga KILLED it. 
The highlight of the show was my children walking their own red carpet. Kykes wins for best dressed, hands down. 

2) School was back in session Tuesday. THANK YA JESUS!

There's a chance I was the only one excited about the return to routine:

And there's also a chance I photographed myself chucking the deuces at their funky butts as the shuffled out the door that morning. 

3) I read the book The Husband's Secret in ONE DAY. I loved it. Read it. 

4) When I stumble upon news stories such as this one, my day is pretty much made:

Don't get me wrong: I feel for the victim and no one should be assaulted in their relationship, regardless of age difference. But these stories are MEME GOLD. Favorite:

5) I watched the movie Boyhood the other night. I didn't realize it was nearly THREE HOURS LONG. Sorry, I'm far too old to start that long of a movie after 8:00. However, it was a very good movie. Here's the thing: nothing happens in it, other than a boy grows up and his family grows up and older and changes and the world changes around him. There's no problem and solution. Nothing too major happens. It's just the story of life and I think it's simplicity is what makes it great. 

And, just gotta say: WHERE WAS ETHAN HAWKE'S OSCAR NOM? Maybe it's just because I love him but I thought he was so good in the movie. He and Patricis Arquette both just seemed to live their roles rather than act them. 

6) I'm judging myself musically here lately. First, I thought Miley Cyrus was amazing at the SNL 40th anniversary. Now I'm digging an Ariana Grande song!


7) What's up with NBC putting series finales in the middle of the TV season? They already ended Parks and Rec (I haven't watched it yet -- if I don't watch it, is it really over?) and it's only February. Not cool, NBC. 

8) I was trying on dresses for an event this weekend and modeled both for my boys. Conversation:

Jaidan: I like the second one. Definitely the second one.
Kyan: Nooooo! The first one! Boys and mens can see too much of your boobs in the second one!

And now we know which one is more overprotective of his mom. He also informed me - when seeing my valentine flowers - "I hope those didn't come from a boy because if a boy gives you flowers it's only because he wants to kiss you and that is SO GROSS."

9) I'm tossing around the idea of a spring break trip to central Texas. And, not gonna lie, part of the reason is because it's been far too long since I've seen bluebonnets. 

10) Something to ponder:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Will They Take My Kids Too?

It snowed last Sunday night/ Monday morning and the w hole entire state of Tennessee shut down for the remainder of February.

Well, sort of.

The kids were out of school Monday (planned), Tuesday, and Wednesday (not planned on those last two.) Monday and Tuesday were great. We watched movies, played in the snow and ice, just had a good time. They were with their dad on Wednesday but, let me tell you, by Wednesday night everyone was OVER IT. We were all back into our routines on Thursday and were all grateful.

Then. Friday morning. 5:30 a.m.  My phone rang. It was the school letting me know they would be closed that day for predicted inclement weather.




*End sarcasm font*

I was not happy about it. My kids weren't happy about it. It started sleeting shortly after and everything froze over. Kids couldn't play on ice. I couldn't drive on ice. Another day at home. Hello, Cabin Fever, my old friend.  You dumb bastard.
When you can't ride bikes outside . . .

Funny thing is, I noticed on Facebook that there were parents who were happy about the snow days. The kids were off FOUR days last week! FOUR!

I mean . . . do you like not being able to go to work and/ or having to scramble for/ pay a sitter?  Do you enjoy the NEVER ENDING BICKERING that's inevitable whenever siblings are together, stuck inside, for more than five minutes?  Do you look forward to your children eating you out of house and home because there's nothing else to do?


I love my children (duh) and I love spending time with them. But, believe me, after a few days they were sick of each other and I was sick of their whining and tattling. We were all sick of movies, of puzzles, of playing Hangman, of looking at each other, of each other's voices. You get the picture. 

So guess what?

It started sleeting again Sunday evening and by 10:30 that night, school was called off for Monday.


Believe me, that requires all caps. 

My children have been to school one day in the past six.  An unexpected February break isn't what any of us had in mind and I'm just so completely over it.

I'm writing this on Monday night, everything has melted, nothing new has fallen (yet.)  I swear, if it begins snowing and SCS cancels school again on Tuesday . . .

P.S. Last week was a really bad week to start a no alcohol/ no sugar/ very low carb diet 

P.P.S. I caved and had some dark chocolate Friday night. 

P.P.P.S. And a beer Saturday night.

P.P.P.P.S. Never start a diet when you have snow days and cabin fever.  And three kids.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday Things

1) Snooooooow!

And by snow I actually mean ice and slush. 

It's mostly gone now (just mothereffing COLD) but here are some pics from Tuesday:

I thought the kids and I could spend the day watching old Disney movies (I had Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, and Oliver and Company ready to go.) However, they were mostly content with playing in the cold. 

Slush ball fights, "slip and slides" on the ice, and football in the slush. It was a good snow day. 

They were out again Wednesday. Schools in Nashville went ahead and cancelled for the remainder of the week. We're predicted another ice storm tonight/ tomorrow morning so there's a good chance the kids will miss school on Friday as well.  Though, it would be nice if the school system would decide that the night before and NOT call me at 4:45 in the morning like they did Wednesday . . .

(Via Choose901)

2) We celebrated Mardi Gras on Tuesday with a big pot of red beans and rice and mini King cakes. 

Very interesting looking mini King cakes!

They were super good though -- just butter, cinnamon, and sugar rolled up in crescent roll dough.  Then decorated by three children who went a little sugar crystal crazy.

3) Mardi Gras was Tuesday so yesterday was Ash Wednesday. I was raised Baptist and we don't observe Lent but I've been giving up something -- more as a discipline thing -- for about 15 or so years now. This year I'm giving up fast food. J is giving up lying (don't ask), Kyan is going to try not to get mad at video games. Baby Girl is giving up ... Taylor Swift! No haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate for six weeks. Yes ma'am!

4) Can we talk about the Fifty Shades movie?

Am I the only one upset that such a poorly written book was published in the first place, let alone turned into a screenplay? Subject matter aside, the fact that it was ever published kinda breaks my heart. It was horribly written! 

5) I watched the SNL40 special the other night. It was fun rewatching so many of the old skits. I'm a 90's kid so I was one of the Mary Catherine Gallagher time. And Adam Sandler and Chris Farley! I do love me some JimmyTinaAmy though. 

6) I watched the first episode of the new season of 19 Kids and Counting and I just ... I'm so icked out by this family. And I'm still waiting on Jill to deliver a 9 lb "preemie ..."

7) I'm trying my hardest to stick to a very strict and very not-fun diet for the next ten days (actually, nine days now but I started yesterday.)  I have a party next weekend where I'll no doubt be eating and drinking. But until then I'm going balls to the wall on the whole eating right thing. I have been eating horribly since well before Christmas -- with maybe a week or two here and there of "I'm going to do it! I'm going to eat right!" -- and I'm tired of carrying around the extra weight. I'm hoping next weekend's party will give me the inspiration to stick to a diet (and I know I won't lose any serious weight in ten days; won't be mad at shedding some water weight though!) After it's over, I'll find another inspiration and go from there. I'm just bigger than I've been in five of six years, other than being pregnant, and I'm SO SICK of it. 

8) Kyan and I have been reading the book Matilda lately. He's mildly interested in it but I know he'll love the movie. Too bad I'm forcing him to make it through the book first!

9) I've gotten into listening to iTunes radio more and more here lately.  I like to listen to the Top 50 of various genres and, no doubt, end up hearing songs I wouldn't have heard otherwise . . . especially since their Top 50 is just most downloaded songs, not necessarily the hot songs on the charts.  That's how I discovered this song.  LOVE.  And also sad.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kooky Canuck

There is a Kooky Canuck in downtown Memphis and I've always wanted to try it, never made it. They recently-ish opened one in Cordova though and SCORE! Closer to me and I don't have to pay for parking.

Kendra and I met at the Cordova location for lunch one Friday. 

I ordered a beer because I'm Brandi and that's what I do. Even if it is only lunch. The waitress asked me small or large. Duh. Large. 


That was one huge ass beer, for real. Best part though? When I got my bill, it was only $6.50. For that much beer! Awesome! And apparently they have a Happy Hour where those huge ass beers are half price as well. 

We had our daughters with us and I was a little taken aback at the kids menu prices ($6.50 for Kraft macaroni? No.) But the waitress assured me that K and I would be able to share a meal with no problem. (And, for what it's worth -- I would've ordered her a kids meal if she would've eaten anything other than mac and cheese.)

I ordered the Delta burger, described as being topped with pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes.

You guysssss. 

This burger. 


I've been working my way through trying all the burgers on Huey's menu. I LOVE Huey's and think they just might have the best burger in Memphis (still have to hit up Dyer's though!) But this Kooky Canuck burger gave Huey's a run for its money. 

I mean, pimento cheese AND fried green tomatoes? I never would've thought of doing that but it was absolutely delicious. The pimento cheese was very good as were the fried green tomatoes. I ordered the burger medium well and it was cooked perfectly.  And definitely big enough that Karis and I could share -- though she chose to go crazy on the fries. 

My friend has a bleu cheese burger and thought it was good though a little too juicy. Too juicy? A burger? No such thing!

I'll definitely be back to Kooky Canuck and maybe next time I'll try one of their Canadian beers ... 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

It was 65 degrees on Saturday, okay?

65 degrees. We were out and about in short sleeves. 

OF COURSE the bottom had to fall out. This was yesterday morning at my house:

That's mostly ice. But it did snow and was windy enough to have this sitting at my front door:

I snagged a couple pics from around town from Choose 901:

This is A LOT of ice for Memphis. The city basically shut down (and is shut down again today), wrecks all over the place, an entire highway was completely closed.

Of course, the kids were SO EXCITED. I'm talking turned up to eleven. Bouncing off the walls. 

I hate snow and ice because I can't drive on it. And also because it means, duhhhh, cold weather. But their excitement was a little infectious. 

Plus, you know, it was already a holiday and we'd already planned to spend the day at home. I guess it's better to have something fun to play in for an expected day off?

The kids played out in it two different times. They had hot chocolate in a warm bath. We made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch. We watched movies. J made us a blackberry cobbler. 

All things considered -- and even though the windchill was, like, 12* -- it wasn't too bad of a day. 

Now we're on Snow Day Two so the chances of my good attitude hanging around are pretty much slim to red wine ...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Love and Whiskey: A Boring "What We Did This Weekend" Post

So I kinda love the kid part of Valentine's Day. Sending and receiving valentines featuring their favorite character-of-the-moment. Insisting on heart shaped everything. The excitement. 

Kyan and Karis both had their school parties on Thursday; Jaidan's was on Friday so all my kids had been turned up to eleven for days prior to Valentines. And, yeah, interesting. 

Karis making her box for school: box and stickers from the Dollar Tree and DONE. Luckily, she doesn't go to school with the children of Pinterest moms. And, actually, none of my kids came in with Pinterest valentines this year either. 

Valentines morning was ... interesting. One child is on very strict punishment and didn't receive as much as his brother or sister. One didn't like the chocolate he was given. And, well, they were brats. There. I said it. They were brats. 

The weather Saturday was beautiful and my mom and her husband were in town so we decided to head downtown. 

We walked down Beale Street, played on the balls in front of FedEx Forum, then found a restaurant that had live music (and $5 32-ounce beers!) that early in the day. 

After that, it was on to Tom Lee Park. Mission: make the kids run off their sugar highs/ valentine excitement overload. 

She was looking for dolphins, sharks, and mermaids . . . in the Mississippi

We went home for heart-shaped pizza (and Kykes and I made a Starbucks pit stop on the way to Papa Murphy's. He was so sweet to the barista that she gave him a free cake pop!) and J made us chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy. 

All three of the kids were knocked out by 9:00 which, seriously, might have been the highlight of the whole day. Wanna be a brat in the morning? You're going to bed at 8 on a Saturday night! I don't care if it's Valentine's Day!

Yesterday was my mom's husband's birthday. Earlier in the week, Kyan insisted on a heart-shaped Valentine cake so Jim ended up with this hot pink Pinterest fail as his birthday cake:

The remainder of our Sunday was spent being lazy and anticipating the bad weather scheduled to come ...

I've had better Valentines weekends. And I've had worse. But, I'll be honest, 65 degrees on February 14th gets all the heart-eyed emojis in the world from me. Especially considering it was 19* Sunday morning.

If you need me, I'll be on the couch. In my sweats. Covered in a blanket. With a little whiskey to keep me warm. Yeah, that's it. Keep me warm. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Not Jealous of Your Flowers. They Just Represent Another Living Thing I'd Have to Care For.

Several, several years ago I was going through my first Valentine's Day post break-up from a long term boyfriend.  It was the first V-Day to be single in, like, five years.  So my roommate and her boyfriend bought me a card and some flowers.  It was a very sweet gesture, something I definitely appreciated.  But, at the same time, I was kinda like "why?"  Maybe it's because I've never been a big Valentine's Day person (though, no lie, I LOVE the kid part of it all.  LOVE IT) or I'm not all that romantic (my idea of a sweet card would say something like "thanks for letting me touch your butt") but I've just never, ever been one of those "OMG IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY AND I DON'T HAVE A VALENTINE AND I'M GONNA DIE SINGLE AND ALONE AND I MIGHT AS WELL GO OUT RIGHT NOW AND BUY EIGHT CATS."  That's not me, that's not who I am.

This is my second Valentine's since my marriage ended.  Last year I was very #singlepride and all about buying my OWN wine and my OWN chocolate and having a threesome with some Riesling and a cupcake. 

Really, that doesn't sound so bad for this year either.

Anyway, since Valentine's is right upon us, I thought I'd churn out a little post on . . . love.  Or maybe just like.  Relationships.  Yeah, that. Relationships. 

I've mentioned before that I started dating fairly soon after my ex and I decided to split.  Dating.  Not sleeping around. Not next-husband shopping.  Just dating.  Gaining my confidence back.  Having fun.  Meeting new people  I had no desire to even think about another relationship for at least a year. 

I don't think I'll ever get married again (and that is so not a "famous last words" statement) but I am at the point that I could maybe, possibly see myself in a relationship again.  I'm not going to run out and adopt those eight cats if it doesn't happen for me any time soon and I'm not actively Tindering for a relationship but if it happens, it happens.

You learn two things from a failed marriage: what you absolutely cannot live with and what you absolutely cannot live without.  Therefore I know . . . or I think I have an idea . . . of what I would look for in a partner.

Truth is, even more than Nicholas Sparks, Brad Paisley has raised the bar for men in relationships.  Check out some of his lyrics:

And she's everything I ever wanted; everything I need
I talk about her; I go on and on and on

She destroys me in that t-shirt; And I love her so much it hurts

Now you're my whole life; now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you,girl
Like a river meets the sea; stronger than it's ever been
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

Now every night I thank the Lord I found you,
And every time I put my arms around you
I feel like the frame that gets to hold the Mona Lisa
And I don't care if that's all I ever do

When she's laying on my shoulder on the sofa in the dark
And about the time she falls asleep so does my right arm
And I want so bad to move it 'cause it's tingly and it's numb
But she looks so much like an angel I don't want to wake her up

When you don't feel important, honey, all I got to say
Is to the world you may be just another girl
But to me, baby, you are the world

I mean, COME ON men of the world, Brad Paisley could get laid twice a day and four times on Sunday FOR THE REMAINDER OF HIS LIFE just for song lyrics like those.  WOMEN WANT A COUNTRY MUSIC LOVE SONG.

Really, though, as I get older and life throws a curve ball or two, I've learned that anyone say nice and pretty things but real life isn't a song or a book. It's harder and more complicated and The Notebook is just as likely to happen as hitting the lottery. I've learned more about what's really important when it comes to finding someone.


Finding a person who wants you more than they need you.
Learning that looks fade but a beautiful soul will likely always stay that way.
It's okay to be approaching middle age (or any age!) and refusing to settle for anyone less than someone who is absolutely crazy about you.
It's okay to be approaching middle age (or any age!) and refusing to settle for anyone less than someone you are absolutely crazy about.
Nice is important.  Funny is important.  Common values are extremely important.  But so is chemistry.  You can't fake chemistry and you can't make it happen if it's not there. 
If someone doesn't recycle, they're probably not worth dating.

And I've also learned that if it never happens, that's okay. Life doesn't or shouldn't hinge on a relationship. It's happiness and friendship and living. Loving yourself. Being happy where you are. Even if "where you are" is spending Valentine's Day with those eight cats ...
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