Friday, December 31, 2010

You Look Like a Pink Nightmare!

Have you ever seen a little kid in those cute footie pajamas and joked, "I wish they had those for grownups...."? Well, your wish came true. Target actually sells grownup footie pajamas! Oh no.... I promise that I tried these on just as a joke and did not purchase them. It was all I could do to keep from bursting out laughing as I nonchalantly carried them into the dressing room and told the attendant that I just had 1 item. I specifically selected the pink onesie because it reminded me of the pink costume that young Ralphie has to wear in The Christmas Story. Shockingly, these pajamas were very hot and made me feel a bit claustrophobic. I'm not sure now if I could even put these on a child anymore.

On a completely different note, today marks the end of my first year of blogging. If you look back at my first posting, I decided to start a blog as my New Year's resolution. Lucky for you, I LOVE BLOGGING, and will definitely continue to share my adventures with you! (Also important - Cosby fulfilled his resolution to live another year, keep it up buddy!) What is my New Year's resolution for 2011? Probably to never wear footie pajamas again! I know that's one I could actually stick to. Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Holiday Tradition

Every family has its own special traditions. A favorite from mine is putting "Uncle Harvey" on top of the Christmas tree. Years ago (30 maybe?) my grandfather's brother, Harvey, had crazy ornaments made out of a picture of him. He gave them to everyone in the family. He probably gave one to everyone he knew. And several years ago my parents and I began the tradition of using the Uncle Harvey ornament as their tree topper. It hasn't always been like this. Before that I remember we used a crooked angel that looked like she was about to shoot off into space and was therefor affectionately named, "The Infinity and Beyond Angel." I'm not sure what happened to her, maybe one New Year's she finally blasted off.... but since then we've used Uncle Harvey. It is so weird, but so perfectly quirky. By the way, Uncle Harvey is still alive and well, so it's not like we're memorialising him. The holidays just wouldn't be the same without him!

Christmas Eve Eve we enjoyed another tradition of having all the Bradley's spend the night at Ryan's parents house. We spend all afternoon and most of the evening playing high competitive board games. Ryan's mom mentioned casually that she had a few boxes of old things to for the siblings to sort through. Most of them were trophy's and awards that they had won in school.
Oh.My.Gosh. Apparently, those Bradley kids were the best at everything growing up. They must have been raised with expectation for greatness because they all had TONS and TONS of trophies! Trophies for sports. Trophies for math competitions. Amanda even had a trophy for being born! I think I've received 2, maybe 3, trophies in my lifetime, and that by now they are all long gone. After much bragging and even more laughter, it was decided that the trophies be thrown out. It was a bittersweet sound the next morning to hear them being crushed by the trash collector.

Christmas Eve morning we all woke up and did present time! Kiersi and Kayden got new bikes! I think every adult has a great memory of getting their first "real bike." Mine was purple with streamers on the handle and I remember how excited I was. I hope Kiersi and Kayden remember this morning too, even though there wasn't much space to ride them and it was pouring rain outside.

Christmas Day we continued the tradition of Ryan and I hosting everyone for brunch. As we were all seated at the table enjoying the meal, I looked around and was overwhelmed with thankfulness. I know my grandparents won't be here forever, and I was grateful to make and share this special meal with them. They are always so appreciative of me making them one meal, and I think about all of the holiday memories that they created for me. I am so blessed to have such a great family that loves each other.

I actually forgot to get the camera out until everyone was getting ready to leave, but I wanted to snap a few shots to remember how we spent Christmas Day. Thanks to all my family for driving all the way to our place and being willing to start new traditions!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas

Ryan and I have done so many things this weekend! Some people talk about how stressful the holidays are when you have lots of places to be (AKA Delilah from 103.7 FM "The Holiday Station"), but I think that is crazy. Even when our schedule gets busy it's fun to spend time with people we love.

Friday night we had a fancy dinner with our Bible study friends. We all got dressed up in our most festive attire. We played Taboo and the girl team won... even if we did cheat a little bit. My friend Holly got out her nicest dishes and cooked a wonderful meal- steak, potatoes, pie... it was delicious! She was the perfect hostess for our special evening!
Saturday afternoon we headed to Royse City to see all of Ryan's family, including lots of aunts and cousins. We headed out the door right around noon thinking it would take about an hour. We did not account for there being construction and traffic on every major highway. Oops. We had a slight 2 1/2 hr traffic hold up, but at least we got to see SANTA!!!!!! He drove by us in a shiny red convertible with his dog. It was quite the sight! (And a nice surprise when we'd been in traffic for so long.)
We finally made it to the celebration and had a day full of games, food, and presents. Below is a picture of Ryan's grandmother, Mamaw opening her gifts with our nieces and other cousins. It was so sweet to see all those little girls around Mamaw and hear her talk about how deeply she loves her family and how thankful she is the God has never left her, despite some difficult times this year. When you hear older people share what they are thankful for it is usually much more focused on faith and a love for family rather than material things. Thanks for reminding us about what Christmas is really about, Mamaw. We love you!
And while we do agree that Christmas is about love.... presents are pretty fun too! We do a family gift card exchange with everybody and it always gets a little chaotic! Have you ever played a version of the exchange game where everyone gets to choose whether they will open a new present from under the tree or steal someone else's? I think I am too nice at this. It's funny to see things get stolen from other people, but I never want it to happen to me! And as a general rule, I try to consider if the person I'm about to steal from really wants what they have. For instance, I wanted the Outback card that my sister in-law Amanda had, but we were the ones who brought it, and I know Amanda and Brian love Outback, so I chose to open a new gift instead. Others were not so kind... Ryan and I got our gift cards stolen twice- to Cheesecake Factory and Saltgrass- but ended up with On the Border which is fine by me! Who doesn't love a little Mexican date night?
This afternoon (Sunday) I had the privilege of being invited to a Christmas party for 5th grade girls. They did a silly sock exchange (like our giftcard one, but much longer with 23 giggling girls!) They get super excited about everything and it was so much fun!
Would you believe there is actually a sweet little 5th grader inside of there? They had a contest to see which team could use toilet paper to wrap one of their teammates up and turn them into a snowman and this was the winner! It's amazing what you can do with 4 rolls of toilet paper. Notice the Dorito used for the mouth. It was the perfect touch!
We have more holiday events to come this week! What's a busy Bradley to do? I think go eat another cookie. Goodnight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In The Bleak Mid-Winter.... Long Ago.

It was a cold night in December. Actually the coldest night of 2007. My boyfriend came to my house to pick me up for a date. This date was a big deal because we had both been saving money and not going out alot. So of course I wasn't suspicious when he said that he wanted to take me out to celebrate "the end of the semester," especially when I still had a week of school/teaching left. When Ryan came to pick me up at my house for our date I leaned in to give him a hug, but he pulled away and said he was "too cold to hug."

We drove out to the pier in Rockwall. We walked around in the freezing cold. Finally we stopped by a beautiful fountain. Ryan started talking about us and our future. He got down on one knee. And then.... he asked me to marry him!!!!! 3 years ago today. He was so sweeet and not at all obvious that he had the ring in his pocket when I tried to hug him :) I love how he put effort into planning it and had my sister in-law there to tape it and our parents waiting at a nearby restaurant to celebrate! It was an amazing night and I'm definitely glad that I said yes. I love you Ryan Kent!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Bradleys

Ryan and I aren't sending out a holiday card, but we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!!! I love the holiday season. We have been so blessed to get to celebrate in many fun ways with lots of people. The above picture was taken when we went Tacky Bowling. What is Tacky Bowling? Its like regular bowling, but you wear tacky clothing :) We went to celebrate my friend Ashley's 25th birthday and we got all decked out! Note: dressing up did NOT improve my bowling score!
Saturday, my mom came over for a day of cookie making. I was so excited to get to spend a whole afternoon baking in the kitchen with my mom! Here are the cookies we made!

Ha ha, oh I wish! The cookies actually turned out a little less than extraordinary. I always have dreams of making perfectly decorated cookies and then reality interferes. The icing isn't thick enough, it drips all over the kitchen, it doesn't pipe out smoothly. I tried, but the result was several crazed looking gingerbread and snowmen. I know they will still taste good, but I really want to learn to decorate them better. I still have a bunch of sugar cookie dough in the fridge so I'm hoping that later this week I can tackle decorating again and use the picture above for inspiration. These are my actual cookies below.

We usually host a Christmas party for all our friends, but since we had so many other things going on this season we don't think we'll have time for that. So instead of having everyone over, I wanted to post a few pics of our Christmas decorations. We will be hosting my parents and grandparents for Christmas morning brunch.

Our festive Bradley Christmas tree! I love our cute ornaments. One day I want a beautiful tree with ribbon and matching ornaments, but I still enjoy this tree. I guess our tree matches my cookies!

Our Christmas table setting. Everything is actually silver, but the picture looks slightly gold. I saw these candle holders and the tree at Target way back in October but waited until Black Friday to get them. Ryan gave me the chargers for my birthday.

Our Santa advent calendar. Only 13 days 'til Christmas! Each morning we open the box for the day and hang a little ornament on Santa.

I made this wreath to hang in the kitchen. I had several of the miniature Lolita hand painted martini ornaments (that match my collection of real martini glasses) and I wired them onto the wreath. This was my mom's idea and I was happy with how it turned out!

Our stocking our hung on the bar top with care... instead of the chimney. Sorry Santa, I guess you'll have to climb in through the patio door. My kitchen is decorated with a gingerbread theme so I put up a small tree with gingerbread ornaments to go with our gingerbread house stocking hangers and my new gingerbread Scentsy jar! Most years we make a real gingerbread house, but I'm not sure yet where to put one, so that hasn't happened yet.

Since the best part of Christmas is spending time with people you love, that is what I'm going to do right now. Spend time watching a movie with my 2 favorite boys!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Major Award!

I won! I won! I won! Saturday morning Ryan and I went to the free Chick-fil-a breakfast at our apartment clubhouse. I entered into a drawing for a free Scentsy warmer. And I won!!! I was pretty excited when they called me and told me. I am not usually a winner, so it's a big deal. I felt like the dad on A Christmas Story when he wins the flashy leg lamp. Plus the cute gingerbread man design is perfect for my bar top which is decorated with a gingerbread man tree and stocking hangers. The lady told us that before she drew she hoped she would pick someone who really wanted it and I assured her that I was happy to put it in my home. This is my first Scentsy product and so far I'm very delighted with it... I came home Saturday night and my house smelled like sugar cookies. Maybe it will entice Santa to come a little early this year :)

Wassail Fest 2010

Ryan and I went to Denton last Thursday night to celebrate Wassail Fest! What is Wassail Fest you ask? Well only the best fun filled night of cider drinking, carol singing, friends dancing you could ever imagine! It takes place on the Denton town square and you go from shop to shop sampling and voting for the best wassail.
I'll be honest. We were going to drive up to Denton and had decided not to go after all. It was cold. And dark. Then I got a text from my friend Ashley saying she was there. That made me go to the website and watch a video from a few years ago at Wassail Fest. Then my friend Erica called and said she was going to be there. After all that I decided to embrace life and bundle up for a night of fun. We got to see lots of old friends, like Ryan's roommate Roy. That is why Wassail Fest is so awesome. You can just be walking around and suddenly you run into someone you haven't seen in a long time!
The highlight of the night is when Brave Combo performs. (Side note- Brave Combo actually played at my parents wedding 27 years ago, back when they were a small band of guys from UNT that my dad knew.) Only in Denton can you celebrate with stranger to Christmas polka music. There is a huge area where people are jam packed. Yet as smushed together as you feel, there is somehow always room for the 5 extra people that you know to squeeze in and dance with you! I believe it's Christmas magic.
The best moment is when Brave Combo plays the chicken dance. You have never seen such merriment as hundreds of people laughing and doing the chicken dance together. And that's what Christmas is really all about.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Memories

Happy Thanksgiving!!! One of the Thanksgiving memories I love the most is having everyone over to my grandparents' house. Their house was big enough to host anybody who showed up. I remember driving up over the hill and arriving at their house that was full of leaves in the yard. When my cousins and I were kids we had so much fun running and jumping in those huge piles of leaves. I remember walking in and finding my mom and grandpa already cooking in the kitchen -my grandma Dede didn't cook, but she did love to host! I remember how their huge dining room table was always set with fine china and table linens and decorated with litle turkeys (the table that now resides in my own dining room, just without all the extra inserts). I remember all holding hands and saying what we were thankful for and then singing our traditional blessing and prayer. A few years ago my grandparents traded in their dream home for a senior assisted living center, so our traditions have now changed, but I will always cherish those family gatherings!
My other favorite Thanksgiving memory is my other grandmother, Grammy. Grammy was a wonderful cook. She made THE BEST mashed potatoes, deserts, and zucchini bread squares I have ever tasted. This year I got a cookie press for my birthday so I stayed up late last night making her special "Grammy cookies"- flower shaped butter cookies with a craisin in the middle (Grammy always used a cherry but for fall I decided to adapt it to a craisin). In a few minutes I am going to make her zucchini squares to take to our feast. I am thankful for the memories of her great cooking and that I have received those recipes.
I hope everyone enjoys this day of thanks and remembers that Scriptures assure us that everything thats wonderful and beautiful comes from God. Praise the Lord for all you've been blessed with!!!! And make some new memories.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Celebrations!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!!!! Wow, what an awesome weekend. My birthday celebrations started Thursday afternoon when my office went out to lunch for my birthday and got some delicious Mexican food. And Thursday night Ryan and I went on a date to...... Medieval Times! A fun night of knights jousting and eating a king's feast with our hands!

We had fun cheering on our knight- who gave me a flower- that is, until he died. Oh, how sad, but somebody had to die first.
Friday morning, my actual 27th birthday, we got up and Ryan made me cinnamon rolls and then dropped me off to get a surprise massage! I love a little spa day! Friday evening we hosted Bible study at our apartment.
Since it was my birthday, and our group was studying what it looks like to truly give God thanks, we made a small Thanksgiving feast and even got out our fancy china. We love our church friends and are so thankful for them!
Saturday we went to Dallas and met my parents for lunch at Cheesecake factory. I am also so thankful that we live close to our families and can see them often. I love my mom and dad!!!
Saturday night, our college friends came up and we went out to BriX, a new pizza and wine bar in Roanoke. I LOVE my girl friends and am so thankful that we've stayed close for so many years now. After dinner we came back to our apartment and played the Office Clue. What a suspenseful game! All of our accusations came down to the final roll of the dice. Thank you to all my girls who drove all the way out here!
Sunday, we went out to celebrate with Ryan's family and I got to play some Barbies with our nieces. These are my sister-in-laws old Barbies and it was funny that I actually had the EXACT SAME outfits for my Ken and Barbie growing up! I hope Kiersi and Kayden love Barbie as much as Aunt Kate :) I was thankful to get to play with them!
My mother in law made me a wonderful chocolate cake. I am thankful to have a great extended family that loves Ryan and I so much!
And then those crazy Bradleys got out every body's old Letterman jackets! I am thankful to have a husband and family who can be silly and make me laugh!
So, in case you didn't realize, much of what I thought about this weekend is everything that I am thankful for! I definitely did not deserve to have such an amazing birthday weekend! Of course its fun to open presents and eat good food, but I am most grateful for all the sweet memories that were made with friends, family, and my husband. It was a birthday full of blessings!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Been a Hard Day's Night... And I've Been Working Like a Dog...

Today Cosby literally worked like a dog. My coworkers have been wanting to see my dog and my boss said that I could bring Cosby to work with me today. Not wanting to be lazy, he jumped right in and started to help. He responded to emails and made sure all of our websites were up to date.
"Dunder Mifflin. This is Cosby." Wow, that dog sure gives some good customer phone service!
He helped read over the new course catalog. Don't worry, everything was up to par, and he didn't find any mistakes!
He kept a look out for any delivery people. This would have been the perfect day for my Staples delivery friend to come!
And after all that work, he rested on his blanket and gave me inspirational pep talks. Today was so much fun having Cosby in the office! Even though he is pretty relaxed and rather un-playful, it was fun having him walk around. I probably work in the best office ever!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Party Like a Rockstar.

You know how there are some people who decide at a certain age not to celebrate their birthday? Or those who are shy and don't like the attention? Well, neither of those descriptions describe Ryan. Ryan LOVES his birthday. On any given day he can tell you how many days it is until his birthday. Really any day. Like on March 23rd he can tell you how many days it is until October 10th. He started talking to me about his birthday before we were even dating. Not in a selfish way. He just loves his birthday. And since this year his birthday was on 10/10/10 we really celebrated.

Starting a whole week before we had our family up. His brother Greg's birthday is Oct. 3rd so we combined them. If you look closely, Greg's cake is made like a pizza. Melody (his wife) is an awesome caterer and made it just for him because he loves pizza! It was super cute!
The Friday before his birthday we celebrated with our church friends. We hosted small group at our house and had more cake. Our friend Scott got Ryan this warm Cowboy's snuggie, which I'm actually wearing right now as we watch the Cowboy game on Monday night football!
Saturday- 1 day before the real big day- we went to Celebrate Roanoke. I love small town festivals. We found this fun pumpkin patch outside of a country store and sat down for a pic. Ooh, I love those pumpkins!
We also think it is funny to take pictures in cut out boards. If you are a regular blog reader, I'm sure you've seen other pics like this of us. I'm not sure why its so funny to me... I hope it makes you smile!
Vote for me!
We stopped by the bookstore in Dowtown Roanoke. They had a huge Fancy Nancy book! If you are a teacher, you will appreciate this!
And what would any festival be without a live gun fight acted out in period 1850's clothing? I'm glad it was just pretend. No one was hurt in the reinaction of this famous shooting.
Finally it was the big day. 10/10/10. Ryan preached at church that morning... no pictures to document because they frown on having the paparazzi there :) That evening we went bowling at Main Event. I let him beat me at bowling since it was his birthday. But I showed no mercy at Air Hockey or Dance, Dance, Revolution!
Does anyone else ever wonder about what to wear when they go bowling? Bowling shoes are pretty ridiculous with any outfit.
The birthday boy and his bowling ball. It had a number 10 on it. The perfect end to a perfect celebration!