Friday, May 28, 2010

We're going on tour!

One of the wonderful and thoughtful gifts I received for graduation was a trip for two from my parents. It was very exciting to receive, as we have quite a list of places we'd like to visit. Deciding where to go can be difficult for us. We're not beach people, so California and Florida aren't a huge interest. I'd love to go see NYC in the winter and visit Rockefeller Center and the huge tree, but that' a pricey trip. As we're trying to save for our next home (whether it be rented or owned) we wanted something budget friendly. Therefore, a trip to see family would fit the bill. And so we've decided on...

Baltimore!! Charm City, U.S.A! Home of Charm City Cakes, the National Aquarium, the Baltimore Ravens, and my blogging knottie buddy, Salt!! We are definitely meeting up. Oh, and my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law live there too :)

My sister also gifted us money toward a trip to see her and my future brother-in-law (yay!) in Seattle. We'll probably go in mid-September, but we don't have dates hammered out yet. Dan's never been there and I've been there only fairly briefly, so it will be a lot of fun to go together.

We may be stuck in Phoenix for the entire hot, brutal summer, but we've got trips to save for and look forward too. Do you have fun future travel plans this summer?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

WTF Wednesday: Horsing Around

I know it's Thursday, so this is technically a belated WTF Wednesday. This is just too good not to share. I present to you a maternity photo I call "Horsing Around"

Say it with me: "What the ...?!" I'd like to know where that little maternity photo shoot went wrong. Whose idea was this? I think in general, maternity shoots are probably the mother-to-be's idea to commemorate her pregnancy, but this had to have been the baby daddy's brilliant plan to have any sort of fun. It's probably retaliation for not getting to have the Star Wars themed wedding he wanted. Someone on a message board actually has this picture as their photo signature. I asked Dan if we can recreate this when our time comes and he pretty much looked at me like I said I wanted to give birth to zombie kittens.

I'm going to pull a Forrest Gump and go with "and that's all I have to say about that."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I better practice my "yeeeehaw!"

I was walking through the office yesterday, mostly minding my own business, when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was a flyer with a tiara. Above it was the word 'Wanted!" Funny, I want a tiara! Kinda of. Just for at home, you know. When I'm feeling a little blue. Just to cheer myself up. Anysparkle, what I saw was this:

Royalty? Hot damn!! Sign me up! I've always wanted to be a queen, especially a pageant queen. Dan doesn't understand my love for the trainwreck that is the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras and says we absolutely cannot ever enter our daughters in a pageant, but he didn't say anything about me. Loophole!

I immediately took the flyer to my work buddy Michelle to show her. Her face lit up almost as much as mine did. Her cube mate immediately called last year's winner, Peri* to get the deets. We have all sorts of questions, y'all. Like do we have to try out? And is there a swimsuit competition? I'm not wearing a swimsuit, homies. What about a talent? Can being defective and not being able to wink, snap, or whistle be my talent? Alternatively, will they be providing a pool so I can do a synchronized swimming routine chorerographed by my sister? Is there an evening gown portion? I know it's a rodeo, but pageant queens aren't required to ride horses, are they? I mean, I can ride, but that doesn't mean I want to get on a horse in my satin 80's prom gown (because you know that's what I'm gonna wear). Does my wearing a cowboy hat up my chances? Obviously, the 2nd runner up didn't wear one - was that a deciding factor?

Unfortunately, Peri wasn't available, we're waiting on a call back. In the mean time, Michelle and I are practicing our beauty queen wave and brushing up on our current events for the interview portion of the pageant. I'm pretty sure I don't want to say anything stupid and make myself look ridiculous. We've already made appointments at Glamour Shots to get our head shots done with feather boas and hooker makeup. We only have until November to transform ourselves into legit Miss Cliff Garrett Rodeo contestants. This is serious.

I'm going to be a beauty queen, y'all!!

*Peri's last name makes her a color. No joke.

UPDATE: We're completed our list of demands for the dressing room: 2 cases of diet water, 346 blue M&M's, no more and no less than 7.48 ounces of yellow and orange skittles in a 3:2 ratio, and those little sandwiches with the tiny flags on them, at an exactly temperature of 62 degrees. Turkey with no tomato for me, ham with swiss cheese with 4 pickles for Michelle. Also, no looking directly at Michelle and our room must be Navajo white. Of course, no wire hangers!!! That will be all.

Monday, May 24, 2010


OMG, OMG!! Guess who's coming to Tempe, Arizona on a book tour in June? Cake Wrecks, that's who! And who loooooves Cake Wrecks? I do! I'm wicked excited. I love Cake Wrecks. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, I'll tell ya: basically, readers send in pics of professional cakes they find that are just wrong in the most awesome ways. Misspellings, icing that looks like poo, carrot jockies. Cake Wrecks fans have even been known make their own replica or oringinal wrecks to gift to fellow fans. It's simply awesome. And did I mention they're coming to Tempe? Yay! Here's a delicious sample of what the Cake Wrecks blog features on the daily:
My favorite feature is the comparison between what a customer (usually a bride) ordered, and what she got:

See, fabulous and hilarious!

That'd be the cover of the book I'll be having signed on June 21st.

The best part is, they have a contest at their book tour stops. The best cupcake-sized replica of a wreck wins fame and prizes, along with bragging rights.

So, are you a Cake Wrecks fan? Any ideas of which wreck I should try to replicate?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday: Weepuls

Yesterday, my dear friend Natalie emailed me with a question. It seemed she had a new cubemate and needed a name for it. I wasn't sure what I expected to see a picture of when I opened the email, but what I saw was this:

That is a Weepul, everyone. A chicken Weepul (whose name is now Seamus O'Toole, by the way). That Weepul brought back a great memory. One day when I was in elementary school, we were all brought to an assembly in the cafeteria. There was a presentation set up, along with a money machine, microphones, and crazy lights. When the show started, we learned that we were going to fun-raise!!! I don't remember what we were going to sell, but we needed to sell a lot of it. And it was called fun-raising because it was going to be... you guessed it, fun!!

Now, anyone who knows about these school fun-raisers knows that there's always an incentive for reaching goals. Sometimes it's a concert, or lollipops, gold stars, or a chance to go to a local professional sports event. But not with this fun-rasier. Our incentive to hit the street and sell whatever it was we were selling was Weepuls!! Weepuls, people. Craft balls with sticky feet, googly eyes, and tiny clothes. Of course, these were the low end prizes - if we sold enough, we could "buy" stuff with our points like boom boxes and disco lights. The top sellers would get a minute in the money machine to grab as much cash as they could.

Anyfluff, you would not believe the frenzy that started over those darn Weepuls. Our family didn't participate in school fundraisers because we did sports and girl scouts and whatever else and therefore had already tapped out our resources. But, man! I wanted a Weepul so bad. They had animal Weepuls and cop Weepuls, and basketball player Weepuls. They even had the highly-coveted giant Weepuls!! The school went rabid in its quest for freaking Weepuls. I think everyone even forgot there were better prizes than just Weepuls. I remember being in class and admiring my friends' Weepuls. I really wanted the little pink baby Weepul, with it's little bonnet. Eventually, there was a ban on them - they were so distracting, you couldn't have your Weepuls at school anymore. It was really kinda sad. And also very funny, in hindsight.

When I look back on it, the funniest part was that those fun-raiser jokers laughed their happy asses all the way to the freaking bank after making kids sell crap for glorified cotton balls. You have to commend them for it. It's brilliant.

Do you remember Weepuls? Or have you decided by now that I'm sniffing glue?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ahwatukee: Brooke speak for Awesome

This morning, Salt wrote about her lovely home of Baltimore. It inspired me to write about my own home. My problem is, I kind of have two homes. I grew up in Tucson. It's where I went to school, made friends, and it's where my family still lives. It's artsy, fun, and the epitome of a southwestern community.

But the place drives me a little nuts. It's got only one freeway. The max speed limit is 40 mph. People don't want the city to grow and are completely blind to the fact that it's growing around them. Any effort made to make traffic better gets shot down with a big fat "Don't PHX Tucson!" Most of my time spent in the car there is also spent cursing, clenching my teeth, and generally angry. The people of Tucson pretty much despise Phoenix for the metropolis that it's become. I admit, I had the same mentality... until I moved here five years ago. I first lived in Scottsdale, then Moon Valley, Deer Valley, and then Central Phoenix. And then, I move to the greatest place of all... Ahwatukee.

Ahwatukee is a great little neighborhood in Southern Phoenix. It's technically Phoenix, but is known by it's own name, like the fancy areas of NYC like the Meat Packing District. It's known as the world's largest cul-de-sac because it has few access points (only 2 exits off the freeway) and is bordered by the Gila River Indian Community to the South and the South Mountain Park to the North. Even though it's not true, I've heard some people joke that Ahwatukee is Navajo for "South Scottsdale" and that the community sprung up because people couldn't afford or grew bored of Scottsdale and moved South. The reality is that it's Crow for "land on the other side of the hill," referencing South Mountain. You're welcome for the history lesson.

What I love about Ahwatukee is the convenience. We literally have everything we could possibly need within 5 minutes. We have every major store, restaurants, hospitals, golf courses, and the town itself is really just beautiful. Seriously, I have Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Joann Fabrics on 3 of the 4 corners of my closest intersection. It's heaven. There are wide sidewalks up and down most of the area's streets, making running and biking very nice. South Mountain offers hiking and mountain biking trails. Thanks to the numerous golf courses, we also see a ton of golf carts. It's also really close to Chandler and Tempe, making going to Dave & Buster's and Chandler Fashion Square convenient. Because the neighborhood borders the Gila River reservation, we're also only 3 minutes from 2 brand new casinos. Cha-ching! We're also only 12 minutes from the airport and only about an hour and a half from Tucson, making trips for us and my parents very easy.

The downside to the awesomeness of Ahwatukee is the real estate market. It's currently too rich for our blood. Our apartment is a steal, people. I seriously don't know how we got so lucky. Unfortunately, the chances that we'll be able to stay in the neighborhood are slim to none. But I intend to enjoy it's beauty and conveniences until the end of March. I can only hope we find another neighborhood that has a lot of what Ahwatukee has to offer. And if nothing else, we'll have great memories of our first year of marriage here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Heidi, take the blue pill

I don't begin to fancy myself as a recapper, but seriously, WTF The Hills? I admit, I was addicted to Laguna Beach when it came out eons ago, back when a girl named Lauren had a crush on a boy named Stephen (whom I served salad to, BTW). And now I'm addicted to The Hills. I feel bad for Kristin though - she gets everyone's sloppy seconds, from Lauren's show to Justin Bobby. But even more uncomofrtable to watch than Audrina and Krisitn fight over that tool Brody Jenner is the trip to Crazy Town that Heidi and Spencer Pratt are currently on.

So it was cute when they used to walk around Hollywood and pose and pout about stuff for attention.

It was cute when Heidi fancied herself a singer and squawked around on the beach like a seagull for her music video, shot with Spencer's cell phone camera.

It was even semi-cute when Heidi went and got her first round of plastic surgery. She did look more polished as Heidi 2.0. But now, they have gone off the deeeeep end, folks. Especially with the dawning of Heidi 3.0. Here's a little before and after on our dear Heidi. You can't tell, but she has size F tatas. EFFFsss!! On a tiny 115 pound frame.

But now she's shocked us all again. Last night's episode had them at a club talking about crystals and their powers. By powers, I mean Heidi had a crystal that could reportedly help her open her mind to intelligent people while protecting her in a war zone. Riiiight. And, Spencer is proud of the fact that he's cut her off from the TV, internet, and phone, and all she does is write poetry, pray, and play with puppies. She's been "unplugged from the Matrix." Even more disturbing, Heidi sits down with her friends after their night at the club and said that "every guy likes to be a little controlling and that's okay." It's no surprise that it's being publicized that Spencer forced the surgeries on her. Ummmm... is anyone else concerned?

I realize that this is "reality" television and a lot of Heidi and Spencer's antics are easily publicity stunts, but how is this being allowed to go on? Surgery isn't like acting crazy - this stuff can't be undone. Surely, this is going to far, and MTV is glorifying it. And why do I find it so entertaining? Shamefully, I'm still hopelessly glued to the TV on Tuesdays to see how much crazier they can get. Anyone else?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Clover and Paisley decorate their crate

It's no surprise that Clover and Paisley get into things. I've gone through about 30 pairs of flip flops in the 2 years since Paisley came to live with me. Clover loves to go for really fun stuff, like phone chargers that happen to still be plugged into the wall. They also enjoy the fine art of shredding paper and "killing" their stuffed animal friends. We've banned fluffy toys in the house since Paisley's illness since even though she didn't have a bowel obstruction, the scare of potential surgery was enough to make me go all Mommy Dearest "No fluffy toys!" on their little puggle asses. So you can imagine the mini heart attack I had when I came home to this yesterday:

Those are our little darlings sitting amongst the entire contents of their dog bed that we keep in Mega Crate. Yeeeeah, awesome. I waited for Dan to get home before starting on the clean-up of that one. Sure enough, he started picking up the fluff. Lo and behold, he discovered that they hadn't ripped the bed open, they'd unzipped it. So thankfully, we didn't have to buy a new bed, but we now know that we have magic dogs that unzip things. We're officially screwed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Congrats, Megan and Daniel!

Quadruple doh!! How could I forget the most exciting thing about my weekend? There was a reason I went off on my tangent about my new phone. I was phoneless all day on Saturday, which was highly inconvenient because my sister had some great news she was dying to share:

Megan is engaged!! I'm so happy for her. She and Daniel have a lot in common and have so many things they like to do together. They're just 2 outdoorsy peas in a pod. I haven't gotten to spend a lot of time with Daniel because I lived in Phoenix when they lived in Tucson and they both moved to Seattle, but he's a very sweet guy who makes my little sister very happy.

My little sister is getting married, y'all. I can hardly believe it. Yay!

Sweet Weekend

We had such a great weekend! friday night at my friend's house was a lot of fun. We went over for dinner and to celebrate little Eli's 10 days on Earth. Fariba's one of 8 children - 6 girls and 2 boys. All but one of her sisters made the trip along with her mom. So it was a house full of people, especially since her husband's mother and his brother's family (with 4 more kids) were there. The food was amazing. Dan and I were both a little worried since we're not what you'd call adventerous with foreign cuisine, but it was all awesome. Apparently, the ladies were cooking for some 9 hours. We had saffron chicken, lamb, spinach, eggplant, spicy potatoes, rice, and then a bunch of sauces to accompany it all. Dan cleaned his plate and went back for more. For desert, we had delicious apple pie, a chocolate cake, and my cookies.

On Saturday, I woke up to a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to the dog park. So I packed up my Girls and hopped in the car. We were going to a huge dog park about 20 minutes away. Of course, I got lost. The website I looked up for directions was way off. I drove around trying to find the place. Of course, my friend hadn't brought her phone, so I was hopelessly lost. The dogs were whining in the car. Finally, I gave up and decided to turn around and go back home. About a minute later, I drove right past it. Yes, folks, I managed to pass by this... twice:
Doh!! So, an hour after getting the text, I finally showed up. My friend was about to leave, but decided to stay. About a half hour later, I got a text from Dan: "do you have my keys?" Double doh! Turns out, when we went to Fariba's the night before, we shuffled cars around, and Dan's keys were left in my car. So we had to go back home so Dan could go work at a customer's house. And then, the worst part: I went to use the little ladies' facilities, and my phone slipped out of my pocket and into the toilet. Triple doh! After that, I wasn't very happy.

I started working on the Tinkerbell cake for Fariba's nieces, worried that the events that had transpired by 9am would be indicative of my day. Dan got home and we headed to the Verizon store, where the guy made cut me some slack and allowed me to upgrade with new contract prices 42 days early. I'm now the proud owner of a Blackberry. When we got home, I made fondant for the first time for the cake and began assembling and decorating. Here's the finished Tinkerbell cake:

The bowl cake ended up being very dense and not looking too big, so I did some chocolate cupcakes on the side. The petals are fondant and the pink frosting is raspberry butter cream. I was very happy with how it all came out, and the birthday girls were ecstatic.

Yesterday, we went to lunch with friends. Well, it was meant to be lunch. We got to the Dubliner at 2 and left at... oh, 7:15. Yeah, looooong lunch. And then I had to make Philadelphia Eagles cookies. They came out really cute, too I think. The wings on the helmets are a little cartoony, but the recipient loved them:

And yes, I am (now) aware that #5, Donovan McNabb, no longer plays for the Eagles. Ooops. Good words about my cookies have been spread, and someone who used to work at our site emailed me today asking if I can do an order for her brother's graduation - very exciting!

All in all, we had a lovely weekend. I got a new phone, went through 6 pounds of powdered sugar, dyed my fingers green permanently, and got to have a great time with friends. How was your weekend?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cookie weekend

It's a cookie weekend. I had three "orders" for cookies this week. And a cake order. Eek! And I call them orders because I'm actually being paid. Cool! I made these sweet baby cookies for Eli's 10th day party. I'm really excited to go and see Fariba & Eli, meet Fariba's Afghani family, and find out what this 10th day tradition is all about (I can't even find a name for it). I made blue, yellow, and white onesies, bibs and E's. They're pretty much my favorite cookies that I've ever made, and they're far cuter in person.

I also made dollar signs for a finance group here at the office. My coworker handed me money a couple weeks ago and said "here, make us something." Alrighty then. Finance people... hmm, dollar signs! Dan had chosen the cookie cutter months ago and it was my first chance to use it.

I still have some Philadelphia Eagles cookies to make by Monday. A coworker has been out on sick leave for a while and is returning on Monday. His admin asked me to make him cookies for his return. I'm going to do footballs, jerseys, and helmets. Hopefully they come out half as good as my inspiration from A Dozen Eggs:

I also have to do a cake for Fariba (Eli's mom). Her nieces are turning 2 and 3 and she requested a Tinkerbell cake similar to this one from Coolest Birthday Cakes . Only she specified there must be pink, so I'll be putting it in place of the yellow on this inspriration cake. I'm also thinking of using fondant for the petals of the skirt to avoid the pain-in-the-ass that is so much butter cream once it starts to melt.

So that's what I've got going on this weekend: A LOT of baking and decorating. What will you be up to?


And now, a Dan Funny. I woke up with a headache. No, not a hangover. Like a pressure headache, supper annoying. Also, he calls me Henry to his coworkers. They ask about Henry, not Brooke. As in "what are you and Henry doing this weekend?"

So I told him my head felt awful and asked if he'd stuffed cotton candy in my noggin while I was sleeping. His response: "No, I would have eaten cotton candy if I had it. Henry, you know better than that." I thought it was funny, mostly because it's true. Dan would not have wasted good cotton candy on my head.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rule of Urinals

It's Open Letter Thursday over at Salt Says... and I've decided to participate. I've been thinking about this one for some time, and it's about time I let it off my chest. Here goes.

Dear Female Coworkers,

Good morning (I feel rude not saying good morning)! Can we chat a second? Great. You see, I have a couple, um, peeves with the ladies' room etiquette going on around here. It's not anything big really. Nothing disgusting or embarrassing. Nothing that I would call my plumber husband about and say "hey, I've got septic system overflow disgustingness beat." But there is just one thing. Okay, two things. But it boils down to one thing. I want y'all to act more like men in the ladies' room.

You see, men know what's up when it comes to using the facilities. Have you ever noticed when you're out with your friends at da club that there's screeching, hollering, and laughing come our lavatory, and silence coming from theirs? I like that. Because, you see, while I care about your son/daughter/grandchild/dog/budding Avon business, I don't want to talk about it while I'm busy. It's awkward. We can talk after, at my cubicle. I have a lovely "Therapy in Session" sign and I can get the aromatherapy going and turn on soothing crashing wave sounds, but I don't want to hear about little Timmy's potty training progress while I'm on the potty myself. It's a simple request really.

My other request is a little more complicated. But don't worry, I have diagrams. Not only do men know to not talk to each other while draining the main vein, they know that you don't crowd your buddies. We have 4 stalls in our ladies' room, 5 if you count the first-class sized handicap stall. So let's stick with 4, since we know it's not really polite to use it if you don't need it. There's no reason why when I walk into an empty restroom and you follow me in 30 seconds later, you choose the stall next to mine. You're in my bubble. Guys know better. Allow me to demonstrate. Here's our bathroom if it belonged to the men in our office:

They have sinks in theirs, right? We'll assume they do. Moving forward, this is a pretty typical restroom. 4 urinals, sinks, and done. Now, let's say that four men, who we'll name 1, 2, 3, and 4 walk into this restroom 30 seconds apart. Can you tell me which urinal each would choose? Think on it a moment.

::jeopardy music::

Got your answer? Now I'll give you mine, aka the correct answer, The Rule of Urinals

Man 1 goes to the farthest urinal from the door. This keeps anyone coming in from spying on his junk. Man 2 goes to the farthest urinal from Man 1 to avoid any weird peering from Man 1. What about Man 3? When he comes in, each of the remaining urinals is equidistant (thanks, trigonometry!) from Man 1 and Man 2. But, Man 3 knows The Rule of Urinals, so he knows that Man 1 was there first and will therefore finish first. So he chooses the urinal closest to Man 1, careful not to peer in either direction. Lastly, Man 4 enters and takes the remaining urinal next to Man 2, staring straight forward the whole time. No looking, no talking, just peeing. It's awesome.

See, men know what's up. I sincerely think we should consider implementing this. We'll all get our space, and keep our chats to our cubicles or other common areas. Agreed? Great!



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monkeys and moonshine

When I wrote my post about our money matters, I completely forgot about another perk to having separate accounts. Sometimes, it's downright funny. You see, today, I got a notification that Dan had transferred money to me for the phone bill. When I went to open it, I discovered that my darling husband had apparently paid me for "moonshine." Funny. So then I looked back at all deposits from his account to mine, and he's also paid me for monkeys, a fake leg, happy endings, dildos, and love (back when he was sweet). It certainly made my day to rediscover them, and now I've got to figure out some good ones to use in the future.

I'll have to think of something really good to label my Murano payment this month. Any ideas?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Graduation Staycation

This weekend was our much anticipated stay at the Arizona Grand Resort in celebration of my graduation (it's official - an A on the final assignment and a B overall). My mom met me at home Friday after work and took Paisley and Clover home with her. Dan got home shortly after and we packed up our stuff and then headed to Walmart for drinks and snacks. My mom had given us a beach bag with wine and goodies - and a gift certificate for a trip to a destination of my choice. Yay, more vacation!

The first thing Dan did was turn the thermostat down to 60. With free AC, he was bound and determined to not be hot a single moment in that room. We got ready and went to Rustler's Rooste for steak and great views of the city. The place is a really touristy Wild West restaurant and live music. We went there for 4th of July when we were dating - the food wasn't so great last night, but it was absolutely delicious this time around. We were out kind of late and had another drink when we got back before hitting the hay.

Saturday was our big fun day. We went to Olive Garden for lunch, ran a couple quick errands and headed back to the hotel. We'd hoped that friends would be able to come enjoy the water park at the resort with us, but no one was able to come. So we went by ourselves and took advantage of the lazy river and pool bar. We'd brought a bunch of adult beverages in an ice chest thinking we'd have our own little supply of drinks for the day at the pool. As it turns out, the resort isn't located in Rocky Point, Mexico and you can't just wheel your ice chest down and park it next to the wave pool. After hanging out at the water park and then the pool next to our room, we took naps and then got ready for dinner. We got dressed up and went to Aunt Chilada's for some super tasty Mexican food.

Today, we spent Mother's Day with Dan's mom. We dropped our stuff off at home, then took her to lunch. We all then went to Scott and Melissa's for Family Art Funday. I wasn't feeling my painting, though, so my daisy remains unfinished. Tonight, we're going to just take it easy and get ready to go back to the grind tomorrow.

I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to all the mommas out there. I hope you had a wonderful day with your family. I really missed seeing mine today, but I get to see her tomorrow when I get the pups back.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Baby Names

I love Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life posts, and I really love baby names. Today, they collide in one awesome Show Us Your Life post . I haven't been able to participate in her last few, since they have to do with actually being a mom, or about personal missionaries (Kelly's a devout Christian, I - if you haven't figured it out - am pretty much not. A topic for another day). But I do love me some baby names. Actually, I don't completely love referring to them as baby names. Though you name a baby, they have to live with it for the rest of their lives. You really name an adult - a future teacher, doctor, lawyer, plumber, tax analyst, bus driver, or President of the United States.

I'm pretty lucky - Dan and I have pretty similar tastes in names for our future kids. For the most part - he has vetoed a few of my favorites, but there are still plenty we agree on. Some we love but wouldn't ever actually use (for a first name). Like Calvin. Dan loves Calvin and I like it well enough, but it reminds me of the stinky kid in class from high school. Not sure I could get over that and not sure I like it enough to have to say it 3,487,943,875 times a day. It also turns out that a lot of our name picks have become very popular, like Aiden, Mason, and Owen. Since Dan is a Daniel who's been one of many all his life, we want names that are more like Brooke - uncommon but not so weird that people say "what?!" So Aiden, Mason, Owen, and a whole host of others are out.

So what names do we like? For girls, I've loved the name Ainsley for a long time. It's Irish and means meadow or field. Since my name is a "nature name" I like the coordination with Ainsley. We also like Allison. Unfortunately, I dislike the nickname Allie, so that may pose a problem. Other possibilities for first or middle names are Morgan, Meredith, and Anna. Dan is pretty much okay with all these choices, even though they're my picks. He likes Hilary. Meh.

Boys are a little harder. I like names like Ian, Jonah, Jacob, Noah, Liam, Nathan, Joel, Ethan, and Seth (oddly, a bunch of Biblical names). These have all been shot down with a glare. Dan's top faves are Calvin and Doctor. Yes, he thinks Doctor is a great name for a kid. I agreed to compromise with giving a kid the initials M.D., but Mason was the only name we liked for the M, and that's out. Names we do agree on are Jamison, Gavin, Simon and Graham.

If we had to pick tomorrow, I have no idea which direction we'd go. Thankfully, we have a lot of time, and are nowhere near having to choose a name. But they are fun to think about, and we've had fun debating names for future children. We've talked about them since before we were married. That might be weird, but hey, whatever.

What names do you like for your future children?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Welcome to the world, Eli!!

Remember when I made that monkey cake for my coworker's baby shower? Well, the little guy finally showed up. After 41 weeks and 1 day, 42 hours of labor, 1 failed epidural, 2.5 hours of pushing and a C-section, Eli has finally arrived! Isn't he precious?

My official birthdate prediction (April 14th) was waaaay off, but I got the weight spot-on at 8lbs, 2oz. It remains to be seen if my red hair prediction (his dad's entire side of the family are gingers) will come true, but I see some light hair at the edge of that wee little hairline. A couple of other coworkers and I are going to meet the little guy this afternoon, and I am psyched. We were excited when we found out she was expecting, when she started to show, when we heard it was a boy, when we could finally feel him, and then when the due date approached. I think we've been almost as anxious for his birth as his parents have been. Almost. And I sincerely hope the kids loves monkeys, because his room if fuuuull of them.

And to my other coworkers, you can stop with the "ooooh, you're next!" comments. My uterus may have ached at the thought of a baby before, but her rough labor and delivery has me seriously freaked out.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Two Years

It's amazing how much life has changed in two years. 729 days ago, I was a single girl living the single life. I had a brand new puppy who was literally my world at the time. I had a new job, new apartment, and a new perspective on what I wanted out of a relationship. And then, two years ago today, I went to a baby shower. I laid eyes on my husband for the first time and life has been so wonderfully different ever since.

I remember he looked intimidating with the tattoos and gaged ears, but had a sweet smile and kind eyes. We exchanged a few glances. Two days later when our mutual friend told me their friend thought I was cute and described him, I was excited. When he didn't call in 10 days, I stalked her myspace and found him. Not my typical MO, but I was really curious. We went on a date some days later (we don't remember when) and I discovered that the book was definitely kinder, sweeter, and more shy than the cover.

If you had told me two years ago today that I'd be married right now, I wouldn't have believed you. I would have thought you were crazy. It's still surreal sometimes, in the greatest way. Dan has changed my perspective on many things, and brought so much joy and love to my life. He's shown me what unconditional love for another person is all about. This has been the best two years, and we have our whole lives ahead of us.

If you're reading, Buddy, I love you. Thank you for being the most incredible husband and best friend a girl could ask for. You are my sunshine.

The first photo of us ever taken on my 27th birthday.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Wow, how the week flew. I can't believe it's been 5 days since I posted anything. The most exciting news of the day is that I'm fiiiiinished with school! Well, mostly. My last assignment was turned in yesterday. All I have left are two discussion board comments. I'm anxious still though. Usually, if I turn something in and my grade isn't what I'd hoped for, I can compensate and work harder with the next assignment. But not with this one. I know I was doing well in the class, but until I see that final grade is posted, I'll be anxious.

The rest of the week was pretty good. It was rough being back after a week away. However, it was nice to see all my girls at the office and catch up. I had a few fires to put out, but the work week was really much better than it could have been. I also got a very special visitor on Thursday: Mrs. ESPN! She hired me and was my boss at my first job and has become a wonderful friend. She now works for another division of my company, doing a very similar job to my own. Recently, a position opened up at our corporate headquarters, and my boss' boss interviewed her at our site on Thursday. So we got to have lunch and catch up. So please keep your fingers crossed that her interviews go well this week and she'll hopefully be working from my office.

On Saturday after I finished and turned in my last assignment, I made 4 dozen Dr. Seuss cookies to send to my friend for a baby shower she's hosting. They came out super cute the second time around, and I really hope the mom-to-be has an awesome shower.

We also went to a comedy show on Saturday night. Zane Lamprey has a show on the travel channel where he goes to foreign countries and drinks their exotic drinks and learns about their culture as it relates to alcohol. He definitely seems to have a loyal following - people who were wearing shirts from his show and seemed to know everything about him. People who like to drink a LOT - everyone was trashed and screaming. He had another comedian touring with him who was hilarious. The show was somewhat educational, going over the basics of beer, wine, and spirits with a lot of humor thrown in.

We got to spend time with my parents today when they came up to visit. We had wanted to go kayaking, but it was windy and we needed a boating license that you couldn't get on the weekend. So we headed to the Greek Festival. Unfortunately, that wasn't much fun with wind either, so we went to a local brewery for lunch. It was very nice to get to spend time with my parents and relax.