Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Snack of champions

Lately, I've started munching on Honey Nut Cheerios throughout my day. They're really the greatest snack! The oats fulfill the craving for crunch without being potato chips, and the honey satisfies the sweet tooth without being sugary. Besides, they're supposed to lower  my cholesterol while helping me stay awake during our slow season.

Really, the only downfall to snacking on the little O's is feeling like a toddler in church. But that's okay. The Shrek water squirter inside the box made it all worth it!

What's your favorite go-to snack?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I can't wait!

I can not get Harry Potter off my mind! First of all, his incredible theme park opened earlier this month in Orlando. Then, the World Cup reminds me so much of the Quidditch World Cup represented in Book 4 (they even both play on "pitches") that I can hardly watch a soccer game without wondering where the brooms are and who's gong to finally catch the snitch. (RIP, USA's efforts.)
But even more exciting than any of that, we've just received our first glimpse of the first installment of the final movie!

Oh my goodness, I'm nervous to show it because it gives so much away! So let me issue a formal *Spoiler Alert* and advise any of you who may be currently reading the books or hoping to finish the series before you watch the movie to not view this trailer. All the rest of you, go ahead and indulge yourselves!

Holy macrel! I'm seriously freaking out. I can't wait!! If I could go ahead and preorder my Midnight movie tickets six months in advance, you better believe I would do it in a heartbeat!!

Now, you guys know that I'm absolutely partial to the novels rather than the films. But I'm so loyal to the story, in general, that I'll take the Wizarding World in any form I can get! Besides, the reason I prefer the books over the films so much is because the filmmakers must so greatly condense the storyline to fit into a movie; with this final chapter being split into two films, I have high hopes that they'll stay true to Rowling's dramatic conclusion.

Oh, I wish the entire world read and loved HP, so they could all experience this kind of excitement as we anticipate the end of an era! (No more books, theme park has opened, and finally the last movie... Sad day!)

Do you love Harry Potter? Are you so stinking pumped about the last movie(s)? Are you constantly being reminded of Quidditch during this World Cup season?

I ♥ Harry Potter!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pull up a tailgate

This past Saturday, we joined our friends, Pam and Mitch, for a little late night movie action - outdoor style. We drove to the Moonlite Drive-In located in a suburb of Nashville to watch two movies for less than the price of one.

While waiting for the movie to begin, families were playing on the playground or throwing frisbees and footballs in the yard under the screen. We were starving, so we made a bee-line to the concession stand and went crazy. We popped our tailgate, munched our delicious junk food and anxiously anticipated "dusk."

Here's Pam and Mitch, waiting for the sun to go down.

And here is Pam and Mitch's hood, overflowing with delightful calories. Seriously, does it get any better than concession food?

Finally, around 9:00, they thought it was dark enough to begin the first movie. We set up our camping chairs at the end of our trucks and laughed together through Grownups. Since it was so late, Pam and Mitch left during the intermission. Brad and I used the time between movies to go get more junk food. :)

When we returned, we dangled our legs off the tailgate as we enjoyed our nachos and funnel cake. Once Karate Kid began, we lounged back on pillows and blankets in the bed of the Tahoe and watched a young Will Smith Jaden Smith learn to kick some major booty.

We finally called it a night around 1:45 in the morning. Even though we had church to wake up for bright and early, the late night festivities were definitely worth the memories. We really liked both movies, enjoyed time with friends, and loved the drive-in experience.

Have you ever been to a Drive-In movie theater before? I totally recommend that you put it on your Summer To Do List.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ready for the weekend

I don't know if I'm just getting older or what, but my body is needing more and more sleep lately. I've always been able to go on just a few hours of sleep a night, since my college days and before. But I think that had always been possible because I was also able to take naps in those days. Grownup life isn't so conducive to nap taking.

I've definitely been searching for nap opportunities, though. Any chance I get, I doze off. I'll leave early for work to beat the traffic, and then take a 12 minute nap in my car before I leave the parking garage. I'll even rush lunch so I can sneak into somebody's office and take a 45 minute nap before I have to return to my desk. It's getting bad, guys.

Maybe it's the getting up so early (so early!) to work out, or maybe it's the working out itself, or maybe I am just getting old. (I refuse to believe that.) I'm confident that the late nights past midnight contribute to the problem. But that's new. Not the late nights, but them being a problem problem. Since when do I have to be in bed in the PM instead of the AM?

Whatever the deal is, I feel a lot like Chester looks in that picture. Tuckered out. Regardless of whether or not I have the self control to institute a reasonable bedtime, I'm definitely ready for the weekend. I can't wait to sleep past noon tomorrow. Ahhh... Just the thought of it is nice...

How much sleep does your body require? What time do you usually go to bed at night? And more importantly, do you have any awesome plans this weekend, other than sleeping?

PS. How stinking adorable is our dog? Laying his head on a pillow like a person. I absolutely love him.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kool-Aid Kids

In the Hill Ridge Hood, Kool-Aid is the drink of choice. The flavor may change, but the beverage always remains the same.

When the boys play basketball, they prop up the jug full of their favorite sugary drink on the tailgate of Kris's truck, where it's handy for refreshing refills between games.

They love their kids' drink so much that they even sip it from matching Kool-Aid water bottles. Oh yeah, they are that legit.

Of course, they had to pose for one picture with their honorary member of the Hill Ridge Crew, Kool-Aid Man. He's always hanging around, fouling on the basketball court, and offering to refill their bottles. If he didn't take up so much space, they'ed let him be in more pictures. But at least he's always smiling!

Did you grow up on Kool-Aid like we all did? What's your very favorite flavor? For me, it's red. Okay, I know that's technically a color and not a flavor, but it's my fave nonetheless. How about you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summertime snacks

It's closing in on 100 degrees around here, with heat indexes well into the 3-digit category. It's absolutely wretched outside. You'll work up a sweat just walking to the car. Blegch!

How else are you supposed to keep the heat away but with some of these summer treats!?

So far, this week, we've already enjoyed some (seedless) watermelon

[pic via]

and savored some delicious strawberry shortcake, which just so happens to be the greatest dessert on the planet. Period.

[pic via]

I may hate these temperatures, but I definitely love the great summer snacks that accompany them!

How are you going to stay cool in this heat and pass away the summer months?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Green Thumb

The big plant in our living room is growing a new leaf! (And it's super cool, too. Huge and all rolled up, for now.)

You know what that means? It looks like I'm not such a plant murderer afterall. Holla!! In your face, dying aloe plant! It appears as though your current condition is not entirely my fault.

Do you have a green thumb?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Double Date

Friday, Brad and I embarked upon a double date with our favorite across-the-street-and-over-one neighbors, Kris and Emily. It couldn't have been better, since the boys totally indulged Em and me and let us do exactly what we wanted.

Which, of course, began with a hot dog dinner from Cori's Dog House. Mmmm... So incredibly delicious. I got the Chicago Dog, which is really code for Too Big and Loaded With Tons of Great Stuff to Actually be Edible Dog. Even though I had to take two bites (top and bottom) for every one bite, it was totally worth it. There's nothing better than a good hot dog.

Then we went to the movies for Toy Story 3's opening night! Oh, how I love all things Disney Pixar. I was a little nervous, since I had so much riding on this sequel. The first Toy Story came out when I was only 10 years old, and it holds a special place in my heart. But the second installment was great (possibly even better than the first?), so I had high hopes that it would only add to the great foundation.

We definitely were not disappointed. The final movie in this Toy Story trilogy encompasses the same charming characters with endearing relationships as the first two. Now, I won't say that it is better than either of the previous installments, but it definitely deserves to be in the same category. I really feel like it was a perfect ending to the story of Andy and his toys. And I'm such a sap that I love when stories are wrapped up with a pretty little bow.

Brad pretended to be too cool and grown up for such a "kids' movie," but then he went and spent $0.75 on the mustache machine to look like a Fernando. Now that's the boy that I fell in love with. ♥

Have you seen Toy Story 3, yet? Are you planning to? Have you seen and loved the first two, or all other Pixar movies, for that matter? Is there any food out there better than a giant hot dog?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad's Day

Just because I'm supposed to be a grownup now, doesn't mean that I can't still be a Daddy's Girl.

[Pic from here]

Let's also give a shout out to all the daddies out there being the heads of their households. Families just aren't the same without good dads leading the way.

Thanks for all that you do! I hope you enjoy a relaxing day that's all about you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Magic is Real!

Okay, I'm toooootally freaking out right now! Like, seriously, I'm a 12-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. Only it's better; I'm a muggle, and it's the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!

I can't get enough of this place! I can't believe it's real life!! I mean, this. is. real!!!!

You get to experience a Quidditch match, Hogwarts, and the Forbidden Forest on Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey ride. There are some roller coasters, too; the Dragon Challenge (two different, dueling dragon coasters) and the Flight of the Hippogriff. In Hogsmeade, you can drink Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, purchase a wand at Ollivander's wand shop with Wandmaster Ollivander's personal assistance (it chooses you), then buy gags and tricks from Zonko's Joke Shop before you eat candy at Honeyduke's. Literally, Moaning Myrtle visits the girls' restroom and there is a 3D hologram of Dumbledore talking to you from his chambers! On your way out, you can buy souvenirs from Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods!

Oh my goodness, I'm freaking out so bad!! They incorporated so many aspects from the Potterverse. I'm amazed at everything they thought of! Not surprised though, since J.K. Rowling, herself, was completely submerged in the development of the theme park. I wonder what it feels like for her to have the creation from her own imagination become real... (Man, she is awesome! I'm so glad she's so creative!)

I can't even make sense right now. I'm just watching clip after clip and reading articles and looking at pictures. I'm obsessed. I mean, duh. I'm in love with Harry Potter everything, so of course I'm obsessed with his world becoming real! That's only natural, right? I'm not crazy... (BTW, if you've never read them, you are not allowed to answer that question. :P )


I hardly even know who I am anymore. Am I even a fan? Seriously, this is unacceptable. Absolutely inconceivable.

Are you freaking out alongside me? Are you a proud muggle who is dying to learn some magic? Want to plan a trip to Orlando, FL with me?? Let's do this!!

PS. If you could not understand 25% of the words in this post, run to the nearest library or book store and pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, stat!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Macho Mechanic

My breaks have been squealing at me for quite a while. They've actually begun to groan and moan every time I come to a stop. Surely, that can't be good. Since we're always cheapskates very frugal, Brad decided that he'd rather fix them himself than pay someone else "3 times the money" to do it for us.

So he bought the parts that the guy at Advanced Auto told him, looked up a tutorial online with labeled pictures of everything, and he changed my break pads. Or break shoes. Or maybe even rotors? (I have no idea what he did, really, other than make the bad sound stop. There's definitely a very good reason that my only involvement in these shenanigans was from behind a camera.)

There's just something so macho about seeing your husband with grease all over his hands. Even if he is making this face...

Chester wanted to help his daddy do the "big boy project," and he made great contributions to the repair by sitting directly in front of the fan for him. Thanks, Chester.  You're a real big helper!

Don't worry. Brad drove the car around the block a few times to make sure the brakes did, in fact, work, before he let me climb behind the wheel. (He's always looking out for me, that Bradley.) All week, my drive to work has been much more pleasant without the constant complaining from the back tires every time I slow down. Now I can better enjoy my 107.5 The River.

I'm totally impressed with my husband for successfully doing such a "manly" job even though he was completely unaware of how to do it in the beginning. He's such a gogetter. I really appreciate that drive in him.

Are you a DIY kinda person? Or would you rather trust things to professionals?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pop Music

I am not ashamed. (Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.) I am completely obsessed with pop music, right now. Remember when I realized that I was totally lame and decided I wanted to be hip again? Well, I took a nose-dive into mainstream music and have realized that the water is nice and warm! Not only that, but I've somehow succeeded in convincing Bradley to wade around in the pop pool alongside me!

I'm just going to go ahead and say it. We have Bieber Fever. This dude is seriously only like 16 years old, and his songs are honestly dorky, but we simply do not care. We can sing Justin Bieber's Baby all day long. Actually, we did just that the whole time we were at the water park on our anniversary trip, and nearly drove the Jordan brothers crazy. That is, until they unconscioiusly joined us for a round of the chorus. You try listening to that song and then keeping it out of your head the rest of the day! Impossible, I tell ya! That Bieber Bug is gunna hit you, too...

For weeks, Brad and I have been grooving to all the Top 40 Hits on the radio. Believe me, they play the same songs often enough that it's extremely easy to know each of them by heart after only a few days. We could totally sing Katy Perry's California Gurls a capella; we know and love it so much. Same for Train's Hey Soul Sister and Ke$ha's Your Love is My Drug, which is awful and oh-so-relatable at the same time. Seriously, I could go on and on of all the songs we sing karaoke to.

There's just something fun about embracing your dorkiness, owning your lameness, and geekily belting out these songs in the car. Or in your house. Or at a water park.

To celebrate my new found love of annoying and lame, yet completely lovable pop music, I want to share with you this mashup of some of the biggest hits from last year. It's incredible. The mashed up song is called "Blame it on the Pop," and it takes segments of various songs from 2009 and splices them together to create one geniusly blended song that "blames it on the pop, blames it on the dance, blames it on the rock 'n roll."

It took me a few times through (and another youtube video of the lyrics) for me to really understand it, but I am definitely in love with it. I was surprised how many of the songs I recognized, since I spent last year out of the loop. Huh, maybe I'm not quite so lame, after all.

Do you like current pop music? Would you admit to it if you did? Do you judge me for embracing my pop obsession? You should embrace it too, and join Brad and me in the mainstream pool of pop! The water's nice and warm... I think you just might like it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5th Celebration

Brad and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary by spending an extended weekend away together in Atlanta, Georgia. We stayed in the Beverly Hills Inn Bed and Breakfast, where we enjoyed a glass of wine in a bubble bath every night of the mini-vacation. Ahhh...

Since we've been married for half a decade now, and we're both officially in our upper twenties, we had to be all mature and sophisticated in our anniversary celebration. Our high class evening began with a fancy dinner at the Antica Posta Tuscan Restaurant, which was recommended to us by one of my coworkers. It really was fabulous, but we could hardly decide what to order since the menu was primarily in Italian. We shared an octopus salad (!) appetizer, before Brad savored some gnocchi and I relished some bow tie pasta with crab meat. Talk about yum! And then they surprised us with a Happy Anniversary dessert. We couldn't figure out if they charged us for it or not, but it was delicious, either way!

To continue with our sophistication, we took our 5-year-old marriage and our formal-for-us attire to the symphony! This was one of Brad's surprises, and I was so super excited. Brad was a band geek his whole life, but I've never been nearly cultured enough to frequent such "finer things." It really was pretty incredible... For a little bit... Then Brad and I realized that this was way too high class for us (after he accused me of falling asleep, even though we both know that I was just "envisioning the music set to a cartoon like in Fantasia in my mind."), and we snuck out during intermission.

So what if we can't can't decipher an Italian menu or quite appreciate the aspects of high society or comfortably breathe in that dress? We're still Brad and Mindy Mehaffey, and we still rock in our own layman type of way. It was really nice to mark such a special occasion with such special events that we'll always remember. But the rest of the weekend happened a little more Mehaffey style.

We spent plenty of time walking around downtown Atlanta and working our way through the public transportation. We were able to see some of Atlanta's finest features, including the Disco Kroger. (Uh, huh??)

We spent one afternoon at the Coke Museum, or what they call themselves, The World of Coca-Cola. Did you  know that Coke was invented in Atlanta? Don't worry, they'd be more than happy to tell you all about it. And we were more than happy to learn!

One of the first treats the Coke Museum had was a real life (aka, man in a suit) polar bear just to offer great photo ops! Seriously, I love cheesy photo ops. And I loved this one even more, because that polar bear reminded both of us so much of our very own little Chester! For real, this guy was legit. He could open, close, and move his eyes, move each finger/claw individually, and open and close his mouth. I'm not kidding, when he smiled, he looked just like our precious puppy. I wish we could have taken a video of him, because he seriously could communicate with people, and you could totally tell that he was so happy! He must have known that it was our wedding anniversary, however, because he did not propose to me like he did the girl before us. Maybe Brad was just way too intimidating.

The rest of the museum was awesome, too. They taught you about the origin of the soft drink, as well as the "most recognized logo in the world," let you walk through a bottling process, displayed Coke memorabilia, aired all of the Coca Cola commercials, had interactive exhibits allowing you to draw your own Coke art, presented a 4-D movie searching for the "secret formula," and so much more. It really was quite fun.

Probably, the most memorable portion of the tour was also the last - the tasting station. They had over 60 different fountain drinks provided by Coke from all around the world. Let me tell you, everything outside of the USA was dis-gust-ing! Blegch! Brad and I had a pretty good system going where we would each put a beverage in our cup, taste it, then swap. We literally sampled every flavor, and didn't find a single one that was even decent. Thankfully, there was a final USA Coke room that just offered all of the different Coke products we know and love here. Ahh, it felt good to be home again.

Saturday morning, we really got back to our roots by going to Six Flags White Water. (Theme parks are our bread and butter.) We met our friend, Kris, there, who currently lives across the street from us but is from Atlanta and was in town the same weekend for his wife's family baby shower. Anyway, Kris and his brothers were skipping the shower to go to the water park, and we tagged along. He has a waterproof camera (how cool is that??), and was able to get some pretty great action shots on some of the best water slides. We had so much fun, and I'm proud to say that we did not get roasted, thanks to the gallons of sunscreen we applied rigorously throughout the day. These pale complexions have learned their lessons.

After the fun in the sun, we joined Kris and Emily and their families at Stone Mountain. Have you ever heard of this place? Me either, but it was way awesome! It's basically exactly what it sounds like, a big giant mountain of stone. But they have a whole little village thing going on, kind of like Gatlinburg. It's totally a tourist trap, but since I am the target market, I eat it all right up. There were lots of shops, putt-putt courses, ropes courses, hotels, lodges, and camp sites.

Sadly, we were only there long enough to enjoy one aspect of the mountain. Happily, it was the best part! The Laser Show!! Once night falls, they do this whole laser show on the face of the mountain intertwined with a fireworks display all set to great music. Most of it was dedicated to Atlanta, Georgia, or other Southern states (Sweet Home Alabama). They basically made an entire music video narrating The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and it was fantastic. Brad and I were like little kids on our big quilt enjoying the great show.

Oh, speaking of being little kids, Brad couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy some cotton candy as a tribute to the tons and tons of it we consumed on our honeymoon. Only then it was called Candy Floss, because we were in Canada (Niagara Falls), and it was a little more rebellious to eat it for dinner every night, because we were very brand new adults. The memory was great to relive, exactly five years later.

Can you believe we've been married for five years?? I know I can't. Either I think we just got married last month, or that we've been married our whole lives. But either way, definitely not five years.

I can't believe how far we've come and all that we've been through in such a short period of time. We still have so far to go and so much to do together. Thank goodness we have the next 60 years to do it all side by side. We truly are blessed to have each other. I pray that we never forget that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chester's surrogate family

Brad and I took an extended weekend vacation away to celebrate our 5th Anniversary. (You can definitely be expecting some blog posts.) This meant that Chester got his own extended weekend vacation with his new favorite friends, Lindsey, my friend from work, and her roommate, Claire.  

He has stayed with them quite a bit lately, as Brad and I have been on camping trips and graduation travels and whatnot, and he totally loves it at their house. First of all, they don't own a pet, so when he's there, he rules the roost. And not only that, but since they aren't used to having a dog around, they spoil him completely rotten. He sits on their laps, sleeps in Lindsey's bed with her, goes on car rides all the time, and gets the opportunity to do tons of tricks for tons of treats. Believe me, every time we leave him, I'm afraid he won't want to come back home with us when we return.

But this past weekend, he didn't forget about us at all! He (well, Claire) tweeted us this adorable postcard wishing us a happy anniversary! It sure is nice to know that he's still thinking of us even amidst the sea of treats and spoilage over there at their casa.

Which, by the way, you better believe he got a big fat treat for posing for this picture. (It was actually hovering above the camera at the time of this shot...) Seriously, I can't believe he even jumped back into our car, yesterday. I guess he has little control over his excitement when he hears "Do you wanna go bye-bye??" I mean, who does, really?

Friday, June 11, 2010

5 Blessed Years

Today is our five year anniversary.

I can't even begin to describe what our marriage means to me, or how wonderful of a husband Brad is. I honestly could go on and on (and often do) about our love. So, for now, I'll just thank our Lord for the blessings of marriage and of each other. Five years sure has gone by fast.

You hold my heart in your hands, Bradley. Thank you for taking such great care of it. I love you with all that I am. I am so proud to be your wife.
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