Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kickball Wars

Brad and I participated in a pretty brutal game of kickball on Memorial Day. The teams were definitely hard core.

My team dubbed ourselves The Cicadas, since we were everywhere and unstoppable. Baby Harper was our secret weapon.

The temperature was literally 100 degrees, and we were all roasting in the midday sun. It felt like the game lasted roughly 3 years and consisted of approximately 75 innings, but I think it was actually only 11 innings by the end of it. We called it a truce with a tied score of  2 to 2. (The minimal runs simply demonstrate the extreme  pro-ness of our defenses.)

Take a minute to enjoy our totally legit basekickball cards.

Yeah, I told you we were pretty hard core.

We had a really great time playing and goofing around with our friends, and the constant consumption of watermelon helped us survive the blazing sun. Also, I'm proud to notify you all that I never Charlie Browned the ball, and I even made it safely to base, twice! (Once, even to second!) You better believe I did a mighty fine victory dance to celebrate.

However, if you're wondering, yes, I am very sore after such athletic activities. This ole body just ain't used to all that running and kicking. And furthermore, yes, Brad and I are both sunburnt. I at least put on some sunscreen. Brad, on the other hand, decided to be macho and declined the protective lotion. (Read: is lobster red.)

I'm anxious to hear about your Memorial Day festivities. Did you have a great extended weekend? Enjoy some time outside? Increase your watermelon consumption by 100%? Or other things even more awesome?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hey, Homey

After more than a year in Mehaffey Manor, Brad and I finally have curtains hanging in our living room! I've wanted curtains on the windows since the day we moved in, but it was just one of those things that kept getting pushed to the back burner. However, Brad decided to gift me the curtains (and rods and rings) of my choice for my birthday! What a great gift! (I think it could have been more for him than me; I literally haven't stopped whining about our lack-of-curtains for a year. I think he's just as happy to hush me up as I am to hang them up!)

I love the sunlight streaming through the windows, so I didn't want anything too dark. I considered getting a cute pattern, but I didn't want anything to compete with the design on the rug. So, after a month of looking around, I decided to go with something simple to just soften the edges yet not add anything busy to the decor. (And under budget, mind you. You're welcome, Bradley.)

I'm so happy with the way the classic, cream sheers brighten up our otherwise brown room as well as adding that final touch of homeyness to our house; I've always believed that curtains (and rugs) are the subtle elements that complete a space. I know it's something small, but I'm so, super excited to finally have a completed living room. Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Story of Us

It may not really seem like it, but I promise I am consciously trying to make sure that Beyond Blessed doesn't become a Taylor Swift fan page. However, seeing as how I am a Taylor Swift fan, there are a few indulgences that I simply can't neglect. One of those is posting her new videos. So, here's the video of her latest single, "The Story of Us."

I know what you may be thinking. "Man, she's so beautiful?" Yes. Yes, she is. Furthermore, you may also be thinking, "Didn't she just release a different single, like, only a couple of weeks ago?" And you'd be right again. She's releasing two, simultaneously: "Mean" primarily for Country radio and this one for her Pop music fans. She's just trying to keep us all happy. That's sure is awfully kind of her, huh? ♥

Sidenote: She wrote this song about John Mayer and their post-breakup encounter at the CMT Music Awards, last year. There's a fun little tid bit for ya.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cicada Invasion 2011

Have the cicadas begun their ruthless dominion where you are?

This is the first time (that I can remember) when Music City, in its entirety, has been constantly simultaneously serenaded by the same musical tune: the rhythmic waves of the cicadas' song. Seriously, they're so loud that we can easily hear them indoors and over all the other random noises of daily life.

Some people are celebrating the fleeting lives of the insects by wearing shirts to honor their once-in-a-13-year-span visit. These people are weird.

The rest of us are frantically joining the "Swat Team" and trying to avoid the plague of red-eyed monsters at all cost.
I've all but succumbed to their temporary takeover. I have no resistance in me, only survival instincts at play. I stay inside and keep the windows shut. All urges to drive with my car windows down in order to enjoy the warm weather have been unceremoniously disregarded due to giant cicadas filling every open crack in the(ir) world. Convertibles are just plain dangerous.

The cicadan buzz, while surprisingly audible, isn't really what bothers me; it simply reminds me of summers of yore, when smaller broods have been around. Instead, it's their overwhelming presence in and of itself. I unashamedly panic when they inevitably dive bomb me on the rare occasions that I subject myself to "their territory" (read: walking to my car from inside, or inside from my car). And the crunchy shells scattered everywhere and attached to everything is super gross. I'm kind of ready to see clear skies again, rather than observing the random flights of thousands of bugs. Ew.

What about you? Are you for or against the 13-year-cicadas? They really do no harm. They don't bite or sting or anything like that. I mean, you could really look at them as a tale of tragic love: they wait over a decade before emerging from their slumber simply to find a mate  and die. Sad and romantic, maybe.

Yeah, maybe if they weren't so creepy...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Laughing Layla

I didn't think there was anything I liked more than random laughing babies, but when that laughing baby is my own best friends' daughter, the video is exponentially better! Believe me. 

Told ya. ♥

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gotta Share!

Have you ever heard of Improv Everywhere? They are hilarious. They "cause scenes" by going to regular places and (seemingly) randomly breaking out into song. If you've never watched any of their flash mobs or musicals, you'll seriously want to watch every video.

Here's their most recent release, where they focus on social media. It cracked me up and I just Gotta Share!

Could you go a while without staying connected? I have to admit, I'm kind of addicted to today's technology. I mean, I do keep a blog, obviously... Could you get up and sing a random song in front of total strangers? No way, Jose. Not this girl. But I hope you enjoy spending the rest of your day watching this group do it over and over again in all of their other videos!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Charlie Joy!

My BBF (Best Baby Friend) turns 1 today! I can't believe it's already been a whole year since she was born! I absolutely love her and just can't ever get enough of my baby girl. They celebrated her birthday with a party this past weekend. Here are a few highlights:

Emmy made her whole outfit. Incredible.


They just grow up so fast! Look at her chillin' in her car. Love it!

Happy Birthday, Charlie Joy. I love you so much!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Best Day

Taylor always seems to be able to put my thoughts into song, even on Mother's Day. So today, I'm posting this song from her sophomore album that she wrote about memories with her mother in honor of my mother.

I love you, Mom. Thanks for being my best friend as I grew up and for always being there for me even when I felt very alone in the world. I will always cherish each memory I have with you. You lovingly raised me to be who I am today, and I am so grateful for the lessons you taught me along the way. Someday I'll be a mom, myself, and I hope that I can be one like you as I strive to raise my own children. I miss you so much, Mom. But I love you even more. Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Don't be Mean to Taylor

I know I drive you crazy with all the Taylor Swift stuff on here, but I couldn't call myself a Swifty fan if I didn't share her latest video with you. She just released it tonight, and I don't want y'all to be behind (like we were last time)!

It's very similar to the live performance. I love that she uses her platform to encourage others not to give up on their dreams because of "mean" people trying to pull them down. Gotta love that Taytay. ♥

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Blessings" by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

I was introduced to this song by a friend, and it was so incredible that I couldn't help but share it with you, too. I hope you are able recognize the blessings in your life; even the ones that are currently being disguised as trials.
God is good!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

T-Swizzle concert gear

For today only, all of Taylor Swift's t-shirts in her online store are on sale for only $10! Okay, so it's obviously not a matter of whether or not I should purchase one in prep for the upcoming concert; but rather a decision of which one I should get!!

I think this one if my fave, but they only have it in XL. Boo.
I could totally proclaim my ♥ for TSwift on my chest!

And I've always really liked these ringer shirts...

But I can't ever have enough long-sleeved tees. (Especially for $10!)

However, I think I might actually be leaning toward this one that's inspired by her performance as the rapper T-Swizzle in her music video "Thug Story" with T-Pain (whom I also love, because no matter how lame, I love that auto-tuned voice!). Just because that ball of yarn and signature is simply awesome.

(Seriously, you're going to love this video. She's so funny!) 

Of course, I'm also going to get Bradley the most boring manly one while they're on sale. He can't show up at the concert unsupportive! What would my girl think??

Oh, I want them all! What's your vote? The sale only lasts today, so I've gotta act quickly!
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