Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Could anything be more lovely than Christmas in Illinois? Look at the beautiful picture of Christmas in Chicago! Need I say more? ;)

Tamara and I have been so blessed this year, and 90% of those blessings come from the love and support of family and friends. Thank you all for being patient and loving towards the Brauns, even when we don't deserve it. Just know there is always room at the Braun inn for all of you.

We wish everyone a magical Christmas holiday, wherever you might be!

Warmest Christmas wishes,
The Brauns

Monday, December 17, 2007

Explain this!

OK, so I just heard on the radio that eleventy billion Cowboys fans are all mad at Jessica Simpson for Romo's performance in the last Cowboys game (which incidentally, I happily heard it was his worst in his career - college or pro).

Here's where you lost me. We were all mad at Carrie Underwood when she was linked to Romo because he was similarly playing badly back then.

So, from where I sit, there is one constant and it isn't the chica sitting next to him. Why do these crazy die hard Cowboys fans not blame Romo for 1. most recently, having very very bad taste (I mean, Jessica Simpson? My expeirence with Mid West Boys is they have their feet on the ground and good heads on their shoulders. Is this a classic opposites attract for the Ro-Man?) and 2. Not being able to keep his head in the game!

Really folks, the fact that the girls exist is not their problem. We have their parents to thank (or blame...ahem...Joe Simpson) for that. And that Tony is attracted to them and wants to spend time with them? That's pretty much a combination between laws of nature and some poor choices on Romo's part. But if he makes a career out of playing football and gets paid what he does to do it, why is he not being held accountable for not doing what he is contracted to do?

And P.S. , make no mistake about it. I'm tickled pink every time the Cowboys really matters not why in my book. But let's give credit where credit is due. This concludes my rant. Thanks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shake it like it's hot...

Happy birthday, Mr. Braun. Today we celebrate how awesome Adam is!

How do you not love a guy who will surprise you with AMAZING tickets to a baseball game on the Fourth of July because he knows your family goes every year and you were going to feel homesick if you didn't get to go.

Or who will study up on proper Nascar etiquette (as if there is such a thing) because you and one of your BFFs get the hairbrained idea that you really must go to Nascar, just once, if you're ever going to fully experience Texas. (Such a good sport. Hence the ear coverings pictured below.)

One of the greatest things about Adam is everyone just likes him. I've never known anyone to meet Adam and not just love him within minutes. In fact, people usually threaten to stop hanging out with me if I don't bring him along.

He's a better cook than I. It's only obvious that he's nicer than I am and he knows how to get that horribly annoying impossible plastic covering that batteries come in without breaking his hand or getting a jack hammer out. Plus, he's corn-fed. I mean, what's not to like?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nothing Says Love Like...

1. A christmas tree, complete with lights. It's our first Christmas married and so Adam surprised me tonight with our very first Christmas Tree. He even tricked me into telling him what kinds of lights I like on my Christmas Tree and put those on so that when I walked in the door this evening, I could smell the wonderful smell of pine and there was a soft glow in our dining room from the tree. AND he was even so thoughtful to wait on ornaments to let me pick out just the ones I wanted.

2. Hot Tamales. They are my favorite candy and Adam brought some home to surprise me! And better yet, he even wrapped it (complete with a bow) and put my little present on the tree. I love surprises even more than almost anything I can think of and I got 2 in one night! This is the best Wednesday night of my life. Thanks Adam! Maybe this week will turn out better than I thought... :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


So, for this post, I'm going to need you all to channel Clark W. Griswold. So, I'm pulling out of my driveway at zero miles an hour. I'm watching behind me because I have to be very careful how I pull out since our fence borders our driveway in the back and so if I swerve even a snitch I'll take out my own fence. On the radio (this is not a lie) "Happy holiday, Happy holiday, May the calendar keep bringing happy holidays to you." All of the sudden, my car is just JOLTED, I mean rocked like a baby with colic.
I look behind me and see nothing. I put on the e-brake thinking "I'm not far enough out of my driveway to have it a trash can." I look to the right. Nothing. I look to the left to find a car that had sped down the alley behind our house SO FAST that she couldn't even pull her car to a stop until she was cleanly in front of the house next door to mine.

Her front fender was crumpled back showing the scars of functionally side swiping my bumper. Oh, and her hubcap had popped off and was resting soundly (what was left of it) in my drive way.

This sweet little sister (not so much) then pranced herself out of the car and confessed the following two things:

1. This happened to me in our last neighborhood. (Things that came to mind to say: 1. "Does it count as 'happening to you' if you're the one that causes it?" and 2. "Genius, learn your lesson and stop barrelling down the blind alley!")

2. I just didn't see you. I completely didn't see you. (Things that came to mind to say: 1. "Well did you see what was on your ipod which you were fiddling with when you Kabloooied poor innocent Reginald?" and 2. "I hope the song was good b/c it's gonna cost you!")

And worse! Poor Adam still suffering from back trauma hears the sound (and heaven can only imagine what he must have thought happened) has to haul his stricken carcass out to survey the damage. Luckily the appraiser saw my car this afternoon and felt optimistic that it couldn't be my fault. I heart him.

And the photo? While this isn't my trusty car Reggie, it's an accurate represenatation of how he feels this afternoon. Get well cards to Reggie are totally appropriate. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

There's something about the holidays that just brings families together. Who can look upon this sweet little manger scene and not feel a warmth and love toward all of their brothers, indeed, toward all mankind. Oh I know...that'd be me and if you look closer, I think you might understand why. Click on this picture below and you'll find that this peaceful manger scene is ruined by 2 things. 1) I was Mary and my brother Dale was Joseph (which I'm pretty sure is just blaspheme for any number of reasons) and 2) your eyes are not playing tricks on you. My brother is, in fact, sticking his tongue out at me. But other than's all quite festive, wouldn't you say?
For those of you out of towners, each of the stakes in the Dallas area does a Christmas Nativity exhibit and all members are invited to lend their nativies to the stake for display for about a week at the beginning of the Christmas season. We then invite friends and co workers of other faiths to come into our church buildings that week and enjoy the exhibit displaying the hundreds of nativities from all over the world (and one live nativity which is what Dale and I were doing in those get ups). Children's choirs (usually primary kids) sing softly in the background. Adults volunteer to host the event and answer any questions that may come up. I'll be honest. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a snitch cheesy of an idea but being there last night definitely changed my mind. I saw wonder and awe in the eyes of so many people as they wandered around and became aware of what our church really is about, that we do celebrate Christmas and the wonder of Christ's birth.
After our shift was over, I took a lap around the exhibit myself and felt the most amazing peaceful feeling. I was most impressed by the nativities from countries far away and the way that each nationality had fashioned the figures in the nativity to look and dress the way people of that nationality would dress. It made me remember and feel joy that the good news of Christ's birth is true and real and relevant in any language and in any country and that the gospel that Jesus Christ brought is for all of us. And that really did fill me with a sense of good will toward my fellow man...even Dale. So much so that I was even able to sit reverently for this picture. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2007

M&A Humor, Anyone?

Found these online. My guess is 1 out of 10 of you will find these at least marginally entertaining...

In the wake of the Exxon/Mobil deal and the AOL/Netscape deal, here are the latest corporate mergers we can expect to see:

Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W.R. Grace Company merge to become "Hale Mary Fuller Grace".

Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers merge to become "Polly-Warner-Cracker."

3M and Goodyear merge to become "MMMGood."

John Deere and Abitibi-Price merge to become "Deere Abi."

Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining merge to become "Zip Audi Do Da."

Honeywell, Imasco, and Home Oil merge to become "Honey I'm Home."

Denison Mines, and Alliance and Metal Mining merge to become "Mine All Mine."

Federal Express and UPS merge to become "FED UP"

Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will merge and become "Fairwell Honeychild"

3M, J.C. Penney and the Canadian Opera Company will merge and become "3 Penney Opera"

Grey Poupon & Dockers Pants will merge and becomes "Poupon Pants"

Knott's Berry Farm & National Organization of Women will merge and become "Knott NOW!"

Cessna Aircraft and the Whirlpool Corporation are merging to form "Cesspool."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The day I lost all pride...

Well, I guess since you folks are friends of mine, it's safe to share this with you. For the backdrop behind the humiliation of my lifetime, I take you to a video arcade. No, that's right. I said a video arcade.
So, I got to go along with my friend Lois on a scavengar hunt her husband had set up for her birthday. It was hilarious and a lot of fun until this... Our last stop was at a video arcade. Did I have to beat the Dragon/ Firebreathing Turtle on Supermario Bros to save the Princess and get the prize at the hunt's end? No. Did I have to get the little frog across the road without getting splatted by the cars? Negatory.
Indeed, I had to milk a mechanical cow. AND I had to have my pictured taken in doing it. And that, Saturday, November 18, 2007 was the day my pride died.

Tagging - the revenge

I was tagged by Sarah ( who was my college roommate and is, incidentally, one of those freakish people who keeps getting cuter every time I see her) with this brand new kind of survey so here goes. The rules go like this:

1. List the link to your tagger and also post these following rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird, etc.
3. Tag 7 people at the the end of your blog also leaving the links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are “TAGGED” by leaving a comment on their blog.

Since my Tagger didn't follow rules 1 and 4, I won't either. And with that, here are top 7 random facts about Tamara.

1. I am a college football junkie. Since I was a little girl, my family has had tickets to UCLA football games. Those long afternoons spent at the Rose Bowl are some of my favorite. And secretly, whenever a UCLA game is on TV out here in Texas, I still call my dad and we watch the game together on speaker phone and proudly do the 8-clap on the phone so we can pretend that we're still watching the game together. I blame my dad for the fact that New Year's Day means nothing more to me than football, football and more football.

2. If I had my way, I would be a writer professionally. I've toyed with different genres and each one proves to be more inviting to me than the last. I'm always embarassed to have someone read my original compositions because I know there are so many amazing writers out there and I know I would have a lot of editing ahead of me and it might hurt my pride. It seems presumptuous of me to fancy myself anywhere near as amazing one of the literary masters I adore but in my wildest dreams, I imagine myself quitting my job and spending time in the early morning light sipping chamomile tea and agonizing over the final twist in my best selling novel.

3. I used to do commercials and TV shows. Nothing spectacular and I will never be famous. My largest claim to fame was I was the stunt girl for the little girl in Adventures in Babysitting. The joke of all those years spent in front of the camera is that I hated every second of it. I was terrified of auditions, I was embarassed during rehearsals and I somehow managed to blush at all the most inconvenient times.

4. I secretly idolize the Abigail Adams. In fact, I am a junkie for biographies about anyone who was involved in early American politics. One of my favorites was His Excellency (which is George Washington's biography) and, although we all know how the story went, I still cried when he died at the end. I also loved John Adams' biography as well as Benjamin Franklin's. 1776 was also noteworthy and if anyone needs to have a nerd moment, I'm happy to let you borrow any of those works.

5. I have a viceral objection to making homemade bread in a bread maker. I know it's easier to do it that way and I even know that it still tastes pretty good. In my opinion, though, the texture of Grandma's bread will never be right until it has been kneaded with my own two hands until it is perfectly springy and deliciously light. Ask Grandma. She'll back me up.

6. I'm pathetically nostalgic. I can hardly speak of my family or my favorite memories without crying. It embarasses me. I get homesick really easily. I can sit and look at old pictures or reminisce with my brother that lives here close and never get sick of it. I have a feeling I will definitely be that old lady who talks and talks and talks for decades about the good old days because, let's be honest, I'm guilty of it even now.

7. I don't like sweet potatoes, dressing or pumpkin pie. With Thanksgiving coming, I thought I should disclose that because I realize it's un-American and so those of you who can no longer be friends with me can just make that known right now.

And now, I get to tag the next victims. So, in no particular order, I tag Molly, Stephanie Lisonbee, Lois, Stephanie Ryan, Doug and Dr. Findley. Off you go, guys!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Halloween's over but the fun goes on.

I know this is a little late but Adam and I went to the Dallas Arboretum with the nieces and nephew and my brother and sister in law. It was a perfect fall day and we had such a fun time with the girls. Is it me or does it seem like everything is more fun with the little ones around? Anyway, for those of you who don't stalk my family's blog and haven't already seen these, (*cough*LOIS*) here are the pictures of our outing. I have to echo what my friend Rebecca said ...there's nothing cuter than guys with babies. The girls seem to just adore adam and the feeling is definitely mutual. He hung out with them all day and showed them around.
This was inside a ginormous TeePee (sp?) and there were all these animal skins everywhere. We may need to sign Brooke up for PETA b/c I'm not sure she was down with these. There was this awesome house of pumpkins and a giant pumpkin that this one dude was carving. I am in love with the fact that here in Dallas, Fall means 75 degrees. I can't seem to find it in my heart to miss the snow...ever! If anyone is feeling in a fall mood and wants to head over to the arboretum, call me. I am in love with the weather these days and I can't seem to get enough pumpkin anything! MMMmmm, pumkin....If you'll excuse me, I seem to feel an uncontrollable urge to whip up some pumpkin bars.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Oldie but Goodie

A woman went to the doctor's office where she was seen by one of the younger doctors. After about four minutes in the examination room, she burst out, screaming as she ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was and she told him her story. After listening, he had her sit down and relax in another room. The older doctor marched down the hallway to the back where the young doctor was writing on his clipboard. "What's the matter with you?" the older doctor demanded. "Mrs. Reid is 62 years old, has four grown children and seven grandchildren and you told her she was pregnant?"

The younger doctor continued writing and without looking up said, "Does she still have the hiccups?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Potty Humor?

Should I be weirded out that any time I enter the restroom here at work the same guy is in there? We're talking EVERY, single time! Seriously, this guy is always in the bathroom taking care of business. And one of the weirdest things is when he is in a stall, his feet always face the toilet, which leads one to believe he's facing it, but if you just go with me on this one, he doesn't sound like he should be facing the toilet.

And he is an eerie-looking gentleman--short, very pale (alomost yellow skin), glasses from the 60s, curly hair, pants at least 5 inches too short, walks very slowly, washes his hands for 10 minutes. Are you getting a good mental picture yet? I tried for months to get close enough to him to read the name on his badge so I could look him up and was only successful after about a dozen close calls (he definitely thinks I've broken the personal space man law).

Turns out he's a patent lawyer. I guess that explains it...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Well, it was Halloween and my brother and sister in law (pictured below) were nice enough to let the auntie and uncle join them for a round of trick or treat. Here they are just before leaving to trick or treat. Aren't they a fun looking bunch? The blur is what happens when you attempt to take a picture with flash of two very restless two year olds.
Here's uncle Adam after a handful or two of fun sized candy bars...he was having a blast!
I just love this shot of Brooke in her carseat with all of the fluff just overwhelming her. Poor kids kept getting feathers in their mouths but the reaction of the neighbors when they saw the costumes was worth it ...(at least to those of us who DIDN'T have feathers in our mouths).
And here's the parting shot of the girls and Brandon at the last house we trick or treated. Can you imagine opening the door with these cuties standing out there? I'd have dumped the entire bowl of candy in their bags.
And we got home just in time to rest our tired, Halloween sock wearing feet. Happy Halloween everyone. What about you guys? What did you all do for Halloween? what were the best costumes you saw?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Since I don't have kids of my own, I thought I'd spread the holiday cheer with my nieces and nephews. Don't know you wish you saw these guys at your door shouting "Trick or Treat!" I'd also like to take this opportunity to brag about my sister in law who is mad crazy amazing for HAND MAKING these chick costumes.
And I'd like to thank the powers that be for the favorable gene pool that brought us all this darling halloween treat.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Welcome to our house!

I know it has taken us forever but I finally got around to snapping a few shots of our house. I'm obviously in need of drinking my V-8 (or stopping drinking whatever else that Adam is evidently spiking my Kool-Aid with) because some of these pictures turned out pretty crooked but if you can ignore that, you'll get a sneak peek at our house.

So first, here is our front door and foyer. You can't see the door all that well but it's a beautiful deep red, almost cherry cordial. I love this part of the house. It feels so open. On the right is the living room and the left is the dining room and then just past the living room on the right is the hall to the guest bedrooms. Pictures of those to follow.
Below is a before picture of the kitchen. This is how it looked when we first saw it. The picture really doesn't do any kind of justice to the hideous nature of the mustard color that was on the walls.
This is how it looked when we took possession of the house. Keep in mind that the lights are off so it looks darker in here than it really is.
Here's Adam all in his work clothes and going ahead and flexing for all you adoring fans out there. He's taping in preparation for banishing that horrible yellow color and I just happened to luck out enough to have caught him mid pose. I know. Aren't you all jealous that he's taken?!?
Here's our kitchen now. We painted a rich chocolate brown and when you're inside the kitchen, you actually want to lick the walls. (I actually own a picture of my sister in law licking the wall. Because I love her, I promised her I'd refrain from posting it but I mention that to express how yummy the color of the walls is. As it dripped off the roller when I first painted it, it literally looked like milk chocolate running off the brush. DELICIOUS! We don't have our art up in any room of the house yet. That'll be our next project but for now, at least we've painted!
Here's a photo of the kitchen from the family room area. I love the granite countertops and I love how much bigger the kitchen is than our postage stamp kitchen in our apartment. I've even taken up cooking and baking since we moved in. I think if Adam had known what effect this kitchen would have on me, we'd have bought a home much sooner! :)
Here is the "before" picture of the Master Bedroom. The window you see looks out into the back yard. I love all the natural light in this room!
Here's what we've done with the place. I want to put a cushion in the window seat and a chair/ ottoman over there on that side of the room to take advantage of the light over there. The lighting is a bit deceiving in the pics but this is by far my favorite room of the house. It is the most relaxing room in the house. It's spectacular. I have the hardest time convincing myself to get out of bed in the morning to face the day. I never want to leave!
The other side of our room.
And a full head on shot of our bed...which apparently also should have had a V-8. Sorry for the crooked shot.
Anyway, there's your first installment of our house. We're so excited. We hope you guys will all come over for dinner, a game night or to stay for a weekend. We are so excited to have a house and we love visitors!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Go Tamara, it's your birthday...

So, Saturday was my birthday and you all get to relive it with me! First off, I started out before it was even my birthday with a present...Marisa was in town and she was ditched her cushy digs at a 5 star hotel to be our first guest here at Hotel Braun. The three of us started off the day by heading to the Texas State Fair. I'd never been to a State Fair so Marisa and Adam were kind enough to humor me. Here's proof: So first I wanted to go see the animals. I'd seen my nephew's photos when he went to the state fair with the Cub Scouts and ...well...if it's good enough for the Cub Scouts, it's good enough for me! Here I am with my buddy, the Giraffe. (Please no comments on my puffy hair. It's Texas. It's humid, and it was my birthday. I don't have to straighten it if I don't want to!) I also saw little dude who was a baby goat or deer or something that would grow up to be a big-ish mammal. I got to pet a sheep with a buzz and I had a very lovely moment with an itty bitty piggy. Marisa and Adam were at least somewhat entertained by the fact that I had to ask them what most of the animals were before I petted them because I at least wanted to know what species I was touching.

Not this little fella, though. I knew right of that this dude was a cow. Or a bull, I guess, since he has horns. He was awesomely large and he mooed super loud. Other highlights include an 1,100 pound swine, a llama with a full fledged mullet (Al Paca, actually) and an ostrich who, in it's haste to eat the sunflower seeds out of the petting zoo attendant's plastic cup, finally pecked the cup out of the lady's hand and then swallowed the entire thing! We got to watch it shimmy down it's long skinny throat. Is it wrong that I was pretty entertained? Oh sure, i was worried at first but the worker guy told us that it happens a lot... so then it was just funny.
And here are the good sports out in front of "Big Tex," our host for the day at the fair. He even talks. And yes...for those who were wondering, Big Tex's jeans are Wranglers if you must know.
And here is why Adam gets "Husband of the Year." (Please note that this all occured just a day after "the Spill" so extra points were awarded for putting the wife's psychosis behind him on her birthday despite its close proximity to the incident.) So, we got finished with the fair and I thought we were just going to have a quiet evening at home watching the game. The doorbell rang and Adam went and got it. Suddenly, some of my favorite peeps just started coming on in the door. Yay for throwing me a surprise party. I LOVE SURPRISES! I couldn't have been happier. I spent the day in the company of good friends and on the phone with family and friends and the evening stuffing my face full of delectable treats!
Here are some of my favorite party girls.
And my GFBF (Gluten Free Best Friend) Lois. (You'll recognize her by the incredible amount of Florida Gator gear she's wearing...her team won that day.) She is such a doll. She baked a double layer chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries and drizzled with what? Oh, ANOTHER LAYER OF CHOCOLATE. Sweet nectar of goodness. Oh, did I mention it was all gluten free? And it tasted SO divine. We had a ton of fun. Hung out, played games, chased the kiddos and laughed our crazy heads off. Does it get better than that?

And, despite their best efforts, my UCLA Bruins even managed to eek out a win. Can you imagine a more blissful day? The weather was perfect. I had perfect company and decadent food. I got to see things I'd never seen before and do it with people I love. Thanks everyone for such a perfect day. Oh, and thanks to Adam who rummaged through the garage for my camera cord to upload pictures. Stay tuned. More pictures coming soon...whether you like it or not!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why painting anything at 4 am is not a good idea...

So, we moved into our house about 3 weeks ago and I had decided that I was done with having blue painter's tape still up in every room of our house. I informed Adam of my feelings and so he worked ridiculously hard all week after work to paint and touch up and finish up all of the paint. But it was Thursday night and I had had enough. I just could not take one more day of not "living" in the house we moved into 3 weeks ago. Well, tenacious soul that I am (and let me be clear to say that I use the word tenacious so I don't have to admit to being stubborn or obstinate), I pranced myself up to the top of the ladder in our living room and dining room to paint the crown moulding and then have the glorious boon of ripping down the festering painter's tape once and for all. And with that, the stage was set.

At first I was just frustrated as all get out. It was me against the ceiling and I was going to win. Since I'm not a tall person and my arms aren't extraordinarily long, I could paint a full six inches on either side of where I stood on the top of the ladder before I had to get down, take the paint can and rollers down, move the tarp, move the ladder and relocate to exactly 12 inches from where I had been before. The progress was slow but I was on a mission and I was not to be deterred. As it went on, I sort of got this self satisfied grin on my face thinking "boy, will Adam think I'm a rock star when he sees what I've done." (Nevermind that he was in the other room at the time doing touch ups and painting trim because he wouldn't go to sleep while I was up working...can you believe what a sainted soul he is?) I'm cruising along and before I knew it, I was one side of the dining room wall away from finishing the first coat of that crown moulding. Then, at around 3:45 a stroke of genius hit me. I would go to the garage and get the other drop cloths and line each of the walls so that when I moved the ladder, rollers and paint, I wouldn't also have to move the tarps as I went around to do the second coat. We just put in new carpet so I had to be super careful to not drip (and from 12 feet up, that's hard to do!)

So, to the garage I went. I got the drop cloths, lined each of the walls and just had that last wall to line before I could get up to the top of the ladder, finish my task and do the final endzone dance at being done with the painting. The momentum was building. It was to be my triumph. So that last tarp had gotten caught a little bit under the corner of the ladder. I went over and gave it a tug and then I heard this sort of rattling sound. Instinctively, I turned and looked just in time to watch the GALLON of paint careening from the top of the ladder and thudding on the floor. It of course the can landed on the corner and paint literally spewed forth in the ONE CORNER THAT DID NOT HAVE A DROP CLOTH!!!! You guys, it literally was like a movie. It was in slow motion and as it fell, I just could not fathom that it was really happening. On my beautifully freshly painted walls, there was a WHITE GLOSSY SPLATTER that went half way up the wall, on the shutters, on the window sill and on the baseboards. Oh, and it doesn't stop there! No sir. There was paint literally pooling on my BRAND NEW CARPET! No exaggeration: I let out the most primal, blood curdling, horror movie-esque scream. It even startled me. Poor Adam was clear on the other side of the house and came SPRINTING in to find out what had happened.

Lucky for me, he didn't kill me that I had scared him for that and then, in the calmest, most unaffected voice, he said "it's OK. It'll be fine. We'll clean it up." Yeah, here's my brilliant method. I straight like sprayed water on it and was mopping it up with a dish towel. What I thought this was doing to help the situation, I'll never know but it was worth trying, right? I can not describe the extent of the meltdown I had at the sight of my ruined carpet. It was a cross between hysteria and a straight nervous breakdown. I was inconsolable and not even making complete sentences. IT WAS 4 am PEOPLE!

Well, I happen to have married someone who is incredibly calm in tragic situations and super smart. He devises this plan by which he will flood the carpet and then flush the water over to the tile which bordered the carpet. I watched as he did it and over and over he flushed the paint from the carpet and the water came out on the other side a very very milky white shade. So there I am, whimpering and crying, in the corner and mumbling something about being sorry that I wrecked our dining room. He never even got rattled for a second. It was amazing, as if he instinctively knew that latex based paint if not dry will not adhere to a surface if it is mixed with water. And then, even though it was me who had insisted that we stay up until this project was finished THAT NIGHT and after Adam had been up till like 2 am the day before, sent me to go get cleaned up and get some rest, and then he climbed the ladder and finished painting the crown moulding and took down the tape. When I got up in the morning, the painter's tape was down and the carpet had almost dried from the incident which we've now named "The Spill."

AND THEN, our good friend called Adam that afternoon to see what he was up to and he mentioned what had happened the night before. Our friend then says "hey, you know what? I have a carpet shampooer and I'm not too busy right now. Want me to come over?" So literally, on a Friday night, Doug just drops what he's doing and cruises on over to shampoo the Bad News Bears' carpet. I walk in the door that night to find that Adam has worked from home all day so he has the house in PERFECT condition and Doug was just wrapping up finishing cleaning the carpet. Adam had repainted the wall and you literally could not tell that I had made such a fiasco of the night (morning) before. So what if I hugged the carpet cleaner maching would have too! Thank heavens for men who are patient and put up with their wives...and have really nice friends who come to pitch in and help. You're the greatest. And that, folks, is why nothing is EVER worth painting at 4 a.m. Consider yourselves warned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Introducing Nathan James Lisonbee

So, I may be a little slow but here he is making his debut on Blog Braun. I love the way the sunlight hits his tiny infant body. Aren't they so precious when they are just tiny! And, as seems to be custom in my family, he got his first nickname just moments after he was named. He is now affectionately known as "Nate Dawg." These little frog legs of his (as my sister in law calls them) are so adorable. I love baby toes and the way they can wrap their tiny hands around just one of our fingers. I can't wait to meet this little guy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feliz Cumpleanos Papa!

Today is my dad's birthday. He doesn't read my blog so this is more for me than him but I just wanted to give a nod to the coolest dad in the world. (I think all dads in the world can be tied for the coolest if they try so nobody feel offended). I feel like all of you must just be sick to death of hearing stories about my dad because I talk about him nearly incessantly. I can't stop myself. I was always a Daddy's girl and I guess I always will be. I think quite a lot of the reason that I loved Adam right away is that he's so similar to my dad.

I love how my dad cracks himself up. I love how he's so brilliant, so off the charts intelligent and yet so humble. I love how he tries so hard for his family, how his highest honor and favorite job has always been being our dad. I love that his first order of business whenever he came home from work was to play with us. I love how he told us how frequently that he loved us and was proud of us and then immediately after he pushed us to work harder, set higher goals and think of who else might need our help. I love his passion for learning, not just about books but about anything. I love how in his mind, there is nothing insurmountable if you set your mind to it and just try. I love how he delights in the simplest smallest pleasures in life. I love that he relies entirely on prayer and his Father in Heaven to govern his life. I love that he is mischeivious and will deny it when he gets caught! He is incredibly grateful and generous. He hates rainy days and loves college football. And tickling his kids (even those of us that are grown.) He gives well thought out advice that only comes from the wisdom of years and hard knocks. He can't sit still. He's so full of life that he just wants to squeeze every morsel out of it and that is contagious. You can't be around him and not feel better about yourself and more excited about being alive. His grandkids adore him and beg him to play monster with him...and nothing could make him any happier. I sure I couldn't have done anything to deserve him but I'm glad heaven was so worried about me making a disaster of my life even before I was born that he sent me my dad and my mom to see if they could straighten me out.

Anyway, I hate being away from him on our birthdays because we used to celebrate them together and I can't think of anyone under the sun who I'd rather share that day with. It always feels weird to have a birthday without sitting next to him and waiting to blow out our candles together. He's such a kid at heart that I think we were both equally excited when I got new toys as a little girl so he could help me put them together and then try them out. Each year that passes, I become more thankful that he's in the world and that I am blessed to be his daughter. I love you Dad! Thanks for being this girl's hero.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My old romper stomper grounds.

So Adam and I got sent on a recruiting trip to BYU so I thought it'd be fun to head out there the weekend before so I could show him some of my old haunts from back in the day. For you Riviera alumni out there, I took him by our old apartment and showed him the luxury of our old digs - the sand volleyball courts, the ghetto parking lot and, my favorite, how you could see Catherine and Sarah's windows all the way from the street. I had such good memories flooding to my mind as we went by there. For some reason I couldn't get the idea of being at Denny's at 2am during finals week and playing clue until all hours of the night out of my head. Ah, the good old days. Amy was kind enough to let us have 2 of her football tickets so we got to go the game with her and Suz. It was awesomes. BYU actually beat the University of Arizona and, although it was a bazillion degrees as you can see in the photo, we had so much fun. It was Adam's first time in LaVelle Edwards Stadium and even though we couldn't quite convince him to Rise and Shout, I think we're wearing him down. Maybe next time he'll do it. Also, Ty Detmer and Gifford Neilson had their jerseys retired that day. Detmer was always one of Adam's favorite players so that made it even more fun for him.
Then, Suz (who was kind enough to let us stay at hotel Doll) had a dinner party on Sunday which was just perfect for all of us to catch up with one another. Some of my favorite people in the world (Marisa, my sister Courtney, Kathy, Natalie and Suzi) were there and it felt like old times. All of us girls around a table laughing and talking and just enjoying some good quality girl time. Oh, and did I mention Adam was there? Im pretty sure it was his favorite part of the weekend. What husband in America wouldn't LOVE to spend like 4 hours in the company of his wife with 5 of her closest friends complaining about dating and boys and why it all has to be so weird? I mean, I'm pretty sure that he'll be in therapy soon for what he had to hear that night but he's a resiliant kid. He'll get over it...I think. Actually, he had a great time too (although he'll deny it if you ask him). We all had some good laughs and really enjoyed the time together. Thanks Suz. You're the greatest.
On Monday we went to do some sight seeing in Salt Lake City. Suz was a good sport and came along as did our other good friend Adam Findley. We took a tour of the conference center roof and building. It is an amazing structure. I 'd been there for conference but never for the tour. it's just so awesome. The church thinks of everything, I swear. From logistics to architecture to aesthetics. Those old dudes are amazing!
We also took a stroll around temple square and came across this pioneer cabin. It's only 300 square feet and like 4 people lived in it. YIKES. Then we cruised over by the Lion house and the Beehive house. I swear, I must have been to SLC a thousand times and I could go a thousand more. I can't get sick of that place.
And finally, the luckiest part of all was that our trip coincided with my Mom's trip up to help move Courtney in to her place. Ever the boy scout, Adam made sure he made plenty of time to help them carry the heavy boxes up the stairs to Courtney's place and move the big stuff around for her which left me time visit with my mom and Courtney. Here's him in action. Meanwhile, I had the greatest time ever. Thanks everyone for rearranging your schedules so we could spend some time with you guys. We hope you get sent to Dallas on business (or pleasure) sometime soon so that we can return the favor. I'm happy to report that the hotel Braun is now up and running and you're all welcome to come. The more the merrier!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Even Gollum can't believe it!

Job site recently asked pollsters Harris Interactive to survey hiring managers and find out the wackiest resume items they've seen lately. Out of 2,627 responses, here are the top ten:

A job candidate...
1. ... attached a letter from her mother.
2. ... used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.
3. ... explained a three-month gap in employment by saying that he was getting over the death of his cat.
4. ... specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays is limited because the weekends are "drinking time."
5. ... included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.
6. ... drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said the car would be a gift to the hiring manager.
7. ... listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching alligators.
8. ... mentioned the fact that her sister had once won a strawberry-eating contest.
9. ... stated that he works well in the nude.
10. ... explained an arrest record by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."