Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Wow, another year gone.  This was actually a pretty good year for me, compared to the last few years.  I've mentioned before that I like "year in review" stuff, so I'm going to take a few minutes and review my 2010.

The beginning of the year was pretty quiet.  This became the year Brandon was old enough to "understand" all the holidays, and really wanted to get out and do things.

Nothing really happened in my life until March.  Brandon turned three and Nick and I began our final reconcilliation attempt, and it stuck.

In April I was at work and sprained my ankle very badly.  I fell in front of 130 kindergarteners who ran up to me wanting to make sure I was ok.  It was all I could do to not cry in front of hurt a lot!  I ended up in physical therapy and using a Cam Walker for about a month.  Fun, fun, fun.

The summer is when life became very busy.  Nick and I got remarried in June. 

Over the summer since I wasn't able to get any summer school teaching jobs, Brandon and I spent a lot of time at the park.

In July, Brandon went to the fair for the first time.

Later in August, Grandma signed Brandon up for soccer.

During the summer Nick decided that he wanted to join the military, specifically the Navy.  But due to past health issues, he was unable to join.  We began to do a lot of praying about what we should do about jobs, since California was dry in regards to me getting a teaching job.

Work and school started again in September.  I began this blog in September, and have had a blast with it!

Then in October something very odd happened to me.  One night I noticed something on my stomach that I first thought was a pimple.  It turns out that it was a spider bite.  Now, nothing for me is ever easy.  The bite never drained on its own and I had to have it LANCED!  (which means the doctor had to numb the area and cut into my skin so that the puss could leak out!)  It hurt, was a pain in the butt to deal with, and has left a scar.

Totally, and completely GROSS!!

Like I mentioned earlier, this was the year that Brandon was finally old enough to be interested in all the holiday fun.

For Halloween, Brandon was Spider-man.

November is when our lives completely changed.  We had been thinking of moving to Utah, and almost did in October but plans just didn't work out.  The idea of moving came up again in November, and two weeks after making the decision to move, we were gone.  Nick was able to transfer his job, and after speaking to a friend who is an assistant principle, I felt confident that I would be able to find substitute teaching jobs in Utah and work my way to a teaching job instead of staying in California where there was nothing for me.

We left California on Thanksgiving day and haven't looked back since. 

Since we were traveling on Thanksgiving, the only "festivities" we had for that holiday were the art projects Brandon would bring home from school.

11 days after arriving in Utah I had already had a preliminary interview with a school district which now makes me eligible for a job, and I had landed a long-term sub job, with other jobs available when the current one is over! 

The Christmas season was so much fun!  Living so close to Salt Lake, we took a "train" to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. 

Since we now live in the same place as my sister, my mom came to us for Christmas and we celebrated together.

Brandon was very excited about Santa Claus coming...and Brandon must've been a very good boy, because Santa left him lots of presents!

We started the year divorced, in hot California and ended the year remarried and living in freezing cold Utah!

Here's to hoping I land a full time teaching job in 2011 and have an even better year!

YouTube Friday

I love "year in review" stuff.  Since today is the last day of 2010, here's a look back with two videos; one a little more serious than the other.

The next "year in review" video takes on the political scene, and the mess that it's been this year. 

(No, I don't care much for Obama at all, but I doubt that the Republican party will do any better in 2011!!)

Have a wonderful Friday, and a safe and happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who Sings It Better?

I start today's post with this clip because I LOVE Barry Manilow and I'm not afraid to say it!  This will be important in a few minutes.

Today's face-off will be over a song from 1987:  "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley.  I will admit, when this song first came out I really liked it.  I was young, it was the 80s, and I thought Rick Astley was cute....something about the red hair!

Here is his version of the song:

Barry Manilow decided to cover this song a few years ago. 

Remembering that I LOVE Barry Manilow, I will tell you now that his version is absolutely HORRIBLE!  I laughed, and was almost ashamed to say I LOVE Barry Manilow when I heard his cover of this song.  The video doesn't help his cause either; it's worse than Rick Astley's.  Barry is getting older, and where he still has an amazing voice, you can tell that he's had some work done on his doesn't move the way it's supposed to!

I listened to the song again without watching Barry, and that seemed to help a bit.  He has some nice key changes and he does change the melody up.

Needless to say, it's obvious which version I prefer.  For the first time, Barry Manilow falls short and I prefer Rick Astley's version.

So, who sings it better?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who Sings It Better?

We're going to change it up a little today.  Instead of pitting two versions of a song by different artists against each other, I'm going to show you two versions of a song by the same artist.

Bryan Adams has always been one of my favorite artists.  He writes his own music, sings, plays instruments, I LOVE those artists!  Musicians who can do more than sing amaze me. 

Heaven has always been a song I enjoy.  Today you'll be hearing two versions of it, both by Bryan Adams.  First up, the original.  The video for the song is CHEESY, so try not to focus on that, but on the music!

Back in the day when MTV used to stand for "Music Television", they did a show called Unplugged that would feature artists doing their music acoustically.  For any who aren't sure what singing acoustically means, the artist basically "strips" the song of the "heavy" instruments; drums, electric guitar, etc, and they sing the melody with one or two "softer" instruments. 

Oh, and if you don't know what Unplugged is, I am sad for you.  There once was a time when MTV wasn't all reality shows about obnoxious people from Jersey and 16 year old girls who are pregnant, but instead focused on MUSIC!

Anyway, here is the acoustic version of Heaven

Which version do I prefer?  This is a hard one for me.  I grew up hearing the first version of Heaven; it's the version I fell in love with.  That being said, when I first heard the acoustic version of Heaven, I got goosebumps, and chills!  9 times out of 10 I will always choose the acoustic version of a song because it makes me feel like I'm right there when the artist first wrote the song, before all the "bells and whistles" of instruments were added.  Acoustic is the "raw" version, and I LOVE that.

Maybe it wasn't such a hard choice after all?!?

So, which do you prefer?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Musicals Monday

Hello Dolly is one of my favorite musicals.  Barbara Streisand can do no wrong! 

A matchmaker named Dolly Levi takes a trip to Yonkers, New York to see the "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire," Horace Vandergelder. While there, she convinces him, his two stock clerks and his niece and her beau to go to New York City. In New York, she fixes Vandergelder's clerks up with the woman Vandergelder had been courting, and her shop assistant (Dolly has designs of her own on Mr. Vandergelder, you see).

The clip you're about to see is the song Put On Your Sunday Clothes.  Featuring a very young Michael Crawford (the tall, lanky stock clerk), better known as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom Of The Opera, some people may also recognize this clip from the Disney/Pixar movie Wall-E.  Whenever Brandon hears this song, he thinks that movie is on!

Have a wonderful last Monday of 2010!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Fun!

Our Christmas festivities began on Christmas Eve, at my sister's house.  We ate lots of wonderful food (thanks again mom!) and Brandon played with his cousins.  Here are a few pictures from the evening:

Brandon's "fighting" face!

Helping Grandma open her gifts

After the kids opened one present each, (new pajamas, a holiday tradition in my family), we went home and prepared for the arrival of Santa Claus.  We told Brandon that if Santa comes and leaves presents he needs to come and wake up mommy and daddy in the morning and not touch anything til we get there!

Looks like Santa came...someone must have been a good boy this year!

We woke up Christmas morning to Brandon running into our room, saying, "Mommy, Daddy, Santa came and left presents;  wake up, wake up!!"

Everytime one of us would ask Brandon what he wanted for Christmas, he would say, "Boundless Love".  That is a song from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound's new album/DVD titled, "A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet" Brandon LOVES this particular song since he first heard it with Grandma. (click on the link to also hear part of the song Boundless Love, along with the other songs on the album).  Needless to say, he was a little more than excited to see that Santa (aka Grandma in this case) brought him the one thing he asked for!  It's also pretty much the ONLY THING he's watched all weekend!

I've never seen any of the Toy Story movies; neither has Brandon.  I thought it was funny that the movie is all about the struggles your old toys go through when they are replaced with new toys....Brandon's old toys must be just ready to die right now!

Every Christmas there has to be at least one toy that doesn't work and has to be returned.  Our dysfunctional toy this year:  the game Gone Fishin'

Brandon loves his new Spiderman blanket..thanks sis!

Santa brought Brandon his first mechanical car!

And how could Santa NOT bring him a lightsaber?!?  I wonder what Star Wars obsessed mom told Santa that Brandon would really want one of those?!!

Brandon was a REALLY good boy this year!

Our very happy almost four year old!