Monday, February 27, 2012

Pocketful of Sunshine

I haven't posted in ages. Blah blah blah. Life is busy. Work is crazy. And I'm exhausted by the time I get home. You've all heard it before so how about we just skip over that part and pretend like I haven't taken a three month hiatus? Perfect. Thanks.

 I could spend this entire post catching you up on what you've missed but instead I'll just do a quick recap:

Christmas was fantastic. Quality time in Oklahoma City with Brad, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law. Brad went to Arizona for New Year's to watch the OSU Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl. I spent that week in Vegas for work, which despite being in that city about four days longer than anyone ever should, things went really well. And since then it's been nothing but work and school for Brad and work, work, work for me.

Bam. Caught up.

Dallas has had an unseasonably warm winter. I actually have a bit of a sunburn at the moment. No joke. But it's dipped into the 30s from time to time requiring us to dust off our coats for those chilly mornings. Don't you love when you reach your hand in the pocket of coat you haven't worn in awhile and find money? I love it so much I almost want to go put $5 or $10 in every coat I have just to set myself up for some awesome days next winter. I must have had the same mentality before moving back from Germany because I seem to have left myself little surprises in every pocket.

In my winter white peacoat, I found a stamped metro ticket from our trip to London. And in my tan raincoat was a stub from visiting the Louvre in Paris. My "everyday" jacket just had some euro change that I'm sure was leftover from walking to the gelato place around the corner from our house. In my black military jacket was a little brochure from visiting a castle in Cochem, Germany. In my grey peacoat was a ticket stub from seeing a movie at the Taunus theater on the base. In the red jacket I wore almost every morning that I took Stella out, I found a "doggie bag" with instructions in German on what the bag was to be used for and where to dispose of it. (Yes, a poop bag put a smile on my face.)

I refuse to take these things out of their respective pockets because every time I reach my hand inside, I'm reminded of that specific memory. And I love that.

Clearly I'm all about the nostalgia and taking time to reminisce. Another perfect example - the work trip I took to Barcelona where I unexpectedly ended up traveling directly to Rome for the next program, I had to have the Ritz dry-clean some of my clothes to get me through the next week. Pajamas included. The hotel put little stickers with my room number listed just inside the tag. Those stickers are STILL there and every time I wear one of those shirts or that pair of pajamas, it takes me back.

Stop judging me. I am well aware that I'm a bit of a sap.

I feel the need to re-name the blog since "Adventures of the Bingham's" doesn't have the same ring to it that it did when our "adventures" consisted of traveling Europe, festivals every weekend and well, actual adventures. But at this point in time, I'm okay with the fact that life is...different. It's merely a new kind of adventure. Now I don't currently have anything exciting or interesting to leave in my pockets for next year that I'll look back on and say "oh, remember last year when we..." but adventures are on the horizon. And that's enough for me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Merry ThanksBirthdayMas

So the greatest thing happened last week.  Before all of the turkey and dressing and wine and family time and wine, I received a package from FedEx.  A package I had been waiting five loooooooong months for and it had finally arrived.  My birthday gift from my darling husband.  By the way, my birthday is in June.

I had picked out a vintage chalkboard on and the order was placed a couple of weeks before my birthday.  But set back after set back, week after chalkboard.  This was due in large part to the weather over the summer, the treatment that was done to give it the right color and distressed look wouldn't set with it being as hot as it was.  And there was no way it would survive the trip from Phoenix to Dallas in the back of a 130 degree truck without being ruined.  

Well all that didn't matter.  Because when my beautiful chalkboard finally was in route from Arizona to my kitchen.....the FedEx truck delivering this masterpiece CAUGHT. ON. FIRE.

Believe it.  I wanted to cry. Devastated really. (No I'm not that self centered - no one was hurt, just the packages.) But Kimber over at Shabby McFabby on immediately jumped on making me another one.  And now that void in my kitchen has been filled.

Seriously go check out her stuff, she's amazing. You can find her HERE.

Now for Turkey Talk.  Thanksgiving Day was spent at my grandparents house this year. Since my mom decided she was taking over the Bourbon Sweet Potatoes this year, a dish she passed down to me several years ago (no bitterness here) I had to come up with a Plan B.  Alright, I'll do Broccoli Casserole.  What's that?  Oh, Hailey found a recipe for Broccoli Casserole on Pinterest she wants to try? Oh. Ok. Plan C.  Green Bean Casserole courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.  Plan C was a good one, if I do say so myself.

Best part of the weekend hands down was spending time with this little man.

When I'm around most little ones, I can tolerate only so much before I whisper to Brad, "see honey? This is why we don't have kids yet. They do that."  Liam is the exception to the rule.  Greatest kid ever. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his favorite aunt. 

Honestly, if God were to promise me one just like him I'd have one tomorrow.  But it doesn't work that way. Brad was a high maintenance little tyke and it's only fair that he be paid back for that.  No matter how much of an angel I was back then.
What's that? You want one more Liam pic?  Ok.

I didn't take this. It's not even from Thanksgiving. But I love it.  The boy just loves to put his head on soft things, this includes all dogs.

So is your heart all warm and fuzzy now? Good.  Let's jump right into Christmas, shall we?  Now I don't have to lie to you people so here goes...I've secretly been listening to Christmas music for exactly 11 days now.  I did my very best to wait until after Thanksgiving but I failed, yet again.

I also wasted no time in getting the house ready for Christmas either. Yep. It's done. Pretty much all of it.  There are even five presents wrapped and under the tree. 

Come on in....

Even the wine cage is festive

And there you have it.  The Bingham's are holiday ready.  Now I can play my Christmas music as loud and as often as I want....while I stare at this:

I bet you're wondering which of those delicious meals I made tonight. The answer is none of them.  Brad had class and I went to the gym where I got my butt so thoroughly kicked I didn't have the energy or strength to get a pan out of the cabinet.  Yeah, I ate a bowl of cereal instead.  Almost ate it dry because the milk was too heavy. Tomorrow could be rough.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 31, 2011



I know, it's a little scary hearing from me. I keep telling myself that as soon as I revamp this whole blog thing I've got going, I'll start posting more often. But it just never happens. So in keeping with the trend of the past year....let's play catch up.

Brad has already finished his first round of classes! One down, eleven to go. Everyone told us and now I get it...this is going to go by so fast.

Pinterest has become my new obsession. Ok, I can't really call it an obsession when I know how much time other people spend on this site and I don't even come close. In fact some of these said "people" should start a 12 step program soon because they have a serious addiction (you know who you are). Anyway, it's definitely been an awesome tool for inspiration on...well, everything. (If you don't know what it is and you're a female....Google it.)

We did a complete makeover on our Master Bedroom and I love the outcome. We don't have curtains up, anything on the walls, crown molding, etc. but you get the general idea. New furniture, grey walls, pops of it. All Pinterest inspired. I'll post pics of the entire room and final result later.

My other big project was my Family Wall. I don't know that most people would consider it a "big" project but that's because they've never done one and/or they aren't Type A. Again, my inspiration came from Pinterest. Here is what I found:

And the caption read: Genius...Lay out your gallery arrangement. Flip frames over. Mark hanger/nail spot on several pieces of wax paper taped together. Flip waxed paper over, tape to wall, nail into wall where indicated. Remove waxed paper. Hang photos.

Here's what the caption failed to mention - tape doesn't stick to wax paper very well AND it's much more difficult to see through the wax paper than one would think so locating the hanger on the back of the frame is hard. Really hard. And after jacking with it for an hour you'll decide this was a stupid idea. Here's MY suggestion:

Lay the pictures out on the floor...

Trace each frame onto a piece of paper and mark the location of the hanger. I used actual tracing paper and it was super easy. Then tape each piece of paper onto the wall. This lets you move things around without putting holes in your wall first.

Having an adorable pup under your feet makes things easier. Not really. But I enjoyed the company.

And that was it. Hammered in all of the nails (which my neighbors were thrilled about seeing as how it was 9pm) and VOILA!

Yes, there are a few pictures hanging up that don't have a picture of a family member. That is because certain family members haven't sent me the pictures I asked for. And chances are these family members are reading this right now. SEND ME THE PICTURES! Thank you.

And my last Pinterest project was this:

This was a fun little project and I love coming home to my festive creation...but Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without our pumpkin carving party with The Gonzales Family. And as an added bonus, Brad's mom joined us.

It all starts with a trip to the pumpkin patch...

Then we carve. And by we....I mean the boys.

Stella helped, too.

We supervised. And drank wine.

This woman loves Halloween more than anybody I know. She has more Halloween decorations than I do Christmas decorations...times five. These are just a few.

And with that....I hear the doorbell which means adorable trick-or-treaters are waiting for me.


Monday, August 29, 2011


You know what drives me crazy? When you ask someone how they've been and they answer you with "oh good, just busy." Or worse, just flat out "busy."

That's me these days. It's official, I annoy myself. If you ask me how I'm doing I'm either going to tell you "busy" or just not answer you because I'm that stupid busy.

Life has been flying by me so fast these past few weeks, I can't tell up from down. I'd love to stop and smell the roses.....but I can't. Plus they're all dead. What is this, day 84 of 100+ degree temps?

But seriously, it's been nonstop for weeks now. So if we haven't talked or I haven't responded to a phone call, email or text message...that's why.

Let's recap.

As you may or may not know, I started my new job at the end of June. I'm allowed to say this now because I'm happy and settled there, nor is it any big secret but I was really worried it wasn't going to work out. Things started off really rocky and I came home stressed and unhappy more days than not. But I'm proud to say I've worked really hard, stuck it out and have come to truly enjoy it and the future is looking bright.

I've started traveling here and there which has played a big role in my "busy" factor. I love the travel part, it's just been a matter of timing these past few weeks. I was gone for a few days, came home for a couple, left for a week of vacation (which we'll get to), went back to work a day early, worked that entire weekend and the beginning of the next week for an event we had here in Dallas, closed that out, then left again for another event in Orlando. But at last I'm home for a bit and the light at the end of the crazy-schedule-tunnel is in sight.

In other news, Brad has his bag packed up and his boots tied tight (if you don't know the quote...we can't be friends) and had his first day back to school on Thursday. He'll be spending the next two years studying his little heart out to get his MBA. I could not be more proud of him.

Now for the fun stuff...vacation.

Brad and I road-tripped it to southern Colorado with my sister and brother-in-law in one car (and hilarious cousin for part of the way) as well as my dad, stepmom, grandparents and other cousin in the other car. Not the most exciting adventure with it being west Texas for the majority of it but I'm not complaining. God Himself told me not to. No really, he did. The FM transmitter I had hooked up to the iPod occasionally would disconnect and during a rant about "God quitting after he finished Colorado because west Texas blows" the iPod became disconnected and the Christian talk radio station in the background gave us all an "HONOR GOD!" that had some of us choking on our gum.

But I digress. Colorado was fantastic. We spent five days at the ranch my family goes to every other year. This was our first time back since the summer of 2007...and it hasn't changed a bit. I kid you not, when I think about Heaven, I imagine this place.

Evening stroll a.k.a. Bear Hunt....didn't see any that night.

Our first full day at the ranch a few of us thought it'd be fun to pack lunches and go on a half day horseback ride through the mountains. Don't get me wrong, it was great...I just don't know that we'll ever walk the same again. Five and a half hours was a bit much for this gal.

The following morning we packed up the jeeps for our trek to Lost Lake. A tradition that I look forward to every year we go.

We spend about an hour or so driving up the mountain along a rocky path. And by up, I mean up. At one point we had to bust out the wench just to get moving again. This part of the journey had me wondering if my internal organs were all where they should be and at the very least, grateful I'd packed a sports bra.

See the snow? That's the general direction we were headed.

Once we arrived at the the clearing where the jeeps couldn't go any farther, we stopped for lunch and finished the rest of the journey on foot. It's a steep hike and while there are markers here and there, the goal is "head towards the top of the waterfall."

Then we get to the top and there's this incredible lake with nothing but gorgeous scenery everywhere we turn. And the greatest part about Lost Lake is the fishing.

T.K. and Cameron, my silly cousins

In the past we could throw a line out without any bait and fish would fight over it. That was my kind of fishing. This year was different. I didn't catch a single flippin' fish! Not a one! Zero. Zilch. Nada. Brad will tell you he caught 16...and if he wasn't pulling the hook out of one's mouth every time I'd look over, I'd tell you he was lying.

I pouted.

Yup, I pouted, lost interest, then started hiking up higher and got this view which made me less pouty about the fishing situation.

I also found several of these Columbine flowers growing out of the rocks which put the smile back on my face.

Another highlight of my trip was waking up extra early to watch the horses be brought in to the stables. My mom did this several years ago and said it was just incredible to be standing there as they ran past you. So I stood in between two big trees, camera in hand, praying the horses didn't run me over and this is what I caught...

It was a bit of a rush. Pretty awesome.

One afternoon the boys drove into the closest town for a day of golf. I opted for another (shorter) horseback ride and was finally able to see a bear. My trip was complete.

While waiting for the group to return from golf I went for a long walk, mostly in search of another bear.

Caught this on my little "bear escapade"

I could have sworn I heard one which made me panic...then I realized it was just my jeans rubbing together. Still, I hightailed it back to the lodge. And did a few lunges in my room.

The week flew by and in no time we were loading up to head home. But not before our traditional family picture.

Lots of good memories. I'm sad it'll be at least another two years before we go back.

Love you, Granddad!

Our sweet grandparents with the grandkids

But now that we're home and work is slowing down and Brad has started school....the goal is to find a routine. Let the balancing act begin.

I refuse to let the "f" word creep back into my life which means making time after work for the gym. I still want to continue cooking most nights. I still want to see our family as often as we can. I still want time for happy hour every now and then with friends. AND it's time for college football which takes up our Saturdays. Not to mention, this house doesn't clean itself.

But if you ask me tomorrow how I'm doing, I promise not to answer you with....."busy."