Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Christmas Letter

David wrote a lovely Christmas letter...and I thought you all could enjoy his excellent writing style.


January: Both sets of parents are told that we want to get married, preferably in the summer. The Brownbacks are told first…they respond by immediately opening and chugging two beers. The Bradys respond by asking (perhaps warning) Darcie if she is sure…note they do not ask David, their own son. Blessings are given, the year of David & Darcie is off on the right foot.

February: David buys the engagement ring from a nice local jewelry store in downtown Clayton. He is wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. They look at him funny when he offers them a check.

March: The proposal month. David finally asks Darcie to marry him! After all of those months!! In a sign from God of what joy their relationship brings to Him, Mizzou makes the Elite 8 four days after the engagement is official. The world rejoices.

April: David and Darcie go house shopping. Darcie likes the house next to the Jack in the Box (literally…right next to it). David realizes their tastes in houses are slightly different. In a 12 hour period, a house in Affton, owned by a Parkway co-worker of Darcie’s, goes for sale, they check it out, and decide it is the place for them. Darcie negotiates. The house goes under contract.

May: Darcie finishes her first year of post-grad school employment. David finishes his first year of law school. Darcie realizes David is not employed…yikes! Darcie plays organized sports for the first time in at least 15 years as the South Sluggers softball team begins play.

June: It is hot. Really hot. Including the day Darcie closes on the house, and the moving process begins. Darcie and David are homeowners.

July: The final month before the wedding. Darcie gets crafty. David and Darcie attend their first professional wrestling event together. The event happens to be at the same place they will get married at in three weeks. Shaft gets pinned by The Big Texan in the same spot where Darcie will pin him in three weeks.

August: Wedding! Honeymoon! David gets swine flu! David and Darcie start their second year of school, only Darcie gets paid to go and David pays to go. David leaves his bachelor pad loft on Washington Avenue in downtown for a house in the suburbs with his wife. Darcie’s cooking alone makes it the best decision he’s ever made.

September: The South Sluggers win the Brentwood Softball league. In the championship game, Darcie comes through with a key hit in the last inning. She is carried off the field by her teammates. This is the best month of her life.

October: Darcie runs a marathon. A marathon! A full one, in San Francisco with 20,000 other women! She damn near wins the race, finishing in 4 hours and 39 minutes. David gets tired trying to keep up…with the watching.

November: Mizzou destroys K-State 38-12 in football. The Brownbacks consider this added insult to injury (marrying their daughter being the injury). The first Thanksgiving as a married couple sees Darcie spend five nights in five different locations while trying to please everyone.

December: Darcie prepares her first ever turkey dinner…alone. She has a 3 crockpot plan and a schedule.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Best wishes,

David and Darcie Brady

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holidaze, Celebraze

It's the hap-happiest time of the year. Yeah, you know you feel this way too. I've been trying (trying, I tell you) to keep everything together and pleasant.

The jury's still out on whether I've been together and pleasant, but I'm ok with that.

My friend D'Andrea came and visited us from Uganda on Friday. Well, she's actually visiting her sister who lives in Webster Groves, but I'm going to consider us an added benefit to travel from Africa. She works at an organization that rehabilitates child soldiers...she's awesome.
So, after dinner with D'Andrea, David somehow convinced me to see a movie that started at 10:45--and he also managed to convince my friend Martha. Man alive, I am too old to stay up that late, especially after a wine-happy dinner.

Happily, though, David and I got to babysit baby Liam on Saturday.

He's so cute...and it's a good thing he was blocking the view of me, because I was struggling.

Saturday, we went to some SLU basketball game with Dan and Tara...David and Dan convinced the Biliken to take a picture with them to commemorate their winning Intramural Basketball Season. Cute.
Cute, huh?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Goofy #2

David decided to surprise me with some goofy bedmaking again. Yesterday, I came home to this.
It's nice to burst out laughing the second you walk in the door.
After my (VERY VERY COLD) run and an hour of Jillian Michaels (yeah, I own the hour-long version of's hell), I like to through on the sloppiest and baggiest clothes I can find. I have this sweatshirt that my mom bought me a long time ago. I love it... it's huge and I cut off the binding at the bottom. I wear it a ton in the winter...and David thinks it's time I retire it.
I have no idea what those stains are...I must have been baking (or frying, maybe?) something while wearing this. Or, I splattered water all over myself while brushing my teeth?

At any rate, I told David that since we're married, I've started the process of letting myself go. It's not a very long fall, at least :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yesterday at work I had the following text message conversation...
David: "Ur going to crack up when u see the bed!!"
Me: "Why??"
David: "Cause it's funny!"
So, I go home...enter the bedroom, and burst out laughing.
See what he did?
No? Well, try a better angle.

Yes, he reversed the bed when he made it.
Man, he's goofy. Good thing I love goofy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday Night Special

Jess invited Tara and I over for dinner on Saturday. And it was scrum-licious! Even naughty Franklin enjoyed the bits of potatoes that he managed to steal. :)

We hung out, chatted, giggled, was a good time. Towards the end of the night I realized that, in order to feel good about a blog post, I needed to take some pictures. There we are... Jess and her beautiful tree.
Then, somehow, Jess figured out the self-timer. And we ran and posed. Jess is dancing, Tara is holding the book I gave her and It's Always Sunny DVD's, and I'm

Oh see, this is better. I picked up Women's Health and displayed that. Because, you know, the wine glass is balanced by reading magazines about fitness, right?


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Running

I thought this week would be the week that did me in. On Wednesday, the highs were apparently in the 10' cold that the weather guy couldn't give an actual number.

And he was right. Wednesday was terrible, horrible, no-good, and very bad. I didn't run. And it made me cranky, as everyone (or just David) predicted.

Happily, though...that was my only rest day this week. I fought the cold every other day. It's not so bad outside, once you get going. Anything's better than doing those long runs on a treadmill.

I'm still fighting the need to join a gym. As I said, I HATE the treadmill, even though sometimes it's a blessing in yucky weather. Beyond just hating it, my pace is so much slower on the 30-40 seconds/mile. Since my goal is to do a sub-two half, I need to make sure my long run pace is at or under 9 min/mile. Lately, outside, I've been rocking. My run yesterday was at 8:25 min/mile for 5 miles. Sadly, horribly, I can only seem go to 9:05 min/mile on the treadmill.

I need a workout buddy that's doing an 8:15-8:20 min/mile..,and that can force me to do some strength training. That's one of the main fall backs of not having a gym--any and all weight training I do is at home and half-assed. I did buy some new workout dvd's that focused more on strength than cardio, so we'll see. I'm developing a love/hate/obsession with Jillian Michaels, even though I can't force myself to watch that show anymore.

Also, I found this race yesterday and am totally signing up for it...

Sorry for the rambling post...I'm proctoring the ACT today and have my bag packed to go run right after this. My mind must be a little stuck :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't tell David

But the cookies I made last night had a little something special in them...
No, it wasn't that. Goobers. We're upstanding citizens here.

No... it was chickpeas! Man, that's a fuzzy picture. Anyway, they're the orange-ish ball things.

I got the recipe from that Jessica Seinfeld cookbook... since I figure the holidays are forcing me to eat cookies, they might as well be a little healthified.

Just don't tell David, because these suckers are good. He scarfed about 5...none the wiser :) I think the chickpeas made them super moist.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday's Gone

I had a long Tuesday. Susan, Doris, Chelsea, I presented at the National Staff Development Conference.... for FOUR hours. Our presentation started at 10am. At noon, we ended for lunch, a keynote, and a break...then we reconvened at 3:30pm and talked until 5:30.

1a. Woowzers...that's a lot of talking. Especially for someone that talks as fast as I do.
2b. That's a long break too! We were expecting only about 1/2 of our audience to return after that long of a break... but we got nearly everyone back. We must have been at least somewhat interesting.

Because I'm a nerd, I insisted we pose next to the sign for our room.

The Superintendent happened to be sitting in the hall as I posed for this picture. He commented that if this whole "Progress Monitoring thing" doesn't work out, I could pursue a job as Vanna.

And then, unexpectedly, he came to the presentation. He said he was going to just sit in and pop into other Parkway presentations...but he ended up staying for the whole thing. Yipes. Here's hoping it wasn't thinking mean thoughts!

After my conference ended, David and I decided to drive around and look at Christmas lights. We saw the typical lights and were getting ready to head home when we found this beauty...located just behind Grant's Farm and off of Eddie and Park Rd.

Holy crap. How do these people sleep at night? They must all have eye masks to block out the near daylight outside.
I did notice, however, that Santa will be at this house on 12/19. Maybe David and I can steal Baby Liam and go gawk?

Monday, December 7, 2009


I found the mini pies!!!!

They were in the deep freeze....and I figured out why. I cleaned out the fridge (like major clean out--all shelves pulled off and washed off in sink) and freezer on Saturday. I had a pile of stuff from the freezer upstairs that I thought should go to the deep freeze. Apparently, I put that pile on top of the mini pies and they were transferred in the shuffle.

Crisis averted! I know you all were worried...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Party Time

This weekend, I had two work holiday parties to go to on Friday and a birthday party on Saturday. I think it's that time of year... and I couldn't be more thrilled!

The first party was for the people in the counseling loft at South High. We had the party at Rob's house...and I fell in love with his son. I didn't take any other pictures...just this baby.

What glorious hair!
That party was fun...we did a cute little gift exchange and just giggled for a long time
Right after that, I went to the all-staff party for Southwest. For some reason, I didn't take any pictures, even though there was an awesome magician. How fun is that?
We were supposed to make a treat to share so I got a little over ambitious and made mini apple pies. Thank goodness for Grandma's pie crust recipe! I used mini-muffin tins and put a lattice on each of them. I impressed myself :)
We brought some of the left overs home and, the next morning, I transferred them to a Tupperware container. I am SURE they made it inside the house because I have photo proof of it. Somehow, sadly, I cannot find the pies. David says he didn't move them and I'm pretty sure I didn't eat them in my sleep, but they are nowhere to be found. Seriously... I even looked under the couches and bed. Some day, somewhere, they will turn up. I hope they're still pretty when they do show up!

The next night was my friend Tara's husband Dan's 30th birthday party. Dan also played on David's basketball team and was most likely the championship game MVP.
These awesome goggles were Tara's birthday present from Dan (her birthday was the 1st). They're onion chopping glasses....genius!
Plus, they were fun to pose with!
Something about them makes you want to suck in your cheeks.
Or pretend to chop.
Or act like superman.
Or threaten an onion.

Good times!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Time Is Here... Happiness And Cheer...

I decorated for Christmas.
I am happy. That's my first adult-type Christmas tree...complete with presents. David wanted to have a black and gold tree...but I vetoed that. Once we get a nice tree, this one can move to the basement and be whatever color my darling wants. For now, it's teal and silver....with personal ornaments added on.
Oooh happy.
I also made (yes, made) this door decoration. I ideally wanted it inside the storm door, but all those balls were a little fat to fit in that area... so they're outside. But I love them. Seriously--it's a bunch of balls, an old wire hanger, and a ribbon (that I stole from the tree).
Happy happy happy.
I'm also still holding off on joining a gym. The weather took a turn for the worse on Wednesday...forcing me to run 5 miles in the freezing rain, but so far so good. We'll see how long I can deal!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Last night, David's basketball team,
won their intramural league!
They had to play two games, back to back, with only a 5 minute break.
Despite the odds, they emerged victorious. And sweaty.
Seriously, look at all that sweat!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Lurkey!

Guess who came back to America for a visit....all the way from Australia??

That's right---Kira! I haven't seen her in about a year and a half. She was my first roomie when I moved to St. Louis. After she fled the states, her parents relocated to St. Louis (from California). Talk about luck--now I get to see her when she visits her family!
Thanksgiving was a whirlwind for David and me. We drove to Lyndon, KS on Wednesday (after I spent the day doing laundry and home repairs), dropped the fur-babies off at the clinic and hung out with Mom and Dad.
Turkey Day, I managed to get my run in early. The last few years, I went on a run after the big dinner and that always ends poorly. We ate a big, delicious dinner at Grandma Stainbrook (or Breadbasket, if David's telling the story). was the best Thanksgiving dinner I can remember. Grandma really stepped it up there. Dad, Grandpa, David, and I went on a drive through the country where we broke into some duck clubs and investigated the house where Dad's grandparents used to live in the 20's. David took off to Kansas City to his grandparents and I crashed at Grandma's...tucked into bed next to my congested mother :)
Friday...we went shopping. I love shopping after Thanksgiving with Mom and Grandma and that love is only magnified by the fact that we get to use Grandma's handicapped parking pass. That think is like gold. We went to Walmart, Target, Costco (but the line was too long), JC Penney's, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Kirklands, Borders, Macy's, and Dicks. I'm sure we probably went other places, but I've blocked them out. I bought a lot of presents and a Christmas tree!
Then, I went to dinner with David's Mom, her cousins, Danna, Liam, and Grandma Vandaveer. We had a great meal...especially with the goofy cousins. I like those ladies, but worry that I would get into a lot of trouble with them.
After lunch, Danna convinced me to go to the mall with her. It was a poor decision...but one that made me happy. I used cash for all of my holiday shopping this year, so at least there won't be any bank statements or credit card bills to shock me in the new year. Let's go budget!
That evening, we had a nice dinner that Debra made. Yum-o.
Saturday, we all gathered bright and early at Crown Center. David was nervous about making it to the KU-MU game on evidenced by his stressed face below.

But, luckily, we were all happy to take pictures. I'm thinking at least one of these will be a Christmas card!

Ahhh. Look at the Mizzou Family :)

Baby Liam wants a smart car!

On to the game. We ran into a friend of David's family who had set up something very interesting at the tailgate.

Read the box closer... it says, "No Deuces."
Clever. Gross, but clever.

David stole my camera during the game, so I can offer no commentary about the pictures below. Enjoy...or just scroll through.

Unfortunately, the Mizzou game was INCREDIBLY long, so we didn't make it back for my cousin's wedding reception. When I talked to the parents, they were already cleaning up from the ended up staying in KC Saturday night too. The sad part about that is that Maggie and Veronica were still in Lyndon and Dad claimed that Maggie would rather live with him. So the fur-babies will be living with their grandparents until after our January trip.
I am lonely without them... David is studying too much and I had gotten used to talking to Maggie all night long.
Man, I sound lame. :)