Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Can Hear The Bells

Here's my contribution to the lip sync contest. I couldn't keep a straight face and you might not be able to either when Bigfoot and the Travelocity Roaming Gnome make their cameos. Enjoy!
video

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Tale of Two Restaurants Part II: Texas de Brazil

So the night after we went to Lamberts, Ryan and I went to Memphis and decided to try a new dining experience, one totally opposite from "throwed rolls" and country victuals. Ryan had been saying earlier that he'd always wanted to dine at a Brazilian restaurant so we found Texas de Brazil. There are only about a dozen locations in the United States (I happen to know there is one in Miami and in Vegas) but if you are ever able to visit one, do take advantage of the opportunity. Walking in I was immediately struck by the dim lit elegance of the place. Ryan was handed a thick leather menu and we were escorted to a table near the back. It didn't take us long to realize that the "menu" we had been handed was actually an extensive wine list. In fact, the wall we were seated next to was a large wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling wine case. The first stop on your journey through culinary paradise is the international salad bar where you can feast upon items such as asparagus in raspberry sauce, prosciutto, several kinds of imported cheeses (that were so delicious!), hearts of palms, sushi, pastas, salami, different kinds of olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated portobellos and other mushrooms, and some divine lobster bisque. Brazilian cheese bread, garlic mashed potatoes, and fried bananas are brought to your table. Beside your plate is a small, double-sided card. One side is green and the other is red. The gauchos (besides wearing really cool pants) emerge from the kitchen carrying swords upon which are sizzling the most succulent selections of meat. If the green side of your card is facing up the gaucho will stop and slice off a portion for you. If, however, the red side is up he will pass by. We found it to be a blessing, as sometimes several gauchos would stop at once and we would flip our cards to red to take the opportunity to eat the plateful we had just acquired before we tried more selections. The meat was delicious! So tender and flavorful! My only complaint would be that there were one or two selections that seemed a little salty. But all in all it was a wonderful experience I would repeat anytime! That night Ryan and I sampled lamb chops, parmesan chicken, parmesan pork loin, Brazilian sausage, bacon wrapped chicken breast, leg of lamb, filet mignon, bacon wrapped filet mignon, braised beef ribs, and house sirloin.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Restaurants Part I: Lambert's - Home of the Throwed Roll

That’s right, the throwed roll. In a world of restaurant regulations, laws, and stipulations, Lambert’s is a time capsule. Once seated at a wooden table we were greeted by servers carrying pots, bowls, and platters of classic Southern victuals. As they offered us helpings of fried okra, black-eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, and fried potatoes I attempted to protest since I didn’t even have a plate. The first server said, “No problem” tore a paper towel off the roll, laid it on the table, and scooped out a generous portion. The other servers followed suit. We opened the menu to choose from entrees such as hog jaws, frog legs, gizzards, and liver ‘n’ onions. We decided to just order some fried chicken and fried apples. Our server, wearing the suspenders and bow tie and jeans standard of every employee, brought us water in gigantic mugs. Then the fun begins. Out came the cart of steaming hot rolls. Standing at the door of the kitchen you hear the cart pushing man yell “Fresh hot rolls!” From there you simply raise your hands in the air and before you can blink a warm, fluffy roll is soaring across the room to your waiting hands. Then the female server comes around with her pail of sorghum to spread on your roll. It was so much fun and the food was super delicious! The macaroni and tomatoes didn’t sound good to me, but Ryan got a heaping spoonful. I’m so glad he did. It was so sweet and good! The atmosphere is very laid-back country casual. Be prepared for sudden announcements over the intercom of anniversaries and birthdays. If you’re ever passing through Sikeston, MO Lambert’s is a must stop!

Friday, November 13, 2009

That's my dad!

The one and only.........

DAD

I really miss the moments. The Pancho Claus, the stale jokes, Armies of Helaman, etc.
Today my visiting teachers came over. I mentioned something about moving here in 1997. Susie Briggs said (amid giggles), "Your dad...I remember the first Sunday your parents spoke right after you moved here. Your dad was talking and he said that he and your mom had seven children because he read an article that every eighth child born in the world is Chinese and he and your mom didn't speak Chinese, so they stopped at seven.I thought that was the funniest thing!" She's laughing recalling this. I've heard that joke so many times. So over in the other chair Laura Schwendiman says, "Oh! I get it now. It all makes sense! When I first moved into the ward your dad and I were talking and he said he only had seven children because he didn't speak Chinese. He didn't go on to explain it though so for years I've wondered what he meant. That makes sense now!" Yep, that's my dad.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Can I Help You?

So today was like every other day: busy busy busy. I got home from school as the sun was setting. My cat, Toulouse, was there to greet me at the door. She was rather vocal and wanted me to follow her somewhere, apparently there was someone she wanted me to see. I set my back pack and my lunch box down and went into the courtyard. The light was dim but I could see a lump in the middle of the courtyard floor. Toulouse must have been stressed by it as she was tentatively pawing at it. I yelled at her to leave it alone and went to turn on the lights to confirm what I thought I was seeing. Sure enough, Houdini the aquatic turtle, had left the pond and the atrium and was on the courtyard floor covered in cobwebs. Where she had been no one knows, but that is why she is called Houdini. She appears and disappears like magic. Well, I walked over and looked down at her so impressed and dumfounded all I said was, "Can I help you?"

Monday, September 28, 2009

You don't see that every day.



So how many times have you had to tell a fawn, "Hey you! Le' go my bracelet!" Seriously, it kept chewing on it. So did the goats. But it's not every day that you pet a baby deer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Georgia Fun

To see more fun pictures from our day at the lake, check out my in-law's blog! (link under family blogs)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The First Ever Blog Awards!

That's right ladies and gentlemen. The blog awards are here. These are the rules: 1. once you're tagged you have to do it and you have one week to post. No silly cop out excuses (this will ensure that at least someone will have an update frequently). 2. you have to use pictures found on blogs. No digging into old photo albums or pulling something off your memory card from eight years ago. 3. you can't use an 'award' somebody's already used. So that's it. Scan through blogs and let's see what kind of quirky awards we Cunninghams can come up with.

BEST AND WORST HAIR
Best hair: Jenny
Out of all of my sisters' friends that came over, Jenny was my favorite. When Cali posted this picture in June it reminded me of how much I wanted to grow up and have Jenny's big beautiful hair.
The real reason I never got those lucious locks is evident below. For the Hall of Shame for worst hair I give you....wait for it...Mom on the Island of Kauai.

I'm not quite sure what mom is saying in this picture (if you enlarge it you can see she's talking), but if it's something along the lines of "Holy moly, I just saw my reflection in the camera lense and the atomic mushroom look isn't working today" she wouldn't be too far off. Good thing she wasn't hitchhiking or people would slow down looking for a traffic accident and wonder why dad was walking with a road flare. I didn't think a picture like this would survive, let alone be posted by mom herself in the fall of '07.

Well that was fun, but now whom to tag. Hmmm..........I think I'll tag Cami. Take it away Cami Re! You have one week to post your Blog Awards.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I feel the weight bearing down upon me

Okay, now I don't want to make it sound like concrete work is the hardest job out there, but let's be honest - it can be pretty tough work. And you don't have to just ask my dad and brother, you can ask any one of my sisters. You read that right ladies and gentlemen, my sisters, and our mom, have all poured, mixed, sprayed, dyed, shot, tested, and stamped concrete. Not to mention the setting up and wrecking of forms. Those hands that may sport manicures have had their fair share of concrete burns, and those bodies that look great in high heels, and better in bikinis ;-), have sweated and ached from the blistering heat of Puerto Rico and Mexico to the bitter cold of Colorado and Wyoming. And when you're a Cunningham (or married to one) you're expeted to to work faster, stronger, and harder than any man out there. There are no excuses, you are a Cunningham.
This brings me to my funny story. I'm working down here in Georgia where it's no stranger to sweltering summers, however these last few days have been overcast and rainy. The concrete company contracted to do work on the outer perimeter of the site showed up Monday. And boy were they tough looking dudes! Not many skinny laborers can get away with a skin tight button-up shirt with the sleeves torn off and unbottoned down to the navel. Rrrrrrrr. Or the shorts and naked lady t-shirt look. And the whole James Dean cigarette hanging out of your mouth look was a killer too for most of them. I informed dad that they were here. As is the case with all visitors, he charged me with keeping an eye on them. Such a task is as appealing as keeping an eye on a herd of swine. But I did as I was told.
Later one of the workers was spotted holding his hard hat under his arm. Our OSHA representative approached him and reminded him that hard hats had to be worn on our job site. The man's response was priceless. Why hadn't he been wearing a hard hat and why was he so reluctant to do so? In his own words "It's too heavy."
What? Had we not been so flabbergasted I might have brought up my sister wearing a hard hat all day as she manned a concrete pump while pregnant and with morning sickness, and the supervisor could have pointed out that if the laborer coudn't bear the weight of his hard hat
how was he supposed to pour concrete. Wow.
All I can say is "Buddy, maybe you should be looking for a new job. One that requires zero hard work (and hard hats)."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Life is too short!

People just don't understand me. In middle school that bothered me a lot, now it's more of a complement.

I'd heard people say "Life's too short" when they refused to let inconsequential things darken their day, but now it seems to be my sole explanation for the way I live my crazy life.

Do you realize that at 22 years old, I'm almost a third of the way through my life? It's a life that's already had more diversity and adventure than your average 50 year old, but there's so much more I want to pack in it! At the age of 13 normality was my goal, by 17 it was my enemy. Nothing seems so awful as living a normal life. Going to school, getting a job, trying to work your may up to the top of that job, making big plans so that one day you can take that dream cruise or vacation. Living the same mundane routine every day looking somewhere in the distant future for that hazy goal. Not me.

I've been taking a lot of criticism for our decision to move to Hawaii in December. I'm "weird" and "overly optimistic". I've been told things like "my friend hated that school", "you can't adjust to island life, it's not what you think", "the cost of living there is so expensive", "you'll never see your family" (they obviously don't know my family), "if some disaster comes you can't leave, you're trapped", "there's too much water", and I could go on and on and on. I've heard it all. The best so far is the accusation that I don't want my kids to grow up righteous (you can't make this stuff up). I was seriously told that leaving "Zion", aka Southeast Idaho, was just begging for rebellious children, because every kid that grows up there is righteous apparently.

Now I've added more gasoline to the flame because I haven't officially been accepted to BYU-H yet....but I bought two non-refundable one-way tickets to Honolulu. I'm now "hasty", "impulsive", "crazy", and a "fool". As if people didn't understand me before, now they really don't. So here it is: life isn't stopping. Since the first tears I shed on the airplane September 19, 2007 I've been dreaming of getting back. But dreaming only gets me so far and here's my shot and I'm taking it. So what if I don't get accepted? So what? On December 30th seat 17D on Horizon Air will be occupied I promise you. I've been asked a lot "So what are you going to do in Hawaii if you're not in school?" Does a question like that even merit a response?

Look around, Life's Happening! I learned a long time ago that "someday" never comes to you, you have to chase it down. I've spent too many days thinking and pondering over things I could've done, things I probably should have done. I don't want to do that anymore. From now on if I want something and I know in my heart it's the right thing for me, I'm taking it. Heaven help anyone or anything that stands in my way. If it's money, I'll find a way to earn it; if it's fear, I'll conquer it; if it takes work, I'll roll up my sleeves and get it done; and if it's critics, I'll drown them out.

I guess I can't be normal and wait around for someday, I have to be crazy and foolish because life is just way too short.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby Care


for all you expecting mothers in the family and out there here is some words of wisdom to follow when it comes to the little ones.

The Rest of Orlando

Here's the rest of Orlando! A shark made entirely of legos at Downtown Disney.
Taking pictures after church.






The lobster-mobile outside The Boston Lobster Market.


video

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pirate Golf

So after Aquatica and Downtown Disney we went to a steakhouse for Lily's birthday. It was around 9 o'clock when we got there so by the time we left it was after 10 o'clock. Well, Cody had been talking about going putt putt ever since we first drove into Orlando and I wasn't wanting to go to sleep with that steak sitting in my stomach so we decided to go to the pirate themed golf course right next to our hotel. We got there rather late and it actually closed while we were still on the course, but the ladies working there were very nice and allowed us to finish our game. Some of the following photos will attest to the lateness of the hour.

On guard!
In need of a belt.
In need of a compass (pssst Ryan, the hole's behind you!).






This is where they put the cheaters.

And this is where they put the losers.
And fated lovers.

video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aquatica!

Aquatica was so much fun! We were a little worried as we drove over there because the sky was so dark and there was thunder and lightening. As we walked up to the gate we were not so warmly greeted by hundreds of people leaving bellowing out that the park was closed. Well, we didn't drive all the way down there for nothing so we approached the window and asked the ticket taker if we could go inside. She looked a little confused and said of course we could go inside if we wished to wait out the storm. Cody asked her which attractions were still open. She looked at him kinda funny and said, "Well, it's a water park so basically,...the food is still open." We took some pictures while we waited.
After about thirty minutes the announcement came that the park was open. Let the fun begin!
This is Cody and me going down our favorite slide. It was so fast!

Here comes mom and dad!
Mom thought it was very fun! Even her hip liked it!
Let's go again!

Oops! This one is out of order! Cami and Jacob's big SPLASH!
I love Cami's face!


Little Brother


Pick a good one Lily!


The black and white thing behind me is a commerson's dolphin. They're a lot smaller than bottle nose dolphins.
The Dolphin Plunge water slide actually takes you down into the dolphin tank! It was pretty cool.

See the slide?
But alas, all good and outrageously fun things must come to an end.
There are no words for moments like these. That is why we have cameras.
I wish the whole family could have been here, but we'll come back one day.