Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ten Fingers Left

Our welcome home for the last four years.
As excited as we are to move into our new place, it's getting a little hard to embrace that this means we will be moving out of our current place. I guess you can't do one with out the other, but the closer the date gets...the more I'm feeling a bit scentimenal about it all. This has been our first home together as a couple. It's the home we first experienced fatherhood in. It's been the host to our Holiday Cookie Crumble ... and a several dinner parties.

I guess, in a short period of time we have put our stamp on this condo and really made it a place we call 'home.'  I still remember the first day after the move-in and we had settled with the fact that there was no way for us to get our big couch into either the elevator or the stairwell. Outside of hiring a crane to hoist it over the balcony six floors up ... we were sunk. So we sat in our big living room on pillows and had our first meal in our home while watching a movie (cable not set up yet).  It was blissful!

We move out in 10 days. I know once that last piece of furniture is moved out and we lock the door the last time as our permanent residence ... it's gonna hit. It's been a great home for these two fathers and our son to build our family unit, but now it's on to bigger and better things. I guess we can take comfort in knowing we aren't actually selling our condo just yet....we may never will. Maybe this'll turn out to be our retirement condo when we are old and grey - and still fabulous!

If you are a person who helped us make so many memories with us over the years, we raise a glass to you and thank you. We have truly enjoyed our time here at MICA and will desperately miss our POOL! Our fabulous pool is like our scarecrow ... we'll miss it most of all.

I'm sitting here writing this in the dark as I just got Kyler to bed for the night. Thank God it is Friday tomorrow. However, tonight I'll go to bed knowing that I have as many nights left in our bedroom as I do fingers.  Ten fingers left here......ten.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nana's Last Meal: Stuffed Tomato & Basil Chicken w/ Bacon

Stuff tomato and basil chicken wrapped in bacon
Some things are just worth waiting for. Case in point ... last night was Nana's last night with us, so I wanted to make a special "send-off" dinner for all of us. I have a lot of fresh basil from our balcony, so I hopped online to look for a recipe made with basil. I ran across this recipe and it sounded D-Lish!

My timing wasn't the best, however. I still needed to get to the grocery store for a few ingredients, and then marinate the chicken breasts as well. I think by the time we were seated at the table it was pushing almost 9:30pm. Oops .... it better be good! In the end, it was worth the wait.

This recipe sounds like it would be hard, but it was actually pretty easy and very tasty. You need 30 mins to marinate, and then about 30-35 minutes to bake. I cooked the brussel sprouts at the same time in the oven and had the corn boiling above on the stove. While it was all cooking, I was able to tidy up the kitchen so there wouldn't be much to do afterwards and we could enjoy our stuffed bellies. tic-toc, tic-toc, tic-toc ...

I'm not the biggest fan of actually handling chicken, so if you have that fear *gasp* this may not be for you. To prepare, you need to butterfly the chicken breast to marinate, and then stuff them with:  1) tomatoes, 2) fresh basil, and 3) provolone cheese. The final touch is wrapping each one with 3 strips of bacon. For a more healthier bend, you can definitely forgo the bacon, or use turkey bacon or bacon bits ... options! Even though it is a chicken dish, it can be paired with a red wine. I opted for a white last night, and it was perfect!

We sat around the dinner table and enjoyed this wonderful meal as Kyler slept after a packed day of playing with his Nana. Dinner was a success and will definitely be making another appearance in our home in the future. If this tickles your fancy like it did mine, you can see the entire recipe on and search for "Stuffed Tomato Basil Chicken." 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hope for Changing Hearts on Marriage Equality

Brad and I hope to one day be married. In fact, many people ask when that is going to happen. When our state, Maryland, passes marriage equality and there is no risk of being overturned ... it will happen. We look forward to the day where we feel just like everyone else and not like second class citizens.

To get there, we need to change hearts one person at a time. This article by the former brainchild, Louis J. Marinelli, of the 2010 Summer for Marriage Tour is very inspirational that equality is moving forward. If hearts can be changed like this person, then there is great hope for even the hardest of hearts. 

The article will take you about 5 minutes to read, and it's worth it. Mr Marinelli sets out his timeline of how his change of heart happened. If you find this article inspirational and feel others would benefit from reading it, I ask that you forward it on, re-post it, blog about it ... whatever. It's a great story for all to read.

I Now Support Full Marriage Equality - Go Now

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Bouncy, Flouncy, Trouncy, Pouncy ... Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!

Kyler is growing so quickly. When I returned home from Spain I was lucky enough to witness him roll over for the first time. That was just awesome! He also is really loving his bouncy seat. He gets his legs a hoppin' and laughs about it. I captured this short video .... mostly to embarrass him later when he's older, but to also share with everyone. It's amazing how much watching him grow just warms my heart.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Return of Super Nana

So, life is definitely different around the Benton-Letson household. Brad's mom has returned to Alabama after a 2.5 week visit after the Christmas holiday. We can definitely say that we truly miss her and that she is a Super Nana!

Kyler was extremely spoiled the last few weeks with all of the attention his Nana gave him. And we were definitely spoiled with all of the free time we had because Nana was feeding, burping, and changing her grandson any chance she could get. It was such a treat to wake up in the morning for work and "hand off" Kyler to Nana for his morning feeding while we got ready for the day. We have quickly realized (now on this first day of getting Kyler to daycare) that we need to build in a lot of extra time in the morning.  *hmmmph*

As much of a benefit as we received out of her being her, it was fortunately a two way street. As some of you know, Nana is recently widowed after the traumatic passing of Brad's dad in October of last year. The holidays were a definite time of celebration, but we are all still grieving as the absence of Almon was felt.

Nana mentioned that "Kyler was a much needed distraction," but I think he was more than that. I really do feel that he has provided some sense of healing for us all ... but especially Nana. A new chapter in her life has started, and it is not once that she chose .... but rather one that was provided to her. There are many changes and adaptations that have happened and are still yet to come, but she is remaining strong. I personally have a new deep respect and admiration for her because of her strength. Through all of this, she has held tight to her family and has shown an out-pouring of pure love. She has fully embraced every aspect and benefit of being a grandmother ... a new role she takes with pride even with every diaper change.

The three of us (Brad, Brad & Kyler) are so very blessed. Blessed to have Nana in our lives right now, and hopefully for many many years to come. We are so thrilled that Kyler will grow up to know and love his Nana and also learn about the great man he'll call "Grandpa."

Although Nana is hundreds of miles away, we can feel her every day as we know her thoughts are constantly on her precious grandson. We love you so very much. We count our blessings for you, and we cannot wait for the Return of Super Nana!
Nana and her Ky

Friday, January 07, 2011

Baby Man Farts

I was at a gathering of guys last night for an employee resource group that we are starting up. One of the gentlemen I was having a conversation with found out we had recently adopted. He was just thrilled for us and asked me, "What is the one big revelation you've had since becoming a father." I wasn't really sure how to answer that question. I thought about it for a brief second and responded with something that sounded like, "Just the fact of how natural it actually feels to be a parent. It's really not that scary."

Nice response I suppose ... actually, it's very true. However, on my ride home when I had more time to process, I thought about a much bigger revelation that's happened since becoming a father. And that is .... even very small tiny babies have big ol' man farts.

To be honest with you, I guess I have never heard a baby fart loudly and never really gave it much thought. However, our little Kyler can really pack a wallup in his drawers when he wants to. It's actually quite funny that something that load can come from someone so little.

We have discovered that although very funny, these farts are very necessary for the happiness of all involved. When Kyler is anywhere close to being cranky, it is usually because he's gassy and needs to frrrrrrrrrrrrrrtt a little. As soon as he gets that out, he usually calms down pretty quickly. Often, we need to have him on his back and rub his stomach in a downward motion to work the gas out, or work his knees back and forth to his chest  Geeeeeeesh, sometimes I wish I had someone to work my gas out.

I am already invisioning when it will come the time that I'll need to teach Kyler when and where it is appropriate to break wind .... especially in public. I can just see that conversation happening.  "Kyler, whenever you are around people that we haven't had over for dinner, you can't toot .... unless you know it's a "steamer" and we are outside."   Guess I'll need to show by example....DANG!

Enjoy your weekend. Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Little Pissy

I felt the need to resurrect and old post of mine after visiting the men's room at work today. It's a good reminder to all you males out there for the new year. Let's start off on the right foot.
Okay, here's my thing. public bathrooms are gross enough as it is....they don't need help being that way. So, guys, why must you pee on the toilet seat? I don't get it.........does it just come down to pure laziness or is it some type of target practice for you to try and see if you can pee through the seat?

It is not normally an issue as I tend to use public restrooms for #1 and not #2, but sometimes it is just unavoidable and needs to get done. The last thing you want to have to do is wipe some [insert bad name, IBN]'s pee off the seat with some toilet paper and then cover it with a seat cover........the whole time instead of concentrating on the job at're thinking about whether the pee remnants are now soaking through the seat protector and now touching your unsuspecting butt cheeks. Ewwwwwwwww!

Guys, if you must use the toilet to pee in, please lift the [IBN] seat or either sit down to pee. If you don't like touching the toilet seat, use your [IBN] foot.

Bathrooms are not meant for target practice!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cutter Inners

I commute into work everyday ... for the most part, my commute is not very stressful. However, I have obtained a "not so fresh feeling" about certain drivers I encounter on the road. I have coined them to be: Cutter Inners. Let me set the scenario ...

There is an on-ramp to the freeway off of Georgia Ave to head west bound. The traffic in the far right lane tends to back up further on Georgia due to the amount of people merging over (way before the ramp) preparing to take the on-ramp. The other two lanes of traffic motor on by to head north on Georgia. As you get closer to the on-ramp in teh line of traffic you've been patiently waiting in....

Enter the Cutter Inner!

This would be the [insert bad name "IBN"] that feels they are too good to wait in line with the rest of the kids and drives right on past everyone in the second-to-the-right lane .... only then to pull up next to the line right at the on-ramp entrance and stop to be let in ... little blinker going "blinkidy-blink-blink, let me in."  Meanwhile, the free flowing traffic mentioned before in the other two lanes now has a(n) [IBN] stopped in the middle of traffic and is backing up that lane. So, now we have two lanes backing up ... and because of the back up in the second lane, there are now cars trying to pull out to get into the third lane to head north .... sometimes almost causing a collision as they pull out.

So, now we have two lanes backing up and near death experiences happening in one lane during rush hour ... all because Miss Pretty or Mr Trunkthumper is a [IBN] Cutter Inner! Do you feel my rage building?

These are the type of people that really crank my crust  ... you know those people ... people that want "convenience at the inconvenience of others." I really need to coin a name for that, so if there are any suggestions, please let me know. Again, coining a term for "convenience at the inconvenience of others."

That's my story. These Cutter Inners appear all over in the driving world, not just on my commute. I don't mind them so much as long as traffic is moving and they are not blocking traffic AND they don't cause me to put on my brakes, but normally this is not the case. I have to say, Cutter Inners must hate seeing my red RAV-4 go by because my front bumper is about two inches away from the back bumper of the car in front of me. "Ain't no way you cuttin' in front of me, [IBN]!"  BOOOOM!

If you are a Cutter Inner, I might just hate you today. I'm sure I'll get over it, but today I might relish in my rage. What is your version of a "Cutter Inner?"

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Precious Moments

There are certain life moments that can be captured on film that also capture your heart. This would be one of them. Do you have pictures with one of your great grandparents? I don't. Luckily, Kyler has one living & thriving great grandparent, Louella. She is the mother of Brad's mom, Debra, and is a vibrant 82 years old. I made sure to capture several pictures with Kyler and his great grandma in order to capture this special relation ... one of a great grandma and great grandchild.

This photo was taken as great grandma was leaving and was saying good-bye to her precious grandson. There were several mentions of "just one more kiss" as great g'ma Louella kept giving Kyler kisses upon kisses. It was such a special moment, and I am so glad that I was able to capture such a gorgeous picture of these two lovely ladies.

Do you have any memories of any great grandparents? Do you wish you had photos if you don't have any?
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