top seven: round two

so last week i didn't have time to do much else than work, breathe, sleep, and eat.  which is why i never got to post anything about top seven:  round one.  (maybe they knew that... so they gave me a second chance.  probably not.)  anyway... here's my quick thoughts on tonight's performances.

first, of course... a rundown on the judges.  
     -randy:  obviously, wearing orange for stellan!
     -kara:  sporting some great hair and a color other than navy and/or black.  nice.
     -paula:  wearing sleeves!  amazing.  still saying random things.  and dancing.
     -simon:  wearing the thinnest undershirt he could find.  obviously.

now, onto the perfomances... same ratings apply.

-lil:  props to lil for performing as well as she did for being sick.  i thought something was a little off.  however, the judges are right.  she's just not showing herself for who she is.  i can't figure out what kind of artist she would be.  this week, simon's right, may be her last.
rating:  -

-kris:  loved it!  loved everything about it.  it was very john mayer-ish (before he got political) to me.  
rating: ++

-danny:  he's great.  every week.  but he's not super dynamic every week.  and that's what may bump kris up into the final two and danny 3rd.  that is, if-things-keep-up-the-way-they-are-this-week, and not that danny won't be stepping up his game next week.  after all, it is all in the arrangement... ha!
rating:  +

-allison:  i get the vibe she was portraying.  i do.  but hated the outfit.  loved her voice.  didn't love the arrangement.  she is good.  she's the best girl still standing, and this season they dropped like flies.  
rating:  =

-adam:  brilliant.  and, for the record, i still love fresh-face adam better than manscara adam.  but, either way, he is now my favorite, right up there with kris, of course, because kris is more my style.  wait, i think i just pulled a paula... who am i talking about?  oh yeah.  adam.  loved it.  i think we have a winner, and a few weeks ago, i would have washed my mouth out after saying that (country week, if you can't remember).
rating:  ++

-matt:  okay.  really.  what america wanted to end last week should have ended last week.  hopefully, it will end this week.  i still don't really know what kind of album he would make.  he's trying to be too many different people and i'm over it.  i never really liked him in the first place, then a few weeks in a row- he was great.  now he's back to being unimpressive.  
rating:  -

-anoop:  he is great with the ballads.  this week, he didn't really wow me, but he did a great job and he can sing.  and he can totally pull off pink.  
rating:  =

that's it for me.  what did you think?

orange for stellan


orange you praying for stellan?

Stellan has surgery at 8:30am EST Tuesday (4/21) morning.  His heart rhythms will be evaluated and he will most likely be having an ablation, which is extremely risky in an infant his size, but necessary to fix his heart.  MckMama's favorite color in orange (and I'm sure Stellan's is, too), and many people all over the world will be wearing orange to signify they're praying for Stellan.

Most of you who know me at all, know I strongly dislike orange.  (No offense, Stellan.)  But my blog will stay on the orange side for awhile in support of sweet Stellan.  Please pray!


finally back to the blog

i know you are all wondering where i have been. i have no good excuse, except that between work and travel and work again, with sleeping and other life necessities to take care of, the blog has come last. until today! i even have pictures to share, too.

we were able to go to franklin (tn) last weekend to visit with family and take care of some odds and ends down there. it was nice to see our families and to spend time in tn together, since the last trip that was made, i made by myself. we left on thursday, thankfully, because (good) friday brought along with it some seriously nasty weather. we were about 30 miles away from a EF-4 tornado (that whipped through jay's brother's neighborhood... he is fine, thankfully) and had a coworker not swapped shifts with jay, we would have been driving down on this same day. check out pictures and info on the storms here. we visited with my family and jay's family and that kept us busy enough.

i don't have a ton of pictures, but here are a few that were taken...

sweet spooner, jay's (almost) 14 year old black lab

we spent some time sunday afternoon with my extended family. we ate dinner (at 2pm) and came back to my grandparents' house for some dessert and for the young ones to hunt easter eggs. it was great getting to visit with everyone. i snapped a few pictures here, too.

darling (second) cousins: (L-R) justin, jason, james wearing their "handsome clothes"

my aunt regina, who has way too much fun with her camera

my sweet grandmother

fun egg hunting... with the boys are lindsey (brunette) and haley (blonde), my (first) cousins

one of my grandmothers beautiful dogwood trees

we came home monday afternoon to some very excited dogs and some much colder weather. when we left tn, it was almsot 70 degrees. we came home to 48 degrees and rain. no fair! but the dogs didn't care. :) they spent their weekend with our neighbors kelly, steven, and harley and also some time with our across-the-street neighbors, sharon and her grandson, james michael. when i hopped in the shower on tuesday, this is what i stepped out to....

pardon the mess, but note cotton, then dave and barley on the bed. they weren't going to let me go anywhere without their knowledge and approval!
and then it was life as usual. back to work. today, we are enjoying sunny skies, warm breezes, and lots of time playing outside. hope your weekend is great, too.


top eight; and other things.

so, this week's idol update/review will be short, sweet, and to-the-point.  i have much to do before getting ready for work, but couldn't let last night's performances be for nothing!  i watched them this morning before going to bed, and i have to say, i was a bit bored through most of it.  until the end!  ok.  same ratings apply.

1.  danny.+
great way to open the show.  the arrangement was different and after listening to the entire thing, i really liked it.  

2.  kris. =
didn't really enjoy his performance this week. i didn't think it was "indulgent," but it wasn't anything new or different from the original song.  the notes didn't change much, either.  

3.  lil.  =
i really think they're spot on about lil.  she needs to define herself as an artist, and she's just not doing that yet.  she's a great singer, and i don't want to see her leave because she just can't get it together.

4.  anoop.  +
loved anoop this week.  i think he does really well when he just gets quiet and tones it down, because his vocal range really shines.  (and, he actually smiled during his performance for the first time in 2 weeks.  nice.)

5.  scott. -
did not like it this week at all.  it was a bit painful to listen to.  i am thinking maybe it's his last night.  i don't think the guitar helped him at all, and those notes he tried to reach were pretty awful.  just not his style and it may have done him in this week for good.

6.  allison. +
she has redeemed herself for me this week.  at first i thought it was an odd song choice for her, but after she was done, i thought she made the perfect choice.  not sure about the clothes, though...

7.  matt. +
he was back to his old self again this week, and i appreciate that.  much better from "the fray" last week.  i didn't love it... it will take another week of something good to turn me back around to him, but really liked it.

ok.  so at this point, my dvr cut off in the living room, but my tivo is set to record extra time since it is a live recording.  so, off to bed i went to watch adam's performance.  i was intrigued to see what he would sing this week....

8.  adam. ++
i love this song.  and i loved loved adam's spin on it, but glad he kept it mostly the same.  the lighting was perfect.  he is winning me over as one of my favorites.  it was a shaky start for me with adam, but every week i like him more.  he seemed really cocky the beginning of the top 12, but his humbleness is shining though a bit every week, and that is part of what makes me like him.  and simon stood up?  what?!  fantastic.  (i watched it twice.)

on other notes, it really snowed here this week.  not just flurries.  we only got a dusting at our house, but what was supposed to turn to rain never did.  just snow.  monday and tuesday.  we got about an inch last night at work.  it was really pretty... even thought it's april and the 70 degree weather we had on sunday was really really nice.  and then 24 hours later it snowed.  seriously?  it's spring.  if it's going to snow, and accumulate, why did it wait until now?  crazy.  

tomorrow (thursday) we are leaving for franklin, tn, to do some visiting at home.  we really didn't intend to go on Easter weekend, but it is the only weekend we could both get away without really taking much time off.  jay hasn't been since last summer, and i took my trip in december, so it'll be nice to get back and see family again.  we should be coming back on monday, so we will actually have 3 whole days to spend down there.  

here's to warmer weather, safe travels for all this weekend, and scott getting voted off american idol!  (okay, someone getting voted off...)


master bathroom masterpiece

i love it. it took lots of hard work and time. i taped it up monday... that took about 2 hours. and painted it tuesday... that took more than 2 hours. whoever designed our master bath never EVER thought about having to paint it. seriously. wow. i split up coat one and coat two with some time at the gun range, dinner at alicia's (a little wine), and a few outfit changes. but thanks to lowe's (no thanks to monroe, who mixed the first gallon that ended up all over the driveway, my shoes and jeans- don't ask, or do), martha stewart (her lovely color "forest lichen"), and myself, the master bath has been transformed from blah and boring to fabulous and relaxing. take a look for yourself...

the girls had to get in on the action today since they have been banned from the general master bath area for the last two days. perhaps on a day when the sun shines a little brighter, i will take another picture or two. it is just lovely.

and on another dog note, they decided that they wanted to add a picture to stellan's name gallery. it took a lot of bribery and about 7 other pictures before we got the winner. we have emailed it on its way and hope to see it soon in the gallery. but you can see it here, first.

don't they look great? i think if dogs could pray, they would be praying for baby stellan, too. stellan is receiving a blood transfusion today. his heart is still going in and out of SVT (sometimes with the help of medicatin and sometimes on its own). he is tired. his mckmama is tired. they still need our prayers. thanks for joining us!

top nine

american idol strikes again.  i watched it last night after finishing the paint job to the master bath (pictures to post later!).  last night was "top download" night.  ?  what?  the finalists chose between a multitude of songs that are on the "top download" list on i-tunes.  ok.  interesting.  maybe their guest for the week fell through.  maybe not.  it was different and surprising and, sometimes, not so great.  let's get started...

introducing the judges:  mr. rogers, always navy/black kara, paula (didn't get the memo that she falls out of strapless dresses) abdul, and simon "my undershirts are in the wash" cowell  (thank goodness paula didn't hide any crayons under the table this week.)

oh, i have come up with my own rating system:   
          thumbs up:  +
thumbs down: -
ambivalent:  =

1.  anoop desai- "caught up" by: usher 
he sang a "fun," upbeat song but didn't seem to be having fun.  i am sure he had to focus on the lyrics and such, but he could have looked like he enjoyed himself, like he did when he sang the first few weeks.  i thought he did a good job, though, but still am wanting more from anoop, i.e. less serious, more fun.  
rating:  =

2.  megan joy- "turn your lights down low" by:  bob marley
poor megan.  she is just trying too hard.  i do think she could have picked something that suited her a bit better, because she's not a bad singer.  however, she sounds the same every week no matter what she sings.  paula is right (what?!), bring that girl a stool.  she cannot seem to stand still when she sings and breaks into those weird little moves that are a bit distracting, frankly.  sorry, megan, you are one of my least favorites this week.  
rating: -

3.  danny gokey- "what hurts the most" by:  rascall flatts 
brilliant.  danny is an amazing singer.  his passion came through this week (as it does many weeks) and no one could deny he was singing from his soul and not just singing to impress.  this man has suffered great loss in his life and it was evident in every word of this song.  it was just beautiful.  
rating: ++, goosebumps!

4.  allison iraheta- "don't speak" by:  no doubt
so, i own this album.  i listened to it when i was her age.  (yeah, i feel old right now.)  i don't know if anyone else noticed, but she messed up some words in the beginning verse.  just a couple.  her outfit, hair, shoes... it was all atrocious.   seriously?  who dressed this girl?  the guitar didn't seem to help her; it actually seemed to distract her.  she usually blows me away with her performances.  not this week.  not a favorite.  at all.
rating: -

5.  scott macintyre- "just the way you are" by:  billy joel
this was really nice.  this is why i liked scott to start with, but the last few weeks he slipped down my charts.  he was trying too hard, picking weird songs.  this week, he's back.  this was a great choice for him.  his hair looked great.  i enjoyed every moment.
rating:  +

6.  matt giraud- "you found me" by:  the fray
jay and i heard the fray in concert, before they were "the fray."  (they opened for ben folds... and we browsed the souvenir table during their performance.)  i have a hard time listening to any song of theirs and understanding every word.  same with matt last night.  the chorus was nice.  i was actually liking matt for about the last 2 weeks.  now he's back at the bottom for me, too.  
rating:  =

7.  lil rounds- "i surrender"  by:  celine dion
lovely.  yes, it was a little bit dark... from her makeup to her dress (not the best style choice, either) but i thought she did a great job.  it was grown-up and a little too serious, and she paid for it with the judges.  loved ryan attempting to talk to her daughters... and the little one hugging randy... adorable.
rating:  +

8.  adam lambert- "play that funky music"  by:  wild cherry
wow.  i loved it.  the arrangement was fantastic, and of course, the boy can sing.  it wasn't until he was singing (pre-paula comments) that i realized he has a very steven tyler quality.  he's good.  he seems to be a little bit more humble, too.  (this, i like.)  i think he looks much better with his hair back and without the ma(n)scara and eyeliner.  he is creeping up my favorites list.  (i cannot believe i just wrote that.)
rating:  ++

9.  kris allen- "ain't no sunshine" by:  bill withers
this tied danny for my favorite performance of the night.  maybe even notched a bit higher than danny.  he did an amazing job, and if i-tunes was compatible with my mp3 player, i would download it.  don't know what else to say, except, "brilliant."
rating:  +++, goosebumps!

okay.  that sums it up for me this week.  who was your favorite?  who do you want to see gone?