The early years

This fluffy, lace covered baby is me.

About 23 years ago.

My mom's dad (Papa) used to buy me tiny, expensive baby dresses from Saxs, 5th Avenue.
My mom, apparently, used to put on little baby fashion shows.

From the look on my face, there is something uncomfortable going on somewhere.
Or I just peed myself, you never know.

A list

1. I love to make lists.

2. I was so full of list ideas last night, I couldn't sleep till I wrote them all down.

3. There are 25 items on my list.

4. I am 93% through my insomnia-inducing list.

5. My list included making other lists.

6. I had home-made thai/asian chicken stir fry and noodles for lunch.

7. I'm currently watching "Holmes on Homes".

8. I love home improvement shows.

9. My new favorite movie is "Despicable Me".

10. I want my own minion.

11. 56 days to go in my pregnancy!

12. I can't end a list on a prime number. Hence this point.

Photo of the week

This photo was taken at the West Virginia State Fair in 2009.

I wanted to accent the colors of the sunset and I think it turned out great.

Me and the hubby bought our customary cinnamon roll and loaded potato chip, heart attack inducing snacks. After some exploring and sweating off our lunch, we went to check out the rides. I wanted to ride the ferris wheel, but after doing the math, we didn't feel it was necessary to drop $11 a piece to ride. Then after getting scammed out of $40 for a sorry looking teddy bear, we decided to go home. :) It was a good day!

10 things that make me happy

1. Baby C
He's my little buddy. He keeps me company during the day while Hubby is at work and is always making me laugh. He's getting older (so fast!!) and developing a sense of humor. The other day he really had me going. I was sitting in the recliner and he wanted up, so I put him on my lap facing me. He started jumping up and down, making the recliner rock back and forth and he was just having so much fun, I couldn't stop laughing. I love that kid. I never thought I could love something so much. :D

2. Hubby
Hubby is my best friend. I tell him everything, which doesn't always go both ways since he works so much. But when we do get the chance to sit and talk, we go on and on. I love how he is such an optimist, it balances out my (sometimes) scrooge mentality. He really does know how to make me laugh, not always when I want him to. He is an amazing guy and I thank God we found each other when we did. I love him eternally.

3. My mom
She is my rock. I know I can always go to Hubby but mom has a way of putting things that always makes me feel better. She knows my personality and how emotional I can get sometimes. She understands my pregnancy makes me very hormonal and what to say to put me at ease. I may have my dad's brain, but I have my mom's heart. I love that woman beyond words.

4. My brother
Brother isn't like every other college dude. And I love him all the more for that. He's smart as a fox and I am very proud of him. I know he will go very far and in some ways, I live vicariously through that. My life has taken a very different path and I will never be able to do what he is doing. He is a silly, caring, energetic, genius and he's my little brother.

5. Shopping
What woman doesn't?! I really do love shopping for others. That's my favorite. I like to go out and try to find something that is really meaningful to that person. Or if I can't find something just right, I make it. Which brings us to...

6. Crafts
I love anything that brings out my creative side. I made a gorgeous scrapbook out of my wedding photos. When wrapping presents, I always add personal touches like hand made name tags. I love to take photos and make a collage or put together a photo album and make custom photo captions. I'm good at making hemp jewelry, I can crochet, I can draw very well...I'm very good with my hands.

7. Photography
Taking photos, not just snapping pictures randomly, is something I am always looking out for. When I'm driving, or out with friends or family, I'm always looking for that one good shot. Photography is very important to me because I want to catch those moments and catch them in a great photo. Once I get a professional camera next year (thanks dad!!) and photoshop (who knows when) I will be in good order. I can get some practice in then start offering my photography talent along side my Wedding Planning business.

8. The outdoors
Growing up, we were always outside or taking vacations to new places. I have seen places that will blow your mind by the beauty. When you are on your way to work, do you notice the color of the trees or the changing colors of the sunrise? I notice these things everyday and it makes me happy. Nature is amazing and should not be taken for granted.

9. Time with family, friends
I rarely get to spend time with my side of the family since we all live in different corners of the country. I have family in Indiana, Washington, California, Hawaii, and my parents are in Virginia. I went to Washington for the first time 3 years ago, my last time to California was 3 years ago as well, and my Papa visited from Hawaii this year. So my visits with family are once every five years, if I'm lucky. I am very thankful for the time I get to spend with them.
Friend time has gotten slim lately since Rachel got a new job. She works more then Hubby does so I don't get to go out with her much anymore. She has more friends then I do, so I don't think she realizes she's the only person I go out with. Jesse is busy with a new baby, her two year old, her husband, and school so I don't talk to her much. Angie lives 2 hours away so those visits are slim as well. It's really just me and the baby all the time, when Hubby's at work. Needless to say, I really enjoy the little time I do get.

10. Music
On those days where my preggie hormones are really picking on me, music can always put me in a happier place. Getting out of the house and driving with the music up always makes me happy too. I don't have to explain how music finds the way to say how I'm feeling. It has always been there when I'm in a low place and made me feel better. It also makes my good mood even better :D

These are what make me about you?

Baby's first

I'm so glad Christmas is over.
I really do enjoy the decorations and family time but the crowds, the pressure, and the uncalled for rise in gas prices really wears me out. Now the lights and decorations are all put away, all the little snowmen figurines are packed up, and the wrapping paper is thrown away.
There is still a lot of candy floating around, however.

Monkey had a good time, I have to say.
Who doesn't love presents!?

He was quite good at unwrapping...

We actually didn't get him reason really. He has all kinds of different toys. I also am not one of those people who showers their kid in presents "just because". I'm glad he liked what he got though. :D

On another note, I am almost finished with my baby blanket for the new baby. 

I am debating whether or not to put his whole name or just his initials on the blanket once I'm done. I really don't know how right at this moment but I'm sure there is a way. 

All I want for christmas...

Just because I don't believe in this holiday doesn't mean I want to be by myself.
Hubby has to work, like he did last year, and I miss him terribly. It makes it more depressing thinking that, pretty much, the entire world is celebrating with their family and I'm all alone.
I appreciate the "spirit of the holidays", I enjoy the family time that comes from it, and I understand the love that comes from sharing with loved ones.
But is sure does suck when you don't have anyone to share with...

Christmas Eve

Christmas eve is my favorite part of this holiday simply because I get to spend time with family.
Every December 24th, my aunt-in-law Yevonne has a dinner for just her brother( my father-in-law), my brother-in-law Wayne, and her daughter Stephanie. Well, Steph couldn't make it due to snow, since she lives in Virginia. Wayne brought his gilrlfriend and her three kids and Hubby's cousin Chrissy showed up. I love this dinner because there isn't a lot of people and there is no drama.
Monkey was the center of attention the whole night and he was loving it. Everyone was taking his picture and playing with him. He couldn't get enough. Of course when we get home, he's so pumped up that he's not ready for bed. But I'm glad he got to see family members and spend time with new friends as well.
I don't believe in Christmas, but I do enjoythe togetherness that comes from it. :

Photo of the Week

This is one of the very first photos I took when I decided to take Photography.

It was taken on the New River, in Pembroke, Va in 2006.

It is one of my favorites to date. I love the symmetry of the bridge and its reflection. I passed my Landscape Photography project in that class with flying colors, all thanks to Giles County and her beautiful scenery. 
Landscape photography is one of my favorites, along with people, bridges, and macro-photography. 
This photo, to me, represents calm, serenity, and a warm sunny day. It's a happy memory on film.

Just a shout out

I wanted to share a link to a blog I follow.
This woman is a super mom of 4 living on a cattle ranch, with her own cookbook, and recently beat Bobby Flay in a cookoff.
I'm sharing so you can get a piece of the action. She is always having giveaways, specially since it's christmas, and all you have to do is leave a comment to enter. Like how I recently entered to win a stand mixer, a professional set of knives, and an amazing photo printer.
Just saying...

Nesting has taken over

About a week ago, I went to the library and checked out some books.
Little to my knowledge, all three of them were sewing related.
The first was about knitting, the second was about quilting, and the third was about sewing. So of course, I got inspired to create something with my own two hands.
I dug out my yarn and crochet book and began to crochet a baby blanket.
The first three rows are a little uneven but after that I got into the groove and was able to sail through the rest of my yarn. I have to go back to the store and find the same color so I can finish but here is what I have so far:

Here's a close up:

I also want to try quilting, so I went down to the craft store and picked up some fabric. Now I don't intend on making a huge quite, just something small to test my skills.

I will post some more pictures once I get farther along. Hopefully it turns out better then my 7th grade home economics project...

To be continued!

Say cheese!

After putting it off for 3 months, I finally knuckled down and caught up on my schoolwork.
I started taking a photography class online through Penn Foster when Monkey was three months old. I breezed through the first couple lessons then got stuck on the lesson about lighting. It was mainly concerning artificial light versus natural light and how to measure both.
Talk about complicated.
Photography class was hard enough when I had a professor and 15 other classmates. Geez.
Once I got past that lesson (passed with an 80%), it got a lot easier. Now I'm back on hold because I have a project I have to turn in. The first half is to photograph a publicly used building using natural light and the second is to photograph a woman using available light.
I know who and, most likely, where I'm going to photograph the woman. But the building, I'm stuck on. I don't know whether to wait till the snow has melted or not. I have the time but I know warmer weather won't come around till about April.
Just another reason for me to hate snow.

Origin of Christmas

I do not celebrate Christmas. And before you gasp and ask why in the world not? It's the birth of Christ!
No it is not, my friend.
I post this to be informative, not to be a Scrooge and ruin your holidays.

Please read:

Adventures in the snow.

I went to Walmart today.
It started snowing...which is no surprise, it's been snowing for the past three days. But I was standing at the cash register, paying for my groceries and I hear a girl say "It's snowing really hard!".
I look.
It sure is! Big fluffy snowflakes that cover the ground quickly. And the road.
Damn it.
I haven't left the house in three days and as soon as I'm 15 miles from home, the snow starts to stick to the road.
Go figure.

When I get home, I decide to take Monkey outside to see his first winter. Technically it's his second, but this time he realizes something is going on.
I bundle him up in his cute little snow outfit and his bunny ear snow hat.

I put on Cody's hunting boots and trudge outside.


 Moo wha?

I set Colt on the ground to let him explore.
He puts his hands in the snow....

...and starts bawling!
I guess the coldness of the snow really scared him and he freaked out. He was rubbing his hands everywhere to try and get the snow off. He was getting it on his face and in his eyes in the process, making it worse.
Poor guy.

So I wrap the ends of his sleeves around his hands and he's much more comfortable.
He was content just to sit and look around.

This was fun mom!

Cleaning and Cooking

The nesting bug bit me hard yesterday.
I had just put the baby down for a nap when it hit me: I'm going to clean today.
And I did.
I cleaned for a good two hours. All 4 bedrooms, one of the bathrooms, and the den and kitchen.
AND I did the laundry and the dishes.
I was on a roll!
Anyway, I decided to make a complete dinner for when Hubby got home. Not just something I scrounged together, something solid and hearty.
And I documented the process. :D

I had bought one of those recipe inspirations cards from McCormick. Its a little card with a recipe on it and it comes with all the spices you will need. Super easy. This one was for Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes.

So I used a whole chicken instead of chicken breast, like the recipe calls for, and I added carrots and celery.

I found this peeler at TJMaxx, and I gotta say, I love it. You don't have the danger of accidentally peeling your fingers along with the celery. Perfect.

Next I chopped up all the veggies into big chunks.

Then I emptied out all the spices and mixed them together.
You do have to add your own salt.
Don't forget!

Monkey was helping me cook...
That's a baby cracker on the floor by the way.

I also whipped up some asparagus. I boiled these earlier. Here I put them on a baking sheet, added some oil, salt, and pepper then popped them in the oven for about 8 minutes.

Then I buttered the chicken skin. It helps to dry the chicken skin with a paper towel first or else it's too wet for the butter to stick. I also sprinkled it with garlic salt and pepper.

Then Monkey helped me pick out a pan...

Stuff it all in a baking dish...

...then into the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes. I then turned it down to 400 for the next hour, after I buttered the chicken skin again. It gives it good flavor and keeps it from getting too crunchy. I like crunch but not dried out.
Don't worry, the veggies cook down a lot. I know it looks like its overflowing right now.

An hour later!

 smells amaaazing.

Total time: 1 hour and 1/2.
Time to eat: 30 minutes!

It's great as leftovers as well or for a working man to take to work with him!
Hubby loved it.

I want to start cooking new dishes and I plan to document my attempts at new recipes.
Until the new baby gets here....then I won't have time scratch my head.

It's snowing...darn it.

I. Hate. Snow.'s so cold, and wet, and dreary, I hate it.
I like "pretty" snow. I like the thick, clumpy, make-everything-look-magical kind of snow. The kind that sticks to everything EXCEPT the road. That kind of snow I can live with.
This stuff is blegh...ugly.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the snow is blowing around and its FREEZING.

I would hate to be one of the cows right now.


ON TOP of the flooded too! Apparently, (I wouldn't know because I slept like a rock) it rained like doomsday last night and flooded.

If you look past the fence, towards the trees, you can see all the water that rose last night from the creek.

It does that every time it rains hard and every winter when the snow melts.

At least we don't own the land that gets hit the hardest with water. It just covers a small part of our land, not too bad.

This is a picture of my fogged up front door:

I was doing laundry and it warms up the whole front of the it gets kinda foggy when its cold outside. :P

I drew a snowman on one of the panes. The middle, right one.


On another note: Monkey is walking A LOT more. I think Curtis is going to be right, that Monkey will be walking before Christmas! Right now, its more walking then crawling but its still not one all the time.

It's really exciting to see him learn new things. Like now he can imitate certain sounds you make. He likes to move his tongue over his lip and make a gobble like sound. It's hard to explain but SUPER cute. :D He can also clap his hands together. I love it.

We all went to the Greenbrier hotel yesterday to meet Rachel and get our Christmas pictures taken. It was a lot of fun and more personal then just getting a portrait taken. I don't like portrait pictures. I think they're are lame. It's so much more creative to pick a spot that you like outside of a studio and get your picture taken there. Here's some of my favorites.

Here Monkey is sitting on the piano. It could not have been more perfect!

And here, he's under the tree. I love how the lights reflect off of the floor. This one is my favorite. :D

The lighting wasn't the best, but that what you get with a basic digital camera. Dad is going to buy me a semi-professional grade camera like I've always wanted. I have a manual one, but not a digital. So next year, these should turn out a lot better. But for our first family picture, ever, I think they turned out great!