Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chip's Apple Pie

I call this after my husband because frankly I learned to make for him.  I looked at tons of recipes for it but I couldn't find anything easy and appealing .  So after trying some out I settled with this combination recipe:

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp group cinn.
nut meg
5 med apples thinly sliced
1 lemon
vanilla to taste

I haven't baked the crust yet.  That is my next project before Christmas.

Yellow Squash Bread

This is the greatest recipe ever.  Especially during squash season.  I had sincerely exhausted every recipe for summer squash and zuchinni I had.  I came across this recipe at
3 eggs
1 cup of oil
2 cups of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups of shredded yellow squash
3 cups of self rising flour
nuts are optional

Mix eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla with mixer.  Add other ingrediats.  Mix with spoon.  Bake at 325 F for 45 to 60 minutes for a loaf.
I will add pictures soon :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So how do you like my new look?  A change was in order, I was getting bored of the look and had seen it already in too many blogs. 
Send feedback, who knows I might change every few weeks according to your suggestions.  I feel an idea coming about...maybe a prize for the suggestion I chose?

Have a Happy Friday!

New Goals and a tough road ahead

This post is not about what you may think.  It's not about home management, menu planning or decluttering.  It's about my husband, Chip and I.  I like to think we're a pretty cool couple, we concentrate on what makes us work instead of focusing on what annoys us.  Don't get me wrong we don't bury our heads in the sand or avoid the big fat elephant in the room.  We choose to enjoy each other.  We laugh together, we read together and pretty much enjoy the companionship.  We both enjoyed something very much, so much that we never wanted to change, just the thought of this sent cold chills down our backs.  We both smoked ... yeah we loved smoking.  I am writing in the past tense because as you imagine, we have quit. 

I have smoked since I was 16 and let me tell you that the saddest day of this year was the day I said goodbye to my most trusted friend.  I did this for me, for my health, for Carr and for the future. Intellectually, I understand and agree that it was the smartest decision but in my heart I hold a sadness for the absence of a dear friend. I really can't say what started it all but I quit smoking and I am working out.

I walked a 5K. Yeah, you heard me, I actually did a 5K and am signed up for another on Thanksgiving morning.  I am trying to eat healthier food, which is very hard.  I will be posting some ideas for meals and what work and what doesn't.

 I actually did this!

This is how much time I took walking and pushing Carr' baby 

Not a day has gone by that given the opportunity I would smoke a cig.  People say it takes time.  I am willing to wait.  Everyday that comes by makes the urges more bearable. Funny how a child can change your whole life.

Pumpkin Patch 2010

Seems crazy how times fly. What was important to you last year, is not the end all be all this year.  Maybe it is a sign of maturity and not your average flakiness.  Last year, I was almost brought to tears for not having the time or help to take my son to a pumpkin patch and have autumn pictures taken.  It was so upsetting! Autumn madness ( will likely demonstrate better than I can explain how "mad" I actually was.  I am not saying, I am not crazy now, I'm just saying I'm more relaxed at it.

My life is filled with joy, responsibility, hard work, and laughter.  I have much more going on in my life in comparison to last year (if you read my blog frequently, you know) but despite what anyone from the outside might think, I am so much more relaxed.  If it gets better at this same rate, my life will be heaven by next year. 

I don't ask for much, not interested in riches, I shy away from fame and any type of notoriety.  I just desire to be debt free, have a house that we can make into a home, and that my husband's dreams come true, he is working very hard towards this.  The best life example we can give our child is that both his parents are intellectually and emotionally fulfilled.  Our son should see his parents happy, making him happy and trying to have an impact on the world around us.

Things that make Carr happy are TV toy commercials, anything Batman, (unfortunately) Happy Meals, when daddy plays music on the computer and we all have a dance party.  He also likes afternoon walks, taking naps with mommy.  He loves his Meme, Ri, Asherman and Ryan. We cannot forget his obsession over Kit Kats, emmis and lollipops.

Autumn brings with it warm meals, thoughtful planning, quiet nights and Christmas crafts. 

I never tire of saying this, I love that face!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rory's Wedding and Melissa's Bridal shower

I am so behind on blog posts, it just isn't funny anymore. This particular post has to do with me and my inner circle: my friends.  You see, friends are what keeps you sane once you join the married and have children club.  While I have to acknowledge that I am so blessed to have the supportive husband I have, that I know how much he loves me and Carr, nothing can quite explain the power of a friend.  You know, the one that knows YOU WEREN"T CRAZY TO BEGIN WITH!!!
This post is dedicated to two of my dear friends that have decided to join the club: Rory and Melissa.  I don't want to make this a sappy post, they know how much I love them, they were there for the fun, sad, stressed out times in college.  We know our history, what is important that now is that we have grown apart through the years, marriage (mine) and pregnancy (mine), many, many moves (Melissa's) and distance (Rory).

Let me confess that I secretly planned my vacation to coincide with Rory's wedding, so I could go and not be freakin' rushed (you'll learn more about that).  My girls know that since I have had Carr, I have refused to sleep away from him.  My son and I have slept every night since he was born under the same roof.  Which is kind of a triumph considering my job sometimes requires me to travel to job sites.  I have always return home or taken my guys with me. I didn't want to leave Carr and go to the wedding and stay overnight - I am just not ready to do this yet.  Sooo, cue in vacation to Sandbridge which is about an hour away.  YAY!  I got to have lunch with Ms. Rory and enjoy some of her time (which was a miracle in itself).

My son absolutely loves his Ms. Rory.   Here we are about a month later and he still wants to go to the beach and see Ms.Rory.  So sweet!

This was truly a highlight in my week!  It was such a big deal that Rory take the time (3 days before her wedding) just to have lunch. Not getting into to much detail we had a great lunch and caught up.  I want to post some of my favorite photos of her wedding.

Did I forget to mention that her wedding was incredible?  The venue, the weather, and the details all came together perfectly on her day.  She deserves it and much more.

I always like to look at the groom when the bride is coming in, I totally agree with the screen writer for "27 dresses"!

Rory looked fabulous! 

Mr. and Mrs Joshua Jansen

Some cocktails before dinner.  Open bar, need I say more.  Such fun!

Candied apple souvenirs - I had a small taste of it prior - such a great idea!

 Wedding Party - need to highlight that most of the females are all dear friends from college.

Such a great couple!

 Bridesmaid Megan Willis Fontana - dear friend

Maid of Honor - Lee Thomas (aka my sista)

Like I said cocktails before dinner - open bar - need I say more.

Just one more thing before I change gears.  I am very proud of the gift packaging for Rory's wedding.  My mother in law helped me (well she practically did it all).  I have to say I chose the material and color scheme - so there!  Before you think I bought all these gifts on my own, no way can't afford that.  Melissa Grant and I went together on this. 

I think they look gorgeous!

Melissa's Bridal Shower

I need you to picture a very outspoken, vivacious, intelligent, gorgeous red-head.  Can you picture that - OK then you know Melissa Grant.  She is the kind of girl you want beside you when the going gets tough, when you are in a mood, or when you want to party.  I really can't imagine when you don't want Melissa Grant around.  You couple that with her fiancee, who just happens to be one of the coolest guys I know (which by the way gets along with my husband, yay).  And you have a couple made in heaven, forge in mount Olympus and destined for glory.  Yeah, I know I might be taking it a tad to far but you must understand I love these guys!
Melissa decided to have her bridal shower in Richmond, Va.  About two hours away from where I live. Well, this is how much I love this girl.  I drove to Richmond by myself.  You must be thinking so what is the big deal?  OK, let me fill you in on a secret.  I get lost almost every time I get in my car and wander off the paths I have learned.  I have never driven in a city with city traffic.  Yes, I am a disgrace to feminists' everywhere.  I have no excuse!  But, guess what?  I drove it all by myself and didn't get lost, well Garmin helped.
I had a great time catching up with friends, meeting new friends and just enjoying Melissa's day.  I truly wish I could have stayed for the bachlorette party but like I explained before - I am just not ready to leave my kid overnight yet.  But I have come a long way so don't give up on me yet!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Family Vacation - Sandbridge, VA

It's funny how vacation sometimes turns into something you never expected.  I spent months just imagining how restful and relaxing this vacation would be.  It had been almost a year and a half since my  last vacation, to say that I was looking forward to some days off was an understatement.  But to be absolutely sincere, I had every planned out and no where in my plans was some time taken out for me to rest and relax.  Something I have learned from this vacation, is that if you really want to rest, you need to schedule it in.  If you don't, well then, you won't rest.

Also, you can have the best laid out plans but things happen. Could we have prevented in any way shape or form, that my son, my husband and I got sick before, during and after said vacation. No.  Was it anyone's fault?  No!  Would that become a major point of contention?  If you also add that Chip and I were weening off of cigarettes, well that is just dandy!

The weather was spectacular the first few days.  It seemed like summer.  The last time we stayed at Sandbridge Carr was 8 months old.  The first time around he was too tiny to enjoy the beach.  But now he had his own sandbox that he could play in every day.

In 2008, when we were here last, I was still in a haze from having a small child that did not sleep through the night.  I was very exhausted, physically and mentally.  This go around I felt the same but with more experience and less nervous just plain ole' confident in myself and in Carr.  He was the greatest child and we enjoyed our mutual company.  I sometimes feel that I lose so much being the parent that works all day and of course I overcompensate on weekends and weeknights.  It was great being able to travel somewhere without the stress of guessing and packing everything my son "might" need.

As I was previously saying, we were sick but it was my husband that was hit the hardest and the longest.  He didn't get to enjoy our son as much as I did at the beach. It was a true joy to see him play in the beach.   It was great to be with my son all day.  Enjoy breakfast with him, play, read color, eat and sleep together - that is what we did.

By mid week, the weather changed and it got very cold and rainy.  Luckily, every city and town has a bookstore.  Wish I had taken some photographs of Carr there.  I was so proud that he passed up playing with Thomas the train to sit at a round table and read books about his beloved superheroes.  It was very sweet to watch and share.

We tried to get a family picture, but the weather, the illness and just plain ole' toddler hood just didn't cooperate.  We gave it our honest try and this was the best one that my MIL took.  Seriously, I don't see it becoming a part of our Christmas card but it is a good memory worthy to be kept. 

You have probably noticed that I have been experimenting with collages.  I love them!  And they are helping me decide which pictures I want to print and make into a series to display.  This is not the best I've done but it is pretty cool considering all the obstacles there were in an unknown environment.  I really want to take photography lessons and I want to get a Digital SLR.  Yes, people these pictures come from a point and shoot. YEA!

The photos taken from my mother in laws camera are a world apart from mine.  I love the resolution and how crisp the shots taken look.  I love playing with lighting and color on my photos.  I guess it just make me feel like I am making or setting the mood.  A photo is suppose to capture a moment but sometimes certain photos still need an additional explanation to guide the reader towards the state of mind of the author.  Don't you agree?

Would it help to know that I was scared about my child playing to close to the water.  I love this shot!  Looking back I miss the serenity of the ocean, it's smell, the sounds,

Every morning my son would wake up and say "I go a beach".  He enjoyed himself and that my friends is the only thing that matters as far as I am concerned.  My son had fun and learned new things and experimented new experiences.  Two weeks later, my son still mentions to me his beloved beach.

As for me, I slept and enjoyed the time I so craved with my family.  Wish I had more time to give, more energy.  Thanks to my husband and MIL, I finally got some candid shots.  I really hate being photographed, it feels like the Chandler Bing episode about getting his engagement photos done (friends).  That is exactly how I smile for the camera.

But all in all our vacation was great and we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity. I am grateful that I got to spend some quality time with my family.  I also enjoyed the stillness and quietness of the ocean, it helped my soul.  Stress has been getting to me lately, work and everyday worries have gnawed at me.