Friday, November 26, 2010

Pie Party!

Just before Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law, Sarah, hosted a pie party. Isn't that just a great idea? All the girls brought their ingredients and crusts and we put together our pies in her ginormous kitchen.

Emma and I made a pear & plum pie.

She helped me cut up the fruit. I showed her how,

Then I let her try it by herself.

We added our sugar, corn starch & spices and piled it all high in the pie plate.

I decided to try a new crust recipe, and though the dough was a little unwieldy, I have to say that I was very impressed with the texture and flavor.

See that perfectly golden pie? The tall one? Oh yeah. That's my pie.

Lots of other girls also made pretty pies.

Once the pies were well under way, we stopped for a delicious dinner of homemade soup & grilled cheese sandwiches.

It was a super fun night.
Thanks Sarah!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I have so much to be thankful for this year. We gathered with our family today to seriously feast (we know how to eat around here) and to remember all of our blessings.
I could list so many things I am grateful for, but right now, this year, it almost feels trite to make a list. There would certainly be things I'd forget and the things I would add are bigger than I can measure in a list.
I do find that I'm just all-around thankful - deeply, inexpressibly so.

My sister-in-law, Mindy, decorated our table this year. It was beautiful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Belly Shots

I know some of you might not be interested in some other person's lovely baby bump, but some of you are. I generally try not to put faces of people on my blog without permission and since these photos are special and are for a real family that most of you don't know, I'm going to only show you my favorite belly shots.

Again, this was really a fun shoot. It was only my second maternity session and, while it may not be my last, I don't get to do this sort of thing very often. I had a great time and I love, love, love these pictures. In the interest of full disclosure, you should all know that part of the reason I enjoyed taking these pictures was the simple fact that I never looked that good when I was pregnant. I am not even kidding. It was awful, people. So there may have been just a teensy bit of jealousy behind these shots too.
Just a little.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Little Fun

I got to do a maternity shoot today! I certainly don't get asked very often, but then again, I don't tend to tell people that I do that sort of thing. But when I do get asked, I am always quick to say yes, because I really do love taking pictures.
You know that already, didn't you?

Here's a quick little peek at the session from this afternoon:

Of course, booking a window light photo shoot is exactly how you special-order a cloudy afternoon. As disappointing as the lack of light was, I couldn't be happier with the tone and feel of these images. I've only just begun looking at them, really, but I'm pretty excited about them. Thanks, Leslie, for calling me up and asking. I had so much fun!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My classes this morning were canceled and I couldn't have been more relieved. To say that I'm tired is an understatement. Chris is gone on the last leg of his business travel for this fall and the pressures are mounting as my semester comes to a close - a research paper here, a recital there, etc. Couple that with the busy family life we have and my professional life too and I am simply overwhelmed and underslept.
On our route to Andrew's school every morning, we drive past a lake. It isn't much to see, really. There are lots of lakes in town. But this morning, it was shrouded in thick fog. All I could see across its still water was a buoy and its own reflection and I instantly regretted the fact that I didn't have my camera. Once in a while (or slightly more often), I get an overwhelming need to take a picture of something. Not being prepared when the moment hits is rather devastating. But you know what?
My classes were canceled.
I dropped off both of my kids and picked up my camera from home, returning to the lake, intent on snatching up the morning for myself before the rest of my life grabbed it away. Do you want to see what I saw?
I thought maybe you would.

I've been feeling, sort of, feeling-ish lately, if you know what I mean (and I know you do, or you would have long since stopped reading my nonsense). Those moments that I stole for myself this morning did more to shore me up for the next few weeks than nearly anything else I can imagine.
I hope that you, my dear ones, can look for a few moments to capture for yourself before the insanity of the holiday season takes over. I promise it will be just the thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I have noticed that nobody seems to make the stuff that exists in my head.
When I have a project in mind, my first inclination is to make every last bit of it from the most raw ingredients and supplies I can find.
Unfortunately, I have a life.
I have a busy life.
I have to cut corners and eventually concede that I will have to buy some of the parts that I need from a store.
This is always the sticky part for me. Stores don't have what my mind wants them to have. For instance, today I discovered that nobody makes red, glittered chipboard numbers. They just don't. Oh, there are aqua ones and black ones, but you have to buy a whole expensive package with letters in it too. I'd probably have to buy five packages to get all the numbers I'd need.
Also, nobody makes tiny envelopes with button and string closures. Do you know how much Googling it took to even find out that that's what they're called? It seemed to me that I should be able to just walk into Staples and buy those.
But by this point in the process, I am already so far gone into the project that I'm unwilling to compromise my vision and must, alas, return to square one and make everything myself.
I'm sure that I'm not alone in this clarity-of-vision-induced, caught-in-the-abyss-of-retail-land, not-enough-time-to-do-it-all crafting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dirt

I got caught up in my garden this morning.
I mean, I didn't have time for it - that's for sure.
My back is barking at me for bending over so long.
My nail beds are caked with black dirt.

And it was wonderful.

There isn't much going on in my garden right now. I haven't had time to invest in it since I started school. I have some fall tomatoes going because I'm dying to see if they work better than the spring ones. I also have sweet potatoes everywhere - everywhere - and one surviving bell pepper plant. The peppers are purple. I love them. The sweet potatoes didn't have a stellar season this year. I kept the vines under control, but they were simply overrun with weeds. That's hard to do to sweet potatoes because they grow like weeds here in the south, so I'm chalking it up to the hot, dry summer we had. Nonetheless, there are definitely little orange taters poking their heads up out of the sand. Suddenly, I'm very excited to see just how many there are down there! I'll pull them up in a couple of weeks, just in time to serve some on Thanksgiving. I tried several experiments to see which growing method works best for me, and I can't wait to see the results.

I can't wait!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Where was I? Oh yes. Way back in October I started telling you about our Halloween weekend.
We spent Saturday morning at an outdoor event called Water, Wings and Wild Things. We got to meet all sorts of wonderful critters. Like this guy:

The Audubon Society was there with these sweet birds:

Have I mentioned that I love birds? Maybe once or twice? Hm. Okay. Well, I do.

Later that night, we went to a fall party at the home of some friends.

Of course, there was a bonfire for roasting marshmallows & hot dogs too.

It was a wonderful weekend, even if it does seem like it was quite a while ago already. Life has a way of interrupting, don't you think? By the time you realize you've been interrupted, things have already moved on from where you thought you were.
Ah, well.
Onward and upward.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Interruption

Life was going on at a good clip as of last night - busy and nearly unmanageable, but things were getting done. But my phone rang very early this morning.
It was my mom.
My dad was in an ambulance on his way to the ER.

Instantly, life-as-I-live-it was interrupted.

It was very scary and not much detail was available, but as the day continued, it became clear he'd suffered a grand mal seizure. He was "postictal" from 6:00 AM to nearly 1:00 PM, which means that he was in an altered, post-seizure state of consciousness for that long. That's very long. He had a really big, really bad seizure. The thing is, test after test has failed to uncover the cause of this seizure.
In some respects, that's very good news. There is no tumor, no stroke, no aneurysm. At the same time, the fear of a recurrence is pretty strong without any definable, underlying reason.

He is doing well, but is still in the hospital for observation and, I believe, a neurological consultation tomorrow, and for those things (especially the first), I am grateful.

But I am tired.

I am so, so very tired.

I still have homework and deadlines and students to teach and somewhere in here, I must find some sleep. I haven't had enough of that sleep stuff to be able to deal with the emotional stress of today.

I don't suppose there is much else to say about all of it. Mostly, I just wanted to take a minute to tell all of you thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Most of this blog's little circle of people have been in touch with me throughout today and the support has been so vital to me and my family. I love you all and I don't think it would be possible to do life without you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Massacre 2010

We really did have a wonderful weekend and I want to share it with you all! There will be a couple more posts after this, but this is a start.
Friday night, we held our annual Pumpkin Massacre. We had just a few friends come by with their pumpkins, played the Edward Scissorhands sound track & Harry Potter's too, and gathered under our lantern-lit carport to carve some pumpkins.

Of course, I made treats - giant ginger cookies & caramel apples.

I have finally found a recipe for caramel that uses honey instead of corn syrup and I love it. I have made lost of caramel in the last week, because it's been several years since I've had any. Oh my. Next week, I may not even wear the same dress size if this keeps up.
I'm not even kidding.

A good time was had by all, I think - friends and family alike.

And also, there was that baby nephew of mine.

He's so cute. Obviously, his Uncle Chris thinks so too.

We lined up the best, most gruesome tools we could find.

The carnage was incredible.

The results? Probably the best pumpkins ever.