Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas has become quite bustley at our house...or should I say at our house and everyone else's we visit. This year seemed to be overly so. There were presents and food and family and children and stories and lots of snow. Just about everything you need for Christmas. This year on our way home, on horrible icy roads and after exhaustion had set in...this is what we saw. The view fit the mood. Quiet.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I've had a million projects going on in the last few weeks and today this one was a big mess and I had a blast making it. I made 36 jars of hot chocolate for friends and co-workers. I like to do a little something every year and I thought this was the least I could do. If I had more time, then I would do more, but alas I don't.

Making hot chocolate, if you've never made it, pretty much takes a horse trough in order to mix it up. There's A LOT. I just use a gigantic bucket like bowl. It pours over the edges and makes a big mess. I think it's funny when I end up with powdered sugar down the entire front of my doesn't really bother me.

Next comes the putting in of the hot chocolate into jars. Once again it heaps over the edges and flies all over because I 'm not patient enough to use one of those strainer things...I just dump it in there with a measuring cup. Once again...I don't really care if powdered sugar has now gotten into my hair and is finding it's way down my doesn't really bother me.

Now to properly drink hot chocolate you must have whipped cream...homemade if you have it lying around (which I just happen to most of the time). I don't go for marshmallows....whip cream is just...fluffier and dreamier. It's also nice to drink it out of a fancy mug....makes you feel special.

And then once you have kids you have to give all of it to them...even in your fancy mug that you made just for yourself....because they are sugar monsters and can never get in point...look at him licking his lips before he even has a drink.
And then they drink every last drop of it and end it by saying....."chocolate...good". either that or that make such a mess of your special fancy mug you will have to take a special scraping sponge to get it clean and you don't even want to touch it let alone drink out of it.

but....I let him drink every last drop anyway because really who could resist those eyes?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mr. Big Stuff

Meet Oliver. He just had a hair cut and he looks like a little stud muffin so I took his picture to make him feel good about himself. (yes he's that kind of dog...he needs a self confidence boost every now and again and this just happens to do the trick). You'll notice his trendy son makes him wear it everyday (and yes I'm that kind of dog owner that buys cute clothes for my dog).
I just thought I'd share my little Oli...he makes our days bright and I love seeing him dressed for the holidays so I thought you might as well!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


This is my new favorite winter drink...okay well not quite, I still love my spice tea, but this is a close runner up. I've had arguments over the way it's pronounced so I had to look it up recently. It's derives from Germany and it can be pronounced either "wass-l' or "wa-sail" to those of you I argue with...we're are all right!!!!
Wassail makes everything smell Christmasy in the house. I absolutely love coming home to this while it's been cooking in the crock pot. It's spicy. It's sweet. It's citrusy (is that a word?) and it warms the heart. I made it for work last week to warm people from the freezing cold and it went over quite well.

2 Quarts Apple Cider
2 Cups Orange Juice
2 Cups Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Cup Cranberry Juice
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tblsp Nutmeg
1 Tblsp Allspice
3 Orange Spice Tea bags
2 Oranges Quartered (studded with whole cloves)
Cook in slow cooker or pan on low heat for 1-2 hours
This recipe can be made anyway you want. If you want it to be more cranberry-ish then by all means add more cranberry juice. It's all a matter of taste!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


This was the last shoot of my Christmas season. It went so well and I was happy with the results. This young lady was soooo ready to have pictures taken, rightly so...she's gorgeous. She looks so much older than she is....she's 13....that's it! This mom and daughter took these to surprise their husband/ dad with these for Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Busy Boy

This little guy was so busy here. I asked him if he was ready for pictures and he said "ummm, in a minute" so we waited and then he was ready. But he wasn't ready for long, as most kiddos are. I have a fleeting moment to catch them at the right time. He's also at that age where he doesn't know what the term cheesy smile is....but he sure gave it to me!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Wonderland Part II

Once again I woke up at dawn and could hardly wait for my son to wake up...when the sun rose we were in the car, coffee in hand, milk in tow, sitting at the park. It was an amazing morning. I've never ever seen the snow and frost stay like this in Wyoming. Amazing. The sun made everything so beautiful this morning and there is no way that one could drive down the streets without singing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"'s just not possible. God did an awfully good job of decorating today.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Today I woke up to the most beautiful sight. It's rare in Wyoming to see snow on the trees as the wind blows here often. Today I woke up to frost and snow on the trees. It was gorgeous. I woke Parker up at 7:00 because I couldn't wait any longer. Put a coat over his jammies and piled him into the car. After a stop at starbucks I was off to find beautifulness....and I found it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Getting Big

This little man is getting so big. His hair is growing. His features are becoming his own. He completely adorable...and sometimes shy. But he let me be his friend for a while...and I'm so glad he did!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kevin's Onion Soup

It's the holidays.....and that means eating, eating, eating more eating. And, oh, did I mention eating? This weekend was a feast around here.
With permission from my brother-in-law (a fan-tabulous cook) I'm sharing this recipe for onion soup.
Seriously, I've never tried this kind of soup until recently. I'm probably one of the pickiest eaters on this planet and I ate it......and LOVED it. The photo is missing a part though....the bread. It's suppose to be covered in baguette bread and I didn't have any left.
You would think that onion soup is really, welll....'s not. It smells wonderful. It tastes wonderful. It's wonderful in general.

Kevin's Onion Soup
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp olive oil
3 lbs onion (about 8 onions) thinly sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Marsala or Port wine
2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of beef broth
Finely shredded gruyere cheese (for cheese toast and for topping of soup)
salt and pepper to taste

In dutch oven or large pan, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions, salt and pepper and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for 25 more minutes. Sir often until onions are dark golden brown. (if onions start to stick add a little water). Add marshala wine, cook until syrupy. Add broth and 2 cups of water, cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. Serve with cheese toast and cheese.

For cheese toast: slice baguette into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dolled Up

December 2nd

My little miss sunshine was a pleasure today. After two years of no smiles and hard work I finally have won her over. She smiles willingly without asking. She talks a mile a minute and moves even faster. You have to be on your toes with her. She ran into my arms when I walked in the door saying "where's parker?"....she had been dreaming about him all day, I could tell.

Carmel Pull Aparts

December 2nd

I'm in the sharing mood I thought I would share a recipe that I know everyone has probably had and most everyone loves. I remember as a kid my brother and I would devour a whole pan of these like we were starving wolves.

Carmel pull aparts are de-li-cous. They are ooey goodey goodness and here I will share one of the easiest recipes I have ever come across.

Carmel Pull Aparts
2 loaves of frozen bread that had been thawed.
1 box of butterscotch pudding (the cook and serve kind, not instant)
1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Walnuts (optional)
2 loaves of frozen bread that has been thawed

Tear the bread dough into little pieces and roll each individual piece in the dry butterscotch pudding and arrange in bundt pan to your liking. You can also use just a tall square pan as well. If you are using walnuts put those in there randomly between the pieces of dough. Sprinkle the rest of the butterscotch pudding over the arranged dough. Mix the melted butter and brown sugar until it's syrup like and then pour over the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough is even with the top of the pan. Cook for 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and gorgeous looking. That's it. Nothing to it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Season

December 1st

It's the holidays and I feel like all I've done lately is complain about them. "I'm so busy", I'm so tired", "I wish I didn't have to do this", "I don't have time to do that" and so on, and so on. I've been going through movements both in my work and at home. I've realized that this isn't how I should spend my whole holiday season. It would be such a waste of such a magical and spiritural time.

The holidays are a time for giving selflessly. For believing without analyzing. For finding the child deep within. It's a time to tell your friends what they've meant to you over the past year/ years. For shutting the outside world out and spending a little extra time with your family no matter if that time is available or not.....

This Christmas season I'm going to sit by the tree in the evenings in the dark and admire the lights. I'm going to take notice of the lights in the streets and on houses and remember all the hard work it took for someone to get those up there....even if they aren't perfect. I'm going to drink eggnog and rum sprinkled with a little nutmeg and not one minute think that it's going to my thighs. I'm going to eat and be merry. I'm going to sing Christmas carols with conviction and heart. I'm going to loose myself in my child's imagination. I'm going to give without thinking of what I'm getting out of it. I'm going to put a little more change in the bell ringers' little red buckets at the stores.

I think people get so caught up in the the holidays, including myself, that they forget to enjoy them, or even remember what Christmas is all about. The true meaning of Christmas is is taken for granted and swept away with shopping and gift giving and the bustle. I wish everyone would take a minute in this wild roller-coaster season to reflect on it's true meaning and why this holiday exists.

Enjoy life. Enjoy the specialness of this's only comes once a year.