Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog Hacker...

Someone hacked into my blog this morning...well, I guess that it is really our blog. I am just a little more into it than Chris. :)
Thank you, honey. What a nice way to start the awesomeness of birthweek.

I am super excited that I ordered Eli's 1 year photobook today! Hooray! They were running a great special and I got this book for $25.00! I am so excited to see it.

You have to go look at it HERE

Do you like it? I am tossing around the idea of starting to do these layouts for other people. Let me know if you would be interested. You can always download this free program from MyPublisher and make your own, if you do, tell them that we referred you! ( I would be very grateful! I like to use different fonts, papers and layouts than they offer, so I make everything from scratch in Photoshop and then upload it as one big picture.

I also finished up our bedroom curtains this weekend and I am about halfway through sewing a pair of shorts for Eli.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Birth Week!

Well, Tif gets to write on here often, so now it is my turn. This week starts the beginning of a little tradition we started called birthweek. Simply, it is a weeklong celebration of our birthdays. This Friday is Tif's birthday. Now, a gentleman never tells a lady's age. However, if you're really curious, you might want to ask her twin brother...he'll be turning 27 on Friday.

Usually, this blog is filled with stories about how wonderful our baby boy Eli is, or the new and exciting thing going on in our lives, or maybe even how wonderful I am. However true all of these may be (:D), it is now my turn to give you a little glimpse into what I call the "Awesomeness of Tif."

If you ever read this blog, it is easy to see how simply wonderful and amazing my wife is. That is just her blog-self. You should see this woman in action! To quote a favorite movie, "you'll go blind from sheer awesomeness!" (Panda - Kung Fu Panda) She doesn't even charge for her awesomeness.

No one could ever ask for a better wife and mother to their child. Tif gives non-stop to me, Eli, and the rest of our family; we have all been blessed beyond what we deserve.

This week, Tif, we celebrate you! Happy Birthweek to my Lovely Bride!!!

Please send Tif your birthday wishes via this blog, e-mail, or by phone (don't send her anything on Facebook! See February 16th's blog). Hope everyone is doing well and have a wonderful, blessed week!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Don't make cupcakes while on a diet...

Words to live by. It just isn't a good idea.

Remember these cupcakes?

I do. They were good.

mmmmm....really good. I don't even like chocolate cupcakes. (gasp, I know.)

Maybe it was the chocolate ganache filling, the super fluffy icing, I don't know, but these were good cupcakes, and I wanna share the recipe with you.

This is actually a combo from many different dessert recipes that I know.

First up, the cake.

For this cupcake I used the best chocolate cake recipe ever from my friend Amanda.
Seriously, it is. I had my doubts, but it has lived up to my expectations every time.


1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 small box Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Just dump every thing into your mixer and your are done! This batter will be very thick and rise more than a regular cake. Keep that in mind and add about 10-15min on to the baking time.

Next up, the chocolate ganache and icing, courtesy of a blog I stumbled on called Creative Loafing by Priscilla Tsai

Chocolate Ganache Filling
Makes enough to fill 12 cupcakes, and for glaze
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it
over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until

For the topping just add two tablespoons of corn syrup to make it shiny. I re-melted the ganache and dumped into a Ziploc and snipped a hole to drizzle over the cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5
minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce
speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth.

I added food coloring and piped on. It really went faster than I thought it would.

Anyway, there you have it, folks. Go forth and bake, unless you gave up chocolate for Lent! :)

Speaking of Lent, my facebook fast is going okay. I haven't cheated, but I have been dying to look at what everyone is up to. Instead, I am finally making curtains for our bedroom this weekend and I have a few sewing projects lined up for the little man.

The weather has been beautiful here, so Eli and I have been taking advantage of the park close to our house.

I am also reading two marriage books and I am on week 5 of the Couch to 5K program. Today I ran 2.25 miles- woot. 3 more weeks and I will be running 3 miles. I haven't gotten this far since we were training for our 5K in Norman. I decided to try to get in a little better shape for all of our future babies! :) So far I might have lost a few pounds, but I really am not keeping track, more important to me are healthy pregnancies in the future.

Hope all of your Lent resolutions are going well too!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I am not from a denomination that typically observes Lent, but I am always intrigued about this time of self-denial, self-control and self-discipline. Every year I think about what I am going to give up, and I ask others what they are going to give up.

In the past I have almost always given up some kind of food. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t, at least in part, out of selfish motives. My senior year I gave up sugar. I remember I stuck to it and didn’t have any sugar for almost a year. One year while Chris was in law school, I gave up chocolate, the next year sugar again. It was almost more like a motivation for a diet than a time to focus on the meaning behind the sacrifice. But hey, it worked every year…at least for 40 days.

Last year I had my first epiphany; a challenge to my motives behind Lent. I gave up 15 minutes of my day. That was difficult. I was a new mommy to Eli, taking a full grad school load, studying for my comprehensive exam so that I could graduate, had a busy GA position, and supporting a husband through his last semester of law school. I felt like I never had free time, and if I did I would rather be sleeping. But I did it. It really was a sacrifice for me to give up 15 minutes. Sometimes I meditated, read passages, prayed, anything that brought peace with no electronic interaction. I really think that is how I kept my positive attitude and sanity through a very stressful time in my life. It was wonderful.

I have decided this year to give up facebook for Lent. There are many reasons why I am choosing to give it up, but the most prevalent one is because of my hesitation. I have been contemplating this for days. Chris thinks I am nuts. I use facebook every day…EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is how I keep in touch with family, friends…everyone! But I know that if people need to get in touch with me, they will. I love seeing what people are up to. I love to get a glimpse into lives that I would otherwise know nothing about. It can be a dangerous thing and extremely addicting.

I will still be blogging and checking e-mail. In what time I am normally on FB I will be looking for ways to grow as a person. I am honestly struggling with this commitment. I know that it is so stupid to be so reliant on a thing like FB to feel like I am “in the loop”. I hope that after this time I will be able to be less tied to that means of communication.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why break the trend?

Wow- I have blogged almost everyday for a week. I feel like a professional blogger, except I don't get paid...oh, and very few people read my blog. Other than that I feel like a professional!

Remember that crazy busy weekend that I keep talking about? Well, our final event of the weekend was little miss Emmaelynn's birthday party. I can't believe that my twin brother and I have babies 3 weeks apart (pretty amazing considering that Chris and I had been trying for awhile and hadn't told anyone, and Brad and Alison weren't trying at all and found out the same week we told my parents), let alone that either one of them is 12 months old.

Here is miss Emma in her birthday outfit. Don't you love the skirt? I can't wait to have a girl.

From this vantage point they almost look like twins...

Eli had a blast at the party. In fact, he probably thought it was for him. He loved to help unwrap the presents and show Emma her new toys.

I took pictures for Alison on their new Nikon and Chris took these.

Eli playing with the tissue paper...

We got Emma this book about A&M because Brad and Alison love them. I almost wrote something dirty in the back of it, but I restrained myself.

We also got her this dress for Easter.

And now, for the best picture of all time. Seriously, folks, it doesn't get better than this:
This photo is entitled, The Boogie Monster.
Oh, my mom. This picture will haunt her forever...

Emma loving her cake...

The cake...

Mickey Mouse cookies...

This is the best shot that we could get of the two of them. This is after Emma's after-the cake bath,

We wish the best for little Emma and hope that she and Eli get to grow up close together.
I love that I saw my cousins all the time when I was younger and we still are close. Happy 1 year birthday, baby girl.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentines...

Oh, my boys....what would I do without them?

These two can make my heart melt with their smiles. Ahhh....I am a one lucky gal.

May you all feel as loved as I do, today and every other day of the year.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Meet Kara. Our families have know each other for a long, long time and we are good pals. Nothing tighter than people that bleed crimson and cream! ;)
I am doing a little designing for Kara and mentioned if she wanted some updated head shots, we would love to do them for her. The next day we met up downtown.
Now, you can only do so many head shot photos before they become redundant, but no matter which picture you choose, this girl is beautiful and so is her personality!

Of course, we had to take a few V-Day shots for her sweetie & mom & dad!

P.S. She use to be a cheerleader too, just like my niece, Morgan...(see previous post).

Thanks, Kara for letting us take some pics of you! I am confident that you have a great head shot for your portfolio! Good luck!

So, my nieces are beautiful...

all of them. Every single one of my nieces are so, so beautiful. Here are three of them that I had the joy of photographing last week...that is right...I took the big camera out all by myself. ;) I didn't even have to call Chris to ask him a question...I was pretty proud!

Here is Addy...gosh, she is just adorable. The blonde hair, the gorgeous gold eyes, the contagious giggle...she looks just like her older sister.

And Peyton...look at those almond eyes and smile- gor-geous. Pey is so creative and smart...I can't wait to see where her path takes her in life.

And big sister, Morgan. I can't believe how grown-up she is. She has the most breath-taking eye color and she is a natural in front of a camera.

Oh, yeah, now you see why they are all so beautiful, right? They look just like their momma, huh?

This family loves their Uggs. It was freezing outside, but I am sure that their feet were nice and toasty.
So, we had to get a jumping shot...that is what all the cool photographers are doing, right? Look at Morgan...did I mention that she is a cheerleader? I know, you would have never guessed it, huh? ;)

Thanks, gals for letting me take your picture! I had a blast, and I hope you all did too!

Friday, February 12, 2010

1 year, 1 month

I haven't decided if I am going to keep posting about Eli every month on the 12th...maybe every- other month?

This month has been huge for the vocabulary of our little guy. I had read that the vocab starts to take off after the first year, but I wasn't expecting new growth like this. He is saying more "words" and he is trying to say everything that we do. Chris loves to "talk" with him in the car. Eli will repeat everything in the same is pretty funny to listen to.

He has 3 of his 1 year molars and about 3 teeth that look like they will pop out any minute. He has also started doing better in the church nursery...a couple of weeks ago we even got to go to "big church" because he was so good!
He loves to "mow" the living room with the mower that Tim & Amber got him for has provided hours of entertainment! WooHoo!
Monday night we were having dinner with the Rath's and we ordered him cheese quesadillas off of the kid's menu. He ate all of the quesadilla but a tiny sliver, his rice, my rice and half of his beans. I was impressed. At Grandy's birthday dinner the kid ate 4 dinner rolls, a whole baked potato, and most of a plate of green beans. WOW. He is a growing boy.

Last Saturday we jetted out to downtown durning our crazy busy weekend. Here are the pictures in Valentine cards that I made. I don't think that we will send many out to people, but I just wanted to have a little fun creating cards since I am finished working on Eli's 1 year scrapbook!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!