Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yemma had her follow-up doctor's appointment today. During this appointment, they reviewed the results of a CT scan she had on Monday. I am so happy to report that she is....CANCER-FREE!!!!

I am very happy that all of the cancer has gotten outta town, but also trying to walk the line between negativity and a cautious awareness that it COULD come back. I'm not at all trying to rain on this parade; just being mindful that the more I think, "We're out of the woods, we're out of the woods!", the more devastating it would be if it did return.

However, this is definitely a victory in itself! Thank you, Lord, for this huge piece of happiness, and for always taking care of us.

And thank all of you SO MUCH for praying/thinking good thoughts for my momma.


Saturday, November 7, 2009


You and I are both aware that these economic times are tough. It seems like everyone I know is being affected in one way or another. When we have to give things up to save money, it's upsetting and frustrating. We (I know I) tend to think, "Why is this happening to me?" Well, I realized something the other day that I hope will lend insight to my readers.

A bit of background: Ryan was laid off in August and is still without a job. As we try to stretch things a little further and reevaluate what we "need" in our lives, a lot of changes are occurring. One example is that I now bring a homemade sandwich to school for lunch instead of escaping to McAlister's, Bread Co, etc. After a few days of this change, I noticed - I was eating less, but wasn't hungry for more. This tells me that, in short, when we know we can have something, we want it. If we know our limits, we are (or should be) content in those. It's such a simple concept, and probably sounds upsetting to many, but it's given me immense peace.

Do you know how blessed we all are? Do you truly know? A roof over our heads, food on the table, ANY kind of clothing AT ALL to wear - these are not things to ever be taken for granted. We don't deserve any of them. We aren't entitled to any of them, despite what every single marketing campaign in our country tells us. Every little luxury we have is a gift from God. We're not bad people for having what we have, and I hope I'm not making anyone feel GUILTY for their possessions. It's when we seek happiness in them that things get bad.

I have heard so many people joke, "I'm poor now," "We're destitute," etc. I don't feel like it's my place to say this to these people directly, but I wonder if they have any idea what "poor" and "destitute" actually look like. These concepts don't look anything like what myself and my loved ones have. We are all blessed beyond measure and need to recognize it.

I aim not to lecture, to but fill with hope that God has not turned and will NEVER turn His back on us. Just because we have less than what our disgustingly spoiled selves are used to doesn't mean that we aren't among the richest people in the universe. Please be reminded of how much you're provided for, and SMILE. :)


Monday, October 26, 2009


Last month, I took an impromptu trip up to St. Louis to take some pictures of my sister. She wanted some "artsy" pictures (the kind of "artsy" that I can't exactly show online, if you get me) - but I will share some gorgeous close-ups! Josey did her hair and make-up. I had a lot of fun doing this shoot; I'd never done anything like it before and it was a good challenge to shoot indoors.


I hate her, too. ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Pumpy-kins!

This is my cute little gathering of pumpkins, gourds, etc. I like them. They like me.

And this is the mat that will greet you when you come over to my house.

And this is the wreath that I made.
Yay! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The You-Must-Make-This Apple Pie

As promised, the recipe for "the" apple pie follows. I found it on Clary's website - I frequent her blog because I really like her photography and one day, she posted her own recipe for apple pie. I modified it only by adding cloves because I am obsessed with them. (Do it. Trust me.)

If you make this pie, please let me know! It is seriously amazing.

You'll need these ingredients for the crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon KOSHER salt
5-6 tablespoons iced water

For the filling:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 teaspoon KOSHER salt
7 apples THINLY sliced (if the apples are really small like mine were, use 8)

For the crumb topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


For crust: In a bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in 6 tablespoons of butter until pieces are pea-sized. Add one tablespoon of cold water at a time (for a total of 6 tablespoons). Toss with a fork after each tablespoon until dough is moistened. (If you have festive crust cutters like mine, save the rest of the dough!)

*I confess that I ALWAYS buy crusts at the store, but for this I do make my own. I think it's the overwhelming domesticity brought on by picking the apples that does it to me every time.*

For filling: In a large mixing bowl stir together the granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, the cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.

Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate.

For crumb topping: Stir together brown sugar, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and the oats. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter or margarine until the topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle Crumb Topping over apple mixture. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. (Or don't, if you have crust cut-outs - this is the time to place them around the edge of the pie and squeal at the cuteness!)

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle walnuts. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is golden. Remove from oven and let it cool for about an hour.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to Have the Perfect Fall Day.

Wake up early and make pumpkin muffins for the road.

Have an extra cup of coffee because you can.

Go to the orchard.

Have a husband who knows to wear corduroy without you even having to ask.

Go on a hayride.

Find a cool bug.

Pick apples.

Climb a tree (kind of).

Obtain Esmerelda the fairytale pumpkin (as well as other pumpkins and gourds).

Pose again.

Find a cool tree and snap a picture from the car.

Go to the state fair.


See fun animals.

Eat again.

Go home and put those freshly picked apples to use.

The recipe will follow in my next post! Until then...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Obligatory Fall Post!

I'm willing to bet that if I walked up to every single person I know and asked them what their favorite season is, at least 90% of them would say fall. It's just so magical to all of us. Yes, the temperature gets cooler, the colors are beautiful, cozy time with family is anticipated, and yummy things are cooking...but I think the overall "something" about fall is impossible to describe, which I love because that's what makes it slightly mysterious.

Here are some ways that I've decked my home for autumn.

I love this adorable pumpkin candy dish!

I saw this candelabra in a magazine last fall and I've been drooling over it ever since. I got it this year and am in LOVE!
I love the burnt orange placemats, too. They make the table feel cozier!

Here is a look at my whole table (before we painted the kitchen):
I filled these cute little candy buckets with peanut M&Ms and Reese's. They are mine and Ryan's respective downfalls. (There were more Reese's in the bag than M&Ms. lol)

I found this guy at Ross. Did you know that they really do have AMAZING home decor (sometimes)? And so inexpensive!

I love these cute little throw pillows on my couch!

What's the Halloween season without a little spookiness?

I made this guy by peeling the label off of a jar, gluing on the eyes, wrapping it in gauze, and securing the gauze with glue. Then I painted the lid black. Easy as pie!

These are probably my favorite touches. I got the idea from Martha's mag. I found some cool branches and placed them in vases with cute fillers.

And here is my mantle in its entirety:

What are some of your favorite things about fall?