Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome Baby Asher!

Sometimes life throws you curve balls.  That's what Jenny & Richie experienced on September 13, 2011.  We got the news that Jenny (one of my best friends) was being taken in for a C-Section.  Asher would be about 3 weeks early.  They already knew Asher would be early.  After all, with her complications w/ blood pressure early on, the doctor had previously scheduled her for one on September 29th.  That would have put him at only 1 week early.  However, plans changed...

September 13, 2011
6lbs, 5oz
19 1/4"
Mercy Medical Center

It would be a long road for all of them.  Asher was born having some difficutly breathing (something the doctors already expected with such an early delivery).  He also had difficulty digesting his food for some time & ended up staying in the NICU for about 20 days.  I hated them having to go through this, but they have an amazing set of family & friends for support.  On October 3rd, they got to bring the little man HOME!  He has been doing amazing & is already growing so fast!

Time for your close up!

I was super excited to take Asher's first "big time" photos!  We had some exciting moments of our own during this session!  He is so handsome.  I can't wait to take more of this little guy & watch him grow.  My kids are 6 & 3, so it's been awhile since I've been around a newborn.  I'm still in awe of how you can just stare at them for hours, watch them sleep, & never want to put them down.

Here's a few of my favorite pictures from our first session.

Just in Time...

When Jenny asked me to take some maternity pics for her, I couldn't say no.  I was so flattered.  I'd only done maternity pics for my sister before.  I love maternity pics & think it's so worth capturing the moment!  It's especially exciting to see how the siblings respond to Mommy's tummy (check out Aiden's adorable toothless smiles!).
We originally planned to do some outdoor pics first & then some indoor shots the following week.  We headed out to Lake Windsor in Bella Vista to start.  Talk about crazy windy!  Luckily, my Mom had tagged along for the shoot because she ended up being "hair touch up" between takes.  Unfortunately, we didn't really get any breaks in the wind, but I think we still managed to get some great shots.
I know how it feels to be "very" pregnant & have someone taking pictures of you, but I think Jenny looked great!
You could tell Richie & Aiden were super excited too & just can't wait to welcome this new little guy into the world.  Aiden was so sweet kissing Mommy's belly!
So...did I mention that we were going to do some indoor shots as well?  Ok, so that didn't happen.  Jenny had been having some issues w/ her blood pressure & ended up going in for a C-Section before we could do them.  A little unexpected, but so excited to see this little guy!

Richie, Jenny, & Big Brother Aiden!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The O'Neill Boys--O' Boy!

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of taking some pics of one of my best friend's two little boys.  Boy are they a handful & so much fun!  We had a blast running, skipping, & playing red light-green light all through the walking trail at the Compton Gardens.  We managed to get a few pics in as well.  They are so stinkin' CUTE!  The fall colors were perfect that day & the temperature was perfect for it.  Thanks Kim for giving me the opportunity.  Enjoy!

Keegan (6) & Kolby (3)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bon Appetito!

So, it seems like every time I get back from a trip & enjoy some amazing food, it re-inspires me to cook again.  I love to cook already, but it just seems so hard when you work, have kids, chores, ect, know the drill.  Anyway, I was in NYC last week & I absolutely love that place.  Don't get me wrong, I would NEVER move there, but I LOVE to visit.  Mostly it's for work & we don't get too much time to do our own thing, but we do get to eat at some really amazing restaurants.  You know there are so few to pick from...wink, wink!
Last week we went to a great restaurant around Park & 29th called Asselina.  I usually don't venture out on salads too much, but I decided to try the field greens w/ gorgonzola, apples, radishes, pine nuts, & a great honey vinaigrette.  It was delish!  I followed that up by a Spinach & Goat Cheese Ravioli w/ a Sage Lemon Butter.  Needless to say, I almost licked my plate clean.  Later in the week at another restaurant, I had a goat cheese & mushroom ravioli.  I decided to had to try to re-create this at home.  And so we be begin...

First off, if I was going to have goat cheese ravioli, I was going to have to make my own pasta.  Nothing I haven't tried before, but never ravioli.  I got out my trust Better Homes & Gardens recipe book for the homeade pasta & decided to add a little Italian Herb Blend to it for extra flavor.

My pasta rolled out & "resting"...
 While my pasta was resting, I decided to make my filling.  Obviously, I didn't have the recipe for the one I ate in NY, but I searched for some on-line.  I found numerous versions, so I decided to just come up w/ my on version & PRAY it turned out good.
-Approx. 6oz Ricotta Cheese
-4oz Crumbled Goat Cheese
-1T fresh chopped sage
-Zest of 1 Lemon
-Salt & Pepper to Taste
-1/2 C chopped Porcini Mushrooms

Looks Yummy!
 Filling my Raviolis
 Finished Raviolis & some hand cut pasta noodles for the girls.
 After boiling the Ravioli for a few minutes, I added them to my brown butter sauce w/ Sage, Lemon Juice, & Porcini Mushrooms.
 Complete w/ an Arugula & Spinach Salad w/ Green Apple, Goat Cheese, Pecans, & a light vinaigrette dressing.  A little Parmesan to finish it off.
Well, it looked good, but how about taste...It was DELISH!!!  The girls ate the noodles w/ traditional marinara meat sauce, but Tinsley tried one of the Ravioli & loved it as well.  Job well done, if I do say so myself!  Too bad it takes so much work to make...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's a Vizsla???

Well, as most of you already know, we added a new member to our family back in January.  After much research & discussion, John & I found ourselves absolutely in LOVE with this dog breed called a Vizsla.  We had several criteria for our new family member...

1)  We wanted a big dog.  Something the girls couldn't easily "break"!
2) A dog that would interact w/ the family & play fetch w/ the girls.
3) A dog we could take w/ us on our adventures.
4)  Loyalty
5) A dog that would still want to curl up on the couch & snuggle w/ you.
ok, ok, you get the point.

We ran across this dog & it seemed like the perfect fit.  I know many will say, "You should have adopted!"  Trust, me, we definitely considered this.  I always had "Heinz 57" dogs growing up & they (as usual) were great dogs.  But there was just something about this one.  Unfortunately, they are not too common in our area.  After some searching, I finally stumbled upon a gentleman in Booneville, AR that had one.  After talking to him a bit, we decided to meet him & see if it was the right fit for us.  The sweet man (Steve), drove 1/2 way to meet us.  We pulled up & got out of the car.  It was freezing outside.  We met this adorable older man (a real "good ol' boy) with the most sincere, ice blue eyes EVER.  He told us all about the dog, her family, & her history.  Then, he let her out.  We were out where she would be able to run around a bit so we could really see how she interacted.  I knelt down on the ground & put my hand out for her to sniff.  She didn't sniff me...In fact, she just came right over to me & laid her head in my lap before taking off to play with one of her litter mates.  I was in LOVE.  We decided we were taking her home.  He asked us to stay in touch & send pictures from time to time.  She laid on my lap to whole way home.  So calm, so sweet.

So, we've had Stella about 5 months now.  She is amazing.  She is extremely active.  In fact, if she doesn't get her time to run, she will make a race track of our living room & kitchen!  She is so smart.  She's picked up basic commands very easily.  We are having someone come train her soon, but that's mainly because we don't really know what we're doing :)  She plays fetch w/ the girls!  She adores the girls & let's them hang & love all over her.  She loves to fact, she doesn't just lay beside me in the evenings...she lays ON me!  She would prefer to sleep w/ us, but she sleeps in a massive kennel in our room.  She does however, get to spend some snuggle time in bed w/ us before we all go down for the count (she usually falls asleep in bed though & John or I have to pick her up & carry her to her kennel because she won't budge!).  I now understand why many call this dog a "Velcro" dog because they just will not leave your side.  I've also just learned how very protective she is.  During an evening alone (John was out night fishing), I fell asleep while watching a movie in bed & Stella was right beside me.  I guess John came home & neither of us heard him until he came in the bedroom.  It was sort of dark (only a lamp on).  I thought Stella was going to tear John a new "you know what"!  Until she realized it was him, she was practically standing over me barking/growling at him.  It was sort of comical!  Ok, so much for making this any longer.  Here's a few pics I snapped of her tonight & I'll be sure to send them to Steve!  We couldn't be happier!

Stella Grace Thompson
Born August 20, 2010
Sire Riley Gold
Dam Gabriella Jazzy Jambor

Splish Splash!

After what seems like a crazy-cold winter & a water logged spring, dare I say that summer is here?...  This weekend was so hot & it's only June.  Not that I'm complaining though...I LOVE the heat!  Time to pack up those sweaters & boots & bring on the spring dresses & bathing suits.  After a long, hot day having a garage sale Saturday, we decided to try to relax a little Sunday, so we drug out the blow up pool & set up the canopy...can't have those babies burnin'!  It's amazing how such a simple thing can bring so much joy.  The girls loved it.  Stella even joined them (after Tinsley drug her in, of course)!  Here's a few pics of the girls chillin' & havin' lots o laughs.

Tinsley & Stella (her new best friend).
 Don't you just love that face?
 Such a pretty girl, if I do say so myself.