Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo 101 :: Hey Jude

I've gotten behind on my photo posts because it takes me so long to go through them all!  There are two more posts after this of the finals days of my photography class.  The class came to a close about a week or so ago.

This particular day was just walked across the street to the Nelson-Atkins Museum again but to the front side.  The instructor wanted us to capture images of the sculptures with different aperture settings.  I ended up running into some friends that just happened to be enjoying a nice picnic like dinner on the front lawn.  That turned into me taking more pictures of their adorable son instead of more sculptures, but I like my pictures better.  :)
The front of the Nelson.

I edited the picture above and below to this really cool black & white effect but it wouldn't let me upload them!

Now for some "awwww" inducing pictures of sweet Jude.

I could take a million pictures of this little boy and still want to take more!
Don't you just want to eat him up?!

Jude in front of the expansive lawn where people come to picnic and run around.
I know you wanted more of this toddling toddler.  I promise to take more next time I see him.

Our instructor handed out an awesome card that shows the equivalent shutter speeds to aperture settings, and it tells you what setting will give you the blurred or sharp effect.  Once I locate it, I'll scan it in and post it.  I think it could be really helpful!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meet Me in St. Louis

Even though most of my week was wiped out from migraines Ryan & I still managed to have a little fun.  Since we are "fly by the seat of our pants" kind of people we decided last minute that I would meet Ryan in St. Louis.  He drove over ahead of me and I caught a train later from KC to St. Louis.

I did this once before with my mom back in middle school and I remembered it being fun.  It definitely was a nice way to travel but not for people in a hurry.  It took a good 5 hours 40 minutes to get there and driving is about 3 and a half hours.  But hey, it was only $35 bucks!  Can't beat that with the high gas prices now a days.  Plus, I got to ride home with Ryan that way.  It was pretty relaxing and I got caught up on my reading.

I got in pretty late so we just called in room service for dinner and watching a movie while enjoying our amazing view of the Arch right outside our window.
It's been a pretty dreary week here and it was the same in St. Louis.  Luckily, it never rained on us and it was actually pretty warm.

The next day we just spent exploring the famous Arch and the really sweet downtown area.  I was really impressed with the city.  I didn't remember much of it from when I went as a kid.  
I've been to the Arch before but Ryan never got to actually go inside it.

I thought the clouds were actually kind of neat to photograph.

This was were we stayed right across from the Arch.  It was the perfect location to stay in.  Thank you Price Line Hotels!

I didn't realize that there is a huge park underneath and around the Arch's site.  You could spend all day here!

This was the line to go into it.  It wasn't too bad that day even though it was a holiday.

Ryan & I goofing around as we waiting our turn to go up the teeny, tiny egg like elevator to take us up to the top.

I wish I would have taken a picture while we were in that tiny space.  It had five seats but I have no idea how five grown people could fit in there!  It's hard to tell the scale of this miniature door to get into the elevator but it's doll size!

Poor Ryan could barely stand up at the top.  I had forgotten how small the actual area was up there.

Looking out the dinky windows at the world below.  Believe it or not, but it started to rain while we were at the top and stopped by the time we got back down.  It was kind of cool to see the rain fall from so high up.

Blurring pictures of the view.  Our hotel is to the right.

You can see Busch Stadium in the background.

This is bridge is famous due to it being the first of it's kind.  I didn't realize that St. Louis was the last major city before heading all the way west back in the day and this bridge allowed people to cross the river to head west.

We finished out our day eating at a local fav and then had to hurry home for our church's Good Friday service.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not How I planned Easter

Sorry I've been so MIA.  It's been a rough week to say the least.  It all started Monday when I woke up with a headache.  I didn't think it was that big of a deal until it quickly became a can't think, can't breathe, doubled over in pain migraine.  I've never experienced a migraine before (and I rarely get headaches) but I know my mom has dealt with them for years.  I truly thought my head was going to explode.  I will spare you all the awful details.  My week could be summed up with two doctors visits, a CT scan, and a total of three migraines (one on Easter morning).  The CT was clear thank the good Lord!  But I still have no clue why I went from never having a migraine in my life to having three in a week.  It pretty much took out a week of my life.

Do you or anybody you know experience these?  Any idea what causes them or how to prevent them?  I can't think of anything I did differently.  Someone mentioned that the Aspartame in diet sodas has been linked to Migraines so I've cut that out for now.  Anyway, sorry for being a Debbie Downer but I am just exhausted!  I promise to get back to regular postings soon.  I'd love any advise if you have some to share.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We had a pretty eventful weekend with a birthday party, friend's cookout, and running errands. 

There was also this little thing...
My mom's little dog, Sasha, has been having some pretty severe back pains over the course of the last month or so.  It didn't seem to be getting better and the vet thought it may have something to do with rough housing with my mom's cat, MooShoo.

So.... we are now "temporary" owners of three cats!!! 
 It will just be for a few weeks until Sasha can relax and heal up without always playing around with the cat.  I maybe buried in fur by then.  Save me!

Picture Via

On the brighter side, I tried out PW's recipe for Red Velvet Sheet Cake and the Tasty Kitchen Icing that went with it for the cookout we attended this weekend.  I've never made a sheet cake before and it turned out great.  It was so freaking delicious!  Ryan doesn't really like sheet cakes and he really liked this one.  It's a must try!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Peasy Dessert Recipe

I like to call this... Cherry Cheesecake Delight!
This is one of my hands down favorite desserts my mom used to make me.  I even asked Ryan to make it for me on my birthday the first year we were married.  I love cheesecake but sometimes it can be too heavy, ya know?  That's why I love this one so much!  It's so light I could eat the whole thing in one setting.

It's been awhile since I've made it.  Luckily, one of my coworkers birthdays was today and he requested a cheesecake.  This recipe immediately jumped to mind.  It's a must try people!!  So without further ado here is the to-die-for recipe courtesy of my mom.

Cherry Cheesecake Delight

Ingredients for the Easy Peasy Crust:
1 Pkg. Graham Crackers
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Stick of Butter

Ingredients for the Easy Peasy Filling:
1 Large Pkg. Dream Whip
1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Can of Cherry Pie Filling (or whatever you want to use)

Easy Peasy Directions:
Crunch up the graham crackers into little crumbs.  You could probably find already crunched up graham crackers in the store to save you time.  Add in the sugar and butter for the crust and mix well.  You are probably going to have to melt the butter first so it mixes easily.  Then put the mixture into the bottom of your pie pan and spread out evenly.

Then whip the Dream Whip according to the directions on the package.  Whip in powdered sugar & cream cheese until smooth.  Spread over graham cracker crust evenly.  Top with cherry pie filling (or whatever your choice).  Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Mmmmm.... is your mouth watering yet?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Miracle on 4/12


Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Weekend

Ok, so I'm still procrastinating on that photography post.  But I did have a very busy and productive weekend if that makes up for it!

Story time!
So Friday I'm hurrying home from work to clean up the house and help Ryan prepare dinner for some friends of ours that were coming over that night.  I walk in the house and was immediately greeted by the smell of something burning.  It was so thick that I could see smoke in the kitchen.  I was about to yell for Ryan when I rounded the corner and spotted this.  (see below)
A burned Tony's pizza.... if you can even tell!

(La, ignore our processed food!  We were cooking a good meal that night :) )

Once I made it up to Ryan's office he explained the situation.  He had apparently threw this pizza in the oven as a quick lunch since he was having a busy day and completely forgot about it when he got a phone call.  Some time later our cat, KC, started meowing outside of Ryan's door.  This happens often when he wants attention but this time he wouldn't let up.  Ryan thought this was odd and finally opened the door.  When he did he smelled the smoke and realized he'd left the pizza in the oven for over 2 hours!!  Needless to say, KC is our hero and saved our house from catching on fire!!

I wasn't too happy that our house smelled before our friends came over but thank goodness it was nice out, and we could open doors & windows.  Mark & Emily claimed they didn't smell it, and we had a lovely evening eating our non-burned, homemade BBQ meal and playing cards.

Saturday morning, after sleeping in a little, we did end up making it to the kick off day of our local Farmer's Market.  I didn't realized that there wouldn't be much produce there yet but we still had fun checking out all the herbs and plants.  The only thing we bought were some honey sticks.  Yum!

the market

I looking forward to when all the fresh fruits and veggies will make there appearance.

Even though we had a very busy weekend of working in the yard and painting the rest of our kitchen we found time to relax as well.  Our cats were loving the windows and doors being open with our attic fan creating a nice breeze for them.  :)

I don't know how we ended up with another house with so many gardens to keep up with but we did.  Ryan did an amazing job of raking and cleaning up the flowers beds.  He put down brand new mulch and pulled weeds in preparations of planting some flowers next weekend.  If you were wondering why I wasn't helping I was slaving away painting in the kitchen.  Our entire first floor has been painted now and it feels good to be done with it!  I promise I will start posting some pics soon.  I still need to finish some painting up stairs.

But meanwhile, I am going to enjoy this gorgeous weather and watch what surprises are popping up in our flower beds.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Good Morning!

I was planning a whole photography post today but then I ended up heading for bed around 8:00 so it didn't happen.  I don't know why I'm so tired this week!!  Hopefully going to bed ridiculously early last night will help me catch up.

Hallelujah it's Friday! I'm excited for this weekend because we don't have that many plans.  It's a miracle!  I'm sure we will still manage to fill it up.  We do have some dear friends coming over tonight for BBQ that Ryan is slaving over all day while he works from home.  (I'm a lucky girl.)  Then on Saturday our local farmers market is officially opening so we plan to check it out.  After that we will just fly by the seat of our pants.  Wow, that expression took me way back. 

I know this is a random post but I promise to work on a post chalk full of fun photography.  Have an amazing weekend!!

A picture of Sally & Ryan at a "farmer's market" in Rome.  We'll see how our local one compares.  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Look Who Made the News!!

I'm so proud of these girls!  You have to check out what the Austin news had to say about them.  I'd say they've already surpassed 15 minutes of fame.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a day in the life

Me:  Babe, I heard on the radio the other day the top three things women like to wear that men dislike.

Ryan:  Oh ya?  What were they?

Me:  I can't remember the order but Uggs, oversized sunglasses & red lipstick.

Ryan:  That's about right...

Me:  WHAT!??!?!  I wear all those things!!!!!  

Ryan:  *deep breath* But they look good on you.

Me: rrrrrrright.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last of Mexico

For the final post on Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I thought I would show you what we mostly did every day... Layout on the beach.

This is the view of our beach and resort from the back side.  The top wraparound balcony was our suite.
We'd also go on walks along the beach.  We even saw a whale!!

The boys played shuffle board and sand volley ball almost everyday.  Ryan roped me into playing shuffle board with him on the last day, and I totally beat him! :)

You can see some of the vendors that were there everyday selling jewelry, sunglasses, clothes, candy, etc.  We became friends with a few of them by the end of the week.

On the last day we decided to take some pictures by the ocean.  Kelsey was excited.

Me & Ryan

Brad & Lindsey

Brad & Ryan

The girls

Every time Linds & I get near a body of water we always have to take "jumping" pictures.  Here we are gearing up for the shot.

We always have a miscued picture but they are always so funny looking!  Kelsey looks like she was about to get some major ups!


This one is my favorite with Linds doing a karate move.

Group shot.

This was our last night out on the town.

The girls all wore floral dresses.  I love it!

Kelsey & "Austin"

Linds & Brad

The men

Ryan & I

I just had to throw in some of the gorgeous pictures I got of the ocean.  I used some of these for my photography pictures.  Do you blame me?

I LOVE this night shot.  I took it on a tripod with a longer shutter speed, no flash.

I can't finish this post without mentioning all the funny/unfortunate things that happened to each of us.
Ryan:  He was sick most of the week with a bad cold & creamed his knee while zip lining
Me:  I think the only thing that really happened to me was a bad blister from walking in heels over the very uneven stone walk ways.
Brad:  While taking our above pictures at the beach, Brad decided he wanted to climb the slippery rocks in the background and fell off of one climbing back down.  He scrapped up his leg and hand.
Lindsey:  The very first day as we walked in our suite, Lindsey was looking out the sliding glass door at the view & Brad decided to open the sliding door at the same time and whacked Linds on the side of the head!  She also got stung by a bee on the second to last day.
Kelsey:  She really didn't have anything bad happen to her except maybe the fact she had to put up with two couples while she was single for the week.  :)

The very final thing I will leave you with is a funny clip that reminds me of one of our hilarious nights staying in playing card games (Canasta mainly).  For whatever reason something reminded me of the SNL skit with Molly Shannon playing Sally O'Malley.  I busted out the moves and nobody knew what I was talking about!!  So now I am posting the video clip to prove I wasn't crazing because everyone made fun of me the rest of the trip over it.  :)