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24 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Love

This is from a previous NC Life 365, but I think it embodies the theme of today perfectly. And I love the picture.

30-Day Challenge: Landscape

This wasn't my favorite. Grrrr...

Summer Melancholy

This time of year always makes me a little homesick because I know that I am missing the best part of the year in Upstate NY. I know that back home the weather is nice, the terrain is in full bloom and beautiful, and the air is warm and clean and fresh. The thought of that always brings back strong memories of home.

Memories of ...

... late nights walking barefoot in the cool damp grass under a bright moon and a star littered with a million stars.

... shoes being optional and, more often than not, discouraged.

... lazy mornings being awoken by the sun peeking over the hills and creeping across your bedroom floor inch-by-inch until it slowly kisses your eyelids, waking you in the most pleasant way.

... the cool smooth feel of a dry dirt road beneath your padding feet as you walk down it's center with no fear of a car coming from either direction.

... looking in every direction and seeing beautiful rolling green hills that ignite in a fire of color as soon as autumn comes.

... the sound of water. Everywhere. Waterfalls and tumbling creeks and early morning rains and the lapping of waves at the lakeshore.

... recognizing each car that passes by as a neighbor's or a friend's or a family member's. No one was a stranger because everyone knew my mom or my dad or my grandparents or my aunt on my mother's side or my brother's high-school girlfriend. Everyone knows everyone.

... the taste of freshly-picked green beans from a local farmer's field. They are especially sweet they have been picked by your own hands.

... the occasional jet trail carving up the bright blue sky.

... "small" summertime bar-b-ques just for the family that slowly grow and grow as neighbors and friends stop in to say "hello." And there's always enough food. And drink.

... just "stopping by" to visit friends. No need to call ahead or make arrangements. Just pulling in the driveway is all the notice needed.

And knowing that there is nothing in the world that can't be fixed by sitting on the front porch on a warm summer night with a cool glass of wine in your hand, loved ones by your side, and a million fireflies dancing in the tall grasses before your eyes.

Thankfully NY is only a week away. Because I do <3 NY. Home is indeed where your heart is.

And since I'm a wee bit homesick, here are some pics of my home sweet home.

Yeah. That's my parents' front yard. Pretty fantastic, huh?

And the lakes. Oh, the lakes. 

Our favorite evening program. We never miss it.

The Bridge of Sighs has nothing on this.

23 June 2011

Perfect Recipe for Summertime

One of my Twitter peeps was recently boasting about his wife's awesome Strawberry Cake, and my mouth immediately started watering. I tweeted for the recipe, and MrsBMG tweeted my the link. Yesterday was the perfect lazy summer day, so I bought a pound of strawberries and tried my hand at this mouth-watering recipe. 

Here are the ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (can swap 3/4 cup or 94 grams all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved

Check out the Smitten Kitchen link above for the full recipe. :)

All the ingredients (minus the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla).

Yum! It was hard not to eat them before they went into the cake. 

Ad the butter, sugar, egg, and milk happily meet. 

I had to use a springform pan since my pie plates were too small.
Ready to go into the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!!

We cut into it before I had a chance to add the powdered sugar.
It's super-good warm. 

30-Day Challenge: Black and White

This one is out of order because I couldn't manage a landscape for today. :)

30-Day Challenge: Micro

19 June 2011

Babies make summertime better

After a looooooooong wait, Baby Turner has arrived!
And, as expected, she is beautiful.

Almost ready to cry ... but didn't.

First hair-styling.
And there's lots of hair to style!!

Proud momma. 

To the Fathers ...

What is a father?

He isn't something that is determined by DNA or genetics. A father is made from a choice. A very specific choice to love and nurture a little creature that is defenseless in the world. Everyday he makes the choices that change his child's life. Which values to instill in her young soul, which boo-boos to kiss and which to let heal on their own, which boys to chase away and which boys to trust with her tender heart. Every decision he makes helps to create the strong child that grows into the independent woman. He helps her to learn from her own experiences by sharing his own wisdom and experience. He wants nothing but the best for her but is willing to let her fail so her successes will be all the more sweet.

She could make it in life without him, but she is who she is because he is in her life.

Happy Father's Day, Pops!

16 June 2011

Dating a Boston-Sports Fan ...

... means lots of late nights. Especially during championship runs. I was first indoctrinated to this lifestyle in  2004 when the Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918. That was a pretty great season. We went to Boston to watch the parade, and it was pretty magical. And cold. But magical nonetheless. While The Boy watches and supports ALL Boston sports, I've only really gotten into baseball. Basketball just isn't my thing, and, while I love hockey because of its aggression and speed, I just don't watch it enough to know anything about it. It is one of those sports that I prefer watching live (despite the freezing arenas). I can do baseball on TV or live, but some sports I just have to be there to enjoy. Hockey is one of them.

Despite all this, the Stanley Cup finals have been on my TV non-stop. The Boy has watched and cheered every moment, and I have supported him and the Bruins quietly from my spot across the room on my couch (usually with a book or my MacBook on my lap). I pay attention to the important stuff so I know what's going on, but I'm just not as devoted as he is. Last night after their win, he slipped on his old Donato jersey from back in the day (he couldn't wear it during the games because the last time he did that the Bruins lost, and, as we all know, what the fans do at home has a direct affect on the outcome of the game!). He even wore it to bed. This morning the jersey finally came off and found its way onto The Beast. She just loves getting all dressed up to support her dad and his fanatics.

Yeah, Bruins! 
Is this not the face of a fan?

The jersey is a little big on her skinny frame. :)
Now that the Stanley Cup has been decided, we can go back to focusing on Boston baseball. I'm more equipped to handle that. :)

15 June 2011

Because she is so damned beautiful ...

I got this one while I was making her pose. She hates the camera (which annoys me to no end), but she always makes such a beautiful photograph. 

Cute kids make photography easy

I spent a little time with one of my favorite NC families last week taking some family photos. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning (before the humidity settled in), and I got some pretty sweet shots of Q and her family. I hope they like them as much as I do.

Such a ham ...

What a beautiful family.

I'd love this so much more if her legs were more "lady-like."

How adorable is this child, really?

Can you say "mischievous?"

Off to see the world!

Woah. That's a big horse. 

30-Day Challenge: Action

Caught mid-yawn.
Not a great photo, but it makes me laugh.

30-Day Challenge: Someone I love

This one is pretty obvious.

30-Day Challenge: Reminds me of my childhood

It may seem silly, but I've always loved cornbread. Mom made it every once in a while.
The Boy had a fresh pan of it ready for me when I returned home from my chaperoning adventures.
Love him. And the cornbread.

13 June 2011

And the chaperoning concludes ...

My chaperoning duties ended yesterday after a fun-filled day in Atlanta. We took the kids to the MLK Jr. Museum and gravesite and then led them into downtown Atlanta to visit either the Coke museum or the Georgia Aquarium. I chose to chaperone the group that visited the aquarium because I pretty much love zoos and aquariums.

Gandhi outside the MLK museum

My old stomping grounds got a shout-out in the ATL due to the Woolworth's sit-in.

The mural outside the museum

The grave site. If he hadn't been cut down, he could still be alive today.
Think of all that he could have accomplished ...

A leaf in the reflecting tool made a cool shadow.

Georgia Aquarium!

This one is for Kiki.

Sea anemone!

Is it bad that I wanted him to be my dinner?

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea ...


A stingray doing summersaults

It is pretty captivating.

Whale shark!

Sea nettles

Moon jellies

Hammerhead overhead


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