I hope you all were able to jump on this amazing deal from Shutterfly a little faster than me! My computer has been doing weird things and FINALLY, my last attempt...I get the email and I'm set to write my post about SHUTTERFLY!!

This year shutterfly had an amazing promotion...(don't worry, if you missed it, there will always be great deals throughout the year)...they are giving 50 free cards to bloggers! Check. It. Out. Its definitely a great way to save a little cash this year on your Christmas cards! Unfortunately, I had already ordered my Christmas cards when I heard about the offer...but why not order more? I only ordered 20 to begin with so I think with 50 more I will definitely be able to reach everyone on our list!

Not only is shutterfly a great place to print your pictures, they also have amazing deals on gifts...personalized with your precious pictures!! You can make calendars, mugs, cards, stationary, photo books, ornaments and SO much more! I am pretty sure that every year my parents count on me giving them a photo calendar along with the reast of their gifts, if not, I'd be in trouble!!

Giving a shutterfly gift card is another great way to give this year...there is so much to pick from!

Now the hard part is going to be picking out what I want this year...how will I ever decide?

Here are a few I am choosing from:

Love the black and white with red and green.

I love the options Shutterfly gives you with being able to put mutiple pictures on a card as well!

I love the simplicity of this one.

Well, I better get to choosing! Merry Christmas!...and thank you Shutterfly!


Baby Brixton

Wow! It has been forever since I have posted anything!

Yesterday I had the privilege to do my first baby/child photo shoot! Mind you, I have NO background or knowledge in photography...I just enjoy acting like I do. Haha! Also, when it comes to editting, I know very little, but I'm learning! Here are a few...I think we ended up taking about 350.
This is baby Brixton, my boss' little boy. He has the sweetest disposition and smiles best when his momma and daddy tell him "shoooey, Brixton, you stink"


Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Beurre Blanc

Our favorite way to eat salmon....

4 salmon filets

1 T dijon
1/2 t shallots, minced
1/4 t garlic chopped
1 t fresh dill, minced
1 t fresh chives, minced
1 t fresh parsley, minced
2/3 C Panko bread crumbs (or crushed Ritz crackers w/ Italian seasoning mixed in)

Lemon Beurre Blanc

3 oz. Butter
1/2 t shallots, minced
1/4 t garlic, minced
1 t lemon zest
3-4 oz. dry white wine
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C cream

*zucchini, carrots, squash, red pepper and onions are good to have on hand as well

1-Combine shallots, garlic, herbs and bread crumbs. Season with S & P, mix and reserve.

2- Preheat oven to 375.

3-Season salmon with S & P, brush generously with dijon and press into bread crumb mixture.

4- Transfer to baking sheet/dish. Bake 15-20 minutes.

5-Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and lemon zest. Saute briefly, but do not brown.

6-Deglaze with white wine. Bring to simmer and reduce liquid by 1/2. Add lemon juice, continue to simmer and reduce again by 1/2.

7-Add cream, reduce until sauce thickens.

8-Season with S & P, keep warm until ready to serve.

*We always like to saute or steam some veggies to go along with it, and of course, a garlic butter biscuit. Mmm, my mouth is watering just talking about it!


Family Weekend

This weekend was amazing. We went to the lakehouse to start Zach's 25th birthday celebration. We all found ourselves full of joy as we enjoyed each others company. I wish we could do this more often. Just a few pictures to share...
My baby and I.
Shayna's parents came for the weekend! Karen and Ernest, they were great!
Ryan and Zach being goobers.
Zach's parents were able to come as well! We had so much fun!
Mom and Karen in the kitchen.

Murph is always ready for a golf cart ride.
Dad and his new big green egg. He made some delicious steaks and brisket!

Shay and I on the yacht.

Zach turns 25...(almost).

Uncle Al taking us for a ride on a beautiful night.
Jim and Rick enjoying the yacht ride.

The cute couple.

More pictures to come...(we did alot of wakeboarding)!


We Did It!

Over the past year or so I made a list of things I want to do in the future...it was more or less just a list of ideas that I thought would be fun to do; just to name a few:
  • plant a garden
  • take a pastry class
  • have a craft room
  • volunteer somewhere to make a positive difference
  • remodel a house
Zach and I had a few items on the list that we wanted to do together before we have children. The crazy thing is that the one we thought we would be least likely to do...we did! Two weeks ago we climbed the highest peak in New Mexico. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I KNOW I could not have kept going if I didn't have my sweet husband encouraging me the ENTIRE way! He was so sweet when I need to stop; my stops were alot more frequent than his. We didn't sit down until we were at the top; 16 miles, 8 hours, 18 water bottles, 2 PB & Js, good conversation, a handful of pictures, sweat, laughs, and many memories made along the way. I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else. We are so thankful that God made this a reality for us! It was so wonderful being surrounded by His amazing creation the entire way.


Unconditional RESPECT

Our 3 year anniversary picture...

Finally, after years of being torn between reading "fun" books and "text" books...I am free to focus only on the books I WANT to read...

Jim and Gwen (my amazing in-laws) gave Zach and I a great book a year or so ago and, needless to say, I am just now getting a chance to read it!

It's called LOVE AND RESPECT, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs...you should read it if you haven't already.

We always hear about the love aspect of relationships...Col. 3:19 (No matter how hard it gets, husbands, love your wives)...Ephesians 5 (...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her...)...however; RESPECT is a forgotten subject, rather, a subject that is often pushed aside.

Over the past few weeks, God has layed this subject (RESPECT) on my heart in a very heavy way. How selfish of me to hear the verses above (and other verses) and think...yes, husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, AMEN!...yet not see the other side, the side where God's word tells us

...and the wife must RESPECT her husband...Eph 5:33.

Of course I have read those words a hundred times, but just recently it clicked and now it makes perfect sense...now I just need the grace, mercy, and patience from God to work on it! We are to love our husbands, but MORE importantly, we are to RESPECT them...sounds weird, I know.

All that to say, Women crave LOVE, Men crave RESPECT, no matter what...unconditional respect and unconditional love, that is how God made us.

After a few chapters I asked Zach if he would rather be A)left alone and unloved in the world OR B)feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone. Even though it was a close call, he said he would rather be left alone and unloved!!!

C-R-A-Z-Y, but amazing at the same time...so now it is my everyday mission to let him know how much I respect him. Every time he tells me he loves me (which is alot) it reminds me of how much I truly respect him. Right now, as I am reading the book, I have an easy reminder to be respectful in all situations...I just hope it grows to be a part of me even after I am done with the book. I WANT my husband to KNOW I love him, but also RESPECT him. Lord, please help me.

My handsome husband...whom I RESECT.


Baby Booties

They are definitely not perfect....but I think they are pretty cute.

I got the idea here. My plan was to give a little "tutorial", however my SD card for my camera had other plans...I had to format my card which means I lost all of my pictures! Anyway, I hope they fit lil Paisley...can't wait to see them on her!


A Visit to Huntsville

It was a short, but enjoyable stay in Alabama. Scott and Amy showered us with hospitality, feeding us one delectable meal after another. The kids were a delight; Sophie is full of curiousity as she learns...I love that sweet girl. Noah, he amazed me with his innocense, gentleness, and his kindness. It was so sweet to see the love that both Scott and Amy possess over each one of their children and all but drove me to tears thinking about the love Zach and I will (Lord willing) suspend over our children.

Jim and Gwen were so nice to ask us along for the trip. They have blessed Zach and I far more than I could ever describe. They are some of the most admirable people I know. Times with them are pleasant, full of laughing and good cries.

We had such a great time staying with Scott, Amy, and the kids in their beautiful new home. I thank the Lord for them.


Praise the Lord!

God has been showing me over and over again how sovereign He is.
I have a job!!
I remember praying at the end of the last school year (08-09) that God would lead me to a good family in need of a summer sitter. Zach and I had talked about how it was my last "real" summer and he was so sweet to let me really enjoy it instead of working 9-5 everyday like I could/probably should have. He is so good to me!

Literally, a few days later I got a call from my sister-in-law asking if I had a summer job yet. I told her my "plan" and she followed it with telling me she had a friend at church who was in need of a summer sitter for her little boy. The cool thing is that I was supposed to watch him the summer before but things just didn't work out...and now they were, it is all in God's timing, right? Calls where made and a time was set up for me to meet the family....wow! As Renee (the mother of the lil boy) and I talked, we both kept going on about how quickly God answered both of our prayers and how amazing it was that he paired each of us, basically strangers, together. It is amazing to me how much the Grau family has blessed my life over the past year. They truly are some of the most giving, caring, and gracious people I have ever met. The Grau family is exactly what I was wanting!! Randy, Renee, and of course, lil Reagan are just awesome.

Reagan and I have had a blast over the past year. When I first started (he had just turned one), he would cry and I would hold him and tell him it was okay and read him books until he was ready to start his day with this red-headed stranger. Haha! Now, of course, we are best buds and he no longer cries when mom and dad leave (for the most part)...and we build towers, make ramps and roads for all of his cars and trains in his "baseball basket", sing songs, play with balls, read books, have short conversations (mostly about Thomas the train, farms, and Dora) and we frequent the park whenever possible. Oh Reagan, you have grown so much! You are such a handsome and sweet boy.

So, all that to say, at the end of my last Fall semester of college, I was starting to realize that my internship (that would take place in the Spring) is sort of a huge deal because it could also be the place where I look for a job. Once again, I started frantically praying and stressing out. God knows me all too well, He doesn't make me wait long or I might go insane...because just a few days later Renee sent me an e-mail with some links of some possible internship posistions. I felt a little weary, but after looking over the Schools for Healthy Lifestyles website and God reminding me that HE was in control, I e-mailed one of the contacts she gave me. Out of that came an internship where I was able to do the things I love. It was such a great experience! I was able to teach young children about staying safe, healthy, and active! And of course, you guessed it, I got a job at Schools for Healthy Lifestyles!!

I know this was a long post and I am a terrible writer, but I am just overwhelmed with the complexity of our Lord! If all of these events did not take place, the meeting of strangers, babysitting and getting to know the Grau's, and their kind and caring spirits looking out for me, I would not have this opportunity! All the glory goes to God for linking it all together and for blessing my life in so many ways! Praise the Lord!


American Girl Birthday Weekend

Happy 10th Birthday Jayme!
Doll Salon

Best Friends

(One of the college-aged girls eating with her doll, no joke)
Ice Skating

The Birthday Girl


If you are wondering if I went to the American Girl Place for my enjoyment, I did not. However, we did come upon a few college aged girls who were taking much delight (in all seriousness) while discussing the latest American Girl fashion over their tea and crumpets, with their dolls sitting pretty in their high chairs. YES. Serious, no laughs, they came to the AGP by themselves! Ashlee and I had a reason-we were there in order to support and celebrate the tenth birthday of her sister and my little cousin, Jayme.


Anyways, we left Friday and drove down to Dallas where we went to the AGP and the mall. We took the birthday girl and her friend, Kaliegh, ice skating where I'm sure I looked like a fool, but I had a great time! Later, we went back to the hotel and swam (or sat by the pool) until we decided where we wanted to eat. California Pizza Kitchen is where we ended up after one iphone, one blackberry, and one Garmin led us in several different directions. YUMMY! Truthfully, Ashlee and I found it ourselves. ;) This morning we got up and again battled the latest technology and wound up at Denny's (not so yummy) and then, of course, hit up the other mall on the way out of town!