Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Bump 15 weeks

It is definitely true what they say, you definitely show sooner with the second one. Not only am I showing off the fact that I am now "with child" again, but I am showing more of it! I am certainly much bigger at this point than I was with Sophie, but I am okay with that. Neal snapped some impromptu pictures of me, the belly and Sophie Friday evening, the light was streaming in just right through the curtains as I was standing in front of the window and in true Neal style he snapped some great shots.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Neal!

Friday (May 22nd), was Neal's 28th Birthday! Happy Birthday baby! He took the day off to stay home and celebrate with Sophie and I and we were so glad to have him here. Sophie has been uber obsessed with Daddy lately so it was an extra treat Friday morning when she said, "Daddy's going to work" and Neal chimed in, "No, Daddy's staying home today because it's his birthday!"

Sophie came bounding into our rooming bright and early and awoke Neal with a, "Happy Birthday Daddy", she has been waiting all week for it to be his birthday and has been singing "Happy Birthday to Daddy" all week and all day today. We made him a cake yesterday of which she helped make, I also made a Blueberry Oatmeal Cake for breakfast this morning (baked and chilled overnight so it was all ready for us this morning), so when I told her we were having blueberry cake for breakfast she got super excited and thought we were having the actual birthday cake for breakfast, a two year old can dream can't she?

We had a pretty lazy day, took our time getting showered and dressed and then headed off to downtown Belmont to walk around and grab some lunch. We had a good ole' Southern Style lunch at a little cafe, Cherubs, operated by the Holy Angels. They also have a Candy Bouquet next door and both establishments provide vocational training and meaningful supported employment options for individuals with mental retardation. It was a good lunch for a good cause.

I was really impressed with the way my cake turned out so I thought I would share the recipe with anyone who might want to try a good made from scratch cake instead of those preservative filled, all around bad for you boxed cake mixes.

Yellow Cake
Preheat oven to 375

3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or mixer beat butter on high for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture.

Bake in 375 oven in greased and flour pan(s). 20-25 minutes for 9 inch pans, 30-35 minutes for 8 inch pans, 25-30 minutes for a 13x9x2 inch pan.

Butter Cream Frosting

1 stick of butter
1 box of powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Cream butter until fluffy. Sift in sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and blend completely.

***Tip**** Use very, very soft butter or allow your frosting to sit out at room temp for a while before frosting, this will ensure that you will get the smoothest, easiest frosting application.

I had the best result with this cake this time around when, after frosting the completely cooled cakes, I placed the cake on cake stand,
covered, in the fridge over night. My result a very moist, dense delicious cake!

Also wanted to share the fabulous blueberry cake recipe I found on one of my favorite blogger sites, Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Blueberry Oatmeal Cake
serves 6

1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup non-fat milk
1 egg
1 3/4 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in oatmeal.

In a separate bowl, combine milk and egg and whisk until well combined. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until combined, then add the blueberries, stirring to incorporate.

Pour mixture into a 9-inch round non-stick baking dish.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the cake is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack. Chill in the fridge, until ready to eat. I recommend chilling overnight.

Cut into wedges to serve.

Dancing with Daddy after breakfast.

Strategically placing the candles.

Patiently waiting for her piece of cake.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Neal's New Site

In addition to his blog, Neal now has an actual website for clients and potential clients to view his work. His blog will just be a place for him to highlight recent shoots or new skills that he is working on and to share his thoughts on photography. His website is still a work in progress and knowing the way Neal is, it probably always will be since he can be a perfectionist when it comes to things like this, but that is okay, life in general is a work in progress! Oh and the totally awesome logo was designed by his friend and co worker Dave Stanfield, it is actually Sophie's silhouette from one of last year's beach trips!

Congrats to my talented hubby the site it looks great so far! I know you are destined for great things!

Mother's Day

It was a very sweet and simple Mother's Day around here, just how I like it. I awoke to little feet running into my room yelling out "Happy Mother's Day Mommy!!!!" What a way to wake up! For breakfast Neal and Sophie made blueberry pancakes from scratch, we don't do box mix anymore since finding a killer pancake recipe. They were delicious! Sophie made me a beautiful card with the best rainbow in it that I have ever seen, it was her first actual picture that you could tell what it was without her having to tell you, so sweet! We then got ready and headed off to church. After church we went over to Lowe's and bought some wild flower seeds to plant in the backyard. While Sophie napped Neal tore up the fire pit and I tilled the dirt to prepare for the wild flower seeds. We laid out a really nice area with a stepping stone path and everything I am so excited, it was a nice afternoon to work in the yard it wasn't blazing hot like it has been. Once Sophie got up she helped spread the seeds and tested out the stepping stone path! Then we sat outside for the remainder of the day enjoying some fresh fruit and watching Sophie swim in her ICE cold pool! It was a great day, I couldn't have asked for anything more!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I won't write too much since there are a plethera of pictures to share. I will say that we did have a blast. It was very hot and we did a TON of walking, Sophie rode in the stroller and wanted no part of walking, I don't blame her! We were able to see and do a lot, Sophie even got to ride her very first roller coaster with Gigi once and again with Papa, I couldn't go on due to the little one now inhabiting my womb, but that is okay I was able to capture a great shot and with Neal's creative editing and the awesome quality of our camera he cropped in on Sophie and my Dad enjoying the ride. According to my Dad Sophie was laughing and loving the roller coaster the whole time, putting her hands up in the air like a champ and having a blast! She is getting to be such a big girl. She was able to see Cinderella and Princess Aurora again and just as promised there were no tears, just extreme excitement. OK I said I wouldn't write a lot so on with the pictures! Enjoy!!

Character Breakfast at Beach and Yacht Club across from the BoardWalk

Enjoying her famed Mickey Waffles

Riding the "Disney School Bus" she sang the wheels on the bus every time we rode the buses!

Entering the Magic Kingdom and spotting Cinderella's castle.

Click on the picture to enlarge you can see my little daredevil on her first roller coaster, my dad has on a red hat.

Minnie Mouse made out of flowers in EPCOT.

Riding the Dinosaurs in Animal Kingdom.

Drumming in Africa in Animal Kingdom.

3-D glasses from It's Tough To Be A Bug.