Saturday, May 31, 2014

Projects 52 - May

Another month and another four weeks of pictures added to my project 52 groups.  I can't say I've felt challenged or did anything amazing with these photos.  Sometimes I wonder if the themes hold me back. Maybe I need to be challenged by mastering or learning a new skill with my camera instead of being tied down to a theme?  Maybe I should make use of all the various blogs I read on different photography topics and keep a running list of things I should try from what I learned?  I just wish someone would set it up for me!  Plus, it's no fun doing it alone.

I found out this month that the blog writer of the 'kid project 52' is taking a hiatus.  I was bummed.  That's the group I like the most at this moment since my subject tends to be Ben most of the time anyway.  Luckily she agreed to continue adding themes to the Flickr site and it looks like she's added themes for the whole month at one time....which is nice.  I can think ahead.  Sometimes I just don't have time to pick up my camera until Saturday and most submissions are due by Monday or Tuesday.  I guess I really don't have to submit by the deadline.  But, I like to do things by the book.  I never turned in homework assignments late!   I just wish there were more active participants.  As of today (Saturday) there isn't a single posting for the theme that came out on Tuesday...and only about five since I submitted last week.

So, here are my homework assignments!

18/52 LSL Up Close
Eyelashes.  I still love his eyelashes
19/52 LSL Every day activity outside of home
We were supposed to take our big girl cameras to places we normally wouldn't take them.
The thing is; I don't take Ben to places like the grocery store or Target or on errands.  I could have taken a picture of him in the car on the way home from day care, but who has time to think about doing that when you have to get home to get started on the craziness of the evening?  So, I took a picture of him on the swing on an outing to the park.
20/52 LSL Love
I would have liked to get a cute shot of Ben and daddy, but that didn't happen.
Ben has always like, er, loved, Sophie though!

21/52 Favorite Color
Since Ben doesn't have a favorite color I gave him this color book and snapped a picture of the first page he turned to.
Purple it is!

22/52 Get in the Frame
That's me!  I was having issues with my remote but managed anyway.
18/52 M4H Moody
A teething baby is moody
19/52 M4H Faces
I just submitted this one because I had nothing else!
20/52 M4H Light
I reached on this one.  Ben made me this at day care.  His feet as sun rays.
After taking this I thought that maybe this would be a good way to save all of his artwork....just take a picture!
I'm already feel like I need to save his art (that he didn't even really do!) and feel guilty about throwing it out!

21/52 In my backyard
This is actually in my front yard, but I liked the lighting and the interesting petals.

22/52 My Life
Ok, so I just used a photo from my other projects assignment to fit the theme for this project.
A bit of cheating, but at least I made the deadline.  It does show what life with an eight month old is like.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What's in a Name?

I was looking back at some pictures the other day and came across this one.  I shared this picture with friends and family while keeping them updated with the makeover of the nursery.  Little did they know the reason behind why I set this picture up.  It was going to be the name of our future son!

We picked out the name, Benjamin, the day we found out he was a boy.  It was the first time we discussed names...EVER.  Surprisingly, while just casually talking about names (actually, we were talking about ridiculous names), we decided on Benjamin.  Just like that!  It wasn't really a 'for sure' thing though.  If something else better came up we'd consider it.  Obviously, nothing better came up.  Through the rest of the pregnancy I had signs that Benjamin was THE name.  Here is a list of the bigger signs:

- The relative ease with which we came up with the name.  I had a short list of boy names and was convinced there would be a lot of discussion about names of either sex.

- When Mike found the paint idea for the nursery we realized the paint colors were by Benjamin Moore.

- My parents came home from Mackinac Island with some baby gifts in a bag with the store name Benjamin on it.

- Just a few days after 'deciding' on Benjamin, Mike's family was trying to guess/pick out names for us.  Benjamin was thrown out there my Mike's sister.

- Whenever I had a meeting in a conference room at work, I noticed the presentation software name, BenQ.

- After Ben was born I was further sure we picked the right name when my labor and delivery nurse (who I liked almost as much as I liked the anesthesiologist) told us her husband's name was Ben.

While we kept the name a secret until the day of his birth, I felt like the name was flying around everywhere and someone would guess it for sure!  I suppose Shelly did guess it; we just did a good job at hiding it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Trip to the Netherlands

Near the end of my pregnancy, our friends announced that they would be moving their family to the Netherlands for six months for his job.  Initially I thought that maybe the three of us could visit them while they were there.  After all, babies fly free!  Soon after Ben's birth I realized that idea was CRAZY.  There was no way I was going to take an eight hour flight with a baby.  So, I pretty much gave up on the idea.  However, Mike kept trying to talk me into it.  He kept telling me it would be a once in a lifetime trip and I might regret not going.  He assured me that he would be able to care for Ben just fine while I was away.  I hesitated though.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to leave Ben.  I also wasn't sure if I could return the favor to Mike.  As Ben got older and not quite as needy I realized that, yeah, maybe I could return the favor.  I still didn't want to leave Ben, but figured if I was going to do it, doing it at this age would be easiest on him (he wouldn't realize I was gone).  I also felt like I should do it since so many people left their children behind to attend our wedding in Mexico.  Also, I probably would have regretted not going.  So, in April, I ventured to Holland alone to visit with one of my best friends.  I'm not going to go into detail about the trip here, but I will share the photo book I created that pretty much tells the story of the trip.  Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Recipe - Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I made this a month or two ago and forgot to blog about it.  One of my Facebook friends raved about it and it sounded tasty and easy so I thought I'd try it.  It was both!  We both really loved the unique take on a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers


8 oz. Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
2 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion – Sliced
6 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms – Sliced
2 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Garlic – Minced
Salt and Pepper – to taste

Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
In a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, add butter, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms onions and a little salt and pepper.  Sauté until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized.  About 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°
Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture.  Allow to cook 5-10 minutes.
Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.  Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.  Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown. 
Prep Time – 15 Minutes
Cook Time – 50 Minutes