A 1920s era novel I couldn't put down, new tunes from a British crooner whose voice makes me melt and a film by the quirky Wes Anderson that has me madly in love with all things plain and camping motif ... here's a peek at a few of the things I was loving on this month.
Months and months ago, Nick’s dad asked him if he would want to join him in what’s called RAIN — short for “Ride Across Indiana”. My response? “Seriously?!” I thought these two were crazy to ride 160 miles on their bikes across the state. And when I found out the race was going to be in July? Even CRAZIER. But Nick is such a great son and he knew how much this meant to his dad (one of his bucket list goals), so he told him yes.
These two then spent the weeks leading up to the ride logging lots and lots of miles on their bikes in preparation for the big day. Together, they set off on Saturday from Terre Haute, Ind. (on the western side of the state) at around 6:30 a.m. They joined more than 1,500 (crazy) bicyclists participating in the event that day, all of them up against temperatures that would eventually top out around 90 degrees (and a brutal head wind on top of that). I stayed at home (I would have had to have been in the car, following them, for up to 12 hours—yeahhhh…not a good idea when 6+ months pregnant!), which meant I looked forward to every text update I got from Nick on his phone as they ticked off the miles (40, 60, 80….) along the way.
Nick’s dad made it 110 miles into the ride before he decided to call it a day later that afternoon (and I was SO proud of him, both for how far he made it, but for also listening to his body and not pushing himself to ride farther than he thought he could handle. And, I mean, 110 miles? WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!) Nick still felt good, and decided to keep going.
Which is how, at 6:40 p.m. that night, I found myself standing there waiting for him—camera in hand—as he crossed the finish line at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. (on the east side of the state). He’d been on that bike for nearly 12 hours that day and my heart swelled with pride seeing his yellow set of wheels come around the bend. Sweaty, tired, dehydrated, but in good spirits, that was my husband. And I couldn’t believe he’d DONE it!
Nick, congratulations again on this amazing physical accomplishment. Time and time again in our relationship, you have proven to me that perseverance pays off and that doubting one’s self is no way to reach a finish line. Once again, I’m in awe of you and how you keep finding ways to remind yourself—and me, while you’re at it—that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Nick’s sister and her husband joined us from Cincinnati to cheer Nick on at the finish line. They brought our nephews (Sam, Ben and Zach) who look up to Nick in THE most adorable way possible. Look at this sign Sam and Ben made their Uncle Nick! I about melted when I saw it! And finally, a great shot of a father and son. Love these two and can’t help but wonder if our own son will someday take after his father’s love of bicycling :)
It was the little things that Bailey and Kyle seemed to care most about on their wedding day — certain moments they wanted captured with their family, the attention they showered on their wedding party with customized gifts, the way they made sure to get one last photo at the end of the night with their tight-knit group of college friends. But on the biggest day of your life, the little things can mean just as much as the big things – the “I dos” and first kiss as husband and wife and first turn on the dance floor.
All in all, everything added up to create a beautiful afternoon filled with warmth and love for Bailey and Kyle. And while everybody in attendance may have had a thing or two to say about the heat of that hot summer day, what they talked about more by night’s end was how perfectly everything came together for these two on this special occasion.
Bailey and Kyle, congrats on your nuptials and I wish you two the best for one another as you start your new lives together in Houston!
Because Bailey and Kyle got married at a Nature Park on the grounds of Depauw University, the two of them had to get creative when it came to where they’d get ready. Members of the extended family lent them campers (with glorious A/C) to stay cool as they prepped for seeing one another before the ceremony.
Bailey put so much thought and attention into the customized gifts she got each one of her bridesmaids. Watching them open their packages and ooh and aww over what they discovered inside was a highlight of the day.While the girls stayed tucked away, keeping cool, it was time to take this handsome groom and his groomsmen out for some photos in the woods! And we had to sneak a little love in for mom too! (Now that I have a son on the way, pictures like this? MAKE ME MELT.) Bailey chose to do a first look with her dad and goodness gracious, I don’t think there was a one of us standing around to witness this moment who didn’t have a tear in their eye! Her sweet dad was a puddle of big ‘ol crocodile tears waiting on his gorgeous eldest daughter to surprise him. One of my favorite parts of the day, for sure.Wedding programs that doubled as fans and umbrellas brought by guests certainly came in handy on this hot summer day!Later, Kyle would confess that he was trying so hard to hold back a few tears as he watched Bailey walk down the aisle with her dad. Love his reaction here. My dear friend and second shooter, April Smith, captured this sweet candid shot of Bailey during the ceremony. Oh Bailey—you are SO gorgeous here! Takes my breath away! I love how happy they look here — married, nerves out of the way, ready to have a good time …. Sisterhood is such an incredible bond.And finally, time to party!! Bailey and Kyle, thank you for hiring me on this momentous occasion in your lives. I had so much fun getting to know you both and your sweet families. It’s clear you had a blast on your wedding day — the photos are proof!
I couldn’t come up with a better headline for this blog entry than the one above. Because friends, this oh-so-cold, oh-so-good, pretty-good-FOR-you fruity concoction really DOES taste like summer exploded in your mouth.
I don’t know about you, but with this heat wave griping the nation, I’ve been on the lookout for anything cold and tasty to cram in my mouth. I realize that eating a pint of ice cream every week isn’t good for this pregnant woman’s ever-expanding waistline, so I’ve been trying to come up with better alternatives. Popsicles, mostly. (Unhealthy ones, at that).
When my mom was in town over the Fourth, I brought up this slush. A slush that, back home, where I grew up, has quite the reputation. My mom has made this (and her should-be-world-famous potato salad) for so many friends’ and family members’ graduation parties, I’ve lost count. Both are THE perfect accompaniment to a hot summer day). Anyway…I don’t know why it never occurred to me to ask for the recipe before now, but I was all over it when she sent it my way last week.
This is SO quick and easy to make — I did all the prep for it while I was waiting for some enchiladas to heat through in the oven (so under 20 minutes, tops — ever try to challenge yourself to see how much you can get done while that timer runs down? No? Just me? ;) )
I promise you, if you make this, your kids will think it’s so tasty, they won’t even care there’s fruit in there. You’ll be the person whose dish everyone is still talking about after that Sunday night picnic. And..well, you might just find yourself cheating on Ben & Jerry a little bit this summer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Summer In Your Mouth Fruit Slush
• 1 can frozen Dole orange pineapple concentrate —12 oz. (let this thaw a bit before you use it)
• 1 large can sliced peaches (for these, I used the kind that came in heavy syrup–to save on sugar and for a slightly less sweet variety, you could experiment with using just peaches in their own juice) .
• 1 large 29 oz. can crushed pineapple (I couldn’t find a 29 oz. can so used two smaller cans’ worth)
• 5 or 6 good-sized bananas, sliced up (do not use greenish bananas, make sure they are ripe; also, cut these pieces up so they’re not too thick)
First drain the peaches, saving the juice in a sauce pan. Add enough water to the juice to make three cups of liquid. To this, add 1 (or 1 1/2) cups of sugar. Stir together well and then heat on the stove until it starts to boil.
While waiting on the syrup to boil, dice up the peaches to about half-inch size. Next, do the same with the crushed pineapple (this should already be chopped up, I just gave it a good once over with my knife to make the pieces slightly smaller).
To cut up the bananas, I found it easiest to half each one vertically, then half the two vertically cut pieces again. Then line up the four smaller slices you’ve created and chop away to get the size cubes you want for this.
Toss all the fruit into a large-sized container (make sure it fits in your freezer first!). To this, add the concentrate and then the syrup (once it has cooled after boiling).
Give it a good stir to mix up all the fruit and then freeze overnight.
Let sit out for about 20 minutes before serving—you want it to stay somewhat frozen but still be scoopable. Do not let it thaw/get too runny.
Refreeze numerous times. Enjoy!!
A crash course in how the French nail it in the parenting department, the latest album from a band with Midwestern roots that I adore and a new show on HBO that takes me back to my days as a journalist ... here's a peek at a few of the things I was loving on this month.