Saturday, December 31, 2011

Avery Rae's Newborn Shoot

Yesterday I got to meet sweet baby Avery. I took her mama's maternity pictures last week as you may remember, so it was incredibly fun to be able to meet the little one after she was born. She is itty bitty and SO cute! The only time she cried was when we put the owl hat on her...which was pretty hilarious. Otherwise she was just calm, alert...and was awake the entire two hours I was there! Brittany and Jeff are so great with would never know they are first time parents. I was so impressed!
Thank you so much for asking me to do these pictures, it was an honor to meet your adorable baby girl!

I demand you take this off me this instant!

she really likes Christmas lights...

had to photograph the adorable decorations in her room : )
all handmade by Brittany of course!
: )

I don't know about this strange lady with a big camera...

wild woman : )

I loved the fact that her feet were still kind of pruney : )

so sweet...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuff and things...

The Christmas festivities have come to an end.

This is the first year that I haven't had to work on Christmas since I started working as a nurse. It was strange to have to actually plan out our day and how it would go for me and Jason...together! Usually, he goes with his family and then meets up with me at my family's once I get off work. This year was proof of true marriage compromise in action. It was hard to not do the thing I was used to doing every year and instead go for Jason's family tradition. There's something sad about changing something like that...I've been doing it since I was born. We stopped by my aunt's house shortly but spent most of the day with his family. I was a little worried it wouldn't be as fun as my yearly tradition, but we had a great time, awesome time really. We played tons of games, ate a great meal, and had a few too many cocktails...pretty much the same as we would have done with my family. It was great. Plus, now Jason's family knows I do exist and I am not actually trying to ditch them every Christmas but rather this was my first real opportunity. I am not sure how we will do things in the future, especially once we have kids but we will just take it one year at a time.

It was kind of a strange year this year in terms of the holidays. Maybe it's the warm weather, maybe it's the fact that we were on our trip until close to Christmas, maybe it's because we didn't put up a tree this year...but it really didn't feel as Christmas-y as it usually does. Was this anyone else's experience? I don't know what it was but it was kind of sad, made me feel kind of old and scrooge-esque. I wasn't crabby or anti-celebration by any means, I just didn't feel the same as I usually do. Jason agreed. Hmm...well, barring any incredible trips or unforeseen circumstances, we plan on decking our house out with our boxes of decorations that sat untouched this year. That may help!  

I worked my first string of night shifts (3 12 hour shifts in a row) last week and they actually went pretty well. I was pretty alert most of the time and really only lost my sanity at the end of my last pretty sleepy. But soon recovered when I was back, cozy in my bed. There truly is something to be said for driving home, towards your comfy bed when you know everyone else is up driving to work still trying to warm up and wake up. There have been a few nights since then (like last night...)where I have been awake til much later in the night than I wanted, but that's nothing really new for me anyways. Tomorrow I start it up again with two more night shifts. That should be a breeze in comparison.

This coming up weekend I have a long 5 day weekend off work...and it's New Years! Most of you know Jason and I got married on New Years Eve 2 years ago. I can't believe we have been married for almost two years's flown by! We haven't solidified our plans yet, but I am sure it will be fun regardless of what we do : ). Last year we spent it in San Francisco, and that was amazing. This year we are for sure going out for dinner on choice, it's less crazy that night at nice restaurants...and then who knows what.

On Friday, I get to take pictures of baby Renier! Avery arrived last week after our early week maternity shoot with her momma last Monday (just in time I guess!) Avery looks beautiful and I cannot wait to meet her and capture all of her adorable-ness! Very excited!

Well, writing this post successfully kept me up for another half hour or so...I am trying to stay up late so I can sleep late. We will see how long I can make it. I DVR'd a movie I want to see and I have a book to finish...both of which may make me conk out immediately. We shall see. I miss going to bed with Jason but I am sure he is thoroughly enjoying spreading out in our bed until I shove him over in a few hours. : )

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Stay tuned for pictures of baby Avery later this week/weekend!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brittany's Maternity Photo Shoot : )

Today I was so excited to take photos for my friend Brittany from nursing school and the baby boy or girl who is going to make it's appearance any day now! : ) We went to the Guthrie in Minneapolis to take some creative shots and had a great time doing it. Brittany looks amazing...her due date is Wednesday! I hope I look half as cute when I'm that pregnant someday!
I hope you enjoy the pictures. I can't wait to meet baby boy or girl Renier...hopefully within the next week!! Stay tuned for those pictures...

notice someone sneaking into the reflection.... : )

Back to Reality (& recipes!)

I suppose it was inevitable. At some point I would have to return to work. I knew this...but after a month off work...going back sounds less than awesome.
I am starting a new job and a new shift at work on Tuesday so that's probably where most of my dread comes from. I really do like my job but that's a lot of change all at once.
I will be starting the night shift (12 hour nights) coming from the day shift and will be working on the float team which floats throughout the whole hospital. I am excited for the new areas that I will get to experience, but nervous to work nights. Although I am a night owl, I worry how it will affect the rest of my life. When working 7p-7a, a few days in a row, I will likely never see Jason during those days except as I am going to bed in the morning and he is going to work. I guess it's no different than him being at work all day while I'm off for the day...but it will be somewhat different. I am hoping I will really like it and that it won't affect me or Jason too negatively. Time will tell.
When we got back from vacation I was wondering if I would regret taking a few extra vacation days and having the next week off work too. Would I get bored? Be ready to get back to work right away? Oh hell no. Best decision ever.
I have enjoyed doing all sorts of things including (in no particular order) photographing a friend's wedding, grading lots of papers (ok I didn't enjoy grading the papers...but I enjoyed the Panera I ate while I graded them!), doing acupuncture and boot camp, seeing friends we haven't seen in awhile, going to Jason's company Christmas party at a comedy club (tons of fun), going to friends for brunch today, and then celebrating Jason's grandpa's birthday today with most of his family. I have of course also enjoyed sleeping in very late and doing a whole lot of nothing...but that's just a given. Jason and I even watched an entire season of a new show on Showtime that we had DVR'd but never watched. Homeland was really should check it out!

I tried out a new recipe and have another one to share besides since I had some free time on my hands last week.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
I actually got this recipe off Pinterest. Here is the link to the blog where it came from...see recipe on her page.
I of course tweaked it a little just because Jason isn't a fan of blue cheese and neither am I. We also added a little extra buffalo sauce to make it more spicy. And as I usually do with any enchiladas, I got a rotisserie chicken and shredded that since it's so tasty and tender    : )
They turned out's a picture of mine!
mmmm mmmm mmmm!

Tater Tot Hot Dish
This dish is a very common Minnesota casserole that is borderline embarrassing due to the fact that it's filled with tater tots.  But, we both really love it (we LOVE tater tots!) so why not share my version of the recipe? I make it a little different because neither of us likes mushrooms much at I don't include those.

Here's what you need:
1 lb ground beef, browned (place at bottom of glass pyrex when cooked)
1/2 yellow onion, sauted and mixed with browned beef
1 can Campbell's cream of celery soup (undiluted...pour on top of cooked hamburger in pyrex)
1 can Campbell's cream of onion soup (undiluted...also pour evenly on top of cooked hamburger)
1 bag Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots (they do seem to get crispy faster) you likely won't need the whole bag, just enough to pile on top.

Cover with tin foil and cook at 350* for 45 minutes. Uncover dish and increase temperature to 425 and cook for 15-20 minutes longer or until tots are golden brown or as crispy as you'd like : )

looks gross...tastes SO GOOD

That's the only food I documented last week but maybe that's good because I am SO tired : ) If all goes as planned (and she doesn't go into labor), I am going to be doing some belly shots for a friend of mine from college tomorrow so stay tuned for those pictures. If not, stay tuned for baby pictures within the week ; )
I hope everyone has a great week before Christmas...and although a white Christmas would be nice...I for one did NOT mind the 45* weather today!