My Sister’s Getting Married

Once upon a time my sister married the man of her dreams. They lived happily, but not ever after. Five children and many years later, their “ever after” was ended by a long and valiant battle with cancer.

Thankfully for all of us – and especially my sister and her wonderful fiance – happily ever after offers second chances.

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Love. To be continued.

Ryan | Omaha Children’s Photographer

There once was a boy who was two
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He liked to run, jump and play peek-a-boo
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But when he turned three
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He was sweet as could be
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and now he says “How do you do?”
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5 Mistakes I Made at the Makeup Counter

I’m trying a whole new skin care regimen this morning. Yes, this post will be about moisturizer and the fact that I made my 10-year-old touch my face before breakfast. If you don’t like it, you know where the jewelry counter is. I’ll meet you over there in a few.

For my forty-something birthday, I treated myself to the Real Stuff. The Real Stuff being the kind of skin care products for which you have to go to the mall, meet with lab-coat Suzy and hope you have enough on your debit card.

So I did it. But, being new to the dance, there were some mistakes made along the way. (That’s politician-speak for I Made Mistakes.) Let me share them with you so when you turn forty-something and decide to hit the pause button, you won’t make them too. Or, if you do, we’ll have something to laugh about.

1. I beelined to the nearest counter from the door. I ejected myself from the forced heat incubation station between the double doors leading to the perfectly temperate, gloriously smelling and flatteringly lit department store and marched straight for the blessed counter. Time will tell if this is a true mistake or not. (The box says I should see a difference in less than 4 weeks!)

2. I snagged the first lab-coat Suzy I could find. Maybe I could have found someone closer to my age. Maybe even closer to my ethnicity. At least she was my gender, right? To her credit, her skin looked fabulous.

3. I expected my $100+ to give me the Higgs boson for skin. I want that cream to cause subatomic particles to smash together like a cosmic light show in the middle of the night and form a whole new layer of skin. I want to wake up without the wattle. I don’t want to wear turtlenecks anymore. I don’t want to look like I’m frowning when I’m actually smirking. I mean really, people. If the smirk doesn’t come across properly, then what do we have left?

4. Maybe I could have spent more time finding out in what order and at exactly what time I should be using each of the sixty-three bottles in the hand-stitched, quilted bag she gave me. Because I was too scared to ask too many questions, I ended up with this list she wrote for me. It will be laminated, burned to a disk and uploaded to the Cloud in case I lose the original. It’s so important that I’m not even hung up on the fact there’s a misspelling. (Okay, well maybe a little.)

5. Overall, my greatest mistake was not doing it sooner. Even my 10-year-old couldn’t believe how great my skin feels, God bless him. He always knows just what to say.

Hey There Cupcake, You’re Lookin’ Kinda Cute

Because it’s Lent and because I swore off the dark arts (or more specifically, chocolate) for forty days and nights I give you…

It’s okay to look, right?

This peek into what awaits on April 8th is brought to you by my sister. If you need cupcakes and haven’t sworn off the dark arts (or any other kind of art) she’s your girl.

Sweet Baby Sammy | Omaha, NE | Newborn & Family Photographer

Some babies are lucky enough to have a big sister.

Other babies are lucky enough to have a big brother.

Little Sammy has both.

And he is one lucky little boy.

Birthday Kids | Omaha, NE Children’s Photographer

We had a tea party until we ran out of lemon cookies. Then we tried to play golf, but there was too much snow. But when it’s your birthday you don’t need lemon cookies or golf to have fun. Thanks for letting me come play!

Birthdays
by Robert William Service

Let us have birthdays every day,
(I had the thought while I was shaving)
Because a birthday should be gay,
And full of grace and good behaving.
We can’t have cakes and candles bright,
And presents are beyond our giving,
But let us cherish with delight
The birthday way of lovely living.

The Hangover

I got a call this morning from my son’s friend’s mom.

Don’t worry, I always understand things better with an illustration, too.

She asked if my son could come play after school.

I told her yes, hung up and said, “Hey dude!” because it’s important as a parent to do whatever you can to relate to the younger generation. Botox. Skinny jeans. Knowing all the words to “Super Bass”. Calling your kids “dude”. Whatever.

“You’ve got a play date this afternoon!”

The backseat fell silent for a moment. I thought he’d be excited, but then the kid who is seven-days-away-from-finally-being-a-ten-year-old replied with a distinct eye roll, “Hangover. Mom, I have a hangover.”

I will spend the rest of this morning cleaning the inside of my windshield of the coffee that spewed from my nose.

“You mean hang OUT? You’ll be hanging OUT?”

“Whatever.”

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And this is why it’s important to read to your children. The end.

If You Take a Friend to Costco…

I don’t know what made me pick up that silo’s worth of Farro the other day at Costco. Maybe I was high on life with the mozzarella samples. Maybe after seeing that pallet of fiber bars, this duffel bag of Farro looked small. I just don’t know.

As it turns out, my husband’s complaints about my shopping habits are not unfounded. Who knew?

So, once I got home and set up that Farro dispensary in the garage, I knew I needed to figure out how to cook it.

If you haven’t had Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh), I can only characterize it as a nutty rice with a shorter cooking time. Kind of like Aunt Gloria. Plus, it’s full of fiber. Kind of like Aunt Gloria.

So, this recipe comes from farro.ca “Your Canadian Authority on Imported Italian Emmer Wheat”, which just further goes to prove my theory that there ARE jobs out there, people, you just aren’t looking in the right places.

After recovering from the shock of actually having every single one of these ingredients on hand, I made this:

Farro Salad

  • 4 cups semi-pearled Farro, cooked
  • 1/2  cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 1/2  cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/4  cup cilantro
  • 1/4  cup salmoriglio olive oil (I don’t know who Sal Moriglio is, but I figured he’s probably friends with Bertolli so I went with it. Italy’s a small place, you know.)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2  tsp. salt

Assemble all the ingredients as you would a salad and allow the flavours to be absorbed by the Farro. It may be necessary to “refresh” the salad the next day with some vinegar and seasoning. (yields: 5-6 cups)

I only made one cup of Farro and pared down the other ingredients to match.

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I can’t cook. My kids will come in a close second. But I must say this dish made me question my heritage. I swear there’s an Italian grandma out there kissing her fingers right now saying, “Mama Mia! It’sa ’bout timea my little bambina Bobbi Joa discovered Farro!” Or something like that. Harboring no illusions that I’ll ever be the food reviewer for the New York Times, I’ll just say: It was goooood.

If you want to try it, but are afraid to invest in a grain bin’s worth of Farro, let me know. I might be able to spare a cup … in exchange for another trip to Costco, that is.

Breaking the Rules

We woke up in the middle of a cloud today. Billowy white surrounded us like First Communion at an all-girls school.

Then the sun broke through.

It’s simply gorgeous out there. But, speaking of breaking things, I’m breaking rules all over the place with these images. I can’t help it. I love the blur, I love the poor exposure, I even love the crappy composition. Rules were meant to be broken. Except the ones I make for my kids. Those are iron-clad.

Happy Monday! Go break some rules today.

In Defense of the French Fry

I was listening to the radio recently and they were talking about the Happy Meal Scandal. You know, the battle over eliminating toys and adding apples.

It sounds kind of absurd when you say it out loud, so don’t.

Because I was stuck at about the 23rd minute of my 55 minute commute to work, my mind began to wander. Who were these people opposing this idea and were any of them voting age? Are first-graders Mobilizing Against McDonald’s Apples (that’s right, MAMA) with the use of imo, and if so, shouldn’t we shift our focus to dealing with this out-of-control Kindle Fire Generation?

I came to the conclusion at about minute 39 of 55 that Happy Meal toys are really only on a detour through the backseat of your car to the trash can anyway. Something like this:

Yes, that pink My Pretty Pony survived 7 years under the front seat of our car.

Judging on the french fry nest it had made for itself, it’d been living pretty high on the hog for almost a decade, too.

The question must be posed, however:

How long would it have lasted on a diet of apples?

In conclusion:
1. I love french fries.
2. The manes on My Pretty Ponies are shinier when you pet them with greasy fingers.
3. If you’re going to fight for something, make sure you really like apples first.

That is all. Happy Friday!