Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Big 30!

Yesterday was the big three zero for me! It's hard to believe I'm no longer in my twenties, but I really don't mind birthdays at all. Some people get all weirded out about them and bemoan the fact they are getting older - but it sure beats the alternative! :-) Why not live to the fullest and celebrate each year you have.

I had a really good day. It started out with my wonderful co-workers. When I arrived at work on Friday morning, this beautiful bouquet of flowers greeted me on my desk. I was so surprised! So thank you, "all of us" - that was so kind! And then Mr. Hooker had bagels brought in from the best place of all, Panera Bread, and made sure I had my favorite - cinnamon toast crunch! Yum!

I met Aaron for lunch at Vernon Manor. He had never been to their buffet and since he now works so close there it was perfect. We were chatting with our server and she asked if we were in town for an event or if we lived here. I told her we actually lived here in Cincy and had met for lunch to celebrate my birthday. When she learned that she brought out this HUGE piece of chocolate cake with fudge layers drizzled with chocolate. It was amazing!

Then... we met Aaron parents and Cameron for supper in Batesville, Indiana (kind of the half-way point for both of us) at the Sherman House. I love going to new restaurants and since I get to choose the place on my birthday I always choose a place no one has ever been before. This was definitely different, but very tasty. My favorite was the fried dill pickles we had for an appetizer. I love dill pickles of course, but didn't know how they would taste fried. I was very impressed and want to try making them at home. In fact we all loved them - they really were that good!

So, not only was it a good day, but it was also a very good eating day!

birthday flowers at work

fried dill pickle chips

at the Sherman House

...and they brought me an apple dumpling with ice cream complete with a candle!

opening my birthday present afterwards - a really cute maternity shirt and skirt

Monday, June 23, 2008

An '09 Senior

Stephen Lum stopped by from Pennsylvania last week to have his senior pictures done. I love making senior pictures "personal" and was so glad when he requested some piano shots. He was great to work with

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Suddenly Happier

Just like Charlotte, I am still greatly enjoying The Grocery Game. This week was especially good with some great deals at both Meijer and Kroger. Even though it's just Aaron and me, I have saved a ton on our grocery bill. And just to prove it, I've been tracking my savings. I joined The Grocery Game in January. For these last 6 months, my total savings adds up to $750.63 (this includes my coupons and store savings like sale items)! I am so glad I've been keeping track - this certainly adds up and makes me realize how much you can save if you look for deals and plan your menu around sale items.

My favorite deal from this week...

Aaron and I absolutely love Suddenly Salad, but I don't buy it very often because it's a little pricey at $2.39 per box. Well, this week Kroger has Suddenly Salad on sale for $1.00 per box (10 for $10). This in itself is a good buy; however, I found a coupon at to get 40 cents off a box. Even though it says "do not double" they nearly always double these at the store and this was no exception. Therefore, I ended up paying only 20 cents per box for these Suddenly Salads making me suddenly happier!

Monday, June 16, 2008

We had a great time in Michigan this weekend at the wedding of Jennifer Hartkopf and Wesley Gray! They were such an incredible couple to photograph - very easy going and flexible and did anything we asked them. And the wedding was absolutely beautiful! Here's one of the happy couple (I'll post more later).

We also enjoyed traveling with Ron and Jennee. They showed us the ropes of Michigan since Ron is a native - he got us everywhere we needed to go. We stopped by the mall and Jennee and I got some great deals at Bath & Body works and our other favorite place - the candy store! These carmel apples looked so good - I could have probably eaten them all!

The highlight of the weekend for Aaron was our very cool car - a 2008 Cadillac STS. Too bad it was only a rental - we reluctantly gave it up after we returned to Cincinnati (but I'm sure I wouldn't want the car payments).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family Time

I've been on a major "family picture high" recently - and I'm loving it! If there's one thing I would love to be able to accomplish, it would be to convince families how important it is to have a family picture taken. I cringe when I hear, "The last picture we had was at our wedding - and now we have 4 kids!" I know everyone is busy and it does take effort to get everyone together, but I promise it's worth it. (I am now stepping down from my soap box. :-) )

I took pictures of the Fourman family (all 17 of them) last week and enjoyed doing all the different groupings.

Here's a few . . .

Friday, June 06, 2008

Castle Images

Last week Aaron and I headed to Shelbyville, IN for a photo shoot with the Castle family - all 16 of them! Martha told me this was the first time they had all been together in over 3 years, so I was so happy that they made the effort to get family pictures.

We had so much fun with all of them - and the kids were great! Here's a few favorites from the evening.

It was great to meet Troy & Martha's newest addition - Silas.

I just love this one!

Lilly kept peeking out from behind the box - she was so cute!

Yep - they sure are brothers!