Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tough Guy

Do you remember my favorite local photo spot?  The one I take the kids to every year just before school starts for some "new school year" photos?  I did that again this year - the first week of September (when the weather was still nice).  I just barely finished editing my favorites.  It took a lot longer than normal because mr. got me the awesomest birthday present this year - Adobe Lightroom!  Aw, man, I'm excited!  I've been watching tutorials and trying to learn the ins and outs and downloading free presets like mad!  I've still got so far to go, but I'm happy with how these turned out.  And I'm finally ready to share them.
I'm splitting this up into a few posts, though, because honestly, if I put all of them in one it would probably crash your computer and mine trying to load it...

So I thought I'd start with the eldest.

This boy.

This little man who started out as bugaboo.  

This little man who was my first.  Who answered so many prayers and yearnings and heartaches and hopes and dreams.

Who entered my physical world after I knew him for so long as only flutters, bumps and constant movements big and small... after knowing only his heartbeat and outline and stubborn reluctance to be born.  Who entered my physical world and in a gasp and tiny cry flipped everything upside down.

Who changed me.  Who unapologetically, unequivocally, unabashedly changed everything I thought I knew.  About love.  About being a mother.  About myself.

This boy who entered the world so seriously, with such old eyes and so wise a soul that his name changed instantly upon meeting him.  This boy called Ezra.

This boy with his reluctant baby smiles and reserved baby giggles, but his content and good-natured attitude nonetheless.  He, more than anyone and anything else makes me question my world.

Not only because he questions everything himself, searching for answers not easily obtained, but because the very make up of this boy - this serious, earnest, sensitive, inquisitive, brilliant, analytical, literal, boy - is as much a foreign object to me as Saturn or the murky and unattainable depths of bottomless ocean trenches.

He and I, it seems, were not cut from the same cloth.

This logical, stuck in his head, too small for his big ideas and big thinking and big emotions boy.  Our cloth, as they say, is as different as two cloths could be.  Burlap and satin.  Silk and denim.  Chiffon and felt.

But it doesn't really matter, not at all.  Because through the differences and locked horns, the head-scratching and questioning, he's still my first.

And there's something special about that.  About being the first to clutch my heart in a way no one else could.  Being the first to say my calling instead of my name - "mama" instead of "Kim."  Being the first to cry and smile and laugh and hug and reach out for me.  Maybe he feels like a tough guy now.  But he was the first to truly need me.

Do you know how difficult it is to coax a smile from this boy?

Nearly impossible, unless you count this goofy, toothy contortion.

But just in case you worry that he's much too serious for his own good,

I captured just enough of that quirky, silly side which emerges every so often to help you rest at ease.  

It appears he IS still a kid after all.  (and this is, by far, my favorite capture of the entire day.)

 For comparison sake, I've included a few pictures from previous years.

When he was, perhaps, a little more quick with his smile.

There's no denying the twinge of sadness I feel when I think of how fleeting and fickle time is.  When you start your family, everyone warns you that "it goes too fast." And you smile in that smug, knowing way, thinking you know it.  

But you don't know it.  Not really.

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Monday, November 3, 2014

Let me be perfectly clear.

yummy monday title button photo c41588db-8f15-4de5-90e0-d0ada37b9cd6_zpsf029cce8.jpg

Oooo, am I excited for this yummy monday!  This is the first time in a while I'm sharing an actual meal.  PLUS it's one I really, really, REALLY like.  I mean, I don't usually share recipes I don't like with you, but sometimes there's food that stands out miles beyond the rest, you know?
This meal is one of those.
And, to totally shake things up like crazypants, it's a ground beef recipe, which is fairly uncommon for me. 

You guys.  You will never need another meatball recipe again.  I'm serious.  If I could marry a recipe, this would be it.  It should actually be called

But that didn't seem pin worthy, so I fancied it up.  Would you like to know how good this recipe is?  My kids eat it.
I know - mind blown.

I adapted this recipe from one I found here.
So, here's the printable recipe card for your cookbook:
hawaiian meatballs photo recipecard_zps13117486.jpg

Would you like to hear a little story about the first time I made these meatballs?  Once upon a time there was a lady who made some delicious meatballs to serve over a bed of rice and then realized she had no rice.  So she had to make plain noodles instead and was convinced her dinner would be ruined.

But it wasn't.  It was scrumptious.  The end.

I have since made this recipe two more times (which is when you know you have a real winner) and I DID use rice.  I like it both ways - truly I'm not sure I could pick which I prefer. 

This one's a new family favorite that's already in the regular rotation. But don't just take my word for it.  Really.  Seriously.  In case I've been too cryptic with this post, imagine bright neon lights with starbursts erupting and fancy arrows blinking all pointing to MAKE THIS ONE.

Also, how is it that when I need rice for a special meal I have none, but just now I was looking for a can of tomato soup and noticed I had two GIANT boxes of rice?  Apparently I stocked up without realizing it so the aforementioned travesty would never happen again.

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*
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