tyler is ten months.

so…i’m a little late doing this…but between all the rain and freezing weather, taking pictures outside wasn’t possible. i would’ve taken them inside but i hate the natural light in my house. there’s just not enough of it.

but today, today was perfect. and for the first time i went alone. which, would seem like it’s not that hard to do with one person, but to get the outcome i want, i typically prefer d be there. she helps tyler focus or in today’s case, she would’ve help grab the handfuls of pine needles he was grabbing. none the less, i went alone. there’s a park near my house that has a great paved walking trail and a great wooden bridge. i’ve wanted to take tyler there for a long time.

when i got there…there were probably 30 jailees picking up trash. so i opted out of the bridge pictures because i really didn’t care for an audience. so i settled for this wonderfully lit wooded area. it’s beautiful, i’m bound and determined to take more pictures there…

i didn’t get to do as many as i would’ve liked, but i’m pleasantly surprised with what i was able to capture.

it’s a toss up between the next two pictures as to which is my favorite…what do you think?

i can’t even believe he is ten months old, almost eleven. this year has flown by with him. he says words now, waves and crawls. his gets stronger each day and God continually blesses our family with even the smallest things from tyler. the biggest is by far his joy and happiness; he rarely ever cries. this is a huge testament to his life and ours. God is such a big and loving God, and i don’t take a single day with him for granted.

happy ten months tylerbug!

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a routine activity.

i sit tyler in his walker. he then begins to “run” (and i use that term loosely, because let’s face it, a ten month old can only go so fast when their legs a merely a foot long.) around the living room. jabbering normally ensues, most likely caused because he saw something that he feels the need to talk to, i mean, trash cans and dining room chairs are really interesting, right?

and then the funniest thing happens…tate or cinnamon (the toy poodle that used to be my sister’s but has now become an additional member of our family) will come near him. tyler sees this as a game. he begins chasing them around downstairs…through the kitchen into the living room and again and again. the animals only help tyler in his ambition to get them, they run from him, thus stirring it on.

occasionally, during their game, one of the animals will stop, look back at tyler, as if to say, “come get me” and it’s in those moments, that i find myself wishing i had a video camera. in those moments of eye-to-eye contact, tyler stops, looks at them, waves at the animals and says, “hey”.

and that, my friends, is a routine activity at my household. it is also one way in which tyler makes me cry from laughter.

Spinach, Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta

this is one of those pasta dishes that take me straight to italy, to the restaurant a block from my apartment. it’s simple, fresh, and undoubtedly, one of the best things i could ever eat.

it’s simple, so you can’t mess it up. it’s healthy, so you can’t feel bad about eating it. and it’s quick, which makes me happy, when i don’t feel like standing in the kitchen for two hours.

sometimes i grill some chicken to eat along side of it, and sometimes, i prefer to be a vegetarian. this is one of those occasions that we opted out of the chicken. we also always make enough to eat for lunch the next day. it makes me happier knowing that i can eat this stuff two days in a row.

Spinach, Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta

this is what you need:

2 tbsp of good olive oil

1/2 box of angel hair pasta (we use ronzoni healthy harvest whole wheat pasta*)

1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 bag of fresh spinach

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 oz. mozzarella, diced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tbsp fresh parlsey

salt and pepper to taste

(*i know it’s the pricier of pastas, but it’s healthy and publix offers it B1G1 and we use coupons with that…just a tip)

what you’ll do:

Put the water on to start the process of cooking your pasta (we add salt as well as a little olive oil to our pasta water).

meanwhile, heat a medium to large pan and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. once heated, add the tomatoes.

make sure to salt and pepper them, as well as each layer you add to the pan. let them begin to wilt and the juices come out. this helps thicken everything later on.

once the tomatoes are on their way, add the minced garlic. stir it around and let it get to know the tomatoes.

then, add the spinach.

i add mine in batches, so i can properly season it.

by this time, the pasta should be perfectly al dente (which is how anyone should eat pasta, by the way).

time to add it to the pan.

toss it around, let the tomatoes, spinach, garlic and juices become one. mmm….

next, comes one of my favorites, cheese.

add the diced mozzarella to the pan. and, if you’re like me, you’ll have a little extra to nibble on. :)

it will melt quickly…so perfect. so wonderful. have i mentioned i love cheese? i do.

next, you’ll add the lemon zest and lemon juice. i would usually add the juice from one whole lemon, but in this case, only half was needed. it was a juicy lemon. if you’re unsure, use the juice of half, combine thoroughly and taste it. if you want more, go for it.

lastly, throw in the parsley, and toss one last time.

it’s heavenly, i tell you.

simply, perfection.

heaven in a bowl.

i promise…it doesn’t disappoint. i just hope you don’t eat it all in one sitting. you’ll be sad if you don’t have any for lunch the next day.

a fine frenzy.

it goes without saying that a fine frenzy is one of my favorites. definitely, top 5.

hope for the hopeless is my most played song off all the albums.

that song is the first song i ever heard by her. i loved it. and i still love it.

right now, it helps to soothe the thoughts racing through my brain.

i hope you like it too.

Stitch in your knitted brow
and you don’t know how
you’re gonna get it out
crushed under heavy chest
trying to catch your breath
but it always beats you by a step, all right now

making the best of it
playing the hand you get
you’re not alone in this

there’s hope for the hopeless
there’s hope for the hopeless
there’s hope

cold in a summer breeze
yeah, you’re shivering
on your bended knee
still, when you’re heart is sore
and the heavens pour
like a willow bending with the storm, you’ll make it

running against the wind
playing the cards you get
something is bound to give

there’s hope for the hopeless
there’s hope for the hopeless
there’s hope
there’s hope
there’s hope

there’s hope.

and in just in case you’re wondering, i pretty much love every other song on the albums.

giving blood.

per a conversation i had with a dear friend…i’ve decided that a blog post would hardly be the most appropriate thing to do. at the very least though, it could motivate you to do something and, in turn, motivate someone else as well.

since tylerbug’s sickness i have given blood twice. and even though my blood type isn’t one in which tyler can receive my blood, i still give it. because someone else can. my blood, can be someone’s chance at living. how inspiring!

BUT, did you know there’s a shortage? did you know you can also donate your platelets? did you realize it just takes time to do both of those?

so PLEASE, PLEASE give. donate blood and platelets. help to save a life.

Smoked Turkey Sausage, Black Beans and Rice

This is one of those cheap, easy, healthy kinda meals that i’m in love with fixing. Add to that that i’m getting some good fiber, a good grain and lean protein and i’m one happy girl.

Smoked Turkey Sausage, Black Beans and Rice

This is what you need:

1 pack of Smoked Turkey Sausage (we prefer Butterball, Hillshire Farm isn’t near as good)

1 can of Low-Sodium Black Beans

1 bag of brown rice (for time purposes, we used an instant brown rice)

1/2 – 1 tbsp. of cumin (we typically use a little more, because the parents love it…but start with a 1/2 tbsp and see what works for you.)

1/2 tbsp of garlic powder

1/2 tbsp of onion powder

salt to taste

1/2 cup of chicken stock

this is what you’ll do:

Start the rice. the instructions to the brand we use, just require you to put it in water, bring the water to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.

While the rice is on it’s way, slice the smoked sausage on a bias and place in a saute pan on medium heat to begin caramelizing. This process should should take about 10 minutes. Once caramelized, add the beans. (i drain off some of the bean juice, but not all of it) let the beans heat through and then, once the rice is done, add the rice. next, add the chicken stock, spices and salt to taste. Let the mixture heat through, let the flavors become friends, and then, when you can’t stand it anymore, turn the eye off and eat it.

it’s terribly simple. “fool-proof” as julia childs would say.

cinnamon swirl bread.

oh heavenly stars, thank you for the invention of bread! more specifically, thank you for invention of sweet breads. i am forever grateful.

just some of the thoughts i had when i took one bite of this bread. it’s a beautiful combination of sugar, cinnamon and flour. my favorite part about this bread: it virtually makes itself. i just threw the ingredients in a bowl, mixed it together and watched it bake.

it’s a beautiful thing i tell you.

beautiful, crunchy, sugary top, i love you.

as if it couldn’t any better, a simple glaze does the trick.

and not only does it add that extra, sweet crunch to the bread…

but, it’s also beautiful to look at.

i, seriously, couldn’t ask for more.

well, maybe a cup of coffee.

but, other than that, im good. satisfied.

if you missed the recipe the first time…here it is.