22 April 2013

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do me a favor, make these cookies for yourself (and your family and neighbors if you are feeling generous). They make a huge batch, are quick to mix together, and will make you feel like a master baker. 

My husband introduced me to these when we were dating, needless to say I made sure to marry him quick! This is the one and only chocolate chip cookie recipe at our house, none others can compare. 

For variation try adding 2 cups of chopped walnuts or switch out the vanilla pudding for chocolate pudding(or another favorite, but pistachio doesn't seem quite right).

Happy Baking!

PS: I've just got to know, do you eat raw cookie dough? Or am I the only one? This article, makes me wonder if I should be more careful.

19 April 2013

Coloring and Cupcakes

Confession, I am a sucker for free stuff. Even if it's junk (a drawer full of hotel shampoo anyone?), I feel a need to bring it home. My collection of free things has recently expanded to also include a lot of Lightroom Presets and other free photography tutorials and e-books that have added to my adventures in photography.

I was watching a Lightroom workshop on CreativeLIVE (also free!) this week and the instructor, Jared Platt, gave a link to his website with a taste of some free presets. (He calls them a snack pack.) All you have to do is put in your name and email and a link will be sent to you. So easy, and so free!

I used the "Cupcake" preset on the pictures below.

17 April 2013

Month 14

Dear J, 

I think I say this every month, but this was my favorite month spent with you! Even though we had to do un-fun things like ride in the car for 11+ hours or pack and unpack zillions (true) of boxes, you were a trooper through it all. It amazes me to see how smart and independent you are becoming. It seems as though your main goal in life is to make others laugh and smile, eating cheese has become a close second.

This month you learned how to be a man.

You said your first word! Amen! While watching General Conference, you chimed in your own little "amen" after one of the speakers had finished. It makes your dad and I laugh every time we pray together. Maybe it means you are deeply spiritual? Or maybe just ready for talks/prayers to be over so you can get to the food?

You mixed up the baby signs for "help" and "more" resulting in a threatening hand gesture. You take one hand, form a fist, and then punch your other hand with it. Instead of saying "more" you are saying "you better give me what I want or you will get punched."

You also said your second word! We are still trying to figure out how this one slipped by us...CHEESE! This seemed so random because it is not a daily (or that important) word around the house. (What about mommy? I'm just saying...) 

Anyhow, one you learned about cheese you quickly learned to say it over and over again. You now like to climb in the fridge when the door is open, find the block of cheese and say, "Cheeese cheeeese cheeeese!" 

You fell in love with bubbles.

You decided that being outside for most of the day is a necessity and non-negotiable, even in freezing weather.

All around, I must say that it has been a most enjoyable and entertaining month. I look forward to more words, silly faces, and long days playing in the sun! Love, Mom (which is way easier to say than cheese, you should give it a try : )

13 April 2013

Self Feeding and Self Restraint

As much as I hate to say it, J is growing up and doesn't need my help anymore. A child becoming independent is a good thing (right?) and it took all my will power to let him take control of snack time. Today it was the vanilla yogurt.  He promised that he could do it, and I suppose he was right.
Next time we will have to clarify that the yogurt goes in the mouth. Oh well...
that sweet face makes it worth it, every time.

11 April 2013

Family (Floor) Time

Today, like many other days, we enjoyed some family togetherness playing on the living room floor. I guess this would be considered our natural habitat.

**These pictures made possible with a precariously perched camera and a wireless shutter release.**

06 April 2013

Easter Flashback

I too, like you, was reading my Easter post and thinking, "I wonder what Easter was like LAST year at the Pieper house?" (Well lucky for you and me, I found pictures!)

We were new parents, J was only six weeks old, and we were finally beginning to realize that this handsome man was here to stay. 

This Easter was also special because my Grandma had just passed away days before. For the first time in my life I felt the peace and understood the power in the words, "He is Risen!" I knew then, as I still do now, that because Christ overcame death and was resurrected, all of God's children will have the same opportunity.

05 April 2013


Trading the beautiful California weather for the... less than beautiful Idaho weather was absolutely worth it when we spent Easter weekend surrounded by family. Both sets of grandparents did their part to make up for our three month absence and J was in heaven, basking in all of the attention.

After church we took family pictures, with J cooperating most of the time. When I was setting up the tripod and composing the photograph, J would run around and everyone would try to get his attention. Then I would set the timer (my remote is packed in a box somewhere...), run and grab J, and try to pose us in the photograph all within ten seconds.

After a long afternoon nap, it was time to "hunt, hunt, hunt the eggs!" ( Sang to an upbeat jingle, courtesy of Dora the Explorer and the Hip Hop Bunny.)  

J was especially delighted when he realized he could open the eggs and eat the yogurt bites himself.
As a new little family we have very few Easter traditions, besides the obvious Easter egg hunt idea, what are your favorite things to do for Easter?  

I decided this year that Jelly Belly's now need to be a part of every Easter (and holiday in general).

04 April 2013

Embrace the Camera

I take a lot of pictures. As part of my 365 project I have my camera by my side creating images all day, all month long. All of these pictures of the things I love and think are beautiful and not very many of myself WITH those things. So today, I embraced the camera and captured us at the park.

It has been chaotic (moving/driving from Sacramento back to Utah) and stressful (hmm, where will we go to grad school this summer?) at the Pieper house this week so we took a break and went to the park for a breather. Now when we look back at this crazy time of our lives when the future was uncertain, we will remember that we had time for play, giggles, and smiles.

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