9.28.2011

Wedding Photos, Plus a Spaztastic & Deadified New Vlog!

It's been almost an entire week since I've posted! I have a legitimate excuse for this. That excuse being that this last weekend, we took a trip up to Kansas City for the wedding of the two friends we visited a couple of months ago. (remember?)

Momma and I were asked to photograph it, which we were so glad to do. We got some shots that we were extremely excited about!



It was a wonderful wedding. Of course, many members of my family (myself included) shed a few sentimental tears as Jared's lifelong friend, Tim (like a cousin/nephew to all of us) married his lovely bride, Stephanie. These two were so made for each other. :)


(See more photos on our Facebook page)


So, that's where I've been & what we've been doing. Now, on to some craziness.

I had the spaz attack of the century tonight. I'm not really being dramatic. You know it's legitimate when you find yourself jamming to Demi Lovato at insane volumes...by yourself. Alone. (No, I don't listen to Demi Lovato. Ever.) Ironically, my momma was experiencing an unusual lack of energy, simultaneously. So, naturally...we did a vlog.

According to Jared, if I wasn't his sister, he would have been extremely annoyed by me during this. So, seeing as I'm not your sister...you might be annoyed. Hey, you can't say I didn't warn ya, now!



So, my questions for you are...

Are you prone to spaz attacks?
What's your least favorite song?
How do you say YOWPAH!?

(That last question could be a prompt for video responses. Seriously.)


P.S. Thank you for all of your insightful comments on my last blog post! I'll be sure to post a follow-up soon. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

9.22.2011

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes & Questions

This post is going to be seriously awesome. Why? Well, it delivers some food for thought, to be taken with...coffee...AND it tells you exactly how to make aforementioned delicious...COFFEE.

Are you excited? You should be!
(I am.)

You know how I love Starbucks. I'm also pretty sure you know how I love Starbucks' seasonal beverage, the infamous pumpkin spice latte. Actually, I kind of wonder how the world keeps spinning when it's not in season - it must simply spin in anticipation of the season when it comes back. Either way, as you can see, my insatiable love makes the 25 minute drive and $5+ needed to acquire one quite disheartening.

So, I've been messing around, trying to make my own version at home, and I found a recipe for one that (while not quite the same) satisfies the craving quite well. Even better, it starts with making a syrup that you can just stick in the fridge, ready to break out whenever autumn whispers tempting in your ear, "pumpkin spice latteeeee..."







I might make some adjustments next time I make it - see if I can make it taste more like the original. It's hard to get that rich, delicious pumpkin flavor using real pumpkin. But, using real pumpkin adds charm, don't you think?



Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup
{source}

1/3 C. Pumpkin Puree
1 C. Sugar
1 1/4 C. Water
1 t. Vanilla
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Cloves
1/4 t. Ginger

Start by placing all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Stirring every few minutes, let the mixture boil at a lower temperature for 10-15 minutes, until it becomes slightly thick and sticky.

Remove pan from heat, and let cool. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.

To make your pumpkin spice latte...

Heat up a couple of tablespoons (more or less) of pumpkin spice syrup with the milk for your latte (a true latte is about half steamed milk, half espresso). Pour milk & pumpkin syrup mixture into a mug, and pour your espresso shots (or whatever form of coffee you like to use) into the milk and stir it. Top with whipped cream (if desired - I didn't have any, but it would be delicious), and a sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg.

Enjoy!

If I find a way to make it better, I'll update this recipe later to include the changes. As is, you should still try it, because it is delicious in its own special way!

"Okay, question..."

My family always jokes that I start way too many conversations that way. Actually, it's usually not followed by an actual question, but rather a string of bold and very much unproven statements, treated as absolute fact. I'm not sure why I do that, but either way...that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I want to know what you people think about...


For fear of making this post ridiculously long, I won't go into too much detail here - I want you guys to answer a few questions for me, and we'll continue this conversation in another post after I hear from you all.

{FIRST}Comments
How do you comment? Do you comment on every post you read? If not, what type of content are you most likely to comment on?

I've found that the percentage of readers that comment consistently has been rapidly going down, across the web, over the past several months. It could be because the blogosphere is simply evolving into less of a community activity, and more of an author-powered source of entertainment... or it could be that bloggers are simply pooping out. Ha! What do you think?

{SECOND}Effort
What do you do to grow your blog? What do you consider a fair way to gain readers? How much effort is too much, & how much is not enough?

I think we can all agree that feeling like we're being pulled away from our own lives, just to keep up with the content a blogger is putting out is not a good thing, in general. Still, there's the aspect of dependability that says we need to be fairly consistent in our posting - after all, if the point of blogging is to offer something to our readers, then we should keep that focus when we consider the effort we put forth. Where do we reach that balance?

{THIRD}Trends
What do you think about blogging trends? Are they really valuable to gaining more long-term readers?

All trends have to start somewhere, and when it comes to blogging - an effusion of original souls creating original material - I can't help but wonder if some of these trends are really productive. Nice design, creative wording & photo heavy blogs... all trending, but they can be personalized. But then there are trends like vintage photos, fashion photography, specific aesthetic models for wording...unfortunately, people who follow these trends are diverting attention from the pioneers of these styles of blogging. It's a good way to get followers quickly, but will they last?

Let me know your thoughts, and we'll continue this conversation in a few days.

Happy Thursday, Loves!

9.21.2011

Cheeky Children & A Senior Photo Shoot

Those of you who have experience with children probably agree...

...sometimes, it's like they're just begging to have their picture taken!

Extraordinary cuteness is probably to blame. Ya think?




Or maybe it's just blatant cheeky behavior...




Either way, I'm convinced, God gave Harrison the innate desire to pose for the camera, because he knew that Momma and I - the relentless camera wielders that we are - would need this adorable and cheeky child.

Don't get me wrong, we LOVE getting photos of anything, everything, everyone, and their grandma... but it's nice to have natural, spontaneous posers every once in a while.

Speaking of natural posers (that sounds wrong...I mean it in a good way, of course!), Momma and I had our first downtown photo shoot today! We've been wanting to get some shots down there for a while now, and we finally got the opportunity, in getting some senior photos for this lovely young lady.







Such a beautiful subject, isn't she? I'm brilliantly excited to do more editing. Nothing feels quite like having a new folder, full of freshly edited photos.
Ah. Lovely.

9.16.2011

"Twoooo can be as bad as one!"

...Well, in this case, "Threee can be as bad as two!"

Either way, the reason it came to mind is because in our newest vlog, we've got a special guest - well, he's not THAT special, but don't tell him I said that...I'll tell him myself.

On that note, sensing the sibling rivalry, you might've guessed that our guest is none other than my brother, Jared.

Jared...

Makes a mean cappuccino.
Makes a mean cup of french pressed coffee.
Understands that true coffee drinkers like some of the fru-fru stuff too.
Has outrageously talented eyebrows.
Reminds my family of Thor (from the movie...because he's so cheeky and manly).
Writes music, plays music, sings music...
eats music, breathes music...

...you get the picture.


That being said, enjoy!



Ok, so there were two guests... technically. But then again, Harry can't really be considered a guest, because he seems to always wiggle his head into the limelight. Ha!

As for the song (rap) towards the end of the video... if you know what it is, then you're awesome. If not, well you can just go find out what it is, and you'll be equally as awesome!

9.14.2011

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

At 2:10 am on Monday morning, we stumbled into our house, home from our whirlwind vacation. What a blast!

We spent the first six or seven hours of vacation in the van, which is actually a hugely fun part of the trip, in my opinion - at least, it is when you've got seven other people in the car, and everyone's laughing, smiling, singing, and spazzing! Yes. It's fun!

We stopped along the way to eat the sandwiches we packed for lunch. I'm a little jealous of my little bros... Remember the days when eating pictures were cute??? Ha!



We didn't expect much out of our motel (just picked one that we could stay in for free with points), but the wooded hill behind it, filled with natural beauties, made it brilliant!







We had fun romping around and taking photos... that is, until I came dangerously close to sticking my face right into this spider web - looking through a camera can mess with perception of your surroundings.



So, after a mild (half hour) panic attack (there wasn't even a spider on the web to justify my freaking out - I think I legitimately have arachnophobia), I patted myself on the back for having the sense to take a photo of it, even with shaky hands and nausea.

When we headed back to our room, it started raining, and I got random inspiration from the wet pavement.



After hanging out for a little while...ok, so maybe we all wasted time on the same iPhone/iPad app...


(You'd have to play it to fully understand its addictive qualities.)


...We headed to dinner at a fantastic pizza kitchen, and then to Branson Landing. While at Branson Landing (and after spontaneously dancing and singing our favorite ABBA and Hall & Oates songs), we found the. coolest. store. EVER.


(See the salt lamps in the window? *swoon*)


Earthbound Trading Company. If you ever see one, go in...but, be prepared to die of delightfulness. Momma and I didn't ever want to leave.

Then, we watched a cover band/light & water show thingumajig. The band did a Sting cover (and fist pumps ensued), and I got the photo, below (no editing).



Have I told you how much I stinking adore our new camera???


Branson Landing will definitely be a stop in all future Branson trips. Such a great atmosphere!

The next day, we spent playing hard at Silver Dollar City!



First ride of the day was one of my favorites, Wildfire!


(Can you tell I'm excited? Ha!)


Later, Momma and I went on the Giant Barn Swing alone, because nobody else will do it with us. :)


(Standing in line for the Giant Barn Swing)


...So, by the end of the day, we all felt a little bit like this...



...But, some extra shots of espresso in our Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks that night kept us awake for the trip home. As a matter of fact, they were so good, they inspired me to come up with a new form of dancing!



Do you love it!?

Yes, you do. So, if you try leg dancing, you should tell me. Bonus, if you try leg dancing outside of Starbucks, you should get it on video. It could be the new thing, right? Well, now don't shake your head so fast...just give it some time.

Now, I shall end this ridiculously long post by saying... my momma and I are good camera sharers. Good camera sharers, indeed.


To see some of my momma's photos from our vacation, read her post here.

9.09.2011

A Much Anticipated Vacation

Tomorrow morning, my family sets forth on our shortest vacation ever! Two, short, fun-filled days that have been wildly anticipated (especially by the boys, who squeal with delight at every mention of it). We're heading out to Branson, Missouri for the weekend.

Branson is our most frequent vacation spot. It's close, it's brimming with tourist attractions, and it's home to Silver Dollar City - one of our favorite theme parks. We'll be spending Sunday there.

Fresh cinnamon rolls are in the kitchen, awaiting our departure.


Cinnamon rolls have such a whimsical appeal, don't you think?






And now, after witnessing a perfectly elegant sunset, we await its reprise in tomorrow's dawn.




No doubt, the three munchkins won't sleep a wink. :)

I'll see you on Monday, with lots of photos!

9.07.2011

Autumn's Coming & It's Bringing Me a Shiny New Sweet Tooth!

How does the arrival of autumn make you feel?

Nostalgic?
Poetic?
Cozy?
Happy?
Melancholy?

...or just plain old HUNGRY?


It's a heaping spoonful of all of the above, for me! See, I'm talking in food terms now. "A heaping spoonful"? Nope. Not a good sign.

It's true, Momma's and my seasonal sweet teeth have taken over. It's taking great self-control not to go and snag a mug of hot cocoa right now (at 10:45pm). Don't worry, loves. I will resist.

...Now, to make us feel better about ourselves, we want to know...

What are your favorite autumn treats?


To read Momma's comments on this vlog, click here.

9.05.2011

An Evening I Might Have Missed

Yesterday evening, Harrison asked me (as he often does)...

"Abigail, will you swing me?"

I used to swing him almost every day.

I've gotten in the habit of saying no to him.
"I need to make dinner, Harry."
"Not right now, Harry."
"Have someone else swing you, Harry."


But, last night I said yes.

We went outside, and he talked, and swung, and laughed. It was precious.

Afterwards, Harrison and I went for a walk.

"Harrison, can we hold hands?"

Just the two of us. Just for about half a mile, hand in hand.



He kept on telling me stories that started with, "When I was little..." I didn't dare tell him that he was still little. So, I just smiled.

"Can you give me a piggy-back ride, Abigail?"

I swung him onto my back, and took off my shoes. I walked barefoot in the gravel and the autumn air, praising God for the purity of the moment.

As we got closer to our driveway...

"Ab, can you let me down, so I can race?"

So, I let him down, and he raced himself home, looking back behind him occasionally to make sure I was watching.

Going through our front door...

"Thanks, Ab."
"I love you, Harry."
"I love you, too."


9.03.2011

"So this is love...Hmmhmhmhmmm..."


This photo is proof...

There are two happy photographers in Kansas right now, unable to put down their new Canon Rebel T3i!

Upon its arrival, Momma and I immediately started snapping away... But, there was a little dilemma. We had no memory card. (One of those "Oh yeah..." moments.) So, we made the twenty-five minute drive to Best Buy and couldn't wait to get home - hence, we started playing in the car.



Mom says, "Quick! Get a photo of the two of us while the light's still red!"

I'll admit...thus far, I've been a bit of a camera hog.







This morning I spent outside, laying in the grass, still clothed in my pajamas, making Jonas & Harry pose for me.





I kept hearing, "Ab...can we pleeease be done now???"



...and replying, "Oh, don't be such a baby. You're going to appreciate these someday!"



Aren't I a nice big sister?



(Momma, I promise you can have it for the rest of the afternoon. You can hold me to that.)


Last night's tweet...

"Today has been a crazy good day. Also, Momma and I got our new Canon Rebel T3i in the mail. :)) YES. So in love. #canon #sharingishard"
follow me on Twitter @AbGK007

9.02.2011

Something Exciting is On Its Way!

My momma and I are expecting something exciting to arrive in the mail today.

What is it?

Well, it's our new Canon T3i! We're inexpressibly excited! It's become increasingly difficult to share one camera. So, several members of the family and I put our heads (and wallets) together, and now our beautiful new camera is on its way to our door!

The excitement of having two cameras in the house again (one of which is quite an upgrade from our current camera) has inspired me to start snapping away again.

Isn't it amazing how many special things there are all around us, when we just take the time to look for them?


This morning's breakfast was a special treat. Gluten free waffles, covered in butter and maple flavored brown rice syrup, with a tall glass of milk, and pink himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top. YUM!


Silas and Jonas have been enjoying the new stack of books that Momma bought at the library sale this last week. I love watching them disappear into the world of the stories. I would love to be able to step inside their wondrous minds - feel what they feel as they read.


We were home alone with the kiddos last night, so Jared sat down at the piano and began playing through our Beauty and the Beast piano/voice book. It took all of about ten seconds for Cecily and I to assume our positions at his side, singing in our most animated, Disney voices.


Soon after we began, Harrison came round, begging to sing one of his favorite songs, "Sunrise, Sunset", from Fiddler on the Roof.


He loves it when Momma reads him this book, and sings the song to him - he sings along, and throughout the day, you may at any point find him singing it in his sweet, little boy voice. Precious.


...And, last but not least, fresh bottles of homemade kombucha tea are currently sitting in our kitchen, compliments of my stunning mother. This is one of those things that consistently thrills me. Planning on a nice 8 ounce serving with lunch.

{Linking up with the lovely Rachel Martin's Friday Favorites}


Rest assured, soon you will be hearing all about our new camera. So, I'm asking for name suggestions!

What should Momma and I name our new Canon T3i?

à bientôt!


P.S. Need a laugh? Go watch mine and my momma's last vlog. We're stupid, and we know it! Ha!