for moms who are more.

pic of the week

tuesday: pic of the week, GNO.

thats right. its tuesday. and im doing a pic of the week.

tuesday is also known as backwards day. or forwards. whatever.

point is, today started as any other day…with a giant to do list. and then something happened that threw a bit of a monkey wrench in our day, putting everything else on hold, so I didnt get to my design project. TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY. And Praise the Lord for that!

 

For those of you who aren’t privy to RebekahHood’isms….GNO stands for girls night out. Every girl needs them. Frequently. I’m talking in short sentences a lot today.

Anyways, last night was girls night out for me and about 13 other SoFly girlies. SoFly is my women only photography group that I founded. Women professionals, girl talk, mojitos, cookie decorating….lets just say you’d love to have been a fly on the wall.

We had some really good discussions. About life, business, our struggles and a few triumphs. Then as the night wore on, some of us really opened up about how we felt about eachother. About our group, about our true feelings. Something so beautiful happens when women shed the “bottle it up” stigma and get real with one another. By the end of the night, I truly felt like I knew you ladies better, more intimately. Which is why I started the group to begin with. Beautiful things happen when honesty rules.

This is a shot of Sara’s sparkly heel. It truly exemplifies what the night was meant for…girls having fun and letting their hair down. Eating icing and baking cookies, slurping twizzlers and cheers’ing each other, laughing and maybe even tearing up…the perfect GNO. (*although next year my vote is for karaoke and a major dance party…ladies am I right??)

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wednesday: pic of the week, blissful naivety.

I recently put one of those digital photo frames in my kitchen, in the corner of a countertop by my cookbooks. It made my kitchen feel more homey to me. My hope was that if it felt more homey, i’d want to be in there more…i.e. i’d want to cook more. Honestly so far I think it has worked a little in getting me in there for more than just some pioneer woman cookie baking.

This morning I got up early while everyone else was sleeping. Before I started to get some actual work done, I moseyed on downstairs to make some coffee. My digital photo frame was flipping through images from the last few years..2008, our last blissful year as “just us”, and 2009…the most insane year of our life thus far, so we thought. I saw pictures of Ben sick, 40 pounds lighter with illness, pictures of josiah as a little baby, images of me with huge smiles and and laughs hanging out with friends “pre-kiddo”, funny instances and alone times with just ben and I…

I got a little nostalgic and thought for one second, as ALL parents do at least a few times a week….”omgosh, I was so blissfully unaware of how easy I had it before kids.” You know you think the same thing. Oh what a state of blissful naivety I perpetually lived in, skating through each day with menial responsibilities like a “job” and “keeping house”. I got to be a wife and take care of myself and a husband..which at the time, seemed so huge…now looking back, I think, man I should have been a MASTER, a BLACK BELT if you will in “caring for the hubby” because little did I know how insane it is to care for him AND children. A blessing and an awesome responsibility, and insane. How many times did I completely take for granted the ability to simply jump up and head out to see a movie…or enjoy an impromptu dinner date with my sweetheart…or head out on a spontaneous weekend trip out of town…

Its a toss up, isnt it? a catch 22. because you know what?

how could I trade ANYTHING, for this?

how could I even begin to think about not seeing this sweet face every day?

how could I survive without the bear hugs this little man gives me day in and day out?

how could I bear the thought of not being able to melt every time I see them together?

I couldnt. Thats the honest truth.

Yep, I miss the movies. I certainly miss alone time with the love of my life, Ben. I definitely miss dates and spontaneity.

But I’d miss them way more.

As insane as every day is in my house, as crazy as I feel kiddos make me sometimes, today I know that I am beyond blessed to have them.


wednesday: pic of the week, get your cheesecake on.

so its no secret i love sugar.

i could have cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, a fruit salad for lunch, and cake for dinner. literally, this is my world and im a prisoner in it. i love me some sweets!

cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, candy, fruits, sugar of all kinds….

over thanksgiving we always head up to tennessee to spend the holiday with bens family. the women cook for hours and hours day of, but we have to split our time between two sides of the family and eat two thanksgiving dinners, so its hard for me to contribute to the cooking sometimes. this year, i was determined to make a contribution. something in me is screaming to be cooking and cleaning and home all the time…what the deuce…

am i becoming suzie homeaker? did i just make my husband leave for 4 hours and deep clean my house like i was gonna host the president for dinner tonight? YES. do i sometimes cook dinner for my family “just because”, and secretly desire to roll around on the floor all day with my kiddos? (that nice vacuumed, swept and mopped floor?) YES.

so anyways, my suzie homeaker desires kicked in and made me a bit sad i wasnt having a thanksgiving at my own house and being dubbed “hostess with the mostess”…so i thought, meh, why not make a baller cheesecake to throw in the thanksgiving food mix…its not really thanksgiving food, but hey maybe somebody will eat it and i wont be too embarrassed now that i have something to bring to the table.

enter real simple magazine, november. (the recap going up THIS FRIDAY ladies so stay tuned for full details…). gingersnap cherry cheesecake recipe? yes please. minus the cherries plus some strawberries. yes please.

check out the recipe here ladies, and ive copied and pasted it below. for the crust half and halfed gingersnap cookies with gingerbread graham crackers (makes a nicer consistency in the crust). and i also bought fresh strawberries, chopped them up and added a bit of sugar to them before i let them chill in the fridge for a while.

the result? i happened to find the last piece buried in the fridge the day after thanksgiving. it was devoured people, literally devoured. certain family members had multiple pieces. said it was the best cheesecake theyd ever had. better than their mommas…and their mommas mommas…

make it. eat it. love it. its a great holiday staple peeps! bens family has already made me promise to make it and bring it every year now!

p.s. i felt very good about this cheesecake because it was the first one that id ever made, and it didnt split down the middle or break or cook funny…it was delicious and beautiful, so ben made sure to take a pic of me with the very first yummy piece. enjoy!

Serves 12| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 5hr 00m

Ingredients

  • 3 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
  5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

wednesday: pic of the week, luck and alligators.

i should have known that ben would want to paddle out into a giant lake to get the shot of the bride and groom on the dock. and that is just what he did.

our light was fading super fast. we had jennifer and david out on the dock. i was shooting portraits while ben hopped quickly into the paddle boat and began to make his way out into the black murky water.

jennifer asked david to “toss” her veil up behind her so I could get a shot.

he has incredible arm-strength, apparently. (he is military…again…i should have known…)

the veil flew off and into the water…flowing beautifully on top.

ben saw what had happened and in a flash, paddled his little heart out to get from the middle of the lake back to the shore and rescue the veil from certain alligator consumption in the reeds.

when all was said and done and the veil recovered and the rad portraits taken, ben thought it would be awesome if he went swimming with the alligators…what a great time, maybe they could even wrestle a bit, ya know..boy stuff. Our 50 1.4 lens was in the water for a good minute after it dropped through a hole in the rickety dock, and before ben decided it actually was worth it to jump in the surely alligator infested waters to recover to lens.

well turns out its probably completely busted (i can see the lovely murky water droplets inside my lens…), but hey, its a good story…right?


wednesday: pic of the week, united front.

together.

whatever the adventure brings us, whatever happens, whatever good or bad comes to be, we’re together.

As we shot a wedding together in Islamorada last Friday, we stopped and snapped this shot of both of us in our comfy Toms. Jeans and Toms, cameras and sand, wind and sunshine…it was a beautiful wedding and we did it together.

Ben was fired on Monday from his tutoring job. Its quite a long drawn out story that really began quite a long time ago, but the details dont matter. He was basically fired for acting in integrity, looking out for his student, and doing the right thing.

Its been such a crazy few years for ben and I. Moves, Babies, job changes, illness and near death experiences, foreclosures, college and career plans…

And ofcourse, nothing ever goes as we plan it. And we for sure did not plan for ben’s income to be cut out of our budget at a time when we need it most, and when we had just decided to go through Dave Ramsey and get out of debt.

But oddly enough, Ben is at peace about being fired. He knows he did the right thing, and we’ve known for a while that he wanted to move into other areas: back into student ministry, more into kallima photography, something where he could continue to be home with the kiddos a lot. I need the help, and he needs the family time.

Also odd, I’m not freaking out. Yes, it throws a severe monkey wrench into our plans, and Ben is now having to look for work immediately instead of us taking the time to really plan out the future.

Yep, we’d appreciate your prayers. Not just for a job so we can pay the bills:), but for God’s plan to really be evident as its unfolding, and that we’d be privy to what He’s doing in our lives in the in between.

United front. I’m with you babe, and I’m so proud of you.


wednesday: pic of the week, graham crackers.

And you thought I was talking about food.

Nope, most my days do revolve around food but thats actually not what todays post is about.

Its about my bro, my brotha, Graham. Some people do call him Graham Cracker, or maybe they used to. Maybe thats “so high school” now and I’m out of the loop…anywho.

Yesterday was Graham’s 22nd birthday. TWENTY TWO. I can hardly believe he is that old now. Lemme tell you a bit about my brotha Graham.

He is Fergie, the boy version. Always up in tha gym workin oh his fitness. (girls watch out)

He also plays baseball…he’s a pitcher actually, for PBA Sailfish. (again, girls watch out)

He makes a mean smoothie. He has been known to throw “smoothie parties” where, you guessed it, mostly all girls show up. (i can just hear it now, “what kind of smoothie are you making ME, graham?”)

He loves Jesus, with all his heart. He doesnt know this, but every time I see his Bible or his Oswald Chambers devo with earmarks and colored tabs to mark pages, my heart melts and I thank the Lord that Graham loves Him.

He aint too bad on the ol’ eyeballs.

He’s an artist. Yep, as if the all of the above wasnt enough to make every girl swoon over him, he’s an artist. Graphic Design to be exact. And he’s very very good at painting little kids rooms 🙂

Oh yea. He’s also quite the gentleman and has great bama bangs. Some of his hair days are better than mine, which is annoying.

He throws great water pong parties and has a great personality. His sense of humor is that of my dads, dry and corny and AMAZING. He has an incredible smile and his heart isnt for things of this world. He is my brotha and I love him.

So here’s to you Graham! Happy birthday…its only gets better…cant wait to celebrate more life milestones with you as my bro…my brotha. love ya.

I brought him over a yummy homemade chocolate cake last night with some of his friends over. We had a great time devouring it and watching jos have a dance party in the kitchen to B.O.B. on the ipod. Ben took the first set of this pic as horizontal and up close. I surveyed the damage and did a quick h-to-the-no veto and requested a vertical image for the love of all that is good. I even said, out loud, “suck it in rebekah” as he was taking this one. You can barely see that extra 30 lbs huh, most of it being in my FACE? Thank you darby.


wednesday: pic of the week, dead man living.

Before we go any further, let me assure you that the man above, whom I do not personally know, is indeed NOT dead.

Ok.

First rule of the beach.

Do not, I repeat, do not pretend to be dead in the water. Are there children around? FAIL. Are there mothers nearby who are already on high alert watching their kiddos with hawk like eyes and leopard like reflexes? FAIL. Is there a photographer there lurking in the mangroves stalking the beach-goers to see who does something stupid while her clients change in the public restrooms? YES. FAIL.

Mister. Please. We beg of you, do not, I repeat, do not pretend to be dead in the water. As a mother, I would be so appreciative to NOT see your lifeless body, that infact DOES STILL have life in it, floating in the waters of Dubois Park the next time I go. Thanks.