Fly Away

I took this series a few years ago. I remember walking out to the car in the early morning fog and hearing all of this noise and not seeing anything at first. But then as I looked over the trees I could see the birds. I’ve always been fascinated watching flocks, the graceful way they swoop and move as one. I wasn’t sure if I had time to grab my camera but I had to try. They started to fly away just as I came back outside.


Test Kitchen #73 ~ Pineapple Casserole

Hey, look! It’s a recipe!

Surprising to see one on here I know, since blogging itself has been sort of sporadic and the whole once a week recipe thing flew out the window a while ago.

Life has been full of sweet engagements, even sweeter weddings and a myriad of other normal life stuff like laundry, and school work. And cooking. There has definitely been cooking and eating but not much time to get creative and try something new. And when that happens it’s best just to go back to the basics.

This is one of those old church dinner on the grounds style recipes…basic but full of flavor and kind of unusual. Honestly, when I make it for church we’re never really sure if we should put it with the desserts or sides. It’s sweet enough to be eaten as a dessert but pairs really well as a side with pork. I guess you’ll just need to make it and decide for yourself 🙂

What you’ll need:
1 cup of sugar
6 TBS of all purpose flours
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 20 oz cans of pineapple chunks, drained
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick of butter, melted
What you’ll do:
Stir together sugar and flour.
Mix in the cheese.
Add in pineapple chunks and stir until well combined.
Pour into a medium sized casserole dish. 
Toss your crushed Ritz crackers with the melted butter.
Sprinkle on top of the pineapple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees fro 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

For some reason I don’t make this often but it is always a bit hit when I do. It’s definitely one of those easy but unique recipes to keep handy when time is short but you want to step up the menu a bit.

pineapple casserole, ritz crackers

Monday’s Musings              Titus 2 Tuesday

Just The Right Time

Ansel Adams, a famous pioneer in photography, once said “Sometimes, I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”

That is exactly how I felt with Gary and Bethany’s engagement pictures. All the necessary parts that make for a successful session fell into place with an ease that was uncommon, including meeting a total stranger that was willing to allow us to use her beautiful courtyard for pictures.
Pensacola, engagement, portrait photography

Pensacola, engagement portraits, Pensacola area photographer
The courtyard was almost magical with it’s winding ivy and lush greenery but what really made the session magical is the connection between Gary and Bethany. The only way I can sum it up is that they are perfectly suited to one another. 
Have you ever heard of the word lagniappe? It’s that little extra something something. There is a sense that God has added a little lagniappe to Gary and Bethany’s story…to their love for one another. It was pretty sweet being a part of that for the morning and capturing it with the camera. The right place at the right time to paraphrase Mr. Adams. 

So sweet that I got totally caught up in the moment and forgot to get an individual portrait of Gary after this beautiful one of Bethany.
I  hope that means we get to do a part two session the next time they’re in town 🙂
Gary and Bethany, may the Lord continue to bless you and make His face to shine upon you. And may you always so joyfully share that lagniappe He has given you with those around you. Thank you for letting be be a part of this special time in your lives!

Friday Favorites

Have you ever gone to the beach and watched the sun set?

It happens so fast! And the whole sky changes dramatically from one moment to the next.

This image was taken at 6:19pm on Sunday. The sky was an amazing red color and just gorgeous.

Ft Pickens, beach, sunset

I took this one seven minutes later at 6:26pm. The fire in the sky had become a gentle dusk blue.

Both of these are straight out of the camera with only a little bump in exposure on the bottom one to see Claire’s sweet profile a little better.

The lesson to be learned here?

Life can change fast. No matter what moment you are in the next is bound to be different.

The Favor of the Lord

Have you ever known someone for a little while and then the more you know them the more you enjoy them?

That has been my experience with this sweet family.
Amy was Claire’s first grade teacher last year and the more time I spend with her the more I love her sweet smile and gentle spirit.
It’s always such a joy to spend time with her precious family. The devotion between her and her husband and their desire to raise a God honoring family just shines through.
Plus, Mr. J apparently really enjoys my company.
Pace, FL, Milton, Fl, family photographer
He and big sis are just about the cutest too.
family portraits, Milton, FL Carpenter's Park
We had the best time doing their portraits despite the sudden dip in temperature that weekend. And I was thrilled that they were willing to come to Carpenter’s Park for their session. The beautiful scenery was the perfect backdrop for their lovely family.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

and establish the work of our hands upon us;

yes, establish the work of our hands!
Psalm 90:17

Sweet Love

Photography is something that is in my bones. I love doing it mainly because it isn’t really something I do but rather something I experience.

With toddlers and kids I get to experience the awe of childhood…how new and amazing the simplest things are.

With every family I photograph I feel the connection of being a wife, a mother, a sister, or a daughter.

I enjoy senior sessions because there is such excitement at having completed a major milestone and being on the verge of a whole new world.

Weddings are a time of love and joy that few events can equal.

Maternity sessions are just happy and full of anticipation.

But new born sessions? They hold a special place in my heart. There is nothing quite like seeing that sweet little love that has totally turned lives upside down, changing everything.

It’s love itself wrapped up in a bundle of soft pink skin and sweet lips.

Pensacola, newborn, babies, Pace, Milton, Florida

It’s joy seen in that precious little smile.

And there’s hope seen in a brand new baby as evidence that He continues to strive with His creation…to bless and grant life.

That last picture has a little more hope in it though, than sweet Miss Ada. The scarf she is wearing comes from Trades For Hope, an organization that her grandmother works with that seeks to help women in other countries escape poverty by creating a market for their handcrafts through Fair Trade. They are working with artisans from several different countries including Haiti, Uganda, Peru to name a few, as well as here in the US. You can visit here to learn more about Trades For Hope and maybe do a little early Christmas shopping while you’re at it.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ~ 1 Peter 1:3

Test Kitchen #72 ~ Nutella Cream Cheese Mini Sweet Rolls

nutella, cream cheese, sweet rolls

We have been enjoying some rather fabulous autumn weather lately. Windows have been open…I’ve made a pot of chili and tried a new recipe for a chicken corn chowder. I intended to make these delicious pumpkin cream cheese rolls last week for moms group in keeping with the autumnal weather but then I got distracted by the jar of nutella and well…the rest is history.

A delectable ooey gooey nutella infused mouth pleasing history.

What you’ll need:
2 packs Pillsbury crescent rolls*
8 oz cream cheese, softened
13 oz jar nutella
confectioner’s sugar
What you’ll do:
Mix together half of the cream cheese and half of the nutella until well blended.
Unroll both tubes of crescents, being careful to not separate the rectangles.
crescent rolls, sweet rolls
Put them short end to short end and pinch the seams together making one long rectangle.
Spread cream cheese nutella mixture over dough.
nutella, sweet rolls, pillsbury crescents
Begin rolling the dough into a log starting at the long end.
cream cheese, nutella, pillsbury crescent rolls
Cut into one inch pieces.
Lay them into a 9×13 that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are a golden brown.
nutella, cream cheese, sweet rolls, pillsbury crescents
While they’re baking mix together the remaining cream cheese and nutella, adding in a small amount of confectioner’s sugar to taste.
When the rolls come out of the oven, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes and then smother them in the frosting you just made.

Needless to say none of the moms seemed to mind that I hadn’t made the pumpkin cream cheese rolls. They were so good with a cup of hot coffee and tiny so they felt indulgent without all of the guilt.

nutella, cream cheese, pillsbury crescent rolls

*I am normally all about using generic brands and saving money but I have found that the off brands for crescent rolls are just lacking in taste and texture so I suggest using the Pillsbury brand.

Tuesday’s Table

Not A Moment Wasted

Last Friday I shared plans I had made with one of my best girlfriends to go out and spend the day enjoying the beach and being outside.

We did and it was glorious.

Marvelous, even. And we wasted not a moment of it.

A delicious breakfast started our day and then we went to Ft. Pickens. The fort is a fairly popular spot for tourist and photographers a like. As a matter of fact I recently shared a session I did there. It’s a great back drop to pictures and I’ve even seen bridals done there.

But I wanted to explore other parts of the area so Susan and I kicked our shoes off and grabbed our cameras and I am so glad we did! There are ten different gun batteries and I don’t think I have ever climbed one of them.

Which means that all of my life I have been missing this view.

Pensacola Beach, Ft Pickens FL

Incredible isn’t it?

The weather was perfect and the butterflies were enjoying it as much as we were. Poor little thing had a torn wing but it didn’t slow him down at all.

I’d never seen a bee like this either…he was blue. And beautiful.

Oswald Chambers said that to a saint nature is sacramental…in every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth , there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.

Maybe that’s why whenever I go out tot he beach I feel like I came breathe a little deeper and a little bigger. I am constantly amazed by how diverse and huge our world is and how small we are.

Pensacola Florida Beach

I stood in the sand and lifted my face to the sun. I felt the warm breeze and the cool gulf waters roll over my toes.
Like I said, glorious. It was glorious.