capture2011 :: no. 260 :: 12.31.11 :: new year's eve

ben and i went to our friends' annual party, but i couldn't quite make it until midnight. when we got there it was raining, and when we left around 11, there were beautiful, thick flakes falling. their street was quiet and peaceful. happy new year everyone!

this is the last picture for capture2011. thanks for following and encouraging me!

capture2011 :: no. 259 :: 12.30.11 :: a very, very special picture

yup, that's a picture of our little baby. i'm pregnant! due in mid-july. :) :) :) :)

i'm currently 12 weeks along, but this was taken a few weeks ago. we had a dating ultrasound at 8 weeks and then another at 9 weeks because they saw a small cyst on the umbilical cord. doctor said they'll just keep an eye on it. we're praying God would be pleased to take it away or keep it from growing. but if He doesn't, we know He is still good!

can't wait to meet our precious little one!

capture2011 :: no. 257 :: 12.29.11 :: the week's reading

these are the books i brought up north for the week: Bible, sewing, decorating, couponing, planning, homemaking, photography, and fiction. i read every page of every book. just kidding! not true at all.

i've been reading in luke in my slim esv. other than that, i read part of how to shop for free, which ben gave me for Christmas (no, it is not about stealing!), and i finished the veritas conflict, which was AMAzing and one of the most encouraging works of fiction i've ever read. it made me want to pray about everything. not a bad takeaway!

we're packing up in a few hours, so alas, the rest will have to wait.

the last few weeks

hello, friends!

i hope you and your family had a merry little Christmas! ours was beautiful. it is always such a busy time of year, and i was so thankful to be able to spend oodles of time with friends and family.

while we are on the topic of Christmas, i would like to recommend the book come thou long-expected Jesus: experiencing the peace and promise of Christmas. it is a collection of advent readings from tons of wonderful authors such as john calvin, martin luther, randy alcorn, john piper, and john macarthur. the readings are truly worshipful and highlight different gems in the Christmas story that i hadn't really considered before. they helped me ponder Jesus more, who "became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption." what a Savior!

next, ben and i are currently up north at his parents' cabin for a few days away. he's working remotely and i'm using this time to catch up on blogging/email/facebook messages (apologies if i owe you a response!), read, and pray/plan for 2012. we got here last night, turned on the heat, headed into town for some dinner, and relaxed with a movie on the laptop. it's gonna be a good week.

and finally, i love that a few of you have hounded/teased/asked me to keep posting my pictures. no, i have not stopped capturing 2011, i just took an irresponsible break from emailing and blogging. bad amy. but here they are!

capture2011 :: no. 247 :: 12.16.2011 :: still going strong

anyone know what kind of flower this is? it was part of a bouquet ben bought for me on december 3. i was surprised to see it still looking good on the 16th, and even better, it still looked good yesterday when we left to come up north. i like the shape. very mod.

capture2011 :: no. 248 :: 12.17.2011 :: birthday boy!

our nephew caleb turned two this month! caleb's parents had a birthday party for him, and it was a ton of fun. there were lots of kids and toys and an amazing mickey mouse cake that christa made!

what a sweet face on this kid. caleb has such a gentle, kind spirit, and i can't believe two years have gone by since that special day he was born. he looks great in his dad's mickey mouse ears, don't you think?

capture2011 :: no. 249 :: 12.17.2011 :: father and son

yup, lots o' kids at this party. here's our nephew isaac getting a big smooch from daddy wes!

capture2011 :: no. 250 :: 12.17.2011 :: tuckered out

the weekend of caleb's party was madness, but in the best way. there were three Christmas parties, his birthday party, and a small group women's breakfast. i snapped this picture of our niece grace anne (i spelled her middle name incorrectly last time!) at the tail end of my parents' Christmas party that saturday night. i might have been as tuckered out as she was. ;)

capture2011 :: no. 251 :: 12.21.2011 :: a total invalid

i pulled a muscle in my back last week. i was leaning over to get something out of my purse. i know, i know, i shouldn't take so many risks. i can't believe how much it hurt, and i was pretty much on the couch the rest of the day. i sewed these microwaveable rice heat packs as Christmas presents last year, and i am glad i kept the prototype because i got good use out of it.

capture2011 :: no. 252 :: 12.22.2011 :: afternoon snack

i'm not quite sure why i took this picture. now that i think of it, i was probably subconsciously proud of myself for choosing to snack on vegetables, and apparently, i want you all to be proud of me, too. yes, i am an adult.

capture2011 :: no. 253 :: 12.23.2011 :: Christmas with vern

1) ben pretty much only calls me amy in public. otherwise it is bruce or some variation of bruce. 2) ben does not wrap presents often, therefore, he has not mastered the corners. but i love it when he wraps a present for me so i don't care. 3) no offense, matt. :)

capture2011 :: no. 254 :: 12.24.2011 :: Christmas eve frat party

after Christmas eve service, we ate dinner at my parents' house. our tradition is to eat wild rice soup, bread, and as many appetizers as humanly possible (mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, potato skins, etc.). ben affectionately calls it a "frat party," minus the red solo cups. but my sister raised our collective status this year with some delicious mushroom tartlets and these caprese skewers. she's pretty much a gourmet. thank you, kristen!

capture2011 :: no. 255 :: 12.24.2011 :: my parents' tree

after dinner, we opened presents. my brother dave, lauren, hannah, and grace were on an opposite schedule from me and ben this year, and we missed them tons.

capture2011 :: no. 256 :: 12.25.2011 :: it's all fun and games until . . .

this picture kills me. explanation: we spent Christmas day at ben's parents' house and it was a full one! it was truly a blessing that everyone could be there. whenever we all get together, the kids inevitably pile up on grandpa klaas for wrestling and tickle torture. there is always a definite point where it is time to stop, and i think i might have captured that exact moment here (the main clue is when klaas's face goes from smiling to serious). ben was stepping in to peel off children and aid in triage, but thankfully, there were minimal casualties. i love these kids, but i'm glad it wasn't me in there! ;)

ok! if you are counting, i only have four (FOUR!) more pictures to take to wrap up my year in pictures. wow wow wow. so glad to have done this, and yet so looking forward to being done. thanks for following!

capture2011 :: no. 246 :: 12.15.11 :: lunch date

yesterday, my friend cindy took me out to lunch at naviya's. it is a new favorite place for sure! it was so light and fresh and the vegetable were wonderful. (usually "wonderful" and "vegetables" do not go together in my mind, so this is a big deal.) i would definitely recommend it. literally, the minute i got home i was warming up these leftovers because i wanted them again right away. :)

thanks, cindy!
hello, friends, and merry Christmas! the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, but i have been keeping up with my self-imposed "assignment." this is a big batch, and some of these are from my phone.

capture2011 :: no. 237 :: 11.29.2011 :: Christmas comes early

ben bought a makita drill set, and i think we're both pretty excited about it. we don't own a cordless drill, and the corded one we have gets a little heavy for me when i try to one-hand it. plus, "makita" is one of my favorite words to say out loud. i just did. yes!

 capture2011 :: no. 238 :: 12.2.2011 :: freestylin'

our local davanni's just installed a coke freestyle machine. it is pretty cool. i'm kind of a purist (raspberry coke just doesn't sound good to me), but the vanilla root beer was tasty.

capture2011 :: no. 239 :: 12.3.2011 :: bethlehem Christmas brunch

the tradition continues! my sister and i hosted a table again this year. our table was similar to last year's, but we brought in a little red and i liked it. i think this is our ninth year attending the brunch, and i've hosted a table for four, i believe. again, one of my favorite Christmas traditions because it sets our hearts on Christ at the very start of the advent season.

capture2011 :: no. 240 :: 12.3.2011 :: IDS center tree

very large. very pretty.

capture2011 :: no. 241 :: 12.5.2011 :: flowers from vern

he's very thoughtful. and more than a week after he bought them, they are still looking great!

capture2011 :: no. 242 :: 12.6.2011 :: morning staple

i don't mind eating the same things every day. i rather like it. scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast have been hitting the spot lately.

capture2011 :: no. 243 :: 12.9.2011 :: wrapping supplies!

it was fun to pull out my goodies for the first round of wrapping!

on a side note, ben and i recently watched our first episode of hoarders on netflix. while i was shocked, i saw some hoarder in myself. i cannot bear to throw away any bit of ribbon or pretty paper or fabric if i think i could use them someday. so i have quite a collection.  i'm often glad of it when something i've saved is the perfect size/shape/color to reuse. apparently there's a very fine line between thrifty and hoardy. don't let me get there, okay? okay???

capture2011 :: no. 244 :: 12.9.2011 :: Christmas mantel

things i already own arranged in a new way = satisfying.

capture2011 :: no. 245 :: 12.10.2011 :: it's hard to take him seriously in that sweater

last night, we hosted our small group's Christmas party. we wore ugly sweaters, ate a ton of sugar,  played two rounds of pass-it pictionary, and laughed until our sides hurt. i love our group!

merry Christmas!

capture2011 :: no. 236 :: 11.28.11 :: grace in so many ways

for me and ben, this has been the year of welcoming nieces and nephews, both biological and not! the newest is grace ann, second daughter to my brother dave and his wife lauren, and younger sister to the lovely hannah. grace arrived on sunday night, a few days after her thanksgiving due date, and she came fast (like two hours after they got to the hospital fast). we are praising God for His wonderful blessings, and i just can't wait to get to know her better.

it's the holiday season!

capture2011 :: no. 233 :: 11.24.2011 :: thanksgiving table

we spent the day at my parents' house, and it was a wonderful time. so, so, so much to thank God for. "grace upon grace."

capture2011 :: no. 234 :: 11.26.2011 :: i'm in here!

can you find me? ;)

capture2011 :: no. 235 :: 11.26.2011 :: ornamental

we have a small, fake, crooked Christmas tree that i decorated on friday. ben's parents and my parents were really good about saving all our homemade ornaments and labeling them with years (some of them have pictures, too), and i got really nostalgic as i pulled out popsicle-stick snowmen and reindeer made from clothespins. those trees with matching ornaments in only one or two colors are so beautiful, but i like our patchy tree decorated with homey, sentimental ornaments. ben does, too.

capture2011 :: no. 232 :: 11.23.11 :: sugar and spice

i am a pumpkin pie junkie, and i am very ritualistic about my thanksgiving pumpkin pie fix. maybe i'm a bit over the top, but i know what i like. don't we all?

first, pumpkin pie must be made with libby's canned pumpkin and the recipe from the can. and no substituting pumpkin pie spice for the mixture of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. i infinitely prefer this recipe to pies made from fresh pumpkin or from baker's square (although theirs isn't bad). clearly, i have a very refined palate. ;)

i double the recipe and pour it into two pillsbury deep-dish pie crusts. there is usually a bit left over to pour into a tiny casserole and bake along with the pies, which means i can have a little dish of pumpkin pie filling all to myself. ben thinks i am crazy. i think i'm in heaven.

finally, pumpkin pie must be served cold. this is non-negotiable. whipped cream, reddi-wip, or cool whip are also highly recommended, but i don't discriminate there.

what are your thanksgiving food rituals?