Thursday, December 30



she totally got it. i thought she would only care about the paper and the bows, but she loved each and every gift. she looked them over thoroughly, gave them kisses and studied all the pieces. she even loved the stocking candies. it was so much fun to watch her play all day with her new things and beg for bites of our treats. 
we have such a loved, happy, funny girl. 

my mother-in-law posted an adorable video of ellie on christmas eve. click here.
for some reason i can't post the video i took on christmas morning, but i'll try again later.

more on our historic white christmas tomorrow.

Saturday, December 25

merry christmas!

and i'll let you know later whether or not our christmas was white. 

the fowlers

update: it's white alright! pictures to come soon!

Friday, December 24

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas . . .

and it is finally a decent temperature, too.
i'm not sure if i mentioned it, but we had record-breakingly ridiculous cold weather at the beginning of the month. ellie, judge and i mainly just huddled for warmth all the time. according to the people who tell the weather, it was in the teens but "felt like" the temperature was hovering around zero.

after two years here in the south, i don't want a white christmas or icicles or any of it (i can hang fake snowflakes in the house and they're very pretty). i want it to be just like it was earlier this week: misty, partly sunny and feels about 50-ish degrees outside. perfect.

but the weatherman is saying now that we may have a white christmas after all. we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, December 23

rosy cheeks.

 we went for a walk
and i had to take some pictures of my sweet, rosy-cheeked girl.

(okay, so she was a little sad when we came inside.)

doesn't she look like she could be on a campbell's soup advertisement? 

Wednesday, December 22


ellie's winterwear is too cute. i want it.

and i might make myself a hat, 
because i made hers and it was pie.

and a note about jeggings. 
you read that correctly. i've listened silently to the jeggings debate and i have just now become aware of pajama jeans. 

 i need to declare my position. i'm totally for them! i love them!
i'm wearing jeggings right now!

i bought jeggings when i was pregnant and they were wonderful. i wear them a couple times a week. why?
they fit well when i'm about to give birth,
they fit perfectly when i'm postpartum and don't know what the heck my belly is doing,
they even fit when i'm on my period and suddenly puffed up like roadkill.
 so i say, don't knock 'em until you've been nine months pregnant and they slip on like the most stylish sweatpants in the world.
well, okay, i will admit they aren't for everyone - but they are for me.
 i might need me some pajama jeans, too.

there is one thing i think we can all agree on.
jeggings/pajama jeans are less ridiculous than the short jnco fad i recall from junior high:


they were around the same time as these, which didn't make sense to me, either: 


and everyone was wearing like, ten candy necklaces all the time.  

 we'll leave you on this note:

"ellie, smile!"

"no, ellie, smile!"

"ellie, smile!"


 "eh, we'll take it."

Tuesday, December 21


we made it to the shortest day of the year! time is going so fast. 

i tried to take a picture of the way the moon looked last night around nine. 
(no way was i waking up for an eclipse while ellie is sleeping through the night again.
i'm not gonna be up in the middle of the night if i don't hafta be.)

it was incredible. the clouds were blowing around it, but it was so bright that it looked like the clouds were parting to let it through. man. i just stared at it for a long time, even though there were lots of creepy sounds coming from the woods. it was that spectacular. these photos do it zero justice.

happy winter solstice!

Friday, December 17

random reasons why i love the husband.

#146 - he tells me he'll pick up dinner and brings home this:

and tattoos our child with the stick-on tattoos from the box.

#34 - he makes me cry with punny quotes like

"sounds like this latest harry potter 
was a lot of 'whore' and not enough 'crux.'"

#642 -  he remembers random pop culture and incorporates it into our lives, 
like the other night before dinner when he said 
"ho, ho, ho, i'm hu-hu-hungry!"

#3 - he makes me smile. and he makes a darn cute baby.

Thursday, December 16

tortilla soup.

i mentioned before that i worked at sundance resort for three years. i really enjoyed it, especially the food. i got used to having chicken tortilla soup whenever i wanted it and i find myself having cravings for it, especially on cold days or days when nothing sounds good.
i finally looked online to find a recipe and got one here. i know a lot of people probably have a recipe for this, but i had to post it just in case - and i just typed it up for a friend of mine. after i made it once, husband has asked for it at least three times, so that makes it an official hit for the fowlers. i kind of simplified mine - well, cheated really. i used canned veggies and it turns out to be super, super easy to make. i think it tastes great, but if you'd rather do fresh, you should.

Tortilla Soup, Sundance-Style

3 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno, fresh, minced (I used a can of chopped green chiles instead)
1 red onion, medium sized, chopped
3 cups Roma tomatoes, diced (or two cans diced tomatoes, drained)
3 cups corn kernels, preferably fresh (or two cans corn kernels, drained)
1 tbsp cumin seed (I just used ground cumin)
2 quarts chicken stock
2 tbsp fresh cilantro (I pretty much put in two handfuls; I love cilantro.)
3 cups grilled chicken breast, diced (a little less than three chicken breasts)
(I added a little mesquite liquid smoke and mesquite seasoning when I made the chicken. I also baked the chicken in a little olive oil instead of grilled it.)

Garnish: chopped avocado, lime wedges, tortilla chips

In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the jalapeno (or green chiles), onion, tomato and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring until all the vegetables are soft.
Add cilantro and cumin and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the grilled chicken breast and anymore fresh cilantro, heat through and serve.
Garnish each bowl with avocado, lime and tortilla chips/strips.

This recipe is huge. I usually use my biggest pot to make it, but it is perfect for doing a half recipe, too.
If you're feeling extra lazy, use a rotisserie chicken and just pull off the meat. Yummy and quick. 
We use the little bit of leftover chicken for quesadillas, but you could add it all and have extra chicken.
"Heating through" is important, it needs to simmer a while before the chicken gets nice and tender. It works well if you put it in the crockpot when you're adding the chicken and let it go a few hours.
We make our own tortilla chips. We fry up little strips of corn tortillas and they are sooooo good, especially when they're still warm.
The best part about the soup is that it tastes great reheated, so leftovers are amazing.

so there you have it. i should really have a picture, but i don't. so here are pictures of ellie and me riding home from a party in the backseat in the dark, blinding ourselves with the flash to keep entertained. 

Tuesday, December 14

cowgirl up.

playing with daddy's hat. 
seeing as i don't even have a holiday header for the blog, i'm not exactly on the ball these days. 
here's what we have been doing instead of . . . getting it together. 

jammies plus cowboy hat. we're pretty much fashion icons around here.  
lately i'm afraid she's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

 aaaaaaand the reason mommy stays behind the camera.

Monday, December 13

start your week off right.

you just have to see this.

as cute as it is, i promise it's a million times cuter in person (even if it is 5:30 am).

Wednesday, December 8

nine! nine! nine!

this is pretty late, but i can't get it off of my mind.

nine months on the inside, 
nine months on the outside.

from this:

to this:

to this:

 (she holds up her dresses when she walks. it's priceless!
she is also so curious. she loves to show us the things she finds, including leaves. and bark. and anything small and on the ground.)

 what started as a tiny flicker of a heartbeat, then came out a squirmy and wrinkly little pink alien, is now a hilarious little person who walks and understands and makes us smile every day.

damn, we make good babies!

Tuesday, December 7

down to the wire.

(last christmas, when times were slightly more simple)

well, okay, it isn't exactly that close to christmas but i'm starting to really feel the pressure. i just barely got the tree decorated, but it is still hidden behind all the empty decoration boxes that need to go back in the attic. i have wanted to attempt some sort of family photo but it still hasn't happened. i have about a million more things i need to do and not all of them have to do with christmas, but i have to make sure i get them done before the world goes crazy for two weeks and it is nearly impossible to do regular business with anyone. 

most of all, i not only have all my christmas shopping to do, i have zero ideas. what do i get the girl who doesn't even notice if she has anything? what do i get the guy who doesn't really need anything and doesn't really want anything that is anywhere within our budgetary limits? what do i even need or want? we're already planning on keeping it simple. we're bad at gifts. we always think of good ones two weeks after the event and then we go get it. i'm just getting my mother's day/birthday gift finally figured out.

there is someone on my list who is really easy to please.
all he needs are bones and hugs.

Friday, December 3

speedy gonzales.

it hasn't been quite a month since she started walking and she has decided to go pro. she'll walk from the bedroom all the way down the hall and into the kitchen. when she gets wobbly, she stops to get her balance back and then keeps going. if she falls, she gets right back up and walks more. it's unbelievable! sometimes i see her walk up to me and i'm shocked because i forget she can do that. 
she's getting faster and faster every day. i can't turn around for even a second because she'll be in another room, getting into trouble. if she can't see me, she heads back to my bedroom looking for me. i found her standing in the dog's water bowl earlier today!

here's a new video of another gold medal performance:

Thursday, December 2

winter morning.

winter decided to show his freezing, frosty face this morning.
the sunrise was really beautiful. 

it's officially december now, so i guess mother nature decided it was time to bust out her christmas decorations, too.