THE jPod

Sunday, December 21


After taking the dogs for their evening walk we decide to head back out to enjoy the snow... and ice. It was a perfect night for a walk. The snow and wind had taken a break, so I came up with is great idea to trek it over to my folks house. We have been bound to our home for a few days now and I needed to get some exercise! My mom is the best. Right when we got in the door she offered us hot cocoa and toasted cheese sandwiches. We enjoyed their company, watched a little AFV and headed back home. The walk was BEAUTIFUL and worth every sore muscle in my ars (I love felling sore muscles after a good workout). Well there were no pix taken of our jurney (I left my equipment at home), so I leave you with a map of our trail.

Saturday, December 20


So... snow hits the valley floor and life as we know it changes! It may not be much to east coasters or midwesters, but THIS snow is a lot to us northwesters.

These next images were from 12/17. The snow was not sticking around and it was already starting to melt a bit.

The next couple of days the snow was not sticking to much and the roads were slushy/slippery, until evening when it would ice up a bit.

These images are from 12/20. The snow has finally arrived!!!

It took most of the day for the snow to REALLY pile up... so I decided to head out after sunset. Me, tripod and camera. We had fun ;) Night of 12/20

Images of our BEAUTIFUL neighborhood in Hillsboro Orenco area.

Wednesday, December 17


December 15th 2008 at 12:55 pm I was witness to one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The birth of Hayden Brooks. Melissa had asked me to be at the hospital to photograph Hayden's arrival. This was the first time I've ever been in a delivery room at the time of ones birth and it about brought tears to my eyes for a few reasons...

One, what a miracle to bring ones life into this world. Two, Melissa was amazing! Not any yelling and only a couple of choice words (spoken very softly at the end). The atmosphere in the room was indescribable. Three... this was special for me witness because Mel had planned for my mom to be in the delivery room to help deliver (like she was for Mel's first child). My mom did just that. I was so taken back by how amazing my mom was, there for Melissa at every moment and helping hold her up through every contraction.

I came straight home to tell Jeb all about my experience and how amazing my momma truly is.

My favorite pic of Hayden on the day of his birth.

Thursday, December 11


My friend Annette has thrown a cookie swap and ordainment exchange party during the holiday season for the last three years. Every year we all try and bring something different. I found a recipe that is quick and easy for all ages (more importantly they taste pretty yummy). I traded out the dark chocolate kisses for peppermint ones (how dare I... I know). I figured the peppermint ones look a bit more festive. So for everyone's enjoyment here is the recipe and feel free to use any kiss you like and I'm sure you could change up the sprinkles as well. Thank you Annette for always such a great time and to everyone for we had a great selection of cookies this year!!!

Super-Duper Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes: about 40 cookies
Prep: 40 min.
Bake: 8 min. per batch
  • 1 16-1/2-ounce package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup chocolate-flavor sprinkles
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • About 40 dark chocolate kisses, unwrapped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine cookie dough and cocoa powder. Seal bag; knead with your hands until dough is well mixed. Remove dough from bag.

2. Place chocolate sprinkles in a shallow dish or small bowl. Place milk in another shallow dish or small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in milk to moisten, then roll in chocolate sprinkles to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

3. Bake in the preheated oven about 8 minutes or until edges are firm. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 40 cookies.

4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Wednesday, December 10


This time of year is just wonderful. Who doesn't like the bright glittery goodness of Christmas lights?... and then you add animals to the mix. SPECTACULAR!!! This year Carrie invited me to join her and the family for some Zoo Lights. Despite my on camera flash jamming, I had a fabulous time. I especially enjoyed running around with Gabriel. Oh, lets not forget about those elephant ears either, David and I were SO happy to see they were serving them at night :). Thank you guys for the great memories!!!

Thursday, December 4


Thanksgiving ‘08

The night before TG, Jeb’s brothers usually head in from Gresham and stay the Holiday weekend with us… it’s become tradition ☺. This year was without Cody (Code man). He is now living in Bend where he is going to school and working for Best Buy. We are SO proud of all he is accomplishing (you were missed). It was also nice to have some brotherly bounding with Joe. I couldn’t ask for sweeter brother in-laws. Wednesday night we headed over to The Lathrop's and enjoyed (as always) Annette's cooking. I think that should be another tradition (Wednesday night before Thanksgiving with the Lathrop's!!!). We always have such a great time with you guys.

Thursday morning we headed to the third annual Turkey Bowl (that we’ve been to). Our friend Robert plans it every year and it’s been a new tradition to go and watch the boys play early in the morning. This year was kinda special, cause my bro T joined us and brought Faith (I’m a girl that likes ALL her loved ones near).

Jeb's catch for a TD!!!

Joe showing off his skills... oh!!!

My bro T and his moves for a 1st. He was catching the most awkward passes for big plays. Not that it matters, but Jeb's, Joe's, T's, Robert's and David's team won.

The cutest Cheerleader I've ever seen.

The plan after was to head over to T and Julie’s and the sibling put on dinner like last year (the parents on both sides have been going outta town on Thanksgiving). We ended up postponing dinner until Saturday for Julie was ill (we later found out she had pneumonia... yikes). It worked out in the end we had everyone for dinner on Saturday including the Heupel and Brook parents.

Plan B. Earlier in the week we were invited to have Thanksgiving at our friends Rafa and Kat’s house. Still invited to share in dinner with them we enjoyed great food, company and games. Thank you guys SO much for opening your doors and having us over. We are thankful to have such great and amazing friends!!!

Kat and Rafael turning the Turkey.

Kat is a pro, you should not try this at home. For real. You can see her in action Monday-Saturday at the Merchant of Venice in Orenco.


Joe Joe

Sunday came around and we headed to Gresham for our third thanksgiving dinner with Jeb’s side of the family. How lucky are we… really I love the Holidays and everyone in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you to all who posted their stories and Holiday moments!!!