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The Sunday Paper: On Ice Skating and Christmas

As we hussled about the house, gathering hats and gloves, I asked Jared if he was going to bring the camera for this momentus occasion.  “Momentus occasion, huh?”, he replied.

“Um, yeah this is my first time ice skating, ever.”  I entered the doorway of the living room where Jared was slipping his shoes on to see the shocked look I knew he had on his face.

“Your first time, ever? I thought you just meant your first time in a long time, like since you were a kid.”

“No, I actually meant first time ever, when I said, first time ever.  Remember last year how I said I wanted to go ice skating pretty much every weekend for the entire winter?”

“No…” (Tragically, he didn’t remember any of this.  I have since noted that I need to get better at hinting.)

“Oh man, this is going to be interesting!” he gaffed, clearly visualizing me barely being able to stand on my feet.

And off we went to Cunningham Park.  A park where we take Apollo all winter long, and occassionally in the fall for a special trip.  We’ve been going there for a few years now, driving right past the field that gets flooded into a pond during the winter.  For as many times as we’ve driven down the long, winding path that leads back into the woods, I had never had a feeling of nervousness come over me.

As we got closer to the pond, we saw kids playing hockey, a young brother and sister racing each other as their dad looked on and a little boy about 5, walking in his skates as his grandfather held him up firmly under each arm.

We sat in the car, and looked at each other for a moment and just laughed.  We were really about do this?  I asked Jared if he was going to be embarassed by me and he said no, he was worried about embarrassing himself since he hadn’t skated in years.

As we found our way to an empty bench, Johnny Highschool showed up in his Chevy Blazer and started unloading hockey sticks and equipment.  Great we both thought, just what we need, a bigger audience.  But we were there, with our brand new skates and nothing was going to stop us from getting out on the ice.  So we laced up.

Jared ventured onto the ice first and his skating abilities from grade school came back to him with ease.  Then it was my turn.  Step one: stand up.

“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh, oh – why is it so slippery?!?”, I gasped, without concern of sounding like an idiot.

“Because it’s ice,” Jared replied, gaining Captain Obvious status.

But the thin metal blades beneath my feet felt as if I was standing on a rocking chair – too far forward or backward and I was going to be flat on my bottom.  So Jared skated over to me and took my hands, pulling my out of my comfort zone.   I was being dragged along the ice, stiff legged and giggling.  We stopped, Jared let go and there I stood.  In the middle of the ice, an almost 26 year old woman with kids 1/5th of my age wizzing around the pond.  I couldn’t let them show me up like that.

So Jared came back and held just one hand this time, coaching me to let my feet naturally slide out to the side and push off with my back foot.  We skated side by side, hand in hand as I slowly learned.  Then he let go again and there I stood.  With the option to stay put, or move forward on my own.  And before I even realized it, I was off, skating after Jared like I had been doing it all my life.

This was our Christmas present to each other.  We racked our brains for weeks, trying to be creative and come up with awesome gifts while not spending too much, only to realize it was impossible.  Finally, we both conceded and agreed to not worry about gifts and rather think about something we can do together and just enjoy Christmas.  So off we went to buy ourselves some ice skates.  The woman at the cash register asked if they were for us and we looked at each other, nodded and said “Yup”.

Because for us, Christmas is not about spending money, its about spending time.  It’s not about having the latest clothes, DVDs or video games, it’s about having fun.  It’s not about complaining about what you don’t have, it’s about being thankful for what you do.

So with this Christmas, Jared and I have started a new tradition.  Spending time, instead of money.

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with lots of good food, friends and family!  We celebrated our own Christmas on Wednesday night in Quincy before heading north Thursday night to be with family and snapped a few pictures in front of the tree.

I asked Apollo to jump up on the ottoman and he immediately froze in the perfect pose you see below.  I think it’s obvious he’s got photographers for parents!  Such a good boy!

As for us, well we were tired and lacking creativity so what you see is what we came up with!!  Not our greatest showing,  but it works!

Merry Christmas!!

Amanda and Steve: Engaged!

Amanda and Steve, much like Jared and I, have a SUNY (State University of New York) love-story!  SUNY Buffalo in their case, which is where they met while studying for their undergrad degrees.  When Amanda graduated and got accepted into grad school in both Boston and NYC, she decided to make the move to Boston and had her fingers crossed that what was meant to be would find a way.  Five months later and no job luck in NYC for Steve, Amanda convinced him to come visit her in Boston.  Within his week-long visit, he found a job and an apartment!  How’s that for fate?!?

Fast forward 3 years and they’re engaged, just moved into an apartment together and are thoroughly enjoying everything that the great city of Boston has to offer!

Jared and I met up with them in the historic Beacon Hill on a very chilly November day. First stop was this awesome little alley!

I adore this set!!!  They are just too cute!!  And that smile?  Yup, she’s beaming 🙂

Then we headed over to the iconic Acorn Street which is said the be the most photographed street in America!

Let the adorable-ness continue!

Love it!!

From the streets of Beacon Hill we booked it over to the Esplanade to catch the last bit of daylight.  Once we got down by the Charles River, the wind was whipping like crazy and it was wicked cold!!  Didn’t stop Amanda and Steve from taking off their jackets for the sake of awesome pictures though!!

To cap off our trek through the esplanade, we were treated to a beautiful sunset!

Amanda and Steve you guys totally rocked out your shoot!  Steve you get MAJOR bonus points for being all about it!  Most guys (including Jared) are so hesitant about pictures but we loved how involved you were and it shows in all the images!!  That’s a hint to all you gentleman out there – be like Steve!

Daniel and Leah: Engaged!

These two go back.  Waaay back.  Daniel and Leah started dating in high school and have been together for over 13 years!  We met Daniel back in early October when he was planning a suprise 30th birthday party for Leah.  Talk about a man who would bend over backwards for his woman!  Daniel had a private room at a sports bar in Quincy.  Everyone who came was dressed to the nines, the DJ kept everyone moving into the morning hours, there was a killer cupcake tower and a slideshow displaying pictures of Leah throughout the years.  Before Leah even walked through the door we knew she would be one fabulous woman.  We had so much fun with them that night that they booked us on the spot for their spring wedding!

So before the beautiful fall leaves all disappeared, Jared and I met up with them at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline on Halloween morning.  Knowing these two would bring it no matter the temperature, we spent a few hours meandering through the park and got some of our favorite images to date!


Being Halloween morning, we weren’t at all surprised or upset by a photo bomb by a cute little bumble bee!

In a word? Fierce!

Thanks for totally rocking out this shoot guys!!  Can’t wait for May!

Maria - Love these photographs. They look like they were having a great time and were fun to be around.
The colors are beautiful also.

Leah - I LOVE IT!!! Thanks!!!

The Sunday Paper: Chocolate Covered Oreo Recipe

Before I delve into the chocolate deliciousness that is in the recipe to follow, let me introduce you to a new idea over here at Jared and Debbie headquarters called The Sunday Paper.  For us, Sundays are all about slowing down and  enjoying time at home with each other.  Whether we’re just hanging around the house, cooking and baking, watching a movie or playing boardgames or out and about getting some exercise in the fresh air, The Sunday Paper is a glimpse into our everyday lives. It’s about the simple things that reenergize us and keep us smiling all week long.  We invite you to spend a few minutes of your Sunday with us, and we hope to inspire you to slow down and have some fun with the most important people in your life.

Now, onto today’s recipe!

Let me fill you guys in on something.  I can’t cook.  Lucky for me, Jared is an AMAZING cook or else my diet would consist of grilled cheese, canned soup and deli sandwiches.

What I lack in cooking skills I make up in baking ability.  I can make some killer chocolate chunk brownies, with the assistance of my dear friend Betty Crocker.  Who am I to make them from scratch when she’s the master? I digress.  While flipping through the recent Crate and Barrel catalog, I saw these perfectly delectable chocolate covered oreos and immediately thought, hey, I can make that! A quick google search provided me with a quick and easy recipe and I was sold.

12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate
1 package of oreos
1 tablespoon of shortening

You will also need
A baking sheet
Aluminum foil

Total time: about 35 minutes for one batch
Yields: about 20 cookies in one batch

I opted to make a double batch, one chocolate covered and one white chocolate.

Step 1: Prep the cookie sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.
Step 2: Mix chocolate and 1 tablespoon of shortening in a medium mixing bowl.

Step 3: Microwave until melted, stirring every minute.

Step 4: Drop a cookie in the melted chocolate and submerge it slightly.  Use a fork to remove it from the chocolate, and tap it against the side of the bowl to remove the excess.  Drag the bottom of the fork on the lip of the bowl to remove any remaining chocolate and place the dipped cookie the prepared baking sheet.

Step 5: Place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set the chocolate.
Step 6: If desired, melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies for a decorative look.  Briefly return the cookies to the refrigerator before serving.

Since I made both chocolate and white chocolate batches, I just alternated the left over chocolate I had from each to use as the drizzle!

TA DA!  Pack them up and you’re ready to knock the socks off the neighbors at your holiday party!  The double batch that I did yielded about 40 cookies and I would suggest another bag of chocolate if you don’t want any leftover oreos!

Happy oven-less baking!!

catd - I made this for a school bake sale and it was fantastic. Easy and delicious.