This Is Our Last Blog Post.

2013 GREYSON MONTH 6Dear Friends,

This is our last blog post. Despite the previous post, which announced the continuation of this blog into this year, I will not continue writing for greyandbriannas.com.

I started this journey a year and a half ago, by documenting our hike up Brokeoff Mountain on the Fourth of July. Since then, this space online, has blossomed into a place where we cataloged our favorite recipes, trips taken, family events, and even the birth of our son. I have enjoyed every bit of it, and am so glad I published that first post seventeen months ago.

I nurtured my love for photography, writing, and cooking through this blog. I don’t want this text to come off sounding sad, because the truth is I still like those things, as a matter of fact, I still enjoy blogging…very much, and may even blog if in the future if God asks me to. Now though, is a time to draw close to Him and my family. Time is the greatest gift we can give anyone, because we can never get any more of it.

After this blog is gone, Grey and I will still be in our kitchen debating whether to put crushed pistacios into the brussels sprouts, like we did on Christmas night. We will continue our journey of cooking and eating nutrient rich foods.  …and we will still be loving our little man like crazy. I’ll still be writing him monthly letters to his future self, and showing him the wonders of this world. …I’m just not going to publicly blog about it.

I feel honored to have written this blog for those of you who have invested the time to read it. I am thankful for extended communication with people through social media, blogs, e-mail etc. to share and connect with friends, future friends, and family.

This life is an incredible journey, and I pray you never stop growing, learning, and seeking God. For me, this year marks a fork in the road, and my call now is to deepen my relationships with family on a more personal level. I am not sure yet, what He has planned for our little family, but I know it will be wonderful (Jeremiah 29:11). ….and…  that He is asking me to devote my time to building a stronger relationship with Him (James 4:8), and to love people (2 John 1:6)…and, for now, that’s all I need to know.

I hope this blog was a blessing to you and your family, and pray that your time is well spent.

Love, Grey, Brianna, and Greyson. 

New Year. New Blog.

SONY DSCNot really. It’s pretty much the same blog, with some tweaks to spiff it up a bit. Our about page has been updated. There might be a few more blog makeovers along the way. I know I haven’t posted any recipes lately, but believe me when I tell you, I’ve been in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Making the commitment to eat more fruit and veggies, plus cutting away the bad stuff, has made a big difference in our household! I can’t wait to share these new recipes we’ve been working on. Meanwhile… Enjoy your family. Savor the goodness of this season. 

Merry Christmas.

Love, Brianna 

 

 

 

Oh Christmas Tree…

SONY DSCWe decorated our tree back in November, after Thanksgiving.

Why I am I talking about it now?

Because I’m still enjoying it just as much.

Sometimes, at night, I turn off all of the lights (except for our Christmas lights)…turn on some Christmas music…get a hot drink….and just sit next to the tree with our sweet boy. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCMy favorite part of this next picture is what is in the lower left-hand corner. :) Our tree isn’t anything spectacular, but the gathering of our little family around it is…SONY DSCSONY DSCMay your days be Merry and Bright.

Love, Brianna

 

The Morning After it Snowed Where it Never Snows.

SONY DSCWe woke up early, like it was Christmas morning…and we were seven years old. ;) We threw on clothes as fast as we could, then bundled Greyson with clothes right over his footie pajamas.SONY DSC We decided earlier in the week, that Saturday we would take our Christmas card photo….little did we know it would have the perfect winter wonderland backdrop–right from our front yard! SONY DSCEverything looked so bright, “wintery,” and pretty with snow covering it.SONY DSC We were not properly equipped with snow clothes, especially for Greyson. I used socks for mittens for the little man, who hasn’t been to the snow yet.SONY DSC

We took a drive to go pick up Malla-Mal and her mama, and to see what our snow capped town looked like.SONY DSC I sipped hot coffee, and marveled at lamp posts that looked like they were straight out of a Thomas Kinkade Christmas painting.

We saw a little deer running and frolicking in the snow.SONY DSC

Is this a dream?!?! I was about to be seriously upset if I woke up and none of it was actually happening….but I didn’t wake up.

We brought back the Mallinator, had snowball fights, played with the dog, made a wimpy snowman, and just enjoyed this beautiful blessing. SONY DSC Our poor chickens!SONY DSCRemember when I planted this back in September?SONY DSCSnowball fights!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCThe horses.SONY DSCSONY DSCHilarious Ty.SONY DSC Mallie’s snow angel.SONY DSCSONY DSC The snowman.SONY DSCThe smiles!SONY DSC…and the exhaustion.SONY DSCHappy Winter (even-though-it’s-still-technically-fall) friends!

Love, Brianna 

The Night it Snowed Where it Never Snows.

SONY DSC…well it very rarely snows…I’m pretty sure the last time it did, I was in junior high….and I think before that, it hadn’t snowed for fifteen years. So snow is a pretty big deal to us. We called everyone we know…and I, apparently, just took pictures of snowflakes with fuzzy images in the background.SONY DSC Around 8:00 at night, I had just tucked Greyson into bed, and it started to snow. SONY DSC“Look it’s snowing!” I felt butterflies in my tummy just like I did on Christmas morning as a kiddo. SONY DSCThe rest of the night was filled with “can you believe this?!”

“Look snow on the cars!”….

.. “snow in the garden!” ….

…“snow in the grass!”….

…you get the picture, everywhere there was snow, there was a little miracle.SONY DSCWe walked around outside, danced, and played–just the two of us. Then we’d run in through the house like a couple of kids to warm up and check on the little man….who was toasty, and tucked away somewhere in dreamland.SONY DSC I couldn’t wait to wake him up the next morning, and show him the sparkly snow blanket covering everything for his first Christmas season.SONY DSCSONY DSCWe both wanted a warm sweet treat, but had barely anything in the cupboards of that description; so I made do, and whipped up little polenta with cinnamon, raisins, and honey, then turned on the Christmas music. ;)SONY DSCThe night was nothing short of lovely. SONY DSCLove, Brianna

Lord, thank you for this wonderful winter treat!

How We Spent Black Friday.

SONY DSCThe day after Thanksgiving, we loaded up our turkey-and-gravy-stuffed-selves into Grey’s mama’s pickup to go cut down our Christmas tree. …(we don’t waste any time between Thanksgiving and Christmas!) …on to the next holiday! :) I got our bags packed, and Greyson all bundled up because we were going to Grey’s family mountain cabin, and would be spending all day drinking hot cocoa, visiting, and picking out our Christmas trees.SONY DSCSONY DSC Once we got to the cabin, we started the stove so it would be nice and warm when we got back. SONY DSCI had a delicious cup of hot chocolate with those mint chocolate marshmallows. Has anyone else tried those yet?…yum. :) Our sweet boy hasn’t taken a trip to the cabin yet, so we marked how tall he was on next to the doorway off of the kitchen. SONY DSCOnce we got to the Christmas tree grove that Grey’s mama spotted back in October (while deer hunting,) we grabbed our pre-cut little pieces of orange yarn and started marking trees.SONY DSC We figured we would mark all the trees that were candidates for Greyson’s first Christmas tree, then go back and make our decision after we had seen them all. There were a few other families out scouting trees as well. We marked probably about fifteen trees before deciding to go back to one we just knew was “our tree.” Except nothing was left but a little stump.SONY DSC No tree… and no little orange piece of yarn that we placed saying this tree is taken. I guess it doesn’t technically ensure that no one else will chop down a baby’s first Christmas tree, even though they saw us marking the trees….but that’s not the point.

I guess what I’m saying is…Greyson’s first Christmas tree was stolen. I’m assuming by the Grinch…yes the one that stole Christmas. A little part of me still thinks that whoever swiped our tree will come racing down a snowy mountain with a sleigh full of other trees, toys, and even crumbs from Christmas mice on Christmas morning as we joyfully sing about the meaning of Christmas.

…..except we don’t live next to a snowy mountain.SONY DSC

hmmmm…..It seems we were in quite the predicament….

Anyways….We found another tree that was nice, and loaded up (Greyson’s second) Christmas tree. SONY DSC This is how Greyson stayed for most of the day. All wrapped up in his daddy’s coat (either warn by his daddy or Auntie or ummi.) SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC….while we walked back, we playedSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC…and teased SONY DSC…and loved.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC…and enjoyed the pretty outdoorsSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC ….and that’s how we spent black Friday.

Love, Brianna

Our Thanksgiving.

SONY DSCDear Friends,

Happy December. This is the first day of my favorite month, there are so many goodies, happy music, and family gatherings to come. I gladly welcome December every year! 

Last Thursday, we officially closed the harvest season by celebrating Thanksgiving. It was a day of lots of cooking, lots of family, lots of eating, lots of talking, lots of joy, and did I mention lots of eating?SONY DSC

I started the day by baking an apple pie, for Grey’s family gathering later that evening.

Our game plan for the day?…

Grey would spend the day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade at his sister’s house, and resting up for the big Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house later that evening……. While I would make some side dishes at our house, then rush over to help my mama in the kitchen before guests arrived for dinner……After dinner at my parents’ house, we would go to Grey’s sisters’s house, in town, and catch up with his family before driving to the other side of town to have dessert at his Aunt’s mother and father-in-law’s house…..Then we would get back into the car if we could manage to stuff our overly fed bodies into it, and drive home, wishing we didn’t eat as much as we did.

It really was quite simpler than it sounds. ;)

Anyways…My dad started the turkey in the barrel around noonish (I am now convinced this is the best way to make a Thanksgiving day turkey.)SONY DSCSONY DSCJon and Mike were the first ones to show up.SONY DSC As soon as they had arrived, the guys lit the burn pile.SONY DSC…and my bro kept an eye on it for the rest of the evening.SONY DSCInside, my mama and I were getting all of the yummy snacks ready to hold everyone over until dinner was ready.SONY DSC Next, my Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Jon, (who had not met our little man until last Thursday!) Grandma, and Grandpa arrived. They spent some overdue time with our little guy…well…once he woke up from his afternoon nap.SONY DSC 1-image (3)

Taken by Auntie Phyllis
1-image

Taken by Auntie Phyllis


SONY DSCSONY DSCAfter that, there was not a shortage of helping hands to hold, change, love, and keep this little guy busy for the rest of the night. ;)SONY DSCPretty soon more and more family started to trickle in, the sun started to set, and dinner was almost ready. Which meant it was time for me to go pick up Grey.SONY DSCSONY DSC They were carving the turkey when we got back…and opening the champane and sparkling apple cider. SONY DSCSONY DSCDinner needed a few last finishing touches like heating the rolls, toasting the marshmallows on the (best) candied yams, and making sure we had enough silverware.SONY DSC A few of the rolls got a little too warm…SONY DSC….so we re-warmed a new batch.SONY DSCWe filled our plates. Ate. Then filled them again. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCAfter dinner we all gathered around to take the annual Thanksgiving group photo. SONY DSCThen, Grey and I grabbed the apple pie, I baked earlier, and headed to have dessert with Grey’s family.SONY DSCWe took some pictures with Greyson’s other great grandpa and him, which I will be sharing tomorrow on the blog. Then we (meaning I) ate apple pie a la mode to top off another crazy-perfect-ate-too-much-on-Thanksgiving.

Love, Brianna

**Photo Credit to my Auntie who took a handful of these photos and who I probably inherited my “picture taking-ness” from. 

Quinoa with Chickpeas, Sweet Red Pepper, and Spinach

SONY DSCHappy Saturday friends! I hope you are spending the day with family, relaxing, or having some fun. I have a recipe I’d like to share that we made up last week when Grey needed something quick to take to work with him. SONY DSCWe always have quinoa in the house—it’s a staple! So I cooked some up with a little olive oil and black pepper, opened up a can of chickpeas… and dressed it up with some beautiful fresh veggies. SONY DSCGrey was pleasantly surprised, and so was I which is a good thing because we had about 8 servings worth of it…a cup of dried quinoa goes a long way mixed with a bunch of veggies!!SONY DSC

Quinoa with Chickpeas, Sweet Red Pepper, and Spinach

Serves—8 Prep time—15 minutes Cook time—15 minutes+one hour of refrigeration

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1 14.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

6 kalamata olives, minced

2 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

 Directions:

Quinoa according to package directions. Add salt and pepper to taste and one tablespoon of olive oil. Fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir and combine everything well. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Stir again before serving.

 

Dear Greyson

SONY DSCDear Greyson,

You were officially four months old on Tuesday. One third of your first year has already zipped past us. Every month you grow and reveal more of your sweet personality. You are generous with the wide grins, and what your daddy calls “soggs and woggs.”SONY DSC I change your outfit at least three times a day for one reason or another. You are keeping me on my toes, son, and have perfected the art of, dare I say, whining. SONY DSCUnlike previous months you’ll sit in your chair for short periods of time while I do the dishes or make dinner; but let me know your not thrilled about it with little sighs and whimpers. SONY DSCYou’ve become more independent in the area of “tummy-time” this month, and stayed playing on your pad for an entire twelve minutes. ;)SONY DSCWe carved your first pumpkin and experienced your first Halloween during October.SONY DSCSONY DSC When November came around we (didn’t sleep) and got through your first time change. We were up at strange hours during the night, and took naps at strange times during the day in the clean laundry. SONY DSCWe’re still thrown off from our old perfect tubby time at 7:30pm, and bedtime at 8:00pm schedule. Hopefully we’ll get back to it before the time changes back again!SONY DSCOh! One of my favorite parts of this month? I found your tickle spot. SONY DSCUp until now you’ve looked at your daddy and I like we were a couple of crazy monkeys when we tried to have a tickle war with you. Now…well it’s not much of war…but you laugh and laugh until your laughing, but not smiling. Oh, it brings me so much joy.SONY DSC Speaking of joy, Christmas is right around the corner, and even though Thanksgiving is not here yet, we’ve started playing Christmas music around the house…(and I could not help myself, and put up (only!) one strand of lights.) I cannot wait to show you Christmas!SONY DSCYou love all kinds of music, but are especially intent on listening to Christmas music.SONY DSC You bring so much joy to your daddy and I’s heart and make us smile everyday. We are so blessed to be your parents. SONY DSCRemember we love you, and God loves you even more. Your life is, and always will be abundantly blessed.

Love, your Mama.