Thursday, April 17, 2008


our beautiful girl

We woke up on Saturday to the most gorgeous day of the year, by far. 70 degrees, perfectly sunny, the mountains sparking in the distance- just gorgeous. It was one of those days where we felt the need to spend every waking minute possible outside. We decided to head up north- just the 3 of us- to the annual "tulip festival". we had never taken Zara before and knew she would enjoy the fields of colorful flowers.

It was just a good day to be together- being outdoors, breathing fresh air, observing all the beauty that surrounds us, enjoying moments with each other. A day I felt grateful to be alive and experiencing the good gifts of this world.

Friday, April 04, 2008

30th Birthday Fun

I had the best 30th birthday....wasn't sure how I would feel as I left my 20's....but with the help of my dear friends and my amazing husband, I felt celebrated and loved and so thankful for all the blessings my life holds. Zach planned such a fun weekend for me, starting with 3 of my college friends flying in to Seattle to surprise me for the weekend. We had a great time of reconnection and just being together. He planned the best birthday party I've ever had.....close friends, great food, sweet time of sharing, and dancing until 2am!!! I had such a wonderful night and feel overwhelmed with the love that is in my life.

Jen, Rachel and Mandi surprise me for the weekend!

My siblings sharing a funny poem they wrote for me!

Kind words from friends

Thanks Zach!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

making up for lost time

There's been a lot of absence from us Rupps on this blog. I'm going to try and make up for it with a massive amount of pictures. We'll see how it works out. I guess you can let us know. You can consider this a brief look at our last three months.

These past months have been filled with much joy and much challenge. Lots of time spent with friends and family doing fun things; and lots of time considering what may be next for us. School is quite consuming for me (zach) these days, and I'm looking forward to the term being over in a month.

Amanda continues to progress well in her pregnancy--we'll find out the sex of the kid in a couple weeks. Zara is certain that it will be a girl--actually she refuses to believe that there is even a possibility that it may be a boy. She believes that to be a biological impossibility.

ok-here's some pictures... descriptions underneath each picture.

My parents and Zara around Christmastime

Downtown Chicago with our friends Drew and Rachel

Drew, Rachel, and their dog Norm

Our friend Lynette

Zara wearing her "I'm the big sister" shirt

Zara and her favorite doll Lilly

Zach and Zara on a hike at Discovery Park in Seattle

Zara and her friend William being crazy

Our friends Ben, Mel, Jaya, and Sasha Parsons (with us in Colorado)

Zach and Zara drinking hot chocolate in Colorado

Amanda and Steph skiing in Colorado

Our friends Ryan and Elaine. Zach went on an igloo-building expedition with them.

Zara in Florida last week

Zara in Florida

Zara in Florida

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

snow angel

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our delicious dinner....

I'm blessed to have a husband that really likes to cook in general and I love this about him. And while I enjoy his cooking throughout the year, something happens at thanksgiving where he pulls out this hat of master gourmet chef extraordinaire.....this is the second thanksgiving that zach has taken over and planned, and when i say "taken over" i mean it....the recipes were top secret even to me and i had to snoop really hard to find them in the secret chef folder this year!! there is a system to this event and there is no messing with it- a group of us tackle the shopping for this meal, with the chef in charge handing out alphabetized grocery lists to each of us and sending us on our way to find items, some of which were really difficult just to pronounce! preparation for the meal takes place on the day before thanksgiving and most of the morning of.....each of us at chopping stations preparing parts of the meal and getting everything organized and ready. it is a labor of love, and a fun one at that!

the menu this year was a huge hit, once again, and we all gladly nominate zach to be in charge of whatever meal he pleases. now, for the unveiling of the menu....
Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider
Velvety Butternut/Acorn Squash Soup
Potato/Sour Cream Biscuits
Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon with Pecorino-Black Pepper Breadsticks (the only culinary disaster of the day....I was in charge of this one and added baking soda to the dough instead of baking powder, causing me to take one bite, spit it in the trash, and promptly dump the whole tray in with it....oh well!)

Classic Herb Roasted Turkey with Gravy
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with herb infused olive oil (i think these won the #1 delicious!)
Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnut Lemon Butter
Sweet Potato Casserole - topped with a yummy streusel and marshmallows, of course
Cranberry/Apricot Sauce
Herb Stuffing

Pear Crisp with Oat Streusel Topping
The classic Pumpkin Pie with home-made cinnamon/vanilla whip cream (i'll take the credit for this one!)

and for our after dinner drink, which ended up being a next day drink since we were all so stuffed we couldn't imagine putting one more thing in our mouth....
Banana foster punch- this is basically a drink inspired by the classic dessert of rum drenched carmelized bananas topped with ice cream, only it was all blended up into a beautifully rich dessert drink....yum, yum, yum!!!
now, aren't you impressed???
I sure am.

the cute cousins relaxing together after the big meal


I love thanksgiving. I love the food, and the long weekend, and of course the pumpkin treats. But most of all i love the simplicity of the holiday and the idea that the whole holiday is about being together. my parents and sister came into town for the week, so all of us were together and had lots of time to enjoy each other, the kids, and the relaxed pace of the calm before the christmas storm hits. my sister and i decided it would be fun to plan a Thanksgiving fun run/walk for any of our friends that were still in town. we met at greenlake and walked/ran the 3 mile loop together Thanksgiving morning. it was such a fun way to start the day.

it happened to be a gorgeous, sunny, cold week in seattle and being out in the sunshine with friends and family and lots of other people just enjoying each other reminded me of all i have to be thankful for. thanks to all our friends who came out to our 1st Annual Fun Run....we will definitely have to do it again next year!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

treat filled day....

I literally think today was like a dream come true for Zara....I mean, come on.....getting to dress up like a fairy princess and go out of our house....carrying around a bucket and knocking on doors and just being given candy after candy, just for asking!?....her mom not caring how much candy she ate because what the's just once a year, right??
She LOVED it.....
she loved dressing up, and twirling around, and saying trick or treat, and being with her friends, and waving her fairy wand and just the whole thing. she really loved it.
and i loved watching her- the enjoyment she felt made me so happy as well. and being with our friends and family and their kids and just taking part in all of it together ....ahhh....what fun memories.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In the fall spirit....

We've been loving fall....the colors, the crisp days, and especially the pumpkin recipes!!! This time of year i go crazy about pumpkin......i wait all year for it's arrival on the scene....pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin curry, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip!!! Pumpkin Dip is one of my fall favorites and i thought i would share the recipe here. It is super easy and super tasty and may make you a little bit famous among your circle of friends....It is best served with apples, a perfect fall afternoon snack or a great addition to a fall party or buffet.....Seriously, you should try it....


3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
24 apple slices

Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add the pumpkin and brown sugar and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple. Enjoy!!