The Years Last Loveliest Smile

I love the quote, "Fall...the years last loveliest smile."   A couple of days ago I had a day where there were no deadlines, no appointments, no kids to care for...nothing I had to do.  I felt a little lost.  I made myself a cup of tea and looked outside my window.  I couldn't help but feel that the sun pouring in the windows was a gift meant for me.  I decided to go out into the field and sit with my goats and soak up all that fall had left to give me....  Fall is truly the years last loveliest smile.  So of course I grabbed my camera so I could remember the day...


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Happily Ever After Begins Here

A couple of months ago we had the privilege of helping two true west sweethearts with their special day.  Wyatt proposed to Sarah on the ranch with a ring hidden in a stash...and a message on an antler.  We're not sure who "roped" who into this marriage...but for sure their happily ever after has begun!

We wish them many happy days together....and thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!

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Slow Cooker Apple Butter

One of the best aromas ever is a slow cooker full of apples and spice...there is nothing like it, and one of the easiest ways to enjoy the fall smells is by making Slow Cooker Apple Butter. In addition to the crisp fragrance,  nothing tastes more like fall than fresh apple butter. My family loves to eat it on crisp toast, pancakes and even on ice cream.  

All you need to make this simple apple butter is a slow cooker and about 10 to 12 large apples.   My favorite kind to use are Jonathon's...they are perfect mixture of firm, sweet, tart and Granny Smiths are my second favorite.   Wash your apples and peel them.  I like to use my old fashioned apple does the job in a matter of seconds.  I think I found this peeler at Wal-Mart years ago.  

Once the apples are peeled, you can use an apple slicer to slice them into large wedges. Place them in a slow cooker and turn it on to the low setting.

Once the slow cooker is full, add three cups of sugar and four tablespoons of apple pie seasoning.  If you can not find apple pie seasoning, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a mixture you like. 

Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting.  Stir occasionally to mix the spices and sugars through the mixture.   You will have a delicious amount to apple juice that cooks out of the apples over cooking time.  When the time is skim off most of the juice and set aside.  Add two tablespoons of real vanilla extract and mix together.  I like to use an immersion blender to blend the chunks up into a half chunky sauce.  If your mixture is still too thin, cook a little longer in the pot.  (It will thicken ever more in the fridge.)

Once your apple butter is done, you can refrigerate it for up to six weeks or freeze it for up two months.  If you want it to last through the winter,  you can process them in a water bath for 20 minutes and they will keep for a year.  You can find the instructions for the water bath process at the Ball Fresh Preserving Site.

Just imagine a spice filled thick sweet and tart apple sauce in one bite...and you will know why we are crazy for this recipe!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

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Falling Into Love

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year.  Besides the colors, cool weather, and wondrous smells of this season, fall is the time when my husband and I met and married and my birthday!  We recently spent a weekend away in Park City, Utah to celebrate those two family holidays.  It was so beautiful in the mountains, I didn't want to come home and then my son Addison gave me this picture of our backyard.

His eye caught the beauty in my own backyard and I am thankful he took the time to show me again how blessed we are live in this magical place.  

When we were in Park City we traveled over the Alpine Loop and took some beautiful shots of our favorite Aspen trees.  The mountain is covered in them...just begging for a good game of hide and go seek.  You could loose yourself in there for sure!

I found a tree carved for my husband (I promise I didn't carve it) but who ever did ...thank you!  I love him too!!!

We had our 15 year anniversary this year which is a milestone for us because we have been with each other longer than we were with our former spouses.  It is also means more to us because we are both happier and more in love now than when we met!  I am so thankful for Mike and his unfailing love for me and my children...he is my rock and the one my soul loves.  

We love this time of year....and look forward to a long season of "fall"-ing into love again!

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