Monday, January 31, 2011

Barely Making It Monday

I'm writing this on Sunday, as I've just gotten Rotten to sleep and WBH and Stinky are at church. Rotten has a painful, painful lump on his bottom gums ready to bust out a new tooth any day. He wants to be held, usually by me. Life is full of pain and screams for all of us and sometimes I think I'm going to lose my mind.

Last night as I rocked him into the wee hours, I recalled a similar frustration 6 months ago, feeling helpless and frustrated at my huge size and hormones in my ninth month of pregnancy. It's the feeling that motivated the Summer Joy photo series. I've decided to do it again for February- Winter Joy, hopefully to get out of the funk that a sad baby and dreary weather have wrought on me. I Made it Monday, What I Wore Wednesday and Cookie Friday may not be as regular this month, as we hit survival mode with this tiny teething terror. We will be seeking our Winter joy, while we wait for spring.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

"No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future."--Hugh B Brown

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stuff You Should Do This Weekend


Build something huge and awesome.
Visit the zoo (Rotten is going for the first time today!).
Make valentines for someone you don't know.
Eat Cookies

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cookie Friday: Cake Mix Cookies

These are really good when you've got company that surprises you- or if you've just run out of time because you have rambunctious children. Either way, these saved my butt today when I had company for lunch. 3 ingredients make these super simple.

1 box of cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Preheat to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients well. Roll 1 1/2 inch balls and bake on greased cookie sheets for around 10 minutes, or until center is firm. Makes a flat-ish, but very chewy cookie. Use canned frosting to make sandwich cookies or eat as sugar cookies.

Easiest Cookie Friday ever? Yep!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Shadow


I walked up the stairs to change out of pajamas and it wasn't long until I heard another pair of feet tromping up to find me. Stinky walks with the lightness of a rhino, but we always have a warning that he's coming. "Whatcha doin', mommy?" he asked. I told him I was getting dressed so I can tackle the day. He started posing, flexing, and stretching. "I'm going to tackle this day, too," he said as he did a double-bicep flex. "And I will choose my coolest clothes." A red striped polo shirt and blue plaid pajama pants were what he had in mind.

Once I'd settled Rotten into a nap, Stinky became my shadow. He helped me wrap potatoes in foil to bake in the crock pot. He helped pick up laundry and wiped down the table. The last was a surprise to me, as I sprayed it and left to swap the laundry. I came back and found him "tackling the day" on top of the dining table, wiping it down becoming a whole-body workout. What a helper.

I think a kid's favorite toy will always be his mother- even when she's just doing chores. My sweet Stinky shadow reminds me of that- asking to help with the 'gredients when I'm cooking, changing to tackle the day with me. He reminds me that even the daily drudgery of things like wiping tables and doing laundry are a joyful thing, if I can just look at it the right way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday: #4

What? You don't lok this tired when you've done two pediatrician appointments with 8 shots (yowza!), dropped off at preschool, did the Costco run, and hosted a fundraiser on two and a half hours of sleep? Liar... (big thanks to WBH and my mom for all their help that day.) I do like the outfit, though it makes me feel... older.

cardigan: Target, thrifted
blouse: target, clearance
pants: express, thrifted
belt: sister's, stolen (come pry it from my cold, dead, hands)
Wild Things Max necklace: WBH made

errand day
cardigan: Target, thrifted
scarf: Marshall's
jeans: Eddie Bauer, Thrifted
Clutch: Relic, gift

Linking up at The Pleated Poppy today !

Monday, January 24, 2011


brothers and friends

They're becoming best friends. Stinky asks if he can 'babysit' Rotten. He wants to help with him all the time. Blanket time involves both of them and cab go on for half an hour sometimes. Rotten wiggles with delight when he sees Stinky and looks at him with terrifying admiration, as if to say "I can't wait until I can keep up and we can make Mom extra crazy." I know it won't constabtly be wonderful with them, but I love watching the love they have for eachother grow.

I Made it Monday: Superman Coffee Cozy

Stinky sees me making things a lot. Sometimes he'll get in on the act. Say the word "project" in front of him and see how he lights up. He's also reached the peak of new-sibling insecurity. Well, I hope it's the peak. Anyway, he saw me making the birthday bows last week and asked "When will you make something for me?"

Yeah, pardon me while I pull the knife from my back. I promised him the next thing I made would be for him, and he was satisfied. Then I checked out Iron Craft's Week 4 Challenge. Coffee Cozies? In a coffee-free household, for a four year-old, nonetheless. Awesome. Still, I did promise.

Meet Clark Kent's Coffee Cozy:

clark kent's coffee cozy

It's made from felt and embroidery floss, with a pattern for the emblem made from a Superman sticker. I used this template from LittleRedSaid. As he excitedly watched me stitching it, I refused to tell him what it was, only that it was for him. He'll just have to see when he wakes this morning and gets hot chocolate with his breakfast.
I'll admit, making this for him made me feel a little super. Up, up, and away!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

You don't have the power to make rainbows or waterfalls, sunsets or roses, but you do have the power to bless people by your words and smiles... You carry within you the power to make the world better..."--Sharon G. Larsen

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stuff You Should Do This Weekend

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cookie Friday: Oatmeal Raisin (with pudding!) Cookies

(picture coming later)

As I write this, I've just eaten a warm cookie. I can barely type, it's so yummy. Oatmeal raisin cookies are my favorite, and these just take the cake. The pudding adds a great vanilla flavor, and keeps them moist and chewy. Enjoy!

1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 3.5 oz package of vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oats
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Mix in pudding. Hold Raisins aside and mix dry ingredients until a thick dough has formed. Mix in raisins by hand. Drop by 2-in balls on to sprayed cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let me know if you give them a try, or if you've got other suggestions for spices. I'm going to try to hold back on eating another cookie or ten.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Yesterday, the sun shined and I was fantastically productive. Today it is cloudy and I'm working off a headache by snuggling and dreaming of ways to spend the tax return. Vacation? New wardrobe? House remodelling? Of course, we'll be acting responsibly and paying medical bills, but it's nice to dream. What would you do if money were no object?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What We Wore to a Zombie Wedding

This weekend, WBH and I attended a Zombie Wedding. It was awesome. He'd made some of the jewelry for the couple- groom's ring, necklaces for the bride and maid of honor - and we were excited to see how the evening would go. It was great to see how they did it their way and how much of the wedding really was about who they were. It was really fun.
Dress: JCPenny Clearance (best $10 I've spent on clothes)
Sweater: thrifted a million years ago
belt: borrowed from sister
fishnets: Voldemart
shoes: Payless
Hair Clip: TheaStarr
Necklace: WBH Made: See Below

WBH looks pretty hot in his suit and two-toned wing tips, but make sure you don't miss this detail:


Here's the bride's brain necklace, be sure to note the skeletal hand clasp, too. He never ceases to impress me with how skilled and creative he is!


Linking up to What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.

Iron Craft: Bunting Thank You Notes

thank you cards
Have you heard about The Iron Craft blog? It's pretty awesome. Each week all year, they're presenting a craft challenge, and every Wednesday, we upload what we've done. I missed the first two, so I'm jumping in at number three, "Just Bunt." The challenge was to create a bunting of some kind. I needed some thank you cards this week, so I whipped these up with my cricut. If you're crafty, or aspire to be, you should definitely look into their challenges. It's really inspired me!
As an aside, I'm proud and in awe of Stinky, who saw these and said "T-h-a-n-k-s. What does it spell?" Go Stinky!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Letter to my Sons


Boys, there is something I want to make sure you know beyond doubt, and that's how much I love you. I love you more than I love Mountain Dew and Diet Dr. Pepper. I love you more than I love sleep. I love you more than I love those frozen chunks of Strawberry in Dreyer's Ice Cream. You will soon know that I love those three things almost more than life itself. I hope that if you know I love you even more than those three things put together, then maybe you'll have an inkling of how much I love you.

You were prayed for in a way that sometimes makes me wonder if God sent us spirited children because we annoyed him. We went through hard and sometimes scary pregnancies and c-sections to get you here, and those round the top things I've ever done with my life, joining marrying your dad. I am so grateful to be the mother, the person you've made me.

Someday you'll understand the beautiful gift wrapped up in guilt that is parenthood. See, I'm still waiting for my magical cloak of knowledge to fall on my shoulders, but until then... guys, I'm winging it. Unfortunately, sometimes in all this trial and error, I really blow it. I lose my cool or interfere when I should step back. I sleep too late, then let you watch too much TV or forget that your diaper needs changing until you've blown out the sides. I forget that it's lunchtime until halfway through church and you're acting up and I don't know why.

For all my flaws, my screw ups, the ways that I can really drop the ball, I hope I get more things right than wrong. I see glimmers of hope for that in Stinky's creativity and affection for his little brother. I see it in the way Rotten screams/cries/laughs with relief when he sees me after being watched by someone else, or collapses into sleep in my arms the minute someone hands him back when he's screaming. I hope that I have something to do with those things. Then again, maybe I just got lucky.

Maybe someday you two will commiserate that it's a miracle you made it out alive, but I'm crossing my fingers that stays my little secret.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Made it Monday: Pretty Knit Bows

These bows were a gift for a sweet friend turning two this week. Knit in seed stitch from cotton and cotton/acrylic blends, they're mounted on clips and looked so sweet in her golden curls. I think they look a bit like something the girls from Peanuts would wear. Wouldn't they be right at home in Frida's "Naturally curly hair?" I'll definitely be making more.

What did you make this week?

participating in:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love.

Thomas S. Monson

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cookie Friday: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (or 3 preschooler handfuls) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first four ingredients well, then slowly add in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Drop by tablespoon onto greased cookie sheets. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Let me know if you give them a try!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"I learned it from watching you!"

When I was small, my mother tells me, I was coloring in a high chair, and dropped my crayon. She says I dropped a phrase that rhymes with "cram it" and cheerfully continued coloring. When asked where I learned that word, I told her "Daddy!"

Playing Wii with Uncle Bubba this weekend, Stinky dropped a few choice words. After regaining my composure (I confess that find swearing children SO amusing, because you know for most swearing children, there are two mortified parents. Yes, I was simultaneously mortified and amused), we had a talk, and he's only slipped up once since. Unfortunately, I know that the blame is as likely to fall on me as it is on anyone else. So, I find myself much more aware of the language I use around him*.

Now, my conversations with other adults have definitely changed, and it's probably for the better, even if they do sound a little silly. Here are a few examples from the weekend, when a dear friend told me about some hurt she'd experienced:

"Seriously? That makes me so mad, I want to put a curled up hand through the front of his cranium."
"Don't worry about it. I've accepted that it wasn't my problem that he's a word that sounds like mustard."

I'm starting to sound like I'm playing a game of Taboo when I'm frustrated. Of course, I should be better at censoring myself than even that, but I'll get there. Hopefully, it will be before kindergarten.
*WBH also takes his share of the blame after playing many hours of Epic Mickey while he was sick. It's a 50/50 thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday: Plague Edition

A plague hit my house this last week and hung on for dear life. I kid you not, we were pretty miserable. Except for Stinky. He was full of health and energy and I found myself wishing that he was sick, just so he'd slow down.

So, the outfit you see below was worn no less than three times this week. It is embarassing to admit, but it's true. It was washed at least once in there, so I can take some solace in that.

Hat: Knit by me
sweatshirt: Eddie Bauer
sweats: Old Navy
shoes: Costco

For church I did a little better, I think. Like my styling bead necklace? It's a one of a kind, Stinky Original.

Sweater: Thrifted, Old Navy
Skirt: Marshalls
Necklace: made by Stinky

We're finally all feeling better, so here's hoping for a better week, with another wedding outfit thrown in. It gets better- it's a ZOMBIE WEDDING.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Girl

There is something about a sister. You can say horrible things to each other, you can steal shamelessly from their wardrobe, you can make fun of her having a badonkadonk that rivals Jennifer Lopez, and you know that the two of you will still love each other. I have two sisters in my family, and while I have done all of the above to them (and they have done the same to me- except for the badonkadonk, that's reserved for middle sister), and we all still love each other very much.
Middle Sister ditched her yeti of a boyfriend earlier this year and decided to serve a mission for our church. She found out two days before Christmas that she will be leaving the nest for a year and a half to live in Campinas, Brazil. "OH MY GOSH, you guys, I'm not even upset!" she shouted.
I'm so proud of her, and excited for the changes and blessings this will bring for her. I'll be starting a blog to keep her friends and family updated while she's gone.... and I am going to steal every scrap left in her closet before her plane leaves the ground.
So, to Middle Sister, my Irma Ginger, I say "You'll be swell! You'll be great! Your red pumps and brown knee-high boots aren't good for walking and Little Sister's feet are too big anyway!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Made it Monday: Jayne Cobb Hat

Tealah introduced us to Firefly earlier this year- that series was too short-lived. We really enjoyed it, though, and when it came time to make Christmas presents, a hat inspired by Jayne Cobb seemed like a great option. Now I'm making another for her roommate as part of the Facebook Pay it Forward craft trend this year. It never crossed my mind that WBH actually kind of resembled Jayne, until I had him pose for this picture.

For the story of the hat, check out this video:

Happy Monday! Did you make anything this weekend?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

Please don't nag yourself with thoughts of failure. Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort.

Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You're the Inspiration

Stinky's hands kneading some dough- a favorite picture from the holidays.

I received an amazing e-mail from a friend this week. She thanked me for writing what I do here, letting me know it inspired her. During a hard week of illness running like a racehorse through our family, it made my ever-loving day and almost made me do the ugly cry. I'm not trying to brag here, or fish for compliments, honestly. It's just that I don't know that I do that enough- thanking the people who inspire me with the things they do. I'll be spending sometime this weekend working on that.

Who is inspiring you? Have you let them know lately? Because you might make them do the ugly cry. Just sayin'.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cookie Friday: Mexican Chocolate Brownie Recipe

I didn't get pictures of these! I'm sorry, but they don't look too different than your typical brownie. Stinky asked to make brownies yesterday, and I'd been contemplating something like this since coming to love Mexican Hot Chocolate. Then he asked to take some to his teacher, and I couldn't deny him that. Anyway, here's my recipe, adapted from one I found on epicurious. Enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

1/3 cup butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 pan. Melt butter in sauce pan on low, then add chocolate chips. As chocolate melts, mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Crack and wisk eggs in a separate bowl. Wisk in melted chocolate to dry ingredients and then wisk in eggs. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a piece of spaghetti poked into the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool, and enjoy! Let me know if you try them!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

in a rather undignified position.

The boys enjoying movie night with their cousin. I'm completely in love with this picture.

This summer we went to the zoo in the morning as soon as they opened. This, by the way is the very best time to go to the zoo. You eat breakfast in the car, there are no crowds for all of the good exhibits, you can see the zoo keepers at work, and you can be done by lunchtime. One of the things we saw was a muskox being traquilized so an injury could be examined. We watched her, the little pink tail of the dart sticking out of her rump, fight to maintain her composure and carry on as normal, then stagger to a rock structure and lean for a while. A few moments later, one of the staff said "...and she's going down." Then, down she went, collapsing to the ground in a rather undignified position.

I've felt some empathy for the muskox in the last few weeks. Don't get me wrong, the holidays were wonderful. Last weekend was one of the most successful weekends with the boys that we've had in a long time. There's just been so much going on that today, I find myself leaning on the nearest structure, waiting to collapse to the ground in a rather undignified position.

When WBH goes back to work after vacation, there's always a pout day, and today is the one. I sort of putter around the house, wishing he was home and we could do something fun. I'm not out of my pajamas, neither are the boys and it's past lunch time. I'm tired and I just want to get back into my warm, fluffy bed.

Fortunately, my boys snap me out of it. Stinky stacks his red blocks over his eyes and yells "laser eyes! laser eyes!" I give a performance normally reserved for LARP-ers, and Rotten laughs at me hysterically. We do this over and over again. Laying on the ground, I realize that I've done it. I've collapsed to the ground in a rather undignified position- and I'm totally recharged. As it turns out, dignity is totally overrated.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday #2

I really liked the motivation that doing this one gave me last week to not wear sweatpants all the time, so I think I'll keep trying this WIWW out. Let's start with the bad:

Church this week. Right as we needed to leave, WBH pointed out that my new shirt was a little low for church if I'd be standing around anything but children and munchkins (one of the benefits of marrying a tall man...). So this completely unflattering ensemble was reminiscent of Nanny from The Muppet Babies. Lesson learned, ladies- have your husband check out your chest before the moment you're walking out the door.

Cardigan: thrifted
Shirt: thrifted
skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: hand-me-downs from little sister (does that make them hand-me-ups?) wore these because the parking lot has been icy. weather, please heat up so the heels can come back, please.

It gets a little better (hey look, she colored her hair and it makes her look less tired...)

grateful I wore slacks at a wedding reception, where I had to chase Stinky.
top: eddie bauer
tank: costco
slacks: limited, thrifted
booties: thrifted
necklace, bracelet: made by me
hey, waist, remember when I had you? Maybe you can make a comeback this year?

New Year's Eve with Family
Top: Target
Tank: Costco
Jeans: Volde-mart
Scarf : made by me

This may have been Christmas Day. I remember because it's the first day I'd seen my sister in a while- she works at the mall.
Tank: Hand-Me-Down
Sweater: Thrifted, Target
Jeans: Thrifted, Eddie Bauer
Booties: Thrifted
Pin: Made by Me
Well, now I'm inspired to do better next time! Hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

30 before 30 : December 4th to January 4th

One month down. It was a busy one with holidays, family visits, and best of all, WBH home on vacation. So, what did I get done from my mega-list?

  • Read Northanger Abbey
  • Read 4 books (Northanger Abbey, plus the Hunger Games trilogy)

  • Faked some button holes on bibs I sewed, because I didn't have time to learn to use the attachment. Will figure that out later- but it's progress!

  • Read 80 pages in the Book of Mormon

  • Made marshmallows

  • Lost four pounds (and gained 1.5 back. Merry Christmas!)

  • Exercised. Once, but I have plans to exercise today- does that count?
  • Tried to post 7 days a week. I didn't always make it, but I doubled up a few that made up for it.

  • Saw an increase in blog traffic- thanks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Made it Monday: Marshmallows

Cross one off the list, I made marshmallows on Thursday night. They're fantastic, and more dense than store-bought. They make hot chocolate divine. I used this recipe from Our Best Bites, and it was pretty simple. It requires a lot of attention though, so you'll want to have an extra set of hands for your kiddos when you give it a try. Let me know if you make them- I'm sure you'll love them.
Shared today at Skip To My Lou

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done.

Richard G. Scott

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January's Header

Happy New Year! Have you sifted through the endless list of facebook statuses wishing you a happy new year yet?

I really like this month's header. As you can see, I get to cross something off my list, but more on that later. Hope you like it!