Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Time!

We had Christmas at my parents house this year.  It was pretty amazing.  It was fun to see Isla's face when she opened some of her gifts! These are just the pics from my parents camera, I will post more from my phone when I get home :)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More than just a pretty face

Turns out there's more to this handsome man than beautiful brown locks and big brown eyes.  He came home just as I was publishing my last post, and for some reason I was crying.  I can't help it.  Maybe I'm too dramatic, but I like to think of it as being passionate ;)
He sat me down and listened and sympathized and offered really good advice and insights.  We ended up blaming my mom for most of my problems (haha) and talked about how I'm not the only one who gets discouraged.  He told me that he was sure Heavenly Father was pleased with my efforts, and that I do need to recognize my weaknesses, but take them with patience and optimism.  I was taking steps back, not forward.  Another thing we recognized was how I do a lot of things out of fear.  Fear should never be a motivating factor (using the Lord as an example again) it should be out of LOVE. 
I really felt better, and as I was doing my 14 day walk with Christ packet I answered the question about trusting the Lord and calling upon him with this:
"I feel like I trust him when things are really difficult and I don't understand why at the time, but on day to day things like I posted about  I don't call upon him for the mundane because for some reason I think I should be able to figure it all out on my own...BUT, I am working on it.  I will keep a prayer constantly in my heart, and trust his guidance especially with the day to day.  I feel better about the direction I am going and I am optimistic about the future."  

P.S. My mom called and said it was probably all her fault. Ha! Turns out the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.  I assured her my faults were my own, and she is amazing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If a had a therapist, this is what I'd say :)

So I know the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, but what's the next step? And the step after that?  I can't stand a dirty house.  I will stay up cleaning, and I literally cannot relax until my list of a million things is done...and my house is clean.  Then, I get really stressed out and I crash, and I'm mean.  The only thing worse than being too hard on yourself is being too hard on others, (especially those you love) and to tell you the truth I'm guilty!  I took this picture, because I wanted to embrace the fact that I didn't clean the living room before Isla took her nap.  I sat down with a book, and tried to read but couldn't, and got up and cleaned and took the burners off the stove and scrubbed the oven too.  WHAT is wrong with me??? 

 I listened to the Christmas Devotional and after hearing Pres. Uchtdorf"s talk I promised myself I would focus on Christ and not be crazy this year.  I even got a packet of 14 days of scriptures to read about Christ with questions to ponder.  I've only done 1!!! Tim reeeeaaaaaalllly wanted to put together treats for the neighbors and family and he wanted 5 different things in them.  After fighting all night Sunday I agreed with his promise to help clean-up.  He did help, but the next day I still had to make one more batch of brownies, and go grocery shopping, to the post-office, cut and wrap all the treats and clean a disaster of a kitchen.  It completely wore me out.  Never again. 
 Do we even know this many people?
I made caramels, marshmellow nut clusters, and batch of brownies.  Tim made mint brownies by default because I burnt the crap out of my hand stirring his peanut butter fudge (which he made totally on his own except for me stirring while he sprayed the pan with butter.)
I'm sorry but next year everyone is getting only marshmellow nut clusters, or I'm just buying boxes of chocolates! Ha!

Anyway, my soul really has been heavy. I want to simplify, but I feel like I'm fighting my own self to find balance.  I guess it's a process...and yes, I'm very much aware of it so that's something, right? 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Blah Blah

                                      Isla played dress-up with Grace (cousin) they were best-friends
                                                                   Rainbow Gardens
So I don't really want to re-hash Thanksgiving because it was a super hard couple weeks full of Isla and I being sick and throwing up at Tim's parents in Price while he worked 14-18hrs a day at the Huntington Power plant because something blew-up.  Then we had crazy windstorm '11 in Bountiful and played the waiting game to go home because we didn't have power.  Then we got the ok, but really our house still didn't have power, so I called my Aunt and Uncle who just live in the Avenues by the Capitol if we could stay there.  They were so kind even though Karl was leaving to Mexico and Denise was expecting company the next day! So we packed up and headed to my parents and came home Sunday when the power FINALLY came on! Our house was freezing, yet all our food in the fridge was spoiled! Yuck. Anyhoo not my most favorite memories, but visitng family was great! I feel closer to Tim's mom and my sis-in-law now, and I had a great chat with my Aunt and Uncle, and my parents got to see Isla (they were missing her).  Another great thing, is that Isla has turned a new leaf.  I guess being packed around to 70 different places in two weeks made her a bit more easy-going! Ha! She has been really good since we got home...not as needy! Anyhoo, I met my mom and 2nd cousin at Rainbow Garden the other day and had a great time then Debbie (Tim's mom) watched Isla while we went to "round two" of the Forgotten Carols.  Best. Day. Ever.  I love the mundane now too.  No more craziness for me please.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The joys of motherhood

In my world of blogging I like to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Today you're going to get a little from each category!
So to preface, I have to tell you that Isla has been getting her "eye" teeth that right? Anyhoo, it's been about 2 months of screaming at me everytime I leave the room or try and go to the bathroom, and I'm not allowed to shower! Ha! She is super sensitive and needy anyway and this has intensified since teething. We have our good days and bad days.  Well, this day I was pushed to the limit, so I decided to just get in the tub and she could yell at me all she wanted.  I got in and she waddled to her room and played all by herself.  I was amazed! I enjoyed that soak! I got out to find that she had gotten in her garbage pail and opened up her diapers all over her room! AHH! As I was cleaning that up she went into the bathroom and unrolled the toliet paper. AHH! So I got that cleaned up. Then I noticed a wet spot every time she sat down...she exploded up to her armpits and I was once again going to have to mop up her room and get her in the tub! AHH!  So we got that cleaned up, and I went downstairs to put her poopy clothes in the wash, and Morgan aka Devil Cat had tipped over some fabric Christmas trees I just finished for my mom that were made using spilt peas...yep! Peas all over the carpet and one broken Christmas tree! When I saw that I really didn't know if I should laugh or cry! I sat on the floor while Isla screamed at the top of the stairs and thought, "I must need some refining!"  I needed more patience, love and understanding.  Isla didn't feel well, and it's not her fault.  I can spare a little more time each day holding her and reading to her. My house doesn't have to share hospital grade cleanliness every day, and the Lord can help whenever I ASK.  So, now with the help of the Lord, I'm trying to have more charity towards my FAMILY!! I had been praying for charity, but forgetting it matters most within the walls of my own home. I love being a mommy.  I love seeing Isla's little face each morning and kissing her soft cheeks.  I love how she dances to anything with a beat, and how she is constantly trying to do whatever Tim and I are doing.  I would be lost without my little Isla, and for sure without the help of the Lord, and my Tim! I love them all!  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guilt-Free Banana Bread

I felt I had to redeem myself from the whole "I eat chocolate cupcakes" post! Ha! I love banana bread, and I want to eat it without feeling guilty, AND I really do try and eat pretty healthy, I just have an addiction to baking, so I'll stop this run-on sentence and let you in on my guilt-free banana bread!

P.S. My friend Katie Berry was talking about doing a recipe-swap blog, so here's my entry.  If anyone has any recipes they love please post them! I'm always looking for a new great recipe, or if you have found ways to make yummy things more healthy!!


1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup honey

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablsp. unbleached flour (more protien, less chemically processed)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 medium bananas


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, or I do 2 pans that are a bit smaller, so my loaves aren't as big...Portion control!!!

2. In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and honey. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Then add the mushy banana's and mix.  I like lumps, so just mix until it looks good to you :) Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the mixture. Finally, fold in the greek yogurt and walnuts. I like to save some walnuts to sprinkle on top too.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan(s).

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If you are doing 2 loaves, cook for about 23-30 mins.  Cool loaf or loaves in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

                        The cute little calf I bought at the fair! Ha! She LOVED her costume, because loves cows!
                                                               She mooed all night long!

I wish I could say this was Tim's halloween costume!  He said he wanted to be warm this winter, since he'll be working outside.  What a bum! Literally.  For some reason I still love him...A lot!

                       My neighbor Jamie is this Marilyn Monroe-ish lady who is single and from California.  She told Tim when we moved in that she loved Halloween. Yep, she sure does!  I about died laughing when I came home one day and her yard was like this!  I totally didn't see it coming!! Happy Halloween!

Cupcake Recipe

I meant to do this 100yrs ago, but got busy.  Here's the recipe I used for the cupcakes!

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

2 cupssugar

1-3/4 cupsall-purpose flour

3/4 cupHERSHEY'S Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoonsbaking powder

1-1/2 teaspoonsbaking soda

1 teaspoonsalt

2 eggs

1 cupmilk

1/2 cupvegetable oil

2 teaspoonsvanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.


ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

So Cold...Need a-a-a cupcake!

So remember that really cold day we had last week where it snowed in the mountains, and all over Idaho Falls? (hehe) Well, I had no idea how to turn the heater on, and we still had air-conditioning units in our windows for crying in the petunias!! So...did I curl up in a ball on the floor and cry? Well only for like 10 minutes, and then I BAKED!! Turning on the oven really only heated the house up to 65, but Isla and I were in sugar comas when Tim got home, so we were feeling pretty good! Ha!
My sis-in-law and I have had troubles baking this specific chocolate cake, so I wondered if the recipe would make good cup-cakes, and I'm happy to say they did!! Then I took it a step further and did a buttercream filling and a chocolate ganache on top with the signature hostess swirl. I'll kinda post pics on how I did it since it was mostly experimental, and it worked!

Cut a cone-shape out of the top and then cut off the point (and EAT it! If you want :)

Pipe frosting, *After Thought* I was thinking of mixing in some

marshmallow creme, huh huh? into into the hole (for lack of a better word)

Put the top back on...

Then coat with chocolate ganache, and pipe the swirls on top and you have a fabulous cupcake!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Price N' Punkins

We went to Price for Conference, and had a wonderful time catching up with Nanie, Poppy, Ben and Kim and the kids! Isla loved seeing all the animals of course, and Saturday evening we went to a Pumpkin Patch! (Put a blind eye to the fact that she's wearing the same outfit in this post as the last! Ha) We had a great time listening to the Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and his apostles. How blessed we are to have a living Prophet on the earth especially at these crazy times!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I know, I know it's been a while!

We finally got the computer set-up and since I can't update my blog from my phone it has been a while!! I feel like I have very few moments to blog, but I'm going to try and change that because I love how it documents my (and especially Isla's) life.
So two great things happened this week:
a) I went to Rainbow Gardens with my sister Chelsea and Isla. I used to go there all the time with my mom and Grandma Hodges. My grandma died when I was 10, and I had only been there a couple of times after that with my mom. (I think it has been about 14yrs since I've been there!)When we walked into the Garden restaurant I almost started crying because it was exactly like I remembered it and it brought back some tender memories.
b.) Isla is finally starting to try walking!! Yes, I have a 16month toddler who doesn't walk! She just wasn't ready until now I guess! She is learning a lot. She knows all her body parts, she can put together foam puzzles (like the one my Aunt Denise gave me :) and she does her shape sorter and animal sounds and can say "cookie"! Ha! I love her to pieces!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

For the next 3 years...

Load the car and write the note,
Grab your hat, and grab your coat
Tell the ones that need to know...
That we are headed south.

One foot in and one foot back
but it don't pay to live like that.
So I cut the ties and I jump the tracks
For never to return?

Bountiful is our new home for the next 3 years. I am excited? Yes that's a question, I'm still not quiet sure. I can't even begin to express how much I loved Idaho Falls! I think I decided that was home, and where we would raise our kids. We have so many wonderful friends there, and the best ward on the planet! I will miss it all tremendously! Thank you all for making us feel so loved!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


So I've always wanted to run a marathon, and Laura Benson (the girl pictured below...which was taken almost 10yrs. ago at my friends wedding. She's gonna love it! Ha) challenged me to one. Well, after having Isla I've had stomach issues, so Kari Evans, another good friend of mine told me about a half marathon coming up & I though I'd better try that first....And TIM did it too!! WOOT WOOT! I am so proud of him! He really didn't train that much, and had shin splints real bad, and sprained his ankle a couple of weeks before, but he did it! I got horrible stomach pains at 12.5 miles! No kidding! Luckily a girl behind me saw me slowing down, and challenged me to run through the pain to the finish, and I did! I wanted to finish in under 2 hours, but made it to 2hrs. 9mins. Ahhh! Maybe next time. I'm still not sure I'm marathon material!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feelin the Pull

Well, I'm headed back to pack a bag to head out on the road to take away what I know is mine. And I'm running down past the yellow house with Tim into the breeze where no one seems to care. And I'm feeling the's dragging me off again.

Crazed face of freedom! We dropped Isla off at my parents house and ran away to SLC.

Ate delicious food. I know it's cliche but we went to Cheesecake factory and Market Street Grill. We like what we like! This is Tim below enjoying his chowder!

We brought a cake back from Tulie Bakery. Don't you love this pic? It was super delicious delicious! We had the best time ever!! We went to the SL Temple, and a movie while we were there! We basically just enjoyed being together. It's been way to long! Ha!

Memorable Memorial

We went golfing at Summit Creek in Smithfield, nice view! It was raining and cold, but totally worth it! Then....

We decided to get the whole freakin neighborhood stuck in our backyard! Travis brought up his roadbike that he could only load by backing up into my parents ditch, but it had filled with water. So he got stuck. Then my dad got stuck. Then the tractor got stuck. WHAT? My uncle Karl was doing circles around them in his Subaru, but sadly could not help. My aunt Denise kept saying "No woman would ever get in this situation!" Amen to that Denise! Ha!

They eventually had to bring in the big guns... The dual wheel tractor with four wheel drive. Whoops! Thanks Brent!

Sad to say my parents back yard is completely torn up. It made my stomach hurt to watch! Oh well, nothing that can't be fixed! Good luck with that one dad!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Isla's Lucky Day

Today we went on a Sunday walk, and we saw missionaries, kitties, puppies, and for the grand finale....dun-dun-dun-dun...Miniature horses!! We got to go inside the trailer and pet the baby! Holy cow! Isla was going nuts, seriously a really great day!
She's in her jammies because she just got out of the tub.....then played in a horse trailer! Ha! Oh well!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birthday Pictures

I had to post this one because a.) I love it b.) This is totally Isla

I feel like this blog is one of my children and I'm a bad mother! Ha! It's just that I happen to love Isla more, so this one gets neglected. I do have pictures to share, from Stevie Croft though! Isla had a hard time warming up to the camera, so I posted the ones that looked like she didn't hate us for making her wear ridiculous things! I just love my little Isla without end!!!