Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's!!!

Now about New Year's Resolutions - I actually go against the grain and I don't make them.

Why, you may ask?

For a couple of reasons.

1. They're the same every year - lose weight, manage money better, live in the moment, be more crafty, appreciate the home and things I have, etc.

2. If I fail, then I have regrets.

3. I think that having goals are a very important, and productive, part of life. I don't think they should be made only at the start of a new year, but rather all year long.

Thus, I look at the New Year as a new beginning. The start of a new day. A fresh year to being new things, and to be a better person. No resolutions for me - just the start of a fresh year to make it whatever I choose.

Monday, December 28, 2009

8 Years to My Captain Moroni

July 2001 brought Jared and I together.

We were sitting in the San Diego temple, waiting with a youth group to do baptisms for the dead.

The temple president came in and started talking to the youth.

He told the girls that someday, they could be there with their very own Captain Moroni, to be sealed for time and all eternity.

Jared squeezed my hand.

8 years ago today, I was married to my Captain Moroni. It says so on the inside of his wedding band.

Long ago, Jared and I decided that we wouldn't do anniversary gifts. Instead, we go away every year for an overnight trip, and we take turns planning. This year was Jared's turn.

We stayed in a sweet hotel, and ate at the Cheesecake factory.

And we went to the temple.

And Jared squeezed my hand.

I love him.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas came and went.

I'm lame and didn't take any pictures.

But know that it was fun.

Really fun.

Low key, good food, and fun.

(Kinda glad it's over, but looking forward to next year.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009


James is now on big boy food! He won't touch the rice cereal, and hardly has the patience for pureed food. I'm not making a big deal of it, because I don't want him to correlate spoon = bad stuff. So for now, he gets about 3 bites in and then is done. Little by little!

Any advice?

(Doesn't he look so sweet in that high chair??)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gender Confusion

Yes, that is Sariah in James' onesie and pants.

No, her hair isn't brushed.

Yes, she is happy as a clam.

No, her mother doesn't care one whit that she's not in her own clothes.

(For the record, I think it's funny.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Piano Bench

This was the most frustrating, messy project EVER.

But...I conquered Modge Podge, and I'm proud of it.

Piano Bench BEFORE:

Piano bench AFTER:

Next: A family rules chart. You're not going to want to miss this!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just today Sweet Boy, Please?

My dear sweet boy,

I know you love your mom. You love her so much that sometimes you won't let dad help.

I know dad's not as soft and squishy (literally) as I am.

I know dad smells different than I do.

I know dad doesn't hold you the same way I do when he feeds you.

I know dad plays a little different, and talks a little different than me.

But dad loves you just as fiercely as I do.

But today, son, I have a 102 degree fever.

I am throwing up, among other things. I will gladly spare you the details.

Dad has stayed home from work to help because I don't even have the stamina to pick you up out of your crib.

So just today, will you please let dad take care of you? If you do this one thing for me, I know I will be better tomorrow.

I just know it. And I know you will help me, because you are such a sweet boy, and you love me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I think it's time to cut James' nails.

Book Club

Once a month, I get together with a group of my girlfriends for Book Club. Sometimes we read the book, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we talk about the book, but most of the time we don't. We gab, we eat, we tell stories, we laugh, we enjoy one another.

We don't have rules for our bookclub. You can still come if you miss a month. You can still come even if you don't read the book. There's no invite-only list, no expectations, no stress, nothing. Just fun. I've even gone in my sweats, just so I could get out of the house and be with my girls!

With that said, have you ever been to someone's house that is completely spic-n-span, even with lots of little kids? Doesn't it make you feel like you're doing something wrong? If you've ever been to my house during the day, you will immediately know that I have little kids. I pick up once a day, in the evening, and clean once a week. That's good enough for me!

So for those of you coming tonight - I promise to pick up the toys and vacuum up the crumbs off the living room floor. I promise that my shelves will be dusted, and my Christmas decorations are all in order. But please excuse the bare walls because I'm in the process of re-decorating.

I promise that the "guest" bathroom will be clean. Even though we have a potty-training child, there will be no pee spots on the seat or on the floor. There will be toilet paper on the roll, and you will have a clean towel to try your hands on. But, it may be pink or green or another child-friendly color. Oh, and the bathroom is decorated in frogs.

And, I promise that my kitchen will be picked up. No dishes in the sink. No crumbs, band-aids, spilled formula, or any other annoyances on the floor. And, I promise that it will be filled with warm, sweet, salty, and yummy treats to eat while we enjoy each other's company.

Can't wait to see you all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The annual Wilkes' baking day has been set!

The menu is organized.

Sugar cookies. 7 layer bars. Fudge. Hershey Kiss cookies. Lemon bars.

Gab, sisters, friends, fun.

Saturday can't come quick enough!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Clones and Scooters

What would life be like if you had a clone? Just ask my love - our little boy is his clone.

What would life be like if all you had to worry about was where life was going to take you on a scooter? Just ask Sariah - her Saturday was filled with "going to work," and "running errands."

Butter Churners

Macaroni and cheese. Top Ramen. Cereal. PB&J. Anything processed, or made from a box.

These are many of the memories I have from living with 4 other girls in a tiny apartment in college. No money and living away from home afforded few luxuries, but aren't we all better for it?

I happened to go to college (most of it, anyway) at NAU in Flagstaff. It was gorgeous, and one my favorite places to ever live. We had a quaint, sweet apartment about 10 feet from the NAU campus. Target was within a 10 minute walk, and Safeway was even closer. One didn't need a car to survive when living in this apartment complex.

I loved all of my roommates, even though we all had our quirks. I'd love to talk about the roommate who didn't wear underwear, or the roommate who fainted to prove a point to her boyfriend, or the roommate who walked around our apartment in a wedding veil, but I won't in case they're reading this blog. By the way - the wedding-veil roommate is still my close friend, whom I adore. =)

Our friends across the walkway were even more fun! We loved being around them because they made us feel so good about ourselves (can you feel the words dripping with sarcasm?). One snowy afternoon, we had a chocolate craving and wanted to make brownies. Alas, no brownie mix was to be found. We didn't want to drive to the store just for brownie mix, and it was way too cold to walk over there. We decided to go ask our friends across the walkway.

When we inquired if they had a box of brownie mix, they looked at us with very inquisitive faces. It seemed as though they were saying, "What is this 'brownie mix' you speak of?" Once they realized we were serious, the ring-leader exclaimed, "Oh! Oh, we don't make brownies out of a box. We make everything from scratch over here."

Seriously? Everything? Thus, they were forwardly known as "The Butter Churners."

Well, folks, I have become a "Butter Churner." I am making bread, rolls, tortillas, and yes - even brownies, all from scratch. Not because I don't love them from a box or from the store, because heaven knows I do. I am learning how to rotate and use my food storage in case I ever need to use it in the future. And to teach my children not to be afraid of canned vegetables, grinding their own wheat, or using powdered milk in recipes.

And, have you ever walked in to a house where fresh bread has just come out of the oven? It's difficult to find a more comforting, aromatic, yummy aroma.

I used THIS RECIPE, but here's what I substituted:

I used quick oats because I didn't have potato flakes.
I used 1/2 bread flour, 1/2 whole wheat flour.
Because I used the bread flour, I didn't add the wheat gluten.

But I know I won't always have bread flour in my pantry, I will track down some wheat gluten so I may use that as well.

So Butter Churners - thank you for your inspiration to be more domestic, but you should try brownies from a box. They're divine, too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


At Weight Watchers, we learn that life happens. We go on vacation, the holidays roll around, and we get lax in our eating at one time or another.

There are three ways we can handle this:

1. Continue to watch what we eat, and lose weight.

2. Not be so careful, but monitor what we eat so we can maintain our weight.

3. Not care what we eat, and be alright with gaining a few pounds.

Because I LOVE FOOD, and I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS, I prefer #3. So this holiday season, I'm not going to count points. I'm not going to feel guilty for indulging in the treats that I look forward to every year. I will, however, continue to exercise in hopes of not gaining too much weight. Whatever I gain is not going to make me feel guilty. Afterall, this only happens once a year.

On a different note - I conquered bread! I made 2 loaves yesterday that turned out A-Mazing. The first loaf is almost gone, and the second loaf is 1/4 gone. I will make more tomorrow to last us through the week. =)

Now if I could only get those pesky rolls to cooperate...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bread Challenged

I can't make bread.

I can't make rolls.

I tried to make my homemade rolls this weekend - twice.

First try - Saturday night. BIG FLOP. The dough rose the first time. After being punched down and shaped into balls, they didn't rise. I didn't even cook them because they were terrible.

Second try - Sunday morning. Again, big flop. No rising at all. None what-so-ever. I went ahead and cooked them anyways, but they came out like little flat, crispy, crumbly "things." I don't even know what to call them.

I'm frustrated because I wasted all that time, all that flour, all those eggs (and didn't even have any for Wendy when she called and asked to borrow some!).

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm almost positive that I'm not killing the yeast because I can see the bubbles and am familiar with baking with yeast. I'm following the instructions step-by-step, but they are just turning out terrible.

I'm not going to give up, but it's becoming an expensive hobby!