Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, October 31, 2011

Touchy Topic Tuesday....or IS it?

Before reading on, please stop over at Mama-Press' Candy Cane Winter Catalog - my etsy store is in it (Right at the top!) and I am offering a really great deal on everything in my shop! Don't forget- all custom orders must be placed by December first to receive them by Christmas. Also, due to my increasing experience in the creation of these, I will be raising prices after the new year. It's a great time to order yours now!


Hello, friends! Due to the fact that I spent all night trick or treating with two cute scarecrows, a jedi and a monkey, I did not have time to write any kind of decent Touchy Topic Tuesday. However, if you are in dire need of some controversial commentary, please click on Touchy Topic Tuesday to visit my many previous posts!

So, there may be no Touchy Topic today, but that's okay- it gives me a chance to explain my November project.

It's the month of Thanksgiving. Yeah. You know what that means. Thankfulness. I am not a fan of Thanksgiving itself, you know, the food and such. Turkey? Yuck. Not to mention the million pounds I seem to put on per ounce of food I take in. I DO, though, appreciate the SENTIMENT of Thanksgiving, and meeting up with family is always a wonderful day. That eases the pain of my most unloved holiday.

If you know me at all, and have been reading for any amount of time, you know that I'm a chronic whiner. I mean, really, whining is funny. It's what makes my blog my blog. It's the way I put things into perspective. (And if you know me like you should, that actually DOES make sense.) It has actually occurred to me that I might, at times, sound ungrateful. Despite my many problems (and, I mean, who DOESN'T have problems?) I have so many wonderful things to be thankful for.

And so, as many other bloggers and facebookers will probably do throughout this month, in addition to my regular posting schedule, I will post something that I'm thankful for that day.

Starting....wait for it......NOW!

Day 1. November 1st, 2011, Tuesday

I am thankful for a husband, who, despite how easy it would be for him to tell me to go get a job, works TWO full time jobs so that we can afford for me to stay home with our four children. It's a priority in MY life and HIS life for ME to raise OUR children, and while so many people look down on that decision and feel that I am not pulling my weight or feel sorry for my husband because he doesn't get much sleep, and he eats cold meals and doesn't get to be home much, then look at me and think that I must be selfish, high maintenance, or otherwise demanding, he knows the truth, and does his best to make sure we have what we need. Even if that sponsors some sacrifice.

I'd love to hear what YOU are thankful for! Let me know!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not Me Monday and Things That Must Go!

Not Me Monday
over at

You know how it works, friends! CONFESS!!!

I did NOT go to a Halloween party this Saturday without a costume...except for the small tag on my shirt that said "virgin". It was NOT the best costume there!

I did NOT eat around half a platter of almond thumbprint cookies that my sister in law made for said party. I probably did NOT gain like 8 pounds from them...and it was NOT worth it, they were so stinking delicious. These cookies are NOT the absolute BEST thing about the holiday season. She does NOT make them for everything, and I do NOT look forward to them like a kid giddy for presents!

Scarlet did NOT spill a little box of Nerds on my carpet...and I did NOT pick them all up and eat them. I know. Disgusting.

I did NOT make my husband change THREE really stinky diapers in a row yesterday.


Grab my button on the right sidebar here, and link up and give us your Things That Must Go!

1. My cellphone's short battery life.

2. Trick or Treaters at 3pm.

3. Formula. Ew. I'm tired of giving my son bottles. It'll be great when he doesn't need them anymore.

4. The guys doing "road work" that keep blocking off the road in my neighborhood. Then they look scandalized when people drive through it anyway. Newsflash: There's only ONE road in and out of the neighborhood- you can't block us in/out of it for a week (or more) straight. We can't walk EVERYWHERE and we have places to be.

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Friday, October 28, 2011 the eyes of the beholder?

Every girl wants to be pretty.

That's a fact of life we can't blame on magazines and media. People have been telling stories about beautiful women since the beginning of time- before people published magazines plastered with anorexic models who stand 8 feet tall and have no breasts, and could as easily pass for a boy as a girl.

(And really, I don't think they're all that pretty. But that's my opinion for another time.)

Once, when Brandon and I were first married, I complained about being fat. I wasn't, really- I've never been "fat", though I am curvy with breasts and hips, and while there's no "junk in the trunk", there's something going on back there. Brandon, my new husband, threw up his hands in exasperation and related to me that he missed the confidence that Jamaican women have.

My husband served an LDS mission for two years in Jamaica, and of course, fell in love with the people and the culture, the language and the food there. He told me that women there were just women. They were what they were, and it wasn't a matter of pretty vs. ugly. If someone asked the question "Have you seen Jamie?" a person might reply, "Which Jamie? The short one or the tall one? The fat one or the skinny one?" or any other slew of descriptive phrases that may or may not be considered incredibly rude here in the states.

The part that is so amazing to me is that none of those things, by Jamaican standards, was anywhere NEAR offensive. A girl could be short or fat instead of tall and skinny, and still be considered beautiful. When a person referred to her, in truth, about how she was physically, it didn't imply that she was a hideous beast to be shunned. It was descriptive and helped a person know who to find.

In Jamaica, too, the men were not conditioned to specifically think that thin, towering women were the only standard of beauty that had any validity. In my dating years, possible boyfriends consistently replaced me with girls who were taller, blonder, and thinner than I am.

Now, my post today is not at all about weight and how people should be allowed to feel comfortable in their skin and as they are. Indeed, I feel that people should feel comfortable in their skin if they are healthy and clean. With a fairly dangerous epidemic of morbid obesity sweeping our nation, I cannot feel comfortable throwing my hands up and saying to someone that it's all okay, they should go ahead and be comfortable with their bodies that way. That isn't to say either that we should all be rail thin, or see our ribs through out t-shirts. What I AM saying is, there are things we can't change. No manner of stretching or amount of hormones is going to make me taller. No amount of hair dye is going to make me the redhead or toe head that I wasn't born to be. Not permanently.

I'm not 100% against plastic surgery, and really, when it comes down to other people, whatever they do is what they're going to do. I don't really care. For me, though, unless plastic surgery was necessary for fixing a problem, I don't think I could go through with a procedure meant to make my boobs bigger (not that they need that), my nose smaller, my chin more pointed, or my tummy flatter. (Though, I have to admit, I find the idea of stretch mark removal rather inviting.) I believe in aging gracefully, in being natural, and no, that doesn't mean I'm a hippy or have dread locks. I believe in being comfortable with the things I can't change about myself. In realizing that, no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how much I exercise, I will never be a size 2, because I have carried and delivered four children and when hips spread, they stay spread. I'm a petite 5'3", and while I'd love to be 5'7" so that I could audition for America's Next Top Model, it's not going to happen. I believe in finding clothing that flatters your figure (vintage works well for me), and finding that perfect pair of blue jeans. I believe in taking care of your skin, and natural ribbons of gray and white along the lengths of a dark haired girl's tresses.

I believe that confidence is the secret to beauty.

I once read this story about Marilyn Monroe in a book called "A Year of Spirituality" by Ingrid Collins:

"A friend of late Marilyn Monroe told how, one summer’s day, she and Marilyn Monroe were walking in Manhattan, talking earnestly about a subject on which they both felt strongly. Marilyn was wearing no makeup, a head scarf, and a plain coat , and nobody noticed the famous movie star. As they came to the end of the conversation, Marylin whispered to her friend, “Shall I be HER now ?” Immediately she was recognized and mobbed, causing traffic chaos. Her friend says the amazing thing was that she did not seem to change anything outwardly, she just decided to think of herself differently – and the effect was INCREDIBLE."

I also find that the more confident I am in myself, the more confident I am in other women. One morning, I might wake up, do my hair and makeup, slip on that perfect pair of blue jeans that I have finally found (and lets face it- a woman must ALWAYS be searching for that perfect pair, because at any second, something may happen to make her perfect pair imperfect- be it a pregnancy, a rip that isn't in the knee, gaining/losing a few pounds, etc.) a shirt that compliments my assets well, and I might look in the mirror and smile at myself. I will see a girl that looks fashionable, and fresh, and it makes me feel good.

On that day, out and about, I find myself smiling at women all around me, seeing their beauty in their curves, their slimness, their voluptuousness, their long hair, their short hair, brightness of eyes, straight teeth, or a gap between the two front teeth that adds just the exact amount of character to a woman to make her eclectic and exotic. Different tastes. Different colors. Different looks, most definitely all beautiful.

And I will think to myself , "Dang it, we're a bunch of gorgeous women!" And from there, I feel pride at being a part of it. Generally, these days are the ones where i get compliments. On my outfit, my eyes, my smile. It doesn't matter what. This is when I get them.

If on the other hand, I wake, do my hair and makeup, and something is just not working for me (and as women, we will all know that many things play into this. It can bethat time of the month, we can be dealing with a lot of stress, we might have suffered a disappointment in recent days, and so on.) I will continue through the day feeling rather sorry for myself. My body and my hair and makeup may be exactly the same, but I am lacking in confidence. If I must leave the house today, my confidence reflects on my opinion of other women. The frumpy, the flabby, the frizzy, the droopy. And so on. And then I am discouraged, thinking "Man, there are so many hideous women out here. We ought to hide away!" That eclectic space between a woman's front teeth becomes a testament that she needs braces. A woman's beautiful curly red hair becomes a ball of frizz that desperately needs some pomade, and a voluptuous woman needs to wear clothes that fit her, instead of squeezing into something that doesn't fit her.

It's shameful that I think such things.

Well, you know what they say: Misery loves company.

Unfortunately, though, friends, while I feel I have found the secret to beauty, I cannot imply that I have the secret to application. I have NO idea how to control how confident I feel. I'm working on it. But some days, it's out of my control.

Of course, after 8 years of marriage, my dear husband now knows that on my less confident days, it's better just to tell me that I'm stunning, gorgeous, and that if it were socially acceptable to just walk down the street naked, I should surely do that. Sometimes, confidence comes from an outside source.


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies and Sweaters

Today, I am participating in possibly the LARGEST hop I have EVER seen. EVER. It's all about autumn! So, link up with your recipe, costumes, photos or other autumn favorite!

As for me, I have spent the last several weeks piled underneath tons of sweaters, and I gave one to a customer today (pictures are not yet ready, but will be up soon!) that I shocked even myself with, it's so beautiful! Lovely, warm, eclectic and one of a kind sweaters are PERFECT for this crisp autumn weather!

Want a closer look? Maybe want to purchase or commission one of your own? Visit me at Vicious (up)Cycle for a peak!!!

One more thing, I HAVE to pass this along. It's my new favorite guilty pleasure. Caramel apple cider cookies from - my friend made these for a Halloween party and I just fell in love. Follow the link for the recipe.

ALSO, I have tried both ways, and I prefer, instead of a whole caramel cube inside the cookie, I prefer using Kraft caramel bits- they're like chocolate chips but caramel morsels. They're better that way!

In the immortal words of Yo Gabba Gabba!: Try it, you'll like it!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday's Writer's Prompt, Something that scared the HELL out of me as a child.

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(Visit my etsy store button on the right.)


Okay, so pretty much, you guys know how this works by now. On Thursdays, I link up with Mama Kat's writer's prompts and do that little hop/skip/jump thang.

My husband wanted me to choose the prompt "Describe something you did with your spouse when you dated but that you're now 'over'.." - specifically so that he could get onto a soap box about how when we dated, I couldn't get enough of his kisses, and now I N.E.V.E.R. kiss him unless I want something- so, it's something I'M over, not that HE'S over- and, admittedly, he's right. I don't kiss him much anymore. BUT in my defense, when I was little, my mom would kiss my cheeks and I would gag so hard I'd throw up. So it's not HIM, it's just that I'm not terribly fond of kissing in general and never really have been. When we were dating, I took what I could get. ~cough~virgin~cough~

Instead, I chose to write about something that scared the HELL out of me when I was a child.

I think this fear came to me partially from my grandmother, Mammy, who was, and still is, always very into the scary, the gory, the grotesque, the weird and the shocking. She read Stephen King, believed in ghosts, and let me constantly reorganize and arrange her shelf full of horror films. Last time we visited her, when trying to decide on a movie to see as a family, her vote was Alien vs. Predator.

It also partially came from my "BFF" in elementary school, ShayLyn, who fed my fears as though I was a giant bonfire that, if left to burn out, would leave the whole world to freeze to death. It scared the crap out of her, too though, and it didn't help that we lived under what we called "Airport 2"- a military training airport, where all manner of helicopters hovered over the neighborhood and surrounding vast, empty fields at any given time of day or night, the soldiers and airmen who jumped from said helicopters in their black and green BDU's and parachutes on an almost constant basis.

I was



The "gray" aliens with big black eyes and pasty skin, no nose besides those two little holes, and giant, bulbous, bald heads.
My Mammy treated me to movies such as E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Thing, Alien (all the Alien movies to be exact.) and Fire in the Sky- which was especially scary because it was supposed to be based on a true story and the man who had been abducted lived in Snowflake, Arizona- my grandmother lives in Phoenix, Arizona...I STILL have no idea how far away the two places are, but it was too close for comfort. My uncle, Glenn, apparently saw a space ship hovering over Arizona on his way to college one day. All Mammy thought about it was that it was "interesting."

(The cover of the movie "Fire in the Sky" ^^^^)
My parents didn't help much either, as they let me watch such fascinating things as Unsolved Mysteries, X-Files and, as pictured above, Alien Autopsy. It was like a train wreck. A sickening and incredibly fascinating train wreck.

I remember times where ShayLyn and I would run all the way home from school because a helicopter flew half way out to the field and then turned back around and our imaginations ran wild. We wouldn't play in the basement by ourselves (and when I say "basement", I mean, fully finished, fully furnished, my bedroom was down there, and the whole thing was lighted, heated and carpeted.) and ShayLyn swore that one night, at her grandma's house, she woke in the night to see colored lights spinning and flashing outside the window. She was sure they were here for her.

When I was growing up, at around 3 in the morning, what my dad called the "soft water" would...come on. It was like a whistling, hissing, clanking kind of sound that wafted through the whole house. I USUALLY slept through it. I remember only a handful of times that I heard it, but if i woke in the night, it was incredibly difficult to turn over and go back to sleep. I would hear foot steps outside my door- not really there, but coming closer, nonetheless, or see shiny black eyes outside my window. I slept with music to avoid these things, and was horrified if I heard the "soft water", which was, what I thought a mothership would sound like. Once, I remember getting the courage to jump out of bed and run like the wind up the stairs and into my parents bed. I remember that I was shaking so violently from my fear of it that, even at my ripe old age of near 10 years old, my mom cried "Oh, honey!" and let me curl up on her lap.

Into my early adult years, the fear still followed me. When I was engaged to my husband, we often drove up the canyon to look down on the valley and maybe make out a little. (Don't get too many ideas. Refer to my first paragraph about kissing my husband please.) My dear fiance knew all too well what I had told him about my irrational fear of aliens. But he hadn't seen it in action yet, and he thought it would be a great game to scare me a bit.

Sitting in his truck, he leaned over to look out the wind shield at the stars. "Hey, Brae...what's that up there? Do you think it's a satellite?"

I stiffened reasonably. I remember, because I felt it. "Probably" I said without looking up.

Brandon leaned even further forward, and I became very aware of the lack of traffic on our route. Aliens ALWAYS strike when there is no one around...or if there is corn. Where there is corn, there are aliens. I learned that from the movies. " can't be a satellite. It's too close...but it can't be a plane, either, because it's going back and forth and....maybe even up and down."

Well, I'm no dummy, and I have a sixth sense that tells me when I'm in a horror movie and I shouldn't go up the stairs or split up from my friends. I am also not stupid enough to get stuck in an Alien movie and get myself abducted. Being in a horror movie is easy. You leave the house, and when you shoot the bad guy, you don't turn your back, because if you do, he'll grab your ankle. You can't get away from aliens.

So, I did what any girl does when she is terrified. And I started to cry, and I made him take me home.

Yes. He still married me, even though I'm psychotic. And he still indulges my fear fests whenever I bring home a new alien movie, such as Signs or The Fourth Kind (which, btw, is much more a possession/demonic type movie than an alien movie.) - it just means I snuggle with him a bit closer for a night or two. And I still hate to go down into our basement alone at night. ~shiver~


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Bergan's Wedding)

Bergan's Bridals: (Well, some of them.)

Now, this Jeep is a very important little detail. It might seem a bit strange to do bridal pictures on a jeep...but it's not. It's actually quite darling.

One day, about a year and a half ago, Spencer woke up and decided he wanted a jeep. He never had before, he just decided he wanted one. So, he went looking. He looked at a few, and one of them happened to be in my mom's neighborhood. My mom's really good friend, Stephanie, was selling HER jeep. When Spencer saw it, it wasn't exactly what he wanted. It was a bit different and not what he expected...but he had the feeling that this was the jeep he needed to get. So he did. And Stephanie set him up with my sister.

Bergan and Spencer, while they are incredible together, are completely different. He's 4 years older than she is, and that scared her- she thought it was a huge difference. He thought she was 19 when they started dating, but she was still 18. And they never would have run into each other and they never would have met or gotten together had it not been for that jeep.

Now that they're married, they're selling it for something more practical. But it was an important part of their story. So, the pictures are sentimental.

On October 20th, 2011, Thursday, Bergan and Spencer were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day, little crisp in the air, but warm enough for no sweaters, and the air was clear and the autumn colors were abundant.

Bergan with all the little girls.

Spencer is obviously very happy at this point- Bergan was posing for their photographer (on the right) and he was pulling faces at me.

Walking around down town to get wedding pictures in all the best places, we all got a bit starved, since the luncheon wasn't until 3pm. My dad bought us all rolls from the Lion House Pantry- they were delicious. The Lion House is where Brigham Young and his wives and children lived back in the late 1800's when Salt Lake City was just getting it's legs. Now, it's a historical building and there is a restaurant there where they bake and cook all kinds of old recipes. It's excellent. I highly recommend it.
One of the parks at which Bergan and Spencer did wedding photos.

The Reception!!!!

The wedding colors were lavender and green. On each table was a ceramic ghost pumpkin with purple leaves. They were all different shapes and sizes.

The wedding cake- I LOVE this. It was such a delicious cake, too- chocolate with mint filling! And I love the topper. It's SO them. Notice, also, the ever important Jeep! Hahahah!

These pompoms were hanging along the wall behind the "Candy Bar" or "Candy Buffet" in white, lime green and lavender and pink.
That's my sister in law, Shalynn, manning the Candy Bar. I'm not sure who the groomsmen were, because it seems I have cut off their faces. The bridesmaids wore purple asymmetrical flowy skirts and white shirts. The groomsmen wore the green vests and ties.
Just next to the Candy Bar ^^^^^ Fitting, no?

Party favors: A bag with their names and date on it- and they could choose their candies.

Dark chocolate kisses
Green apple flavored licorice.

Dutch mints in white, green and lavender.

Peanut M&M's in autumn colors

Green apple drops

Strawberry fluffy gummy things- we didn't know what they were called, but they were the yummiest things ever!

Green gummy bears.

Daddy Daughter Dance "I loved her first"

I believe this was a gift, because it wasn't there at the beginning, but it made me laugh. It was by the table where Bergan had scrap book pages for people to sign.
The Jeep- all decked out for the honeymoon!

Hope you didn't mind my super duper long Wordless (Wordy) Wednesday!!!
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