I Don’t Remember

October 6, 2016

I am participating in an online writing group by Ann Dee Ellis. She provides prompts for an 8 Minute Memoir. 


I Don’t Remember

I don’t remember what it feels like to not be a mom. I have been a mom for 6 years now and yet I can’t remember what it felt like to not have someone to constantly care for, worry over, stress that you are doing all you can for them, and to love so fiercely that it hurts. I sometimes wonder what purpose my life really had before. Everything else seems so meaningless before my children came into my life. I know it wasn’t meaningless. I mean, I was a contributing member to society but to ME it seems as if my life is so much more now. Being a mom is my jam. I love it. It is exhausting and the hardest thing I have ever done mentally, physically, and spiritually. But I think the hard things we do give us the most joy in life. 

Full disclosure: I also don’t remember the last time I took a shower. Having a baby just over 2 months old does that to you. I *think* it was two days ago. 
I don’t remember the last day my children didn’t fight with each other over the kindle, a toy, a game they are playing, etc.
I don’t remember the last time I slept all the way through the night.
I don’t remember the last time my house was really clean and all the laundry was done and actually put away instead of sitting folded in baskets around my house.
I don’t remember the last meal my children didn’t complain about something on their plate.
I don’t remember a Sunday when my son hasn’t complained about having to go to church.
I don’t remember the last time I curled my hair.
I don’t remember the last time I went to a movie at the movie theatre that wasn’t a kid movie with my kids.
I do remember the last time my daughter let me pick her clothes out. It was for picture day. I paid her a dollar to let me pick her outfit. 
I don’t remember when my life didn’t revolve around nap times, feeding times, carpools, activities, etc.
I don’t remember what it felt like to not worry about other people’s bowel movements and how frequently they were or weren’t happening. 
I don’t remember the last time I truly had “me time”. 

So yeah, I really don’t remember what it was like to not be a mom.

I Remember When

October 4, 2016

I miss writing. It is what makes me feel like more of a person and not just a mom or wife. It makes me feel like…me. So in an effort to write more I am following the prompts provided by Ann Dee Ellis for her 8 Minute Memoir project. It started in August. I am late to the party. But I am going to start from the beginning anyway and work my way through. Here goes nothing.


“I Remember When”

I remember when I was a little girl, 3 or 4 years old. We had a large backyard full of trees and blackbirds. I would chase the blackbirds whenever they would land on the ground to try and find worms for their babies up in their nests. I would “caw” wildly and flap my arms hoping to take flight right along with them. Then I would turn to whoever would listen and say “I want to be a mama blackbird when I grow up.” They would laugh. But I was serious. I remember wanting to be a mama blackbird for years after I first admitted this. And well into the years of knowing that I couldn’t actually  morph into a bird, I still wanted to be a mama blackbird.

Maybe the appeal was that they were so free and could fly away at any whim. They could caw and squawk and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Instead of a mama blackbird, I am now a real life mom. I listen to my children squawk and run wild and free around our home and in our backyard. I don’t hunt for worms but I do make them food (that they refuse to eat), make sure their bums are clean, noses wiped, hair is somewhat calm, their teeth are brushed, they have clean clothes and a warm bed, they have practiced their piano, read their books, practiced their letters, said their prayers, and have been kind to others and stood up for themselves everyday. So maybe I am not a mama blackbird. But I hope to raise my kids so that they can grow up to be blackbirds. Wild, free, loud, and able to soar. 


Image found here


Pinterest Recipe Round-Up

November 18, 2015

I am slowly making my way through some of the recipes I have pinned. This week I took a few off of my list and went to town. I am happy to report that the results were excellent!

So, here are some Pinterest successes for you all…

This one was by far my favorite. It was so easy, so good, and had a lot of leftovers which means FREEZER MEAL! I am a huge supporter of stocking up your freezer so that you don’t have to cook every.single.night of your life. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but sometimes I wonder why I have to feed my children 3 meals a day every single day. It gets old real fast. I love doing things that make my life easier. I buy these from Amazon and use them to freeze leftover protein portions or soups all the time. I put some blue painters tape on the lid with the food and date labeled so I can easily take it off and wash the tupperware when it is done.

Reditainer Deli Food Storage Containers with Lid, 32-Ounce, 24-Pack
(Click HERE for link to buy this product on Amazon)

This recipe is gluten free, delicious, and a crockpot recipe. WIn-win-win. I help out in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom a few times a week, have a calling with the youth in my church that requires me to spend 1 night a week doing activities with them, as well as being a mother and a wife. So I use my crockpot at LEAST twice a week. It makes my life easier (and we all know how much I love that). 

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup from Peas and Crayons

This recipe made a lot so I was able to freeze two 32 oz. portions for later and still have some left in the fridge to eat for lunches or dinner again. It is the best tortilla/taco soup I have ever made. I am going to keep this in my rotation and will for sure be making it again soon because it was that good. 

We topped ours with fresh avocado, sour cream, lime juice, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.

-I used 2 cans of black beans and 1 can of pinto beans (I found that was pretty equivalent to the amount called for)
-1 onion and then onion powder to taste (because I only had 1 onion in my pantry, worked like a charm)
-1 can of green chiles instead of using jalapenos because I wanted it more mild for my kids
-My sister made this and added corn to it. Good call.


Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

This was another recipe from Peas and Crayons. This girl has it going on. I am kind of obsessed with her now. I just discovered her. But she is for sure my food-blogger-crush of the moment. So go check out her blog. Hi Jenn! Sorry, I promise I won’t show up at your house in the middle of the night asking to be your friend. I am not THAT creepy.

This recipe was yummy. But I thought it tasted best the next day. A lot of soups do. That is just how it works. I was going to keep it vegetarian…but I had to add bacon and it was worth it. We served this with homemade rolls. And by homemade I mean Rhode’s Rolls. 😉


Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

Oh man. This was so good. Like SO good. And another freezer meal.

My changes:
-I used one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes instead of a can of fire-roasted tomatoes because that is what I had in my pantry
-I used whole milk and extra butter instead of heavy cream, just because that is what I had on hand 


Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Yes, another slow cooker meal. This was our Sunday dinner. We go to church from 11:00-2:00 and then I usually need a nap after wrestling a 5 and 3 year old and teaching 14 and 15 year old girls during that time frame. So our Sunday meals are almost always something I can throw in the crockpot early in the morning. This was the best pot roast I have had in the crockpot. I usually like to use a recipe my cousin gave me and cook it in the dutch oven for a few hours but this one was on point. 

We served this over mashed potatoes, side of baked acorn squash rings, and with a Caesar side salad. 

My changes:
-I used a boneless beef roast because that is what I had in my freezer (have you noticed a theme here?)
-I added extra carrots because I mean, hello.


I hope these helped with your meal plan for the week! Now I am going to go make myself a bowl of that tortilla soup…

The one in which I bare my soul

October 21, 2015

I have struggled in my heart writing this post. I have written and re-written it a million times. I also have dreaded writing it. I even contemplated not posting it. But I know I have to. If this post will help just one person who is struggling right now, it will be worth it.

Writing is therapeutic for me. It is how I express myself and I am much more capable of writing my feelings than I am with the spoken word. I guess it goes back to my days as a young girl and religiously writing in my journals every single night. Oh to read those now. I would tell myself: “Hey! Guess what? Just because your friend totally is dating the boy you like, things could be SO MUCH WORSE! Chill. For reals.” or “Oh, you were the last of your friends to get asked to Homecoming? My hell, child! Get a freaking grip!!” And then I would give myself a hug. And compliment myself on my amazing booty. And move on.

To understand the premise and my current emotional state, I need to give some short background: We (as in my husband and I) have had a really rough year. There has been a LOT of growing and stretching. It is safe to say that this has been the hardest year of our married life. By far. Nothing that we thought we would experience this year has happened.

We both got to a point this year where we felt like we couldn’t do anything right. No matter what we did, we were hurting and struggling with one thing or another. Then, something amazing happened. I found out I was pregnant! This is a big deal. I have rough pregnancies when it comes to my health. They take a serious toll on me. So it took me a while to actually be not only ready to get pregnant again but also willing. I feel like my pregnancies take a serious toll on me emotionally and physically so I have to really prepare myself for it. I have friends that are popping out their 4th or 5th child like it is nothing and I am still usually mentally preparing for even the thought of getting pregnant again. To top it off, it isn’t always easy for me to get pregnant. Some women are blessed with being able to time their pregnancies perfectly. I am not one of those women.

The thing that is even harder is that my soul longs for children. I have a longing to have a house full of our babies. People say, “you have 2 beautiful children, you are so lucky.” “You have one of each, a boy and a girl. So even if you don’t have more at least you have that.” And I am. I am so lucky. I have friends that can’t even have children. I get it. I have wept with them and struggled with them. Infertility is something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. I really truly wouldn’t. That also doesn’t diminish my struggle or the hurt I feel, because the hurt I feel is real. It is real to me.

I have so long not wanted to talk about this because I know people who have it so much worse than me. But I have come to the conclusion that if we are to have a true bond and community when it comes to Sisterhood, we shouldn’t be afraid to express our pain, even if it may seem like it is less than the pain our sister is feeling. Every women should validate their feelings. It isn’t a competition for who is struggling the most or having the worst trial. What we feel is real to US and we should share it without feeling as if we are going to step on others toes. We, as a culture, need to get over that and embrace each others heartache, even if it is different from ours. That is how we become Christ-like. That is how we mourn with those who mourn. That is how we become humble and empathetic.

So here is my heartache.

I always say I want 4 children (which to people outside of Mormon-dom sounds like a full brood). But the truth is, I only say that because I am terrified that I won’t even get the privilege of having that many. I honestly would have as many as I could if it was a possibility. Jeff comes from a family of 6 children, I am from a family of 7. My siblings are my best friends, my confidants, and my heroes. I want my children to experience the joy from their siblings that I experience from mine. They can do this with a small family, no doubt, but the joys and chaos of a larger family are something that can’t be explained unless experienced. Not only do I want my children to experience that, I feel as if I have other children waiting for me. My efforts to get them here just aren’t really working. I long to hold sweet newborns in my arms for hours on end and smell their perfect puppy dog smell and pet their fuzzy little heads and necks. Jeff doesn’t really get to know our children until they are about 6 months old because I just don’t let them go. I breath in my newborns like there is nothing else in the world that will sustain me but their little snuggles, mews, and sweet breath. For both of my babies, there are countless nights that I have stayed up well past the time they have fallen asleep in my arms, willing myself to drink them in and remember them always as the innocent and perfect beings that they are. I even tell them over and over and over again how much they are loved, wanted, and needed in our family. Our souls connect and I just know that I was meant to be their mom and they were meant to be my baby and there is nothing in this world that I will not do for them. Nothing. They were sent to me. A gift from God. And I will fight fiercely for their soul.

So, when we found out we were pregnant, we were overjoyed. This was going to finally be the bright spot in our year full of sadness and let-downs. I felt as if this was God throwing me a bone and telling me: “Hey, guess what! Not everything sucks right now. I love you and I am giving you this amazing gift.” I was so excited. Jeff was so excited. I knew our kids would be over the moon. I was scheming in my mind how I would tell them about their new sibling. I was planning on right before Halloween. I couldn’t wait. We were maybe even going to announce with Halloween costumes that we were expecting. Oh, the joy that filled my heart was so palpable.

I woke up one morning at 8 weeks along and felt slight cramping. I googled like crazy to make sure things would be ok. It had been almost 3 years since my last pregnancy and I wasn’t sure what was common. I chalked it up to nothing and then saw light spotting. Once again I chalked it up to nothing. These things happen. Google told me. I was fine. But I was also praying. Pleading on my knees by the side of my bed. Fear consumed me. God wouldn’t take this baby from me. It was timed perfectly. This baby would come at the beginning of May and I would be able to take this sweet babe with me to all of our summer adventures. He wouldn’t. He knew the year I was having. He knew that I couldn’t handle this. He knew that this is the one thing I just couldn’t deal with right now. I said nothing to Jeff and continued throughout the day. The next morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, and knew the inevitable.

I was crushed. Heartbroken. Destroyed. This was my hope. My joy. The one thing that I could grab onto and look forward to. We cried. If there is one thing I know, it is that I was lead to Jeff for a reason. He has a good soul and he is a good person. He comforted me when I knew he was crushed as well. He took care of the kids, and I sobbed. I sobbed myself to sleep. Multiple times. Those next couple days are a kind of blur. They were full of me in deep emotional anguish as well as physical pain. I checked social media to get my mind off things. 3 friends announced their pregnancies, 2 had their babies. ALL on the same day. Don’t ever check social media. Ever. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for these friends, I truly was, but it was just a slap in the face to remind me that my womb was currently emptying out instead of growing a sweet new babe. I had friends and family that came to comfort me but I mostly just remember the heartache. I remember it because it is still there. It is so raw and so real. This wasn’t the first miscarriage I have had. I had one right before I had our sweet Warren. Why was this so hard for me? Why was it so hard to get my babies here?

This is the part I am struggling with. Still. Things are a bit better but the anger is still there. The anger at God. I feel bad saying that but in order to be truly authentic, I have to admit to myself that it is there and it is real. Why was He taking this child away from me? Why couldn’t I have this ONE thing? ONE thing to brighten up a dark year. Why couldn’t I have this?

So why am I even talking about this? Because I think it is important that we talk about infertility and pregnancy loss. We shouldn’t sweep it under the rug. I will always remember that on May 6th, 2016 I would be holding a baby in my arms. My own sweet baby. Others will forget. But I won’t. That child was real to me and that bond was already there. Every single pregnancy after this one is even more terrifying. My odds, according to my pregnancies, are currently 50/50 of carrying a baby without miscarriage. Those aren’t odds I really feel comfortable with. You try to not bond with the baby until at least 12 weeks (which is impossible). You lie to yourself daily and tell yourself that its fine, if this pregnancy doesn’t work out you will just try again. It isn’t that easy. It is hard. It is a leap of faith. A huge jump into the unknown. And you still take it because that is what we do. To quote my favorite show “Women are as strong as hell.” And it’s true. We do it it because we are either crazy, or as strong as hell.

Now, as for me being mad at God. Yes the anger is there. But right now it is also forging a new relationship with Him. I am understanding my current relationship with Him and what I want it to become. I have these scriptures on my lockscreen on my phone right now. I read them multiple times a day.

Mark 4:

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

I have felt like the ship. I still feel like the ship. I feel like I am being tossed, waves beating me down, and I am full of fear. But I also am trying to seek my faith. I am trying to be full of faith because I know that eventually peace will come. It will. I know it will. Maybe not yet, maybe not for a long while, but I know that it will come. Because I know that He loves me. I know because I know the way I feel for my own children. I know that just in the same way that I would never leave my children in anguish and suffering, neither will He. This is a refiner’s fire. It is hell and it is awful. It isn’t fun. It isn’t fair. But life isn’t always fun or fair. But I have grown, and stretched, and questioned, as well as used my faith in ways that I didn’t even know I could or had.

As cliche as it sounds, I truly believe that our struggles help us to become the beings that allow us to forge a relationship with our Father in Heaven. They allow us to seek humility, and find strength in it. They allow us to look for the good in others even when we can’t seem to find the good in ourselves. They allow us to serve others even when we feel as if we are going to crumble. They help us to become unselfish. Giving. Loving. Inclusive. More Christ-like. Because in reality, we don’t completely crumble, we are built back up. Stone by stone and brick by brick until we are stronger than we were before. Does that mean we won’t get knocked down again? No. We will. It is almost guaranteed. But through our struggles we have forged this bond, this relationship with our Father in Heaven. He is the one that created us and He is the perfect craftsman. He knows exactly how to build us back up again but this time, with stronger materials, because we let Him.

Right now I am still shattered. I am still not built up. But I am in the process. And I may fall a few times before I am made whole again. But I have come to understand that the process is just as important, maybe even more important, as the endgame.

Mexican Style Cauli Rice

April 29, 2015

I am the very first to admit that I DO NOT like cauliflower rice. I don’t. Why? Because I don’t like cauliflower. I never have. Unless it is drenched in ranch or roasted in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, then count me out. I have tried it a lot of different ways…and keep trying it because I know it is an awesome way to get more goodness in my body. I threw this one together the other night, and guess what? I actually liked it. A lot. What? I even had it for leftovers the next morning with some hot sauce and a runny yolk egg on top. Why was it so good, you ask? Because it is: Mexican Style Cauli Rice. What? Yeah, I could eat Mexican food for every meal…or at least American Mexican food. This isn’t authentic. I know that. But dang girl. It is good. Just look at how pretty it is. Food that is pretty automatically tastes better in my book. I paired this with some beef fajitas and guacamole. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Mexican Style Cauli Rice

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Delicious and Simple Blender Salsa

March 19, 2015

Blender Salsa

I love salsa. Any kind. But this recipe is my go-to for weekly meal prep. Blender salsa is perfect for having on hand for topping scrambled eggs or omelettes, a quick snack, and for our weekly taco salad night (by the way, my favorite homemade taco seasoning is found HERE, I multiply it by about 5 or 6 and keep it in a pint sized mason jar in my pantry). 

I make this in my Blendtec but I am sure you can make it in any kind of blender, you may have to pulse a bit more. 

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Bruschetta Chicken

February 17, 2015

I love bruschetta. A lot. Like, I could inhale an entire baguette of that stuff…and may have done just that this past year when I made it for a Thanksgiving appetizer. But let’s just keep that between you and me. And the internet. Sadly I have found that I have a bit of a gluten sensitivity. It makes me extremely bloated (like my daughter asks me if I have a baby in my tummy after I eat something with gluten in it). Also, I pay for it with an upset stomach the next day. So I said to myself: “Hey, Darci. Why don’t you just use chicken instead?” And thus, Bruschetta Chicken was born. It was a glorious birth. 

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Cinnamon and Coconut Sweet Potatoes

February 4, 2015

Cinnamon Coconut Sweet Potatoes

I have done 3 rounds of Whole30 and my husband has never done one with me. Not that I am complaining or mad. I am not. For reals. The dude will eat anything I put in front of him with no complaints. He will just have his large bowl of cereal before bed or a Coke at work and there is no way he is going to give either of those up. I don’t blame him. So, when I make a Whole30 dish that he really likes, I know it is REALLY good. Cue these cinnamon and coconut sweet potatoes.

When I made these sweet potatoes his exact words were, “This is so good. This is a repeat. Like an every week kind of repeat.” 

So there you have it folks. Right from the very non-Whole30er’s mouth. 

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Kids in the Kitchen: Tinfoil Dinners

February 2, 2015

Kids in the Kitchen: Tinfoil Dinners

I am the very first to admit that I am horrible about letting my kids get involved in the kitchen. The kitchen is my sanctuary. I love to cook, create, and experiment in there. I also like to do it ALONE. It is a way for me to have some “me” time and do something that I actually really enjoy. Because of this weird control issue I have over my kitchen, I don’t like people in there with me, including my own children. Rude. I know. But I am working on it. So to get my kids in the kitchen and help with dinner I pulled out an old favorite: Tinfoil Dinners. This meal is perfect for getting the littles involved. I also find that having the kids get involved sometimes gets them more interested in trying new foods. Not always, but it sure doesn’t hurt. 

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