My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New Food - Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Soup

I tried another new food for us on Memorial Day. I love Zupas' quinoa and roasted vegetable soup. So I made up my own and it is delicious!!!

2 tsp. oil
1 diced onion
4 chopped carrots
3 chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped cabbage

1 can of diced tomatoes (I used my bottled stewed tomatoes)
Pinch of salt & black pepper

1 1/2 cup quinoa
2 cans of vegetable broth (I used low-sodium)
2 cups water

Let simmer for 20-25 minutes

1 can rinsed pinto beans (pretty sure you can add kidney or great northern white... I just had pinto)
2 cups leeks (pretty sure you can use kale or any green)
1 cup shelled edamame
Bay leaf
Teaspoon, or so, salt and black pepper


I am positive there are so many variations. You could add celery. You could add garlic. I just used what vegetables I had on hand. I love this stuff. It makes A LOT of food, so be prepared or cut the recipe.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Little Dude

My Saturday and most of my Sunday were spent with Little Dude and his new baby brother. I have nicknames for everyone! Jackson is Bubba. Braxton is Peanut. Kaydon is Buddha. Colton is Boogie. I've decided on Little Dude for Asher. I need to bond a little more with Anson before I decide on one for him. Little Dude and I bonded lots this weekend. We did tummy time, sat in the bumbo for a little bit, watched softball, watched music videos, sang and danced, did some bath time... we practiced open mouth, slobbery kisses, he pooped all over me, the wall, and everything else. We laughed and told stories. He is currently my favorite. Just saying.

Carrie is nursing Anson. She would get up, nurse him, then put him down and take medicine so that she could rest. Brandon took care of errands and yard work and was able to get some good naps in. I absolutely love this time of my life. My boys are amazing. Being an auntie is amazing. I just love these boys in my life!!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites - Clothing Exchange

I am a girl who seriously dislikes shopping. Like, a lot. I am also a girl with very little money to do any shopping anyhow. I have four teenage boys who will not stop growing at incredible rates of speed. Seriously. If I go a season (winter or summer) without wearing something in my closet, then obviously I don't need it. So, I bag it up and take it to my favorite clothing store:

Sometimes they buy my used clothing, and when they do I simply exchange it for other pieces that I find in the store. I leave there not paying a dime for clothing. If they don't buy it, they donate it to foster kids - which I absolutely LOVE so much.

This is really my favorite way to shop. I give them the stuff I haven't worn for half a year. I pick out clothes that I adore. It's a win win and I love that!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Brake Time!

I was pretty sure that the brakes in the matchbox went out. Mister looked up the brakes that I needed for it. Jackson went and bought them. I took the matchbox and the brakes to work. Mr. Watkins told me to put the brakes and the keys on my desk. Cory came in and got them. An hour later, he was back and the matchbox was all better.

This girl is beyond blessed. Every single day.

Cheers to a vehicle that stops when you apply the brake pedal!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Big Brother

Asher is a big brother now. His little brother was born in the early hours of Monday. He doesn't have a name yet, but he sure is a cutie!

When Asher was told that he is a big brother, this was his reaction!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trying New Stuff

Yesterday, Jackson asked if we could try something new every Sunday for dinner. Why not?!?!

So, we made a meal that a sweet friend posted on Instagram. We kind of really suck at following instructions, so we tweaked it a bit and made it our own. It was AMAZING!!!

Introducing: Chicken Yakisoba

Seriously, try it. It was amazing. Amazing.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Get in the Zone!

Kaydon, Colton and I went to Farmington Station on Saturday to hang out. We love it there. We walked around in the beautiful weather and it was so great!

At one point, Kaydon said to Colton, "Colton! You need to get in the zone!"
Colton responded with, "Auto Zone????!!!!"

It was the funniest thing ever!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites - Fast Food!

I might be a little slow... I get that. However, I just found these little bits of goodness! I keep a box in my office and each day I use one as part of a snack with either celery or apples. It is delicious. It's such a good, easy source of protein. AND, it makes me happy. Seriously... these are the best little ideas since bagged sliced apples.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


My little heart has been struggling lately. So, I decided to do a bit of a "cleanse." Not the kind you pay for because I pretty much think that's completely stupid. Just saying. So, I cut out meat, dairy and bread for a while. Last week, I only did fruit, veges, eggs and peanut butter. I also did my oatmeal in the mornings. I have also cut out soda completely and I am finally drinking the full amount of water I should be. SO big!

Last night, I had some toast and didn't feel bad about it at all. I'm also adding meat back in and it doesn't seem to be bothering me. I'm not sure why this heart of mine struggles at times. But, it does. And I just try to do all I can to keep it calm. Isn't that what we all do? Just try to keep everything calm!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spring Social

Yesterday was our spring social at work. I stress out about these so much. I just want all of my guys to feel appreciated and be able to relax and unwind for a couple of hours. It always ends up turning out great, but I worry right up until it's all over! The weather was perfect. The food was amazing. The softball game was a blast to watch. It was perfect. I love these guys of mine!

Monday, May 15, 2017

My Mother's Day

My Mother's Day weekend began Friday night. The two youngest were at a scout camp, so the two oldest and I headed to Farmington Station to walk around. That was their choice and I'm always up for that. It was a beautiful night and those two make me laugh so hard! I introduced them to the spot where the terrible date guy hit the car, left without saying anything, then re-parked. It was epic.

On Saturday, Braxton went to the gym with me then he and I headed down to West Valley to have lunch with the girls from the College. He got to drive there and back. He's a good little driver. He's much more cautious than I thought he would be. We cleaned carpets, cleaned the kitchen and I colored.

Sunday morning, I fell back to sleep and slept right through church. Whoops a daisy! When I woke up, we headed down to Sandy to see Nana and Grandma. We loved on them and wished them the happiest of Mothers Days. We love them so much and are so grateful they are ours! And, I am so eternally grateful that these boys are mine.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

This picture has both of my moms, my living grandma, AND Mommy Martha in it! How lucky of me that I have this picture!
I am so blessed to have two moms. My kids are so blessed to have a Grandma and a Nana. I am so blessed to have had the most beautiful grandma for 22 years of my life, and I am so blessed to still have my beautiful Grandma Nef. We have become so much closer over the last few years. My kids are so blessed to have so many memories with Grandma Nef! I wish they had known their Great Grandma Robb, but all of my kids talk about how they feel her and see her so often on this earth. I know the veil is thin for them when they need Heavenly angels.

I love both of my moms. They are very different and have different talents, strengths and gifts. They are always kind and gracious with one another, always meeting each other with a hug and a smile. I am so grateful that my boys see that relationship between them. I am so grateful that my boys are also so close to both of them. Even as teenagers, they ask to see them often. They crave that time with them. They learn from them, they find comfort in them, they love them so much. I do, too.

Oh, how we miss Mommy Martha! We used to see her pretty much every day! Over the last year, we just haven't. My kids love her. They trust her. They know that she loves them and that has been such a blessing in their lives. She is the best mommy to her four little ones.

And, finally. How blessed am I to be a mama?! I always wanted to be a mommy... the best mommy. I am certainly not the best mommy, I'm not even a great mommy, but I try. My boys are my greatest blessings. They are strong, resilient, and funny as heck! They are also very sensitive, have been very broken, and need the comforting of their mama often... probably far more often than your average teenage boy. They still climb in my bed and cry. They have strong emotions. They love so hard. They trust very few. They are fun and funny and kind and helpful. They are independent little creatures. I am so proud of them. I'm so grateful to be able to celebrate Mother's Day with them each and every year.

Oh, and one more thing. Being an auntie is the best.

Happy Mother's Day to those who have children, those who want to have children, those who don't have children on this earth... you are all mothers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites - Flavoring

I can't drink water by itself. Unless I'm working out or hiking. Otherwise, I have to have it flavored. I have not had a Diet Coke for a week. I am trying so hard to drink 64 ounces of water every day and so far this week, I've done it! But, it's got to have flavor. So... I stock up on water and I stock up on flavors. It's super cheap, like a dollar per box. I LOVE the Wyler's Light Strawberry Lemonade and Cherry Limeade and I love the Hawaiian Punch Berry Blue Typhoon and Fruit Juicy Red.

Here's to drinking no soda and tons of flavored water!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Just Some Thoughts

One year ago today, I posted about my feelings. They were so raw. I was in a lot of pain. I just could not see myself outside of the dark tunnel I was in. I could not see the big picture. I remember physically hurting. I remember going home, not telling anyone, hiding in my bed, and crying for hours. I remember P calling and calling, trying to find me. I remember the next day, driving with P for 8 hours. I cried a little, we talked a little, and then he gave me a blessing.

Today is so different from that day. I am outside of that dark tunnel. I am able to see much bigger pictures. My boys and I are good. We are well. We are not the perfect team of five, but we love, we laugh, we talk really loud, we eat a whole lot, and we carry on. We carry on and we choose joy.

Coming up in two days is our universary! Two boys will be at scout camp, one will be working, I will be eating lunch with my SLCC co-workers, and that night, we will celebrate! The five of us will celebrate how far we have come in one year.

I can't express in words how grateful I am for our family, for the birth of Asher, for the upcoming birth of Asher's baby brother, for my mom's ability to conquer cancer, for our visits with family and friends, for friends who have never let me be sad for more than one day, for our amazing ward, for my job, for co-workers who won't let me fall, for the Gospel and prayer. We are choosing joy!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Baby Asher Time

Auntie and Braxton went to put Baby Asher to bed on Sunday night. That baby is just the best little thing ever. His daddy was just finishing up feeding him. Auntie burped him, then changed him, then loved on him. Baby Asher LOVES soundtracks. If you lay him down, he will watch MTV Classics and just smile at the TV. He is just like his daddy!

We cuddled and rocked. He went night night and Braxton drove us home. It was a pretty perfect way to end our Sunday!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I'll Always Say Yes

While I was at the gym last night, Braxton texted me and asked if we could go for a drive. I'll always say yes when my boys need me. I told him I was leaving the gym and on my way to pick him up. He drove us around Layton and Kaysville. He is a good driver. Jackson is too. But, Braxton is a good manual transmission driver. Jackson refuses to drive a manual. We talked as he drove. The night was beautiful. As we were driving back, he pulled in to a cute little restaurant and told me he'd buy me a dole whip. He bought one and we shared it and talked some more.

I'll always say yes to my boys when they need me. I am SO blessed to be raising these yahoos. My every day is completely focused around them. I work hard for them. I work out so that I can work hard for them. I hope that my efforts with them will be enough.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Making a Difference

Last Thursday was Make a Difference Day in the OC. This is a day when City employees and a lot of volunteer groups come out and we beautify Ogden. It's a great day. The Fire Department then grills up lunch for everyone. Our crews planted trees, cleaned up trash, painted, planted flowers, cleaned out tree grates, fixed shelters, laid mulch, weeded, and so many other things. It's a great day and it's a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too.

P did his pre-trip to check the the truck and trailer before we left. I did my pre-trip, too. That consisted of making sure I had a cold Diet Coke!!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hiking it Out

When I got home from work on Thursday night, I told the two youngest to change their shoes. I told them we were going hiking. It was such a beautiful night. We grabbed water and headed to our favorite Adam's Canyon. It was amazing. Colton did so good! We went so much further without him having a difficult time at all! We discovered the beauty of selfie sticks, too! I might have become obsessed with it!!!

I love that we live so close to the mountains and we can load up, drive five minutes, and be in nature!! Annnnd, I love these boys of mine more!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Favorites - Bath Bombs

These are the best! Mister got me a six piece set and they all have different scents and oils in them. They are so fun. I love the way they feel on my skin. Such a fun gift idea!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Mister decided that I needed bath supplies because I love to take baths every night after I work out. Soooo, when he picked me up to take me to the airport, he brought me surprises. And, FYI... one of these will be my Friday favorite tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Right before I left for Oklahoma, I got my hair done. Except the girl who does it thought it would be super fun to do it bright purple/pink. I cried like a baby when she turned my chair around and revealed the finished product. I looked like Rainbow Brite, for real. I began washing it daily with baking soda and shampoo and in really hot water. It has calmed down so much! This is two weeks AFTER it was colored. It's finally starting to fade. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I spent last week in Oklahoma. The wind was off the hook. Trees are permanently leaning one direction... what trees there are. There was a Wal-mart, but not a big-chain grocery store. There was a Chik-Fil-A. There was a mall, with two book-end stores and nothing in between. For real. There was a nightclub and bowling alley... right next to each other. Downtown is quaint, but a lot of stores are closed down, much like the mall. Most houses are on large pieces of property, with enormous front yards. The hotel we stayed at got hit by lightening, requiring three room changes. No big deal, really. I spent the entire week relaxing. I colored for hours. I watched every movie that has ever been made... pretty sure! I walked across the four lane highway to see a movie in the only theater where there are wooden chairs, some covered in bed sheets because the fabric is coming off. I walked to one of the local, family-owned grocery stores. Everyone is so, extremely friendly... genuinely sincere. Few people have all of their teeth. But, they are so happy and so kind.

When I got home, I saw a note Jackson had left for Brothers. I am so dang proud of my boys. Nana was too sick to stay with them, so the boys were on their own. Jackson got himself and Braxton to and from work as much as he could. Uncle Brandon helped one day. Jackson got himself and Brothers to and from school every day. They ate the pre-made meals I left for them. They helped each other and supported each other. No one was injured! I am so grateful I got a week of relaxation and being spoiled... and spoiled, I was. I am so grateful my boys were safe and protected and that they got a break from Mom as well.