Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2014 wishes

My wishes for 2014

 - I wish for true education on ADD/ADHD.  

 - I wish for others to view my son as he is - a bright, beautiful, smart, funny, and generous BOY.  He has ADHD, it does not have him.  

 - I wish for equal rights, not judgment on who should have those rights.

 - I wish to continue reconnecting with old friends.  

 - I wish for my children to always know I not only love them, but that I always have their back.

 - I wish for my children's teachers to know how appreciated they are, even when my children do not show it.

 - I wish for a Starbucks to open in Rolla.

 - I wish for a beautiful celebration for my parents 40th wedding anniversary.

 - I wish for my in-laws continued health.

 - I wish for Mr. Uphoff's continued health.

 - I wish for a genetically modified mosquito that sucks fat rather than blood.

 - I wish to be the friend that my friends are to me.

My resolutions for 2014

 - I resolve to laugh more.

 - I resolve to forgive quicker.

 - I resolve to be more patient.

 - I resolve to love myself more.

 - I resolve to look in the mirror and see myself the way my children see me.  

 - I resolve to blog more about less boring topics.

I sincerely hope you and yours have a blessed and safe New Years!

 - Dawny Wendy

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pulling the curtain back

I've reached the witching age. Almost 40... Okay 38.5 to be exact. 
What a strange time in my life; when you realize that YOU are the adult, little ones are looking at you to lead them, spouses are looking at you to hold it all together.
When you realize that you don't have to please everyone, and frankly it's impossible and damaging to try. 
You've got all this juggling of relationships. Relationships that are evolving and need to be reevaluated- what do you want to accept and allow or what do you find absolutely intolerable?

When you still love and adore these relationships, but you are able to recognize that the pedestal you've put them on is like Mt. Saint Helen's; it's beautiful, filled with many cracks and crevices and extremely unstable- if the conditions are just right, it could blow. 
An age when you are old enough to see that life is gray... black and white aren't even in the picture. 

The important things in your life are changing and priorities are being reorganized.
Part of these revelations are very encouraging, freeing almost. 
But having the tablecloth ripped out from under the idealistic little table-setting you've created can also be heartbreaking. 

So as with all of these wacky chapters in my life, I will do my best to navigate them as best as I can. I too have flaws...too many to count. 
But I am fiercely loyal and love with all I have, two of my biggest strengths and weaknesses.
I have to trust that this chapter is exactly where I'm supposed to be and that it will have an ending just like all the rest. 
Mary Wendy

Cinnamon Roll Poundcake

I have amazing memories of the Holidays as a child! My parents were divorced and remarried so I had many different family Holiday parties to go to every year. My Gran Pat(my Dad's mother) and Gramps Dick(my Dad's step father) house was always a special place for me.  My Gran was this amazing person but she also was kinda the PERFECT wife,mom,grandma,sister,friend,employee......she could do it all cook,sew,make anything our of anything......she was amazing! She made these cinnamon rolls every year at Christmas time that I can still taste.  I lost the recipe a while back in a move and haven't been able to get it again so I have been on the quest to make them from memory...I haven't gotten it yet so I stopped a few years ago.  But I love the thought of having a tradition like that to make with the Punkies So I had an idea to mix KK mom's pound cake recipe and my Gran's Cinnamon rolls! So Vannie and I have made it a few times and I think we finally got it!

What you need:


3 sticks of butter(room temp.)
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
3 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of cinnamon sugar


4 oz cream cheese(room temp)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of milk

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With the mixer, cream butter and sugar together.

Add eggs, one at a time,beat after each one.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to the mixer alternating that with milk(I think it helps starting and finishing with the dry stuff).

Mix in vanilla.

I use a bundt pan but you could also use to loaf pans.Grease and flour them well.

Pour half the batter into pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture into pans.Pour half the batter you have over that, sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar and ending with the rest of the batter.

Bake for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Cream together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the completely cooled cake. Here's the sucky part...let the icing set up for an hour before you cut into it! I know!! But I swear it is worth it!

So this is what we will be having Christmas morning along with our breakfast casserole! I hope you try it and tell me if you make changes and what they are!! I am thinking about adding nuts to the cinnamon and sugar mixture or maybe almond extract to the cake itself? Enjoy!!!!

xoxoxoxo Nicci Wendy

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sweet, Spicy Winter Yum!

Do you like foods with some spicy heat? I do! 

One of the foods I love is Dagoba's Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate. It's flavors are rich and complex-- to me, it tastes nutty and chocolatey, cinnamony and maybe a little fruity--and it really has heat to it! I'd describe the heat level as medium-to-hot. This deliciousness comes in both a spicy chocolate bar, as well as the drink. The first time I was served this, it was served with a whole cinnamon stick garnishing the mug of chocolate, and a huge blob of real whipped cream on top. Over-the-top luscious and satisfying, and it warms you up so well! This item can be found at Whole Foods and other fancy-food markets, as well as online. 

Yesterday I stopped by the regular grocery store to get some breakfast ingredients, and came across International Delight "Vanilla Heat" coffee creamer. I bought this to add to my morning coffee and ended up drinking three cups, which I never do! It's got a nice little kick to it. I'd describe it as mild-to-medium. I also want to try it in my favorite tea, which is Good Earth Original Sweet and Spicy Tea. This tea is wonderful and smells like a cinnamon broom. I used to get it at the Good Earth Restaurant in Northridge, California, where I went to college and had a lot of study dates with classmates... they served it iced with orange slices in it. So good. For twenty years I have loved this tea. It's delicious with creamer in it too, especially International Delight Amaretto, which I used to see everywhere but now is not sold at any of the grocery stores near my house. I always try to convert people to this tea and most people love it, but I've heard some really odd feedback on it, like "Smells like feet" and just last week a coworker of mine left me a post-it note with a picture of a butt and the words "your tea smells like ass" on my cup. But obviously, these people are crazy! So I will be trying this delicious Vanilla Heat in my tea tonight.

Since these coffee creamers actually contain no cream or milk and are basically made from chemicals, I am also going to try this great-looking recipe for a homemade spicy-hot vanilla creamer flavored with cayenne

 I will report back.
-Dani Wendy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Replacing our advent calendar

Every year I try to do something different with the boys and my husband that reminds them of how much they mean to me.

Originally, I decided to do a 25 day countdown for all three of them to replace the advent calendar.  Each day they would get to pull that day's note and it would be a love note, a "coupon", a thank you, etc...

It's kind of evolved into something more and I'm really excited about it.

On top of the original idea, three days per week, their note will be a Random Act of Kindness.  The note may actually list the "act" or it may have them coming up with it on their own.  But at the end of the day, I want to know about it.  BUT, those three days? Also come with a Random Act of Kindness business card, per se.  Just a wish for them to pass it on.

I'm really excited about this project.  I'm excited to hear from the boys after school and how their "acts" went over.  I'm excited to hear from my husband after a day at work after he bought someone lunch.  

I myself make a point to do a "random act" at least once or twice a week.  I have special little cards I give away when I do that connect people to  I'm excited to pass it on to my children.

 - Dawny Wendy

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hand out help up or how not to be an asshat

I was on welfare. 

There. I said it. I'm a mother to two wonderful boys and happily married to a hard-working man. And due to circumstances beyond our control, WE were on welfare. I'm not going to bore you with my "excuses". It just is what it was. 

I had Coach handbags. I had an iPhone. We had two vehicles. I have two tattoos. And yet, we were on welfare. 

I sold my Coach handbags to make ends meet. I saved one because it had sentimental meaning. I got title loans on the vehicles. We had to have two vehicles though. My iphone? Was a gift. And because I had it BEFORE, my data plan was grandfathered in and my monthly bill? Would've cost the same had I had a normal flip phone. But that iPhone was used to help find work. So, I wasn't about to give it up. My tattoos are at least ten years old. 

You may have seen me at Walmart with my Coach bag and my iPhone with my food stamp card. You may have clucked your tongue and talked shit about me under your breath. Let me tell you though what you didn't see...

You didn't see me cry at night because I felt demeaned in the first place to even apply. You didn't see my husband and I fight because he wouldn't go get groceries because he was embarrassed. You didn't attend my garage sales where I sold anything and everything I owned to try and make ends meet. You didn't see our Christmas in which my boys only received a couple things because there wasn't money for anything else. You didn't see how wonderful that Christmas was because we knew how blessed we were, how lucky we were. We were together and we loved each other. And we knew it could be worse in the grand scheme of things. We knew what was truly important. 

I'm working now and no longer on welfare. I still have that one Coach bag. I still have my iphone. I still have my tattoos. I'm the same person I was before save for one vital piece. I don't judge those on state aid any longer. It's not easy to ask others for help. It's not easy to acknowledge that you need help, and hope, to take care of your own family. But as a former social worker, I promise you there's more people on welfare that genuinely need it than those taking advantage of the system. 

I'm so fucking tired of those stupid ecards about those on welfare taking YOUR money. It's such bullshit. They're crass and just ridiculous. I wonder if those who post them have any true idea of what people like myself have gone through and suffered and sacrificed. I'm not sure when it became ok to be judgmental asshats towards those in need and it genuinely saddens me. But it also pisses me off. It just doesn't piss me off enough to wish it on anyone. 

So maybe, instead of judging, one can think of the whole hand out, help up adage instead. 

- Dawny Wendy

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nut Free Carrot Spice Muffins

My coworker recently had a birthday and chose carrot cake -- that's his favorite. I ordered it from some fancy-shmancy cake shop... the boss picked it up, and it arrived in all its gorgeous, spicy glory!  The cake was mouthwatering-looking, dark and moist, with thick cream cheese icing and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Heaven, right? Problem is, I'm allergic to most nuts, so I was forced to be healthy, and a party pooper, and pass up the slice of cake. After that, I decided to make a carrot spice cupcake or muffin that would satisfy that carrot cake craving while being slightly healthier, and also  portable, so that I can take one or two to work in my purse. 

I started with a basic carrot bread recipe that called for cinnamon as its only spice, but I really wanted to spice it up, so I added a generous amount of nutmeg and clove. I also added lemon zest. Clove is a very strong spice, so add it little by little, with caution, and taste your batter before adding more.  I added more egg and more baking powder to make my muffins a little more puffy and light. I decided that I morphed the recipe enough to put my own name on it and call it my own. 

Dani's Nut-Free Carrot Spice Muffins

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more to suit your taste)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (add more to suit your taste)
1/4 teaspoon clove (add more to suit your taste)

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners
1. Grate and measure the carrots and set aside.

okay, these are not carrots... you can also do zucchini chocolate chip with the same spicy "base"!

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove in the bowl

3. Beat the eggs together in a medium bowl. Add the oil, vanilla extract, and milk.
4. Make a depression in the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture along with the carrots. Mix with a spatula until combined.

5. Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. 

fill them about this full

Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 17-22  minutes or until the muffins test done when a toothpick is inserted in the middle. Remove the tray and cool on wire racks.

The possibilities are endless using the spice muffin as a base: you could use zucchini instead of carrot. They came out sweet, so you could definitely cut the sugar; next time I will cut the sugar in mine and add raisins and some type of seeds, since I am allergic to nuts but would still like to create a nutty flavor and texture in the muffins. Since my carrot cake recipe also has pineapple, I think I will experiment with pineapple next time, too. I used white sugar and would like to make these substituting a gourmet dark muscovado or turbinado sugar for some of the white. You could mix cream cheese and honey or agave to make a spread like icing for the carrot spice muffins. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To Write Love On Her Arms

This week is/was National Suicide Prevention Week.  I myself have never truly contemplated suicide.  I've seen firsthand what that specific act does to loved ones.  Like most others, I may have thought about what others lives may be like were I not around, but they weren't suicidal thoughts.  

I'm just going to be honest here.  Suicide scares the shit out of me.  It scares me that someone I may love or hold dear could have such deep and terrible thoughts and be in so much pain that their only escape is to end their life.  I simply cannot imagine it.

To Write Love on her Arms has this amazing project going on right now, I Cannot Be Replaced.  I've included my version as well as a blank one for anyone who wishes to post theirs.  YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED.  How simple and yet so powerful.  Because you can't.  You cannot be replaced.  *I* cannot be replaced.  It's not egotistical, it's not pretentious.  It's fact.  You cannot be replaced.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Befrienders - Volunteer Action To Prevent Suicide

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dog days of summer...

Here we are- it's the end of an eventful summer to say the least... 
Reconnected with HS pals...hung with family we just recently met...and said our goodbyes to Rob's Dad, my FIL and the kids Papa. 
That's the yin and yang of life. 
Some light, some dark. 
Some friendships bloom and blossom; while others dim and dull...just like the trees.
But one thing that is always constant is change- and change means growth. 
So here's to you summer- we'll see you sooner than we think; and in the meantime- bring on Fall, my favorite season of them all. 
Mary Wendy

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pleasantly surprised...

I'm typically a skeptic... in most things in my life. When they announced that the cast of A&E's Longmire series was planning to come to Buffalo, Wyoming; no way - not happening... they might SAY they are coming, but they aren't. They are big Hollywood types... they've got a life outside of their series and there's really no way they are going to spend precious downtime with us. 

Let me back up a little bit - 
Longmire is an A&E TV Series based off of a local writer, Craig Johnson's book series.  While the books are fiction, many of the stories and locations, names of towns etc. are based off of Johnson County, home to those of us that live in Buffalo Wyoming. 

A few weeks before the 2nd Annual Longmire Day's - posters of the event started popping up all over town. The brewery was asked to provide a special brew for the occasion and a place for the Poker Run to start and finish.  There was to be a horseback ride (with cast members) a skeet shoot (with cast members), a softball game with locals and the cast. A pancake breakfast, press conference and a street dance... finished off with one of the cast members doing stand up comedy at the famous Occidental Saloon. 

Come on seriously people? Are you all still buying this??

By last account they had 5 of the 7 main characters confirmed... uh huh, sure. 

Well holy hell... we show up to the VIP party out at HF Bar, a local dude ranch and there's none other than Cassidy Freeman (Cady Longmire) relaxing on the adirondack chair with a drink in her hand.  Are you sure that's her? She doesn't have a golden essence illuminating her being...  she doesn't have sequins or even make up on... where's the paparazzi? 
Nope- sure enough; it's her.... beautifully natural, crisp and clean - an actual human being. 
Huh? Who would've thought! 

Within the next glass of wine or two... Katee Sackhoff (Vic), Robert Taylor (Sheriff Walt Longmire) and Adam Bartley (the Ferg) meld in to the crowd. 

Now, three glasses of Pinot in, I'm ready to make a fool of myself and get some photo's with these folks- it's not every day you get to go to a VIP "star-studded" event in Wyoming!  Not to mention I DID have makeup on - never waste good makeup. 

What gracious folks we were rubbing elbows with. They were all so down-to-earth and real. Maybe it was the setting, but honestly it was a real treat to meet these folks. Because it was a small group of sponsors and a few select city officials, it was a very relaxed setting. No pushing or shoving or waiting in line. 

But where in the world is the "hottie"? The hottie? You know... Branch... Branch Connally - aka Bailey Chase. Oh wait... there he is! Pearl button shirt, jeans and flip flops - with his beautiful wife on his arm. 
Another super nice person. 

I didn't personally get to meet Louanne Stephens (Ruby), but she was at the Occidental during the Karaoke/Story-telling time - rounding out the cast that was able to attend. 

Okay okay enough bragging about my experience... but honestly I am so thrilled for this town, and personally thrilled that we had such a fun-filled weekend with this cast. Our Chamber of Commerce did their very best to pull off a huge event in a short time frame - while there will be lessons to learn from the weekend was a total success and a huge economic boost of our community. 

I'm glad I was so wrong about "Hollywood" types.
I'm also grateful and full of respect for this cast of actors... we (as in this town) put them through 3+ days of a very grueling high pressure schedule. I'm hopeful they will come back next year. 
While I'm not generally a star-struck fan, the genuine demeanor of these people might change that. 

Now - if only La Bamba (aka Lou Diamond Phillips) can make it next year.. from what I hear from his fellow cast-mates he's a real class act. Happy Anniversary Lou! 

Signed - The Brewery Bitch (aka Mary Wendy)

MJ and I with the Author Craig Johnson -

Rob & Chris with Robert Taylor (aka Sheriff Longmire)

Myself, "the Ferg", photo-bomber and MJ 

Bailey & I

MJ, Ida, Cassidy and I.

Bill, Katee and I.

Gents at Clear Creek Brewing Co for a few minutes of respite on Saturday night. 

And last but most certainly not least- me with my super-star! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My expectations for a great school year

So every year before the first day of school, I write the boys a letter. It's the same letter, with relevant additions from year to year. I give them the letter as they go to bed the night before their first day back. I saw something similar on The Huffington Post the other day so I decided to share mine as well. 

Dawny Wendy

P.S. Kudos if you recognize my family's favorite geeky quotes at the end. 

I can't believe you're going into 7th grade. Every day you amaze me, inspire me, and make me laugh. I love seeing glimpses of the man you'll be someday. 

I want you to wake up every morning and realize your blessings. Life is hard, school is hard. Not everything is fair. But it's all yours for the taking. It's all available to you if you apply yourself and know you CAN do it. 

But I also want you to know, need you to know, that life isn't about you. Life is about caring and sharing and helping/serving others. It's about KNOWING right from wrong even when it's difficult. It's standing up for others and your own beliefs even when it hurts to do so. 

I was the kid picked on at recess, the kid picked last, the kid laughed at, the child sitting on the side of the playground lonely. But I never helped or stood up for the other picked on and lonely children either. I wasn't brave enough, I didn't have the confidence. 

I challenge you this year. I challenge you to stand up for others, to stand up for what you know in your heart is right. It might hurt. It might get you teased as well. But doing something like that anyway? That's called bravery. And you just may make a lifelong friend. 

I don't expect you to be perfect. I don't expect you to make straight A's, always be on the honor roll. 

I expect you to be kind. I expect you to be honorable. Be brave. Be compassionate. Be empathetic. Be exactly who you want to be and who you want others to be. Treat those around you with respect, especially your teachers. Treat your intelligence with respect as well. It's ok to be smart, to be labeled a nerd. It's not about WHAT you love, it's about HOW you love. (Credit to Wil Wheaton) But above all? Be yourself. Someday, the world will be thankful for that. 

I love you more than any words I could possibly ever tell you. You're the most important and precious gift I ever gave to myself. I love you always. Always. You're the biggest pain in my ass but the entirety of my heart. Know that every single day. Know that no matter what, I always have your back. I always love you. 

Live Long and Prosper. Be a big damn hero. Be the optimist. Be the dreamer of improbable dreams. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. Until you find something to fight for, you settle for something to fight against. And above all else? Shop smart, shop S-mart. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So there's this hole.......

In my backyard.  It's kinda big and it's been there since we moved in. I think it's just like a sink hole which is kinds disturbing because its close to the foundation of the house but that's a whole other issue!

Last night I was out watering the grass because we killed most of the backyard by spraying weed killer on a ton of weeds that popped up! KK was for sure it wouldn't hurt the grass and I woke the next morning to dead everything! So then KK said if I just water it a ton it will grow back so I have been!

So annnnnnnnyway I ran out to turn off the sprinkler, fell in the hole, and because I had to go pee really really badly I PEED MYSELF!!!! So not right but oh so funny!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Whatta Month!!!!!

So the month of July flew by with lots of things happening and life changes!  I know! I know! I talk about change a lot while still feeling sis....But I turned 40!!!! 40! I'm 40!! It doesn't seem possible. I remember being in my 20's looking at women in their 40's thinking I can't wait to be that together, that confident, that comfortable in my own skin. Now I am here and I still feel like that 20 something gal!
The Princess and I in our matching tops for my 40th Birthday Adventure

Let me go back a bit before I dive into that! July! It's a busy month with lots of birthdays for my family and friends. We planned a couple of adventures but most importantly Gami came to visit for the entire month. The Punkies adore Gam. The love they have for her melts my heart and it brings back memories of the love I had with my Grandparents.  But I have to admit I REALLY, REALLY LIKE my Mommy. I mean most people love their Mom but I also really like her and enjoy spending time with her. We laugh and understand each other so completely!And this visit we found each other saying the exact same things at the same time! FREAKY!!!
This is the kind of thing Mommy and LOL about!

 So I was really excited she was going to be here for the month.  While she was here my baby brother had a crisis, her Bestie had a crisis, and  of course she had to check on The Rog several times a day and field whatever crisis he was having. It hurt my feelings that she would take their calls and text all day with them when she was here.  It was my time and when they are there in FL visiting I don't hear anything from her.  Meaning I don't cut into their time.  So I was a little bent out of shape(I told you I still feel 20 something most times!) But then my Bestie reminded me that my relationship is different with my mom, that she knows and expects me to be strong, take care of myself and my family-cause that is what I have always done.  So after a lot of But....But..... I heard what D was saying and decided to put the bratty girl feelings away and appreciate that my Mom thinks I got this and be happy that she is the kind of person who loves so BIG.  I know that is where I get my BIG feelings from and I love that about myself.
We adore Gam! So glad she could spend the month with us

So 40.....I was expecting it to be big and life changing.  I thought I would be sad and feel like I haven't done what I should have by now. was actually ok.  I had a great day with Mommy and the Punkies.  We laughed a lot, we had an adventure, we played....It was a great day.  The next morning when I went in to get the Bigs up, Bu had smeared feces from one end of his bed to the other. And it hit me.....I'm doing exactly what I am suppose to do. Parenting the Punkies is not easy.  I adore them, I want to give them every possible chance of a great life, I want them to feel loved and safe, I want them to grow into amazing people that live their lives to the fullest.  Bu can't handle fun and being able to make his own choices. I eased up to much the day before and this was his way of telling me he was afraid and that I had let him down.  My Mom had seen how far things had changed with Bu...I think she thought I was blowing things out of portion on the phone about him...again I was glad she was here, being a witness for my life, validating me and cheering me on! 40 was coming in like a lion and I felt like "I got this"!
Zo looking dapper in his pimplicious birthday hat

Tater went with a DJ Lance hat

Sis was the Hello Kitty Princess

Gam was also a pretty princess

And Bu...well he stated true to Bu form! KK was really glad she had to work and not wear a hat for my birthday!

Next up the Princess turning 5 and us spending the week in Seaside. Last time we were in Seaside the Bigs were awful! So I had a game plan to hopefully make them feel safe and in control of their surrounding and it was a great week! Cold as f#&*! But we had a great time with very little poor choices! So again I felt like we(kk and I) were doing something right!!! 40 was looking goooood!
In front of the Seaside sign

Happy 5th Birthday my Princess Love!

So Mom has gone home.  It was hard to watch her go into the airport to leave. The Punkies are sad and acting out.....But 40's not looking bad.  I am looking forward to the year.  Making the changes I need to make for me and becoming that confident, comfy in my own skin gal!
I'm a true believer in Mom's are super heros and we tuck our capes into our yoga pants while we run to keep our families moving! I hope to live up to my alter ego and feel good in my 40 year old skin! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sometimes Pinterest is more than recipes

I'm a lazy Pinterest-er. I pin recipes thinking they'd be great for dinner. I pin fandom-y merchandise in hopes of buying them one day. I pin seasonal decorations because I'm sure I'll add them to my yearly Halloween or Christmas "pretties". 

Then I started seeing all these great mommy and kid ideas for bonding. Now, to know my children and myself, we're pretty damn close. But I've always vowed to myself that they will never for a second doubt that they are 1) single handedly the most important people in my world, 2) no matter what life throws at them one person will always have their back even if I don't agree with them, and 3) that their hopes and dreams are as important to me as they are to themselves. So I started pinning all types of parent and child activities. 

Hands down, the best one thus far is the Mommy and Me notebooks. I bought simple quarter notebooks and decorated them with leftover scrapbooking materials. The gist is we write back and forth leaving the notebook on the others pillow once finished. 

They're SO much fun! I thought the boys would get bored with them but they're enjoying the books as much as I am. Some days we just write jokes, other notes are sappy, a couple are me chewing their butts for whatever crappy thing they may have done. They tell me about their day and/or their wishes for our family. It's become more than a tool in parenting and communicating, it's become something the three of us genuinely look forward to participating in and receiving. It's become something that I will keep and cherish and then one day, when they have their own home, they can read them and know they're never alone and always loved. 

- Dawny Wendy

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The 7 year itch... 1.0

For whatever reason, I find I am coming to many conclusions about myself and my life now that I'm entering into my 7th year as a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM). 
I will do my best to try and spit this out in some sort of coherent fashion-  

  • First and foremost-being a SAHM was my desire, dream and wish; all of which my Rob graciously supported. 
  • Being a SAHM is difficult on so many areas of a women's life. So many that I have just now begun to realize how many in the last 6 months of this almost 7 year career.

From H.S. on, I knew that I wanted to take the route my mom did and stay home with my kids until they went to school.  I honestly never planned on having a "career" and therefore never considered what it would be like to have a career and then NOT have a career. 
I was good at my job, actually very good... I didn't do what I studied in college, but I know that my degree set me up to be successful in the working world.
All the while I was working this career (8 years) the one thing I couldn't wait for was the day my prince charming would come along and make me a wife and mother. 

FAST FORWARD:  7 years, 1 marriage, 1 ex-wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cross-country-move, 1 brewery, 12 million loads of laundry and dishes later, here I am. 

Wait.... Here who is? 
Who am I?
What happened to Scary Mary? 
Scary Mary who moved from city to city, pay grade to pay grade, promotion to promotion? 
Where did she go? 

How in the world did I lose her? 

I read all the articles on how NOT to lose myself to motherhood. I went to movies, coffee, and dinners with my friends. Rob and I go on dates and take trips (without the kids) often... etc. etc. 
How did this happen?  Did I let this happen?

Yes... these are the "hardships" of SAHM-ness that I am just beginning to uncover and figure out how to rectify.

Like Stella- Scary needs to get her groove back. 

Watch out folks- Mary just realized Scary's gone missing! Buckle up and get ready for the recovery mission...

Peace out - Mary Wendy

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Addiction sucks

Late last night it was announced that Cory Monteith (Finn from Glee) had been found dead. They haven't released cause of death but supposition is from a possible overdose due to his recent stay in rehab from substance abuse along with his age (he was 31).

I'm unashamedly a Gleek. I love what the show has done for the arts awareness and music in general. There's kids out there that know the lyrics to The Beatles, Meatloaf, Areosmith, 80's hip hop, etc... 

I can't help but be sad about his death. Not just because of I was rooting for his character, not just for his family/friends/coworkers, but for the younger generation of fans. I know how invested in my shows, characters, and actors that portray them I get and I'm an adult. I hurt for the 11 year girl who had a crush on Finn. I hurt for the 10 year old boy who was inspired by the character to be more than what was expected of him by himself and his peers. 

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I hope he found the peace in death that he may not have had in life. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Secret -

As I sat down at my laptop this morning, I saw this  - 

These are two fortunes Rob and I received (from a cookie) when we had just left our secure jobs in San Francisco for 'greener' pastures in Battleground, WA.

Being the cheesy girl that I am, I quickly went and found this cutesy little frame that could display them nicely.
From that day on, he has had this on one desk or another, as a reminder and motivator to follow his dreams and reach his goals (most likely he rarely looked at it and it was strictly a dust collector, but the motivation/reminder was a good idea on my part). 

We thought we were on THE path, and that these fortunes were meant specifically for that chapter in our lives... but as I see this little gem this morning, I know that it was just waiting for a bigger and better time to reveal itself. We still had things we needed to persevere before these fortunes could come to fruition.

Rob, (with my blessing) has decided to take a leap of faith. He has given notice at his very secure job he's had for 6 years to pursue his brewing full-time.
His desire to work for his own company has never wavered and he's always had a lot to prove. 

Now he is well on his way. Brewing is his passion - it's taken 42 years to figure it out, but thankfully he has figured it out. Some never do. 

In the book The Secret - they say you need to focus on the good you already have, and put out to the universe what you desire. I think this little framed reminders value has increased exponentially this morning! 

Cheers to my Robbie for making his dreams come true, and thanks to all that have cheered and supported him along the way - 

Mary Wendy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cheeky Bikinis

Yesterday there was a reportedly warm water temperature, so I ventured to the beach. I love to swim and play in the ocean, but of course the ocean off the coast of California is cold. Surfers here wear wetsuits, and even though there are times when the ocean is relatively warm, it's not Hawaii or the Gulf of Mexico... it's still mighty "refreshing" when you get into 69 degree water in a bikini! So I ventured out yesterday and jumped around in the water a bit.

My beach afternoon revealed to me that it's no longer enough to wear a bikini. No, the cheeky bikini bottom is now in fashion. I saw at least half the women on the beach with the new cheeky bottoms. Of course, these are nothing new... in panty form... it's just new to me to see them on the beach in California. 

So far, the cheekiest thing by far that I wear in public is these short yoga shorts by Mika Yogawear. kinda cheeky shorts
They are really very short. But it's 104 degrees and 40% humidity in a Bikram yoga hot room, so no one cares. People are pretty much trying to survive the class, and they don't gawk. Plus we are all blinded by the stinging sweat dripping into our eyes!

I do like to be in fashion and I also think cheeky panties are really flattering, so I'm on the hunt to find modest cheeky bikini bottom. Yes, I realize this is something of an oxymoron, but perhaps a bottom that looks more like my yoga shorts than a thong panty, something nice people could actually see on the beach without feeling like they're in a strip club or rifling through a Victoria's Secret 5 for $25 panty table. Does this exist? We will find out! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sometimes I Just Need Sleep

I believe that most women are Warriors. Warriors for our Children, Family, Friends, Sisters, Soul mates, and our Universe.  I believe that women can do anything. I believe we are the soul of our world.

Most days I feel like a fierce Warrior. I often start my day by talking to my 3 Besties and my Mom. They recharge, encourage, guide me. They make me laugh,cry, scream, bitch and remind me how blessed I am....

Today I'm not feeling fierce or even like I'm willing to put on my armor. Today I want to cover my ears and not hear my child talk about hating me or how he wished I were dead. Today I wish I could crawl into bed and cry, let it all out until there are no more tears. Today I wish I could do it right and EVERYONE would just be happy. Today I don't want to clean up poop or pee from and angry child or dog. Today I want to feel sad that I can't reach the Bigs. Today I want the Lils to have a day where the Bigs don't annoy, hurt, scare,say something horrific to them or make them sad because of their behaviors.....

Sometimes the Warrior needs to sleep, I have 4 children so of course it is not possible and I know I will awake tomorrow and the Warrior will be back! Cause that's what we do! We take a deep breathe and try to cleanse our souls and come out swinging!

But for now I will just sit and remember why I'm so fierce.... 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kissy Kissy

I'm obsessed with lip balms and I'm not really sure why. I could delve into my childhood and tell you that I grew up in the high desert where it was very hot, windy and dry in summer and very cold, windy and dry in winter, and I licked my lips so dry I had a purplish brown crusty ring of dried skin around my mouth, making me look like a clown, and my beloved second grade teacher, a nun, was so worried about this condition that she invited me to stick my finger into her ChapStick that was worn down below the point where you can even twist it up anymore... so I was kind of reluctantly digging my finger into a plastic case that I don't think had any more lip balm left in it, worried that I was using her last drop and sort of embarrassed to be singled out in front of my classmates... but I'll hold back. Ha!

I've had everything from the classic Chap Stick to the jumbo size Bonne Bell Lip Smackers (love!) to a $32 colorless Chanel balm. One of my favorites are ones made in Washington with local honey and beeswax, and my bestie has been experimenting with making her own balms, too.

I'm currently enjoying Eos Smooth Spheres lip balms. I have four of them, one in each bathroom, one in my desk at work and one in my purse! I like the cute round shape and the candy colors, and the packaging has a kind of matte, rubbery grippy texture to it that I like as well. They contain 95% organic ingredients. I love these things!

Eos Smooth Spheres Lip Balm

I haven't been able to find the Passion Fruit one anywhere (center)
-Dani Wendy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Letting Go and letting God

One of my biggest areas of growth (I hate the word "weakness") is how I tend to worry and fret, to the point of making myself sick sometimes. I focus on one thing and have a hard time letting it go from my mind. 

I know, in my heart, how blessed I am. A wonderful husband, two simply amazing boys. But when life is faltering, it's hard to remember those things. 

A lot has happened to myself and my family the last couple of years. Physically, everyone is healthy but the last few years has taken a toll on our psyche, mine and my husband's especially. We've worked hard to get through it, and for the most part, we have. But I'm tired and frankly, I'm ready for a break. 

I'm trying to "let go and let God". Let go of my worries, let go of my stress and let God have them. Let God stand beside me and walk with me through them. I pray every night, and oftentimes during the day. I pray for myself, my family, for others. I pray for the break my family so desperately needs. I pray for those suffering to heal and/or find peace. I pray for my family and friends to know how very much I love them. 

It's tough letting go. It's tough not trying to be in control, especially when it feels as though there's not much to actually control. 

So, this blog post is me letting go and letting God. I'm still going to work as hard as I have been, harder if I'm capable. But I'm letting go of it and handing it to God. I tell my husband and children they're worth it to our Father. Now it's my turn to believe it. 

- Dawny Wendy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's 1 am on Sunday Morning.....

And I should totally be sleeping! It's not like I have been out dancing or anything! I mean I've had my Jammie's on since 6pm last night!

I really really really want to watch the 2 hours season finale of Criminal Minds but I'm afraid it will be to scary!

Well maybe I will just dream of Derrick Morgan and watch it when the sun comes up!!!

 Good Night!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

25 Ton Mac-n-Cheese Corn Casserole

1 - bag/box of Pasta (cooked al dente) used Wacky Mac here
1 - can cream corn
1 - can sweet corn drained
1 - stick of butter
1/2 - large block of melting cheese (Velveeta: super-rich or Bongards': less rich) 

Throw everything into a lightly greased 9x13 and pop into a 350 preheated oven. At 15 mins stir- everything up. Cook another 15-20 until its heated through! 
I think there are endless possibilities. 
- cooked chicken
- browned sausage
- veggies
- breadcrumbs
- crunches up potato chips

Hope you enjoy! 

Wendy Mary

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worth and Grace

For the most part, I've always considered myself to be a strong person. I do what I can to help others and do my best to work through issues to better the lives of my family. But lately, I've come to the realization that I'm not doing what I need to do to better myself. By that, I don't mean lose weight, quit smoking or whatnot. Those are obvious. I need to start with how I feel about myself, what I feel I deserve, and that inner voice we all have. 

We all defend those we love voraciously, no one moreso than myself. I will throw down over my boys, husband, family, and friends. But oftentimes I'm not willing to do that for myself. I allow myself to be taken for granted, talked to a certain way, treated callously, etc... Do I not feel I'm worthy of being treated better? Do I feel subconsciously that I've done something to deserve that treatment? I don't know. It's something I've really been thinking about. 

I guess, in true mom fashion, it keeps going back to my boys. I don't know that I can truly teach and help my boys to know when to stand up for themselves and others if I'm not able to distinguish that line for myself. I don't know that I can help my boys find their inner strength and grace if I'm not sure where mine is. 

I think I have a lot of work to do. 

 -Dawny Wendy