My Daughter is a Pancake Fiend

She is. She could eat them every day for every meal, I suspect. I am a fan, as well, however I am not as passionate as she is. We make them all the time because it’s one of the few things her picky little 3 year old self will eat enough of. Sometimes we even have them for dinner because it’s quick , easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand. I did not take pictures. Partly because I didn’t really think about it until it was too late, but also because…well, they’re pancakes and pretty much look like pancakes. Next time I make them, I’ll try to take some pictures and add them here. I probably won’t. 😉

I did not come up with this recipe on my own, although I couldn’t tell you at this point where I got it.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

So, the original recipe says to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl, then pour the wet mix into the dry mix and beat it until it’s smooth. I usually do this, but this last time I apparently hadn’t had enough caffeine when I started making them and, not thinking, just poured it all into one bowl from the start. It didn’t seem to make a difference and it was nice only having one bowl to clean. So do whatever you want. It also says to pour the batter onto your griddle or pan 1/4 cup at a time. I do 1/3 cup and it makes decent size pancakes. I always double this recipe and we get 12-14 pancakes out of it.  We have added cinnamon, chocolate chips, or blueberries. You can customize your own special flava.

Make sure you come back and let me know if you try them, especially if you add something or do something different.

Happy Tuesday!

Hi.

So this is my first post. Welcome to you all! Please feel free to check out the About Me tab at the top of the page there. I was going to copy and paste it for my first post, but I thought that would be redundant.

The title of this blog is “Mormon Me” so I feel it’s appropriate to share the story of my conversion into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and my testimony. I’ll keep it brief. Cross my heart.

I was raised Baptist my entire life. I always felt something was off – missing – and strayed away from my roots when I turned 18. I did pretty much everything I was taught not to do thinking that maybe what was missing was in those things. It wasn’t. {duh} I’ll spare you all the gory details and we’ll just fast forward to Cody. He and I hung out a few times and I told him he really just wasn’t my type. {HA!} We ended up hanging out one last time, and that was the end of my single life as I knew it. {Thank God. I was terrible at dating but Cody didn’t seem to mind.} We started dating exclusively in June, were engaged in July, and married in October. Whew. We moved fast once we got going. Over the course of getting to know each other while we were “hanging out” I discovered that he was Mormon. He dispelled a few Mormon myths, ones I’m sure you’ve heard, too. When I started to learn about the church, read things for myself, pray about it, I knew this was the right path for me. I was drawn to it and the core doctrines just made sense to me. I found what I was missing. I got baptized the week after we got married. I can’t say that I regret it necessarily, but that was a lot of change all at once for me. I don’t really recommend that timeline for anyone else. I have had and still do have my struggles {and I’ll share those with you} but I know without a doubt that this is exactly where I need to be.

We were inactive for a while after I was baptized but came back to the church in July of 2011. We were able to be sealed together as a family for eternity in March 2012. It was a wonderful experience and I am so thankful for my forever family!

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Are there any other converts out there? If so, I’d love to hear a little bit about your conversion story.

Not every picture has to be a portrait…

There are a MILLION photographers talking these days about getting in the picture and taking more pictures of your own family. This is more for me to look back when I lose sight again…because I’m sure I will.

Ever since I’ve gotten into the whole photography thing, I may have gone a little over board. McKenna has been my model from day one. When I look back through all the pictures of her first year, there are so many! The older she gets, though, the fewer pictures I have of her. I have learned so much about photography in the almost 2 years that I’ve been doing it. {Wow, has it been 2 years already?} I am lightyears ahead of where I was when I started {and I know I have lightyears to go}. So, the more I’ve learned, the higher my standards have gotten for what an acceptable picture is…what the acceptable conditions as far as lighting and environment are. I’ve found myself taking fewer pictures of everyday things and turning everything into a photo shoot. I’ve turned McKenna into a subject and lost sight of the fact that she’s my child and I’m missing things.

So…I have busted out my smaller DSLR {glad I never sold it}, put it in auto {it still kinda breaks my heart}, switched it from RAW over to JPEG, and have started taking random snap shots of everyday things and everyday nothings. It’s still weird with the pop-up flash and all, but MAN I wish I’d done this sooner…like for her birthday. I didn’t get nearly as many pictures as I should have because I was worried about angles and lighting and aperture and shutter speed and bouncing my flash and focal points. I should have just been taking pictures. But…she is only two, so I have a lot of moments ahead of me still to capture. Of course, for big things {and if the lighting is naturally agreeable} I’ll pull out the big camera and be a little more serious about it.

I’m writing all this down so when I start getting a little too ME about it, I can remember all the moments I am missing and get myself back on track.

You Get What You Give

So I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days just kind of writing it in my mind.

I have always heard that you get back from your body what you put in it. If you put in healthy foods and drinks, exercise regularly, and take care of yourself you’ll have energy and feel great. If you put it sodas and junk, you’ll be sluggish and just generally feel like crap. Also, I think it’s pretty well known that you crave what you consume. If all you feed yourself is sugar you’ll want more. If you start drinking a lot of water, that’s what your body will want.

I have found from personal experience lately that it works the same for us spiritually as it does physically. If all you put in your mind is negative things, it really starts to affect you. You search out more negative things and the next thing you know, all the good and positive that you know is overtaken and overshadowed by negativity. Other people’s perceptions and opinions do not have to affect our own. What makes sense to them does not have to make sense to me. On the flip side, if you fill your mind with good things then that’s what you’ll search out. You’ll find ways to get past the things you struggle with. You may not get a resolution to your issues, but oddly enough you’ll feel at peace about that.

I had been filling my head with negative and completely laying aside all of the positive. It’s toxic. This last week or so I have made the switch back to only seeking that which is uplifting and helpful. It’s so amazing how things that I have been struggling with don’t really have anything to do with the specific negative things that I have let in. Since I have been focusing only on the positive, the unrelated struggles have eased. It helped me to see that everything is tied together, even if it’s not obvious to us at the time. It’s been a great lesson to me.

So my new goal: No matter how tempting and enticing the negativity seems, it’s just not worth it. If I focus on what I know to be true and the rest will fall into place!

Thankful

So, as probably 99% of the people that read this already know, I am Mormon. And proud of it. I’ve had some things on my heart and my mind and this is probably the most appropriate place to share them.

I have so much to be thankful for. Awesome family on both sides being one of them. Cody and I both have the most amazing parents that are always there for us. It’s amazing to me that each set of parents (we have 3 between the two of us) are there for us when we need them in different but equal ways. We love them and have no clue what we’d do without them. 
I’m thankful for McKenna and her health. She has been without health insurance for over a year and the worst she’s had is colds and a couple ear infections. We have been truly blessed with that. 
I am so very thankful for friends. With as awesome as we are I know it’s hard to believe, but we don’t have a lot of them. We’ve been in a position the last couple of years that have made it hard to cultivate friendships. We are looking forward to now being in a position again to do that.
Our friends Levi and Jessica (who MOVED and we MISS them) made it so easy to keep a friendship going in our situation. They understood and went above and beyond what they had to. They had us over ALL the time and kept me SANE. They gave me shoulders to cry on, ears to complain to, brains to pick. Seriously amazing people and I hate that they’re gone. HATE it. 
My friend Kayli is also amazing. We have only met in person a couple times but she has also been a brain to pick. She is an AWESOME example and I’m so thankful for her influence. 
Then there is Liz. Liz has been my photography mentor, friend, and spiritual guide. She understands me and how my brain works (which is amazing in and of itself) and can explain things in a way I understand. She has been invaluable. Seriously. 
And Amanda. Amanda has been there for me through every phase. (She’s Cody’s cousin.) We’ve only met in person once but have talked on Facebook and through text seriously almost every day for I don’t know how long. Years maybe? She has been with me through my ups and downs, faith and doubt, happiness and sadness. I’m so lucky to have her! 
Jillian. My sister-in-law. She loves me accepts me even though we have different belief systems. There is a deep level of acceptance between us and it’s just awesome. 
There are others, and I don’t mean to leave anyone out. 
I am thankful for Cody. He has been…everything I need. He has been my north star helping me to find my way. We have found our ways together, I think. I am so thankful for his introducing me to our faith. It has had such an impact on my life. We are so blessed to have been sealed to each other and our daughter in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple in March. It was an amazing experience. I am just beyond thankful to have and eternal marriage and family. I feel complete. I love the Temple and all that it stands for. Heavenly Father loves us so much that he created a way for us to exist in eternity as a family unit. I couldn’t think of anyone that I’d rather make that eternal commitment to than Cody.
My heart is just so full right now. There are days that I struggle. Of course. Don’t we all at times? But at the end of the day, I know how I feel and I know what I believe. I am so very thankful for the plan of salvation. 

Be A Blessing

So, I was thinking the other day….

Cody and I have been back in Church about 7 months now and we have been blessed beyond imagination! But if I’m being totally honest with you, it’s not been in the ways I wanted. I know that God promises us blessings for following His plan. For tithing. For reading scriptures. For putting Him first. For lots of other things. I have been looking for blessings. I have been looking for a house. I have been looking for a job for Cody. I have been looking for temporal things. Things to make life easier. Things to make me *happy* in this life. I have been so caught up in “What am I getting out of this?” that I have completely missed the point! I have completely missed all of the blessings that we have been given. I have a great job. I have a business on the side that I love. I have a husband that would do anything within his power for me. I have family, both by blood and by marriage, that love and accept me for who I am. I have a smartsmartsmart, sweet, beautiful little girl who just lights up my world. She is happy. She is healthy. I am in a Church that I love!!! With a Church family that is second to none. I have friends that sacrifice of their time to share their knowledge, wisdom, and talents with me seeking nothing in return.

But this isn’t about “Oh, look how wonderful my life is.” I mean parts of it are….I still really would like to have a job for my husband and our own roof over our heads…

Here is, what I think, the point to living a righteous life is: It’s not about getting blessings, it’s about being a blessing. Have you ever thought that maybe God was wanting to bless you with something but that He couldn’t because the person He wanted to use to manifest that blessing in your life isn’t living their own life in a way that He can use them? (Does that make sense?) So let’s go a little further with that thought: What if YOU are the one that is meant to be the manifestor (Yes, I know that’s not a word but I like it. K?) of someone else’s blessing but Heavenly Father can’t use you because you aren’t in a position that He can? Wow….when I had that thought….it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am always so focused on myself and what I can get out of everything that I completely forget the other people around me. I forget to look for what I can do for my husband, my child, family, and friends. Maybe I am meant to be a blessing in someone’s life and they are getting their blessing because of me.

So my new goal is twofold: #1 Stop focusing on what I don’t have and don’t get to do and start focusing on what I do have. #2 Start looking for ways to bless other people.

I want to help. I want to be there for someone that needs me. So many people have helped me with so many things. I want to pay it forward. I want to be in a position spiritually that Heavenly Father can use me to manifest someone else’s blessing.

I want to do right and live a righteous life not so I can receive blessings….but so I can BE a blessing.

Sharing

I have been having some really random thoughts lately. Instead of keeping them to myself or posting a quick Facebook status, I have decided to share them. I have a blog, so why not? Right?

The first thought I had was the vast difference in in telling a person something and sharing it with them. I can tell you about my God, my work, my family. Telling you requires no emotion. You get the facts. You know the story. Right? I think not. I want to strive to share things with people. By sharing my God with you, I can express to you how much I love Him and all the wonderful things that He’s done for me. I can help you feel that same love and maybe see some things He’s done for you as well. If I share my photography with you, I can explain to you how much work I’ve put into it and how much work will always be required. You can be excited with me when I get *that* shot I was going for. If I tell you a story about McKenna’s newest achievement and mimic her sweet, precious little voice as best I can, you can laugh with me. You can be proud of my baby like I am.

I don’t want to just tell you about my life, I want to share my life with you. I want you to read my posts and know how I’m feeling when I write them. If I have the pleasure of talking to you in person, I want you to hear the joy in voice and see the love in my eyes. Life is a wonderful gift. Family is so precious.

These are things that should be shared!

Little Drummer Boy

I have had a rough couple of days. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of it all, because I don’t personally like to air my dirty laundry over the internet. Although, sometimes I wonder if it would help other people that may feel like me to just know they’re not alone. I haven’t figured out any special answers to share, but sometimes it helps to know that it isn’t just you. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.

The last couple days have been rough. So….to try and help myself out of my funk I loaded a Christmas playlist onto my Zune. I have some Michael Buble’, Rascal Flatts, and Mercy Me. Let me tell you…I LOVE Christmas music. If it wouldn’t drive everyone around me nuts, I’d listen to it year round! It always makes me cheery and happy.

There was one song in particular that came on my playlist this morning. It was Mercy Me’s version of The Little Drummer Boy. I’ve heard this song I don’t know how many thousands of times. This particular time, though, something in the song really struck me.

“I am a poor boy, too
Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum
That’s fit
To give a king”


It just really made me think that I have nothing to give Him. I have no riches, I have no land, I have nothing that I could hand my King and be proud of my gift. It’s a good thing that’s not what He wants from us. I have my heart that I can give, my life, my will. Everything that I am. But even that’s not enough compared to what He has given me. The amazing thing in all of this is that He doesn’t care that it’s not enough! Although it doesn’t seem like much to me, it’s all that He asks. This life isn’t even mine. He gave that to me, too. So why can’t I give it back to Him? What reason could I possible have for not? What we do for ourselves in this life won’t last. It won’t matter in the end. It’s what we have done for Him and in His name that will be remembered through eternity.

Such a simple song that we’ve all heard over and over and over. Such a powerful message.

Confessions: Things You May or May Not Know About Me

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a few days. Someone asked a group of people to share something about themselves that no one or very few people knew. I couldn’t think of anything at that moment, but have been mulling over that question since then. I have come up with a few things I will share with you, if you care to read them.

  • I have a serious obsession with Jesse McCartney. More his music than he himself, actually. The song Body Language is my happy song…which leads me to my next confession…
  • I know the dance to Body Language…and I learned it about 2 years ago…at the age of 24…
  • I only like to listen to music that I know. I love to sing and I can’t sing songs I don’t know. Usually, my only exposure to new music comes through Cody.
  • I always have these grand dreams of exercising and getting in shape, but I never do it. I say I don’t have time but I really do. 
  • I don’t care as much what I look like as I do what number is on the scale. Once the number gets where I want it, then I worry what I look like.
  • I get major food guilt. Like bad. Like I just ate a cookie and I feel guilty and bad. I hate that.
  • Back to music….I never once bought an N*Sync or Backstreet Boys CD. I am more of a 98* kinda girl. And I WISH they would do a reunion of some sort. I pray for it.
  • I LIVE for Thursday nights. Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle are my new TV obsessions. I have seriously been thinking about that all day today and I. Am. So. Excited. Thattodayisthursday.
  • I miss my past in the sense that it was fun while it lasted, but if I were to try to live that life again, I don’t think I could. I love the memories I have but am happy with the path I have chosen for my future.
  • The hardest thing in the world to me is to have faith. I like to see facts. Faith isn’t believing things you can prove. It’s believing things you can’t. It’s something I really have to work at. I don’t want the faith of Job. I’m afraid if I ask for that kind of faith, I’ll be put through what he went through. I feel like I’m already going through enough. 
  • I believe that I am where I am now solely because of decisions that I have made. I had a great foundation. I was raised in a Christian home with Godly parents. When I moved out, I tore most of that foundation down and started built myself a new one. Now I’m trying to tear that new foundation down and rebuild yet again one that’s worth working on. With the thought in mind that sometimes God has to break us down so we can be built up in a right way…I hope I’m almost done breaking. I feel like I can’t break anymore. I’m ready to start building back up. I’m working on it, anyway.
  • Oh, on a happier, lighter note…I love my Halloween costume. I’m going to be a flapper and I feel as though I was born in the wrong generation while wearing it.
  • And on a related note, I’m happy Cody decided to match me. This year will be legen…wait for it….dary. 
I think that’s it for now. It’s just a small insight into my mind! ❤

Sooo….we moved…

We decided, after lots of prayer and very little deliberation, to move in with Cody’s parents. We didn’t really have time to deliberate. We had a few situations arise that kind of made our decision for us. The main one being Cody’s job. He was at a place…that wasn’t a good fit. I won’t get into any detail because at this point it doesn’t really matter, but I was proud of him. He put his conscience and morals before money. I was SO proud of him. I know that he will be blessed for this decision. I am hoping that blessing comes in the form of another job, but we shall see. A couple of friends that I talk to via Facebook have offers suggestions, so we will be looking into those.

I just want to say a BIG thank you to those aforementioned Facebook friends. It’s amazing how I can feel so connected two people that I have only met once in person each, and poured my heart out to over the internet! Two great examples to me of faith.
An even BIGGER thank you to my lovely mother. She has been there for me in more ways than I can list. She has been a rock for me and a shining example of a Christian woman and mother. I ❤ her!
Oh man! Our good friends are MOVING to ANOTHER STATE….THIS WEEKEND! I can’t believe it’s already time! We’re going to miss you guys so much! I hope you come back for a visit soon! Like…next week?
So now that I’ve pretty much rambled about a few different things, I’ll let you get back to something productive!