Monday, December 31, 2012

Here's to a Healthier Me in 2013

So. Today is New Years Eve.

The end of 2012.


It came up fast. We weren't expecting it so soon. This year has gone by crazy fast.


What are some highlights of the year?


Spending the month of July with the Children of the Awesome Family.

Several trips to St. George.

Lots of time spent with the Pears' and Evans'.

Our grandmothers both turned 90!

Our new House! (I can't believe we have been there almost a whole year!)

Spending time in the back yard.

Our first Grill.

Vacation to Denver to see art.

A lot of great movies seen in the theater.

Celebrating 10 years married to my adorable husband.

Time spent watching Musicals.

Seeing Wicked for the first time.

Making A LOT of Cakes.

Meeting my favorite Author.

Reading a lot of great books.

Broke my first bone.

Painting a room downstairs.

Refinishing a desk.

Getting to work from home (one day a week.)

Taking a lot of time off to do fun things.

A house that holds heat/cold and the lower utility bills associated with it.

Buying a new car.

Spending time with friends.

Helping someone in their time of need.

Taking our Holly on her first trip to a lot of places.

"Adopting" Holly as my own little (34 year-old) girl. Not legally, but whole heartedly.

Christmas Eve with my family.

Striping and replanting a flowerbed.

Several Projects for the beautification of our home (& several that still aren’t done.)


How about some lowlights?


Broke my first bone.

Scratching my glasses.

Physical Therapy.

Crooked arm.

The divorce of our closest friends.

The Awesome family moving to Ohio.

18 pounds.

Canceling our 2013 trip to Disneyland.

Health problems for family members.

Several months of depression.

Lack of spending time with friends we love.


... wow, the lowlights list was harder to think of than the highlights. I guess our world isn't all bad.


I guess the next question is going to be what's in store for 2013?


Work in the back yard – We love the back yard as it is, but it does need a little work. There is an apple tree that needs to come down and a meditation garden that needs some love. However, if the apple tree comes down then something will need to go up to replace it since there isn’t a whole lot of privacy in the back yard. We’ll have to do some looking into how we can make that happen.


Work on the basement – We need to get some extra outlets put in for convenience, and move a light switch or two. Also I’d like to get the finished part of the basement painted. I think we’ll do a nice TARDIS Blue for the top wall and White for the lower wall and trimmings. I’ve also decided that I’d like to paint the cement floor until such a time when we can afford to really re-do the basement. Apparently it’s a “thing” right now. I didn’t know that when I decided that I wanted to do it. Oh well, I guess I can’t not follow the crowd sometimes.


Work on Upstairs – Lucky me, I moved into a house that doesn’t need all that much work. First of all, I love the paint color of the upstairs. It’s actually the color I had always wanted to paint my kitchen. However, after nearly a year, the light pink of the bedroom is getting to me. I’ve decided that the bedroom needs to be painted a nice happy blue. Maybe a Sky Blue, or a Robin’s Egg Blue… We’ll see, but that’s what I need in that space. Also, it’s be nice to get the closets more organized with different rod positions and some storage, but that will have to wait.


John & Liz – LOSE THE WEIGHT! – Yes, this is a New Year goal. Not just because it’s the thing to do, but because it is a must. We’ve both spent too much time in front of the television, and not enough time moving around. I’ve put on almost all the weight I lost a few years ago. I feel like I might burst from my skin because I’m a skin that’s too full of sausage. John’s also gained a little and we both just need to step into a healthier lifestyle. We got new exercise clothes, new running shoes, new bikes, and a new attitude and we are really going to work at it this year. I can’t let more time go buy feeling everything I own get tighter and tighter. I tell John all the time that I’ll starve myself before I have to buy a size larger in anything… but instead of being that drastic (yet) we’re going to go back on the Atkins Diet. It worked for me before I’m hoping it will work again. Also being more active. We need to use the treadmill in the basement more often, it’s lonely.


So much to do and only 365 days to do it. I'm ready for it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's Happening?

Yesterday John and I rearranged the TV situations at our house. The TV Stand from upstairs went downstairs. And the TV stand from downstairs went upstairs. Sounds simple enough right? WRONG!
While the upstairs to down stairs worked out perfectly the downstairs to upstairs didn't. It was too wide for the space provided. We thought about selling. We thought about trashing it. But in the end we did some disassembly.
We knocked the two side shelves off and left only the center of the stand. Sad because it was an awesome TV Stand with great storage... but out of the two disassembled shelves I was able to build one complete shelf to go back downstairs for DVDs. So in the end it worked out great.
Also there was a TON of boxes in our basement that needed to be broken down to go in the recycle bin. We had a great plan that involved dinner, a movie and some box slashing.
This is how the night went:
*  First we did all the moving, and in the middle of that the pizza came.
*  Put the pizza in the kitchen and finish demolishing of the new upstairs TV stand.
*  Take pizza and drinks downstairs, but first we have to put all the furniture down there back in place.
* But wait, before we can move the TV stand into place I want to trim the carpet so the stand will stand flat on the ground. (It was half carpeted and half bare.) I cut off a foot of the gross old green carpeting that is just there on top of the cement floor. It was gross.
*  Clean up that.
*  TV stand goes into place with new 55" television. Shhh.... it's our Christmas present.
*  Hook up Blu-Ray Player & Wii.
*  Turn on a movie while I set up "dinner" and wish that I had the coffee table from the garage, but am too lazy to get it, so I use a stack of video game boxes and my basket tray. 
*  By this time the pizza is cold. Good thing I like cold pizza.
*  We watched Prometheus. It was alright.
*  After pizza had been consumed we piled boxes in the open space and started breaking them down with our utility knives.
*  Slice slice slice. Cut cut cut.... and then I stabbed myself in the knee with my knife. Ouch. I put a hole in my nice comfy work pants, and my leg. It bled like crazy, but it is only about 1/2 in long.
*  John scrambled for Band-Aids and super glue after throwing a tissue box at my head.
* Once the wound was glued shut, John finished breaking the boxes down and we watched the end of the movie together. (The ending that kept going and going and going. Seriously it had like four places where it could have/should have ended but it didn't.)
All in all it was a very eventful night.
The TV stand we moved upstairs has yet to be moved into place because the TV up there needs to be taken off the wall and lowered to the appropriate height. I think that's tonight's plan... after the physical therapy for my elbow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And now for something completely different....

Now lets get into some other things in our Life…

It has been a long time since I have had a chance to sit down and compose my thoughts in to something.

Anyway… It has been a crazy busy year. It’s gone by way to fast. I don’t recall much of the months prior to July.

We bought a grill back in May, and spent many days on our back deck enjoying it… We LOVE our house. It has been so perfect for us.

Back in July I got to keep my brother’s 4 kids for a week while Keith and his wife moved all their stuff to Ohio. Rachel, (Keith’s wife,) couldn’t leave the state until August due to custody issues with their middle child. They two youngest are Keith’s the two oldest are from Rachel’s prior marriages. So since Keith took everything to Ohio with him I basically had 4 kids and a mom at my house for the entire month of July. Which I didn’t really mind.

We did go to St. George for a weekend in July for our nephew’s wedding. We all thought it was a little crazy to get married at 2 pm in the middle of July, but we’re just the family so we didn’t have a say in it… but the wedding was nice. No one died of heat exhaustion and there was ice cream.

August… well, that’s kind of a blur too. All I remember about that month is that we bought a new car. Because we wanted to, not because we had to. We now drive a Toyota Highlander. It’s dark blue. My favorite color.

In September we went to St. George again to visit John’s sister over Labor Day weekend. Her youngest was being ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.

Saturday morning September 1st  Kristin insisted that we go hiking, but my knee had been hurting I didn’t want to hike. Brother-in-Law Scott suggested shooting and 4-wheeling. Since 4-wheeling isn’t hiking I was all for it. After all, I’d never been 4-wheeling before... We should have taken the 4-wheeler breaking the back window of Scott’s truck as our bad omen… but we didn’t. When Scott finally had the 4-wheeler unloaded he asked who wanted to drive and I piped up and said that I did.

Dumb move.

Before even taking the first turn onto the trail I ran the 4-wheeler up a incline that ejected both myself and John from it. John was able to recover quickly and stop the 4-wheeler from coming back on us, but me on the other had was a different story.

As I said… I flew a few feet away from the ejection site. I remember landing on my butt first and hitting my head, but I don’t remember using my arm to brace myself.

I thought I had just sprained my wrist, and after a trip to InstaCare and an x-ray of my wrist I was presented with a new wrist brace and an ice pack and was sent away.

Fast forward to 11 days later and my arm still hurts like crazy so I go to my family doctor. After a few x-rays of my wrist and my elbow I’m sent to my Orthopaedic surgeon and he informs me that I have a broken elbow.

This time I left the doctor’s office with a nice blue sling. They didn’t cast it because it wasn’t that bad, and there was not going to be any surgery because the fracture was less than 2mm. I guess I’m just lucky I didn’t break my head. So I spent most of the month of September drugged and in a sling.

I am not required to wear my sling anymore, but some days it goes on just to stop my arm from hurting… yes, it still hurts. It probably will for a long time. This is the first bone I have ever broken.

On into October, and all of those summer projects I had on my list to do had to get done before it gets too cold. We were super busy….

  • Painted room in basement for office space.
  • Refinished the old wooden desk for my office.
  • Installed a door to my bedroom.
  • Chalkboard painted some coffee tables.
  • Decorated for Halloween.
  • Had a Halloween Party.

Also, we took a trip to Denver to see Van Gogh at the art museum there. And while there we took a drive up to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, spent “A Day in Pompeii” at the natural history museum, and visited Molly Brown’s House after dark for Victorian Ghost Stories from the Sea. Which was pretty awesome.

We went with My sister Jessica, her roommate Toby, and Toby’s mom Pila. We had a great time. It snowed on us for two days. We ate at some “trendy” restaurants and got lost in some slums.  

We did watch several movies for Halloween-Movie-Month, but I can’t think of what they were. We did really enjoy The Cabin In The Woods. Now it’s on into Musical-Movie-Month.

Up until I broke my elbow I had been doing really well with my Cake business. I made a wedding cake for a friend at the beginning of August, and a grooms cake for a friend’s sister at the end of August. Both were pretty awesome. I’ll get them up on my cake blog eventually.

Anyway, that’s my life up to this point. I hope you have been entertained… Until next time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And the list goes on...

I’ve done other things too:


I read a Book


Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde – I’m not really sure why I picked this one up to read. It’s not my usual genre, but there was something about it that made me want to read it…. I think it may have struck a note with my own abandonment issues… not that this book in anyway is even close to my own life.

The story is a bout a little girl whose drug addicted mom can’t be bothered with. The neighbors in the apartment building, including the reclusive former dancer Billy, ban together to help her out. It was a cute book. Not spectacular by any means, but an enjoyable read.


We saw a Musical


Wicked – This was alright. Don’t get me wrong. We enjoyed it. It was entertaining… but for all the hype that we have heard about it being such a fantastic musical – I think we were expecting more. Will I go see it again? Maybe one day. My favorite musical still remains Les Miserables.


Become addicted to this App


Where’s My Perry?


More Movies/TV


Phineas & Ferb – This show is just plain entertaining. It's on the Disney channel. (also on Netflix.) I haven’t seen an episode yet that I haven’t enjoyed.


Expendables 2 – Not for the feint of heart or those who abhor violence. This is a very violent and action packed movie. I don’t know the last movie I saw with so many decapitations and CGI blood. The movie is pure action entertainment from the first second all the way through. It’s chuck full of action heroes: Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham…. The list goes on. What a great set of action fun. There were a lot (and I mean A LOT) of puns referring to everyone’s past films, but that just made it more entertaining. Seriously, if you like action movies you’ll love this one.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why so silent??

It’s been a while since I blogged. I wonder if my two readers thought that perhaps I had died?

There has been a lot going on in the lives of the people at my house lately. Lets see if we can catch up…


Lets talk about Movies/TV first, shall we.


The Avengers (2012) – TOTALLY AWESOME! Yeah, we saw it. Midnight. Opening day. Can I just say that whoever decided that reserved theater seats were a good idea was a GENIUS! Yes, it’s true. I <3 Loki. The whole movie was fantastic. It was full of action, adventure, drama.. Joss Whedon’s sense of humor. There wasn’t a single thing about it that I didn’t like. We saw it twice in the theater… or was it three times> I don’t remember. I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD (September 25th) so that I can own it and watch it again and again.


The Decoy Bride (2011) – David Tennant. This was just a cute movie about finding love when you least expect it. It would fall into the “Chick flick” category, but John sat and watched the entire thing with me. And he enjoyed it. The main female character is also the voice of Merida in Disney’s Brave.


Brave (2012) – LOVED! The music was fantastic. The story was meaningful. The animation was beautiful. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t love about this movie.


The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – Meh. This wasn’t as great for me as it was for everyone else apparently. It was good, just not great. I’d rather just see the Avengers again.


John Carter (2012) – I really enjoyed this movie. I’m sad that it was such a flop and that Disney isn’t going to make anymore.


The IT Crowd: Seasons 1-4 – This is the first show in a very long time that truly is laugh out loud funny. It’s been a long time sings something has made me laugh so much. Now, keep in mind that it is a BBC production. There are a lot of “F” words used, and completely inappropriate things going on with irreverent humor, but some people just don’t care about that stuff… and it’s not that I don’t care that it’s there, it’s really a matter of I hear worse than that most days at my own office.  It’s full of moments that are so stupid they’re funny. Like THIS ONE. Sadly there are only 4 seasons.


Blassreiter – Anime. This one was just confusing about techno-zombies and… I don’t even know. It was entertaining enough.


D. Gray-man – Anime. Pretty good. Exorcists with powers to smite evil.


Vandread – Anime. A planet full of men who hate women and a different planet full of women who hate me. A group of women pirates get stuck with 3 men on the wrong side of the galaxy. There are some good moments, but as a while it’s just kind of Meh.


I’m sure there are more but I just don’t remember at the moment.


... and now some Music


Julie Fowlis – Gaelic music. This woman is the primary voice you hear on the Brave soundtrack. Her other music is fantastic to listen to. I highly recommend it.        


Brave Soundtrack – See my above statement. I love this soundtrack.  


Jonas & Plunkett – British folk-rock. I have really enjoyed this band. I only own the one album, but it’s really good.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How do you make this yummy frosting!?

Vanilla Butter Cream  


1 cube butter*
1/2 cup solid pure vegetable shortening
1 lb bag powdered sugar (or 4 cups sifted)
1 tablespoon Meringue Powder (may substitute with cornstarch)
1 tsp vanilla (or more if you want more flavor, just subtract the extra vanilla from the water)
7 - 8 tsp milk* or water

Beat butter, shortening and liquids together until fluffy.

Add powdered sugar and meringue powder.

Beat until light and fluffy (About 3 minutes)

This makes a STIFF consistency frosting (used for making stand up things like flowers)

For MEDIUM consistency frosting (used for making pretty much every other decoration) add an additional 1 TBS of water.

For THIN consistency icing (best for frosting the body of the cake) add 2 TBS extra water.

To make it chocolate: Add 3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted, and an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons water to recipe. Mix until well blended




* Because I'm now dairy free I use the following substitutions for my recipe:


ü      1 cup solid pure vegetable shortening

ü      Water only

ü      1 tsp Butter flavoring



For White Icing use CLEAR Vanilla Extract (or white food coloring)



This is the Wilton Buttercream recipe found on

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eating With Liz 2012 - MoJo Marinade

Truth is… I actually never got to try this. However, everyone at my 4th of July BBQ really liked it, and some liked it enough to ask for the recipe. Here it is:
MoJo Marinade         

½ cup Fresh Orange Juice
2 T Fresh Lime Juice
2 T Soy Sauce
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T Minced Garlic
½ t Hot Pepper Sauce
½ t Ground Cumin
¼ t Kosher Salt
¼ t Ground Black Pepper

Mix completely. Marinade for at least 1 hour.

Good on beef, pork, chicken, fish or vegetables.

What I did Different:

Frozen Orange Juice concentrate. No, I don't thaw it. I just toss it in as it is.
Lime Juice from the little green bottle in my fridge.
Used Freeze Dried Minced Garlic.
Tabasco Sauce for "Red Pepper Sauce" it may be the same thing, but I have no clue. I just added a few shakes since I know a lot of people aren't spicy fans.

Put all ingredients in a 1 gallon Ziploc Bag and squish/shake together. Add meat (or whatever) and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eating With Liz 2012 - Grilled Turkey Tenderloin

How do you feed a house full of kids and two extra adults on short notice? With stuff from the fridge of course. This little recipe was pulled from last weeks menu of Portion Control for Two so remember if you're cooking for more than two you'll need to double it.

Grilled Turkey Tenderloin


1 T Light Brown Sugar

½ t Salt

½ t Ground Cumin

⅛ t Red Pepper

⅛ t Ground Ginger

⅛ t Coriander

1 T Olive Oil

12 oz Turkey Breast Tenderloin


Combine all ingredients, except olive oil & turkey. Brush turkey with olive oil & rub with brown sugar mixture. Grill over med-high heat for 10 min on each side or until inside reaches 165 degrees. Let rest for 10 min before cutting.



What I did differently:


First of all, since this recipe is for two I used the full 24 oz. Tenderloin instead of just the 12 oz. that is requested in the recipe.… which is really just two large turkey breasts in stead of one. Meaning I doubled my breast size, but what I failed to do was to double the rub amount. Which in this case is fine since neither my mom or dad are very adventurous foodies.


I used a few sprinkles of Cayenne Pepper as a substitute for the Red Pepper that I do not own.


Instead of brushing the breasts with Olive Oil I used my PAM Olive Oil Spray and just sprayed each side of the breast before rubbing on the seasoning. I love that stuff.


John threw these on the grill for 10 minutes a side just as the recipe suggested and they turned out perfect. I let them sit for 10-15 minutes while I finished getting the sides ready and then sliced them length-wise into beautiful delicious cuts of turkey.


For some side dishes I paired the turkey with a spattering of the following items:


Side Salad With an option of Ranch dressing or Strawberry Vinaigrette.

Cantaloupe – That I happened to have in my fridge from a different recipe for the week.

Celery & Carrots Leftovers from our 4th of July party.


Baked Potato Slices: I baked the potatoes on High in the microwave using the "Baked Potato" button. When the microwave beeped I pulled them out and sliced them. I coated them in Olive Oil Spray and salt and pepper and threw them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes to make them all crispy-ish.


All-in-all a pretty tasty well rounded meal for kids and adults.




And as always, if you're interested in Emeals use the button below to sign up and give me a little credit. Thanks!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eating with Liz 2012 - Rosemary Pork Loin Chops

It has been a while since I have posted anything of real value on my blog. Oh well, it's summer time and I'd rather be on vacation, or lounging in a hammock in my back yard… but unfortunately I have stuff that needs to be done, plus work every day, and holidays, and weddings and life… yep, it's a busy time, but I'm loving it.
Here is a recipe we tried out this last week that we really enjoyed.

Rosemary Pork Loin Chops
6 servings

2 t fresh chopped rosemary
1 T minced garlic
1 t salt
½ t pepper
1 ½ lbs pork loin chops

Blend rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper into a paste and rub over both sides of the pork chops. Broil for 3 – 4 min on each side or until done.

Roasted Carrots
6 servings

2 lbs carrots, peeled & sliced
1 T minced garlic
2 T olive oil

Combine carrots, garlic & oil; place in a baking dish. Bake 40 min @ 375 or until done.

What did I do differently… ?

Well, first of all I made this for 2 instead of for 6 as the recipe suggests.
I sprinkled some Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper directly on to the chops. Next I chopped up the fresh rosemary and covered the chops with the cuttings and then rubbed it all in together. Flip, repeat.  No extra mixing bowl needed.
I did broil these in the oven, but being summer I thought it would be wise to throw these on the grill outside. Maybe next time. They were really tasty and super moist with the high fast cooking time.
Definitely a keeper.

Where did I get the recipe? If you're interested in signing up for their services use the icon below to link to their site and I get a little kick back towards my subscription price.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sew What?

So, I think I want to learn how to sew. It’s been on my mind for a while and I think I need to get started or I’ll never get to it.


I guess “learning” to sew is the wrong thing to say. I know how to sew. I took a sewing class in 8th grade. I can sew pillows, and blankets, and drawstring bags. I can darn a sock and hand sew a quilt. Attach a button, and I can even repair holes in pants… But I have never been able to master the art of clothing. This is what I want to do.


I want to wear the dresses that I see on, but I want them just a little longer. And with sleeves. And in my size… Is that too much to ask.




My dear friend Sabrina Peart has an Etsy store and sells some really cute things. She's super talented and willing to take special orders. Check out her store here: ...


Also, Also, she was interviewed for a blog where she talks about her stuff and her passion (and she drops my name – does that make me famous?) Click on this blog link and check her out. Seriously, click this link.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding Joy In Life

Finding Joy In Life

Liz's talk given June 10, 2012

Layton 4th Ward


Good Morning Brothers and Sisters.

My topic today is “Finding Joy in Life” which was a General Conference talk given by Richard G. Scott in April 1996. (I’ll be quoting from this a lot.) But before I get into that, let me introduce us.

I’m Liz, and that’s my husband John, and out mailbox says we are the Evans’.

We both grew up in Kaysville about three blocks from each other, although I don’t remember meeting him until High School.

We were just casual friends for a while until we met again at a CES Fireside after I had graduated, and I distinctly remember having the feeling that something was going to happen that night that would change my life forever. And there he was.  From that night on we pretty much spent every day together as just friends. He always had a girl friend, that wasn’t me, and I had a boyfriend that wasn’t him.

But it wasn’t long until I had fallen head over heals in love with him and just had to bide my time. He left on his mission and 6 months later I left on mine. John served in the Canada Toronto West Mission, and I served in the Washington DC South Mission (Which is the greatest mission in the world.) After writing each other weekly for those two years he came home in July 2001 and I followed in August 2001.

From there he had to dump his girlfriend, because he had realized that it was me he wanted, and *then* we finally dated.

We went on three official dates before we got engaged on Thanksgiving and were married January 2002.

He bought me a house for our 10th anniversary, and that’s how we ended up here.


In the past 10 years we have:


Been through the deaths of 4 close friends, 1 cousin, 1 grandpa, and 1 sister.

Made 3 trips to the emergency room

Had 1 ambulance ride

1 Neurological Disorder

Been through 4 cars

3 car accidents

2 years of unemployment

8 jobs

1 back surgery

4 homes

Numerous Illnesses and Injuries


Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Family Issues


And a law suit.


Despite all of this, we are happy. How? Because we know the plan of happiness, and we take the time to enjoy the good parts of life when they come.


In Richard G. Scott’s talk he says:


“Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, “Men are, that they might have joy.” 1 That is a conditional statement: “they might have joy.” It is not conditional for the Lord. His intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth.”


We have been handed a load of hard experiences in not a lot of time, but I want you to know that all this stuff isn’t who we are. It’s helped us to become the people that we are today, by teaching us that we are stronger than we thought we were.

We have learned some really tough lessons through our trials that we hope will make us more compassionate and that we’ll be able to help others who may have fallen on some hard times as well. We’ve learned that this is just how life goes sometimes.

Elder Scott’s talk continues:


“Your joy in life depends upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His holy Son, your conviction that their plan of happiness truly can bring you joy. Pondering their doctrine will let you enjoy the beauties of this earth and enrich your relationships with others. It will lead you to the comforting, strengthening experiences that flow from prayer to Father in Heaven and the answers He gives in return.”


He goes on to say:


“The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you.”


I know I am guilty of this all the time. I’m a bit stubborn that way.


I was recently directed to a website called Billion It was created by an LDS singer who tried an experiment where she got a manual clicker and counted the negative thought she had for a week, and after 7 days felt more gloomy and depressed for doing it. She decided that instead of counting the bad thoughts she would start counting the positive/uplifting/optimistic thoughts she had, and was amazed at how pausing for just that moment to “click” for that good thought, it made her realize her blessings and changed her mood for the better. There is a counter on her website where you can log your own clicks to make it to a billion.  I think I need a clicker.

According to Elder Scott,


Simple, rejuvenating experiences surround us. They can be safety valves to keep the tension down and the spirit up. Don’t concentrate on what you don’t have or have lost. The Lord promised the obedient to share all that He possesses with them. You may temporarily lack here, but in the next life, if you prove yourself worthy by living valiantly, a fullness will be your blessing.

Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want. To the sightless or hearing impaired, He sharpens the other senses. To the ill, He gives patience, understanding, and increased appreciation for others’ kindness. With the loss of a dear one, He deepens the bonds of love, enriches memories, and kindles hope in a future reunion. You will discover compensatory blessings when you willingly accept the will of the Lord and exercise faith in Him.”

My life is full of compensatory blessings. I am so grateful to have them as tender mercies to some of the experiences we have encountered. We do need to qualify for them though. We need to follow the commandments of the Lord and do what is right and expected of us. When I do, I am given more blessing that I get when I’m not obedient.


“The Lord has said, “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.” D&C 24:8”


What a comfort it is to know that I am not alone. I know that I have a Heavenly Father who knows me. Who knows my trials and shares in my joys. I know that as I keep the commandments I will be blessed. He has given me so much, that most days my trials truly feel like a thing of the past, but I know there are more ahead of us. We just need to remember, and take the time to appreciate the good things in life and the blessings that our Father wants to pour down upon us.


I’ll end with this scripture from Mosiah 2:41 as King Benjamin was teaching his people he said:


And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.


I say this in the name of Jesus Christ,






“Finding Joy In Life” – Elder Richard G. Scott, April General Conference 1996

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Ignore....

Don't ignore me because I don't have kids.
There are reasons that you may not know about. I'm not selfish. I haven't made a conscious choice to not be a mother. I'm not having more fun as a young adult with no major responsibilities.
I am infertile.
I can't have babies without thousands of dollars of expenses. I will never be able to hold a little me in my arms or be the proud mommy to copies of myself. And for the most part I've come to the conclusion that I'm okay with this. I have a million other little ones in my life that life as an Auntie is quite fulfilling... but not enough.
I have tried all the affordable means of conceiving... and probably some crazy ones: Clomid. Charting. Positions. Relaxation. Sonohystograms. Wearing Rose Quartz. Washing in Rose Quartz. Feng Shui. Elephants (Yes, elephants. Jade elephants. Wooden elephants. Silver elephants.) Pineapples (right side up and upside down.) Nothing seems to work. Not even the thousands of tears I have shed have made any difference... But I cling to hope so hard my hands bleed.
I long for the day I can have my own kids. I do realize that whatever option we chose is going to be costly. Adoption or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) both cost upwards of 10K - 15K. That's money that we just don't have. Insurance companies wont cover IVF, but most of them will cover Adoption expenses... why is that? Is one option really better than the other?
If You Are Infertile YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!
I just want you to know that. We are not alone.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week April 22 – 28


I had a friend ask me on facebook what we could do about it. And since I'm not really a go out there and be active sort of activist this is my passive way of supporting an awareness week that is close to my heart...


I think that some times the best way to support Infertility Awareness is to talk about it. Just because a woman is infertile doesn’t mean she is broken or any less of a person than anyone else (even if that is how she feels every single day.) If we could just get the world talking about it than maybe those of us living through it wont feel so alone. Maybe if the world was talking about it insurance companies would be more willing to cover the costs of treatment. Maybe if the world were talking about it, it wouldn’t be such a shameful issue and people could have options before them in stead of bolted doors with dollar signs on them. But until then we just need to learn to love what we do have instead of focusing on those things we don’t have. I think THAT would be a huge step in the right direction.



The First Step Is The Hardest

By liz evans


The bubbles aren’t going through.

“They’re blocked” she said

“The only way you’re going to have a baby is in-vetro.”

No empathy,

No bedside manner

No tender looks,

For a tear stained girl,

Following a painful procedure,

A dark room ultrasound,

That did noting more then crush an entire life's dream.

No babies.

No children.

No one to call me mommy.

No first steps.

No first words.

No little hands to hold.

No high school graduations.

No Missions.

No Weddings.

No grand-kids.

My arms are empty and my heart is broken.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eating with Liz 2012 - Taco Soup

Dinner with the Evans'. Something quick and easy for feeding hungry people.
Yes, this is another recipe, but what did you expect. I haven't been feeling very food adventurous lately if I have the desire/energy to cook anything at all. But this was rather good. Just as good as getting Taco Soup from anywhere else that uses silly ingredients and tastes just like this canned masterpiece…

Santa Fe Soup

1 lb ground beef, cooked
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz can of pinto beans, undrained
14 oz can of kidney beans, undrained
15 oz can corn, drained
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix

In large soup pot, combine cooked beef, tomatoes, beans, corn, taco seasoning and ranch dip mix and heat thoroughly. Simmer 20 min.

Sour cream
½ bag of Tortilla chips

What I did differently:

TIME SAVER TIP: Brown your hamburger with a little onion when you bring it home from the store, put it in freezer bags and stuff it in the freezer for later use. That way when it comes time for hamburger helper or something like this for a fast meal you just need to defrost and use, instead of defrost, brown then use. It has been so nice the last few weeks to know that I don't have to do that extra step. Last week I bought 2.57 lbs of ground beef, fried it up with some onion, and divided it into three quart sized zip close freezer bags. 2 cups each bag with a little extra left over to divide between them. Sure it may not be exact measurements for a pound of hamburger for this and a pound of hamburger for that, but with just me and John we don't need all that red meat anyway.
(I also have taken to cooking chicken and cubing the cooked chicken into bags for freezing. One day soon I'll leave whole breasts of chicken for freezing… I can't believe I hadn't thought of this before.)

I tossed the block of frozen ground beef into the pot. No defrosting. It melted during the 20 minute cooking time. Just stir it once in a while to disperse the beef throughout the soup.

I used frozen corn instead of canned corn. I just think it has a better texture. I measured it by dumping it into one of the empty bean cans and then adding enough water to fill the can completely. I probably could have added a little more, but it seemed to turn out alright.

Served with Cheese (for John only L)
Tofutti Sour Cream (Yes, that's sour cream made out of Tofu)
Tortilla Chips

This also would have been tasty with Fritos.

All in all a very quick, simple, and tasty meal all within 30 minutes. Yay!
This will go in the collection of "Use Again" recipes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm Not Perfect

Can I just tell you how tired I am of looking at blogs that belong to those *perfect* women who have time to not only raise their multiple children, keep their house spotless, complete craft projects in ridiculous amounts, and be able to make dinners, or treats, or candy, or baking with confusing and numerous ingredients and still have time left over to blog... I just don't see how they do it. I think they're all lying to us, and they're messed up somewhere beneath that façade.

I'm sure most of the people I look at are stay at home moms or people who run their own businesses from home, but I'm not those people. Even with that at home time I still don't see how they do it.

I work 8 hours a day with an extra two hours worth of commute time. I am tired. I'm busy making sure that my husband is happy and fed and that the dishes get done before they start to stink in the sink.

There are not enough hours in the day for me to sit down and do something creative. Most of the time I write, blog, crochet during work hours just to say I accomplished something.

I don't put up preserves, I don't garden, I don't even clean my house on a daily (or weekly) basis, but somehow I have managed to be a functioning part of society despite all the things I don't do.