First of all...why didn't I think of this? I seriously have the most giant messy bun...EVER. There are a lot of patterns going around... and a lot that you have to pay for...sad face.

So... I decided to come up with my own and share it with you!

I used Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand and my 6 mm crochet hook. 


Stitches: Ch(chain), sc (single crochet), hdc (half double crochet, dc (double crochet), dc2tog (double crochet 2 together)

Hat Brim: Ch 7, 
Row 1: hdc in second chain from hook and in remaining 5 chains. Chain 1, turn.
Rows 2-33: hdc in first stitch and each across, (6 hdcs), chain 1 and turn. (Depending on how big you would like to make your hat, you can add rows here! 33 is what worked for my head using the yarn I was using)

Slip stitch short sides together and turn work sideways, remainder of hat will be worked in rounds.

Hat Body: You will be starting with a circle, just choose a side and work around the edge. I just continue on from slip stitching the sides of my hat brim together. 
Row 1:  *make 1 sc in the end of first row, make 2 sc in end of second row* repeat around and join
Row 2: Chain 2 (work in back loops for this row only) dc in same stitch and each stitch around and join
Row 3-5: Chain 2 dc in same stitch and each stitch around, join (If you are using a less fluffy yarn or making a larger hat, you can add more rows in addition to the 3-5. It shouldn't make much difference in the decreases in the following rows :))

Row 6: chain 2, *dc2tog, dc in next 10 stitches* repeat around, join
Row 7: Chain 2, *dc2tog, dc in next 3 stitches* repeat around, join
Row 8: Chain 2, *dc2tog, dc in next 2 stitches* repeat around, join
Row 9: Chain 2, *dc2tog, dc in next stitch* repeat around, join
Row 10: Chain 2 *dc2tog* around join (if you have one stitch left at the end, just dc one to complete your round and join, Fasten and weave in your ends! 

Something to consider when making hats, yarns come in different sizes, and so does everyone's head. So don't worry about counting every stitch and making it perfect. If you have a thicker yarn that requires a larger hook...you won't need as many rows in your brim and vice versa if you have a small yarn requiring a smaller hook, you'll probably need more rows!

Feel free to share! 
Okay, so not just my favorite Christmas cookie, but my favorite cookie all around... Chocolate Chip with M&Ms and pecans! These cookies are sooooo good with a cold glass of milk and even better with coffee in the morning!



8 tablespoons butter (sweet unsalted butter)

3/4 cup brown light sugar

1 egg

1tsp vanilla (I usally go a little easy on the vanilla)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 3/4 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. (don't over mix). Add in your baking powder before the rest of your dry ingredients(I heard this helps the cookies retain shape, I'm not willing to waste a batch to test it though!), and then mix in the baking soda, salt, and flour. The dough will seem really dry! Don't add anything else though, that's how it's suppose to be!

Now the fun part...my favorite things to add are pecans, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and M&Ms. I add about 1/2 cup of each...maybe a little more! Be generous!  I like my cookies small, so I can eat like 5 of them...so I use a small cookie scoop and bake them 15 to a sheet. Bake at 325 for 11 minutes. They will be super soft when you pull them out of the oven. I let them cool a bit before taking them off the pan.


We are talking about crochet needles here. 

I like to craft and am generally pretty good at it. I started crocheting about 2 years ago, basically self taught. My grandma had taught me a stitch or two when I was school age, but I didn't really remember how at all. So, I am no expert by any means, but I can rock out some baby blankets!

So, last year, I really wanted to crochet Christmas stockings. I tried a cable knit pattern and just gave up...I am TERRIBLE at counting stitches, and that is crucial to patterns that vary row by row. 

I decided to give it another go this year. I kept seeing this pattern by PrettyDarnAdorable on Etsy pop up on Pinterest, so I finally gave in and paid for my very first pattern. 

And I kind of failed. It started off okay, but I didn't quite have the right size hooks, and didn't count my stitches....was just going to eyeball it... and it didn't work! 

However, I didn't give up this time! and I am soooo glad I didn't! 

Check out my giant FAIL! and see how adorable the "good" ones turned out to be! 
I've been trying to be a better wife. Legit trying. Marriage isn't always rainbows and butterflies, everyone knows that. And when you and your husband have ridiculous schedules and a wild 3 year old, well, it's tough. 

So, I've been trying to not be snippy and just do something nice every now and again. Last night, I called my husband on the way home from work and he asked me if I was stopping anywhere. I wasn't, but asked what he needed. Beer, of course. He is only home a couple of nights a week, so he deserves to have a few when he wants them. 

Reluctantly, I stopped...for beer. I decided to go to a small grocery store, so I could grab some Christmas M&Ms for cookies, sour cream for my chicken tortilla soup leftovers, and grabs some pretzel dippers for Ellie. I browsed the Christmas decor before heading to the one open checkout lane. 

There was a lady checking out ahead of me. Smiling as she added Christmas bags to her cart for all the "the kid's toys". I set my odd assortment onto the conveyor belt, complete with an 18 pack of Coors Light. I'm sure I looked like hell....I had a slight black eye from being clocked with a plastic toy, I didn't sleep well the night before thanks to 3 year old feet kicking me in the back/face, and I had just worked a 12 hour shift. I hadn't eating since 1, and it was 8 pm. I was tired. 

As the checker finished up scanning her items, and mine groceries were up next, he asked her, are these yours. She took a glance at my purchases, disgustedly said "Oh, NO!" Glanced back at me, I smiled politely, as she pursed her lips and continued with her purchase. 

Would it have killed her to smile back? No I wasn't wearing designer boots like hers, and buying over prices Christmas decor. My hair was in a messy bun, and I haven't had it done in God knows how long, I'm sure it looked horrid compared to her perfectly styled hair. 

For a few seconds, I let her change the way I felt. I was thinking it over as the checker rang up my groceries, and to add insult to injury, as I handed him my I.D., he stated, "oh, I don't need that." Fair enough. I can laugh that off, he was quite  young, and I'm sure I looked every bit of my 32 years.  I walked out the my car to see that women loading the last of her purchases into the backseat of her Mercedes. 

Good for her. I hope she enjoys the luxuries life has allotted to her. They may be things, I may only dream of, but I pray to God, I never become her and NEVER make anyone feel the way she made me feel in those 5 seconds. 
My pancake recipe is super secret! It's been passed down through generations....just kidding. Well, maybe it has been passed down through generations, but not in my family...I literally googled "best pancakes ever" about 5 years ago, and found the only recipe I had all the ingredients for, and taaaadaaaa!!!!! Best pancakes ever!!!! They turn out perfect EVERY time. 

Want to try them for yourselves? Best Pancakes EVER
 The hardest part of this recipe is melting the butter! The only change I ever make is I substitute sprinkles for white sugar. Hope you enjoy! 
This summer, we decided to take Ellie to Disney World. She was a little over 2 and a half years old, and completely in love with everything Disney. We did get the usual, "but she's not old enough to remember" comments. But as a mom, the only chance I got to see my 2 year old react to Disney World...was to take her when she was a 2 year old. 

Needless to say, we had a blast a Disney. Ellie LOVED it.... except for one part. And I tried to get over it, but she HATED the princesses. She was absolutely terrified. The very first attraction we did was Enchanted Tales with Belle (super adorable). She decided then, no more princesses. 

I should not have been the least bit surprised. Seeing Santa last year was a complete disaster, don't even think we made it into the building. 

Despite all of these things, I made an appointment this year to have professional pictures with Santa. I asked Ellie if she wanted to talk to Santa and showed her a picture, she asked, "is it just a pretend Santa?"
Not knowing what she was going for here, I answered, "he looks like a real man." Thankfully that sufficed

I am so glad, I made that appointment! Ellie LOVED Santa!!! And the pictures turned out AMAZING! ... but as far as Disney goes... I NEED A REDO! 
Here is a sneak peak of our Santa photos, by MistyKettingerPhotograpy! 
More to come closer to the holiday! 
On this day 4 years ago, one of the worse things, I ever imagined happened. Since I was a little girl I yearned for the day I would hold a sweet baby of my own in my arms. My husband and I were married on September 15, 2012, and wanted to immediately start our family. I found out I was pregnant on Halloween, less than 2 months later. 

I had some spotting the next day, and immediately called my doctor. I went into the office and was told my uterus was empty, and I was "just having a miscarriage, but it was fine, because I got pregnant quickly, so I'll be able to get pregnant again soon." I had a gut feeling that wasn't the case, and thankfully, my amazing nurse Kristen listened. The spotting stopped and, and she recommended I have some labs drawn every other day for a week. I was still pregnant, and my levels were increasing as expected. I scheduled my 8 week ultrasound for the following week.  
The day before the ultrasound, I woke up to more blood (tmi...I know). I knew something wasn't right. I called Kristen, and she told me to come right in. I vaguely remember having the ultrasound done. Then sitting in the doctor's office next to his desk. He asked me if I'd ever had surgery. I said no. He hands me a pamphlet titles "Laparoscopic Surgery", and as the dots begin to connect in my brain, I say, probably a little too loudly through my tears, "I'M A NURSE!" 

I drove myself to the hospital, calling my husband first who is working 2 hours away, and then my mom...who didn't even know I was pregnant at all." I was pregnant, but it was an ectopic pregnancy The baby had been growing, just in my left fallopian tube, and not inside my uterus where it belonged. I was devastated to say the least. This was not how it was suppose to go.  Instead of seeing my baby's heartbeat for the first time, I was having that baby cut out of my stomach. 

Since my surgery was so late in the evening the doctor had me spend the night in the hospital. Usually such "routine" surgeries, do not require a hospital stay. At about 2 am, I was awake watching "Brave" on my tablet, and still crying of course. The nurse came in to check on me, and told me, "I hope you find the help that you need, I don't want to see you at my other job." She also worked at a behavioral health facility. So I knew I needed to get over myself. 

In the morning the doctor that did my surgery came in to see me before I was discharged. Before he left he said, "I promise you, you will have a baby in 2013." I remember thinking, this man is crazy. I'm in the healthcare field, and making promises like that is just INSANE. 

Fortunately, he was right. Less than a year later I welcomed my rainbow baby into this world. And I couldn't imagine my life without her. 


I know I'm not the only one.

I didn't plan on having popcorn for dinner. I planned on delicious homemade beef and broccoli stir fry. I found the recipe on food.com. I washed my broccoli, and mixed all the sauces. I opened what I thought was perfectly sliced beef to start the cooking process... but instead it was slivers of meat that resembled liver dumplings (local dish that people rave over...personally, i'm not a fan.) 

I continued on anyway. It doesn't matter what it looks like. But turns out the texture was just as horrid as it's appearance. Thankfully Darick was teaching a CPR class and missed out on this dinner disaster. Ellie and I both had a few pieces of broccoli before I dumped the entire thing into the trash....and turned on the popcorn machine.

So instead of delicious beef and broccoli stir fry, we had popcorn, complete with a sprinkle of M&Ms (you should totally try this!) , on the couch, while watching Beauty and the Beast. 

And I don't feel a bit bad about it....I don't think Ellie minded much either!




Today I created a blog.

I have been thinking about it for awhile…I’m not really the “blogging” type…is there a blogging type? If there is, I didn’t think it was me. I had a Xanga when I was 20…that’s pretty much the closest I’ve ever come to creating a blog.

I didn’t wake up today and think, “Today is the day. I’m going to start my blog”… I woke up to my three year old whispering in my ear, “I, toooooooo hungry.” What would you like for breakfast? “PANCAKES!”

She asked for pancakes EVERY morning, but I’m off work today, so pancakes it is. And of course “I help you” over and over and over until she’s sitting on the counter, pink spatula in hand ready to mix it up. I have an amazing made from scratch pancake recipe I found on the internet YEARS ago. I’ll have to search for the original! So I pull it from the recipe box, even though I know it by heart, and start gathering the ingredients.

Except this morning as Ellie was stirring the flour frantically, and I added the third teaspoon of baking soda, it hit me. The recipe doesn’t call for baking soda, but instead baking powder….honest mistake. Super easy to start over, but my tired brain thought…it won’t make a difference. So I continued and added the baking powder, too, made all the pancakes, and made Ellie’s plate. She excitedly sat at her Little Tykes table next to our couch, took one bite and “These pancakes are YUCKY!”

I should have started over 10 steps ago. Thankfully she agreed peanut butter toast would be sufficient. Now I have double breakfast mess to clean up, including peanut butter on my living room carpet. And like so many moms in the world, I feel slightly defeated. I’m left standing in the kitchen surrounded by dirty dishes and dog hair gathering in the corners. I take a little advice from Daniel Tiger and Elsa. And take a deep breath, count to four, and let it go. And start cleaning…and while I feel so alone in this moment, I know I’m not the only one.

I hope you can relate to my partial insanity in these moments and find comfort in the fact, that you are not alone!