Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy! Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge Day 2 November 23, 2014

Filed under: Family,Holidays — jdkihlken @ 6:48 PM
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day 2

It’s day 2 of the Challenge for me.  Number 1 is going well so far.  It’s the first weekend of the holiday season.  I have done a great job in not jumping ahead to the next holiday and enjoying all this week has to offer.  I am also doing pretty good at not worrying about making the holidays PERFECT.  But instead, enjoying the moments leading up to the big meals and the get togethers.

Number 2 on the list is Plan so you won’t be running around like a crazy lady.  Today, I sent my wonderful mom the ingredients for the pie I will be making Thursday.  Plan for Thanksgiving, Check!

check mark

I started planning for Christmas in September.  I have to for several reasons.  The main one is that we our family is spread out everywhere.  The sooner I can put the gift ideas together, the lighter the load is on me and my family when the holidays get closer.

check markHubby’s family.  CHECK!  I have already shipped all but a few gifts to his parents’ home.  We will go there just before Christmas.  This way, everything is already there under the tree, waiting for our arrival.

check markMy family.  Almost check!  I have just a few more happies to pick up to put with gifts and they will be complete.

check markBoys’ school. CHECK CHECK CHECK!  My kids attend the world’s most wonderful school.  I have everything for everyone from each teacher to the front office to everyone in between.

check markMy office. CHECK!  Gifts ready and waiting for the day we have our work party.

check markFriends. Almost check! I have several items left to pick up, but I have a list and a plan.

check markExtras. CHECK!  I have everything ready for those few extra gifts I normally forget.

A plan I am good at.  Can you tell I my over plan?  Yep.  Just a little.  So part of this year’s plan is to slow down, enjoy the moments, and not worry if there is something I forgot or didn’t do.  If it isn’t perfect, it is OK.

keep going


The holiday challenge November 22, 2014

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 11:00 PM
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My life is headed in a completely new direction.  Not one I planned on or was ready for, but sometimes we have to have faith that everything is happening for a reason.  It’s not bad, or horrible…even though I have a tendency to make everything out to be impossible at first.  It’s just different and change.  I don’t do change.  I don’t do different.  I am a creature of habit.  I have to have everything just so or the world isn’t turning the way I feel comfortable.  I am trying very hard to not let the changes effect the holidays.

So… I decided I would participate in the “Crazy Mom” Holiday Challenge.  You can follow it at


I always want the holidays just perfect.  You know everything in its place, wonderful food, perfect weather, a dress that fits just right (even without dieting all year), no fighting, no arguing, perfect angelic kids, a husband who magically knows where all decorations must go and places them there just right.  You know… a dream world and not reality.

perfectI am going to enjoy every moment of these holiday season.  How did I start?  Well, I am not putting up my Christmas decorations until I have enjoyed a thankful Thanksgiving.  Every year I put up the Christmas decorations at the beginning of November so we can enjoy them.  But we seem to then just pass over Thanksgiving.  Not this year.  Nope, No Way!  I am enjoying all parts of Thanksgiving.

I am going to document my process on my blog.  I think I need it to be accountable for sticking with the challenge.  But also to not beat myself up when I have a “moment”.  Come on… you know about having a “moment”.  I tend to then feel guilty because I fell off the wagon with one of my “moments”.  Nope, not this year.  I am going to learn how to relax and embrace the chaos.

Number 1 on the challenge… roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  So how is this for not having a perfect holiday.  The boys and I will be at home with my mom and family in God’s Country.  Hubby will be at our home.  He won’t be able to make it over to spend the holiday with the family.  Well, just roll with it.  We can Skype or FaceTime. The Wild Things and I will have a great time.  We can check in with hubby throughout the day.  So even though it won’t be perfect, it doesn’t make the day any less special.


I will not have a moment this week when I am driving to God’s Country by myself.  I will listen to music, sing really loud (because I’ll have 4 hours in the car by myself), and stop at Starbuck’s whenever I want.happyIt will not be perfect, but I will roll with the changes.


Summer May 29, 2014

Filed under: Family — jdkihlken @ 8:01 PM
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It’s here, it’s finally here!  Summer!!!  I love summer.  The wild things and I all have birthdays in the summer.  It is the best time of the year.  I still have to work, but I love that my boys are so relaxed.  I love the music of summer, the food, the smell of the air, the fresh cut grass, the flowers in bloom.  I even love the heat and humidity.  I love that the kids act crazier in the summer. 

So much can happen in the summer.  We stay up later.  We get more done.  Everything seems so much more magical in the summer.  I love that even in my 40s I look forward to my birthday slap in the middle of summer.  There is something about it that makes me feel younger and special.  I love the long days and laying by the pool.

The wild things are out of town.  They come back Saturday.  I am ready for them to come back.  I worked longer hours this week so that next week I could spend more time with them.  My youngest wild thing reminded me a few weeks ago that I work too hard.  He is right.  He told me it wasn’t just work…which I bring home on a regular basis.  But also that when we are at home I am always working.  I work in the yard and in the house.  He is right… I never stop and enjoy things.  And in 11 days I will have an 11 year old.  Then a month after that an 8 year old.

This summer I want to enjoy the days like I did as a kid.  I want to have fun.  I want to cook outside and eat dinner on the patio.  I want to have friends over and cut up into the night.  I want to play with my boys every day and make it a summer they never forget.

That’s my goal… to enjoy the summer.  No more saying is this day over yet.  No more wishing my time away.  Instead, enjoying the moments and realizing that I deserve the break.



Writing again May 26, 2014

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 5:39 PM
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I took a long, long break.  I guess it has been two years since my last post.  I find writing to be very therapeutic.  I feel better when I can get my thoughts on paper.  But, after a while I felt like maybe people didn’t really care what I had to say. 

We went to see Moms Night Out.  It reminded me why I started writing in the first place.  I wanted a space I could share my thoughts and have other moms share their thoughts.  I think so many of us feel the same way.  We want to be the best at everything…the best mom, wife, daughter, niece, cousin, sister, employee, boss, etc.  Watching the movie Moms Night Out reminded me that I really am enough. 

I am enough.  That is going to be my new motto.  I am enough!  When I am tired, drained, and wiped out, I need to remember that I am enough and it is ok to slow down and stop pushing so hard.









Travel February 12, 2012

Filed under: Family,Marriage,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 9:11 PM
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Why is it that no matter how much a need a break from the wild things, I still miss them so very much when I have to go on the road?  Wild Thing, Sr (senior) misses me already… he texted me to say come home come home.

4 hours on the road tonight and I still can’t fall asleep because I missed the good night stories and tucking in the wild things.  I wonder if the wild things miss mommy as much.

Wild Thing Sr gave me an early Valentines Day gift.  He took the wild things for hair cuts when I left town.  WOOHOO.  It’s those little things that make a dad sexy.  Check out for more on how doing the little chores makes a dad sexy.

Only 1 day out of town.  I should relax.  Paint my nails, condition my hair, go to bed early…but, I keep thinking right now the wild tings are laying in bed and they didn’t hear mommy read their stories, or kiss them good night.  I know they are ok because daddy is there, but it’s not the same.

Hugs and Kisses wild things!



Valentine’s Day February 11, 2012

Filed under: Marriage,Valentines day — jdkihlken @ 8:34 PM
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I am not one of those gushy women that love Valentine’s Day and looks forward to what she will be getting.  There was a time when I hated Valentine’s Day.  HATED IT.  Not because some guy didn’t plan a great Valentine’s celebration or because of a break up.  It was something else.  I just didn’t like it.

So my husband tried so hard to make it a special day.  15 years ago he proposed on Valentine’s Day.  It was one of those proposals that you remember forever because things didn’t go the way he had hoped.  The proposal took place in my first “grownup” apartment.  I was getting dressed for our night out.  He came in from the town we had gone to college in and was waiting for me to get ready.  He asked a question about the band playing at our favorite restaurant.  I told him there wasn’t one that night.  There went his romantic plans.  So he thought he would but the ring in my jewelry.  Only he kept getting in my way.  Finally, he came in the bathroom where I was putting on my makeup got down on his knee…I was still getting frustrated that he was in my way.  And right there in my sweat pants and sweat shirt with the mascara wand in my hand he said…Will you marry me?  And in that one sentence, he changed my life and my opinion of Valentine’s Day.  Because not everything in life is that perfect romantic moment…but it is that plain everyday moment that turns into something amazing.

Which brings me to 2 of my favorite poems for Valentines.

Both of these are by Lois Wyse.  I found them in book my mom had when I was a little girl.  I would read them over and over knowing that this would be my definition of love.

Non -Stop

by Lois Wyse

Someone asked me

To name the time

Our friendship stopped

And love began.

Oh, my darling,

That’s the secret.

Our friendship

Never stopped.

A Cozy Heart

by Lois Wyse

Once I thought love

Was tempestuous,


“Kiss me quick.”

I was wrong.

Love is usually a very comfortable way of life.

A cozy heart,

Kisses on the check,

“Wear your coat, and blow your nose.”

And what keeps a love so cozy?

The fact that every so often love is

tempestuous, tumultuous…

“Kiss me quick.”

And some how 17 years ago I meet the man who could make my heart jump in just the regular every day activities.

Happy Valentine’s Day.  May your heart be open to all the possibilities.


Strawberry Bread February 2, 2012

Filed under: Food,Recipes — jdkihlken @ 5:52 PM
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I had a lot of strawberries that were about to go bad.  There was no way to eat them all.  I found this recipe from  It was submitted by Ellen Rainey.

Strawberry Bread

2 cups fresh strawberries

3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour 2 9×5 loaf pans.  I used mini loaf pans and muffin tins instead.

Slice strawberries and place in medium-sized bowl with a light sprinkling of sugar.  Set to the side.

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl.  Mix well.  Blend oil and eggs into strawberries.  Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture.  Blending until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Stir in pecans.  Divide batter into pans.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean.  Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 mins.  Turn loaves out and cool completely.

Since mine were smaller in size, I let them bake for about 30 mins.


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