Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy!

I completed the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge from January 4, 2015

I did it!  I mastered all 10 points on the list.  Not perfect at all times, but I tried and I did it.  This was the least crazy holiday I have ever had.  Which is surprising because I have so many changes happening in my life.

So… Here it is step by step….


1. Roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  Well… the week before Thanksgiving my husband received a promotion that requires us to relocate.  It has completely turned our house upside down.  Needless to say it has lead to a less than perfect holiday season.  It is a blessing, but it meant changing a lot.  We didn’t spend Thanksgiving together.  We only saw each other on the weekends during December… all of which were spent on the road!  But, we rolled with it and it turned out that it was perfect for us.

2. Plan, so you won’t have to rush around like a crazy lady.  I start shopping in September for Christmas gifts.  I love to buy things for family and friends.  So it is fun to plan ahead what to get them.  I also have to start early because I ship everything to our family in Mississippi in November that way the car isn’t packed to the roof when we go visit everyone in December.

3. Remember your kids are kids, not angels.  Both my boys have ADHD.  It is always chaotic in our house.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, basketball season started.  We just finished football before Thanksgiving.  The boys also take tae kwon do 3 nights a week.  So life is always hectic in our home.  I have had to repeat this one over and over to myself.  I want them to always be perfect little angels.  But I have to remember that they are kids.  I am way to uptight with them most of the time.  I feel like I am always on their case about something.  Number 3 is something I am going to work on for 2015.  Always remember the boys are boys.  That is one of my New Year’s resolutions.

4.  Cut your husband some slack, he’s not an angel either.  I have to work on this one too.  Sometimes I expect him to be able to read my mind and know what I need.  I have got to remember that he can’t do that.  I grew up in a house of girls and he grew up in a house full of boys.  Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t think like me… you know perfect.  just kidding.  But I think we did ok for the holiday.  We spent most of December on the road which is rough on everyone.  But we managed to enjoy each other and have fun.

5.  Spend less money on stuff and more time with people.  We nailed this one this year.  This year we stuck to a Christmas budget that worked.  We definitely enjoyed spending more time with our family and friends than we normally are able to and it was well worth it.  In the end it’s the relationships we have that matter, not the material possessions.  We enjoyed all our time with family this year.  There was a lot of love in the air!

6.  Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking you need more.  We nailed this one too!  This year we didn’t ask for a lot.  We surprised each other with some great gifts, but we were very thankful for what we have  We have 2 amazing boys and a solid relationship.  We have a great family and friends who are like family.  What more can a girl ask for.

7.  Enjoy that Christmas cookie and don’t beat yourself up for eating it.  Well, I ate my share of holiday food that is for sure.  I did have some guilty feelings about eating too much.  But I did enjoy eating with good friends and family and not worrying most of the time about what the scale would say.

8.  Get rest, so you won’t turn into the Christmas Grinch.  Oh I rested.  I took off from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until Jan. 4!  I took naps almost every day.  It was well worth each moment of relaxation.  For the first time in a year, I am ready to go back to work and tackle the world again!

9.  Love, and show it with patience and kindness.  I have to work on this a lot more during 2015.  I love a lot and I am normally kind, but patience is a virtue that I lack.  I am going to work harder on this.  I did try to show love through patience and kindness.  I think people who don’t know me well would say that I nailed it.  But family that spent the entire holiday with me… they would say patience was lacking and kindness could have been a little better.

10.  Think more about what the season really means.  The Thanks in Thanksgiving and the Christ in Christmas.  I definitely nailed this one this year!  For thanksgiving, we gave a lot of thanks.  The boys and I discussed what we were thankful for at length in our 4 hour car ride home from grandma’s house after Thanksgiving.  And to add Christ back into Christmas, we started praying together as a family again.  We prayed the Advent prayers around our table with the Advent wreath.  We started praying every night kneeling together in our living room as we say our night time prayers.  I started doing 10 minute devotionals each day that have expanded to 15 minutes or more each day.

Well, looking back, I think I did ok with this Challenge.  I can’t wait to look for another one to work on next.


Valentine’s Day February 11, 2012

Filed under: Marriage,Valentines day — jdkihlken @ 8:34 PM
Tags: , , ,

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.


The Butterfly Effect August 20, 2011

Filed under: Family,Marriage,the little things,unexpected changes — jdkihlken @ 8:43 PM
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Do you ever think about what would happen if one little minor event in your life (from your past) was changed?  Saying no to an invitation for a date, choosing a different college or the discipline you majored in, deciding not to move, rejecting a job offer or promotion.  Each yes and each no would change the direction your life takes and the people you will meet.

Last night, the boys and I were packed up and headed to Jackson for Dee Dee’s birthday weekend.  A weekend of fun and family.  We were just outside of Clinton, MS when I ran out of gas.  Yes, ran out of gas.  The gauge said just under 1/4 of a tank and the gas light did not come.  The mileage to empty said 44 miles.  I had plenty of time to get gas.  Needless to say, I have to call my mom and tell her that her 38-year-old daughter just ran out of gas.  JT was asleep for a while and Xander was nervous about sitting on the side of the interstate in the dark.

Sitting there in the dark with my two guys, it really hit me how if anything in my life had been different, I would not be sitting in the dark with those two boys.  Maybe with two other kids, maybe with no kids, maybe a different car, maybe not travelling at all, maybe having to fly in rather than drive.

Every little thing that happened in my life lead to meeting Tommy and the life we have together.

What if my parents had not divorced and we never left Clarksdale?  What if mom had taken a job in Memphis rather than Jackson after the divorce?  What if I didn’t have Dianne Waldon had not started the Advanced Chemistry class at Northwest Rankin?  Would I have found my way to a major in chemical engineering?  What if I didn’t go to Mississippi State, but went to one of the other dozen universities I applied to?  What if I didn’t wait to take Physics until the summer?  What if I never talked to the boy sitting next to me in Physics lab that summer of 1995?  What if he left to go co-op on the MS coast and we just said good-bye that summer?  What if we never had rough patches and never broke up for a few months?  What if when we did talk again, I had said no to that first invitation to a crawfish boil, or had hesitated before saying yes?

Everything would have been different.  Every little decision that didn’t seem all that important lead to this marriage and these two boys and this life.  Every little unimportant, seemingly insignificant event lead to this life.  Which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

When I did call him later last night to tell him about our night (while he is off at a convention for his motorcycle club), first was the worry in his voice then the laughter.  Because this is who we are.  I am the woman who pushes her car to the limit and doesn’t fill up before leaving town, and he is the guy that cracks up that his wife would leave town without a full tank of gas.  No lecture on checking my car, no fussing about what was I thinking, just a laugh that summed it all up.

That said, obviously something was wrong with the car because the gas light always comes on at 30 miles to empty and the numbers always flash at 30.  To run out of gas with 44 miles left to empty really wasn’t my fault.

The moral of this story…say yes, take a chance, open up to new adventures.  You don’t know where it’s going to go, but the ride is worth it and that one thing that seemed unimportant could be the one event that introduces you that person that changes everything.


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