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Sinner saved by grace. Wife to a cute preacher. Momma to 2 precious baby boys. Blessed beyond measure. And I deserve none of it.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Life Lately


 Christmas Parties... some more fun than others.



Memphis Tiger games

Girl togetherness... with tacky sweaters

Wrapping presents
 wrapping paper e1320774714713 Best of After Christmas Shopping
Watching classic Christmas movies with D

And of course hanging out with my favorite little people...

Riley time

Favorite Foremans

I love this time of year. Our unseasonably warm December has made it hard to remember its Christmas time, but the traffic quickly reminds me.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fat Friday

I can't remember if I had blogged this recipe before but its worth a repeat. A few years ago for my mother in laws birthday she requested a carrot cake. Two things you should know...

1. I don't like carrot cake.
2. I had never made a carrot cake.

I was about to make a carrot cake... from scratch. No box cake here. I was going all out. I was not really even sure where to begin. I just knew that's...

1. what Mrs. Debbie wanted
2. I love to bake
3. I love to fatten people up with food

...so I was on a mission for a great recipe. Then it hit me. Who has no doubt the best dessert recipes?... Sure they include 10 sticks of butter... but aren't they worth it? Yes, that's right, Paula Deen. So I went to her site and sure enough found her recipe. And it seemed do-able. Perfect.

I will say not only was the recipe easy, so was the homemade icing... well my icing still looks more like an avalanche happening than perfectly spread icing, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Then it was time for the real test: Did it taste good?

Now seeing how I hadn't really cared for carrot cake... I mean who wants a vegetable in their dessert?!... I knew my opinion shouldn't really count. I was eager to hear the response from my fellow birthday celebrators... and....


They loved it. I even loved it. It's not my favorite and I don't crave it like other desserts, but I certainly would make it again. In fact, for her birthday 3 years in a row now that's what she has requested. Well, I should clarify this by saying, Mrs. Debbie said she didn't care. She loves any dessert. And when I asked her to narrow down the options she mentioned that she liked the carrot cake... and fudge, but that's only because she's a real American who appreciates good fudge.

So all that to say... here's a great carrot cake recipe even for those who don't really like carrot cake.

  • Butter, for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.
Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

*I have always been weird and not really cared for layered/tiered cakes. I like the simplistic way of eating a cake cut out of 9x13 pan.... which works in my favor with my avalanche icing. So I just cook my cake in a 9x13 pan. You will have a ton of icing this way, but I'm an icing girl so I don't mind... avalanche and all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

She's Here!

Riley Paige finally made her grand entrance into this world around 5:57p.m. yesterday, December 10th. Kacie went in to be induced around 5:30a.m. After lots of poking they finally got her pitocin going around 7:30. She began having some contractions, they broke her water and then gave her the epidural around 10:00a.m. This was what she looked like after the epidural. She looked fabulous.

 The doctor continued checking her every couple of hours and Riley was clearly in no hurry. Kacie in fact was so comfortable she slept pretty much all afternoon. Finally sometime after 5:00 they decided to go ahead and do a c-section because she had not gotten past 3.5 cm. We were dying to see this baby! This mamaw was phenominal all day. I thought for sure she'd be a nervous, antsy wreck. She is actually BeBe (pronounced BeeBee), but we call her mamaw because she hates it so much. :)

 After what seemed like HOURS... the nurse finally came out and said Kacie and Riley were both doing great. Jeremy had left his phone in their room so he couldn't contact us. The nurse wouldn't tell us any details other than Riley was beautiful and that there was no way she would have come on her own... meaning she was big!

Jeremy came out a little while later with the camera and we were introduced to the most precious chunky face. She was gorgeous! And we were dying to see her and Kacie!

Finally around 9:00p.m. the staff allowed us back there. And this is what we saw.

I know I am biased, but she is GORGEOUS! And perfectly chubby! We are so in love!

Welcome to the world, Riley Paige Wilbur!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fat Friday

I found seriously the easiest cobbler recipe ever. And really it shouldn't be included in Fat Friday b/c technically it's a weight watchers recipe so it isn't terrible for you. I didn't tell the people who ate it (particularly the men in my life) until after they had eaten it and they were shocked.

Berry Cobbler

Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries
1 box white cake mix
1 can of diet sprite (I used sprite zero)

-Place frozen fruit in a 9x13 baking dish.
-Add dry cake mix over the top.
-Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the sprite. This will give you a 'crust'. If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping.

Bake 350 for 45-50 min.

Serves 16; 4 WW Points Plus

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Riley Jean!

Ok, her name is actually Riley Paige, but for whatever reason when I say Riley I feel all country like I need to add Jean to it. This opening sounds like she's been born. Sorry to disappoint. To my knowledge she has not and if she has people will have some serious explaining to do.

She is not here yet, but she will be soon. If Kacie does not have her by Sunday then they will be inducing her on Monday... which means this is our last week without ole Riley Jean. Kacie really will shoot me if I keep calling her baby that, (unless she's hoping I'll watch Riley while she sleeps, or clean her house or cook for her.. ... then she may reconsider...) but I seriously can't help it. It just fits... sister, you chose the wrong middle name. Paige is much cuter, but Jean flows better.

So we covet your prayers in the next several days as we await the arrival of our precious little Riley Jean.. (I mean Paige)... Wilbur.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Duck Dynasty

I knew I loved this show. This just makes me love the show and the people on it even more.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My biggest fans

Don't worry. I didn't forget about my biggest fans and supporters. I truly believe this run was one of my best and easiest because I knew these people were waiting for me at the finishline.

They even decorated their car.

I am so thankful to have such a great support system. Thank you all for loving me and coming to cheer me on!

My dad has never missed any major thing that sister and I have had going on. He hated that there was a work conflict that he couldn't get out of. He wasn't able to make the race but met us at lunch.

I am beyond grateful for these people.

Monday, December 3, 2012

St. Jude Half Marathon

My last pre-race post was about it being expo day. We had such a great time getting our things. It became real when I pulled out that number and then activated it... in fact I was activated as Donna Sue Brigham, age 43 because I bought a friends bib. It didn't matter, I was Donna and my bib was activated. It was a 'this is really happening' moment.

Though we were beyond excited, we couldn't shake the nerves of the unknown. We knew we were as prepared as we could be, but 13.1 is a long run... for us. This was a big deal that not many people ever even attempt in a life time and here we were about to tackle the challenge in 2 days. So we walked around the expo looking to see if there was any gear we thought would benefit us. They were selling all kinds of different running apparel and we thought we'd browse through. The weather was crazy warm, but that morning when we'd be getting there would be cold, so we were baffled as what to wear.

Enter sleeves.

Except mine were hot pink and allie's were bright blue. These were perfect. we wore fitted capris, short sleeve shirts and these sleeves. Then when we got hot we just pushed them down.
Yes, we were less than 48 hours away and couldn't believe it...
Friday night we had a pasta party at allie's. We lounged around in comfy clothes and ate pasta and bread. Then we enjoyed cobbler and coffee. It was fabulous. Having not done this before, it seemed to be the perfect way to prepare for race day. (and now being on this side of the race its was for sure!) We just relaxed and went through the details of the next morning: what we would need, where we were meeting, details of the course, etc. I headed home about 9:00p.m., laid out everything I would need for the next morning and was in bed before 10:00p.m. I really slept well (unlike allie who got maybe 2 hours all night!) and when the alarm went of at 4:00a..m. I snoozed it more than once. :) I needed to pick allie up at 5:45 and I wanted plenty of time to make sure I had everything together without being rushed.

We were on the interstate heading toward downtown at 6:15. We had everything we needed with us. Now it was just a matter of time. We parked on Riverside and made the short walk to the start line where allie had a group picture at 6:45. She was running as a hero for a little boy named Ingram. After the picture we walked around trying to loosen up.

You can see the sleeves well here despite how ridiculous we look.

8:00 the first group was off. 10 minutes later our corral  crossed the start line and we were off. 16 weeks of training, countless drops of sweat, crazy early morning runs, Saturday long runs all over the city... and now it was time to put that training to use. Miles1-4 were exhilarating. There were crowds of people almost continually. Beale Street was the best. You seriously felt like a super star. I was humbled by the encouragement, cheers, and high fives from total strangers. Miles 4-5 were when we ran through St. Jude. I began to tear up as we passed under the balloon canopy. What an amazing hospital that is doing wonderful things for these precious sick kids and their families.  Though there didn't appear to be many patients out, there were still tons of grateful families encouraging us. Miles 6-8 were a little boring down parkway, but we saw so many fmailiar faces that it was energizing. Mile 9 Allie began to not feel well.... or at least thats when she voiced it. She is always the one pushing me. She's much faster and it is always a great challenge for me to keep up with her. So when her steps were slower I knew something was up. She did great but expressed she was feeling dizzy and nauseaous. We slowed down our pace for miles 9-12. Then we saw the entrance to autozone park. We were home... we were a mere mile from reaching the goal we had been working hard towards for 4 months. All those hot, humid runs, all the sore musles, all the feelings like I was going to barf in someones yard... all was worth it in that moment. We ran the last 100 yards with a smile from ear to ear.

We entered into the outfield of autozone park with hands held high.... We did it. Not only did we train to run 13.1, but we finished it and finished well.

Our finishing time was 2 hours and 17 minutes. With Allie 100% I'm certain we could have finished under 2 hours. Guess we'll just have to run another one and prove it. I def. have the bug now. I loved every second of that race. I loved the challenge of the distance, I loved the hills, I loved the crowds, I loved running with my buddy who had trained and challenged me for so long. And now... I'm ready to do it again.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fat Friday

Cinnamon Roll Cake


3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Expo Day

Today is expo day. Allie and I are headed downtown as soon as I get off of work to pick up our race packets and shop the expo. I can not believe I completed my last training run yesterday. 2 days of rest and then its go time on Saturday. I have worked my tail off for 16 weeks and its crazy to think the training is over. No more marking off days or weeks on the training schedule. I am as prepared as I'm going to be. I am so thankful I accepted this challenge 4 months ago. What a rewarding feeling it will be to run into autozone park and cross that finish line. I literally get chills thinking about it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving morning began at Shelby Farms for the 2012 Turkey Trot. It was insane. There were so many people and a narrow path which meant it took forever to even get to the starting line. Allie, Sara, and I had agreed that we'd run this race slow and easy since there'd be so many people and it was the week before our half marathon. Well they said Go, and that plan went out the window. We were darting around people and pushing a much faster pace than we'd ever run in a race before. I thought I was going to die... and based on the pictures that the photographers took it appeared that way too. Allie was in Go mode and challenged Sara and I's steps. Though it was challenging, it was fun.

After the race, I ran home, got ready and then we headed to Mississippi to celebrate with D's side of the family for lunch. Then before we knew it, it was time to head to dinner to celebrate with my side of the family for dinner. I didn't think I had any more room for left until I walked in and smelled everything... you better believe I found room.

I love having both of our families here, but it makes celebrating Thanksgiving a gluttonous day.... with which I'm really ok with.

Here I am with ole chubs and Riley. Crazy to think that chubs won't be chubs for very much longer. Let the Riley countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

On this Thanksgiving Eve I thought it was only appropriate to answer some questions regarding our Thanksgiving. Thank you Rachel for the idea.

1.What do you look forward to more: the food, football or parades?
Between these 3... no question... the food! I do love watching the parade but my non-parade watching husband just makes weird comments about everything making the parade much less enjoyable. A new tradition started last year where we (myself and another family member I can sucker into it) get up and run in a Turkey day race so there's not much parade left to watch anyway by the time we get home.

2. What is your favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving Day dish?
This is a dumb question. It's thanksgiving so the traditional items are a must! If you don't like them you should not live in America. I am clearly kidding, but who eats weird things like lasagna for Thanksgiving?! I can't imagine it!

My favorite traditional food is dressing/cranberry sauce... I need both... together in fact. I could do without everything else. I am especially looking forward to my sister's dressing. It is delicious!

3. After dinner, is it football or a nap?
Nap! Oh football is on, but all I see are the back of my eye lids... or a Christmas movie if we're in Missouri.

4. What are your Thanksgiving traditions?
We travel every other year to my dad's family in Missouri. We play games, watch Christmas movies, and eat and eat and eat some more. This year because Riley's due date is so close we decided not to risk it and are staying here.

5. Where do you go to celebrate and eat your big meal? Who is there (family, friends)?
Lunch- Daniel's side in Mississippi- grandparents, parents, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins
Dinner- my side in Arlington- grandmother, parents, sister, brother, aunts, uncle, cousin,

6. What is your favorite turkey day dessert?
I'm not much of a pumpkin pie fan so I make a dessert every year. You better believe I'm making peanut butter sheet cake this year. If I'm going to digest thousands of calories, I might as well top it off well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So much to be thankful for

I don't mean to sound like a thanksgiving scrooge, but I get annoyed with the 'list what you're thankful for thing' on facebook. I keep thinking, "Get a blog, or a piece of paper."Is it really necessary to write something down everyday for us to read. True, I know reading it or getting on fb is my choice, but still. How thankful are most of those the rest of the year? And of course they're typing out all the good things they've been given, but what about the tough stuff? Shouldn't we be thankful for those too?  Yet no one writes about that stuff... ok, I'll get off my thanksgiving scrooge soapbox.

I really am a pleasant person. I promise.

As thanksgiving is approaching I am reminded of what God has done in our lives the last year. What an exciting ride we've been on! Seriously the craziest year of our lives which brought me to my list of thankfulness. (and yes it's ok to write this kind of stuff on a blog.)

1. Treasured gift of Jesus- I have never experienced Christ like I have this year. I am blown away by his love, faithfulness, mercy and grace to me. And I deserve none of it.

2. D- God knew what I needed when he gave me Daniel Jerkins.

3. Family- As I spend time with little ones at school and teenagers/adults at church, I am reminded of how diverse family situations are. I am so thankful for the upbringing I had and the family that God has given me.. both biologically and by marriage. What a legacy our children will have.

4. Friends- I am blown away by the friendships that God has brought into my life these 27 years. Some friends have lasted a lifetime where as others have come and gone. All still precious to me though. Its no coincidence that I always have in my life just the right people at the right time.

5. Church- God's goodness never ceases to amaze me. As I walked into Bellevue the other night to see my cousin be baptized, I was overwhelmed to the point of tears as I looked around at the church I grew up in. The sights, the smells, the memories...everywhere. What a precious opportunity I had to be apart of such an amazing church. I am so thankful that we still have friends and family that help keep us feeling apart. Bellevue will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Millington- For whatever reason, God chose to have us at Millington for 4 short months. Doesn't make any sense to us why he'd take us there to bring us right back to where we are, but we know He's in control. We know he used the situation in our lives and many others. Its neat to talk to friends we made there and hear how God was not only working in our lives but using our situation in theirs as well.

Hickory Withe- No doubt one of the sweetest churches around. From the minute we started there 4 years ago, we've had nothing but love and support. Even when we transitioned away, their love was unwavering. We are still loving being back and serving with this church.

6. Tough stuff- though life has been crazy and fun, it has not been perfect. We have had our fair share of ups and downs, heartbreaks and victories and I can honestly say I am thankful for them all. I am thankful for the valleys because I know the mountain top is coming. I am thankful for the wilderness because I know my promised land is just ahead. I am genuinely thankful for the tough stuff because its the tough stuff that reminds me how good my God is. When me situation may not be perfect, he is. When what I'm going through seems hopeless, he is my hope.

This past year God has been so faithful to us...in the good stuff and the tough stuff. And I am so thankful that he is God over both.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fat Friday

I have found maybe one of my favorite recipes...EVER. It's a close 2nd to that peanut butter sheet cake. It takes less ingredients, half the time and is slap your momma good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls
1 1/2 C pretzels
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Crush pretzels into small bits.
  • In mixer, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Mix until all ingredients are completely blended and smooth.
  • Add pretzel bits to peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add powdered sugar and, again, mix thoroughly. It should look like this:
  • Prepare a chilling tray--a dinner plate covered with waxed paper works well.
  • Take about a teaspoon of the peanut butter pretzel mixture into your fingers and gently pat it into a ball with your fingertips. (The powdered sugar will make the peanut butter less sticky, but it's still too sticky to roll well, hence the patting.)
  • If the peanut butter starts sticking to your fingers, your fingers are too warm. Run your fingers under cold water for a minute to chill them, and begin rolling again.
  • Place the peanut butter balls onto the plate. When you have rolled all the balls, place the entire plate into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • After the peanut butter balls have chilled, prepare your chocolate. Pour the chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Continue until the chips are completely melted, which means they stir easily into smooth, fluid chocolate with no lumps.
  • Place one peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate and gently roll it around with a fork until completely coated. Remove from the bowl with the fork and place back on the waxed paper plate. Repeat for all other balls. (I found the choc chips made it too rich so I just drizzled (dumped if I'm being honest) the choc. on each one.
  • Once all the peanut butter balls are coated in chocolate, return the plate to the refrigerator and chill another 30 minutes.
When they're done, they should look like this:
This recipe makes approximately 22 balls. It is very easy to double, triple, quadruple this recipe.

You will have to muster up some restraint because its hard to only eat one! D is not really a huge fan of peanut butter balls...which is crazy to me. I grew up with my granny fixing them (a ton of them!) at Christmas. They are my favorite. He came home from work curious as to what I was making, tasted it of course, and probably got more excited about this than anything else I've ever made before... in the 6.5 years we've been married. I can't decide if that's an insult to my cooking or compliment for success. Maybe its both, but who cares when you find something this good!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Pretzel Balls

*I got the recipe from this blog. Thank you Marisa!*