Monday, December 13, 2010


I have one child. 

And today, she is one year old.


 I love her with my whole heart. I am not sure I will ever love anyone else as much as I love her. She only needs to smile at me to get whatever her little heart desires. And her smiles are beyond precious. Each time I catch one on film, I feel a little bit of joy creep into me.
 She is so smart and so curious. She loves to investigate new things, and she learns and discovers so much. She has spent the last year growing and watching and becoming so much more than a baby.
 She can walk all by herself. And she constantly carries things from point a to point b. It is fun and funny. We love to watch her busy at work.
She adores being adored. And when she is surrounded by friends, she simply glows. She chatters non-stop to anyone and everyone we meet. 'Stranger Danger' is a phenomenon she simply cannot comprehend. In her world, there are only friends we haven't met (and stolen toys from) yet...

So Happy Birthday, dear little girl. I love you more every day. The first year of your life has been so wonderful and so hard and so worth it. I am grateful to be your mama. I am grateful that He chose us to be your family. Thank you for being patient with me while I learn how to mother.

I miss the baby that you were but I can't wait to see the little girl you become!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Last week, I stumbled on a ksl advert that had already been posted for a few days offering free wood. Now, good wood is usually pretty expensive. Like, way out of our price range expensive. But, with winter's arrival eminent, Mr Darling and I agreed that we needed several truckloads and fast. Neither one of us knew where we wanted to take the $500 dollars from.

This ad seemed too good to be true, and the fact that it was a few days old made me think it had already been snapped up. But I called anyway. And the guy said the wood was still there. So, I raced up to Provo, not expecting much, but hoping to put a small dent in our wood requirements. And, what did I find?
More wood than we needed. A LOT more. So we took four truckloads of wood, and that, combined with another truckload we had been given by the owner of Mi Rancherito (seriously, the best Mexican restaurant in Utah Valley, you should try it!) made us very happy and very busy little bees.

So, for our bonding time on Saturday, instead of watching BYU slap down UNLV in what Mr. Darling refers to as a 'professional pillow fight', we rented a wood splitter and went to work.

Such a great invention! We chopped and split and chopped and split and now we will be able to use this:
To keep this:
Nice and warm.

So, as we head into this time of Thanksgiving, I have yet another thing to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Please Mr Postman...

Keep up the good work! Today was an amazingly fun mail day! A while back, I had asked Dear Aunt Spicy if she would like to swap with me, one of my buntings for whatever she could dream up.

Well, her dream made mine come true! Look at this LOVELY pillow. I have fallen hard and fast for it!
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a love triangle. A certain little girl also has eyes for my pillow! Thank you, Aunt Spicy! I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! (If you guys want some serious inspiration, check out her blog! She rocks!)
I also recently completed a Potholder Pass where I was fortunate enough to receive this lovely package from Lauree:

While I sent these little goodies off to a foreign land:
And I received my package from my Christmas swap, which included this lovely advent calendar that we are going to use to make a tradition for Abigail. It will be fun to start having our own family traditions!
So, I am one lucky girl. I have online friends, real friends and lots of lovely pieces in my home. I am SO glad and grateful! I consider it such a blessing and it gives me so much more than I can ever give back...I am really really glad to be a blogger/flickrer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This Girl Was Made For Walking

This post was inevitable. Everyone asks two things about Abby. Can she talk? Can she walk?

Well, she is dang close to both. She can say 'hi', 'dog', and she can say 'Cawwie' (you can tell who is important to her)

So here is a short 20 second clip of Abby practicing. She is still a bit nervous to walk on her own, especially if she is the center of attention.
Abby is learning to walk from Amanda Woodruff on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Here There Be Monsters

The monster problem in our house is becoming a real issue. Nothing stays where it belongs. I am constantly cleaning up monster sized messes. In fact, I don't think I have had one single daylight hour where I have not had a monster mess created somewhere in our house.

But monsters are so cute.

Seriously? I am supposed to get mad at that? I don't think so. Not unless I have had no sleep and the monster makes her monster roar. We call it her froggy war cry. It is INCREDIBLE. It makes me go from a loving rational mother to someone who needs a padded room and a comfy white coat in zero seconds flat.

But then she makes this face.

And I just want to make her laugh more. 
Silly monster. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Berry Sweet

Last month (how the time flies....) We had a fun family trip to my aunt and uncle's home in Bellevue. I love Washington. I love the grey, wet weather. The need for sweatshirts in August just adds to the allure. And the berries? They are delicious. Wonderful. Delicate. Vibrant. I could go on and on.
I will let the picture do the talking for me.

Abby has figured out that plants = food. I have fed her peas, tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries. And now, she thinks it is ok to just help herself...
I guess now it is time to try and teach her not to eat the green parts.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Swap Meet

Savvy Seasons Swap
Originally uploaded by amandaquilts
I feel like a nerd admitting this, but I have online friends. As in, friends I have only met online. And they are just wonderful! I have discovered an entire community of crafty people and places where there are all sorts of fun swaps happening ALL.THE.TIME!

I am officially addicted. I have done a few swaps now and have made some awesome new friends. For my most recent swap, I sent off this pillow, a few birdie ornaments, and a reversible bunting.

And I received from someone else an adorable advent calendar. And, I have also received adorable toys for Abby, throw pillows, hot pads, pincushions, and mini quilts. I am in LOVE with mail day now.

So, here are a couple of photos of things coming and going.
UHG Project 2 Completed
A bag I sent to Anna at Thejoycottage. Love her!

The snail I adore that came in return (along with a pillow and mini quilt)
Sleepy Snail in her new home!

And a gratuitous shot of an adorable little girl. Seriously, I don't know how, but I seem to love her more every single day!
Nobody does scrappy like my little lady!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pop! Goes the Abby!

Abby disappears off bed
Originally uploaded by amandaquilts
So, Abby has a new fun skill that we are delighted to announce! It takes an enormous amount of stress off of me, because now, I don't have to worry about her falling off on her head..

And it is darling. This clever little girl is just so wonderful!

And then she just pops back up and crawls off. It is so fun to watch this little girl learn so many fun new things!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just A Little Unwell

Announcing another first here in the Darling household. Our sweet baby is finishing the tail end of her first cold. 
And it was so sad. 

And she was such a champ.

Man, I love this little girl!

And, for part three in the series:
At the reunion, this was made by none other than the infamous host with the most, Grandpa Serge, with assistance from Mr Darling.
Creamed Corn
Adapted from a Recipe by Jean Holman
    • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels, thawed
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    •  freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheese of your choice (I usually skip this part)

    Melt butter in saucepot. Add the flour. Whisk together to form a roux. Add cream, milk, corn, sugar, peppers in the same saucepot over medium-high heat. Stir to combine. Raise mixture to a low boil. Transfer to bowl, top with cheese and place under the broiler until cheese is browned. Serve.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If You're Happy And You Know It

Well, my little sponge of a darling daughter has been learning many many new things. I have a whole post to go over what she has learned in the last month, but haven't gotten around to actually writing it all down. So, as a teaser, here is one of Abigail's new "tricks". Just like our puppy! Yay!

Here she is with her Uncle Casey. I love watching Abby learn from other people, not just me.

And here is an 'action' shot of Abby and her new game. She claps for herself all the time. When she crawls up a few stairs, when she finds the dog dish, when she finds me or an open dishwasher. She is just so happy to clap. All you have to do is sing her silly "clap your little hands" song that Weston made up for her.

More to come later, but for now, Number 2 in the series:
Artichoke Salad
1 bag of romaine or spinach salad leaves
1 can of olives
1 8 oz can of artichoke hearts, chopped
8-10 oz of chopped mozzarella cheese cubes
8-10 oz of chopped cheddar cheese cubes

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 c asiago cheese
3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t fresh ground pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend well. GENTLY toss salad mixture with salad dressing and chill. Serve to soon to be delighted guests.
serves 8-10ish people.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The More We Get Together

Family Reunion 2010
These last several days were spent at Fish Haven Lodge near Bear Lake. 
Many Many family members were able to come.
(This is *MOST* of the group)
And this is Mr Darling's own little family.
And would you believe that I VOLUNTEERED to do the food? Really? What was I thinking?
First I planned, and lists of meals, ingredients, and to-dos were scattered around my house.
Next, I shopped. And oh, my did I shop. There was food EVERYWHERE in my house. I wish I had taken a picture. But, perhaps you can tell by the amount that overflowed into my living room how much I had to buy to feed so many people.

Of course, Abby helped me get ready by unpacking the boxes as I packed them up.
Then, into the car and off to Bear Lake!

Where, for four days, we set out enormous amounts of food and watched them disappear.

(Yes, that is fresh, Utah Sweet corn and yummy watermelon-Delish!)
In between, we hiked all the way through the marsh and down to the lake,
Ate a lot of apricots that Cherri and I had picked from a neighbor before we left,

And sampled the famous raspberry milkshakes of Bear Lake.

All in all, I believe the reunion was a success. We learned a lot about how to prepare and serve large meals, entertain 60 people of all ages, and participated in a wonderful testimony meeting where we shared our love for our Saviour with our family.

I have been asked to share some of the recipes I used at the reunion. The first in a series, today I am posting a fairly common recipe for:

Green Goddess Salad Dressing
Ranking: tdf
Recipe yields one quart jar full of dressing

1/2 Cup of Mayo
1/2 Cup of Sour Cream
2 T Buttermilk
1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
4 Green Onions chopped (green and white)
2 T fresh cilantro chopped 
2 T fresh parsley chopped
1 t white sugar (brown doesn't work)
1 t sea salt
1/2 t of ground pepper (fresh makes a big difference)
dash of cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients in a blender and puree. This recipe should yield a greenish tinted mayonnaise based dressing

I served this over a Cobb Salad with a Spinach Base, crumbled bacon, hard boiled eggs, home-made guacamole, pico de gallo, black beans, and a very pretty yellow pepper salsa. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bombs Away

Sweet, dear Mr Darling found a new website, We went on a family reunion where many, many pictures were taken.

Mr. Darling wanted to test out his newfound skill. Here are a few shots from just one of the dozens of cameras that are guaranteed to hold images that are, perhaps, not how the photographer intended for them to turn out.
Can you find the photobomb?

And, because I know you only look at this website to see adorable baby pictures that make you want to run out and kiss the nearest chubby cherub, here is a picture of Abby from the reunion. I have, surely, the world's most beautiful little girl. And I am allowed to say that. Cuz I'm her mama.

Thanks for the pics, Kimber!