Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time to get over it!

One of the curses of being a perfectionist that is far from perfect is having a hard time getting over things that went wrong, whether they matter much or not. Here's hoping that by blogging about my silly mistakes I can stop beating myself up about them.

I don't think I have ever done this before, and I certainly hope I don't do it again. I played the piano in RS today (not uncommon), and for three verses in a row, I played the same two measures incorrecly, all the time knowing that I was playing them incorrectly. It was one of those weird occurrences where I picked a song that I thought was fairly well-known (hymn 148), but when I started playing almost no one sang. It felt weird. And then I started playing wrong things and felt weird and embarrassed. And then I was in a rut and played the same part wrong over again. And then I thought about it all day. And now I'm over it.

Christmas Eve was delightful (more on that later) until I realized that the cheesecake I had made for all of my guests was weird. The texture was not what it should have been because the last block of cream cheese I added simply wouldn't incorporate. It just kind of cumbled into little specks of cream cheese. It had been out on the counter softening for just as long as the rest of the cream cheese had, but it wasn't as new as the others (I guess it was starting to dry out, but I don't think it was terribly old). I've never had such a thing happen in all of my years of baking cheesecakes. I don't think it was any big deal to anyone else, but, silly me, I had a hard time getting over it. But I'm over it now, because my husband still loves me, my friends still seem to like me, the last time I checked I was still capable of making edible food, and I now know never to use cream cheese that may be somewhat old when making a cheesecake.

So, perhaps I'm silly, but I think I'll sleep well tonight!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday night reflections

It’s Saturday night and Neal is on call. The ONLY thing that I wanted to do tonight after my kids were in bed was update my blog. It is now 10:36, 6 minutes past the time that I wanted to be in bed, and I am just now getting to the blog. Instead of blogging, I’ve been baking a chocolate cake and making ice cream base. Why? Because I’m crazy.

Tomorrow we are going to a family party for my brother-in-law Josh, so the cake is for him (I ALWAYS volunteer to make the cake for family birthdays, and most of the time wonder why I didn’t let someone else have a turn). I planned to make it while Austin was napping today, but instead folded two loads of laundry and made jewelry with Sally out of her pop beads (which was a ton of fun, by the way—thanks, Sarah!). I didn’t want to make the cake tomorrow after church because after reading the RS lesson for tomorrow, I’m going to try harder than I have been to avoid much cooking and baking on Sunday. So, after doing the nightly post-bed-time tidying up and odds and ends, I baked a cake.

The ice cream came into the mix because I had some heavy whipping that has been on the verge of going bad for the past few days. I’ve been meaning to turn it into ice cream for quite a while now, but never did (perhaps because I’ve been surrounded by so many desserts and sweets lately)—until the night I was supposed to blog. I figured since I was in the kitchen already, one extra recipe would be no big deal. And it wasn’t, until I burned my finger whisking hot cream into an egg yolk and realized how late it was getting.

So, what I meant to blog about will have to wait. What follows is something that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a long time. It is part 2 of “My life is good.” So, without further detail about my adventures in sweet-making, here it is:

A few months ago Neal and I were talking with some friends and were asked the question, “Are you sick of living like students yet?” I honestly didn’t know what to say. I was totally caught off-guard by the question. I never ever considered us to be living like students (what does that even mean, anyway?). I don’t remember exactly how I answered the question, but it was something to the effect that while there are things that we would like to have someday that we don’t have now, we are pretty comfortable with our lifestyle. When we got home, Neal and I shared a good laugh.

I’ve since thought a lot about the question, and the more I think about it, the more I feel that my life is good. Neal and I own a home and have lots of equity in it. The home may be small, but it is adequate, modern, and in good repair. Other than our mortgage, we have no loans of any kind. We have never had any trouble paying any of our bills (not even a large bill for an expensive ER visit during the short window of time that I had bad health insurance). We have two cars (albeit old cars) that work well (siblings, spare me your criticism of Reggie—he is a reliable machine!). We go on vacations, buy new clothes and shoes, buy the kind of food we want, eat out when we want to, buy new furniture, etc. Of course there are things that I would do differently if I had more money, but I don’t feel like I am suffering for the want of anything right now. I honestly feel like Neal and I have been incredibly blessed in our life together.

So, while some may disagree (even many who know us and know how we live), I submit that we do not live like students, but like middle-class Americans. And I’d like to think that even if we did live like students, we’d still be happy.

We’ll see what I have to say about this when we are making 10 times what we are now (which is hard for me to fathom)…