Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good, better, or best

Whenever I pass someone on campus or at church or at the grocery store, we (both them and I are guilty) just ask "How are you doing?," and say "Good!" And thats pretty much all is said. Why are we always compelled to say good, even if we aren't doing good or even if we are doing amazing. We say good and go on our way.

Two friends of mine always asks me how I'm doing...Good? Better? Or best? Really think about the importance of that. There are a few reasons I love that simple question of "good, better, or best?"

It is positive.
I don't like dwelling on the negative, but it gives me an opportunity to differentiate between my days. I'm not doing the same everyday. Some days are better than others, and that is okay. It is okay that some days are hard, but even then there are parts of the day that are good, if not great. Find the happiness or the goodness in each day. It is possible.

It is sincere.
We sincerely ask how each other is doing. It is not a question we feel obligated to ask simple because it is socially acceptable. We don't answer it by saying "good" and move on. We talk about it. We ask each other why. It helps to rejoice together and console each other.

It is unique.
It started as a joke. I used to always put my hand under my chin when taking funny pictures. Then it evolved to sometimes under my chin, sometimes by my chin, and sometimes on the side of my cheek... My friend Matt always teased me for it, but now he even does it with me sometimes.

It reminds you that your friends really do care how you are actually doing. They do not just want an automatic response. There are people who sincerely want to know how you are doing. They want to be happy with you. They want to make you feel better if today has only been good. And they want to help you make tomorrow best.
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Wisdom from Karrie

Y'all might already know this, but I am a Special Education major at BYU, emphasizing in Mild/Moderate Disabilities.

This is my first semester in the program, and it is crazy to think that this time next year I will be student teaching! I am so excited for the opportunities this path is going to bring into my life. My life has already been changed by this major, and will continue to be changed by this career.

I have learned how interesting behavior really is. And a little about why we do certain things.
I have learned how to communicate effectively with people, so you can achieve a common goal.
I have learned that we all can learn and achieve great things, even though it may not appear so.
I have learned about just a few of the amazing people in the world.

Take this teenage girl, Karrie, for instance.

She can teach us so many things you might not have ever expected to learn from a person with Down syndrome. By reading this short article I was reminded of things that are easy to forget...

I learned to love my body, no matter the size it is.
I learned to take risks and be courageous. Great things can happen when you are.
I learned to go after my own dreams.
I learned that I am beautiful. We all are.

I always joke that I hate people. But that couldn't be further from the truth. People, especially people like Karrie, remind me how much I truly love others. I love how inspiring other people are. I can be strengthened through them. Those around me can answer my prayers, comfort me, and give me power.

I can do hard things.
We all can.
But it is much easier if we work together.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Back to baking

Sometimes life gets really busy (read: school starts again) and I forget how much I really enjoy baking. I can pretty much always think of a million and one reasons not to bake:

it takes too much time
i should be doing homework
i could be being social and meeting new people
i'm too poor
i'm just going to eat it all and then none of my clothes will fit
it's easier to relax by watching netflix or hulu

But whenever I bake something again I remember how much I really enjoy baking. It is something I like to do. I like to take a bunch of random ingredients and make something delicious. Sometimes I'll share with friends and family, but sometimes it's just for me. I like baking because it's me time.

Last week I baked twice. It's fall and I'm obsessed with pumpkin so I made these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Then I had some friends invite me over for a good ol' southern Texas meal on Friday. I volunteered to bring dessert. Naturally I had to make Texas Sheet Cake! (We enjoyed it too quickly to get a picture...)


Originally found here.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 to 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Grease and flour a 15X10X1-inch or jelly roll pan or a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. With an electric hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in a 350° oven about 22 to 25 minutes for the 15X10-inch pan or about 30 to 35 minutes for the 13X9-inch pan, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Pour warm chocolate frosting over the warm cake, spreading evenly. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly before cutting.
Makes 24 servings.

In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Bring to a boil, stirring, over medium heat. Remove from heat; add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add more confectioners' sugar or a little milk or more buttermilk, if needed, for a spreadable frosting. If desired, stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans. Spread the warm frosting over the cake.
(I made the frosting about 3 minutes before the cake was done and it worked perfectly. I also added another splash of buttermilk until I got the right consistency.)

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Starting now

I used to think that if I missed journaling [or blogging] for a long time that I had to catch up for all the missed time. But now then I had a realization that I don't. I don't have to make up for missed time. Sorry y'all, but you will just of missed the last 2+ months of my life. #itwasntthatexciting #sorrynotsorry #itwastootempting #ihadtoo Hahaha. I think hashtags are hilarious. Have y'all seen this? You should watch it; it's hilarious.

Also, I made a twitter... And I kinda like it. If ya wanna follow me, check it out here.

College is real y'all. This is my first semester in the Special Education program. And you know what that means? I'll be a real teacher in just over a year! Eek. I am sooo in love with my major. Like seriously. I love what I'm studying. It's the best thing in the world. I love BYU and I love my major.

Also, check out General Conference! It's awesome. It makes for a great weekend.
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