Today, my dear friend Brillig's post about put me into tears. Go read it. You'll be glad you did. (Her blog has had some techno-problems. I hope the link works.)
If Writing a Random Claims to Fame Post, Don't Forget Your Own Family.
Um, duh. Yeah, I'm feeling kinda stupid on this one.
If you live in Utah (or are LDS and shop in Seagull and Deseret Book), you have probably heard of the A Capella group VoiceMale.
Okay, so here's my giant claim to fame: The founder and vocal percussionist, John L. (there are 2 Johns in the group, so they really do use their last initials) is my dear cousin. He put the group together when they were at USU. They practiced in my uncle and aunt's home, and he often arranged (and still does arrange) some of their music.
And he's one of the most generous and sweet guys I've ever known, and that's counting all the years we had growing up together as cousins when he and my brother played Stratego in their basement.
(John's the one in the middle sitting on the couch arm. Can't you totally see the family resemblance? Kidding. Actually, he looks freakishly like my nephew. It's odd how genes jump around.)
So here's why I'm mentioning it right now: VoiceMale has an upcoming benefit concert for the Ulster Project, which has been going since 1974 to help sow the seeds of peace between the Catholic and Protestant sections of Northern Ireland. You can learn more at the Ulster Project site.
The benefit concert will be July 31 at Murray High school, and tickets are available at the Ulster website (see the link above). VoiceMale concerts are always a ball, and they're great for the entire family. And I'm not just saying that because John's my cousin or because the acrobatics he can do with his voice are mind-numbingly amazing.
Other random lessons I have learned recently:
Don't Be Overly Optimistic
I recently lost more than five (much needed) pounds. In Sunday's rush to get everyone ready for church, I grabbed a dress that used to be pretty tight on me and I haven't worn in awhile. But I've lost some weight, right? Surely it would fit now.
In the whopping 1.3 minutes I had to get it on, I discovered that I didn't quite fit into it. The buttons bulged a bit, and they ended in a place so I looked about 5 months pregnant. Ahem. No time to change into something else. I grabbed the requisite "church bag" and ran out the door.
Note to self: Do not even touch that dress until you've lost at least another ten pounds.
Six Isn't Enough, And Seven Might Not Be, Either. Because I Am a Masochist.
If you followed my Facebook whining, you'll know it took me a whopping six batches of chocolate cupcakes experiments to get ones that both tasted good and didn't sink in the middle.
(My kids kept telling me to just use the sunken ones in the cookbook and call them "chocolate ice cream bowls. Yeah . . . sure . . .)
This cookbook journey has been a massive learning curve in the chemistry of baking. (I feel like Dr. Seuss: "Oh, the things you can learn!") Recently I had an epiphany and realized two things that might make the cupcakes really great. So I jotted down two notes to try yet another batch.
Today I did batch #7 . . . but since I'm so tired lately and observant (Haha!) and lame, I noticed and applied only one of the two notes.
The cupcakes actually turned out pretty darn good. But there's that little part of me that wonders if they'd be even better if I tried one more time adding that other note, because ya know, what if it made all the difference and made them that much better . . .
But do I have it in me to make an EIGHTH batch when I'm not even halfway (and should be!) on the book? I mean really?
I need to wear make-up more often.
I've really let this one go this summer, something I've never done before. My daughter recently commented how much better I look with make-up, in her words, "not scary."
Thanks so much, cutie. I think.
In her defense, it's actually a little weird how different I look with and without makeup. Part of the difference is that my eyelashes are very long but totally blond, so without mascara, it's almost as if my face has disappeared. I've shocked people on more than one occasion with the difference. And then I have adult acne and a rather splotchy skin tone, and blue circles under my eyes. The list goes on. It doesn't take much to hide it all, but the result is very different than what we started out with.
Once I had to go to church for the first hour but was sick myself and had to leave after that to get home to a sick child. I deliberately wore very little makeup (but I did put on some mascara), because I knew people would assume simply by looking at me that I was sick (which I really was). If I wore the full face, they'd wonder why I left, and I'd end up having to answer more questions. I'd predicted exactly what happened. I had people telling me to go home because I looked so awful. All because I wasn't wearing the full eye shadow/liner/blush/lipstick combo.
Yet this summer I find myself going to the grocery store in the middle of the day having barely gotten out of my pajamas, taken a shower (If I'm lucky. I often have hair in a greasy pony tail or it's wet from the recent shower) and wearing no make-up to speak of. Not sure what my problem is. Maybe I just don't care anymore.
Regardless, I think I'm giving small children at the stores trauma. I mean, it's bad when your own kids start commenting on it. I hope I'm not embarrassing them, but I must be. Worse, they're at that age when they CAN be embarrassed by their mother.
Sometimes I Need Chocolate I Didn't Make
Like tonight. There are days I'm so sick of my "chocolate laboratory" that I just want some comfort chocolate that my hands had nothing to do with. So it was with great pleasure that I saw my husband walk in the door this evening with my favorite chocolate silk pie. I'm going to have a very large piece right now.
See you on the flip side!