Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joy in Trying New Things

So this semester I needed an extra hour, so naturally I looked at what PE classes were being offered.  Pilates fit my schedule and I figured I could use a good stretch.  So I went to class the first day and right off the bat realized I was pretty much doomed.  I mean, when I learned I couldn't even sit up properly without the instructor propping me up, I could tell it would be a long semester.  I blame my height, I always blame my height.  It's just more weight than everyone else has to deal with.  Today we had to do a side plank and then dive down under our stomach.  I was shockingly one of the few struggling.  I don't really get why no one else is having as hard of a time as I am.  I guess I'm always sore after so that's a good thing.  And at the end of this thing I should have the body of a goddess.  Probably.
On a slightly different note, no pun intended, I bought a guitar this summer.  Every summer at camp, I've looked for a way to build my street cred, and this summer it was time for me to learn to play guitar. Now, I figured the best way to make myself learn was to buy one, that way I spent the money and therefore would be obligated to learn.  So, after the sales pitch to my mom, including that playing a musical instrument helped prevent Alzheimer's, the purchase was made.  As the summer went on, my dedication went down for lots of reasons.  But, I brought my guitar back to school with me and pulled it out tonight for the first time in awhile.  After successfully tuning it, I realized I remembered approximately 1 chord... with the help of Google.  I still really want to learn to play, so I'll be working on that this semester along with all my other work.  I have lots of confidence that I will be so good in no time.  I mean, with my violin, and brief brief piano and cello days, surely this will be no problem!
So yay for this semester being a semester of new things!  At the end of it, I should be a smarter, more fit, musical diva.  That's the plan at least.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here we go!

I have successfully completed my first week of my senior year of college.  How crazy is that?!  I feel like I was just moving into the attic aka the 4th floor of Clinton.  Somehow 3 years have flown by and I'm now finally in a townhouse!  Our house is so precious and homey!  We have been busy cooking, baking, celebrating birthdays, watching Golden Girls, getting ready for recruitment, and doing some work in there, too.  We have enjoyed several home cooked meals, all of which are by candlelight and cell phone free.  We also share our highs and lows from the day, seeing as how the majority of us have worked at a camp.  Our dinners together have probably been one of my favorite things about the year so far!
Today I did something that was exciting but slightly concerning at the same time.  I spent an hour between classes looking at jobs.  I realize that it is August and probably too early to be investigating into that whole scene, but since I have been bombarded with the question of "What are you doing after graduation?" a lot lately, I decided I should maybe look into it.  So I looked at non-profit jobs, mission opportunities, and church positions.  I hardly feel old enough to be doing any of that, but I found myself getting pretty excited about exploring those possibilities over the course of this year.
Thursday I get my cap and gown and today I got the application for graduation in my email.  As much as I would like to make it all stop and go back to freshmen year, I've decided to just take every single second in this year and make wonderful memories with my wonderful friends!
Today, I am so thankful for my sweet friends and how God's love shines through them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Joy in the Kitchen

I've always loved to cook, I won a dessert contest when I was 13.  I regularly ask for kitchen items for Christmas.  I have a very sincere belief that Paula Dean will call me one day and ask me to be a guest on her show.  It's going to happen...
Anyway, this week I've been spending a lot of my free time in the kitchen.  There is something very empowering and uplifting about having random ingredients come together to make something beautiful and delicious, and empowering and uplifting is exactly what I need right now.  So, I have put together 2 meals this week that have been absolutely wonderful, if I do say so myself, along with my award winning pie.  Tuesday night I made a very southern meal of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, butter beans (my second favorite food to hibachi), and buttermilk biscuits.  Tonight I made some very tasty shrimp and grits.  The grits exploded a bit in the kitchen, but after stirring in some monterey jack cheese and butter, it all turned out beautifully.  
The thing I love making the most, though is my grandma's peach pie.  I've learned to cook from my parents and grandparents, but I learned to bake from her.  She taught me tricks to make oatmeal raisin cookies crispy and delicious.  She taught me a foolproof way to measure shortening.  She taught me how to make the perfect meringue for a lemon meringue pie. And, she taught me how to make a pie crust that has made me permanently against frozen crusts.  I am so thankful for the time she invested in me growing up and for the memories in the kitchen I will always have.  Her recipe for a peach pie is the recipe I used for the dessert contest, so as much as I claim it as my own, my life would be a lot less sweet had she not passed it on to me.  Making a peach pie is a labor of love.  There have been several times I have had to go back to the beginning when I was so close to being finished.  But like lots of things in life, the time and love--even the frustration-- invested in it is completely worth it when you get end result.  
Tonight I am thankful for the lessons learned in the kitchen, about cooking and about life. 

Mary Ethel's Peach Pie
Crust (makes a top and bottom crust):
2 cups flour
3/4 cup shortening 
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp. ice cold water

Mix flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until it forms pea-sized chunks.  Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time.  Mix with fork until dough forms a ball (you'll likely need to use your hands).  Divide dough into 2 equal balls.  Press between hands to make two 5"-6" sheets.  Roll out dough and loosen carefully.  Place bottom crust in a greased pie pan.

4 cups peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour

Mix sugar and flour.  Add peaches.  Pour filling into the pie pan and top with butter.  Place the top crust over filling.  (I like to sprinkle some sugar on top before baking).  Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rejoice in All Circumstances

I'm backkk!  I've made a goal to update this thing way more now for a couple reasons... One being so that some people can get insight into my life and what all is going on in my year of lasts as a senior at PC.  But, also, I've decided that writing on here is really therapeutic and helps me sort out all that's going on.  I just finished my third summer at camp.  It was a good summer, but challenging in a lot of ways.  I learned a lot about myself and how I need to grow.  There are lots of interesting things going on in my life, but I feel so strongly that good comes from all things and that God works in amazing and wonderful ways.  Today I rejoice that God's love for me is greater than anyone else's.  I'm excited for what this year is going to bring and what I will learn from it along the way.  There's a lot to figure out in a year, but I am ready for the journey.