midterm

I spent the morning: babysitting Max and Sophia while Misty went to the doctor, folding laundry, doing errands, packing boxes, babysitting Ada while Liv got allergy tests, and feeding everyone multiple times.

In their nest watching a video on the resurrection. It's Lydia's favorite Living Scriptures video; she's watched it six times (per her request--to my great joy, she has been choosing it over Disney movies!!! Why didn't we get these earlier?!) since Sunday.

In their nest watching a video on the resurrection. It’s Lydia’s favorite Living Scriptures video; she’s watched it six times (per her request–to my great joy, she has been choosing it over Disney movies!!! Why didn’t we get these earlier?!) since Sunday.

Mary wanted to wear her wings during lunch.

Mary wanted to wear her wings during lunch.

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Then I napped.

After that, we went to SmashBurger to meet up with Abe before my midterm. We all had black bean burgers with their amazing fries and milkshakes. That buoyed me up for my midterm. (Abe took pictures, but they’re on his phone and I don’t want to disturb him–he’s asleep!)

My midterm went better today. At least I didn’t propose cheating to my bench mate. I honestly feel so ashamed that I did that yesterday, and I am so, so grateful I regained my sanity in time to not go through with the plan.

This is what happens when you use cold butter to make cookies. To be clear, the butter WAS room temperature when I retrieved it from the pantry, but it hardened sitting out on my bench. By the time I had to mix the batter, the butter was hard, and it turns out that no matter how much you cream hard butter, it will haunt your product to the end. Ugh.

See those pale flecks of butter in the cookies? That is what happens when you use cold butter to make cookies. To be clear, the butter WAS room temperature when I retrieved it from the pantry, but it hardened sitting out on my bench (the kitchen was 50 degrees). By the time I had to mix the batter, the butter was hard, and it turns out that no matter how much you cream hard butter, it will haunt your product to the end. Also, I didn’t mix the chocolate chips in evenly enough. I was so worried I’d made the cookies tough from beating the batter (in my futile attempt to soften that butter) that by the time I added the chocolate chips, I felt like I couldn’t afford to let that paddle beat another minute.

I should have refrigerated my pie shell before filling it. That would have prevented the retraction you see on the crust. Once again, impatience got the best of me.

I should have refrigerated my pie shell before filling it. That would have prevented the retraction you see on the crust. Once again, impatience got the best of me.

principles for pie dough

I had a primary presidency meeting at the dinosaur play area of the mall this morning, but other than that, I stayed home with the kiddos all day. At the very end of the day, I ran outside and changed the car seats so Abe and I could switch cars. When I came in with the second car seat, I discovered Lydia buckling a happy Mary up in her seat.

IMG_0171 IMG_0172Then I went to class for midterms. It was the most stressful test I’ve had so far! I had to remake several things and I almost asked my teammate to let me pass off her extra pie dough as my own, but I stopped myself mid-proposal. It is really sad that I would trade my principles for pie dough, but in the moment, I felt quite desperate.  However, I stopped myself and rushed through re-making my own dough. Integrity (sort of) saved.

The only thing that I made that kind of came out were these rolls. I was too impatient to wait for the teacher to show me how to knot them, so their shape is wonky.

The only thing that I made that kind of came out were these rolls. I was too impatient to wait for the teacher to show me how to knot them, so their shape is wonky.

A truly ridiculous amount of delicious bread

My camera battery was charging all day, so the only pictures I have are of the food we made at class tonight. That sums up my day pretty well, since I spent hours on homework and hours in class today. Other than that, I read to the girls and played with Mary a bunch because Lydia passed out on the floor…for three hours.

As you can see, the amount of carbohydrates we produce this semester is entirely unreasonable. We get done plating at 10:30 p.m., at which point we are expected to try and compare everything so we understand the effect of either 1) our mistakes or 2) getting the recipe right. Wish my metabolism luck…

oct16pic4 oct16pic1 oct16pic2 oct16pic3I also took one of my chef doing a demonstration. She is my favorite teacher so far, and I have learned more from this class than any other. I am considering switching into the baking and pastry program because I absolutely LOVE this class, and I haven’t quite felt that way about my culinary classes. We’ll have to see if all the classes are this good, but if they are: Sayonara culinary! Hello baking and pastry!!!

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Festivus for the rest of us

Last night Mary barely slept, so Abe and I were exhausted today. Heck, Mary was exhausted; after breakfast, she took an hour and a half nap. After she woke up, we did errands while Lydia was at preschool.

One of our errands involved shopping for a baby shower present. I walked into Pottery Barn Kids and was disgusted (for the first time ever in that particular store) because there were Christmas decorations everywhere. Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year, hasn’t even happened yet!!! I want to walk in places and see witches, ghosts, and hobgoblins, and, most of all, PUMPKINS AND ALL THINGS FALL–not elves and Santa!

Also, I genuinely hate the commercialization of a holiday that does have actual religious significance to me. So in the spirit of objection, I went home and baked babka and celebrated Festivus. I air grievances all the time, and in light of how much I love babka (tonight was the first time I’ve had it), I think it should be a regular holiday around here. I’m sure I can drum up an aluminum pole somewhere…

Anyway, since I knew my social anxiety could NOT handle the baby shower, and since Abe was home exhausted with the kids, I literally spent ten seconds at the shower– enough to hand over a gift, grimace, and flee in terror. Even the ten second exposure I had kept me panicking until I made two more personal, uplifting visits on the way home (one to a visiting teachee and one to Abe’s aunt). Those picked me right back up.

I should stop writing and go help Abe. The poor man is cleaning the house, and I know he’s about to drop from exhaustion.

Here are the pictures!

Making babka.

Making babka.

The messy chocolate part.

The messy chocolate part.

One of the loaves.

One of the loaves.

While I was gone, Abe made these broom with the girls for our FHE activity. When I got back, we sang along to Frozen and I showed the girls a picture of my dad and taught them a little about who he was.

While I was gone, Abe made these broom with the girls for our FHE activity. I should note that they foraged for all of the materials in our yard. When I got back, we sang along to Frozen and I showed the girls a picture of my dad and taught them a little about who he was.

obstacle course

First of all, popovers. I would be exaggerating greatly to say I’m obsessed, but I do think about them every morning, and then, most of the time, I make them. This morning I made a couple accidental adjustments to the recipe, and they rose more than two inches higher than they ever have for me before! I was so excited!

They're popping out of the pans!

They’re popping out of the pans!

IMG_9683Anyway, I was half an hour late for church. Not the popover’s fault (they’re super quick), but Abe has morning meetings and I just had trouble organizing myself. Okay, okay…I spent too much time looking up witches costumes online after my scripture study, and by the time I was done, we were running irreversibly late.

Anyway, after church Abe had three more hours of meetings, but the girls were great and napped/rested while I took a nap. After Abe came home, he set up an obstacle course for the girls while I made dinner:

IMG_9687 IMG_9701 IMG_9705After dinner, Abe and his dad fixed our furnace, which started acting up before dinner. Then I read a bunch of books to the girls, and now they’re in bed “reading” to themselves. Mary is going through this phase where she will stay up literally hours after we put her to bed, but she’ll just lie in bed flipping through her books. We’ll peek in at 11pm and find her doing this, and in the morning, same deal. It’s very heartwarming.

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At any rate, the end of the weekend is sad. But the good news is, this week looks like it can’t be anything but better than the last two, so yay!

Bye, Mom :( …and celebration dinner!

This morning we took my mom to the airport. That’s the sad part. The good news is, she took a lot of pictures before she left!

Lydia in her Challenger uniform

Lydia in her Challenger uniform

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Mary posing for Nana

Mary posing for Nana

...and eating apples.

…and eating apples.

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Popovers, because I make them a lot.

Popovers, because I make them a lot.

The house the morning my mom left.

The house the morning my mom left.

On the way to school!

On the way to school!

sep30pic5It was sad to see my mom go, but Grandma, I am happy you get to have her. Love you both!

Today was the last day of the quarter, and so Abe surprised me and took me out for dinner and ice cream to celebrate this great quarter.

sep30 sep30pic1It was a great day! Now, tomorrow, if I can just find time to work off some of the food I ate today, tomorrow can be a great day too.

Industrious, laziness, friend and family-liness

After I steam cleaned and vacuumed all of the floors this morning, I figured I had earned a vacation for the rest of the day, so I finished The Mists of Avalon. I’m glad I got through it, but I’m also glad I’m done! That fictional world was a little too crazy for me, and I’m glad to be firmly back in my own paradigm.

In the late afternoon, Lydia asked me when I was going to “wake up” since I had been reading in bed for hours. I decided I could read just as well outside, so that’s where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

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The Andersons invited us over for dinner, which was wonderful because I was busy reading and hadn’t prepared a thing.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn't think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn’t think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

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Then we went to Tom and Suzanne’s for FHE. They read to the girls a ton, which the girls loved. Abe did another puppet show–he’s the best at those!

sep15pic1 sep15pic2Then Lydia begged to come home and go to bed. She has preschool tomorrow, so I was very amenable to her pleas.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

Chatty Sunday

I had to do sharing time for the first time today. Last night I had so many qualms about that and other aspects of my calling that I almost decided to ask to be released, but then I decided to stick with it and endure. Sharing time wasn’t a complete disaster, and the time went by faster than expected.

After church, I got to see Maria again! It was so rejuvenating to visit with her again. I should have taken a picture.

After dropping her off at the airport, I came home and made dinner before Fallon, Audrey, Vera and Eli came over. We only got three pictures today.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

Eli liked his, too.

Eli liked his, too.

I basically talked to Fallon for hours. She was so fun. I got a lot of friend chatting in today, and it was really, really nice. That kind of keeps me going these days, it seems.

Now I am really excited to get to bed at a reasonable time and start off the week well-rested. Tomorrow my floors need SERIOUS attention, not to mention the mountains of laundry, sheets and other cleaning.

Piano, errands, cooking, and FHE

Today started out slowly, and that gave me a chance to work in some good hours at the piano. Mary demanded a nap as soon as she finished breakfast; when I pushed back on the idea, she threw herself on the floor, kicked the oven and screamed, “Nap! Binkies! Amiwals! (‘Animals!’).” I caved. 9:30 nap it was, and as the rest of the day progressed, she got grumpier and grumpier. Next time she tries to take a nap four hours early, I will put up more resistance.

After her nap, we took Lalitha on an errand and then ran an errand ourselves. We came back home and I folded laundry for an hour while the girls played “tea party” in the bathroom. It was flooded afterward.

Then I cooked like crazy until the Andersons joined us for dinner.

I stuffed peppers with some of that market corn, market tomatoes, scallions, cheddar, and homemade bread crumbs. They look messy, but they were really yummy.

I stuffed peppers with some of that market corn, market tomatoes, scallions, cheddar, and homemade bread crumbs. They look messy, but they were really yummy.

I bought a GIANT candy stripe beet at the market and cooked it in the pressure cooker tonight. It had a milder flavor than  regular beets. Maybe I cooked it too long, or maybe it was old. After I bought it, I noticed the leaves were old. I learned my lesson: Next time, I will check the leaves before purchasing beets!

I bought a GIANT candy stripe beet at the market and cooked it in the pressure cooker tonight. It had a milder flavor than regular beets. Maybe I cooked it too long, or maybe it was old. After I bought it, I noticed the leaves were old. I learned my lesson: Next time, I will check the leaves before purchasing beets!

We had a song night for FHE. This is the girls dancing to "Once There Was A Snowman."

We had a song night for FHE. This is the girls dancing to “Once There Was A Snowman.”

(The snowman melts in the song.)

(The snowman melts in the song.)

Stake conference, apple picking, and the Sonntags

This morning we had stake conference…in the Conference Center! I love living in Salt Lake. To be honest, though, we were busy trying to keep the kids quiet and chasing them around, so we missed most of conference. They looked cute, though!

IMG_9382 IMG_9389 IMG_9390 IMG_9391Then we came home and picked some apples for an apple crumble (so long, diet!)

IMG_9393 IMG_9394 IMG_9398 IMG_9399Then I spent the next five hours cooking. I used an osso bucco recipe/preparation on some lamb shanks I picked up on sale yesterday, made a corn souffle, a tomato salad, and an apple crumble. I tried to make an apple galette, but I messed up the galette dough and had no time to fix it; dessert quickly became a crumble.

While I was cooking, Lydia spent hours playing Imagination by herself. At one point, she played with the 24 ears of corn she and Abe shucked. She pretended they were characters from Frozen, and then she pretended that a lot of the corn were people who got killed. I was, once again, struck with guilt by how often I mention death in front of her.

While I was cooking, Lydia spent hours playing Imagination by herself. At one point, she played with the 24 ears of corn she and Abe shucked. She pretended they were characters from Frozen, and then she pretended that a lot of the corn were people who got killed. I was, once again, struck with guilt by how often I mention death in front of her.

When Candace and I visited Martha Stewart, she served us lamb shanks. I daydream about them, and I tried to recreate them here, but I didn't capture the flavor she served us. The texture, though, I am happy to report, was the same! (Thank-you, pressure cooker!)

When Candace and I visited Martha Stewart, she served us lamb shanks. I daydream about them, and I tried to recreate them here, but I didn’t capture the flavor she served us. The texture, though, I am happy to report, was the same! (Thank-you, pressure cooker!)

We had Bob and Katheryn Sonntag over for dinner. Abe knows Bob from elementary school, and they just moved into our ward recently. We had fun connecting with them.

Then Paige and Michael called us and invited us to the park with them. We headed over, and Tom and Suzanne joined us. It was a gorgeous night with a beautiful, bright full moon. I kept thinking we were standing under a street light because the moon was so bright. The kids played until it was dark, and then we all headed home. I think this week might be a little less crazy than last week, but I am kind of sad the weekend went by so quickly. Here’s to a slower week!