Thursday Things

  1. First off, I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words regarding my last post. It had been bouncing around in my head and my heart for quite some time. I’m so very glad I took a leap of faith and hit “publish.” If you commented, shared, or sent me a message encouraging me or sharing your own story please know how much I valued your efforts. Thank you SO very much. It has led me to want to write more in-depth, open pieces. Obviously Thursday Things will remain the same, no need to fret.
  2. Do to aggravated nerves that are making my toes numb I’ve been given orders to “take it easy” and there’s nothing that makes me want to workout harder and longer than being told not to. Obviously, I won’t. But as soon as the option is taken away from me it’s all I want to do. You know what I mean?
  3. On my way to and from Nashville (more on that later) I listened to Anna Kendrick’s book, Scrappy Little Nobody and I LOVED it. I was hesitant, never being a huge fan of hers, but not, not liking her, So I gave it a shot. It was witty, insightful, beautifully imagined, and uplifting. Also very real and honest. Anna’s writing is the kind I aspire to.
  4. I’m also working on a list of places I ate and drank in Nashville. Can’t believe everything I consumed in less than 48 hours. It needs to be shared!
  5. I’ve been attempting to do more yard work to whip my house into shape and have been repaid with mosquito bites the size of quarters all over my ankles and feet. Summer fun!
  6. I’ve started season two of Master of None and I’m liking it even more than the first. Such a surprise! It took me a long time to get into the first season but from the get-go I was invested this go round.
  7. When I got back from my trip Edgar (who was under the watchful eye of friends) was so excited he proceeded to piddle on me. And the floor. And his blanket. And the floor again. Better than him being angry with me, right?
  8. It’s Tina Fey’s birthday today! You go, Liz Lemon!

Mississippi Mud Pie (& heartbreak)

Heartbreak is…heartbreak is… heartbreak is what, exactly?

Mississippi Mud Pie | via Midwest Nice Blog

Heartbreak is different for everyone. Different for the same person. Changing and shifting and morphing. At least, that’s how it’s been for me.

It has been painful, of course. Annoying, aggravating, cursed, unrelenting and seemingly unending. Those too. It has ebbed and flowed, ceasing altogether some days only to rear its ugly head the very next, with a force that quite literally took my breath away. It has been fleeting, flickering into my consciousness unexpectedly only to be whisked away in a moment. It has tugged gently at the edges of my memories, in those early morning minutes between sleeping and waking, when the dreams still feel real, before reality has set in and my mind and heart are still weightless, grief not weighing them down.

It has been necessary. Necessary to avoid “his side” of town. Necessary to avert my eyes when I think I spy his truck on the road. Necessary to sit in a hot, dark shower, water hitting my skin until it’s red and raw, the sounds of this song reverberating on the bathroom walls. Necessary to feel the ache in my chest, the hurt in my lungs, the catch in the back of my throat from another bout of sobs racking my entire body.

Mississippi Mud Pie | via Midwest Nice Blog

It has been strong.

I know I am stronger.

There was a time I didn’t know that, though. A time when all I could be was left. Alone. Again. I know I am not the first person to be broken up with, to be broken hearted, and I know I won’t be the last. I know there are worse things that can happen to a person, that other people have a harder time, but I’ll be damned if that means my experience and emotions hurt any less. Are worth any less.

Mississippi Mud Pie | via Midwest Nice Blog

My friend Kristen, in all her unending wisdom, equated it to a death. And as melodramatic as that sounds, as all of this has sounded thus far, something did die. A relationship is a living and breathing thing, and when it ends it leaves a void, a chasm. It dies. There were hopes and dreams and plans that ceased to exist. And for a while, I thought a part of me had gone along with them.

Mississippi Mud Pie | via Midwest Nice Blog

In truth, that’s the main reason for my silence these long, winding weeks (going on months). Sure, it was partially the new job, the juggling of a new schedule and new responsibilities, a desire to perform well and make connections with my new coworkers, impress the new boss. But, mostly, it has been heartache. Restarting my life without the person I was planning it around. Leaning into sadness and loneliness, leaning onto the pillars my family and friends have provided.

But I’ve gotten used to it. Or, at least, I’m getting used to it. That’s what we as humans do. We adjust, we carry on. Even as much as we fight and fear change, homeostasis is a biological inevitability. I have made new routines, started new traditions. I have grown comfortable falling asleep alone and waking up that way, too. I have begun filling my life, and my heart, back up. I have chosen to make changes after one was forced upon me.

That includes changes around here, too. To be more honest, more intentional, for better or for worse. I still firmly intend to share food and drink, but with less fluff, more substance. I don’t want to put up a post just for the sake of it. I want meaning. I want emotion. I want to be myself. Because, according to Kristen, who once again surprised me with a nugget of necessary wisdom, “that’s all I should ever be.”

And I am emotional. I know no other way. I have been called an open book many times – sometimes in admiration, sometimes in antipathy. My friend Danielle has expressed equal amounts of both after seeing the big, beating heart on my sleeve. She’ll probably think this post is too much info, would never do such a thing herself, but won’t ever hold it against me. Because she knows me. She loves me. So does Kristen. So does my dad. My mom. My grandma, sisters, aunts. Robin and Bunny, too. Shawn and Dawn, without a doubt. They prove there is still so much love in my life, even if I haven’t found the love of my life. Everyone who has rallied around me has shown me that, gifted me that. And I am eternally grateful.

Mississippi Mud Pie | via Midwest Nice Blog

In some small attempt to repay them for their love and kindness, their shoulders and strength, I have made treats. Efforts at returning the love so freely given to me. Cakes, cookies, pies. I know it is a small gesture, not necessarily life altering or affirming for them, that they don’t get the same buoying from a batch of biscuits that I get from a phone call back home. That their hearts aren’t as heavy, don’t need as much lifting.

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Thursday Things

  1. Suppose I should start by apologizing for being silent for (over) two weeks. It has been for good reason (and not so good reasons, too, tbh). Most notably – I started a new job! Bit crazy really – I’m the pastry chef for a local brunch/lunch place – GB&D (Golden Brown and Delicious)! It was a complete coincidence and act of serendipity how it all happened, but it’s happened and I’m working and learning and adjusting. So, please forgive me for my absence.
  2. I also spent a few days of these last two weeks in Savannah for my birthday! I took my friend Mirri and we had a ball – walking, talking, drinking coffee and antiquing. Oh joy!
  3. We visited Back In The Day Bakery every day while we were there and I got to see Cheryl and Griff again and they signed their newest book for me and I fangirled so hard and Cheryl may have a better memory than I do – she remembered where I was from and what my dad did for a living. AFTER FOUR YEARS! What a gal. (And what a run on sentence that was.)
  4. I’m typing this from my new (to me) reading nook chair! I found it yesterday whilst thrifting and I’m tickled pink about it – and not just because the chair itself is pink! And vintage! It’s perfectly stuffed, the right height, the right shape. It’s like it was made for me and my house.
  5. In addition to thrifting I went to my first yoga class in months and boy! Did I feel it! And it felt marvelous. For my head and heart and body. Being in a class environment, surrounded by other people, really changes a practice versus just doing it at home. Must remember that.
  6. I finally finished the first season of the Great British Baking Show and OMG. I’ve never enjoyed reality television more – I laughed, I loved, I learned. I swooned over the British accents!
  7. Edgar now has a harness and I swear, the second I put it on him it was like I got a new pup. I’m not complaining. Since we’re walking a lot more with the weather and my new schedule, it’s a huge relief to have a better-behaved boy. However, that did not stop him from eating his bed while I was away and had a friend dog-sitting. Not cool, man.
  8. Bought myself this. #noregrets
  9. In the next few days I’ll be making my great-grandma’s lamb cake for Easter and it’s one of my favorite treats and favorite traditions. Will you be observing any food-focused traditions this holiday weekend?

Homemade Funfetti Cake

What was your favorite birthday?

Homemade Funfetti Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

Was there a particular year or party or celebration that sticks out from all the rest?

Homemade Funfetti Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

A friend and I were talking about this and I’d have to say my favorite birthdays thus far have been 7, 9, 15, 22, and 23. I’ve been very fortunate and have had some very good birthdays. Going to Shakey’s (think a Midwestern Chuck E. Cheese), swimming at the community pool, a surprise party, a perfect celebration where everyone left by 10:30, a piñata destroyed on stage at a local rock show.

Homemade Funfetti Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

All wonderful times and days and memories. All for different reasons. Whether it was getting to help my mom bake and decorate my cake for the first time (maybe the start of my baking obsession?) or feeling I had found a family at college in my friends and coworkers who wished to celebrate me, I have loved my birthdays and what they have added to my life.

And I’m ready to see what 25 brings. Not just in terms of celebration, but internally, in my heart and mind and soul. Because, I can honestly say, that no matter how perfect the party or thoughtful the gifts, I have never been quite as content with a birthday as I am now, at this moment. Happy as a clam right where I am. There are new opportunities on the horizon, old friendships growing stronger, and a secureness that I have never experienced before. I have grown so much in the last year (excuse the humble brag, but I am awfully proud), I feel confident, calm, secure. Not all the time, but more so than I ever have before.

Homemade Funfetti Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

Perhaps that’s why I was feeling gutsy enough to try my hand at a fan favorite. Funfetti cake has long been a birthday staple – in my life and the lives of my family and friends. There’s something special about that boxed cake that makes it better than any other. Sprinkles, obviously.

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Thursday Things

  1. It’s my baby’s birthday today! And by baby I mean my energetic, mischievous, playful, pup Edgar! He is two years old today! Let’s hope dog’s don’t go through a “terrible twos” phase…I’ve already lost pot holders, shoes, and socks…
  2. To expend some of his excess energy (and improve mine), we regularly go for runs. Earlier this week when we went out on the Swamp Rabbit Trail there was frost on the ground and I was ecstatic! Because it’s actually feeling like winter. And winter is my favorite.
  3. NU is done dancing. It was such a close game. The heart palpitations and sweaty palms were too intense. However, some good did come out of it! I got to see my friend Liam on TV for half a second while he was beating the bajeezus out of a drum. I miss that man. (Hi, Liam!)
  4. The new season of LOVE is on Netflix and I love it even more than the first. Which doesn’t normally happen (I’m looking at you Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). But ugh, the interactions are so real and have so much chemistry. I can’t get enough of watching it.
  5. I found a white jean jacket at a thrift store for a whopping $5. Then spent another $2 on a bottle of dye and now have the pink denim jacket of my dreams! I was super nervous about dyeing fabric or messing things up but it was surprisingly easy. And the result was so fun! And fashionable…well, as fashionable as I’m going to be.
  6. 17 Things Anxiety Suffers Need To Remember. In case you need a reminder.
  7. I forgot how much fun it is to make cream puffs. Have you ever tried? Would  you ever try…if I were to say…post a recipe?
  8. The Haribo gummi bear commercial melts my heart. Have you seen it?! The adults with the little kid voices? Too pure.