Homecomings, cakes, and soapboxes

Last week, two of my closest childhood friends returned from their missions.

It was so exciting to see them after two years. They asked me what new things had happened. My mind went blank as I tried to remember what I had been doing with my life for the past 24 months. Oh yeah. Went to college. Got married. Had a kid. Graduated with my associates degree.

Just kidding, that last one still hasn't happened. :)

Reunited with the family:

Before all that excitement, Melanie and I had quite a bit of our own excitement. We were the only ladies present that weren't blood related. (Although the mother of the family was my escort during my wedding ceremony in the temple. So we're practically related.)

Also Melanie, you are gorgeous for reals.
Our high school friend joined in our pictures.


Thank you Chris for being a true friend and participating in my blurry selfie.

Melanie and I made a cake for each boy (Well, I guess I should be calling them men now. ;) ). Ben returned from Canada, and Chris from Australia. Before you judge my obviously-not-Australia-flag cake, I did try to be creative and combine the southern cross on top of the Union Jack. Those random spots are not mold, but are actually powdered sugar lumps. Which somehow melted away when the cake box was opened. 

I'm no Betty Crocker, but they did turn out all right :)

I just really like how angelic Melanie looks here.

Such vibrancy!

The French Flag: Because Melanie and I are not good at being Americans.

A quick minute on my favorite place: the soapbox.

These were a lot harder to frost than I thought they would be. In the beginning they weren't turning out pretty. As I tried to wipe away the flaky crumbs from the frosting, the moment felt as if someone should tell me that if I lowered my expectations, I wouldn't be disappointed. That's what people say, a lot.

But I don't agree with that. Well, half of it, anyway. I think I should be realistic. The cakes were not going to turn out so pretty that they'd be featured on Martha Stewart magazines. But I would be disappointed if I didn't try to make them as pretty as I could. I think you can try your best, and be fairly pleased with something. Then you should try again.

Basically I advise against expecting to be too disappointed if something doesn't come out perfectly. How else could you ever really succeed at new things?

The day after I wrote this post, I messed up on a chicken dinner. I went way above my level to try out something fancy: chicken cordon bleu.

Kids, it did not work out. Not even a little bit. Oh, it was bad. As it was in the making, I realized that things were going terribly wrong. I tried to fix it by mixing random spices and cheese into it. It didn't help any. Having written all this soapbox wisdom, I figured I should have been the master of peace and calm over the matter. Not so, my dears. In reality, I was mad at that dumb chicken for cooking too fast, and at my own genius cleverness to use Honey Bunches of Oats instead of regular corn flakes for the topping, because we had run out. Mostly I was frustrated to have wasted so much good meat over something that ended up in the garbage.

Clearly it is I who needs the soapbox reminders. :)

Just some thoughts for your Tuesday. And welcome home Ben and Chris :)

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