What a mess!

There is a danger with blogs.
We peek into someone’s life via a few carefully selected photos taken with a nice camera, then we read a couple of beautifully crafted paragraphs describing an event, a memory, or a moment in a funny, poignant, clever or profound way.  And we connect.  We are entertained and possibly inspired in some way.  And then, unfortunately, sometimes we compare.  And we might even judge, envy, self-loathe. And then we say to ourselves, “their life looks so perfect! Mine isn’t like this! How do they do it?!”
I speak from experience! Perhaps that is why I have very limited personal engagement with social media, as it has the potential to send my analytical, sensitive, visual self into unwanted places.  But surely we all know that there are failures and messes and bloopers  to every beautifully edited post.  We are people! I am reading a great book called The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown that is inspiring and relieving and calling us to live a connected, compassionate and courageous life of whole hearted living.  If you are anything like me, you should read it…it might change your life.
As a new blogger, it has been such fun creating posts weekly as my “creative outlet”.  I  try to find the best photos from the dozens that we sort through and carefully edit the stories I write, hoping they are fun and inspiring.  And then the other day it dawned on me that, while many of you are friends of mine and know the TRUE authentic, imperfect, rough around the edges me, some of you don’t see the whole picture.  Recently a friend said to me, “I am glad I know your everyday life, because it makes you real, if not, I might read your blog and feel discouraged that I don’t have it all together like you do!”  I thought “Oh no! I need to widen the lens and reveal the reality of my MESSY life!”
My home is not tidy much of the time: emotionally or physically or logistically.  It is a wild, wonderful ride in our household and we make mistakes, in the kitchen and in our days, but we also have a love of learning, living deeply, and being creative, even if it means making mistakes and messes along the way.  Living Juicy is what SARK (creative artist and writer) calls this.
Messes and mishaps are no strangers to my kitchen.  In fact, in the past 3 weeks I have had three.  Each time, Dave says, “take a photo of THAT!” and we have.
1. I undercooked the sticky buns I was making for Sunday morning last week and the first pan resembled warm dough. (I always err on the side of under-baking, because I want to avoid: dry, burned, crunchy, over-cooked baked goods).
2. I tried a new recipe for M&M cookies, which spread all over the pan and were still doughy in the middle when they became overcooked on the edges and then were stuck to the pan. URG!
I was too busy doing surgery on the cake to
capture the full mess in a photo!

3. Half of my apple cake stuck to my pan when I made one, the week after my Apple Cake post.

But there are lessons to be learned through the mishaps.
Wisdom I’m learning through the messes:
1. Trying a new recipe when the stakes are high is foolish– Dave reminded me of this the other day when I was making those failed M&M cookies on the morning of a fundraiser bake sale…DUMB, foolish!
2.  If at first you don’t succeed try, try again (at least 2 tries then ditch the recipe- there are other recipes in the sea).
3.  Get creative with the mess-ups.  Cakes that fall apart provide a great beginning for Trifles.  (Trifle definition:  beautifully layered dessert ie: chocolate cake, pudding, whip and candy bars OR pound cake, whip, yogurt and berries); those torn M&M cookies made a great topping for ice cream.
4. Don’t let it get you down. In my house we say, “Oh well!” when we bomb something and can’t do a thing about it (and are tempted to cry or scream or throw a tantrum). When water is spilt, or we break a dish, or have cookies cemented to a baking sheet, we push ourselves to say, “oh well!” and then proceed to clean up the mess.
5.  Learn from your mistakes (in the kitchen and in life). We live and learn.  Try to think about what happened, where the breakdown occurred and make note of this to help prevent it from happening in the future.
For those hoping for a recipe today, rather than a confessional, I have linked the sticky buns…and another post is coming in the next couple of days with one of my favorite recipes.
the redeemed sticky buns

6 thoughts on “What a mess!

  1. Michael and Jana says:

    Hey Julie! I've been reading for a while and I love it. Thank you for sharing all of your great ideas. I still may call every now and then to get a first-hand take on things, but in the meantime, know you have an admiring reader 🙂


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