Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bread and self worth

WARNING: the following was documented so that I can refer back to this and remember things from today. It may not make a lot of sense to others. My thoughts seem to jump around and they don't flow like a nice written piece of work should. Read at your own risk. :)

I must admit that I can be a tad sensitive at times. I have very strong emotions that can easily get out of hand if I let them. Today I have worked hard to control my thoughts and emotions so I don't get too hard on myself. Like that saying, I am trying to turn my lemons to lemonade.

Many of my friends are so very talented. I look at other girls and see their amazing abilities and compare myself. I am so very blessed to have such amazing family and friends surrounding me. But why do I always compare myself to them?

Today started off perfectly. I slept in, and woke up to my sweet hubby. Well for Christmas/birthday my mother in law gave me a Nutri-mill wheat grinder and a Bosch mixer. I KNOW! I'm so spoiled/blessed. For a long while now I have been aching to make homemade bread, but have not known how to grind the wheat. Well a few weekends back my awesome friend (who is also pregnant and expecting a girl, I am SO BEYOND THRILLED FOR HER!) Angie accompanied me to a class at Shar's on how to make homemade bread with a Nurti-mill and Bosch. Sweet Ang has even been to this class multiple times but still happily went with me - told you I'm blessed with the best! So I went, learned how, and got excited to try.

After finally getting the needed ingredients I was ready to bake today. I read the user manual and brushed up on my notes from the bread class and I thought I was ready. I dove in and started my quest for healthy homemade wheat bread, from scratch.

Well as things got going, and time ticked by, I started to run out of time. Today was my nephew Luke's birthday party. (Happy birthday monkey! He really is just the cutest lil guy, I can't believe he is one. Sure love you!) We needed to get him a gift and I still needed to get ready. Along my cooking quest, however, I had made some massive messes. (to say I'm clumsy is an understatement) Wheat had been spilled on the floor, gotten fresh ground flour everywhere, etc. I tried to tidy up while mixing and baking but this batch of bread needed my full attention :) The party started at 3 and it was already 2! How had it taken me so much longer than it had taken the pro's at Shars...I mean seriously it took me triple or more what it took them. Either way...I wasn't done. To make a long story shorter, the bread was finally mixed and I covered it to rise while I hurriedly got ready. I had to be ready for the party and then dinner/fireside right after.

When the bread was done rising I realized there just wasn't time to bake it unless I was going to be late. Well, I didn't want to be late so I decided to cover it and put it in the fridge. Don't try this at home folks! I started rushing and rushing always makes me stress and more clumsy which = disaster. Poor poor Justin putting up with me.

We made it to the party, then off to dinner and a fireside. Dinner was great and the company better. I am so grateful Justin went with me. We went to Brio, a Tuscan grill in the San Tan Mall. We were joined by my dear adorable friend, Casie Upstill, my principal Brother Cort Monroe, a retired professor of education from BYU - Sister Marie Tuttle, and a few others that are also members of the BYU alumni. After dinner we went to a fireside by sister Tuttle. It was so inspiring to me. I feel very grateful for the opportunity I had to attend and be uplifted with my cutie by me.

(side note) Many may not understand, but being LDS and being single until I was 26 was hard for me. I had dreamed of being married and starting a family and to see all of your friends and family married while I couldn't even get a date was a challenge. When I finally met Justin my dreams honestly came true. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank Heavenly Father profusely for leading me to him. I still can't believe I am married and that this is all real, someone pinch me! Well, one of the first things that impressed me about Sister Marie Tuttle was that she was single but accomplished and so knowledgeable and HAPPY. To be LDS and single is HARD but she was happy and having fun. I admired this about her. (if you are reading this you may wonder why I am writing about this, but this blogging is meant to be a journal to me and I want to write what I feel impressed to write and what is important to me, you don't have to read this if you don't find it interesting :)

I want to talk a bit about some of the things Sister Tuttle spoke on that really inspired me and made me think. First, a strong quote told to her by Robert Patterson, "Just remember partnership doesn't always mean getting it your way."

She used this quote to talk about democracy and teaching, but my first thought turned to my marriage. How true this is and will always be. Justin and I are in a partnership and things won't always go my way. I need to be respectful and a good listener and value his opinion. This will make me a better person to learn to respectfully disagree and come to a resolution despite our differences. I could go on and on about the thoughts this small quote gave me. I need to post this somewhere so I can refer to it often. I think it will really help me be a better person.

She also told us that we are living the American dream. I am educated, I can read and write, and because of this I need to help serve those that aren't as fortunate. How blessed am I?? Like I mentioned before I have a very bad habit of comparing myself to others and getting down on myself. I often look at those with great minds and educations and think, if only I were that brilliant. STOP THAT NAT! I am blessed, I have a good mind, I know how to read and write! THAT IS A BLESSING! I am so very grateful! I may not be a great mathematician, I may not know all there is to know about current events, or have read all of the great books, but I am educated and I am blessed. I am so grateful for this.

Marie also mentioned that when the enemy comes, teachers seem to be the ones that circle the wagons and then shoot inwards. We attack each other. Why is this? What good does it do? I know that this isn't just teachers either. I think that families do this at times, friends, etc. Why do we shoot at those on the same team? Think about it? We should defend and support our comrades.
Sister Tuttle also said that talk radio and others that are always criticizing and bashing public education are 99% of the time those that have NO first hand knowledge of the public education system. Public education is doing wonderful things. It is great and if we are involved we can make it even better. We need to have first hand knowledge of our schools and we need to learn and be as educated as possible. Remembering to invite all to the table to discuss - so that we can learn from the opposing sides.

"Good programs need good critics." This hit me hard as well. I could substitute other words for programs too...good people need good critics. To be a better teacher, better wife, better sister, better anything I need to look at my weaknesses and try to continually improve and work to be better. I also need to be able to take it from others. Family and loved ones should be able to let me know when I am making a mistake so that I can become better.

This week my amazing friend Casie and I went to the District office and ran into a fellow teacher. She told us some of the things going on at the DO and we became very discouraged. It was all negative and very sad. Casie and I talked about it and said that ignorance can be bliss and even said how hearing these things made consider leaving the district. Well, things may not be going perfectly, but we don't have the whole truth on the matter. We are blessed however to work for a good good man, our principal Mr. Cort Monroe and we have a great team of preschool teachers on our site. We are doing our best and maybe we can help make our district a better place by being positive and educating others about our special education preschool program. (Not many understand what we do and the importance of early intervention) When someone wants to bash the district, I can simply point out the good that I know of going on where I am. Not in a rude or superior way, but just to help them see the light.

She quoted Walt Whitman, "Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?" WOW - powerful! I have learned so much from those who have disputed passage with me, how would I ever grow if I was always right? I wouldn't - I have to learn from my mistakes and learn from others who may disagree with me.

She emphasized discussing disagreements in a civil way. Have good debates, but invite everyone to the table and discuss it in a civil way and learn to listen respectfully to all sides. I can still disagree, but REMEMBER - partnership doesn't always mean getting it your way. I need to search out truth and stand for righteousness.

John Goodlad was someone Marie quoted. She told us that she teaches her students at the Y this acronym: S.A.N.E. Stewardship, access to knowledge, nurturing pedagogy, and en-culturing kids in democracy. Each week the Y dept of ed students report on how they are applying these areas in their teaching experience. I want to start asking myself this same question in hopes of becoming a better teacher. It is somewhat different since I teach prek but I can still evaluate myself each week in hopes of becoming a better person/teacher.

We discussed that there is a lot less adult supervision of the youth today. This is the 1st generation that has unlimited access to unfiltered media. AH SCARY. This is the best of times, this is the worst of times. How true that is.

Marie told about Miami's 10 most wanted. That is - the 10 most at risk high school students in the Miami school district. The district decided to do an experiment that involved every single adult in the district - they were going to work TOGETHER. As a team, every adult would ONLY say positive or neutral comments to these 10 most wanted students (unless they were injuring themselves or others). NO matter what. After some time had passed 7 out of 10 of these students were off the list - and replaced with new students and their grades were better etc. There is SO MUCH POWER in being positive and in caring and in nurturing others.

I was inspired and uplifted. I left this fireside wanting to be a better teacher, wife, friend, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I wanted to be POSITIVE. I want to be a happy person that others want to be around. I want to look for the good and always look on the bright side...

Now back to the bread…well after this wonderful evening, I think Satan wanted to have some fun with me. (Haha…we’ll just see who has the last laugh. )

We returned home to find the bread in the fridge and it had risen to double it’s original size or more! OOO, I thought it would be so yummy. I figured it just had to be fine, right? So I preheated the oven and stuck it in. After the time had passed the 4 lovely loaves I made looked beautiful and they smelled amazing. I had tried to add cinnamon chips and chopped apple slices to 2 of the 5 loaves to make cinnamon apple bread, I was so excited. I took out the loaves and stuck in the thermometer…the inside was supposed to be 200, but wait, my thermometer must be broken cause it wasn't movin.

Haha, nope, it wasn’t the thermometers problem. The loaves were still dough inside. After 25 minutes of baking the top was hard and the inside nice and gooey. Just what I didn’t want. I just DON’T get it. Why do I have so many issues in the kitchen! I just can’t get it right! (Replace that negative thought - I have made some things…either way...) I try so hard to be a domestic goddess but it just isn’t workin out like I’d planned. Ok, so the bread I’d spent hours working on, taking classes on, slaving over, being late to my nephews bday party, was ruined. I GIVE UP. decided to take a shower! That way I could hide the tears:)

While in the shower thinking negatively I decided: This IS my chance! My chance to practice being positive! My chance to be the kind of person I was just telling myself I wanted to be. I am a child of God. I have DIVINE and INFINITE WORTH. Does my worth come from making homemade bread? I would like to make yummy things for my hard working hubby and my VT sisters and on and on but it didn’t work this time. Now I will just have another funny story about my humble beginnings in the kitchen…let me tell you about my first time trying to make sloppy joes … oh my! Or that time I tried to make Justin biscuits and gravy… my goodness! Well now I can also tell you about the 1st time I ground my own flour to make bread… it’s a funny story!
Ok so my self worth doesn’t come from if I can decorate, cook, have intellectual conversations about this or that, scrapbook, or make homemade bread. (Repeat this as needed) I don’t have to be good at what everyone else is good at. I know that many people love me in spite of my many flaws, including my Father in Heaven. That is all that matters and next time I will learn from my goof ups and try again. If you want some homemade bread in the meantime, call my mother in law :)

Lemonade anyone?? Tee hee hee!


  1. Oh Nat! It's been way too long since I've looked at your blog. You speak the truth, though! It's all about the lemonade! I've botched more things than I can count. I've got some stories from when I was first married! Whew! I couldn't help but laugh reading this - I hope that isn't horrible of me laughing at your traumatic story :) but I SO understand. Lucky for us we've got years, decades, even eternity to get some of this stuff figured out. And HF has a way of teaching us when we want to be taught. Way to go keeping the positive outlook! You inspire more people than you will ever know!

  2. Ok, there should be a tear jerker alert cause I seriously teared up. I wish there was a place to write all the comments I had while reading. You are seriously my inspiration! I wish I had the courage and determination to be like you. I seriously am so grateful to have such an inspiration in my life! I am so so so blessed to have you around. I learn so much from you each and every day! I love how close we are and how similar as I have had these same exact thoughts many many times, yet you always make lemonade! I just bury my lemons till they all explode (normally on Jeff, poor guy). I need to learn to recognize those thoughts like you do. Oh I love you girl! I have so many more thoughts throughout this post but my mommy brain can't remember them all :( Bottom line, you are the best! Thanks for being you!