Category Archives: Life

Therapy

Due to all the discourse that is happening in the world today, I have been inspiration-challenged. Everything has seemed so depressing that it is hard to get excited about much.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that part of my challenge is I’m not constantly surrounded by “pretty” things like I was when I was planning weddings. And I am also not creating as many “pretty” things these days. When I was talking to Suzette, who owns A Cupcake Social, about fondant decorations for an upcoming event, it dawned on me that I never learned how to work with fondant. So I asked her if she would be willing to do a cupcake decorating class for a couple of my friends and me. She graciously said yes, despite never having taught a class before.

Her bakery in South Minneapolis is cute and welcoming and also showcases her pretty blue A Cupcake Social food truck in front of the shop.

Of course, as we are looking at all the things in her shop, we just had to ask for samples of her made from scratch ice cream.

a-cupcake-social-decorating-class-before

We started with naked cupcakes and decided to work with fondant first. She recommended to think back to the days of playing with Play-doh and treat the fondant the same way. She brought out a bunch of flower and alphabet cutters. I decided I wanted to try to make a person, so she added some powder to allow the fondant to “stiffen up” and hold its shape better.

The beauty of fondant is the ability to reuse your mistakes and start over again. My boy ended up looking like one of the Fisher-Price Little People toys.

a-cupcake-social-decorating-class-after

I loved the different ways of decorating the cupcakes. We used fondant, buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting and cookie crumbs. The variety of frosting tips and cutters, along with our imagination, really offered an unlimited number of designs.

The other girls showed a natural talent for cupcake decorating, as well as a natural talent for eating cupcakes!

a-cupcake-social-sable-cupcakes

a-cupcake-social-olga-cupcakes

At the end of the class, I realized that I am going to have to dedicate more time in my schedule to engage in creative activity, because I found the hour so therapeutic. Thanks Suzette for the therapy session and yumminess!

 

Inconsolable

For the past several days, the people of Minnesota have been inconsolable. For almost 27 years, we have been praying for Jacob Wetterling to come home, which is just a handful of miles from where I grew up. After all these years, it became apparent that none of us were prepared for how that moment would feel when he finally did “come home”.

As I followed the court testimony and listened to the news conference following the detailed story of Jacob’s last hours, I sat in my office with tears streaming down my face, shaking my head. We had it all wrong. This will not bring the Wetterlings closure, comfort or peace. This can only bring them anguish.

Listening to Patty Wetterling speak, it struck me that even in her darkest moment of grief, she felt compelled to comfort us, the public, the investigators, the legal team and the media. She knew that all of us felt like Jacob was also our son, our brother, our nephew, our neighbor, our classmate. There was some comfort knowing that Jacob knew her strength and love and I would like to think he felt her with him in his last moments.

Many of us are at a loss for words and feel powerless to do anything, but then I remembered all Patty Wetterling asked of us is the following:

Patty Wetterling

I’ve decided to add one of these things to my commitments each day as a way to continue to leave the Light On for Jacob. And to get more involved with Jacob Wetterling Resource CenterNational Center for Missing & Exploited Children and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.

Rest in peace, dear Jacob.

The Power of Prince

I spent most of the day teary-eyed upon hearing news of the passing of Prince. At first, I was absolutely convinced it was an internet hoax. Once it started to sink in, it felt like the world had stopped for a few hours as the mourning rippled across countries and cultures in such a way I can’t recall before with any one else’s recent passing.

I was still a kid in school when “Purple Rain” came out and I recall my first feeling of connection to Prince is that he, like myself, was passionate about basketball. Yes, I liked his music and I didn’t quite understand how he presented himself to the world, but he had to be okay if he loved basketball. That was the thing about Prince…the legend seemed to have something in common with each and every one of us.

As I read tweets and posts about Prince’s musical talent, I couldn’t help but think about his impact on the world outside of music. He transcended gender and race and unwittingly became a role model to all of us who felt a sense of not quite fitting into the world around us. He was different. He was odd. He was normal. He was kind of shy. He was talented to a level of being incomprehensible. Yet, he accepted us and we accepted him. He loved us and we loved him right back.

prince

I often times hear people talking about leaving the world better than they found it and Prince is one of the few people I can think of to achieve it…perhaps along the lines of Father Judge or Mother Theresa. He did it in the quiet manner we came to know, trust and love.

There will never be another Roger Nelson and we mourn his passing, but we can take some comfort in knowing that Prince will continue to reign.

“Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life.”

  • Prince, The Revolution

 

Being a Gladiator

To say the last few years have been challenging is an understatement. Challenges with health, work, self-confidence…all such foreign territory for me. Challenges can sometimes mean losing your voice and I think a big part of my struggle is feeling like I had nothing to say.

Nothing to say?  Really?  Nothing?

Somewhere along the way, I lost my joy. My joy for life. My joy for work. My joy for living. How can that be, when I’ve fought so hard for all of it?

It hit me when I was watching an episode of “Scandal”…ridiculous really, because as much as I enjoy watching it, it is a show with an unrealistic story line.

But there was a scene between the “top gladiator” Olivia Pope and her friend Abby that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Abby says to Olivia, ” There is no man to rescue you. Do you hear me? No one. No one is going to help you.

You are the only gladiator in the place. You are all you’ve got. You have to rescue yourself!”

And so as I go through what I believe will be the greatest heart break of my life and all sorts of uncertainty, I’ve decided that it is time for me to stop being everyone else’s gladiator and really, truly, for the first time to be a gladiator for myself.

And so here is to the hope and faith to getting back to the strong woman I am.