We had a joint birthday party for Brett and my best friend Sue this past weekend. It was so much fun! It was us, Sue and Justin, and Liz and Dustin. We had delicious food--stuffed bacon-wrapped chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, and salad. And for dessert: red velvet cake. I still need to get the pictures off my camera, since I didn't realize the card wasn't in the camera when I took the pictures. So I'll post those when I have time to pull them from the camera.
The cake was so delicious! It turned out really well. The color was uniform (minus a couple of spots that still looked a little on the brown side). It tasted amazing. It went together well. The only issue I had was with the frosting. It called for a cooked flour paste, which I've never done before. I was using flour from the cannery, which is I think is why I had trouble with the frosting. I beat it with the mixer FOREVER and it still had little lumps in it. :( I used it anyway, and ended up having to make a second batch to decorate the cake with. I thought maybe the first batch was lumpy because I cooked the flour paste for too long, so I cooked the second batch for less time. Well, THAT batch turned out super runny! Fortunately, I had powedered sugar on hand, so I added a bunch and it stiffened up. Since it was just to do a little decorating with, it didn't alter the taste of the cake. But wow, that was frustrating. Overall, though, it was a good experience. My new tools made it so easy! I think my favorites so far are my turntable and my icing...contraption....from Pampered Chef. Fabulous.
I've been going down to Mom's quite a bit lately to help her and Heather out. I love spending so much time with them! It really is a bright spot in my day. Granted, we don't do anything earthshaking or fabulous, but just sitting and hanging out with each other really makes me happy. I took Chandra to the airport a few days ago (her first time flying!), so Brett, Amy, and I are spending the night at Grammy's Saturday so I'm on hand to help get Heather ready for church on Sunday. And we're celebrating Brett's birthday (round 2!). I'm really excited. I'm actually making another cake for this weekend: German Chocolate. Yum. So I'm actually ahead of my goal!
Speaking of goals, I'm really doing well keeping my goals so far. My exercise is right on track. I've completed all my writing assignments associated with my novel on time. Blogging is on track (as of this post). And I'm doing well getting to know other people!
I attended our Relief Society meeting on Wednesday. It was actually a lot of fun! We're making sleeping mats for the homeless by crocheting them out of plastic bags. It ends up being a great insulator, and since you crochet these really loosely, it's also cushy. I wish I could say we came up with the idea, but we're actually joining several other churches throughout the country who are doing this. A couple of the sisters taught me the basic crochet...stitch?...so I can actually crochet one. It's going well so far, but it's surprisingly tiring for my hands.
I also spent some time at the Burns Recovered Support Group office on Wednesday. (Wed. was way busy!) I was there for....2 1/2 hours labeling, stuffing, and sealing envelopes for upcoming fundraisers. It wasn't bad, and Amy was so well-behaved! I used a new carry with my woven wrap, so she was high up on my back and could see everything. She stayed awake for 45 minutes to an hour, and then laid her little head down on my back and went to sleep. It was precious.
Tonight I'm going to a "Girls' Night In" at one of the RS sister's houses. It sounds like it'll be fun, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll post another update soon! (And I promise I'll post some pictures, too!)