Monday, July 31

All I ever asked of you was that you become a lawyer

"I love your daughter very much. We want to get married, and we would like to do it with your blessing."

My parents were finally ready for THE TALK. It had been almost four months since my move from San Francisco to DC. I was calling often, both out of obligation as a dutiful daughter and also because I missed them. Mostly because I missed them. A lot.

Taer and I made sure that his parents were fully prepared to embrace me whole-heartedly into their family, just as my dad requested. He reported that our mission had been accomplished.

"Jenn has spent time with my parents, and they like her. They, like you, had a difficult time in the beginning, but they are happy to welcome her as their daughter-in-law."

My mom was ready to accept Taer; it was my dad who was stubbornly holding his ground. I get my stubborn streak from my father. At this point, however, I felt like even he had softened up a lot since I'd left. Before our visit, he told me in a sad voice, "I miss my ddal (daughter)." He didn't want to lose his little girl.

Taer didn't think they would give in without still more of a fight. He was sure they'd "grab him by the nuts" for a while first. (Those were his own words.)

"Jenn has been an ideal daughter. [Not too much nut grabbing there.] To us, she is lacking in nothing, and she could be with anyone she wants. She has made it clear that she has chosen you, and we think you are lucky. [Balls are ever so slightly squeezed.]

"You are both grown adults, and you could have just gone and gotten married without caring what we thought. This whole time, however, you have been asking for our blessing. We appreciate that.

"Jenn has told us that she wants to be with you. All that we ever asked her to do for us was to become a lawyer. She has done that, and so now we have to give her what she wants in return. Welcome to the family."

I'm not so sure that suffering though three years of grueling law school and enduring the pain-inducing California bar exam is exactly Even Steven with my parents' blessing to marry the man I love. But whatev's - the wedding is on!

Friday, July 28

How humid is it?

I've never worn deodorant or anti-perspirant before. (Well, unless you count that one time I bought a stick of Secret in my early teens because I thought was supposed to be using it. I realized that I never needed it.)

NOW... I want to rub the stuff all over my body. Do they make anti-perspirant for the face? I've found myself just standing around with the Whitney Houstin upper lip drops. And how 'bout the FRONT of my knees - I didn't even know I had sweat glands there! Ew.

Aren't I painting a pretty picture of myself?

Tuesday, July 25

I have boob envy

... except when I see this. I wear a sports bra when I run, even though I'm not sure how much I actually need it. Some of these girls REALLY need it! (Did you know about bra sizes beyond DD? Have you heard of FF or even G?!??)

Sorry I've been so MIA. It's been BUSY! I'll update soon - promise.

Thursday, July 13

Ice cream cake makes the world a better place

I made this cake for Taer's birthday - my first attempt at cake and frosting from scratch! It was a hit, so I'm sharing. Ice cream and cake make this world a better place. Ice cream cake makes me forget that I'm sweating away into pools of grossness in the humid heat of the east coast. (Actually, it just makes me realize that I have to eat it faster here because it melts too fast... but that's a good excuse to eat TWO helpings!)


Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (1 ounce) bottle red food coloring
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (I like using vanilla bean or French)

Buttercream frosting ingredients:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear, if available)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately a 1-pound box); sift before measuring
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or dust with extra cocoa) two 9-inch round baking pans.

In large mixer bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs and food coloring; blend well.

Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to batter mixture, beating until well blended.

In a small bowl, stir baking soda into vinegar; fold carefully into batter (do not beat). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Thaw ice cream until soft, but not melted (about 15 minutes at room temperature). Place in bowl and stir until smooth. Line a 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and fill with ice cream, packing down and smoothing top. Place in freezer until firm.

To make the frosting: Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla extract. Gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Use immediately, or keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on serving plate. Remove and unwrap ice cream layer; place on cake, place remaining cake layer on top. Frost top and sides with buttercream frosting.

Makes 10-12 servings.
NOTE: Cake can be assembled and frozen up to 24 hours before serving.

Monday, July 10

Born Into Brothels

Time. I needed time to just shut down for a little while, by myself, for myself. I didn't go anywhere or take time off work, but outside of my daily life, I let myself be purely selfish. And it was good.

I wanted to be lazy and not do laundry, so the pile grew. For once, keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself felt right, so I didn't write. I didn't work out when I didn't want to, guilt-free. I bought shoes.

I am now fat and broke and stupid, and I'm living in a big ole mess - ha!

Alright, it's not really all that bad. But I did need a mental and emotional vacation, so I took it. And I'm feeling better. I've got a good life, but I needed to remind myself of that.

I also gained some perspective over the last couple weeks when I watched Born Into Brothels. These children are born to mothers who work as prostitutes in the red light district of Calcutta. It's heartbreaking to see what their lives entail, but they do find hope through the art of photography. Whenever I vacation abroad, I always come home and become more keenly aware of how rich my life is, in so many respects. I've come back from my mental vacation with a similar mindset.