Friday, May 2, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

This blog will be 2 years old in just over a month. It’s hard for me to believe, but many of you have been with me since day one. For two years you’ve stuck by me and read what I’ve written. But this is a time of transition. My older son went off to college last year and is just finishing his freshman year. My younger son will be a freshman next year. My writing, should I continue, will have to change as I try to adjust.

In anticipation, about a month ago I asked on my Facebook page what you’d like to see me write about. Many people requested more personal posts about what’s going on in my life. That’s a very difficult undertaking for me but today I’m doing that. I’m sharing a process that my family has just been through, and how I’m feeling about it.

Decisions, Decisions - Baking In A Tornado

College decisions are not for the faint of heart y’all (no, I’m not Southern, I have no idea where that came from). Many of you have been through this process and are probably sitting there nodding your head. Others may have little ones at home and are thinking that this is not something you have to consider right now. Maybe not right now but I’m telling you, don’t blink. . .

This is my second year in a row going through this experience. They say that women forget some of the pain of childbirth or they wouldn’t ever do it again. That’s just plain bull-pucky. And the same’s true with college application/anticipation/decision time. It’s a nerve wracking, joyous, painful ride and is not easily forgotten. You go into the college labor-and-delivery season with your eyes wide open and your stomach in knots. Where’s my epidural?

This time around we applied to more schools than we did last year with my older son. College Boy hadn’t chosen a field of study and pretty much knew where he wanted to go. High School Senior (gonna have to think of another name to call him) does know what field he’s interested in so we applied to universities in general but also to schools high on the US News and World Report ranking in his field.


Accepted to Georgia Tech | www.BakingInATornado.com


 Accepted: Georgia Tech


Accepted to Purdue | www.BakingInATornado.com


                                            and Purdue


The first few acceptances and the knowledge that he had a fall-back originally stopped the progression of my ulcer. You know that wasn’t going to last, right? They sweetened the deal with a scholarship and automatic inclusion in the Honors Program for his field.

The first rejection broke my heart and made me feel guilty. It wasn’t even a school he had chosen himself, he applied because I wanted him to. But it’s in my home state (and is #1 in his field) and I SO wanted him somewhere where, in case of emergency, family could get to him quickly.

Like a delicious dessert, the next acceptance was a treat. The school that had been his first choice and is ranked #5 in his field, and the offer included a scholarship.

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars - Baking In A Tornado 


Orange Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars | www.BakingInATornado.com


 You’d think the decision was an easy one, but it wasn’t. I thought he’d easily pick his original first choice, but first became second and the application he sent out on a whim became his first. He weaved in and out of (preference) traffic and I held on for dear life; rankings, locations, cost (yikes), scholarships, honors programs, general education, targeted major programs, student life, research affiliation . . . I was dizzy.

Have you ever seen a TV show called “Love it or List it”? An interior designer makes a family’s home more livable while a real estate agent finds them a home that’s a better option. At the end of the show the couple confers and then is asked “decision made? Are you going to love it or list it?”

Well, decision made. He’s gonna list it, folks. Didn’t go for the honors program an hour away, he’s going far away. 573 miles away to be exact. Purdue is lucky to have him. I’m so damn proud. And heartbroken.


Baking In A Tornado
PS: I told my son that I’m going with him. I’ll find an apartment in West Lafayette. I won’t bother or embarrass him, he can come to dinner once a week. He thinks I’m kidding . . .

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars 
                                                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe 
 
Ingredients, Cookie Bars:
1 stick butter, softened                                      
1 stick margarine, softened                                
1 cup brown sugar                                                      
½ cup sugar                                            
1 egg                                                               
1 tsp vanilla                                                       
1 ½ cups flour         
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups quick oats
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
Ingredients, Glaze:
¼ cup Maple syrup
2 TBSP Orange juice
½ tsp almond extract
3/4  Powdered sugar
¼ tsp (finely ground) orange zest
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*Cream the butter, margarine, brown sugar and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
*Carefully, on the lowest speed, beat in the flour, baking soda and salt until just incorporated. Raise the speed and beat until smooth.
*Mix in the oats and cinnamon chips.
*Pat evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
*Remove from oven. Immediately, using the bottom of a wooden spoon, make (about 24) holes in the cookie bars, but only partially down, don’t break through to the dish.
*Allow the bars to cool for 20 minutes, then pour the glaze evenly over the bars and into the holes.
*Carefully spread the glaze around the top and up onto the sides and edges of the bars.
*Allow to cool completely before cutting.


38 comments:

  1. Oh Karen....I know this will be hard for you, but that's an awesome choice for him. Congrats to him and you. ♥

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    1. Thanks, Sarah, I really am thrilled for him.

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  2. Tampa Cake GirlMay 2, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Coming over to join you with coffee cup in hand. As always, this looks and sounds amazing. Purdue is very lucky to have your son. Congratulations Mom and son!

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    1. Thank you. I think he made a great choice.

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  3. I don't know any of those schools, but the steam engine logo does look cool ;-)
    And Lafayette isn't too far away from Chicago, one of the really great U.S. cities in my book. Congratulations on the decision!
    There are so many hard elements in parenting while you are in the middle of it, but one of the toughest is to let go. I think it's especially hard on us moms. There may be a lot of baking, and you'll have to find volunteers to eat your yummies, but you've got a lot of support here for everything that can be done online. Hugging and stuff.

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    1. Love the support, don't know what I'd do without it.

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  4. College apps come and go but those cinnamon-orange-oatmeal bars? They are forever!

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    1. LOL, I think you have something there, Carol.

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  5. It is a very hard thing to go through your children going away to school. My oldest son decided to go into the military instead and was immediately sent to Afghanistan talk about distance and being scared out of your mind. But when my youngest decided on school she went with close to home and I was very happy! She is becoming a teacher. Purdue is a great school you should be very proud!

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    1. Wow, now there's perspective. West Lafayette is nothing compared to Afghanistan. Yes, I'm sad to have him going far away but I'm truly happy for him and very proud.

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  6. Fist Pump! I kept looking at the two photos you posted and trying to picture him in each of them. Purdue was the winner every time. I know it's going to be tough for you, but what an amazing experience it will be for him. You've got to be bursting with pride!

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  7. So glad he is going to an awesome school but I am sending you GIANT HUGS!!!! I know exactly how it feels to be that far away from your child. HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stacy, those hugs are MUCH needed.

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  8. Glad to hear he made the right choice! Just kidding...but I'm glad Purdue is the right choice for him. It's been unbelievably great for Rachel and we are thrilled to be a resource and close by should he need anything. XO

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    1. I can't even tell you how much relief it brings me to know that Rachel is at Purdue and you're just an hour away. I'm so grateful.

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  9. What a FABULOUS school to get accepted into! Congrats to your son. I feel your pain, though. It does hurt when they first leave but I promise you---after awhile you get used to it and actually start to enjoy the peace and quiet. My oldest is planning on moving to Oregon in a year--it will KILL me to let him go so far away (and you KNOW I don't fly!) but I know he needs to spread his wings and fly. Sending you BIG hugs, my friend! XO

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    1. I know just how you feel about your oldest moving so far away. It's a tough balance, pride in them and missing them. I think maybe someone's gonna need to knock you out, fly you to Oregon and wake you up when you get there.

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  10. There's no denying your impending fear, sadness, and high anxiety, but he's chosen an amazing school. Now have a drink and celebrate your talented young man!

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  11. You held his hands as he took his baby steps; stayed close by ready to catch him as he toddled on his own; watched him run, ride a bike, swim, dance, and drive ... always nearby if he needed picking up. Now you are watching him take one giant leap into manhood to a place that isn't close enough for you to be. Your heart must be bursting with pride while aching with loss. You're just a phone call or weekend trip away from him ... and the rest of us are here for you when you need us. Congrats to HS Senior and congrats to Mom & Dad on a job well done! ♥

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    Replies
    1. Your heartfelt comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the support, Cathy.

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    2. I'm crying, too.
      I can only hope I will have friends like you when my little boy spreads his wings.

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    3. You will, Tamara. You're such a great friend, it'll come back to you, I promise.

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  12. Congratulations. My son, who is graduating from college in two weeks, went to college 8 hours away. It was hard and we did not see each other very much, but the positives were that he became independent and grew up. Both things that needed to happen. I was sad when I dropped him off, but not as sad as I am now because he's moving away permanently to start his life. I'm happy for him and totally support him, but I'm really melancholy about this change. It makes me sad to know he won't be coming back to live with us. It was different when he went back after his various breaks, but this is permanent and I'm sad.

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    1. I understand all of what you're feeling, both the pride and the sadness. I hope you're able to visit him as often as you'd like.

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  13. I know it must be tough to see him leave but Purdue is an awesome college choice! I'm sure you'll see each other when possible. He is going to do great, You sound like an amazing mom.

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    1. Yes, he made a great choice. I'll miss him but I'm so happy for hm too.

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  14. I like that last bit, "he thinks I'm kidding"
    573 miles isn't all that far, he could come home on weekends if you stay where you are.
    I'm curious...why would you move? Just to be near him? To be sure he is safe? Is that necessary?
    I'm assuming you raised a man capable of caring for himself and making good decisions.
    College never played any part in my life, not my kids either. There just wasn't any money for it. I didn't even finish high school. But I've had two grandchildren in University and they make me very proud.

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    1. No, I wouldn't move. I really was just kidding. . . about kidding. . .

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  15. Oh gosh that has got to be SO HARD!!! I would want to MAKE him go to the other school closer and every bit more comforting of a choice! ACK! Bless your mama heart!! I would get an apartment near him too...

    I love that you are allowing him to make his decision and venture on his own- those first steps are so important! And terribly terrifying!!!

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    1. Honestly, I think it will be good for him. And I'm proud to say that I really do believe that he's ready.

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  16. I've seen Love it or List it! It's probably one of the few shows I will actually watch on TV. I burned it out though because I watched it a lot when I did lol. I probably will watch it again when I need more inspiration. :) Ohhh! Your baby! Congrats and praying for your comfort at the same time. :)

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    1. Thanks, he'll be fine. I guess I'll just have to learn to be.

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  17. Great post. I typically don't follow food blogs, but it was wonderful to hear your personal story. Virginia- Firstclasswoman.com

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    1. If you don't typically follow blogs then I'm honored that you chose mine to read. Thanks for being here.

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  18. Hi Karen, I just found your blog today and look forward to reading more about you. I like reading food blogs and personal blogs and it's great that you are about both things. I'm glad that your son has chosen a college and I wish him well. I hope your older son is doing great in college as well.

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    1. So glad you found me. I hope you enjoy all that you read here, and that you try a recipe or two.

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