Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Whole Truth

I wrote this letter to my boys this past Fall when my oldest was heading into his sophomore year of college nearby and my youngest was about to be a college freshman very far away. I never posted it here on the blog, but now as semester break is far too quickly coming to an end and I'm once again sending PurDude far away, I've come to realize that this blog is truly where this post belongs. See what you think.

My darling boys:
I blinked.

I must have, that’s the only explanation.

I had these beautiful little baby boys. A year apart. So sweet, the loves of my life (ummm, don’t tell your dad that part). Even when you went through the terrible twos and then the worse threes, I loved you every minute.

And then I blinked.

Through the teen years, no matter how high you succeeded in boosting my blood pressure, even when I could hear it roaring in my ears, I loved you like crazy.

Blink.

Now you, my older son, are a sophomore in college. And you, my baby boy, after just one semester are now a sophomore too, but 700 miles away.

The Whole Truth | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I don’t want to disillusion you. I spent many years trying so hard to instill morals and values and impart all the little nuggets of wisdom that make up the Mom’s List of Handy Dandy Cliches. So please don’t judge me too harshly, I was only doing what I thought was expected of me. But now you’re grown, I think you’re ready, you can handle the truth. So good-bye cliches, here it is, what I really want you to know:

Play in traffic. You still want to look both ways, make sure a big old truck isn’t coming, but don’t spend your life on the side of the road. A little traffic play will do you good.

Count your chickens before they hatch. If not, you’ll live expecting that they may not. Expect them to hatch, all of them.

Don’t make wardrobe decisions based on the possibility that you may get into an accident, but do wear clean underwear. Please.

Honesty is not the best policy. In some situations telling a lie is just the right thing to do. The secret to maturity is in knowing when.

Do not keep your enemies closer. Who wants close enemies? Keep your friends closer.

The grass is not always greener. It’s the weeds that make us who we are.

Cleanliness isn’t next to G-dliness. In fact, I don’t have a clue as to what that means and I don’t want to.

It’s not all about what’s inside. Looks matter. I’m not talking about some classic idea of beauty, I’m talking about the way we feel when we look our best. Take showers. Wash your clothes. Get your hair cut. Exercise and eat well. Pizza’s an option but not the only one.

The glass is not always half full. But you can fill it.

Your eyes will NOT get stuck like that. Promise.

An apple a day makes you a good friend to the apple growers. Won’t hurt but don’t expect any miracles either.

You can have your cake and eat it too. In fact, if you let me know when you’re coming, I’ll even bake it for you.

  
Key Lime Sponge Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Key Lime Sponge Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Key Lime Sponge Cake

The early bird may catch the worm, but who wants worms anyway? Get a good night’s sleep, be well rested, I’m sure there’ll be a worm or two left if you really have your heart set on worms.

The ends do not always justify the means. That’s an excuse, not a way of life.

Good things may come to those who wait. They also come to those who go out and work for them.

A bird in the hand . . . naaaa, I’m just not going there.

Ultimately there’s no such thing as getting off on the wrong foot. The point is to get moving. If you have to change direction, put on your blinker, make a u-turn and step on the gas.

Love is not blind. You’ll see.

Sometimes you do have to sweat the details, it’s called being prepared.

Time does not heal all wounds. Some will stay with you. Forever. Be very careful not to be the cause of others’ wounds.

Variety is the spice of life but you can ruin a dish if you over-season.

Where there’s smoke there’s not always fire. Sometimes there’s just smoke. Don’t assume, take the time to assess the situation.

Why buy the cow when the milk is free? Because not all cows are good for only one thing. Look deeper.

It’s not always the quality, sometimes it’s the quantity. Fill your life with close friends and family, but leave room for acquaintances, friends of friends and the guy next door.

It’s not just how you play the game. Sometimes winning does matter. Play to win.

Whether or not absence makes the heart grow fonder is immaterial; call your Mom.  This one’s never going to change, may as well just go with it.

And when you fall in love and marry and have kids of your own . . .

                    . . . don’t blink.

So proud. Every day. That part was true. From 9 months before your first breath until long after my last.

Mom


Baking In A Tornado

PS: This article was published on The Huffington post as The Truth About Life I Finally Shared With my Grown Sons on 1-13-15, 
on BlogHer as The Whole Truth: A Mom's Letter to her Grown Sons on 1-19-15,
and on The Today Show's Parenting site as The Whole Truth on 5-11-15.


Key Lime Sponge Cake
                                                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar, separated
1 tsp lime zest
2 cups flour
12 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Key Lime juice
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 TBSP Key Lime juice
1/2 tsp lime zest  
OPT: 3 drops green food coloring
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
*Bring the eggs to room temperature. Separate into two bowls.
*Beat egg yolks, 1 cup of the sugar and lime zest until thick. Mix together the baking powder, salt and one cup of the flour. Stir into the egg yolk mixture.
*Stir 1/4 cup of Key Lime juice into the egg yolks, followed by the last cup of flour and finally the last 1/4 cup of Key Lime juice. Set aside.
*In the bowl where you put the egg whites, beat them until they're foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until solft peaks form. A little at a time, add the last 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
*Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter.
*Pour into pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until center springs back to the touch.
*Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
*While cake is cooling, place a bowl and beater attachments into the fridge.
*Once the cake is cool, remove the bowl and beaters from the fridge. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat until soft peaks start to form. Beat in the Key Lime juice and lime zest, then carefully beat in the powdered sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks hold. OPT: add the food coloring.
*Place one cake layer on a serving plate, top with about 1/3 of the whipped cream, gently place the second cake layer on top and frost the cake with the rest of the whipped cream.


*Store cake in the fridge.
 

38 comments:

  1. Dang it. This makes me teary-eyed. How the heck did they grow up so fast? And especially since I don't feel any older. I thought going off to college was hard. Well, this getting ready to get married thing isn't a cakewalk, because now when she comes home, they share their time between here and the future in-laws (who are precious people, but still...). So, yeah. It's another big adjustment. I'm getting too old for these adjustments. And who wants to bet I'm going to cry during the wedding? Geez. It's just a mixture of pride for who they are and sadness that they grew up so quickly. And, great advice, mom!! <3

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    1. Yes, I completely agree. The pride absolutely softens the sadness for me.

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  2. Sweet! And so is that scrumptious-looking key lime cake. I love citrusy desserts!

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    1. I love citrus too, and I crave it in the winter when I get so much less of it.

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  3. I read this with a lump and a laugh in my throat! I just might print this out and hang it up! And my thoughts are with you today! Maybe we should form a Mom's of college-kids away support group!

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    1. Yes, you start that support group and I'm there!

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  4. I loved this Karen so much! It's funny I wrote a post of 15 things I want my grandkids to know! We must be getting sentimental in our old age! Love the list and I'm really going to love this cake!

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    1. I guess we're at that age where we want to impart not what we feel we're supposed to, but the real core of what we've learned in life. Love that we're comfortable doing it.

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  5. anything with Key Lime's in it are my favorite deserts

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  6. SO beautiful!!!!! So true. I loved every word of this and as the mother of a 21 yr old, almost 19 and almost 18 yr olds, I get it. I really do.

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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  7. Warm. Funny. True. Loved your take on the cliches. I'm on the other side of the kids going off to college - that seems an eternity ago. Now, I am trying not to blink while I watch the grandkids grow up - WAAAAAYYYYY too fast. Pretty soon they will be in college and I can't even imagine that right now.

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    1. I can't even imagine. One thing at a time, I'm still trying to get used to this stage . . .

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  8. You have penned all the thoughts a mother of two boys knows. Karen, we are on the same wavelength.

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    1. Glad to know that this post strikes a cord with so many people.

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  9. Oh, the feels and the tears.........you.....amazing!

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  10. What a warm and wonderful post and yes the tears are in my eyes. I am sure though a piece of the Key Lime Cake would help comfort me. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. I guess a bittersweet post does, indeed, need an extra slice of sweet.

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  11. Karen, this is absolutely brilliant writing! I was laughing and crying at the same time :)! Sharing and making a copy for myself. I've got 19 months (yes, I'm counting down months - drives my husband crazy) until both of my boys leave at the same time. Still not sure how I'll survive, but as so many have before me, I'm sure I will. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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    1. Ah, I remember the days of the countdowns. You'll survive. I'm here for you.

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  12. Beautiful! I know what you mean about blinking... The cake looks good, too :)

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. It seems like their youth lasted about as long as that cake did.

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  13. Bravo Karen!! This was so heart felt, wonderful and wise. My boy is a sophomore in high school now and I'm afraid to blink. But then again, I'm excited for him to enter the next chapter of his life. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, it's a very bittersweet time. We don't want them to grow up and leave too quickly, yet we're so excited to see what's in store for them.

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  14. I hung on every word. That was simply beautiful Karen!

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    1. Thank you so much. This one really means a lot to me.

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  15. sobs....wow...sniffles...I am so scared that I will too blink and my son will be off at college. What beautiful advice!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. He's young and I know you're enjoying every minute. Not much else you can do.

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  16. I'm crying. (But you know that). You said perfectly what so many of us are feeling. It's so hard to hold on tightly while the kids are ready to fly. I hope your boys frame this and read it often. My eyes are getting sore from trying not to blink. Time passes too quickly. <3

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    1. Yes, that old "time flies" thing. I thought it was bull when I was young, but it sure has caught up with me!

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  17. I avoided reading this one for a reason, I knew I'd cry. I just spoke with my youngest on the phone, who is 2800 miles away and my middle J just walked in the door after being gone for 5 days. Yes, we blinked. What a beautiful tribute and I hope they appreciate it and the cake :)

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. I know that you where this post came from. Sorry if I made you cry.

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  18. Karen, this was beautiful. I tell everyone it goes too fast. Of course there are many that are glad it does. I will tell you though that mine are 24 and I'm still not blinking. They continue to amaze me every day, even if I can't share the adventure firsthand.

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    1. I love that they still amaze you daily. I hope I get to say that forever.

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