Welcome to 2011!
I was reviewing a grammar concept with my 6th graders yesterday and they seemed less than enthusiastic when asked to chant the rule back to me. I tried the usual encouragement: "Come on, guys, say it with enthusiasm!" I was met with the same tired chorus of voices. "Come on, really yell it this time!" Same old song.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I tried a new angle: "Imagine that this grammar rule is the BIGGEST, MOST AWESOME PRESENT YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN, and you've JUST torn into it on Christmas morning. Open up the box and SCREAM the AMAZING GRAMMAR RULE you see inside!" Finally, half giggling and half screaming, they belted out the rule with gusto.
They just weren't sure they wanted to be excited about grammar. I get it. I'm not sure I want to be excited about what I'm being handed right now, either -- the unpredictable future, the passage of time. But let's take a tip from my 6th grade class and open 2011 like it's a wonderful gift.
Last year was filled with some of the highest highs and lowest lows (more on these later) of my 26 years on the planet. I've lost things that were so important to me that I still can't think of them; instead, I've tucked them away for now in the attic of my memory. They'll sit there like the Times Square Ball, wrapped carefully and waiting for when I'm ready to look through them again.
I've also gained so much -- and I don't mean weight, y'all, believe it or not. I've grown, I've made new friends, and I've done so many brave things. Every excursion into unknown social, emotional, and culinary territory has shaped me in some small way, so that I feel like a different version of myself than I did last year at this time. That's scary, but also valuable. We're always growing and changing, losing and gaining (once again, not talking about the scales!). Let's put things into perspective. The truth is, we didn't know we'd see this new year, and now here it is -- ready to be lived as best we can live it.
Here are the top ten recipes from Willow Bird Baking in 2010. Just as these were your favorites, they're some of my favorites, too! I hope you'll enjoy them all over again:
10. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Cheesecake
9. Homemade Croissants!
8. A&P Spanish Bar Cake
7. Lemon Raspberry Cake
6. Browned Butter Pumpkin Croquemcake with White Chocolate Chai Mousse
5. Coconut Cream Tart
4. Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
3. 48 Homemade Breakfast Cereals
2. Carrot Cake Waffles
AND THE NUMBER 1 MOST POPULAR RECIPE ON WILLOW BIRD BAKING IN 2010 WAS . . .
1. Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake!