mastering the recipe

If you know me in any capacity you know that there are about four things I can bake/cook and absolutely nail. And you can forget about everything else. I am no Martha Stewart. I am a box mix kinda gal, and that's worked just fine thus far.

That is... until I moved to Laos, where box mixes are either incredibly hard to find or non-existent. Laos keeps it real that way, because anything real requires a recipe and practice in its execution. There aren't box mixes for love or friends or living in general. 

The ladies, volunteer teacher Lisa, Luke, our translator Lyly, and myself borrowed Leyla's house while she was away in Thailand. She has an oven, which is somewhat essential for baking. 

One of our students, Mr. Lee who had accompanied our group to play football the week prior joined us for the cookies. Mr. Lee took my photo after I had taken pictures of all the girls in the aprons. If he ever decides not to be a doctor or a ventriloquist, I think he has the makings of a photographer. 

While Luke monitored the oven/fire situation, the girls busied themselves with a wordsearch I created using the baking vocabulary they had been learning over the course of the week. This was an educational workshop after all...

As soon as the cookies were cool and out of the oven, we took a group photo and dug right in. We are not women who wait passively for cookies. We are cookie monsters. We put in the work and the cookies were {mostly} a success. 

I am not Martha Stewart. Not by a long shot. Box mixes still don't bother me, per say. Not where something as trivial as cake or brownies is concerned.

But, I think I like life better from scratch. Because guys, I think I've created and totally nailed a recipe for my own meaningful life-- strong, connected friendships; a loyal, unconditional love; work I'm passionate about; and as many adventures around this big world as I can manage. 

Holy shit that was cheesy. You're welcome.