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...those who like to cook and those who like to bake.  Notice that both of those include a preference, not an ability :) 

I love being a baker. Love it. As an 80's baby, I dreamed of EZ Bake Ovens complete with endless supplies of colorful sprinkles and more flavors of cake than I could imagine. I dream a little bigger now, growing wide-eyed over gleaming red special anniversary Hobart mixers (the 60 quart ones) and stacked deck ovens that bake beautiful loaves of crusty bread, perfectly chewy cookies, and pies that could grace the cover of any foodie magazine. 

What's that you say?? You can't bake? Nonsense. Given the right ingredients and tools, you can totally bake SOMETHING. 
(Something far greater than pulling apart refrigerated dough to make cookies.)

I think the main reason why people think they can't bake is because they think baking and cooking are the same. 
They. Are. Not. 
Throw that idea out the window. Baking is first a careful science and second a wild creativity. Cooking is awesome in that you can be creative AS you cook, changing your mind and adjusting seasonings and textures as you go. When you bake, if you don't begin with the right ingredients in the exact quantities, and mix them together in the right order with the right method, you will never get the results you hope to.  (Many things require this precision!)

This is why I love baking. It's exact. It's particular. Dare I say stubborn? Maybe I like it so much because its so much like me :)
(The preciseness is also one of the dividing lines between those who love baking and those who love cooking.) 

By all means, you can love cooking more than you love baking (some of my very best friends do, and I don't hold it against them!) But PLEASE, for the love of Pete, don't just like cooking more than baking because you think you can't bake. 

Do me a favor and bake the formula (what bakers call recipes) below. Follow it exactly and I mean EXACTLY...  and if you don't come out with amazingly delicious brownies, I will come to your house and bake them again with you.  (For realz. with a Z.) 

 
 
I am celebrating my 28th birthday later this year, and just yesterday I graduated (again). During the reading of a MASSIVE list of names of graduates like me, I was thinking about my life thus far, and about how I got to where I am now. So many different people have touched my life in so many different ways, to try and think of each person was a humbling and incredible moment (er.. several moments.. that list of names was indeed massive). 

While I couldn't possibly begin to thank each one of those amazing people here (I want to be intentional in thanking you personally so you know how much I mean it, and it would take longer than reading the graduate list) I wanted to take just one moment (a little one) to show you all how much you mean to me. 

That photo above is one of my "Gratitude" boxes (this is my RI box). I don't remember exactly when I started saving cards and notes that people gave me, but I know for sure I was young, as I have cards saved from my summers as a camper at Deer Run. I have shoe boxes (yes, multiple boxes!) full of cards from people who know me as a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, student, employee, teacher, acquaintance, and even some from total strangers (those are often hilarious). Some of these cards remind me of times that were happy, some remind me of times that were challenging, but they all point me to the fact that there are people in my life who love me and care for me, even at times when I feel alone. If you've ever given me a written note of any kind, chances are I've saved it. When I go through an organizational purge of my room, these gratitude boxes are the one thing I allow myself to keep intact. In fact, I will often quit organizing and spend the afternoon going through each box, thinking of how amazingly blessed I am and saying a prayer of thanks for the writer of each card in my box. 

In closing, here is a passage from Philippians 1 (The Message version). It summarizes quite well how I feel about y'all. 

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."