In my quest to be less selfish, I am also trying to minister more often to my husband. I hate the way that sounds by the way, but it sounds better than "serving" my husband. The point is, I want him to see me as a place of comfort and support, and less as a place of agitation and annoyance.
I failed miserably in my quest today.
We decided to decorate our Christmas tree. Everything started out well enough. I made the fluffiest pancakes I've ever made (I think the secret was Our Compliments buttermilk pancake mix and the small soup ladle I used to pour the batter onto the skillet), but once we started decorating, things went downhill.
My husband likes to fiddle around with the settings on our camera. So while I tried organizing the decorations and putting them out for the kids to hang, he was fiddling. As soon as I opened the box of decorations, the kids dove in like maniacs. During the commotion I told my husband to forget the camera and just help with decorating. Instead he started snapping pictures of me.
My husband takes the worst pictures of me. Instead of getting the camera out when I'm all dolled up for a date-night, he gets it out when I'm in my pyjamas, my hair is frizzy from my shower, and I'm covered in pancake batter. What's worse, I look like a downright hag because I'm frowning and in the middle of telling him to stop taking my picture. "Stop being grumpy, like you always are!" he yelled accusingly.
Being told I'm "always" grumpy is a hot button for me (maybe because it's a little too close to the truth at times?), so I launched into the "what about you!?" sequence of our typical argument. Yay! What's more fun than a good game of "no I'm not, you are!"? Joy to the world...
Anyway, after wrapping that up we continued decorating the tree in stony silence. I know, the holiday cheer is overwhelming.
Feeling guilty about the lack of Christmas goodness, after the tree was done I decided to make some candy cane cake-mix cookies. The kids and I had been to the Santa Claus parade the week before and had accumulated quite the stash of mini candy canes. No one in our house cares for candy canes. I thought chopping them up and putting them into a cookie with chocolate might make them more appealing.
What are cake-mix cookies you say? Only the EASIEST cookie recipe out there! Remember when you bought like four boxes of cake mix at Safeway because they were buy one, get one free? Well now you have a way to use them!
Candy Cane Cake-mix Cookies
You will need...
- 1 box of cake mix (white or chocolate)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C oil
- 1 C (or more) of chocolate chips
- 1/4 to 1/2 C chopped candy cane pieces
Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil with a wooden spoon for one minute. The dough will be stiff. Stir in 1 C of chocolate chips and 1/4 to 1/2 C chopped candy cane pieces. Bake 8-12 minutes at 375 until just set. Cool on sheet for 1 minute then on cookie rack.
If you like chocolate and mint, you are going to love these.
My daughter doesn't like chocolate and mint, so she took one bite and made a big production of spitting the candy cane bits out. Feeling a little downcast, I turned to my husband for his reaction. He doesn't like chocolate and mint either, so his reaction was, "Ummm...". Now I'm feeling really annoyed, so I resorted to "you never like my baking!" (yes, I am guilty of making my own "always" statements). It's also a clear over-reaction stemming from my frustration over the lack of cheer I was managing to create.
And that's just it. The whole day was about me. I had a picture in my head of how I wanted the day to play out, and when it didn't go according to my plan, I got frustrated with the players. I also took it personally. I was trying to "create" Christmas cheer so I took their rejection of my fabulous cookies as a reflection of my ability to do something fun and Christmassy with my family.
Can you imagine how much more fun we could have had if I had just hammed it up for the camera instead and took their rejection of the cookies as a blessing because now I would get to eat more of them? I can. And it makes me wish I could kick myself in the butt.