Last weekend was cookie weekend in Cheyenne. Shari, Elisabeth, and I drove up to Cheyenne Friday morning and over a span of two days helped make over 1,000 cookies (that’s about 95 dozen). Going up on Friday was a game changer. It allowed me to not feel as rushed or pressured to make cookies as quickly as I could. This mean I enjoyed the process more. It also helped that Shari and her family decided we could reign it back a tiny bit this year and not bake as many cookies as previous years (we still made plenty of cookies). And this year we had lots of help too! Even my friends Lara and Wes came over for a few hours and helped us roll dough balls. This was probably the best cookie weekend thus far for me. Still, I felt exhausted both days – baking and talking to people is tiring no matter how enjoyable it is. Shari’s friend Bailey stopped by Friday afternoon to say hello and introduce us to her 3 month old daughter, Atley. Oh my goodness Atley is a cutie and while she didn’t love me holding her, I did get her to smile a couple of times. I haven’t been around a baby since my nephew, Ollie, was born, and that was 4 1/2 years ago (my niblings are growing so quickly!), so it was a fun little break from baking.

We finished baking at 4pm on Saturday which was good because Patty (Shari’s mom) hosted a Christmas party for her employees (and us) that evening. We ate dinner at a really nice restaurant and played the white elephant game where I got myself some hot sauce to try. We packaged up the cookies on Sunday and drove back home that afternoon. Cookie weekend is complete!

Then on Tuesday, Shari and I met up with 10 of our meetup friends to go to the Denver Zoo Lights. We had dinner at my friend Nicole’s home first which made me super happy because I hadn’t gotten to see her place yet. I had covid the weekend we had a comic meetup at apartment so I missed out and had to keep hearing how neat Nicole’s place was. It really is neat. She’s got lots of great art on her walls as well as a Han Solo shower curtain. She made us some delicious veggie stew and pear and cranberry pie to fill us up before we headed out into the cold.

I had so much fun that evening. My friends filled me up with love, joy, and happiness. I don’t think I had felt that happy or optimistic in months. Even though it was below freezing out I almost felt comfortable. All my layers helped but what I think really aided my warmth was the pleasurable conversations I was having with everyone. They lifted my mood and my body temperature. And you know what was the icing on the cake? We got to see the otter family with their 6 month old otter. Shari and I weren’t able to see her last time we went so this was a real treat.

And then yesterday, Wednesday, I went into the office for work so that I could attend my department’s holiday lunch. Yesterday was also very heartwarming and joyful for me. I truly enjoyed visiting with my coworkers, especially since a few of them gave me homemade treats. You know I look forward to Cathy’s homemade chex mix and Jeni’s homemade peanut clusters every year. I pretend I don’t know they probably have milk in them and I just eat them and savor the deliciousness. My department also did a white elephant exchange this year and I somehow ended up with a present I actually didn’t mind – a Bob Ross board game! I can’t wait to make Shari and Elisabeth play it with me, perhaps I can read up on the rules this weekend and find a time for us to give it a go.

I also decided that this is the year I’m going to try to make vegan strawberry bread. It always intimidated me because the recipe calls for 4 eggs and I just don’t love flax eggs but since I’ve tried a few recipes with applesauce as an egg replacer and that’s gone really well, I figured to hell with it, let me give strawberry bread a go. Strawberry bread is a family recipe that I grew up eating and loving. I’ve only made it two or three times on my own but if I can make homemade seitan, if I can make homemade cinnamon rolls and milk bread, I can make strawberry bread. It’s ok if it doesn’t come out the same, I still deserve to try. So let’s see if I can attempt it this weekend since Shari and I only have two plans instead of the entire weekend booked. Haha. I love my life. It’s not perfect, and recently I haven’t savored life as much as I wish, but I’m trying. I’m trying gosh darn it and that’s enough. I am enough. Just as each and every one of you are too. Here’s to us all having a pleasant weekend! ❤

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