Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fifty surprises

I've been having oatmeal 80% of all the mornings in the past four years. That's a lot of oatmeal. Lately, I've been enjoying rolled oats, cooked in water with a pinch of salt and vanilla extract, fruit-free, mixed with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, and topped with cinnamon. And I'm eager to whisk in an egg someday soon.
But no matter how I choose to prepare it, oatmeal is reliable. It always has been. How comforting it is to begin my day with a bowl that is so delicious, satisfying, healthy, and safe. Especially for me, who whole heartedly hopes there is truth in Goethe's words: "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
A couple weeks ago, my family and I threw a party for my mom's 50th birthday. She'd only requested that we go on vacation to celebrate it (and we did) but my dad felt she deserved something more. It was my mom who first came up with le surprise. She's thoughtful and clever like that, and is so good in so many other ways, that my dad wanted to surprise her. So we did that, too. She had absolutely no idea it was coming and was thoroughly embarrassed the moment she walked into the room. Thankfully, soon after, she also had a really great time.
It was a successful evening, and by its end, I had a slice of cake. I don't like cake. Growing up, I always had brownies at my birthday party and avoided ice cream cake (and all other kinds, especially fancy ones) like the plague at all others. But I've recently found an appreciation for cheesecake and my soft spot for carrot cake is growing, so I've been trying a bite or two as the opportunity comes up. This was a millefoglie and it was incredible. It actually surprised me how much I enjoyed it... yet it also made perfect sense. Taking chances, being bold, and challenging what we know to be "safe", is worth it. Most things eventually turn out the way they should. And whether we expect it or not, we do enjoy lots of happy endings in this anything but easy life. There was, after all, a time when I didn't like oatmeal.


  1. That's wonderful that you surprised your mama. There's nothing better than seeing that look on someone's face - it's priceless. Glad you had such a nice time with your family! Oh, and that you enjoyed that slice 'o cake too.

    (I always find it fascinating how our tastes change over time!)

  2. Rose: I totally agree! Thanks, dear. So do I.

  3. you have such a beautiful life, danielle. so so beautiful.

  4. mackenzie: Aw, Mackenzie. Thank you :)


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