Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Indulgent

It wasn't long. It wasn't much. But boy did it feel indulgent.

Doug's mother was watching the kids. I had three hours to run errands, do a little shopping, and look for a new dress to wear to a black tie event (I know - exciting! I rarely dress up, put on heels, or wear something shiny).

So I did some nosing into nice stores, learned that Ann Taylor left the mall two years ago (Wha? Where have I been? Oh yeah. Not at the mall.) I found some gorgeous things but the price tags equaled the gorgeousness and I just couldn't swipe the card, so I shuffled out of the mall empty-handed and started the car.

Then I saw it. One of our favorite bakeries from Virginia. It made its debut in the Beehive State last year so I grabbed my purse and walked in. I had one mission, and one mission only. To order a piece of Cinnamon Creme Cake. I'm in love with this perfectly moist cake - its golden center, with ribbons of swirled cinnamon and crumbled streusel on top.

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I scanned the stands of baby bundt cakes, cream cheese brownies, tangy lemon bars, and chocolate macadamia cookies. No creme cake.

"I came in for a piece of your Cinnamon Cream Cake. But it doesn't look like you have any" I said to the girl behind the counter, audibly crushed that the last slice was probably served up during lunch.

"Let me check" she answered as she swiveled on her heel and surveyed the counter behind her.

I eyed it first. One piece standing lonely on a platter of brown crumbs.

"Look at this!" she exclaimed. "One piece left! Just for you!" She grinned - genuinely happy to have made my day. Little did she know it had been months since I'd run errands alone. Little did she know that sitting by myself during daylight hours would feel like an absolute luxury. And little did she know that the availability of this particular piece of cake (sadly) was going to make or break my day.

Well... it, she, the serendipity of it all, made my day.

So I sat down in a quiet corner with my back to the rest of the tables, sank my fork into cinnamon divinity, and closed my eyes. After smashing every single crumb into the tines, I set my fork down and opened these.

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I've never read Walden. It's been on my shelf for a couple years now. 'Tis time.

"To be awake is to be alive." "Our lives are frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!" Good stuff. Annie Dillard did her thesis study on Thoreau and I'm no Annie but I'll let you know what I find.

I also began perusing this collection of Lent and Easter readings (which I stumbled upon while cruising Amazon last month). I'm liking it just as much as I did the Advent book compiled by the same editors.

Like I said, it wasn't much and it wasn't long. But boy, did it feel indulgent.

Oh! And the black tie event? I borrowed a dress from a friend who saved the day. Doug bought a new suit. This guy never buys anything for himself. I told him his fuzzy tie, slacks with threadbare knees, and suit coat with spit-up stains would have been fine (wink), but he didn't believe me. What we thought was going to be a non-event because we wouldn't know anyone, turned out to be an absolute delight. The Governor was there, President Uchtdorf of the LDS Church, and a number of other prominent peoples. We laughed, ate good food, and left totally inspired. It was a wonderful evening. I had to twist Doug's arm for this picture, but isn't he handsome in his new suit?

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Sometimes indulgent is good.

So good.

Have you done something indulgent lately? What are you reading right now? I'd love to know.



19 comments:

  1. I really like your dress! (must have been hard to give it back :)

    I just finished reading Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage. It's about a woman who was given the wrong embryos during invitro. A very good read...and quite thought provoking.

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  2. Grandma H - Goodness! Every IVF parent (including us) has had that nightmare. Wow. I will check it out. Thank you!

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  3. Your borrowed dress is beautiful and worth the price! I know a little about what your indulgence feels like. Some nights around 8pm I can escape across the park to the mall and have a smoothie by myself and surf the web on my ipad at Starbucks. It feels so indulgent. Currently reading magazines on my ipad. This also feels indulgent after going so many years without a magazine in my mailbox. The ipad is really opening up some windows where I can grasp a little of my "normal" US life. Currently it is Travel + Leisure Family e-edition, Martha Stewart April 2011, Family Fun, and the Ensign. (It's nice to hold a copy of the Ensign again, even if it is on the ipad )

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  4. Indulgence is so important to MOMs! A month ago I went to the movies by myself (without hubby, a rarity) instead of swimming laps. While I *should* have exercised it felt so good to do something mindless for a change. And instead of crumb cake and books I had sushi and sock knitting. :)

    I'm reading "this present darkness" by frank e peretti. It's an older novel but feels quite relevant. It's the first Christian suspense novel I've ever read.

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  5. You look absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely couple the two of you make! What a blessing....that last piece of cake just for you. I love those little bits of serendipitous happiness that spring up along our way (although I highly suspect God had something to do with it....a mama of two sets of twins deserves every little bit of such joy).

    Listening to audiobooks in my van is one of my favorite indulgences. (I have a space of time alone driving to and from my twins' preschool.) I've lately listened to Pride and Prejudice (read by Emilia Fox) and the first Harry Potter book (Jim Dale's voices are a delight).

    Wishing you many more moments of renewal! Thoreau holds a special place in my heart. I bought my husband a little book called "Walking" by Thoreau when we were dating, and with stars in our eyes we read it together...16 years ago!

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  6. beautiful photo of you and doug...so much happiness there.

    and.

    you're killing me with the cake! xox

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  7. Ah, solo shopping. Glorious. I finally went bra shopping alone last week (nothing more depressing than dieting and weaning at the same time) and it was so relaxing. I'm thinking I should have bought some cake though. :)

    Your dress is gorgeous!

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  8. I love your comment "little did she know that sitting by myself during daylight hours was going to feel like an absolute luxury" It made me stop and think about when the last time I was able to do that.....and I still have not come up with anything. I am so glad that you got to have a few moments to yourself....I am going to go and order me that book about Easter and Lent, it looks wonderful! And also that dress is amazing, you look gorgeous.

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  9. You and Doug look beautiful! My friends and I were talking just last night about how important it is to do something for yourself every once in a while. It makes everything in the home better.

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  10. Shir - three cheers for you and your ipad! I'm so glad you're sneaking away for a smoothie now and then. KP is sounding like it offers quite a bit more "normalcy" than Egypt. I'm so glad!

    Knit1,Knit2 - the movies by yourself? Awesome. Never even thought about that one. Good for you. I love that our indulgences are so varied - sushi and sock knitting - fabulous. Would you recommend Peretti's book? Also, enjoyed your post about blogging - it raises a myriad of questions doesn't it - why, when, how much, when to pull back, comments. Loved your honesty. Hope your boys are well.

    Anne Marie - thanks for the audio book ideas. I've put The Help on hold, but I'd love to re "listen" to P&P - especially if you liked the reader. And "stars in your eyes" - I bet! Love that you read Thoreau with your hubby while dating - and that it was about something so simple - the art of taking a walk. Do you still read together?

    Cristie - I know. Terrible isn't it, to see something so delish when you're just coming off sugar. And ironic that I was reading about Lent and devouring a piece of cake. How's your headache? I think you're amazing!

    Bonnie - cake and a new bra - now that would have been a combo! You make me laugh.

    Rachel - Alright. Your assignment is to do something just for you - then report back. ;) You'll enjoy the book. It's been a nice way to begin the season.

    Brodi - Amen Sista.

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  11. I'm dying to know what bakery that is. That cake looks fantastic. And so do you and Doug. Glad all is well.

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  13. You SO deserve that indulgence and more! Wish I could come over and let my crazy kids come over and play with yours while you go out. Got my hair down and a chemical facial peel today - how is that for indulgent! (No, most days are not like that.) You look beautiful! Glad you and your beau could go out. :)

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  14. now im hungry :)
    luv LUV all the recent post, also luved the conference talk on children - so many great insights and things i can work on, luv the pillowpets and the signs of spring...come to us spring, come i say! ALWAYS luv to see a peak into your happenings and hear your words through you writings!
    *cami

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  15. Kathleen - It's Corner Bakery. They've got to have one down south by you. If not, stop in when you're up in the district. They have one at Tyson's.

    Mimi - Would love to have all our crazy kids playing together! How was that chemical peel? Sounds indulgent indeed. So glad you're finding time for yourself. Love you!

    Cam - "Come to us Spring, come I say!" I think I'm shouting that one today. No more snow! Hope you're well Cami. Emailing the sisters (and you) re: lunch soon!

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  16. You both look so great...but Catherine, that dress was MADE for you. It's timeless isn't it? Abbey and I watched a movie set in the late 1930's and it looks just like something they wore back then...so glamorous but classy also.
    So interested in that book...adding it to my Amazon wish list, thank you!

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  17. What a handsome looking couple, you look stunning!

    I'm so so so glad you had that time :)

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  18. Lookin good, Catherine! Here's to more fortuitous run-ins with perfect treat-book combinations!

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  19. Oh Cath you look fantastic! Indulgence? You'll be so happy to know...I read a book! Yep. Are you still standing up? And I started another one. One you recommended, The Warmth of Other Suns. It is so great, but it expired (online checkout) before I finished. Now I have to wait another couple weeks before I can continue, but I READ. Such an indulgence to find the time to allow that!

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