The PAC

by Ashley on May 16, 2015

in Me, Uncategorized

Ashley &  I'm terrified to be here

You know what scares me? (Other than Sleeping Beauty…) The PAC, the PAC scares me.

Not our PAC in particular but the whole idea of “The PAC”.  I mean, say it “The PAC” – it totally feels like it should be followed by “DUN, DUN, DUN”.   Every time I hear it, my brain automatically jumps to the image of a pack of hungry wolves and I get all sweaty & stuff.  Any thought I had about attending a function shoots out the window and I quickly begin planning my escape route (eg. the truthful but well timed excuse) (which is often actually legitimate but also extremely convenient).

Now I realize that this is absolutely ridiculous.  I do.  My logical brain can completely understand and comprehend that this is down right absurd.  However, the other part of my brain, the one where my super insecure self lives, knows nothing of logic.   It’s where my self-conscious voice takes root, where the whispers of my faults & failings come from and it’s often the one that grows the loudest.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately working on my fears.  Really, and sincerely trying to face head on the things I’m afraid of in hopes of one day achieving self confidence, actually achieving confidence in anything at all would be nice.  In the midst of all of those things resides The PAC or rather The PAC meetings.

My rational self sees the good of The PAC (seriously guys, DUN, DUN, DUN) the things they do at the school, in particular the things The PAC board members do at our school are amazing.  They organize events, work on hot lunch, spend time there before and after school.  And while yes, they’re supporting their kids they are also supporting everyone else’s kids – my kids.

I am thankful for those things, for those hours, for that heart.  I have on occasion even interacted with one of them, in person or online and they’ve been pleasant, sweet and helpful.  Apart, they all seem like stand up women and I take my hat off to them.

So what’s my problem?

My problem is the idea of them all together.  Some how it takes me back to my high school days, and the “In-Crowd” mentality.  Just thinking about it I quickly start slipping back into my old self.  The one who hid behind books, had 42 pens, 6 different post-it notes and was completely incapable of making eye contact.  I hear whispers of “What if they don’t like me?”, “What if I sound stupid?”, “I don’t have anything of value to add” and ultimately “I’m not important enough to go – I don’t belong”.

That entire scene plays out in my living room as I read the monthly newsletter & see The PAC meeting on the calendar.

On paper screen it looks absolutely ridiculous – and yet it’s true.  It is how I feel and I am going to learn to make a change.

The school year is almost out but I am seriously going to work on these issues over the summer.  I’m not exactly sure how I plan to do that yet, but I’m going to try.  I need to get over my fear of The PAC and get involved there.  Those meetings contain important information, those people are of great value and I need to be up to date on what’s happening too.  I may even try to get involved in hot lunch, so that a day can come where Audrey will be safe to receive hot lunch too.

Am I alone in this?  Anyone else have issues with the idea of The PAC or other social group settings?  Any tips or advice for this nervous ninny?  I’ll take whatever you’ve got to offer – leave a comment (or if they’re not working because there is a glitch I can’t seem to fix!), then comment on the Facebook status (HERE) sharing this post.  I need you, and ALL you have to say & share!

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There’s nothing better on a cold, rainy afternoon than a warm, gooey chocolate chip oatmeal, a cozy blanket & a cup of tea.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but this magical combination seems to soothe any bad mood and almost instantly takes me back to being a little girl.

Over my married life I have experimented with many, many chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipes.  I’ve tried Company’s Coming, Martha Stewart, Food.com, magazine recipes and about a dozen others in between.  They were mostly good recipes (except for the one that I accidentally tripled the baking soda…it was the polar opposite of good) but none of them were quite right.  

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies 3

Corey is a cookie “monster” (much like he’s an ice-cream connoisseur) and I was desperate to find the recipe that would be it, the one.  I wanted it to be perfect (because striving for perfection, while illusive and unattainable will always me happy) and I was determined it had to be possible. 

So I did what I always do – I played.   A little from this recipe, a little from that, throw things in here and something else there, scribbling down the changes on an old envelope as I went.  

It took a little time but a few years ago it happened, I finally achieved the cookie that gave Corey “the face”.  You know “The Face”, I bet you even make it but just in case you don’t it looks something like this…

They walk into your kitchen and take a HUGE breath, “Mmmmm something smells good” (which is code for GIVE ME A COOKIE), you hand over a warm from the oven cookie and wait – there’s a slow bite, the eyes close 3/4 of the way as they chew and a little smile starts to creep up the sides of their mouth – it’s THE FACE.  Then 3 seconds later they swallow, devour the rest of the cookie and try to be stealth as they steel 3 more.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies 4

These cookies elicited that exact reaction and have been a hit ever since.  They were in the top 5 most popular items at Baking Life Healthy when we were in business and are still the most requested food from any guest coming to visit. 

This recipe is simple, it’s versatile (but only if you need to change it, I’d say they’re perfect as they are) and it’s delicious.  So from our house to yours, I hope you makes these and enjoy a warm bite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Comfort!

If you make any of our recipes we’d LOVE to see them! Send us a photo of your creation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ofsbakes

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies
A warm chocolate chip oatmeal cookie that offers the comforts of home with the memories of childhood.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
  3. 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 TBSP Coconut Milk* (can sub other milk of choice)
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 1/2 tsp Salt
  9. 1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon (I never really measure, just shake away)
  10. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour (preferably unbleached)
  11. 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  12. 2 Cups Quick Oats
  13. 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  14. 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  15. 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 375°F
  2. In a large bowl or using a mixer beat together butter & both sugars until fluffy & light in color
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add vanilla and milk
  4. Add baking soda, salt & cinnamon to mixer and allow to mix briefly
  5. Gradually add in both flours and mix until combined
  6. Add oats, turn on mixer for a few seconds then add chocolate chips and allow to mix until well combined
  7. Place mixture in the fridge for approx 10 minutes to chill
  8. Measure out cookies onto cookie sheets leaving approx 2" between each cookie (we make smaller cookies at about 2 teaspoons each in size and get just over 60 cookies)
  9. Bake for 9-13 minutes until lightly golden brown. For perfectly chewy cookies remove when centers look slightly damp but NOT gooey
  10. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack
  11. Store well in an airtight container or in the freezer
Notes
  1. * We use the coconut milk found in the refrigerator section NOT the canned milk
  2. Rolled oats give a chewier cookie while quick oats give a fluffier one. Feel free to use what you have and adjust it according to your preference.
  3. Can sub 1/2 a cup of the chocolate chips for raisins if desired.
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

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