More Than A Job Title


You can be more than your job title

This month I am sharing a few thoughts on raising kids and finding happiness and at the end you’ll be rewarded with a great breakfast recipe to bring the family together. Rachel Feintzeig’s article in the Wall Street Journal (Yes, you can be more than your job title) stopped me mid-breakfast and I’m still thinking about it 2 days later. Some of my hardest days came when my kids were little and I was trying to hold everything together and all I heard from helpful people at the grocery store was how profoundly wonderful it was to have small kids. Nobody really mentioned how hard it was.

We were newly in Denver I didn’t have much of a community. The days were full of kids and when naps miraculously happened simultaneously I banged out a study guide for a text book. For the first time in my life since high school I had no co-workers. I had a contract job and spent most waking hours chasing two kids. I worked from home when truly no one was around. I was marginalized because I didn’t really “do” anything that anyone else saw other than raising two little kids. My old job titles didn’t fit- PhD student, Nurse, adult person.

This article redefined this period in my life with two words I hadn’t put together- boredom and overwhelm. I love my kids, my husband, my book job, our life. It was all just a blur and I was exhausted.

I realized at a work holiday party for my husband that I was simply invisible. Erased. I was reduced to my role as a mom and I had nothing that was mine that filled the well that I was drawing down every day to keep all those parts moving.

Daily chaos. Snow tube in the studio? Sure.

Finding myself in clay

I needed time to myself. I needed something that was mine. I first signed up for a jewelry class but on my way downstairs at the art center I had to first pass the ceramic studio. The clay siren called and I answered.

I took my first formal pottery class since high school. I was able to carve 3 hours for myself every Saturday. Without knowing it I had found this essential space for myself and it changed everything. Those 3 precious hours brought me so much contentment. Happiness. Energy. It was my thing that I did for me and it saved me.

It would probably have been cheaper to find an outlet in running or nearly anything other than pottery but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I found my source of energy in clay. In my weekly class with my new clay-friends (arguably some of the best people I know) I found drive to forge ahead with my other roles.

It hasn’t made me rich, but it has given me a calm I didn’t know before. It helped me heal after the sudden loss of my younger brother and he rests in a ceramic urn I created for him. Clay has given me a reason to leap into so many other skills – hello QuickBooks and WordPress! It has given me much more than some custom mugs in the cupboard and I have found that I can create community through art. Titles don’t mean much to me, but the words that give me joy and fully describe me are mother, wife, potter, artist, and community builder, also unabashed lover of burros and pack burro racing.

Does this mean things are easy now? Nope. I still over commit. I still have kids to chase and drive all over town. I still have deadlines. I still have doubts. I do have an inner energy and drive that I was missing before- so bring on the farmer’s markets, art festivals, and organizing events. Bring on the muddy hands and happy heart.

The joy of closing a lid on the kiln and opening it the next day to find things transformed will never get old. I feel so fortunate that I found my thing and I absolutely see that we all need something that gives us energy in our lives. What is yours?

Seasonal Recipe

Below I am sharing the recipe I most closely associate with my own childhood weekends. As much as a kiln can transform clay an oven transforms simple ingredients into memories. My mom called them German Pancakes. We called them Silly Pancakes. I’ve heard they can be called Hootenannies or Dutch babies. Putting dibs on the tallest corner was a point of pride in my youth and as the middle child it didn’t happen very often. I have since developed a food sensitivity to gluten so I have adapted the recipe and my own kids get to fight over the corners but since there are only two of them (not three like my siblings) it is a bit more civilized.

Silly Pancakes  (Doris version)

Preheat oven to 400ºF

6T Butter

1 C milk

1 C flour

6 eggs

Melt butter in 9X13 pan in the oven. Beat eggs, milk, and flour until smooth and pour into pan with melted butter. Bake 20 minutes. Serve with syrup and don’t expect leftovers.

Silly Pancakes (Gluten Free- Carey’s version)

Preheat oven to 425ºF

1/3 C butter (or ghee)

8 eggs

1 C milk (almond works well if you’re non-dairy)

1/3 C arrowroot starch

¼ C coconut flour

½ tsp salt

Melt butter in 9×13 pan. Blend eggs in blender for 15 seconds. Add rest of ingredients and blend 30- seconds. Pour batter into hot pan with butter. Bake 20-24 minutes.


The OG is amazing but top it with sliced strawberries and maple for a spring treat.

If you have raspberries or blueberries, sprinkle them in the batter as it heads into the oven. You may need to bake for a few extra minutes but you’ll be rewarded with jammy berries studded in the pancake. Serve with syrup.

Go savory, top the slightly cooled pancake with spring greens lightly dressed with vinaigrette for a nice lunch.



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