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Food Network Star, Two Down....

It is difficult to believe that the first two episodes of Food Network Star have already aired. And you know what, I'm doing well. Entering into the competition I had a pretty hearty belief in my ability to cook and be entertaining. That has not really changed. I am confident in my quirkiness and culinary abilities. I blush at all the weird faces I make that have made their way on to the T.V. screen. And without saying too much, I cringe a tad at the way some things can appear on television. It is incredibly easy (and slightly naive, as I often am) to enter a competition such as this and take everything at face value. As someone who has had virtually no experience being in the public eye this is all new to me. I say everything that comes to mind, forgetting that it is now always out there. I am unabashedly myself; whether that presents its self in the form of sarcasm, insanity, meekness, snarky comments, humility or pride. I am who I am. And I am most certainly okay with that. (Twitter might not be, but I am.)

The first night of the show I made it into the top 3. Given the judges feedback, I was not entirely shocked. (Although if you would have asked me that as I boarded that plane to Los Angeles to begin filming, I might not have been as confident.) But what a sense of validation. This stay at home mom (yeah, I know twitter, you're over it) with no culinary experience landed the title of "the most exciting dish". Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who I will still maintain are "better" than me, and more experienced was difficult. It caused me to question my self on many occasions. But receiving such positive feedback on week one was a big pat on the back for me. How could it not be? It was such a whirlwind experience. See everyone for the first time. Stage. Bobby and Giada. Present. Cook. Present Better. Tasting. Stay or go home. That is an emotional roller coaster for anyone. And not that my story is more complicated than anyone else's, but leaving my kids and husband for an undisclosed amount of time was no small undertaking. And truthfully, we all left some things behind to be there, shiny little Food Network stars in our shiny little Food Network Star eyes.

Week one down. Oh, this girl actually is here to play. Guess she isn't going home first. In fact, Addie (an accomplished and wonderful) a fellow competitor grabbed me right away, noting that I had done well the previous week. Boy, am I glad that girl grabbed me. First, that was an A team kind of team. And second, that week might have been my favorite while filming Food Network Star. My dish didn't look or taste quite how I wanted it to, but you know what, our team did really well. And it was so much fun. Seriously.

The Food Network has posted the top recipes from the first two weeks, and I am the only finalist to have two featured. 2 out of 7 are mine. :)

Recap down, personal ramblings and rantings are coming up next. There is nothing particularity revolutionary or exciting coming up. But I pay $20/month for this URL, so I might as well use it. :) I constantly fluctuate about how I feel about how I did on this show. This isn't meant as a spoiler, but was it enough? Will it be enough? Now that I am home, what do I do next? Is this a chapter of my life that was enriching and rewarding but is also short and sweet? Is there something special waiting for me if I keep applying myself, typing away at this little blog of mine, filming ridiculous videos dressed as Belle to promote a t.v. show? Do I shrink back and realize I already have everything I need to be happy? Adorable healthy (and energy draining) children, basic needs met, a sexy and awesome husband, friends who truly care for me... I know twitter is over this stay at home mom shit, but it is a dilemma. Not a real one. But it is something that many moms face. Is this all I want from life? It is true that there is nothing more important than raising your kids to feel loved and be loving towards others. Teaching them that their true value comes from showing others love, patience and kindness and not necessarily what you accomplish in life. I would much rather look back at my kid's lives and having them be known as kind instead of successful. So why is it that I wrestle with being successful in sharing what I love (cooking) with others? If it should be enough for my desires for them, shouldn't it be enough for me? Practice what you preach?

I truly have a blessed life. My sweet friend Michelle Thompson threw a watch party for me. And many of our Hawaiian friends (aka military friends stationed here) were able to come. But one of the things about the military is that you leave people behind, even if for a short while. So sweet Michelle had some of our friends who are stationed elsewhere write messages of encouragement to me. It made my Grinch heart grow more than three sizes that day. But I have received countless messages of encouragement from friends and military spouses, speaking about how difficult it is to always be the supporting role. It is a very important one indeed. But as a military spouse and stay at home mom (4th or 5th mention in this post, just in case you're counting people of Twitter, and by people I mean trolls) you do everything for others and so little for yourself. (I am not complaining, my sweet husband sent me away for 2 days by myself for my 33rd birthday. But that is not my day to day.) Reading these texts, emails, and FB messages/posts from my friends over the years almost makes me feel like a beacon of accomplishment. I am not trying to oversell myself here. Food Network Star isn't exactly the Nobel Peace Prize. And I haven't even come close to conquering this space. But I see so many strong and beautiful women who could probably rule the world and over run their husbands successes if they weren't busy supporting. And I am not knocking this, it is what I do. It is what many aspire to be able to have. But I feel their support and for me, it validates what I did; what I still may be able to do. I am really rambling now, any semblance of a coherent thought is gone. "Mr. Maddison, at no time in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought... I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul."

Synopsis. I am very blessed, but I think I am capable of so much more. And if you're watching my inconsequential journey and wondering the same thing about yourself. You are awesome. (Probably, unless you're like a sociopath or something.) You are amazing in whatever it is you are doing now. Necessary and beautiful. whatever it may be. (Once again, if you're a psycho I am leaving you out of this generally inclusive statement. Get your shit together.) But go shoot for the stars or something. (Coming from the girl who is casually wading through her life choices.) -Amy

From the premier watch party:

Just some sweet FB sharing and love

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