Finding Happiness In The Little Things

by | Lindsey's Musings

February 2017

This February has been absolutely amazing with weather. Although as I sit and write this there is snow melting all around outside, it wasn’t always that case this week. On one particularly sunny day, as I drove home from work I found my thoughts drifting to the little things around me, every day ordinary things that one might not always notice. I noticed the small but steady stream of traffic on my usual route home from work. I noticed the neighbor kids playing soccer because it was finally warm enough for the grass to show and jackets to come out of the closet. As I pulled into my spot in front of the beautiful home I live in, I couldn’t help but marvel at it. I marveled at the unique bricks and the way they stood as both sentinel and foundation, the shiny white fence with the hibernating plants behind it, the elegant features design, all of it seemed to say ‘welcome home’.

 

Getting out of my car I glanced behind me at the majestic mountains that greet me every morning on my way to work, and every evening when I get back home. I took a deep breath of the cool February air, hearing the passing of cars as others hurried on their way home, anxious for loved ones, dinner, and plans to be kept.

 

As I started along the sloped sidewalk and driveway, carefully juggling my purse and the twenty other miscellaneous items from the day, I couldn’t help but realize how incredibly lucky I was. I looked back at the surrounding mountains that I couldn’t wait to explore when the weather was warmer, and I smiled a smile of happiness. I walked into a beautiful home that was filled with good energy and women who genuinely care about me and my well-being, and I smiled a smile of happiness. I went to the kitchen where I had all the food I could ever need, and I smiled a smile of happiness. After dinner I went for a walk with a close friend, and amidst the chatter and laughter I smiled a smile of happiness.

 

I guess what happened that evening was I realized that my happiness wasn’t necessarily all wrapped up in the big thing, although those certainly don’t hurt. No, this time my happiness was a combination, a correlation really, of a bunch of really tiny things and that in and of itself is really quite remarkable.

It’s Been Three Years

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="on" date="off" categories="on" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="11" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] August 2018 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Dear Mom, It's been three years, and by some divine miracle, I have realized I'm happy again. I think of you often mom, I always will. Lately I've been thinking about what I've learned the last 3 years. I know you have people that need you, you always have, but can you stay long enough for me to tell you about them? I give all credit to God, and I am thankful beyond words. 1- God really does want us to be happy, even after he asks us to do hard things for him. I'm not talking just existing with a few pleasant experiences happy, but bubbling over to the brim with joy. 2- God puts people in our paths exactly when we need them. I can't even begin to tell you the people I've met mom, although I'm sure you already know--maybe even had a hand in my meeting them? Thank you then, because they've all been the sweetest blessing. 3- Time heals wounds we can't heal ourselves. I honestly didn't know if I would ever get my innocence -- , the freedom to be joyful, my easy smile and sparkling eyes -- all of that pure happiness back. You left a hole mom, and it was pretty dang impossible to fill. I think it wasn't mine to fill in the first place. Maybe God needed me to quit trying so hard and just let it be so he could slowly fill it as I was ready? 4-Life can be so much fun. Nothing has gone the way I planned it to go mom, but I am so glad it didn't!  I love my families: my work family, my ward family, my Orem family, my blood family, all of it. Maybe I'll quit making so many plans, God's always include more fun anyways. 5- The Gospel is true and it is oh so good. Thank you mom, for raising me the way you did. Thank you for patiently loving me when I was such a bratty teenager, and letting me find my testimony on my time and terms. This is the greatest gift you could have given me, the beginning of my knowledge of the Gospel and God's love for everyone. 6- Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, masking, pushing it aside, letting go, or brushing it under the rug. Moving on means moving forward with it, recognizing the pain when it is there but also recognizing the joy that comes right along with it. This life is so good mom, I feel so blessed to still be here to live it. I want to help them mom, the others. The 19-year-old kids who are scared out of their minds, realizing for the first time in their lives their parents are mortal. I want to help the 30-year-old adults, with kids of their own, wondering how on earth they can be a happy parent when they are forced to lose one of their one. And mom, oh mom, I want to help the little ones too. I want to help the young kids, the ones whose smiles will be a little too strained a little too early. I want them to know they can have their youth, their innocence, their energy back. I'm just not quite sure how I'm supposed to do all of that. The sunflowers are out mom, they're beautiful like always. They still remind me of you, every single time. I tell other people mom, about how happy they are and if a flower could give hugs, a sunflower would. I love you mom. I'll see you again sometime, but for now I've got a whole big life ahead of me, and I am happy I get to live it. Love, Lindsey [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
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Did God Kill My Mother? Loving God Through The Pain Of Mortality

I stood at the pulpit of my parent's home ward, staring into a sea of people and seeing only a few faces. I was the last speaker for my mom's funeral service, something I actually took joy in. Two weeks later I attended church services at my student Young Single Adult ward. I was broken, hurt, confused, scared out of my mind, and feeling cut off.
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Your Choice, Even When The Answer Is No

This is a blog post about graduation and starting your career.
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Not Your Mama’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

The gluten-free life isn't always easy, especially when you're craving some serious comfort food. Like Mac n Cheese. Don't worry, I've got you covered!
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Gluten Free Pad Thai

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="27" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] December 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes What You Need:
  • Gluten Free Pad Thai or Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
  • San-J Gluten Free Sweet & Tangy or Orange Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Assorted Veggies (I like to use broccoli slaw, snap peas, water chestnuts and cole slaw)
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • *Protein option: 1 egg
  • 2 cups water
  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0005.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0001.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0004.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] In a large skillet bring the 2 cups water to boil and add your rice noodles, veggies, sesame seeds (to taste), a dash of garlic powder, and drizzle with your sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Don't forget to stir noodles occasionally and add water as needed. When your noodles are soft, cover with a lid and let them cool for 1 minute. Add additional sauce as needed and salt and pepper to taste. *If you wanted the protein option, simply scramble the egg in a separate pan and add in at the end. These are best served hot, but do reheat as leftovers fairly well with the noodles keeping their texture consistently. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

Gluten Free Almond Flour Banana Bread (Easy Guide)

[et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="on" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title title="on" meta="on" author="on" date="off" categories="on" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" admin_label="Post_Title" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_number_counter number="31" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" admin_label="Number Counter" number_font="Lora||||" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] March 2019 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

Here's my latest recipe for easy gluten free banana bread using almond flour.

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1 1/2 - 2 mashed ripe bananas
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • generous helping of chocolate chips
    • 1 tbls of butter or butter replacement
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 small bread pans or 1 large bread pan
    • coconut oil
    • 1/8 cup oats (optional)- if you do add oats, be sure to add at least 2 ripe bananas so the texture of the bread isn't dry
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  • Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350* F
  • Coat your pans with a generous amount of coconut oil (I like to spread it on with a paper towel so it's even)
  • Combine almond flour, (optional) oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla and egg and stir
  • After mashing bananas in a separate bowl, stir those in as well
  • The final touch is adding as many chocolate chips as you like (I go for the generous side of things)
  • Pour batter into one large bread pan, or split evenly between the two small (batter should be 1/2-3/4 the way up the smaller bread pans. If using a larger bread pan spread it more thinly so the inside can cook as well.)
  • Bake at 350* F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of the loaf and removed cleanly. Cooking time may be shorter if you use multiple smaller bread pans.
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