It hits me every single day. At 3:00. Just as I'm walking out the door to pick up the kids and start the (even busier) second half of my day filled with homework, carpool, lessons, and practices. I used to grab a few cookies for the drive or something chocolate. I rationalized, "I am going to burn this off with everything I'm doing this afternoon." It really wasn't the calories I should have been concerned about. It was the aftermath of all those carbs. I would get so incredibly tired this time of day. Sometimes I would feel like I could literally fall asleep while driving my kids home from school. And yes, as a mom, I feel tired a lot of time, but I had a little epiphany a few months back while making this drive home. Maybe a little (healthy) change in that quick grab snack could help my energy level. So.... this was the result.
A smoothie loaded with "anti-crash" stuff like protein, vitamins, fiber, and fruit. This is my basic recipe: 4-6 T. Golden Flax (love this brand see below from Cosco). Make sure it's cold pressed so the nutrients are retained. 1 1/2 c. Rice Milk (dairy can also crash me, sorry Wisconsin). 1 T. Agave ( Low glycemic index) 1/2 of a Frozen Banana About 1 c. Other Frozen Fruit (anything you'd like... I love strawberries, blueberries, mangos, tropical blend or try combining flavors). I also throw in a handful of baby spinach sometimes for a green smoothie. *All of these measurements are approximate. Change according to taste and desired thickness. Make sure to blend thoroughly.
HUGE difference in the way I now experience 3:00. Tons more energy and an all-around happier mom. Bonus:
I now have something to do (other than banana bread) with those just "over ripe"bananas. Just peel them, wrap them in saran-wrap and freeze. How's that for "fast food".
Btw... I still have that chocolate now and again, just because I feel like it.
On our back porch we have two large wrought iron light fixtures. Shortly after we moved in six years ago, we discovered that the local birds loved building their nests in these fixtures. The basket shape at the bottom seemed to be a perfect fit for the small arizona finches.
Two years ago, we inherited two kittens, who grew up, and turned into ferocious hunters. After two awful spring seasons with both moms and baby birds being killed, I started putting towels in the baskets to prevent the birds from building nests.
Last week, after arriving home from our spring break (and before remembering to put in some towels) Sierra and I noticed two small birds traveling back and forth from one of the fixtures. Then, a mama bird went into the basket and sat down. "Oh noooo!!!" I cried as we went out to investigate. As we approached the light, she flew away. I climbed up, peaked inside the basket, and sighed with relief. No eggs. Yet. But their was this.
A perfect little nest full of feathers, and twigs, and hard work, and love. My heart sank. I put a towel on top of the nest, climbed down, and turned around just in time to see the mom and dad bird return together. They both flew close to my head, chirping and circling in great distress. It was obviously close to the time when this sweet mamma bird would lay her eggs, and now they had no home. Sierra and I were both in tears. I think it's one of the saddest things I've ever seen.
But, I knew that if she laid her eggs in that nest, she would be killed and if her babies hatched, so would they. Finding another home was their only chance of survival.
I thought about this all day. I kept trying to work out other options in my mind, but there weren't any. And then it hit me so hard. How often does our Heavenly Father choose to reroute us on our path of life? How often do we think, "Why me?", "Why now?", or just plain, "Why?". I've always believed that God directs us in the path that's ultimately best for us (if we'll allow Him). But, for some reason, this experience gave me a clarity that I haven't had before. A perspective of how hard it must sometimes be for our Heavenly Father to watch us hurt, but know that ultimately it's for a higher cause, a better outcome, a chance to live, and a chance for growth. I may not always be grateful for this rerouting, but I am always grateful for the journey.
Last fall on October 6th, Drew and I had just finished a sprint triathlon (my first and his second). As we were driving home, Gregg's phone rang. "It's Sadie", he remarked before answering. I could hear her talking in a loud, kind of urgent voice, but I couldn't understand what she was saying. I became concerned as Gregg started to say, "Wow, you're kidding?!" and "That's unbelievable!" Sadie had been watching an annual conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and THIS is what she was reacting to. An official announcement from President Thomas S. Monson. I had no idea at that moment how this announcement would effect my life (and most importantly, Sadie's). Sadie will turn nineteen on September first (in the past the mission age for women was twenty-one)..... and guess what? She's decided to serve a mission! She'll be eligible to submit paper work on May first (one hundred and twenty days before her birthday). I'd always planned on Drew serving an LDS mission. Most young men in our church do. But, this announcement was a game changer.....and can I just tell you, that as much as I'm going to miss Sadie, I feel totally peaceful about her decision. It's a decision that I know she made through lots of prayer and studying. It'a decision she made with her Heavenly Father. And I can't argue with that. Several of Sadie's friends from BYU have also decided to serve missions. Last week they went to Salt Lake for a little photo shoot (Sadie's in the middle in green).
The girls with flags have already received their mission papers and the other girls are getting ready to apply. From left to right they will be going to.... Peru, Jordan (for a service mission), Bulgaria, Pittsburg, PA. , Japan, Houston, TX., and Sacramento, CA (spanish speaking). When Sadie sent me this picture, it gave me chills (the good kind). When I think about my priorities at nineteen, there is such a contrast. I am so impressed with these ten young women who will forgo their education and employment opportunities for a year and a half to share the joy and peace of what they believe.
Below are a couple of my favorite pictures of Sadie with her cousin Clark (from a few years back). Sadie and Clark were born exactly three weeks apart. Last week Clark received his mission assignment to serve in the Houston, Texas mission. He departs on July third.
Congratulations Clark!!! You are the bomb.com!!! And of course, more to come about Sadie's adventure.
I have a good life. An incredibly good life. But, I'm having one of those days. You know the ones. You get the kids off to school, just to come home to see that nobody did their jobs or managed to find a hook for their wet towels, and your laundry pile looks something like this.
Remember being sixteen? I do. Remember when you could just get in your car and drive really fast and not worry about tomorrow? I do. Remember how the world's problems seemed like someone else's problems? I do.
It's okay. Tomorrow will be a new day, and things will look a little different, and I'll regroup and smile and remind myself that mortality is just kind of messy sometimes. And, that that was the plan.
We're enjoying my mom and dad for one more day today before they fly home to the midwest. Yesterday I attended an amazing women's conference. More on that this later this week....but for now, I wanted to pass on an interesting question one of the speakers posed. Food for thought if you will... "Instead of asking 'Why do bad things happen to good people?', ask yourself, 'What do good people do when bad things happen?"
Hmmm.....lots for me to think about. Wishing you and your family a peaceful Sunday.