“Energies are contagious”—Rachel Wolchin

“Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious”—-Rachel Wolchin

I’ve been thinking about woven fabrics lately with all the baby wearing talk on my Facebook. While I’m not ready for woven wrap baby wearing, I think they are so beautiful. Woven fabric can range from a loose to tight weave, a weave with diagonal give to no stretch at all, a grippy to slick weave based on the fabrics being used (cotton, silk, linen, bamboo…) and how they are laced and fit together.

I’m soft. It feels like no matter what I wear, My clothes seem to show every bit of squishy me- not enough muscle, not enough structure, too much of everything else. Things feel tight where they should be loose and loose where they should be tight. And it’s not about how I look, not really. It’s about how I feel. And I know. IknowIknowIknowIknow. This body- my body, spent 9 months creating these 2 tiny people and it’s going to take time.

And I know. IknowIknowIknow. Six months from now I’ll be living in the body I started to build today. But that’s just it- I haven’t really been building a body today. I went from eating-whatever-I-want-because-I-Just-gave-birth-to-twins right into “Oh little town of constantly eating” Christmas then the comfort-food-because-you’re-tired-and-depressed-January became buy-a-bunch-of-candy-to-make-sweet-valentines-but-then-eat-it-all-myself-February.


But I’ve gone back to teaching aquafit. Just one night each week for now. It’s been 4 weeks. Four Drop-In classes and four bootcamps. And it’s so good for me. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. The splashing water, the bright pool lights, the pumped up music. The pressure on me to be excited and positive and energetic. There is something so cathartic about being paid to yell at people for 2 hours- “Harder! Faster! You think I can’t see you? I see you! I know you can do better than that!” It’s good to be surrounded by people who want to get fit, to be a part of it, to be responsible for creating and reflecting that energy.

Wednesday I went to watch the elementary school indoor games. It was the 8×200 relays. Buster joined his school running club after Christmas and even though he’s in grade 3 and only second alternate and didn’t get to run, it was fantastic to go and cheer; Important to tell him over and over how exciting it was to watch his team and how amazing that he gets be part of a team like this. I just love to see people really rock their sport, giving their all. Of course there is something to be said for and admired in the back of the pack participant who perseveres. I stand and cheer for the underdog with the rest. But it’s the person who creams the competition, who has prepared and worked for it and not just wins but blows it out of the water that pulls at my heart and our A-team boys lapped every other team in their heat. It was incredible to watch. The energy in our little corner of the stands as we cheered for each student as they ran by was inspiring.

And I missed that. I miss feeling like that myself. I miss it when I go to a pool and have to swim in a lane with “recreational” swimmers because I can’t keep up to the serious swimmers. I miss it whenever I drive past someone running, really running. I missed it on Saturday standing in line at Costco behind the woman with the Ironman Finisher jacket. I miss that part of me- The me who wasn’t the fastest one running in the river valley, but who felt like a runner; The me who could do a strong 3000m in the fast swim lane in under 50 minutes ; The me who didn’t just do triathlons, but was a triathlete. It feels like a dream, a dream I want back. I want to be a part of the fit and fast and love to kill it without killing myself culture, to feel the momentum of growth and ever changing training plans and progress and energy…at least a little bit.

I’ve just finished a week long food challenge- no dairy, grains or sugar. Its felt so great to take care of myself, of what my body needs to feel good and strong (except for weak times when I wanted to eat chocolate chips or chew off my fingers). It was important to be reminded that food isn’t just for filling a momentary emotional void, that 5 months of lack of sleep isn’t going to be fixed by another handful of corn chips. Food is for fueling my machine of a body. And even though I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, it took a challenge full of people I haven’t actually met to get me to where I wanted to be all along. I needed the energy of group momentum, to cheer and be cheered for by others. I needed to be a part of ever changing menu plans and physical change. Exercise club is back on.


So I’m on my way. Slowly. I heard once that it’s pretty impossible to find a balanced life -all we can do is have a woven life- Weaving in healthy eating and fitness between the threads of children and husbands and school and church and dishes and nap-time and laundry and icy sidewalks…so I’m slowly weaving. I may be a soft weave for now. But I won’t be forever. I’ll keep working at it (and working and working and working at it) and surround myself with others who are doing the same. Each day my weave will get stronger and so will I.

IMG_5233How do you find a way to fit in all you need to and still time for the things you enjoy?

The Lady had a birthday party to go to the first day of my food challenge. I often make gluten free cupcakes to send with her to a party and Monday was no exception. Cupcakes are fun but I always feel like the secret to a good cupcake is in the frosting. Good cupcake frosting should be light and fluffy and melt on your tongue and not too sweet and stand up when piped and it has always alluded me. Is it that I refuse to add enough sugar? Enough butter? That I expect too much without the use of flour, egg whites and cream of tartar?

Monday we made chocolate coconut cupcakes and so I wanted a chocolate coconut frosting. This frosting did not disappoint. It was creamy, rich, not too sweet or heavy and did well when piped. Days later it was still soft without melting into the cupcake. The Hubs called it “dangerously good”. My dad spread it on bread like Nutella. It almost has a mousse like texture and could be served that way- my favourite way- with some fruit. Or, and let’s be honest, with a spoon right out of the jar.

Chocolate Coconut Mousse Frosting
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Open your coconut milk and scoop just the firm and creamy coconut oil off the top, leaving the watery bit and place in a mixing bowl. If it doesn’t seem firm enough, almost like butter, place your can uncovered in the fridge over night.

Add the cocoa, vanilla, and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Of course you can go right in with beaters but experience and cleanup would suggest mixing it a little first with a fork to avoid the fun —Poopth– of sugar and coco dust that beaters and fine powder like to create.

Store in the fridge.

IMG_5242If you’re interested in my gluten free coconut cupcake recipe I’d be happy to share it. It’s one of my most successful gluten free adaptations.


“We are Never Alone”— Elaine S. Dalton

Sometimes I feel so alone. Stuck, immovable in my lonesomeness. The irony of living in a 850 square foot house with 2 babies who don’t sleep well, the Lady who hasn’t stopped talking since the day she was born and Buster who never really learned to play with toys because that would require entertaining himself, is that I’m never ever alone. And yet…

My friends have been so kind. I’ve had meals and house cleaners and hands to hold babies and offers to take the older kids so that I can buy food or swim or wander aimlessly around ValueVillage, recharging, reminding myself that I’m not alone in this mother of a hard thing I’m doing. And yet…

And yet I alone wake up 4 and 5 times each night to feed and comfort babies. I alone spend my afternoons helping the Lady with her various projects trying to listen and respond to her constant narration, all the while pacing and dancing and bouncing around the kitchen being Sherpa to a screaming baby on my back and a crying baby on my front. And at church I wander the halls through each time block wondering why I even bother going but know that if I didn’t, I would just be at home with 2 crying babies instead of at church.

Buster was baptized on Saturday. As we prepared the program, I watched a lot Mormon messages. This one by Elaine S Dalton is one of my very most favorites.

I’ve seen it before but still found myself on the couch nursing Squidge and trying to stifle my ugliest of ugly cries. I was right there with her on Heartbreak hill. I felt her broken and discouraged heart. I understood when she realized that no matter how hard, if she gave up and quit, she’d be lost and alone. And I wanted to feel the cheers of those in the crowd encouraging her on. This is what she said

That day I learned that no matter how well prepared you think you are, there are hills on the course and sometimes added to the hills will be wind and rain and adverse circumstances that will come upon you and your own strength to press forward will not be enough. I learned that people cheering for you along the way are absolutely essential. I learned again that day that we are never alone.

As I watched her message again at the baptism, I looked around and saw 60 people. 60 of our family and my friends who had come (some of them driving for hours through bad winter conditions) because they care about Buster. But in doing so I felt them supporting, cheering me on as well. And I wasn’t alone.

IMG_5088Monday afternoon it became clear that the babies needed to get out of the house and so did I. We made two stops for groceries. Pushing a double car seat stroller through isles of a grocery store feels a lot like trying to steer a too long kayak through the strong current of a slow river of gravy. Not much more difficult though than trying to navigate though the slow gravy that my mind has become. The twins always enjoy celebrity status and with so many new things to see and people to talk to they quieted for the first time in hours. One of the ladies who stopped to talk didn’t come to admire the babies. She stopped to talk to me. She said words that in that moment were exactly the words I needed to hear, right in the very most tired and worn out part of my soul. “I can only imagine, and I can tell you’re doing a great job.”  As if to say “keep Going Utah! Don’t Cry Utah!”

When we got home and the babies were crying again I realized that I hadn’t picked up any of the groceries from the first store. I just left them sitting there. But instead of my usual internal dialogue I heard my parking lot cheerleader “I can only imagine…you’re doing great”. Instead of wondering why I so clearly can’t even handle the most basic of tasks like picking up the box of groceries I just paid for, I felt like it was a mistake anyone who is a bit overtired and has her hands a bit too full might make.

While on Grocery trip 2.0, Squidge fell asleep and left me with a few minutes of much needed 1:1 play time with this guy.

IMG_5098              IMG_5093

Having people to cheer you on along are way really are essential. Nothing had changed really (except my fridge full of well earned fresh produce!) but having people to cheer for me when I wasn’t sure how I would take one more step changed how it all felt. And that changed everything. And I wasn’t alone.

Who are your best Cheerleaders? Who are you cheering for?

No recipe this time. Its February. The view from my front window looks like this. Pretty darn Grey.

IMG_5013Dar Williams, one of my favorite singer/songwriters has a song called February.

First we forgot where we’d planted those bulbs last year
And then we forgot that we’d planted at all
Then we forgot what plants are altogether
And I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting
And the nights were long and cold and scary, can we live through February?

…I have lost to February

She gets it. I get it. To break away from the February greys blues I tried making the perfect lemon zucchini loaf. Trying to fit just the right amount of yellow citrus sunshine into my baking, and 3 loaves later I learned that I’m not very good at loaves. And I learned that I like lemon and I love zucchini but I don’t actually like lemon and zucchini together. So, Share with me your favorite way to use lemon. I’d love to try some new ideas.