Enjoy Every Single Moment—Megan Matt

Thursday marked my first Fall ride with Cycling Mamas. Twice a week I get to drop off the monkeys and ride my bike through the river valley with an amazing group of women.  As my hands froze and the sun shone in my eyes, I took in the beginnings of fall and was reminded of last spring and my first ever ride with these ladies.

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I’m a real Newbie when it comes to group riding. One of the things that makes this group so lovely is so many women in so many different times of life all coming together to support, encourage and socialize with one another while being active. But, used to being a lone rider (or runner or swimmer) there are many mornings after very little sleep that this introvert does not feel much like socializing or being supportive. My first Cycling Mamas ride was one of these and it’s how I found myself riding alone- the fastest riders a distance ahead and the fast-but-not-the-fastest riders a distance behind. It was lovely and I felt good and comfortable, riding at my own pace with my own thoughts, until there was a bend in the path. I lost sight of the leaders. It would have been fine except that on the other side of the bend was a fork- and being new to the group I wasn’t sure if I should take the left or the right. I chose right and by the time I realized it was wrong and cut to where I knew they were headed I was far enough behind that I’d lost the slower group too. My first group ride had turned solo.

It was an area I often ride and after reassuring myself in my head and then out loud that it wasn’t stupidity just inexperience, not flakiness, just unfamiliarity, not something to classify as a predictable socially awkward outcome for me, I continued on and had a great ride. And I was glad to be alone because I had a cold. A really bad cold. A cold that just went on and on and on.

I’d already stopped several times to blow my nose but it wasn’t long before I ran out of Kleenex and patience and so like the well seasoned cyclist I like to think I am, I plugged one nostril, looked over my shoulder and blew. But I had a cold. A head cold. A whole head full of mucous and goo and when I blew, that boogly goo didn’t fly into the the trees liked I’d planned. Instead it went on and on and on then hung in the air for a second before plastering itself all over my cheek, neck, shoulder and arm. I tried to wipe it off best I could but I’d already used all my Kleenex. Tired and coughing I made my way back to the church where we meet.

It was there, riding in alone that I saw David Dorward, our MLA at the time. It was just before the election and he was there in his suit. We chatted for a bit and then he politely asked what was on my shoulder. I looked down, then up and red faced, sheepishly replied that it was, in fact, snot.

His eyes widened and he said kindly “isn’t life with babies fun?” I chuckled in agreement. Yes, the babies, definitely the babies…

For all the things in my life that I blame on my own inadequacies- not staying on top of the mountains of laundry, being late so often, increasingly lack of conversational skills, low grade aphasia, poop on my shirt- things that are actually caused by two many babies wanting my attention- it’s nice, once in a while, although it has nothing to do with babies, to let them take the blame.

“Enjoy every single moment. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the inspiring, the not-so-glamourous moments. And thank God through it all” —Meghan Matt




Bananas. We have a fruit fly problem at our house and still I’m a sucker for sweet, over ripe 50% off over ripe bananas. These pancakes make great use of them, have the added nutrition of chia seeds and don’t need any added sugar. The babies will eat the left over for days.

Ginny’s Banana Pancakes

  • 1 Cup Flour (all purpose gluten free works)
  • 1Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk or non dairy alternative
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas. mashed
  1. Combine flour, chia, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, butter and bananas.
  2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; don’t worry if there are a few banana lumps.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop about a 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle, Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot. I like to simply add caramel yogurt to these.

banana pancakes

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“The Imperfect is Our Paradise” — Wallace Stevens

When Buster and the Lady were too little for school, I was lucky enough to teach aquafit at a pool with childcare. Twice a week I would drop them off for a little over an hour in the FunFactory with a tiny backpack of diapers and snacks while I yelled at motivated a very chatty group of women to a ramped up “itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini”.


One day after class, one of the staff remarked to me as she opened the door for Buster and handed over the Lady that I always packed such good food for my kids. And I really did try to pack good food, believing that GOOD mothers ALWAYS have muffins for their children. I’m not sure how these trinket success markers get placed so deeply within me. This one must stem from my own fantastic mother, my memory of how often we had muffins and my belief in a 6th love language-food.

Flash forward 5 years. Sometimes there are muffins but more often these days I am a granola bar and cheese string type mom. I was thinking of this recently when I took my small army swimming at that same pool. I packed my swim stuff and made sure the Lady and Buster packed theirs. I packed a snack for after- yogurts and apples and the muffins I’d made that morning. This is how I found myself, in my swimsuit, 2 kids ready to play, congratulating myself on being a good Mum because we were at the pool and there were muffins, only to realize I’d forgotten all the baby things at home.

After I’d begged two free but two very much too big swim diapers off of the sweet women at the front desk, we had a great time. It was the day the Lady perfected her cannonball. It was a day that Buster made huge progress on his Butterfly. This was the day Squidge decided he could lean off the edge of the pool and fall in on his own volition-a major victory for this, my first baby to not like the water. And Squdge was just happy to be there in the waves, in and out of his much too much too big diaper.


But the thing about forgetting the Baby bag is that I also forgot all the diapers. With a shrug I had to remind myself that Good mothers do bake muffins but sometimes they don’t. Good moms sometimes- almost always- pack diapers and sometimes they use their creative problem solving to pick through the trash and put old wet diapers back onto their babies until they get home. But Good Mamas do take their kids swimming, or for walks or to the park and they read stories and do crafts and smile when they are too tired to see straight.  Good Mothers are not made by the muffins baked but the memories made–as imperfect as those memories are… Delicious muffins do help though.

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It’s Zucchini season! I love zucchini season. I love having all the zucchini I want just outside my door. Zucchini noodles, zucchini grated and added to just about every sauce, hamburger and egg dish, grated and frozen for later, zucchini brownies and this sweet and moist muffin recipe.


ChocolateZinni Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour***
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 medium garden size)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup regular or mini chocolate chips

*** I prefer the gluten free version made with these changes:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • Bake for an extra 3-5 minutes.

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl add coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs mix until smooth and well combined. Stir in zucchini, applesauce, and milk

Add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

This batter will be thick and If you’re a person who likes to taste the batter, it won’t be very sweet. Don’t be concerned. When the zucchini cooks in and the chocolate chips melt they will be moist and sweet.

Evenly divide batter into prepared tins. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. After 5 minutes, remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes ~24 large muffins