Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dear Julia

Dear Julia,

Today is October 23. You've been gone one whole month now. It's Thursday, our favorite day. Remember how people thought we were so weird for loving Thursday? But what's not to love... it's the same in life as it was in school. You're past all the hard crap and have nothing but the freedom of the weekend to look forward to. And the disappointment of Friday night passing with no excitement hasn't hit yet... It's all just unfulfilled possibility. Thursday, the best day of the week. So obvious.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

LP 14

I always love Lake Powell, but for some reason this year was better than ever. Maybe it was because for the first time in hmmm, ever, I wasn't pregnant or nursing a baby. LP is just wayyyy better when you don't have to worry about things like babies crawling off the houseboat, or swollen ankles and heartburn.

It was also special because I got to bring my little Abby Lou Who. We usually don't take kids until they are 8 (besides the nursing babes, obvi) but due to an unfortunate accident on the 4th of July, my sweet mother-in-law wasn't able to watch my 3 younger kids like we had planned (she is doing much better now, by the way, but it was really scary!!). My sister in law took over babysitting duties because she is the nicest person on the planet, so I was still able to go, but I decided to take the Abs with me even though she is a little shy of the usual deadline.
I'm so glad she was able to come. She has always been intimidated by water and I was worried she would be my little attachment the whole trip and also have a hard time with the heat. Instead, she loved it! We were lucky to park the houseboat in a spot where there was plenty of shallow water and a beachy area so she was free to float around as much as she wanted. It was great to see her overcome her fears and truly enjoy something that has always frightened her.
I never would have thought Abby would even consider putting her face in the water so I was shocked when Jason gave her a little snorkeling lesson, and she fell in love with it! She spent the rest of the trip pretty much under the water. It's a good thing for kids to have dads. They give kids a lot more credit than moms do sometimes.

Abby can be really reserved. I loved seeing my family members, especially the in laws, interact with her and make her feel comfortable and special. Her Uncle James was so nice to her and it was the cutest thing to watch her confidence grow as she became his little buddy.
It melts my heart to see my mom with Abby. My kids are blessed with incredible grandparents. Someday they will realize how lucky they are!

Another great part of the trip was seeing Luke in this hat. My mom bought it for my dad, who refused to wear it. I told Luke he wouldn't have to wear sunscreen on his face if he would wear the hat, and it was pretty much glued to his head for the rest of the trip.
He became quite the little fisherman in this kayak. It was adorable. Jason even helped him rig up an anchor so he could fish without floating away. 
However, he also loved to fish from shore and it was not uncommon to look out the window and see what appeared to be The Hat floating through the water, fishing on its own, as he traveled from bank to bank. 
He caught a lot of fish all by himself and couldn't have been prouder.
He and Dallin loved having their cousin Katelyn there for part of the time. She is a good sport and goes along with all the boys' crazy ideas. Including bow fishing.
I mean, bow fishing? Does it get any more redneck? Don't get me started.
Jason was in heaven with his own fishing boat this year. In previous years he has either had a piece of junk boat that kept dying or else he fished off the jet skis, which isn't easy. Each morning he was up before dawn, ready to track down the latest school of striped bass, or small mouth bass or catfish or walleye or whatever. He took everyone on multiple fishing trips and kept things exciting. 

The official fish count of the trip was 130.  That's a lotta fishies.

This was my first time hiking to the arch. I'm always amazed at the beauty of Lake Powell!

Jason took the girls on a special fishing trip. We had fun harassing him and making him regret his decision to take us.

Thanks, Dad, for the best LP trip ever. I don't think I can wait a whole year to go back. I'm going to propose Christmas at Lake Powell this year. Who's with me?

Friday, February 21, 2014

PB2 I love you

If I did Friday Favorites on this blog, which I don't, today would totally be about PB2. I've just been thinking about PB2 all day long. How much I love it, how I can't live without it, when I'm going to eat it next... If you have not had the pleasure of meeting my friend, powdered peanut butter, allow myself to introduce... myself. I mean you, to PB2.

Here she is, folks. The ultimate healthy substitution for peanut butter. I wouldn't say I am the biggest peanut butter fan in the world, maybe in the top hundred thousand out of 5 billion people in the world, so that's a pretty big fan, but not like the BIGGEST fan. I love peanut butter, just not in stuff like brownies and cookies. That is what chocolate is for. But I love myself a PB&J, or PB on toast or celery or on a knife straight out of the jar... But the fat, my friends, the fat. I just can't make myself eat straight up hardcore peanut butter most of the time.

Enter PB2. I know it sounds strange, but it is dehydrated peanuts. And you just add water. To the desired consistency. You can have it thick, you can have it runny, you can dip a banana straight in the jar if no one is around. The possibilities are endless, really. But first I think you need to have the facts.

A 2 tablespoon serving of regular peanut butter runs about 200 calories and has 16 grams of fat (according to my jar of Kirkland brand Natural Peanut Butter). That's... a lot. For 2 tablespoons of anything.

BUT, a 2 tablespoon serving of PB2 has only 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. And that is the straight powder, before it is rehydrated. How awesome is that? I know, SO awesome. You could eat what, like 7 cups of it before you approached the equivalent 2 tablespoons of the hard stuff.

One of my favorite things to do with PB2 is add a tablespoon to my green smoothie in the morning. Honestly, people, I don't know how you choke those things down without PB2. Just a tablespoon only contributes 27 1/2 calories (if we're being technical) and gives a smoothie such a great flavor. Not a peanut butter shake flavor or anything, it just kind of kills that spinach and kale business that is going on in a green smoothie. In my opinion the only other way to tone down a green smoothie is with tons of fruit and I don't want tons of fruit in it. I want to eat fruit all day long, I don't need ten extra servings in my smoothie. A half a banana, yes. Maybe a few chunks of frozen pineapple or mango, sure. But cups and cups of strawberries or blueberries or what have you, I'd rather enjoy noshing them around with my teeth in the mid afternoon noshing hour. PB2 just adds to a smoothie, trust me. When I used to drink protein shakes (which I don't anymore, and here's why), adding PB2 was the only way I could manage drinking those beasts. It's just such a fun and useful product. You have to trust me on this.

Now the heavens have opened up and there is also chocolate PB2 available. It's amazing, obvi, but I am still heavily attached to the original as well. Here's a little visual of the chocolate so you don't have to overtax your imagination.

So where do you get PB2? Well, you can go straight to the Bell Plantation web site. Or Amazon, like I usually do. I've seen it at a few Smith's here and there, and my sister swears she saw it recently at good old Wal Mart. She's the new face for Lime Ricki Swimsuits, so even if she's wrong, no one can be mad at her for long because she's just so dang cute. See:

That's my sister.

She's adorable. You can't be mad at her for something as dumb as peanut butter.

I swear, I am sounding more like an infomercial the more I get into this. I'm not getting paid by PB2 or Lime Ricky to say any of this! In fact, I can't remember the last time I was paid to do anything. I just love PB2 and I want you to know about it. So there you go. Now you know.

Now go get yourself a little jar of it and report back to me. And excuse my little Austin Powers reference in the first paragraph. I don't endorse him either. I swear!