Change, evolve, transform

Change. Transformation. 2 words that are both totally overused and also totally sum up so much of life. So many songs written about it, so many ways to describe it- and don’t get me started on how many businesses are doing “transformation” programs.

But what is it really?

Cooking is transformation. Growing up is transformation. Living is transformation. Everything is constantly changing so how can we point to one single experience or event or project as more important than the rest. What is transformative vs what is just life?

We can’t really, but at the same time, I can look back on the last few months and say I’m a different person than I was 12 months ago. Not fundamentally different but different. Different priorities, different habits, different goals, different outlook.

2019 has been a year filled with change. But it’s not change just for changes sake- it’s change moving toward a goal- so many that makes it a transformative year or maybe we’re just having transformative experiences. Or maybe there have just been so many changes that everything feels a bit different.

We bought a house- we’ve made some minor changes to the house and to our lifestyle but it hasn’t been a transformation.

In buying a house, we left the neighborhood we spent almost 9 years living in- and moved 15 minutes away. Again, far enough away to change habits but not far enough away to disrupt our lives dramatically.

In changing neighborhoods, we’ve had to change how we get to work, where we eat, when we shop- not really but we lost our corner shop where we could pick up milk and miscellaneous forgotten items.

One of us has a new job but it was a promotion not a radical change of career.

We’ve changed lots of habits and lots of routines because of our new location, but that’s just being practical and doing what makes sense logistically.

We’ve watched our baby change into a big boy before our very eyes. But he’s not transformed, he’s evolving and growing. He’s a talker, a swimmer, an independent 2 1/2 year old with his own ideas.

There are more changes ahead of us, more steps towards the next part of our lives. The Runner and I are less than 12 months away from turning 40- and it feels like we’re evolving and changing too.

In the past year, I’ve read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar quite a few things. It strikes me how this very basic and very simple book aimed at infants teaches such a powerful lesson about change and about transformation. I won’t ruin it for you if you can’t remember the end- but the short version is that the caterpillar eats and eats (healthy food during the week and junk food on the weekend- much like most people I know) and at the end is transformed into a butterfly.

I feel like this is that year for me- one of changing and transforming into a butterfly. It’s been a slow process but I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. More than likely it’s an oncoming train because change never stops- or as my grandmother so eloquently used to say, “life is a process of change”. Life isn’t just that though, life is transformation. Day by day, step by step.

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Exciting Times….

There are exciting times in the He Runs, I Cook household in between watching Sesame Street and the everyday juggle of life, we’re actually doing some interesting things– sort of.

For starters, MiniMe is nearly 2. He’s only 22 months to be exact but I’ve finally reached the point of motherhood where I know longer know exactly how old my child is. The first few months, I could tell you that he was precisely 9 weeks, 4 days and 37 minutes, then it was 8 1/2 months, now we’re starting to round up to years. I’m sure if you asked my mother right now, she would say that I’m somewhere in my 30s- because to be honest, even I can’t remember my exact age sometimes.

 

So MiniMe has gone from being a baby to being a walking and talking human being with his own personality, preferences and priorities which is super cute and fun- until they clash with the preferences and priorities of others in his orbit. But we’re coping well- his favorite words are bus and car and he’s fascinated by anything that has wheels or an engine (especially buses and cars). He knows his colors, can count to two and is generally a pretty cool kid.

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The second exciting thing that’s happening is I’m combining my job (IT recruitment) with my passion (gender equality) and organizing and hosting an event at work called Women Leading IT. I’m super excited about it, my company is super excited about it and we’ve had a great response from the female IT community- with over 100 women registered. I’m really thrilled because it’s been a huge lesson for me in terms of speaking up and agitating and advocating for change at work. I kept opening my mouth and asking why we’re not doing more and voila- here we are doing more! And my we, I mean mostly me and my co-organizer, but it is being paid for and sponsored by our company so it is very exciting! You can read more about the event here.

As you can see, I’m MC-ing the event- also a new challenge for me, fingers crossed I don’t freeze and just stare at the audience for 5 minutes!

The third, and possibly most exciting thing that’s happening is that I’ve found the perfect muffin!

Yes, that’s right!  I told you it was exciting times.  They are apple and carrot gluten free and sugar free and actually quite delicious. They’re relatively healthy- although I added chocolate chips and raisins- so I don’t feel bad about feeding them to MiniMe for breakfast, snack and even after dinner- not three in the same day obviously—- well, not obviously but don’t judge me! I found them on the Cookie and Kate website- they call them superhero muffins. And they’re 100% right! Amazing! Great to grab and go in the morning to eat on the bus when we’re running late and they have hidden fruit and veggies in them which is great for a toddler that won’t eat a vegetable other than potato and pumpkin. They come from a cookbook called Run Fast.  Cook Fast.  Eat Slow.  It is written by an elite marathon runner, Shalane Flanagan,  which I ordered as soon as I tasted the muffin.  Healthy Treats for MiniMe and The Runner; a new cookbook for me- So, all in all, a win!

Like I said, exciting times in our house!

He’s a natural!

Not to brag, but I’m pretty sure T-Money aka Baby Runner/Mini-Cook is a natural born culinary genius. Ok, like most Mothers I am exaggerating just a little, but I am really surprised and proud of his cooking skills. Namely, he didn’t thrown anything in the batter and actually stood on his stool throughout the whole process and was even a bit sad when it was over.

This morning we made Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread- both a nod to my Grandmother and an easy thing to take to a potluck 1st birthday party, and an easy thing to freeze in case someone oversleeps and we miss the party.

Mini-Cook has always been fascinated by things that make noise, especially in the kitchen, so when he heard the food processor start up, he ran in like a flash! He was very good at pushing the button to make it stop and go and stop and go and stop and go. He likes pushing buttons- a lot. When it came time to beat the eggs, he helped with that too. He watched me crack two eggs and then helped with the third by throwing it into the bowl- unconventional but effective!

Egg is one of the 5 or so words he clearly says- along with more, Dada, Duduh (for Duggee, his favorite cartoon), Mama, up, and his personal favorite- buh-bye. His buh-byes actually vary in tone depending on whether he wants to go, is actually going or wants you to go- sometimes there is a wave and a kiss, other times just a stare and an increasingly insistent bye.

He helped the mixing process by operating the stand mixer and also supervised the filling of loaf pans. For a 17 month old, he did pretty well as you can tell by the look of concentration on his face!

It was also really fun for me watching him participate in something I love. He was curious and helpful but most of all he enjoyed it so it won’t be the last weekend cooking project we undertake together! We haven’t tasted the finished product yet, but no matter what it tastes like, we’ll definitely be back in the kitchen together soon!

Happy Mother’s Day!

A big shout out to all the Amazing Moms, Grandmothers and all the Children with amazing Moms and Grandmothers. I hope you’re spending the day with the Amazing women in your life either in person or in spirit! We’re blessed in the He Runs, I Cook household to have wonderful mothers and grandmothers who we love and cherish every day!!