Lauri Mackey

I’m a Crazy Vegan! Are You a Crazy Vegan, too?

Vegans run the gamut from strictly raw, only eating eggs or fish oil supplements, SOS-free (salt, oil, sugar), paleo-type vegans to those who do this crazy vegan thing for health, the planet, or the love and welfare of animals.  There is so much debate out there on what the right thing is from the science to the popularity.  And there is so much shaming going on!!

The vegan who is earth-loving, tree-hugging, no-leather, won’t eat at a restaurant that even serves meat, never drinks from a plastic bottle…you get the idea who is shaming the vegan who is trying to just go meatless on Meatless Mondays.  Today’s blog is to declare my stance on veganism from what I eat to what I wear and tell you that wherever you are in your journey, you are loved and you should be proud of the steps you take daily to do the best you can by you and your family, period.

I did not become vegan to save the planet or rescue animals…at first.  I was in it for purely selfish reasons…I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself.  Looking back, it was a small step by small step journey.  It started with cutting our red meat and pork.  I then learned that chicken was just as bad or even worse so it was back to being a vegetarian which I had dabbled in before coming pregnant with my last child a million and a half years ago.

Vegetarian was pretty easy.  I was what they called lacto-ovo-vegetarian.  I didn’t miss the meat a bit, but I was still eating dairy products and using eggs.  It wasn’t until I read Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive that I began to believe that it was possible to eat only plants and do what the book suggested…THRIVE!  I’ve told this story before and remember lying in bed reading and leaning over to my husband and saying, “I think I need to do this” and him replying, “I don’t think I can go there with you” and I couldn’t blame him!

The thought of going vegan was scary!  I could cook and I mean COOK!  Chicken-fried steak with incredible gravy, white chocolate cheesecake with macadamia nuts and a pastry crust, key lime pie, quiche, pancakes…you name it!  I later learned that this was the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and it was killing us and most of the US population at large. What would I feed my family?  How would I cook without dairy and eggs?

But Brendan Brazier wasn’t just an ordinary Joe like you or me, he was a professional Ironman Triathlete who was quite literally THRIVING on a plant-based diet without any animal products whatsoever.  I continued to learn and found Scott Jurek, author of Eat & Run who was thriving on a plant-based diet and running ultra-marathons and 24-hour races – crazy!  If those men could do it with the expectations they had on their bodies, I could most definitely do it!

The research began.  Trust me when I say that I flubbed up A LOT!  Some nights were disastrous and some were big hits, but I kept plugging away and never looked back.  That was 5 years ago.  I’ve learned a lot since then!  I was certified in The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and started teaching vegan cooking classes along with the science to back it up.  I received a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from eCornell University, and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.

I have taken classes from Chef AJ and began a Facebook page called VeganMormon that has almost 1000 followers that get posts from me daily.  I joke that I should have named it VeganMormonRepublican because then I could offend just about everyone.  Let’s face it…when it comes to conversations that ignite a defense mechanism almost immediately…let it start around food, religion, or politics!  Right??

My actual diet has been refined and after speaking with leading experts in the field of nutrition realize that I am not alone.  We are all constantly changing our minds on what we want to tweak next, but I do stand behind ZERO animal products.  My diet is pretty simple these days.  Delicious, but simple.  No oil, no sugar, no processed food of any kind.  I limit my flour to almost nothing to help with brain fog and my hypothyroidism.  I just eat food…real food.  Rice, potatoes, beans, greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, avocadoes, seeds…all amazing and wonderfully yummy foods.

Since becoming vegan I have watched powerfully moving films and documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and What the Health?  I have subscribed to nutritionfacts.org with Dr. Michael Greger (even had the pleasure of speaking with him at a conference here in California..he is awesome!) and continue to read books and articles that will help not only me, but my audience on their journey.  Try out the 21-Day Kickstart program with PCRM – uh-mazing!

I don’t buy leather products, but I didn’t throw out what I already owned because that just seemed silly to me.  I know there are those out there that will judge me for that, but that’s on you.  I don’t buy down pillows because I have seen how the down is “collected” and it’s gruesome.  I don’t buy anything wool because despite what you may think about it not harming the sheep…guess what?  It does.

I am not perfect as I still buy plastic containers or water bottles sometimes, but by me not eating meat or animal products I truly feel like a super-hero and that I’m saving the planet!  Not to mention, saving a crazy amount of water!  Where I was once vegan for purely selfish reasons, I am now out to save the world!  By not consuming anything from an animal, I am more healthy for sure, I am not harming any animals, and I am quite literally helping to save our dear planet earth.  Will you join me?

Wherever you are on  your journey, I encourage you to soldier on.  Keep up the good work and know that you have a safe place here to talk about it.  If you are further along in your journey, DO NOT SHAME OTHERS because of where they are on their journey.  Only reach out to help them with love, compassion, and kindness.  If I had been shamed by others in the beginning there is no way I would have made it this far.  Be encouraging.  Be loving.  Be careful with your words.  Do your best and then help others to do their best.

Have questions for me about my vegan journey?  Send me a message and I would be happy to answer, but please be kind!  Bringing others down is not my goal and I don’t want to fight about it.  You’re either in and curious, or you’re not and you stay silent. Don’t argue for argues sake.  I will answer any questions that are respectful, curious, and can be helpful.  Good luck wherever you find yourself on this crazy vegan path!!

Are you stuck in traffic?

Are you stuck in traffic?

I’m writing today’s blog from the back seat of my awesome Xterra that’s wrapped in Lauri’s Lemonade Stand advertising and on our way to the Sea Otter Bicycle Classic in Monterey, CA.  (If you read last week’s blog you can see how much I LOVE CYCLING!)  My hubby is driving and our friend Mitch is tagging along from our infamous Brew Crew that rides mountain bikes every Thursday afternoon and we are stuck in Santa Barbara traffic – it’s something we’ve learned to just count on and figure into our driving time with every trip through this area.

And there’s the hook for this week’s blog 🙂  Traffic in the form of delays, setbacks, brake lights as far as the eye can see, even some serious accidents.  Accidents that can cause bumps, bruises, or even death.  You can relate to that, right?

Sometimes there are short delays and we just get off course a bit.  We went a little off our budget and need to re-adjust the next month to make up for our over-spending.  We spoke harshly to a loved one and need to make amends.  Some delays are much longer – you’re delayed for an incredibly long time – I’ve even had moments where they’ve shut down the freeway and we’ve been sitting for hours!

Examples of Life Traffic Delays

In life, the delay can be months or even years.  In my life, a great example is me not graduating high school as a teenager and then graduating as an adult in 2012!  (Hey, don’t judge…when I got my diploma I felt like Super Woman and it has propelled me into awesome, amazing things these last 5 years!)

Graduating high school was not only a delay, but felt like I was looking at miles of brake lights and that it would never end.  I never felt like I missed out of anything by missing prom and only slightly sad that I didn’t become a huge basketball star, but not getting my diploma really stuck with me throughout my life.  But when it was finally a time where it could be corrected, a time where I could focus on it, when it became a priority…I did it!

Delays are Inevitable

One of the things I’ve learned throughout my life is that delays are inevitable, period.  Small ones, medium ones, big ones and everything in between.  You know what else I’ve learned?  There is ALWAYS an end to the delay (setback).  Even when it is something as drastic as a death in the family…time heals and we live on.

If I asked you right now what your current delay was, what would you say?  This is usually a no-brainer – you think of it immediately as soon as I pose the question.  Is it a small delay?  Is it one with brake lights as far as the eye can see?  How do you feel when I ask the question of what your delay is?  Is it something like how you feel in actual traffic?  Anxiety, frustration, stress, maybe a few added curse words to boot?  Or if it’s the long delay with miles of brake lights – it may just be a feeling of depression and sadness that you just can’t shake as you’ve accepted the fact that you’re going to be stuck for awhile.  Either way, there is hope and it will end.

Don’t Give Up

Gordon B Hinckley has a saying that says, “Don’t worry, it will work out.  Things will work out.”  I know that it is hardest to see the end of a delay when you’re in the middle of it.  But I want to re-iterate the resounding word of  Gordon and say that it WILL WORK OUT.  Our delays can be used as learning tools if you let them.  The old cliche’ says there is always a silver lining and I believe that’s true.  Whenever I have come through a struggle or delay, my 20/20 hindsight vision ALWAYS sees that it made me a better person when it was over.

Where Are You Now?

You are in one of three places right now.  1 – You are in the middle of a delay right now.  If this is you, what is your attitude?  Can you find something positive about your situation?  Is there something you can be grateful for right now?  2 – You can see the end, but you’re not there yet.  Hang in there!  You’re almost there!  Start really thinking about the lessons you’ve learned and how you will come into your next delay – can you change something now that will help you better handle your delay next time?  DELAYS ARE INEVITABLE…but how we handle those delays are a testament of what we were and are willing to learn from them.  3 – You’ve made it through the delay – you’re done!  You’re out!  Gear up – because your next delay is coming.  Celebrate your wins, reflect on your lessons learned and take a moment – maybe even in meditation – to contemplate how you’ve grown and what you can do better next time.

You Are Loved

Wherever you are in your journey, please know that you are loved – right here, right now – just how you are.  Please also consider that you never know what other people are going through.  Be kind in your gestures and words to others.  You might make a difference in someone else’s life just because you chose to smile instead of grit your teeth.  Here at Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, you are in a safe place to be loved, feel love, and share love.  If you need love, please reach out.  If you are full of love right now, share it with others.  If you are part of this community – you are already receiving and sharing love.  Spread it, take it…whatever you need.  We are here for you!

The Boring Bliss of Routine

“Life is busy.”  It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”.  Is  your response different?  A “fine, how are you?” perhaps?  I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”.  And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.

Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha!  I can honestly answer that my life has been busy.  You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week.  Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window.  Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of time available.

After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring.  Not bad boring, but routine boring.  The same old things week after week.  The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work.  Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it!  And then I remember my younger adult self.  Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage.  When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.

I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings.  I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils.  I love writing my morning pages, saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes.  I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the weekly blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Bookworm Report every Tuesday (See the latest one HERE).  I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch documentaries on Monday nights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…I highly recommend it!).

In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine.  I absolutely love it.  I love the busy moments and the quiet moments.  I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new.  I love the boring bliss of my routine!  The next time someone asks “how are you?” what will you say?

Holiatry (hoh lee a tree)

Holiatry (hoh lee a tree) or holism or wholism is engenders the case of the ENTIRE patient from all aspects including social, psychological, and physical.  Basically, our insides, our outsides, and then how our little person that we created (us) shows up in the world.  Let’s start by defining each of these three subjects, shall we?

Let’s start with physical because that is the easiest to define.  It has everything to do with nourishment and movement.  Basically, diet and exercise…but that sounds boring, right?  I like nourishment and movement much better.  Nourishment is anything you stick in your mouth, breathe in, or otherwise put on your skin.  I believe that a whole food, plant-based diet is the best not only for our physical well-being and it makes me feel like a super-hero, but it also makes me a hero in saving animals and saving the planet.  In other words, I’m out to save the world!  Choosing to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet truly makes me feel like a superhero!  Movement is defined differently for all of us.  Mine is a bit on the aggressive side, but not as aggressive as kickboxers and the martial arts!  Who knows?  Maybe someday…but in the meantime I am a mountain bike enthusiast, a dabbler in running and spend a couple of short bursts in the gym and doing yoga.  What do you do?  It’s different for everyone and THERE IS NO WRONG WAY!  Are you a walker, hiker, swimmer, surfer, cyclist, skier?  I don’t care what it is…dance!  But do something in the movement department!

Next comes psychological which to me sounds much more pleasant when you think of it as your mind and spirit.  Your mind because of knowledge…any kind of knowledge.  Formal education, life experiences, you name it.  Everything having to do with learning and as you saw from my last post, I am a student 4 life!  I don’t want to ever stop learning and becoming.  The other is our precious spirits.  You have a spiritual side of you whether you are in organized religion or not.  Who or what is your higher power?  I believe in God and those who know me or have been on my podcast know that, but I know we are not all in that cookie-cutter life.  Whatever your religious practice…embrace it!  Live it! Love it!  Spirit also includes things like meditation, self-care, your soul, spending time with yourself to learn of your greatest desires.  Sometimes your spiritual self just wants to let go and have some fun!  Let yourself have recess!

That brings us to our third and last part of our whole – Social.  Once you have yourself on a pretty even keel of physical and psychological, it’s time to share your love, knowledge, and service with the world!  It’s time to show up in your companionships and relationships outside of yourself.  A little bit of you given away creates lasting impressions and forges friendships that can change you for the better (or sometimes for the worst)…either way, they are learning experiences to teach you more about yourself and how to be a healthy contributor to your relationships.  How do you show up in the world?

At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, we are embarking on a journey to explore these three aspects of holiatry and how I can help you in the discovery of self and charging up to that next chapter of our lives with conviction and truth, confidence and love, and kick some serious ass!  Bring it on!  We’ll be ready!

Student 4 Life

Are we there yet?  One of the things I talk about is not believing in Happy Endings.  I don’t believe in happy endings.  While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking.

First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all.  All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point.  It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending.  Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background.  Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle.

Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending.  I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now.  If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point?  This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might not ever come.

Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving.  I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending.  I don’t want to ask the question, “are we there yet?” because I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination.  Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement.  He wants to enjoy life in the here and now.  I like that idea.

If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?  TODAY!!  If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point?  There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about.

Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life.  I always want to be striving for and learning new things.  I want to be in a constant state of becoming.  At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.  I want to add more color to my wings.

Goal Posts 4 of 4 for 2017

 

Accountability

Hello, Lemonader’s!  

This is the last post of my Goal Post Series for January.  I’ve liked having a theme forthe month.  Do you?  If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!

The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability.  This is a new one for me this year, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life.  At the end of my list of Promises for 2017 I added one more new category:  Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.

I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey.  I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like!).  I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals.  We meet via Skype every Tuesday.  I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other.  I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who?  Myself!  I was challenged by one of my podcast guests, Whitney Johnson to do 10 FREE Speeches during 2017 and I am sending pitches out to whomever will listen to get my message out there.  And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.

And guess what?  She is making me a gold star chart!  How cool is that?  She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not?  It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!

Goals are great.  Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished.  Goals that you have to report back to someone??  Over 90%, baby!  I’m adding this element to rock my Promises for 2017!

And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability.  Now get out there and get ‘er done!  I believe in you!

Goal Posts 3 of 4 for 2017

  • Bite Size Chunks
    • Now that you’ve Dreamed Big and had some time to Reflect, it’s time to set your actual goals for 2017.  This year I decided I wanted to make my goals more fun instead of stodgy.  I changed my goal title from Lauri’s Goals 2017 to Lauri’s Promises 2017.  I changed the Relationships category to Family Focus, Physical to Physical Well-being and Playtime, Financial to Abundant Wealth Prowess, Education to Cultivating Enlightenment, Spiritual to Soul Solutions.  I even added two new categories this year:  Creativity and my favorite?  Recess!
    • Not only am a adding in more fun this year, but I have two pages of promises and this might help you, too.  One set is a Promises Summary where it states my goals.  The second set (and this is where the bite-size chunks come in) breaks down those promises into actual action steps.  How will I accomplish my goals?  Let me share one with you so you get the idea.
    • Under my Recess Category I have a goal for a Weekly Date with guess who?  Me!  One my first set of Promises where it is a summary, it simply says, Weekly Dates with Myself.  On the second set I have it broken out to say that not only will I have a weekly date with myself, but I will alternate each week from an evening to a daytime date.  I have ideas written of a few dates I’ve done in the past and enjoyed and some I think might be fun.  Not all of my dates have been a hit, by the way.  Some felt as a downright waste of my time by the end, but consistency keeps me moving forward in the right direction so that I keep taking time for myself.  Last week I simply set a date to pull out all of my stamp collection, see how much they were worth right now and make a list of a couple of collections I’d like to complete and added it to my wishlist for friends and family for my birthday and Christmas (yes, I’m the OCD one when it comes to list and preparation…I always have a wishlist going! You should to!)
    • That means that now is time for the action step for you.  You’ve Dreamt Big, you’ve Reflected on past years goals that have and haven’t worked for you and where you are now.  You are ready to make your Promises, but more importantly, ready to break them down into “Bite-Size Chunks” so that you can actually see yourself accomplishing your goals.
    • Next week?  The last piece of the puzzle to help you accomplish your goals or promises in 2017 – Accountability.  I’ll tell you that I’ve never taken this step before until this year and what I’ve done to make it happen for me.
    • Please leave a comment below and share one of your promises for 2017.  I love hearing from you!

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
In a recent podcast interview with Laurie Blackwell (Episode 27), we talked the inside out and sideways of journal writing.  Upon finding out our mutual passion of the subject, Laurie created this amazing list that includes 25 different kinds of journals you could create.
Laurie also teaches online journaling classes at www.laurieblackwell.com.
Check out the podcast interview here.  Enjoy and get journaling!
25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
  1. A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
  2. Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
  3. Art :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
  4. Travel :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
  5. Pen-Pal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
  6. Grief :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
  7. Positivity :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
  8. Wish :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
  9. Dream :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
  10. Family :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
  11. Letters :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
  12. Book :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
  13. Bullet :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
  14. Relationship :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
  15. Wonderful Words ::  put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
  16. Poetry ::  write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
  17. A Place to Vent ::  All the stuff you’d like to get off your chest;  write it down here and when the journal is full, throw it away!
  18. Things I Never Want to Forget ::  memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
  19. My Favorites  ::  a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
  20. Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make
  21. Patterns :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
  22. Healthy Me ::  what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
  23. Doodles ::  a place to draw to your heart’s content
  24. Money ::  where you record all the money that comes into your life and how you spend it;  a pretty and concise way to watch your pennies
  25. Reflections ::  an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future;   this is a game-changer

The Mom Gear

The Mom Gear
Grand Baby Visit October 2016
“Can you watch the kids for a few days?”, my eldest daughter asks.  We have a wedding to go to and then I can get ready for Riley’s 4th birthday party.  I will bring them out to you (about a 3-hour drive) and then you can bring them back for the birthday party.  “Of course!”, I say, “That will be fun!”
Never mind that they had never stayed the night at my house without mommy before and that my youngest left at home is a Junior in high school.  Never mind that I’ve gotten used to actually sleeping through the night and have been spoiled about having most of my time as my own.  Never mind that I rarely change poopy diapers or have to keep “mimi’s”, “b-b’s”,  and “mina’s” definitions straight.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I absolutely adore my grand babies.  They are super cute, loaded with energy and say the funniest things I’ve ever heard.  They are fascinated by the littlest things, call big rocks volcanoes, know how to make my youngest dog do tricks on the walking bridge by our house, and save roly-poly’s by picking them up and putting them on trees.
They finish a huge breakfast eating waffles, bananas, strawberries, and some dry cold cereal to boot and walk away only to be back 15-20 minutes later telling me they are hungry. They dump the entire toy basket out and put it all back at least 5 times a day and that doesn’t count the other two where I put them away for them.
After two days I remembered what it was like to have the extra “mom gear”.  The Mom Gear is only available to moms of young children when they need it.  It’s like a super power that can only be called on when it’s needed.  It’s something akin to the mom’s having an extra pair of eyes in the back of their head.  It keeps you moving when you’ve been up several times a night to a child needing their “mina-mina” (which is a drink to my 2-year old grandson by the way), their “b-b” which is his pacifier, or his “mimi” which is his blanket that he can’t sleep without.
It’s the extra gear you find when you’ve already run 4 loads of laundry that day, but then you forgot to put the 4-year old in a diaper for her nap and she peed during her sleep so you have to do one more load and then scrub the bed.  It’s the extra gear that gives you patience when something you have owned for a very long time gets broken from curious little hands and makes you realize that the kids are far more important than whatever it was that broke.
I was ever so grateful that as a Gram who had not been in this situation for quite a long time that I still had my “Mom Gear” well intact somewhere in the depths my being.  Today, I am grateful to be in the stage of life that I’m in, but I am even more grateful to all of you mom’s like my oldest daughter who possess the “Mom Gear”.
You are incredible.  You are making a difference in this world with every smile, every load of laundry, ever meal prepared, every errand run, every time you’ve had to call on the strength of God for more patience.

Grandbabies

You young moms rock!  This is a shout-out to all of you, but a special shout out to my eldest daughter, Erica.  You are a beautiful, caring, loving mother.  I am so proud of how you are raising these beautiful grand babies of mine.  You matter.  You rock.  I love you, period.
Share pics of your babies/grandbabies  (mine are shown here) and tell us a little story about your “Mom Gear” in full force and effect!

Practice Smiling

Practice Smiling
     When I was interviewing Jo Ellen Soesbee for my podcast, she said something towards the end that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  She was driving along and happened to notice that she could see the driver in front of her in his side-view mirror and she thought, “Does that mean that others can see me in my side-view mirror?”
     Apparently, the gentleman in front of her did not look very happy.  In fact, he looked downright grumpy by all accounts.  That’s when Jo Ellen decided to practice smiling.  She didn’t want people to think that she was grumpy!
     This practice served her well when a client called and said, “I hired you because when I saw you in your truck, you were smiling.”  Wow!  Landing a job because you smiled while you were driving!
Jo Ellen has practiced smiling so much that on a recent girl’s weekend her friends accused her of even smiling in her sleep!  Now that’s some serious smile practicing if you ask me.  🙂
     I decided I would try it out and over this last week I’ve simply tried to smile while I was driving.  Honestly, I felt pretty silly at first and if I knew someone was close enough to see me I acted as if I was listening to some funny comedian on the radio and laughed out loud!
     While I am not perfect at this smiling while I’m driving thing, it has changed my attitude while I drive to be a little more polite and a little more understanding of others while they drive.
Smiling matters!!
Smile
     I will keep practicing, Jo Ellen!  To hear more on Jo Ellen Soesbee come on over to the podcast, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand on Apple Podcasts by following this link:  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast  I bet you won’t be disappointed!
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