Sunday, August 11, 2013

Energy is for the birds.

I survived the first week of season. It's getting easier and easier with the years that come. It's been a hectic week where I've spent more time off the court than on, but the on-the-court moments have reminded me why I keep coming back for more. Practices were smooth, my players looked calm, and the talent gives me goosebumps. There were hiccups of course, but that's the name of the coaching game: flexibility. The more I remind myself of that, the more calm I tend to be. I'm glad to get to this second week where things start to "slow down" (quotation marks are necessary because in the real world, it's not slow and school starting is coming sooner than later). I'm just glad to spend more energy on the court aspect of my job.

Speaking of energy, I had a player on my club team last season who made these no no-bake energy balls. I always wanted to try them, but knowing she made them with her hands freaked out the severe inner germ freak in me (and if you know me, this isn't surprising).

I just made some and had a taste... delish. Can't wait to use them for energy this week.

Ingredients
·         1 cup (dry) oatmeal (old-fashioned oats)
·         1 cup toasted coconut flakes
·         1/2 cup chocolate chips
·         1/2 cup peanut butter
·         1/2 cup ground flax seed
·         1/3 cup honey
·         1 tsp. vanilla
Method:
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Serene Sundays.

I have a cool story...My husband has been out of town since last week with one day home. I've  missed  him.  He was in Baltimore because he gave 2 liters of bone marrow to his brother. So cool. I wish so bad I could've been there, but work did not permit that. So he flew up there and met his mother (thank God she was there!) and gave a record-breaking amount of marrow. Now we wait for the next 30 days to see if Ben's body will accept it with the goal of keeping that dang Leukemia gone for good! So keep praying for God's providence to that plan. He got home an hour ago and has been sleeping since. He's exhausted and he starts back at work for football tomorrow. I was reminded why I would never make it in the medical field when I had to bandage where they took the marrow from (his lower back). It was bruised and the punctures were so big that I felt myself feeling nauseous. I'll stick with teaching. :)

While he was asleep, I'd thought I'd make and bake. I mean, starting tomorrow, I will face the 2013 volleyball season. To those who aren't high school coaches, there is always that lack of understanding that brings the look of, "So what?". But basically, we're (other Tx vball head coaches) all about to face a stressful and rewarding 3 months....long practices, goose-bump wins, heart-wrenching losses, lesson learning (by athlete and coach), patience tests, reminders of the good in humanity, the witnessing of teenage harrowing acts of picking others up, teamwork, yelling, parent complaints, parent praises, frustrated players, content players, laughable moments of being reminded that being a coach is all about flexibility, emails, phone calls, ordering, tournaments, hoarse voices, happy hearts, heavy hearts, sore feet, sore arms, good drills, drills that die, the loss of 10 lbs that comes with the chaos, helpful co-workers and more.. and then leading into the new school year where teaching in our classrooms will be the "other" part of our jobs (which brings a whole list of other factors we'll face...good and bad). Either way, it's a career that I'm so grateful to have. I could not be doing anything else with my life and through the challenges that it often brings, I'm grateful to God for choosing me to be in my position. And on this Sunday I have a need for serenity on the eve of the unknowns of what this season will bring. Oh and the need for a good sturdy prayer before I go to sleep for God to prepare me for what's to come...which is why I call this serenity..for now. :)

Ok so I got off on a tangent. This is definitely the time of year where reflection is rampant through my busy mind. So I made and baked today because as usual it brings a strange sense of peace. Maybe because I have full control over what's going on in the kitchen when I'm making food. Although, the countess recipes gone wrong or "interesting" ways some of my intentions of turned out show quite the opposite; I can't run from the fact that we are truly never in control. :) So I made muffins, streusal blueberry and banana nut, for my coaches/student assistants tomorrow morning...


Then I made this pasta salad that I kind of thought of at the last minute. It's not ground breaking so I'm sure someone else has made something similar before.
Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Spiral Noodles
Spinach
Cherry Tomatoes
Salt/Pepper
Ground Mustard
Basil
Parmesan Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Directions
1. Boil water and then put noodles in. Cook for 10 mins
2. Saute spinach and cheery tomatoes (cut in halves) in olive oil (I just poured for 2 seconds, no measuring)
3. After noodles are done and drained, stick in bowl with spinach/tomatoes... mix
4. Mix in balsamic vinaigrette until desired flavor. I poured dressing into noodle mix twice to achieve the faint taste of the flavor.
5. Then add seasonings below.
6. Last, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and mix. Repeat.
 

Note to self: don't take pictures when it's steaming hot.

Bon Appetite'! And I'll be back after season. Maybe if I get bored on a weekend after tournament season, I'll be searching for the serenity that I feel today. Wait, that's probably a gaurantee... :)