Cereal: It’s What’s For Breakfast (Think Protein and Grains!)

Thirty-Five.

That’s how many days this family has until our routine quickens its pace from the lazy days of sunshine, pools, sunscreen and camps to school: early mornings, carpools, uniforms, backpacks and homework. I feel as though I have spent hours, days, WEEKS wishing for the moments I’m experiencing now. It is hard to imagine that time is flying by so quickly, and yet…..it is.

Soon, my no-longer-quite-so-small-people will need prodding from their beds, the encouragement it requires to tidy their rooms and get dressed and we’ll meet in the kitchen as we always have to prepare for their day.

And, as we so often do, as a traditional, long-time Kellogg’s family, we’ll be clinking spoons over a bowl of their favorite cereal, talking about what to expect for the day ahead, and naturally, planning the day’s school and sport’s schedule.

You and I both know so many families often reach for cereal for a number of reasons:

  • It’s quick and easy… the walk to the pantry and the fridge takes seconds.
  • The preparation of the meal by either me (mom), that guy who never misses the opportunity to join them for the start of their day (dad) or even their little hands is seamless and we never have to encourage them to eat.
  • It’s family tradition – I ate cereal growing up and so did my husband…it was with comfort that we began to share the same foods with our children.
  • It’s affordable

But nutrition matters, too. Making sure we are all fueled for the day is important.

I was recently in New York City with Kellogg’s, talking about just that: the benefits of cereal and milk and how they can provide us the grains and protein we need to start our day.

KelloggsRecharge_Opening

Kellogg’s hosted a pop-up Recharge Bar in the middle of the city for an entire week. Anyone….absolutely anyone…was free to wander in for breakfast, grab a bowl and choose any variety of their favorite Kellogg’s cereal, an extraordinary set of toppings – some traditional and some gourmet – and of course, milk.

KelloggsRecharge_Bar

The goal: Rethink Cereal.

For so long, we’ve reached for this staple without fully embracing the goodness behind it.  Here at the Recharge Bar, you were offered an incredible menu of options you have never tried before. (and of course many you know)

KelloggsRecharge_Menu.

Christina Tosi, the owner and founder and Milk Bar was the mastermind behind the recipes, but you could also create your own. There was an option to go gourmet: to add nuts, banana chips, raspberries, pistachios, thyme, and yes…even coffee grounds. It was, in a word….divine.

This bowl right here – the Berry Au Lait  - Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats®, Raspberries, Milk Bar Cereal Milk ™ and coffee grounds, was a favorite.

KelloggsRecharge_BerryAuLait

I was excited to have some time to sit down with Dr. Travis Stork, one of the spokespeople for this project. We talked initially about getting back to basics – how starting your day with breakfast is crucial….and then about the importance of the grains in cereal that help us recharge in the morning, combined with the protein in milk that helps us to refuel.

KelloggsRecharge_TravisStork.

You and I both know we can certainly make choices that make cereal and milk the sweeter treat that was reserved for Saturday mornings in my childhood, but we can also opt for for a strong and healthy start by making a few simple decisions:

  • Add fruit – bananas, raspberries, blueberries, or apples
  • Spice it up: Cinnamon, Nutmeg
  • Go for the Grains: Read the labels and include cereal in your morning that include whole grains
  • Remember the Protein: Milk is an important part of the equation

This is a peek inside the Recharge Bar and a few minutes of a highlight performance from a group that I adore, The Roots singing the Kellogg’s Cereal and Milk Jingle with some students from the Philadelphia High School for Creative & Performing Arts. For a fuller version of their performance – you can hop over here

One of the things that I loved the most about the Recharge Bar was the way it encouraged us to Rethink Cereal. The special cereal combinations challenged our palates…we’re so used to pouring a bowl of cereal, possibly adding a little fruit, pouring milk and calling it breakfast. I smile just remembering the taste of my favorite of Christina’s recipes - the Pistachio Lemon. It combined Kellogg’s Special K®, Frosted Flakes®, pistachios, lemon zest and thyme. It was delicious.

KelloggsRecharge_PistachioLemon2

I’m excited to say I’m duplicating this Recharge experience here in my home for Back-to-School in just a few weeks….knowing that my friends and their kids can also use a little push to ‘Rethink’ the way they are doing cereal in the morning.

I’ll be offering Christina-Tosi-inspired cereal options and looking for school-ready kids to share their favorite inspiration.

I can’t wait to share what they create.

Disclosure: I have been a long-time partner of Kellogg’s and am thrilled to continue working with them as breakfast is and always has been a huge priority in my home.

An Interview with Paralympian Heath Calhoun: Join Us On G+ Wednesday 3/19 12 CST

By now, my love of the Olympic Games and the Paralympics is well documented.

Heath Calhoun - ParalympianI have long been fascinated by the athletes and their journeys – how they started, their dedication and commitment, the people who supported them when they faltered, the people who stood at the finish line to celebrate their successes and yes, when they medal, I cry as though I’m living that moment with them.

As a result of my work with Kellogg’s, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of this year’s athletes, but it is with child-like enthusiasm that I share that I, along with my good friend Meagan Francis, will have the pleasure of interviewing Silver Medal Winning Paralympian Heath Calhoun TOMORROW during our G+ Hangout On Air: The New Having It All.

You simply MUST join us to hear from Heath. I could spend the next two hours sharing his incredible story, but I wouldn’t do him justice. I’ll let you start by watching his #GreatStarts story…. and then I want you to commit to taking 25 minutes to spend with us tomorrow beginning at 12cst.

This was Heath’s second trip to the Paralympics and I’m so thrilled he’s taking the time to visit with Meagan and I. I guarantee he will inspire you.

If you have some time before the show, I’m excited to be hosting a Twitter party for Kellogg’s with Heath (@LeglessHeath)  too – so double the chance to interact with him. (just in case you can’t make it to the interview!) We’ll be chatting about everything from the Paralympics to their journey to the medal stand to how he got his #GreatStarts to, of course, breakfast – definitely a way they start their days.

Follow along with the hashtag: #GreatStarts beginning at 11am cst. We so look forward to chatting with you!

Disclosure: As you likely know, I’m proud to have a long-standing relationship with Kellogg’s though all opinions I share are mine and mine alone.

I Love To Watch You Play – The Six Words Your Child Needs To Hear

I was never going to be a ‘soccer mom’. (or a softball mom, or a baseball mom, or a basketball mom, or a football mom)

Cooper Soccer

I was never going to spend more time attending youth athletic events than I did doing everything else in my life.

I was never going to run from the softball field to the soccer field to the volleyball court.

Delaney Volleyball

I was never, ever, ever going to get up at 5:30 am on a Sunday to be at a 7am indoor soccer game.

I was never going to yell and cheer and jump up and down in the stands of a 2nd grade soccer match as though I was at the World Cup (because that is undignified).

I was never going to plan my Summer vacations around baseball and softball games and tournaments, or sit in the stands from 10am to 6pm.

I love To Watch You Play

But I have. And I do.

Because above all else, I love to watch them play. 

Anyone who knows me in any capacity is fully aware of my utter lack of athletic prowess. Both my seven and nine year old small people could take me in a race. (I’m not proud of this, but it is a fact.) I am, at 41, still afraid of the ball – any ball. I never learned to throw a softball, I broke my knee playing soccer, sprained my wrist trying out for volleyball and knocked out a tooth and broke fingers when gymnastics was ‘my sport’. Now swimming? That I can do – but naturally, it is the one thing my children don’t do competitively.

For my husband and children – their athleticism, their teams – it is their bond.

For us? It is my active participation as a fan.

It is, that I love to watch them play.

Delaney Softball Swing

I love that they love to play. I love them excited and red-faced, sweaty and energized with a win, tired and frustrated by a loss, the ‘I-could-have-done-better’ or ‘we were out-played’ etched across their small features.

I don’t push them to play. I ask them if they want to – each and every time. Are we the family that you might hold up as the example of ‘over-scheduled’?  Yes.  And I’m ok with that. Why? Because amidst the teams, they read, they find time to play with their friends, they study hard and have wonderful grades, they get enough sleep, they eat well and above all, they are happy.

I know this.

Because I love to watch them play. At everything in life.

We have a family rule: After each game – no critiques of their performance, no thoughts on how the team played or what anyone could have done better.

Just this: I love to watch you play.

I’ve seen too many kids crumble, frustrated by the game, by everything, only to be taken down by the people who are supposed to be dedicated to lifting them up. Don’t get me wrong, my job is to guide them – to help them through the good and the bad and work with them when they need to improve, but not when the moment is fresh.

Last night we watched together, as we always do, as the Olympic Games kicked off. It may sound silly, but every two years I look forward to this ‘family time’. The opportunity for the kids to see the heart-stopping, jaw-dropping Olympic Games’ moments that these athletes have been training for all their lives. They are skilled. They are gifted. They are magnificent to watch. And we love to watch them play.

Olympic Games Watching Sochi 2014

But it all started somewhere. With a love of a sport. With a love of a game. With training and practice and effort and sacrifice.

And someone who loved to watch them play.

As someone who has been lucky enough to meet a few of this year’s competing Winter Games Athletes through my (and their) relationship with Kellogg’s (and therefore feels a true attachment to them and their stories): Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Sarah Hendrickson and Torin Yater-Wallace, I know that there was a #GreatStarts moment that pushed them forward…something that helped to tip them in to the athletes they are today – was it practice? The support of family? The perfect teammate? An uncontainable zest for their sport? I have read their tips on how we can bring #GreatStarts in to our worlds, with our families, and I want to share a few #GreatStarts tips of my own.

From this non-athletic mother, from this mother who fully embraces that children can be and sometimes are over-scheduled, begin by recognizing that whatever you decide to do with your child should be individual to them and not necessarily a universal, family rule. One child may be able to handle three activities while the other needs to focus on only one and school.

And though my team days were restricted to high-school swimming, I am re-learning, through the eyes of a parent, the many life lessons to be gleaned from playing a sport.

Be part of something greater than yourself – Learn to play for and with a team or on behalf of your school. Understand what it means to represent something bigger than you, to have other people trust you, rely on you.

Don’t quit - you may decide this sport, this team, this game isn’t for you, but part of life is learning to see a committment through. You can’t walk away the moment you are frustrated or not seeing the results you want.

Losing is part of life – as hard as it is to learn, not everyone gets a trophy – not in sports and not in life. And that is ok. Learn to be proud of how hard you worked, of the effort you made, of the team you love.

Grace in success is divine – humility, the ability to be humble in the face of extraordinary success is a gift and it doesn’t come without having been both on the winning and losing team. Experience and embrace both emotions, remember what it feels like as you grow both in to your sport and in to the person you will become.

And finally, your small people need desperately the gift of your wisdom – they will need lifting when they don’t make the team, they will need to work through defeat and learn to keep their chins up, proud of their hard work, they will need your push when you can see past their heartache to their true love of the game, they will need your willingness to support them  - getting them to practices and games, matches and events, but above all, they will need to know that you love to watch them play.

Do your children participate in sports? If not what do you LOVE to watch them do? Play an instrument? Excel on stage? Tackle a science competition? Tell them TODAY that you love to watch them…..

Disclosure: I have a long standing relationship with Kellogg’s. As a part of that, I am thrilled to be supporting, not only the Kellogg’s Team USA Athletes, but the #GreatStarts message. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared here are my own. 
 
P.S. For a DYNAMITE conversation on kids and over-scheduling, take a look at the show I do with the fabulous Meagan Francis every Wednesday at 12pm CST, The New Having It All Show. This past week, we talked about this very topic.

 

Reading is Good For the Soul: Spread it Around

Delaney ReadingIf reading was a competitive sport, this is an area I would certainly have always excelled. As a small child, I could often be found curled up, nose buried deep, mind wandering as I imagined many different worlds. I was a Bobbsey Twin, a freckled, pixie-haired teen detective Trixie Belden, a friend of everyone’s at Sweet Valley High and later, the protagonist in every Stephen King book ever written. To say I devoured a book was hardly descriptive enough. I could flip through pages, dozens in a day, begging to go to the library multiple times in a week. My parents could never keep up. Librarians were perplexed to see a young girl struggle to carry twelve and fourteen books from the library at one time.

For a week.

It is this love of reading that I have passed on to my small people. I read to them as I carried them in my tummy and then as I rocked them to sleep, eyes fluttering, mouths sucking as they drifted away.  I envisioned my words carving out a novel-sized section in their minds reserved for a love of reading…naturally right next to the one their daddy had staked for all-things-sports.

I think there is room for both, you know.

So far, I’m right.

Coop ReadingAt nine and seven, they are avid readers, their vocabulary is growing and their curiosity, it seems, never ends.  I credit reading and their ever-expanding minds with this. And I’ll take it.  They read books and signs, magazines and newspapers and the writing they see on the television.  If they encounter a word they don’t know or can’t pronounce, they work through it or ask. This is a good thing.

If I could give every other parent in the world a gift, it would be this… the beauty that books and reading have brought into our worlds through learning, imagination, conversation and an ever-expanding quest to know more.

I’m thrilled that my partnership with Kellogg’s not only gives me an opportunity to put books into the hands of my family but also other families and schools through their Scholastic Great Starts, Great Stories Campaign,and their MiniMissions Campaign.

Allow me to explain. Or hey – let that amazing guy Taye Diggs explain – he’s easy on the eyes, right?

Kelloggs Great Starts Great StoriesLet’s start with the really good stuff: how you can help others:

For the Great Starts, Great Stories Campaign, look for the words FREE BOOK on specially marked boxes of Kellogg’s cereal (Apple Jacks, Mini Wheats, Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops and more). Register online and enter the 16 digit code from the inside of the box. When you have three codes, you get a FREE BOOK.  You can donate it to a school in need or, if you don’t have enough books in your home, enter your address and it will be sent to you!  Bonus FREE BOOK.

Kelloggs Great Stories Donate

As for the MiniMissions… I love this.  This too, can help others – specifically your SCHOOL.

You don’t need me to tell you that breakfast is an important part of our day. Making sure our small people start the day with food in their bellies sets them up to be energized and ready to learn.  Kellogg’s and Scholastic are building on that with MiniMissions – inspiring families with a ‘mission’ per month through December. For each mission completed, the family will receive 2 Scholastic books and be eligible for other prizes (BOOKS!) that benefit their school.

Kelloggs Mini Mission

The mission for October is Creative Moments. Each family needs to complete 4 ‘mini missions’ in the month’s category whether it is cooking, painting, gardening, singing or dancing – the goal? CREATIVITY!  My small people and I are 50% complete. November will be Conversation Bites and December will be Give and Give Back.

Kellogg's Mini Mission Smith

Each week, my small people and I make DEAR time – something they learned from school – Drop Everything And Read time…. I make this a priority in our house, not only because I want them to read but because I want them to see ME read.  This isn’t a habit I want them to have only as children, but one I want to be a lifetime sport. And if we can help other people while we are at it? This is a good thing.

I hope you will join us by upping your creativity and book-reading-book-giving spirit.  Take a look at both Great Starts, Great Stories and MiniMissions.  Let us know if you participate, what stories you choose and DEFINITELY if you win! Good luck!

Disclosure:  As mentioned above, I have a long-standing partnership with Kellogg’s and am delighted to share the good they are doing and how they inspire me to do the same.  As always, all thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

P.S. Friends… because I value your opinions and Kellogg’s does too….if you have a few minutes to take a quick survey, we’d love your honest thoughts and opinions. I promise it won’t take more than 2-3 minutes. Thank you, as always, for being here.

 

 

Living Under a Microscope

Those moments…

If you have small people, inevitably, you’ve had one of them too.

Mine seem to be happening with greater frequency, and I’m doing my best to breathe through them, but I SWEAR, having small people can often feel like seeing yourself under a giant microscope. Better yet, not just seeing yourself, but having a running commentary.

It was one thing when my small people were truly small, but now that they are a little older, their comments, their side-long glances, the moments when they reach out to touch? It can be really hard to digest.

Summer with KidsOver the Summer, I took my kids to the pool.  I understand lots of mothers do this when the temperatures hit the 90′s.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the critique…the way their eyes began to roam over my body, or how they ‘bounced’ their fingers on my breasts with a terribly unfortunate ‘boingy’ sound. Suddenly, I was embarrassed. I hadn’t viewed my body through their kaleidoscope before and suddenly I was self-conscious in a way I hadn’t experienced.

I have always worked so hard to avoid any self-defeating language….. I was suddenly swimming in new territory.  Fast forward a mere month, my small dude walks into the bathroom as I’m in a state of half-dress, bent over, putting lotion on my legs. Apparently the ‘extra’ in my stomach was too good to pass up.  A quick jiggle, an ask about ‘how that happened’, and he was on his way.

But wow…. I certainly wasn’t. Well, this is a good time. How did ‘that happen’?

Well, kiddo? I don’t know….age? That chocolate I had for dessert last night? Or the last three nights?

Ladies and gentleman…. do you mind swinging your spotlight over here?  I think you might have missed my latest wrinkles? Are there gray hairs I don’t see?  Age spots I haven’t noticed yet? What about my hair color… a shade too red? Would you like to talk about where babies come from? I think it would be great fun to tackle ALL of the uncomfortable conversations at one time and get them ALL out of the way.

Whew.  This parenting business is NOT for the weak-of-heart. It can be hard for me to digest.

And I suppose hard for these small people to digest as well. To highlight these extra special moments between parents and small people, Rice Krispies (as you know, a common breakfast in our home) have a new series of commercials running…. They know that there are LOTS of examples of these conversations that happen every day between parents and little ones, but as ‘hard to digest’ as the chats can be, this breakfast isn’t.

For an easy smile, take a quick 15 second look.

Ever had a ‘hard to digest’ moment in your home? I’d love to hear it.  You know I’d love the company.

And for even more fun….(and prizes!) join the Rice Krispies #easytodigest Twitter party today, September 25th at 12pmEST to chat with award winning pediatrician Dr. Laura Jana about your own stories, kid’s nutrition, and tips for making simple, nutritious food choices for your kids. Just by participating, you’ll be entered to win prizes including Rice Krispies bowls and a Visa Gift Card.

Disclosure: I am proud to have a long term relationship with Kellogg’s and am happy to discuss a variety of topics that include the brand.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

Nourishing My Body and Soul: Learning to Model for My Daughter

DelaneySoccerBeforeSchool“Mommy, can I exercise with you?”

“Of course, Punky.”

My nine year old settles in next to me to mimic the exercises she sees on the screen: the jumping jacks, the lunges, the push ups.

And then she says it: “Mommy, how come my thighs are so fat?”

Now…. if you have a nine year old, you know as well as I do, that some things are said for effect, specifically to gauge my reaction, to push a potential button she has seen pushed before in some capacity. I think I have talked about this before… I have been extremely diligent about avoiding the word fat around my kids. I don’t say it in reference to myself or to other people.  I don’t joke about ‘fat days’ or needing to lose my ‘baby weight’.  I have never talked about being on a diet.

Once before, when Delaney was only seven years old, she first mentioned a concern about appearing ‘fat’.  It so bothered her that she refused to wear a First Communion dress with a crinoline underneath it, lest it make her appear ‘fat’.  We talked about it in depth then.  But now, two years later…. two more years of magazine covers touting ways to ‘walk your way slim’, ‘drop 10 pounds fast’, ‘get lean and sexy now’ or showing off ‘bikini bod’s through the ages’…..two more years of pre-teen shows making body and weight an occasional topic of conversation, not to mention the chats she might be having with friends…and here we are.

DelaneySoftballSwingSo, I asked, “what do you mean?”  I will be honest… my question was intended as a bit of a test: do I have a nine year old who truly sees her thighs as fat, or is she asking a poorly worded question based on honest curiosity?

“Well, they are so much bigger than the rest of my leg, and when I sit down they get even bigger.”

Simply by asking, I knew where to go: “Punky, your thigh is SUPPOSED to be the biggest part of your leg.  It has the biggest muscles and is what helps you stand. If your thigh was the same size as your calf, (and if it ever is, I need to know about it) it wouldn’t be able to carry your body or make it possible for you to run, jump and play. You couldn’t play soccer or softball or basketball or volleyball. You would fall down.”

Additionally, this conversation opened the door to something more: my health and exercise.  Since I don’t play any of the sports she does, my heart – a muscle in its own right – needs exercise too.  That’s why I was standing in the family room right then doing jumping jacks and lunges and push ups: to keep my heart and body healthy.

Since my sweet girl and I are in sync on taking care of our bodies, (you know how I truly believe kids do as you do, not as you say), this keeps the door open to model healthy eating habits as well.  I can’t claim my small people have always been the best of eaters (nor do I always get a gold medal) but I know we try. This includes making as many healthy choices as we possibly can. As you know, I have worked closely with Kellogg’s for quite some time and include many of their items in our breakfast routines.

Special K Nourish Hot Cereal and BarsTheir latest line of new, healthy products designed for people on the go like me includes, Special K Nourish Hot Breakfast Cereals and Bars. These include a multi-grain blend of superfoods like quinoa, oats and barley, as well as dried fruits and nuts.

There is just something about the flavors: Maple Brown Sugar Crunch, Cinnamon Raisin Pecan, Cranberry Almond…. they simply SOUND like Fall to me, and definitely something that will make sure both the small people and I are nourished for the morning.

For additional healthy food tips, Food Network Star and Registered Dietician Ellie Krieger suggests:

Eat Right, Not Less. 

Change for Good. Adjusting your food choices can make simple commitments easier to keep. Opt for one scoop of frozen yogurt instead of three. Or select fresh, crunchy veggies instead of chips with your sandwich at lunch.

Get Those (Whole) Grains. Quinoa is a high-protein option. Prepare it as you would rice. Add it to salads, soups or serve as a side dish. Also, Special K’s new line of Nourish products, offers a great way to start your morning with a helping of quinoa.

Get Your Energy Up. Physical activity works to increase your energy and maintain a healthy weight. Instead of retiring to the couch after dinner, consider heading out for a brief, but brisk walk.

Go Nuts. Nuts, like almonds are an easy (and healthy) snack that can curb your hunger. It’s a snack with a crunch that also has a good source of Vitamin E….. it is easy to see why they are so popular.

Timing is Key. While this has never been my strongest suit, I know it is crucial. Try to east breakfast within an hour of waking up so you can maximze the rest of your day. Make sure there is time in between meals, but not too long. And remember to relax and enjoy

One last thing….since I know you feel as I do about helping people who need it the most, I want to share a little something I think is extraordinary:

While you are contemplating the very best ways to nourish your family – both through exercise and healthy eating, consider this: Special K has partnered with Women’s Health to support the FEED Foundation through the “Run 10 Feed 10” races. Visit Special K’s Facebook page to learn more and to HELP in a matter of seconds. Simply share this post to feed a person in need. Every time you do (share it, that is) a meal is donated – up to 100,000. Think about that – with only a few clicks, you feed people in need.

How about it? A little nourishment for your body and soul….

Disclosure: I have been a long-time partner of Kellogg’s and am delighted to feature them again here. As always, all opinions and thoughts shared are mine and mine alone.

 

A Morning Person, Naturally, After All

3am until as late as I could possibly sleep.

Maybe 1am on an ‘early night’.

I can’t explain it, but I’m certain that somehow, somewhere, there is an image of me attached to the term ‘nightowl’ online.  When I search for it, I find phrases like:

A person who tends to stay up until late at night.

A person who prefers to stay up late or who functions best during the nighttime hours.

A person who find it hard to get up early and likes to sleep in. Becomes more awake in the evening.

All apply.  In fact, that last one probably has always been the most appropriate. I actually was MORE awake in the evening hours.  Something would click right about 10pm and I would be hit with the urge to clean out the pantry, organize the guest room, file paperwork, write three chapters of a book or rearrange the kitchen.

Pinterest wake up funnyBut in the morning, please don’t talk to me until I am TRULY awake. And more so, please do NOT be the one to wake me. My small people and I joke that this picture was created specifically for me. I don’t know where it came from, but it makes them laugh.  Me?  I think it is only partially funny. The rest of me just feels like that.

However, in the past month something in me shifted. I hesitate to call it ‘age’, but I’m not sure there is any other explanation. I do know that I have definitely found myself far more tired in the evenings.  My nighttime productivity has plummeted. That was my first sign. I began to fall asleep in front of my computer. I was unable to read before bed. Suddenly I was falling asleep at the absurd hour of 11pm. I think my body has been trying to tell me something.

Then came the morning shift.

I would wake up. During the Summer.

Breakfast Cereal KelloggsAT 7AM.

FOR NO REASON.

And now it is even earlier.

As I sit writing this, hot tea at my side, it is still dark outside.  I was awake at 5am. And not a little awake….. but fully, wide awake, prepared to be productive. I have already made school lunches and prepped breakfast for the small people. I have poured their cereal (I wait to add the milk until they come downstairs). I have cut the fruit. I have set out the spoons.

I am ready.

I AM A MORNING PERSON, PEOPLE.

Kids Breakfast MorningAnd these two?  They have just started school. They now have the benefit of a mom who isn’t cranky first thing, who isn’t rushing around like a crazy person, but instead, who sits and talks to them while they have breakfast. And even better, who is awake enough to join them. I’ve always known breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’, but I haven’t been present enough to be a part of it the way I should.

Now, I have this. Smiling faces. Conversation. And beautiful time with them that I didn’t experience the same way because I’ve never been a ‘morning person’. I was quiet. I was ‘still waking up’. Now I can keep things moving.

If you had asked me if I would EVER be a morning person (at least before the age of 75) I would have quickly assured you otherwise. Yet, here I am. (though I will still NEVER go to the gym at 4:30am like my husband.  That is a special kind of morning person crazy!)

And I’m happy. And productive. Who knew?

What say you? Morning person? Night person? And does it happen naturally? I’m fascinated….

Disclosure: I am proud to have a long-time working relationship with Kellogg’s, so it is natural in our family for breakfast to include one of many Kellogg’s cereals – in this post, you see Raisin Bran which is not only one of my kid’s favorites, but was (and is) one of mine.