Confessions: On Turning 28

Today is my 28th birthday. Ever since I turned 25, I have begrudgingly gotten older, panic setting in as I realize that I am hurdling toward my thirties and there is no turning back. As an example, I vividly remember a conversation with an old friend last year. They wished me a happy birthday and asked how my day was. My response? “Thanks. I’m okay… I just thought that I’d have my sh*t together by now.”

But this year is different. I am totally okay with 28. I feel that I have fully used my 27th year and am ready for the next adventures that God has for me. I want to celebrate this life that I was given!

As I reflect back on the last year of my life, I smile at that conversation. I had no idea of the wild ride that God had in store for me.

I am so incredibly grateful. Not that it was an easy year, by any means, but I (eventually) chose to be joyful. And I am so grateful for the blessings that came with all of the hard things.

Year 27 was a year filled with loss. Ben and I left the restaurant; we lost a great mentor and friend and closed the book on jobs, projects and relationships that meant a lot to us. I struggled with not feeling my best and not doing things that I enjoyed doing. Not gonna lie, the first few months of 27 were spent very angry, upset and feeling as though I could snap like a rubber band.

But then something changed. I surrendered. And I let go of the fear and the bitterness that I was holding onto. Life didn’t get any easier; I simply chose to be grateful for whatever good I could find. I sought contentment and it changed my life.

Because of that choice, year 27 was filled with blessings, renewal, strength and so much love! Looking back, I realize that these things never would have happened if I had not decided to find joy and to submit to God’s plan.

I am absolutely amazed and humbled by how much God has done in my life as a result. He has blessed my marriage, my career and my friendships. Everything! I’m not saying that I have it all figured out, and there are definitely hard days where I would rather choose a pity party than gratitude, but I am actively seeking Thanksgiving and Joy.

I took a chance to start a book club, and have seen so much growth, friendship and wisdom come out of this.

By clearing out our schedules, Ben and I were able to spend more time with another couple. As a result, Ben and Ashley are some of our closest friends and we can’t imagine doing life without them! We’ve been through a lot with these two and are so grateful for their friendship.

We were also able to spend more time together. This year, we were able to have dinner together almost every day. Before my 27th birthday, I don’t think we ever did that more than 1 night a week. We’ve been able to take walks, to try new things together, to read and just be together in comfortable silence. I know that it won’t necessarily be like this forever but I am so grateful for this season of life.

I also took risks. I left my comfortable, secure job and am trying something new. Every day is filled with new challenges but this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I am doing something that I’ve always wanted to do, but it is not anything like I imagined it would be.

So, this year, instead of groaning at the thought of turning a year older, I am smiling. And I’m looking forward to what year 28 will bring. Because God has a plan.

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It’s Love

Good morning, Friends!

I’m currently on a bus en route to New York. We’ve been up since 3:30 this morning, but it’s all for a good cause. I love my hubs!

Tomorrow is Farmer Ben’s 30th birthday.  A day that calls for major celebration!

The hubs and I are headed to the Brooklyn Brewery to take in the food, people and beer of the Food Experiments Championship!

To be honest, finding out about this event was a complete accident but I knew as soon as I found out that Ben would love it!

So off we go. Tomorrow we have a date with the Rockettes and then an even hotter date with the Katz Deli.

Here’s to a wonderfully adventurous and delicious two days!

Oh. Also, I caved and joined twitter… find me @noellesnotebook!

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It was entirely too early for photos. He must love me!


Twelve-Twelve-Twelve!

Happy Triple 12 day!

How cool is that? Pretty stinkin’ cool, in my opinion.

It’s also a very special lady’s birthday today. Her name is Vera.

Happy birthday, Mom! I won’t tell the whole world how old you are… because I’m a lady. And so are you. I will say that you look pretty darn good for your age!

Enjoy your day and here’s to the best year yet!

Love you!

In other news:

Happy belated birthday to my dear friend Melissa-and another huge congratulations to you and Jeff on your engagement. I am so excited and happy for you both!

Happy early birthday to my awesome brother-in-law, Elliot! Your card is going to be late. And so will your present.

Hubby is hitting a milestone on Monday. We’ll be celebrating his day in NYC for some foodie and beer awesomeness. We cannot wait. I’ll be taking lots of pictures…as long as my phone doesn’t decide to stop working like it has been.

More news:

I apologize for the brief interruption of your regularly scheduled blog posts… I’ve been really busy at work, gotten a horrible cold, caught a really bad stomach bug and had some technology issues (see above note about my phone). But I am working on some really good stuff and I have so much to fill you in on-more challenges, #elf4health, goals for next year, Christmas, food goodness, Farmer Ben’s birthday extravaganza and more!

Happy Hump Day!

 

 


A Quarter Century??? Almost.

That sounds so…. official.

Today is my last day as a 24-year-old.

Tomorrow I turn a quarter century old.

Can you say “major freak-out?”

I know that age is just a number, but I have this vision in my head of what 25 is supposed to look like… and it’s a lot more put together than my 24 and 364 days old self.

I feel like I am supposed to know what I want to be when I grow up…and should be doing that already! I also feel that I should know how to tame my cowlick, not spill things all over myself and know exactly what direction my life is heading in. But I don’t.  And frankly, all of those things freak me out, just a little. Okay, maybe a lot, depending on the day.

Everything happens for a reason…I know that. If I had followed a strict plan, I certainly would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I may be making more money, or living in a city somewhere, I may have a more expensive wardrobe to spill things all over…but I’d be miserable.  And stressed out. And did I mention miserable?

I have to admit, that although I’m uncertain where I’m headed at this point in time, I am ridiculously happy. I have a wonderful husband and great family and friends. I laugh every day and I’m healthy.

So, today I am going to take a deep (calming) breath and just relish the unknown. I’ll take comfort in the fact that, although I won’t ever be that well-put-together-25-year-old-who-knows-exactly-what’s-going-on-and-where-things-are-headed, that I’m still pretty okay. I’m a lot more interesting than that perfectly put together image. And the last (almost) 25 years have been very good to me. I’ll continue to count my blessings.

Here’s to 24 and 364 days old. And cowlicks.

Do you have a big birthday coming up? Do certain years freak you out more than others?


Let’s Be Honest…

Real Talk:

I got a ticket on Tuesday. For talking on my cell phone while driving. Except, I wasn’t on the phone. I will be fighting this.

My whole body hurts. And I’m tired. But I am getting faster and stronger with every run…and less and less sleep since the restaurant opened.  

I’m still trying to balance this whole sleep/work/workout thing. This morning the snooze button won out over the 5:30 run.

My hubs was upset with me yesterday morning. Apparently, I interrupted a pretty fantastic dream about mushrooms. Oh the joys of being married to a chef/farmer…

I ate a giant cheeseburger for lunch yesterday…with bacon, barbecue sauce, fried onions and cheddar cheese. It was delicious.

I skipped the french fries… but stole a few from my hubbie’s plate.

My hubs also forgave me for interrupting his dream.

Foodie Penpal reveal day is coming up. I can’t wait to show you what came in my package!

This week has been so crazy that I didn’t even know what day it was until about 7:30 last night…. on another note, Happy 25th Birthday to Daniela and Liz! Love you both!

I randomly discovered this yesterday and found it mildly entertaining. You’re welcome.

I’m so looking forward to a three-day weekend… and extra time with the hubs.

I’m finding that the older I get, the more awkward I am…but I’ve gotten a little better at covering it up.

Good luck to my friends, Kristy and Jona, running the Vermont City Marathon this weekend! I’m so excited for you!

I see some baking in my future.

I see two giveaways in your future. And some overdue blog posts. Stay tuned

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!


That Is Not What I Meant to Say…

Okay…I need to clear something up. Apparently one of my posts from last week caused quite a stir (as evidenced by my phone blowing up with texts and Facebook messages), so I have some explaining to do. I’m sorry I didn’t elaborate sooner, it just wasn’t the right time to do so yet.

Ben and I are having a baby.  No. Totally kidding. We are, however, embarking on a new adventure.

Ben is starting as head chef at a new restaurant…it’s such a great opportunity for him and I am so excited and proud of him! Again, it wasn’t exactly expected, everything just sort of fell into place.  

We’re also making plans for the next step/adventure. Those details are still a little foggy.

Now that that is cleared up (phew!), there are a few other things I am super excited and/or happy about.

  • The restaurant I work at in the summer is finally open! It’s gotten a much-needed facelift, an updated menu and a super talented chef (see above). I am really excited to be working there again and seeing all of my regulars. It’s going to be a great summer!
  • I sent out my foodie pen pal package! I can’t wait for Lauri in Texas to get her box full of Upstate NY/VT goodies!
  • I should be getting my foodie package soon! I looooooooove mail!
  • The Farmers’ Market is finally opening for the season!
  • We have corn coming up in our garden. And beans. And lettuce!
  • My friend Angela just moved to the area! We had dinner on Monday…I am so excited to hang out with her more.
  • I had a great conversation with my friend Christina on Tuesday. I love knowing that my friends are doing well!
  • I had a run/dinner/girls’ night with my friends Nessa and Tina. I am so social lately!
  • It’s finally starting to feel like spring!
  • I just noticed that I have used an exclamation point in every single bullet!   !!!
  • I got in a great walk at lunch today and am just itching to get out and run!

One last thing.

Happy belated birthday (it was yesterday…oops.) to my amazing Aunt Rayna! You are such a wonderful lady and an inspiration! Here’s to many more!

Over and out.


Mini Mental Break…

Can I just say that the last place I wanted to be today was at work? Is that wrong? Probably. I much rather be driving around blasting country music and singing along at the top of my lungs… Or at home with Benjamin, baking up something fabulous, maybe enjoying a PBR… Or out running and getting lost in the thick fog that seems to have taken over the North Country.

I don’t know if it’s this time of year or if it’s just been a crazy week, but I am mentally checking out. The to-do stack on my desk is getting pretty big, and seems to double whenever I move something to the “Completed” stack. And there is no sign of it slowing down.

This morning was a bit rough and the day seems to be dragging on…but that is probably because I have some pretty awesome plans for later…no big deal. The hubs and I had our usual Wednesday lunch date and now I am anxiously watching the clock to make sure everything goes off without a hitch… it’s torture.

Besides the evening plans, there are a few other things on my mind.

  • Lentils. I absolutely love lentils. Especially when topped with a fried egg, Parmesan cheese and a few slices of avocado. They rock my world. Dinner tomorrow. It’s happening.
  • This macaroni and cheese. I am making this for some friends of mine. So easy to make and absolute heaven. I used Cabot/McAdam Jack & Cheddar. Only the best.
  • Sweet Potato Fudge. I usually am NOT a fan of white chocolate, but the sweet potato aspect is really grabbing my attention, I may need to substitute some dark chocolate…
  • Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream . This looks awesome. I am a huge fan of beer flavored chocolate cakes. I definitely need to make these sometime. It looks like they can also be made gluten-free! I may have to make it this way and  then try it with regular butter and milk, just for fun, either way, these are going to happen in my kitchen.
  • Quinoa Patties. These are so easy to make and so good. Please try them.
  • My husband’s birthday. Ben is turning 29 this weekend. I know he’s working all day, but I am so excited to celebrate as a married couple. So corny, I know. I am currently try to come up with something good. He snooped through the box that contained his present… accidentally-the stinker!  Now I am scheming for some sort of surprise. More on that later.
  • Christmas. I never used to like Christmas but the last few years have really opened me up to it. I’ve been very blessed and I love to share that with the people I love. The major lack of snow is a bit weird for this time of year, but I am soaking up all the merriment, regardless  (If you still have shopping to do, check out my previous post for an awesome gift idea!).
  • Measuring Spoons. Okay, maybe it’s only hilarious to me, but Ben and I always put the measuring spoons back in different drawers. It drives me absolutely batty.
  • The stack on my desk that’s not disappearing….

… Time to go! Until next time!