Hi Friends! Happy 2K15!
I hope you and yours are safe, happy and healthy today (and hopefully not nursing too much of hangover–from food or drink).
This year I decided to join the #365daysoftruth reading plan (reading the entire Bible this year) with the She Reads Truth community. I’ve never read the entire Bible and felt today was a good day to start. I’ve got a lot to learn and fully admit that!
It is so amazing how God works; I’ve really felt it pressing on my heart and soul to be more of a sign that points to HIM and less of … Myself, if that makes sense. That sentiment has been a constant subject of prayer lately and I’ve been wondering exactly how I’m supposed to accomplish this.
Part of this morning’s reading on the 365 plan was John 1. Though I’ve read the book of John several times, the first chapter really struck me this morning.
Though John was a great man of God in and of himself, he always made it so clear that the world was waiting for someone far greater than him. He “was not the light; he was only a witness to the light (John 1:8, NLT).”
The whole chapter was the perfect place to start this journey that is the new year.
My favorite verse was John 1:23.
A voice shouting in the wilderness! That is our purpose… Not to conform to this world but to stand out and to give glory to Him.
Wow! John empowered me this morning and though I’m still not entirely sure what this means, I’ve got these words to push me closer to that end goal.
That’s all for today friends, have a great day!
Can we talk about how 2014 was not anything I imagined it would be? To say the year did not go as planned would be a giant understatement.
Yesterday, we talked about how Farmer Ben and I had a lot of change…and a lot of stress…and then even more change. Some of this was for the good, and some was not. My faith, among other things, was definitely tested this year, but as a result, it is stronger than ever.
A quick recap:
Ben left a secure job and went in as a partner to open a restaurant. And then, we left it. At the time, it was a really tough decision, but it turns out that it was for the best.
On the Fitness Side of Things:
· I was excited to run marathon number 2. But, with restaurant responsibilities (on top of my regular job), I was working too much. As a result, I could not make time for training. I had to prioritize-running or relationships—and sleep.
· I was planning to hit some elusive health and fitness goals this year, including14 races and losing those last 10-15 pounds… Instead, I ended up working a ridiculous amount of hours, being overly stressed and only doing 9 races (which I am still pretty happy with)…and I gained 10 pounds (that literally hurt to type).
· I finally ran a half marathon-in a pink tutu (Thanks to my dear friend Kristy for running with me!).
· I wanted to run faster. This didn’t happen.
· I ran 2 more half marathons this year, both of which I did not train for (I don’t recommend this).
In all honestly, I can’t say that I really trained for any of my races this year, at least not with any sort of consistency. Yes, I was still running but without intention. As a result, I wound up with a pain in my foot that caused me to run even less (it’s mostly healed now).
Instead of hitting these fitness goals, I was barely able to get out and run a couple of days of week… or do anything else outside of work! On top of that, I was constantly feeling guilty for not “doing it all.” Social media did not help my guilt.
But, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the end of the world.
I guess my point is this: Even though it kind of feels like 2014 was a major bust, I was able to re-evaluate, find rest, and regroup. Like I said yesterday, Farmer Ben and I tried something and it didn’t work. But we learned from it.
The same thing goes for my running goals; I had to decide if my fitness goals were more important than my relationships. And in the end, they are not.
NOTE: I’m NOT saying that fitness is not important, because it is. However, when it stresses you out and consumes you, then it is a problem
This year, I could NOT find a balance between the two. In all honesty, work took over my life for much of the year. As a result, I had to let some things go. For a time, it was my running goals, and in the end, I let working (more than one job) go.
I really, truly love to run. That hasn’t changed. But this year, it stressed me out more than it helped me…there were days when I was close to tears because I had to choose between going out for a run or spending a few precious moments with my husband (I realize this seems dramatic, but totally true). My insane schedule—that I had created—would not allow for both. If (and when) I missed a run, I would panic…and then, I would over-do it on the next run.
So I stepped away from it…The biggest (and most difficult) choice I made was switching from the full to the half marathon at Wineglass. This sucked… Still, it was the best decision for my sanity well-being. When I took the pressure off, I was able to go out and enjoy the run and it went back to being a stress reliever, instead of a stress inducer.
Yes, I continued running but I wasn’t
attempting and failing at training. Yes, I still ran that third half marathon–but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to race it. To my surprise, I actually had a respectable time (for me) and I enjoyed this race the most out of the nine I completed this year…probably because my family was waiting for me on the course and at the finish line. Balance.
In the end, by letting my running goals go (for a short time), I was able to rediscover my love of the run and find peace balance.
Now, it’s time for a new year and new goals!
Let’s chat, what surprises did 2014 hold for you?
I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time, but I haven’t been sure what to say.
You probably noticed that I briefly disappeared from this little corner of the internet (And by “briefly,” I mean a two month hiatus) and when I came back, I made no mention of said disappearance. It may seem strange because I blog about my life, but in “the real world,” I am actually a pretty private person.
That being said, the reason for the hiatus is this; Ben and I had a lot to deal with and I wasn’t ready to discuss it, especially not in this space…but, because I am big on being open and honest (at least on the internet), I owe you an explanation.
Long story short, Farmer Ben and I left the restaurant. It was a great opportunity and learning experience, but it turns out, it was not the right place for us. We wish everyone there the very best.
While I still had my regular job, Farmer Ben started job-hunting.
Not gonna lie, parts of the last two months were extremely stressful, but it was also a time where God forced us to slow down, deal with some things and take care of ourselves. We were both completely burnt out, over-worked and not living to the fullest extent (or at all). So, God stepped in. During this time, we said “no” to a lot of things (including blogging). Some of them were really difficult to give up, but it was for the best.
It was a period of prayer, re-evaluating our priorities and soul-searching.
I must add, God took amazing care of us! It is crazy how many “God-things,” occurred. Perhaps the biggest area was in our finances. Yes, we had savings, but money was still tight. However, we always had just enough. We always got a little bit extra at just the right time–without any real explanation. He knows.
Anyway, Ben started working at a different restaurant a few weeks ago. It’s a complete change of pace for him but he is up to the new challenges. So far, he is liking it, especially the schedule!
As for me, for the first time in a long time, I am only working one job. I’ve thought about picking up another job to kill some of my free time (and okay, I do miss the extra money), but honestly, I don’t think that I am supposed to….at least not right now. In the meantime, I’m open to something new. What that is, I’m not sure yet.
So what else have we been up to during this hiatus?
· We moved into a new place. It’s a cute little mini-house and we love it.
· We bought some new and new-to-us furniture (my mother is the queen of finding a good deal).
· We did the Adirondack Ragnar Relay (with minimal training).
· We took a road trip and attended a good friend’s wedding.
· We took another road trip and I ran my third half marathon (again, with minimal training).
· We spent time with family and friends…including some new friends!
· We read a lot of books (and I started a book club!).
· We drank a lot of wine.
· We drank a lot of coffee.
· We rested.
In the end, we’re doing pretty well and are truly blessed.
So, that’s where I’ve been. Let’s catch up, what have you been up to???
Update: because I am late, I chose two winners! Inspired Spoons and Jennie J, you each are getting some siggi’s certificates! Email me at NoellesNotebook @gmail.com and let me know where to send!
You may or may not know this about me…but I am kind of a weirdo when it comes to yogurt. Plain yogurt is my jam.
I do NOT like flavored yogurt. I can eat plain with fruit mixed into it, but I can’t eat the fruit-flavored stuff. It doesn’t make any sense.
Flavored yogurt makes me gag.
My stomach just doesn’t do well with pre-flavored yogurt. For my taste, there is usually WAY too much sugar/sweetener in it and I usually end up with an upset stomach and a headache.
But one day, this changed for me…on a whim, I tried siggi’s vanilla skyr (Icelandic-style, strained yogurt) . And then siggi’s orange ginger…and it didn’t make me gag! I actually liked it…And the ingredients were REAL and all things I could pronounce/possibly have in my kitchen (like real vanilla bean!)!
To be honest, I didn’t really know how to react to this earth-shattering revelation. I had identified myself as a flavored-yogurt hater for so long, I was having a crisis of epic proportions! What was I supposed to do now?! What would Farmer Ben think?!
Obviously, after this yogurt turned my world upside down, I had to find out more about the company behind the goodness. And I was very pleased with what I found.
siggi’s is a truly great brand! Their motto is “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar.” If you check out the nutrition/ingredient label, you can see that they stick to this motto.
I also love that the company was started by one man in his own kitchen, and has expanded. Talk about motivation!
They are a NY company and use NY dairy. Their yogurt is made with dairy from cows that are grass-fed, and hormone-free and there are no artificial ingredients!
I realized that this was a company I could get behind. So I did what any former flavored-yogurt hater would do… I applied to be a part of their Culture Club! I did it on a whim and honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be accepted or not (I actually told them I wasn’t big on flavored yogurt… over share!)…but 4-5 weeks later I received a magical email.
I was in the club!
A couple weeks later I received my culture club welcome kit.
I’ve been using the bag every day.
As a long overdue way to celebrate my initiation into the culture club, I’m going to give away 5 coupons for free siggi’s yogurt to one lucky reader in the US!
The only requirement: leave a comment telling me what your favorite flavor of yogurt is.
I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, May 6.
Full disclaimer: As a siggi’s brand ambassador, I received coupons (and may get product on occasion) in exchange for spreading their message of “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar,” however all opinions are my own.
Please ignore the fact that I’m behind on my blogging. To be completely honest, I have no excuse other than I’ve been struggling with some nasty headaches and their side effects. They leave me feeling drained and with little to no motivation. I’ll discuss them more in another post.
In the moments I’m not dealing with said migraines/side effects, I’ve been juggling race planning, helping with Bistro to-do items, running, catching up with friends, cooking and squeezing in moments of quality time with Farmer Ben…and you know, regular life and work stuff.
As a result, I just haven’t had the urge to sit down and blog. And I haven’t felt that I’ve had much to say.
Life is kind of weird right now…and I’m trying to wrap my head around it.
Here is some of what is happening:
For a long time, I’ve worked my regular job and then worked job number 2 at least three nights a week…typically more. I’ve had a routine that required a lot of planning and remembering, keeping my work clothes and shoes in the car and trying to keep a somewhat set schedule… but a few weeks ago my time at job number 2 ended.
I knew it would happen sooner or later…but…The circumstances were bizarre and although issues were resolved I can’t really explain how or why. I will say that my tenure was up at least a month before I was planning on it. In the end, I left on a good a note, so it worked out.
As a result, I have some unexpected free time…kind of.
I’m NOT used to just going home after work, to having a somewhat flexible schedule in the evening. I am not a schedule oriented person, but I also don’t do well if I have a lot of free time. Needless to say, it feels weird to be finished work at 5 PM.
Granted, this will be short-lived once the bistro opens, but its been a period of adjustment. It feels a bit like… limbo.
I’m savouring this time, however, because I know in a few short weeks, the nights where Ben and I can sit down to dinner together will be few and far between.
I’ve enjoyed being able to come home and cook something delicious for the two of us. Or being able to rent a terrible movie and hang out with a glass of wine…and being able to go to bed before 10pm if the mood strikes.
I’ve also used the free hours I have to get some race details taken care of and to get out and connect with some sponsors. I’m constantly amazed at how generous people are. Have I mentioned this before?!
In addition, because spring is finally here, I’ve been able to squeeze in some runs after work.
This week, Farmer Ben used my car to run errands and such. This forced me to either run to his workplace (~4 miles) to catch a ride home or to stay cooped up in my office to catch up on little things for a couple of hours until he picked me up.
As it is finally above freezing, I’ve chosen to run more often than not. Whether it’s a long run or run/walk to catch up with a friend, I am enjoying the time outside…especially because I stare at a computer for most of the day.
I’m happy that my running mojo is coming back.
Sometimes I forget why I run… I forget that I enjoy that time of tuning out the world and just being. And that time is exactly what I’ve needed the last few weeks.
Not gonna lie, I haven’t been running every day, but I am savoring the days I do get out the door.
So, that’s where I’ve been/where I am at this moment.
What have you been up to? How do you deal with times of transition? Favorite terrible movie?
Can you believe February is over?
I realize that things have been a little quiet on the blog as of late, but I can assure you that I’ve been running, eating delicious things, spilling stuff on myself and being a weirdo, per usual.
I’ve spent the last two weeks doing some major race planning items. I had a planning meeting last Friday and pestered a bunch of local businesses whenever I had any free time…Seriously, I glanced at the list I have and it appears that we have already contacted over 130 businesses…. not too shabby for January and February!
I also got the official word that Clif will be sending us some sample size bars for the race! That will be in addition to a ton of other goodies we’ll be getting…. I’m so excited about this, I can barely handle it!
In other news, I am absolutely loving my new running shoes. I’m sad because they’ve gotten a little dirty with all of the mud/rain we’ve had….but it’s fine. They’ve even helped motivate me to go out and run on my lunch break a few days last week.
Wednesday, I talked Farmer Ben into meeting me for a lunch run (on his day off), even though it was so cold that my face hurt and we could barely breathe! We only ended up doing a little over two miles but it was well worth it.
As we started running, he looked over at me and said, “Noelle, you are my ONLY motivation for being out here right now.”
That comment had me smiling for the rest of the run and the rest of the day!
I know he was trying to be funny… but, seriously? Swoon! I love that guy!
It got me thinking about what my motivation is. I’ve discussed this before, so I won’t go into great detail, but I’d love to hear what motivates you…especially on your “I don’t want to do this!” days.
So, let’s discuss, what is YOUR motivation for getting out and running…even when it’s so cold that it makes your face hurt?
I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am that today is Friday…. even though I got suckered into working at job number 2 tomorrow night with the dreaded stairs (my calves are going to be ten times bigger than they already are in a couple of weeks!). This week took a lot out of me and I so looking forward to sleeping past 7:00 am. Isn’t that such a glorious feeling?
Anyway, here are five random facts for your reading pleasure:
1. Strides for James is taking over my life… and I am kind of okay with that… I’ve mentioned it before, but this is something very close to my heart and it’s a great way to give back to the community. I’m also super excited because we are getting a post-race chocolate milk donation. For the win!!!
2.I’m wondering if there is any topic that you’d like to see more of/featured more in-depth on Noelle’s Notebook… I have this slightly-larger-than-the-blog project (idea) that I’m kicking around…but I want to know that it’ll be something people are interested in. So, any input is totally welcome! Help a girl out!
2a. To go along with said project, I want to do an “ask me anything” post/series (depending on how many questions I get).
So, if you could do me a huge favor and asking me ANY of your burning questions in the comments below, I’d be forever grateful, and will be answering all questions next week. Many thanks!
3. I am STILL doing my planks and push-ups every day… I think this is the longest/most consistent I’ve ever been with sticking to one of these challenges. It makes me feel so accomplished and I can see a little more definition!
4. I don’t remember what it’s like to have long hair. In related news, I recently had a co-worker tell me he doesn’t remember me with long hair either (who has worked with me for the last 3+ years)… so I dug up this photo….
Weird. Weird. Weird. Long or short?
5. Current Guilty Pleasure: Rum Caramel Chocolate bar from Lake Champlain chocolates… our co-op always stocks Lake Champlain chocolate but they never seem to have this kind. I hit the jackpot the other day while shopping for my foodie penpal… I sent her one and took one home to share with Farmer Ben…and I’ll probably be going back to check and see if they have more. Pricey but so worth it.
6. Bonus Fact. I got an email from a friend today with this verse and I just had to share it with you all…food for thought:
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” -Luke 12:48, NIV
Now it’s your turn: Current guilty pleasures? Long hair or short?
Don’t forget to ask me anything!