Notes to Self for Friday…

Happy Friday!

It’s going to be a busy weekend… Here is a look at what’s going on in my brain:

1. This is one of the most unproductive work weeks I’ve had in a long time…which doesn’t make sense because it’s also been one of the quietest.

2. My body is so confused from all of the crazy things I’ve eaten lately. Weird things are happening. Oy Vey!

3. There is so much snow!!! Finally…

4. The snow isn’t so bad, but all the wind is killing me!

5. I’m craving more of this granola. Quinoa…cocoa nibs.. pistachios. So good. Make it!

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6. In case you’re behind on the blog, here is what you’ve missed:

7. I’m still working on the last Daniel Fast post… it’s coming soon!

8. I also still owe you a post on the Food Experiments Championship and the rest of Farmer Ben’s birthday! Stay tuned.

9. I can’t believe 2012 is coming to an end. What a year.

10. I also can’t believe that Dick Clark won’t be around to ring in 2013. How sad.

11. I can’t participate in today’s #elf4health challenge because I don’t own a microwave. Bummer.

12. On second thought… I’m okay with that.

13. I have a really bad habit of putting my foot in my mouth. Not good.

14. I impulsively bought Taylor Swift’s Red cd at Starbucks yesterday. I’ve been jamming out in the car ever since. Latest guilty pleasure? Yes. Am I ashamed? Not at all.

14a. Where was this in 2009 when I so desperately needed it?!

15. One of my Christmas presents was a giant bag of pistachios. Probably my favorite gift. #nuts4nuts. See number 5… I hope you’re getting the point!

16. I know that I caved and joined Twitter (@noellesnotebook)…but I still don’t get the hashtag thing. How do I know if I’m doing it right?! This is the stuff that keeps me awake at night.

17. I have so much to do in the next few weeks. I can’t even deal.

18. I’ve been really bad about logging on myfitnesspal lately. I’d appreciate some help-add me! nre820

19. Looking outside is really discouraging the running part of my brain.

20. My body is really mad at me for being a bum about running lately. Vicious Cycle.

21. 1 Corinthians 13 has been all over my brain lately. There needs to be more love in this world. Seriously. I’ve been keeping these words close to my heart and whispering them to myself when things have been tough.

22. After spending a couple of days in Boston for Christmas, I’ve come to realize that my two teenage cousins are way cooler than me. 

23. They also make me feel old.

24. Farmer Ben and I had a wonderful heart to heart on Wednesday night. One of the many reasons why I love this man.

25. Shout out to my friend NM. Your email made me smile and I am so glad things are looking up. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 2013 is going to be your year. Red lipstick and all.

Happy Weekend!


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?


The Epiphany and the Peach.

I’ve had this feeling gnawing at me and haven’t been able to put my finger on what it is. Or how to make it go away.

Allow me to explain.

Every few months something happens. I become filled with dread, frustration and anxiety as I slowly realize that I have taken on too much and live in fear of letting someone down or failing at one of my commitments…

Because I am incredibly stubborn, I’ll let this go on for a few days, weeks, or in this case-over a month…and then comes the hard part–figuring out what needs to be done and what needs to be cut out…and cleaning up the mess that life becomes when you ignore things for too long.

This morning, I reached that point. It took the form of a bag of peaches.

Farmer Ben and I picked up some gorgeous peaches at the farmers’ market this weekend. I’ve been wanting to further my canning experience and decided to make jalapeno peach jam. I was so excited and could not wait to make it.

But then life and my schedule got in the way and three days have passed without a sign of delicious jam-making in sight. 

This morning, I did the snooze button tango and decided to grab a peach for breakfast on the go. I opened the bag and the first peach I grabbed was soft….really soft. And brown. I threw it in our compost bucket and tried again. I found a few other peaches were also starting to go but found one that was still good.

I glanced at Ben with a defeated look on my face and he simply said, “we’ve gotta use those up.”

If you know me, you know that I absolutely hate wasting food.  It pains me to throw food away. Especially if I haven’t even gotten to try it yet.

So today, it hit me.

There is a peach sitting on my desk, reminding me that I need to take some time and clean up the messes.  That I need to let go of something and tackle everything else that is on my plate.

So after trying to go it alone, I am leaving it in God’s hands…lifting everything up to Him and asking for help…

…Finally.


Ripples

It’s Monday.

I woke up this morning after what seemed like a moment of sleep and was dizzy from all that transpired this weekend. I hit the snooze button, but was still tired the next time around. Yet, here I am. Another Monday at work has ended and the day has escaped a little too quickly for my liking.

Sunday was a very weird day for me. I got a bit emotional and felt the need to do some serious self-reflection.

 It started yesterday morning at church. The sermon was on motherhood, but it also discussed how anyone can be a better example, a light in the dark, if you will. It was titled, “Leaving a Legacy.”

My pastors talked about examples from their own lives and discussed words that came to mind when someone thought of their mother, but one phrase really struck a chord with me.

“A sincere faith causes a ripple effect.”

Regardless of your religion, or lack thereof, this is heavy. Everything you do has an effect on someone, even if you don’t realize it.

This got me thinking. What kind of impact am I making? What kind of people do I affect on a daily basis without even realizing it? What sort of ripples am I sending?

I know that I cannot personally change the world. But I can work hard every day to be a better person. And to help people, whether it be a smile to a stranger, a word of encouragement or helping someone with a project…the possibilities are endless.  And if I’m not the only one doing this?

Imagine the impact.

I just… I want to show people that there is still good in the world. Even if I don’t realize it at the time.

So…I’ll write it one more time. As a reminder.

A sincere faith causes a ripple effect.


Stronger

I was a bit weary to publish this post… I stewed for quite some time before hitting the button.

I’m not one to blast my problems to the world or complain about the imperfections in my life because, to be quite honest, I have been very blessed.  That being said, lately, for whatever reason, I have been seriously stressed about some silly and some-not -so-silly things.

Most of them are things that everyone stresses about; finances, time, friendships, working out, finances, time, cold season…

I’ve also had to watch someone close to me go through a very difficult time. Admittedly, some of their troubles are self-inflicted. But a lot of them are not. It’s really difficult to watch this and not be able to help them. I’ve been praying for them every day. I’ve also been trying to do little things, talking to others, talking to this person, encouraging them… but it’s gotten to the point where there is almost nothing left to do…mostly because they have given up.

Recently, I visited with this person and it absolutely shocked me. I’ve seen them go through phases like this before, but never this bad. It absolutely broke my heart. After spending a few hours with them, I was drained. I usually keep a pretty upbeat attitude but I had a heck of a time doing so while spending time with them. I feel guilty even though I know it’s not my fault.

I’ve had a few personal rough patches over the last ten years and gone through some dark times, but I’ve learned that at the end of the day, you can’t let your problems consume you. Yes, you have to take responsibility for your actions, but you also have to let them go. You have to learn from your mistakes and keep moving on… or you’ll never get up from rock bottom. I’ve also learned, that no one else can do this for you. It’s something you have to want and something you have to work at. Every day.

One of my favorite quotes is this:

 “Pero el secreto de la vida esta en caerse siete veces y levantarse ocho.” 
-Paulo Coehlo

Translation? But the secret of life is falling down seven times and standing up eight.

I also love this quote from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”

During the worst of times, I still find great comfort in my faith. This does NOT mean that I haven’t been angry with God, it’s easy to blame the All Mighty when things get tough… and holy cow, there have been some times where I have been completely infuriated…but I also realize that He sticks with me…even when I screw up and I would rather hide under my covers than face the world.

There have been times when I’ve wondered if and when things would ever get better… years later, I’d look back and realize that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be…even though at the time I never thought I’d get through it alive.

One thing that people-including myself- often forget is that, yes, God is fighting in our corner, but you also have to know when to take make a move. He can only do so much.

Anyway…I was still feeling a bit down this morning after my recent visit. I was driving into work and heard this song while flipping through the channels…I realize it’s about a breakup and moving on…so the lyrics don’t necessarily go with this situation. But the main point of the song rings true, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

In short,  I’ll continue to help them in every way that I can. I’ll continue to pray for them. And I’ll continue to fight my own battles, knowing that I am not alone. Sometimes all we need is a reminder to lift us up and get back on track. I hope this helps that person.