Angst and satisfaction.

Today is a big day. May 15th marks four months until our wedding day, September 15th! This is where my angst rears its ugly head. I am a worrier at heart, which I attribute to being related to my mother…and father.

It is also the anniversary of my college graduation date two years ago. Hallelujah! Hello, satisfaction.

I remember assuming I was never going to see the end of college. The end I longed for was that of studying, taking tests, and writing page upon page of art history essays or business strategies. Side-note: I also wanted to reach the end of living in a different city that was two hours away from John. What can I say, I really love the guy. ūüôā

Side-side-note: I miss Fort Collins so much now that I want to be back there some days. Then I think of all of the college kids milling about…

I digress. I just cannot believe how much has changed these last couple of years since graduating college. I’m an adult now? Having a “career” job, a house, a dog, and a fiance all point to YES. My heart, however, points to NO.

I am only 23 (turning 24 on Monday, yikes!). I never would have thought I would be hereright now. It’s pretty marvelous what God can do with time.

That’s why I have to believe that everything will come together in a timely manner for the wedding that is four months away. Hold on, I have to catch my breath…

Pray for a serene next few months filled with productivity, motivation, solutions, the means to pay for the event, and love!

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Baked vanilla strawberries & cream oatmeal.

Here’s a secret about me. Whenever I feel stressed out, I have to do something that allows me to take my mind off of the current situation.

My go-to stress reliever is cooking and baking.

Maybe it’s the immediate gratification I receive by having made something delicious. Maybe it’s the fact that I get to eat whatever I’ve just made. Maybe it’s the step-by-step recipe instructions that ends with the creation of something wonderful.

I bet it’s all of those reasons rolled into one. I think it’s interesting that my go-to for feeling less stress is something that I can just do without thinking. I read the recipe, pull out all of the necessary ingredients, turn on the oven or stove, combine each ingredient in a process completely laid out for me, and, in a certain about of time, I have something to eat.

Simple as that. How wonderful! Why doesn’t life have a book of recipes? Which reminds me, I made a recipe book for Ms. Brown’s class in high school that laid out the story of my life. Super fun project!

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe that melted my stress away last night:

Baked Vanilla Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal from A Cozy Kitchen (wonderful food blog)!

Strawberries… vanilla… rolled oats… cream… milk… and butter!

I adapted A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe slightly because I just couldn’t bring myself to buy vanilla bean. It’s just so expensive and time consuming. One day, though, I will make this recipe with the vanilla bean.

This baked oatmeal was the best treat last night and such a delicious breakfast this morning. Thank you, A Cozy Kitchen, for turning my stress into a delicious meal!

Oh no, your decency’s showing.

Lately, I have been so appalled with the behavior people display towards one another. At work, on the road, customer service. There are some common decencies that are completely lacking in people’s interactions with others. Respect, to name a large one, is an elusive idea these days.

Where did common decency run off to, anyhow? I cannot even count the number of times I get cut off in a day, especially when driving to and from work. You wouldn’t believe how much I glance in my rear view mirror when I am coming to a stop or slowing down because someone has been riding my tail and I know they aren’t paying enough attention to the road. I don’t want to have to have my car fixed or peel myself off of the asphalt as much as the next person. So, I propose a simple fix: pay attention!

How about when you’re in an elevator packed full of co-workers waiting to get off on their desired floor? Silence. Everyone is basically touching elbows and yet no one is saying a word. I know that most would rather not be at work, but come on… we all know it’s awkward. And why not show each other the common decency of a breezy, “Hello.” I’m even going to take it a step further and say let’s try, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Crazy! I know.

Some of the folks I call for work-related purposes have this air of “you’re wasting my time” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” I was talking with a man who was not sure if he was receiving the discount he thought he should be. The particular program this man is running with my company is one where he works directly with the vendor, and not directly with us. He felt he needed to contact us and get the information he needed through us instead of calling his contact with the vendor. I let him know the information he needed in order to contact the vendor directly and sent him on his way to reach out to them. Immediately after, I received an email from him and apparently he’s been doing this for 13 years and he has never once had to do this himself.

All I wanted to say was, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you haven’t had to lift your own fingers for the last 13 years and do something for yourself.”

The most interesting thing about this situation is that if this gentleman had thought of treating me nicely and respectfully, I would have had no problem helping him out. When I am demanded to do something by someone I don’t know, I am way less likely to maintain a helpful spirit if there is no genuine ask for help. It matters naught to me that you have been “doing this” for 13 years. I have been alive for 23 years and I know when someone is being a ridiculous jerk.

I long for these short instances with strangers to be decent, genuine, and respectful. Is it really that difficult to let your decency show?

Biscoff bliss.

I have a new, beautiful addiction. It really cannot be beat!

Yes, folks, you read it correctly. That is Biscoff Spread. It is the consistency of peanut butter, and I might say it’s a little smoother. The color is the same as peanut butter as well. The biggest thing that sets this creamy, luscious spread apart from peanut butter, hazelnut spread, and any other nut spread combo that comes to mind?

It’s made from Biscoff cookies!

How in the world do they come up with this stuff? I don’t even care, actually. I just want to reap all of the delicious, dreamy benefits. A spoonful of this magic spread alone? Pure bliss. Smear it onto a piece of whole wheat bread? To die for.

I cannot wait to try a few recipes that I have found which include this gem of a food product. My husband absolutely loves what he calls “Freezer Cookies,” so I was pleased to find a recipe that I can make his all-time favorite cookies with Biscoff spread instead. I will most likely be making these No Bake Biscoff Spread Cookies this weekend.

And since I’ve been on a unique cupcake making rampage, I can’t wait to try this recipe for Biscoff Spread Cupcakes with Biscoff Buttercream Frosting.

I’ll leave you with a picture to dream about.

It goes to show.

When you least expect it, that’s when it happens.

When you least assume you’ll see it again, that’s when you’re struck with it.

When you most fear it will happen, that’s the time it won’t.

What is this thing?

Doubt.

It is waiting with bated breath for the most opportune moment to strike. The unfortunate part for me is that it strikes often and aggressively. The most interesting part is that I always assumed I would have [it] figured out by now. And the frustrating part is that my doubt is so progressive that I doubt I will ever be over my doubt!

I’ll swing up a high five for my doubt being so avant-garde in its abilities to unnerve me at the worst times. But really, a change needs to be made.

I am about to take a journey into the scary I-need-to-figure-things-out world. Prayer and my husband will be my ultimate crutches. Lord knows I have been wearing my husband out with my silly antics. My Savior, I have forgotten, is my forever crutch and my biggest fan.

This all goes to show that doubt is an inexplicable and crazy feeling. But so is faith. They were made for each other. God’s design is one of ultimate mystery and wonder, yet it is no wonder why we feel the things we do at the exact moments we do.

I have no doubt that my display of doubt shows my lack of faith. They are inextricably linked. That’s why my journey in changing my doubt must begin with faith.

Looking backward.

I just read over my four measly posts. I have to say, things have changed so much since those writings.

It’s silly, but I did not realize I had neglected this baby for such a long time. What has it been? At least six months.

In lieu of thinking, observing, and writing, I’ve been doing nearly the opposite. So what has my time been spent on all the while?

Well… Some of it was spent. Some of it was wasted. I will admit to myself and everyone else that I did not utilize my hours in the most constructive of ways.

Some were wasted focusing on how much I missed certain people. Others were wasted ignoring how much I missed those people.

Some were spent getting to have time with the people I missed. Some were spent in the moment.

Some were not so hot. Some were not so cold.

I allowed myself to carry this past semester of school as if it were a burden, rather than an experience I should cherish. I cannot believe I have One semester left of school! It is incredibly exciting, but oh-so terrifying. I hope to make this semester what it should have been last semester.

I should have felt like I was living it, instead of it being in the way of the rest of my life.

There are extraneous circumstances that I am so thankful for, but I know held me back from school. With this said, I want to bring in¬†the past statement that “I allowed myself” to do that. It was by no means anyone else’s fault or problem but my own. I am my own person and make my own decisions. Some decisions made¬†have been murky and cloudy because of distances traveled, missing the people I love, and pure laziness.

I have always known something about myself that I never realized was definitely true – I am not motivated. With this said, there are some days where I can be the most motivated creature you could ever have laid eyes on. My motivation levels are consistent with my schedule. When things become due, such as a test or application, I am all over it…a day beforehand. Most of the time, this method has not failed me. When it has, it fails hardcore.

I am seeking to find a better solution to the rest of this semester – and really, the rest of my life – that is more than just getting through and getting by. I want to be present in every minute I am given.

Here’s to a prayer of strength, motivation, and encouragement. Lord, say you’re with me?

Hurry up and wait.

The theme of my days for the past four months can be compiled into a synopsis of these words: hurry up and wait.

I am in love with, loved by, and love a wonderful guy. Here’s the thing – I hardly get to see him.

We live basically an hour and a half away from each other.

When it all boils down, and I want to see him – or vice versa – the distance is daunting.

Finding the other person that you’re pretty dang sure you wouldn’t mind seeing all day everyday is like discovering $20 when you wake up in the morning…every morning.

Take this feeling and then subtract five to six mornings a week. That’s what my guy and I have to endure.

We’ve reached a point of hoping our circumstances will ease up a tad, and they have here and there. Ultimately, I would say that as certain things have become easier, others have worsened.

All of this winds us up back at the start.

I see nearly another year’s worth of toils and troubles ahead. Another year of waiting for it all the calm down.

Here ends the depressing talk. Enter in – the bright side.

I know that because my guy and I are forced to ride this rickety roller coaster of distance issues, we are undoubtedly going to appreciate when the distance equals zero. We so much appreciate the times we actually see the other’s face in person!… rather than having to hope they still have one.

Appreciation is imperative in a relationship like ours. To appreciate is to be grateful for the things you are given – and to forget the things that you are not given.

Thank God for his lessons, no matter how long they take and the amount they sting.