I’m sure I am not the only person out there thinking, “Wow, this year seemed to go whooshing past.” And it did indeed. The end of holiday season is upon us, and all the celebrations have come to an end. 20131230_005807

I think I have finally figured why it seems that the years go by faster when you’re older, than they did when we were kids. When we were kids, all we had to do was be kids. Play in the rain, jump in mud puddles, and be cute. That’s all there is to it. But when you’re an adult, or at least when you’re growing out of being a kid, you have much more to think about. Bills, getting or working a job, a family, and so on and so forth. When you’re an adult, you are so busy with everyday things that by the time you “look up from what you’re doing” it seems as though months have gone by. Think of it this way, most kids love to play outdoors, they don’t mind a little dirt or a little sunburn every now and then. We sometimes forget how beautiful our earth truly is, or how peaceful a little hike or a nature walk can be. We are so busy dealing with our distractions of our daily lives, that the years seem to go by faster and faster the older you become.

I really try to take time to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Aaaaand that's a wrapWhen I feel like my brain is about to explode from studying so hard, or when I spend the whole day indoors. After a while I start to become stir crazy, and I have to go outside. Whether it is a little walk or just going to an open space to sit and reflect. I feel at peace when I do that. And I challenge you to try it for yourself and see if works for you as it does for me.

So the next time that you are working hard, or studying, and you have that moment when you realize that you haven’t seen daylight in hours, just take a deep breath, and let your mind and body go to ease. It sounds a lot easier than  it actually is. But once you get a hang of it, you’ll be ever so thankful you did it.

This year definitely had its ups and downs and there were definitely times where I just wanted to throw in the towel, and give up on whatever it was that was frustrating me. But everybody has days like that, everybody has years that are harder than those before but we’re all human and that’s what happens sometimes. But I’m alive, healthy, and I have friends and family at my side. So I am content for now.

I know my New Years resolution. Do you? What will you promise yourself for the year to come? What do you wish to happen, how will you take charge of the new year? Sit, relax, and reflect…it will come to you… and you WILL make it happen.

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What does it mean to have abundance, or to be abundant? Well if you were to look it up, it would say something to the effect of “Being plentiful or having more than enough.” But my favorite definition choice was “overflowing fullness” and the example they gave was,” abundance of the heart.” Right when I read that my mind automatically starting thinking about plants. I know that may sound a little odd, but the word abundance is often used when talking about plants,009 such as, “the abundance of fruit from tomato plants is amazing.” And when I think of abundance of the heart I think of love.

So how does any of this tie into plants or fruit? Well, look at it this way. This is how I look at it anyway. When you love your plants, whether it be a fruit tree, a simple vegetable plant, or a flower they all need certain necessities to grow. If you water them, give them a nice place to grow, soft supple soil, and you treat them respect and love the plant will thrive. 006They will shower you with fruit, vegetables, or beautiful flowers.010 And I see this as them showing their gratitude and love to us. As a thank you. Plants can’t physically speak of course, but if you care for them the best that you can, they will give back with the abundance of their bearings. If you don’t water your plants, if you don’t give them a good place to grow, and if the soil they are planted in is rough and dry as a bone, you will most likely not receive anything from them. I see it as a team effort.012 Do to others as you would like done to you. Treat your plants nicely, and they will share their love with you as well.

I started this blog about two years ago. The goal of this blog was and is to share about my life, and possibly inspire others, by sharing my stories and my experiences. When I go through hard times, I turn to cooking. Why? Because in my opinion, food brings people close, food creates fellowship and memories better than anything can. I have shared with you guys about how cooking is my escape, but I want you to really know who I am. I want you to know me on every level, my life and the kind of person I am. As long as you are willing to listen I am willing to share.

I am currently 17 years old, trying to graduate early so I can start college and get a head start on my dreams. My dreams? They are to study in Psychology, family studies, and child development. From as long as I can remember, I’ve loved children.  I am a nanny and a babysitter. Not only am I currently on my journey to graduate early, I am also on another journey.  An emotional one. I am on the journey to figure out who I really am. I am trying to embrace my last year as a kid. But at the same time, it’s hard. There has been so much going on in my life lately that it’s hard to wrap my head around sometimes. While I am focusing on growing up myself, my brother leaves for college in about a month. Of course as a sister there is a part of me that is excited for him to go. I will be the only child left in the house, I get a bit more privacy, and just the little things that brothers and sisters argue about will be no more. But on the other hand, I worry. I worry about having to be on my own. Without this person, who has been my support and someone I can sit down with and talk to about things that nobody else knows but us. 053So he will be missed, but he has to go and pursue his dreams as his own person.

This year has definitely been one of the hardest years I’ve ever had. This is the one year that I felt I’ve had no real control over. There have been times where I feel like my whole world is crashing down around me and there’s nothing I can do about it. At times I’ve felt alone, I’ve felt sad, and I’ve felt helpless.  I’ve learned a lot this year. I’ve learned a lot about loyalty, love, family, and bonds. And not everything that I’ve learned is something that I want to learn. Like I said, this year has definitely tested me. I just hope that one day it will all be better, we will all be happy, and we will all be one, again.

But where there is sad, there will be happiness… eventually. Although I’m scared of growing up and being my own person I know I WILL be happy. Maybe not today, maybe not even tomorrow, but it will happen. I just know it.

I can’t wait for my brother to start college. I can’t wait to pass my exam to graduate high school, and start college myself. I can’t wait to pursue my dreams, and I can’t wait for everything… to get better. The future is hopeful, and endless.

I love all of you guys, and thank you for being there for me. Whether or not you comment or “like” my posts, I know you read them. And that, just that, can get me through my day.

*I will go back to posting once a week as soon as this post is up, every Friday, a post will be up*

Everybody goes through major transitions in their lives, and right now is a time for transition in mine. My life has been so hectic lately, and I haven’t had time for anything. So, for now I am just dropping in to say hi, and I will be back in a few weeks and will hopefully be posting weekly again.

Over the last few weeks I’ve realized something about myself. I’ve noticed that whenever I’m in a bad mood, or I’ve just had a bad day and it seems as though nothing is going right, the best way to relieve stress is by baking. I found it a little odd at first, seeing as though I’m more into cooking rather than baking. I’m not one for precise measurements. I like to experiment, throw things together, and see what happens and what comes out of it. But when I’m stressed all I want to do is mix a few ingredients in a bowl, pour it in a pan, and bake it up. I don’t know what it is, perhaps it’s the feeling I get when I watch everything come together. Perhaps it’s the feeling I get when I smell something yummy and sweet baking away in the oven, filling my house with the most amazing smells that fills my body with the warmest of sensations. But whatever it is it always does the trick for me. Of course baking helps, but do you know what makes it just, over the top amazing? BAKING WITH CHOCOLATE. That’s right, I said it, CHOCOLATE. 002 (2) I think that chocolate can solve all of the world’s problems. I’m a little bit of a chocaholic I’d admit. When I meet someone and they bring me chocolate, I know it’s a friendship that will last for years.

Life is a bit like chocolate. I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but just hear me out. Just think about it. Sometimes life can be hard. There are times in your life that are so amazing it makes you melt. Life can be sweet, it can be bitter, and life can definitely have a dark side to it. Chocolate is just plain amazing in my book. Mmmm just writing this post makes my mouth water. It makes me crave a sweet, silky, yummy, amazingly rich chocolate bar.

Yes, I may be a little obsessed about my chocolate, but let me tell you something. I think one of the best memories I’ve had so far is when my sister in law lived with me. We would walk down to the store at around 11 at night, in pitch dark with only the street lamps to guide us, all to get us some chocolate. When I’m with someone who loves chocolate as much as I do it makes me feel a little less crazy. My sister has opened my imagination to chocolates that I never would’ve thought of trying. One time we were at a Whole Foods and she saw a dark chocolate bar with quinoa in it. Of course, seeing that odd combination, we HAD to get it. And it was pretty good. It basically tasted like a better more expensive version of the classic crunch bar. Because of her, I’ve also had dark chocolate with lavender, orange flavor and orange rind. But the most amazing chocolate bar that I have ever tasted in my whole entire life, is when we went to a store dedicated just to chocolate. I bought a dark chocolate bar filled with burnt caramel and black Hawaiian sea salt. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The second I sunk my teeth into that masterpiece of perfection, my soul was transported to another world. Complete euphoria, happiness, and I thought I had found the reason for living. But then of course a few days later that chocolate bar vanished just as fast as it was purchased.

So my  overall vote? CHOCOLATE IS THE ANSWER. End of story. End of thought. That’s just the way the it is and it will always be that way in my eyes. I’m proud to be a chocolate lover, or as some people would call it, a chocaholic. I will wear that title with pride, and you should too. Don’t let people ever tell you that you shouldn’t eat chocolate, because in my book there’s never a reason not to. You only live once, so be happy, eat, and indulge.

Have you ever read the book The Cat in the Hat By Dr. Seuss? I loved that book when I was young, seemed simple, funny, and in someway still taught a lesson, to me anyway. In the very beginning of that book the author talks about two little kids, sitting by a window watching the rain. Just sitting, nothing to do except daydream about all the fun they could be having outside, if weren’t raining. For the last few days that’s exactly what I have felt like. Rain makes me want to do absolutely nothing. I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want to work, and I don’t want to go anywhere. It just makes me want to sleep, drink lots of tea, and daydream about warm weather.

There was one happy memory that I have, that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the rain.  It was about two years ago, my brother, my sister in law and my nephew were living with me, and it was pouring rain. My back yard was so flooded it looked just like a swamp. My nephew, who was only 5 at the time, my sister in law, and I decided to suit up and go in the back yard. We played soccer in the rain. My sister and I soaked each other, even though it was cold and we were wet, it was probably one of the most fun moments I’ve ever had. To me, at that moment, it didn’t matter that my hair was ruined, or that my makeup was running, it was that we were all enjoying the rain together and I felt carefree and happy.

Even though I am a summer baby there are a few things that I absolutely adore about the rain. I love after the rain has stopped and you walk outside, all you hear is silence, except for the water running in the ditches. As you feel the cold air on your face, you close your eyes and smell the water coming off the pavement. That’s when I feel peace. No matter what is going on in my life, I feel calm and relaxed.

As the rain starts to slowly comes to a stop, all the animals start to appear. Those who have been sleeping close to their mothers in their warm cozy den or nest. The other day I saw something that made me absolutely melt on the inside. I saw a baby squirrel sleeping close to the care and comfort of, not it’s mother, but our new kitten, Moofa. I guess somehow the little squirrel fell out of it’s nest and for some reason bonded with Moofa. It was so precious seeing these two animals. This squirrel is obviously not Moofa’s baby, but Moofa acting like she saw no difference. Motherly instincts are strong, and have taken over in this situation. I went to pet our kitten, and she stood up over the baby, so as to protect it from danger, sweet, cuddly, and very protective, all the traits of an amazing mother. 

So lately I’ve been thinking… thinking about the past, present, and future. Throughout my life I’ve heard many people use the expression “when one door closes, another opens.” There are a few ways one could perceive this commonly used expression. Someone could see it as forgetting some of the bad things they have done, or memories they wish to forget and move on and start fresh for the future. The door of your past closes as the door to your future opens. Or they could experience what I have found it to mean, which is after the loss of a loved one, whether it be a family member or just a close friend, you learn to accept the tragedy and loss and learn to move forward in your life. Metaphorical doors of course, when I think of the doors I think of one being labeled “closure” and the other, “hope.”

It has been officially a year since the tragic death of one of my closest friends. Although his loss still pains me everyday, and I find myself not being able to go without thinking about him, I realized that I need to come to terms with the fact that it’s time. It’s time to let the door of my past close. Without it closed my future can’t open. I feel as though I am trying, trying so hard to close my past without losing my memories, but for some reason, my door to the future won’t open. It’s stuck. Is it possible to go into your future without your past being shut? I don’t know… it seems as though I’m about to find out. So as I start my journey to figuring what lies ahead of me in life, I hope to see the door close behind me.

A lot of times the patterns of our lives kind of remind me of the seasons. Your past experiences and bad memories as the rainy stormy winter, your journey to closure and happiness as the beautiful spring as things start to open and start to blossom. But sometimes too much of a good thing can lead to withering and drying out like the summer, then you catch yourself in your tracks before going overboard and  you find yourself stopping yourself from “Fall”ing.