Thoughts and Lessons Learned

Roses and Thorns

I’ve been a little MIA lately, but that’s just the season I am in. I have a huge project going on at work and especially now that we are finally having a spring, that all sort of zaps any desire I have to be in front a screen of any kind outside of working hours.

But to kick off the week I wanted to share a simple habit I’ve made since the new year that has really stuck with me.

I’ll be first to admit that my attitude over the past couple of months hasn’t been all that great. Going through a breakup right before Christmas really knocked me down… much harder, and for much longer than I would have expected. But life does have to go on, and with as busy I always tend to keep myself, I most struggled with balancing the hard stuff with good and positive things going on at the same time. I know that is not an uncommon thing for people to feel for a lot of different reasons, but this time for me, it just has seemed so much more inflated. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, a blogger that I follow, Design Darling, does a weekly post about her “Rose and Thorn.” She shares something that she struggled with that week or that just plain sucked, and then follows it with something positive or happy. I always enjoy those kind of simple posts and appreciate when people recognize the whole spectrum of life, and not just the highlight reel.

So, I decided to take a page out of her playbook. In my planner, there is a notes block section for every week. My personal rule is that I have to bullet point a minimum of three “Roses” for the week, and then I can write down as many things as I want or need to for my “Thorns.” Sometimes this is really hard, and my roses are very simple or even more matter of fact. But other times, I have really surprised myself and my thorns were almost not even worth acknowledging.

I’m not saying that this new habit really fixes anything or magically makes the sun shine everyday. But it’s nice knowing that this is just for me and no one is going to read it, so I can be just plain honest with myself. It creates a simple space that acknowledges the good, the bad and everything in between, and I think its remember important (and healthy) to allow ourselves to create that space for both.

After a few months of doing this, I think its become an easy, healthy habit that I plan on keeping up with.

Have a wonderful week friends!

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 30

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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In Case You Missed It On the Blog in February

  1. Friday Jam Session: Favorite Albums in 2017
  2. The Road I Traveled: Meet Tim
  3. So There’s That Vol. 29
  4. The Road I Traveled: Meet Jade
  5. A Day in the Life – February 14, 2018
  6. Friday Jam Session: Motivation
  7. My Office Space + New Standing Desk
  8. Love Letter: Golden Anniversary
  9. Emotional Courage
  10. The Road I Traveled: Meet Anna
  11. Book Review: February 2018

I Wander the World

i wander the world
not because i am lost
but because i know
who i am

a lover of movement
walking, running, spinning
hair to the wind
doesn’t matter where, when

here or there or home
look & see adventure, novel
new flower splitting earth in a yard
or foot in front of boot to 17,000 feet

touched by your hands to forehead
honored by my dust, while your path
teaches my heart to expand the
world is as big as the people I meet

new faces, new smiles greet
me with mother tongues, kisses,
invited to your spaces, tea with graces
& I’m grateful

i wander the world

By, Shannon Boettcher

This was written by my friend Shannon, from my hometown, who is also a wonderful photographer. Check her work out here! I loved her poem so much I just had to share! Thanks Shannon!

Sawyer June

As of March 13, this sassy babe is 8 months old!! Sadly, I won’t be home to see my cousin again until she’s almost a year old… so for now she’s still on my phone background, which recently got an update with one of these. Right now she’s currently trying to crawl. Until she succeeds, I’ll continue to be amused by the videos I get of her frustration and impatience 🙂

Havana

This song is one of my current favorites to jam out to in the car, but I am LOVING this version of it with the violin!

3 Years in DC

Last week marked my third year in DC and I wrote this blog post reflecting on my career and 10 things I’ve learned so far.

You’re Going to Be Okay

Photo property of The Girl Who Loved to Write Blog

I’ve shared this blogger before, but if you don’t already follow her, you should! I love her style of writing and so many of her posts ring so true for me, like this one did.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Took a salsa dancing lesson!

At the new Wharf with some small group friends for an Irish festival.

Note: This weather did NOT last very long.

FINALLY replaced a few of my pans and utensils. My old ones were hand-me downs when I received them 7 years ago. #adulting

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

Life at Random

Day in the Life – February 14, 2018

With social media it is really easy to get caught up in people’s “life highlight reels” and whether its subconscious or not, we make comparisons. I think there are a lot of great things about social media  (hello, its a part of my job), but that pitfall is not one of them. When it comes to bloggers, I usually follow new ones I’ve found for a little while, but if I don’t relate to them or just get too much of the highlight reel, instead of everyday real life, then I tend to let them drop off my list of those I follow.

“Day in the Life” posts from other bloggers are always some of the most simple posts they do, but they are always interesting to me. It’s fun to get a peek into how someone else, who has a different job, location and life circumstances does their everyday life. I finally decided to do one myself because also liked the idea that it captures my life right in the moment and season of life that I’m in. Someday I might look back and think, wow, how different things were then.

In order for it to be somewhat spontaneous, at the beginning of February I decided that I wanted to do a day that was mid-month and then I asked one of my friends, without giving her the context, to pick a number from a range of dates. I laughed that she ended up selecting Valentine’s Day, but I decided to stick to it, so here we go!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

That’s my sweet baby cousin Sawyer June by the way 🙂

My alarm went off at 5:20 am. In all honesty, this was a bit early for me. Most mornings I usually wake up between 6 and 6:30, but this particular morning I had signed up for a 7 am Pure Barre class and I had to account for a 30 minute walk. The barre studio is two blocks from my office, which is just about a mile from my apartment. I walk most days because I don’t have a permanent parking spot at the office, so days that I drive mean that someone that is a regular driver is away from the office that day, or when its super cold or bad weather I can use the visitors spot from time to time.

Anyway, when I first wake up, I always quickly check my work email on my phone to see if any emails from our overseas offices came in overnight and breeze through a few news headlines. After I pried myself out of bed, the rest of my early morning consisted of packing my outfit for the day, makeup bag and lunch in my backpack. (I switch between a backpack and a large purse, based on my mode of getting to work and what I need that day.)

I always need something small to eat before I workout, especially if it is in the morning so I grabbed a cereal bar and also downed a small can of cold brew coffee mixed with a little almond milk to take my vitamins. The cold brew is my favorite go-to if I don’t have time to brew hot coffee for my to to-go cup, or days like today, where it made less sense to bring it and then have it sit while I was in class.

I left my apartment about 6:20 or so and arrived at 6:42, which was great because that meant when the class before me got out at 6:50, I was first into the studio and got to snag my favorite spot. Pure Barre is something new I started right before Christmas and I am really loving it so far!

Class lasted 50 minutes. So at 7:50 I was out the door and immediately walked right around the corner to Peet’s Coffee. Like I said before, most days I make coffee at home, so I try to stick to making Peet’s a treat maybe 3 to 5 times a month. So I got my usual small dirty chai latte and also grabbed a bowl of apple spice overnight oats.

My office building has a small locker room which is SO convenient. I keep a towel, small body wash, deodorant, dry shampoo and body spray in my locker. It took me about 30 minutes to rinse off, dress and put on my makeup. My hair is naturally curly and doesn’t get very oily, so I only wash my hair every 3 to 4 days, even when I’ve straightened it, like I had done earlier in the week. So with a little dry shampoo and some bobby pins I was good to go.

I walked into my office at 8:39. We are allowed to choose our arrival and leave within some guidelines, which is nice. I typically get to work between 8:30 and 8:45 and leave between 5 and 5:15. Others in the office who have longer commutes and/or kids, typically start and leave earlier.

There wasn’t really much to take unique pictures of throughout my work day. My morning was filled with planning and scheduling out some social media posts and responding to various emails (and eating my overnight oats.) The last few weeks were busy focusing primarily on our board meeting that wrapped up last Saturday, so I also had a few random tasks on my to-do list that I needed to circle around to again.

At lunch, I walked two blocks to the Walgreens to pick up a prescription and then came back to the office and ate a small plate of the leftover spaghetti that I brought with me from home. After lunch, I turned my attention to our website redesign which is set to launch in late spring or early summer. I met with two other staff members to work through the plans for the pages that require their attention and made some really good progress on a few decisions that need to be made. For the rest of the day I worked on website content and planning, snacked on a orange and wrapped up the afternoon with a catch up with my boss on a meeting he went to earlier in the day and what we need from each other for the remainder of the week. I also eventually moved from sitting to standing. I got my adjustable table top desk back in December and absolutely LOVE it!

I left the office at 5:13 and was home by 5:41. I was excited to see that I had a sweet Valentine’s card in my mailbox from my best friend Megan. I needed to be out the door again in about an hour so I relaxed on the couch to unwind and flip through my personal social media and put on an episode of NCIS on Netflix, which is the show that I am currently slowing working through. I like other types of shows, but crime serial shows are my favorite, partially because I can half watch/half do something else and still feel like I enjoyed it.

At 6:40 or so, I got ready to leave again and my friend Lance called to catch up, which was great timing because I had a 30 minute walk ahead of me again and it was a great way to fill that time.

At 7:20 I met up with my friend Carley at the Clarendon Grille, which is also really close to my office. Carley just moved here after the new year, and works for an organization that essentially does the same thing as mine does, just for other grain commodities. I am friends with one of her colleagues who connected us. Anyway, Carley is in an intramural league for cornhole (how awesome is that?!), so I tagged along for the evening to hangout, which included a dinner of a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a Yuengling. We wrapped up a little after 9 so I justified getting an Uber for a quick ride home.

Once at home, I made some decaf lemon tea, watched the rest of the NCIS episode that I had started earlier and did some work on this blog post. I also put on a face mask, which I do maybe once or twice a week, especially in the winter, when my dry skin can use all the help it can get! Around 10:30 I called it quits and headed to bed.

Nothing too exciting, but overall it was a good day!

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 29

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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In Case You Missed It On the Blog in January

  1. 2017 – A Year in Review
  2. Home for the Holidays 2017
  3. Favorite Things {in 2017} I Need to Tell You About Right Now
  4. Top 20 Favorite Pictures From My Camera in 2017
  5. So There’s That Vol. 28
  6. The Road I Traveled: Meet Elizabeth
  7. Love Letter: To My Planner
  8. The Road I Traveled: Meet Brandi
  9. Vision Board Party
  10. Book Review: January 2018

Scottsdale Work Trip

Mid-January I headed to Arizona to represent my organization at the Wheat Foods Council annual meeting, which is a partner of ours. While it was a work trip with very little down time, I AM SO NOT COMPLAINING. It was between 60 and 75 degrees the entire time which was a nice mid-winter break from the bitter wind chill in DC.

Seriously, why are cacti so fascinating.

52 Things I Want to Do in 2018.

Source: The Girl Who Loved To Write

Chelsea, at “The Girl Who Loved to Write” is one of my favorite bloggers. I didn’t do true new year’s resolutions this year, but I loved this list she put together of 52 things she wants to do in 2018. I love a good list, and this is an approach to self-improvement that is more my style.

Positive Thinking

I’m laughing about this now, but I was definitely not laughing at the time. I’ve been struggling a bit with being positive lately, and so a few weeks ago when I got up early for a 6 am workout class before my late morning flight to Arizona for work, I was feeling really good and determined to have a better attitude going into this trip. Wrong move.

I had timed out the rest of my morning so that I could get everything I needed to done and out the door to the airport on time, which included ironing the shirt I was wearing that day. I only have a table top ironing board and no table so my kitchen counter is where I do my ironing. At one point I set my iron too close to the edge of the counter, and it fell and landed on my foot. I am pretty sure my next door neighbor (who I know was home because I could hear him moving around in his own kitchen #citylife) thinks I’ve lost my mind or something based how loud and how long I yelled. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this was rough. I determined after a couple of minutes that the hot part of the iron never touched me (how does that happen?!) but that the reason it hurt so much was that the heavy iron had landed on ONE of my toes. But I was on a timeline so the purple swollen toe got shoved into a shoe and to the airport I went. I swear, the list of ridiculous (and eventually funny) things that happen that I can’t make up is way to long.

 Why It’s Good to Embrace Negative Feelings

Link to video HERE.

I tried to get this video to embed directly, but I couldn’t get it to work correctly. If you click the photo though, the link will take you to the video 🙂 I saw a friend post this Ted Talk on Facebook a few weeks ago and it came to me right at a time when I really needed to hear it. It stayed with me so much, that I’ve thought about incorporating it into a blog post idea that I’ve been turning over in my head recently. Stay tuned, and in the mean time, watch this!

My favorite quote from the video was “Tough emotions are part of our contract with life.

Ted Talk Summary: “Psychologist Susan David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness. In this deeply moving, humorous and potentially life-changing talk, she challenges a culture that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the powerful strategies of emotional agility. A talk to share.”

Spelling is Hard

My friend Nicole, who is an agriculture communications professional like me, tweeted the other day about what her crutch word was. Even though we are typically really good at spelling, I promise you that all communicators/writers/journalists/etc. have a word that is relatively easy that stumps them every time. Nicole’s word is “scissors” and I tweeted back that mine is “necessary.” Then our friend Jenni, who is a journalist for a paper in the Midwest, tweeted back that hers was “diarrhea.” Maybe you have to know these two ladies for it to be funny, but I thought her response was hilarious and it kept me laughing for the rest of the day.

Exodus 14:14

Exodus 14:14 is my favorite verse, so for Christmas, my best friend Megan gave me this handmade copper (also my favorite) bracelet and it’s been the perfect reminder to wear on my wrist. The bracelet is from “The Muddy Hammer.” If you like my bracelet, you should check out some of their other stuff HERE. #notsponsored

Busy, Busy, Busy

I typically try my best to avoid going on about being busy. It’s hard, but I think that’s a lazy answer when people ask you how you are, and while its also subjective, most people live what they consider to be busy lives. And to be honest, I personally prefer to have a busier schedule.

But with that said, the first six weeks of the new year always tends to be a WHIRLWIND for me, and this year has been no exception. It’s partially why this post tends to be short on pictures. This last week I hit that six week mark with our winter board meeting which is always right here in DC. My planner is quickly filling up again, but the meeting was a bit of a mental finish line mark for me, and it was nice to spend it surrounded by our farmers, who continue to inspire me and are such a large part of why I love my job. I’m a bit biased, but I am really excited that our newest elect to the board’s officer team is a farmer from Oregon.

When the farmer is extra tall and you are extra short, benches are necessary for taking good photos. Thanks for being a good sport Darren!

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

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