Tag Archives: this is my life

What Christmas Means to Me…

15 Dec

This song by Stevie Wonder is one of my all-time favorites. And yes, you can find me singing it (loudly and likely off key) in a regular basis during the holiday season:

It also puts me in the best mood ever and reminds me of why I love the holidays so darn much.

Here’s what Christmas means to me this year:

Getting super excited about exchanging presents with the boyfriend (who needs a nickname, I realize this); we’ve both kept the hints and clues to a minimum and so basically I have no idea what I’ll be getting from him. ♥ Enjoying evenings by the fire combating the bitter winter cold (at least bitter winter cold to the STL, I know it’s worse elsewhere!)♥  Borrowing cheesy holiday books from the library and loving them so much I cry at the end. ♥ Making my list and checking it twice to make sure I have really completed my Christmas shopping (turns out I haven’t). ♥ Sneaking in extra time to sleep in the mornings. ♥  Continuing to decorate the house with Darling even though Christmas is 10 days away. ♥  Christmas Cards! This year I’m a bit behind but I’m 50% of the way done with them. ♥  Listening to holiday music all the time. I can’t get enough. ♥  Remembering the reason for the season and enlisting the help of my coworkers to raise money for some very worthy local charities. ♥  Lots of laughter, lots of great food, lots of time spent with family. ♥  Reunions and catching up with friends who are home for the holidays. ♥  Being thankful for all that is good in my life. ♥  Embracing the various assortment of tights I own as they really extend one’s wardrobe. Skirts + tights + boots in the winter? Don’t mind if I do. ♥  Remembering my grandfather; my heart aches for him at this time each year. ♥  Baking up a storm. December 23rd will be Nora in the Kitchen Day and I can’t wait. ♥ Romantic evenings out with the boyfriend, getting all dressed up, enjoying wine and then totally forgetting to take pictures because we are “in the moment.” ♥  Watching the excitement on the little kids faces as they run to see Santa at the mall. Too adorable. ♥  Christmas Puzzles! We do one each year and although we are missing pieces (on a new puzzle!?) we are forging ahead anyway. ♥  Dreaming of a White Christmas even though it surely won’t happen. ♥  Bubbling over with happiness, excitement, hope and general joy for all things going on in my life right now. ♥ 


What do the holidays mean to you this year?


Big Flower

18 Nov

No, that’s not my new Native American name.

But it could have been last Friday.

You see, I was meeting someone special immediately after work. And about halfway through the day? Remembered that in my rush to look cute and put together, I totally forgot to put on deodorant. I didn’t smell but as soon as I realized I didn’t have any on I started to panic. What if I went to hug this someone special I smelled less than pristine? That would just not be ok.

I ran to the ladies room where I found some sort of Bath & Body Works spray. I spritzed it in the air, you know, to get a whiff of what it smelled like. It didn’t smell like a 90 year old woman or a really strong botanical garden so I figured I’d go for it and proceeded to spritz it just on the inside of my wrist when rather than a spritz a gush of the perfume spray came shooting out onto my hand, onto my blouse and my pants.

I immediately messaged Lisa and told her that I smelled like a huge flower and OMG how embarrassing and how could I possibly show up to see this someone special smelling like a huge Bath & Body Works Flower/Walking Ad? This is where best friends are helpful as she quickly asked if I had any optional clothes in my car to change into. Bless her heart, she was right. I was too wrapped up in my freakout to remember that of course I had extra clothes in my car.

Crisis averted.
I didn’t smell like a huge flower when I finally got to see the someone special.
Nor did I smell gross because I also realized that I had deodorant in my car the entire time. (Yes, seriously. I laughed at myself when I remember that.)
Thank goodness because I couldn’t resist giving that someone special a huge hug.

On my to do list now? Buy mini deodorant for desk drawer at work, as well as find a few trial size perfumes I like to keep in the purse, just in case.

Any funny similar experiences to share?

Within a Year

27 Oct

It’s been almost a year since I wrote this post.

It’s been almost a year since my heart was broken into more little bits than I thought possible, before my world-as-I-knew-it collapased, before I had to redefine my future, redefine myself, redefine my beliefs.

For awhile everything felt like an uphill battle. I went to work because it was a distraction from the pain. I slept because it was a distraction from a pain. Laughing seemed like a chore. The holidays came and went in a bit of a blur despite  my family doing everything they could to pull me through. I didn’t hang out with my friends who were couples because it was too painful a reminder of what I’d lost.  

Guys hit on me; I had to try not to laugh because it just felt so wrong. These guys didn’t know that I have crazy food allergies or that my favorite candy is Junior Mints or that after a long week sometimes I want to put on sweats, eat pizza and watch 30 Rock repeats. They weren’t him.

I went on dates; I’d cry on the way home. I didn’t even tell people about the dates because they were hardly newsworthy. They weren’t him either.

I signed up for online dating this past spring but canceled the whole thing when it asked if I liked video games – something we used to do together – which caused me to sob uncontrollably. I wasn’t ready yet.

I went into a no-dating cocoon, I threw myself into school, into 10 mile race training (and then 10K race training), into friends and family, into reading, into traveling, into positive passion, into any distraction I could think of so that maybe one day I’d wake up and feel whole again. It worked, at least 95% of the time.

It’s been almost a year. In that time I grew; I learned; I processed; I got over it. I got over us.

Now I laugh hard and I laugh often.  I do things because I want to do them, not because I’m trying to mask the pain. I sleep less because reality is better than dreamland. I’m truly happy. I smile often and my eyes are shining.

I’ve nearly recovered, or as much as one can recover from heartbreak. Sometimes I wonder if we ever fully recover, or if we just patch up the hole in our heart and hope that we meet someone else who can fill those spaces of our mind, body and soul where others once were. Where others should be. Where others will inevtiably be someday. And maybe this time they won’t leave.  

That’s where I stand today. With a heart full of love and passion to give with a few holes here and there, ready for someone else…

Monday, Monday

27 Sep

It’s Monday.

Which means that my brain is still on weekend time, struggling to keep up with the corporate world, perhaps even wishing it were still in bed under warm blankets (fall has arrived here in STL). Something that looks a lot like this:


This also means that this morning you get some Nora Randomness.

* I had to pay a late fine of $3.15 at the library about a week ago. Three books were only five days overdue. I understand that they were late and it was my fault, but $3.15? It seemed a little steep for an overdue charge.

* No one at my office noticed my new glasses. This seems odd to me as I wear my glasses all the time at the office since they are readers/computer glasses. I guess everyone is really wrapped up in what they are doing on a daily basis which is fine, but I guess I thought they were a huge departure from my old ones.

* Every time I go to visit my brother, I inevitably have a great time. I also inevitably realize that I’m not 21 years old anymore and do not have a problem going to bed before midnight. I learned a lot this weekend too; suffice to say college and the college culture has changed drastically.

* I have one of the best brothers and family anyone could ask for. Hands down.

* I am really proud of my Tigers so far; a huge win yesterday ought to give them the confidence to get through our conference games later in the season.

* Getting one’s nose pierced doesn’t hurt nearly as much as you’d think. It’s also relatively easy to get used to. Here’s a picture for those who are curious:

* The closer I am to being done with school the more excited I get for all my free time. I literally am counting down the days. 14 days.

* Shopping at boutique stores can lead to finding some amazing presents for friends. Bonus for supporting local economies and entreprenuers.

* Free (early) birthday peppermint chip ice cream is the best. Also, I have mixed feelings about my birthday being in two days.

* My 10k is only three Sundays away and I’m getting a little nervous about my ability to run 6.2 miles all at once; I’ve been doing pretty well in my training runs but I’m nervous anyway!

* I purged my book collection yesterday; I decided to part with about 10 books that I know I won’t read again and/or recommend to friends, so why bother keeping them on my shelf? My shelves are exploding with books as it is, so freeing up some space was a great feeling.

Any Monday randomness that you’d like to share?

Grace in Small Things: Week One

17 Sep

Since I revived this series last week and several people said they are glad I did so, I’ll be doing this on Fridays almost every week.

(Also, today is love the lovely Becky’s birthday. Leave her some birthday love today!)

* Chatting with my good friend Lisa. Whether it’s BBM or emails, it’s so great to have a friend who gets me. I may have been tempted to pack up and move to Minneapolis when she told me last night that she wished we were roommates or at least lived closer to each other. (Edite to add: So I talk to numerous fabulous ladies every day and they make my life infinitely better. Seriously. Habbala. Ashley. Mandy. Just to name a few. You know who you are. If we chat and you make me smile, you’re on this list.)

* I gave Jack a new toy on Tuesday night which meant two hours of playing fetch until he settled in for the night with the toy tucked under his chin. I suppose he was afraid that my parents 17 year old beagle might try to steal it from him.

* Receiving some awesome comments from my professor on  my most recent case study. Sometimes I sell myself short, I think, when it comes to all that I’ve learned in the last few years but nailing a paper with positive comments from an otherwise snarky professor? I’ll take it.

* Parenthood started this week. Enough said.

* A microderm abrasion facial. I’ve been getting facials for almost a year now and I’m in love with them. This past week my technician gave me a special deal on microderm and seriously my skin has never looked so good. The entire process was relaxing, the collagen mask at the end smelled divine and I’ve been “glowing,” all week.

* 10k training is going well and I’m halfway thru the program so this makes me happy. The knees are holding up ok, my endurance has improved and I love being in the gym six days a week again.

* Planning mini-trips to see friends and taking the entire Thanksgiving week off from work. I can’t wait.

Where did you find grace this past week?

Ten on Tuesday: The Travel Edition

14 Sep

1. Favorite way to travel (plane, train, automobile, etc.)
I am sadly not a fan of traveling by plane but I will do it if I must and once I’m in the air I’m ok. I think that if trains were a more viable option in the States, I’d be all about it. Otherwise, I’m always up for a good road trip.

2. Where’s your favorite place to travel to that you’ve been to?
Florida, hands down. Palm trees. Fruity drinks. The ocean. Sand. Far and away my favorite place.

3. Where’s the place that you want to go but have never been?
Italy. Greece. Paris. Alaska. Prince Edward Island. (There’s a family trip to Italy in the works for 2011 and I’m super excited. I may try to steal extra time and go backpacking through France/Switzerland/Spain with my brother before he starts his post-college life.)

4. Do you deal with traffic well?
95% of the time I do. The other 5% I’m like a sailor: cursing, shouting, flipping people off.

5. Ever had an emergency while traveling?
Yes, unfortunately. Spring break when I was in 8th grade, my grandfather passed away suddenly. I was in North Carolina with the family so we drove to Upstate NY for the funeral. It was the worst spring break ever.

Sixth grade camp, which maybe counts as traveling, I broke my ankle in three different places and my parents had to come pick me up in the middle of the night.

6. Do you have a passport? What countries have you been to?
Yes, I do. England twice. Canada twice. That’s all so far, since the islands I’ve been to are US territories/protectorates.

7. Are you’ve light packer or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink?
Depends on where I’m going. If it’s a place I’ve already been, I’m a pretty light packer. However, girls’ trips and new cities/countries I tend to overpack.

8. Do you take the fastest route or the road less traveled?
Going: the fastest route.
Coming home: the road less traveled.

9. Do any activities on the road? (like road games, reading, sleeping, etc. )
I always have books and crossword puzzle books on hand, plus my Nintendo DSi. If I’m on a road trip, I’ll do road games! Oh, and sleeping on long road trips is a given.

10. Use a paper map or GPS?
Google maps! I just got a GPS a few months ago but I try not to use it too much.

My Butterfly

8 Sep

I stumbled upon this quote the other day and the more I thought about it, the more it resonates with me.

I’ve spent the last few months making myself finish graduate school (six weeks and counting), setting positive goals for myself with regards to my health and fitness (thank you 10K training), examined my life, reunited with friends and made new ones and a plethora of other “normal” activities. Nothing crazy. No wondering when certain events will take place. No pressuring myself into things I’m not quite ready for.

When I look at what I’ve done day in and day out it is simply this: I’ve Lived.

In that living, the daily grind, the day-to-day ups and downs, I’ve realized I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

I want to bottle up this feeling and store it away for a day where I’m feeling blue. Or better yet, never let it go.