As one year comes to a close and a new one begins
I can't help but reflect and remind myself how very thankful I am for
all of the incredible women I have in my life.
Maybe it's because I'm an introvert. Maybe it's because I spent decades pushing people away so I wouldn't have to explain a life I wasn't proud of. It's hard to say. But it wasn't until this season, that I've been ready to reach out, accept invitations, and really make efforts to nurture friendships.
Admittedly, it's far outside my comfort zone. I feel like I'm stumbling my way through, making mistakes, figuring it out, waiting for somebody to tap me on the shoulder and tell me I'm doing it all wrong (again!)
For those who follow The Veggies, you'll know that somewhere around 40 I decided to change my life. One of the handfuls of things I'd written on my list was:
“I want people in my life ..
(strike that) .. not just people, but good people. Those who are good for me, and good to me; people who are interesting and challenging; people who are out in the world with a passion of doing for others”
It's times like last night, surrounded many of them at a New Year's Eve party that I couldn't help but be reminded. How very privileged, and how profoundly grateful I am to have each of them in my life. These women who not only let, but encourage me to my truest self
When I think about them, many words come to mind, but probably the most fitting would be strong. Their truest strengths found not in what they can lift at the gym (though it's impressive!), but instead by what their lives hold, and what they've been able to bear.
They're reinventing businesses, running races (even in the Iowa cold!), volunteering, navigating retirement, menopause, empty-nests, careers, school, kids, husbands, pets, households, aging parents, caring for themselves, and everything else in between.
With all of the things in our lives, while we may take a week to respond to each other's email, there's no doubt we would jump in our car, run, take a bus, or fly to each other's doorstep if we really needed each other
ps: Some even call to say, “Wait, I'll do The Plan right along-side you” Detox (?!) Now that is friendship
I think about them, and wonder if they even know their own strength: these patient, funny, wise, talented, and smart women. Their unfailing generosity on display every day, the idea of paying-it-forward, and giving back, etched deep into each of their spirits.
I'm so thankful for all the ways they challenge, uplift, correct, teach, and love me; each in their own small and wonderful ways. When I'm with them, I'm my best self. Not only do they demand, but they nourish it as well
So as we begin a new year, what I know for certain is this past one has been one of the best I've ever had. I'm healthy, strong, in a solid marriage, writing, working, making mistakes, and quietly learning from them.
I certainly couldn't have, and wouldn't have wanted to do it without them.
We brought these cookies to the New Year's Eve party; they're incredible, as well as easy to make
I've always loved the traditional no-bake cookies with butter, lots of white sugar, cocoa, oats, and peanut butter. A childhood favorite if there ever was one.
I can remember eating them straight from the pan by the spoonful and never having the patience to let them set up before sampling.
~ Adapted from gi365.info
Chocolate, Coconut, and Oat No-Bake Cookies
- ½ cup coconut milk, canned
- ½ cup cacao powder (or traditional cocoa powder)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted, but not hot
- 1 ½ cups natural sugar (organic dark brown sugar is a great alternative)
- 2 cups flaked coconut
- 1 cup big flake coconut
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts (almonds, or any of your favorite nuts)
- ½ cup almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
- ½ cup rolled oats
- Combine the coconut milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sugar in a large saucepan.
- Over medium heat, cook until the mix has come to a boil, stirring consistently. Allow boiling for 30 seconds and up to 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut, as well as any optional additions. Put the saucepan in the fridge for 30 min to an hour to cool. (I found the cookies formed a bit better after I'd allowed the batter to cool for a while)
- Spoon the cookies onto a prepared baking sheet and allow to cool in the fridge, at least an hour (2 or 3 hours is better) before serving.