Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: YEAR OF PATIENCE




I always get super emotional around New Year's Eve and this year is no different. But it's emotion in the positive sense - I love reflecting on everything that I've accomplished in the past year, all the wonderful things that have happened and all of the blessings brought into my life.

I spend a lot of time in the car driving to work and recently I've been thinking a lot about how my view on life would change if I automatically assumed that everything is for good. 

Think about it... you have to stay late at work because your boss asks you for a deliverable. If 'everything is for good' that means your boss is helping you develop your career and setting you up for success. 

Just an example, but it really makes you think. 

I really believe that people are good at their cores. Barring illness and extreme cases, everyone you meet is ultimately good. And how much better does the world look when we have this approach. I've been trying it recently and I'm going to try even harder in 2015. 

But before we jump in, let's take a look at 2014 and see how I did with those goals...

I had one resolution in 2014: Be Present. Last year I said that I wanted to focus on living 2014 and enjoying every moment of the year of my wedding.

"I will savor the little details and each once in a lifetime experience. I will relish the magazines and I will even enjoy eating extra veggies and exercising. I will glow with excitement and anticipation and feel every inch of gratitude for the support and love I receive from my family."

I can't say that I was perfect, but I think I really accomplished this goal well. My wedding was the best experience of my life. The whole planning process and the day and feeling the love of all of my family and friends and joining my life with Josh's. It's all a miracle if you ask me. And I miss it terribly. I am lucky thought that I felt every moment of it. Really. I think I cried happy tears of love and joy every day in 2014. And I am so grateful.

Which brings me to my goals for the new year. What a joy a fresh start is. Full of possibility and promise, January 1st is a clean slate. I love the sense that there is a clear end and beginning. And yes, one day feels just like the next, but it will be marked with a different number, a different chapter of my life. And since I'm still writing the book, I don't know what will happen next. Isn't it wonderful and scary and thrilling?

I have an overwhelming sense that 2015 will be my Year of Patience. The idea of patience to me is such a positive and calming concept. I've recently had a lot of changes in my little life: bought a condo, got married, changed my name, living with my husband, adopted a kitten. All of these changes are wonderful but I feel as though I am now in a place of stillness. My life does not need a lot of change right now. That is a beautiful thing. 

But for me it is also a challenging one. 

I function best when I have a clear goal and I'm knocking off action items to accomplish it. So what does that mean for 2015. If my goal is to be still, be patient, how do I accomplish that in my vigorous and determined way. 

I think the answer is -- I don't. 

2015: Year of Patience.

2015 is about being where I am right now. Instead of running roughshod over my life and making choices and taking action, it will be about opening myself and remaining still and available for new opportunities and blessings to come my way. 

Do you ever think, "What would have happened if I hadn't made a decision and took a certain path? What would happen if I actually let things come into my life and present themselves?"

Well I'm going to find out. My Grandpa always says, "Patience is a virtue." My usual retort was, "Well, it's just a virtue that I don't have." But not this year! Patience here I come!

So that's the big picture. And I'm excited about it. It will be really challenging for me. And that's the point. 

Just so you don't feel slighted though, I also have one more practical resolution: Take Home Movies. Growing up, my mom always took movies of everything and now we can watch them and giggle and feel nostalgic. Starting now, I'm taking them for my family and my life. And in 30 years, they'll be a hoot to watch!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TO 2014, WITH LOVE

2014 was hands down the best year of my life so far. What a wonderful blessing it is to look back on a year with such fondness and love.

January
Planning Planning Planning!

February
Dress Shopping
Bought my wedding dress



March

April






May



June






July





August
Bachelorette Party
Bought our first property




September
Wedding!
Honeymoon!









October
Living together
Married life
Miriam's Wedding

November
Grandpa's birthday party
Adopting Oliver
Thanksgiving

December
Brooklyn Christmas
Christmas Eve at Condo de Goldman
Christmas


Obviously you can see that life got in the way of blogging once August hit this year. I just had too much wonderful life in my life. :)

I have so many pictures and feelings and stories to document and capture about the wedding. Honestly, I can't decide if I just want to post everything here and just start in January looking back on everything. Or if I want to go the traditional scrapbook route and craft something that will be a tangible keepsake. Both are excellent options. So we'll see what happens. 

I would also like to note that with joy in life there is always sorrow. In 2014 we said goodbye to two dear family members, my Uncle Dave and my Grandpa Paul. My mom also lost our sweet dog Max and her horse, Ladd. They will be extremely missed and I pray that God keeps them safe in Heaven.

Monday, November 3, 2014

HER STORY

Exactly three years ago today, I sat outside of Josh's house while he was sleeping off a terrible cold and left him three voicemails. I wanted him to wake up. I wanted to cook him dinner. I wanted to hang out with my friend Josh. 

Three years later and we are married. 

To my love, 
Thank you for waiting for me. You knew before I did that my mind just needed to catch up with my heart. You are my best friend, my rock and my future. I love you so deeply within my soul that I cannot qualify it with words.  
Here's to four years of knowing you, three years of being with you, and a lifetime of years ahead.  
Love,
Maureen
One of the first pictures ever taken of us during Oliver!


How did it all start? Let me tell you...

I remember the exact moment I met Josh. We were at a callback singing together for the musical Oliver! at the Little Theatre of Alexandria. I was singing for the role of Nancy and Josh was singing for the role of Bill Sikes… the old, really mean character. I remember thinking, “this kid is way too nice and way too young to play this part.” What I didn’t realize was that this kid was the amazing man I was going to marry.
 
Actually, I wouldn’t let myself even consider the fact that Josh was the man I was going to marry for a very long time. Now, don’t stop reading… this love story has a happy ending, but I think that the truth of my falling in love with Josh is the most beautiful part. Our story has a lot of bumps and turns and twists because our love story is real. And for that I am eternally grateful.
 
Josh met me when I was going through a very bad time. I can say this now and laugh, because in hindsight that horrible experience is one of the ways in which God was able to bring Josh into my life. But at the time, I was a mess. The funny thing is that Josh didn’t care. 
 
Though he wasn’t cast as the mean old man, Josh and I were both in Oliver! together and after chatting with a group over dinner and drinks after rehearsal one night, I opened up to him about how much fun I had on my recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic. One thing led to another, we started talking about the trip, and  and an instant friendship was born.
 
No one has ever made me laugh as hard as Josh. Ever. Those of you who know him well know exactly what I’m talking about. His warm heart and impeccable comedic timing make him one of the funniest people I know. He is also incredibly kind, almost unbelievably so. Josh stood by my side as I healed, listened when I needed to cry, and was always there when I needed him. 
 
In those early days of friendship with Josh I used to love coming to the theatre to do the show (and though I wouldn’t admit it to myself, to see Josh). At a time when I was closed off from the world, Josh re-opened my heart.
 
He never used to eat dinner, so I would share mine with him each day. I would stand back stage and make goofy faces while he sang. And he would always text me to make sure I got home safely after our late night drives home after the show.
 
Fast forward--because I’m always too verbose and this is getting long--the show ends, Josh and I are great friends, we spend several nights a week together hanging out as just friends, a few months go by and then he kisses me.
 
This is where the twists come in to our story. I was still not in a great place and certainly not ready to be dating. But we tried, and then I freaked out and so we stopped. That summer was a really hard one and we had periods where we weren’t talking, periods where we were trying to be friends, and periods where I was dating someone else. I tried very hard not to love Josh. I thank God every day that I failed.
 
Later that fall, Josh and I came back into each other’s lives as friends. Because he is the best man I know, he instantly welcomed a re-kindled friendship with me. After a month or so, of making dinner together, hiking Old Rag, and auditioning for another show together, I finally realized that above all else, I wanted to be with Josh. That was November 3, 2011.
 
Our anniversary is one of the funniest stories. It was a rainy weeknight and our rehearsal for Spelling Bee had been cancelled. My friends wanted me to go to happy hour, a nice guy wanted to take me to dinner, and instead I asked Josh what Josh was up to that evening. Poor Josh was sick and informed me that he was taking some Nyquil and going to nap. 
 
Ignoring texts from everyone else, I decided to go grocery shopping and cook Josh his favorite dinner. I called him from the parking lot of Giant. He obviously didn't pick up because the poor man was sick and sleeping. So, logically, I drove to his house and sat outside hoping he would wake up. I left two more messages on his phone before I realized I was acting like a crazy person, admitted that my actions indicated how much I cared about him, and freaked out and drove home. 
 
My brain was so worried about getting hurt and overanalyzing every reason why we should or shouldn't be together, but my body had literally driven to Josh's house because all I wanted to do was spend time with him.
 
Later that night, Josh (after laughing at my messages) came over and I cooked him dinner and finally confessed how much I wanted to be with him.
 
Since that night, I am blessed to say that I have been. I am even more blessed to spend the rest of my life with him now.
 
Josh still has those three phone messages saved. They are so embarrassing and hilarious but one of my favorite memories. I am quite sure he will be playing them for our grandchildren some day and I plan to be sitting next to him, holding his hand, and laughing right along. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!



If you should know anything about me it's that I love Halloween and take my costumes very seriously. Since college things haven't been quite as extravagant for costumes but I still always think it's fun to at least wear something. :)

Yesterday we had a costume contest at work and my team went for engagement rather than extravagance. I work in digital marketing so anything interactive and tweetable is right up my alley. 

Can you tell what we were?

The best part was hiding around the office all day. We even put together a Where's Waldo picture book for our boss of us throughout the day. It was hilarious. 








I'll be repping Waldo again tonight with a few friends at a house party. So easy and so comfortable. Seriously, anything that you can get for less than $25 on Amazon.com is a win in my book. 

What is your costume this year?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HOW I ASKED MY BRIDESMAIDS

My bridesmaids. Man oh man, I didn't know how much I would need them when I first asked them to stand by my side at our wedding but I am so grateful I had these wonderful women to lean on!

Right after we got engaged last fall, I started thinking about who I wanted to ask to be in the wedding party. I'm not going to lie, I had over 12 people because my friends are so awesome and I love them all so much. But Josh eventually let me know that he had 6 gentlemen he wanted to ask so I asked 6 wonderful women to join the wedding party on my side. 

I wanted to do something really special for each girl - being in a wedding is a big commitment and I knew if they said yes they would be spending a lot of time, energy and hard-earned moolah to be a part of the wedding. I really wanted to convey how much each friendship meant to me, and the first thing I thought of was pictures. 

Starting in college when I got my first digital camera, I have been a picture-taking queen. I am always the one at family gatherings and parties with friends taking a million pictures. I love it. LOVE! They capture memories so perfectly. Even now I'll go through old pictures and just feel happy thinking of all the great times we had. 

So after pouring through my external hard drive and 10 years of pictures of me with different shaped eyebrows (sad but true), I also wanted to give each girl a message. I wasn't able to be in person when I asked them, so I created videos of me talking to each one of them, telling them why I loved them and asking them to be in my wedding. 

When each accepted they sent a picture giving a thumbs up! It was so fun to create each video and even more fun to hear their reactions when they watched. 

Click on each lady's name below to see her video!







I also asked two friends to sing in the choir at our wedding. 

Josh and I also asked a few friends to sing in our wedding mass and play the piano. I made videos for Steph and Gem too. :) And man oh man was it amazing having their voices at my wedding. From the moment they started singing at the rehearsal on Friday night I was in tears. It was just gorgeous!

Since Josh is the original video editor in our family it's no surprise that he made a video to ask the guys too. The funniest part was that some of them thought it was just a "how-to" video about bow ties... Josh had to tell them to watch all the way to the end!


Kevin

Mike

Peter

Casey

Taylor
Mark


Our wedding party was hands down the most amazing of all time. I cannot even begin to think of how we would have handled the wedding without them. Each one of them came to our rescue at one point or another and constantly provided us with love and laughter. We're so grateful they all said yes!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

DEAR 29, FUTURE LETTER


Last March, I took some time to sit down and write a letter to myself on my next (29th) birthday. Instead of writing a list of goals, I wanted to write to myself as if I had already accomplished my goals. I wrote to myself as I wanted to see myself and planned to read it again today on my actual birthday.

It was a really fun exercise, which I plan to repeat each year. It really put a few areas of my life into perspective. Am I still worrying about what I was worrying about then? What really mattered to me? Does it still matter?


Dear Maureen, 
I am so proud of you. As I see you walk into this coffee shop, I see a woman who is calm and at ease in her own skin. I see someone with kind eyes and a generous spirit who is kind to everyone she meets. 
You are absolutely beautiful Maureen. You skin glows, your hair is longer than it was last year and you have a gentle wave throughout it. Your make-up is subtle but stunning and your eyes light up when you talk about your life.  
You seem really fulfilled in your career. You are busy but you enjoy what you do and feel accomplished by working hard. You have grown in your first year as a Marketing Manager and have really made a name for yourself within your company. You have initiatives that you own and you feel comfortable working with your team and delegating to your junior staff.  
What's more, you have become a mentor. You have learned so much in the past year about being a manager and you are comfortable giving direction and having hard conversations. Your patience has increased substantially and the little things or tight deadlines no longer stress you out. You do not seem anxious at work at all. You are calm, cool, and collected and provide insight and direction to your senior leaders. I am so happy for you that you finally found a career in which you belong and that you have grown so much professionally. 
You are also a woman in love. What a joy it is to look at you and see such love in your eyes. You and Josh are going to be married and I know that you can't wait. Maureen, despite any anxiety you are feeling right now I want to tell you that everything is going to be all right. Josh is a fantastic man and you love him so deeply that no small doubts can shake that. God is watching over you and he has given you the signs you need to feel confident in your decision to marry Josh. You know in your heart of hears that it is the right thing for you and you are so grateful for him in your life.  
Josh's proposal was a dream. He completely caught you by surprise and had you celebrating with all of your friends and family. You know that life with him will be full of love and laughter and I am so glad that you waited for him. You deserve all the love that he is giving you. And he deserves all the love you are giving him. 
You are healthy and strong and confident. You no longer live to accomplish a number on the scale but you are healthy and you exercise daily. You don't feel pressure to eat certain foods but rather nourish your body consistently so you feel good. You look good girl, rock those skinny jeans! 
She is Moments is thriving and you couldn't be happier. You are making money with the blog now and it's providing you with so many new opportunities, you had no idea would come your way. You love working on it and let it bring you joy not stress. You find peace in writing each post and are helping people by sharing your journey in life.  
Your family is wonderful and they love you so much. Everyone is healthy and well and you are so happy you live in DC to be near them. You are so blessed Maureen. What a beautiful 29 years you have lived. I'm so excited to watch you continue to grow and be the wonderful woman you are.  
Love, 
Maureen

Reading the letter now is so interesting. There are some things that I feel I'm doing well and others that I know I need to give less attention to in my life. Here are my reactions:

Appearance
This one is hilarious. My hair is longer, I did curl it today so it's wavy and I actually put on make-up so my skin looks good. That's what having a birthday and going to the office will do to you I guess, I wanted to look extra nice today. In all seriousness though, I am in a place of joy in my life. I really do think my eyes light up when I talk about my life. What a beautiful thing.

Career
As you can tell from the letter above, work takes up a huge chunk of my time and mind space. I am still working in the same job as a marketing manager of a digital agency and for the most part I like it. I am constantly challenged and I have grown here and made a name for myself. That being said, the little things and tight deadlines DO stress me out and I am constantly anxious at work. Just this morning I was talking to my dad and Patti and telling them that I really need to figure out a way to be ok with doing my best and letting it go. Right now I'm in an environment where there is constantly too much to do. Further, I'm a perfectionist, so if I don't do something perfectly I feel like I failed. Well there's no human way to get everything done perfectly here so you can imagine how often I feel like a failure. I need to keep working on weaving in serenity and patience at work.

Love
I. Am. Happy. Pure and simple. Funny that in this letter I anticipated that I would have doubts (though small) about getting married. But I didn't really. Josh is a wonderful husband. I know we'll have challenges throughout our marriage but we'll also have a lot of fun too. Living together and starting our home is FUN!

Body
Wellllllll I'm not sure I can say that I don't care about the number on the scale but I'm working on it. I was in a great exercise routine for the wedding but now have stopped completely. I'm kind of an all or nothing gal. Gonna try to get back into it. I think moderation will be the key word for me in the next year.

Blog
Oh my. "Samsonite. I was way off!" With the amount of energy the wedding and work demanded She is Moments definitely got the short end of the stick. Now that I have the time again, I'm full on scared to blog. Silly I know but this is the perfectionism thing again. I have so many posts I want to put up and am so afraid of not doing them perfectly. The thing I need to remember is that doing them imperfectly is better than not doing them. In the next year, I want to focus on the fun of blogging not the expectation I put on it. And I want to do more collaborations with other bloggers!C

This year, I'll write a letter to myself one year from now to read when I'm turning 30. Sometimes we give ourselves the best perspective on our own lives. :)

HELLO 29

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!! I AM BORN!!!!


Haha. Ok, well 29 years ago tonight I was born and today I get to celebrate by eating every baked good known to man. Therefore, it is the best day ever. 

I love my birthday because I get a little bit of an excuse to treat yo self and more importantly because I usually get to talk to a whole bunch of people that I really really really love. Birthdays are full of joy and togetherness and to me they are about the people. Already this morning I woke up to texts from family and friends wishing me a happy day and with each one I read I am filled with gratitude for that person in my life. IT'S THE BEST FEELING EVER!


We already know that I'm a sap and that I love emotions and people and feeling things and today is no exception. At first I wasn't too sure about 29. I mean, it's an odd little birthday right? It's not a big occasion and for me it comes a month after our wedding. That was the big party.

But turning 29 is actually awesome for so many reasons. First and foremost, (at least so far in my life) I'm not weird about getting older. Yes 29 is my last year with a 2 in front of the number. Yes I am past college days and dating and living with roommates and sharing a bathroom (with someone other than my husband). And while that could be viewed as sad, it's not. I DID all of those wonderful things and I have all of the wonderful memories that go with them. And I'll continue to do lots of fun and wacky things and have new experiences too.

Turning 29 means that I have lived 29 amazing years on this Earth. Even just saying it makes me feel lucky.

Specifically, the last year was really good to me. For me, 28 was the year of getting engaged, buying a home, getting married, and starting my life with my husband. 28 was a year of more solidly figuring out my career, becoming even more comfortable in my own skin. 28 was a year of being with friends and celebrating with family. It was a year that was jam-packed with amazing things and I am happy to celebrate how great it was.

29 what will you be? Already you are the year of learning how to be married, getting better at being selfless, and expanding my financial knowledge as an adult and homeowner. It will be a year of weddings for some of the people I love most in the world, a year of dancing, and a year of taking hundreds of pictures one night at a time. 29 you will be a year of peace and contentment and routine but don't worry, you will still have challenges and goals and spontaneity because I really can't predict any of this. 29 you will be another great year on this Earth and I am excited to live you to the best of my ability!

Here's to turning 29. It's going to be the best year yet!
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