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!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WELCOME BACK

Hellooooooooo!!!!!!!

It's been a month. Exactly a month since my last post and I can't believe it. First of all, it's good to be back. Second of all I've been dreading this post and procrastinating it because I don't know where to start. Life is so good!

In the past month, I got married to the best man in the world, went on a 2 week honeymoon to Hawaii, fully moved in to our new condo, and went back to work full time while adjusting to the fact that I'm married, it was awesome and our wedding is now over. (If you missed it, head on over to instagram and check out #joshandmaureen.)

Part of me wishes that I took time out while we were in Hawaii to write down every single thing that I was feeling. All the emotions and gratitude and excitement.

But the other, sane part of me knows that I did the right thing by taking a break from being plugged in and spending an uninterrupted two weeks with my husband. (It's still weird to say!)



So now that I'm back, and had time to just feel everything and process everything, I'm going to do my best in the next month or so to capture all those wonderful things that happened with the wedding and honeymoon. I want to remember it all. Do any of you who are recently married feel that way? I feel like if I don't spend some time thinking through the wedding each day that I'll forget everything. I want to remember and cherish each little detail. But it's so hard. This was the most monumental and most amazing day of my life and it feels now like it went by in a blink. I think back on it and it was like a movie I watched.

But I want to remember that it was real. Because it was. It was better than perfect. It was ours.

I have never been filled with so much love and gratitude as I was on our wedding day. And even in the week leading up to it! Standing there saying my vows to Josh surrounded by all of our friends and family from near and far was such a surreal and overwhelming experience. I remember sitting in the church during mass looking around at all of the faces that were there for us and just feeling their love. I could feel it. Like it was radiating at me. It was a miracle. Truly. We are so blessed to be so loved and the whole day was full of it, generously being poured out on us from everyone in our lives. I am overwhelmed by this love right now even recalling it to memory. And even more grateful for it.

I always thought that I would be nervous on my wedding day. I don't mean 'everyone will look at me and I'll feel uncomfortable' but like really nervous about committing. I thought I would feel like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride - not because I wouldn't love my groom but because I was scared of failing at marriage. I just knew that I would have to calm myself down and talk myself through the doubt.

But another miracle happened on my wedding day - I felt none of that doubt. I know this may seem trivial to those of you who don't know me personally but I overanalyze everything. I pick good things apart and I worry. Oh I am a worry machine. And I have always wanted a good marriage more than anything but been incredibly scared of failing at that dream.

On our wedding day however, I felt excited! I woke up and promptly jumped on the bed like an idiot. All day I was anxious about details and logistics but never once about Josh. Never once. I was so excited to see him and to hold his hand and to say vows linking myself to him forever and pledging my love and fidelity. I always thought I would be scared to actually get married but I was not scared to marry Josh. I was so excited and so grateful.

As I walked down the aisle my eyes were locked on him. I knew my Dad would guide me and keep pace and I had his arm tightly wrapped around mine. But my eyes never left Josh. He is the greatest gift that God has ever given me. My love, my partner, my husband.

Our wedding was an experience that I will never be able to fully describe in words. And it was more than I could have ever wished for.


I am delighted to share with you all the joys of our wedding. Please come back to see more pictures and hear more stories. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I FEEL EVERYTHING


I feel so many wonderful feelings right now. And I just had to stop and take a minute to share them with you.

I am in a whirlwind of blessings. It’s just amazing how many wonderful and amazing and exciting things are keeping me busy.

Right now, I’m sitting on my couch, watching Dawson’s Creek on DVD in our new condo.

That’s right. JOSH AND I BOUGHT A CONDO!!!! The whole experience has been such a crazy thing… happening right before our wedding. Which is in less than one week! I mean, how did we even get here?!

Once we hit two weeks out from the wedding things got very exciting. We’re coordinating with all of the vendors, doing the favors, place cards, menus, programs, decorations, seating charts, bridal party gifts, music, etc. And my dress! And Josh’s suit!



Amidst of all this joy, we’ve also experienced some sadness. My mom had to put down her horse and my childhood dog Max in the same day. Last week hit us all hard but especially my mom. We are lucky because Max and Ladd had very long, very happy lives, but losing them still hurts. It put everything for the wedding in perspective a bit. As my mom grieves, our family has rallied around her. Her friends and those of us in VA and even out of the state have come to be present for her and to remember Max and Ladd. I had a moment (of course feeling very sad over Max) where I looked around at my Aunt, cousin, step-dad, and mom eating Chinese food and mourning Max and Ladd and I realized that this is what life is about. It’s about the people (and animals too!) in our lives. It’s about being together. Being present for each other. Consistently and without fail.


That is what I want in my marriage and that is what this coming week is all about. My family and my friends are coming from far and wide to celebrate with me and be by my side as I choose Josh. I haven’t cried once in my wedding dress but I’m crying just thinking of all the love that will surround me this weekend. I cannot wait to get married and I can’t wait to say my vows in front of the people who mean the most to me in the world.

Eeeeee!

I have so many posts to write with all the details of the house, and the wedding prep and my bachelorette party and just everything. But this update will have to do for now. I’m a little busy being grateful for all the wonderful things keeping me busy. ☺



Friday, August 15, 2014

BRIDE DAY FRIDAY: FAVORITE ETSY VENDORS


So many wonderful things are happening in my life. Isn't it just hilarious that they are all happening at the same time? Yes it is. Hilarious and miraculous. Life is full of little miracles when you stop and take the time to notice them. 

We are making excellent progress with the wedding planning. All the big decisions are made (WAHOO!) and now it's just the little details and paying invoices. I think Josh and I can handle that. :)

I am so excited to report that we have all of our RVSPs in and... drumroll please... we have exactly 200 guests attending including me and Josh. Exactly. EXACTLY! I don't know why that makes me so pleased but it is such a perfect number and the number we were hoping would come so it's perfect. I feel as though this was a gift to me and I'm extremely grateful. We invited 249 so we were quite worried that we would have more people attend than would actually be able to fit. Phew! Glad that one worked out!

Josh has his suit fitting tonight and I have a second hair trial and dress fitting tomorrow. We also get to pick up our wedding bands tomorrow - our custom rings are done and we are so excited. Last night we spent some time going over the smaller decoration items that we need to finish. The menus, programs, place cards, and welcome letters are all on our lists and under way. 

Josh also rocked the to-do list this week by sending music to our choir and pianist (our friends are singing and playing the music for our wedding mass) and my colleague Melissa is letting us borrow her cornhole boards which saves us about $140 (that we didn't have!) and makes it super easy. I've ordered the cake and we're just about ready to pay the shuttles. It's seriously all coming together. 

Actually, typing this out I feel a lot better about our progress. It can get really overwhelming to look at our (still very long) to-do list and realize we have less than a month until we get married. 

It's also fun to say, "in 28 days, we will be doing our first dance right now as husband and wife." So crazy!


I have a lot of posts that I need to put together about all the wedding progress (including another shower and MY BACHELORETTE PARTY which was just perfection) and I promise they are coming. Some stuff we want to keep a surprise until the wedding though, so I'll schedule those while Josh and I are on our honeymoon. :)

Today, I want to share some of my favorite Etsy Vendors. These shops are great not just for bridal wares but for anyone who needs gifts or party supplies. I have really enjoyed working with these vendors and they have been so kind and patient answering my questions and making tweaks back and forth. Tell them Maureen sent you!

Deco Cards - We are using this darling shop to print table numbers and a few signs for signature cocktails, etc. They are extremely affordable and they can customize any cards for you. So easy to work with!

Green Garden Stamps - So that the servers know which of our guests ordered chicken, steak, or vegetarian. I ordered three of the most adorable chicken, cow, and green pepper stamps for the place cards. Not only was Green Garden Stamps easy to work with, but when shipping was slightly delayed, she gave me a partial refund without me even asking. Great customer service.

Prince Whitaker - One of the motifs for our wedding is the state of Virginia. It's where we both grew up (primarily), where we met, where we fell in love, where we will get married, and where we will start our lives together. For our cake topper we ordered a little number from here. They customized the size for us and added a personal logo!

League Of Letters - This shop is just so fun. Great prices and we ordered our new monogram as husband and wife to put on the fireplace mantle at the reception. It comes as plain wood so you can decorate however you'd like. 

Thread Squirrel - This shop has such cute pillows and bags. Also with a state / country theme so you know I loved it. We could even customize where the button for 'home' went. :)

Morrell Decor - Lori who runs this shop is one of my favorite people. I met her randomly by asking questions about her wares on etsy and ended up getting a lot of our wedding supplies from her. She was so helpful, sent two rounds of samples, always added extras, and gave me great prices for ordering in bulk. We got our exact wedding colors of ribbon, tissue paper and place cards!

Pink Pueblo - Josh and I dabble (read: experiment and hope for the best) in graphic design so we have been making our wedding materials ourselves. Josh did the save the dates from scratch in PhotoShop and I made the wedding logo which is on our invitations, menus, programs, favors, and cake topper. I needed a few vector images and Pink Pueblo more than delivered for like $6. So easy!

Cheapest Buttons - This wasn't actually for my wedding but they were so great I had to mention. I ordered buttons for my friend Miriam's bachelorette party (which I didn't make it to due to horrible flights) but the buttons were a hit. All you had to do was send in the pic you wanted on them. So easy and a fast turnaround!


P.S. I hope you enjoyed these hilarious outtakes from our engagement shoot. ;)


--

Tell me what you think..
  • Who are your favorite Etsy vendors?
  • Have you ever even used Etsy before?
  • What are your go-to stores for craft supplies?

--

Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

Disclaimer: I haven't forgotten about the 31 Day Closet Challenge. I've been doing it and taking pictures every day. Obviously I'm behind, so you'll just have to wait until the big recap post on Tuesday the 19th. I finish on the 18th. Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO JON MCLAUGHLIN


Because he's just that good. 

I love him. Like honestly love him. Josh knows. He's fine with it. 

So two weeks ago we saw Jon up close and personal at Jammin Java in Vienna Va. We got there as early as we could so that we could get in the front row. And let me tell you, it's a small space but it was totally worth it. 

I swoon just thinking about it. 

He is incredibly talented and as a singer, songwriter and pianist being close enough to see him play is incredible. I've never seen anyone play the piano like that. It's unreal how much he feels each note and how fast and precisely his hands can move. 

Before I go on to describe my love for his music though, please join me in giggling at the base player in the picture above. Just priceless. And yes, that's what he looked like the entire concert. ;)



Some of the zoomy - inny pictures are a little crazy town. Since we were already stand as close to him as if we were across a Starbucks table, in these you can really see him sweat. Sorry Jon. But now everyone knows how hard he was working!

The other thing that was so cool about this venue was how small and personal it was. Yes, we were in the front row but even the 'back' row of this standing only bar / club was maybe 20 yards away. So nice. Jon could see the audience and took requests throughout his set. Which was extra long btw. Worth ever penny to hear so many of his classics and even some new stuff. 




The best part of the entire evening was when Jon came out for an encore. Just him and the keyboard. And he played our wedding song. And I cried. 

We have been to see him in concert around 4 times and he's never played it live. The second he started the intro, I started crying. It was so wonderful and I'm so glad we went!


Here are my outfits from the past week of the #30DayClosetChallenge. Making progress. :) I don't remember my workouts but just know that I did them. 








I'm off to my bachelorette party tomorrow. Follow along on instagram and twitter at #maureenscreek Have a great weekend everyone!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...