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!

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. ☺



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