Friday, May 31, 2013

THE FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE



I will never forget moving into my dorm room at Northwestern University. My Dad, Patti, and Jules drove my stuff across the country, got me settled, and when they left, I remember thinking, "Ok this is my home now."

I was really excited for a new adventure and a new chapter of my life to begin.

I met my roommate Andrea, a random assignment, who seemed just as bubbly and excited to be there as I was. It was such a crazy feeling to think that I barely knew her but we would be living together. In the TINIEST room of all time. We instantly started talking and I knew we'd be just fine.

NU has what's called "New Student Week" for the week before classes start. All of us Freshman were herded to different orientation meetings and events and mixers. I knew no one. I kept seeing the same faces at my theatre class introductions. One event we had to line up in birthday order in one of our rehearsal rooms while the department director, Rives Collins played the guitar. It was so odd.

My October birthday landed me next to Marco, born in November. He had on a leather jacket and he looked kinda mean. But he cracked a joke and laughed awkwardly and I knew he was a softy on the inside.

Between events at lunch one day, I was walking in the hall toward the food (or something like that) and I saw this beautiful blonde girl I recognized from my dorm. She had a bow tied in her hair and I had some kind of skirt on. The convo went like this...

In the hall, awkwardly...

Me: I like your bow.

Lindsay: I like your skirt.

Simultaneously: Wanna sit together at lunch?

A friendship was born.


Neither of us remembers who spoke first or who actually asked to sit where, but we both knew we wanted to be friends!

One of our first nights there (maybe night two) Jones (our dorm) had a big bonfire with s'mores. It was hilarious. At that bonfire I met a rather loud fellow who was from the DC-area. I had no idea Eric and I would become so close. He also introduced me to his roommate Reggie who instantly made me laugh with his crazy antics.

I also met Deanna who then came back to my dorm room after the bon fire and helped Andrea and I make our beds. I vividly remember talking to her about Arkansas where she was from and thinking how cool it was to meet someone who had a totally different background than me.

These six people were my first friends in college and extremely important people in my life today. They always will be.

This weekend I'm at Lake George with the girls. I expect to make many more memories this weekend. Don't worry, I brought my camera!

#blogeverydayinmay

Thursday, May 30, 2013

REAL TALK: LETTING GO

image via
Letting go of control is extremely hard for me to do. Lately I’ve been feeling this consistent feeling that I need to surrender. Just let go. I’ve been doing a lot of praying and reading and letting myself just think through it all, but I must admit I don’t have the answer yet.  

I’ve lived most of my life trying to control the outcome of any given situation. As I mentioned last weekend, one of my worst traits is that I’m relentless until I get my own way.  

This focus on choosing the outcome I want provides me with a false sense of power. Am I really in control? Am I really able to control my own situation? Or fix the problems of myself and others? 

Despite my best efforts to prove otherwise, I know that the answer is no. I am not able to control every situation in my life.  

Now this point walks a fine line and those who are spiritual might understand my point and those who are not will likely argue it. I believe that I have the free will to make positive decisions and work hard and treat others well and argue my point so that it resonates with someone else. I have the power over my own actions and I can choose to be proactive.  

However, somewhere inside me I keep hearing a gentle reminder that I am not in control of everything. I am both terrified and comforted by this thought—How wonderful to be able to rely on God as a loving and guiding presence in my life but how terrifying to think that I don’t have the ultimate say in what happens to me.  

Whether or not you believe in a higher power, I think we all rationally understand that things can happen in life that we cannot control. It’s easy to think of examples of disease, trauma, death, etc. But it’s not only bad… what about falling in love with someone unexpected, having a child, or being accepted to the school of your dreams. There are myriad beautiful things that happen to us every day without our controlling them. 

I think all these ramblings are to say that I do not have the answers. I do not know how to gently surrender to the will of God while still being proactive in my own choices. But I am working on it.  

I want to be able to let go… trust that though I am not in control, I am being led on a path of unexpected blessings.  

I always tear up when I hear Garth Brooks’ song  Unanswered Prayers. I too thank God that he didn’t grant my prayers to marry (any of) my former crush(es)! And that’s just one example of a disappointment in my life – that I was trying to control – turning into a huge gift! 

What will happen if I let go? The feeling is getting stronger that with patient surrender and proactive choices, I just might find that perfect balance.  

It takes trust, patience, and vulnerability to realize that I’m not in control of every aspect of my life. It also takes a heaping dose of humility.
 
 
I’m working on it. J
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LIVING THROUGH MUSIC

I could not be more excited about this post!

Looking for some fun tunes to get you through the day? Look no further!

Let's take a little stroll down memory lane and talk about some of the most hilarious songs that have captured my heart.


 
I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
Can you think of anything better than this song? Because I can't. I loved BSB as an adorable bang-sporting tween. Each day after school I would rush home and sit on the floor in my Grandpa's room to record TRL (remember that show?!) at the exact moment that this Number 1 hit came on. Glorious. Every time I hear it I feel instantly happy.
 
 
 
Home - Chantal Kreviazuk
Some of you might remember this song from the classic film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I remember it from my sophomore year dorm room in my sorority house. My roommate Stephanie had this song on her iTunes and we used to play it all the time. We had an awkward U-shaped room on the 4th floor of our house but it was so fun. Every time I hear this song I think of Stephie, putting on leotards for mime class, and watching Sex and the City until we fell asleep. Heaven.
 
 
 
Hey Soul Sister - Train
I loved this song when it came out. I mean loved it. I know every word. I still like singing it in the car, but I'll be honest, this song came out at a time that was very confusing for me with men. When I hear it I thank my lucky stars that I'm not in a confusing situation anymore. It's funny to think that we make progress in our lives. I don't feel like I'm growing at all.... but when I hear this song, I realize that I have. A lot.
 
 
 
Belle - Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
Yep. This. Is. The. BEST! Please as my mom, brother, and I to do our rendition for you sometime. It's worth it, I promise. When we used to travel with mom we only had a tape player in the car. We're talking cassettes. We had four cassettes: Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Best. BATB was mom's favorite, but we loved them all. The three of us know ALL the words to EVERY song. I mean who wants to listen to the boring side of the cassette with all the instrumental versions? Fast forward please! This song brings me such joy and reminds me of a time of true childhood innocence and family fun.
 
 
 
Faster - Matt Nathanson
Josh and I applied to be on the Amazing Race. Twice. The first time we applied we were in an 'on again / off again' situation. Josh was really patient with me as I dealt with some crazy feelings and fear but one of the most fun times we had was putting our first application video together. This song was the background track and every time I hear it I think of Josh and how much fun we had - just being together and pretending like we were just friends. :)
 
 
 
Happy Together - The Turtles
When I was little, my Dad, Patti, Kevin and I used to sing this song in the car at the top of our lungs. I'm pretty sure we had every part down! Whenever I hear it I think of them and our hilarious car antics.
 
 
 
The Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
This song is the Jersey Shore. The end.
 
 
 
Through Heaven's Eyes - The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack
My brother claims to be reading my blog. If he is, he's dying of embarrassment right now. For all of you (especially my sister-in-law), please take a moment to picture an ADORABLE ten-year-old little boy. Now picture him with an annoying older sister who was constantly singing musical theatre songs or princess songs or other weird stuff. Now picture how happy he was when this 'boy musical' came out. Kevin still knows every word. And I could not be more proud!
 
 
 
I Want You To Want Me - 10 Things I Hate About You Soundtrack
When I got my driver's license in 10th grade this CD was a permanent fixture in my car. I used to blast this song with my girlfriends and drive around. I also used to blast it when I was driving by myself in honor of whatever boy happened to be my current crush. Whoops.
 
 
 
The Thunder Rolls - Garth Brooks
I also used to sing this song in the car with my Dad, Patti, and Kevin. We actually know all the words to this entire CD. I really do a lot of car singing apparently. And I also have a very musical family. :)
 
 
 
Ticks - Brad Paisley
When I first started working in consulting I had no real friends there. I will never forget when Michelle asked me to go to the Brad Paisley concert with her that summer. I literally ran home and said to my mom, "I think I made a friend!" Little did I know we would also end up living together for three years!!! Anything Brad reminds me of Mich!
 
 
 
I Don't Wanna Wait - Paula Cole
Dawson's Creek. This show was my life when it came out on DVD. I never watched it until the summer before college and then I was hooked. I feel like I grew up along with this show. Senior year of high school through sophomore year of college were Dawson's Creek. I love this show almost as much as I loved college. Almost.
 
 
What's on the soundtrack of your life?
 
 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MOMENTS OF... MEMORIAL DAY







 













 








THANK YOU

 
To my readers,

First of all, HI TO MY FAMILY! The funny thing about this blog is that I started it as a New Year's Resolution for myself, so my family and close friends were not among the first readers. I just wasn't sure I wanted to go around telling everyone about my little project. Now that I have though, I'm so glad to be able to share my silly, daily thoughts with those I love.

To those of you who are not related to me in any way, I really appreciate that you read She is Moments. Knowing that you are out there and commenting on my posts is such a wonderful comfort and blessing.

This whole post is probably going to sound really corny and I'll cringe reading it later, but it's true. I had no idea what the adventure of creating She is Moments would bring me. The beautiful truth is that it brings me joy. So much joy.

Thank you for reading, and commenting, and tweeting me back and sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you in person, via email, or through the comments. Each connection I have made or deepened because of this little blog is such a blessing to me.

So thank you. Sincerely.

I am loving this journey of writing and finding my voice and opening my heart. I'm so glad you are here with me.

Love, Maureen



#blogeverydayinmay

Sunday, May 26, 2013

BE GRATEFUL: PERSPECTIVE

Happy Sunday! Enjoy a day of rest and think about something for which you are truly grateful.

After a rough start to the weekend, I am finally snapping out of my funk. Thank goodness! I have my delightful brother and sister-in-law as well as Josh to thank for reminding me how much I love them and that life is what you make of it. And so is the long weekend!

Do you ever get fussy when you are around a large amount of your family? Well I do... but today I'm grateful for a new perspective--I don't see them often, so when I do, it's ok if it's a little stressful, it's still a blessing. 

I'm repeating it over and over to myself and I think it's starting to sink in. ;)

One of the best ways I gain perspective is by reading The Daily Love. I find it a really valuable resource for perspective. Take a look!


For what are you grateful for today?



Saturday, May 25, 2013

A NAME I'LL NEVER FORGET


This is me in high school on my way to prom with my friends Charlotte (left) and Annie (right). I look like a pretty normal kid right? I like to think I was!

What you can't tell from looking at this picture is that I had to ask my friend John (who went to another school) to take me to the prom because I didn't have a date. And no one was asking me. John and I had a blast and I actually went to his prom as well. But still... I had to ask someone to take me to the dance. This was a pattern in my high school life.

You have all read that I was very academically focused in high school. I was in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, and took as many advanced classes as possible. I was very social and had lots of friends. I was in almost all of the school plays and had such a fun time in high school. I was never extremely self-conscious (just the normal amount!) and I was confident when speaking up in class and in my friend groups.

The one thing I didn't have was a boyfriend. Or anything even close. This would lead to me lamenting my life with my mom. She was very supportive and would often say that I would eventually have a boyfriend in college or whatever mom's are supposed to say. But when I asked her point blank why I didn't have boys that liked me, she responded, "Well, you're a little intimidating."

I have never forgotten this. I am intimidating. 

What does that mean? Boys were scared to talk to me because I was smart, out-spoken, bossy, loud, ... I don't know. I'm sure I was all of those things. But I really took being intimidating to heart. 

When I went to college, I was the only member of my graduating class (750 people) to go to Northwestern. I was SO EXCITED! It was going to be my fresh start.

I decided for myself that I was going to be the opposite of intimidating. Whatever I was in high school that scared boys away I was going to let go. I would be charming, relaxed, fun, and social instead. 

Well, after about two months of school I had already made some of my best friends in life. One night on our way home from a party I was talking to two of my best friends Eric and Reggie about why my current crush didn't like me back... or at least he wasn't making a move. 

I was crying. Eric and Reggie were trying to talk to me and explain that I was great and the guy was just a loser... or whatever it is people are supposed to tell you. Finally after our 20 minute walk home filled with tears, Reggie tried one last thing to console me. He said, "Maureen it's ok. He probably just can't handle you. You're just a little intimidating."

I PROCEEDED TO SOB UNCONTROLLABLY!

Poor Reggie had no idea how he had hit a nerve, but after I explained the story from high school my nickname in college officially became "The Intimidator."

My best friends used the name to poke fun at me with love, but it also completely desensitized the power of the word 'intimidating' for me. 

Yes, I am probably intimidating. But it's a part of my personality. I think I am a good friend and now girlfriend.

The truth is though: Josh says he was a little intimidated when he first met me. I'm glad he stuck around for me to let my guard down. :)






Friday, May 24, 2013

WORST OF THE WORST

It is very appropriate that today's challenge is to describe your three worst traits. I've been throwing a hissy all day and I'm still not snapped out of it.

I'm not going to get into it, but I am going to say that we don't need to talk about my three worst... my top worst is bad enough.

I am relentless.

via

When I get an idea in my head, I can't let it go. I feel like I always need to get my way. And if I work hard enough at it, I should be able to do just that.

It's not pretty people, but I'm working on it.


#blogeverydayinmay


Thursday, May 23, 2013

LEARN THIS NOW

I take pride in being really good at school. I loved school. All of it. Crafts in preschool, Colonial Days in elementary school, Algebra in middle school, my GPA in high school, acting classes in college, and marketing projects in grad school - I loved it all.

There is something really appealing to me about being assigned a task, working hard, executing it perfectly, and then... this is the important part... GETTING A GRADE for it. That affirmation is something that I was sorely missing when I entered the working world. I may have even asked my first project manager to give me an "A" on my first final process map. He did. :)

Here's what I want to say today though: Life is not about achievements, life is about people.

They don't teach you in school that you're doing all this work and getting all these grades so that you can get a job and support a family. Or if you don't want a family to take a trip with your cousin to France.

The thing is, work is just work. It doesn't mean anything if you can't share it with someone.

I've become increasingly blessed to realize how important my relationships are in my life.

Grandpa had surgery this morning to fix his broken leg and he came through like a champ. We've got weeks of recovery and rehab to help him through but instead of looking at it as a chore, today I realized that things like rehab are the meat of life. The everyday minutia with our families and friends are part of it all. Part of what makes it good. They don't teach you that in school.

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

REAL TALK: WORKING FROM HOME

 
Let's talk about working from home. To any employers or potential employers out there... this is for you.

I strongly believe that working from home one or two days a week allows employees to be more productive and increases motivation.

Let me break this down for you... a typical 9 to 5 job involves sitting at the computer all day, emailing, and sending documents to your boss. You do not need to be in the office to do this. In fact, it's a waste of time to force your employee to journey to the office every day because she has to get up early, shower, put on make-up and something that isn't pj's and then commute to work. Why? Is it  not just as effective to get on your computer at 8am and begin emailing and working?

"Well what about meetings?" you ask. Yes. Meetings.

Ok, if you are the type who works at an office at a computer I want you to take a moment to think about your typical day. How many meetings do you have? Are they all face-to-face? I had a meeting just yesterday that was over the phone. I could have easily been sitting on my couch with my laptop and been just as productive!

I come from a consulting background so I was very used to working from home for a few days a week. I loved it. I was extra productive. I could work in silence in my own home, or I could go to a coffee shop or put on music. The point was, I wasn't chained to my desk. I was in my own space without the distraction of other people around. It was AWESOME. I would blow through my to-do list!

The other thing about it was that I was grateful for the opportunity to be home. I found myself enjoying the days in the office even more because I wasn't there every single day. It became a treat to go into work and a treat to be home. It was lovely.

Currently I work for a non-profit and working remotely is not part of our culture. I find myself wishing I could take work home... ok not all the time, but if I have a Dr. Appointment in the afternoon and don't want to get behind it would be nice to be able to finish a task at home that evening. But I can't. So instead I have to stay late at my desk to catch up the next day. This my friends is not preferable.

You heard it here first: I think most companies (including non-profits) will move to this model of half remote / half in-office work in the near future. And why not? It saves money - you don't need a desk for everyone, you can rotate. It makes employees happier - they have the power to choose where they prefer to work two days a week. It allows for flexible schedules - which attracts new and highly desired employees. It promotes productivity - each employee can choose how he/she prefers to work (with music. in quiet. in the dark. near a window.) to better focus.

It's easy people. We all have the Internet on our computers, phones, laptops, tablets, cars, lawnmowers, everything! It's easier than ever to connect to people and work collaboratively from any location. Let's take advantage of that!

As I head into the office, all I can say is that my to-do list is 8 miles long and I wish I was working from home today so I could just get it all done!


#blogeverydayinmay

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FAVORITE POSTS



Though I've only been blogging since January, this blog already feels like home. I had been thinking about starting one for so long, that when I finally did, it was such a source of joy!

Here are some of my favorite moments so far...

Best banana muffin of all time!

Photo shoot one and two... and counting!

Being mindful of things for which I am grateful every Sunday

Remembering that everyone makes mistakes and we love them anyway!

Moving and redesigning my old room into my new room

Working on my list

My paleo breakdown (read: me walking around the grocery store clutching a frozen pizza)

Being funny and being serious

And always being true to myself!


#blogeverydayinmay

Monday, May 20, 2013

STRUGGLE



OK people. Let's get real. Some days are easy. And I remember all with which I am blessed.

Today was hard. It was hard all around. Some days - like today - I struggle with optimism. Most of the time I think that I'm lucky to be here. Today was just hard. Do you ever have days like that?

My Grandpa is in the hospital, work was hard, and at karaoke (normally my safe space) I encountered some people who weren't so nice. They were actually really hurtful and mean to me.

So what do you do? When it's hard. And people are mean to you? Even when you're nice to them? The truth is that I don't have the answer. The best I can tell you is that you have to be your own person as best and consistently as you can.

If people are mean to you, turn the other cheek. It's not easy. But it's the right thing to do. At least I think it is.

There are always good things so that is important to remember. But just so you know, some days it's hard to be optimistic.

#blogeverydayinmay

Sunday, May 19, 2013

BE GRATEFUL: DAD


Happy Sunday! Enjoy a day of rest and think about something for which you are truly grateful.


I have my Dad's eyes and nose almost exactly. I also have a lot of his hilarious personality traits. Most notably, don't be around us when we are hungry. We get EXTREMELY cranky. :)

Dad and I are also both stubborn and we have had our difficulties communicating with each other. Now, our relationship is probably the best it's ever been and I am so grateful for my Dad. He was in town last week and we were able to have dinner, just the two of us. It was such a nice treat. 

For what are you grateful for today?

P.S. Since it's Sunday and you have some extra time, go check out some of my favorite bloggers!



LITTLE MO

I have so many hilarious stories from growing up. I was so blessed to have a wonderful childhood, surrounded by loving parents, amazing siblings, and dedicated family and friends.

Here are some of my favorite memories!

Days with Kevie, Dad, Patti, and Jules at the beach in the summers.



Penn Yan, NY with Grandpa, Mom, and Kevin.




Walking the dogs in the woods every day after school with Mom and Kev.

Capitals and Orioles games with Grandpa.

Sea Monster in the pool with Dad.



Playing beauty parlor and curling Julia's hair for hours while using a British accent.

Family game nights and Kevin flipping the monopoly board when I was winning.

Taboo with the Dolters until the wee hours of the morning.

Swim Team!!!



Snuggle time and talking to Mom until I fell asleep.

Father-daughter hoe-down with Dad and the Girl Scouts.

When the puppies were born and Mom, Kevin, Grandpa, and I had to take care of them as little bitty babies!



Being a big sister to my adorable little brother. 


I seriously loved growing up. I loved being a kid. And I have the best family in the world!



One day late but better late than never! #blogeverydayinmay

Friday, May 17, 2013

CANDID



I love this picture of myself because I didn't know it was being taken. This must be what I really look like when I'm happy and relaxed and not paying attention to how my stupid hair looks.

What you can't see in this picture is that my right hand is on my best friend Charlotte's belly and I'm feeling her little girl Hailey kick. Joy. This picture is pure joy.

I just wanted to throw out this little reminder to the blogging world because often we try to be so polished and put together online that we forget we are all human. Most of the pictures where I pose, I don't think I look as truly joyful as I do here. I love remembering that. Life is about the joy of being with people, experiencing miracles, crying, and starting over.

Life is in the candid shots. Don't forget that. :)

#blogeverydayinmay

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ONE SHORT DAY

This was the MOST FUN I have had blogging in a long time! This post is a reflection of a day in the life of me. I was originally worried that my day wouldn't have anything worth reporting. I mean, I work a normal, computery, 9-5 job... that isn't always the most exciting.
 
However, what I found by doing this exercise was that beauty is all around me - it's in every moment of my life. Even at the auto body shop!
 
"What does an average Wednesday look like for Maureen?" you wonder.
 
Well wonder no more...
 

Woke up at 7am to a GORGEOUS view out of my bedroom window.

Took my car to the shop at 8am because Advanced Towing put a giant scratch in it and is refusing to pay. Rude!
 
Settled myself at my desk around 9, finished my coffee, and dug into the day.

I can only take so many pictures of my desk... but this was my life from 9am-6pm.
 
Lunch. At my desk. Mostly gross looking but kind of ok tasting. This is what happens when you grab a frozen meal because you don't have time to grocery shop (read: you have time but you are too lazy).

Still at work. But I have this beautiful passage on my desk to remind me that I'm in the right place.
 
This was absolutely as good as it looks! My boss made a batch of cookies which was the best part of my afternoon!

I love living in D.C.
 
Heading out after a day of work. I swear, every day leaving the office and stepping into the sunshine feels like the Shawshank Redemption.
 
Read a bit of my current book club book while waiting for Stephanie at a 6:15 dinner.
 
BLOGGER MEET-UP! I was delighted to finally meet Stephanie in person. She is such a doll and I can't wait to follow her adventures to St. Louis and then force her to take me dancing with her friends when she comes back to D.C.

We had dinner at BTS in Foggy Bottom. Holy moly was this burger amazing! I ate the entire thing. And then proceeded to moan that I was too full for the rest of the night.
 
Also, Burger Tap Shake makes it's own onion rings. Seriously. Go there. Now.
Picking up my car. :)
 
Finally home around 8pm and these babies are making my apartment smell like heaven.

I love when the days are long and I get to enjoy the sun in the morning and in the evening!

Wine and nails and the TV. Yep. I was a happy girl.

Red for hot summer nights. I'm ready!
 
I schmeeped over to Josh's around 9:30, made him hug me a lot, talked to him while he finished up in the kitchen, helped him with his monologue for tomorrow, and then promptly fell asleep on top of his comforter while he worked at his computer for several more hours. You know, just the usual. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...