27 August 2016

Magic Moments

I miss blogging - I often find myself still mentally composing blog posts. It was such a great way to write it all out and think through some monumental life changes. 

And since I started this blog, there have been more than a few monumental life changes...

  • I started dating Joe, long-distance between Chicago and DC
  • Joe joined the Peace Corps, and long-distance dating became between DC and Albania
  • I've traveled the world - the Balkans, Japan, Scotland, UAE, Costa Rica, and countless US destinations
  • I moved from DC to Chicago for love
  • I switched careers from government to healthcare, and finally found my niche
  • Joe and I got married
  • I've chased dreams and tried out schemes
  • Made new friends, kept old friends, and found the courage to let go of those who weren't really friends
  • I've said goodbye to loved ones and made my peace with my past
It amazes me how much life changes when you look back over time, especially since, in the day-to-day, it doesn't seem all that different. But when you start sharing stories and looking back over memories, it really does add up to some very magical moments. 

Joe and I recently went out to dinner at "our place." The place where we've celebrated several monumental birthdays, new jobs, and even got engaged. It's been almost three years since we got engaged there, but when we were seated, two flutes of champagne ended up on our table. Turns out, our waiter that evening had been our waiter when we got engaged, and he remembered us and wanted to celebrate continuing love. And truthfully, we were there to celebrate just that - our continuing love, amazement at how much we've experienced together, excitement over a new career opportunity, and dream of the new places the future holds for us. 

And I keep finding myself, stopping and saying, "these are the magic moments. Remember these." when I look around at all the beauty in my every day life. Sure, there are moments of frustration and stress and pain, but damn, life is a beautiful ride. 

22 February 2016

The Magic of Life


Maybe this is the magic of life. Waking up early, commuting to work, working hard, commuting home, living hard. And in the moments in between, dreaming as boldly as you dare. But feeling secure in knowing that there's always a world of possibility out there, and you can chase any dream you choose. You can stop midstream, say "I don't like where this story is going" and start again. Maybe this is the magic of life. Knowing a fresh start is always possible. 

01 January 2015

New Year, New Beginnings


It's been more than a year since I last wrote here. 

That was unintentional. 

I struggled for a while with the right words to express my fears and concerns last fall. The writing had been on the wall for a while, and what I feared was the worst thing happened, but then turned out to be the very best thing to happen. And during that tough time, I was so focused on getting through that I just didnt have the words. 

And then, because life is a magical roller coaster, I was so busy enjoying the ride that I didn't have the time. I caught myself mentally composing stories, but never when I could sit and write them out. 

So, here it is, a little more than a year later, and so much has changed. All for the better, which means I now have some time to come back and start sharing my stories again. 

I'm sure over the coming weeks and months, I'll share more of the details of the amazing roller coaster ride of 2014, but in the meantime, here's the cliff notes version:

I was laid off as a direct result of the government shutdowns in fall of 2013. I started a new, challenging career in a completely unrelated field and just celebrated one full year with a great employer. It has been a challenge for sure, but also just a fresh breath of air. I didn't realize how much I needed that change until it happened.

I also, most importantly, married the love of my life. And we brought a home together in our beloved Chicago. We also said farewell to a few loved ones over the last year. It has been a whirlwind roller coaster ride. And I'm amazed at how grand life really is, even with all its ups and downs.

More stories to come as I settle back into this space, but for now, this newlywed wishes you all a very Happy New Year full of happy new beginnings!!

03 November 2013

Farewell October...

Oh, October...

Usually you are one of my most favorite months of year. (Aside from June, but June's a given since it's my birth month.) I adore the beautiful colors and the crisply fresh air that usually rolls in during an October autumn in the Midwest. I love all things apple, especially crisp apples with a slice of sharp cheddar or the sweet tang of apple cider. 

Usually, October is my month to slow down a bit and appreciate the beauty of the everyday. 

Usually, October is my change to really revel in playing and working outdoors without getting sweaty or needing approximately ten thousand layers to avoid the risk of frostbite. 

Usually, October is the time I start thinking ahead to holidays and figuring out how I'll handle the long winter ahead. 

But not this year. 

October has had some incredible highs. Including one, holy shit, I can't believe I did it, high. (I promise, full story coming soon!) 

But October has also battered me about quite a bit. Shaken me to my core. I could predict the coming storm a bit and had been trying to avoid it. But sometimes, you just find yourself in the middle of the storm no matter what. 

It's still storming a bit around these parts. But I feel like I'm either in the eye of the storm, or I'm reaching closer to the ends of the swirling winds. Either way, I feel more confident than I did just two weeks ago. 

But the emotions have been a bit messier of late. There's been the overall roller coaster, and the crazy daily emotional one too. That said, I've settled into a routine of sorts. I've got my support network - wonderful Joe, fantastic friends, encouraging family - and I know, down deep, it's just a temporary thing. 

Just the same, I'm glad October is over this year. And that's a bittersweet feeling to admit. 

05 September 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Vol. 5

- Some incredible (and incredibly lucky) wildlife pictures.

- I'm so lucky to call the Great Lakes home.

- Please stop complaining about how busy you are.

- About time! LEGO is introducing a female scientist.

- A book lover's dream?

- More reasons why I love Chicago.

- An interesting read on modesty.

04 September 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Peach Pie

Baked my first ever pie last night. 
Tastes even better than it looks!

29 August 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Vol. 4

- 2013 iPhone Photography Winners. Absolutely breathtaking. 

- Also breathtaking are these xray photos.

- Keep the kleenex handy as you listen to "Oh Sweet Lorraine"

- I love this song/video from Miley before she got all weird.

- If Joe and I were drawn in picture form, this would be us.

- I love these photos.

- So much Corgi love!

- Just another reason why I love Chicago.

- This Disney dating guide hit the nail on the head.

- More Chicago love.

- But if I ever move to London, I want to live here.

- Well, this is disappointing

- Absolutely stunning works of art