Fly by update + phone dump!

It got quiet around here this week folks, sorry! School and work are super computer-heavy lately, so I’ve been trying to balance it by staying offline in my free time. I’m nearly halfway through my final seminar for my Master’s degree and it has gotten pretty intense. I’ve just begun a major team project for class, in addition to the regular workload, so the next three weeks will be extra crazy. But the good news is — just 6 weeks left and those three little letters M-B-A are mine. :)

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To add to my schedule, we’ve reached the busy season at the nonprofit I volunteer for. Around this time each year we begin preparations for the annual memorial weekend we host in May. As the outreach coordinator for all of the family members of those being honored, it gets really busy at times. But I am so honored to work with such a great organization. Each time I can make things easier for a family going through what I’ve been through, it reminds me why I’m here.

I’ve also been keeping busy with my fitness goals. I plan to write a post about all that soon! And Uncle (my BIL) is in town for a while, so we’ve been celebrating his separation from the military and making sure he and Little Man get some ‘guy time’. Aside from these things, I’ve been really trying to focus on my word of the year — balance. I’m trying not to overbook my schedule or stress out over things beyond my control, I’m trying not to look too far into the future or overindulge in any area, I’m trying not to place too many expectations or be so harsh on myself. It’s daily work to break habits, but it feels great.

But all this aside, I’m still trying to keep up with my post calendar. I have lots of things I want to share and explore, so I’m not going anywhere. :)

And now, since no quick update post is complete without pictures, here is a random phone dump from the past week or two. Happy weekend lovelies! <3

Wine + pandora, making grad school happier since forever.

Coffee, making life happier since forever.

Bonfire night with buddies.

Takin’ a walk in the woods.

The beach is always fun, cold or not.

This little buddy didn’t want to leave me!

Medieval faire with Grandpa and Uncle! Yes he threw an ax…and a knife.

Silly String sneak attack! I got him good.

Kiddo’s first research project and presentation! He rocked it.

As we do.

Painting every little scale to perfection. :)

Such an awesome gift, my favorite flower. Thanks E!

LauraMc

Such a lovely set of photos and a lovely memory stamp of this time. This is beautiful.

Tuesday Tunes | Feel Again

One Republic – Feel Again

I’m not really a fan of One Republic, but the lyrics to this particular song are SO relevant to me right now. I just had to share.

“…But with you
I feel again
Yeah, with you
I can feel again
I’m feeling better ever since you know me
I was a lonely soul but that’s the old me…”

Each week I share a currently meaningful or relevant song from my playlist. You can check out past Tuesday Tunes here. I love new music, so please share your favorite tunes in the comments or use the new weekly linky below! This linky is still new, so please share to get it going! :)

Tuesday Tunes Weekly Link Up!

Identity

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Finding yourself again after you’ve lost your identity is such a wonderful, wonderful thing.

We all go through that identity crisis as teenagers and young adults, that period of angst and rebellion and mistakes and discovery, that time of trying on personas until just the right one fits. By the time we are in our mid-to-late twenties, most of us are finally settled.

Unless you experience something earth shattering. In my case, the person that most of my identity was tied to abruptly disappeared…

and thus a huge chunk of my identity went with him.

So much of my struggles since losing him can be traced back to that loss of identity. I was left this raw babe of a person, left behind, confused, uncertain and exposed and insecure and unsure of where to go.

For the longest time I tried to reshape her based on what I thought she should be like. I formed her identity from the past, from who she used to be and who her parents thought she should be and who she figured she should be as a parent and who the world thought she should be now. I gave that illusion of this new identity such power that I let myself feel bound by it, trapped, stifled.

But these days, I’m consciously letting all of those chains slip away. I’m recognizing when I think that way, and stopping it. And in the process, I’m discovering so much I didn’t know was there.

I’m realizing I’m stronger and more capable than ever before. I’m deeper, more substantial. I have more room to love and a greater capacity for appreciation and affection. I’m realizing that I’m still fun and I can still be silly, and I appreciate those carefree moments so much more now because it’s from a place of intention rather than innocence. The fibers I’m weaved from are more varied and richer than they used to be, and I’m slowly developing a finer talent for crafting them into the best they can be. I surprise myself sometimes, as I realize this person I am uncovering is someone I really like and someone who is worth a lot.

Is she perfect? Hell no. She is impatient, overly generous, nice to a fault, stubborn, overly optimistic, sometimes too impetuous and spontaneous, indecisive, an over thinker, and quite the procrastinator.

But she’s also pretty awesome.

Finding yourself again after you’ve lost your identity is such a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Sometimes that person is better than ever before. <3

monica chaney

♡ !

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday folks! Here are a few things I am feeling thankful and happy about this week:

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#3 and #4 and #5

#1. Good times with good friends. My bestest and I have both been so busy lately and even though we have a weekly standing lunch date to help us through our weeks, we hadn’t really had a chance to let loose and hang out. We finally had a coordinating evening this past Friday to do our little post-holiday tradition: Christmas tree bonfire! Wine, music, burning things, and drunk b*tch talks = perfect. The testosterone of the group was very patient, haha. I love my friends and I’m excited for some happiness on the horizon for these guys, it’s going to be a good year.

#2. Finding new adventures and making more memories. With the holiday my kiddo and Mama were both school-free on Monday, so we decided to take off on an impromptu adventure for the weekend. Surprise, surprise, right? This time we didn’t go far, just spent a few days in Jacksonville exploring a few sights we had always seen/heard about but never really checked out. We hiked a little, visited Fort Caroline and the Kingsley Plantation, took a wrong road and ended up being forced to take the car on a ferry haha, wandered around downtown a little and ate some great Irish food and saw a massive old tree, and spent the day riding carousels and trains and feeding birds and stingrays at the zoo. It was fun, it was relaxing, and it was just what we all needed.

#3. Unexpected blessings. I got a little surprise this week when I learned I had qualified for something as a homeowner that I didn’t think I would end up with, and thus had a little financial perk from prepaying into an escrow. The reimbursement came at the perfect timing to use toward something I was torn over, and made my decision a clear-cut and easy one. I love little unexpected blessings that help you see you are making a right choice and help you along your path. Reinforcement is always reassuring, and now a burden has been lifted from my heart and mind. I am so, so thankful.

#4. Progress. I can apply this one in so many ways — progress physically with my fitness and health goals, progress with school and career goals, progress with a friendship I really thought was dying, progress with personal goals and struggles. The steps might be small, but when you step back and look at them collectively, each little inch is significant and worth celebrating.

#5. Giggling like a schoolgirl. You see, I have met this awesome person. It was by chance that I did and I didn’t expect anything from it; I still don’t, but it is progressing so organically and I am finding myself more and more interested…and those feelings are reciprocated. I’m grinning and giggling like a schoolgirl these days, but yet not doing my usual freak-out-and-overthink thing. It’s really quite nice, and I’m pretty happy right now. I’m enjoying getting to know him and the possibilities out there.

So what good things are you grateful for this week? Link up with us below or share in the comments.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

 

Tuesday Tunes | Beauty in Tragedy

August Burns Red — Beauty in Tragedy

So there is a little back story to this week’s song. Someone pretty great shared it with me, feeling like it might resonate with me. Well, little did he know just how perfectly it would. This was one of The Hubs’ favorite bands, and I have a feeling that if he had had the chance to hear this song he would have loved it. It is perfectly his style and just listening to this band again not only reminds me of a lot of good times but also brings alive a part of me I’ve closed off. Somehow the mix of lyrics that perfectly express some of the things I’d like to say to him these days and music that unlocks some of that carefree girl is exactly what I need right now. It’s healing. And pretty much on repeat right now. So, thank you E. You rock.

Lyrics:

There is beauty in tragedy
The heart won’t stop beating,
For the end is a new beginning
Where sorrow pulls the skyline of reality
And restarts a love ever after
As we grasp beyond defeat

So keep us breathing a little longer
For just one moment we couldn’t offer
This night is falling on my hearts shame
These feelings bring tears to my eyes

Just take away my world,
Leave my side
Hear the angels sing,
As I embrace you with a warm welcome home
Hear the angels sing.
Hear the angels sing.

Tomorrow,
The air will be a little colder
But I’ll be sure to breathe for the both of us.
And the nights
May be a little darker
But I’ll be sure to carry the torch to warm the hearts
They’re never gonna have to feel yours
I can hear your voice,
I can’t hear your voice
But that’s okay
Cause I can feel you in my heart

One morning I’ll wake up to you,
One morning I’ll hear the angels sing.
On that morning we won’t be worried about the weather
Nor will we might wither his life
While the clocks alarm.

I’ll be sure to write your name in the sun
Where the waves can’t wash it away

Until then I’ll walk,
Until then I’ll breathe in your name!
Never surrender the dream you had for this world
To love
To forgive
To make something out of nothing!

I WILL FEEL YOU, I WILL HEAR YOU FOREVER

Each week I share a currently meaningful or relevant song from my playlist. You can check out past Tuesday Tunes here. I love new music, so please share your favorite tunes in the comments or use the new the new weekly linky below! This linky is still new, so please share to get it going! :)

Tuesday Tunes Weekly Link Up!