Monthly Moment: April 2015

My friend Veronica Roman recently invited me to join her new linkup group, Monthly Moment. This invitation provided the perfect excuse to get back into a blogging routine. My posts have been scattered since starting my full-time job at Elon and I still find myself searching for my blog identity.

Veronica says share a single photo to capture a moment for the month that you want to pause and savor. My one word for 2015 is mindfulness, and this monthly linkup will provide another avenue for me to reflect on positive experiences in my life and be more mindful.

When I look back, I remember that April has been a challenging month and an amazing month at the same time. There are a few things not represented in the photo I chose but worth mentioning. My family celebrated the life of my one of my biggest heroes, Mama, and I also made forever memories with friends from all areas of my life, including seeing Kenny Chesney on the front row in Greensboro and road-tripping to Athens, GA to be with CSAA cohortmates again.

But for my monthly moment I chose an image from my best friend Taylor’s beautiful wedding. The wedding reunited my close group of college girlfriends (we currently live in 4 different cities) for a long weekend. This time together reminded me that no matter what happens or where we are we will always be the best of friends. And that I always have something to learn from these amazing women.

Chandler and college best friends

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Mama’s Advice

Today we are celebrating the life of my sweet grandmother “Mama”. She left us a very special book of memories as well as her favorite quotes and other advice. I will cherish these stories forever and recommend everyone take the time to record special memories like this for their loved ones.

Here are some of Mama’s favorite quotes:

Grandma book

“Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings”

“Be true to your own self”

“The honor that is lost in a moment cannot be restored in a hundred years”

“The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step”

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

“Dream dreams and act on them”

“Some things that happen are good, but there are going to be bad times also – I want you to learn how to deal with both” – Kathleen Zimmerman Thompson

Childhood picture of grandmother

I loved all of my time spent with Mama – she taught me to care for others before myself, to always write handwritten notes, and best of all she taught me how to cook her most delicious recipes – including macaroni & cheese, chocolate chess pie, and homemade biscuits. I am very thankful for all of the time we got to spend together. Love you Mama.

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2014 Goal Recap

2014 was my second year setting specific goals to accomplish over the span of 12 months. 2014 was also a year of change and transition; I graduated from the University of Georgia with my master’s in education, moved back to North Carolina, and accepted a job at Elon University. I am proud of what I accomplished and excited to build off this success in 2015!

Health/Fitness
It turns out that 900 miles was a very ambitious goal for 2014. I finished the year with 780 total miles. The Athens Road Runners group was part of my Georgia family, and it was hard to leave them at the end of graduate school. I also miss my best friend and running partner, Evan. We used to run together 3-4 times a week and those daily story rant sessions were the highlight of my week.

When I moved to Greensboro, I found a wonderful community of runners called the Downtown Dashers. We run together twice a week and meeting them at 5 am has become part of my weekly routine. In December I started running with a new friend – Meg – and really enjoy getting to know her on the miles we spend together! Running has changed from a solo to social activity for me.

Completed 2 half marathons:

 

City of Oaks Finisher Picutre
City of Oaks with Karrah

Mistletoe finisher picture
Mistletoe Half Marathon with my dad!

For the majority of the year I worked out four times a week, but I did not go to the gym once a week as planned. Strength training is missing from my life and I plan to make it more of a focus this year.

Personal
Blogging was consistent in 2014 until I moved and started my new job (you see a pattern here yet?). I sent at least 5 handwritten notes a month and really enjoyed it. Now that I have friends all over the country I enjoy taking time out of a busy week to send them a handwritten note.

One of my graduation presents was a Kindle that I absolutely love, and it really helped me meet my goal to read more this year. I exceeded my goal of 12 books by reading 15 in 2014. Most of this reading happened after graduation.

Professional
The best thing about 2014 is the fact that I met all of my professional goals. I started at Elon (in the functional area and region that I was searching for) the first week of June. I also finished the Strong Signals curriculum with CAMPUSPEAK and facilitated 3 workshops – it’s hard to believe how much has happened in the last 12 months!

2014 was an incredible year. How did you do with your goals for last year? Post in the comments and let’s celebrate 2014 together. Thanks for reading!

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Vacations

When was the last time you took a vacation? Why do you go on vacation? In the spirit of mindfulness, I plan to be a little more intentional about the vacations I take this year. I will look for vacations that offer time with friends, the ability to read a book (or two!), and an opportunity to experience a new place.

Best vacation Ann Patchett quote

“What we want out of a vacation changes as we age. It changes from vacation to vacation. There was a time when it was all about culture for me. My idea of a real break was to stay in museums until my legs ached and then go stand in line to get tickets for an opera or a play. Later I became a disciple of relaxation and looked for words like beach and massage when making my plans. I found those little paper umbrellas that balanced on the side of rum drinks to be deeply charming then. Now I strive for transcendent invisibility and the chance to accomplish the things I can’t get done at home. But as I pack up my room at the Hotel Bel-Air, I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.”

– Ann Patchett, “Do Not Disturb,” in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

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