Labor Day Weekend {Less is More}

I won’t say that we literally did nothing, but we PRACTICALLY did nothing all weekend, and it was amazing. We were 2.5 little hermits, and after a summer apart, I could not have asked for anything more.

The long weekend started on Friday night, when Jonathan was not feeling stellar. This started our slow-paced weekend… we ordered a pizza (#1 of 2 for the weekend. no judgement), and he fell asleep on the couch while I watched Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I call this a win-win.

Saturday, we got up early and took a long drive with the pup. We got her nails clipped, bought her a new collar and a ball. When we got back, I bought and mailed birthday cards. I worked out. We watched OSU football and ate a free hotdog. We napped. We went out to dinner. We watched more football.photo 1

Sunday, it was POURING rain. We skipped church. We watched CBS Sunday Morning (our fav). I spent about 3 hours working on cleaning out my closet. We got groceries. We ordered another pizza… And then we watched more football while drinking wine and reading magazines, quizzing each other and sharing amazing facts from the most recent issue of Time: The Answers Issue (seriously, buy it if you don’t have it. Fascinating stuff).photo 3

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Monday, I began my second whole 30 (more on this tomorrow). So basically, all the pizza and hot dogs and wine were my farewell to junk food for a while. We took the dog to the dog park. We watched Despicable Me. We did laundry. We prepped food for the week.

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We had a VERY sleepy puppy at the end of it all:   photo 1 (2)

The Best Of Us {PSA}

As I scroll through my bloglovin feed, through my facebook newsfeed, through pinterest, and even, at times, through my own blog, I think “this is all so pretty and happy — why don’t I feel like that right now?” or “I want all these pretty things in my house and then I will be SO HAPPY!” or “That one random chick from high school looks so happy and her life must be so perfect!” or anything along those lines, and when I catch myself, I think, “Seriously, Meghan?”

Because I KNOW that we always put our best foot forward online. I KNOW that pinterest is gorgeous and is basically the online Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition of home decor and food. I KNOW that I even design my posts to reflect my good side. Who doesn’t?! So when we catch ourselves having lifestyle-envy, we should know better. But we don’t. Because our brains are these tricky little buggers full of synapses and chemicals, and they HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN, PEOPLE. They do what they want. And they MESS WITH YOU.

Really, this is just a friendly Public Service Announcement to remind you, as we launch into what’s guaranteed to be another not-picture-perfect weekend, that no matter what you see on blogs and facebook and twitter, everyone has stuff. Everyone gets sad, everyone does have some perfect, fun moments, and really, at the end of the day, everyone sleeps, eats, poops, laughs, and cries.

Here’s a real, grainy moment for you from my morning.

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This was moments after I realized I had overslept and I jumped out of bed. The dog took my spot (the dog, who we swore would sleep in a crate every night when we got her). You can’t see it, but our room is full of piles of clothes, as we have not yet unpacked from the husband’s summer out of town. I’m late for work. A moment later, I go downstairs to find some dog poop in the kitchen from the night before that I didn’t see. There are a few dishes in the sink. The flowers are dead. My car is almost on empty. My team lost last night. BUT all this to say, in THIS moment, the man and the pup I love the most in this world are snuggly, right here, and that makes me happy. And that’s what it’s about. The little moments. So be grateful for little moments you have today and this weekend and this year, and don’t get caught up on everyone else’s moments. Don’t worry about the best of US. Just go have the best of you.

Honeymoon {iPhone Dump}

So here’s the thing with trips that are just the two of you and include all-inclusive eating, drinking, lounging, beaching, snorkeling, and sleeeeeeeping: you end up with lots of gorgeous photos of palm trees, water, food, and each other. And of course, you and your other LOVE this because these photos = memories.

BUT as far as everyone else goes, they probably skim through them and think, “looks pretty // where is that? // I need a vacation,” and then go about their merry way.

For that reason, I’m providing below a brief but thorough gallery of photos from our recent one-year-belated honeymoon trip to Jamaica. It WAS gorgeous, you WILL be jealous, and yes, you DO need a vacation – so go to Negril! We stayed at the incredible Couples Swept Away resort, and it was more than I could have imagined. Next time, I’m staying at least 10 days. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

So here you have it: all the palm trees and water and selfies you could ever want…

 

On Listening to Christian Radio

Even the strongest Christians among my friends give me a funny look when I mention that one of my go-to radio stations is the local Christian station. Maybe it’s because the Christian music many of us grew up to was simply hymns (which are lovely but maybe not what you want to turn up during your morning commute), or maybe it’s because as “Christian Pop” started becoming a thing, many of the new releases were AWFULLY cheesy. Like, terribly so.

There are really two reasons I listen to Christian radio:

Music. I have to say that sure, sometimes the songs are a tad cheesy, of course. But many of them are uplifting, energizing, calming, and/or refreshing. There’s a little bit of everything, just like with pretty much any other radio station. If I’m tired and crabby, I hear the song I need. If I’m happy and excited, I hear the song I need. If I need hope, I hear it. If I need praising, I hear it. If I need calm, I hear it. Many, many days, God uses that radio to get to me.

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Talk. When I lived in Nashville, I had a 45-minute commute each morning, and I religiously (see what I did there) listened to The Wally Show on Way FM. Here in Columbus, during my 5-minute commute, I listen to Mary in the Morning on The River. Now, if I had kids, hands down I would have these stations on – you never have to worry about crass or inappropriate chatter. But honestly, even riding solo, do I really want my day to start out with all that crap that’s out there? Not especially. Listening to the banter of these voices lifts me up, makes me laugh, and reminds me that we are all on this journey together. I MUCH prefer to start my day off on that note. Plus, I still get news, weather, traffic, and all that practical stuff we’ve gotta have.

Mary

So much so, that some mornings, I workout to these radio stations. I still use the Way FM app to listen to the Wally Show while I get ready for work. Hearing music with the message “you got this – life is good – you’re not alone” is a heck of a lot more energizing than most the music out there right now. Not that I don’t love that other music sometimes (I do), but I really believe that what we fill our heads with affects other areas of our life too.

Phew, well this got a little longer than I planned! Really, I just want to encourage you to try branching out a little today, whether you need a little pick-me-up or you’re feeling pretty dang good about life, just listen to something different, and maybe you’ll discover a little something new about God and yourself!

Thad Cockrell {Rosalyn}

So it would appear that I posted about this song four years ago, after attending an amazing night in the round at The Bluebird, and it has recently popped back into my head.

I was obsessed with this song (and artist) the minute I heard it. It’s beautiful, and unexpected. I’ve listened to more of Thad Cockrell’s music since then, and read a bit about him, finding that his goal is “to put the hurt back in country music.” Love that. He’s a solid Christian guy (love that) who doesn’t write every single song about God (love that) but is strong in his convictions (love that). Basically, love him, love you guys, and I love this song, so I’m passing it on to you (again). Enjoy it!

When You Utterly Fail At That One Thing You’re Usually Really Good At

I suppose this is a bit of a serious post for a Friday, but it’s been a while since I dug deep into some life lessons. But when I made a cake for our anniversary that was truly a comedy of errors, it got me thinking. I pride myself on baking – it’s “that thing Meghan does” for a party, a work event, etc. It’s the thing that I would do for an income if I had any guts. So when you have a total cake disaster, you feel kind of shitty (excuse my french).

For the record, the bottom is raw.

I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say… it started with my oven being on “broil” instead of “bake” and it ended with me adding brown sugar to my butter cream icing when I ran out of powdered sugar. Aaaand it looked like this…

Yes, shut up, those are supposed to be hearts. I know.

I think we are all a little familiar with that feeling of totally sucking at something you USUALLY really pride yourself in. It started kind of young for me. I took piano lessons for 13 years, and every February in the Wisconsin snow we would trudge to some distant UW satellite location for me to compete at Federation. I would spend an entire YEAR practicing two songs over and over, hoping to earn the top score, a “Superior.” In order to earn a Gold Cup, you needed 15 points. A “Superior” earned you five points, so in theory, you could get a cup every three years. OH how we coveted the superiors and the gold cups. There was much bliss and happiness UNTIL…the year I earned an “Excellent” which only meant four points. That REALLY THROWS OFF THE GOLD CUP MATH GAME, PEOPLE! And I was devastated. In the end, it actually took pressure off the rest of the years, and in high school I played concertos too which were worth like, eight points each, and I ended up with five gold cups that are now in a box in my mom’s attic, but the POINT is that I felt miserable for “failing” at the one thing you worked your bootay off for.

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Let’s move on to the OTHER thing I really prided myself in during my adolescence: School. I worked hard. I worked many jobs, usually two if not three at a time. I was pretty much straight As and graduated with like a 4.2 (which seems super silly but whatever). All that hard work earned me a full ride to a top-20 school, and I was thrilled. And then I got there. And I failed. Not just once, but over and over and over. I refused to drop out of pre-med, and just kept taking the hits one after another. I’ll never remember having a meltdown during freshman Christmas break because I didn’t want to go back and take the second semester of bio, chem, and calc. I don’t know why I didn’t drop the medicine track then, but I didn’t. And it was a blow to my ego like I had never experienced. I spent the next three years working even HARDER (and eventually dropping premed – but only after practically acing organic chemistry. who does that?) and managed to graduate with a 3.0…barely. And for all that drama, I now have a master’s degree from the same school and a great career track. So wah wah, boo boo, you’re FINE, megster. Just fine.

We’re getting a little long-winded over here so let me get to my point: failing, even at things you’re usually good at, is hard. But it humbles you. And I really believe it’s made me stronger. That said, I still do feel a pang of jealousy towards people who seem to have THAT ONE THING that they rock at. I don’t think I like being a jack-of-all-trades type: Good at baking, but not the best. Good at piano, but not a natural. Good at school, but not without tons of work. Even in my career, which I enjoy, I have been really struggling for about a year: not feeling challenged in some ways but feeling far too challenged in others. Where is the balance? I am just relying on the fact that God calls us to be diligent, patient, and to trust Him. Clearly, things have worked out fine before, and they will again.

So HAVE HEART! Hang tight. If you fail, move on. If you succeed, celebrate!