#winning

I write this post with a big ol’ KNOCK ON WOOD, in hopes of totally not jinxing myself. Even though I don’t even believe in jinxes. But still.

A few years ago, when my friends and I started a fantasy league, I won. I had no idea what I was doing, but I WON THE LEAGUE. It was awesome. But then nobody paid the entry fee and I got none dollars. But still. I won.

I have NOT won since. Not even close.

Well, after two weekends of football, I’m one of only two teams in my league to have a 2-0 record. YAY!! I’m enjoying it while it lasts, because as you can see below, my “points for” (PF) are not the highest by any means. As soon as I play a few high-scoring teams, I’m sure I’ll drop. So for now, loving it while I can!

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Do you play fantasy football? Are you lucky at it, or do you actually know what you are doing? I’ll update you later in the season…see if I’m still riding so high and mighty :)

 

Thirteen Years Later

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I remember first hearing about the events of 9/11 during second-period chemistry class my sophomore year of high school. We didn’t know much at the time, and in my little town in Wisconsin, few of us really had any connection to New York. By third-period, teachers turned on TVs. Some of my peers went home at the requests of their parents, and some of my teachers, later in the day, turned off TVs. In retrospect, I’m thinking they probably didn’t want to scare us as more reports of terrorism came out.

I did not have a direct connection to anyone in New York at the time. In fact, since 2001, I had never met anyone who knew someone until two years ago. For my job in fundraising, I travel frequently, meeting alumni and parents of current students. A little over two years ago, I met with a beautiful, happy woman in a suburb of Newark, New Jersey. Part of what I love about my job is that oftentimes, people open up to me about personal stories when the only hardly know me. As this woman talked to me about her daughter’s experiences in school so far, she began to share with me that her husband had worked in the towers, and he was there they day that they went down. With an incredible strength in her voice, she told me about the pain of that day, and the journey that her and her children have been on since. She told me that every year, on that day, they come together as a family. Their daughter flew home from college her freshman year to be together on the tenth anniversary of that tragic day.

It changed things for me. To hear someone’s story, one on one. It put a face to something that I could only relate to on a surface level, like many other Americans. Now, on this day, as I sit in a hotel in Atlanta, not only do I feel gratitude for my family, my safety, my country, but I feel even more respect for the people who left this world that day, and for the loved ones they left behind. My heart goes out to all of you, any of you, who were directly affected by everything that day. I know that none of us will ever forget.

When A Man Cooks You Dinner

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Early on in our relationship, I would trek the 45 min+ to Jonathan’s condo after work, in rush hour, and would arrive to find him cooking dinner for us. Sometimes it was homemade pizza. Sometimes it was fish, black beans, and couscous. No matter what it was, knowing that I was going to walk in and have him tell me “just go sit down!” was the ultimate sign that he loved me. Even if he didn’t know it yet, I knew! AND, he eats so healthy, I became inspired and lost like, 15 or more pounds our first year together. Basically the opposite of the usual boyfriend effect*.

Now that we are married, we both cook a lot. Some dinners are quick and easy, some more complex, but most of the time, we are both in the kitchen getting things done. And I love this! It’s a whole different side of feeling loved and comfortable.

But this weekend was my birthday (Sunday), and while I really don’t care all that much about doing anything on my birthday (29 is a weird number), it was the strangest and awesomest feeling when he a) had breakfast ready for me when I got back from a run, and b) later “made me” go work on my crafting project and watch Game of Thrones (which he is not into) while he made me like this, gourmet Whole30 meal of turkey burger, guac, and sweet potato wedges.

Seriously, a flashback to our dating days. I love us cooking together, but I also love taking a break from time to time. All this to say, if a man is cooking for you early on, you are bound happy dinners all your life!

*The Boyfriend Effect is caused when I feel the freedom to eat just as much as my new boyfriend (and am more than capable) and so I gain like, a bazillion pound.

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…