The Post I’ve Needed to Write for a While…

If you follow this blog at all, I have clearly been pretty M.I.A. this year. I had a pretty rough first half of 2016 – I tried to continue blogging from time to time, but my creative energy had been pretty zapped by a pretty terrible job situation. For being a generally confident, happy person, I can say that I have never been pulled so low as I was from December of last year through June of this year. I won’t go into details, but by the end of it, I felt stripped pretty bare.

But then I quit. Without a new job lined up, I prayed a LOT, asking God for guidance and if He COULD just MAYBE have me a new job by August 1, that would be wonderful. I had an incredible amount of peace during this time, and amazingly, on August 1, I got the call at 8:03 a.m. with my new job offer. Since then, the rest of the year has gone MUCH smoother. I’m finally feeling more my old self again, confidently working in a fabulous team environment, spending time outside of work with friends, getting back into a workout routine…the second half of the year has been SO much better.

Yet, as you’ve seen, there haven’t really been any posts. I’ve been cooking, decorating, sewing…but I just haven’t had it in me to write as much. Maybe this blogging phase of my life is over. Maybe I’ll revive it down the road. But the experiences of the year have made me care more for my friends, my family, my activities…and a little less about documenting every moment. The only place I post much these days is over in IG (@megstermeter), but I have definitely downsized my overall social media presence. I encourage each of you to really consider what is most important to you, and what is keeping you from loving those important pieces of life. Is there a job you need to quit? A relationship you need to repair? What can you do in 2017 to have your best life? I’m considering these questions for myself as the year ends.

As a “goodbye for now,” I can’t resist sharing some of my favorite pictures (in random order) of the last eight blogging years, as I welcome in this new 2017. I mean, TWENTY-SEVENTEEN, am I right? I remember December 31, 1999, in my friend Laura’s basement, singing “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65…yikes. I am optimistic about 2017 – I hope that both for you and for me, 2017 shares more laugher than tears, more joys than sorrows, and more gratitude than complaining.

 

Grandma Betty

This weekend, my family and I are preparing to celebrate my grandma’s life. After over ten years of struggling with Alzheimer’s, she is finally at peace.

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At my cousin’s wedding a few years back.

My cousin asked me to give her one word to describe grandma. My word: playful. My grandpa never loved playing games, and neither did my mom, so that usually meant it was me and grandma playing Rummy 500 (or sometimes 1000…or 1500…), The Game of Life, Tiddlywinks, or even working on a puzzle together. This is how I will always remember her, happy and teasing.

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After my last Original Cast performance, senior year of college.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. I remember when it was just starting, and she knew she was forgetting things. It was heart breaking. Later though, it became a blessing that she didn’t know it anymore. She was happy, even if she didn’t know who you were. She said “I love you, too” no matter what. And she played solitaire and did word search puzzles religiously to “stay sharp,” she would say. I admire her incredible life and 69-year marriage to my grandfather. We may not have been a huge family, but she raised to amazing girls (my mom included), had five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. I still love this super-90’s family photo we took – I’m the youngest, down in front, along with my four cousins. (Sorry for the fuzzies…it was a screenshot.)

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Family photo circa 1997ish maybe?

Words just can’t express how much we will all miss her. The truth is though, I’ve missed her for a really long time. At least now I know she’s with Jesus, who she loved and taught us to love. So grateful to have had 30 whole years with you, grandma. Be at peace!

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On their wedding day in 1946.

January 2016 {1SE}

My creative project for the year is going to be capturing just one second every day using the 1SE app, and compiling them into monthly snippets of my life… Remember that time I did this for about 5 months? I LOVED the result. What I loved most about it is what it meant to me – it was a sweet reminder of the little moments. Even cooking dinner at home or walking the dog became a special part of my day to day.

So to kick it off, here is my January! I plan to upload these videos to you monthly, and then I’ll compile one big 2016 at the end of the year. Cheers!

Big News {The Time We Moved Back to Nashville}

I realized that I have started many blog posts over the years with “big news” or “good news” or “exciting news” so I’m going to start adding subtitles. Hence, today’s Big News: The Time We Moved Back To Nashville.

The most recent (and final) big event is that I have happily accepted an exciting job offer. In just a few short weeks, I will start in my new role as Director of Development for the Make A Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This is a bittersweet announcement, as some of you know, due to the fact that I absolutely love my job and my coworkers at Ohio State. Going to work every day with a team that works so hard but yet is so fun to be around has opened my eyes to what “work” can really be. As sad as I am to say goodbye, I really hope I can take what I’ve learned here and help make the MAW Foundation a fun and meaningful place to work for myself and my colleagues.

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I say this is the most recent bit of news, because in case you haven’t been paying attention, here’s how the summer has gone down.

  1. My hubs got an awesome job, after graduating with his Masters from Ohio State, working as a Transportation Planner with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. This is basically exactly the type of work he had hoped for. FOR THE WIN.
  2. Not long after, we bought a house. It needs love. It’s torn to pieces at the moment. It’s stressful. But we are doing it – we have an ADDRESS.
  3. Now, after several months of living apart from my husband, I got a job! A job I am excited about!!

All of this about 2 1/2 years after A DIFFERENT “BIG NEWS” POST about the OTHER biggest change in our lives. But seriously – WHERE DOES ALL THE TIME GO?!

It is truly yet another reminder of how God has His hands in everything. I worry, I doubt, just like the rest of us, but as soon as I take a step back and say, “I don’t need to be in control of this – God’s got this,” everything seems to come together a little more easily and with a lot more grace.

A 30 before 30 update + THE FUTURE

Greetings blog readers!

I haven’t been around as much lately here on the blogosphere, and there are many reasons for that. First, I haven’t been doing anything particularly crafty outside of the musical we just wrapped up. Second, to be honest, there is SO MUCH HAPPENING in life right now that blogging just doesn’t fall high on my list. There are also a lot of moving parts that I’m not really ready to share here yet, so it seems hard to come up with anything different to tell you about.

But today I realized I am THREE WEEKS away from my 30th birthday…WHEN DID IT GET TO BE SO LATE IN THE SUMMER? This means that my 30 before 30 list is nearing it’s end.

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Guys, I totally sucked at this. I think this will be my last list-type mission on this blog…Where did my motivation for crossing off lists go?? As of now, I am 15/30 complete…a whopping 50%. The good news is I have ONE REALLY BIG one pending, that should be wrapped up before my birthday!! More on that when it’s official…no jinxing here. Maybe I’ll manage to make a cheesecake in the next three weeks, too (now accepting your best recipes).

I’m not going to make excuses or explain why some of these items have not been accomplished… life is life, am I right?!

I also think my 30th birthday may mean some changes for this blog. It has truly been a personal journal for me for the last SEVEN YEARS (wow), and while I’ve enjoyed it, I certainly haven’t become any big blogging star. I expect I might write through some of the transitions that are coming up this fall, but beyond that… I’m not sure yet!

What would you like to see? Personal stories and ramblings? Food photography? Home improvement projects? Are you even still reading this post??

THANK YOU for hanging with me, online and in real life. Thank you for your comments and your shout outs. You are the BEST!!!

Second Wedding Anniversary

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Today is the day! Two years since THE BIG DAY. What a day it was, with friends gathered and hashtagging away, and families celebrating their new link to each other. While the last year didn’t bring as much change as the first, I have a feeling that yet again, we have a lot of change on the horizon. Seems like “lots of changes” may end up being an every-other-year theme for us… My “gifts of cotton” were not as creative as last year’s “gifts of paper,” (think: nice clothes from Banana Republic), but hey, we can’t all be awesome year over year, right?

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Everyone says that marriage is hard. But here’s the thing you guys…I don’t think it’s so much that marriage is hard as it is that LIFE is hard. LIFE is really nutty sometimes! It’s stressful, it’s nerve wracking. People get sick and pass away. Relationships of all kinds ebb and flow. Jobs change. Money sucks. NO TWO PEOPLE see things exactly the same way, whether it’s parent and child, roommate and roommate, or husband and wife.

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Sometimes you’re all like, “OMG YOU ARE THE MOST AMAZING HUMAN I’VE EVER KNOWN.”

And sometimes, you’re all like, “bye felicia.”

But isn’t that true of EVERY relationship? Marriage is special, though, because it’s a choice. I’ve chosen to go through all of that stuff WITH YOU. And because of that, no matter how much the years go up and down, neither of us are going anywhere.

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So happy anniversary to the one I love! Two years looks good on you.

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Last night got weird, y’all.

So last night, our power went out around 8:00…And my first thought of course was MY FOOD.

Priorities, you guys. Priorities.

According to the AEP website, it wasn’t coming back on until noon today. WHAT.

But it’s summer, and it was still light out, so I found all of the flashlights in the house, NONE OF WHICH WORKED, even after changing batteries. But then I found my Halo backup charger, which doubles as a flashlight, and works just fine. Also pulled out a few candles and put them by my bed.

I took the dog on an extra walk, because she was going nuts following me around the house as I looked for batteries. Plus it was light out until like, 9:30. Everyone in the neighborhood was outside, but it was so hot and sticky and buggy and gross…Also everyone is younger than me and they all hang on their porches drinking beer while I’m working, so I don’t feel like we have a ton in common. Yep, I’m the old almost-30-lady hanging out in her dark house alone with her dog. LALALA DON’T CARE!

ANYway, I got back from the walk, twiddled my thumbs, and then remembered my many electronics that ARE charged. I gave my Kindle a boost from my Halo, and did a little reading that way…

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The biggest struggle of the night was that without the TV on or any other ambient noise, the dog heard EVERYTHING, including everyone talking outside, and kept barking. UGH. So I opened my mostly-charged laptop, and broke out the old iTunes that is really a time capsule to my college/just after college days. I mean, before spotify…iTunes. It houses the playlists of the shows I was in, of my friends, my moods, my boyfriends, my breakups…you name it. My favorite playlist is “Ingrid and Sara” aka every Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles song I have on one playlist. I fell asleep with this playing to keep the dog distracted…

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So reading by candle/kindle light, listening to memories, the dark and quiet of the house…all of it made for a weird but really pleasant night. It’s for the best that I missed the Bachelorette. Brain cells die when I watch it anyway.

OH AND THE POWER CAME BACK ON AT LIKE, 1 in the morning! Yay! My food is fine, don’t worry. Sorry I held you in such suspense throughout this whole post…