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.

 

Happy 2015!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe time ringing in another new year. 2014 was exactly as I hoped it would be – free of very much change. 2013 brought SO MUCH CHANGE that I started 2014 hoping for some routine. Other than getting our puppy Ryman on January 2, and then me starting a new job on December 15, not a lot of major change came our way this year, which is A-OKAY BY ME!

The year did bring a lot of travel, both for work and for fun, several weddings, more grad school completed for my husband, and more settling into our life in Columbus. I don’t have any new resolutions, but will definitely try to focus more on my 30 before 30 list, since there are only about nine months left!! Yikes.

My hopes for 2015 is that my husband finds a job he loves (after successfully graduating from grad school, of course), that I continue to grow in my new position, that we do not worry about our next steps, and that we truly enjoy this year of turning 30. I don’t know when we will have kids, but this is very possibly the last year without them, and I truly hope we can continue to improve our health and happiness in the meantime.

Come back tomorrow for a fun little project I’ve been waiting to share with you! Have a wonderful Monday!!

Love,

Megs

Happy 2014!

It’s a new year, y’all!

Before I talk about the new year – what it’s already brought and what’s yet to come – I feel like I need to wrap up 2013, and share a little love from our Christmas adventures.

First, we HAD to have our first, married Christmas tree. So the weekend after Thanksgiving, we went to a tree farm out in the country, and cut down our own! Well, let’s be honest. Jonathan cut it down.

But it was a great time, that we will always remember! Also, we named our tree Tenny, after Tennessee, of course. Here she is!

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I also realized I never shared my Christmas centerpiece and nativity with y’all! I kept it pretty simple, but loved it. Gold and red chargers, with gold and white napkins. A simple, wintry runner. Tall stands filled with gold and red ornaments. Red candles. And my favorite part is copied from my mother – a jewelry tree with “The Twelve Days of Christmas” ornament set hanging from it.DSC_0020 DSC_0027

My nativity was given to me piece by piece throughout my childhood from my mom. It is made by Fontanini, and this was the first year I finally got to take it out and set it up. I love it! It reminds me of home.

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For Christmas, we took 10 days to travel to Wisconsin, and then to Tennessee to be with our families. We had a great time, and it feels like it has taken us a solid week just to settle back in. We had a pretty low-key New Year’s here in Columbus, and I finally feel caught up on the little stuff.

So finally, here are a few favorites from our time in very snowy Wisconsin, then in Nashville for Christmas, and then Gatlinburg for a few nights in the mountains. I hope you had wonderful holidays with your families as well!

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New Year, New Routine

I have to say that I am quite happy of the fitness routine I established in 2011/2012. It usually included early mornings at the YMCA, detailed workout plans, spin classes, and the occasional meeting up with friends at the gym. With the Y not far from my house, my usual routine was:

Get up somewhere between 5:15 and 6:00 depending on the plan for the morning.
Get to gym and then get home, dawdle a while, and get ready for work.
Roll into work a little later than I am proud of.

Something about coming home from the gym after working out made it so hard to get ready for work. I’d sip my coffee, make breakfast, watch the news…I loved it, but it certainly wasn’t the most efficient use of my time.

And now, I live some 35 miles outside of Nashville. Traffic during rush hour is terrible – what should be a 30 minute drive can quickly become well over an hour. YUCK. so to get to work at a reasonable time, I have to leave the house by 7:00…

OR…

MY NEW ROUTINE!

Leave the house between 5:30 – 6:00. 
Workout at the Downtown YMCA, and then get ready there.
Arrive at work by 8:15.

The perks?

30 minutes of drive time with no stopping and starting.
Still waking up at the same time AND getting to work earlier.
No more dilly dallying…

You may not care, but I am just so thrilled at how well it has been working out that I had to share. It has also been fun to workout in a new environment, on a new schedule. I strongly encourage it if you are stuck in a rut!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderfully fun New Year celebration! The last month of 2012 was a little crazy for me – four roundtrip flights, three Christmas parties, two engagement photo sessions, and one BIG move out of my house! On top of that, my free time was mostly spent packing up my belongings and making wedding plans, rather than my usually crafting, cooking, and picture taking. But now that I am pretty much settled into my new place, I hope to bring you a lot more of the stuff we all love! Stay tuned, as there are many pending adventures in 2013!

12 in 2012

I don’t really do resolutions, because I feel like if you want to make a change, you should have started five minutes ago. Why wait another day? Why put it off? A few that I’ve adapted over the last few years… Stop counting calories. Pray more. Pay attention. Get in a daily/weekly workout routine.

So I don’t really have any new resolutions to share with you. Mostly, I want to keep it up, and keep challenging myself. But since both my 101 list and grad school are over, I feel the urge to make a to do list for the year…for 2012.

And so I give you my 12 in 2012 list. These are not earth shattering goals by any means. But they are mostly things I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t gotten around to. So with this list, I commit to these 12 things for 2012.

12 in 2012

Dear self – here are twelve things you should be sure to do in 2012…

Travelto Seattle and Vancouver with Jonathan and take a 60th birthday trip with mama. (done) {Charleston with Mom} {Portland, Seattle, Vancouver with Jonathan}

Moneybuild my savings account to my goal – I’m currently at 30%.

Learnto read a knitting or crocheting pattern.

Sewa skirt.

Makehomemade ice cream.

Developresearch, plan, & create an Etsy shop.

Experiencea class with Jonathan – cooking, dance, etc…anything we both want to do!

Enrichget a Nashville library card; visit the downtown library; and visit the Tennessee State Museum, too! (done)

Musicsee a show at the Bluebird Café. (done)

Give Backtake Alexis volunteering at least twice; teach her how to make friendship bracelets (bracelets here).

Improverepair that pile of clothes in the closet or get rid of them! And do a serious closet/under the bed clean out, while you’re at it. (done)

Chill Outgive yourself a break!

Au Revoir, 2010. It’s been real.

I have a very distinct memory of being in my friend’s grandparents’ basement at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2000. We were drinking sparkling grape juice and dancing to Aqua, feeling like the coolest kids in town. It was epic.

But 2010? 2010 was beyond epic. 2010 was…monumental. And here I am, almost eleven years from grape juice and aqua, ready to start what I am sure will be an amazing 2011. This year, I will attend my first professional conference. I will finish my M.Ed. I will likely do some shows, maybe earn a promotion, maybe take a trip to the beach. I will drive to Wisconsin for a nice long 4th of July vacation. My 101 list will come to an end. It’s going to be a great year.

But I digress. 2010. Let me try to summarize its monumental monumentousness. The month of May alone brought a flood, moving to a new house, and an adventure to Guatemala (including a volcano, tropical storm, and road trip to El Salvador). The rest of the year brought with it two musicals, more graduate classes, an Urban Dare, a 10K, and endless hours of friends. I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, and am about to attend an amazing New Years Eve event, benefiting the Room in the Inn, the planning of which I was lucky enough to have a small part in.  I am also fairly certain that I have met more new and fascinating people in 2010 than in 2008 and 2009 combined. And let’s not forget all the crafting and baking and photographing and general loveliness that I was so fortunate to have in my life this year. All of these adventures made for a non-stop adventure all year long.

My heart is completely full of 2010. I honestly feel like this was the year I will look back on and say, “That year…that year, I grew up. That year, I made sense, if only to myself.”

Cheers to what’s to come!

Love,

MM

{photo by Lu}