Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Blood Drive Christmas Card.


Since it’s the Christmas season and in the spirit of giving, I signed up for the local blood drive.
I mean, what better gift could there possibly be?
Being that I had only learned about the blood drive the day before it occurred, I decided to eat a very vitamin rich dinner that night.
A healthy, hearty big breakfast. And take my iron supplement pills like a good, little, nearly anemic girl should.

The day of the blood drive, I felt healthy & full of all the good stuff.
Stick the needle in me – I WAS READY.
After one finger poke, and 5 minutes in the smallest office imaginable, I learned the Red Cross officially did not want my blood that day.
LOW IRON. Which I know can be a bit of a health struggle of mine at times.
My sister (who is a nurse) later that day told me that you can fool through a lot of things in life – but the blood levels NEVER LIE.
Apparently iron levels only rise over time with proper care, not just in a day with a few good meals & a supplement.
Stupid Blood.

Since I tend to over-analyze everything and also with the dark cloud of blood rejection still hanging over me, I decided that day officially that I do not take care of myself.


The reality of my life is that I live at the speed of a million miles per hour.
My life is consistently on the go with lengthy commutes (made worse with harsh winter weather), long days at the office, a husband with his own job of things to tend to, and 2 young children who I try to never once miss any event or milestone important to them.
Adding to that all of the roles in my life that collectively mean everything to me.
Daughter, granddaughter, sister, auntie, cousin, niece, mother, wife, friend, coworker.
At some point, something has to give.
And for the past 2 years, that something has been my health.
Not typically eating very much when I do sit down to eat.
And eating things I probably shouldn’t, not even BECAUSE I LIKE THEM.
(Though sometimes I do – hello there Mr. Cookie.)
But so that I will feel like I have eaten something & have somewhat attempted to try to fuel myself.
The truth is, I’m realizing that some bigger life changes (of which eating and exercise are only symptoms of a much larger picture) will need to be made soon.
And I’m trying to decide if it’s somewhat amazing or just a little sad that life can change so much because of a blood drive?



 
*****

I just started getting your Christmas cards in the mail. As I have poured over your beautiful pictures & letters, hanging them on a wire metal frame on the wall in my entryway, I realized people have very different motives as to why they send Christmas cards.


1)      They are really jazzed about Christmas & this is just one more way to celebrate. These are the people who listen to Christmas music in September. Just saying.

2)      They’ve just always sent them out. No reason to stop the tradition now.

3)      They are trying to update you with their life. These are typically the people who lurk on Facebook, but never really post anything. Or avoid social media altogether. Or maybe they were hiding under a rock or in some sort of cave since last Christmas?

4)      They don’t really have a reason not to send them. And part of adult’ing is mailing out Christmas cards right?

5)      They want you to know that they think of you & a Christmas card is a way to say they value you– in one small way or another.

6)      They want to show off their gorgeous children, the tan they got in Tahiti, and that their lives are basically better than yours.

7)      They are combining a Christmas card with a graduation/wedding/baby shower thank you or a birth/moving/pregnancy/wedding/engagement announcement. Killing 2 birds with one stone – ain’t no shame in that game.

8)      They need an excuse to finally take a few family pictures.

9)      They never actually send out any other type of snail mail throughout the year, so they are making up for lost time.

10)   They can think of no better way to spend at least $100 so close to Christmas.

 
And just to celebrate Christmas cards, here’s mine. Merry Christmas You!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Card Mom Shame.


Right now I'm slightly pinching myself.
My kids have been upstairs for nearly an hour coloring, putting together puzzles, playing with action figures, and dancing to Taylor Swift.
It's been so peaceful, I'm not even going to think about all the messes I am about to find.
Because this girl got her laundry done and started online Christmas shopping.
I knew it might be time for a break though when I was seriously considering purchasing a picnic basket as a Christmas present for my Father-In-Law in November. #terribleidea

I had considered putting up my Christmas tree, but instead opted for a day in pajamas with naps, Christmas movies, and Thanksgiving leftovers.
We will file this day under "Meggan Is Seriously Genius."
Because when it comes to days off with not a whole lot to do, they are so few & far between - that when Mama says Relax, Mama don't Play.




I remember the days with a baby & toddler in tow where I seriously thought I might never again get to have a moment to myself. So tonight is just one small reminder of the blessing of the season we are now in as a family. I love to just take these small quiet moments & let them sink into my weary mom soul. WE MADE IT. WE SURVIVED.

I got to see both my sister's family & brother's family this weekend - who both recently had a baby and also both have a 2 year old. Being with their families brought back those memories of that particular stage of our lives.
So many things I loved - small baby feet & sweet toddler cuddles.
But my pants would totally catch on fire if I told you I missed it.
It is it weird to say that I still feel like I am recovering from that season?
Though holding baby nephews might be the greatest way ever to end your week.

 

While the day after Thanksgiving means mostly shopping or a quiet day to get work done in the office, for me it was a total victory dance of throwing my Christmas cards into the mailbox.
That's right.
My Christmas cards were ordered, addressed, and stamped before the turkey hit the oven.
Which I absolutely wanted to take a moment to soak in THE GLORY.
It felt good to cross this task off my list.
But the only reason I wanted to brag to everyone I know my mailman was because inside I had been insecure for months.
If only for the total mom shaming I endured during school shopping season.
I made the mistake of posting the following on my Facebook:



The comments that followed were mostly harmless - "That's why I do my school shopping in July!"
But a few people literally took time from their day to intentionally try to make me feel badly for not starting the whole school shopping fiasco earlier.
Which let's be clear: I was doing my school shopping 8 DAYS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED.
It wasn't like I was headed to the store the day before the first day of school.
And even if I was, do we really need to scorn these Mom's?!
If we are all doing THE BEST WE CAN, then why are we so intent on trying to tear other Mom's down to make ourselves feel better?!

This very conversation was a topic of discussion with my mom group for weeks after I posted it.
"You totally got Mom shamed Meggan!"
They were right. I did. And it sucked.
But the whole situation just lit a different fire under me.
That I would refuse to Mom shame.
That even though I got my Christmas cards out the first day it would be appropriate to mail those gold glittered bad boys out, I would never go out of my way to even think a bad thought of the Mom who got her New Years cards out after New Years.
SHE SENT A CARD AND SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO. Amazing.
Or the parents out Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve.
HEY. YOUR KID WILL OPEN UP PRESENTS CHRISTMAS MORNING. Awesome.

I mean, can we all just take a chill pill on the whole one-up'ing each other scenario & congratulate ourselves for being DANG GOOD at keeping our children clothed, fed, warm, and loved?
I wish I were sitting next to you right now to give you a high five & big hug.
This parenting thing is hard.
The pressure to be the first one to cross over the finish line every time is just too much.
Parenting shouldn't be a frantic race to outdo each other in order to protect the perfect Mom image we want to portray.
In these situations, the only one losing here are our kids.
Putting up with crabby, stressed out parents who, FOR THE LOVE, just really want to sit on the couch after a long day of work, and Netflix Gilmore Girls with a small glass of wine.

When you put your energy towards raising thoughtful, caring, giving human beings - you will find that you won't have the time or headspace to devote towards shaming other people who don't live life on your schedule.


So here's to you - the parents that know it's good to take pajama days & days of rest.
Who appreciate the different seasons in parenting.
Who celebrate small wins like Christmas Cards being mailed off.
And who cheer on everyone else as they cross their finish line at their own pace.
Who refuse to participate in Mom shaming.
And who know to back away from the computer before buying a picnic basket in November.


I hope your Thanksgiving was thankful & your Christmas season filled with JOY!
Talk again soon?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hide Your Crazy.


"You should play me something on your guitar sometime," I said in a gentle tone, totally trying to play it cool.

"Uh. I don't play guitar." He looked at me confused.

"Oh. So then why do you have that guitar in the window of your room?"

He smiled. Just then I had totally been busted.

I had been pining after him for quite awhile.
And in my desperate attempt to be smooth, I had given away that I knew the exact location of his dorm room window across our college campus.
I never played the role of shy, unassuming, coy kind of girl well anyway.

He gave out a sweet laugh.
"I've had that guitar for years, but never learned how to played it."

Leave it to Trevor to be sweet - even when he finds out that the new college freshmen girl is a total stalker.

I'm pretty sure that might have been the moment I fell for him.
Or it might have been one of the other 2,000 moments before that where his good heart & sweet demeanor was evident for anyone to see.

No matter my shortfalls.
No matter how big my expectations.
No matter how strong my opinions are. (And like a good whiskey - they can be strong.)
No matter how many pairs of my shoes I try to cram into his side of the closet.
No matter how many times we argue or it seems nearly impossible to agree.
No matter how desperate I can seem.


He picked me.
He doesn't give up on me.
He believes in me.

I don't know everything about love.
But I know enough to know that he's my person.
The one I get to finish all of my days with.

And sometimes when we are having a quiet moment together.
Reading the newspaper. Sitting together at dinner. Drinking coffee. Sitting at a stoplight in traffic. Or watching waves roll by on the lake.
He'll turn to me. Smile. Laugh. And say - "Hey Meg - Remember when you asked me about my guitar?"


Happy Birthday Love.
Thank you for always keeping me laughing.