Sunday, February 22, 2015

Travel Plans.

It's official.
Hell has finally frozen over.
If by hell, you mean Minnesota.

It's -35 below zero today.
Yes. That is an actual temperature.
And that means there is absolutely nothing you can do to get me outside today.
Today is my first day HOME in over 3 weeks.
With no where to go. Nothing to do.
And I'm celebrating with flannel pajamas & a cookie.

My best friend Krista is trying to talk me into another 5 day cleanse this week.
Which honestly - I need.
These past few weeks I have been so exhausted from traveling that I haven't been doing consistent work outs or eating well.
It all starts SO WELL in January......
Too much on the road time & not nearly enough time at home will do that to a girl.



My husband must have caught my less than subtle hints [subtle hints = sobbing on the phone....... "I'm SO TIRED. I JUST WANT TO BE HOME!"] that I came home Friday night to a bubble bath, candles lit, flannel pajamas out, peanut M&M's, flowers, and all those books I keep meaning to read but never have time for.




My kids were so excited by this surprise that of course they wanted to jump into the bubble bath with me.
Normally I am quick to draw the lines in the sand......
THIS IS MOMMY TIME!
But I had been away from them so much these few weeks that of course I agreed to this mayhem.
So we all got our swimsuits on [because taking a bubble bath with your mom at 4 years old pushes the weirdo boundary.] and together we played pirates & mermaids until it was time to eat dinner.
And while none of the books I really want to read but never have time for sat beside my overflowing bubble bath still not being read, I viewed the time as time well spent.
And called it a day.
Well done husband. Well done.

This past week I had a business trip to the Mall Of America [yes. I swear I got paid to be there.] where I sat & listened to a very successful entrepreneur speak to the 500+ employees of the company I work for about what creates success in a person's life.

Mike & Megan - co-founders of EverEve stores -have a passion for business that is truly infectious.
And a lot of what I learned came down to drive & basing opinions more on facts than emotions.
Also. Appreciating & needing your cheerleaders.



 Since Mike came from the company I currently work for, it felt more like he was a working peer rather than some high-class millionaire who owns over 40 stores across the country & dresses really, really [really] well.




I had unknowingly been in their stores a few times, and had even taken pictures while inside the dressing rooms because their stores always made me feel really, really [really] happy.




Of course I got in some business trip shopping. [duh.]



And my job threw a killer opening night cocktail party at our swanky hotel.


Of course this picture on the left was taken when I am off in the corner by myself trying to shove a bunch of hors d'oeuvres politely in my napkin. And devising a plan to find the most ladylike way possible to not nibble raw fish all night, but sneak into my room to chow down a snickers bar.
Yes. I am THAT girl.





When I finally got into my hotel room that night, I was trying to decide if the $10 bottle of water was worth cracking open next to my snickers bar.
Lesson learned: You need water with chocolate.
And the mini-bar was officially raided at that point for all intensive business purposes.

The next day at our work conference, we also heard from our charities of choice - the main non-profits that our company fiscally contributes to every year.




The highlights include speaking with David Dorn - The CEO & President of Special Olympics Minnesota about the need for inclusion programs for kids ages 2-7 years old.
While your kids may be nice to a child in their class with a developmental disorder, most of these types of kids will never get invited to the birthday parties, sports teams, or slumber parties like a "normal" child would be.
Special Olympics is really helping to drive these inclusion types of programs in every region of Minnesota & I was so moved by David's talk.

That of course........

I have decided to jump again into an icy cold lake to raise money for Special Olympics in the Polar Plunge!





I'm kind of an idiot with a really big heart.
I guess that sums it up quite nicely.
So far my work has raised over $250 for me to jump!
[My marketing team also sent me this sweet hat....... Someone please. Save me.]
And I would love to personally raise about $400.
So if you could donate. Or jump yourself. Or volunteer for Special Olympics.
You'd be helping my peoples.

https://reg.plungemn.org/participant/meggans

The entire conference was pretty great.
I learned so much.
And felt so encouraged & inspired.
I swear I felt God Himself tapping me on my shoulder, making sure I was catching everything I needed to hear.



The end of the conference came when they hand out about a million prizes to anyone who does not have the name Meggan.
In fact, I had just looked across my table & said, "Seriously. I don't think I've won anything ever."
And moments later, when the grand prize was announced - the final prize of the day - I almost peed my pants & died right there.

"MEGGAN! YOU WIN!"

Box seats complete with my own bathroom, bar, & bartender [no really. Stadium bathrooms give me the heebie jeebies. I was really most excited to just have my own bathroom.] to see KENNY CHESNEY & JASON ALDEAN!



I got home from my business trip & flashed these babies at my husband - P.S. THE BIGGEST KENNY CHESNEY FAN IN THE WORLD. - And waited for my big smooch.

Apparently the only way to have your husband okay with you leaving for a business trip & leaving him in charge of two small children for an extended period of time, is to return home with box seats to Kenny Chesney.

And although the prize was a really nice way to surprise my husband who deserves so much, I couldn't help but feel like the tickets were just a small, simple way of God blessing such an important day.
Sometimes just knowing He's there. He sees you. He walks with you. He knows.
Is more of what I need.


So here we are.
Nearly done with the second month of February.
New Years resolutions crumbling before me.
Busier, [colder] & more tired than ever.
Not sure of how or when I will ever get to those books I want to read, the blog I want to write on, or when I will have time to fix my fricken iPhone which I dropped for the millionth time & shattered.
But there's a 4 year old little girl sitting at my feet, just waking up from her Sunday nap, wanting to play Go Fish! with her mother.
And I'm again reminded of my priorities people.




Much love to you Reader.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What It's Like.

You guys.
It's nearly Valentine's Day.
Which means that red & pink hearts are everywhere.
And every post on my Facebook feed has to do with couples & love & all the mushy stuff that I secretly live for.

I'm a romantic.
To the core.
I'm not sure when or why this happened.
But I'm pretty sure Lady Gaga has me pegged - Baby, I was born this way.

The kids & I spent all weekend picking out & signing their favorite Valentine's Day cards to give their friends at their upcoming Valentine party at school.
Parker picked one huge box of Ninja Turtle cards that INCLUDED the candy for the smoking deal of $2.99.
Addison picked out the most expensive Hello Kitty cards that came with temporary tattoos instead of candy [I'm sure her friend's parents are going to LOOOOOVE me.] to which she naturally concluded that she was also going to need some candy to munch on while pressing on all these fake tattoos.
$18 dollars later for JUST Addison's cards & candy, we walked out of Target feeling victorious. 


The kids & I chatted about all things love while we worked on the cards.
And Addison asked me the pivotal 4 year old question that I'm sure all inquiring minds want to know.
"Mommy. Who is your Valentine?"
"Why, it's Daddy of course!"
"Mommy. Was there ever a time when Daddy wasn't your Valentine?"


Rewind.
It was my senior year of college.
It was my first Valentine's Day married to Trev.
We had planned on a romantic dinner out with our best friends later that night.
But while we still had classes to attend that day, we naturally settled for the heart shaped chicken cordon blu that the cafeteria was serving for lunch in honor of Valentine's Day.
We walked in & filled up our trays, and sat at a table with our friends.

It didn't take long to realize after we sat down looking across the cafeteria that there was a special table set up that day with flowers, linen table cloths, linen napkins, fine china, and candles glowing. An odd sight in a college cafeteria mind you. As specific girls would walk into the dining hall that day, their boyfriends would walk up to them, hand them some flowers, and escort them to the special table that didn't include any sort of paper napkins.

My heart was overjoyed for these girls. The looks on their faces were priceless. They felt special. They felt loved. And they felt the sweet romance that can certainly be all things Valentine's Day.

I didn't think much more about it until a few minutes later as I heard a few under the breath comments of other single students sitting at the tables surrounding mine. Clearly not everyone was as overjoyed at the sight of linen napkins in the cafeteria as I was.

I had been on both sides of the room.
I know the love that is flowers, teddy bears, heart shaped candy, grand romantic gestures, love poems, passionate kissing, & dinner date reservations you make months in advance just to get a good table.

I also know the feeling of a bloated stomach after eating an entire bowl of Starburst candy. Feeling wet & alone when a comforting bubble bath somehow turned into a devastating reminder that I would surely die alone as a cat lady.

One year in high school when all of my friends had boyfriends & dates that night for a Valentine's Day dance, I remember purchasing for $1 the test results for a compatibility quiz that every student in my high school took the week before. An outside company matched up the test results. And for the bargain price of just $1, you could finally figure out who in the world you were supposed to end up with.
I bought my results expecting that I would somehow feel a little better about my prospects for the big dance.


 [My actual test results that I dug out of an old box today for giggles. Last names blurred out to protect the poor guys.]


After my top match turned out to be a guy on my big brother's baseball team I never once spoke more than 2 words to in my entire life - "Nice hit!" - I decided I was going to ask him to share a dance with me later that night. I mean, clearly this guy was going to be the man of my dreams. I just didn't know it yet........

I don't remember much about that dance.
Except that:
1) I was proud of myself for taking a chance.
2) It was the most awkward dance of my entire life.
3) After the song ended, I had never felt worse about my romantic prospects.
I knew the only person who was going to make me feel better in that moment was me.

 I vowed that every Valentine's Day - whether I was single or taken - I would spend the day focusing on all of the love I already had in my life. And it got me through some awkwardly single years. Some years I even enjoyed the single scene. [Hello to no pressure of awkward dates or finding just the right V-day present!] Being alone allowed me to find confidence in myself. That with or without a man, I was enough. I was still whole. I was still...... well, me.

I also vowed I would send a card every year to someone I knew who was spending Valentine's Day without a Valentine. A widow. A friend. The cat lady who I always feel is totally misunderstood.
An act that forces me to open my eyes and remember days of $1 test results & eating Valentine's Day lunch alone with paper napkins. Because let's face it, "Single Awareness Day" can be hard for some people. While completely empowering for others.

Most of all, the lesson that no matter your relationship status - with or without a Valentine - you are always worthy of Love.


Happy Valentine's Week loves:)


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guess I Am Not.


A friend of mine asked me to join her yoga class. It was a class totally not meant for beginners. [Which of course I am everything having to do with beginner when it comes to yoga.] When Trevor's work called him in & I was unable to go, I was borderline dance-around-the-living-room-with-my-dog happy mixed with relieved. Some times new things still scare me.
Guess I am not as fearless as I thought.


My work somehow talked me into jumping for the Polar Plunge again. Not only this. But somehow I was also talked into becoming Team Captain this year. Because apparently when you do it one time, everyone assumes you are a pro & you'll just keep jumping into frozen lakes for the rest of your life. The only thing keeping me going - and I do mean the only thing. Is knowing that jumping means raising more mula for Special Olympics. And Special Olympics is my people. But screw you ice cold lake. Screw you.
Guess I am not as good of a person as I thought I was.


In my attempt to start 2015 as my "Get Rid Of Clutter" year, I cleaned out 2 drawers of pajamas & quite literally threw those old, worn things in the trash. I mean- who needs 4 dresser drawers full of pajamas?!  I was feeling quite empowered until I came across a pair of neon yellow leg warmers that I wore to an 80's theme party last summer. Of course I had to keep them because I reckoned that one day I will definitely, most definitely need neon yellow leg warmers. Definitely.
Guess I am not as good at getting rid of clutter as I thought I was.


 Normally during my one weekday off for working Saturdays, I get overjoyed at the idea of getting up with my kids, feeding them breakfast, taking them to school, talking to their teachers, & picking them up in the carpool minivan lane. Doing the "normal mom" thing. This one day per week helps me cling to my mom sanity & makes me feel like I am actually a good mom despite all those horrible things I say to myself out of pure mom guilt the rest of the week when I am not able to take my kids to school. After spending most of last night awake hacking & feeling miserable, I decided to forgo my one awesome day per week so I could cuddle up with Netflix & my blog.
Guess I am not going to be winning that "Mom Of The Year" award like I thought I would.


An awesome person I know wrote on her Facebook yesterday how she faced her fears by attending her church's marriage series. This after a tough year & a tough divorce. She wrote that though she felt like a failure, pressing into hard things has helped her learn & grow deeper into God's love for her.
I was so terribly encouraged by this post, that I wrote something to the effect of "WE ARE ALL FAILURES!" and kudos to those who get up & keep going & have the courage to keep trying. Apparently not everyone agreed with me, because I got hate comments demanding to know why I would call this poor girl a failure. And how demeaning my comment was. Even though I was trying to make the point that everyone fails at something in their lives. We all fall short. And no one is perfect. Facebook apparently disagreed with me. Rather than defend myself, knowing what I meant & that I am not a demeaning person. But a cheerleader for all things encouraging, genuine & real. And of course, real life does mean we sometimes fail. [When did failure get to be such an ugly word anyway?] I decided to just delete my comment.
Guess I am not as good of an encourager as I thought I was.


 Yesterday the groundhog saw his shadow. And just a few weeks ago I saw geese flying north. GEESE! Which of course every Minnesotan knows is a sure sign winter is just about over. My husband wanted to point out that these particular geese were flying away from the Mississippi River, and he felt that they were the stupid kind of geese that never really fly anywhere but stay near open water. To which I made the comparison that I hope to never spend my life being like the stupid kind of geese who never really ever learn to leave the water & fly.
I thought I was being all poetic & deep which of course means that I was feeling awesome. Until I realized that I live in fricken Minnesota. And winter is pretty much a given until the month of May. And even then, people like Bette Middler write songs about snow in June. And saving the best for the last. I started to feel a little defeated by the hopeless winter reality that can sometimes be life in Minnesota. And in that moment, I looked at my husband & realized: This was the first time in our marriage that I was the optimist looking on the bright side & he was the pessimist barking about stupid geese.
Guess I am sometimes more of an optimist than I thought I was:)