Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 25: Crappy TV

I stayed home sick today. No fun. But, the one shining light about today was being snuggled underneath my covers and watching crappy TV. Getting to watch television uninterrupted -- getting to do anything uninterrupted -- is so rare. I didn't care that the afternoon was filled with B Grade movies. It was just me, the remote, and a box of kleenex.

Today, I rested...really rested. And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 24: The Nap Blanket

Today I feel awful. Nico is sick too. So, in a rare moment of rest today, I snagged the "nap blanket". Don't lie...we all have one. Mine is this amazing down blanket that is super soft. It's the kind of blanket that makes you forget that there is a world that exists around you. It's simply divine.

For about 30 minutes, I was able to rest and relax under my blanket. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 23: Clean Hands

What I am thankful for today is something simple: a clean, car door handle.

Today was a busy day filled with lots of errand running and random tasks. One stop included a run through our neighborhood car wash. After days of opening my car door with a dirty, nasty, gritty handle, I gripped the handle this afternoon without having to wipe my hands down promptly afterward. It caught me off guard how much I appreciated not feeling dirty after just trying to get into my car. That was a nice feeling. Simple and nice.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 22: Yes, please.

If there's one thing I appreciate about my husband, it's that he knows how to anticipate many of my needs and wants.

After a long, busy week both at work and home, there was nothing better than to arrive at our favorite neighborhood restaurant this evening to find a drink and tasty appetizers already waiting at the table. Both were delicious and we proceeded to have a great family dinner.

A husband who knows me and an hour just as a family...for this, I am thankful!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 21: 8:14

It is a rare evening when both of my children go to bed without 30 minutes every possible tactic to avoid going to sleep. Tonight, however, was different. Within minutes after closing the bedroom door, both kids were asleep.

By 8:14 p.m. I sat quietly on my couch.

Quiet. That was nice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 20: A is for AVID

There are definitely benefits to working in a school with one of your best friends. Not only does it make the day fun with quick visits in the hallway or copy room, but also, a genuine openness to try new strategies and tools in the classroom exists.

My friend Dawn is quite possibly one of the most talented teachers I have ever seen. She is creative, brilliant, rigorous, relevant in her instruction, and genuinely cares about the success and future of her students. That being said, Dawn is always willing to try new things to help her students gain an edge in education.

Today, she let me come and work with her 6th, 7th, and 8th AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students so that they could learn how to use Google Docs. This is where my thanks come into play. First of all, spending a day watching my friend truly make teaching into an art form was simply awe-inspiring. I learned so much just from watching her! So for this, I am thankful. Beyond the observation, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share and teach kids something that I am truly passionate about. The kids were energetic, interested, and could hardly contain their excitement to play with Google Docs themselves!

It's teachers like Dawn that truly make a difference in education. She models what it means to try new things to her students and is honest about the challenges ans rewards that come from taking risks. I am lucky to have her as a friend and honored to be able to teach in her presence. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 19: Credit where credit is due! And a break...

My wife is a rock star.  We all know this and have almost come to expect it. Today she completed a training session for about 60 people at another school district.  This reminded me of how she impacts the world.  On Day 19 let's give Meg a break from writing and lets all be thankful for her.  Here is a list of just a few accomplishments:

Mother of the decade:  Sofia pushes the limits and Meg is firm when required and flexible when it possible.  Nico has not yet learned to sleep the night through or even to be his fussiness during the daylight hours.  She teaches them respect of others, respect for themselves, to love, to laugh, to fear, listen, to establish goals and how to accomplish them.

Wife of the Decade:  Meg has backed me up through thick and thin and has given me love and support.  I can't thank her enough for all that she means to me.  I could really go on and on here but I think we all know how good of a wife she is and some of the mushy stuff is best left between us two.

Friend for Life:   I would like to know of anyone who can say that Meg was never one of their most endearing friends. Even if you have only been able to call her a friend in the recent past, I would bet a lot of money that she is one of your favorites or is on your "list of people I want to get to know better."  You immediately bond with her and she will be there for you until her last breath.

Family Member of life:  She is like all women the glue that binds our families together.  She is the reminder our birthdays, momentous occasions, and all things important.  If anyone has a bad day, she is the first one to call to put things into perspective or to just listen.  She is a solver and a listener, and the best at both. Of course blood is thicker than water, but Meg's is thicker than oil on a cold Aspen night.

Meghan is my muse for life.  She inspires me in all aspects of today, tomorrow, and the future.  She genuinely affects more people than anyone I know.  From friends, to acquaintances, to family, to co-workers, students, staff and professional peers, church family, community, and the big picture of society.  She commands respect and gives it to those who earn it.  Most of the time you already have it but need to give her a reason to take it away.  Even then, she is quick to forgive and make the most of every relationship.  She will never turn you down for a favor and will be the first person to bring you a cup of coffee or a listening ear.  Today I am thankful for you being in my life, yesterday I was grateful for the memories created just 24hrs ago, and tomorrow I will be blessed to watch you do all of these things listed above all over again, like you do every day.  In day #19, we are all thankful for Meghan!

Day 18: The Commitment

There are a few tunnels that I have to drive through when I go to the mountains. The first one is really short and the second, the Eisenhower Tunnel, is super long. Driving through the Eisenhower always causes me to take a deep breath just as I enter. You can't see the other side, it's narrow, and to be quite honest, a little creepy. But there is no choice. You enter, drive 1.6 miles beneath the Continental Divide, and emerge into a whole new world.

It's a commitment.

Every time I drive through, it takes my breath away. I am reminded of how incredible this world really is. I absolutely love the mountains. They bring me peace. I am happy to "commit" any time.

And for this, I am thankful.

A beautiful day in the "neighborhood" 2/21/11

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 17: Folded

I hate folding laundry. And when I say hate, I mean HATE. Thus today, when I looked at our bed covered in piles of clothes needing to be folded and repacked for the trip back down the mountain, all I could do was moan. I hate folding laundry.

I moved the piles from the bed to the couch. Turned on a movie while the girls played and began to sort, fold and pile. It took me nearly 90 minutes, but I finished. Neat little piles all holding their own organizational purpose. I like organizing.

Before I knew it, all our clothes were repacked and put away by the door for loading in the car tomorrow. The biggest chore of our bi-weekly travel done. Done! And, it was only 11am. Woo hoo!

Now, as I sit typing this, barely awake mind you, all I can do is feel a sigh of relief as look at my bedroom to see it clean and my bed awaiting me -- empty of clothes. I can go to sleep with nothing left on my agenda for the day. For this, I am thankful.

Day 16: Times Two

I think that one of the greatest gifts we have as parents is watching our children grow and develop into their own little personalities. This weekend, our long-time friends, Matt and Stacey, have been staying with us up in Aspen along with their twin daughters. Sofia and the twins have played, laughed, napped, and thoroughly enjoyed one another's company. It's been so, so fun watching the three of them together. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 15: Our Mary Poppins

In August, we were suddenly left scrambling to find new daycare for Nico after an unexpected change in our planned daycare center took place. Through a series of divine intervention, Kait was brought to us. We share Kait as our nanny with another family. Each morning, she comes to our house at 7 so that I can scoot out the door to get Sofia off to school and drive myself to work. It's wonderful. When I come home, she has usually taken Nico and Eloise on some sort of outing, read them books, gone for walks, played with toys, and gotten BOTH of them to take naps at the same time. Frankly, it's quite impressive.

Today, however, I was incredibly thankful for Kait's hands. Getting everything ready by myself to go up to the mountains is a great deal of work. Between laundry, food, toys, books, pack-'n-play, and any other random item that it takes to travel with children it's both time consuming and exhausting. But that's just the first part of the task. At a minimum, it takes me 45 minutes just to load my car up with everything needed for our trip. However, on days when I am able to leave town in the early afternoon, Kait is always there to help.

...and she helps in the best way possible: she holds, loves, feeds, changes, and occupies my little man. That simple act of taking care of him while I run up and down the stairs with the loads of crapola, is unbelievably helpful. I don't have to worry that Nico is getting into something, being left alone, or feeling neglected.

I love having Kait in our life. She has been so wonderful with Nico and is equally adoring toward Sofia. We are so thankful for her!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 14: Ahhh Aveda

Every once in a while, I get a little time to myself to get my hair cut. Today was one of those days and boy, did I ever need it! There's something about someone washing and brushing your hair that is so relaxing. The salon smells wonderful. The music is soft. And, for 45 minutes, I get to be just Meghan. Today, I am thankful for that!

So, I know it's totally cheesy, but here are a few pics of my new do. It's reeeaaaall short in the back!

Day 13: Chit Chat Commute

I'm not going to lie. Today was all-around craptastic. From waking up with a GIANT fever blister to getting stuck in traffic on the way home it all just kind of stunk. But in the midst of it all, I was thankful for the opportunity to talk with both my mom and mom-in-law as I drove this afternoon.

Driving to work in the morning and then to pick up Sofia after school is literally the only time during the day that I get to myself. That being said, it is nearly the only time that I can hold a phone conversation without being interrupted ten million times with "Mommy!" I really appreciate my little chats with Mom and Mary during this quiet time of my day. Even if it's just a quick "hello", it's always nice to hear their voices.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 12: 300 Days

...of sunshine, that is! Today, February 15th, was sunny and 64! I walked out of work and it not only was still light but it was warm too! Absolutely delightful and the perfect ending to a long day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 11: "At Sixteen Years..."

Dressed in plaid in the spring of 1997, I sang:
At sixteen years I was oh, so sad.
Then Father said I should find a lad.
So I set out to become a wife
And find the REAL LOVE OF MY LIFE!

Do you know the show this song is from? This show changed my life. Or, should I say, where my life began...
I believe in love. I believe in friendship. I believe that one cannot exist without the other. I have a husband who believes this too. And today, I am thankful for this!

When Chris and I started dating 14 years ago (TODAY!), I never could have imagined the life we would create together. More importantly, I never could have imagined the love that we would cultivate with each other and for each other. When I stop to think about it, it's all pretty amazing.

Chris is creative, thoughtful, kind, goofy, intense, smart, spontaneous and dedicated when it comes to love. I adore this about him. He just gets it...and thus, he gets me. He is careful to balance this aspect of our relationship with that of our friendship. It makes us a better couple all around.

Here's to 14 years of happiness, laughter, love and a lifetime yet to come!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 10: Mic #3

Those who know me best know that singing feeds my soul. Thus, today, I am thankful for microphone #3.

Since moving to Denver, my singing outlet has been through my church. However, because I was on bedrest for the last few months of my pregnancy and then traveling so much on the weekends, I really haven't been singing much. Our house has been quiet and so has my soul.

Today, I sang with the praise and worship team at church. My microphone, #3, felt so natural in my hand. I felt peaceful and rejuvenated. I was reminded how much singing is intertwined with my happiness and my energy.

Microphone #3: You and I will be seeing each other very soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 9: I Can "See" You Now

Today, I am thankful for Skype. Living across the country from our entire family (and away from Chris during the week) isn't easy, but Skype helps to make it manageable. I love it because it has allowed my kids to get to know our family and friends in a way that wouldn't be possible without video. We cook together, eat together, chat, and have coffee. I love Skype. It helps me feel connected to those I love and helps make miles feel like inches.

Sofia chatting with Daddy and making silly faces with apples in her mouth.

Nico and I chatting with Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 8: Not Forgotten

This week, Student Government has had carnation grams and candy grams for sale to be delivered on Valentine's Day. Remember those days? Heart beating faster as the delivery came into your classroom...were you going to get one?

As the adviser, I often worry about the kids who are the quiet ones, not so popular, awkward or shy. I never want any one of my students to feel as if they have been left out, forgotten. Thus, I work really hard with the kids in SG to be all-inclusive and to spread that mentality throughout the school. Not being in the classroom, however, it's difficult to know if the kids are really modeling this. But yesterday, I witnessed something pretty amazing...

I watched as two of the most popular girls in the entire school came and purchased 6 different candy grams to send anonymously to some of our most shy, and often overlooked students. Their notes simply read, "Thank you for being kind. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!"

Today, I am thankful for having the opportunity to witness an incredible act of kindness by two students. It was a wonderful reminder to not lose faith in our youth.

And now, off to purchase over 400 carnations!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 7: 'Dem Bones

I was reminded this morning that a good laugh is important -- even at 6:20 a.m. For this, I am thankful.

Sofia has been ridiculously interested in bones lately. She pours over skeletal pictures of all kinds on the internet and is fascinated by the comparisons between organisms. This morning, the very first thing she asked me was if we could look at bones when we got home from school.

Me: You bet! What kinds of bones would you like to look at today?
Sofia: Ummmmmm. I want to look at booty bones. Booty bones and ankle bones!
Me (chuckling): Alright. Why your "booty bone"?
Sofia: Because my booty bone hurts. It hurts because my ankle bone is stuck in it.

I laughed all the way to school.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Day 6: Moonlight

He wakes. He coos. He squeals. He cries. 

I wake. I sigh. I trip. I moan.

The bottle is ready. He's cozy in my arms.

3am. No lights. Just the moon, my baby and I. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Day 5: Delayed Start!

Who wouldn't do a little dance if they found out they got to start work an hour late?

The weather is horrible here: 0 degrees, -5 degree wind chill. The roads are snow-packed and drift-covered. And, while I didn't leave much later than any other normal day, it was so nice to not have that feeling of being rushed. I drove down the highway at 35 miles an hour happy as can be! Funny how the rest of my day seemed to follow suit in ease.

Ahhhhhhh. Delayed start.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Day 4: "The Video"

When I was 7th grade, a few of my girlfriends and I began creating a video diary. It was filled with total nonsense -- nonsense that continued until we were seniors in high school. When we graduated, my friend Andrea took the time to edit and copy our 5-year diary for each of us within our circle of friends. The title on the VHS (yes, VHS) was simply, "The Video".  The tape was placed in a box decorated by her and filled with pictures, letters, cards and other items she had collected throughout our friendship. It was extremely special. That box held a prominent place in my many dorm rooms and apartments as I made my journey through college and early adulthood. Any time, and I mean any time, that I was feeling down, all I had to do was pop in "The Video" and I was good to go for weeks!

While cleaning out my closet the other day, I came across my special box filled with memories. It brought tears to my eyes. I am SO incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with the friendship of these women who once walked in stride with me during our awkward and OH SO FUN teenage years. Now, 17 years later, we are still in-step despite our distance from one another. They have each grown to be outstanding, talented, devoted, and inspiring women. God was good when he brought us together!

Day 3: Patience is a Virtue

Today I was grumpy. And when I say grumpy, I mean G.R.U.M.P.Y. Sometimes it's for obvious reasons like lack of sleep and sometimes it's beyond even my comprehension. Today was one of latter -- until I had an epiphany while erupting over taking out the trash.

With Chris gone in Aspen during the week, my control of time does not exist. Sofia time, Nico time, Sky Vista time, anybody else time seems to take precedence. Don't get me wrong, I get a few minutes to myself here and there, but rarely do I get to be in control of the moments of my day. There is simply too much to do. Thus, on the weekends when my husband is home, I thrive for the chance to slow down; to be in charge of the clock.

When the alarm clock went off this morning, I already felt trapped by the day. Things seemed to snowball from there, hence the Incredible Hulk grumpiness once I got to taking out the trash at noon. Thankfully, I have a pretty incredible husband. One of the things that I most appreciate about him is that when I am exploring the extremes of my emotional spectrum, he is completely calm about it all. He gives me time (without me requesting it!) to just be and figure things out. He is honest and real.

Chris, I know I wasn't the easiest to be around today. But today, you were more patient with me than I think you have ever been in our 14 years of being together. There is a reason that God brought us together and I was reminded of that by looking in your eyes this afternoon. You are my best friend and the love of my life. Today, I am thankful for YOU. 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Day 2: Stinky Breath

I know, I know. Stinky breath? Let me give you a little perspective.

My absolute favorite part of each day is waking Sofia up. There is rarely a morning that I walk into her room to find her in routine position. This kid is all over the place. Most often, however, Sofia's head is buried in her arms, pillow, stuffed animals, blankets, or anything her head can fit under. This means that when I come in close whisper "good morning" I get a huge wave of morning breath when she turns her head toward me. Regardless, this is a moment that she and I share each and every day. A moment that I can look back onto throughout the day and laugh. I'm OK with stinky.

Friday, February 04, 2011

the little moments...

Can you beat these smiles? This was the first picture of the night...

Silly face...
Huge smile!!!
Do you remember when your foot was one of your favorite toys..
Love thy sibling...

I think he almost said Dada in the first one!

Nice Footsteps to Follow

For the past month, I have been reading the blog of a friend of mine back in Michigan. She has decided to write something she is thankful for everyday for one year. This struck me on many levels. After being diagnosed with post-partum depression after Nico was born, there were days that would go by that I couldn't see past my own self. It was dark, sad and extremely lonely. I forgot that there were so many wonderful things in my life to be appreciative of and be thankful for. Now, 7 months into the life of my new son, and nearly 4 & 1/2 years into the life of my daughter, I am ready to be thankful too. Every day.

So, Sara, today, I am thankful for you. Thank you for inspiring me to enter this one year journey of looking beyond myself and into what this incredible world has to offer.