Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 146: More Than Before

When we first moved to Denver, I found a summer job working as a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop. It was a nice way to fill the time before the school year began and it gave me an opportunity to meet nearly everyone in the neighborhood. The shop had only been open a few months before I began working there and it seemed like every day business was improving. When I asked the owner what his plan was to increase business his response was simple: Just make more next month than he did this month.

Worked for me.

I've been thinking about that model a lot lately as it pertains to this blog. I began writing here more than 6 years ago as a way to chronicle our new life out west as a young married couple and then as a family. I didn't really care who read my blog. It was my digital diary. When I shifted the focus to 365 days of thankfulness as a part of my process for healing from post-partum depression, something changed. I do care who reads what I have to say. I care that by finding one small moment in each day to be thankful for, it provides a completely different perspective on how I continue to push forward. I care that my thankfulness is impacting the lives of others.

So here's my goal: More than before. This is a picture of the traffic on my blog as of the last 2 years. Since I have begun my thankfulness focus, my hits have increased dramatically -- each month more than before. I am thankful for this. But I'd like to see my readership increase still. So share. Please share. If you've found any of what I've written compelling -- or even laughable, please, share this site with others.

I am grateful for each and every day. That can be contagious, right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 145: Snip Snip

It is no secret how much I LOVE going to get my hair cut. Mostly, I love going because I know that as soon as I sit down in the chair, I can tell my stylist to do as he pleases. I trust him and he knows my hair. This is not an easy task as it has a mind of it's own.

Today when I went into the salon, I told Kiko I was ready for a real change and he went with it....several inches of it! He kept asking me if I was OK while he snipped and large chunks of my thick, crazy hair fell to the floor. I was cool and calm -- something he said NEVER happens when he is chopping.

I trusted him. And, I knew that I would end up with something fun, stylish, easy to do, and reflective of my personality. No reason to be nervous!

Today I am thankful that my hair stylist knows me so well. It's amazing what a great haircut can do for the spirit.




Day 144: All Natural

Question: What happens when two teachers go out for lunch and then walk into a new children's store?

Answer: They befriend the shop owner and offer up ideas for a fun dessert and decorating session with canvas, of course! :)

My friend Beth and I had such a fun afternoon today. First we had lunch at an awesome sushi restaurant in my neighborhood and then we poked around the shops in the town center. We went into a shop that opened just a few months ago called Naturally Loved, a children's clothing and toy store that is totally eco-friendly. The stuff in there is ADORABLE and totally ingenious. The cool part is that the owner, Aly, is a former art teacher from Denver Public Schools. Aly, Beth and I chatted for nearly 30 minutes about the store and teaching and we left smiling.

Next stop: ice cream. We wandered some more and saw a sign for a painting and wine class. And that's when the idea arose. How fun would it be to have a painting class for pregnant/new mothers, led by Aly, where she could give guidance on creating original artwork for nurseries? Instead of wine, she could offer dessert. We decided that we should go back and tell her our idea. The best part of it all was that she was completely pumped. We laughed and brainstormed some more before we left for the second time.

Desert and Decor. Wouldn't that be fun? I know I'd attend!

I've never acted on such an impulse before. What random stranger wants to hear a random idea from another stranger in her own shop? Well, Aly was game and we had a blast!

Today I had fantastic afternoon with a good friend and shared ideas with a complete stranger. It was awesome. And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 143: Booked!

I. Am. So. Excited.

While we are in Michigan in a few weeks, Chris and I will jet away for 4 days up north on a little getaway of our own. This is the first trip we've had just the two of us since we got married! We are seriously pumped to spend some one-on-one time together hanging at the beach, sleeping in, eating out, touring wineries and telling bad jokes. Well, Chris will tell bad jokes and I will laugh at him to make him feel good. :)

Our parents will be taking care of the kiddos so that we can spend this time reconnecting after 10 months of being apart. It is SO kind of them and we are more than grateful for their generosity. This will be a really special trip for Chris and I.

And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 142: And They Were One

Chris has returned from Aspen for good. We are officially a family of one location again...and on our anniversary to boot! Doesn't get much better than that! :)

Whole again!!!!!! For this, I am thankful!


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 141: Anniversary Dinner

Tonight, Chris and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary (a day early). And, as a first, we had company to join in on the celebration! As it is our last weekend in Aspen, Lisa and Joel joined us at Cache Cache, a French bistro, for an adults only evening of storytelling, wine, scrumptious food, laughter and friendship. Once we were done with dinner, we all took a walk down the city streets lit up with lanterns, street lamps within trees, and candlelit restaurant tables that spilled onto the sidewalks. All-in-all, it felt like an evening right out of a storybook.

I'll never forget the day we got married. Along with the birth of our children, it truly was one of the best days of my life. On June 26, 2004, I married my best friend and love of my life. He believes in me, supports me, challenges me, dreams with me, walks in faith with me and most importantly, loves me unconditionally. I honestly feel like I am the luckiest woman on earth.

During the toasts at our wedding reception, Chris's best man spoke of his admiration surrounding our balance with one another and the friendships in our lives. This balance has been something that we still strive to maintain. As we wrap up one of the most difficult years in our lives both as a married couple and as individuals, our friendships hold an even deeper value in our lives than we could have ever expected. For all of you who helped Chris, the kids and I during this year, we are deeply indebted. Specifically, Lisa and Joel, thank you for being family to Chris on the long days and sometimes weeks between our reunions. There is absolutely no way we could have made it through this year without their constant support.

Love, friendship and marriage...for THESE, I am thankful!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 140: No Pain...Well, Kind Of

For some reason, I have been blessed with the kind of teeth that no matter how much I brush, floss, rinse and repeat (and I really do these things!!!!) I ALWAYS arrive at my 6 month dental check-up with cavities. In fact, at age 30, I already have 5 crowns and 12 fillings. Boo.

At my dental appointment today, the results were no different: 2 cavities requiring a filling and a crown. Thankfully, I have an incredible dentist. She knows my fear of needles. She knows my high level of anxiety around having my teeth worked on. She knows these things so well that she postponed my next appointment until she has returned from her maternity leave so that some random person isn't working on me. Her exact words were, "I know you. I know your mouth. I think we'll both feel better if I do the work."

That's good enough for me! And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 139: Expecting the Unexpected

I suppose that at this point in my life, I should know to always expect the unexpected. Yet, when such instances arise, I still feel caught off guard. Today was one of those days. I took my car in to have an oil change and quickly found out that the rear brakes, rotors, brake pads and ABS sensor needed to be replaced. Oh, and the shop only had some of the parts so the installation was delayed while they waited for them to be delivered from another store. A minimum of 4 hours was the expected time of repair.

90 degrees outside. 2 kids. No stroller. Lunchtime. 1 bottle. 2 diapers. 40 minutes from home. UGH!

I'm not going to have a pity party here. Did it royally suck to have to unexpectedly pay $447 out of my pocket? You bet. But, I found a few things to be thankful for out of it all:
  1. My friend Carrie and her husband Chris let us hang out at their condo for the afternoon so we could eat and swim.
  2. The manager of the car shop felt so bad about everything that he actually DROVE us to Carrie's. 
  3. I didn't have to put the fix on a credit card.
  4. My car is repaired and will be super safe to drive up to the mountains in and across the country in a week.
It was a long day and I know without this blog, my outlook on all of this would have been completely different. I'm not mad about the money or even irritated at the major kink it put into the kids' schedule. I'm just...fine! So perhaps, once again the unexpected has taken me by surprise....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 138: Little Fish

Growing up in Michigan, I rarely went a day during the summer without swimming. I absolutely love the water. :) Thus, you can imagine my delight in watching my kiddos enjoy themselves at the pool. Today was the first time I had been with both of them at the same time at the pool this summer. They were each SO happy in the water. Nico splashed and crawled around on the steps and Sofia hopped, swam, splashed, kicked and wiggled all over the place. To say that both of them were exhausted when we got home is an understatement.

I love summer. I love pools. I love watching my kids turn into little fish. And for this, I am thankful. :)

Day 137: Yay Mac!

I finally had some time today to stop by the Apple store today to pick up a new charger for my laptop. After nearly two weeks without my beloved MacBook Pro, it feels so good to have it functioning and back in my hands again. Silly, yes. Regardless, for this, I am thankful! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 136: Neat and Clean

One of the things that having the summers off affords is the time to finally really clean. And I mean rrreeeeaaallllllyyyyy clean. This past weekend, Chris and I took to our bedroom walk-in and ended up with 9 garbage bags full of items to donate to Goodwill. Not only do I feel good about having a space that is now super neat and clean, but giving to an organization that helps a lot if people always feels nice. And for this, I am thankful.


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 135: Daddies Dearest

I feel extremely honored to have the men in my life that I do. My dad and step-dad modeled love, kindness and respect in fatherhood and martial partnership in countless ways as I grew up. This offered me a clear vision of what to look for in my own spouse when I was ready to get married. I immediately knew that Chris would fit within the standards that had been set after meeting his dad for the first time. He too, was kind, loving and respectful.

I am thankful that my sister and I had such strong role models as we grew up in the areas of love, parenthood and partnership. I am thankful that Dad, Brian, David and Chris are men that I can always count on to be genuine. I am thankful that my children will have men in their lives who are confident and successful but who place their families first. And most of all, I am thankful that these men are all fathers. They have all blessed so many in so many ways and I love them all! :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 134: My Morning Moment

There are rare quiet moments to my day. But this morning, one snuck right up and it wasn't until I was right on the middle of it that I realized what was going on. Alone I sat on my balcony, listening to the sounds of morning and sipping my coffee. Chris and Sofia were off buying a hose to fill up our inflatable pool and Nico was napping. I felt like the moment was worth capturing. So here I am: no make-up, no combing of the hair, no contacts. Just me, my coffee and a quiet moment this morning.





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Day 133: Go Rockies!

Chris's Father's Day gift was tickets to the Rockies versus Tigers baseball game tonight. The weather was absolutely perfect and our seats were AWESOME! To top it off, the Rockies were stellar in their performance and clobbered the Tigs. It really was a fun night.

Happy Father's Day, Chris! We are thankful for you!



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Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 132: Early Arrival

Chris got home early today. Not just a little early, hours early! The kids were SO excited to see him and it was great having him around for the afternoon, dinner and bedtime. It was almost like old times again. :)

And for this, l am thankful.


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 131: Breakfast Date

This morning I took Sofia out for breakfast to one of our favorite restaurants, Snooze. She was so cute and I thoroughly enjoyed our one-on-one time together. :) I am so thankful to have such a special relationship with my daughter.




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 130: Yay Summer!

Today was my first day of summer break! Any confusion about my feelings of this can be remedied by the picture below:


It's officially time for some relaxation, playing and sun. And for this, I am thankful.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 129: Open Door

Today I closed one door to open another. In August I will walk into a science room filled with 30 kids instead of an office full of computers. It's a good thing. And for this, I am thankful.


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 128: Real Spring Water

Today we ventured up to the Reudi Reservoir to do some fishing, sightseeing and enjoy some family time together. The drive was gorgeous with the road bending along with the twists and turns of the Frying Pan River. The weather couldn't have been more cooperative either. It was all simply delightful!

About halfway into our drive we pulled off to the side of the road behind our friend Joel. He told us to get out of the car and grab our water bottles because he wanted to show us something. Out we hopped not having a clue what we were about to see. We walked about 10 feet from the side of the road and there it was: an actual mountain spring. For real. I opened my water bottled and filled it up to take a drink. It was better than any bottle of water I've purchased in my life. This was nature's best and so amazing.

I know sipping water doesn't seem like it should be a big deal. But I think the sheer magnitude of it's purity, the mountains and river surrounding us and the likelihood that I would ever get to do something like that again hit me. Nature is pretty cool and I have so enjoyed spending so much time outside with my family lately. For all of this, I am thankful!



Reudi Reservoir, June 12, 2011

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Location:Woods Rd,Aspen,United States

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 127: Movie Night

I went to see "Bridesmaids" tonight with some of my girlfriends. So fun! I laughed harder than I have in a long time. The movie was absolutely hilarious and reminded me of how lucky I am to have the women friends in my life that I do.

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 126: Breakfast for Dinner

Mmmm. Cheesy eggs and turkey bacon. I cooked it, both kids ate it and smiles were found all around. Fun, Friday night dinner without any whining, crying or reminders to "put tummies to the table"...for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Day 125: Success!

Today, Nico had his surgery follow-up on his ears and we couldn't have asked for better results. Not only did he pass his hearing test with flying colors (quite the opposite pre-surgery) but his tubes were also still in tact and CLEAR! No infection, no blockage, no anything! For the first time in his little life, Nico is completely healthy! That is a wonderful feeling! And for THIS I am thankful!




Day 124: Ovation

One of my guilty pleasures is watching musicals. Tonight, while flipping through the channels, I came across a station that plays nothing but broadway shows. Sweet! I performed "Le Jazz Hot" when I was in middle school so I was so excited when the show that was on tonight was "Victor\Victoria". It brought me back to my performing days. :)

Thanks for the walk down memory lane and a great evening if entertainment, Ovation!


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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day 123: It's A Love And Hate Kind Of Thing

Here's what I don't like:
  1. Grocery shopping.
  2. Putting groceries away.
Here's what I'm thankful for:
  1. I got to shop BY MYSELF today!
  2. My cupboards and refrigerator are full.
It was the last day of school for students today. Our staff had a get together at a local restaurant following final check-out and then I celebrated with a trip to the store to get food. I lead a glamorous life! :) My last day will be in a few days after all loose ends are buttoned up. Maybe then I'll celebrate with something a little more adventurous...

Day 122: Not So Much Sleep

Sometimes your kiddo just needs to snuggle up to fall asleep. It's true, my arm will go numb, her feet will kick my ribs and she will talk in her sleep. I might even be pushed to the edge of the bed. But who cares? One night of a little less sleep for me is worth a happy, rested child in the morning!

I am thankful that I have a secure, independent 4-year-old who just so happens to need to fall asleep on her mommy's shoulder tonight.

...and who just whispered that she loved me before she closed her eyes.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Day 121: First Family Hike

 We love exploring what Colorado has to offer. It is seriously a beautiful state. So when we got the chance to go on a hike up to Hanging Lake, we jumped on it. The lake is located one mile up (and I mean UP!) deep inside Glenwood Canyon. Getting to the trail itself is an experience and once the climb begins, there's no turning back.

The trail follows along a river that is created from waterfall by the lake. Due to quickly rising temps, the river flooded much of the trail making for an interesting trek both up and down the canyon. While there were a few slips, trips, cuts and bruises, it was all totally worth it.










Today, I spent the entire day with my kids, husband and our fabulous "Mountain House" neighbors. The weather was outstanding and the adventure was one we will always remember. And for this, I am thankful!

Oh yeah, and I love this...

video









Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day 120: Mine!

My all-time favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and tonight I got a pint all to myself...well, kind of. Chris did steal a few bites and a ginormous Heath piece but who's counting.

Delicious, completely bad-for-me dessert all to myself. For THIS I am thankful! :)






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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Day 119 (Part 2): Hometown Roots

It's always nice when you can feel proud of your hometown. Recently, Newsweek listed my hometown, Grand Rapids, MI, as one of the nation's top ten dying cities. It was completely weird. The mayor wrote an incredible letter to the editor of Newsweek in response to their assessment of this beloved city and then the community got involved...

This is worth every minute of watching. :)



Yay Grand Rapids! I am definitely honored and thankful that this is the place that I am from.

Day 119: Sunset From The Top of the World


This is what I saw tonight as I reached the summit of Independence Pass on my way to Aspen. Have you ever see a sunset from the top of the world? It took my breath away.

And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Day 118: Rough and Tough

Today sucked. Like, really bad. But thanks to friends and family, things will be fine. I will be fine.

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day 117: I Don't Care

My house is messy and I don't care. The fact that I don't care is kind of a big deal. I'll probably care tomorrow, but for now, I'm just fine. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 116: Tested

Today, nearly every facet of who I am was tested -- my thoughts and philosophies of education, my endurance as I drove across Denver twice, my patience as two, over-tired children melted down in a restaurant and at bedtime, and my temper as I, yet again couldn't get my Mac to turn on because I need a new power cord but can't find the time to get to the Apple store and I'm too cheap to have one shipped. (Long sentence, I know. Apologies to all my LA and Lit friends!!)

Ahhhhh!

But I've survived. Passed the tests. And now I'm going to bed so I can kick the crap out of any test that comes my way tomorrow! :)

And for this, I am thankful.