Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

Rain and cold couldn't stop these kids from costumes, candy and smiles. 

I, however, am a wimp and stayed behind to doll out the treats. Chris braved the wind and rain like a champ and had as much (if not more) fun as the kids.

All in all, I'd say it was a successful Halloween. No lost kids, lots of smiles, and a pile of candy for the parents to secretly sneak pieces of. ;)

One more holiday in the book of memories. And for this, I am thankful. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Date Night

Grandma Camp has commenced which means Chris and I get a date night.

'Nuf said. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Enamored with Edify

Wanna know what's cool? When your kid is completely engrossed in something that you had a part in creating. When your kid is loving what she is doing so much that she get inside the screen if she could. When your kid is learning.

I am so proud to be a part of the kind of work that has the potential to change own children's lives. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I have been fortunate in my life to have encountered women who have become life long friends. Some are single friendships while others are in groups. Whatever the form, these friendships have served as one of the most precious aspects of my life.

Every so often, an email or text chain begins and we cycle through all our lives, providing updates on families and the latest embarrassing mishap. These updates don't happen every week or even once a month. They happen when a moment strikes that can only be appreciated by the "lifers" and must be shared. 

I've had a few of those moments recently...conjuring up memories of days past, laughter, and dear, dear friends. So tonight, I am cherishing these moments. These friends. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reality Check

Today was hard.

...and then I sat on the couch and watched my kids read stories to one another. 

Cue reality check. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Monday, October 26, 2015


Chris is crafty. I truly, truly love that about him. Tonight, as I headed off to bed, he was still downstairs carving the perfect pumpkin masterpieces. I know the smiles on the kids' faces tomorrow are going to be priceless. He is priceless.

And for this, I am thankful. 

Update: Chris just finished and even woke Sofia up to show her. LOL!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

This Kid

This kid takes my breath away. From made up words (fansome - def. Equal parts fancy and handsome; elaborate in design and having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength.) to goofiness in the pumpkin patch to his tiny and beautiful voice when he sings. He is something special for sure.

Nico, for you, I am thankful. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Self Care

I am not a napper. Every once in a while, however, I give in and let it happen. Today, all the conditions were right and I let myself drift off. An hour and a half later, I woke up feeling like a different person.

I have been thinking a lot about the practice of self care. Rest is a huge factor in being healthy physically and emotionally. It is something that I really really struggle with and have decided I need to work on. 

Today was a great first step. And for this, I am thankful. 

Friday, October 23, 2015


I missed these guys!

Snuggles, giggles, and love.

Home. For this, I am thankful. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Still Smiling

I've got one eye open as I write this. Today has been exhilarating, nerve wracking, hilarious, enlightening and absolutely jammed packed each and every minute. I've watched as eyes light up and teachers dream again about what can be done in their classrooms. I've brainstormed and tested new ideas with my team. We've all worked HARD. I love that we are impacting education. It's powerful stuff.

And for this, I am thankful. 

"It's been a long day, but Meghan's still smiling." Thanks to my friend Cheri for this great pic in Greektown after dinner!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Sometimes days are just good. The end. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I feel like I sprinted all day. It was a full day of meetings, problem-solving, celebrations, preparations and family routines. It was the kind of day that I realized I hadn't used the bathroom and it was 4 pm! TMI? 

But now, as I lie in bed with everyone in the house asleep, I can hear the soft rain on the roof. Suddenly my sprinting is being washed away and I can feel my body finally slowing down. 


And for this, I am thankful. 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Misery Need Not Apply

Whelp! It wouldn't be fall in our house without an ear infection. We are so used to the routine by now that it takes me a nanosecond to know whether or not this kid has an infection. Not fun. 

However, tonight, I am choosing to look at the bright side of this situation. Here it goes...

I am thankful for having the experience to recognize quickly when our children have ear infections. 

I am thankful for a med center that is just minutes from our house which has always been filled with kind, knowledgeable staff. 

I am thankful that despite being in pain, Nico slowing down looks like this: 

I am thankful to have insurance that covers the needs of our family. 

I am thankful for the medication that was prescribed not out of protocol but out of a meaningful conversation as to what has historically worked best. 

It's been a long day of work and travel for both Chris and I. It would be easy to focus on the crappiness that is this situation. But tonight, I choose different. 

And a glass of wine. 

Perspective. For this, I am thankful. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Simple Moments Have Big Power

Man. Sometimes I feel like I've blinked and the day is over. Sometimes that's great and sometimes it's...scary. What if I miss something? I don't want to be the one who misses the big stuff...or the little stuff. I've really been working the last few weeks on making sure that I am fully present, especially where my family is concerned. 

Today, I found myself in a moment that I never wanted to end. I was so happy. Like, to the core, euphoric happy so that time momentarily stood still. And you know what? There was nothing spectacular about it. My parents and brothers were pulling out of the driveway after a visit for Sofia's birthday, and Chris and I were laughing as we stood in the garage. We were holding hands, he gave me a hug and kissed the top of my head. I felt connected. Whole. It was simple love and a simple moment. 

Sometimes, simplicity can hold the greatest value. I was present today, allowing me to live in the moment with tiny as it may have been. 

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happy Heart

I'm exhausted. Actually, exhausted doesn't even touch how flipping tired I am. But ya know what? It's the good kind of tired. The kind of tired that one feels after having a great day. 

Today, after Sofia's soccer game, we hosted about 40 people for a team dinner/birthday celebration/MSU v UofM football watch party. It was a blast!! My heart was full having so many in our home.

Frankly, it was complete chaos but a riot all around. :) Kids ran everywhere. Parents laughed and crowed around the living room to watch the game and we ended the evening by making s'mores around the fire pit. 

My feet are tired but my heart and family are happy. And for this, I am thankful. 


Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday, Sofia!

Time has somehow managed to pull one over on us again. Sofia is 9 today. I remember thinking to myself when I was pregnant with her, "someday this kid will be a little person!" And Sofia is just that; a person. She's inquisitive, creative, kind, loyal, observant, funny, and rooted by her gentle soul. She has begun to carve out a little corner of the world for herself already and I can only imagine what's to come for this not-so-little one. 

Happy Birthday, Sofia! Your dad and I couldn't be more proud of who you are and all that you dream to be. We love you and are so blessed that we were chosen by God to be your parents. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Less Decision

Just the other day, I was having a conversation about things we can do to balance work life and home life. It can be a bit tricky at times...especially with two working parents. Dinner seems to always be one of the biggest challenges. In our house, Chris does the majority of the cooking but planning still has to take place. Sometimes just deciding what to eat, even in advance, is half the battle. Ugh. 

Tonight, we received a welcome reprieve from my mom who called to say she's like to pick up dinner and bring it over. Chris and I both have had a pretty non-stop week; taking one decision off our plates felt like it made all the difference this evening. 

Delicious dinner without any effort on my own house...for this, I am thankful. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Music Over Miles

Being away from family is hard...especially when little ones are involved. Chris's sister, Lindsey and her husband now live in Dallas. They have a little boy and another baby on the way! We miss them dearly and try our very best to talk and facetime as often as possible.

Today, I received a message from Lindsey with Kaiden singing a song to me. So stinking adorable! I decided to sing a song back to him...which he loved too.

Until it backfired!

Kaiden didn't realize that the video wasn't facetime and had an absolute fit when I didn't start singing another song with him.

Not soon after, we received a call asking if the situation could be remedied.

It was so special to be able to sing with our nephew. Chris even got in on the action with some "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "My Bonnie". We really know how to throw a party up in this joint. :)

We love being parents but tonight, thanks to different time zones and modern technology, we got to just be an aunt and uncle to our favorite little nephew.

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wack Me Up

I hope that my kids never stop writing messages to Chris and me on their doors.

"Please 'wack' me up at 6:00 A.M. ~Thank you :)"

...even if it does mean I waking up a little earlier than normal. (Complete transparency: this morning included a 45 minute delay. LOL)

And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, October 12, 2015

From Herding Cats to Smooth Sailing

Sometimes, everything just falls into place and sometimes, it doesn't. Our mornings usually fall into the latter category with a sweet mixture of whining and herding cats to get out the door. Regardless, it is my special time with the kids and we still find ways to find joy in the midst of lost items and breakfast decisions. 

This morning, however, was different. I got up with time to spare, made lunches, smoothies, breakfast and coffee. When the kids woke up, all the stuff that gets in the way of clockwork mornings was removed from the equation. There was no rushing or whining or suddenly missing socks. It was sooooo nice! Even better was the effect it had on the transition to the bus stop and the rest of the day...for all of us. 

Mornings really can set the tone for the whole day. I was gently reminded of that today. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

I'm going to bed now so I can try to repeat tomorrow!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Master Tickler

Every home should have a Master Tickler. Squeals, giggles, shrieks, and laughter so hard it turns silent...that's the result of a the Master Tickler.

Daddy came home after a weekend away and the tickling ensued.

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday As Is

Here's to staying in pajamas until after 11, morning coffee catch-ups, auntie silliness, sweet soccer moves, pizza parties, gorgeous sunsets, and fireside chats with wine. 

Sometimes Saturday's get to be Saturday's. 

And for this, I am thankful.  

Friday, October 09, 2015

A New Passion

Chris headed off on his first hunting trip today. While I'm not a hunter, I am thrilled that he has found something to be passionate about and committed to. His preparation for hunting with his bow has been methodical; each step well-thought out and purposeful. He has practiced. He has shown excitement. He has modeled for our kids how to start something new and stick with it. 

I wasn't a super fan of this new adventure of Chris's at first. I've come to realize, however, it is so much more than that...even if he will come home smelly after a few days in the woods. ;)

And for this, I am thankful. 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Giggly Feels

You know what feels good?


You should try it and then do it a lot. We take ourselves far too seriously. 

I laughed a lot today -- at work, at home, and even by myself. And, despite a super long day with lots of mental challenges, I feel...great! 

There's something to be said about a giggle or two. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Next Gen Ed

I co-teach a course at Aquinas College for education students. It's the last course students take prior to entering their student teaching and is full of young minds ready to go out and change the world.

It's a real honor to work with this group of future leaders. Tonight, as I listened to the discussion around a book we just read, I had a moment of deep pride. The thoughts and conversations we so good! Like hair-raising good! These students are the real deal. They get it. They are creative and kind. They are smart and relevant. They believe in kids. They also know they too have so much to learn!

If this group is any indication of what our future teachers are going to be like, I can assure you that our children are in excellent hands!

And for this, I am thankful. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Our cat, Lucy, has a personality unlike any cat I've ever had. Her favorite activity includes jumping up on the couch and sitting juuuust out of reach. She's super soft and snuggling up with her is Newley impossible. She'll let us pet her but snuggles on our terms are off the table. 

Except for this morning. This morning, just as my alarm clock went off, Lucy jumped on the bed and curled herself up right on top of my chest in full purr mode. I died.

It was just what I needed to start the day. Lucy redeemed herself, if only for a moment. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Crafty Slumber

The bottoms of my feet are covered in silver paint and not because I'm the one who is crafty. 

Chris has been working so hard on a beautiful loft bed for Sofia. We were fortunate to be offered this hand-crafted loft with desk and bookshelves by some good friends of ours. Chris's artistic potential immediately flourished. He has sanded, stained, painted, and sanded some more for over a week out in the garage. The project is almost complete and I he called me into the garage to check out his handy work (hence the silver feet).

I am so excited for Sofia to have a place to cozy up at night that was not only given to her with love by friends but also crafted with love by her daddy. 

Slumber surrounded in love. I like that. And for this, I am thankful. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

A Peek Into The Past

When my grandparents moved from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids years and years ago, they had quite a bit more stuff than their living arrangements could accommodate for. Thus, it made sense to get a storage unit to hold all the non-necessities.

Over the years, the family has made regular visits to the storage unit making efforts to sift through the massive amounts historical must-haves for the Johnson's to either donate, pass on to a family member or toss. As you can imagine, it's quite a process.

Today was the last visit. That was kinda weird. Now that both my grandma and grandpa are gone, there's no reason to keep the unit. I met my mom, step-dad, aunt and uncle to go through the last boxes. I had anticipated hours of work but when I got there, they had already done most of it! What was left to do was actually pretty cool. My job was to sort through just a few boxes.

Within minutes, I suddenly found myself staring through a window to the past: gorgous photos of my mom and aunt as young children (you know, the kind that look like they were hand painted and not taken by a camera. Stunning.), silver candle sticks and serving platters with engraved monograms, and even a photo album of me as an infant!

I really felt like for the first time as an adult, I saw the world through my grandparents' eyes, saw what was important to them and what they loved. It was really, really cool.

This is a picture of my Mom and I just after I was born. Today was the first I had ever seen this photo. Isn't my mom gorgeous?!?!
Hello 5th Grade! Found this Northview Newsletter stuck inside a photo album. This was the Spring of 1992, folks. 

My all-time favorite picture of Bill and Genevieve. 

So much fun peeking into the past today. :)

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Crisis Averted

Phew! Parenting crisis averted.

Sofia has some friends sleeping over tonight because their parents are attending an event. The girls were having tons of fun...and then it was bedtime. At bedtime, it was realized that a blankie was missing. Craaaaaaaap!

Seriously, this is every slumber party parent's panic moment. We looked and looked to no avail. No blankie and now, tears were threatening. Double Crap.

Thankfully, our little visitor only lives down the street. I was able to get ahold of her mom and our potential bedtime fail was prevented with the delivery of the coveted blankie along with a bedtime hug and kiss.

Next time, we'll check for that stuff waaaaay before bed. :)

I'm always learning as a mom of my own and temporary kiddos.
And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, October 02, 2015


Fall is here.

I love the crisp air, bundling up, and the sound of rustling leaves as the wind picks up speed. We have some pretty massive trees in our backyard. It sounds like a wind symphony at times!

Watching the seasons change is so fascinating to me. I know it's dorky but it always brings the world into perspective for me. When things seem overwhelming, it's sometimes difficult to remember that it will pass. The change in seasons is always a good reminder that nothing is permanent...except change, that is.

I can deal with that. :)

And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

It's Just That Simple

Sick kid, neverending cold, breakneck pace at work, and a whole list of other left turns to the day...

The day is done and tomorrow is a fresh start. Sometimes, it's just that simple.

And for this, I am thankful.