Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Then and Now

I absolutely adore my sister. She's funny, bright, kind, giving, gorgeous, musical, artistic....the list goes on. She is truly one-of-a-kind. I mean, really...who else can own a nickname like "Pickles"?!?!

This picture cracks me up every year when I come across it at Christmas because it truly captures our relationship; then and now. :) Me: slightly dorky in my kilt and knee highs, braving weird Santa for my sister and posturing a thought. Kristen: adorable with her bouncy curls and likely holding my hand because she thinks she's  protecting me!

Being Kristen's big sister is such an honor. I am so proud of the woman she has become and the inspiration she spreads to countless young people (and us!) each and every day as an elementary principal. She simply is the best!

I will always hold her hand and wear the dorkier outfit...even when we're old and gray.

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015



May they never be too big (in size or in attitude) for their daddy to lift.

For this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Traveling Laughter

This week will bring me across the State of Michigan 4 times. Yeah. That's a ton of driving.

Thankfully, I don't have to travel by myself and I also don't have to do much of the driving anymore. However, despite not being in the driver's seat, the whole process of being in the car for hours upon end can be rather exhausting.

It's times like today, that I am reminded how grateful I am to work with people who make me laugh. Laughter is truly the key when spending tons of time crammed in a car together...and even more so when you don't listen to the directions on the GPS and find yourself lost. ;)

And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Worry Tomatoes

We have a worrier in our house. Her name is Sofia. It is something we've known about and dealt with for quite some time. Sometimes, her anxiety runs quietly in the background of her life and other times it seems like it can be absolutely suffocating for her. It's so painful to watch. In my own struggles with anxiety and depression over the years, I have found that being informed is sometimes our best weapon in moving forward confidently and non-stressfully in life. It's this exact reason why we are committed to helping Sofia now.

Recently, my mom shared a book with us to try out with Sofia after hearing about it from a colleague. I was nervous (go figure) as to how she might react to reading it together but to our surprise, she totally dug it! 

What to Do When You Worry Too Much takes a really straightforward approach to understanding that worrying gets worse when we feed into a tomato plant. Seriously. It's the best analogy and one that made complete sense to our sweet kiddo. 

We had a garden this summer that happened to contain two MONSTEROUS tomato plants. Sofia was largely in charge of tending to these plants. I remember at one point she was completely taken aback at how big and over-bearing they were. She was proud of how well her plants had done, but a little stressed at how to handle a 6-foot beast. We also had more tomatoes than we knew what to do with! 

Thus, "tending to our worries", can have a very similar effect to tending a tomato can easily overtake our gardens; our lives. 

We've read a few chapters already and Sofia is on board. We couldn't be more pleased and I'm so glad to have a simple support to offer guidance and understanding. It is our hope that our kind, wiser-than-she-realizes daughter will develop a life skill set that will not only serve her but help her help others in the future. 

I'm confident this will be a successful journey. With so many people in our lives that love and support our kids, we have no reason to worry. ;)

And for this, I am thankful. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Sometimes days are just easy. 

I'm learning that not everyday has to be filled with events or monumental moments. Sometimes the greatness of a day can come from its simplicity. Like today. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Coffee for 20 Years

If I think hard about it, I've been having coffee with some of my friends for over 20 years now. Whoa. It's always taken on lots of different forms but it's always entailed a unique opportunity to connect to those I care about.

Now,  "coffee" looks like this: A half gallon of milk, a bag of miscellaneous breakfast groceries, and pajamas. That's all that is needed when you have been friends for over 20 years.

A 9 am doorbell welcomed Kate and Marissa -- two of my dearest friends in the entire world.  In a completely rare occurrence, our schedules lined up and that meant time for coffee and catching up.

My heart is full today after spending the morning with these ladies. Their friendship is one I will forever treasure. It always amazes me that time has no baring on where we are in our lives. We always pick right back up where we left off. It's like magic. It's easy. It's the truest of friendship. And I am beyond blessed to have these women in my life.

And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, December 11, 2015


I've learned a lot today. My mind and heart are tired. The day is done and tomorrow brings a fresh start. 

And for this, I am thankful. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Surprise Reunion

You never know who will walk through the door. 

Today, I was running a training and couldn't shake the feeling that I knew one of the women in the room. I happened to see a list of people and that's when it clicked...she and I had gone through our masters program together! Once we both realized who the other person was, hilarity ensued. We both squeezed, then laughed, and in unison said, "What are the chances?" Everyone in the room laughed. 

It's always nice to have a familiar face in the room when leading learning. Reconnecting with an old friend was just an added bonus. :)

And for this, I am thankful. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher

Tonight was the last class of the semester with my secondary methods students at Aquinas. I can't believe it's already done! This was such a special that I feel excited to send out into classrooms because they really do have what it takes to change the world.

For our last class, we focused on happiness, resilience, and success...not just in the classroom but as young, growing teachers. It was my hope that they would leave feeling confident, strong, resourceful, and just a little bit wiser to the world of education prior to their student teaching. 

Most importantly, I hope that these soon to be teachers saw that this course couldn't have happened on its own. With a co-teacher, this course was a gazillion times what it could have been had I done it on my own. Tom and I worked hard to make sure that our students saw that collaboration was key to a successful classroom. 

It was a great that I learned a ton myself! Here's to smiling faces, hand shakes, and "can I still email you?" closing moments. 

Once a teacher, always a teacher. And for this, I am thankful. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Mary Did You Know

I usually keep my iPod on the shuffle setting when I'm driving to work. I like a little mystery to start off my day. ;) Yesterday, just as I was pulling onto the highway, a recording of Mary Did You Know came across the speakers.  I had no idea this song had been saved as a voice memo on my phone and mixed itself in with my library of music.

I hadn't heard myself sing in a while so it felt funny to suddenly be surrounded by my own voice in the car. But I listened...

Music does something to me. It feeds me. It uplifts me. It brings back memories. This song, in particular, affected me deeply when I sang it. I remember feeling different than ever before as I told the story within the song. Hearing it yesterday, brought me back to that moment. Something told me that I needed to hear that song yesterday.

This morning, the song came across my iPod again. Weird. I found myself feeling the say way today as I did yesterday when I heard it. I arrived at work and was ready to take on the day with the faith that anything is possible; that I am not alone in anything that I do.

I believe that everything happens for a reason...and I feel compelled to share with you. Below, you can listen to my recording of Mary Did You Know.

Faith, kindness, love and music.
For this, I am thankful. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Impromptu Friendship

Making friends as a grown up is hard. I mean, really, there is every excuse in the book for why we don't or can't reach out to new people to put into our lives. I am completely guilty of this on occasion.

Tonight, I was reminded just how important it is to continue pursuing connections in our lives even as we get older. After our monthly PTC meeting at the kids' school, I headed out for a glass of wine with one of my board members. We had originally planned to talk about committee stuff but ended up just talking to talk.

It was a delight.

Sometimes I don't realize what I need until I'm in the midst of it all. I was reminded tonight of the power of friendship and the good it can bring to my heart.

And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Bowl Game Bucket List

I have always wanted to go to a bowl game...and this year, it looks like it might actually be a possibility!

MSU has made it to the National College Football Playoffs and will be playing in the semi-final game at the Cotton Bowl WHILE we will already be in Dallas!

We'll be working hard over the next few days to see about checking this item off our bucket list. :)


And for this, I am thankful!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Making Memories Stick

I slept in today. Like 10:15 slept in! I can't remember the last time I did that. Ah-mazing.

After a lazy cup of coffee and organizing a few items, we hit the road to go visit my sister and her husband in their new town. 

We've had so much fun today! Kristen and Penni just closed on a 1920's home just a few blocks from Lake Michigan. In their ever-DIY style, they found the perfect fixer-upper and have dove into renovating a really cool space. I am so excited for them!!

While Chris and Penni pounded away at crown molding, Kristen and I took the kids on a little St. Joe adventure: a visit to Kristen's new school, a ride through the lights on the bluff, and a pizza pickup from a hometown fav, Santonello's. 

I love being able be a part of these types of milestones in the lives of our family...even if it does mean eating pizza off of paper plates on the floor of a house in the middle of demo. Those are the type of memories that stick to the heart for a lifetime. :)

And for this, I am thankful. 

Friday, December 04, 2015

Why I Don't Do Guilt

It's been an insane, speaking engagements, parenting, friending, networking, trainings, wifing, learning, and decorating Christmas trees. As of my last post, I had written 84 consecutive posts of daily gratitude. My goal was one year.


I was feeling really guilty about not writing the last few days but then I decided I don't need to "do" guilt....especially when I have done nothing but invest in the growth of others and myself over the last week; when I have set an intention of servant leadership and gratitude in all encounters. 

Nope. I'm not doing guilt this time. I found moments each and every day this week where I was immensely grateful for the people and world around me and so look forward to sharing these memories with you over the next few days as I recount specific events here on the blog.

However, this moment is an excellent reminder of how important it is to release ourselves of guilt for reasons that are beyond our control. I feel like, as a woman and working mother especially, that guilt is sometimes equivalent to the shirt I put on each day. It's almost as if there's this societal norm to tell yourself you can do anything but when you can't do everything, you should feel bad about it. You shouldn't. Ever. It's a stupid weight we put on ourselves. And why?

How about we change the conversation so that we teach ourselves and model for our young ones that you really can do anything. With planning and the right mindset. You can do anything with support, thoughtfulness, delegation, and prioritizing. Through these steps, the extras and bugs on the windshield of life, if you will, filter out so that the "anything's" really do become everything. Now wouldn't that be cool?

That is the kind of message I was my daughter and son to receive. 

For now, I am going to close my eyes and fall asleep immediately. This is something that only happens for me when my mind is calm and I can be at peace with where I am in the world today. 

And I am.

And for this, I am grateful.