Megan’s Month: February 2017

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February is my second favorite month next to December. It’s my time to shine. My birthday is the 8th and Valentine’s Day is less than a week later. I love that it’s still winter outside but that there are days that feel like spring. It can be freezing cold with the sun shining as if it’s July. I adore this month and all the love it has.

February doesn’t feel the same about me.

At least not this year.

It’s as if February skipped a couple of months and wanted to play an April fool’s joke.

I won’t go into the detail but it all started on the 1st of the month when I got some weird stomach bug and I spent the entire day after sleeping. I was literally asleep all day. It took about three days to start feeling a little better when I got my husband sick with the exact same thing. My parents were amazing and watched Ian for us while we sanitized the house and tried our hardest to evict all of the germs that tried to call our house their home.

I started to feel better the night before my birthday and woke up on my actual birthday with a sore throat. It got worse as the days passed and turned into my barely being able to speak, when I started to get my voice back I developed this obnoxious cough.

Fast forward to today, the last day of the month and I am finally starting to feel better.

My cough hasn’t quite gotten the message that it needs to leave, but other than that I am finally starting to feel ok.

There are 28 days in the month of February and I was sick for all 28 days.

Being sick reminded me of something that I really needed to hear this month, suck it up and be thankful.

There were so many times this month when I was discouraged and annoyed, being sick for four weeks straight will do that to you. I found myself not excited for much or just feeling blah. I had to remind myself (thanks to the awesome people in my life) of all the amazing things in my life and the reasons to be happy.

It seems dumb and repetitive. Why would you have to remind yourself of all the great things in your life? Shouldn’t you know all of this already?

It’s easier said than done.

Sometimes you need to sit down with a pen and piece of paper and just write down everything you have and everything you love. Really stare at that list and think about everything, take it all in and realize it’s not as bad as it seems.
I did that a few times this month and I found that it really helps when you’re struggling.

This month had some great moments too, don’t get me wrong.

My birthday was spent with some fantastic people and I received some awesome and thoughtful gifts. Ian’s daycare had him stamp a piece of paper with his little foot and it said “happy birthday mommy love Ian” that right there made me cry. I know it obviously wasn’t his handwriting but god it was so sweet.

Valentine’s Day was extra special this year because I had a new Valentine and Jason made me heart shaped brownies..brownies are the way to my heart.

I spent a day and a half at Lincoln city with my family and friends which was fun and much needed. Ian got to see the beach for the first time..not sure how much he saw but we’ll remember it!

I learned that I can paint as long as I have some cider by my side and my sister to laugh with/at.

This month I also took on a huge challenge of completing 27 acts of kindness for my 27th birthday. The plan was to start this on February 1st and do it the week leading up to my birthday. Obviously I got a late start but I completed it in five days and it was the most satisfying and uplifting thing ever. I am so glad I decided to start off my 27th year with that challenge.

February turned out better than I had expected. If you would have asked my on the 2nd I would have told you I wanted to completely skip it but I’m so happy I didn’t. I was reminded to persist and honestly just suck it up.

Bad days happen, it’s about how you handle it.

That’s my theme this month.

And when all else fails just put your big kid pants on and suck it up. That’s what you have to do. Sometimes you have no other option but to do just that. You can’t avoid things, you can’t give up and you can’t fail. You have to proceed with the faith in yourself and the joy of your life in your heart.

Some other things I have been loving this month..

Pizza.

The entire Post Malone “Stoney” album.

Burt’s Bees throat drops aka my candy of choice this month.

Teaching Ian to take selfies.

The Lady Gang Podcast.

Working out on my lunch breaks at work.

Gratitude lists.

Overall February turned out better than I thought it would be and I am excited to move on to the next month. With the track season starting and spring joining us mid-way through the month I think it has potential to be a really good month.

Soundtrack to February 2017:

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Quote of the month:

“In any given moment we have two options..to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”-Abraham Maslow

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Pre Friday Funk.

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Do you ever have those days where you just feel..bleh.

You’re not having a bad day necessarily but you’re not having a great day.

That’s me today.

I have been sick since the beginning of the month, I could use some more sleep, and I have no idea what to write about in my blog.

All minor things but are still things that can get you in a funk if you allow them to…and I have done so.

Shout out to my husband who has to listen to me complain.

When texting my husband complaining about my day he said something that I didn’t want to hear but that I needed to hear.

“Think about what you have to look forward to.”

He’s so good at that..telling me what I need to hear, and I am so lucky to have those people in my life that tell me those things.

Instead of spending the last couple of hours dragging my feet around thinking about all of these different reasons why I’m having a bad day I should look at what I have coming up. In just a few minutes I get to go see my amazing little boy. Picking him up from daycare and seeing that wonderful smile makes everything better. After I pick him up I’m going to buy coffee because I want it and I’m going to cuddle with my son. Jason and I get to go visit my dad, have dinner with him, and watch Jeopardy. When I get home I’m going to curl up under a blanket and watch my favorite show in the entire world.

Try it.

Whenever you think you’re having a bad day or in a funk, grab a piece of paper and write down all of the things you have to look forward to or all of the things you love. It’s impossible to be mad after you reflect on the things you have in your life.

Thank Jason, without knowing it you’ve inspired me to write this post and get out of my funk..maybe I’ll keep you around for a little longer..

I think we get into funks because we’ve lost sight of what we DO have. We just simply forget the amazing things we do have in life and we spend our time focusing on what’s wrong.

Another big factor of this funk that people get into is comparing what they have to what others have. It’s so easy to scroll through Instagram or Facebook and see the lives of others looking flawless and adventurous while you spend 8 hours a day behind a desk and get envious.

So much time is spent comparing ourselves to others and wanting what other people have that we lose sight of what we already have. We spend our time trying to think of ways to make our lives better, different, or exactly like someone else s that we forget to see the beauty in our own unique stories.

Funks happen..you can’t avoid them..but you can fight back.

Remember what you have, remember who you have, and remember why you’re here.

I have an amazing son, life, job, and cat.

I have the most amazing support system who supports me in every aspect of my life and gives me advice when I need it most.

I am here to help my son grow into the most amazing person he can be. I am here to watch that journey and capture every moment of it that I can.

I like to call this my gratitude list.

Whenever you’re in a funk or stuck comparing your life to the lives of others get a list going. Grab your phone or a spare pen and paper and get writing. Write down everything you love and write down who you love. Write down what you have to look forward to and write down why you’re here.

It’s hard to be in a funk when you’re looking at a giant piece of paper reminding you that you’re life is pretty special.

Thanks again Jason, you continue to help me grow in a million different ways.

Drake feels.

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Do you have a certain song that just puts you in a good mood? Any song in particular or artist that just gets you feeling like your true self? No matter what kind of day you’re having you can just put your headphones in and drown out the world to that one album that makes you feel good. For me it’s Drake.

I got into his music the summer of 2010. I had only heard “Best I Ever Had” a couple of times and I was in the need for some new music. I searched iTunes for new music and his “Thank Me Later” album had just come out so I downloaded it.

I sat in my favorite rocking chair (because at heart I am a grandma) and plugged in my headphones, I listened to the entire album from start to finish and was sold. There was just something about his music and his lyrics that got me hooked. Yes, some lyrics aren’t the most appropriate lyrics in the world, but most of them just flow together so perfectly. I got to the point where I could, and still can, recite every lyric to every song on that album.

I would listen to it on the long bus rides to meets and it put me in the best mood, and really got me pumped up. There was one track meet my senior year where my coach accidentally entered me in the wrong race. I had gotten there at eight in the morning for a race at eleven and ended up not racing till four in the afternoon. I sat down under the bleachers and listened to Drake for most of those eight hours, by the time I was ready to race I was in such a relaxed and motivated mood. I got on the track and won my first ever race at Western.

I associate Drake’s music with track and cross country, with trips to meets starting out the windows at the trees passing. With feeling heartache and motivation, along with the most confidence in the world. When I listen to Drake I go back to summer of 2010 when I was really getting into my grove and really feeling myself.

Yes I know, I’ve written 382 words on why I love Drake, but I do and I love his music, and it will never fade. There is something about your favorite artist that puts you in some kind of mood and lifts your spirits.

I had a weird start to my day yesterday. It was the first day I didn’t drive and take my son to day care, my husband did. I felt super lost running around feeling like I was late for work and like I was missing something. I got to work and put my coffee on top of my car while I got stuff out and next thing I know it’s all over the ground and all over my shoe. I felt behind at work and had a lot piling up on my plate.

It’s always the small things that seem to add up and mess with you. They make you seem like you’re having a bad day when in reality it’s really just a few bad hours.

I ended up getting coffee with my sister on our lunch break, picked up my adorable smiling little boy from daycare, got to see my dad, got some delicious Valentine’s Day treats from my mom, and came home to exchange Valentine ’s Day presents with my fantastic husband. Jason made some tacos while we watched Jeopardy and New Girl, overall it was just how I needed to spend my night. After a weird start to my day I was reminded how wonderful my life is, and even though the little things can throw you off..they can also make you feel so much better.

You might be wondering..Megan what in the world does this have to do with Drake?

I’m getting there, trust me.

I’ve always been extremely proud of myself for being able to associate certain memories with a song or artist.

Luke Bryan always brings me back to the first summer I met my husband.

Taylor Swift’s speak now album reminds me of commuting to Western for three years and singing every lyric as loud as I could with my sister by my side.

And Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody” will always remind me of my dad.

Music brings you back to a certain time of memory of your life that you associated with it, and that’s what Drake does for me. His music brings me back to the time where I first started listening to his music and really started to develop my confidence. All I have to do is put on any of his albums and I will instantly turn into this lyrical gangster you never knew existed.

Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who knows me well.

I woke up feeling the usual Wednesday blues. I did not want to get up and kept hitting snooze on my alarm clock. Once I eventually got up and moving I made the conscious effort to make it a good day by doing all of the little things I love.

I watched an episode of The West Wing.

I ate my oatmeal.

Drank my peppermint coffee.

Took Ian to day care.

I got to work and had several things I had to get started on right away. I looked over to my left and saw my headphones in their usual spot and decided to listen to my Thank Me Later album and that’s how we got to this ramble of a post.

Drake got to me like he always does. He gave me the confidence, energy, and serenity to buckle down and handle things like the boss that I am. When the little things add up to try and get you down, don’t let them. When life tries to stress you out and make you go crazy, do something that makes you happy.

Go for a run, text a friend, or listen to your favorite music.

It’s always the small things that can make or break you. You just have to decide which one of those it’s going to be.

27 for 27.

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I turn 27 today.

I am only three years away from turning 30..

Breathe Megan..you’ve got this..

After having a mild heart attack wondering how I went from 22 to 27 so fast. Seriously..I’m not just saying this..it feels like just yesterday I was walking through Monmouth on my way to class with my track clothes on. I have no idea how I turned into an adult..and how do I make it stop?

I love Birthdays, so much, and for that reason I tried to think of any way to make this Birthday better than the rest.

26 was a wonderful year full of new things and lots of love, but I want 27 to be better..if that’s even possible. I spent quite a bit of time trying to think of how to start this year off with a bang.

Then it came to me.

Seeing other people happy makes me happy, and I love surprising people, so why don’t I give back for my birthday this year.

 I got to brainstorming and came up with 27 ways that I could give others happiness for my birthday. It was going to be hard but it was going to be worth it. The week leading up to my birthday..or Birthday Week as I like to call it..I would complete 27 acts of kindness for 27 years on this earth.

27 for 27.

  1. Put sticky notes on mirrors in bathrooms at work with words of encouragement.
  2. Send flowers to my mom thanking her for putting up with me for 27 years.
  3. Buy coffee for the car behind me at Starbucks.
  4. Bring cookies to my morning crew at my local Dutch Brothers.
  5. Put cookies in the mailbox for the mailman.
  6. Put two dollars in envelopes on vending machines at work with a note on them that read “buy a snack on me.”
  7. Put quarters in sticker and toy machines at Fred Meyer.
  8. Write a letter to my best friend just to tell her how awesome she is.
  9. Bring my dad lunch and sit down and have lunch with him.
  10. Cut coupons and tape them to the specific item at the store.
  11. Buy the person behind me in line their Chipotle.
  12. Collect shopping carts outside of Target and put them in the cart racks.
  13. Bring my sister a balloon to work.
  14. Donate clothes to the Salvation Army.
  15. Leave our neighbor a note with a coffee gift card on his car.
  16. Leave a note in my favorite book at book bin with an encouraging message.
  17. Leave my husband a note thanking him for being wonderful and for all that he does.
  18. Make cards for each of my coworkers thanking them for the awesome job that they do.
  19. Leave positive notes around a store with empowering quotes on them.
  20. Leave popcorn on a redbox with a note saying “enjoy some popcorn with your movie.”
  21. Leave packets of sticky notes on random desks at work with positive quotes on them.
  22. Tape a dollar to candy bars at Target.
  23. Put money in an envelope and tape it to a box of diapers with a note saying “parenting is hard, here’s some help.”
  24. Bring donuts to cops.
  25. Leave tennis balls at the dog park.
  26. Leave a coffee gift card for my little brother just because.
  27. Leave words of encouragement all around the campus at work.

27 was a lot, but it seriously felt great.

The very first thing I did was leave my mailman a pack of Oreo’s thanking them for their service, and as I was pulling away from the mailbox I heard on the radio that it was national thank a mail carrier day..I literally gave myself a high-five. I was so surprised and so weirdly excited that they were going to get this on a day where they probably weren’t expecting anything.

That left me in a great mood, so I went to my favorite Dutch Brothers location to give them some cookies I made..their reaction was so worth it. They were genuinely happy and surprised and it felt great.

The first two things I did felt great, I could have stopped there because I already felt like I succeeded. That’s how easy it is.

The world needs more kindness. We need more people willing to step up and do acts of kindness. One simple act can go so far, you can completely turn someones day around just by sending them a letter in the mail. Seriously. I’m not saying that you need to run around with a basket full of glitter passing out unicorn stickers (I’m all for stickers) but just the smallest of things can make a difference.

If you get a chance to do something for someone else..

do it.

Big or small.

Buy the car behind you a cup of coffee..

Thank your coworker for always going above and beyond..

Send someone flowers just because.

Whatever it is do something, you will feel so good and you will encourage others to do the same with your actions.

Cheers to 27.

Megan’s Month: January 2017

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I really want to do something on my blog where I recap each month and look back at some of my favorite things at the moment. I think looking back at life is fascinating, like Facebook’s “on this day” section, I stalk that religiously. I also have this five year journal where every day you answer the same question for that specific day. So on each February 8th for the last five years you can see how your answers progress and change. Memories are wonderful, I love looking back and getting all sentimental. Especially now that I have a son, I get all mushy and soft, and I want to capture everything. My parents did a great job creating photo albums and making home movies, such a great job that I aspire to do the same for myself in any way I can. That’s what this blog is for, to capture my thoughts and look back at my life at this point and watching how I grow, watching how my writing grows, and watching how my family grows.

January is coming to an end and my second favorite month is upon us! Selfishly it’s because my birthday is in February but who’s keeping track.
This month has been full of routines; Netflix binge sessions, baby cuddles, and working out. I’ve gone from staying home with Ian to going back to work and bringing him to daycare. It’s been challenging, learning something new about being a mom every day, and getting back into my routines at work. Balancing all of the crazy one day at a time. The month has gone by so fast and I have a feeling that’s how 2017 will be as a whole…and parenthood…all of it.

I’ve grown to have much more patience this month, and to not take things so personally. Being a mom seriously gives you some sort of crazy super power. The power to know that things may not go according to plan but that they will work out. I could be running late for work, with baby spit up on my shirt while my coffee’s getting cold..and I know that as long as my family is safe, happy, and healthy it doesn’t matter if my coffee gets cold or not. Such small things that before would ruin my day, but now don’t get to me as easily. They still do…but not as easily as they did before I didn’t have this super power.
If I had to give January a theme..I would say that January was the month of
realizing things.

I have realized how capable I am of getting out of my comfort zone, I have realized that I should try things before I turn them down, and I have realized that nothing is as bad as I think it is. This month was completely different than any other month, I’ve had to go back to “normal” life with a baby by my side and realize that I am 100 percent capable of it.

Some other random things I’ve been in love with this month..

The West Wing

Writing in my journal before I go to bed

La La Land

Color coordinating the apps on my phone

My gorgeous planner my brother gave me for Christmas

Grande Triple Shot Iced Vanilla Lattes from Starbucks

Baby cuddles

Not avoiding certain roads while driving because they intimidate me

Watching old romantic comedies on TV

Wearing this beautiful ring on my thumb that I stole from my sister

Listening to more podcasts

This month really was full of new things, then again, every day as a new mom is. I’ve come to realize how capable I am of different things. Things that I would have second guessed a few months ago come quickly to me now. I am quick to realize that regardless of what it is, I need to do what’s best for me and what’s best for my family and that’s all that matters.
I’ve also tried to focus on finding ten or fifteen minutes a night to just write and unwind. Whatever’s on my mind goes down in my journal and it helps me relax right before bed, that and old friends episodes on TV. If I could give anyone one piece of advice from this month, something to try and focus on for February it would be realizing what you need.
Realize what makes you happy and what makes you feel better. If writing in your journal and getting Starbucks makes you happy..DO IT!

If you want to go get a blizzard and not feel bad about not working out before..DO IT.

If you want to take a bubble bath while drinking wine out of a mug…DO IT.

If you want to binge watching trashy reality makes you happy..DO IT.

Do whatever makes you happy and whatever is going to make you the best version of yourself.

I hope your February is better than January and that every day brings you a new memory. A memory that you can look back on in a month, a year, or ten years and think about how great life was at that very moment. Cheers to February and turning 27 in eight days!

Quote of the month:
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”- Vincent Van Gogh