A letter to you.

It’s been awhile.

8 years to be exact.

It never gets easier.

We just get stronger.

I could say that we miss you, but that would be an understatement.

It’s not the same without you.

I know everyone says that, but it’s true.

Our huge family gatherings on holidays, don’t exist anymore.

Maybe that would have been the case if you were still here.

Maybe with age, they would have just faded.

But I believe you were the glue that held everyone together.

You spent the later half of the evenings asleep in your chair, but you were still the rock for our family.

You always made sure I ate all of the food on my plate.

Always made sure I gave you a hug when I got to your house, and when I left.

And never put up with anyone’s crap.

You always told it like it was.

But were so sweet and kind.

Everyone who met you loved you.

You were “pops” and everyone knew it.

Constantly making people laugh.

You were such a presence.

I see so much of you in my dad.

And of my dad in me.

Thank you for that.

I wish I was able to know you longer.

I’m still so thankful for those 20 years, but it should have been more.

I would have asked you questions.

I would have asked to hear stories.

I would have asked for advice.

So much I wish I could have done.

It makes me thankful that I had those years.

That I have the memories of your suspenders and flannel shirts.

Of you in a Santa hat handing out presents to all of your grandchildren on Christmas.

The smell of burnt coffee and the image of you at the kitchen table.

I’ll always cherish those.

I just wish you were still here.

And I know that in a sense, you are.

I know that no matter what I go through in life, you’re right there.

So many things have happened.

I know you’d be so proud.

I graduated college, I know you would have just loved that.

I got married.

God I wish you could have met Jason.

Everyone loves him.

You’d probably think that no one was good enough for me.

Because you were protective like that.

I just know you two would have gotten along so well.

And I have a son.

He has your name in his.

Ian Kenneth.

And every time he’s trying to jump off of a couch or push my limits and I call him by his full name, I think of you.

You would have gotten a kick out of him.

He’s the most stubborn, loving, and free spirited kid you’ll ever meet.

Just like you.

Dad’s the head coach at McKay now too. We all coach with him.

Me, Janelle, and my husband Jason.

We’ve created such a family and such a great program.

I know you’d love that.

You were always so impressed with our running.

Telling us we got it from you.

That you held records back in Ohio, that you ran on a dirt track.

Thank you for that.

Thank you for telling us to “run like the wind.”

I got a tattoo of that, right on my foot.

Every time I laced up my shoes for a race I would see it and smile.

I know you’d absolutely disapprove of the tattoo and probably threaten to scrub it off.

But in the end you wouldn’t, because you usually let me get away with stuff.

I don’t really know why I’m writing this.

It’s not like I can share it with you, or show you.

But I like to think you’re watching.

Losing you definitely made me question some things.

Like why the good ones have to go.

It still doesn’t make sense.

But if I believe that you’re up there watching over us all.

It makes it a little easier.

I hope I’m making you proud.

I know you’re checking in on us.

After drinking a few cups of coffee and reading the newspaper.

You’re here.

I know you wouldn’t miss a thing.

Especially with your family.

You loved us all so much.

And we loved you.

After eight years it definitely doesn’t get easier.

I just look at your picture and know you’re still watching.

Smiling and looking over us all.

I hope you remember we never stop thinking about you.

And I hope you never stop thinking about us.

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That time I met the love of my life

It’s when you least expect it.

That’s what you always hear.

That you’ll meet the love of your life the moment you least expect it.

There’s more to it though.

You can’t run around life thinking to yourself..

Is it going to happen now?

How about now?

What if this is the unexpected moment when I meet the love of my life.

You just can’t do that.

It won’t happen.

Trust me.

I spent so many years wondering those things to myself.

Relying so much on the empty hope that this was that unexpected moment where I meet the love of my life.

It’s so simple looking back at it now.

The moment you meet the love of your life isn’t when you least expect it, it’s when your life is where you expect it to be.

When you decide to take charge and start living the life you want, and start appreciating everything you are, that’s when it happens.

I actually met the love of my life when I was dating someone.

I went to my old high school to visit a teacher who was retiring.

My sister was coaching with our old track team and suggested that I just come with her to their practice.

I stood awkwardly, like I do best, on the side of the track, waiting for practice to start.

My sister stood next to the kids she coached to take attendance when she noticed the head distance coach coming.

She gave me this look like “quick pretend you’re me and I’ll hide” and proceeded to hide in the middle of the runners.

He came over to me and just started talking faster than me, which I didn’t think was possible.

“Hey what’s up (highfive) you look dressed up today what’s going on, so today for practice I was thinking.”

I had to interrupt him because I felt bad.

I told him that I was Janelle’s twin sister and she was off hiding in the middle of the kids.

And that was it.

There weren’t sparks in the air, and I didn’t instantly know.

I think it’s because I wasn’t in the right place.

I thought poorly of myself and was in a bad relationship.

I wasn’t ready to love someone let alone myself.

Fast forward a couple of months to me getting dumped with a lot of time on my hands.

I worked weird hours at my job where I didn’t start work until 2:30 in the afternoon, leaving so much spare time in the morning.

I decided to see if I could help coach with my sisters team during the summer.

Something I loved doing, running.

Something that my ex didn’t want me to do.

Something that might help bring some extra joy to my life.

She was going to be working and needed someone to take her place.

A few days later I got a message on Facebook from the person I had earlier tricked into thinking I was my sister, Jason.

He asked me about coaching and said that he was super excited to meet me.

Again, didn’t think anything of it.

A couple of days later he had posted a picture on Facebook that I liked, within minutes I received another message.

It was after I got off of work, so around midnight or so.

I stared at my phone.

My heart started beating incredibly fast.

What do I do.

What do I say.

He literally asked me a question but I found myself getting nervous.

I hadn’t even started coaching yet, why was he interested in talking to me.

I remember talking to myself.

“He’s so cute, but older than you Megan, GET YOURSELF TOGETHER.”

I responded back and we just started talking.

A few conversations turned into days.

Talking to him was the easiest feeling.

I was so nervous to start coaching, hanging around with him.

He was so cute.

I was finally in that place where I wanted to be.

I had fallen in love with myself, started coaching, and appreciated everything that my life was.

I had spent so much time with myself that I can say I truly loved myself for everything that I was.

I can’t speak for him.

I don’t know what he was thinking about that night he first messaged me, or that day when he thought I was my sister.

But I knew when we first started talking that he was special.

I knew I needed him in my life one way or another.

He had become my best friend.

I couldn’t imagine a day not talking to him.

It wasn’t easy though.

I had to wait for him to get to where he expected to be.

I had to wait for him to figure out what he wanted and where he wanted to be.

If you know me at all, you know that I like to control everything, but I couldn’t control this.

It was probably one of the biggest moments in my life up to that point.

Deciding I couldn’t control this.

That I had to let things happen the way they were meant to be.

I had finally gotten to a place where I was comfortable enough with myself that I could wait.

Not stress.

Not obsess.

But wait.

That if it was meant to be it would happen.

And it did.

It wasn’t easy.

Waiting.

But it was worth it.

When both people are in the right place, wonderful things can happen.

That summer I fell in love with my best friend.

The love of my life and now amazing husband and father to our wonderful son.

It doesn’t happen with you least expect it.

It happens when you’re at this point in your life when you’re happy and you stop thinking about it.

It happens that moment you decide to love yourself.

That moment you decide to let things happen the way their supposed to happen.

Gratitude List

day 14

 

Choose a number and make a gratitude list.

First off, Merry Christmas!

My favorite day of the year is here.

We opened many presents, ate french toast, and had a Pitbull dance party in the kitchen.

You heard me, a Pitbull dance party.

It was so fun watching Ian open presents this year.

Last year he was only two months old so he really didn’t know what was going on.

This year he started to figure out why there were boxes wrapped in snowmen and Santa hats.

I loved watching him figure out Christmas, and I know each year will get better and better.

Since football is on and I have to start making food for Christmas dinner, I’m going to keep this short. This is my favorite day of the year and I want to spend as much time with my family as possible.

It’s only fitting that since today is the 25th of December I make a list of 25 things I’m grateful for.

  1. Ian
  2. My family
  3. My Husband
  4. Pizza
  5. My job
  6. The fact that I can still run an eight minute mile
  7. Marlo
  8. Christmas scented candles
  9. All of the wonderful presents that were given and received today
  10. My health
  11. Mashed Potatoes
  12. The roof over my head
  13. My friends
  14. That I get the day off tomorrow
  15. My new watch
  16. Freeform’s Harry Potter marathon this weekend
  17. Coffee
  18. Coaching
  19. My vacuum cleaner
  20. Fourth place in our fantasy football league
  21. Taylor Swift
  22. Netflix
  23. That Ian usually sleeps through the night in his own crib
  24. Dark chocolate
  25. The fact that I get to live this wonderful life every single day

I hope everyone reading this has the most amazing day and gets to spend it with those who matter most. I’m so excited about dinner tonight I can’t really think of anything else so Merry Christmas, I hope you got to watch Elf at least once today.

 

My support system.

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Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely believe in and support you. Explore their traits and what it is they do and say that mean so much to you.

We all know the three things I love most in the world.

Coffee.

Grey’s Anatomy.

And my family.

(In no particular order, just for dramatic effect.)

In a majority of my posts I’ve gone on and on about how much my family means to me.

My whole life they’ve been my biggest supporters and I would be nowhere without them.

That’s why.

Today I get to explore my support system a little more, and add a couple people that aren’t necessarily family but are just as special.

Lets not make this any longer than it needs to be and get straight to the list, because we know this is going to be a long one.

Am I right?

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My husband.

Jason has been the best part of the last five years. He supports my ideas and helps me be realistic about them. No matter what it is that I’m trying to accomplish he’s right there telling me that I can do it. Nothings too big that I can’t do in his eyes. He’s probably the happiest person I know, and is so incredibly outgoing and he helps bring it out in me. He helps give me the energy that to go out and reach my dreams.

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My sister.

For most of my life, if I did anything, Janelle was right there. Literally. From our first track practice, first day of school, car rides to Monmouth, my wedding day, Cameron’s birth. We’ve always been right by each others side. Janelle has always been my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I can just remember how flustered she would get if anyone tried to do me wrong or push me in a race. I can hear how loud she would get for me and see how high she would jump from celebrating. In college before each cross country race we would stand right next to one another on the line and hold hands, just for a second, but it was just what we did. I knew that no matter what Janelle was always going to be there for me and love me. Janelle is everything I wish I could be; creative, patient, and accepting. She will always support me, no matter what it is, she will be right there telling me I did a great job. These last few years have been different, doing things without each other. I was always so nervous to get to this stage in life, when Janelle wasn’t right by me, but everything that I’ve ventured off to do, she’s cheering me on.

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My dad.

The reason I’m as strong as I am. No matter what it was growing up, my dad would always remind me to be tough. He would remind me that I could do anything, even if I didn’t believe it myself. Nothing was out of my reach in his eyes. After my last college race my dad and I stood along the fence waiting to watch Janelle run. We reminisced on my 10 year track career and he told me how proud of me he was. In that moment I was nervous, would I keep doing things that made him proud. Even if I wasn’t running competitively anymore? He ran to the medical tent when I passed out after my marathon, and told me during our father and daughter dance at my wedding how proud of me he was. He even reads every blog post and supports me in this journey. I can see it every time he looks at Ian how proud of him he is and I know that I’m so lucky. I now get two ways to make my dad proud, in my actions and in my son. Seeing him so proud of Ian means the world to me and reminds me that no matter what I do in life he’ll be so proud of me.

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My mom.

The kindest, funniest, most loving person. My mom keeps me grounded. If I tell her I want to do something she always reminds me to look at both sides. To see everything that could happen and to be real about everything, but no matter what I choose to do, she encourages me so much. Senior year in high school when I was about to win the district meet for track in the 3000 I have my mom on video tape screaming “GO MEGAN, YOU’RE THE BOMB!” It sums up my mom perfectly. So encouraging no matter what, she will even scream it at the top of her lungs. I love when my mom tells me she’s proud of me. I remember the day I got my first big kid job, she sent me an email telling me how proud of me she was, I saved it, and looked at it whenever I was having a bad day. Just her words of encouragement mean the world to me. I love that no matter what I do, my mom will be cheering on the side.

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My brother.

Curtis is sarcastic, real, and is always making jokes. Up until a few years ago I thought his only goal in life was to make my life hell. I really bonded with him a few years back and got to appreciate him more. I saw how honest he is and how real he is. If I have this idea and it’s a dumb idea, he’ll be honest and tell me. I appreciate that honesty so much. Even when it comes to running, he might not have a choice, but he’ll be in Portland at 5 am ready to watch me run 26.2 miles if he has to. Recently I needed his help. I was interviewing for a job that I wanted more than anything, and this kid always kills interviews. I thought it was just dumb luck, but I was wrong. He helped me so much, and when I had my interviews he was so interested to find out how I did and was so genuinely happy when I got the job. Even though I don’t always see it, Curtis is always there to support me.

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My best friend.

This girl right here is one of the best humans on the planet. From the very first day of practice when I dragged her across the turf to my wedding day when she stood next to me as I married my best friend, this girl has supported me in everything. We ran this 5k once in College that we named the best friend 5k. The first few laps we talked to each other the entire time. We kept encouraging each other and reminding each other that we’ve got this. When I was ready to make a move and leave her she said “it’s ok Megs you’ve got this” and allowed me to go my own way and run my race. She was right there when we finished to congratulate me and was so proud of me. That goes for everything in life. Even though were at different points in our lives I know she’ll be there. To tell me that it’s ok and that I’ve got it. Her love and support means the world to me.

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My grandmas. Two of the most supportive women out there. They were always out at races and school events, camera in hand, so proud of everything I did. My grandma Everetts even has a shirt with mine and Janelle’s faces on it. I know that whatever I do they’ll be behind me 100 percent. These two women help encourage me in my moments of doubt or fear. They’re always right there cheering me on and telling me that I can do it. Everyone should be able to feel the love and support a grandma can give. They really do make you feel like you can achieve even your wildest dreams.

My kids.

They might think that I support them and help them see their true potential but they do the same for me every single day. I learn so much from them and seeing their hard work paying off or seeing them get PR’s makes me believe in myself and what I’m doing. Especially with hurdles, I look forward to practice every day with these kids. One of my hurdlers this last track season did not want to run the 300 hurdles at a meet, he was over it. I was trying to encourage him as much as I could. Being my real self I told him to get over it and stop being a baby, to just run his race. Sure enough he had a huge PR and won his race. Afterwards he gave me his medal and told me that without me he wouldn’t have earned it. My proudest moment to date as a coach.

1493 words.

All about the wonderful people in my life that support me along the way.

I know that I would not be where I am today without any of them.

That my life wouldn’t be as wonderful without them by my side.

I am truly the luckiest person.

Five years ago.

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How have you changed from the person you were five years ago?

Five years ago.

December of 2012.

I was 22 about to turn 23.

And about to start one of the most important years of my life.

2012 was the year that I graduated college and was an adult in the “real world.”

I had no idea what 2013 was about to have in store.

My relationship was going to fall apart.

I was going to feel the lowest I ever had.

I was going to run a marathon.

Start my first big kid job.

Start to really love myself.

Fall in love with my future husband.

Start coaching.

If only I would have known that in December of 2012.

I was happy.

I had the best family and the best sister.

Janelle and I were as close as we had ever been and my relationship with my family was great.

I just wasn’t that happy.

I was too busy trying to please others and be who they wanted me to be.

I was too busy faking that I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Too busy trying to make someone who was never happy with me happy.

That I didn’t stop to enjoy the wonderful people that actually wanted me happy.

I wish I could have told myself.

Hey you, yeah you’re just fine the way you are.

Stop and enjoy those around you and enjoy this time of year. 

It’ll be one of the last years you get to wake up at home on christmas morning.

Stop worrying about the happiness of those who don’t matter and worry about yourself.

I’ve changed so much from that person five years ago.

Besides the obvious details like being a mom and wife.

I really started to appreciate myself.

Back then I could have told you five things I disliked about myself faster than the things that I loved about myself.

I was too busy wishing I had more than realizing what I had.

I was too busy settling for anything.

Instead of fighting for everything.

Looking back I’m mad at myself.

I wish I would’ve had just a little more fire in my life.

A little more fight and passion.

Instead of living for others and going through the motions.

I was about to embark on one of my favorite years and the next five years were going to be completely life changing and wonderful.

If you would have told me at 22 that at this very time five years later, that I would be married to be my best friend who treats me like the world.

With the cutest son and nephew.

That I’d be coaching the best group of kids.

And working a job that I love.

That I could wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and think..

I truly love myself.

I would have laughed.

Because I would have thought, that can’t happen to me.

I can’t be that happy.

And that was how my mind worked.

I didn’t expect much for myself.

I spent so much time with someone who just didn’t care.

When you surround yourself with people who just don’t care, neither will you.

I was trying to find a picture for this post so I went digging through the folders on my computer.

I found an album from when my family went to get our Christmas tree.

I looked genuinely happy, and I was.

I was so happy when I got to spend time with my family.

The ones who really pushed me to be better.

It always felt like they wanted to spend time with me, because they did.

That when I was with them, I could be myself and never had to try hard to make them want to be with me.

I wish I could tell myself back then, to just get rid of the negative people in your life.

To surround yourself with the ones who want to have their time taken up by you.

I’ve changed so much from the person I was five years ago, in many different ways.

The most important though, I can confidently say that I really do love myself.

How would you like to be remembered?

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How do you want to be remembered?

This one sounds so morbid.So I’m not going to think of it that way.

I’m going to view it as how I want other people to see me.

That’s the same thing right?

Okay I’m going with that.

If you would have asked me this when I was in high school I probably would have said I wanted be seen as tough and strong and someone who says whatever she wants.

And I still want to be viewed that way.

Just different.

Back then I would have said that so people thought I was cool.

I would have said that to let people think I was all that.

I still want people to view me as that.

I want people to know that I’m tough.

That I work hard for everything.

I want people to view me as strong.

I also want to be viewed as someone who says whatever she wants.

My kids I coach will tell you I’m blunt, and it’s usually followed by how much they appreciate it and respect it.

And I love that.

I love that they don’t care how I am.

I also want to be viewed as someone who cares about other people.

I worked hard for my tough exterior.

I wanted people to think that nothing they said could ever get to me growing up.

I was called “the mean twin.”

And I took it over.

I had this attitude, and I still do.

But I really do care for other people.

I’ll always go above and beyond for the people I love and the people that deserve it.

And that’s how I want to be viewed.

As someone who’s tough, strong, tells it how it is, and cares for others.

I feel like I get all of these traits from people I love.

All of these different traits are learned from the people I surround myself with.

We are what we surround ourselves with.

And I surrounded myself with the people who I aspire to be like.

I think if we look at ourselves and ask ourselves the question of how we wanted to be seen by others we will see the traits of those that we love.

That we admire the ones we love and we aspire to be like them.

That we take everything we love about others and see it as something we want to be.

I’ve never thought about it like that until I started writing this.

That exactly how I want to be seen is what I see and love in others.

Look at me realizing things.

Try it.

Ask yourself that question, how you want to be seen by others.

Look at your answers.

And see if those qualities are in the ones you surround yourself with, love, and aspire to be like.

Three pictures.

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Choose three photos and write a post about how you feel looking at them, where you were, what you were doing, what it was like.

Today’s post required a bit of homework.

I searched through my photos on my phone.

Facebook pictures.

And my Instagram feed.

So many pictures throughout my lifetime.

Maybe it’s because throughout my lifetime there’s been an emphasis on taking pictures and sharing them with the world.

Regardless of why I have so many pictures, and I’m glad I do.

Pictures capture exactly what I was doing in that moment.

How I was feeling.

Who I was with.

I’m happy it’s the norm to take as many pictures as I do.

These three pictures that I’ve selected today are the three that I saw and instantly smiled.

Not necessarily the best pictures ever, or the one’s that have defined my life in any magnificent way, but the pictures that instantly made me smile when I saw them.

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Meet my best friend Nicole.

This picture was after one of my best races in College ever.

Probably my best race.

I had just come off of my first win in a Western Oregon uniform down in Long Beach. It was an 800 and I was feeling good.

Nervous, but good.

Could I do it again?

This girl had been one of my biggest supporters that year.

She would help me focus and relax before every race.

We were racing the 1500 together that day.

I ended up winning the race with a huge 5 second PR of 4:42.

I was absolutely shocked and so happy.

I needed that PR and I had just won my second race in a row.

Not even realizing how tired I was, I turned around to see where she was.

She came sprinting in for 4th place with a huge seasons best at the time of 4:55.

Getting to celebrate with her was always so fun.

No matter what, we would always be genuinely happy for each other.

This picture was taken after the race, pure happiness on each of our faces.

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I’m not lying when I say that this is one of my favorite pictures.

Ever.

Including my two favorite people.

I was still living at home and Janelle and I decided to go to Target together, like we always did.

Jason was on his way over to our house for dinner when he said he’d just meet us at Target.

I hadn’t seen him all day.

We were texting each other to find out where the other one was when we saw it.

THEY.WERE.MATCHING.

I was dead.

From beanies, to identical sweatshirts, all the way down to black Nike pants with the same exact shoes.

It was seriously the funniest thing and I have so much joy even to this day looking at this picture.

Walking around Target with these two dressed identically was the best thing.

It’s so funny how looking at a picture from three years ago can still bring me this much joy.

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August 13th 2014.

If it looks like this picture was taken by someone creeping behind a crowd of people, that’s because it was.

You can’t see us that well, but that doesn’t matter.

I love this picture.

Jason and I had gotten dressed up and went to dinner at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower in Vegas.

We planned this fancy date in April.

Of course I thought it was special, but didn’t think it was going to be this special.

He was convinced that we needed to watch the fountains at the Bellagio after, and I was in pain from my shoes.

I thought it was weird that he kept trying to get the best spot, and that he was weirdly annoyed when a Brittney Spears song was playing.

He also kept looking around..

Everywhere.

When he dropped down to one knee I completely forgot that there were people around.

After he proposed, and I obviously said yes, he said “what would you say if I told you your family was around the corner?”

They were on this trip with us but I had no idea they were watching the whole thing.

My family, uncle, cousins, and grandma came running around the corner.

My dad with his video camera in hand.

It was such a special moment, and to get to share it with my family was the best.

Pictures can do amazing things.

They can capture the biggest moments of your life.

And the small, funny moments that cause you so much joy.

I’m glad I have so many folders on my computer with pictures from the last 9 years.

And 5,155 pictures on my camera roll.

Every one has some sort of memory attached to them.