Twenty seven

IMG_5885

I turned 27 yesterday. It’s still hard to believe. It really snuck up on me somehow.

At what point do we stop caring about birthdays? I don’t really feel the need to celebrate my birthday anymore. I don’t need or want presents. I don’t need lavish attention or cake with candles. I do still like cards, but I’m okay if the day passes by with little fanfare.

Yesterday was the perfect day. I woke up and took Sadie for a quick walk. I had my coffee in bed while I read my book next to Jim. Then we went downstairs and Jim made pancakes for breakfast. Then I read my book some more. We went for a walk with Sadie around Hartwood Acres because the weather was beautiful, and it was so nice to get outside into the woods and see all the green. When we got home, I read more and finished my book (it was a good book). Then we got ready and met my parents and Josh out for dinner at the Hartwood Restaurant. I had an amazing goat cheese ravioli dish for dinner and a chocolate cream pie for dessert. They did put a candle in it, which was a cute touch, but unnecessary. Continue reading

How a simple book is changing the way I approach life

DSC_0676

I’ve been thinking about my vision recently. My purpose in life. My manifesto. What do I believe in? What do I stand for? What do I value in life?

It’s a surprisingly difficult thing to articulate. I understand why brands and businesses have such a hard time writing their mission statement or describing their goals or their brand voice. It’s difficult to put into words what we believe in.

I just finished this book called Start With Why and it talked all about how successful leaders and businesses don’t just sell products, they sell a WHY. They sell their beliefs. They get people to believe what they believe and in turn, those people buy their products. Even though the book focused on businesses and business leaders, this is clearly important for regular people too. Individuals need a WHY.

Continue reading

How my attitude toward homeownership has changed

dsc_0164

I read back through one of my notebooks this morning while I was drinking my morning coffee, in my effort to stay away from social media. It’s a notebook I have to just jot things down as I think of them. More often it turns into to-do lists and appointment dates, but every once in awhile I write a few pages of whatever is on my mind.

At the beginning of this notebook was some writing from when we’d first moved into our house. I was amazed reading about how overwhelmed I felt at the time. I felt like everything was going wrong, I felt like everything needed to be done all at once, and I felt like I needed a bunch of stuff.

I wanted new things and nice things. I wanted things to not be broken. I wanted the new house to feel like it was my own, and not a hand-me-down filled with hand-me-downs. I had such high expectations for how my home should look.

It’s amazing how my attitude has changed so drastically in the past year. I now know that things will get done when they get done. And not everything is a dire emergency. Some things will just have to wait because we don’t have the money and other things come up that were not even planned. And whatever is in my house is not the source of joy or happiness.  Continue reading

How To Be Better Than Before

Last year was amazing. 2016 was the year to beat. And it probably won’t be beat for a long while.

jfp_1691

I’ve written about New Year’s with a different mindset every year. I remember years when I was so sick of the way my year had gone and so hopeful that the new year would be the one full of change. I remember years knowing that it was the end of something wonderful and the next step was yet to be determined. I remember years that were great and I couldn’t imagine how it could be beat. This is one of those years.  Continue reading

Meet Our Adopted Greyhound!

IMG_3440

I said I had big news and here it is: we adopted a retired racing greyhound! We named her Sadie, for no reason other than we liked it and we think she looks like a Sadie. It would be a cliche to say that she raced right into our hearts – and also untrue, because she doesn’t race anymore and we can hardly get her to run even a little. But she did look into our eyes and melt our hearts (okay, one cliche).

Since today is National Dog Day, it’s the perfect day to introduce her and tell you a little more about her and our decision to adopt a greyhound.  Continue reading

On To The Next Big Thing

On to the next big thing

After college, I moved back in with my parents for a year. And during that time, I couldn’t wait to find my own apartment and move out. I was dreaming of the day when I had the keys to a place of my own. The day that Jim would move to Pittsburgh and we’d cook dinners together in the kitchen and hang our pictures on the wall and make friends with the upstairs neighbors.

We found that apartment, but it was mostly me cooking dinners and we didn’t make friends with any neighbors.

We’d lived in the apartment for almost two years and then we started thinking about a house of our own. We watched HGTV obsessively and dreamed of space to entertain, quartz countertops, a guest bedroom, and most of all, a garage.

We bought that house, and we ended up with everything on our wish list and more.

Once we moved into the house, it was time to focus on the wedding. I dreamed of candlelit centerpieces and silver sashes around white chair covers and the perfect photo of a last kiss as the sun set over the country club.

We planned the most fantastic wedding, complete with wine bottle centerpieces, wine cork place cards, and a summer sunset as our guests danced and drank the night away.

So now we’re married, we live in our beautiful house, we cook our dinners together, we’re planning to someday hang the pictures on the walls, we’ve had friends over to stay in our guest bedroom and we hosted a small 4th of July get-together in our backyard.

We’ve gotten everything we’ve ever wanted. So what’s next?  Continue reading

New Start

FullSizeRender

Hi there. It’s me, Meg. You may have forgotten about this little blog by now. Or maybe you haven’t and you’re wondering whether I’ve taken ill or I’m off trekking around the world on grand adventures. Neither is true, and I’d probably rather you’d forgotten about my little bit of internet writing. It has pained me, knowing that I started this so vehemently, and yet I allowed it to fall by the wayside, in favor of Netflix mostly.

In any case, I’m back. I was a bit sidetracked for the past year or so. You know, getting married. It’s amazing how much of my brain was consumed with white roses and wedding bells, but I’ll admit that it happened. I don’t regret it. But now it’s time to move on. Time to write and create and explore again. Continue reading

The American Dream

DSC_0298

It has been three months since Jim and I moved into our house. I would like to think that our lives have changed drastically. That somehow we are older, wiser, more experienced, more mature adults – but that’s not really true. I would have thought that owning a home would somehow cast us into the pot of people who seem to have “it” all together. Maybe we’d be qualified as a part of society who “knows what they’re doing.” Maybe somewhere, hidden in the legal jargon of the closing documents, there might have been invisible ink explaining how to own a home and somehow it would soak into our minds as we read through the papers and we’d suddenly know exactly what to do.

That didn’t happen. We are still the same people, we just have more space. We have the same stuff, except now it’s all in boxes that I’m afraid to unpack. We have the same furniture, except now it looks sad and old next to the pretty hardwood floors and bay window. We have the same jobs, but now we have a longer commute.

We are the same people we were before we moved, and we have no idea what we’re doing. Continue reading

Looking Back on 2015

Yes, it is February 8th and yes, I am about to write my recap of 2015.

It has been so long since I last blogged that WordPress has changed the interface in my absence and I’m not even sure I know how to blog anymore.

But the only way to begin is to just sit down and do it.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been sharing my writing. So it’s time to start.

Despite the fact that I spent the first day of 2016 with with a killer hangover and the second and third days with a terrible cold, it was a good start to the year. I realized that I am in a much better place beginning this year than I was a year ago.

I went through some of the past year’s writing and I realized that I was just so miserable at the beginning of 2015. I was in such a rut with my job, and I was struggling in a big way. I was mentally and emotionally drained from having to deal with work drama. Going into 2015, I was desperate for a new job, I was watching many of my friends leave the company, I was putting on a fake smile every day, and I was dreading driving in to work each morning. Granted, I had great things going on with Jim and my friends were cool and I was exercising, but when work is such a big part of life it’s hard to not let that cross over into everything else, even a little bit.

So here’s to 2016. Cheers to a new year – but also cheers to the majority of 2015, which turned out to be literally the best year of my life, so far. Highlights being: I got a new job, I got engaged and I bought a house. This was a HUGE year for me. Most of the year was just so incredible, and it was so crazy and chaotic and stressful and fast-paced that I barely had time or energy left to breathe. But it was amazing.

DSC_0106

Just a random picture of Pittsburgh that I took from the Gateway Clipper.

Continue reading

Love. A True Story.

Bonita Beach Sunset

The beach was beautiful as the sun set. The sand was mostly broken, crushed shells that sparkled in the pale orange light of the sun. Small waves rolled lazily, quietly onto the sand at low tide. Just a few clouds were spread in the darkening sky, dissipated from the storm clouds that had threatened rain just an hour ago.

I pulled my camera out and tried to capture the beautiful night. As if on cue, dolphins broke the surface of the water. We had been watching for them all day and suddenly there was a group of them, right as the sun was sinking below the horizon.

We had walked off down the beach a little bit, to a stretch where there were fewer people, umbrellas and chairs. Better view of the sunset this way.

I was busy trying to snap photos and get the dolphins in the shot, and then before I knew it the sun was gone and the sky was just quickly fading pink. I turned to put my camera’s lens cap on and put it back in my bag. Jim had a big book in his hand and was telling me he had to give it to me. My first thought was that it was his mom’s or Lauren’s book. It had been in Lauren’s bag, and I was wondering why they needed to bring this big book down to the beach and now why Jim had it.

Continue reading