Finally Friday.

Your Mission

Happy Friday! This week f-l-e-w by! Usually when I have exciting things on the horizon, the days (and nights) just crawl… but not this week! We’re spending the weekend in Breckenridge with my family to celebrate a BIG birthday for my mom. There will be lots of vino, baby snuggles, game time, wandering in and out of shops + good food. I may or may not grace everyone with my fabulous rendition of, out-of-key, happy birthday, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I do, also, want to report back that Christian and I were finally able to pick a back splash for the kitchen and that Christian and his parents installed it last weekend (what a great birthday present!). The only hiccup is that the tile ended up looking a little more brown that I originally thought it would, meaning I might have to reconsider my paint decision. Ahhhh house remodeling, how you test me. I hope that you have a fabulous weekend!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

*note: this week is a little heavy on all things girly. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Have you ever read a post that had you nodding along the whole time while simultaneously tugging (more like clawing) at your heart-strings? This post about what it means to be sisters (or best friends, or girlfriends) really got me – I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Also, I want to send it to all my friends, because it’s so so so true.

I’m 100% addicted to the 40 days of dating experiment. Like can’t stop, won’t stop, will be devastated if they don’t give me some closure at the end of it all. Have you heard about it? These two New Yorkers (one a commitment phobe, one that jumps into serious relationships at the drop of a hat) decide to date for 40 days and write all about it. If you read it, no cheating, make sure you start at the beginning.

Can I just tell you that Sarah Jenks is one of the most on-point, inspirational people on my radar these days? Every single post is just so good that I think that she can’t possibly come up with another one. Then she does. Her most recent post covers feeling fat and worrying that others are thinking/talking about you. The real lesson is that we’re projecting our shame in not caring for ourselves. I can’t sum it up — just read it.

Just to lighten it up after those deep posts up top, here are 22 things that you might not know about the show FRIENDS. I’m a die-hard FRIENDS fan and I didn’t know many of these (guess I’m not as die-hard as I thought).

Since I’m going to be attempting to deal with my PCOS naturally I have to get creative about some of my food options. I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Chia Protein Pudding and it looks delicious – I wonder if it tastes as good as it looks?

Getting sucked into the interwebs is such an easy thing to do; I mean, there’s such good stuff out there. I’ve definitely found myself caught in the faux inspiration trap more than once — it’s definitely something to keep in mind while heading down the online rabbit hole.

And, just because I liked this post so much — was it the photos, the popsicles or the info, I don’t know! Here’s a great tutorial on taking awesome photos for your blog.

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Girlfriends & Gal Pals.

I’m a girl’s girl. I was never a boy’s girl. I had little boy friends growing up, but shortly after those puberty hormones set-in the relationships got more awkward by the day and eventually fizzled out entirely. Gone were the days of climbing trees after school, stealing apples from the neighbors and building play forts in our basements. In its place, though, were my girls. The ones figuring out just how tampons worked, what first kisses were like… all the while begging to subscribe to 17 magazine and daydreaming of first loves.

In high school, I made friends that up until a few years ago I would have sworn would be my best friends forever (and ever). I’ve never had any other friends like that. Ones that allowed you to be completely, 100% yourself. Whether they faded over time, had a big ‘ol dumb girl fight or just ended without reason, it doesn’t matter. They are a huge part of my past and losing them was as painful as losing my first love — but for me, the sting continues to linger. The wounds, though healed, still throb from time to time.

Those girls, the ones I used to sit in my 1998 red Chevy Blazer with, day dreaming and arguing about who would be who’s maid of honor, aren’t those girls for me anymore. They weren’t the maid of honor at my wedding, they weren’t bridesmaids at my wedding… in fact, they weren’t even there. Which, to 20 year old me is completely inconceivable. Sometime the past memories, the old laughs, the lost friendship still feels like a limb has up and disconnected itself from my body. Losing girlfriends is hard- so hard.

In college, I made more friends that now share a bond of late night shenanigans, Saturday morning recaps and a love for each other that I hope never fades. We sustain ourselves on wine nights, memories of laying in bed watching Frasier and inside jokes. They don’t live next door anymore, they don’t even live in the same city.

These are the girls that will always say yes to a bottle of wine and an America’s Top Model Walk Off… the ones that have sat with me while I cried at life’s uncertainty and celebrated even the tiniest victories right alongside me. It’s funny, though, that we were all the in the same phase of life when we met, but are all so different now. Different paths, different cities, different lives. But, they’re still my favorite girls, even if they’re far away.

As an adult, I’ve only ever made a handful of friends that resemble anything close to the relationships of my (not so long ago) youth. One or two, really. There’s less to bond over, less to pull you out of your shell, less to experience. I get that. We’re not all plotting our prom plans or staying up til 2 AM making all kinds of memories. Being grown up comes with new relationships (hello husbands) and a lesser need to rely on would be strangers to get you through. And, that’s what makes me sad. The vulnerability decreases, the openness decreases, the need for relationship decreases.

Occasionally a post will pop up about the impossibility of adult friendships, a statistic will come out about the probability of only meeting one couple during your marriage that will create a strong friendship with both you and your spouse … and it all almost seems impossible. Almost. As girls, as women, as daughters, as human beings we need to be better. We need to be open and vulnerable and willing to try. Because, the alternative isn’t good. It’s not happy. It’s not the way I want to live.

So, let’s change it. Let’s say yes to coffee dates and no to drama. Let’s compliment each other instead of analyzing and blaming. Let’s laugh and stop caring about exactly what comes out of our mouths in nervousness and just embrace the fact that, truly, we’re all in this together. Each one of us is taking it one day at a time and trying to figure out where we fit, how this works and what we’re doing.

Let’s make this the year of girls, of friendships, of grace and forgiveness, of letting it happen. I’m in, are you?

Want to grab a cup of tea together and chat? Let’s be friends!

And all shall give thanks.

Saying Happy Thanksgiving always felt a little awkward to me. Like, maybe it should be “Merry Thanksgiving” or something with a little more grandeur to bid such happy greetings. But no. Slap a Happy on it and you’ve got yourself an American holiday. A joyous, food centered holiday.

I find myself feeling thankful so very often these days — is that something that normally happens as your get older? You recognize all the things around you that you have to be thankful for? Because, man, are there ever more things each day. This year I’m thankful for a handsome and ever perfect for me, husband. For a Mom and dad that love and support me. For a sister and brother-in-law that I count among my best friends. For a whole string of “I married into this family” but they make me feel like I really belong every time I see them. For friends that live nearby, not so nearby and really far away – and how the distance between us never matters. For a community at church that makes this season of life even that much better. For my health and the health of those around me. For a job, not just any job, but a job I like that doesn’t involve a 3 hour commute.

And also for so, so, so many little things:

Chocolate. Big bear hugs. Peanut butter and jelly muffins. Q-tips. Chapstick. Long Chats. Noodles. Wine. Cinnamon Spice Tea. Showers. Cozy comforters. Getting mail. Great weather. And on and on. Life.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry, er, Joyful, er, Grand, er Happy Thanksgiving filled with mashed potatoes and pie!

An age of change.

College. The first few years were really hard and depressing for me – I just wanted out. By my senior year, I’d done a complete 180 – totally in love with college and the life I’d built for myself. All my friends were within walking distance, I began to really appreciate the campus and feel like I knew where I was going. We were all at the same place in our lives and it brought us infinitely close together. But, a funny thing happens after college, you lose that thing, that common thing, that drew you all together. You’re not 10 feet away anymore, your 1,000 miles. You’re not studying for a final together, but two people, doing two jobs with different deadlines and schedules.

You’re not the same. I’m not the same. I’ve changed a lot. I can feel it, I can see it and I’m not sure it’s welcomed by the people I’ve held so dear to my heart over the past few years. I’m not good at letting go, having my heart-broken or moving on. I linger, I analyze, I hope and I wonder.

I’m not the throw in the towel and walk away type of person and I can often be found feeling guilty — trying to figure out what part I play in things not feeling the same or going so very wrong. But, maybe, just maybe, things aren’t suppose to feel the same. We are ever evolving, ever-changing and ever-moving people who won’t and can’t stand still.

The hard part is accepting the change, knowing that things can’t go back to how they were. All of my friends, the ones I’ve had, the ones I have and the ones I will have are going to change and move forward. I’m going to morph, mold and move with the way life flows. Maybe we’ll still be intertwined at the end of it all, maybe we won’t. It’s the won’t possibility that makes me sad and scared all at the same time.

A small part of me will always grieve the friendships I’ve lost over the years. I’m no longer in a place to extend a hand or try to rekindle a lost thread, but the good times and the pain will always be there. Just like I fear changes with current friends and acquaintances. Knowing that’s the way things go sometimes. We have to accept that changing, either in ourselves or in those around us, isn’t a bad thing. It’s part of life. Hold on tight to the times you cherish and let go of the things you’d rather forget. Not holding someone’s change against them, but instead smiling and knowing that no matter which way they go, they’ll forever have a small piece of your heart.

One.

It's my blogging birthday!

Today is a big day. Meganastout.com is having a birthday. I’ve blogged for many years, but more privately… and not here. So for celebration’s purposes today is my Meganastout.com blogging birthday! Hooray! Cupcake anyone? Eh? I’m having one so you might as well cave… I’ll toss in champagne if you can say something witty? Eh, eh?

I have to say thank you to all of those that inspired anything I’ve written. My family for always being undeniably quirky and wonderful, my friends for their ever adventurous and changing lives, my dog for being so absolutely bizarre and for Furbys and peanut butter — because the number of searches that are generated with those two topics is absolutely shocking.

So to all of you out there looking for Furby’s, thanks for stopping by and making my day. Hopefully you find a Furby… and that will make yours! And to the rest of you… non-Furby readers thank you, thank you, thank you. I heart you all and if I could personally deliver cupcakes and champagne (if you’ve earned it) to you I would. But… in all honesty I’d probably eat each cupcake and drink all the champagne on the way over; so, my presence would have to suffice. Still interested? Thought so.

Some of my favorite things from the past year? Completing Nablopomo, making people laugh, being more honest with myself and my writing, keeping Charles alive, traveling (I know I’m behind on writing about it), crazy shenanigans with those I love, all the food I ate and cupcakes that met their maker… oh how the list could go on and on.

Again, thank you! And, here’s to many more blogging birthdays to come!

*”Birthday Cake” photo by Theresa Thompson.

The case of the broken heart.

Living through heartbreak.

I’m a happy person… and sometimes I can even be comical. My life is one constant happening after another and I can promise you it’s one fairly entertaining ride. But, I’ve put off a lot of subjects that I’ve wanted to write about because I wasn’t sure I could make them witty, I was scared I’d be sharing too much of myself, I was scared who would read it, I was scared of being stupid… With that said, I’m throwing caution to the wind and having a go at it.

Heartbreak. I have so many friends that couldn’t tell you what heartbreak feels like or what it’s like to feel as if world is collapsing around you. They could tell you what its like to make a drunken mistake, to have a random Sunday adventure, to not have a guy call after a few dates, but not many of them could legitimately tell you what it is like to have their heart broken — shattered.  And I’m envious. I feel like I can write about this now, I can write about what it was like and how it affects you because it happened to me. It happened to me several years ago, so it’s no longer unbearably raw – I can write about it with a sane perspective. Well, as sane as I’m ever going to get.

We all know the story, it’s nothing new — nothing that hasn’t happened before. My story was unique to me, it happened to me, but means, most likely, absolutely nothing to you. It went a little something like this…

Girl meets boy. Girl and Boy get together. Girl and Boy fall in love. Girl and Boy are together for 3 years. Boy leaves Girl.

For me, heart break was for the movies, something dramatic and broken that wouldn’t and couldn’t happen to me. It was for everyone else. Having someone you’ve grown to love, someone you call your best friend look you in the eyes and say they don’t love you anymore and walk away is a feeling I’m not sure I’ll ever forget. I have and will continue, of course, to have that feeling numbed with time… but having someone deem me not worth loving anymore, of not wanting or needing me in their life, not worth their effort, has forever torn a little piece of me away. A piece I know I can’t get back.

As my heart broke I knew I had become the broken record to a lot of my, never been through it, happy friends and even family. I knew every time I seemed down, tear-stained or couldn’t quite pull together the fake smile they were all thinking “Why can’t she get over it?”,  “What’s the big deal?”, “This has gone on way too long…”,  “If I have to hear about how happy they used to be I’m going to kill myself”.

I’m assuming its true for most everyone. All of those people in your life don’t understand and most of them, to this day, can’t say they do. I always felt bad for inflicting my pain on them, I felt bad for making them listen… worried I might be using up their sympathy and wondered if they’d be there again if I needed them. And that weighed on me even more.

There are days, now, when I replay it all in my head. I watch it all happen and it hurts, to this day, but it’s bearable. I learned and will forever be grateful for the lessons I may have otherwise surpassed. But that doesn’t mean I’m grateful for the suffering and self-doubt. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. You torture yourself, it’s all in the cycle of events.

A lot of self blame…

What did I do? Maybe if I lost a few pounds? Am I not worth keeping in your life? What’s wrong with me?

A lot of anger…

Why did I let this happen. What if I had done this instead? Why can’t I get anything right?

A lot of lonely nights…

Choking back tears. I miss him. I’m alone — alone.  It’s gone, and it’s not coming back.

But in the end you grow up, you put on your big girl panties and get on with life. And day by day it all gets a little easier.

Over the past few months I’ve watched friends suffer and it hurts me to watch them. I want to grab them, hug them and tell them that all the doubts and fears they are trying to push away are unfounded. Tell them they are worthy, that they deserve it all, that I’ll give them a cookie and it will be ok. But I can’t. I can listen. I can offer what little advice I have. I can be there, and that’s all.

I know from here on out we’ll share something that not everyone can. We’ll know what it was like, we’ll share the experience and we’ll be that much closer because of it. We won’t be free of heartbreak or suffering because life is full of it. I may watch them hurt and they’ll watch me suffer. And it’s going to be hard. Maybe harder each time? I don’t know.

But I do know it won’t be glossy. Heartbreak isn’t majestic and it isn’t glamorous. It’s painful. It’s full of mascara and tear-stained pillows, swollen cheeks, swaying between loss of appetite and emotional eating, sad songs, replaying of every painful  moment… over and over, trying desperately to cling to a shred of unrealistic hope, purging and trying to hold on all at the same time. It’s lonely.

*”After a journey” photo by eflon.

Thankful.

Seeing as it’s Thanksgiving, I find it more than appropriate to express my gratitude for so many things in life. My friends and family… honestly I couldn’t live without them or their inappropriate senses of humor. You know who you are. These “saying thanks” things can get a little overwhelming if you think about it. We’re so blessed and there are so many things you should mention. Sort of like an Oscar speech, if you forget one person… they’ll never let you live it down. So… here are a few things I’m thankful for:

1. My mom always losing her keys, her credit card, her mind… and allowing me to mock her.

2. My sisters varying degrees of laughter. You never know what you’re going to get.

3. My Dad’s random and off the wall comments sometimes referring to turkey s**t.

4. All of my friends, their floor dancing, chats over wine, unwavering support, and all the hysterics that go with it.

5. Charles. I’m just thankful for my dog. He’s a jerk and he can be a pain in the butt, but I heart him and his trash eating ways.

6. Chapstick… you never once have let me down.

7. My iPhone. I am truly naked without it, as in can’t function.

8. Spandex, and it’s insertion into many styles of pants. Thanksgiving pants can now be fashionable.

9. My electric bug killing raquet.

10. Everything that I’ve forgotten and will remember tomorrow. Yeah, I’m thankful for that too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you ate yourself into a coma and took a nap. Then watched some football… essentially living the American dream.