A Mile A Day: Day 13


What. a. day!

In the morning, I took the birthday bicycle to the bike shop to get properly fitted. The surprise gift from my husband was essentially a big gift card; he arranged for me to come try out a few models before completing the deal and although I loved the matte black, I ended up with a steely blue that fits oh-so-right and keeps the pressure off my bogus right knee.

We celebrated the fitting at a delicious Bosnian restaurant. It’s that’s been on my list for a while so the impromptu stop was a very welcome food break. After a splitting some gyro-styled fries and a spicy gyro sandwich, we headed home in time for some relaxation and my daily mile.

That’s when the fun really began.

It was date night. My birthday date night, to be exact. And despite asking Freddy to pick anything for our date night except going out to eat, he told me a few weeks ago that we were going out to eat.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the news. In fact, every single one of my friends heard about it leading up to the night (a reminder that I need to quit running my mouth about minor things). But by the time the evening rolled around, I was just excited for sunshine with my beau!

We started driving and he told me he had pushed back our reservation largely because I love chatting with our babysitter and we talked through the first reservation. He was so cool and collected about it. “No worries. We have plenty of time now. What do you say to grabbing a drink before dinner?”

Sounds great!

We pulled up to a cider mill that I had mentioned earlier in the week. There were some white table cloths at the stand up tables outside, white and turquoise balloons, and a beautifully set long table so I turned to Fred and said, “Are you sure they’re open? It looks like they’re having a private party.”

“It does looks like that. They’re open though.”

“It’s okay,” I told him. “A guy just walked out in a tank top and shorts and he does not looked dressed up. Oh, the open sign is out. We’re good!”

We walked up the steps toward the door and I swear I saw my sister’s reflection through the glass. My sister happens to live over 2 hours away and was currently in a southern state in the US so my mind went racing into how that person looked so much like my sister and then how that person was my sister and why would my sister be here without telling…


My sister, my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, my parents, my friends from college, my friends from church, Freddy and my friends, my people. They were lined up in front of the bar with party hats and noise makers for me!

I had a quick thought that I might burst into tears and Kim-Kardashian-ugly-cry in front of everyone but the fear of being ridiculed for life was enough to keep me semi-locked up. And if I had gotten to have drinks or dinner surrounded by my people, it would have been enough…but it was so much more!

That beautiful, long table that was filled with place settings? In each napkin was a menu, pre-selected with the most delicious foods. At the top of the menu was written “Happy birthday, Megan!”

I celebrated my 30th with friends and family under the sun, drinking delicious cider and eating delicious food, and being overwhelmed with these people’s love for me and my love for them.


Thank you.

Thank you to my wonderfully planned husband who surpassed all expectations and loved on me in such a tangible way this week and weekend. Thank you to family who traveled from opposite ends of the state or even from several states away just to spend the evening with me. Thank you to my dear friends who mingled and meshed over donuts and prosciutto, apples and blue cheese, bratwurst and hot mustard, spring hash, and banana cream pie. And thank you to those of you who wished you could have been there in more than spirit. You are so deeply loved.

Comfortable Skin.


This weekend flew by and lasted a lifetime all the same.

I took my first solo flight. I flew from Detroit Metro to Denver International Airport and I must say, traveling is very me. I finished reading The Happiness Project this weekend, and in honor of Gretchen’s “Be Gretchen” mantra, I made a list of things  that fall under the “Be Megan” title. Traveling is most certainly one of them. So is wearing scarves and flats, collecting coffee mugs and interesting rings, going for walks, long car rides, reading, writing, trying different foods, smiling, meeting new people, not trying to be sexy, music of all shapes and sizes, intuition, letting my emotions lead me, laughing, drinking dark beer, the wind messing up my hair – and traveling. Did I say traveling? 🙂 Things that are other people but not me are: killing bugs, anything medical, water sports (wait – is rafting a water sport? because I love that!), politics, rollercoasters, clubbing, and choosing restaurants.

I realized this weekend that my inability to choose a restaurant stems from my desire to try new foods. I rarely go into a dinner-date with a preconceived notion regarding the plate that will be placed before me. And I genuinely like it that way. I like finding something from what I’m presented rather than pre-deciding on a flavor. It might seem silly, but this came as a revelation to me. I can now say that it’s a trait I like about myself and I’m not going to try to change it.

I finished The Happiness Project but also began and finished Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung. Reading that was like turning a light on. Did he write that just for me?

I went to Denver, Colorado this weekend to visit a friend. The thing is, we went to high school together. We ran in the same group. But we rarely called one another. We didn’t hang out one-on-one. And yet I felt as though we’d have some things in common as of late. And that perhaps she would enjoy some company. So I called. And I booked a flight. And I went.

Hands down? … Best decision I’ve made in a while. In the past, I would’ve been nervous about flying out to spend the weekend with someone who I hadn’t considered to be my close friend. What would she think about me asking? What if we didn’t get along as well as I’d hoped? What if after all this time we really don’t have that much in common? What if? What if? What if…


Looking back at this weekend, nervous didn’t even have an opportunity to cross my mind. Not when I stepped on the plane. Not when I met up with her and we chatted the entire car ride back to her house. Not when we went to Boulder in the pouring rain to walk around for a place for dinner, not when I met her friends, or rafted through white waters, or hiked on a mountain trail, or rode passenger up the side of a mountain as she drove, or walked through Red Rocks Park, or ate lunch together, or watched movies, or shared music tastes, or talked through heavier topics, or planned our next trip, or flew home.

What I did feel was excited. Charged. Inspired. Adventurous. Happy. Glad that I’d made the decision to just go with it. Bettered. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Colorado. Humbled by the whole experience. Grateful. Appreciative of my friend’s attitude/her ability to host/her personality/life stories/faith/insight/friendship. Connected. Thrilled. Elated. Fortunate. Thankful. Impressed by everyone’s ability to roll with the punches provided by the inclement weather. Encouraged by the positive moods around me.

I had an amazing time. And to think I would’ve missed out on such an opportunity if I hadn’t allowed myself to unfold and live in the now/act spontaneously/embrace the unknown.

I’m already brainstorming our next trip together. Exploring Michigan’s finer offerings. Letting her in on some of the things I’ve come to appreciate in our mutual home state. And I’m looking forward to keeping in touch. To keeping up with what we’ve set in motion.

In 2010, I’ve come to remember so much about myself that I had forgotten somewhere along the way. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. Remembered and modified. I’m happy. I’m happy with where I am and where I could be in the future. It’s open-ended. Not to say that I don’t have things I need to work on or fears I still want to overcome. But I know that I can face them. And I know what I should work to change and what I don’t want to change. And if I haven’t considered it yet, I know how to consider it. It’s not that Colorado changed me. But it made it very apparent to me that I have changed. And I’d like to think it’s for the better.

“Blessed” Brett Dennen (performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)

Compliments That Mean Something.

Tonight a friend shared with me some insight that he’s gathered from hanging out with me over the past few months that he had not in our previous years of friendship. His insight went something like this: “Either you’ve changed a lot or I never really knew you.”

The statement was just that, a statement. It wasn’t spoken as a question and it didn’t carry any negative connotations as one might gather . Rather, it was offered a positive observation. An appreciative remark.

Here are some things I appreciate following his remark:

My reaction. In the past, I would’ve probably felt a little slighted by this comment. Really. Which is ridiculous if you consider it because I have been focusing on bettering myself and want people to see a positive change – so to be slighted by the fact that someone noticed an improvement is a little contradictory and a lot ridiculous. But this reaction would’ve been spurred by the feeling that the noted improvement meant that he thought I was lacking previously. (Again, ridiculous. It’s something I noticed in myself; why would I think others hadn’t?) But I’m not offended. I’m grateful that he noticed. It’s a testament not of some past failure but of present success.

My attitude. It’s paying off. Not everyone has noticed or commented, but I know that my deliberate mindset has positively affected my interactions with at least one person around me.

My friend. He has this ability to be honest in a way that disarms me. I think it’s a combination both of my desire to take everything for what it’s worth and enjoy each minute and his almost naive conversation which does not expect a negative reaction even when stating harsh realities matter-of-factly. It’s free speech. And his words come from such an honest place that he assumes they’ll be interpreted as such. And because of that, they are.

Just an observation. I’m grateful for his words and glad that the changes I’ve been working to make are appreciated. So thank you, for a compliment that means something – perhaps more than you know 🙂

Pour a glass; it's time to un(wine)d.

Tonight, I attempted to burn the midnight oil at work but called it quits around 11:15pm so I could walk out with a coworker. I’m incredibly busy right now and this project that I had previously sunk days into from February has finally come back to me, as was promised – though I hoped I could manage to avoid it. In the past two days, I have logged 6.75 hours into this one project and in the end, I walked out today with nothing more than an empty recycle bin on my desktop.

It’s ridiculous to admit, but tears welled up in my eyes as I entered my time tonight. I have 51 assignments in my “work in process” bin right now and those are only the ones for which I have bothered to route myself the workflow; there are more on my desk or buried in my e-mail inbox – no exaggeration.

There’s a lesson to be learned in this. What it is – I couldn’t say for certain but lessons are always discovered in times of frustration. Here’s what I think it might be: I have an amazing foundation of friends.

Yes – in the face of work, budgets, time restraints, assignments, deadlines, and impossible projects, this is my conclusion. I’m blessed. Little texts or phone calls or even songs on the radio remind me that I’ve got a great support system. I don’t think I’ve ever been so aware of it before as I have been during these past few months. My friends are always in my thoughts and prayers and although I often find myself too busy to make that phone call or drive out, they always seem to find ways to check in with me.

In closing, I’ve gotta share this prayer my mom gave me from the church services she attended this past Sunday. I feel like perhaps God had a way of ensuring it would get into my hands:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Btw, I can type a ridiculous amount of words per minute. Chalk one up to the internship!

“How Far Do You Wanna Go” Gloriana

Friday Night Recap

8 days until Spring. I started my countdown at the beginning of the month and every day seems a little warmer and the birds seem to sing a little bit earlier and louder. There’s something about Spring that holds promise of a better or new life; I’m holding earnestly to that belief this year.

The thing is, I’m at one of those pivot points in life. Not pivotal – there are no crucial decisions I’m coming up against or life threatening paths I must take or turn from which will wrench my heart in any way. The wrenching has already occurred and subsides, with occasional flare-ups, each day. But a pivot point – one which presents me with many opportunities, paths, or mindsets from which to choose.

The Friday night recap begins at this pivot point, from which I am able to look many years behind and assess my past and/or throw myself right into the present, but I refrain from looking too far into the future – it’s unwritten, you know. It’s time that I put down that pen and stop trying to predict the unpredictable. Rather, I have decided that it is time to bring out my highlighter – if you will – and call attention to the positive things in life.

Here are a few:

I have a family that has supported me both when I am at my best and at my worst. They have stuck by me when I have been self-absorbed and uncaring, harsh, and ugly. And they have loved and continue to love me with honesty – and that is a difficult thing to do.

I have found true love in friendships – friendships which are founded in something more than convenience or activity – but which have struck me in a way that has left me feeling changed in an encouraging, inspiring way. I once thought that these friendships were hard to find, but the older I get and the more aware I become, the easier I find them. It’s a blessing – this kind of friendship – because it makes weathering life a little less like weathering and a little more like exploring.

I have traveled. I have traveled from the west-side of the east side of MI to the true west side and currently reside on the east-side of the east side of MI. Follow? And I have grown in each location in a different way. I have traveled to Canada, to Ohio, to Illinois, to Florida, to Mexico, to France, to Portugal, to Spain, to Great Britain, and to Ireland! I have climbed down eroded steps from bluffs to shore and dined like royalty on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as the waves lapped up against the rocks. I have gotten lost – both in every day trips and long-distant adventures – and I have found my way.

I have loved. I have loved in a way that has left me utterly open and exposed. There’s some sort of raw beauty in that vulnerability, I believe. It’s something too precious to allow pain, anger, or bitterness to grab hold of – despite their very eager attempts to imprint.

I have learned. I have learned that learning opportunities present themselves daily and that they must be both spontaneously embraced and eagerly sought. The greatest lessons often come with the hardest instruction – sadly, they often come up when I feel least compliant or patient which means I must be constantly open to growth.

The truth is, I am standing at this pivot point with my highlighter ready so that I might appreciate life’s twists and turns rather than dread or lament them. My current lesson can be summed up with my new mantra:

Enjoy living in the now; act spontaneously; embrace the unknown.

Prior to, I stood at this pivot point stutter-stepping in fear as I looked at the many exaggerated future paths that laid before me and I realized that I – have – zero – control. So I’m looking inward and looking outward to learn lessons, to find adventure, and to continue to grow in a way that stems less from future ideas and more from present fulfillment.

Wishing me luck? I may need more of it than you’d think…