Tuesday, July 31, 2012

megan's health 101

This is one of those blog posts I may regret writing. But rather than send out a mass e-mail, I figured, HEY, why not share my health status with the entire cyber world?

So, a few months ago, it was decided that I had to get a few things checked out.

1. Possible sleep apnea. My siblings and their significant others all got on me about this one. When I shared a room with each of them in Florida this April, they all told me that during the night I was not only snoring, but that I would stop breathing. Sara and Mo both said at one point they were scared to go back to sleep because of it, that I was gasping for air, without even realizing it.

2. Chronic fatigue. A few years ago my lab results from my physical came back that I had very low b12. I have been taking b12 vitamins ever since, every single day. Because my insurance was so jacked up with being out of a job, I haven't been back to the dr to get it checked. But I continued to take my b12. I didn't really see much results, I was still tired, all the time. And kids, when I say I'm tired all the time, I mean it is very hard for me to muster up the energy to do much of anything. It has gotten worse in the past few weeks, I have barely been making it through the day. And the last thing I need is for this to affect my work.

3. (Sorry to all the men out there). Extremely painful ten day menstrual cycles that would cause me to throw up, curl in a ball and cry. I've always had this problem, but the throwing up stopped for a few years. It came back this year, full force. A few months ago I also noticed my right ovary was in significant pain, causing me to keel over.

So, it was time to get these things checked out.

First was problem number three. I made a trip to everyone's favorite lady doctor where they discovered a mass on my right ovary. No need to alarm anyone here, with the help of medication it ended up going away two months later,when I had a follow up appointment. Doc believes it was a blood clot that dissolved with the medication.

Then I had a physical (just yesterday) at said physical I told my doctor all my issues and concerns- specifically the fatigue. She immediately agreed that it was most likely sleep apnea causing this and that I should get a sleep study. But then homegirl told me to open my mouth and say "aaah". And when I did that, I kid you not, she jumped back and said "OH. MY. GOD". She says my tonsils are so huge that she does not even understand how I have room to breathe back there, which is what is causing the sleep apnea. So she decided that we'd skip the sleep study and go straight to the ear nose and throat doctor to get an assessment on taking those puppies out. (And yes, I am fully aware that a tonsillectomy is very painful as an adult, thank you!)

I also had blood work done at my physical. Doc called me today to give me some of the lab results- both my vitamin D and B12 are very, very low. She pretty much ordered me to go straight to the store to pick up vitamins- and uped my dosage of b12. She also instructed that I come in for weekly b12 injections. Which should be interesting with my work schedule, but hey, we will figure it out. And the injections should give me more energy so that I don't feel like sleeping under my desk all the time.

So those are some things you may not know about me. What most of you do know about me are two things: 1. I struggle with weight and 2. I struggle with anxiety. Well guess what? When you're tired all the time, and never getting a full nights rest because you are not breathing, then you are going to be less motivated to get out and move, you're also going to be more likely to crave carbs and sweets. AND, fatigue causes anxiety. Boom. My problems could very well be solved by ripping out my tonsils and getting injected with b12.

So, that's where I stand. I have my ear nose and throat appointment on August 7th and a dermatologist appointment on August 20th because my doctor also wanted me to get my moles checked. All these doctor appointments are annoying, and can cause a bit of stress and anxiety, but in the end I am glad. I'd much rather know what is going on in my body than have no idea and keep running it down. That's part of the reason I'm writing this blog- I hope some of you will take my lead and go get yourselves checked out. I've learned this year more than ever that we have to take care of ourselves. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and they will be worth it if it means getting you healthier.

Thanks for reading. I suppose I'll keep you all updated as my own personal Grey's Anatomy unfolds. Also, thank you Jesus for keeping me somewhat healthy. I am luckier than many others who are hit with cancer or other diseases. For that I am grateful.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

the best birthday. ever.


That? Is How I feel. In the best way possible. Today is my birthday, and this weekend has been the BEST birthday weekend I have ever had.


Sam and I got to Indy in the late afternoon. Our first stop was at the runners forum to pick up our race packets for the color run the next day. It was a little chaotic, but we managed to get out of their with our color run tshirts, bracelets, sunglasses, and color packets. Next stop? JP and Sara! We made it to their beautiful home and were greeted with hugs and smiles. The four of us headed out to the mall (Indy has some fabulous shopping) and to BJ's for dinner- mmm apricot beer. We shared stories and laughs, enjoying our time together. Hung out a little bit back at their place before crashing on couches.

Wake up call was 6 am. Got dressed into our white clothing and headed downtown to line up for the color run. We ended up in the second wave (10 waves of 1,000 people each). I told Sam to go ahead of me, I decided pretty much right away I was going to be power walking/jogging a little. The course itself was great- minimal hills. Lots of space. The color part was cool, it was fun being blasted with colors. Pink was the toughest, because I decided to just jog through the middle rather than go on the side like normally, and one of the volunteers through the corn starch- directly into my mouth. Um, yuck. Anyways, I finished the race and there was Sam, waiting for me right over the finish line. We hung around the "color festival" a little bit, where I got blasted with purple. Color run was fun- no pressure, lots of laughter and smiles along the way.

We got home, jumped in the shower (color came off immediately) and passed out for a little bit. Soon it was time to get up and get dressed up for dinner and Melinda's cabaret. We headed out to Fugiyama, a Japanese restaraunt. We met up with Maria, Des, Gem, Barb, and Gem's sister Betsy. Such a fun dinner! Our chef was hilarious, cracking jokes with each of us (he asked if I was turning 15)...and the food was phenomenal! Oh my goodness!

After our wonderful dinner we headed downtown to the Columbia Club. I love that place; it is the same venue where my brother got married and it has a special place in my heart. We got our table, ordered some drinks, and sat around to chat before the show started. Got a surprise- SARA! One of the backups I haven't seen since 2008! I was so excited to see her! Just LOVE that girl, she is so sweet and down to earth.

So, Love 101 (the name of Melinda's cabaret show) is, seriously, out of this world. Melinda ties in personal stories with the songs. She sings some of her well known Idol performances (Home, MFV, I'm A Woman), some old school love songs, a few original songs that she has written, and a top 40 medley. It's just fabulous the way it all fits together, and almost everything she said related to my life. She looked like she was having the absolute time of her life up there. Very much out of her shell, interacting with the audience. And her voice- every SINGLE time I see her live I am blown away. It's so hard to explain the quality of that girl's vocals, but it gives me goosebumps and I feel it down to my bones. Just amazing. If you ever get a chance to see this show, do it.

After the show us backups sat and chatted for a few moments- again, so great to talk to Sara. Then we went over to Melinda as she was wrapping up her picture and autograph line. I approached her with a big hug and we talked about my color run (she checked my ears for color).

Was also there to witness Melinda receiving a gift from Gem and throwing it on the floor. Gem had made a necklace out of locust shells, she spray painted them gold. Melinda literally threw it on the floor, screamed "WHAT IS THAT" and jumped back. The reaction was priceless, I don't think I'll ever forget the look on her face.

Saturday was seriously SO MUCH FUN. I loved seeing everyone again and witnessing Love 101 live in person! We made plans for the next day, said our goodbyes to each other, and got our cars to had back home.

Sam and I hung out with JP and Sara for a little bit before bed that night. At midnight they all shouted happy birthday to me in their different ways- so cute. I had almost even forgotten it was my birthday.


We met up with Melinda and the backups for breakfast at Le Peep downtown. It was so darn special to spend my birthday breakfast with some of my absolute favorite people in the entire world. I just loved it. I sat in between Melinda and Sam. I honestly don't remember every conversation we had at breakfast, because I was in such a state of bliss. (General topics of discussion: Idol tour, idol judges, check ins with everyone)  I will tell you this: Melinda is such a genuine, gracious person who really, really cares about all of us. You can just tell. She radiates with friendship and love. And she is hilarious. After breakfast we spent a few more hours with JP and Sara, and then we got on the road to go home. Sam and I were both exhausted, delirious, giggly. I'm not sure how we both made it home, but we did.

I have so much gratitude and love flowing through my body right now. I made a stop on my way home to pick up thank you cards because I want to thank all the people who were a part of my very, very special day. I've been scared about turning 25, scared about getting older with more responsibility, more pressure, more everything. But after this weekend I am sure: I am exactly where I need to be, and I am surrounded by some of the most wonderful, beautiful people. I love you all so much, and I wish I could hug every single person in my life, because you make such a profound impact on my heart every single day of my life.

Here's to 25.

"We will endure what life has in store.
Have faith and believe, like the air that you breathe-
Love will stand when all else falls."-Memphis

Sunday, July 22, 2012

25 years of lessons

I turn 25 on Sunday. I've always been a big fan of birthday's. I think it is very important to look back on our lives and reflect on the blessings we've had, the challenges we've faced, and shown gratitude for all the people who have gotten us through all of it. I feel like 25 is one of those super birthdays. I'm learning how to be an adult, but in many ways I'm still a kid. Time has flown by; it's hard to believe that it has already been four years since I graduated from college.

For my birthday blog post, I decided to discuss one thing I've learned every year of my life. I accompanied it with pictures...just a note, not every picture is related to the life lesson- but most are. It was tough to find pictures from the 10-13 range. Maybe it was because I was in my "awkward" stage or maybe it's because that's when the world was just beginning to transition to digital camera's. Also, they are written a little differently, some more childlike. Anyways, this is one of those posts that is more for me and my mental health and nostalgia than for readers. But hey, maybe you'll like it too.

Age 1.

Chocolate cake is delicious. It's even better when you stick your hands in it and put it in your hair. Plus, everyone thinks this is just adorable and they don't care if you make a mess!

Age 2

Why do people keep putting a fork in my right hand? I think I prefer my left hand.

Age 3

I have really big eyes. Everyone notices, and everyone stops to tell me.  It's embarrassing and terrifying. I don't like it.

Age 4
It's really fun to have mom all to myself while my brother and sister are at school.

Age 5
All you need to make you happy is a stuffed animal, a book, and macaroni and cheese.

Age 6

It's okay to go to school when you lost your brown crayon. You will not get in trouble. But what, wait if I can't tie my shoes for gym class? Or what if I can't get my brownie uniform unbuckled to go the bathroom? There are so many things I worry about!

Age 7
Sometimes I think I can't do things; but I actually can. Like recite the First Reading at my First Communion Mass.

Age 8

If your parents give in to your begging and get your a bunny rabbit for Christmas, you should take care of it. Otherwise your dad might give it away to the random man who is repairing your basement.

Age 9
Wow, there are people in this world who spend every day helping people! That's what I want to do! Maybe I am being called to be a nun!

(I very distinctly remember watching a movie in 4th grade on nuns and being completely taken aback by their missionary work, and wondered if I was supposed to do that, too).

Age 10

Sometimes girls are going to be really mean. Sometimes they are going to tell you that you can't be on their team for the school reading challenge because they already have too many people. These girls may even have been your best friends since age 5. I don't think I want to hang out with them anymore...

Age 11

My mom and I literally had the hardest time finding a picture that we could define as "11". I took this one from my friend Jamie's facebook. It may be a little off from 11, and you can't really see my face, but it's close enough!

Lesson: Neighborhood friends are the best kind of friends to have because all it takes is a few steps down the street to have a good time.

Age 12
It's really important to be nice to people. All people. Even the people nobody else likes. No one should be bullied.

Age 13

You should really, really tell people how much you love them and spend time with people around you because sometimes they die without warning. And it really, really hurts.

Age 14
High School is so not what I thought it would be. It's 10x better.

Age 15

It can take time before you find where you fit in, but eventually you'll find it. Appreciate what you have and enjoy the laughs along the way.

Age 16

Despite all the drama, tears, and fights that high school and hormones bring, I am darn lucky to have friends to do crazy silly things with and who support me through and through. This is the time of my life.

Age 17

You are really never prepared to say goodbye to the people and the place that have made you incredibly happy for four years.

Age 18
As hard as it was to say goodbye, you now realize that everybody has to grow up and move on at some point. Promises are broken. New friends are made. Life goes on.

Age 19
Everybody has a different way of dealing with things. Some healthy, some not. We can't help people who don't want help. Also, you can't expect people to love you when you don't love yourself. Finally, the best way to make a new best friend is to approach them at a frat party and say "we're going to be future best friends".

Age 20

Your entire life can be changed by one person.

Age 21

You can come out on the other side. You can push past all the things that held you back. You just have to keep stepping forward instead of backwards.

Age 22
Sometimes it takes a year of doing service in Detroit for you to realize how beautiful life can be. How lucky you are. How to fill your spirit. How to talk to people. How to live simply. And, most importantly, that you were placed on this earth for a reason.

Age 23

Your dream doesn't always work out. But that doesn't mean your world falls apart. It simply means you must trust God. He is leading you down the path you need to be walking. Even if that means walking a 1/2 marathon.

Age 24

Each and every single one of us has a story. It is our duty, as humans, to help each other through the pages of our story. We must take care of each other. We must listen to each other. We must realize that life is not all about us and that we are called to LOVE and SERVE one another!

That's it folks. I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I was originally going to write a fun, light hearted post about celebrities who I'd like to have dinner with.  Instead, my mind is elsewhere. My mind, and my heart, are in Aurora Colorado, where a 24 year old man killed 12 innocent people. People who were going out for a fun night, people who have been anxiously waiting the release of the Dark Knight Rises. People who have probably had these plans for weeks, if not months.

I don't understand violence. I will not ever understand violence. Apparently this guy had several mental health issues (duh). That absolutely breaks my heart, to think that his problems were so bad, so harmful to his brain that he took it upon himself to murder 12 people and ruin the lives of their families and friends. He's 24.

I scrolled down the comments on CNN.com; wondering how other people were reacting. I found pages and pages of arguments about gun control and gun laws. Obviously I realize this is a huge issue; but I couldn't help but get a little frustrated at the commenters and their rude, hateful comments toward one another. We've just been faced with a tragedy that stemmed from hate. Hate is what is wrong with our world! We have to stop the hate. I don't know how, but we need to find a way. We need to stop arguing for one second, stop pushing our political views and show some respect to those affected by this tragedy. And really, we should all be affected. The people killed were HUMANS. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, cousins, friends.  It does not matter the race of the suspect or the victims. All that matters is that 12 people are dead.

My heart goes out to every member of the Aurora community who is hit by this tragedy- family and friends of the victims, family and friends of the suspect. There is nothing I can do here but pray, and that is what I surely will be doing.

I have no other words other than this: Speak your love, speak it again, speak it again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind

Here is how I operate: If people are mean to me, bully me, say nasty things... I deal with it on my own. I may whine a little, but it's nothing compare to when people are mean to my friends and family. Because when that happens, I go bananas. I stand up for my friends/family much more than I do for myself.

It also works this way: If I get a compliment or a thank you, I graciously accept and smile. But when someone congratulates a loved one or says how wonderful they are, I burst into fangirl mode.... spitting out things like "I KNOW RIGHT ISN'T SHE SO AWESOME!"

Today, I got one of the highest compliments. I was telling a coworker about Laurence, and all the things he did before he died. She sat there for a few minutes, and then said "You know, from all the stories you have told me about your family, it just seems like...you all REALLY care a lot about people". She went on to say "Like, you really live out your church values. You just don't see that often anymore, but from what you tell me you guys do it, without hesitation." 

I beamed. I mean, I broke into a smile so big it hurt my cheeks. I couldn't really find the words to respond, I think I said something like "we're pretty cool". And then followed it up with "My parents did a wonderful job of raising us to put others before ourselves".

I don't know, it just made me so happy that someone who barely knows my family could recognize that in us. It's hard to go around and say things like "dude, my sister is like, the best listener ever". Or "hey, just wanted you to know my brother is one of the most caring individuals I know!". So instead I tell them stories. And apparently, the message has come through quite clearly.

What's even cooler about my family is well all show this quality in different ways. We don't all go to church regularly, we vary in our belief system when it comes to faith and religion. Yet, we find a way to express our love for others in different ways.

So yes, I will write a blog to brag about my family. They are the coolest people I know. So there.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

life update

Life Update.

Busy as ever. They say summer is slow for my department. I had maybe a week or two where it was slow. Now? Not so much. I am running around all over the place trying to get things done.I have some new volunteers that I need to keep track of and I am getting ready for my students to come in the fall. My July calender is packed full. There's not a day during the week that doesn't have a training or a meeting or a conference call. Lately, as a company we have been doing a little bit more employee recognition, and I have been nominating a new person or team every single day. I see so much good in many of my coworkers. They deserve a thank you.

Things I am Looking Forward To
In just 15 days I am going to Indianapolis to spend a weekend with my brother and sister in law, my best friend, and a handful of very wonderful people. We're gonna do the color run, watch our dear Melinda perform her Love 101 show (at the same venue where my brother and Sara got married!), and just enjoy being away from our normal lives for a dew days. That's also my birthday weekend so I get to ring in turning 25 with some of the most amazing people in my life.

My sister's baby shower is August 5th and I'm very excited to celebrate both my wonderful sister and my future little booger of a niece or nephew. It will be a good chance to get together with family and friends and be able to squeal and plan and shower my sister with gifts.

I am seeing my best friend again on August 11th with my life twin Desi. We know how to have a darn good time, and a darn good time will be had. Word.

Then my work bestie Maggie's baby shower is August 12th.. I worry about her every day out in this heat in the nursing homes with her mega caseload. It will be nice to celebrate her and the little dude. Plus Tierra is coming. I haven't seen her since her wedding in April and life has been so much different without her. It will be fun to see her again all while celebrating our sweetheart of a friend Swaggie Maggie.

What I'm Watching
Not a darn thing. Seriously. I do not have ONE TV show I look forward to in the summer. Not even Duets, which I thought I'd love- not so much. Barely even turn the TV on.

What I'm Reading
Almost finished with a great memoir titled "First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria" about a girl who enters the peace corps two years after college. She falls in love with her recruiter. Great story, it's really interesting to hear about life in the countries where she is placed.

What I am listening to

Ready for the most random list of your life? Okay.

I think that just about sums it up. :-)

July is movin fast. I heard people talking about Christmas already. Legit. Have a fabulous weekend my friends.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

compare and contrast.

First of all I just want to thank everyone read and shared my last blog. At 92 views it was one of my most read entries, and although I'm not quite sure how that happened, I thank you.

 I wanted to talk about comparison, and how it can be deadly. We are constantly trying to get ahead of one another, win the race, own the spotlight, be the best. It's exhausting, unnecessary, and unhealthy. We base success off of the people around us, what they are doing, how we measure up to them.

Social media like facebook and twitter makes this so easy. I know I'm not alone in this: how many of you have read a facebook status or looked at a picture and thought something like "I wish I could look like that". Or "Or there goes so and so again, getting everything they want". Or, the other side of things "At least I didn't turn out like THAT". Neither are particularly healthy.

I am totally guilty of comparing myself to others, either thinking I'm above them or beating myself up for being below them. And I've grasped the concept that it's not about the other person. It's about me. We did not need to match the lives of those around us, we need to be happy with where we are right now. Because unhappiness is what leads to the vicious cycle of nasty comparison.

This is something I've said before but I will say it again and again: each of us are here on this earth for a very unique reason. Everybody has a story. Respect yourself and respect others around you by living your life by living honestly and staying true to yourself. And when good things happen to people around you, instead of comparing, be happy for them.

To help myself remember to chill out when I begin comparing myself to others, I've written a little mantra:

It doesn't matter. I am me, and I am where I need to be. I am loved by God and do not need to compare myself to _________.

Totally switching gears here, but I am ecstatic to announce that Dave and Katie, two of my community members from my year with Mercy Volunteer Corps, are returning to Detroit. Soon. July 16th. I cannot wait to welcome them back to the city where they first fell in love, the city that they call home.

Let's have a pact to have a great, positive week and to stop comparing ourselves to others. <3

Thursday, July 5, 2012

single ladies

"I know you're sad because all of your friends are getting married or dating and you're not"
"I mean, do you even want kids? you're not even dating anyone?"
"Why don't you just go out and meet someone?"
"You don't have to become a nun just because you can't find anyone to date"

These are just four of the things said to me recently s in regards to my love life. Let me answer them for you

1. I'll admit I want to be dating someone, and someday I want my dream wedding, but I do not curl up in a ball and think "I'm so sad about this". I get frustrated, I get antsy...but I am happy for my friends.
2. Yes I want kids.
3. Where?
4. I'm not becoming a nun. I'm becoming an associate. Which is not a nun. And that wouldn't be my reason for becoming a nun anyways.

Hi. I'm Megan. and I'm single. When people ask if I'm dating anyone or if I have a boyfriend or how my love life is going, and I answer "no, I'm not dating" they give me this look as if I just told them I have stage 4 lung cancer. Like "oh, you poor dear, not dating. Hmm. I wonder why not". I can see their minds turning, trying to figure it out. I am convinced that  a few people think I'm gay. Which, by the way, I'm not, but I have friends who are and I fully support gay rights. Just to clear that up :)

Since when is it not okay to be single? I am 24. My mom didn't meet my dad until she was 28, and she didn't date much prior to that. But now there's all this PRESSURE to get married, start a family. And then there is the opposite. I have my sweet friends who tell me to be patient.  I'm trying, but it's not as if I WANT to be single or treated like an abused puppy.

Two of my friends and I have each dipped into online dating. (Because, fyi, when you work with all women who are older than you, it's pretty hard to meet men) For their sake I won't share their names and specific stories but let's just say this: we've all dated and dealt with some real jerks. One of my friends was just dumped by a guy, after a great date they had, and then had to drive 40 minutes home at 2 am. They had been dating for a few weeks. He could have given her the common courtesy to end things prior to this date. I have also gone on dates with a few guys here and there, and besides one who I dated for a few months and then ended it myself, most of them have not turned out well.

And you know, I am well aware that I am not America's Next Top Model. I've been hearing for most of my life that I have "such a pretty face" which, by the way, is not always a compliment. I know that if I'm at the bar with my friends I won't be the girl someone chooses. (This is not a self pity moment, this is the truth) I know that maybe if I lost weight I wouldn't have such an issue with self confidence or meeting guys. But also, I want someone who will like me for me, not for a skinnier me just because I'm skinnier.

Moving aside from my personal issues (thank you for letting me vent)- we ladies aren't going to take this anymore. We aren't going to take being treated like dirt. We have our guards up because we've dated men who force us to do so with their silly games and harsh words. Our 20's and 30's are still for learning who we are in life and who we want to be- we aren't going to let some silly boy who has the maturity of 13 year old tear down our self worth. We are not worthless or inadequate. We can't let men or judgmental others tell us otherwise.

I meant for this to be empowering (ish) but I'm not sure it will be taken that way. In short: it's okay to be single. That's really where I was going with this. We will find our prince charmings, somewhere.

Monday, July 2, 2012

our july in the rain...err..heat.

Wait a minute. Weren't we just celebrating Thanksgiving in ugly sweaters? No? Then why does it feel like it? Why does it seem nearly impossible that it's already July? Why do I keep talking about "next year's" youth group, next year's group of senior service students, next year's mercy volunteers- when in reality, all of those things are happening in a month or two?

Why does time move so fast, and why does it only hit us when it's the beginning of a new month and suddenly turn our calender and gasp. (I could have gasped because my July calender is already 90% full, but you get my point). And another question- Why is it so damn hot? This isn't natural. We haven't had rain in weeks, and Michigan is known for it's summer storms. What exactly is mother nature's problem and why is she taking it out on all of us?

What does July mean to me?

This year It means fireworks, sidewalk chalk, bike rides and poolside. It means celebrating another closing ceremony of Mercy Volunteer Corps and mustering up any type of advice that I can hand out to the girls. It means hair thrown up in a bun, flip flops on my feet, and a sunburned face. It means driving with my windows down and music blasting. It means Olympics. It means a new volunteer recruitment campaign. It means turning 25 and totally not freaking out about it at all.

Here's to a happy July.