Thursday, February 28, 2013

4 months.

Dear Ryan;
4 Months? 4 stinking months? You are growing so fast. You look different every single time I see you.

February was exciting. Your beautiful mommy had her 31st birthday. Your silly uncle Jon and Aunt Sara came into town for a big event- your Baptism. But before we go there, I must tell you that we all had a lot of laughs that weekend, mostly because of you. Some of us had dinner out together on Saturday night. Your mom and dad, Uncle Jon and Aunt Sara, friends John and Kristen, and me. At the end of dinner your mom went to change your diaper. While she was gone, a band came to sing her happy birthday. We had to tell them to come back, that she wasn't at the table. A few minutes later we heard the band again- this time with your mommy in front of them, carrying you. She looked a little scared. As the band was singing and cheering, your mom yelled "I HAVE POOP ON MY HANDS!". You see, Ryan, you made quite a mess, and your mom needed help in the bathroom. We were all laughing- what timing you had! Your mom and I went back to the bathroom to finish changing you and to clean you up. We giggled through most of it, and you giggled right back. I will never forget it.

Now, your Baptism... What a beautiful day that was. You didn't even cry as you were placed in the Holy Water. I was so proud of you for that. I know you don't understand the meaning of Baptism now, nor will you understand it for many years to come, but it is a very special ceremony to celebrate your faith. As your aunt, I proudly watched and made a promise to myself and to God that I would teach you about Jesus, and help you discover God and God's promises to you.

I learned something new at your Baptism, and that is that there is a Saint Megan.  I never knew that. I did some research on the gal and it appears she is the patron saint of abused people.Which actually fits, because that's something that I try to do- speak up for those who can't. I hope that's something you learn, too- to be a friend to all, and to help others through their hard times to know that life can get better.

One time this month I popped over to your house for your visit. I was shocked to see you were sitting up in a little bubble chair, all by yourself. Clancy came over and licked your face, and you just stared right back at him. That was when I realized how quickly you are growing. I can see you turning into a little person.

I also had the privilege of sitting next to you in Church one time this month. We sat in the back because your mommy knew you were sleepy and she was afraid you were going to cry. You barely made any sounds- so well behaved. At one point during Church, I felt a tug on my shirt. I thought it was your mommy, but it was you. You grabbed my hand and put it directly in your mouth. It was kind of gross, but also adorable. I applauded your great behavior.

I love you, Ryan. This was a great month, full of family and laughter and faith. I feel so lucky to be a part of your life and when things settle down at work I will be able to see you more- and be more amazed by your growth. You make us all so happy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oscars

I watched all of the Oscars last night. Every moment. I don't know that I've ever done that. I'm more of a music person than movies, but this year I saw almost all of the nominees. I had to watch and show my support of some great films.

So let's break it down, shall we?

The Worst Part: Seth McFarlane hosted. Why, I'm not so sure. Look I get that this is the guy behind Family Guy and Ted and we should not be surprised that he will make some pretty inappropriate jokes, but I was not amused last night. I was actually pretty offended by most of the stuff he said. The Oscars are about fun and glamour and art, not about tearing people down and saying things that are not appropriate. It's fun when these stars can make lighthearted funny digs at each other, but that's not what he did. I hope that next year the Academy uses their heads and picks a host who is funny, well rounded, and appropriate. My pick would be Melissa McCarthy.

To be honest Seth kind of brought down the show for me. I was cringing through mots of his jokes and just found myself kind of bored and waiting for the next big award. But then we had that fabulous musical interulde and it kind of made things better. So, on that note...

The Best Part:Movie musicals are one of my favorite things in this world. They just make me so happy. And, appropriatley, three of my favorites were showcased last night. Did you all see how flawless Catherine Zeta Jones looked performing that Chicago number? Wowee! Homegirl can sing, and dance,  and looks amazing. And JENNIFER HUDSON! I had actually just watched Dreamgirls that night before and still had the music swarming in my head. That voice- it's like she just opens her mouth and it comes out. So powerful and fantastic.

Then the Les Mis cast came on stage and I swear I nearly cried. Just to see them all up there in there singing their hearts out. Anne Hathaway had mentioned on the red carpet that she was excited because this was the last time they would be singing together, and you can really tell how close that cast is just by looking at their emotion on stage. Everybody sounded amazing. If you haven't had a chance to watch that beautiful movie, I suggest you do so as soon as you can get your hands on it. The lyrics are haunting, in every single song. Just gorgeous.

We can't talk about the music of the evening without mentioning the fabulous Miss Adele. Skyfall was one of my favorite tunes this year. It's a beautiful song. Her performance of it was wonderful, as always. I think she blew those actors away.

Taking a step back from the music scene, I guess we can talk about the main event- the awards. As I mentioned before, I saw almost every movie nominated, so I was ecstatic to see who would get crowned. Here are the awards I really cared about:

Best Original Song
My Pick: Skyfall, Adele
Winner: Skyfall, Adele
Adele's taking over the Oscar's, ya'll! That girl now has several Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar. What a talented young lady. She was so gracious and sweet when she accepted the Oscar, it was quite evident how excited she was to be honored with the award.

Best Foreign Language Film
My Pick: Amour
Winner: Amour
Okay, so it was the only foreign film I saw...but it's still my pick. A few weeks ago I decided I just had to see this movie. I had been warned that it was very sad and depressing. Yes, it is. But it's also beautiful. I could not help but be reminded of my sweet hospice patients who are suffering from dementia.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role
My Pick: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Winner: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway has never been better than she was in Les Mis. And I love her in everything that she does, so that says a lot. She truly deserved that award. The girl lost like 25 lbs in two weeks or something ridiculous like that, cut her hair live on camera for the film, and sang live while filming. I'm pretty sure the entire Les Mis fandom cried when Anne opened her speech by saying "It came true" in reference to "I Dreamed A Dream". I'm so happy that dream came true for her.

Best Actor in A Supporting Role
My Pick: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Winner: Christopher Waltz, Djanjo Unchained
When I saw Lincoln, I was most captivated by Tommy Lee Jones' character. He did a wonderful job, and I was hoping he'd pick up that award. Djanjo was the one movie I didn't see, so I can't say much about Christopher's character, I'm sure he was fantastic and deserving of the award.

Best Actress in A Leading Role
My Pick: Jennifer Lawerence, Silver Linings Playbook
Winner: Jennifer Lawerence, Silver Linings Playbook
This was a very tough category, all of the women pulled off absolutely amazing performances in their films. But J Law, that girl just stole my heart with her  role in Silver Linings Playbook. Mental illness is something that hits close to home, and she portrayed it in a way that was both hilarious and sad and TRUE. I know that this is just the start of many wins for Jennifer, she's so young and so incredibly talented. And c'mon, anyone who falls up the stairs is a winner in my book.

Best Actor In A Leading Role
My Pick: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Winner: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
I knew Daniel Day Lewis was going to take home the Oscar, and yes he totally deserved it, but I was really pulling for Hugh. Hugh's performance in Les Mis was absolutley stunning. His voice is bananas, and his acting just as perfect. But as I said, Daniel Day Lewis was the only person who could have pulled off playing Lincoln in the way that he did, so well done sir.

Best Picture
My Pick: Les Miserables
Winner: Argo
Argo was good. I liked it, a lot. But Les Miserables- that show just has my heart and soul. I can't express the power behind that story and the lyrics. The movie was so beautifully well done, it was rich and captivating. My eyes did not once leave the screen.

Friday, February 22, 2013

How Kelly Clarkson Got Me Writing...

One of my  Plinky Prompts today was "Write about the experience that got you into writing".

Ironic, because this has been on my mind a lot this week. What got me writing was Kelly Clarkson. More specifically, what got me writing was Kelly Clarkson's album My December. Which has recently been in the news again due to Clive Davis being a total tool.

Incase you haven't heard, Clive Davis release a memoir. In this memoir, he spends time talking about Miss Clarkson. He said some pretty nasty things, that are probably untrue, based on Kelly's response. Above everything, though, what made me the most mad was that he tried to bring down My December. He stated “My December” wasn't successful because she co-wrote it and it lacked pop hits.

Let me just tell you a little something about My December. It is Kelly's most honest album. She co-wrote it, and did a beautiful job. It is her diary to the world. It's a bit darker, sure, but in a way that allows listeners to feel what she felt, and to maybe define some of their own emotions. Kelly has said before, in many interviews, how personal that album was for her. She talks about her battle with depression and eating disorders, and how writing this album saved her. My three all time favorite Kelly songs come from this album (Irvine/Chivas, Maybe, and Sober).

What does this have to do with my writing? Child, please. It has everything to do with my writing. You see, the day "My December" dropped, I was in the middle of a really dark period. I was depressed, lonely, scared. I didn't know how to feel, how to think, or what to do. It was the summer of 2007. I had just wrapped up my sophomore year of college. The absolute, hands down, worst year of my life. A year so bad I can't even remember mot of it, because I have blocked it out of my memory. A year I wish I could erase completely. By the time the album came out, I was numb. I still have a very clear picture of going to buy that album. I was on my way to my summer job at the time and stopped at Target. I went in, got the album, put it in my car's CD player. By track three (Hole), I was sobbing. The song starts with this "Tired of everything around me, I smile I don't feel a thing. I'm so far from where I need to be, I've given up on faith, on everything. All I want, all I need, is some peace.". I couldn't believe it- that was exactly how I had felt. I had totally turned away from God at that point, and I was just so tired of fighting.

The rest of the album continued to resignate with me. I had never felt so attached to music before. I related to every single song on a such a deep, personal level. I felt like she was in my head. It was really sort of comforting to know that someone else felt the same way I did, and that she was brave enough to write about it and share it with the world.

That's when I started writing. I had always enjoyed writing before, and English was my favorite class through elementary and high school. But that album is what got me sitting down, journaling, letting my negative thoughts of out of my head and onto paper. It empowered me and gave me the ability to figure out my feelings and what to do with them.

I know this sounds cliche but I honestly believe that that album was the start of a brand new life for me. I changed because of it. I was stronger because of it. I wrote because of it. So Clive, maybe it didn't sell as much as other Kelly records has, but it saved at least one life. That defines success, in my eyes.

I hope I never have to feel as low as I did in 2007. I am forever grateful that I was able to pull out of it and become a stronger person. There's a reason why Kelly is my favorite female artist of all time, and that reason is My December. It's only gotten better since then, but that will always be my favorite album for personal reasons....and for the fact that it made me start writing.

Monday, February 18, 2013

new old roommate

I'm pretty giddy today. The kind of giddy where I danced in my kitchen, choked on powerade from laughing so hard, and finished eating my dinner after having to sit on the floor for a time out. Why?

I have a new roommate. A new old roommate. Lauren and I lived together my senior year of college- and had a blast. Now, four years later, here she is again. I'm excited for two reasons 1. Lauren is awesome, duh. 2. I have been without a roommate for the past month. And in that month, I learned something- living alone is not that fun. I mean, it's kind of nice to be able to do your own thing, but it's boring. And thank GOD for Derrick because if I had not had him around, I would have gone totally, 100%, crazy. He was my saving grace. And now, I have Lauren, someone who I can hang out with every night. Someone to sit and eat a dinner with, talk about work days and how crazy life can be. It's fun.

I was a different person than I was four years ago, but one of the best parts about this situation is that Lauren and I have remained friends during those four years. She knows what I have been through, and I know what she has been through. We understand each other. She knows how to make me laugh. It just works.

Lauren, here are a few little notes on how to deal with your old pal Megan.

-When I get home from work I need 10-15 minutes in silence to decompress.
-My polar bear pants are my favorite pants in the world. When I'm sad, I need my polar bear pants and a hoodie.
-Sometimes I just need a glass of wine.
-I like to listen to music. Like, all the time.
-My favorite weekend activity is sipping coffee and reading.
-You will know if I'm sick.
-If I suddenly get up from the couch to go grab a notebook, do not be alarmed. It just means I had a really good thought that I need to write down.
-I will always let you know when I'll be home.
-I lose cell phone chargers like it's my job.
-I sometimes have nightmares. You will know if I do, because I will be weird in the morning.
-Wednesday and Thursday nights. 8 pm. January-May. Things happen.

So that's why I'm giddy.

In other news, Hi! Happy Lent! How are facebook and twitter? Am I missing anything super exciting? I have been doing daily Lenten reflections and they are really helping me to stay focused. Plus my letter project is going so well. I have hand delivered three and mailed three so far. I got really positive responses back from them. It's exciting. So exciting, that I am about to end this blog and go write three of my letters for the week. I hope you all have a fabulous week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Excuse The Sap

This is the first year I've ever been in a relationship with someone on Valentine's Day. So yes, I'm excited and a little giddy. But last year, when I was not in a relationship, I wrote a blog that was just as giddy and happy. In that blog, I said "So to anyone feeling unloved today- you are not unlovable. The guy/gal of your dreams hasn't found you yet. They will. Love does not discriminate. Love comes in many ways. You will find someone who will love you the way you are and want to spend every moment with you. I promise. I have a big heart, and it's sending love to each and every single person who I have ever known. May your days be filled with peace, humor, love, and blessings. May you find the person you are supposed to be and may you learn to love yourself, love others, and love life."

I meant that, you know. And I know how hard this "holiday" can be. Trust me, it was hard for me for 24 years. I get that you feel a little lonely, you hate seeing flowers and candy, and you wish you had someone to spend the evening with. I know what that's like. But I also know that just because you're alone on Valentine's day does not mean you are not worthy of love or that you have to be sad. Allow yourself 10 minutes of sadness, and then do something for yourself. Go get a manicure, watch a trashy tv show, eat a big burger, talk to a friend on the phone for hours and laugh your heart out. Taking care of yourself and loving/celebrating who you are are the most important things that you can do.

I'm going to be selfish and talk about me for a second, and then I'll get back to my point. Maybe. But I just wanted to say that people come around when you least expect it. Most of you know by now that Derrick and I met on a dating website (and if you didn't know that, now you do). The irony is that I was going on that site to delete it. I was sick of it, and wanted to give it a rest and stop pressuring myself to be in a relationship. When I logged in to deactivate my account, there was a message from him. I gave him a shot, we talked for a week and then went on our first date. Immediately  I was comfortable around him. To know how important that is to me, you should know a little about me, how anxious I get with new people, my fear of relationships, etc. But with him it was different, and he is one of the sweetest guys I've ever known. We're only two months in, it's still new, it's still fun and fresh and exciting. We've already overcome a little blip and I know that things will keep coming our way. But I also know that right now, I am happier than I have been in a long time. I know that he makes me laugh so hard I cry and that he treats me well. (yes, ladies, these gentlemen still exist!) I do not know what our future holds but I don't focus on our future. There's no point in that. We're still young. Taking it moment by moment, day by day. And I am loving those moments.

I didn't tell you that to be overly sappy or gross, I told you that to say- good guys do come around.  Most of the time when you least expect it. Don't hunt for them. Just be the beautiful you that you are, live your life the way YOU want to live it, and someone will come around that appreciates everything about you. I promise.

This Thursday celebrate YOU. Love YOU. Hold the people around you close and tell them how much you love them. Do not dwell on what you don't have- love what you do have.

Happy Valentine's Day. And while I'm at it, Happy Lent. After tonight I'm off facebook and twitter for 40 days and focusing on prayer, writing, and reading. You know how to get a hold of me. I'll still be blogging so please check back here when you can.

Hugs and Kisses.

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Grammy Awards

I get giddy and excited about the Grammy Awards the way most people do about the Superbowl. It is my favorite night of television. I love to see music being celebrated and my favorite artists being honored for their work.

The past few years have been a little disappointing- but last night was one of the best Grammy nights I can ever remember. It was full of GOOD music. And when I say good I mean real, raw music. Less gimmicks and less auto tune and more instruments and raw voices. It made me so happy to hear strong singers, singing songs that THEY wrote, without much of a spectacle. Let me break it down this way...

The Performances

Taylor Swift
Taylor kicked off the night with an Alice In Wonderland-esque performance of her hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". It was fun, creative and energetic. She looked confident and sassy, especially when delivering the line "So he calls me up and he's like 'I still love you" with a British accent, clearly mocking her ex Harry Styles. Immature? Maybe. Awesome? Yes. Way to go Tay Tay.

Elton John and Ed Sheeran
When I heard that they were performing together, I was a bit skeptical. They proved me wrong. It was a perfect pairing. "A Team" is a fabulous song all by itself, but Ed proved not only can he sing the hell out of it live, but he can harmonize with Sir Elton John. Pretty impressive.

Fun. performed my favorite song off their album, "Carry On". They are a great band- Nate did not sound his absolute best last night, but they get major props for the rain on stage and just the fact that they are real artists who write their own music and play instruments.

Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley
This was really the only performance of the night that I could have done without. Miranda is gorgeous, and that "Over You" song is flawless, but together they didn't sound too great.

Miguel and Wiz Khalifa
Kelly Clarkson said it best when she said "Miguel I don't know who you are but that was the sexiest damn thing I've ever seen". I don't know him either, but wow that boy can sing! It made me want to know who he is and go check out his music. And Wiz is Wiz.

Mumford and Sons
One of my very favorite bands, Mumford and Sons performed their banjo heavy hit "I Will Wait". I was rocking out just as hard as Taylor Swift was- how can you not? It's a catchy tune and those boys can sing. Once again, it's refreshing to have people who actually write and play their own music.  Probably my favorite performance of the night, honestly, besides Kelly. Duh.

Justin Timberlake
I can't properly dissect this performance because I'm still trying to catch my breath from giggling, fangirling, and dancing. All I have to say is #morejt , please. Now. But seriously, this was amazing, I like how he is doing the old school thing even though Bruno Mars has already beat him to it, and if there was ever a doubt, I assure you he definatley brought sexy back.

Alicia Keys and Maroon 5
Or shall I saw- Alicia Keys and Adam Levine. Seriously, does anyone else feel sorry for the rest of Maroon 5?  Anyways, "Daylight" was great, although Alicia out sang Adam on his own song. "Girl On Fire" is that one song that everyone is sick of hearing, but Alicia jamming on the drums was pretty awesome.

Rihanna and Mikky Ekko
Rihanna performed her song "Stay" which is pretty obviously about Chris Brown, right? It was a beautiful, emotional performance and Rih looked stunning. I like that song and the lyrics, but I hate her situation. It's like okay Rihanna we know you want him to stay. We get it. But the rest of us want him to leave. He's kind of a jerk. I will say I was pretty happy we got this side of Rihanna for once. Oh, and Mikky Ekko accompanied her so well. What a smooth voice.

The Black Keys
YES. They are fabulous and gritty and everything I love about a good song. Wonderful performance of "Lonely Boy". No other words here other than- they are GOOD.

Kelly Clarkson
At first I was a little sad because she wasn't performing "Stronger", which was nominated for a ton of awards last night, but her tribute to Patti Page and Carole King was FLAWLESS. She absolutely killed it. Her voice was strong. Really strong. And she always looks like she's barely even trying. Like she just opens her mouth and magic comes out. Fantastic.

Bob Marley Tribute with Bruno Mars, Sting, and Rihanna.
Except it wasn't really a Bob Marley tribute until the very end. But Bru Bru kicked things off with "Locked Out of Heaven" and sounded amazing as usual- I love his voice and the way he performs. Sting joined him on stage for "Walking on the Moon" and THEN Rihanna and Ziggy Marley come out for "Could You Be Love". The best part of this whole tribute, besides the amazing vocals and Bruno Marks shaking his hips like Shakria, were the cuts to the audience. EVERYONE was jammin- even Nicole Kidman. Such a fun performance.

The Lumineers
Is there anyone on this planet who doesn't love that sweet "Ho Hey" diddy? I love The Lumineers and was pulling for them to win Best New Artist. Cute song, cute band, good music. Enough said.

Jack White
I'm not a huge rock fan, but this was pretty amazing. That dude can sing in ways most people cannot even imagine. It got a little scary towards the end, but overall a solid performance.

Carrie Underwood
"Blown Away" is one of my favorite songs of the year. The lyrics and production of that tune are just amazing. And Carrie's voice is, obviously, amazing. She also sang "Two Black Cadillacs" while a laser light show was happening on her dress. I kept trying to guess what the shapes were. At one point I yelled "IS THAT A DRAGON?". Way to represent Idol, Carrie, and way to sing the hell out of those songs.

A Tribute to Levon Helm. Elton John, Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Mumford and Sons, Brittany Howard perform “The Weight” by The Band.
So Brittany Howard is a beast. That's what I learned last night. I have recently learned about her band Alabama Shakes and I very quickly become a fan. Her voice is incredible. Also, this tribute worked really well. It was pretty inspiring to see all those artists up there singing their hearts out.

Although I don't know this dude or his stuff, I don't want to leave him out, because he performed this beautiful cover of Elton John's "Your Song"- some English, some Spanish. It was gorgeous. Props to you, Juanes!

Frank Ocean
So here's my thing with Frank Ocean. His songs are genius. Seriously. He takes metaphors and words and phrases and mashed them all together to write these beautiful, creative songs that will blow your mind if you're reading the lyrics. But as a live performer, his voice doesn't match up. Wonderful song, poor performance vocally.

The Awards (That I care About)

Best Country Album
My Pick: Zac Brown Band "Uncaged"
Winner: Zac Brown Band "Uncaged"
If you haven't jumped on the Zac Brown Band train yet, it's about time you do. These country boys have soul and talent for days.

Best Country Song
My Pick: Carrie Underwood "Blown Away"
Winner: Carrie Underwood "Blown Away"
Download. it. now.

Best Rap Album
My Pick: Drake "Take Care"
Winner: Drake "Take Care"
Okay, so maybe this was the only rap album of the ones nominated that I own, but it's darn good.

Pop Vocal Album
My Pick: Kelly Clarkson "Stronger"
Winner: Kelly Clarkson "Stronger"
I wish I could explain to you how happy I felt when she won. I screamed so loud my neighbors probably thought I was being robbed. That album is pop perfection, so it was so deserving of this award. And now we must talk about how adorable her acceptance speech was. First of all she hugged like everyone in the audience as she passed them, got stuck to Miranda Lambert, and then ran to the stage. It was clear she really didn't think she was going to win, either, but she's adorable and humble. I'm so proud.

Record Of The Year
My Pick: Kelly Clarkson "Stronger"
Winner: Gotye "Somebody I Used To Know"
I'm glad Gotye won for that song- it was everywhere, I still get excited when I hear it, and it's a terrific song. But I was pulling for my girl Kelly for producing everyone's anthem for 2012.

Song Of The Year
My Pick: Ed Sheeran "The A Team"
Winner: Fun "We Are Young"
I'm happy for Fun. and all the success they have gained with their new material, but A Team is such a beautiful, haunting song.

Best New Artist
My Pick: The Lumineers
Winner: Fun
I'm really happy for Fun (I keep saying that). But they have been around FOREVER. And by forever I mean 12 years, but still, a long time. They used to be called the Format and I have been listening to them since 2003. They made a few changes, swapped out some guys, became Fun, had their song featured on Glee and now they are EVERYWHERE and "new". I thought The Lumineers were more deserving of the "new" category. But oh well. I guess "new artist" never really means new.

Album Of The Year
My Pick: Mumford and Sons "Babel"
Winner: Mumford and Sons "Babel"
YES. YES. YES. They are so deserving of this award. Babel is a flawless album.

Sidenote....Arists who were rigged
Jason Mraz, Pink, and Alex Clare. Cmon. They had some darn good music this year. Where were their nominations?

Overall, a wonderful night for music. What were your favorite performances?

Also, here is the best acceptance speech ever...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A-Z Blogging Challenge

I just signed up for the A To Z Blog Challenge for the third year in a row. I have to admit, I was a little unsure if I should do it. I was low on topics last year. so I'm not sure how I'll pull it off again. But here I am, ready to blog. For the past two years I have not really stuck with a theme, I just picked a word and wrote about it. Pretty simple right? Yeah, until you run out of words that you are passionate enough about to write about.

Here are some possible ideas for this year

  • Each day blog about a song, movie, TV show, or book that starts with that letter and means a lot to me
  • Blog about a person in my life who's name begins with that letter (my hesitation with this is it's too close to my lent letters project)
  • A memory
  • Random words
  • Things I have learned growing up
I need your help! What should I focus on, or should I just do the random thing again this year? Thank you readers! Please comment on my facebook page or on here, but note I can't take anon comments anymore due to spam attack recently. Thanks friends!