Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of Internet and the Year in Review

Hello dear readers.

As I write this, I am using the libraries wi-fi.  We have gotten rid of our internet at home. There is something about paying through the nose for a service that's more a convience than anything else.

Granted, homework is turned in electronically and banking is done online, but the truth is - we need to save some moolah.

That being said, I wanted to give everyone a heads up.  I'll update here when I can, where I can.  But there will be times when posts will be few and far between.

Thank you for understanding.

Now, on the Year in Review!

(I can't believe the new year starts this weekend.  Holy cow.)

January - I started a new semester at school and gave my first speech in public speaking.  I had to give that speech in subzero temps with a cold, but I did it anyway.  I was dog sitting and watching my neighbor's son when the dog, Flash, had a seizure.  It was scary, but mom helped me through.

February - Valentine's day came and went, and I was still single, but not horribly upset about it.  School was moving alright, if not in a blur.  I had also started my heart burn medication which made me sick at school.  Not fun.

March - Ah, St. Patty's day, with fun at school.  I had knitted a green scarf over spring break that I wore for the event. Spring break itself was a disaster - I ended up in the ER with chest pains that we thought were from  a Pulminary Embelism, but actually turned out to be plurisy.  (Pretty sure non of that is spelled right.)  My liver was dying from my birth control, so my new doctor took me off it.  The scarf was cool though - three kinds of cables.  I still have it.  We also decided our groups for Public Speaking, and I was with Dorothy and Trevor who would soon become two of my best friends.

April - I was a mess.  I was stressed and sick and started having mild panic attacks.  My doctor started me on an anti-depressant that made me sick and caused me to lose weight cause I couldn't eat.  I really noticed Trevor for the first time; he was the first one to ask me if I was ok.  When we started meeting for our group speech, he took me home and picked me up, opening the door for me.  Before I knew it, we were up until midnight texting.  Within the first three weeks of April, I knew I liked him. 
      My grades also started to rise again, as they had dropped previously.  I also got a poem published in the school magazine.  A very busy, busy month.

May - School finished and I had a 4.0.  Trevor and I started dating and he became a figure in our family.  Trevor, myself, Katie, Dorothy, and her family all went to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Katie turned 18 and I took her for cupcakes.  I was still dog sitting, so I didn't get a real job.

June - We celebrated Katie's graduation from high school with a great party.  Trevor and I were still strong and spent the summer nights watching the stars and moon and eating ice cream.  There were a few thunderstorms of notable value as well.  I wasn't stressed and was happy.

July - Two days before my birthday, my neighbor had Flash put down.  She was sick and getting old, and she was having more seizures due to a bran anurism.  The day before my birthday we had a hail storm with so much hail it looked like snow!  It was scary and awesome at the same time.  I turned 21 and celebrated by going with Trevor to the midnight release of Harry Potter part 2 and then by having dinner with my family and Trevor at Olive Garden.

August - School started and I knew it was going to be a looong semester.  I got invited to be a part of Phi Theta Kappa, but wasn't sure I was going to accept the offer.  Trevor and I went stargazing for the last time near the end of the month. I got a job passing out samples in the grocery store, which I still have and love.  It allows me to study and still make money.

September - School still trudged along in a blur.  Fiction writing was harder than I ever thought it would be and the critiques in poetry class were exhaustive.  But astronomy continued to peak my interest, which was good, and I was starting to get the hang of humanities.  Trevor and I had dinner together every Thursday night through the rest of the semester and made a point of seeing each other before classes.  I don't think either of us would have completely survived if we didn't. 
      My family went on the coolest vacation, too, in September to South Dakota.  We stayed  at the most beautiful cabin resort on a lake and had a blast driving and sight seeing - Mount Rushmore will always stay with me as one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen, as will Devil's Tower.  I won't forget the antelope either!

October - I was in full research mode, ready to take on anything and trying to figure out where I stood on things.  Religion became a huge question for me, as it still is, and I began to explore other faiths.  I dressed as a kitty for Halloween and spent it with Trevor (Indiana Jones) and his family.  His brother was black spiderman.  I was wishing for fall break, too.  I was also designing my first hat pattern and bringing it to life.

Novemeber - A much needed fall break appeared.  I finished my hat, designed another, and got my research papers all done.  My presentations were ready to go.  Thanksgiving was a great time with family - we were all able to breathe and eat and watch the dog show on TV.  I counted my blessings, not realizing how much I was going to need those in the following month.  Katie got a concussion right around here, too.  Talk about scary stuff.

December - School finished; I passed with three A's and a B.  The car ended up in the shop due to an ice accident, so we were in a rental car.  Everyone got sick - mom and Katie with colds, me with strep.  We weren't the only family having trouble, either.  When Christmas came, none of us even cared about the gifts even though they were nice; we were more excited about everyone being healthy and together.  Trevor spent time with us, my dad had some great vacation time, and we were all happy and stressed and relaxed at the same time.

And now the new year is coming.  I am dreading January.  I don't have classes with anyone I know.  Trevor will be in Boulder.  I have a feeling I will be mainly alone on campus for the first time since I started school three years ago.  Change is coming in so many ways, and I am scared.

But it's going to be good.  There is a higher power guiding me.  I don't know who that power is, just that it is loving and kind and gentle.  I know that I will end up on the right track as long as I am myself and true to myself.  So even though I'm scared, I'm going to face life head on.  I haven't self injured in over a year and while I've been crying more freely lately, I can't help but think that's a good thing.  I will not go back to who I was before this journey of transformation started.

My goals for the year are to take the stairs at school again, which is something I've stopped doing, and to order my coffee from Starbucks with non-fat milk, cause that's a healthier choice and just as tasty.  I want to keep crying freely and to continue loving with everything I have - life is too short to hold back any more.

This year, I hope to see my degree hanging above my bed and to have a job that I can enjoy and make enough money to afford to keep knitting and writing.

I want to eventually open my yarn shop, but I don't think that is going to happen this year.  However, I want to start a new savings account for it.

I hope everyone has a safe year.  Enjoy your holiday and try to stay off the roads - people are crazy out there.  I will update as soon as I can. :)

Love you all, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Monday, December 26, 2011

Knitting Excitement!

Omg.  Omg.

I have a 40% off coupon for Michael's craft store.  I also have a gift card with a mystery amount on it from my cousin's wife and a nice bit of money from my grandma.

And they are having a sale on yarn this week.

Yes, I did just spend 25 bucks on hand painted sock yarn from a yarn store.  Yes, I do have three tubs (none of them full all the way) of yarn.

But omg.

The plan for shopping tomorrow?

I'm going to get the Boye Needlemaster Kit that I've had my eye on for nearly a year.  It's a $70 kit with all the needle interchangings for circulars ranging in size from 2 to 15.  With the coupon, it's going to be under 50.

Then I'm going to get two skeins of this beautiful Lion Brand Yarn to make a scarf with.

And I should still have money left over for lunch with my friend next week.

I should really not be this excited about yarn and needles.  I really should not.  I'm glad my boyfriend knows what he's getting into down the road.

~Meaghan

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's a beautiful day here in Colorado.  The sun is shining, the snow is gleaming, and our tree is on full glow. :)

The Christmas eve services last night were beautiful with candles and music abounding.  My awesome boyfriend was able to come to the last one with my family and meet some of my friends.  He then came over for dinner and some down time. 

Today has been the best.  I love that my family is all together and safe.  We're all sick with something except dad - I'm recovering from strep throat, mom and Katie from colds.  But we're all together.  And after the past few months of craziness with the car and concussions and illness and chaos, that is more than enough.

I recieved many wonderful gifts, including a promise ring and a beautiful blanket, but the most important gift is the people in my life.

So Merry Christmas, dear readers and friends, and thank you for reading this blog.  Enjoy your holiday to the fullest. :)

~Meaghan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sick for the Holidays

Every. 

Single.

Year.

I swear.  I am sick on Christmas or the few days before Christmas every single year.  Last year I kept a headcold at bay with Halls Vitamin C drops.  The year before, I grinned and bared it.

This year, I have strep throat.

Yup yup.  Cancelled plans for the week except for the few that I can't reschedule.  Now I'm in my jammies, praying the snow will let up until all my loved ones make it home.

With any luck, the meds will kick in by Friday, and Christmas eve and Christmas day will be good.  Well, they will be good anyway.  It's just whether or not my throat will be able to keep up. 

I think it will.

Talk about a crazy holiday tradition, though.  Geez.

~Meaghan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time is Here...

Christmas is next week.

Holy cow, Christmas is next week.

Yes, I am excited.  I'm excited to spend time with my family, to go to some beautiful church services (even if I'm still not 100% sure of what I believe), to sit at home and watch the tree lights and see my boyfriend.  I'm excited to be with the ones I love.

But my heart is aching for those who have lost their loved ones and are spending time without them.  A woman at our church lost her husband back in August.  She hasn't skipped a beat since; she knew it was his time and has continued being a spunky grandmother figure without blinking.  I know it must be hard on her, though.  I know it must.

Then there was another member of our church who died of cancer early this month.  He was in his thirties with a wife and children, the oldest who is in fifth grade.  It is going to be rough on his family; they knew it was coming, but it's still hard.

And there's the teacher who worked at Sylvan when I did who lost her husband last year, two days before Christmas.  All year she's been blogging here about her struggles throughout the past year.  This week is going to be so hard for her.  It breaks my heart all over again.  I cried last year when I found out.  I wonder if I will cry again on Christmas eve.

There's my friend from public speaking, who has been struggling with food stamps and keeping her head above the water.  It's going to be a scarce holiday for her, her husband, and their kiddos.  My family got a bag full of stuff for them - toys for the kids, a cook book, lotion for her, and a gift card to the grocery store.  My boyfriend and I are taking it to them this week.  It's hard, though.

My boyfriend and his family are having their own struggles.  I'm not at liberty to tell what, but it's been rough for them.  He's been stressed out.  And now that he's gotten into his school of choice (which I am so proud of him for), he's nervous about leaving this city and going to another.  I know I'm going to miss him, but the truth is - as I told him - I'm a phone call away.  And a drive won't kill me.

I would be lying if I said we didn't have our struggles either.  There was the whole fiasco with the car and the battle with the credit card people.  My dad works two jobs and is hardly home at times.  We live in a small apartment and only have one running vehicle.

But we don't have it bad.  I look at all these other stories and I realize how good my family has it.  We don't always get along, but at least we're all somewhat healthy.  We are all alive.  We have each other.  We could lose everything and be living on the street or in my grandmother's back yard, but we would still have each other.

I am the most blessed woman in the world.  I have a family who supports me.  I have a sister who is my best friend.  I have the most wonderful boyfriend who cares about me for me and who loves me.  I have friends who are there when I need them and who understand when I get lazy or busy (you know who you are).

There is food on the table and a roof over our heads and heat and blankets and beds.

Do I really need anything else?

No.  I don't.

I think that's what it's all about.

This season, please pray for the people mentioned above.  Pray for those you know who are hurting.  And count your blessings.  They are the only things that matter.

~Meaghan

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why I'm Becoming so Opinionated

I want to voice something here - women's reproductive rights is always a heated topic.  Why on earth should I even want to become a part of the argument?  I used to always take a stand along the mindset of letting things work themselves out.

Not any more.

If we don't take a stand (we being any number of people - women, men, children, gays, transexuals, etc. - people in general, really) then we will fall.

Isn't that what life is about?

I am angry.

I am angry because so many people I know are stopped by a brick wall when approaching topics such as women's reproductive rights or gay rights.

They believe their God is against it.  They believe that you are sinful if you commit those things.  They believe that the only right way in life is the straight and narrow and that things like Planned Parenthood are going to blow that path into smitherines.

I understand that.  Truly I do.  I would never be able to take the life of a child inside me.  I don't particulary want a gay marriage, as I'm happily involved with the man of my dreams.  Their sanctity of their religion is their right - I do not oppose fundamentalists.  I don't believe like that and probably never will, but I don't hate people who believe that way and I do respect their choices.

But I don't understand why they can't see beyond the scope of their faith.

That's what makes me angry.

And sad.  And frustrated.  And confused. 

Why would God be so judgemental and narrow?  Did He (or She) not create us all unique, knowing full well how we would turn out and what choices we were going to have to face?  I don't get it.

If a woman gets pregnant and the egg gets fertilized in certain a way, that pregnancy can occur in the fallopian tube.  It's called an ectopic pregnancy; according to Web M.D. it happens every one pregnancy out of fifty.  This is not a good situation for the mother.  The embryo has to be terminated in order to save the mother. According to the American Pregnancy site, there are three ways to do this: through medication that terminates, through surgery if the embryo has already ruptured whatever area it's in (which is awful for the mother as it screws her reproductive organs up), or through surgery removing the embryo manually.

But if abortion is banned and laws are passed the way congress wants to, that woman is going to die.  No doctor is going to risk their license to save a woman when the procedure is labled as murder.

Reproductive rights don't start and stop with abortion, though.  They also include birth control and contraception, and the right to say "yes" and "no".

Did you know, dear reader, that women in the Middle East are not allowed to control their sexual rights?  They marry as young as eight and bare children as soon as their bodies are able.  Their husbands are the ones who decide how many children they have, disregarding the wishes of the woman or the health of the woman.  The same is in India.  And in Mexico, although the women are starting to take control of their rights there.

Why are we going to do that here?  Why is congress in the process of trying to create laws that will ban birth control and morning after pills? 

Do you see my frustration?

I am not about to have a minority or a group of men or (forgive me if this offends you) God telling me when I can or can not have sex, who I can or can not have it with, how I can or can not protect myself, and how I will deal with my pregnancy when it occurs.

It is my body.  It is my right.  Just like I demand the right to attend school and to live on my own and to marry when I want, I demand the right to take care of my reproductive rights the way I see fit.

It's the same with gay rights.  Why should a certain group of people be denied rights because a minority feels that they are living in sin?  What will happen if one of those people in that minority has a child who is gay or lesbian or transgender?  Are they going to stop loving their child?

If God made each of us by hand and knew each of us from birth, then wouldn't God know who was going to be gay and who wasn't because God made them that way?  Maybe I'm washed up and maybe I'm wrong, but that really doesn't make sense to me.  Everyone says God is like a parent; well, a parent still loves you and takes you home no matter what. 

This is why I'm fed up with organized religion.

Please, dear readers (the one's who made it this far), think about it.  I'm begging you.  Think about it.

~Meaghan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Update

The tree is up.  I repeat: the tree is up.

It's about time, actually.  Maybe now I'll start feeling the holiday spirit.

We got our car back today.  Yayayayayayayay!  So the rental car (which we've had for like two weeks now) can go back to the dealer.  It is very exciting and about time.  The only thing that made it so slow was the insurance adjuster getting the estimates.  We would've had our car back last week if he had been faster. 

Oh well.  Count your blessings. :)

I have my boyfriend's gift done (thick wool socks in green flaked with gold yarn) and I'm half way done with his brother's gift (a stuffed hedgehog done in Sonic the Hedgehog colors).  Then I have a hat to finish and a tiny whale to make and I'm done!

I even started a pair of slipper socks for myself.  They're on size 9 double points with thick Homespun Lion Brand yarn in a color called Waterfall.  Here's a link.  It's super soft and super pretty.  I think I can have a pair done by the weekend for lounging after work on Saturday.  That's my goal. :)

A friend and I doubled with our boyfriends to the Melting Pot last night. I had never been there before and neither had my boyfriend. Oh my goodness.  It was incredible.  The Melting Pot is a fondue place.  We got a double date special with four courses.  The first course was a garlic cheese fondue that our server made at the table; there were like three kinds of bread to dip in in, plus veggies like broccoli (is that spelled right) and apples.  Apples + cheese = awesome.

Then we had salads, which were pretty good.  I like that they put hardboiled eggs on them.  That was followed by the main course, a variety of meat and seafood to be cooked in boiling chicken broth.  Again, there were veggies too.  Sooo good.  The dessert was awesome too - white and dark chocolate swirled in a ying-yang pattern with rice krispy treats and cheesecake among other things to be dipped in.

The best part, though, was the company.  It's nice to be with people you get along with and can have a good time with.  My friend and I would talk while the guys were talking, then the four of us would join in again.  It was a lot of fun.  I think fun was what we all needed.  This semester was too hard to get through for everyone.

Tomorrow my sister and I are going with my boyfriend to see The Muppet Movie.  I like that the two of them get along.  I'm not sure what I would do if they didn't.  But as of now, they see each other as siblings.  Strangely enough, actually, it was like that from the start.  I think that must mean it's good. :)

Tonight, we ate at Steak n Shake for the first time in over a year.  They finally opened one in Colorado.  We're from the midwest, so Steak n Shake was part of growing up for my sister and I.  Tonight was like a trip from the past.  And tomorrow we get to introduce my boyfriend to it.  I'm so happy I could cry.

I feel like things are finally starting to work out again.  I have a lot of friends who are struggling; I pray for them and help where I can.  I'm still not sure what my faith is exactly except that it rests with a higher, loving being.  I'm ok with that for now. I'm grateful for my family being together and for everything being ok.

Have a great evening, dear readers.  Take stock of your blessings.  It's good to keep it in perspective. :)

~Meaghan

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Knitting Frenzy!

It is that time of year again, folks.   Winter break is here and the holidays are around the corner.  That can only mean one thing:

Knitting like there is no tomorrow.

I often dream about this while in school - the ability to knit without interruption.  Granted, I have been known to knit in the computer lab and Phi Theta Kappa room at school, but that usually is mindless stuff.  Now I get to focus on the harder things.

Like designing crazy fair isle and then having to knit it.

Or like knitting gifts that seem to never get done.

I will get the gifts done, I will get the gifts done, I will get the gifts done.


Handwarmers for my mom. :)



A hat for my sister. :)


A lone sock for my boyfriend; the other is halfway done on double point needles. :)

A turtle for the son of one of my friends. :)


I've really taken to designing hats for some reason.  I like the fact that they are done in a round, somewhat small (and quick), and can have anything on them.  Maybe I'll move up to greater designing as break progresses.

Here are some pics of my recent design projects, while we're on the topic. :)


A 100% Meaghan Creation.  My first hat design. I love the hearts!



This is my crazy hat.  I finished reading "Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously" by Adrienne Martini and was inspired to create my own insane fair isle project. :)

So yeah.  I am happy to be on break.  Bring on those projects. :)  Also, before I forget, I'm on Ravelry if anyone is interested.  Just look under Birdgirl90.

Have a great rest of your Sunday, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Friday, December 9, 2011

Civil Rights

I would like to propse a question:

What defines civil rights?

Civil rights, to me, mean that everyone is treated equal.  Everyone has access to the same things, like insurance and voting abilities.  Everyone is treated equal regardless.

Which brings me to my next question:

Have we achieved equal civil rights in the United States?

I'm going to give my thoughts, but I would really like everyone to take a moment and chew on this.  I think it is incredibly important.

My answer is no.  No, we have not achieved civil rights for all in the United States.

What do you think of when you think of civil rights? 

Do you think of the racial inequality once brought about until the 60's and 70's? That's one aspect for sure of the topic.  While  we have come so far where race is concerned, we still have a ways to go.  There are still places where people are uncomfortable around each other, which is a shame.  But over all, we have gotten far.

But civil rights encompasses so much more.

Take, for instance, the women's movement.  Women still only make 80 cents to every dollar earned by a man.  While we are no longer forced to be stay at home mothers, it's still expected by some people and is disappointing if your husband is a stay at home dad.  Yet if you are a stay at home mom and you don't work, you're frowned upon.  When will women be able to do what they want - be that working or staying at home - without judgement? 

Same with our bodies and our sexuality.  Women who read this, please consider something.  Women in the middle east don't get a choice as to having children, getting married, and living their lives.  And yet some women and men here in the United States are passively trying to get us back to that state of being by banning types of birth control and morning after pills.  Abortion will always be a hot topic, but without it as an option even remotely available, we lose one aspect of owning our bodies and our sex lives.

It's another facet of civil rights.

What about the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender community?  They live their lives like we do - they work, raise families, own homes, add to communities, run PTA's and bake sales, put out fires and save lives.  But they are denied the right to marry the ones they love legally.  They are denied insurance benefits to their partners because they are same sex.  How is that equality?  Explain that to me.

 It doesn't matter where you stand on the issues.  You can be right wing conservative or left liberal.  If this is going on to these minorities, what's stopping it from happening to you?

So many people outwardly condemn others.  "That's wrong!"  "You're going to hell!"  "A woman's place is in the home!" And so on.

But I don't think they realize that it's a fine line between having rights and losing them.  All it takes is enough people saying you are wrong or a disgrace to the eyes of God, and you're freedom to marry is gone.  Or your freedom to vote is gone.  Or your ability to protect your sexuality is gone.

Do we have equal civil rights in this country?

That is up to you to decide.

Please, dear readers, I hope this post has made you think.  Form an opinion, it is your right.  Just make sure it is educated.

~Meaghan

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Over

Winter Break can officially begin.

On the one hand, I am seriously relieved.  I didn't get straight A's this semester; if I'm lucky, I'll scrape two A's and two B's.  Which is still good.  I'm relieved the stress is gone.  I now have time to recoup and finish knitting gifts for everyone.  (Fingers crossed that I actually get them done.)

But on the other hand, I'm still wondering where August went.  I feel like I blinked and it was gone.  Mainly, I'm concerned that this year is almost over and I haven't accomplished everything that I wanted to.  Sure, I made it through the semester.  But did I do the things that matter?  Did I look enough at the spring, summer, and fall trees?  Did I make enough wishes on stars to restore the universe of hope or say I love you enough times to the people I care about?

Mainly, have I made my time count so far?

I think for the most part, the answer is yes.  But seriously.  I need to start paying more attention to life.  The fact that this semester has flown is proof that life is too short.

I'm not ready for the Christmas holidays.  I'm not at all in the holiday mindset.  I think I'm sitting at the mysticism part of Christianity; it's too long to get into here.  I love Christmas.  But I just can't feel it yet.  Maybe I need to get through the weekend first.

And now I need to go to bed before I start drooling on the keyboard.

Goodnight, dear readers.  I hope you enjoy your night.

~Meaghan

Friday, December 2, 2011

Update

My mom and sister got in an accident yesterday due to the snow.  No one was hurt, but our only running car is now in the shop for the weekend.  Yay.

But, our rental car is going to be a Charger, I hear.  That might be really cool.  So there's a plus.

It rains, it pours.  And not just for my family, but for a lot of other people.  I know I complain sometimes, but ultimately we have it pretty good.  We have a roof over our heads and food on the table and our family is together.  A lot of people don't have it that good.

I work today passing out coffee at the grocery store.  It should be fun.  I'm nervous cause it's at a new store, but I'm excited cause I get to play with a Keurig coffee machine.

That's about it.  Things will continue to work out.  I know they will.

Enjoy your Friday, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snowy Day

The snow has finally come.  Part of me is thrilled, the other part not so much.  School refuses to recognize blizzards as warrant for a snow day.  College here never closes, it seems.

I didn't get my stuff done for class today.  So I'm skipping.  I know, I know - buck it up, get over it, and get my tush to class.  But you know what?  I'm exhausted and I'm done.  It has not been that great of a school week.

I like the snow though.  I want to go sit by the window and read for a few hours.  Maybe I'll do that here in a bit.  :)

I hope you are all enjoying your day, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Dinner and Christmas Music

I guess it's that time of year again.  It feels like just yesterday that it was sunny and warm.  Now, we're in the dead time as one of my friends puts it.  I can't help but agree with her.

Thanksgiving was awesome, as it always is.  There is always so much to be thankful for - family, friends, my boyfriend, a roof over our heads, food on our table.  And now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to prep for Christmas.

I'm in the midst of a journey, actually.  I'm questioning everything I have ever known.  Humanities at school has caused me to shake my faith and belief system - what if there's more out there than just what it is?  So this is the first holiday season that I'm going into with questions and wonders.  I'm learning about everything I can get my hands on - Taoism, Wicca, etc.

(I'm actually rather drawn to Wicca.  Not in a bad sense, although I'm pretty sure several people right now are praying for my soul.  But I like the notion of moving energy and the connection we all experience with each other and nature.  That's a blog for another time...)

I think God can understand.  It's not Him I'm questioningg; I have always believed in a higher, loving being and I always will be.  I'm questioning man's interpretation of Him.  Or Her.  I haven't fully decided if my Deity is a man or woman or both.  Why can't there be a God and Goddess?  It's like a Mother and a Father.  I like that. 

Ah, I'm so confused on where I stand.  I think I have to keep searching until I find what I believe.  I think that's the only answer.  My parents can't decide it for me.  My friends can't decide it for me, one way or another.  Ultimately, I must decide where I stand. 

On a differnt, possibly lighter note: I got a pattern for a raglan sweater today.  It's a guide for designing and knitting the perfect one for you.  I'm incredibly excited.  I've got the measurements figured out and I calculated out the cost.  It's going to cost me about $40 to make, and probably most (if not all) of winter break to complete.

But I'm excited.  I've been wanting to make a sweater for a while now, and this one should go pretty quickly once I get started.  I say, bring it on. =)

And with that, I'm going to have dinner.  Have a great rest of your weekend, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Told You I Was Going to be Buried.

Didn't I?  Didn't I, dear readers?

Oh, class got cancelled today.  Yeah, that's awesome.  The day my story is up for critiques is the day class gets cancelled.  I vaguely think this happened to me last time, too...

We're learning about life on other planets.  Well, the potential of life on other planets.  I can't help but believe that there will be life out there.  Isn't it arrogant to think that we are alone in the universe?  I think it is.  There is too much to explore before we can rule out the possibility.

I can't really think of a lot that's going on.  I'm probably going to go help one of my friends for a bit when I'm done here.  I'm scheduled to work a table at an event for her from like 2:30 to 4, but I think I might go sooner.  I can knit down there and join the festivities.

My boyfriend is on a one track mind right now - homework.  That's all he can think about.  Doing homework, staying on top of it, getting good grades with it, etc.  I respect him for that, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't drive me nuts sometimes.  I hope he gets things figured out soon.

My parents celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary yesterday.  I hope that we have that long and more together, too. 

My sister had a concussion a few weeks ago.  She's still recovering.  All in all, she's doing a lot better than she was.  I am greatful.

I'm going through a questioning period with my faith.  I believe in God and I like Christianity, but the more I learn about the world around me, the more I feel disillusioned.  I can't believe there's only one wya to get to heaven.  I can't do it.  It does not bode with me. 

I've taken up the mindset of different paths, same mountain.  If a truly loving God truly loves His children, then everyone should be able to get there.  I'm still going to follow the Christian holidays, but I feel like I'm not going to be able to go back at looking at them like I used to.

Ah, but that's stuff for another time.  A different blog, perhaps, or maybe not a blog at all.  I don't know.

And on that note, I'm going to go help at this school event.  Have a great Thursday, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Rush

It's that time - everything is due, yet again.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that this is November already.  Where did this year go?  I can't help but wonder.

I think it's been good, though.  In fact, I think it's been one of the best years.  Hmm.

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up, though.  If you don't hear from me much this month, it's cause things are winding down.  As soon as break appears around the corner, I'll write more.

Enjoy your weekend, dear readers.

Meaghan

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haha!

Hey readers!

Remember that homework list from the last post?

Yeah, it's basically annhilated.  (Did I spell that right?  Are we at a point where we even care?)  All I have left to do is finish my short story and get my poem written. 

Which is good, cause tomorrow is Halloween!

I'm so excited for it.  I'm looking forward to hanging out with my boyfriend and taking his brother for candy hopping. :)  It's going to be a nice break from the constant homework. =D

Have a very safe and very happy Halloween, dear readers.  Enjoy your candy. =D

~Meaghan

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend At Last!

Oh my gosh.  What a stressful week and a half this has been.  Thank God for the weekend.

So, school was scary this week.  I can't really go into detail, as I'm trying to both stay unknown in the situation and because I don't think this is the kind of thing that many people want leaked out. Just know that everything was alright and that there was no problem of any kind.  Ok?
So there was that.

On top of it, I am swamped in things.  It's like everything is due on Tuesday.  No joke, people.  I have a short story due, my part of a presentation due, a surrealist poem due, a poetry portfolio and reflection page due, essay questions for a humanities test due, and the other half of said humanities test to take Tuesday.  Plus I need to start my humanities research paper and I need to finish my reading responses.  I have three left.  Well, two and a half, technically.

Gah.

But.

Halloween is Monday.  I get to go with my boyfriend when he takes his little brother (his bro is almost 6 and is his half brother) Trick or Treating.  His brother is going as Black Spiderman from the new movies, my boyfriend is going to Indianna Jones, and I'm going to be a kitty cat.  We're going shopping for a cat tail tentatively tomorrow night, he and I.

My knitting is good.  Still designing as many projects as I can for my hopeful book.  Still working my way through new and exciting techniques.  I would love to do it today, actually, but the truth is that after I finish this post, I have to get some of that homework done.

So yeah.

Life is awesome though, even in the rough parts.  Which is always good. :)

Also, the St. Louis Cards have made it to game seven of the World Series!! Being from the St. Louis area, I have massive pride.  I've been watching the games all week.  Tonight's the final one.  Let's hope they show Texas where it's at. =D

I hope your Friday is awesome, dear readers.  Enjoy it.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Fritters

I made something new today - apple fritters.

Crispy on the outside, sweet on the inside, they are delicious.  I am pleased with myself.  Baking new things is awesome.

I'm working on a new hat I designed as well.  It has hearts and checks on it, and is full of fun. :)  I love creating.

It's a very snowy day here.  It's covering everything - the trees, the streets, the houses.  It looks beautiful as it comes down, but it makes me want to stay inside.  So that's what I'm planning on doing.

I hope you're having a great day, dear readers. :)

~Meaghan

Monday, October 17, 2011

Update Time!

I'm alive!  I'm in the thick of school, so that's why updating has become so spurratic.  (Is that with one "r" or two?  I never know.  Oh well...)  That and the weather is cold, making me just want to read and knit and write on paper instead of updating on here.

I'm ready for fall break.  My school never gives us a good fall break, just a Thanksgiving one.  And granted, we get out like the second week of December, I would love to have a week off in the middle of October.  That's usually when the burn out hits me the hardest.

I feel like I'm running out of ideas for my writing.  While my ideas are gradually vanishing, my teachers are gradually becoming more demanding.  We're going in opposite directions on the line graph, if you catch my drift here. 

I know I have great ideas, I just get worried about doing them for school.  Tomorrow, my first short story is being critiqued.  My instructor in the class is nice, but he also grades somewhat harshly.  And my peers.  Oh lord, my peers.  It can either be as nice as spending a summer day outside or as terrifiying as walking into a lion den.   It all depends on their mood.

I know this is what I signed up for when I started taking writing classes and when I chose this major.  But geez.  Does it really have to be so bad that I get anxiety two days before?

I've been doing some thinking, and I've come to a realization.  If I wasn't doing a writing major, I would be a textile design major.  That's because my love of knitting and yarn and color is so great.  I'm so into design right now that I look at pattern books and instantly think "yeah, but I can make that better and easier."

How awful is that?  Yeah, I still have a ton of knitting books and yeah, I still support the industry.  But I think I'm just about to a point where my own creative thoughts are becoming more of what I'm interested in.  I think that means it's time for me to start working on my book.

Ah, but anyway.

I need to get back to homework.  Somehow I have to stay on top of it.

Until the next time, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Just Realized...

...how disjointed that last post was.  I'm not going to apologize for it, lol.  I just want to take a moment to acknowledge how chaotic it was.

Carry on, dear readers.  Carry on.

Dun Dun DUN!

Deadlines are approaching, rather rapidly.  Fall break, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, cookies.  Oh, cookies.

I have homework due in torrents in the next few weeks.  Torrents, I say.  But I can handle that.  I totally can.

I haven't had a job since I got back from vacation.  Well, I've had my violin student which has been good, but I haven't had a demo job since I got back.  Things all work out for a reason, right?  Right.

I've been inducted into our chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.  I'm on my way to becoming an officer.  It's awesome. :)

And really, that's about all that's been going on.  I'll keep you guys posted.  Enjoy the beautiful fall weather, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Plans

I know, it's dangerous to make plans.

But sometimes, plans can be a good thing.  Plans can make you feel like things are going to be ok even when you aren't sure they are.

My boyfriend and I have been making plans.  Moving plans, future plans, life plans.  I know that somewhere, God is probably laughing at us.  But He brought us together, so chances are that He knows we were going to do this.

I'm considering a hope chest.  It's such an old fashioned thing if you think about it.  Pioneer women would start hope chests and fill them with things that they could bring into their marriage - blankets and clothing and cooking things.  And hope.  Lots and lots of hope.

I want to start one.  I'm going to be moving in a year or so (at least provided the plans work out), and I want to have things to bring with me.  Cook books and dishes I like and blankets.  And hope.  Lots and lots of hope.

There's nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming.  I think that without hope and dreams, humans would fade out.  It's a theme you see throughout history.  Once humans became settled enough to stay in one place, they began to write stories and dream of the future.

I can't live without hope.  And even if our plans fall to shreds in the next year or two, I'm going to hope for the best.  Because life is better that way.  Life is better when you see the glass as half full and the hopes and dreams as colorful possibilities instead of black and white realities.

I want you to hope too, dear readers.  Hope in tomorrow.

~Meaghan

Friday, September 30, 2011

September's End

Today is the last day of September. I am amazed at how the time has flown.


School has been a bit of a love hate relationship with me this semester. There are times where I love the influx of information seeping into my mind, where I thrive off the energy and feelings of being surrounded by friends and students. But then there are times where I'm exhausted and not ready to get up, not ready to do the homework.
All in all, though, it's good. I got into the honor society at school. I'm in the process of training to be the communications officer, which at times feels daunting but totally worth it. My boyfriend and I are still happy, even if we are having a few squabbles here and there. (Don't all relationships have their squabbles? I think it's healthy for us - especially since we can talk about them afterwards and figure out what happened.) I have friends on and off campus, and I'm learning more about myself and the world around me.
It's a beautiful day today, this last day in September. It feels like fall. It smells like fall. And I feel alive. Completely and totally alive, like all my nerves are hyper aware and I can taste everything. It is an incredible feeling.
Life is beautiful, even with the ups and downs. And I will never forget that.
You should never forget that either, dear readers.


~Meaghan

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Journey's End

I have just been on possibly one of the best family vacations ever.  Ever.

We got in a car on Wed, and we started driving.  We went through Wyoming and into South Dakota, where we stayed for two nights.  Then we went into Nebraska and stayed for a night until finally returning home today.

It was amazing.  I saw more antelope than I knew lived in the west.  I fell in love with the sculpted desert of Wyoming, the wind and the dust and the sky reaching endlessly into white blue nothingness.  I saw most of the night constellations in the middle of South Dakota, including the ones that the city block out.  I stared up Devil's Tower, admired the lines from the rocks that fall in sheets down the sides.  I walked and met every president of the U.S. (at least their statue forms), and glanced upon the giant faces of Mount Rushmore.  I walked where pioneers once tread, I saw the wildness of the land, and I fought off mobs of grasshoppers and wasps.  I tried buffalo sausage and huckleberries and fresh made blackberry jam, too.  What's a trip without new food?

And I did it all with my family.  We laughed and joked and wondered together about things.  We slept in, ate meals, and just enjoyed each other's company in a way we haven't been able to do as much now that my sister and I are older.  And not once did we drive each other up a wall.

But all good journeys must come to an end, and this one was no exception.  It's fun to see new things, to try new things, to feel new things.  I am happy to be home, though.  Sleeping in my own bed is going to be wonderful tonight.

Thank you for indulging me, family and readers.  I hope you too one day get to experience the wilderness of the west.

~Meaghan

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Stress of Prepardness

My family is leaving for vacation in less than two days.  I have yet to pack a single item.

Instead, I'm trying to get as much stuff done and turned in as possible for school.  My instructors have all been pretty cool about letting me turn stuff in early and whatnot.  The only problem so far is the test area.

I'm missing a test on Thursday, so I'm supposed to take it in the testing center tomorrow.  I'm also supposed to have the essay questions up today so I can answer them before the test.  I've talked to this instructor twice about it and she's been totally on board.

Except that it's Monday after 5 pm. and the questions aren't up. 

I'm not staying up late tonight to do this.  I have a life outside of school, a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done, and I can't stare at my computer all night waiting on them.

So I emailed my professor and asked her about it.  Very nicely, of course.  And now I'm going to see what happens.  Worst, worst case scenario, I fail the essay part of the test.  Somewhat worst case, I answer them while on vacation.  Good case, I get them answered tomorrow night.  Best case, she gets them uploaded shortly so I can get them done while sitting here at the library.

That's the downfall of vacation.  Getting everything ready.

But hey.  In less than two days, I'm going to be in a cabin in South Dakota.  So really, it all works out somehow.

~Meaghan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When We Get There

I was talking with my boyfriend, Trevor, today as he brought me home from school.  We were talking about the subject of kids and video games, and how ridiculous it is that some kids are playing horribly violent games at a young age.

"When we have kids, I don't want them to play games all the time," I told him.  "I have nothing against them, but I don't want them to be the only thing they do.  And no violent games or movies until they're old enough to handle it."

"Well," he said, "That will be fine."

And the conversation switched to a different aspect.

It wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot of my home that Trevor said something kind of out of the blue.

"When we get there, we can go through my games and see what's suitable or not."

It took me a minute.  "What?  When we get where?"

He pulled into a space and smiled.  "You know, when we have kids standing there, wanting to play."

"Oh.  When we get there."  I smiled.

When we get there.  Because one day with God's grace, we're going to get there.

~Meaghan

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Update on a Weekend Night.

Well, the cavity filling wasn't as terrible as I thought it might be.  I didn't even feel the needle until she (my dentist) started pumping in the novacaine.  That kind of burned.

The rest of the visit passed in a blur.  I remember listening to Coldplay over and over.  I remember holding the armrest like I was going to parish if I let go and grinding against the mouth grip they let me have.  And I was shaking from relief when I left.  That was pretty awesome.

But now that I know what to expect for the next round.  (And there are at least three more rounds to come; this is why you take care of your mouth, kids...)  And that makes it better.

I've been working this weekend, which is good.  I'm ready for vacation though.  The family trip is in less than two weeks.  I have a presentation, two tests, and at least two more writing assignments to turn in before then.  Work before pleasure...

I'm reading a book called "The Help" right now.  It's a great book.  The authoress does a great job of making each character have a unique voice.  That's one of the things I sometimes struggle with, so I greatly admire that.  If you get a chance to read it, you should.  It's a great book.

School's going alright.  A lot of pressure just to keep my GPA high so I can get into the honor group on campus.  I'm a capable young woman, so I feel like I can stay ahead, but it's also going to take a lot of work.  I'm a little nervous about letting it slip.

I was also kind of wondering if I maybe chose the wrong major.  I love writing and I don't regret doing the writing degree, but I also miss the wildlife biology end of it.  Granted, the basic bio classes bored me to death.  And I have a love-hate relationship with math.  But I miss working with owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons.  I miss the birds.

Maybe I'll go back to school down the road and get a biology degree.  Right now, though, I'm really ready to graduate and get into the real world.  I feel like it's something I want to try.  School will always be there, so I'll always have that opportunity.  I just don't feel motivated at the moment to go beyond the associates.

Textile design is the other thing I would consider.  I've been doing a lot of knitting lately, and I've started designing my own patterns.  It's kind of neat, seeing what works and what doesn't.  I've always had a love of yarn: the colors, the textures, the brands.  I still want to own my own yarnshop, too.

So many things I want, lol.  Let's take it at baby steps.  I want to get all my homework done so I can go out of town without fear of falling behind, spend time with my friends, and spend time with my boyfriend. 

That's easy enough to achieve this week.

And on that note, I'm going to go attempt some sleep.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cavities

I'm about to go get four cavities filled on my lower left jaw, as well as a deep cleaning there. 

I have never had cavities filled before.  I'm very particular about my mouth - it is, afterall, a pretty personal space - and it always bothers me when I have to go to the dentist.  I'm quite nervous, actually.

I know the pros are good.  No pain while I eat.  No risks for infections and root canals.  No need to be afraid of losing my teeth.

But still.  It's a needle.  In my mouth.

I'll let you know how it goes.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Taste of Fall

School is back in session.  This is week two and already I feel like I'm buried sky high in stuff.  Papers to do, chapters to read and take notes, critiquing to be done.

It's a little overwhelming.  But I know I'll pull through.  I always do.

I got a small taste of fall yesterday.  It was cool in the morning when I went to school, with the sky that shade of blue that anticipates September and October.  You know what I'm talking about.  Not the worn out blue haze of summer or the faded and cold blue chill of winter, but that viberant alive blue that only fall can bring.

I love fall.

I love the homework, even when it's burying me.  I love the leaves changing.  I love the drinks and food that comes around, like butternut squash and stews and caramel apple cider.  I love sweaters and cool breezes.  I love knitting warm, long projects that are too hot to work on during the summer.

I love everything about fall.

Well, except for the snow, but that's another complaint.

So even while it's still too warm to wear my favorite argyle sweater, and even while I'm buried six feet under in papers, I know fall is coming.

Soon.  Soon. :)

~Meaghan

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tired Post is Tired

I'm back in school.  And I'm working as the sample girl in the grocery store on the weekends.  And I'm juggling friends, family, boyfriend, and knitting ontop of it all.

I'm exhausted but happy.

More when I'm awake.

~Meaghan

P.S. - I am still alive, thank you for your concern. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Ice Cream Truck...

...is not allowed in our apartment complex.

Something about how it's considered loitering and soliciting.  Something about it being a nucience.

But whatever it is, there is no ice cream truck here.

And so summer ends without any chocolate eclair bars.

Good bye, summer.  I enjoyed you.

~Meaghan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School Starts Soon.

It starts next week.

I have everything together.  Books, paper, pens.  A new flash drive (purple, actually), my backpack organized.  Everything is ready to go.

Except me.

This summer has been amazing.  It's had its ups and its down, but for the most part it's been blissful.  I've knitted, read, written drabbles, shopped and ate with friends, and spent time with my family.  I fell in love.  I learned what it was to lose.

And now the summer is gone.

It was worth it.  Every bit of it.

I just have to get my mind set on school again.  I know that once it starts, I'll be fine.  I'll love it and be content.  But for now, it's hard for me to get prepared for it.

Ah well.  I intend to enjoy the rest of the week. 

After all, school starts soon.

~Meaghan

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inspiration.

I have a sinus infection.

A nasty, gross sinus infection.  The kind that makes my head and teeth ache and my brain feel like it's going to explode.

So, I'm lying on the couch, trying to sleep, when all of a sudden...

I get a great idea for a poem.  Naturally, it's the one time I don't have pen or paper next to me.  So I get up, grab a pen, grab some paper, and jot it down.

(In case anyone is wondering, this is why I sleep with notebooks on my bed.  You never know when inspiration will appear.)

Sadly, nap is out of the question.  I now feel awake.

Yay for writing.

~Meaghan

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baking Madness.

I got a cookbook at the bookstore the other day.  It's filled with cupcakes, mini cakes, mini pies, and sweet breads.  And it was under three dollars when it was all said and done; my sweet boyfriend even bought it for me.

It's the first cookbook that is mine, and mine alone.  So naturally, I want to make things out of it.

Earlier this week, I took a stab at making chocolate peppermint cupcakes.  They puffed up and then sank like a popped souffle.  I took the remainder of the batter and made a single layer cake out of it.  While it didn't fall like the cupcakes did, it was dense and heavy. 

Now, the chocolate peppermint frosting was really good.  I kept it.

Today, I decided to try making a different type of cupcake.  I followed high altitude directions and made something I knew my mom would love - red velvet cupcakes.  (After all, she's being really nice in letting me use her supplies and kitchen to chase down my crazy baking goals.)

They turned out beautifully!

They are fluffy, the right shade of red, perfectly domed on top.  They didn't stick badly.  They taste wonderful.

But then I made frosting.  Pink, sugary, frosting.

Yeah, that didn't turn out too well.  I frosted like five cupcakes and then threw the frosting away.  It was waaay too sweet.

But it's all a learning experience.  And in a few days, I'm going to make different cupcakes again. :)

~Meaghan

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happiness Is....

~ A glass of Blue Moon and a burger

~ A meal my mom made

~ Warm, gooey brownies

~ Iced coffee with just the right amount of cream and sugar

~ A gentle kiss that speaks more than words ever could

~ A sunset on a fall day

~ Running through fall leaves and crunching as many as possible

~ Sweaters

~ Laughing until you cry at something completely ridiculous

~ Crying until you laugh

~ Holding hands with someone you love as you walk anywhere

~ Key lime pie and an iced tea

~ Watching kids wonder at little things

~ Spending time with your family at home after a long week of constantly going

~ Sleeping wrapped in multiple blankets in a cold room

~ Flip flops

~ Ice cream cones during a hot summer day

~ The feeling of accomplishment that comes with knowing you gave it all it was worth

~ Inside jokes with people you care about

~ Popcorn balls

~ Petting a dog and watching the tail action

~ Knitting the perfect gift for someone

~ Mastering a new skill, even if you never use it again

~ Playing board games all night long

~ Play-dough

~ Writing a new poem

~ A pack of new ink pens

~ Fresh paper, ready to be marked up

~ School supplies

~ The first day of school

~ Peppermint ice cream

~ The smells of Christmas

~ The feeling of security with the ones you love

~ Painting your nails for the first time in a long time

~ Dressing up just because you want to

~ Lazy summer days spent in the shade

~ The kind of lemonade you only get at fairs

~ Hot dogs that snap when you eat them

~ Seeing wildlife along the side of the road as you drive through

~ Taking the scenic route instead of the freeway

~ Shopping for yarn and taking all the time in the world to do so

~ Laughing so hard you snort

~ Knowing that no matter what, you will always be loved

~ Watching as someone opens a gift you made for them that they love

~ Baking on a winters day

~ Building a snowman

~ Having a grown-up snowball fight

~ Going to bed early because you can

~ Going to bed late because you can

~ Sleeping in and having a lazy morning

~ Spur of the moment road trips and plans

~ The way clean sheets feel when you go to bed

~ Finding and reading a really great book

~ The moment when inspiration hits and you are overcome with a passion to write

~ Making a wish on the first star you see

~ Going out and staring at the stars

~ Fishing with your dad, even if you only catch trash

~ Mushroom hunting in the woods

~ Exploring a new area and pretending you're in Narnia

~ Camping

~ Burning marshmallows

~ Fresh cut grass

~ Planting a garden

~ Playing with a garden hose

~ Sledding down a really big hill

~ Making soup from scratch

~ Singing along with the radio at the top of your lungs

~ Giggling with your sister over ridiculous things no one else would get

~ Making each day count for something

There are so many more, but I don't have room to list them all.  Go out, dear readers, and find what makes you happy.  It is completely worth it. :)

~Meaghan

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August!

It's August, ladies and gentlemen.  August.  I can hardly believe it.  Where has this summer gone?

School starts in like two weeks.  Today, I'm going with Trevor to get books.  I have all my other supplies ready to go, all the other things that I need - paper, pens, folders, notebooks.  Once I get the books, it will be official.

I'm ready for school to start, but in a way, I wish summer could last forever.  I have truly had the best summer imaginable.

But I think fall is going to be great too.

Here's to moving forward. 

~Meaghan

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Haircut

I got a new haircut today.

I like it.  It kind of reminds me of a modern '50's bob cut.  It's cute, it's light, and it's awesome.

I think of haircuts as kind of like rediscovering who you are as a person.  A new do makes you feel fresh and ready to take on the world again.  It's nice.

And that is today's slow post.  Have a wonderful Wed, dear readers.

~Meaghan

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Saturday...

...and it is amazingly hot here in Colorado.

I feel like I should like July.  I mean, my birthday is in it and all.  But no.  The heat kills me.  I have this sock project that I've been working on and it's been so hot today that I haven't had the energy to work on it.  That's how hot it is.

School starts soon.  I'm excited to an extent.  It's my last year before I graduate.  I'm a little sad to be leaving, a little nervous about finding a job, and exteremely excited to continue on with my life.  (The next few years are going to be awesome.  I know it.)

So many great things have happened at school.  I've made friends, made good grades, and meet my amazing boyfriend.  I also discovered my passion for writing. 

Good things.

And one can only hope that good things will continue to happen.

I would write more, and maybe make this entry better, but I'm exhausted.  Stupid head. =P

~Meaghan

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Things I Learned Upon Being 21

~ I really am happy I stayed around to see birthday 21 appear.

~ I'm looking forward to seeing many, many more birthdays appear.

~ I have the greatest family in the world, and God has truly blessed them with me.

~ My little sister is amazing.

~ I am blessed to have been able to share this birthday not only with my wonderful family, but also with the boy I plan on sharing the rest of my life with.

~ Said boy is absolutely amazing.

~ Margaritas are both delicious and dangerous.

~ I have a low tolerance for tequila in said margarita.

~ My family is even more amazing for not laughing at me for low tolerance of the margarita.

~ My boyfriend is even more amazing for not laughing or giving me a hard time as he helped me up the stairs.

~ Getting carded for buying a six pack at Wal-Mart is fun.

~ But buying crayons and yarn is still more fun.

~ Cupcakes are still tasty.

And

~ I love life, and am enjoying each milestone to the fullest with the ones I love.

Life is amazing.  Full of changes and challenges.  But amazing.  And I am humbled and awed by it.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flash

My neighbor put her dog, Flash, down this morning.

I knew it was coming.   I knew it was for the best.  And really, I am glad that she didn't die while I was watching her.

But I'm still sad.

Flash was king of like my surrogate dog.  I never had a dog of my own, so once or twice a month, she was mine.  Sometimes I hated getting up early to take care of her.  Sometimes I didn't like standing in the rain or snow, waiting on her to go to do her business.

But she was partially mine.

Flash needed me when Sharon wasn't home.  She always greeted me with tail wagging and the occasional lick.  She loved her treats, and loved being petted.  And when I called her a crazy dog, she would just wag her tail as if she knew. 

She was a good dog.

And now she's gone.  Gone in body, but in a better place.  And never forgotten.

Never.

~Meaghan

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Meaning of Love.

What is love?

It's a question that human kind has asked since the beginning of time.  What is it?  What does it mean to love someone?  To be loved in return? 

What is the essence of romantic love?

It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately.  And I do mean a lot.  I had always thought I had known what love was.  It wasn't until I met my boyfriend - and fell heart first into it myself- that I realized I did, but what I knew didn't even begin to scratch the surface of what it means to love and be loved.  Allow me to share.

We live in a society that is incredibly self centered and focused on material things.  Everything has a stipulation on it: if you love someone, you'll spend enormous amounts of money on them or do certain physical acts with them to show it.  If you want love, you have to be willing to sacrifice something for it.

And while some of that might be true (love takes work of some sort, which is not always easy all the time), maybe we're over complicating it.  I mean, love is a lot simpler than that.  It's not about candy and flowers and looks.  It's not about being the best.  It's not based on winning or losing or playing games.

The Bible has the purest definition of it, actually.  1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4 through 8 reads:

       "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."

 This is actually a verse that I read a lot.  When I was single, it gave me something to strive for.  I wanted to know the love like this.  I knew God's love was like that, but I wanted a man to love me like it too.  Now that I have him, I see it a little differently.  Still good, still beautiful, but different.

So where do my views of love interesect with this beautiful passage?  Allow me to take it apart and show you.  (And please note, I'm not a Biblical scholar by any means; this is just how I apply the Bible to my life.)

"Love is patient, love is kind." 

If you want to be loved, and if you want to love, you need to be patient.  Again, we live in a society where everything is nearly instantaneous; it can't be that way with love.  You have to be willing to wait.  Same with kindness.  The more kindness and caring you send into the world, the more kindness and caring will be returned to you.  If you want it, you have to be able to give it first.

"It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."

Envy and pride will only eat at you and set you up for failure down the road.  Boasting and telling the world how great you are shows others that you are self-centered and egotistical.  Granted, there are times when it's appropriate to be proud of yourself, but not to an extent that causes everyone else to feel bad.  When I read this part, I think of love as quietly entering the room, unannounced.  (Which, for the record, it often is.  It was for me. =D)

"It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

I fully believe that when you love someone, you will overlook their faults.  The things you thought you couldn't live with suddenly become less important.  Every mistake means nothing as long as they are still in your life.  You don't look to improve or promote yourself, but you try everything in your power to make sure the one you love is safe, taken care of, and shines.

"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth."

Even if the truth hurts, it's better than a deceptive lie.  And with love, you learn to appreciate that honesty.  It helps your relationship mature, grow, and deepen.  The comfort needed to share even painful truths is a truly monumental thing.

"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

It offers safe haven like a parent, trusts even in the impossible like a child, hopes for a brighter tomorrow like a dreamer, and will carry on no matter how rocky the road becomes just like the Energizer Bunny.  It's so true.  Love - romantic or not - will encompas every aspect of life and growth and emotion.

"Love never fails."

This is a little trickier.  With so many divorce rates and whatnot, you would think this can't be true.  But think about it.  Even if you haven't seen a good friend in years, you still love them.  Even if you haven't spoken with a parent since you were a kid, a part of you still has some sort of love for them.  It never fails, it never goes away.  And if you truly love something or someone, nothing will be able to stop you.

So how do I know I'm in love?

Because I can't go a day without thinking about or talking to my boyfriend.  Because I'm sticking with a scarf project that I would normally have stopped already until I finish it.  Because he makes me, a lazy slob when it comes to cleaning, vacuum and take out the trash willingly in preparation for his arrival. 

Because I can't live a single day without him, and  I know it.  He makes me feel safe, he makes me hope for tomorrow, he makes me willingly trust, and he makes me want to continue moving forward more so than before.

That's love.  And that's where I am.

I hope you guys can find it, too.  And even if you can't find it in another, I hope you can find it in God.  It really is amazing.

~Meaghan

Friday, July 8, 2011

Early Morning Post.

Because my creativity has hit an all time low for the summer and I can't think of a better title for this post.

(Is that sad?  I feel like that's sad...)

It's Friday.  Summer is in full force and I feel it.  It's pretty humid here.  Now, don't judge.  By pretty humid, I mean pretty humid for the arid state of Colorado.  Compared to Missouri (my original home), this is just a normal week. 

But for here, it's sticky and hot.  I'm not a fan.  I do like the thunderstorms we've been getting, though.  So I guess it all evens out.  I just wish the tornado nightmares would stop.  It happens everytime the weather gets severe; nightmares start happening on a nightly basis about my family and loved ones getting caught in tornados.  They are usually horribly frightening dreams. 

Tornados are one of those things that I've always been afraid of.  Even coming from part of tornado alley, where you would think the fear would be crushed out of me.  But no.  There's just so much power involved with tornados, and they're so unpredictable.

I remember growing up in the Midwest.  We would get tornado warnings and watches all the time it seemed.  Each time, you'd grab your stuffed animals, make sure you had shoes on, and head into the basement.  The radio would get turned on, blankets would get pulled out, and we'd wait. 

My parents and sister were (and still are to an extent) more adventureous than I.  They would go out into the backyard (we had a walkout basement) and watch the hail and clouds.  Not me.  I was too scared of what was going on to allow myself to observe.  Instead, I would huddle in my corner of the basement, holding my stuffed Bunny and taking deep breaths.

We were always lucky, though.  The tornados never hit us; they hit either north or south of us.  And I had never seen a real tornado until we moved and were making a trip back from visiting MO.  Colby, Kansas will always give me chills, as will the National Weather Service Alert System.

We've been here in CO almost six years.  In fact, it will be six years as of next month.  And I'm still scared of tornados.  We get them here, but it's different.  The weather patterns are different, the colors are different, and the hiding locations are different.  We no longer have a basement; now we live on a second floor apartment. 

That frightens me.  The fact that all we can do is go into the bathroom and pray.  God has looked out for us so far, but still.  I like the concept of having a strong structure above us.

But everytime, we do ok.  And while the tornados still scare the hell out of me, I'm learning to cope.  Slowly but surely.

I hope you have a great day, dear readers.  Keep an eye on the sky.

~Meaghan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Trouble with Scarves...

...is that they take forever. 

I'm on a self-imposed deadline.  Harry Potter comes out on Friday of next week.  My boyfriend and I are going to go see it.  I have my Slytherin scarf completely knitted and blocked; all it needs are the tassels.

His scarf, not so much.

I know I have a short attention span when it comes to knitting.  I don't know why - I've been doing it long enough that I'm a quick knitter.  But large projects lose me.  I like toys, hats, the occasional sock.  Things that take maybe a few days to finish.

Large projects - scarves, blankets, sweaters, etc. - cause me to get bored.  I think it may be that it's because of the sheer magnitude of them.  "Knit for 20 inches in stockinette stitch" or "Continue working in pattern until it reaches desired size".  Yeah.  I like it when patterns shake me up.  Like the scarf I made over spring break.  It has three different types of cables in it, making it both interesting to look at and to knit.

This scarf is a boring pattern.  I love making things for my loved ones.  And I love the way it looks.  But seriously.  Twenty two rows of stockinette stitch in one color, then twenty two rows in the next color.  It bores me.

But I can do this.  I have faith.  It's not like the sweater that I've about abandoned.  (I can use that chunky yarn to make some awesome toys or a nice bulky hat...)  This is for someone I love, for a special occasion.

It will get done.

And then I can celebrate by using the needles to make a lovely hat.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dog Sitting Champion.

I feel like I deserve a medal, actually. 

And no, I'm not being egocentric or big headed by any means.  I mearly speak the truth here.  Allow me to explain...

I'm dog sitting this week, starting today.  The weather?  Not sunny, not hot.  Well, hot.  And humid.  Oh, and did I mention the rain?  The rain that comes and goes in heavy spurts and that has flooded the apartment complex??

I normally love rain.  Do not get me wrong.

But I just spent 10 minutes out in it, holding an umbrella over the dog while she did her business.  She still got soaked, I got soaked, but hey.  We did it.  And then I tried to dry her off inside and she decided a better way would be to shake.

All over me.

Like I said, I deserve a medal.  One that says "Meaghan-is-awesome-and-should-always-be-recognized-as-such" or something along those lines.

Thank you for your time.

~Meaghan

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July.

Happy Independence Day!!!!

It's going to be a hot one here.  I mean, we're talking like nearly 100 degrees where I am.  Fire dangers, fire restrictions, and fire warnings are all over the place.  No grilling for us.  At least, not right now.

It should still be a good day, though.  Time with the family, relaxing and knitting.  Reading, playing games, hanging out.  Fun stuff.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

~Meaghan

P.S. - Sorry this is so short, my battery is about to die. =P

Friday, July 1, 2011

July at Last.

I feel like the summer has passed in a blissful blur.  I never thought I would experience the emotions that I've been priveledged to, that I would be this happy and content about change and moving forward.  It is an interesting thing.  At the same time, it is something that I am blessed to be a part of. 

Even as the summer is passing in a glorious blur.

As I move forward and time passes, a part of me is overwhelmed.  I will be 21 in a few weeks.  I will be finishing school next spring.  I have met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I can't think about it all.  It's too much.

Whenever I do, I turn into a clinging child, looking to my parents for comfort and help.  On those days, I do not feel confident.  I wonder about where I'm going, what I'm doing.

But I can't live like that.  Life is beautiful, even through the changes.  You only get one chance to spend each day.  You never get the opportunity to go back and redo.  So why regret?  Why be afraid about what tomorrow may bring when you can love and laugh and dance today/

That is what I'm learning.  I'm learning that I need to experience each day at a time, and to love each moment.  And I do.  Oh, I do.

This life is amazing.

~Meaghan

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Monday Monday.

Monday is date day.  Normally.

Today, it is my hang out at home with my family day.  No date today.  No seeing my sweet boyfriend for lunch and talk and laughter and walking.  Just hanging out at home.

I'm not too upset.  He's out of state with his family, enjoying his time with them.  And he has still called me every night he's been gone, even if just for five minutes to tell me he loves me and misses me.  I miss him tons so it's been good for both of us.

It's just a little weird to have the Monday routine shaken up.  That's all.  But he'll be home in a week and a day. I will be ok.  And when he gets back, the routine will fall naturally  back into place.

The waiting is the hardest part.

~Meaghan

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Did It.

I led my class through a week of fun and excitment.  I watched them grow in God and in Christ.  I saw the world through there eyes and relized that sometimes, grown-ups make things too complicated.

This week, I grew as a person.

I came home every day hoarse from having to talk above commotion in several rooms.  I came home exhausted from playing and singing and (when the need arose) separating children.  I came home each day filled with a sense of accomplishment.

I often came home wondering if I had done the best I could.

Today it was confirmed.  I did.  I did.

As the kids stood up on the stage and sang their songs for their parents, I felt a warm feeling.  These were my kids.  And even when I thought they weren't listening to me, they were.  Even when I thought they weren't paying attention, they were.

These were my kids, and they made me proud.  And I told them, as their parents came to pick them up.  While the parents told me that I did a great job, I told their children that I loved having them in my class.

And I did.  I meant it all.

Maybe I'll do this again next year.

~Meaghan

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exhaustion...

...is not always a bad thing.

I'm relearning that I'm pretty good with kids.  And I'm learning that these kids are sharp little cookies.

Granted, we've had our share of ups and downs this week.  Lots of not listening and lots of not wanting to do things.  But the good things outweigh the struggles. 

Today I saw how much my class actually listens.  I learned how they see the world and how they interpret Jesus in their own lives.  And I learned that if they see me dancing, they too will dance.

So I'm exhausted, much like I have been most of the week.  But it is completely worth it.  Because even as they are learning, I am too.

~Meaghan

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homesick.

They say home is where the heart is.

Well, my heart is in three separate places right now.

One piece is in Detroit.  My sister - one of my best friends in the world who I love to pieces - is there, on a mission trip.  She's helping make a difference in the lives around her; she's fixing, she building, she's listening, she's growing. She's been gone since Sunday.  I miss her.  I miss her a lot.  She's coming home to us on Saturday, in the evening on a plane. 

One piece is with my boyfriend who lives half an hour away.  He is going with his family on Friday for their family vacation.  He's going to laugh and joke and relax and play.  He's going to get to reconnect with the loved ones in his life, because the only constant things in this life are God and family.  I'm happy for him, and I know that he needs this.  But at the same time, I'm not going to really get to hear from him for the two weeks he's gone.  Last night was the last time I'll get to see him till he gets back.

And the final piece is here, in the apartment I call home.  It's with my parents who have always been there for me and who always will be there for me.  I'm learning as time progresses the one fundamental truth: no matter what happens, family will always be there to catch you.  They support me, they keep me grounded.  They listen to me gripe, listen to my joys.  And without them, I don't know where I would be.

So as you can see, I'm a little homesick.  I want all three pieces back in the same spot.  It's comforting and familiar and smells like home.

But maybe, just maybe, I have three homes.  And while I still miss pieces, I know they are in safe hands.

~Meaghan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

VBS Wears Me Out.

But I'm loving every minute of it.

It is a bit of a struggle.  We have kids who don't want to focus or settle down.  We have kids who don't want to play games or do the songs.  Many don't want to listen.

Today was day two and already I can see improvement.  The little girl who didn't want to play games played today, and had fun.  The group of boys who never listen actually listened part of the time.  The class settled down for prayer and reflection.

And dare I say that they actually learned something.

It's going to be a long week.  But I welcome it with open arms.

~Meaghan

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Great Degree Problem

As many of you know, dear readers, I am a college student.

I attend a local community college where I am working on an Associates of Arts with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  The fall will mark my third year there, earning my two year degree.  Oh yeah. It's awesome. 

I originally started as a Bio major, which many of you may not know.  My passion for the longest time was birds of prey.  Owls, hawks, falcons, kites, eagles - I knew them by sight, some by sound, and I wanted to spend every day working with them. I still love them, and it's hard for me to not identify them as I'm driving down the road.

But things change.

I realized last spring that Biology was not the path for me.  It was technical.  And while I have the brains to handle it, it was more effort than I wanted to put forth.  Instead, I re-discovered my love of words.  I have always been a good writer, and I have always loved writing.  Through a literature class, my love of reading and writing was re-awoken.

And when I took a creative writing class last fall, I realized what I want to do with my life: I want to write.

It probably should have been clear earlier on.  I mean, I can't not write.  It is a part of me.  My favorite part of buying school supplies is getting new notebooks and ink pens.  I love the stimulation of taking characters I know intimately or the beauty of the world around me and putting it onto my computer or in a notebook in a way that others can know, too.

But now, my readers, I'm faced with a problem.

You would think it would be easy now that I know what I want to do.  The truth is, though, that the job market is not very open.  I decided this morning to take a look to see what's available for my A.A. degree.  The answer? Not a whole lot. 

It seems that in order to put my degree to good use, I either need to become a very good freelance writer or I need to get my B.A.  I'm not sure I want my B.A.  I'm successful at college and I enjoy it.  But I don't really enjoy it enough to go for another two or three years.  I really want to get a full time job and taste the world of independence.

See, I live at home with my family.  I don't have my own car.  I rely on my parents for pretty much everything.  And while that's fine, there comes a point where I want to know that I can live on my own.  I need to know that I can provide for myself and that I can live in an environment where I will be able to be safe on my own.

(For anyone wondering about it, that was part of why I didn't got straight to a four year school.  At the time I graduated high school, I wasn't convinced that I could trust myself enough to be safe living away from home.  It's a problem a lot of people don't have to worry about; for me though, I still hear the voice in the back of my brain from time to time.)

My sister and I want to get an apartment together before things change.  I want to do that more than anything.  I want that time with her.  I want that time to grow before the changes progress.

On top of it, I've been having a lot of people tell me that I should got to a four year school or ask me if I've considered going.  Professors, friends, family members, mentors.  It makes me question my path.  And I hate that.  I don't think a lot of them mean to put pressure on me, but that's what ends up happening. 

I just need to know that it's going to be ok in the end.  I just need to know that my choices aren't going to define me.  I need to know that I'm supported no matter what, and that I'm loved regardless of what I choose.

I think what finally brought this to a head (because I've been quietly struggling with it for some time now) is what's going on with my sweet boyfriend.  I love him more than anything and I want him to be happy, and right now, he's not.  He's not thrilled with what his path is and he's trying to figure out what to do next.  It's hard to be a third party.  I can't make his choices for him, and I know it.  I can't tell him what to do.

All I can do is tell him the truth: that I'll always be there, supporting him no matter what he does.  That I'll love him no matter what he chooses and that I'll follow him anywhere, even if it means leaving all I know behind. 

(If this isn't love, then I don't know what is.  I've never felt so sure of something in my entire life.  And I mean it, too. )

I feel sick to my stomach and now I'm starting to cry.  I don't know what is going on with me, but I feel like I can't handle it right now.  There shouldn't be so much pressure on us, this next generation.  All I want to do is work and write and knit.  Why is that so hard for everyone to understand? 

Why is it all so hard to understand?

~Meaghan

Friday, June 17, 2011

Busy Weekend.

Holy cow, this is going to be a busy weekend.

Today, we are celebrating Father's Day.  I know it's not until Sunday, but we have good reason for celebrating early.  See, my sister is leaving for her mission trip on Sunday at 5 in the morning. 

So we celebrate Father's Day today.  Then tomorrow, we help make sure everything is packed and ready to go, as well as spending time with her before she leaves.  Then on Sunday we take her to the airport.

And then Monday I start teaching Vacation Bible School for a week.  So it's going to lessen the sadness of not having my sister around.  I always get mopey when she's not around.  She's my one of my best friends.  I know she's going to have a great time, but I'm still going to miss her.

Friday, Trevor is leaving.  My second best friend is going to be gone.  So for two days, my two favorite people in the world are going to be gone.  I'm trying not to be bummed.  I've had time with Katie and I'll have more with her before she goes.  Then I'll have several days with Trevor before he goes. 

So it won't be too bad.

Just busy.

~Meaghan