Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Been Awhile...

I have not blogged in so long I feel like I was reading through the blog of a stranger as I combed through the entries. I don't think I will delete them because those are the words I am made of. They were about who I once was. Since the posts I did three of the best things I've ever done in my life: I got married to Ryan. He is the love of my life. We were friends for years before we dated and then got married. He remains my best friend. He still hides in places around the house to jump out and scare the bejeezus out of me. Yeah, think he will do that until I die. Ryan is a firefighter. I'm so proud of him for all he does for our family. I always loved Ryan; I realized I was in love with him...then he realized he loved me...and we got married. Country music reminds me of him. We both love musicals and we both enjoy being active. He's my lobster. (Friends reference for you Friends watching people.)
I became a mother. ohmygoodness I'm a mother. Someone is my child! Eek! That still terrifies me. I just told Ryan the other day, "It is so terrifying to think that we are responsible for raising a child in this world who is kind, fair, and loving." Our sweet son is about to turn 2. His name is Jude and he's all kinds of awesome, curious, mischief-making fun. He's so active there are times he is a blur. I cannot keep up with the Jude Flash. He's trying to climb furniture...he tries to say thank you as he rips things from my hands that are HIS. ALWAYS his. Every piece of our home down to the roll of toilet paper is his. He loves so much right now I want to record the memories somewhere, so this blog will be something like that. A virtual scrapbook, if you will. Jude loves music, Elmo, Barney, (God, help me) playing basketball, riding in his fire twuck. (truck) and he loves coloring. He calls them "colors." He frequently disappears and can be found reading in his room..."reading." He is a little flirt with the ladies. Scares me half to death. I refuse to think of teenage years.
I will have to save the 3rd thing for a later post. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

i guess this is growing up.

i want the things that most would find incredibly irritating to cause me to only love you that.much.more.

the goofy smile you give me when you want to speak something to my heart and not out loud. or the way you get so excited about goofy things. your fake laugh. the way you want to always be right. oh, the snoring.

BUT-
to see you in the moonlight, the moonbeams streaming through the shades we have been meaning to replace because they are breaking and dusty, but we keep forgetting. cause that's how we are.
imperfect & broken & messy.
in spite of that, we are who we are.
and we love in our own messy kind of way.

i want to feel your kiss in that moonlight, the way you tug my bottom lip and then look into my eyes and just smile...i can tell you are smiling even in the dark. the way you tuck my hair behind my ear and whisper "you're beautiful."
to fall.

head over heels.

to give up my heels and trade them in for my converse just so i can take more walks with you. this is what i want.
i want to be the one to kiss you good morning and make you coffee and know exactly how you take your coffee.
to feel your hand intertwine with mine as we walk down the street and feel my heart sigh in my chest in relief that it has finally happened. you are here. you're in this chapter in my life and i never want you to be just a supporting actor ever again. you're the lead.

You want love like this to last forever. the everyday simplicities that weave joy into life's tapestries. Today I got an earth shattering email from one of my precious girlfriend's that she has to sign divorce papers today. Her husband wasn't being faithful to her and just...mess. a large mountain of mess. My heart started to rip at the seams reading her email, reminding me of the familiarity of going through this as a young adult with my parent's divorce. The brokeness.

The time spent laying on the bathroom floor trying to figure out how to keep my mother from crying another tear.In my anger, my throwing all of my dad's stuff out into the trash can because he never came back for it and my mom refused to throw it away for so very long. It just sat there haunting me, "Cool Water for men" seemed to laugh in my face everytime I would open the medicine cabinet. It seems to scream with glee, "He's NOT coming home." I wanted to scream back with tear filled eyes, "I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!" I probably seemed like a lunatic as I threw everything out, but I had to do it, had to help my mom in any way I knew how.

Trying to take care of my little brother and put myself through college and swearing I would never ever want to get married. Swearing there was no point to wearing that white dress and having a sparkling ring on my finger because he would probably end up leaving me anyway. How could I bear to go through it a second time in my life? I knew I would crumple and just not be capable of living normally if it happened a second time. Then I remember, as I would sleep at night and tears would soak my pillow because I never knew how we would get through this...I remember, God would begin to say, "Meghan."

That was about it.

Said my name, or so it seemed. I wanted to shout back, "YES??!?" wondering where he had been with all the brokenness surrounding me. For awhile that is all He would say. Now looking back, I see that was enough to remind me that He was there and He knew my name. He knew me. He wanted me to trust that He had a plan in all this.

even when i didn't want to. even when i fought Him tooth and nail til i no longer could fight.

i had to surrender. the following words were, "Trust me."
ok? really? trust Him after everything I had been through? How could i trust him (an unseen being) when I couldn't even trust my own flesh & blood? how would i ever begin to trust a man with my heart ever again? i just wanted my dad to come home.
"trust me."

my mind would wander to a memory of me blowing out the birthday candles on my 8th birthday, my eyes lit up wide and sparkling with happiness, wearing a party hat...my dad across the table looking at me so proudly, laughing as I tried to blow out those candles...

my mind would wander to him cooking me a breakfast burrito in the kitchen, barefoot and listening to dean martin or harry connick jr or maybe good ol frankie sinatra. nobody made eggs like my dad.

or the night i literally tripped over his nikes he had left behind. they were covered in dust. i stared at them in disbelief and thought, "please come home. don't you need your Nikes daddy?" to this day, I only train in Nikes. i run in them like no other shoe and that is one of my reasons. the little things that will always keep my dad in my life.

all this to say. i trusted God. for the past 6 years since all this. and He had brought me to today, May 13th, 2011. He's had to carry me much of the way. but that's okay. i am not afraid to trust a man with my heart. i know trust is always part of the equation. if what i fear most happens again, so be it. i will look it dead on in the face and say, "you again?" "My God is bigger. He is mightier than you ever will be."

I will pick myself up off the ground and take a run in my Nikes.

Good things are on the horizon... and pray for my sweet friend today and her loss, that she would be filled with peace and not a sense of defeat. that she would have joy in spite of it all...maybe not today, but in a day to come. i won't reveal her name on my blog, but let's call her N.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Valentine's Day in May


I remember distinctly a Valentine's Dance in the gym at my middle school when I was in 7th grade. It was the awkward phase of braces and still learning to put in contacts without letting them get dried out and look like you are winking at everyone. My mom took me to get a special dress for this dance because it was at night which was unusual for middle school, normally that is reserved for Highschool prom. Well I got the dress I remember to this day, a little short sparkly navy blue number. I was so proud of it, especially the sparkles.

Well I liked a boy. A whole lot. He took another girl to the dance. I remember getting there and thinking, okay, this isn't SO bad, someone will ask me to dance. At least one dance. Nope. The hour dragged on and I went outside the gym to sit on a bench as not to appear to be such a wallflower. I sat on the bench and smoothed my sparkly little dress over my skinny mid-school legs and the tears began to sting my eyes. I had spent so much time getting dressed up like a princess for a ball I didn't feel invited to.

Fast forward 12 years and sometimes I still feel like that. Life is a ball and I'm all dressed up, but I'm not being asked to dance. My friends are all married with babies & minivans & mortgages and I'm still sitting on that bench. Sometimes I am okay with that. Most days I am okay with that. Some days I want to sit on that bench and just cry.

This past week the Lord has been teaching me about waiting. Because he doesn't work under time restraints like we do, (He doesn't need an alarm clock or a blackberry reminder)his timing is absolutely always flawless. I need to rest my "princess" self in that. Trust in him. He tells me that daily, whispers in my ear in the mornings, "Meggie, my precious daughter, my princess, I am here. Hold onto me and trust me. I have a plan."
Okay God.

But you've been telling me that for so long, some days I want him to wake me up with a shout and say, "TODAY IS THE DAY!" I don't even know what I'm waiting for.

Princes are the work of fiction. But isn't our Lord bigger than fiction?
Yep. He is.

So he can write a story more beautiful than anything ever crafted by Shakespeare. The ink is still drying on the pages of the story of my life. I'm only on the precipice being asked to jump and TRUST. Leap & trust for He's got me covered. I don't need to concern myself with anything but preparing in being the most beautiful princess I can be: ON THE INSIDE. :)

What a relief, cause today I didn't feel like wearing the sparkly dress or even putting on a stitch of makeup. ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lettuce Leaves & Rice Cakes Aren't Enough...


Hello dear readers!

I have had a lot of women come to me in the past week requesting diet ideas and healthy eating ideas so this post is so you can get an idea of what that looks like, at least for me. Everyone is so different, and God didn't make everyone the same, so these are just ideas! NOT a nutrition plan, just ideas. I hope this helps everyone. This is the type of eating plan I have adopted during off-season when I am not training for a competition. I have learned many secrets and tricks to healthy eating in the past year. The jolly rancher idea in water came from my friend Tara, who is a fellow competitor and wonderful mom!

Meats: Lean protein like 90% lean ground turkey, turkey burger patties, chicken burgers, Boca Bugers or other veggie burgers (just be aware sometimes these are higher in sodium, try to keep under 300mg per patty) fish is great like tilapia, flounder, shrimp, crab meat without the butter, catfish, tuna (no mayo), mahi mahi. Also chicken breast of course. Eggs are great. Especially like 1 or two eggs and then a few egg whites. That's about it. I never eat any other types of meat unless I get an occasional craving for a buffalo burger which is fine because it's the leanest of all beef if you just have to have beef. Sometimes I get a weird craving for it...it's rare, but it's better than ground beef that is for sure!

Other protein options: Protein shakes and bars. I love protein shakes from EAS products. They have chocolate and vanilla carb control shakes in purple boxes at Walgreens and I think they sell them at Wal-mart too. Very delicious. If you want to buy protein powder, I would recommend going to Complete Nutrition and asking for some low-calorie, low-carb, low-sugar protein. :) You can mix it with almond milk or non-fat, ice, blend it, DELICIOUS! As far as protein/snack bars: Go for Larabar, Balance Bar, Pure Protein brand, or if you're gonna do a REALLY tough workout, the Cliff brand builder bars. Those are high carb, higher sugar, but a lot of protein. So those are perfect for days where you are gonna lift legs or do a really tough cardio session.

Veggies: Think GREEN! The best veggies for you are the green ones, but all the veggies are great! I eat a ton of spinach, green beans, brussell sprouts, cabbage, romaine lettuce, sprouts, carrots, (not when competing because they are higher in sugar) mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber. Basically 3 servings a day, a cup each time and you are SET for your daily veggie intake.

Happy Carbs: So we all love carbs...and there are happy carbs that won't murder your waistline. Stick to 100% whole wheat breads and tortillas, ALWAYS check the label on breads and tortillas to make sure it doesn't say "enriched wheat flour." When anything says "enriched" you can count on it to stick to your body like glue. Which is no fun. :( Also brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, (no dried fruit & brown sugar, add cinnamon & blueberries to your oats instead) the occasional baked potato minus the butter. Rice cakes are great for carbs! Put almond butter and some cinnamon on top and they are delicious! I like topping mine with cottage cheese for a good protein fix. Cottage cheese is an EXCELLENT form of protein and you can get it non-fat or low fat. Protein bars are happy carbs too. I also make protein pancakes which I will get you a recipe for.

Dairy: Whenever I am not competing, I drink nonfat milk and nonfat milk alone. I won't touch % milk if I can help it. I also adore almondmilk. The unsweetened kind or a low calorie vanilla one. I don't do rice milk anymore because I think the sugars in it are outrageous. Greek yogurt is an excellent form of protein and very good for you. Yogurt can be VERY high in sugars and fat, so beware of that. They have a brand of yogurt at Smith's called "Carb Control" and they come in the best flavors ever, I'm talking "Vanilla Chai" and "Carrot Cake." I love these! If you have a craving for cheese, get some goat cheese, or lowfat/% cheese. The best cheeses to stick to are mozzarella and a bit of parmesean. Both are better for you as opposed to cheddar and more of those fatty cheeses. Frozen yogurt is not bad for you if you stick to just some chocolate chips and a little fruit on top. It is far better than ice cream any day. Skinny Cow ice cream is good if you have a mega craving for sweet. They are lower in sugar and fat. I also like Jello sugar-free pudding snacks. Those really help get me through dessert cravings.

Fruit: Any fruit is great for you so long as you don't overdo it. Bananas are the highest in carbs and sugar. I try to stick to the berries, those are a lot better. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Add the blueberries to oatmeal, delicious!

Healthy fats: Avocado, unsalted nuts like peanuts/almonds, dark chocolate, fish oil pills, (good for your heart, hair, nails, and also a source of healthy fat) peanut butter, (I like reduced-fat JIF) almond butter, flaxseed is just something you can pick up at Wal-Mart and sprinkle into your oatmeal. It is great for your health!

Drinks: Water, water water!!!! At least 8 glasses a day. If you have a water bottle, fill it up every hour. Try to keep drinking all day long. Other things are unsweetened iced teas and coffee. Diet soda isn't the greatest for you, but if it'll keep you from having a regular soda, go for it. If you get sick of water, try Crystal Light mixes to jazz things up, or try sparkling water. Another thing that is great is to buy some Jolly Ranchers. Add one to the bottom of your water bottle. It is delicious and helps curb a sweet tooth. I will have 1 glass of wine per week, MAYBE. I usually stick to 1-2 glasses per month. Alcohol is a waste of calories in my opinion. I would rather have a piece of cheesecake instead. :)

Dressings & Condiments: Low-calorie things such as salsa, pico de gallo, balsalmic, vinagrette dessings, seasonings like lemon pepper or Tony Chachere's seasoning, BBQ sauce (within reason), mustard. All things I love. No Mayo, ranch, guacamole...all no-no's due to high fat content and calories.

You should try to be eating 6 mini-meals a day: Breakfast (always!!!) a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, and one snack before bed which should be a rice cake type treat with a protein shake or something to tie you over until the morning. Stay ahead of your body and keep it fueled all day. It will help your metabolism. Don't let yourself get so hungry you crash, because when you do that, it's harder to build muscle and your body stores fat more.

I hope all this helps. Please let me know if I left anything out. Happy eating!!! :)
<3
Meg

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This is the final countdown...




If I see another can of low-sodium tuna or asparagus one more time, so help me.
:-)
Kidding. (kinda.)
This salad picture above is a typical meal for me at this point in the training.

I officially have 6 weeks and 2 days until Fitness New Mexico competition 2011. I competed last year in the Miss Bikini division and it was my very 1st show. Since then I competed OCB Natural Southwest 2010 and Fitness America Nationals 2010 in Las Vegas this past November.

Oh, how things have changed. When you get "lumped in" with other fitness competitors around the world it truly becomes its own sub-culture in your life. It becomes a part of who you are, like your capability to stomach a lean protein & green veggie diet becomes somewhat ingrained in you. You think in terms of fat grams, calories, you always check carbs, you know your workouts like the back of your hand, and you have tasted every brand of protein powder, and no, not a single one tastes all that wonderful without the aid of almond milk.

You have one of two options when faced with this sort of lifestyle:
1. Become JUST LIKE everyone else.
2. Stand in your bedazzled bikini with clear high heels and walk the path God has carried you along thus far.

You can float along, tread water if you will...do everything the way others do it, sometimes you can become what I call "a fitness-woman obsessed." You can worry so much about not getting your workout done that you forget about friends and family and you can't think of much else but your training. You can put down others, have scathing words to say just because you secretly love to compete in every way you can. Well guess what? Putting another competitior down doesn't make you better. It doesn't make you look leaner to say she looks fatter, it doesn't make you a better person to point out her flaws...because let's face it, WE ALL HAVE THEM.

I won't be shy. I have stretch marks. I have places I would like to see more tone. I could always build more muscle because I am always convinced I don't have enough. My skin isn't always perfect, my nails usually look like crap thanks to lifting weights so often and biting my nails. I have callouses on my hands in places from gripping the weights.

But like I said, there are one of two options, and you can disagree with me, but I think with every hobby/goal/dream in life there is a fork in the road: Be who you aren't or be who you are. I am choosing daily (sometimes while gritting my teeth and forcing a smile) to walk the higher road. I don't always do this. I want to. I desire to walk this road of a dignified woman. I desire to embrace my fellow competitors and other women in my life and just love them for who they currently ARE and not who they COULD be. They are beautiful as they are. Regardless of any opinion, for that is what it is anyway, OPINION.

I have to tame my inner tiger of competition sometimes and say to myself all I can do is my best. I am competing against myself, NOBODY ELSE. For the woman who takes the stage after me could be one of my best friends. It usually is. I compete against my friends technically, but realistically I am competing only against me. For if I could choose, my best friends that I stand by and train with so many days of the year(Christine, Genieve, Elishia, Brittany) these women would all get 1st place. THEY DESERVE IT. The sweat, blood, & tears we put into these shows is more work than anything I have ever done in my life.

I can choose to be selfish or I can choose to cheer them on while they smile boldy on that stage under those bright lights.

I choose love. I choose the antithesis of self-absorbtion. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Here's to 6 weeks and 2 days lovies. I'll be rooting for you.
Cheers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the Garden

She is nearly there. My Grandma is so ready to go home. Home to a place where my grandpa waits for her, ready to take her by the hand as he always did countless times before, his warm brown-skinned hand against her ivory pale hand. His mumbled Spanish when he was frustrated or the turning down of his hearing aide when she nagged him a bit. Their love that lasted into decades of marriage starting at World War II when he first laid eyes on his soon-to-be British bride. Her beautiful eyes and the way she loved pearls and a cup of hot tea with every meal and all things classy...she was from England afterall. Things are prim and proper there.

Death isn't proper. It's not prim. Not at all. It can leave you with tear-stained cheeks feeling like you got sucker-punched in the gut and abandoned. After my grandpa went to be with the Lord, my grandma wanted to follow shortly. She's wanted to for years. She keeps telling us she doesn't want to "Keep him waiting." I am reminded of the Brad Paisley song where he says he's gonna find a bench up in heaven and wait, wait for his sweet woman. That is exactly what is happening. My grandpa is there warming that bench, but I can guarantee when Grandma gets there and flashes that pearly and dazzling smile at him, he's not gonna care he waited at all. Not even if he had to wait another 10 years. That was the kind of love they shared.

Was I not a little girl yesterday with pink foam rollers in my hair and a beloved Barbie nightgown, shuffling down to the kitchen to make pancakes with you before everyone else woke up? Weren't you just helping my skinny little arms hold the batter bowl so I would be able to make the "tiny" pancakes I always wanted to make? Weren't you just making me cups of tea and getting me hooked on cream and sugar in my tea to make it more "Britsh?" I remember endless tea parties, sitting with you on the swing just watching the flowers grow. You were always letting us dress you up and watching every single roller-skating, baton, and musical show we could muster up. You were the best audience we could have asked for. Your endless cards & encouragement make me selfishly want you to stay, but I know Grandpa is waiting to take you by the hand and show you around.

Grandma, I will always love you. I will always remember your "chipmunk kisses" or the "light treatment" to wake me up when I was being a lazy teenager and wanting to sleep til noon. I will remember how you always liked to put on lipstick and powder before you'd go anywhere. I will always remember your Britsh accent saying, "Oh my." When things get a little crazy. And they always did. I will remember how much you love the color green. I love your sweet voice that you always use when you sing along to the hymns you love and know so well while mom plays the piano. I love how you believed in me. I love how you stood by and always watched us and rooted and cheered for all us grandchildren. I know you may not get to see any of your granddaughters get married, but I know when I zip up that beautiful while dress and take a deep breath just before I walk down that aisle, I know you'll be there with me. I know you'll be watching. You and Popper. Like you always did. The absolute best audience.

Tears fill my eyes as I type these words because quite honestly I am unsure of how to face things without you here. More than what I want though Grandma, I want you to be made complete, to see Grandpa again, to meet the Lord who you have "walked through the garden" with all these years. I know when you get there, the Lord is gonna have some hot tea waiting for you and Grandpa will give you a long-awaited hug.

I love you so much. Here is your favorite hymn...just for you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Porcelain Hearts


Deep down I think we all want to believe in love. ♥ ♥

Yep, the person next to you on your morning commute that you barely notice because you're already frustrated with traffic flow or if you're like me you're singing along loudly to your latest addition to your i-tunes. The person next to you wants to believe in love. Your co-worker who endlessly complains, your boss, your friends, the homeless man on the corner holding a grungy coffee cup Starbucks discarded ages ago...the one common thread is love and the desire to hope and believe in it because it gives us something to cling to that makes us all the same and makes us all human.

The housewife who feigns love because her idea of love has been polluted since she went her teenage years...the teenager who can't say "I love you" to her parents but can text a thousand "i <3 you's" to her friends a gazillion times a day...The husband who claims to love yet "forgets" his wedding band every morning when he leaves the house...

What's happened to us? We want to believe in it, we want the media to puke love to us in the form of romantic comedies & valentines and the saturation of our social lives to serial date. We want to believe in the "idea" of love, but we don't want to truly love, expose our souls in such a way that others would see us for who we really are, we don't want to act on our feelings, we want love to remain a "feeling" and not an action.

I was thinking of this when I talked with a co-worker over lunch today and she told me how she met her husband and how she fell in love and she just knew he was the one...her face lit up when she was speaking of her husband like fireworks on the Fourth of July. She told me they have almost been married 3 years now and she sounds like she's fresh off her honeymoon. It is LOVE. Good old fashioned L-O-V-E. It brought tears to my eyes and renewed my spirit to believe that one day I will experience that kind of love. I didn't realize how jaded I had become to love until speaking with her today. I have built up these castle walls so high and put all kinds of crocodiles in the moat surrounding the castle that no prince dare pass this way...

For at the end of the day, I know love isn't a feeling. Love is HARD WORK. Feelings are feeling, love takes give and take, it takes commitment. It's washing his laundry every week just because this is a form of love...it's sacrifice, it's a kind word when you just want to scream in anger...love is beautiful.

Love means that one day I won't have to wake up with my arm wrapped around a pillow because a man will have his arm around me. It means that when I turn my key in the lock I won't have to come into a dark and empty apartment and figure out what's next on the agenda for my night. It means I will have someone kiss me goodnight and good morning and not have to worry if he's gonna call me the next day. I will have someone who makes me laugh til it hurts and someone to dance in my bare feet with on the kitchen floor. Someone to have babies with and with tears streaming down my face welcome a new life into the world with him by my side and I can't stop crying because I can't quite believe it finally happened to me. That little life will be part of he and I and that is love in the form of a sweet bundle of joy. I'll have him feel every kick of that baby and hope he always looks suprised and happy, even if he doesn't feel a thing. ;-)

That's the kind of love I hope to "fall into." I don't need a movie to tell me how it should look, and I don't need to rush it. If I have to wait forever plus another day, I will do it because when he gets here and I see that 4th of July sparkle in his eye when he looks at me, I'll know. I'll know that his hand is the hand I am forever meant to hold. His arms the arms that will cradle me like he's afraid to let me go...his kiss the only kiss I will ever want until my dying day. I will kiss that man every single day in order that I memorize his lips so that if he should die before me, I will never forget.

Love, I can't wait for you to get here. As I type this I look down at my lonely ring finger and my eyes brim with happy tears in the anticipation of you. Not yet, but someday. Some sweet day. You have my heart already...your lady is waiting.

Love,
Me