Meaningful Mommy

Making Moments Meaningful site

A promise is a promise…. from Yoga to Soccer….

So a deal is a deal…a promise a promise…this one goes back 8 years when I asked my husband to try a yoga class at the YMCA with me. It took a lot of convincing, begging, finally deal making and a promise. He knows I have a hard time trying something new, combine that with being alone and I’m terrified. He loves me so he said yes. The deal made was he would try yoga with me if I would try soccer with him. My husband loves soccer and has always played. He was at the time on a co-ed team. I said I would. I convinced my husband to go to a few more yoga classes. He asked me to play soccer with him. I declined, over and over. I had never played soccer. I was again terrified to try something new, especially with my husband who might be embarrassed by me and his peers who may laugh.  He gave up asking…

Then a few weekends ago at our friends twin daughters birthday this deal came up. My husband is currently on a co-ed soccer team with our friends. They needed female subs to step in and they looked at me. “Megan, you should play…”, me shaking my head, “Oh, no….I don’t play soccer…” But then I remembered my deal with my husband (that I had never really forgotten) and I owned up. I smilingly admitted that I had told him if he went to yoga with me I would play soccer with him, but I emphasized that I had not played soccer since 7th grade P.E. Like I really, really don’t play soccer. I don’t know how many players there are, the positions or the lines on the field. Nada…They still wanted me to play. Join us, it will be fun…easy. Sure, ok…panic sets in.

The next day my husband hands me an old pair of soccer shorts informing me soccer players do not wear yoga pants. I also get a borrowed pair of knee-high socks. I’m terrified. Anxiety setting in….I won’t know what to do, they’ll laugh, it will be horrible. I put the shorts and socks into a bag with my tennis shoes hoping by showing up in my street clothes I have a greater chance to not be put on the field. We arrive, unload the kids who run off to play with the other players kids. I sit on the side trying to focus on breathing in and out. I hear our friend say, “You’re playing right?”…”Oh me, sure, let me go change…” I make it down to the field where everyone is getting into their positions and my friend yells, “Megan, you’re over here, mid-field.” I head out toward the middle(ish) area of the field where she is pointing. I admit to another player that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. She asks me if I’ve ever played soccer. I say no. She asks me if I play any sports. I mumble that I did gymnastics a loooong time ago….realizing too late she didn’t mean when I was in high school…again I’m awkward and embarrassed. She glances at me and says, “See her, with the red shirt on the other team. Stay by her. Stay between her and the ball and her and the goal.” I have no time to say anything because the whistle blows. I’m watching the action unfold on the other side of the field, it feels ok, I’m shuffling in front of the red shirt acting like I know what is going on and then suddenly she is sprinting toward the ball…oh god! I fly off after her and I keep up but it’s not pretty, I bump into her while apologizing over and over. She shrugs at me and keeps moving heading back to her designated field area. I follow her. I kept waiting for her to say, “What are you doing? Get away from me..” But she didn’t say a word. This kept happening. I kept chasing her and being in the way. My knee-high socks (minus shin guards) kept falling down. I kept tugging at them hoping no-one is paying attention. Another team-mate tells me to just keep doing what I was doing, I think they could see the panic in my eyes.  This went on FOREVER! Ok, about 30 minutes and I was exhausted, wheezing and sweaty. I mouthed to my husband, “Can I stop?”. He helped me call in a sub at the next whistle. I ran to the sideline and instantly switched to mom mode taking both my girls to use the park bathroom.

In the bathroom, my daughter informs me they will hurry so I can get back to the game and play some more soccer with daddy. I smiled. I had overcome my fear, made good on my promise and I was still alive. We went back to the game where I went in one more time until I was called out again by my daughter yelling for me to help her with her “mommy only emergency”. It was just another potty trip, but secretly I was happy for the break. My husband’s team lost, but they did say I really did well for my first game and never having played. They also made me an honorary sub (which I’m going to take as a compliment).

My husband knows how hard this was for me. As we were leaving he smiled at me and said it was fun to have us all there. I decided that trying new things and I remembered that looking like an idiot at times won’t kill you, something I had forgotten from my youth. I also decided that I have a lot to learn about soccer and I think I will take a few lessons before I play again, but I will bring our kids to the field to watch their Daddy play the sport he loves. Maybe they will learn more abut the game than I do and follow in their Daddy’s footsteps. :)


Gun Control versus Mental Health Education: Another school shooting

I received a school district phone call message this morning informing me about a shooting tragedy at a high school in the town next to the city I live in. About 10 miles away. My stomach fell and my heart dropped in my chest. I could feel the blood drain from my face. The beginnings of a fight or flight reaction began to swell. Then the beginning of tears and disbelief.

Every time something like this happens I feel sick to my stomach and I feel a great sadness for the lives that were tragically ended today and the lives that will never be the same because of this act. And I wonder why. Why would a highschooler think that bringing a gun to school and shooting anyone and then themselves would solve any problem? Why do kids not know that emotions are fleeting and that they change? Don’t they know that they will grow up and their lives can and usually do get better? I guess they don’t. I guess they are so wrapped up in their emotions they don’t think about the lives of others, or themselves or their families…or in the moment they just don’t care. Why?

I have heard that a few districts near me have been doing school “shooter preparedness trainings” with the students and staff. Incorporating what to do if confronted by a shooter and drills complete with swat team vehicles and staff. I can’t help but think that more emphasis should be done to educate about managing emotions and building healthy emotional coping skills would be more beneficial.

I think that all the energy put into arguments on gun control and laws and whatnot should be placed on mental health education and awareness in communities and schools. And yes, I think guns should not available to many, many people who have access to them, but they are and always will be, unfortunately because if there is a will there is a way for anyone to find a weapon of their choice. The next logical step should be instead of focusing on the guns and who has them to focus on more mental health education and putting outreach programs in place and to teach kids that guns are not to be used as an emotional coping mechanism. I know that you would assume that is obvious, but I’m not so sure. I think unfortunately many of our kids and much of society has a low emotional intelligence and many often feel extreme discomfort with their feelings because of that. This leads to an amplified reaction to their emotions and a magnified response that usually includes violence or self harm. There is something very wrong.

In this school shooting two of the young victims were taken to the hospital less than 5 minutes from my home. One was flown to Seattle and from what information which has been released there were two deaths at the school. The shooter being one of them. I am praying for all of these children’s families, friends and their community as they join together to try to heal during the sorrowful and heartbreaking days, months and years ahead. Their lives forever altered.

My hope is that in this wake of yet another horribly tragic shooting the big conversations shift from gun laws to mental health education including communication about emotions and positive coping strategies.

Sigh…Now I’m off to hug my daughters for the hundredth time today. SiSigtoday. 


What’s in a list?

A Q & A List About Lists…

What’s in a list?
Words…I guess, lots of words.
Words about what?
Anything really…in a line.
Vertically, usually.
To group things, I think, an organizing system.
Like what?
Groceries, Directions, Goals,
Oh…they’re helpful then?
I don’t know, Usually they just create more lists.
You could call them that. Lists of lists.
Do you like them?
Yes, I really do.
They get you thinking then?
Yes, yes, I suppose they do. Although I use them mostly to procrastinate…
Ah…I see. Like this one?

Yes, exactly.



My heart wins.

Yesterday my 3 year-old daughter Audrey and I were talking on our way back from dropping her sister off at school. Our conversation went something like this.

A: “Mommy, when I’m 4 how old will sister be?” Me: “She’ll be 6.”  A: “What about when I’m 5?” Me: “She’ll be 7.”

A: “Oh, I can’t wait until I’m seven, then I’ll be bigger. As big as you and then I can be a mommy too.”  Me:  “Well, you will be bigger but not a mommy. You won’t be a mommy until after you’ve gone to college.” ( planting the college seed early) Then I asked her what she’d want to study when she’s in college. What job she wanted to have. Her answer melted my heart.

A: “I want to study to be able to do everything like you can.  I want to learn to be the best mommy just like you. I will learn to give the best snuggles and huggles. Wash clothes and make food and play games and go to the park. Oh Mommy, just everything, like you.”

Awww….my heart swelled. Then my damn brain tried to hijack the moment.

It thought to say, “Oh honey, you will learn so many great things in college. Don’t worry about being a mommy yet. You’ll have a career and travel and meet lots of people before you become a mommy. My brain wanted me to tell her that I don’t expect her to be like me. That she can be so, so much more. Whatever she dreams of being…so great, so smart and so strong.  But I didn’t go there. Not this time.

I left it as sweet as it was. From her eyes, at three years old, what she sees in me shooting straight into my heart. I’m holding it there. Close. For the days I feel I’m not doing enough. Or not good enough. For the days I falter in my confidence in my mothering abilities. For the days I fall short.

This time my heart was stronger than my brain. I am going to own this. I’m going to believe my heart and my daughter. Smile and accept this as a great complement.

In this moment, in my heart, I know I am exactly who I am supposed to be, my daughters mother. <3

My brain can shut it.

My heart wins!

My heart wins







Micowave free kitchen!

We remodeled our kitchen last November and during the process lived without a working stove for over two months. It was fun for the first few weeks. We were eating out every night, trying new restaurants in our area. Living the high life. Then we started noticing how much more money we were spending and we knew it just wouldn’t be good budgeting to keep it up for the duration of the remodel. Plan B became buying foods that we could either eat raw or “cook” in the microwave. We made salads and sandwiches, heating up soup in the microwave. We ate microwave mac n cheese, Indian food microwave meals, microwaved quesadillas, I even microwaved baked potatoes. We began to feel gross. We were not huge microwave users in the past and this was overload. About 6 weeks in our microwave began to fail. It was feeling overloaded too I guess. All of the buttons stopped working except for the 30 sec. button. So in order to cook something for 3 minutes you had to push the button 6 times, if you needed 8 minutes of micro time we were pushing the 30 sec. button 16 times. You get the picture. Funny at first, not so much after the first few days. Then the time display went out and the microwave would randomly flash numbers. It beeped on its own. We decided it was possessed and would walk by giving it a sideways glance. Thankfully our remodel came to a point where our new stove was up and running!! Yay!! I reluctantly moved the possessed microwave onto our shiny new counter. It seemed out of place. I tried moving it which didn’t help. No matter where I put it I just didn’t like it. Then one magical day it died! Completely kaput! I did a happy dance and eagerly sent it to where dead microwaves go for a proper burial. We talked about getting a new one. Maybe one that fit in the corner of the counter…then I had the crazy idea…what if we didn’t get a new one. What if we just went microwave free?? Unheard of right?! I know there was an era before microwaves (although not in my lifetime since the first microwave was introduced in 1955). I knew there had to be a way to heat left overs on the stove or in the oven. A process I have  since figured out. We made a meaningful decision to go microwave-less. I am happy to report that we have been microwave free for almost a year! It has had some disadvantages, for example I can no longer make single serve rice crispy treats on the fly when I just really need a treat. Ok, ok, I know a bad habit best to be broken anyway. But other than that it has been wonderfully freeing!  I would highly recommend putting your microwave out to pasture. Well maybe not into your yard but you get my point. :)


Time away

I’ve been being lazy. On purpose. I took a ‘me’ respite week and tagged along with a good friend to Washington D.C and Pittsburg. When I say lazy, I don’t mean I did nothing. For me lazy means not doing all the thing I feel like I should be doing. The items on my mental daily at home list. This trip I didn’t do any of ‘those’ things. I did what I felt like at that moment.

We flew to Washing ton D.C. to run the Army 10 miler, a race benefiting the service members and their families. The men and women serving still, retired and remembered.  Their loved ones. It was a sobering and inspiring run. We ran through the streets of D.C past monuments honoring others sacrifices.

My friend and I then drove to Pittsburgh. The fall colors were beautiful. Truly stunning! While she was in her conference I spend the days exploring Pittsburgh on my own. I had hours of self-reflection and hours of walking. Both are very therapeutic for me. I went to museums, a lovely botanical garden and I walked through beautiful college buildings. I reminisced about my days in college and what my goals had been then and what they are now.

I wandered, just with a goal of a far off bridge to cross and when I reached it and crossed to the other side I looked for another. As I crossed the next bridge I was feeling at peace. Peace with where my life is now. Missing my family and longing for the little hands to be tugging on my clothes. Dreaming about hearing their little voices calling out Momma, over and over.

We ate wonderful food. We laughed. We talked. We took ridiculous online quizzes. I have a new self mantra according to buzzfeed, a personal theme song and a movie star boyfriend from the 80’s. Best of all I renewed my sense of self and I am home now back where my heart belongs. With the ones I love.


On Being Beautiful…

What do you think makes a person beautiful? Really truly beautiful…think about it for a minute. What is the first thing that comes to mind? The very first thing, you know the thing before we try to think of a more meaningful description of beauty. Is it a physical trait? Or an internal characteristic? If we had to change one thing about ourselves to make us more beautiful what would it be? For you, would it an outward change or an inner change?

Beauty in our society seems to stem from outward appearances not someone’s inner spiritual, emotional or intellectual traits. Why? Why is it that how we look is what we often feel we need to base our personal beauty on? The saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” stands true for some, but for many this idea of beauty is based on societies popular idea of beauty at that time.

So much time is wasted on the achievement of this ideal of beauty. If I had spent my youth learning a new language instead of looking in the mirror wishing I had blond hair, or a thinner nose, or that I was taller I would be bilingual! If I had spent my time actually practicing a sport or musical instrument instead of looking at magazines wishing I could be like the best athletes and the top models I would have then had more self-confidence and an ability to share instead of a teenage feeling of inferiority.

And what about the money spent on beauty. Beauty products are a multi-billion dollar industry. Huge bucks spent on trying to reach some perceived ideal of beauty. Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that the global beauty industry consisting of skin care is worth $24 billion, make-up at $18 billion, and $38 billion worth of hair-care products. The average American woman spends upwards of $5,000 per year alone! If I had saved the money I usually spent each year on products designed to make me outwardly beautiful I could have taken a really amazing meaningful trip each year. If I had spent that same amount of money on classes for painting or music lessons I would have a feeling of accomplishment and a skill, because to tell you the truth I don’t feel much more beautiful each year even with the time and money I have spent on it.

I’m thinking that this idea of physical beauty is an illusion. It constantly changes with the seasons and the times. Fashion and beauty standards come and go, so maybe what we are reaching for isn’t really attainable. Yes, we can be healthy, we can exercise, but it does not need to be an obsession. Plumping and cutting and grafting and sucking and staving and hiding and covering has gone overboard. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. After having my two daughters the idea of a “mommy makeover” complete with plastic surgery sounded appealing. Until I really thought about it. My body grew and birthed two amazing people. It shouldn’t look like it did when I was a teenager or even in my twenties. Yes, I will do what I can to keep it in good health, but any lamenting, despising and wishing will not make it any different. It’s my attitude I’m now concentrating on giving a make-over.

Now those two amazing people…my daughters. I am so proud of who they are and extremely excited to see who they will become. I hope to nourish their inner beauty and encourage them to spend the most of their time and money on experiences, activities, and interests that will make them beautiful on the inside. Their confidence will shine through and they will glow. I hope to teach them to travel and learn about other cultures so they can see that there is truly not one definition of physical beauty anyway so to stop trying to find it. I hope to nourish their spiritual beauty by helping others with acts of service. So that they will feel beautiful by seeing the smiles in others.

We will all grow old. Our looks will become a thing of the past anyway. I think that’s why those who make it to old age seem so happy. They know what is really important. Why do we wait until we are older to understand this? We should be concerned with inner beauty, spiritual beauty, intellectual beauty while we have the time and energy to really dive into it. I am trying to change my thinking about beauty to be more meaningful and real. I hope that my daughters start with the base I’m building in them now and continue to grow their inner beauty throughout their lives. When I am old and look back I hope to have made a difference and that my inner beauty shines through my actions and my words. Someday after I’m gone I hope someone will say, “She was beautiful because….” and the answers will have nothing to do with looks.

When my daughters ask me if they are beautiful I will not hesitate to say yes. But I will add, Yes, you are beautiful because you are kind. You help others by offering a smile. You share and love with your whole heart. You care for our planet and you help make it a better place. You are beautiful because when I see you learning and growing my heart learns and grows with you. You are beautiful because you are smart and you always try your best. Your beauty radiates from the inside out. You glow. Yes, you are beautiful. <3

“She was beautiful, but not like the girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought.She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make someone smile even when she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.” ~Unknown ( )

Question: Who do you know who is an example of true beauty? :)


Getting in the swing of things!

I’m a routines person. I get comfortable with a schedule and I thrive. When I get a new schedule my mind becomes a jumble of what I think I need to be doing (my old schedule) colliding with what I really need to be doing (my new schedule).  Currently I am in flux, slowly getting my new rhythm.

In every day there are what I consider the necessary components consisting of meals, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, appointments, kid activities, school, family time and then there is my free time. This is any down time for me. It occurs usually after the kids are in bed or early in the morning before they wake up. I read during my me time. I write. I have been missing both. Both literally and figuratively. I haven’t been writing and miss the outlet. My stack of ‘to read books’ is knee high.

There is hope though. I am in a rhythm of getting the girls ready in the morning to be out of the house at 8:45 daily. They are dressed with their hair and teeth brushed. I am becoming an expert at packing a lunchbox and a snack.  Backpacks ready. School folder accounted for with any returned papers inside. I am in charge of walking my daughter and our neighbor twins up the hill .7 mile  to school in the morning three days a week. I drive the school crew the other two days a week because after I drop the school ages girls off I continue on to then take my youngest to preschool. The last month I have hung out either at my daughters preschool making sure she’s doing ok, or I’ve run a few errands. she is there for 2 hours and 45 minutes. In my mind I envisioned this to be an eternity of kid free time. In reality is goes by in the blink of an eye. This month I am hoping to use one of the two-hour segments of time for me and the other to volunteer in my daughters kindergarten class each week.

In the afternoon my youngest and I walk back up the hill to school to pick up my daughter and the neighbor kids and we all trek down the hill to home. I have my meal plans set for the next month thanks to and  my youngest and I go to the grocery store on Fridays for the next weeks meal plan. It is working out fairly well. I have been taking the one on one time with my youngest to go to the library and the children’s museum. We go out to lunch and to the park. We snuggle and read books on the couch. We play ponies and princess. Today we went to the beach. I am loving my time with just her. This is the first time for us to be together, just she and I, now that my oldest is in school. It’s pretty wonderful getting to know her without the influence her sister has on her when they are together.

Now, I am hoping to add the me time schedule. The mom time always seems to come last.  Which is okay. I am home to be the captain of the kid ship so to speak. It is my job at this point in time. One I wouldn’t trade for the world. Well, 98% of the time anyway. ;) Lately the girls are both going to bed at 7:30PM giving me some time in the evening (like right now) to get some writing done. I’ll try to go to bed early so I can read. I am not much of a morning person since having my daughters mostly because I have been too tired. Kids seem to do that. Create exhaustion. Or maybe it’s because I’m almost 40. Probably a combo of the two. Now though, both my girls are sleeping in until about 6:30 which is late for them, so I’m going to try to get up at 5:30AM to have an hour for me before they wake up. Old people like to get up early, right? We’ll see how this goes. It might be nice to watch the sun rise. They are beautiful this time of year. If the sun comes out that is…otherwise I can sit in front of my S.A.D light therapy lamp! Which I love by the way.

So, here’s to me getting completely in tune with our new family schedule and finding the extra time!! I’m feeling pretty confident :)


September Blog Re-cap: Meaningful Mommy

“A Meaningful Life is not being rich, being popular, being highly educated or being perfect. It Is about being real, being humble, being strong and being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others. It Is only then that we could have a full, happy and contented life.” ~Unknown

I am a wearer of many hats…a mommy, wife, daughter, sister, friend, ex-teacher, stay-at-home mommy, wanna-be perfectionist but constant mistake maker trying to find a balance between being a mommy, being me and leading a meaningful life.

Because of my ‘all or nothing’ mentality (I’m working on this, honest) I was becoming obsessed with how I should be living than actually living. I was worrying about being perfect and missing being present. I realized I needed to change. I started my blog to start my journey of changing my focus from that of being a perfect person to becoming a flawed but meaningful one. There is no one “perfect” way. Just as we expect people to be individuals, our lives should also be a reflection of who we are. The trick is figuring out what you want and the path to take. Here are some of the components of my path.

I hope my posts will inspire you to leave the false idea of perfection behind and embrace the art of being meaningful. Together we can find inspiration to live and parent with meaning and intentionality!

I appreciate everyone who is reading ‘meaningful mommy’ and following along. Your support is very meaningful! <3


Below are the categories I write in my blog. Yes, there are a few. Pick what speaks to you and start there! Click on any blue to be automatically linked to those posts!

In adventure and travel: Our biggest adventure in September was starting school. I will be going on a mommy adventure to Washington D.C. and Pittsburg in October. Look for fun posts about that!!

In mommy & me I share about my kids mostly and my mommy moments!! My oldest daughter just started Kindergarten and my youngest preschool. Here is how that pulled my heartstrings: With My Heart Swelling & My eyes Welling <3  I wrote about my realization that We Are Already Meaningful Mommies!! Woohoo! Pat yourself on the back :)

In food & garden: I’ve posted pics about our gardens growth! It has been much more of a success than I ever imagined. We have really enjoyed this garden as a family and can’t wait for our Fall harvest! It keeps growing, amazing. Our pumpkins are getting huge and orange! See pics here!

I was invited by another blogger to try out her meal prep plan for a 6-week time frame!! I am so excited! Here is my post about my experience with Week One of Miss Freddy’s 6-Week Family Meal Plan. Awesome!

In living simply: I will continue to post about how leading a simple life can actually make it more meaningful and intentional. Here is an older post about my feelings about being Average. I am not intimidated by being average.

In mind & body health: I wrote about my S.A.D. disorder in late August and will re-cap what benefit my light therapy box has had for me…along with some very important supplements. stay tuned!!
•Each month there will be a 30 day challenge. May’s challenge was Abs. June’s challenge was Arms. July’s challenge was Thighs, August Good-Bye Love Handles. September my challenge was walking my daughter to Kindergarten uphill .7 miles and back down twice a day. There is a new October Challenge posted! Join me!
I will continue to add a monthly fitness challenge, as well as helpful tips on how to look at life with a healthier mental and physical outlook.

In kids corner: fun stuff there are activities and crafts to keep those kiddoes busy and out of trouble! Septembers posts are 5 Easy DIY Instruments & Fall Crafts in 10 Steps or Less!

In parenting tips & tricks I post about positive Discipline and how I carry out its strategies into raising my girls. I will add a weekly tip related to this philosophy. I will also add any great parenting advice I come across. In keeping with my hopes for more open discussion of emotions and mental health one of the posts I wrote was about Kids & Feelings since emotional Intelligence should start with our children. I’m adding an oldie but a goodie Kids & Quarreling!

And in wordpress & writing: I am still enjoying the WordPress writing challenges!! I actually submitted my first writing to a magazine. no word yet….also submitted to a really popular blog hoping to be featured. We’ll see… I also had my 39th Birthday which I wrote a Tanka for. Don’t know what a Tanka is…I didn’t either. Check out My Birthday Tanka Runneth Over. I received a Lovely Blog Award <3 Thank you!

I’m up to 166 blog followers and 123 on Facebook! If you’d like my posts to show up in your daily Facebook feed making it easy to share anything you like with your friends, friend meaningful mommy here!  (plus I share some extra’s on FB that are not on my blog)…

I’d love to hear from you! Comments, Questions & Suggestions Welcome!!!   :) ~Megan



30 day fitness challenge for October!

Ok, get ready!! I found a wonderful Fall, for the Pacific Northwest, that means an indoor 30 day fitness challenge!!! Well, it could be done outdoors if you live somewhere with better weather, but don’t tell me, it will just make my S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) sadder….

This is a fabulous workout in about 15-20 min. a day (except rest days) :)

This is a perfect challenge to gear up before the holidays and to stay on track over Halloween. Repeat after me “Stealing our children’s candy is one thing, they do not need the extra energy sugar gives them…eating said stolen candy does not help us. Do not eat it!!”.

This challenge is called the 30 Day Little Black Dress Challenge but could be equally named the slim-fit tuxedo challenge. fitness is fitness and I love any plan that takes not much time in my already busy day.

The site has examples on each exercise showing the proper form.



There is also a printable calendar as well as iphone & android apps!! AWESOME!!  I’m ready! Are you ready?! :)

30 Day Little Black Dress Challenge Workout Chart



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