Make It A Happy One

What makes you happy? What makes you smile? Do that more often.

Have you ever heard a song or watched a TV show or perhaps a movie and you heard a line that just resonates with you. It speaks to you. That happened to me yesterday and believe it or not it was during the animated movie “Rock Dog”. I took a couple of my good friend’s daughters to the movie and the line that has been in my head since I heard it was so simple but true…”This is your life, make it a happy one.”

Let me say that again…

“This is your life make it a happy one.”

I ask you again, what makes you happy? We are surrounded by negativity, hate, separation, deception, sadness and more it seems every where we look. It’s easy to forget our happiness, it’s easy to be brought down.

I’ve been accused of being a little too optimistic at times, but that’s me. I see the good in people, I believe in the best and I trust things will turn out alright. That is just who I am, so I go looking for the good, because finding the good helps to make me happy. There are many things that help to make me happy and I intend to start doing them a little more, because it is my life and why shouldn’t it be happy.

Do you like to sing? Sing louder.

Do you like to read? Make time to read more.

Do you like to exercise? Then keep on doing it and make the time to make it happen, maybe switch up your routine and try something new!

Do you love your friends? Then show them, make time for them. 

Does your faith make you happy? Then share the word.

Do you love your family? Be with them more, tell them you love them.

Whatever good thing makes you happy, do more of it.

“This is your life, make it a happy one”, because why not? 

Do what makes you happy because it is your life, but don’t hate on others who are doing what makes them happy. We are all different, we all have different interests and we are each unique in our own way. Embrace that and enjoy what makes you happy, because you know what, we ALL deserve to be happy, yes including you. 

Here’s To New Adventures

I’ll never forget the day I graduated high school and reading the infamous Dr. Suess book “Oh The Places You Will Go”. It was a gift I had received back then and have often gone back to read during different times in my life when new adventures had presented themselves. Today I was reminded of the feelings that come with the start of a new adventure.

Imagine my surprise when I heard from one of my favorites at my favorite gym Anytime Fitness saying “We need to meet before Wednesday because I have news”. It just so happened I had just changed into my workout clothes right before she sent it so I said I was already on my way I’ll see you soon. Naturally, when you get a text like that all sort of things go through your mind. Keep in mind, however, for this particular situation, it could be a number of things for this person had become someone very special, like the little sister I never had and we shared a lot so it literally. could. be. anything. A sneaking suspicion though had me believe, she was off on a new adventure. Little did I know how right I was.

Let me take it even a step further to how I know little Miss Meghan of who I write about. She’s a spitfire of a woman who I met when she was a cheerleader for NDSU and was coached by another dear friend of mine. From the moment I met her I knew she had to be cool, I mean one, her name was Meghan and two, she had dark hair like me, so that had to be saying something, but it was her similar attitude and free spirit to mine that made our friendship instantaneous. From there I got to know her in other areas of our lives including with the latest when she came to work at Anytime Fitness and even more of a friendship blossomed.

Today Meghan let me know that she had a beyond exciting opportunity presented to her over the weekend and everything escalated quickly and she’s leaving THIS Wednesday already. Then I saw the emotions I remembered having the first time I ever left this area…excitement, nervousness and sadness all wrapped into one. It’s a GIANT step to move away from a place you know as home. It’s an even scarier step when it’s hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the ones you love dearly, your friends, your family, your everything.

But let me tell you this, the adventure you begin when you do step out on your own for the first time, is worth every obstacle that might come your way. Everything we do is for a reason, each path we take has it’s purpose. Had I not moved to Iowa at one point during my life, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, and frankly I love my life and where I am at right now, and I would not have made nearly half the friendships that I hold so dearly to this day, Meghan included.

Trust that the move you make is the right one for you even if it seems scary, because at the end of the day, you always have your loved ones when you need them and you can ALWAYS go back home. But go enjoy the adventure that awaits you while you can, because when  the best opportunity to move to Los Angeles, Hawaii, Reno, Nashville or wherever life may take you, presents itself, you take it without thinking twice and don’t look back, move forward.

This new adventure awaits you and may God bless you every step of the way. But know that “True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart.”

Along the Way

T-minus 6 days until Eric Church plays his Holdin’ My Own Tour at the Ralph Englelstad Arena so I’ve labeled it “Eric Church Week” at work and the countdown is on. To say I’m excited might be an understatement for more than one reason but those are stories for another time. In true “Megan” concert prep form I’ve been listening to every Eric Church album to brush up on all of the songs again so I can sing along the best (and the loudest) I possibly can at the concert.

It’s always fun to go through all the ones we play on BOB 95 but it’s also fun to remind myself of the other great gems that were never released for air play. The one that has had me thinking all day long and has been played a couple extra times was “Those I’ve Loved”, off his 2009 Carolina album. If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend listening to it at least once and I mean really take the moment to sit down and just listen. Don’t listen while being distracted, maybe even close your eyes and hear the words.

I was distracted the first time it started to play so I started it from the beginning again, sat back and listened to every bit of it. It gave me goosebumps, especially the very first part when he sings of losing his grandpa. Everyone remembers where they were or when they got the phone call that they lost a loved one. Then it moves onto first loves and how you grew apart and went separate ways. But it was completely about those we “loved along the way”. The song will relate to many if not all.

But it’s not just about the ones we “loved along the way” it’s about how they have helped to mold us into who we are today and it’s so very true. Family, friends, long lost lovers…they all have touched our lives one way or another. Some are a part of our story for as long as they live, a few for only short periods of times and others for as long as we live. Regardless they are part of who we are. Whether you know it or not they have helped you to grow, they have taught you a lesson, they may have even taught you to love. The past is part of who you are. I’m not saying you should repeat your past but I am saying don’t forget what got you to where you are today.

On the road of life, I’ve lost family members, I’ve had to see friends be laid to rest, have had broken friendships and have had my heartbroken and I know I’ve broken a heart or two as well. But in the wonderful lyrics of Eric Church, “And I hope they all know I never would’ve made it this far on my own…if not for those I’ve loved along the way” and to each and everyone of them, good or bad, happy ending or not so happy ending…thank you for helping me to be me.

Now go ahead take a moment and give it a listen, you know you want to.

Lasting First Impressions

Today I read the cutest story about an 18-year-old young man named Grant Kessler from Ohio. His youngest sister posted a picture of him on Twitter where he is at the hospital about to meet their new niece and he’s dressed up in a suit and tie. But it was the reason he was wearing the suit that melted my heart and will yours too…he told his family the reason he showed up to meet his niece for the first in a suit and tie is “because you only get one chance to make a first impression.”

Did you just get chills? Did you just tear up? Did you get emotional? It’s adorable and admirable. Why aren’t we all like that more? He knows and we all know his new born niece is not going to remember that exact moment but everyone around him will and everyone who was touched by this story and I can almost guarantee is thinking I want to do that same thing!

It was a simple gesture but it spoke volumes. It makes me want to put forth that little extra effort no matter where I am. We make first impressions all the time in our lives but don’t even think twice about it because some of them are just in passing. But even if it’s just in passing don’t you want to leave a lasting impression? I sure do, which is why not only do I want to make sure that I look presentable I want to act it as well. How we act can leave just as much of an impressions as how we present our outward appearance, if not more actually.

His caring act wants me to dress up when I meet a friend or relatives new born. It makes me want to be the first to smile when a stranger on the street is walking my way. When I see a person heading into the same building I want to reach the door first just so I can hold open the door for them. If I see someone at the grocery store with fewer items than me I want to let them go ahead of me in line.

First impressions, we make them everyday and most times they are never really remembered. Wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered even if they don’t know your name as the person who did a simple but meaningful gesture and they leave sharing that story with all they know never knowing if you’ll cross paths again but I guarantee if by chance you do, they’ll remember you and it will be in the best way possible.

I’m a simple person, who believes in treating others the way I want to be treated and I feel if we all tried just a little harder with our first impressions as did Grant, then maybe we could leave this world just a little bit better and a little more kind and would that be such a bad thing? So the next time you’re leaving the house, heading to work, running errands or just going to be around people take into consideration making not just any first impression but a lasting first impression, I know I’m going to try.

*Find the full story on Grant Kessler here.

Life Adventures…Here I Come

I’ve started this post over and over many times looking for the correct words on this one but then I looked at a list on my phone and realized that the list itself is exactly what I need to share first before I find the right words, so with one realllllly deep breath, here I go.

Bucket List: Life Adventures that I want to experience.

  • Visit Australia
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Visit Ireland
  • Visit Italy
  • Visit Spain
  • Visit all 50 States
  • Hold a Koala
  • See a Panda
  • Go to a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Experience a concert at Red Rock
  • Experience a concert at the Grand Ole Opry (accomplished 10-22-16)
  • Have a six pack abs once in my life
  • Own a house
  • Make Wine
  • Learn to Play Guitar
  • Try out for a music TV competition
  • Own a lake home
  • Visit an area where there are open window ceilings to watch and sleep under the Aurora Borealis
  • Stargaze from the back of a truck bed with the back filled with pillows, cushions and blankets
  • Sturgis (accomplished August 2014)
  • Get the word BELIEVE tattoed on my foot
  • Act in a Fargo play
  • Sing the National Anthem at a Vikings and/or Twins game
  • Get married
  • Have a family
  • Start a wine group

Writing this and knowing that even one person could read this list made me nervous,  not going to lie my heart was pounding and is still pounding after typing out this very personal list, but I needed to do it, because I feel it makes me more accountable then I have ever been. It makes it more real, that these are things I truly do want to experience and hope one day I am able to check off. Some more than others as I wrote them down in no particular order.

But why am I sharing the list? That’s a good question. To prove to myself I have the courage to start making them happen. You see I’ve had this list for a few years on my phone and every now and again I look at it and think “I still want this to happen or maybe this will happen this year” and then it seems time passes and another year comes and I’m still looking at a list that hasn’t happened. For example; learn to play guitar has been something I’ve thought about for as long as I can remember now but why haven’t I gone after it and just done it? Fear. Fear I wouldn’t be very good or worse yet, wouldn’t be able to do it. What a silly thought.

Fear holds many of us back from so many things and if 2016 did teach me anything it’s to begin conquering my fears. Maybe I won’t be the best guitar player in the world but at least if I try I can say just that, I tried it no matter what. Failure happens to the best of us but if we don’t at least try we won’t ever know if we can and that’s the saddest part of it all.

Don’t let your fears hold you back from what you want to do and if you fail at something don’t think it’s over, just get back up and try it again. You think electricity was invented over night? It certainly wasn’t, which should be encouragement enough to want to try, try again. I realize that not everything on this list is as “simple” as going to try and learn to play guitar. Some of them come with time and patience but as well as opening myself up to different possibilities and not turning away from something that might scare me. I have a tendency of thinking about things too much and questioning them too much, but maybe, just maybe by sharing this I’ll begin to act and not over think it all.
With all of that said, I now encourage you to write down your Bucket List: Life Adventures that I want to experience and see what you come up. Then comes the hard part, share that list with someone, I know that seems a little silly but it’s scarier than I thought but in doing so I bet it will spark something inside of you that will give you the courage to go after what you want. In one year from now I plan on seeing what I checked off this list and I’m feeling more confident at that the moment that “play guitar” will have a check next to it. My hope for you is that you do the same. Good luck with those new years resolutions but even more so good luck with all of your life experiences, because the moments, the experiences and the memories are what you should remember as we go through this crazy thing we call life.

Happy Cry

Today I was on the website Buzzfeed (a time waster website at it’s finest) and there was an article on there that was explained as a game…”The Happy Cry Game”. Basically the idea is how far can you get on this page before you begin to Happy Cry, well I’m about as emotional as emotional can get so I started to tear up the first post on the page I read…Yeah I suck at this “game” and I lose. But is it really losing when it comes to a happy cry? Not really. But it made me think of one of my very own happy cry moments and thought I’d share, if you don’t mind.

Let me begin with a little background information on myself. I am the only girl of four, yes I have three brothers: two older and one younger. However the even more interesting part of this is, when I was born I was the first girl born on my dad’s side of the family in 37 years. Needless to say my mom told me that when I was born my father was a little scared and asked, “What do I do with a girl”? She responded with “you’ll be just fine”. Just fine my dad was.

I myself can’t imagine what it must be like knowing what boys think and act and fear for what could happen to your daughter one day and do your best to protect them but give them the space to make mistakes along the way as well. My father has always been a man of few words when it comes to certain areas, especially dating, but the words he does say are always the right ones and very profound.

Growing up my parents always told me they loved me and taught me what it meant to love and to treat people good, even when they treat me poorly. But it’s those little acts of kindness from your parents, when you least expect them, that stick with you for life and make you appreciate all they have done and sacrificed for you happiness.

5c40a85d0b7e2ad12ecb08b1c1a94489The moment I’ll never forget with my dad was Valentine’s Day 1999. It was my senior year of high school and my boyfriend, my first real love had broken up with me the day before. Devastation couldn’t even begin to explain how I felt at that moment. What must run through a parents mind at that time, I do not know, but it must be painful watching your child in pain and not know what to do and to try and find the right words must be nearly impossible.

My mom, obviously understanding what it’s like to be a female and emotional did the best she could to comfort me but the unexpected comfort came from my father. Everyone was getting ready to go out to eat and I had opted out and had to decided to stay at home. My eyes were swollen, nose runny and my heart broken…nothing could change my mood.
My parents and younger brother were just about to leave when I heard a knock on my bedroom door. It was my daddy. He came in and handed me a small little box, wrapped in pretty pink paper with a little bow placed delicately on top. He hadn’t said a word and I began to open my pretty little gift curious to see what was inside. As I began to take the cover off he began to speak, “Megan I know I don’t have the right words to take away the pain you are feeling and put the pieces of your heart back together. Please, know this though, time will heal the pain. I can’t tell you how long it will take or when it will be okay but know it will. Also know that it might not be your only heart break, it can and probably will happen again. But always know that no matter what happens in life, where you are and who comes in and out of your life…I’ll always be there and you my lovely daughter will forever hold the key to my heart.” With that he took out a beautiful sterling silver necklace in the shape of a key with a heart shape top made out of an emerald, my birthstone and his. He gave me a giant hug and I wept not just tears of pain but Happy Cry tears for I knew, no matter how much my heart may break through the years it will heal and I’d always have the love of my dad, my mom, my family, friends and so many more and I always will.

Rules I feel many Fathers believe in.

Rules I feel many Fathers believe in.

No Place Like Home

Another Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye. It amazes me how with each year time slips away quicker and quicker. When did that happen? Not only did Christmas swiftly pass, they’ve changed. Yes granted I’ve gotten older and not everyone in the family can be here and above all yes I realize that the feeling and eagerness will never quite be like that of when I was a child and still believed. As a child there was no other excitement like that of waiting for Santa. I remember the feeling of something magical to take place overnight. Growing up the enthusiasm would really reach its peak on the way home from church when mom or dad, one of my aunts or uncles, or whoever I might be riding with at the time would exclaim ‘think I just saw a red light in the sky, better hurry home to bed, must have been Santa with Rudolph leading the way.’ In my mind we couldn’t get home fast enough. So many things to do before bed and a long sleepless night.

believe in the magic

The family; mom, dad, my three brothers and myself would FINALLY get home, change into pajamas sit around the Christmas tree with our hot chocolate or eggnog and settle in for dad to read “The Night Before Christmas”. A family tradition to this day even if not everyone can always be home together to celebrate. Dad would read the story and we would then lay out cookies, eggnog or milk and our letters to Santa and run off to bed with instructions not too peak or come out of our rooms until morning.

Not sure I ever slept on those nights, I remember wanting nothing more than to just fall asleep already and wake to find if Santa had really come.  Well at some point I must have fallen asleep because I’d awake and it was morning, sort of, it was usually about five in the morning and even though all of us kids were up we knew mom and dad couldn’t be woken quite yet. My brothers and I would gather in one of our bedrooms and wait, but not very patiently, until about six. One by one, in that hour, we’d all have to “use” the bathroom at some point, but we all knew it was to take a glimpse into the living room and look to see if our stockings were full because if they were, we knew, Santa had come. When done in the bathroom we’d run back into the room in a fit of giggles and excitement to proclaim, ‘Santa has come he really has’!  After little sleep and one loooonnngggg hour of waiting to finally go to the living room, my oldest brother would allow us to go and sit with the Christmas lights on around the tree in hopes to wake mom and dad up. How could they sleep? Santa had visited, he’d eaten all the cookies the drink was gone and OH MY GOODNESS he wrote us a letter, a real note from the good old Saint Nicholas himself. Looking at it now I don’t know how I didn’t burst from excitement.

Mom and dad would get up not long after and the agonizing wait for my father began. Every little excuse he could find to prolong the opening of stockings and gifts he did. He’d have to read the paper, make his coffee, drink the first glass to the last drop then tease us with the idea of making a big breakfast and eating before we did anything. Oh, my dad was

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amused with himself and would laugh at our clear impatience with him, but it amused him none-the-less. An amusement that I can appreciate now, it was a way to make the magic last just a bit more and keep the family together that much longer. When I was younger perhaps we didn’t always have the most but what we did have meant everything and I wouldn’t trade anything for those memories and at times I wish I could get that feeling of excitement back. Yes, things have changed and I know the truth now of Santa and fully realize that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth but I love this time of year just as much as I did back then, if not more now.

It’s a time of family gathering, sharing stories of the past and being together. The magic of Christmas remains even if it’s a little different. As I type this at my parents, my home I grew up in, I think how often I don’t get back here and wish it was more. It’s a place I know I can always return no matter what, no questions asked, it’s a place of love and a place of memories a plenty. As I look down at the ironic ruby-red slippers, given to me by mom, the thought is not lost on me…there is no place like home. IMG_51291