Where do I begin?

It feels as if I have abandoned this spot on the Internet, and in a way I have. Life as been at a break neck pace for the entire month of May. It's only been in the last few days that I've actually realized that May has come and gone, too quickly if I can be honest. At the end of April I found myself at a crossroads in so many ways. With work, with life, with just about everything. Do you ever feel like you are just running along? Like you are on this hamster wheel with no real destination. I had been feeling that way. Just running along, falling behind, never really noticing the view. I felt as if I had no real destination, as if I was just working to work, running to run, living and breathing to stay afloat. I wouldn't say that I was unhappy, but I would say that I was just sitting and watching the world around me. But I don't think I was really enjoying it.

I quit my job about three weeks ago. Typing that is totally shocking. Still. Even to me. I quit my job. A job that I had hesitations about finding and accepting in the first place. A job that taught me that I could still be successful as a person, separate from being a mother. A place where I learned that there was still more to Megan than motherhood. For those things I am thankful. I didn't know I could do such things after all the years out of the workforce. I had no idea that I could juggle, albeit not very well, but still I didn't drop too many things. I worked so hard at that job and yet after a year and a half I was able to look outside of myself and all the comforts ofdoing that job well, and leap. Leap without really looking or asking too many questions. Which is also shocking.

At the end of April I was approached my a dear friend that owns a Bridal shop here in town. I've known her since I was a newlywed, and years ago I had this dream of working for her. Many of you in bloggy land don't know a lot about me before I was mommy, and one thing is that I have my degree in retailing and business. Surprise! Not only do I have a degree, but I started my career working for a regional retailer who had their headquarters here in the valley. My internship with them turned into a position as an Assistant Buyer in their Accessories Department. It sounds way more glamorous than it is, but still I was using my degree. My point with all this back story is that when I left that retailer a few years before they closed up shop for good, I put my "buying" dreams aside. I put a lot of my retailing dreams aside. Then life happened and motherhood and here I am writing this blog with bigger dreams of publishing work, and not so many dreams of retailing.

Until my friend called.

She needed someone to help her and her business. She needed someone with experience in many areas of retail to take some of the pressure off after a family emergency. She wanted someone who would care about her business as much as she does, and love it in a similar way. And since we both get our hair done by the same person, that person suggested me. When my friend called, out of the blue, I had zero intentions of leaving my job. I was just going to see what she had to say, I didn't think that the bridal business was still something I wanted to do. I didn't think that I would be interested, but I agreed to meet her for coffee, and you guys, I'm not kidding when I say, the lights came back on. We talked for less than an hour and I was energized. It was light someone had lit a fire in my heart. The passion was back.

I was hesitant. I was very comfortable at my former employer, and believe me when you say that I had an amazing manager. My former manager was understanding and very forgiving when motherhood and work overlapped. When I needed time off it was given. When I had little emergencies that turned into big emergencies she was both understanding and sympathetic. And that made it really hard to leave that comfort zone. Also, if I'm being honest, I was really good at my job. Still there were things that I wasn't so crazy about. Like my late nights when I had to close (even if  it wasn't that often), also my weekends were spent away from my family. Weekends were always the worst, because even if I got off work by five or six, I was usually too tired to do anything when I got home. For me that sucked, and for my kids that sucked. There were things about the "pier" that were fantastic, but there were also somethings that I couldn't ignore. And the longer I worked there, the longer I felt I was missing out on a lot at home.

It took me a full week to wrap my head around what I was going to do. I looked at it from so many angles and talked to so many people. Going from a corporate job to a small, locally owned business is really scary. The things you hate about corporate are also the things you take comfort in. I went around and around, but even when I faced some of the "cons", the lights stayed on. All my friends and the Hubbs all said they noticed the same thing, my face lit up when I talked about the new job and it's potential. My whole demeanor was different and fresh. Like I said, the lights were on, and I couldn't ignore that. The minute I committed myself to the idea, the wheels started turning, and I began talking myself into the jump. I began dreaming about brides and dresses, about events and photo shoots, and I began to get to work on the next steps in my career life. Which required me to jump right out of my comfort zone. As scary as that jump felt, somehow it also felt right.

I know that this new job isn't going to be easy. Any form of retail never is, but I really like the idea of selling the idea, that "one big, planning since you saw Steel Magnolias", idea. I can't wait to dive in and help with the little details that make a wedding day unique and personal. I'm sure there will be late nights and early mornings at some point. There will be Bridezillas, and Momzillas, and that one Maid of Honor who is so pissed it still isn't her that she can't see straight. I've been in about seven (or more, my memory has gone) weddings. I've dealt with these "zillas" before, and now I'll actually get paid for dealing with them. After all these years, I didn't know that I still had this kind of career dream in my heart. I didn't know that I couldn't still be this passionate about work. Sure I'm passionate in my writing and blogging life, and I have great passions when it comes to motherhood, but this kind of retail niche job doesn't come around that often.

I officially start next Tuesday. The shop is open on Saturday, so I will still work some weekends, but my nights will be at home with the girls. I'll get my Sundays back and that is a breath of fresh air, and I'll also have the same two days off in a row. That also has me breathing again. I'm very excited to get to work, to learn a new business, and to keep the lights on.

Because the lights, the ones that I didn't know went out, the lights are on again.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out the perfect gift, when it hit me. The best thing I could give you this year is a giant THANK YOU. The best gift is the one of gratitude and appreciation. Because I don't think I thank you enough. I don't think those of us in your life thank you enough.

Mom, in the last eighteen months I've leaned on you more than I have in my entire life. I've needed you in a different way. I've needed you to tend and care for my daughters. Those perfectly spoiled, funny, loving girls. You do realize they adore you, right? Just like I do. But they aren't the easiest people to get along with, much like their mother, and I so appreciate you for caring for them and loving them in a way that sometimes I cannot. Thank you for always being so patient with them, for helping fix mistakes I've made as a mommy, for loving them with everything you have. Did you ever imagine that you would have the capacity to love this much? In the same way you loved me, but with more of the best parts of you. It's amazing to see.

I really don't know how you did it. Raising a child like me. With all my neurosis, ticks, worries, and dramatics. How did you get yourself to work everyday all those years I was so sick? The years I refused to eat anything in fear of being in pain. How were you able to get me to school and yourself to work, on time, every day? I can't even function when my kids are sick or in pain. I spent years in pain, not knowing what my diet should be, blowing out candles on cakes I could never eat; and there you were, strong and supportive. How did you do that? How did you keep it all together? I guess it's just a small example of the kind of woman and mother you are.

You rarely take credit for being an incredible mother. You always say that you had help, or that you only had one child to worry about, but let's be honest. As the oldest child in your family, I was rarely your only worry. Thank you for setting such an amazing example of a working mother. It wasn't perfect by any means, but I'm still so inspired on how you did it. Sure we ate our dinners in the car a lot, we ran errands together, you took me to see movies that probably weren't the most appropriate for a kid, but thank you anyway. Thank you for letting me tag along.

In recent years I've read an article or two about Mothers and Daughters. Articles that say that Mothers and Daughters shouldn't be best friends. That as a mother you are there to be the authority figure, the one who sets the rules, the one who manages the lives of the children. And I get that to a point. As a mother, I'm supposed to be the authority figure. I'm not supposed to give in, I'm not supposed to let my kids walk all over me, and for the most part I don't. And if my memory serves you never did either, yet I consider you my best friend. You were always the one person I wanted to be around the most. That still holds true today. I loved all those trips to the bookstore. All the errands we ran for Grandma or Dad. Spending all those Saturdays when I was in college going to lunch or shopping. Sure I could have gone with my sorority sisters, but I missed you. I missed living at home and watching movies late into the night with you on the couch in our jammies. I want to be best friends with my girls. I want to bake cookies or biscuits at eleven on a Friday night while we watch Jimmy Fallon, even if they shouldn't hear half of what he says. I want to watch SNL with them when they are teenagers and eat popcorn and M&Ms on the couch. I want those things because they are some of my favorite memories with you. And I want that for them. Thank you for teaching me that I can be best friends with my daughters while also being a fantastic mother.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for raising me your own way, a way that all the parenting books would frown upon now. Thank you for introducing me to books and pop culture. Thank you for letting me watch TV for more hours than are humanly possible. Thank you for working and setting such a strong example of what working moms look like. Thank you for being a feminist and inspiring me to make choices, to own those choices. Thank you for letting me try things and fail, and then try things and fly. Thank you for always telling me that I could do anything, be anything, and love anyone. Thank you for setting boundaries that had movable borders. Thank you for being patient, kind, loving, trusting, and honest. Thank your loving me always and anyway.

But mostly thank you for giving me life. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. You are truly the Patron Saint of Mothers. 

Sexy Undies on Laundry Day

A few weeks ago, I wore sexy undies on laundry day. It was a rookie mistake, because after all these years I should know better. Wearing sexy undies on laundry day, solidified the fact that I would have to have sex with my husband and fold laundry on the same day. How could I let this happen?

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I'm sure this has happened to you? Or maybe you are the kind of gal who never gave up her sexy undies when she got older or became a mom. Maybe you still enjoy the look and feel of sexy undies. Me? Not so much. Somewhere around the second trimester when I was pregnant with Caitlin, I had to put all those thongs in the back of the drawer. I didn't even want to wear pants, let alone have a piece of string going up my butt. At the time I was pretty sure that one day, I'd find them in the back of the drawer and think I'd want to wear them again. That I would one day be in a position where I would worry about panty lines and maybe even begin feeling sexy again. Then the baby came and I had to wear pads bigger than my newborn. All sense of modesty was lost. It was going to be granny-full-coverage undies from here on out. Plus, I couldn't even fit in those old thongs if I wanted to. It seemed as if they were part of some freaky doll clothes lingerie collection. Was I ever that small?

Since becoming a mom, I've taken the easy road, paved with full coverage cotton panties. They are from Victoria's Secret, but they are basically granny panties. Funny thing is that I really don't give a single fuck. The Hubbs whines about how boring they are, where is the lace, where is the satin? I'm forced to point out the neon color which is a whole hell of a lot better than basic white, but he just rolls his eyes. He gives me that look that roughly translates to, "This is my life now". I didn't mean to become a boring panty person, it just happened.

Over the years I've gotten smart. I've built a substantial stock pile of undies. Because laundry is always the last priority in this house. That's why my kid has two spirit day shirts. That's why both kids have enough clothes and undies themselves to last two weeks. Do my bath towels look old, it's because they are, and I have enough to last a lifetime as well. Because, laundry. Because for whatever reason, it just won't do itself.

It's been awhile since I've had to worry about running out of undies, but then I started working again and that has meant that laundry really hasn't been getting done. Then you factor in the fact that I only buy panties once a year, on my birthday. Usually because I get a bra coupon to use at Victoria's Secret, and since I'm there, I add on the five for whatever cotton undies. Women's lingerie is expensive, and when you go from buying the best to having to buy diapers, then pull-ups then a four pack of undies tattooed with Elsa from Frozen, your "needs" get put on the back burner. Cute undies for me hasn't been a necessity in years, but clean ones? That is mandatory.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself a few weeks ago faced with zero clean ones. I looked everywhere. I even brought out the ones that don't really fit, but I have them anyway for emergencies. Now I was way past emergency and on the cusp of wearing the sexy ones. The ones that are reserved for never. The ones that never see the light of day, because let's be honest, who has the time. And personally, I want to meet the person who invented something called a "cheekster". Because who's the lady that was all, "Fabric up my ass for eight hours? Yes, please". Does she even exist?

I spent an entire day wiggling around trying to think about anything else but the extra fabric in my undercarriage. Then it hit me, not only would I have to do laundry when I got home, but I'd also have to have sex with my husband if he had any idea that I was wearing underwear that never sees the light of day.

Oh. Shit.

Look, it's not that I don't like to have sex with my husband, I do I swear. I'm sure if he were here, he would tell you that I roll my eyes when ever he brings up the subject. I like sex. I like my husband. I like orgasms. But some days, I like sleep more. Some days all I have is enough to get the kids out of bed and to school. To get dinner ready, and to read books with the girls before bed. Some days the best I can do is putting seventeen pairs of my undies in the washing machine, then moving them to the dryer and then leaving them their until the next person does laundry. Orgasms are great. My husband is great. And if that is all that I had to do, we'd be one amazingly happy couple. But that's not the way life goes. I'm not a frigid bitch, but I had to really think about which activity I'd like to do more that day. Laundry or sex. Because I'm sorry but there was no way I was going to have sex and fold laundry. I told the husband not to make me choose, because I'm pretty sure he wasn't going to like the answer. Some days, I think I'd rather fold laundry then have to show off my sexy drawers.

Don't feel sorry for me. I didn't have to fold or have sex that day. And guess what? Everyone lived happily ever after. For the moment.

No more bad cop {I quit the fashion police}

About three weeks ago I did something revolutionary. Something so far out of my comfort zone I still get the sweats when I have to deal with it. Yet, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made...

I quit the fashion police.

Three weeks ago, my voice hoarse from yelling at the little humans in my house to get ready for school, I realized that we were fighting over the most bullshit of reasons. We were yelling and crying and throwing jeans in the air, because we couldn't agree on what to wear to school. Lame. One hundred and ten percent LAME.

I stopped and asked myself a few questions:

1 - Will mixing patterns really kill anyone? Will they spread disease? Will they bother anyone else in the world except me, the mother?

2- Do I really care what other parents think of me when my kids wear stained clothes? Will I really be offended if they think we are slobs and never do laundry since my daughter has decided to wear the same t-shirt to school for three days in a row?

3 - Will I be inconvenienced if my daughter wears sweats to school when the forecast says it will be ninety degrees? And conversely, will it bother me if she wears shorts in the rain?

4 - Is anyone dying? Bleeding?

My answers astonished me. No one was bleeding or dying. Mixing patterns was only hurting me. And who the hell cares if the parents at school stare at me. They stare at me all the time, usually because I'm not wearing any makeup and my hair is two days past a wash. I finally realized that fighting about clothes was a mom made disaster. I was creating this shit storm myself. So they want to wear shorts in the rain? Let them. They will learn that lesson the hard way. Caitlin wants to wear stripes and hearts and a leopard print sweater... Let her. I had to let all that InStyle Magazine bullshit I'd been reading for years go. Who am I? Not Anna Wintour. Will the school call if Mackenzie is wearing that same faded dress she just can't quit? No. They could give a shit. So why do I?

I care because I really thought I was going to be the editor of Vogue when I became an adult. I had big plans to move to New York and be a fashion designer slash fashion magazine editor. I have been following trends since I noticed Mr. Blackwell's list in People Magazine when I was seven. Ask my mother and she will tell you that I had to have a white plush robe at age nine after I saw Sally wearing one in When Harry Met Sally. Then I asked for espadrilles for my twelfth birthday after I saw Princess Diana wearing them in an US Weekly. So as I've become an adult, I've favored the latest fashions. You can't tell now, since I've become a mom a lot of the fashionable stuff has gone out the window, but back in the day? I used every single penny to buy clothes.

That's why I have the hardest time when the girls "don't match". When they wear colors that don't compliment. When they mix patterns, my anxiety gets the best of me. When they can't figure out what to wear on their own, but then refuse what I pick, I lose my mind. Then our morning turns upside down when everyone yells and cries and any ability to "even" is lost.

So three weeks ago, I threw my hands in the air and said, "wear whatever you want, as long as your butt is covered". I forced myself to bite my tongue and look the other way. Sweats were worn with sandals. Shorts and long sleeved shirts with kitten heeled slingbacks. Knee high socks and shorts with over sized sweatshirts. Faded shirts with faded leggings and Ugg style boots in eighty degrees.

But I said nothing. I am still saying nothing. The rule remains, butts and boobies covered. Can it really be that easy? Can I really throw out all I've learned from all those magazines? I have to. Giving up my patrol on the fashion police has made for some really pleasant mornings. We are happier people, and they are happy with their own interpretation of fashion. Fine, good, great! All great artists have to start somewhere, right?

I still have my moments. I still yell, because for some reason we can't get that "covered butt" rule down some days. And we still have the same arguments over shoes and why we can't wear wedge slingbacks on PE day. All that aside, I don't want to be bad cop anymore. Bad cop is no fun. Bad cop goes to work with mascara streaks and stress eats potato chips.

I quit the fashion police. My children are happier, I'm happier, and our mornings are so much brighter. Although that may have something to do with the neon shirts that are being paired with the leopard print shorts.