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Amy’s 21st Birthday

So my little sister Amy is now 21… It’s fine. I’m just very very old now. Rather than weep bitter tears into my keyboard, I will just tell you about the day and take my mind off things.

Her birthday was Sunday so we started it off by attending Northridge Church. I didn’t take any pictures of that because we were late and it would have been weird. After church, Amy, myself, our mom and friend Kenzie headed to Ann Arbor to do brunch.

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Zola’s is an adorbs café that serves crazy good and unique cuisine and a large array of specialty teas. We ordered Russian Tea while perusing the menu.

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The Russian Tea was a traditional English Breakfast Tea but instead of cream and sugar, you stir in cherry preserves and some lemon. I still added sugar…. shh! My mom and I both ordered Turkish Eggs, Amy ordered Heideye’s Breakfast, and Kenzie got the Smoked Salmon Platter. Um. Yum!

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After brunch, we walked around town a bit. We made a stop at The Literati Bookstore. So cute. I loved the chalkboard art that defined each section. Check out the Nancy Drew collection…. My childhood was calling! Amy is an English major so she loves all them book thingys… ;)

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We also happened upon this little Antique Shop. It was super pricey but cute. I’m a sucker for any kind of vintage cat. I just can’t apologize for it.

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We also scoped out a record store where I almost bought a Ray LaMontagne album but decided I should get a record player first. Amy and Kenzie went to Urban Outfitters where I saw nothing I liked lol… but when we stopped by a cute vintage clothing store, I found a shirt for my fireman. :) Yay!

Later that night the whole family went to The Sardine Room for dinner followed by cake and gifts for the birthday gal! Happy Birthday, Amy! You are loved. xo

PicMonkey Collage

“She knows just where I dream to go, remembers where I’ve been.
Accepts me just the way I am and treats me like a friend.
She’s someone who is there for me, no matter what or when.
And every time I’m with her, it’s like coming home again.” -Author Unknown

Love,

Meagan

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Our trip started with a sleepy baby bear in the backseat…. He’s sorta adorable.

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Here are his parents! It was about a 3.5 hour drive from our house. Not too bad when you have a bag of snacks and candy and the baby has a dvd player :) Ah technology… you are a life saver!

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When we arrived, we set up Gertrude (our camper) and our campsite had to get gussied up too. I’m still workin on it, but for now I just have flamingos, a rug, flower pots, and lights. I feel like it leaves a lot to be desired but it’s cute in a minimalist sort of way…

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And here are a few pictures of the inside. Excuse the mess. It happens when you’re living out of a tin can in the middle of a grassy field….

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We met up with my husband’s side of the family(Grandma Penny, Uncle James, Auntie Nette and Uncle Matt, Auntie Trish and Uncle Mark, Nolan and Wesley) which was nice because we don’t see them as much as we’d like to. Bentley had a great time playing with his cousins Nolan and Wesley. They are a lot older than him (10 and 7) but they paid attention to him and carted him around the campground and Bentley loved it.

Instead of joining the gang for hiking, we took the opportunity to explore the neighboring town of Gaylord, MI. It’s so cute and fun.

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We visited a yard sale, 2 resale shops, and a salvation army before heading to “The Bearded Dog” for lunch. It was gorgeous and the food (and the martini… whoops…. it’s vacation…) were awesome!

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This was a sweet little antique shop…

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That evening, we all reunited for a group dinner and smores around the campfire! I would say it was a glamping success. Hartwick Pines, we loved visiting you… glamp again soon! Bye!

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Love,

Meagan

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So, I didn’t document the Halloween thru Christmas festivities as well as I’d planned, but I hear that’s what having a 1-year-old does to you. Here is an unorganized look at some “stuff” from our holiday season!

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Bentley had a blast playing in his first ever pile of leaves!

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This was my fall table and chandelier.  I LOVE decorating for each season.

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This photo was taken on Halloween just before Bentley went outside, fell, and cut his nose and lip… Poor baby!  Honey Child (our dog) went as a dinosaur.

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During the fall season I made these delicious treats!  Home made Marshmallows (Ina Gartens recipe), An apple tart in puff pastry (based on a Kelsey Nixon recipe), and White Chocolate Bark (also one of Ina’s)  They were all AWESOME!  The marshmallows are easy and so delish.  If you make them once, you’ll want to make them forever!  Get the recipes:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-marshmallows-recipe/index.html  AND http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-chocolate-bark-recipe2/index.html  AND  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/honey-glazed-apple-pear-tart-recipe/index.html  I hope you love them as much as we do!

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These are pictures from Bentley’s FIRST BIRTHDAY!  It was a cowboy themed party at Victory Ranch in Northville.  It was so much fun…. I can’t believe my sweet baby is a year old… wow….

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Somewhere along the way, I went dark!  This is my natural color.  I miss the blonde, but my wallet sure doesn’t… haha.  Brunettes have more fun because they have extra money ;)

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Christmas time in our nest began with this Refrigerator Snowman!  His name is Chilly Willy.  It’s his Christian name.  He’s made of construction paper and scotch tape.  Next year, I hope to make him out of felt and magnets.  He’s so darn cute!

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I made Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Gingerbread.  It’s AMAZING! You can find it here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/guinness-gingerbread-recipe/index.html  I purchased mini fake evergreens and vintage plastic deer figurines on etsy and stuck them all over the bread.  Then I made it “snow” with some powdered sugar!  Kids LOVE to help put the deer on and its so cute when its done.

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Bentley visited with Santa, but he wasn’t so sure it was a good idea… I think we got his picture just in time to avoid some tears.

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Bentley got his first haircut!  A  fohawk just like Daddy… :)  My boys are too cute.

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Here is a centerpiece I put together for my mother in law’s table.  The bowl came from IKEA and I just filled it up with random Christmas bulbs.  Simple and lovely!

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A shot of our Christmas dining room.  I printed out the letters for my Merry Christmas banner from here: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/  It’s an amazing DIY website that offers FREE printable banners and an entire banner alphabet.  I printed out my letters and then I taped them onto brown paper lunch bags that I had cut open and spread flat.  then I cut a border around each letter.  I clothes pinned the letters to some lines of jute that I bought at a hardware store and tied them to the back of the mirror.  Boom.  Merry Christmas!

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Night time shot :)

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Tree #2 is in our living room.  My fireman calls this the “Christmas Throw Up Tree”…. He’s just jealous of my vast ornament collection that spans almost 3 decades… I’m not 30 yet ;)

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Look who I found sneaking behind the tree…

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Christmas shopping with my little copilot!

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Christmas card picture!  Thanks Auntie Jeanette and Uncle Matt!

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Great Grammy and Great Poppy got Bentley some singing snowmen and a saxophone playing Santa.  To say he enjoyed them would be a gross understatement….  To say I enjoyed them after the hundredth time they were played would also be a gross understatement…

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My fireman had to work on Christmas… so baby and I (and Grandpa, and Great Poppy, and Uncle Joel) went to visit him.  Someone was asleep by the time we got there :)  Daddy carried him around and showed him off.

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I fell in love with the firehouse vintage Santa who stands between the truck and the engine… Sorry husband…

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One of my beautiful gifts from my love…. a ruby heart.

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I hope to spend more nights in front of this fire… after the hectic pace, I need to relax for a few!  I hope you had a beautiful and meaningful holiday season.  Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!  (the Mayans were wrong… bring it on 2013!!)

Love,

Meagan

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Hello and welcome.  I just wanted to post a few quick thoughts about Memorial Day.  Yes, there will be barbecuing, yes there will be swimming and backyard football and a day off from work… but why?  Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?  What are we supposed to be remembering?  The answer is of course, all of our fallen service men and women who have given their lives for us.  These people literally lost their lives serving you and I.  Their families lost their son or daughter, their brother or sister…their daddy or mommy… their husband or wife…   For them, Memorial Day might not be as leisurely of a celebration.  My heart truly goes out to the ones left behind and I am humbled by their sacrifice.

CHALLENGE:  Don’t let this Memorial Day pass without actually memorializing our American heroes.  I think it would be really special if we all bought some flowers and took them to a soldier’s grave.  You don’t have to know them to love them.  Northville, MI’s  local cemetery “Rural Hill”  has a fallen heroes section and I have seen other area cemeteries that have them as well.  If your town’s local cemetery does not have a military section, please consider making a small donation to  http://www.nvf.org/  However you may choose to honor our heroes, please show your appreciation in a tangible way this Memorial Day! I would love to hear what you decided to do so please let me know!




And I will leave you with this poem that I think is so lovely and moving…

The Unknown Soldier

You need not ever know my name
This unknown soldier seeks no fame

I’m here to bring out thought from you
May your heart see more than your view

America, we marched with pride
We gave our life, for you we died

How well we knew the time might come
When life could sound that final drum

Please think of us as life moves on
We tried so hard till that last dawn

Do let our spirit fill the land
Pass treasured freedom, hand to hand

God blessed this country with such love
Hold in your heart, abundance of

And when you stand before my grave
Think not of one, but each who gave

©2003Roger J. Robicheau

Love to you and yours on this holiday. May we celebrate our faith, our families, and our freedom!

Love,
Meagan

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Hello and welcome back to The Bluebird’s Nest.  Today I’ve got a bee in my bonnet!  Yes, I am sure that my fury is partially hormonally induced however, the other part is purely righteous indignation.  I have never been the kind of lady who goes around shrieking about the glass ceiling and I have never hosted a bra burning party in the name of women’s liberation, BUT… I am livid about what I keep hearing out of the mouths of men today regarding women.

The verbage of choice to describe a woman is “bitch”.  Example:  “Yeah some bitch was acting crazy at this party over the weekend”  or “Yeah that bitch was so effin’ hot”.  Does this make you as upset as it does me?  Whether you are a man or a woman, I certainly hope it does.  Ladies, this is not how God sees you.  God sees you as precious… God sees you with all the love in His heart and all the wonder with which He created you. 

Where is the respect?  Where is the chivalry?  Where is even a shred of appreciation or admiration toward a lady?  As we know, women have had to fight and struggle to gain our rights, respect, and pay checks.  But why should we have to fight to gain our God-given title of “woman”?  When did it become ok for us to be referred to as female dogs?  I don’t care if the woman being referred to is a prostitute.  She is still a woman.  A woman who is probably in the position she is, because a man told her over and over again she is nothing more than a worthless “b**ch.  (I really don’t like to type the word over and over)

Women are beautiful.  Women are everything that is soft and gentle in this world.  We round off those rough edges and we cushion the falls of those that we love and protect.  We are strong, we are brave, we are talented, we are kind and good and so so so much more than what some men would reduce us to.  Men who have never truly loved a woman… men who have never truly loved themselves. 

If the child growing inside of me turns out to be a boy, I will make sure he knows how to treat a lady whether or not I am watching or listening.  These men must not have been taught how to be real men.  They must not be able to look at their mothers, wives, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, or daughters the way every woman deserves to be looked at.  They must not know what it means to hold someones heart so very high.  I pity these men…even more than they make me angry, they make me sad.

I am so grateful for my husband David.  I know that he loves me because he respects me.  He shows me everyday how it feels to be cherished, esteemed, and valuable. 

We are women.  We are God’s most beautiful creation.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Love,

Meagan

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Hello and welcome back to The Bluebird’s Nest!  I am still not up to cooking but I thought I would break my blogging silence to say a few words about mothers in honor of Mothers Day.  As I prepare to become a mother myself in the coming months, I can’t help but feel a wide range of emotions.  Some of this is hormonally induced, but the other part is just being human I think.  I ask myself the following questions on repeat all day, everyday:

– Why did I do this?  I can’t do this!

– I can do this… Right?

– Will I screw up my child’s life?

– Will my child love me?  What if we don’t click?

– Will I love my child?

– Of course I’ll love my child… Right?

– How will I handle those teenage years?

– How will I balance being a wife, being a mom, and being  myself?

Needless to say, there’s a lot of worryin’ goin on in this little head of mine!  In times like these, I realize that the only reference I really have is my own mother.  I think to myself that she did it and she made it through alright, so I must be able to do it too.  When I wonder if I’ll screw up my child’s life, I remember the times my mom made some mistakes and I evaluate my level of “screwed up-ness”.  I think I’m fine.  I’m a little weird but that’s not all my moms fault!  The times that she maybe could have done things differently make me see her as a human being.  Someone who made a mistake and learned from it.  Someone not too proud to say they’re sorry to their child.  It makes me realize that everyone says or does the wrong thing sometimes.  It makes me willing to hand out a little more grace to others… to myself.

When I wonder if I’ll be able to love my child, I remember her saying that when she held me she never felt love like that.  She said that she didn’t think her heart would be big enough to hold it all in.  She has never skimped on verbalizing her love to me.  She has never skimped on demonstrating it either.  It makes me think that I could love like that.  I feel the bond between us and it makes me believe I can make one with my baby.  It gives me a glimpse into the love that God must have for all of us.  They say you understand the heart of God more when you have a child because the love you feel for your baby, strong as it may be, is only a fraction of the love He has for us.

Though my teen years were pretty darn difficult, (examples include: bad boys, blatant disregard for the rules about no mascara or eyeliner, detention for rolling up my school uniform skirt, lying, crying, sneaking around, writing swear words in my diary like I even knew how to use them, etc. etc.)  she managed to get me (and herself) through them pretty much unscathed.  I was grounded sometimes or forbidden to watch 90210 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but I never hated her for too long.  I loved her too much for that.  Maybe, just maybe… my child will feel that way too. 

My mother knows who she is.  She has a strong faith in God, loves her family, and cannot tolerate a bad cup of coffee.  She sings harmony with songs on the radio, she falls asleep on the couch around 9 p.m. every night even though she says she’s just resting her eyes, and she makes really good vegetable soup.  She collects tea cups, loves raspberries, and she is loved by everyone who meets her.  She is the kind of mother some children wish they could have, a saint among wives, a champion for a daughter, and a friend you can believe in.  I hope that someday the child I carry can say at least some of these things about me…

Happy Mothers Day to my mother Debbie Hall and to all you wonderful mothers out there!  God Bless!

Love,

Meagan

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I’m so empty, I feel so numb
Will this grey day just be done?
I feel so anxious, feel so tried
When will I be satisfied?

I feel no magic, I find no peace
Where’s the hope and sweet release?
It’s like I’m mourning someone who died
When will I be satisfied?

I’ll be satisfied when there’s less of me, when there’s nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I give my all, just jump out of my head
And I finally just fall…
I’ll be satisfied… I’ll be satisfied

The morning crashes through the night
Dressing dark in shades of light
But like a coward, I run and hide
When will I be satisfied?

I’ll be satisfied when theres less of me, when theres nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I give my all, just jump put of my head
And I finally just fall…
I’ll be satisfied, I’ll be satisified…

Theres a reason the skies hang above me at night
So I sing to the stars and I blow out their lights
I give grace to my heart and I hold my own hands
And I wonder to no one if this is your plan…

I’ll be satisfied, when theres less of me, when theres nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I win this war, lead the life I believe
Finally be something more…
I’ll be satisfied, I’ll be satisfied…

Are you satisfied with where you are in your life? Do you ever feel like your’e just floating around out here llike a balloon that lost it’s string? Me too. Sometimes my only consolation comes in the form of writing… Maybe you keep a journal or scribble your thoughts on napkins. Maybe you don’t write at all… maybe you should. Be it just thoughts, or a letter, or poems or songs, you need to connect with yourself. If I can’t connect to myself, I find it hard to connect to God and to others. Maybe you fel this way too. If you do, I encourage you to write something today.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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