It’s Your Birthday, and All I Got You Is This Dumb Blog Post

Besties Since the Age of Eight

Today is my best friend’s birthday. Honestly, I have a couple of lucky ladies who are of best friend status in my life (wait, I think that makes me the lucky one), but Theresa is the one I’ve known the longest, and has seen me through the best and worst times of my life. I met Theresa in third grade and for whatever reason the Universe decided to let me keep her for the next 22 years. She is truthfully one of the most happy, inspired, zen, generous people I’ve ever known. She is also one of the silliest, most spastic, cheesiest people I’ve ever known. Right now you might be thinking, “Megan, how in the hell can someone be both zen AND spastic?!” And I would tell you I have no idea, but Theresa pulls it off.

For the first half of our decades-long friendship, I fancied myself the leader of our little group. I thought I was in charge and Theresa was my trusty side-kick. But I’ve been shown over and over and over again that I am but a mere player in this amazing woman’s story. She is doing such incredible things with this life she’s been given, helping people and working so damn hard every single day, I’d be honored to be even a small footnote in the novel of her life. (Sidenote: T, I’d better not be a footnote! More like a chapter called, “How to get in a car accident with a Pizza Shuttle delivery car on the first day you have your license, while wearing full camouflage and facepaint.”)

Today is Theresa’s birthday and since I can’t be there with her in person I figured I’d post some hilarious photos of us looking amazing. Because what else is a blog for if not for posting iPhone photos of scrapbook pages from 15 years ago. Huzzah!


This was at our 8th grade graduation. I seem to be wearing curtains. Also, if I remember correctly, this was my first time wearing mascara and it ran all over my face and I looked like I’d been in a fight, which was weird since we were graduating in a church (Catholic school girls, whoop!). Theresa looks exactly how I remember her, which is totally happy all the time. I don’t remember her wearing white pantyhose, but this was 1997 and we all made dumb decisions.


In high school we both had sassy short haircuts, that we liked to whip around for photo ops. We also both liked to get slushies from the local Dara’s Fast Lane. This is actually right across the scene from the Pizza Shuttle Car Crash Incident.


I believe this was taken the day I broke up with a boy who was the worst boyfriend ever, but I was still pretty bummed about it. Because I was a teenager and had a bad haircut and getting bummed about horrible boys that were stupid was kind of my thing. As per usual, Theresa is the happiest person in the room. You’re probably seeing a theme here…


I graduated from high school at the end of my junior year, and while I was so happy to move on to college, I was feeling kind of blah about all the things I was going to miss my senior year. So the morning of my last day, Theresa and another friend did this to my car to make sure I had a proper send off. I remember crying, I was so happy. This is the kind of friend Theresa is, the kind that realizes something silly and fun might just cure the blahs that ail you. Also, I can’t remember what that crap is on my car, but it took forever to wash off.

Happy Birthday, Theresa! All I got you was this dumb blog post, but I know you’ll love me anyway, because that’s what best friends do.

Rumination’s on Being a Second Grader

I remember second grade so very well. It was the year things changed for me. Until that year I’d been “normal.” A little odd and silly, perhaps, but a girl with a lot of friends and a happy little life. I was a lot like my little Lulu is now, sunny and funny and sweet. But in second grade my parents decided to move me to a private religious school in order for my brother, who had some learning issues, to get more attention than they thought he’d get at a public school.


From that year until well into junior high, I was considered a bit of a weirdo. Kids were mean and unwelcoming, and the teachers didn’t seem to notice, or care. My mom still recalls going to a parent teacher conference where the teacher informed them I never had a partner at computer time. “Why not?” my parents questioned. Well, it seemed that no one wanted to be my partner, but I told the teacher it was okay, and I didn’t mind working by myself, so there I sat all year. Alone.

Now, I should be clear that none of these kids were inherently mean, just scared of someone different and following the pack, as many kids (and adults) tend to do. I also should point out that so much good came out of this situation. I eventually found a wonderful tribe of misfits and those people were some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Still are. I also know that I wouldn’t have become who I am today without these experiences, and I think I’m pretty rad. I don’t know if that means I’m happy I was bullied, I just know that I was blessed that I found a path that didn’t crush me or send my self-esteem to a point of no return. Many aren’t so lucky.

So today when I sent Lu off to second grade, I looked at her happy skipping body and her smiling eyes and found myself praying to the universe or God or whatever is out there that she is held safe these long school days. I told her she is loved beyond compare and that will never change, regardless of the number of awards she wins or friends she has. I told her about my experience, in the hopes that if she sees someone suffering, she will reach out. Those people who reached out when I was in second grade? They saved me. I think of them often and silently thank them for every gesture of kindness they bestowed upon me.


I have big hopes for this girl. Not hopes for straight A’s or medals or trophies, but hope that her light can reach someone that needs it this year. I hope her smile or kind words from her lips will make a small difference to someone. I may not know much, but I know my hopes will be fulfilled.

My Go Mighty Challenge | The Conclusion


(If you have no idea what Go Mighty is or what I’m talking about, please click here to read about the beginning of this journey.)

I wrote a little wrap up post over at Go Mighty about completing my goal of photographing 15 mothers and capturing the essence of motherhood. I hope you’ll go read it. You can find it by clicking here.

In that final post, I wrote how thankful I am for the mothers in my life, especially the ones who volunteered for this project. I feel so honored that they participated and allowed me to come into their lives and document their motherhoods. They all have incredible stories to tell, and I hope you go check them out.

I also talk quite a bit about how Olay sponsored my goal by giving me $500 to donate to a women-focused charity of my choosing. I chose to donate the money to the Willow Domestic Violence Center, a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence in Lawrence, Kansas. I volunteered at this shelter as a Women’s and Children’s Advocate in college, and the experience was life changing. You can read more about the shelter on its website. You can also make a donation, if you feel so inclined. For more on my experience at Willow, please click here.

Writing this conclusion was so cathartic for me in many ways. I poured my heart and soul into this project, working toward a deadline I wasn’t sure I’d ever make. I wanted so very much to be able to donate this money to the Willow Center, it pushed me when I was discouraged and sure I’d never make it. But it’s done now. The check is in the mail and I can cross this off my “to-do” list. Somehow, I’m not ready. I want this project to continue…maybe through a gallery display to raise more money for the Willow Center? Maybe I’ll continue taking photos of moms and sharing their stories here on Crazybananas? I really don’t know. But I do know this is not the end, it’s just another beginning.

Thanks for reading and supporting me through this journey, all. It is much, much appreciated.

Goodbye 2012


2012 highlights….

Spring – we went to New York City on our first trip without the kids // i completed my 2012 goal of starting to ride horses again // i started the path finder course // my little sis graduated from high school // we started finding places we love in our city with a trip to powell gardens

Summer –
we beat the drought with a lot of time in sprinklers // we attended my sister in law’s wedding at the family farm // i updated my life list // i was featured over at BlogHer Tech // we watched hours of the olympics

Fall –
i turned 30 (and then had an amazing celebration in las vegas) // i started writing for sweet lemon magazine’s blog, the zesty digest // i took a leap and signed up for the cultivating courage e-course // i held my first annual mini-shoot // we said goodbye to the best dog ever

Winter – i quit my day job // we sent out our unique holiday card // i accepted a position as research editor for design for minikind and was selected by olay to have part of my life list sponsored // we made our first holiday video greeting // i revealed in my new schedule and path


2012 has been pretty fantastic, but I’m pumped for 2013! This year will be so different from every year prior, with my job responsibilities changing so much, and me taking on freelance and part-time work instead of a 50 hour a week day job. I’m quickly learning that this new schedule has tons of challenges, the biggest one being how to fit all this work in when I have the Tate home three days a week and Lu and Tate home on the weekends. January is looking to be insane, with my Go Mighty Challenge and Alt Summit both packing my schedule, along with starting a new job and a new freelance gig.

So…cheers to 2012, and welcome 2013! You’re looking pretty cute. I think we’re gonna be friends!

(My new year, new life anthem, Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding)

On Being 30

30th Bday 2012

Today I turn 30 years old. I’m not sad or afraid or embarrassed about this fact. Actually, I’m pretty damn excited about it. When you graduate from college at 21, get married at 22 and have your first child at 23, you get pretty tired of feeling like the youngest girl in the room. I spent such a long time feeling insecure about my age (which is so dumb, please don’t do that), so turning 30 for me is something to celebrate! I don’t fear getting older. I fear not getting older. I lost a great friend when I was way too young to deal with or understand anything of the sort, so today, for me, is like a “hell yes!” to the universe. I made it. I did it. I survived. Yay me.

I’ve been thinking lately of how I’ve changed in the past ten, fifteen, even twenty years, and what I’d tell a younger me if I met Marty McFly and found myself in some weird time warp. (I may be a grown up now, but I’m still a weirdo.) And since today is my thirtieth, here are thirty things I’d tell a younger version of myself, in no particular order.

1. At thirty, your eyes are no longer blue, but more of a blue green like your grandmother. They were blue when you was twenty. Now they’re not. It’s cool. Green eyes are super rare (genetically), so really, you’re like a superhero.
2. You will be double digit pounds heavier at thirty than when you were twenty. At twenty you were going to Weight Watchers because you felt fat in the company of your gorgeous sorority sisters. That makes me want to slap some sense in to you, Twenty-Year-Old Megan, but I won’t because it would hurt and I’m afraid it might break this awesome time warp thing.
3. You are an artist. It will take you a while to believe that, but it’s true.
4. Making and keeping good friends (like, really good friends that love you no matter what stupid crap you do) is the most important thing you will do in the next ten years.
5. If you eat gelato every day for three months you will start to resemble the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.
6. Find a guy who thinks the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters is adorable. He will also find you adorable.
7. Being smart is super sexy.
8. Wavy hair is really pretty, so stop straightening it with a hot iron it until you burn it off. That’s dumb.
9. Dancing to Britney Spears can heal any pain.
10. Having kids will remind you of who you are and who you want to be.
11. When you’re 30, you will have to buy shapewear to lift up those things that should be perky and smush together things that should be smushed. It could be worse.
12. You are not a person who gets tan in the sun, sorry. Seriously, you should always wear SPF 15 or higher, even in the winter. You won’t regret it.
13. Red lipstick can make an outfit.
14. If people make fun of your clothes, you’re probably doing it right.
15. If people make fun of you in general, you’re probably doing it right.
16. Stop punishing yourself for crap you did when you were in your early twenties. In fact, stop punishing yourself in general. Move on.
17. Television shows from the early years of the CW/WB will always be the best you’ve ever seen.
18. It’s okay to love sci-fi. In fact, it’s awesome.
19. You have to work to make shit happen. So work.
20. Being blond does not make you dumb.
21. It’s okay to like NPR, reading thesis papers and watching the Kardashians.
22. No one thing can make you stupid, just as no one thing can make you smart.
23. You are who you are, but changes can be made to make you better. And happier.
24. Your biggest critic will always be yourself. So tell yourself to shut it. Trust me. You have no idea what you’re talking about anyway.
25. Using Bumble and Bumble curl creme will save you 20 minutes on your morning beauty routine.
26. Stand up for what you believe in, but remember one belief doesn’t make a person. You may disagree with others on certain topics, but try to remember they want the world to be a better place too, even if you don’t agree on how to get there.
27. Keep writing about your life, even though people think it’s strange. You’ll be so happy one day to have a living record of who are were, who you are, and where you came from.
28. Sing in private. Make sure no one in the vicinity has a video recording device of any kind.
29. Grab your husband’s butt in public. Everyone will think you’re annoying, but whatever. It’s cool.
30. You’re awesome. Don’t forget that.

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