Friday, December 30, 2011

It Was. It Is. It Will Be.

this week a friend of mine from high school passed away.  she was 28.  it was unexpected.  it was the day after christmas.  it was not the desired answer to thousands of prayers that hundreds of people prayed.  it was, is, and will continue to be devastating for everyone that knew her.  

today a father will bury his daughter.  today a mother will bury her baby girl.  today there will not be one empty seat or one dry eye in a church in minneapolis.  today i am sending all of my love to minnesota.  today i am hugging every friend i see.

maggie, you were the sweetest of the sweets.  you left a beautiful and unparalleled mark on this world.  i am praying for you and your family as you spend your first days in heaven and they walk through their first days without you by their side.  may you have a million arms to welcome you home and may we find peace knowing that you are indeed... home.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

 christmas with my family has always been exactly, completely, entirely...  

and even though my parents traded snow for surf and moved...

and instead of having aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, priests (yes, priests) and friends over for dinner we started passing out gift baskets at my dad's hospital in... 

and candlelit midnight mass on christmas eve has become us one by one trickling into the living room to watch my crosspoint family on...

and us "kids" no longer wait at the top of the steps for our parents to get the coffee and camera ready before we get to see what santa brought us like...

not all that much has changed like...

merry this and happy that to everyone and everything.
'tis the season.

ps - i got the most bestest biggest outstandingest terrific amazingest supercalifragilisticexpialidocious gift ever this year.  more on that as soon as i can share details...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tom Petty Was Right

the waiting really is the hardest part.

my friends sean and mary susan just returned from a trip to ghana where they got to meet the sweet baby girl they will be bringing home in 2012.  

now, they wait.  but waiting is an understatement.  while they anticipate, expect, hang on to their hats, hold on, hole up, keep their shirts on, lie low, look forward to, sit tight... wait for the day they can bring her home, we pray.  may she feel loved.  may she feel safe.  may she feel wanted.

Christmas Courage

i come from a family where funny is king.  sarcasm is our first language.  the sole purpose of gift giving among us is for the giver to purchase something that the recipient will be mortified to return.  this clan will go to great lengths for a laugh.  

but this?  this took some special kind of christmas courage.  my 21 year old brother flew from wisconsin to texas, that's one thousand one hundred and eighty miles... in this:

i have never been more proud of him.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Can't Make This S*#t Up - The First Installment

"man losing his mcdonalds in ur gyno room"
sometime in 2010

this story, as you will find most of these do, starts off completely normal.  well, as normal as anything involving me can be.  

girl goes to annual doctor appointment, checks in, waits in waiting room probably playing a few games of words with friends while wondering how it is possible for an office to be running 30 minutes late at 9 o'clock in the morning, finally gets her name called and blood pressure taken, is forced to stand on the scale, looks at the number and starts doing the math to answer the question "if i keep gaining 3 pounds a year how much will i weigh in the year 2036?", gets herded into a room left alone to put a gown on (opening in the back - do people still need to be reminded that this is how to wear them???), then sits on the  edge of the table and waits some more.

see? totally innocent.

and then...

without the usual warning knock the door handle turns and in walks a man.  it is of importance to note that this man is neither my doctor or anyone's doctor.  he is clearly some pregnant woman's husband who has been sent to mcdonalds to pick up food because they have been waiting as long as i have, and hungry pregnant women get what they want.  he walks into the room looking down at the balancing act of drinks, food, and coats going on in his arms and immediately starts talking about something... i couldn't even begin to guess what because the soundtrack going on in my head was "WHAT THE FUUUU?!?!?!?" (ok, there are some missing consonants on the end of that word.  fill them in yourself.)  after a solid half an hour (megan time, real time was probably more like 7 seconds) of him setting down fountain drinks on the desk, refolding the coats draped over his arm, and opening the giant bag of food he carried in... he looked up.

slow motion replay:

man looks up, instantly realizing that i am not his wife/baby mama.

his face turns from normal accountant-esque business to complete mortification.  a look i am convinced i will never see recreated in the wild.

his arms go up and french fries go flying.  and i mean FLYING.  and not just a few french fries.  i'm talking two super size containers full of those hot, greasy bad boys.  FLYING.

man falls to floor with stop, drop and roll type urgency.

the next 10 minutes (megan time, real time: 5 seconds) were spent with him on his knees, body parallel to the floor scraping french fries around with an extended right arm and shoveling them into the hallway behind him.  his left arm was frantically reaching for and continuing to miss the door handle in an attempt to escape and close himself into the safety of the hallway as quickly as possible.  

the best part about this whole event was the communication, or lack there of, that was going on between us.  mr. stranger danger was babbling and stumbling over phrases like "oh shit", "so sorry", "wife you're not mine", "no no no", "fries everywhere", and, my favorite, "oh dear".  this poor man was in such a state of humiliated distress and i was, for the first and last time in my life, totally speechless.  i just sat there with my jaw on the floor.  i didn't gasp.  i didn't yell.  i didn't say "honest mistake, no worries" and ease some of his embarrassment.  i didn't point and laugh, though in hind sight this is really the best response to this type of situation.  i just sat there until he finally backed himself up on his hands and knees into the hallway and got the door shut, not without a handful of french fries getting flattened into the carpet in the process.

then i started laughing.  and i mean cackling.  like tears streaming down my face laughing.  couldn't catch my breath laughing.

icing on the cake?  i heard him go into the room next door and a woman's voice said, "where are the fries?"


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Can't Make This S*#t Up - Sneak Peek.

meet mary susan.  she is one of my favorite people on earth.  well, at least she was yesterday.  after her influence on my life today people's perception of me is about to drastically change. today she posted this to her blog and followed it up with the following texts:

the list goes on and on.

 "what does 'faked' pictures at walgreens mean?", you ask?  faked is my bennifer (ben+jennifer, as in affleck and lopez - you're welcome for that blast from the past) for "fake naked".  FAKE+NAKED = FAKED.  "ohhhh, i get it...", you think... "wait a minute.... this crazy b!$*h took fake naked pictures and brought them to walgreens to print?!?!?!?!"  

yes.  yes i did.

in my defense, i took the pictures with 4 other friends in the home of 2 different friends who were on vacation in europe for 10 days.  the situation was begging for a practical joke.  you can't leave us alone for 10 days with a spare key to your house and expect us to behave.  or to not take fake naked pictures in your house, bring them to a walgreens located 30 minutes away from where we live in order to protect our identity when printing them, proudly display them in a red pleather photo album, and place them on your coffee table for you to find as a gift upon your return.  you just can't.

i digress.

i told mary susan that in place of any future birthday/baby/christmas/anniversary/canadian boxing day gifts i would start blogging a series entitled "i can't make this s*#t up".  although i'm sure once this series is compiled into a book it will be called, "no one will ever love me because..."

i don't know how i attract this crap but i do.  and, starting tomorrow when i have gathered the courage to share these ridiculous stories, it will be to your benefit.

i think i'll start with, "man losing his mcdonalds in ur gyno room".  it's a gem.

xo, m

Saturday, November 26, 2011


this week i turned 29.  i'm not really sure how that happened.  i JUST finished college in boston.  i JUST signed my first publishing deal.  i JUST felt weird about turning 25 because it meant that i really had to get a handle on this whole grown up thing. 

a few months ago i started putting together a "30 before 30" list.  basically a bucket list of sorts with things i want to be able to say that i've done before that big, ugly number attaches itself to my name.  there are big ticket items like "mission trip to africa" and "sky diving" and then there are a handful of smaller ones like "food fight in a public place" (you know you want in on that one).  somewhere around #20 on my list i started having a hard time coming up with things to include.  this got me thinking.   i might have already knocked some of this stuff out... i mean, i got to do some pretty amazing things this last year.  some more obvious than others and some that would have never crossed my mind to include in such a list.

while i don't necessarily love that i now regularly discuss how fast the years are going by, i am thankful that my 29th year here allowed me to be a part of the following:

- i went cliff jumping.  and i can't wait to go again.

- i bookended a gig in northern california with a trip by myself to napa valley.  i stayed in calistoga, watched a sunrise AND a sunset, ate an amazing meal at JoLe, and spent 2 hours in the spa.  i also said "yes, just me" more times than i care to count.

-  i went to NYC at Christmas time.  it was pure magic.

- i held 8 pounds of pure happiness and celebrated preston adeline insogna's safe arrival with my friends jonny and liz.

- i cried for 15 straight minutes on the phone when my friend mary susan called to tell me that she and her husband were finally matched with a baby in ghana that they will be bringing home in the new year.  sweet baby abi, i can't wait to meet you!

- i popped the cork on a bottle of champagne.  by myself.  it's the little things...

- i got to explore west texas.  spent a long weekend in marfa, tx and felt like i was living in an episode of friday night lights.  success.

- i watched a handful of old movies.  "your girl is lovely, hubbell".

- i started keeping a prayer journal and discovered that starting my days on both my front porch swing and a note of gratitude is really good for me.

- i started a rock band with some of my favorite friends and the best musicians i know.  world, you betta watch out for jameson!!!!!

- i had the privilege of helping a very special friend navigate her way through her final days of a long and grievous battle with cancer.  it was the most cruel and beautiful thing i have ever been a part of.  she changed the shape, size, and condition of my heart.

- my mom came to visit me in nashville.  i love getting to see her without having to pack a suitcase.

- i spent 2 full uninterrupted days at a beautiful house in monteagle, tennessee with 10 of my girlfriends.  top of a mountain + sweatpants + home cooked meals + wine = perfection.

- i spent a ridiculous amount of money on a pair of shoes that i didn't need.  everyone needs to do that once, right?  shhhhhh... that's what I'm telling myself.

- i got to see my oldest and best friend in the world 6 times this year.  that's a record breaker in the decade that i have lived anywhere from a 14-26 hour drive away from her.

lucky girl, party of 29 year old me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Color Change

<div style="text-align: center;">megan likey. &nbsp; i see the two of us spending a lot of time together this fall.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br />
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Joe James

for a year and a half the first of my younger brothers, joe, lived with me here in nashville.   my dad helped him move in and gave us 4 days before he predicted bloodshed.  based on our relationship in high school this prediction was not too far off base.  we proved him wrong.  we didn't get into it until the week he was moving back to minnesota.  you know... bickering in front of our friends about trivial things while they all laughed understanding that we were fighting because because he was moving away and it made both of us sad and we just didn't recognize it blah blah blah.

for the last 2 months he has been back here in nashville launching a new office for his company.  i have loved having one of my best friends close by again.  it really is a very cool thing to get to do life with your sibling when you are both adults.  he is a funny, intelligent, well traveled, open minded, curious, loud, independent, caring man and i am proud to call him both family and friend.

i love you baby brudder.  nashville and i will miss you.  again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halfway to 110

today my mom turned 55.  i just can't say enough about how much i love this woman.  she rode the tilt-a-whirl with me even though it made her sick, threw michael jackson dance parties in the living room for us kids, taught me the importance of ice cream, and hasn't taken my album out of her car stereo for 6 years.

happy birthday maddy.  i'm glad grandma and grandpa got it on 55 years and 9 months ago.  (ew.) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"How Do You Say 30 in Mexican?"

saturday we celebrated my friend Jason's 30th birthday and surprised him with a white mariachi band, texas college football, a smoked pork shoulder, a lot of tequila and a little projectile vomiting.  because nothing says celebration like projectile vomiting (said vomiter will remain nameless to ensure that we continue to be friends in the hope that i will get to witness them do this again).

here are a couple shots from years past... it's amazing how much we have and haven't grown up.

happy 30th birthday, jas.  
nashville would be a different place for me without you in it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh Canada

i met justin in the library at berklee college of music.  we spent our first encounter pulling endless novels with un-cracked spines (apparently us music nerds aren't big literary buffs) and were instant friends.

last weekend he got married.  the kids grow up so fast, don't they?

he and his lovely bride, ashleigh, got married on a boat in the thousand islands in canada near where he grew up.  it was breathtaking.  

congratulations you two.  much love.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thriftary Giftary

today i am going to let you in on one of my:
1. secret weapons
2. favorite blogs
3. both of the above

the answer??  #3.  i made a guest appearance on my sweet friend, maddie's, blog this week.  i had the honor of singing at her wedding.  true story.  i have proof.  

see?  told you.

maddie, aka mrs. thriftary, is the queen of doing more while using less.  she has brilliant ideas and is one of the most creative people i have ever met.  she is also ridiculously beautiful.  inside and out.  it's irritating, really.  a woman should only be able to rock one of those two attributes.  not maddie.  she is the whole package tied up in a bow with a fabric flower that you can make using household supplies you already have for under $5.

check her out : thriftary

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


i had a lunch date with my grandma today.  every time i am back in minnesota we carve out a couple hours to grab a meal or a cup of coffee.  i usually pick her up and help her down the front steps of her porch but today she requested that i meet her at the back door.  her knees are beginning to fail her and, without the help of the railing in back, the front steps are getting a bit tricky for her to navigate.  

i hadn't been in that backyard in years.  i have early memories of planting sunflowers with my grandpa along the fence that separates her yard from the neighbors.  a motorcycle ride that my uncle peter took me on started in the alley that the house backs up to.  my brothers and i used to chase each other in circles around the house waving ancient tennis rackets we dug out of the garage (OK, there was some minimal hitting going on with these rackets).

there are no more sunflowers.  there haven't been since my grandpa passed away a decade ago.  there are no more motorcycle rides, just a rusty old frame that is screeaaammming "tetanus".  there are no more 3 foot tall humans running around, no more "moooooom, joe hit me!!" being yelled through the screen door.  what was once thriving looked abandoned.  then out of the corner of my eye, this:

near the door, on the sidewalk, in the corner.  treasure.  my grandpa's handwriting.

robert conlin.  july thirteenth, nineteen sixty five.

a little piece of life remains.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Class of 2001

last night i went to my 10 year high school reunion.  gulp.

it was just what you'd expect: a slide show of slightly horrifying old pictures, repetitive questions, semi-awkward moments, yearbooks i hadn't seen in years, walks down memory lane, and it ended up being much more fun than i anticipated.  i spent the whole weekend with girls that have been on my short list of favorites for 21 years.  i got to catch up with old friends that are completely different and old friends that are entirely the same.  people i've missed and people that came out of the woodwork.  it's pretty amazing how much and how little a decade can change...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Preston Adeline

my beautiful, brilliant, sweet friend elizabeth is about to have her first baby.  a baby girl to be exact.  on saturday we showered her with love, tiny dresses, baby tights, and even a tutu.  

preston adeline insogna, i CAN'T WAIT to meet you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Scream You Scream

go.  now.  seriously.  you will never be the same.

Love Your Enemies

a few weeks ago some of my friends had $12,000 worth of gear, instruments and computers stolen from their trailer while they were on the road. this is how they responded. proud.

Monday, August 1, 2011


both of my parents work in hospitals.  when i was younger i used to go to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) where my mom worked and rock those sweet, itty bitty babies.  a few years ago i realized that i needed something other than music to put myself into.  the business part of what i do was overshadowing the creative part.  and worse, the receiving part of me was overshadowing the giving part.

in february of 2008 i started volunteering at vanderbilt children's hospital.  i went in for my first interview wanting to rock babies on the NICU since that's where my experience was.  i left as a new volunteer on 6A; the hematology and oncology unit.  cancer.  cancer?  you've got to be kidding me.  cancer?  KIDS with cancer?  i thought the child life office was crazy for placing me on that unit.  turns out they knew exactly what they were doing.

the week i was slated to start volunteering i was terrified.  i'm not really one to get nervous but i was so scared i thought i was going to be sick.  i felt grossly under qualified and inexperienced.  what if those little bald heads made me sad and i cried in front of them?  what if i couldn't do anything to make them forget they were in the hospital for a few hours?  what if no one wanted to play battleship or paint butterflies and i didn't have anything else to offer? what if i got attached to someone?  what if they didn't get better?  what if?

three and a half years of wednesday afternoons later and those "what ifs" aren't really "what ifs" anymore.  they're definite.  i have cried.  i have failed to distract.  i have gotten attached.  i have seen those sweet kids leave the hospital both of the two possible ways.  

there have been days that i didn't think i could go back.  that i couldn't walk into a room to check on a new patient without picturing the last time i hugged an old patient in that very place.  and then there are days like yesterday that are so full of happy i don't think my heart can hold it all. 

i arrived at the hospital wednesday and heard that one of my favorite little girls who i spent a lot of time with last year was back for a week.  she wasn't back on my unit but was on the 8th floor instead.  i beelined for her room, poked my head around the corner of the door frame and said her name.  she smiled her ear to ear smile, BOLTED for the door and nearly knocked me over with a hug so big that if i never got another one it would be ok.

she sat on my lap and we talked for a half an hour while the nurses and her mom were going over her discharge papers.  we marveled over how fast and curly her hair had grown back in.  she told me all about the vacation she finally got to take and she showed me her latest battle wound from surgery.  we walked to the elevator hand in hand and she gave me another hug before i got off on my floor.  i turned around and waved.  she waved back.  the elevator doors closed.  and that was it.

it's a weird feeling to know that you probably won't ever see someone again.  it's an amazing feeling to know that you were just given a gift.  a thirty minute gift that i will carry with me for a very, very long time.  

to the big guy upstairs - thank you for breathing a little life back in to me this week.  please take care of that little doodlebug.   she's a keeper.  love, megan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Water Baby

tuesday = blow up kiddie pool in the backyard fun day

this little beauty is sam.  she belongs to my friends, lauren & jeff.  she is so much fun.  LOVE.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thank You For Being A Friend

i had a week.  one of those groundhog day weeks where you wake up and think, "didn't i just do this?" drag yourself out of bed-go to hot yoga-have a near death experience from the heat before 9am-come home-get ready-go to the studio-dig almonds out of the bottom of your purse when you realize you haven't eaten yet-come home-wash off the makeup that is no longer serving it's purpose of covering the dark circles underneath your eyes-climb into bed-fall asleep the second before your head hits the pillow-wake up to your alarm and... repeat.


i demo'd eleven songs this week.  that is a lot of band wrangling and singing, my friends.  but more on that later...

the brightest part of my week came courtesy of my sweet friend and roommate heather morgan. i missed a baby shower for a friend of ours one evening in the midst of my craziness so she brought me home a surprise from the table our friends decorated.

they say it's the little things.  i say it's the little hot pink things that come in bud vases.

we then sat on my bed for an hour in the middle of the night and talked about boys.  
reason number 3,528 that i love her.

thank you for being a friend, sweet heather.  this one's for you.

(go on, sing it.  you know you want to)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Da Hood

in april of this year i turned in my key to the yellow tile in the bathroom, leaky side door, crooked hardwood floor green hills house that i had rented for nearly 6 years and packed my bags (read: empty wine cases i snagged from the parking lot of bud's liquors) for 12 south.

i LOVE this neighborhood.  

i love that you can walk everywhere.  it reminds me of my college years in boston.
i love that every restaurant/coffee shop/salon/market/boutique is locally owned.  not a chain in sight.
i love that my favorite coffee shop knows my order when i walk in the door.
i love that my friends live here and that i get to unexpectedly run into them.
the herringbone marble floors in my new bathroom aren't so bad either... 

along with me, another new addition made it to the neighborhood this spring.  the 12 south farmer's market.  tuesday afternoons.  3:30pm-6:30pm.  sevier park.  veggies.  dairy.  flowers.  meat.  berries.  honey.  lemonade.  straight from the farmers to you.  doesn't get any better.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

And Then Some...

today i had the opportunity to join my church, crosspoint, in serving saturday.  over 700 people got up at the crack of dawn to help out a variety of organizations in our community.  i joined a handful of my friends and painted the interior of a house for mending hearts.  this organization provides a place to live and recovery options for homeless women and their children suffering from various addictions and disorders.  these women's stories are heartbreaking and incredible and it was a wonderful reminder of how blessed my life is.  i am one lucky girl and am proud to be a part of a church that gives their time, love, resources, and then some...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4, 2011

july 4th, 2011.  percy priest lake.  nashville, tennessee.


the first little white dot to jump is my friend dylan.  the second little white jumping dot is yours truly.

ironically enough, jumping was the easy part. it was the climb to the top that made me nervous.  it was steep, slippery, and prooooobably a little dangerous considering the fact that we had been drinking tequila on the hooptie of a pontoon we rented.  the climb was a little scary (yes, i totally sang the miley cyrus song the whole way up) but well worth the fun on the other side.  

I jumped, fell for approximately 37 minutes (megan time, real time: 4 seconds), splashed, came up for air, checked to make sure my green polka dot bikini top was where it was supposed to be, and immediately jumped again.