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.