Friday, September 28, 2012

Go Get Our Girl

yesterday one of my very best friends packed her bags.  she shut down her computer, turned off her phone, found a seat on a plane, and started the beginning of the end.  this morning she landed in ghana and, at this very moment, is at an orphanage taking custody of her daughter for the very first time.

her husband (who had to stay behind here in tennessee for work) just texted me and said that he is so excited he thinks he might throw up.  that's how big today is.  

after years of screened in porch dreaming, thousands of hours of blog and book reading, and 3 trips to africa, her eternally long and consistently grueling pregnancy-esque waiting game is finally in the home stretch.  

today she takes custody of her daughter and forever removes her from a government run orphanage.
today she and her mother bring sweet baby abi back to a hotel that will be home until all of the proper documents have been finalized.
today we pray that this process is swift.
today we pray that undetermined time means weeks, not months.
today we pray that her daughter's body and spirit are nurtured through her care.
today we pray that her sense of humor stays intact.
today we pray for the flexibility to roll with the punches.
today we pray that tomorrow is just as good.  because today is a good day.

my dear friend,

be safe.
be brave.
go get our girl.


read more about mae's journey here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday's Best and Country Music Condiments

this just in:  my children are slightly narcissistic.  

the only time josh and i had their full attention today while we skyped was when we showed them a picture of themselves.  true story.  at least they think they're as good looking as i do.  maybe we can check self confidence off of the list of things we'll need to work on once they get here.  hooray?

see?  look at that laser beam focus.

in other self-centered news, josh and i attended the academy of country music honors last night.  essentially, achievement awards were given out to celebrate the careers of some of the greatest contributors to our story telling, big haired, late night trouble causing, early sunday morning repenting genre.  frank liddell, alan jackson, kenny chesney, roger miller, bobby braddock, billy sherrill, emmy-friggin-lou harris, rickey skaggs, aubrey haynie, dwight yoakam... the list goes on and on.  we saw performances from pioneers and rookies alike: rodney crowell, buddy miller, hunter hayes, ashley monroe, randy houser, clint black, will hoge, and the newly and awesomely bald kellie pickler (check out why here, and a big hey girl heeeeey to my stylist, debbie, who buzzed kellie's head).  

but my favorite moment of the night? vince gill accepting the career achievement award.  that man never ceases to leave me inspired to stay true to my craft, work hard, and create the music that i believe i'm supposed to.  he also delivered my favorite line of the night referring to current country radio. "people keep talking about how country they are.  i can't wait to hear how country they are".

let me give you that one again:

"people keep talking about how country they are.  i can't wait to hear how country they are".

that's a little country music condiment we like to call boomsauce, kids.  

vincey poo.

happy tuesday's best!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sinatra (No Relation to Frank)

breaking news : it feels like fall in nashville.  fiiiiiiiinally.  you can now expect a solid month of me being in a (mostly) great mood.  sleeping with the windows open and oversized sweaters and scarves and bonfires and new soup recipes and changing leaves and, my favorite, boots + leggings.  because any day you can get away with not wearing pants is a good day.

so yes, fall is here.  and this weekend we rang it in, framily style.  my friend, jason, has the first track on the new little big town record.  if it's not a single off of this record i'll scream.  gobs of country music goodness.  everybody go get pavement ends  to celebrate his success we toasted the occasion with a a few adult beverages and a giant posterboard of the liner notes with his name on it.  

the man of the evening
we filled it up and everyone behaved themselves.
not a sharpie mustache in sight. 

josh and i snuck out early to meet friends of ours that were in town from ashveille, north carolina for a late dinner.  don & alex are always a guaranteed good time.  plus they are the reason that josh and i met... so when they say 'family sized portions of italian food?', you say 'yes'.

saturday morning josh and i drove 3 hours north for a quick weekend away as part of our vacation-our-butts-off-before-we-adopt-4-kids initiative.  our destination?  louisville, kentucky.  our mission?  to see my good friend and bandmate, steve sinatra (no relation to frank although i've been known to tell girls he is his grandson when i'm playing wing woman), play drums for hunter hayes.

this is one of the only pictures i have of us at a show where my butt isn't directly covering his face.  you're welcome.

saturday evening was one of those moments that slaps you across the face with some perspective.  i watched one of my friends play an arena.  an arena.  full of 17,000 people. his mug was plastered on a 20 foot tall screen as thousands of shrill teenage girl voices screamed in my ears.  

18 year old megan would think 29 year old megan has it pretty damn good.

um yea, the stage picked up and moved across the audience.
i was absolutely certain it was going to fall.  8 cables my, *ahem*, ass.

this kid.  local hero.  had a sign that said "carrie, be my first kiss".
congratulations, son.  you just peaked.

love x 4
local brew.

how was your weekend?!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Da Stawt Uman We De Yanda, I Wohwoh

today is learn a new language wednesday over here at gung ho heart.  

in an effort to more clearly communicate with the kiddos, josh and i have decided to try to learn krio.   krio, an english-based creole, is our kids' first language.  should be easy enough, right???  wrong. 

josh found a study manual for us.  one of my favorite sentences that i'm sure will be reeeeeaaally useful someday is below :) 

that's my whatever whenever wednesday, thanks to rolled up pretty.  i mean, you said 'whatever', right??

happy wednesday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Best and Gillian's Octopus Arms

after months of the internet being on bad behavior, we finally connected through skype this morning.  eeek!

i proudly reinstate... tuesday's best.

                school gingham!
geraldine throwin' elbows

we sent mohamed back to class today after he was pouting over us pulling him out of school to skype... seriously.  remember that whole "the wall is my favorite part of the center" bit?  and now he actually wants to be in school???? jackpot.

gerald wanted to play outside, so we told him it was ok, sent him a giggling, and took the opportunity to soak up some precious girl time.

geraldine and mamie

the aunties!!

oh sweet kiddos, it did my heart so much good to see you today!!

in other terribly terrific tuesday news, today is my oldest friend, gillian's, 30th birthday.  we met on the first day of 3rd grade.  she already knew how to write a capital letter 'g' in cursive.  she gave me a minnesota twins t-shirt for my birthday. she was, and still is, one of my most favorite people.  to celebrate this momentous occasion (and the fact that she is older than me), i present to you...

'gillian's octopus arms'
by, 10 year old megan

(gillian found this gem while cleaning out her office this week.  i almost pee'd myself as the text images were rolling in)

obviously her cats name would be meg.  i mean, duh people.

dated 4/92.  holy crappola we're old.

happy birthday, gillybean.  i love your guts.
xo, meg the cat

Monday, September 17, 2012

"I'll take 'hippocampus' for $500, Trebek"

y'all.  my brain is full.

i'm talking the end of a college career full.

this weekend josh and i went to a 2 day conference called 'empowered to connect'.  this equally empowering and exhausting conference was designed to help both adoptive and foster parents better understand their children's history and how it impacts their development.  led by the brilliant dr. karyn purvis, director of the tcu institute of child development, these 2 days were crammed full of 150 hours of graduate student course work.  

trust based relational intervention, spontaneous infantile regression, sensory processing deficits, attachment cycles, sympathetic nervous system, amygdala, hippocampus, regulating, weighted blankets, time in's, strategies for behavioral change ...  and lions and tigers and bears oh my.

the short version is that any adopted child, any foster child comes to their family with varied amounts of trauma.  some more than others, some less than others, but all needing the same things.  we learned gobs and gobs (medical measurement term... but don't look it up, just trust me ok?) of information about how our kiddos' brains function and how we can help them to, overall, trust and adjust.  

so that was my friday and saturday.  my how the time's-are-a-changin', huh?

sunday night the brave and beautiful founder of the raining season, who also happens to be my good friend, Erica, spoke at a church here in nashville about the organization.  i love hearing her story.  that girl is making me dang proud.  she is responsible for getting 120 children off of the streets and giving them the lives that they deserve.  modern day mother teresa?  i think so.

these kids will have the opportunity to change the world, because she changed theirs.

the cherry on top of my adoption filled weekend?  our in country director of the covering (the orphan care center run by trs), Quami, and his wife, Madonna, were in town with their beautiful baby girl, Karen, and joined us for dinner later on in the evening.  look at this sweet little baby girl!!!!!!  good golly miss molly i love her.

how was your weekend??

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Go Bling or Go Home

i am currently cleaning my house from top to bottom.  this can only mean one thing.  
party!  even better, a gung ho giving party.

drinks will be poured, munchies will be served, and jewelry will be drooled over.  if you don't already know about stella & dot, today is a great day to introduce you!  if you're already familiar with this gorgeous line of accessories today is a great day to stock up on some new fall essentials.  
either way, go bling or go home.

this particular gung ho giving event will send all proceeds to the raining season, the organization that runs the orphanage in sierra leone where my kiddos live.

nashvillians: grab your cash money/credit card/checkbook and come on over tonight! 
 out of towners: can shop online here through wednesday, september 26 for proceeds to benefit TRS!

remember these sweet initial charms that my friend, jordan, gave me?  stella & dot.

here are some of my other favorite goodies:

swoon.  i can't think of a better way to give to a good cause or your wardrobe this season.

happy shopping!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

it's no secret that not everyone has been supportive of our decision to adopt.  some because they don't agree with it.  some because they were caught off guard by it.  some because they don't understand it.

i have been told that i should take my facebook page down and stop advertising that i am adopting "72" orphans.  i have had people tell me to my face that i am crazy.  i've had people talk behind my back about my life being over.  and you know what?  this isn't entirely disturbing to me.  because my life is over.  my old life.  the one that was full of words like "me" and "i want" and "now" and that was missing much more beautiful words like "we" and "they" and "my children".  the life that i wasn't supposed to be living anymore has given way to the life that i am supposed to live from here on out.  i couldn't be happier about it.  if i could have a funeral for my old life i would.  i'd invite ex boyfriends and old insecurities and said naysayers (and probably some of my personal worst dressed list moments) and i'd tell them sayonara and i'd obviously hire destiny's child to perform because it would be hilarious and awesome and everybody would be so jealous that beyonce was at my old life's funeral...  i digress.

i have been told some discouraging things.  and then yesterday something great happened.  my sweet, dear, incredible friend meesa wrote this over at 365 days of country music.  

go on.  read it.  please.  then come back so we can finish this conversation.  go on.  i'll wait.

oh hey!  it's you.  welcome back.  are you still crying from how sweet she is?  you could be reading this post in 3 weeks and i bet i'll still be teary eyed...

first of all, let me say how absolutely invaluable it is to my well being in this process to have someone on the "outside" of this adoption world truly understand how my heart is designed.  she knows me.  and she knows how to say things much more eloquently than i have wanted to in a few choice situations.  thank you thank you thank you, meesa.  

secondly, it is of importance to note that i don't harbor unwarranted anger over people not understanding.  i have certainly had my blood boiling moments but, heck, i didn't understand this once upon a time.  i didn't understand that we are designed to take care of one another.  maybe a person has to see it firsthand.  maybe the need has to be underneath our feet and in our lungs and peeling back our eyelids before we can no longer ignore it.  and now that i've seen it i can't ignore it.  simple as that.

thirdly (it's a word if i want it to be one), i realize that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.  some people have the courage to work with children with cancer, some people have the patience to work with adults with alzheimer's, some people run marathons pushing kids in wheelchairs, some people plan fundraisers... everybody's got their something.  and this kind of passion distribution makes the world go round.  well, passion distribution and the sun's gravitational pull. 

and last (i wanted to say 'fourthly' but i'm pretty sure i used up all of your grammatical lenience with 'thirdly'), i want you to know that i am sorry.  i am sorry that, at least once in your life, someone will be mediocrely excited about your dream.  i'm sorry that, at least once in your life, someone will warn you against it.  i'm sorry that, at least once in your life, someone just won't understand.  i'm sure that i've been that person to someone.  i'm sure that you've been that person to someone.  and i know we can all do better than that.  after all, this is someone's dream we're talking about here.  and dreams are fragile things to be handled with care.

when a woman shares the news that she is pregnant i, barring any sort of terrible circumstance, certainly hope no one tells her that she is crazy.  i hope that people's responses are filled with things like "congratulations!" and "i'm so excited for you!" and that those responses are followed by joyful inquiries about arrival dates and preparations.  i hope that people are able to step inside of her dream and celebrate with her for a moment.

so, this is my dream.  these are my kids.  i am their mom.  josh is their dad.  a house in tennessee will be their home.  i will try my best to give them the life that they deserve.  i will fail.  i will succeed.  i will celebrate.  and my sweet friend meesa will jump up and down and cheer and revel in it with me.  for this, i am grateful.

thank you, suss.  143 6678.  you know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

House Hunting

i am not old enough for this.  it is, at the very least, way beyond my maturity level.  i'm talking about house hunting y'all.  this process has me looking around daily asking, "where are all of the adults?"

this is no ordinary first home hunt.  in accordance with our relationship's anti-1950 movement we aren't looking for your average sweet, cozy starter cottage complete with a white picket fence and golden retriever puppy with a red bow around it's neck that's carrying the bright and shiny key to our very first house.  not even close.  we need space for 6 people.  josh is 6'3".  i am 5'9".  the youngest of our 4 kids will be 3 years old by the time they are sleeping stateside.  we take up space.  lots of space.

the most anxiety filled thing is, 'space' is only one of the items on the ever growing "i'm not this old yet, am i?" list.

a cul-de-sac near a kroger?  an urban area with a city feel?  will a predominantly white neighborhood be welcoming to a dual race family? will a predominantly black neighborhood be welcoming to a dual race family?  what if we buy in the wrong neighborhood and things are miserable for the kids and/or us?  and just in case you want to lose sleep for a few days, check this creeper out... the family watch dog website.  four words, hee-bee-jee-bees.  see?

family watch dog pic of nashville

school zones:
this guy goes waaaaaay over my head.  public, private, charter, tutoring, homeschooling, lions and tigers and bears... oy.  

the house itself:
do we go foreclosure that needs a lot of work so that we get to personalize it... or... new construction that is move in ready?  what i really want is exposed brick, stainless steel, 11 foot ceilings, marble, and original hardwoods.  my budget and i are in a really big fight over this one.  we may never recover.

in your dreams, meg #1

in your dreams, meg #2

so, if anyone needs me i'll be out dealing with things way beyond my maturity level (juno quote)... like, do bunk beds fit in an 11x12 room with two windows on opposing walls?  

happy tuesday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Popcorn and Kleenex

1 month, 3 weeks and 4 days.

that's how long it took me to wade through the sea of video footage i have from my first trip to africa.  

and i'm finally done.

a whopping 18 minutes.  

break out the popcorn and kleenex, and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Odds and Weekends

well kids, labor day weekend has come and gone and i am ready for fall.  ready to pack up my white pants and pull out my oversized sweaters.  ready to trade weekends on the lake for double feature drive in movies with apple cider.  ready to pop in a dvd that simulates a fire and sit beside it as i watch the lawn boy rake the leaves through the window.  bring it on.

to commemorate the beginning of, arguably, my favorite season, i found this beauty yesterday at one of my favorite local consignment shops:


100% cashmere... 100% free.  yep.  free.  see that $200 tag?  see the july date of arrival?  in consignment world this is considered old merch.  i asked about it at the desk and they said they'd mark it down 75%.  uh huh.  you heard me.  now, $50 i can work with.  i used a 50% off scoutmob deal (scoutmob is my jam, y'all. check them out here) which brought it down to $25, then paid for the remainder with credit i had in my account from consigning clothes of my own.  i don't think i have ever been so proud of myself.

well, i was pretty proud of myself until my dry allergy eyes and i went looking through the linen closet for some eye drops and found these:

ummm yeah.  they expired A DECADE AGO.  which leads me to the question, how may times have i moved them??????  one, two, three, four... FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES.  ew.  somebody call a&e, i just found the subject for their next episode of hoarders.

so i must have spent labor day weekend cleaning out my linen closet and not watching 11 episodes of breaking bad in my yoga pants so in case someone came to the door they would think that i just got back from working out and wouldn't guess that i was a lazy slob, right?  wrong.  i justified sitting on my duff all weekend by the fact that the past few weekends have been chalk full of busy goodness.

my parents came to visit.  it was globs and globs of fun.  we ate our body weight at every meal.  we toasted to our growing family after josh and i dropped the "hey, we're for sure adopting 4 kids, capiche?" bomb.  we went to east nashville's annual tomato festival and we drove around scouting out some of the houses josh and i are looking at.  it was parental perfection.  also, i really so love that i can now, as an adult, count my parents as friends. i love their company.

josh and i started operation-vacation-before-adopting-a-zillion-kids and ran away to a lake house.

he had to leave on sunday to get back for work so my friend mae joined me for a couple of days of writing and eating meals strictly made from items purchased at a gas station (don't worry, i put broccoli in the velveeta so it was totally healthy).

(just in 'queso' you need more pictures of beautiful smith lake to drool over, here they come..)

our 'framily' spent a day on a lake in tennessee in a beat up old jalopy of a pontoon.  it was all fun and speedos until a monsoon of a storm had us racing back to the dock, dodging lightening all the way.  we were promptly escorted into a covered tool shed which our collective weight immediately started to sink.  of course.  

so labor day weekend?  labor day weekend looked a lot like house hunting on our phones over burgers and beer... in between episodes of breaking bad, naturally.

how was your labor day??