March 16, 2017

no more 'BUT's

I learned a life skill that I would like to attempt to share with you.
It involves removing the word "but" from your vocabulary. Who knew the difference three letters could make to a statement.

It isn't a big secret that I harbor some hard feelings towards my time as a full-time missionary. I struggle when conversations of mission stories roll around at social functions. I find myself caught between wanting to be honest and not wanting to come across super cynical. I will never discredit the value of missionary work.
my responses have traditional been
"My mission was hard BUT I am grateful I went."
"I'm glad I served a mission BUT you couldn't pay me enough to go again."
"I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary BUT I don't speak very well."
Almost every single time my responses include a but.
I credit it to my attempt to be true to both the good and the bad. I always want to be honest.

Turns out it has been doing some rotten things to my emotional well being and I was taught a way to do it better-
replace all the buts with an and
My mission was hard AND I am grateful I went.
I'm glad I served AND you couldn't pay me enough to go again.
I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary AND I struggled with the language.
Both parts of those statements are true. However, it feels different to say AND instead of BUT.

I'm working through all the things that stop me from living my life with no regrets AND it is hard AND healthy AND scary AND liberating.
In life it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both, and in my opinion most times it is.

I imagine motherhood to be wonderful AND hard.
I know school is overwhelming AND enlightening.
Losing a loved one can be the right thing AND heartbreaking.

So how about that.. no more buts. Try it- I dare you!

February 28, 2017

Remember me?

Hey there Blog of mine,
I'm still here, promise. I feel sad that some of the most memorable moments of my life have resulted in such a busy feeling that I don't visit here to document them.
I get frequent questions about being engaged. Is it hard? Do I think my engagement is too long? Am I failing all my classes?
I have a hard time answering any of them confidently. I remember being told it was hard and that I would struggle in school. And it is and I am but it's also magical and wonderful and happy!
I think for the most part people have painted this really negative image of the engagement period of a relationship. It is challenging and I'm 100% positive marriage will be way better than this but at the same time our relationship is growing at such a fantastic rate.
Planning a wedding is harder than my Pinterest boards and I thought it would be. In all honesty though when this thing is all over Mom gets all the credit! She is so patient with me and so organized.
As silly as it sounds I've struggled the most with picking a cake flavor.. I know.. of ALL the decisions that go into planning a wedding (and there are way more of them than I thought there were) that cake got me.
Poor Thomas.
He is really good at having opinions when I ask for them but every time we start talking about the cake I turned into this really grumpy/emotional bride to be. I DON'T KNOW WHY!!(and I really don't want to be that). We pick colors, talk about DJs, food, decorations and I'm fine but over and over again I would have weird break downs about that stupid cake!!! I'll eat one bite of it and that's it. I was frustrated because I could rapid fire a list of things I didn't want but could not make a decision.
We still haven't finalized that little detail haha BUT I've learned a couple things.
1. We can't make decisions when I'm hungry.
in the words of T's brother "Megan, you are not yourself when your hungry."
Hanger is a real thing.
2. I really am marrying the person who would do anything to make me happy. He is kind, patient and thoughtful. He understands me. He knows when it is better for me to just go to bed, how to motivate me to study and makes me laugh when I feel sad. He reminds me that as long as we are sealed in the temple the rest of it is just extra stuff.
3. If I don't manage my stress the unhappy Megan comes back. Thomas says it is a 95% to 5% ratio. But that 5% got really bad. I guess it didn't go away like I thought. There are still things I'm working through. I made a therapy appointment then canceled it. Started running consistently then quit. Bought healthy food from the grocery store then ate more chicken nuggets. It's daily and most days that 5% stays were it should but on days that is doesn't I'm extra grateful for Thomas. I'm extra grateful for Mom and Dad.
I had a complete melt down of insecurity trying to pick something to wear for our engagement pictures. I emptied my closet more than once, made myself sick and then on that day I was extra grateful for a kind, understanding sister. Haley not only helped me feel pretty but also took some wonderful pictures!
4. Life with Thomas is going to be so fun!(although I think I already knew that) Wedding prep is well on its way, our honeymoon is planned and we are so excited for all of it!
2 months 7 days and 16 hours :) :) :)
5. Growing up is a little scary. While I am sooooo excited- I'm also nervous. I've seen my life change drastically. My decisions are no longer my decisions- they are ours. My plans for the summer, next school year.. life!! They all now involve someone else. Our conversations and plans have hit me hard that it will never again be my money, my apartment or even my family. If there is anyone in this world I would want to share EVERYTHING with it would be Thomas.
and not just things- every vacation, every hope/dream, all of my concerns and worries as well.
I'm in an eternal families class this semester and if I have learned anything there it is that I'm so grateful it's Thomas!!!
So when I look back on this post next year and want to tell people that being engaged was so hard and long remember this: it is hard in some ways but it is wonderful in just as many!

January 24, 2017

EEEEEEEPPPPPPPP ENGAGED!!!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL- THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!! Part of me feels like I should write this whole post in all caps because I am beyond thrilled! I'm engaged to the most wonderful man, the boy of my dreams, the love of my life! May 6th is going to be the most magical day but we have so many magical days before that day and a life time of magical days after.

January 20th was a REALLY magical day. I have to hand it to Thomas he was really chill all day. Most of what we did was my idea so I wasn't expecting him to propose. Had I been wishing and hoping for weeks that he would?- yes, but I didn't think it was happening that day.
I called him after class and told him I need some time to finish some things before we headed out for what I thought was a low key night at Jayne's apartment in Salt Lake (Jayne is Thomas's sister who lives right down town. He was wasn't suspicious at all suggesting we go to Zupas. Then I had suggested running to the mall on our way out. Turns out Thomas faked a headache and went back to his house for Tylenol just to waste time. Really I was lied to sooooo many times that day haha and from a boy who is always honest with me I was so trusting. He said lying that day didn't count.
Again it was me that suggested we visit the state capitol while in Salt Lake. We wondered around and I was so happy just being with him. We sat and talked for a long time. He did pretty good a killing time and avoiding my suggestion to just go hang out with his brother at Jayne's apartment. After what felt like hours (oh wait it was hours...) at the capitol we headed over.
The moment I thought "well maybe he is gonna propose" was when he told me to leave all my stuff in the car and that we would come get it later. I had told my self not to expect to get engaged because if it didn't happen I would be sad instead of enjoying a fun weekend in Salt Lake. He told me he wanted to show me the view from the roof. You would think that was a dead give away but I just had convinced myself that it wasn't happening. He had me close my eyes and actually ran me into a pole LOL. He tells me that he was distracted by the set up.
When I was allowed to open my eyes the person I love most in this world was down on one knee. It is the moment that as a girl you dream about. I had wondered what it was going to feel like when that moment came and it was more than I could ever have imagined. I made some ugly crying sounds and I think I said a yes in there somewhere. The view from that roof top really is great and I was able to appreciate it for what it was the next morning covered in snow. But that night I didn't even look out at the city. I had two other things to look at. 1. the 'perfect in every way' ring that now lives on my left hand and 2. the face that I'll get to wake up to every morning in a short 102 days.
yes, I'm counting.

I love Thomas! I can't wait to be Mrs. Rich! He brings an unexplainable peace and reassurance to my soul. He makes me feel beautiful, capable and safe, I've never been so happy!


Photo credit to my sneak sneak roommates! It was fun to have them and Daniel there. They are a blessing in my life.
Thomas's family members were waiting down in Jayne's apartment and just like any normal Rich family get together we ate pizza and watched a Jazz game. It was fantastic!
I called home to St. George in a pretty emotional state. They of course all knew it was coming. I stayed in that kind of surreal state of mind through the pizza and celebratory cake. I've also never felt more popular as social media comments and text messages drained my phone battery in about an hour. It was fun.
I actually don't think I have come down from the OH MY GOSH WE ARE ENGAGED high yet. I'm struggling a little paying attention in class distracted by seeing how my ring sparkles in the different classroom lights. hehehe


Anyway.. There is the engagement story for ya. It's pretty joyful!!!! So in love! So happy!

January 17, 2017

Baby Brother

Hi blog.. I'm back again, which means I have something to say that I can't really put anywhere else.

I have a younger brother- he gets under my skin in mere seconds but boy I'm one proud big sister. It's funny because no one can put me in a bad mood faster than that 18 year old kid but he will never ever know just how much I respect his opinion. One of my greatest and kinda secret desires is for Michael to think I'm 'cool'. This last weekend I was able to attend one of his High School basketball games.
Watching Michael play is more exciting to me than any college or professional level game. I'm so emotionally invested in the handsome young men on the court. These boys now tower over me but it hasn't always been the case. I've watch the same group of once little kids run up and down a court since they could dribble a ball. I've always liked going to games and missing an entire season made me feel more homesick than most things while I was on a mission.
To help put things in perspective there are a few background details you should know.
It was Mom who told me about how the bottom of every pair of his basketball shoes have a sharpie written "MTB" on the bottom. She asked him one day why that was.
His response...
"Make Them Believe."
He reminded her of the time in the 7th grade he was placed on the "B team". It was that year I remember him spending hours a day at the church by himself shooting. Michael isn't the tallest or the fastest. He is athletic but doesn't have NBA future skills. What he does have is determination and the best attitude I have ever seen. He told my mom that his goal starting then was to 'make them believe' that he could do it. He could be the kind of player he needed to be to succeed. His hard work has been consistent since.
High School sports are hard. Athletics can teach us such great lessons of dedication and hard work but never did I put the kind of time or energy into running. Maybe it is because Michael loves it more but I think a lot of it has to do with the person he is.
He is the youngest and always expected to be the fun one or the funny one or responsible or is compared to his older siblings or expected to be a certain way as the Stake President's son. He is going to High School in an environment I believe is far worse than even just a few years ago when I was there. I consistently hear about him leaving parties or being the one to hold his peers to higher standards. He isn't a glory seeker- not socially or athletically. He is just good.
I watched him this last weekend walk to the middle of the court as a captain. Both teams were still warming up and almost no one watched him and his best friend shake hands with the refs but my heart skipped a beat and I thought
"Michael.. I believe"
He may still be working his tail off every day to make his coaches believe with every minute he gets on the court but he could not play another minute all season and the effects of what he has done thus far would be immeasurable.
He inspires me not only to dream but to do something about those dreams.
#12