The PNW has all of my favorite things including coffee, beer, and my best friend. We moved up here at the beginning of October 2015. To celebrate our move we met up with Rachel and Jeff for a fall date… because PNW does fall right! Up here, the leaves turn colors, we have cool crisp mornings when you can see your breath in the air, and most importantly there are awesome places to get pumpkins. I have been a big fan of the show Little People Big World for quite some time so naturally we had to visit Roloff Farms for our first trip to Portland. Last year it POURED so much so that we stopped by the Farm only for a quick pic with Amy and Auj, a short browse around the gift shop, and to jump in a few puddles. We ended up at McMenamins for lunch, beer, and drying off. It was a quick trip…TOO quick!
This year we had BIG plans to go to Portland for the weekend. We wanted to spend time hanging out with our best friends exploring around town, going to breweries, and no doubt lots of laughs. Unfortunately on Thursday the weather man started saying stupid stuff like “holy crap the zombie apocalypse is coming” (or something like the biggest storm of the world is coming..whatever) and scared us straight out of going to Portland. Never trust the weatherman. All weekend long we waited out the joke storm and eventually decided to head down to PDX for a day trip. Jeff made sure to pack a lot in our time including Roloff Farms (of course with a picture with Auj and PUMPKINS THIS TIME!!!), 2 breweries, Salt and Straw, AND Nike Employee Store. Note to self: Nike is DANGEROUS. I spent my Christmas budget AND MORE! I LOVE NIKE! We had a ton of fun! Our best friends are always the best part of the trip. Spending time with them is like home. You know, full heart, warm hugs, quality conversation, my people kind of home. Home is what we both needed. We love you R&J and your friendship means the most to us. Countdown to Thanksgiving begins NOW! Until then, enjoy a little video I made to show off our trip.
I’ll never forget the night before my wedding when my dad jokingly said, “you realize, he is a Dodger fan…there’s still time to back out…”
All jokes aside my dad adores my husband. They have a really sweet relationship and I am forever grateful for that. If my dad had it his way I would have married a Giants fan that also happens to be an Eagle Scout. We don’t live in a perfect world.
What can I say? I am my fathers daughter! If there were ONE thing I would change about Michael…it would be his allegiance to the blue devils. I can get over all of the other imperfections like how annoying he is to take shopping. All things considered, I come out ahead.
With that said, it’s OCTOBER and in the Montgomery house October means a few things. It means #wickedwitchSierraMadre, it means pumpkin patch adventures and our annual carving extravaganza, and if you ask me it most certainly it means ORANGE OCTOBER!
This weekend we made the trip to San Francisco for 2 of the 3 Giants vs. Dodger games. I mean, I’m not bragging or anything but not only WON those two games but we swept the series. It was a kick ass weekend. Thanks to the crew for making it the best ever!
I had the honor of standing next to my best friend on her wedding day. To say it was an honor is really an understatement.
As the Matron of Honor I was in charge of coordinating and planning the bachelorette party. Although I had never been a MOH before, I will say I know a thing or two about a bachelorette party.
Rachel has been my best friend since grad school. We met as University students while we both were majoring in Liberal Studies on our way to becoming elementary school teachers. Rachel and often I ran in in the same circles as undergrads. We were interested in the same things and always had something to chat about. Making conversation has always been easy with Rachel. She made me feel like I knew her for years and like we had old jokes to reminisce upon. I went to Disneyland one night with a group of friends that also knew Rachel. One of the guys said we were meeting one of his friends in front of the Matterhorn. I easily obliged. We got off of the Finding Nemo (I sat next to Christina Aguilera by the way.. and had no clue until my friend said, “did you realize who you were sitting next to?”….), walked over to the Matterhorn, and who was standing there? Rachel!… and her gang of girlfriends. We chatted for a bit and went our separate ways. Rachel has always been somebody that I’ve looked up to. She radiates positivity and love. She has a spirit about her that I knew I needed in my life. Long story short a year after college and a lot of life events in-between Rachel happened to post a message on Facebook asking if anybody in LA needed a roommate. She was returning from a year of teaching in Japan and although Oregon was home, she wanted to return to LA. I, at the time, was too looking for a roommate. I messaged her….and the rest is history! I have lots of stories to tell about the time we lived together. Those were some of the most memorable and formative years in my life. Rachel deserves the best and thats what I wanted to deliver. A bachelorette party that was uniquely Rachel.
While Rachel and Jeff were dating, Bend (and Sunriver) became special travel destinations for the lovebirds. When I began planning her bachelorette party, she mentioned that is where she wanted to spend her weekend. So, thats what we did!
I had never been to Bend so planning a bachelorette party in a place I knew nothing about, while keeping the bride in the dark, had its own challenges. I asked her to fill me in on her top weekend priorities… Bend (Check) beer/breweries (double check) best babes (triple check) the planning began!
The theme was easy “Bride Tribe”… little hints of Coachella which I fondly joked in text/emails to the gals as “bride-chella”. I was thinking full on flash tattoos, flower crowns, beer drinking…BRIDECHELLA!
On Friday afternoon Cate and I got to Bend and began decorating. I knew I wanted the house to be fully decked out with feathers, Washi Tape, and cute hand lettered decor. We also hid about 30 of these big giant cheeseball fake diamond throughout the house. The tribe started rolling in later that afternoon. We played the first game– find the diamonds…prize for the girl with the most! It was hilarious.
After the game we unloaded the cars, picked rooms, opened champagne, made bride-tribe-tinis and sat around playing another game (similar to never have I ever). I wrote out a bunch of things on small papers (ex. I have a sibling, I was born in July (Rachel), I love to watch Friends, I like to sleep naked…etc) and put them in a bag. Rachel pulled them out and read them one by one. If the girls agreed with the statement they had to drink. We had a good time laughing and sharing silly stories.
We started getting ready, took pictures in the photo booth, called a cab, and headed for town. We spent the evening running into tons of bachelor parties (most of which were dressed up like lumberjacks) and spending quality time dancing with the girls.
Saturday morning we woke up and ate breakfast. I kept it simple… hash browns (Rachel loves breakfast potatoes), sausage, mini muffins, and granola/blueberry yogurt parfaits. While we ate breakfast we made flower crowns and hung out in our PJs. We all got ready and loaded our bodies up with flash tattoos threw on our matching “Bride Tribe” tanks and hit the breweries.
While we were out Rachel had to ask couples how to get “the best love ever”. I made her this little wooden sign and she took pictures and got marriage advice from lots of different couples. One couple approached us at lunch and said they loved our flowers and asked if they could take a picture with us. The woman ended up sitting down with us so Rachel could ask her how to get the best love EVER. The woman’s response had all of us in tears. It was so sweet!
We spent the afternoon hitting several breweries in town, playing corn hole, and enjoying the beautiful weather.
We got back to the house that evening for a night of “Glamping”. We grilled hot dogs, had Rachel’s famous spaghetti salad (seriously its to die for delicious), made s’mores, and danced around in our PJs. I also made little goodie bags for the girls with a headband, face sponge scrubby guy, and a cute little nail file kit. I asked the ladies to bring pampering products to share with the group. As several of the girls painted nails and did face masks Rachel entertained them with a game. While Rachel and Jeff were at our house for my birthday I asked Jeff a bunch of questions about Rachel and their relationship. I recorded his answers and made a video out of his responses. Rachel had to guess what his answer was to win “honeymoon” prizes. She was LOADED up with goodies… her girls love her well! (note: she didn’t miss a SINGLE question!!! soulmates!)
We watched a girly bridal movies, made her a scrapbook with letters and pictures (that I saved and gave to her on the morning of her wedding) and fell asleep!
Sunday morning we all packed up and hit the road. Several of us stopped for breakfast/coffee on our way out of town. What a fun weekend it was. Thank you ladies for making the trip to Bend and for celebrating our beautiful bride.
I’ve looked forward to the day that I turn 30 since the day I turned 21, and if I’m honest, probably even longer than that. It might have been the fact that growing up my dad always told me how much he enjoyed his 30s or perhaps its my love of the movie 13Going On 30? Either way, I’ve looked forward to my 30s for a very long time.
All of that to say, the hype got to me a bit. I had dreams of throwing a big 1920s themed birthday party with all of my friends and dressing up drinking fancy champagne sparkling wine (you know, the kind that costs $16.99 and you can’t afford when you’re in your 20s…haha) and signature cocktails that I cleverly would name the Bees Knees and are probably made of gin and honey. I wanted to dance the night away and take pictures in a balloon filled photo booth and have a grand ol’ time with all of my nearest and dearest.
Last October Michael and I moved out of town making my dreams of a big ol’ friends and family filled bash next to impossible. When it came time to plan a birthday party my mom and my husband suggested something different. I took their advice and planned an intimate night out on the town with my best friend and her (then) fiance.
Rachel and Jeff came up the first weekend in June. I was very adamant that I wanted to celebrate dressed up like the 1920s while I was still in my 20s. We had the absolute best time taking pictures in a homemade balloon filled photo booth, drinking expensive champagne (real, adult, expensive champagne) and wearing our adorable flapper ensembles and red lipstick out for the evening. We took an Uber downtown, had cocktails at a hip little spot, had dinner at another, and spent the rest of the night at a brewery until Cinderella noticed the clock ticking down. Before midnight we were back home, snuggling on the couch in our sweats, eating angel food cake and strawberries, watching an episode of Friends. Just the way I like it, surrounded by my nearest and dearest.
A few weeks later was my ACTUAL 30th birthday. I took the second half of the week off partly because I was planning Rachel’s bachelorette party and partly because my other best was flying to town for both my birthday and the bachelorette party. Michael and I got up early and headed to the airport to pick up Cate. I could tell he had a little something up his sleeve…because I’m basically a modern day Nancy Drew. Also, I read my husband like a US Weekly magazine. Also, because he has zero chill.
When we returned from the airport I saw my favorite little silver Malibu with a red hibiscus flower on the rear tagged with an Oregon license plate parked in front of my house. How much better could my day have been? Michael pulled out a bottle of champagne, poured us mimosas, and told me the rest of the day would be for me. I could have died a happy woman.
Lunch at my favorite spot, pedicures, and dinner out with my favorite humans. Throughout the month I was showered with the most special, thoughtful, unique, and generous gifts of all time. My people know me and love me so well. 30, you’re the best!
As I reflect on this day I am reminded of that fateful morning a few days into my sophomore year of high school as my mom woke me up for school. I could tell she had been crying. She told me a plane had crashed in the World Trade Center. I went into her room, snuggled in her bed, saw the second plane hit, towers collapse, and other horrific events unfold right there on live television. I was late to school that morning.
September 11, 2001 shook our country. It’s a somber day…a day so many stories were forever altered.
September 11, 2010 I watched a different story unfold. It was the day that Michael asked me to marry him. I remember the day so well. Every. little. detail. This day has a new meaning for our future. This time one of hope and love. May those who experienced loss on this day find a way to see the promise of good, hope, and love in their own story.
Every June 22nd mom calls me and says, “One hot summer day dad was in the yard building a fence…” I guess you can say, I love me a good birth story…
Every good birth story needs a bit of background…
In 2006 I decided to pursue a career in education after a few years of “exploring” my future. This “exploration” phase had me all sorts of confused. I made a bunch of strange (and expensive) choices while I tried out a degree in psychology (NOPE) and dabbled with the idea of trying business school, pursuing full time ministry or even firefighting. However, it was always education that kept my interest long enough to pursue a piece of paper that costs upwards of 100k that would eventually hang in an office above a desk and collect dust while I (hopefully) earn a salary large enough to pay off that piece of paper… and make a decent living. In 2010 I earned the formal title “Master of Teaching”. I was a kindergarten teacher, planning a wedding the following summer, and in a shit ton of debt.
I’ve always loved and been fascinated by education. I can remember my favorite child activity was playing school. I would eagerly opt out of recess time to help my teachers with chores in their classrooms. I even remember spending my summer breaks riding my bike to school to check out if the teachers were on campus and needed help in their classrooms or if the classroom assignments were posted for the next year. Teachers ARE heroes and have always been the ones I’ve looked up to most. I guess you can say I was always a natural (teachers pet).
I spent 5 years in the classroom (kinder, 1st, and 4th grades) when I took a very risky leap of faith and quit. Although, I didn’t know what was next, I knew it was the right decision. Maybe someday I’ll share more about my job seeking journey! It was a WILD ride.
I declined invitations to teach summer school, told I was making a huge mistake, and begged over many glasses of wine/lots of tears to please reconsider leaving education. “There are only a few good ones like you Megan, don’t leave education. WE need you, THEY need you, I need you!” they said. I need me too, I knew there was something else. I knew it. I gave myself an ultimatum, you have until September 1, 2015 to GET. IT. TOGETHER… or teach another year and figure it out.
LONG story short– I ended up with a job offer in the corporate training world 10 days shy of my self-given ultimatum. Thank you Jesus! I am a teacher…my people are just a bit bigger.
Its been a full year in my new role which means a full year away from classroom teaching. It also means two first days of school and lots of milestones in-between. It makes me kinda, sorta, a little bit miss elementary education. (DISCLAIMER: Teacher friends, don’t get your hopes up.)
One of the biggest things I miss about classroom teaching was the creative freedom I had. I really enjoyed designing curriculum, decorating bulletin boards, and finding projects to enhance the learning. You can turn a few popsicle sticks, some glitter, and yarn into anything you want…just add imagination!
I was itching for some crafty fun so I started spending my free time making cards, learning to do modern calligraphy and practically bathing in embossing powder. “You can sell this stuff! You have a gift. Would you make this for me?” they all said.
So, in March I did it. I opened an Instagram account called @MeganMaking followed by an Etsy shop MeganMaking.Etsy.com. I’m not your half-assed type of gal so I decided a blog made for the perfect trifecta.
So there we have it, the birth of Megan Making! Next March, I’ll probably tell the story like this “One cool March day covered in embossing powder I realized how hungry I was for a creative outlet when I got this crazy little idea….”
In June I celebrated my 30th birthday and in May my dad turned 60. We’ve always enjoyed being 30 years apart celebrating each new year together. It always felt like we were sharing something special. It’s taken me some time to realize that I am my fathers daughter, no doubt. We share the same sense of humor and lack of patience. I inherited his poor vision and bad teeth. We’re both adventurers and unsettled by the status quo. This year it seemed ever fitting that we celebrate these “coming of age” milestones together.
A few months ago I called my dad and suggested that we skip town for a weekend and meet up in the middle. My dad lives on the east coast and we’re here on the west. It makes for time spent together that much sweeter…and that much harder to come by. It didn’t take much convincing before we threw around a few city ideas Chicago, Portland, Denver, NYC, and finally settled on Austin! Austin is a city none of us had been to and always wanted to visit. It really was an easy choice. I cleverly started a Pinterest board called Austin Adventure and invited the crew to start sharing ideas. Before long we had more than enough suggestions to fill our short 72 hour trip.
Michael and I took a redeye to Austin’s international airport on Friday night after work. Neither of us got much sleep and by the time we arrived in Austin we were cranky, tired, and hungry. We found a bench and slept for about 3 hours in the airport terminal. At about 8:30am we decided to hit the town. Here are my top 5 recommendations and a recap of our trip!
1. Take public transportation to and from the airport
It was really easy (and cheap) to take the bus to downtown. We’re talking 20 minutes and $1.75 per person. Don’t forget exact change. We took the Metro100 bus and got off at the 4th and Congress stop (downtown). Easy peasy. Same goes for the trip back to the airport. 20 minutes, $1.75, no biggie.
2. Rent bikes
We kind of fell in love with this city because of the bikes we rented. Our first stop second stop (after coffee. please. all of the coffeeeeee….) in Austin was this bike shop. It was a 2 minute walk from the bus stop and was the best decision we made the whole trip. I mentioned that Michael and I arrived a few hours before Dad and Mary. So what did we do? Rode ALL. OVER. TOWN. We got the lay of the land and committed to a bike rental for the duration of the trip. Bike rentals set us back about $80/person. Although they cost more than a rental car would have they were worth every penny. They provided us entertainment and transportation. We saw more of the city than we ever would have without them and we didn’t have to deal with parking. Definitely recommend getting bikes, Austin is made for it.
Funny story– when dad and Mary showed up on Saturday afternoon we took them straight to the bike shop…got them fitted for bikes…and headed for the Airbnb we were staying in. No more than 1.5 blocks away from the bike shop it started POURING. I’m talking full on torrential down pour. Mind you, at this point we all still had our luggage with us an we were very ill prepared for such conditions. Although we were only a few blocks from the apartment we were staying at, by the time we arrived we were drenched. All we could do was laugh. While we were in route peddling as fast as we could we kept hearing alarms on our phones. When we got to the apartment we check to find emergency flash flood warning notifications. We were riding BIKES people. It was absolutely hilarious. We all had a good laugh, dried off, changed to dry clothes, and ran (literally RAN) to the nearest Mexican restaurant for multiple margaritas, chips and queso, and proper street tacos. It was at dinner that Mary said, “Think about it.. We are Mark, Mary, Megan, and Michael! I think this is meant to be.” I couldn’t agree more!
3. Whole Foods
Whole foods is magical, no matter the city. The cool part about Austin is that it’s their flagship store. It really is a tourist destination in and of itself. I could spend hours walking around this place sampling, shopping, and dining. Mr. Montgomery purchased a few local beers for us to enjoy while we were hanging out at the apartment. Their beer selection is out of this world.
Rent a car and drive to Waco, because Chip and Jo.
Overall, Austin is quirky (but not as quirky as we expected), fun, and has killer food. We had the best time and want to go back. We also already created a list of cities to visit for our next 4M get together. Top of my list? Louisville, Nashville, and New Orleans.
What are your Austin favorites and recommendations for 4M destination weekends in the future?
The past year has brought beginnings in so many ways that it’s almost hard to remember what life looked like a few short months ago. Life happens, ready or not. Change is good. Change is necessary. Change means growth.
A lot has happened in a year. A new house, a new car, a new career, a new state, a new decade.
When I turned 30 I told myself I would finally start a blog. Why finally you ask? Blogging has been a lingering thought in my mind for years. I’ve always wanted to give it a try but I was afraid that my blog would sit empty just like the 3 untouched journals I have sitting in my nightstand. I love the idea of keeping a journal..it was the implementation was always severely lacking. The only time I consistently wrote in a journal was the one I wrote to my husband while we were dating knowing that someday I would hand it to him while I was wearing white standing under a giant oak tree. I guess it comes down to accountability. If I imagine that others are reading I’ll put the proverbial pen to the paper. I am doing this for me but knowing you (might) be here makes me a bit more excited to start. Whether it be the excitement and anticipation of year 30, accountability knowing that you (might) be here, or just a little big life change that got me going…here I am.