Friday, March 29, 2013

Glimpses of N Zed

I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, because I am currently traveling in New Zealand! I've been here a little over a week now, and have already entertained thoughts of never returning. :) But I suppose my husband wouldn't like that. So I guess I'll at least have to go back and retrieve him. New Zealand is just so beautiful! It is difficult to capture in photos but here are a few glimpses. I can't wait to get home and sort through all my photos and write about my experiences here.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Growing up, my mom always loved to tell her kids the story of our "BIRTHdays" each year.  I think most of the time, we thought it was silly and would say things like, "MooooOOOOm! Why are you telling this story again?!"  But she persisted.  Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate it much more.  I now love hearing this story and other peoples' birth stories!  This year, my mom typed it out and sent it to me on my birthday.  SO, in honor of my birthday TODAY- I thought it would be fun to share the story of my BIRTHday :-) 

A few notes:
-Mimi = my grandmother
-Lauren = my older sister
-I WAS indeed a large baby (9+ pounds)
-I do, in fact, still hate napping


So, 29 years ago today (March 14) Mimi arrived at our home, while I prepared to go to St. Joseph's hospital at 6:00 the following morning (March 15). Of course Lauren was very excited and planning her day with Mimi the next day. I knew my labor was to be induced due to speculation that you were a large baby and my due date was Mid March. I was happy to be able to get up the next morning, shower, do my hair, shave my legs, (I must have been stressed because I didn't realize until I was in the car that I only shaved one)!

Dad and I were at the hospital and ready to go on time, so anxious to hold my little baby, sex and name unknown. Since labor was induced, everything went smoothly, and I elected to have an epideral, so I don't recall any pain. I do remember fainting several times in bed due to low blood pressure. When this happened my bed needed to be adjusted so the head of the bed was lower than my feet, and I was then put on oxygen. Once my blood pressure went up, the bed was returned to normal position. This happened several times. Try delivering a baby with head down!

Everything continued well until 12:49 PM., when little you appeared! I remember you being long and thin, and very peaceful. Quickly after that you went a little blue which concerned the doctor, so you were quickly removed from the delivery room and I didn't see you again for about two hours, as the doctor was watching you closely. After that all was well, and we both went home the next day. Oh, Dad and I couldn't agree on a name, so you left as baby Grant. I wanted to name you Maggie, but Dad insisted that reminded him of Mimi's cat. He won-

You were a very good baby, although you did not like to nap. Maybe this explains why you don't like napping today as an adult! Your sister Lauren loved you, even though several days later she bit your foot. Such a pest!!

Well, that's the traditional story of Megan's birth. A story I love to tell you year after year. This was one of the favorite days of my life. There is nothing more magnificent than the birth of your own child, and what a special child you are!

I love and miss you. See you soon, Mom

Obviously not a newborn here, but this was the youngest photo of myself with my mom that I have here with me in Australia. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Engagement-versary.  That's a thing, right? 

Three years ago, David proposed, and I (of course) said yes!  Although I don't insist on actually celebrating little anniversaries such as this (today was just like any other typical weekday), I do always love to remember these occasions and reminisce for at least a little while.  And plus, I love when blogs share stories like this, so I've been wanting to add posts about our engagement, wedding, etc.  So indulge me while I share our engagement story.

March 12, 2010

David and I had planned a cruise for my spring break.  Our cruise was leaving on a Monday (also my birthday).  We had decided to go to dinner on Friday night to celebrate my birthday since we would be busy that weekend packing and preparing for our trip.

David came home from work that day with three roses (I thought they were for my birthday... I was later informed they were for the 3 years we had been together).  We then went to dinner at the first restaurant David took me to during my first visit to Houston.  At this point, I still had no idea what was about to go down- although, looking back at it I had plenty of red flags, but for whatever reason I was oblivious to them.

After dinner we came back to our apartment, and David said he wanted to give me my birthday present early. I protested, because I'm always weird about opening presents early and I insist on saving my birthday presents until my actual birthday.  After some convincing, I agreed.  David instructed me to sit on the couch and wait while he got it.  When he returned, he presented me with a big gift bag and a card.  If you know me well, you know that I love sending and receiving cards.  David, not so much.  So when I DO receive a card from him, I get very excited.  Needless to say, I was distracted by my excitement that David had written me a birthday card and forgot all about the gift bag.  I opened the card to find that the inside simply read, "I love you Megan Grant.  Will you marry me?"  I looked up, and David was on his knee with a ring in his hand.  I was so surprised that I said nothing for a few seconds.  When I finally did speak, the first words out of my mouth were, "is this a joke?!" (David STILL gives me crap for having this reaction :-)  oops).  I was just SO truly surprised, that it just didn't feel real.  After he assured me it was not a joke, I quickly said, "YES!"  We made several calls to friends and family and then enjoyed a week long cruise relaxing and celebrating our engagement before all the wedding planning began. 

His proposal was just perfect for us. I love hearing about public proposals, but I always knew that I would just be mortified if I ever had one myself. So I loved that it was private and just the two of us. I also love that he incorporated the restaurant where we had our first date since that will always be such a special place for us.

Shortly after he proposed - I was a little teary
3 Roses for 3 Years and the best card EVER!

The bling. David picked it out all on his own without any input from me.  I LOVE it!
Celebrating on our cruise

Newly engaged!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Some Reflections & The Price

I was reading a post from one of my favorite travel/expat blogs recently, when I stumbled upon something that I really identified with.  You can read it for yourself here here (first part), but she basically mentioned how exciting moving (and living abroad) can be, but also how lonely it can be at times. 

This really struck a chord with me.  I have found this to be true on multiple occasions here.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy here by any means.  In fact, most of the time I am really enjoying my time here and feel so grateful for this opportunity to live and travel abroad at this point in our lives.  However, I do also have to acknowledge that at some points, this life here can feel a bit lonely.  I had one of these moments just a couple weekends ago.  We were at a party at a friend's house with a large group of other expats.  Despite the fact that there were tons of people there, I couldn't shake a nagging feeling of loneliness.  Sure, I was making the rounds and chatting with most of the people there, but it just felt strange or foreign for some reason.  I have met wonderful people here, and everyone has been so very welcoming.  I know that the people I have befriended here will forever be important friends in my life since we've shared such a unique experience.  But, that night I just felt what I can only describe as loneliness.  I missed people who know my background, people who I have inside jokes with, people who know my family, etc.  It was indeed a strange experience.  Again, not a lasting feeling, and most definitely not something I feel all the time here (in fact, it is usually quite the opposite), but it was just a strange experience. 

The more I thought about it this week, I realized that that loneliness that sometimes sneaks up on me here may also be mixed with or caused by a bit of homesickness.  There's not necessarily a physical home that I'm "sick" for, but more just "familiarity" that I get homesick for- familiar faces, familiar places, etc.  I recently found this pin via another favorite travel/expat blogger (you can find her blog here).

I LOVE this quote.  I absolutely 100% agree with the sentiment behind it.  I think that the "price" to pay for this wonderful life/opportunity we are experiencing is indeed missing out on things "back home," and feeling inexplicably lonely at strange times.  Missing out on things back home has been very hard- my dad's 60th birthday, holidays, my good friend's baby's first birthday, not being able to be there for my friends (in a physical or at least convenient time zone sense), heck even missing out on silly things like the Houston Rodeo!  It's not that there is someplace I would rather be, because I really am happy to be where we are now.  I guess it's just more that I wish I could be two places at once.  Someone please invent a teleporting device! 

Anyway, not to be Debbie Downer at all- I suppose I was just feeling a little reflective recently.  I usually don't post things like this, but I do want to remember these emotions as well as all the excitement and opportunity when I look back on this unique time in our lives. 

Friday, March 01, 2013



...marks my six month-iversary of living in Australia.  Wow.  In some ways, my big move feels like just yesterday, but it also feels like a million years ago. the first day of Fall.  What?!?!  I really don't enjoy that my birthday month has somehow magically transformed from a Spring month to a Fall month.  So strange.  Side note: (for what I can only assume is because when it comes down to it, seasons are pretty meaningless here) in Australia, season changes have nothing to do with solstices or the tilt of the Earth on it's rotational axis. Nope, that would be too scientific.  Here, seasons simply change on the first day of every third month. 

...was a doozy at work.  I often work with students who have some serious emotional/behavior issues.  And today, I was unlucky enough to be the recipient of an emotional outburst.  I may or may not have been punched twice in the arm and then again in the lower stomach area only to later have to dodge flying pieces of glass as said student busted the window with a chair.  Luckily, this kid was quite small, so damage done (to me) was basically none.  Maybe more just a bruised ego on my part.  Teaching is tough!  But I just have to remember that this kiddo has been through some tough things in his short life already, and was unfortunately just expressing some of that today.  I know this, but still- sheesh!  At least it was Friday!