August 02, 2016

A New Thing

A new thing is happening!  Doing something new is hard and scary and oh so exciting.  So, deep breath... One of my most hilarious friends, Rachel Webb, and I teamed up and started a podcast!

It's so strange because for a looooong time I've been writing words here on the Internet and now I'll be speaking them. Ignore the Kentucky twang if it's at all possible.  (It's not possible)  It's a whole other world for me. It's also so much fun.  Rachel and I are having a blast making podcasts.  We seriously can not behave ourselves for even a second.  We are putting together shows on everything from friendships and FOMO and confidence to Gilmore Girls and adoption and we are cooking up some amazing guests for our show.  It's a light hearted fun corner of the podcast-sphere (is that a thing?  I don't even know.  We are still figuring this thing out!)  Basically, the goal of our weekly show is for you to feel like you are sitting around the kitchen table with us having girl talk.

If you'd like to listen to our podcast, our first show is now LIVE!  You can listen to it from our website HERE.


If you are on iTunes, you can hit the purple podcast app, search THE MEGAN AND RACHEL SHOW and play it right from your phone.  Or click here to go to directly to it on your iPhone.
If you'd like to keep up with new episodes, you can subscribe through our website  ( or on iTunes.  And be sure to jump over to our show's facebook page.  It's a fun interactive place over there!

Hope you enjoy!

July 18, 2016

Happy 8th birthday, Miles!

Dear Miles,

Eight years old!  Holy moly! What a year you've had.   Lots of things changed this year.  You crossed over to feel like "one of the big kids".  We made the decision for you to go to a new school this year so you could get a little extra help and you blossomed into this super responsible kiddo.  You were diagnosed with epilepsy and that changed a few little things.  Some things that didn't change?  Your amazing smile, your goofy nature, and your love for people.

This birthday post is a bit late.  We spent your actual eighth birthday having an epic adventure.  We were on vacation in Montana and went white water rafting for a "Miles is turning 8 extravaganza!"  You LOVED it.  You are such an adventurous kid.  You take on new challenges like a champ- especially anything physical.  Our raft guide's name was Nick and he treated you like a king for your birthday.  Toward the end of the day, he let you sit in the back with him and call out the paddle commands and you felt like the ruler of the world boat.  It was the best way to spend a birthday ever!

This is also the year you decided to put your football career on hold.  After a phenomenal season last year and a fierce love for the game, you said you'd rather have your nights free to play with your neighborhood friends.  Totally understandable.  Sports will be there for a long time.  Magical years of childhood are fleeting, so I think you made a good decision.  My nerves are thanking you.  Plus, with such recent seizure activity, I'm not sure you'd be cleared medically anyway.  But you sure did have a great season!  Now you and Noah are spending a lot of time playing baseball with Daddy in the back yard.  Dude, you've got a killer arm on you.

You spend hours and hours making up games with your action figures.  Right now you are into everything Avengers.  You have all the characters and leave them set up in these little configurations all over the house.  Your best buddy, Davis, walks over almost every day and you all create these little action figure worlds and live in make believe land all the live long day.  Then, when you get bored, you pack up the action figures and walk to Davis' house and do the same thing.  It's pretty fun to watch and listen to you guys.

This has been one of my favorite years with you.  One of my favorite things is tucking you into bed at night.  You squeeze me around the neck and then try to stall bedtime as long as you can.  "Mommy? Tell me a story about me in Congo, " you say sweetly almost every night.  This year I went back to your village to learn about your past and I tell you the stories people told me about you.  You just smile ear to ear to hear the stories.  You giggle with pure delight when I talk about how much people loved you.  I love telling these stories to you.  I love watching your heart heal before my very eyes as you settle into yourself and your story.  How did I ever get so lucky to get to be your mom?  You amaze me in every way possible.  You are such a joy.

Happy birthday, sweet Miles.  I hope your next year is wonderful!

I love you SO MUCH!

***Every year, I interview each of my kids on their birthday.  Usually, I ask the same questions every year so that I can watch how their answers change (or don't change) from year to year (2015) (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011)  (2010).  Sometimes I toss in a few new ones so that I can make sure to catch their little quirks and thoughts! ***

Mom:What do you want to be when you grow up?
Miles: What do I want to be?  Hmmmm... A blacksmith!
Mom:  What exactly does a blacksmith do?
Miles:  He makes needles.  Wait.  Not needles.  He makes nails and armor and more stuff like that. Like iron.  In a fire.
Mom:  You just want to play in a fire all day, don't cha?  What else would you maybe want to be?
Miles:  A white water raft guide. That would be so cool!

Mom: Do you want to get married when you grow up?
Miles: Yeah.

Mom: Do you want to have kids one day?
Miles: yeah
Mom:  How many?
Miles: 2 or if not 4
Mom: What do you think their names will be?
Miles: One will be Jeremy.  One will be Johnson.  The other will be Ferb.

Mom: What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Miles: I like to play with toys and games.

Mom:  Tell me some things about yourself?
Miles:  I like to watch TV.  I like sports like soccer, football, baseball and basketball.

Mom: What is your favorite thing to do at school?
Miles: Math and reading.  And then recess and lunch.
Mom:  What kinds of things do you like to read?
Miles:  Little Bear, Blueberries for Sal, Caps for Sale, Make Way for Ducklings and Keep the Lights Burning Abby and those books about Blaze the Horse.  Oh, and Martin's Big Words about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mom:  Those were some of my favorite books when I was a kid, too.  Especially, Blueberries for Sal.  Granny used to read that one to me a lot.

Mom: What is your favorite joke?
Miles:  Knock Knock.
Mom:  Who's there?
Miles:  Banana
Mom:  Banana who?
Miles:  Banana
Mom:  Banana who?
Miles:  Orange

Mom: Who are your best friends?
Miles:  Davis, Grant, Dominic, Amias, Reagan

Mom: What is your favorite holiday?
Miles:  I would say my birthday and Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Mom: What is your favorite thing about having a brother and sisters?
Miles:  So you're not bored.

Mom: What's the worst part about siblings?
Miles:  We fight a lot.

Mom: What kinds of things do you fight about?
Miles:  We fight over, like, where we sit and weird things that I don't know about.

Mom: What do you think that high school will be like?
Miles:  High school will be fun.  Did high school in your grade get to go to recess?
Mom:  Nope.
Miles:  Well, my high school will still go to recess.

Mom: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Miles:  To the North Pole!
Mom:  What would you do there?
Miles:  Play with the reindeer and Mrs. Clause will make me cookies and I will eat them!

Mom: If you could make up your perfect day and do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Miles:  I would buy everything in the world!
Mom:  Really?  And what would you do with all the stuff?
Miles:  Prolly, give it to poor people.
Mom:  What kind of stuff would you give?
Miles:  Gold.  And water and snacks and lots of toys.

Mom:  What is your favorite memory from being seven?
Miles:  My favorite memory was.... hmmmm... that's hard!  Can it be, like, any memory?
Mom:  Yep!
Miles:  My favorite was when me and Davis had a sleepover!  (first sleepover ever!)

Mom:What's one thing you really want to learn how to do?
Miles: Make a video.
Mom:  Of what?
Miles:  A Marvel's movie or something

Mom:  What is one goal you have for being 8?
Miles:  What's a goal?
Mom:  Something you want to accomplish?
Miles:  OOOOOOH.  I want to beat the whole Lego's avengers game on xbox.  Wait?!  In 2017 will I still be a kid?
Mom:  For sure.
Miles:  Just checking.

Current Favorites:
color: green and blue and red
toy: Avengers action figures
movie: Batman vs. Superman
TV show: Spiderman vs. Sinister Six
food: eggs and cheeseburgers, Cinnamon Toast Crunch
candy: Jolly Ranchers
book:  Little Bear
song: Lukas Graham "Seven Years" and Flo Rida "Welcome to My House"
sport:  soccer, baseball, basketball, football and golf
ice cream: vanilla and chocolate syrup

A look back over the last year....

Happy Birthday, Miles!

June 21, 2016

So I Don't Forget

Summer, oh summer.  It's in full swing.  It's been so long since I've posted, I was worried I'd forget the spring entirely.  So here's a giant smattering of all the things that probably only the grandparents care about.  YOU'RE WELCOME GRANDPARENTS!

Miles went through this phase where every time he looked at the ground he would find a four leaf clover.  He deemed himself the luckiest and threw an L up on his forehead for LUCKY- definitely not LOSER.  He swears that he sees people do this and it surely means there are many lucky people in the world. 

 Easter.  Bless it. You know when getting one photo of your kids actually showered and dressed is important to you?  And one kid's mind goes, "Listen.  I know this photo is important to mom.  So I will close my eyes for every single picture on purpose so that mom will lose her chit on Jesus' special day."  Yep, that totally happened. #fixitjesus

 We let our boys play hookie from school one day and surprised them with a trip to the zoo.  They were like, "What is happening?  We do not understand this level of awesome!"  Once you have more than two kids, taking any combination of kids that is not all the kids is like having a whole different family.  I love how the dynamics change when you get some time with the kids in a smaller group. 

 The people redeemed themselves with the photos for my step brother's wedding.  Noah in a bow tie.  I died from cuteness with the ties on the boys.

 We danced all night long.  I can't even tell you how much I love weddings.  LOVE them.  Everyone we know got married a long time ago and so we rarely ever go to weddings.  I could go to a wedding every weekend and dance and drink wine and live a happy existence. 

Plus, truly, there's never been a more beautiful couple.  I mean really, it almost borders on ridiculous how gorgeous and fun and in love they are. 

In our latest installment of "Scarlett Sleeps" here are just a few places she crashes.  We take a blanket most everywhere we go because when she's ready to check out, she just goes to bed.  Sometimes 6 or 8 times a day.  It is a phenomenon that borders right in the middle of bizarre and glorious.  Her ability to sleep is her spiritual gift. 

We've spent a lot of time at home- just chilling with our dog and having friends over for late night chats around the fire pit.  

We have had two very perfect days this summer.  They need to be documented for the sheer fact that all the children got along on these two particular days.  Pure MIRACLE.  We decided that this year we were going to plant a garden.  I know my limitations.  I can barely keep all the children alive, and so a 12 foot by 12 foot garden was all I felt capable of doing.  We also planted a few grape and blackberry bushes.  The kids thought this was the most awesome thing that has ever happened to our family.  The girls, especially, go out and check the garden multiple times a day and marvel at it's progress.  Miles is our least outdoorsy kid, but even he enjoyed planting and building our garden.  Poor Scarlett's allergies nearly did her in and she spent most of the spring in a mask or her little eyes would swell shut and her nose would pretty much stop working.  We currently have ONE tomato in the garden and we stare at that thing like it is the second coming. 

My dad used to pull us around the yard on our lawn mower.  It is one of my favorite childhood memories.  When it would snow, the sled would get hooked up to the lawn mower.  When my brother was in second or third grade he wrote a story called "When my sister, Megan, goes to college".  In the story he said that when I came home from college all he wanted us to do together was ride around on the lawn mower.  It was a big deal to us as kids so I get all warm and fuzzy about my kids doing the same.  

A friend brought back soccer uniforms from the Congo.  Our boys thought it was the coolest. 

 Our beloved, little guinea pig, Phil, passed away.  It hit us all very hard.  We loved that little guy.  He often went by many nicknames.  This children decorated his casket with all of his nicknames- including Philly Cheesesteak, Philly Willy, Philbert, and Philsberry Crescent Roll.  He was such an amazing pet.  We sure do miss him.

The last few months have been filled with much ball.  Sadie is playing softball and Noah is playing baseball.  It's been especially fun that they have so many grandparent fans who come out to support them so we've gotten to spend a lot of time with our parents at the park.  I get so nervous when my kids get up to bat or the ball comes anywhere near them.  Lord help me if my kids ever play high school or college sports. I will be a basket case. 

 Cousin fun up in the trees.

 Sadie and her lifelong friend ran a 5k together.  So proud of these girls!

 Miles class at school went on a field trip to an early settlement village.  He got to pull on the giant bellows that fed the fire in the blacksmith's shop.  On the way home we had this conversation:

Miles:  Mom, you know how I've always wanted to be a dentist my whole life?
Me:  Yes!  
Miles:  Well... I think I've changed my mind.
Me:  What do you think you'd like to be now?

For weeks now he's talked about his career as a blacksmith.  He is downright giddy about this decision and tells most people he meets about his blacksmithing goals. 

 The field across from our house was a balloon launch pad a few weeks ago. 

Then one night there was a rainbow in our front yard.  Things like balloons and rainbows only seem to happen when our kids are in the shower.  And so we start screaming at them to hurry up and get out of the shower to come see these things and so they are in various states of toweldom and undress. This is especially strange because it is summer and the children never bathe because pool = bath here.  This just goes to show if you clean your children, the universe will reward you. 

Bathing.  Yup. 

The second perfect day of the summer was the day we went to the strawberry patch and picked strawberries.  The kids all LOVED it.  They picked and picked and found just the perfect berry every 1.3 seconds.  Miles was in heaven.  Fruit is his love language and he would pick a spot to sit in and eat.  He maybe put 10 berries in his bucket and ate 100.  It was very Blueberries For Sal (which happens to be one of his favorite books)

By the time we finished picking, the children took their buckets up to be weighed.  They picked 15 POUNDS of strawberries.  It cost me approximately one million dollars.  They were so happy about their haul that it was totally worth it. I had no idea how we would ever eat 15 pounds of berries before they went bad so I got the genius idea that we would make strawberry jam and can it for the winter.  Because I did this as a very young child with my grandmother I am an expert.  Which means I called my granny at least 459 times because I had no idea what we were doing.  It was so fun to make, though, and it was nice that the kids all did it together.

It worked!  We canned a dozen jars of jam and I felt like Ma Ingalls and went to bed so happy that night. 

 Miles is in the "action figure" phase of life and he spends hours making up scenarios with his marvel superheroes and his Star Wars figures.  Kamron says he played exactly like this when he was little and when Kamron watches him play he gets this little grin on his face and he looks totally at peace.  It's one of my favorite looks. 

Miles also went to his first sleepover with his BFF Davis.  I am doing the whole "my babies are growing up" sob a lot these days.

They say that money can't buy happiness.  But money can buy summer camp and that's basically the same thing.  I struggle with what to write about raising a kid with severe reactive attachment disorder and how this affects our family- especially our other children.  I never want to be disparaging but I also want to be honest about the difficulty that is older child adoption and mental illness.  Suffice it to say that we were in desperate need of some respite and decided that sleepaway summer camp for six different weeks was going to be a win/win for all the people. Scarlett was so excited about spending summer away from all of us- she needs a lot of structure and time away from us so summer is really hard for her.  And the other kids needed some time in their own home where it was calm and chill.  We got a letter from camp claiming that is was the best time of her life and that snacks were free so could she please stay forever?  So I'd say we all came out winners here.   

 I asked the boys to take out the recycling...

 We had a little weekend business trip to Indianapolis, where I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone.  It is so strange because about a month ago my neighbor bestie pulled up all crazy in my driveway and when I heard the car I went outside and was convinced she was going to give birth to a calf or a small goat right there in my garage.  I drove her to the ER and she ended up having a kidney stone.  If this is not proof of how much I love my friends, I now get sympathy kidney stones. 

And perhaps the biggest things going on in my world... I'm finally writing that book I've always wanted to write.  It's raw and vulnerable and may never see the light of day and no one may ever want to read it.  But it feels SO good to get the words out that have been swimming in my heart for years.  So far I've written about depression and my one and only experience with a bikini wax.  So there's that.  

Kamron pulled off the road a few miles from our house and took this picture.  I LOVE it.  Reminds me that summer is the perfect time to pull off, slow down and enjoy things.  

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