I did not know until a few years ago that I am a perfectionist. I thought perfectionists were determined to get things perfect or die trying.

I just quit. The pressure hits, I’m not sure I can produce something worthwhile, and I quit. I do not transform into a diamond under that pressure. I cave. Maybe I become sand? And then can be glass. I like that. Thanks for sticking with me while I worked through that.

I’m having a rough time lately. Because I am a perfectionist. Perfect is the enemy of Done or something like that. But you know what that also means? Done is the enemy of Perfect. Actually, that might be the way the phrase goes?

I’m rambling because I’ve got things to say that I don’t want to say. None of it is bad, it’s just what’s been swirling in my brain and I need to cross SHOULD I SAY THAT off my list of possible actions.

1) I got a message from FB today (when I first started writing, on July 23rd) that they had pulled the last of what I can see of my photos from my father’s FB profile. Good. I am glad. I am also still mad. Mad at him for letting me down to begin with (which is a euphemism for the abuse I experienced), mad at the planet that people can’t act right, mad at myself for not … look, it’s a long list, and I don’t have to think that way, mad, mad, mad. But also sad. Because the anger is a roadmap that outlines the boundaries of what hurts.

2) I realized the past couple of weeks, flailing and reacting and looking back through some things and confronting some ideas, that I have quit a lot of projects, work ideas, profitable potentialities, helpful habits – so many things – because his input tainted the experience for me. Portrait photography. Blogging. Graphic design. Microblogging about homesteading and homeschool. Everywhere I found an avenue for talent to meet helpfulness and projects paying for themselves, he was there to SAY SOMETHING. And that wrecked the experience.

3) It’s been weeks – I started this, furious, on July 23rd, and finally gave up trying to make sense and went to bed. Now it’s something like 3 weeks later and I’m back in the same mental space. August is a strange month for me. I think public school and then college trained me to shift gears in August (did I already rant about this in this post?) so now in August I evaluate and have big dreams and get mad about resources I wish I had but won’t work toward… you get the idea. So. Now it’s August. And I wish I was designing calendars and planners and Christmas cards and selling loads of wall art and Scripture memory cards, and I had an idea this week for an ‘inspirational’ line that features quotes from authors – but I can’t tell you too much more about that because I don’t want anyone to steal it. Just know that most of the 5 of you who definitely read my blog will LOVE IT. Jonathan even snorted, that’s how I know it was a great idea. See. Was. Like I had the idea and it’s gone now.

I am not sure why I was numbering the sections? I’m sure it seemed like a good idea three weeks ago. It’s been a LONG three weeks. I haven’ heard from my dad – unless that’s been him making spam accounts to follow my now-private Instagram account.

Oh, I’m over here typing again because I got mad about that, and mad about the writenow journals, and mad about… taking beautiful pictures?… that doesn’t seem quite right. I was maybe mad about … feeling like I was doing something, and then it got derailed. Yeah. Life is weird like that. I bet that’s it. I take pretty good pictures, yes, but there’s a swath in 2014 that are just really spectacular. And then the company Jonathan worked for decided to close, and my grandmother died, and it had already been a rough year, and and and.

Always something else.

I think I came back to WordPress to write but also to share some favorite images that I just found, looking for one in particular.

I did not really intend to include that last one, but it has a nasturtium, and nasturtiums signify victory in conquest. So it’s gotta stay now.

I’m not sure why I feel so decidedly at war right now – I mean, there are plenty of options for why. I am not sure about prioritization, I guess. I should stop writing.

writing to try

I just spent some time trying to tell a story. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. I was trying to remember details about an event from real life, and I kept filling in the hazy gaps instead of letting them gape. So then I tried to admit when I was filling in the gaps. That just made it worse. So I rambled for a while and then hopped over here to publish a blog post for the first time in … I don’t even know how long.

So much shrugging.

I had an idea for a different story while I was driving today. I need to make notes about it and then do some research. I got through one vague outline and realized that the conclusion was mostly backwards from what would happen in real life. Not in an ironic way. In a clumsy and inaccurate way.

But, look, at least I noticed before I wrote the story, right?

Thinking further, I wonder if I could get away with it anyway. How many times do we engage a scene and say THAT IS NOT HOW THAT WORKS? It won’t work because if I’m going to write a story like that and let other people read it then it will have to be as accurate as I can make it. I will need to be fully ignorant of my level of wrong.

Oh well.

I took some photos with my Nikon. I think they look fake. There’s something just fake about the backgrounds in all of them. But I really like them.


I’ve thought about it quite a bit, blogging stories about my New York trip. I visualize myself approaching the computer, standing and leaning against the desk to type. But no words. Not very many words, anyway. Not any original words, or words that didn’t already automatically occur to me when I thought NEW YORK CITY.

And the photos that I’ve taken…. they’re so bad. Not all of them. But most of them are just me being overwhelmed at the visual feast, and the noise, and the smells, and weird things the air did. I guess that makes it sounds like a bad experience. But it wasn’t bad. It was just different. So very different than what I’m used to experiencing. So the photos, instead of being thoughtfully composed and clear, tend to be blurry and tilted and a little bit confusing. 

Oh well.

Out of our window in the hotel, we were faced with the Chrysler Building. I loved watching the light change throughout the day, so I was glad we were able to pop in and out of the hotel room at different times. 

We were in and out of Grand Central every day. It was so large. And so open. With so many arches and tunnels and doorways and cubbies and lights. But it still managed to be quite dark. And dirty. And absolutely loud.

I don’t know if it’s the time of year or just all the things that have happened at the same time, but, I feel like I have a sentence or two about all.the.things (even with what I’ve been reading/listening to/watching, apart from the trip). There’s no real analysis. It’s just straightforward observation.

window seats

I downloaded the airline’s app a few weeks before my trip. It kept hitting me with obnoxious notifications, so I finally explored what options I had. At one point it asked me for a seat preference – aisle or window. I selected window. All four of my seats were window seats. On the last leg, though, I entered the plane after someone was already in my window seat. I just let it go.

In no particular order and unedited, photos from the plane windows:

I also took photos of the interior and even the exterior of each plane, because Ann Meriel asked me MORE THAN ONCE what my airplanes would be like. I think I have 15 minutes of video, also. After my first few Facebook posts, they let me know they had seen everything. They mostly shrugged me off until this week, when a video of us flying in an actual cloud made them think that MAYBE they hadn’t seen EVERYTHING I took pictures of on my trip.


At DC :: 9:56am :: 8-31-2018

the plane window was super dirty so I’m not sure how the photos will turn out; the plane ride was so amazing – watching the world slide away, seeing the clouds trail past, slipping up thru the clouds

the plane was so tiny – maybe ten feet across? there were two seats on each side; there was NOT room to successfully pull up my hair [not without elbowing the girl next to me in the face]

[shot stories] poppies

I’ve been going through old photos, trying to decide how organized they are and if they’re backed up adequately. (Ummm and nope, in case you’re wondering.)

This is from 2014.

It was not the best year of my life.

But somehow, in the midst of all the completely insane and demoralizing situations that popped up, I managed to grow some poppies.

Four years later, I am still kind of shaking my head in wonder.


from poptoo’s house

In June, before my birthday, we went to PopToo’s house for a couple of days.

I’ve been threatening for years to make it a regular thing – we’re going to go (me and all four kids) and spend the night (or a few nights), even if we have to take our school work, and even if it throws everybody off schedule (including PopToo), and even if it’s total insanity the entire time. It was pretty crazy, but we had a good time.

There’s this feeling I get when I wander around outside at Pop’s house… even when he’s been working and it seems like everything is different, there are pockets – ISLANDS – where it seems as though everything has always been the same. I can stand on the back deck and look out over the hazy hills and hollers, and remember being seven years old and doing the same thing.


I have wondered before why I love hydrangea so much. I decided on this trip that it’s because of this:

For the record, I have not edited these photos. I’ve adjusted the settings on my Nikon so that it saves the images with some extra contrast.


I was positively giddy when I finally got photos loaded into Lightroom on my new computer. I fiddled with settings for a few minutes, and then reset every single image and exported them.

Straight out of the camera.


Via a just-checking-about-edits process.

i turned 34 in june

I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks trying to figure out what I want my 35th year to look like. I’m like I DON’T EVEN KNOW OKAY I JUST DON’T KNOW. I’m kind of tired. Tired like “Life is hard no matter who you are and I have a mood disorder and I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for things and I don’t know how to just LIVE MY LIFE without being all up in some kind of project or whatever and why do I work as hard as I do but always feel like I’m spinning my wheels and what even is life and why why why why why is it so hard for people to act right.”

I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but at some point today I had to just stop whatever it was and think “I do not know how to exist without some kind of hobby/project/event/deadline to structure my life. I can’t just BE MEGAN and that be enough.” I’ve had the thought before that it’s tough for me to feel like I’m enough, like I do enough. And that’s hard for a lot of people. People who are not narcissists and the like.

I took a picture of myself the day before my birthday and I posted in on Instagram and Facebook, with a caption about how I had gotten a bee in my bonnet about picking a theme word for this year. I’ve got one for 2018 – it’s Wend, and I love it because it basically just means to do the next thing. The actual definition is something like “to make one’s way.” And that’s so beautiful to me in this season of life that I am not really sure how to talk about it. After my Big Think today, I have realized that maybe what Wend was getting me ready for is a real break.


Maybe instead of sheepishly, tiredly, restlessly, confusedly trying to figure out what I’m Supposed To Do Next… maybe I could just Not DO Anything except what’s in front of me to do. I’m wondering about taking time off from making plans and having hopes. I’ve got a handful of plans for the rest of the year, and some obligations to meet, and I’m wondering about just skipping adding anything else to what I’ve already thought of or established as routine/tradition.

I don’t know what I was doing, but I remember what else I was thinking when that struck. I was thinking about work, and about how my Real Jobs were as a sort of runner at the mortgage department of a bank, then as an administrative intern in the IT department at Berry, and all that time I did a lot of work with kids, and then I did sales support at JCP. I got stuck trying to figure out a time when I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing to get where I’m supposed to go. I don’t know what I’ve ever done, I can’t think of any significant block of time, when I’ve been able to say that I’m where I feel like I’m supposed to be AND I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing AND there’s not something looming on the horizon.


I’m flexible.

We’ll just roll with what comes at us next.




I’m tired.

And I want to know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and not already feel like I’m not hustling hard enough to get where I’m supposed to go.


I think my word for year 35 is gonna be NOPE.

I’ll keep you posted. Or I’ll forget. We’ll see together, apparently.

While I was still trying to work up the emotional energy to even pretend to try to write a blog post, I went through photos from March through June 21st. I picked 34 photos of me. Nah. I picked like 38 or 39 photos of me, and then decided I would post 34, which meant I needed to not delete any more of them.

Most of them are iPhone selfies. One is a Nikon selfie. Two are Nikon photos by children – maybe Annie and Quinn. There’s a slim chance they’re both Quinn. But also a chance he took zero and it was Annie both times or Annie and Brennan. It’s like trying to solve a logic matrix. Nobody knows. ONE BIG PHOTO IS OF MY LEGS IN THE SUNSHINE WHILE I WAS WEARING SOME SHORT SHORTS (I didn’t build this collage, WordPress did, and then WordPress would not let me rearrange anything.) AND I AM JUST GONNA TELL YOU THAT THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE I WAS ELEVEN (AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN YOUNGER THAN THAT) THAT I HAVE WORN WHATEVER LENGTH SHORTS I WANT TO WHATEVER PUBLIC PLACE I WANT AND NOT BEEN 1) EMBARRASSED BECAUSE LEGS, 2) CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK, AND 3) ACTIVELY UPSET ABOUT MY SPIDER VEINS AND CELLULITE AND UNEVEN TAN AND MOSQUITO WELTS. I did have about a year in college where I wore a couple of fairly short skirts, but I was always worried the whole time. Y’all. This year I’ve been wearing high-waisted short shorts. AND SOMETIMES I TUCK IN MY SHIRT.

But whatever, that’s another 1000 words to explain why THAT is a big deal.

I’ve got a photo of me with Aiden, one with both girls, one with Quinn, a few with J, some are from “field trips” and Jasper trips, a few are from moments when I was just so done with whatever was going on that I had to snap a photo to gain some THIS IS HOW YOUR FACE LOOKS RIGHT NOW perspective. It helps. It really does. I have chats with the kids about how usually I’m not actually even mad at THEM, I am just as completely over it as they are… whatever IT happens to be. BUT ANYWAY.

THAT LAST PHOTO is from sunset on the solstice. Because I am so totally pagan enough to want to set things on fire to thank God for the way the Earth moves around the Sun. Annie is eating a roasted marshmallow. It wasn’t actually roasted, she did not have time to roast it because I was shrieking at my four children to cooperate to get photos during the minute of sunset, as determined by my watch, because y’all we can’t even see the actual horizon for the last two hours of the day.

I got a new computer on Friday and I promise to blog more now that I can really type, so that I don’t do any more of these 1100+ word monsters. I even deleted 400 words before I started talking about legs and perspective and paganism.


Here’s to the other 49.5 weeks of this year of life!

life lessons

I keep seeing distressingly thought-provoking memes – the kind that force you to ponder the advice you’d give your teenage self, or how you’d live life differently if you KNEW you would die in a year, or what you hope your kids remember about their childhood.

You know the kind I mean.

Existential crisis provokers.


This photo is on display at PopToo’s house. I saw it on Friday and it initiated yet another round of questioning my life-lesson priorities. Y’all, every time I see it (or any other prom night photos) I HAVE TO SMILE, but I also kinda want to grab this pretty girl and give her a hard shake and a stern talking to.

Just look at that girl.

She thought she was not thin enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or kind enough, or mean enough (because if you’re gonna fail at nice then you just better push hard for the other extreme… teenager logic is a little warped, y’all), or talented enough, or just enough at anything.

If I could tell her things, I would tell her to never ever ever stop the late-night dance parties. Do y’all even know how many calories you burn just shaking your tailfeathers?!? (Also do you know how many calories I stored instead of burning because I didn’t realize that dance parties are legit aerobic exercise? SHEESH.)

I would tell her that there’s a simple reason behind why it’s so hard to figure out what to do with your life: there are just too too too many challenging, engaging, interesting, and fulfilling possibilities. Decide what to do now, then next… not what to do for!

I would tell her that people were not pretending to like her. The people who did not like her ignored her. Not everybody is gonna love you madly, y’all, but when you find those people who do love you…. keep them close. And trust that as long as you’re pouring good things into each other at every possible opportunity, your relationships will flourish. That’s as true for your spouse and kids and other family and friends as it is for your coworkers and the employees at the establishments you frequent.

I would tell her that anger is good, it’s a map that shows us our boundaries (thank you, Julia Cameron!). I would tell her another Julia Cameron quote: The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

I could tell her so many other things, too, but a lot of the effort would be wasted. Because seeds sprout and plants grow and flowers bloom and fruit ripens when the conditions are right. So instead of focusing for too long on what I would tell that silly, precious spirit, I’ve been trying to figure out how to translate the grown-up lessons and connections and understandings and wisdom into seeds that can be sown in my kids’ hearts.

You know.

So they can sprout when conditions are right.

[design details] shining

I’ve been playing around with layered photos (again), and – oh I just got another idea.


These are projects I don’t feel finished with, but that I want to turn into poster prints that you write prayers or favorite quotes on.

One of my product goals is to have fresh poster designs available every month, to go with calendars and stickers and journals, to use as a kind of catch-all for however long, and then as a visual reminder for the words that we want to carry forward as time goes by.

[shot stories] hair

It’s probably sad that I want to start all of my blog posts with “We all know I’m crazy, right?” but I just want to be sure that we all know that *I* know that sometimes what I decide to talk about is… eccentric.

Okay then.

One of my criteria for A Good Hair Day is “Looks just right when it’s in my face.”

I don’t mean that it looks just right to anybody looking at me. I MEAN IT LOOKS JUST RIGHT WHEN I’M STRUGGLING TO PEER PAST IT TO SEE THE WORLD.

After some deliberate conversations with my kids, I have discovered that 3 of the 4 are fully on the same page.

I think there’s something comforting about it – a sort of border to what I’m experiencing, maybe? I’ve noticed that my hair goes back/up when I’m frustrated or annoyed with other boundaries in my life.

I’ve posted quite a few hair-in-the-wind shots lately (AND BOOMERANG FOR THE WIN AMIRIGHT?!?). I was watching the girls work last week, and the situation sort of coalesced and made sense. I wasn’t really thinking about it before then, except to enjoy the swoops and lines and whirls.

Now I am kinda smug about how neato it is.