A letter to Glen Hansard (or the person who checks his email)

I sent this as an email to info@glenhansardmusic.com today in an attempt to surprise Zack. Zack is on a social media sabbatical right now and so he doesn't know I'm doing this. I even logged onto his Twitter account (I changed all of his passwords) to see if I could get people to help me get Glen and his people's attention. I decided to put the email into a blog form, too, to see if people would share it. Hopefully if enough of you share it, maybe we can get Glen's attention!  

Hi there!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you — you anonymous person, you. I mean, I don’t think you’re anonymous intentionally, and you’re not anonymous to the people who know and love you, but currently you’re anonymous to me and so I shall have to muddle through my greeting to you. However, I do hope this finds you well and in lovely spirits.


I surprised my husband, Zack, this Christmas morning with tickets to see Glen play in Birmingham, Alabama on Feb. 2nd. It’s the closest Glen will be to Atlanta. A few years ago, for Zack's birthday, we flew to NYC to see Glen play. Around that time Zack got ahold of Glen via Twitter and asked if he could take Glen’s portrait. (Zack is actually a well regarded photographer, and while he’d never say it himself, he’s a kick-ass photographer, but I digress.) From what I remember Glen was totally down with the idea, and even gave Zack his number, but something happened (I can’t remember now what it was) and he didn’t get the chance to do the portrait.


So, I’m writing to see if I could surprise my husband EVEN more with the opportunity to take Glen’s portrait in Birmingham?


You can vet Zack here and here and here to be sure he’s not a creepy weirdo. Check Twitter, ask anyone. They’ll tell you, “Zack is awesome! He should totally take Glen’s portrait!”


What do you think, anonymous? Can you help me out? I adore my husband and really want to make this happen. Pretty please. He’ll poop his pants. Not literally. Well…I hope not.


I’ll bring him a change of clothes just in case.


Thanks for your time.





Meghan Arias

Two Birds

Made two people with two people. Out of youth, one; out of love, two.

("The clouds look like mountains or castles or both and I just want to be with you.")

Carried them both in the same little room; a space in my body

Universe filled with atoms collecting, it all coalescing

Into bodies brand new.


Thirty-six moments (A.K.A. thirty-six years)

Out of time, three; out of sight, four.

(Caught up to the age of the death of a girl who was so old to the people she'd made.)

And what about them?

How would they know that she was just one flake

In a whole lot of snow?

Where we are all falling

We are all falling

Yes, we are all falling

So where do you want to go?


Birds, if you need a people, a person to blame

Hold out your wings and I'll give you my name

Out of words, five; out of excuses, six.

Can't make amends for all that was battered and bruised yet

I shall always carry you

'Cause we are all falling

We are all falling

Yes, we are all falling

But what do you have to lose?

There's So Much Life In My Feelings...

...Hawke, in his usual way, made me smile with this conversation we had in the car today.  

"Mom, when I get really old I'll be a grown-up and have kids and be a Dad and then one day I'll be a Grand-pahther, right?" Sitting in his car seat, Hawke squirmed and twisted to make eye contact with me in the rearview mirror.

"Yep. One day your kids will have kids and you'll be a Grandpa. Just like Daddy and I will be Grandparents to your kids."

"I'm going to be a Grandpa!" Hawke looked at Joshua sitting in the seat next to him and grinned, "You're going to be a Grandpa, too, Joshua!"

Joshua shrugged. "Maybe. Whatever."

"Well, I'll give them yummy things to eat and they'll say, (and here he made his voice very high pitched) 'Thank you, Grandpa, for all these yummy things!' and I'll say (and he made his little voice as deep as it could go) 'You're welcome, my little Grandchildren.' That will be so awesome," Hawke laughed, "right, Mom?"

"You're going to be a great Daddy and a wonderful Grandpa one day, Hawke. But that's a LONG way away."

Hawke laughed again and I said, "Why are you laughing? Do you like that idea?"

"Yes, it makes me happy to think of dose things. There's so much life in my feelings."

When I Grow Up...

About a month or so ago, I crept gingerly into our living room so as not to disturb my 4 and 1/2 year old, Hawke, while he was playing the piano. I would be remiss if I said that I don't hope one of my kids will be a musician of some sort and so I try very hard to not be TOO terribly over eager when they even go near an instrument. So, to hear Hawke playing and singing made me ridiculously excited. A creaking floorboard gave me away and Hawke turned around and saw me. "Mom, will you help me? I writing a grow up song but I don't know how to get it to sound wight."

I was delighted.

"Of course! Sing me your song!" I said as I surreptitiously grabbed a pen.

So then Hawke, in a little voice at first, that grew louder sang,

"When you grow up You are already big And you can sleep Wherever you want You can watch T.V. And play games When you grow up When you grow up

When you grow up You can be in a band And you can play Really awesome guitar And look at pictures And drive a car But not at the same time 'Cause you might die

When you grow up You can go on a trip On an airplane Beyond the sea Or maybe to the beach Or a pool Or maybe your house When you grow up

When you grow up You get to be Whatever you want to be When you grow up When you grow up When you grow up."

I tried very hard not to cry. I failed. Then I had him sing it a few more times so that I could learn the melody and figure out the chords. I wanted him to sing the song while I recorded it but Hawke would have none of it.

"You do it, Mom. That's your job."

So I used the Voice Memo on my phone to quickly record it. In the end Phoenix decided to chime in with some opera. You can listen here:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/112084832" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

A Bike. A Bell. A Map.

A Bike. A Bell. A Map. My youngest son, Hawke, and I had a little date at Historic Fourth Ward Park today. We used the restroom at one point and as I was drying my hands I turned and saw Hawke's silhouette in the doorway and quickly grabbed my phone.

"Don't move, buddy. Okay? Stay right there." I was quickly trying to get my phone to focus when he said,

"Mom. I want to get married."

"Oh you do, huh?"

"Yeah, I want to get married to a girl. And have a really awesome bike with two wheels and a bell. And a map so that I don't get lost. My married girl will think I am so cool. Right, Mom?"

I melted.

"Yes, little man. She will think you are so cool. I know I do."

I got the shot I wanted, too.

A Question and A Response

Last night I got an email from a lovely lady that I follow on Instagr.am. who had written to me regarding this blog post I had written a couple of months ago. As I replied to her, I realized I was finally getting out what I had been ruminating on for a few weeks. I asked her if she minded if I shared our exchange and she wrote back to say that she didn't mind at all. So here it is: I was just reading your blog and listening to "Twine". When I started reading your post about Kicking the Fat Girl, I was utterly overwhelmed.  Even now as I write this, I'm fighting.  About a third of the way into it I thought, she's inside my head, she's writing about me.


All my life I've been the strong one, the supporter, the shoulder, the cheerleader, the one that stands up for everyone else.  Sometimes I feel like one of those people in the sport of curling, like I'm one of those people brushing the ice and frantically skating sideways so that someone else can achieve a goal. My parents divorced when I was 8 and my dad all but disappeared while my mom decided to live her own life with my brother and I as appendages. I had to stand up at that point and take care of my little brother and myself.  I'm going through some pretty intense personal struggles right now and I found myself ruining my keyboard while I sobbed over it.  

 Thank you.  Thank you for showing me that other mothers and wives feel the way that I do, that it doesn't diminish the strength of who I am to feel lost and shadowed.  That it's ok to take time for myself.







Thank you for writing. It means the world to me that you would take the time to do so.


Personal struggles? LAWD. I get it.


Your metaphor of the sport of curling is well said.


I have found that there are other women out there who don't necessarily think that being a mother is all they should long for, but it's like a secret that they feel they can't share or something. I've said it before, I'll say it again--I've just grown weary of shutting myself down to make other people comfortable. Hell, I need to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way, too. I love being a mom. Love it. However, I am an artist, too. I don't think those two things should be mutually exclusive but for some reason, they mix like oil and water. There always seems to be too much of one and not enough of the other. It requires a constant shaking to make it work and, frankly, it gets exhausting.


I am deplorable at taking time for myself. I tend to stuff and stuff and stuff and stuff and then--Zack can attest to this--I blow up and everything is way worse than it should be had I allowed myself the ability to care for myself in smaller increments. Does that make sense?


The other night--Monday night--I was literally so mad at Zack (and really, poor guy, he had nothing to do truly with why I was angry. He merely unwittingly lit the fuse…) I called him an asshole and stormed out of the house right after dinner. Ended up in a movie theatre parking lot where I sat -- fuming. Decided I'd see The Great Gatsby. BY MYSELF. BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD WANT TO SEE IT WITH ME ANYWAY. BECAUSE HELL! I'M THE ONLY ONE IN MY FAMILY WHO HAS READ THE FUCKING BOOK. ( And it probably won't be any good!* ) I watched that movie and ate six fun size Baby Ruth's before the previews had even finished.


I left the theatre and returned home three hours after I initially left feeling spent and sheepish.


"I left myself alone for too long."


You see, after the "Kicking The Fat Girl While She's Down" blog post, when Zack finally came home from his travels to Dubai and Istanbul where he was doing cool shit and meeting cool people and just generally being awesome, I crawled into bed and didn't leave for a week. There may or may not have been a bottle of Vanilla Smirnoff on the floor by my side of the bed. I was a mess. I was so tired. It took some time but, after that week, and going to my Dr. and getting on an anti-depressant, I'm doing much much better. I realized that a lot of it could've been avoided had I slowed myself down. The expectations I have for myself are so fucking high I think that, if I ever did attain them, I'd end up in the same fate as Icarus. I need to go easier on myself.


Which brings me back to the other night.


"I left myself alone for too long."


I realized that it had been a year since I had been in the studio. A year since I recorded what would become the two EP's, The Cracks & The Crevices and The Loss & The Love. Realized that I needed to get back into the studio again to pour out everything that has been building up in me. The pouring out is a pouring in of sorts. I have to spend time pouring into myself or I will become a bitter, cynical, shrew of a woman and I know that is not who or what I am. I have to tell myself, everyday, that my circumstances and surroundings do not define who I am. They do not. This does not always work. Some days I tell myself that and I might as well have told myself that I can fly if I just believe hard enough. Some days I tell myself that and end up eating my feelings in the form of Chicken Tikka Masala and a Coke and twenty-seven BBQ chips and a brownie (gluten free at least, I mean c'mon--I have standards) and oooooh! Are those Skittles? Good for me. I only had four of them. Packs. The small kind.


I marvel at Zack's ability to care for himself so well. It's not a selfish thing; it's not a self centered thing, it really isn't. It's not that he doesn't stress about stuff -- he does. However, he can just turn things off; simply, and without the wrestling around that I go through to get there. I honestly don't know how he does it. When his head hits the pillow every night he…get this…goes to sleep. I can't do that. I surmise that when my head hits the pillow my brain associates that with, "Time to think about everything ever -- in DOUBLE WARP SPEED. Time to make a list of all the lists you have to make! Aaaaaaanddd GO!"



I ended the email by telling her to keep an eye out for a thing I've been working on; a thing that, maybe, in time, I will share more about here. I signed it,

"Much love, in buckets, your way."

I sat there for a bit staring at my monitor while Hawke and Joshua and Caleb and Phoenix laughed and fought and bickered and played around me. While I watched Zack in our bedroom packing for a big job he has in Arizona this weekend. While I stared down the never-ending laundry (whoaaaa...whoaaaa...whoaaaaa...) in front of me on the dining room table. It dawned on me that I hadn't really given J an answer. Not really. Nothing definitive. All I did was share where I am and probably too much of my icky bits and that didn't feel like enough. Then I thought that--in situations like the ones we moms' are in--sometimes that's all we need. That in the times where the lines of where we end and our children begin starts to blur; in the times where we feel reduced to being mere drill sergeants; the times where we feel victorious getting to take a dump in peace; the times where our teenagers look at us like we're something the dog threw up; sometimes all we need to know is that we're not the only ones who struggle to remember who we are when we aren't caring for other people. And that it's okay to feel a little lost sometimes and like everybody else is a better mom than we are. That maybe you don't agree with Nancy Turner when she says, “The best thing a girl can be is a good wife and mother. It is a girl's highest calling...” That maybe you don't think it's the best thing a girl can be; maybe it's one of the best things a girl can be. It's okay. It doesn't make you a bad person or a bad mom. It does not. And if, at the end of the day, you have no one else in your life telling you this then I swear, you have me. Little ol' Meg, over here in my southeast corner of North America, waving my hands and saying, "I GET YOU!"

So, I thought all of this. And then?

I hit send.


“The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit [how difficult mothering is] quietly to each other, over cups of tea** at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.” ― Anna Quindlen


*It actually wasn't too terribly bad despite the fact that the movie portrayed Daisy as being far more interesting than Fitzgerald ever intended her to be.

**That would be red wine at my house.


Toilet Water Bathroom Cleaning

My four year old, Hawke, called me into the hall bathroom just now and said, "Hey mom. I just cleaned the bathroom for you," and he gestured towards the now soaking wet hand towel on the toilet lid.

"You did?! Oh, thanks buddy! I see you used the towel here. Okay. What all did you clean?" I was a little nervous but wasn't about to show it.

"Everything. The toilet, these walls, this floor, the sink, and a little bit of the tub." He stood proudly, his arms crossed.

"What did you clean everything with, buddy?"

"Oh, that was easy. I used the water in the toilet!"

Right. Fabulous.

"Well, GOLLY! Thanks Hawke! You need to wash your hands now, okay?" I began gathering things up so that I could break out the bleach spray.

"You're welcome, Mom. And I already did wash my hands - I got them dry like this," and then showed me how he dried his hands off in his hair.

I give up. He'll survive. ;-)

Kicking The Fat Girl While She's Down...

I left my counselor's office yesterday feeling absolutely awful. It wasn't her fault. Dr. Sarah was lovely, as always. "We've got to help you learn to take better care of yourself," she said at one point.

"All I want to do is sleep," I replied.

"That sounds like depression."




I was/am feeling pretty beat up. Zack left for the other side of the world to go teach and inspire and help people. Also to shoot for Fuji in Istanbul. You know, cool stuff. It's a constant battle between the two of us on this issue of his work.

He says, "It's what pays the bills. It's draining. It's not glamorous. It's hard work."

I reply with, "Yes, but you get to do what you LOVE to do. You're working with a camera in your hands. You get to work in photography."

I am the mom. I do the mom stuff. I am told that should be enough. That to be a mother is the most noble thing. The best thing.

There must be something wrong with me.

I love my kids but I long to do more with my life. It's hard to watch my husband walking in his talents and not feel left behind. To not feel shut down. To not wonder, "When do I get a turn?"

Maybe that's selfish.

I'm being pretty vulnerable when I write this.

Maybe I'll erase this.

Anyway, all of this was going through my mind yesterday. Like it does. A sort of endless cycle.

"Just hang on, Meg. In 11 years you'll get to make a decision for yourself. Based on what you want to do. You can do whatever the hell you want. In 11 years."


I miss my husband. I like the guy, he's my -- as Hawke would say it -- "best priend". Last night I started watching some of his YouTube videos just to hear the sound of his voice. While watching the Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge I made the mistake of reading the top few comments.

Where I saw this:

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 3.00.44 AM


The fat girl is me. I was the one walking around in the background with Alamby.

I saw that and logically knew that I shouldn't be affected by it. But I was. Oh I was.

So I wept. Hard. And for a long time.

I had a moment of what I would call "weakness" where I shared the screen shot on Facebook. Normally I am not one to share something like that, but I did. A lot of people responded with kind words. Words that were a balm to my wounded little heart. They meant a lot to me, so if you were one of them, thank you very much.


I am trying very hard to pull myself up by my bootstraps -- like I always have. Like I always do. But I am having a much harder time of it than I normally do.

I am tired. So so tired. I've been pulling myself up by my bootstraps since my mother died when I was 13. Taking care of everyone else. I don't know how much longer I can keep up. Part of me wants to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep -- Rip Van Winkle style -- for a long ass time. Even trying to write this is hard. It feels stilted. Clumsy. Wooden.

Being a mom is hard. Being a creative mom who can't find herself is harder. Yeah, I just said that.

I know I will make it out of this somehow; right now, though, it's feeling pretty grim.

What are some things you do when things feel so dark? I'm telling you -- I could use some insights.



Music for my Mother

My mom would’ve been 57 years old this day, July 17th, 2012, and I dedicate this EP to her. You see, when she was here, all five feet and one inch of her, all red hair and freckles of her, all the slight lisp and spunk of her, I didn’t know to treasure her. I didn’t know so much. Come to think of it, I still don’t. Like a lot - don’t.

I didn’t know how [expletive deleted] young 36 years of age was; which was my mom's age when she died.

I didn’t know how hard it was to be a mom.

Saturday's Child Works Hard For A Living

Hawke Danger turned three years old this past Wednesday. On the 16th. I can't believe that. He took his sweet dang time to decide to join the rest of us on the outside of me, that's for sure. It took barbeque, the movie "Zorro, the Gay Blade", and "Zach Galfinakis: Live at the Purple Onion" to get him to come out.

Anyone remember this old nursery rhyme?

Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's child works hard for his living, And the child that is born on the Sabbath day Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Hawke was born on a Saturday. However, I have a feeling that the only thing he's going to have to work hard for is to get people to take him seriously. ;-) The child is a born entertainer.

(Insert the joke you're probably all thinking. "Gee, I wonder where he got THAT from?")

Har har.

We're going to have a party for him this Sunday. A Spiderman birthday. Or, as Hawke calls him, "Miterman." This always makes me think of a man in jeans, with toolbelt and googles on, standing akimbo next to a miter saw which gleams in the light.

"I'm Miterman! Here to save you from the evils of bad crown molding! The injustices of inaccurate crosscuts!"

For fun I looked up when Zack and I, and our other boys were born.

Zack was born on a Tuesday and he really is full of grace. Not literally mind you! But in how he operates in life. He's much nicer than I am. He's grace and I'm justice. We balance each other out.

Caleb and Joshua both were born on a Monday. Fair of face? Damn straight. Those boys are so handsome they'd make Brad Pitt swoon. (Not sure if that really makes sense. Let's just go with it.)

Phoenix was born on a Sunday. He, too, fits his "description". Well, most of the time. He IS an eleven year old boy, the "good" part he's still working on. When he read this poem, and got to the Sunday bit he said, "Mom, I don't have anything against people who are gay but...I happen to really like girls. So this is only kinda right."

I laughed.

I was born on a Thursday. Apparently, I have far to go. Awesome. Where exactly? And when I get there will I like it?

"Oh ho! Welcome Thursday's Child! You had far to go, and so you did, but you're here now. Well done."

"But this is an Applebee's."

"Quite right. Would you like an appetizer and two entrees for just $20?"

Happy Birthday, Hawke. You make us all belly laugh several times a day, your smile is contagious, your passion for life already so evident, your love of shoes rivals that of any woman, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Thank you for being so dang good at being you. I love you more than chocolate loves milk. More than macaroni loves cheese. More than the dish loves the spoon.

"A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm." 

Bill Vaughan

For Der Fotograf...

A gentleman on Twitter had requested a link to the song that Zack used on his short film Transform. If you haven't watched this yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Not just because he's my husband and I think he's a genius (which he is, he really really is) but because it truly is a beautiful work of art. I didn't know he was going to use this song until he showed me the film itself. The song was recorded during practice one night with my band back in 2007. Michael Westbrook laid down the brilliant guitar work that you hear and Noah Alexander, my drummer, did a little remixing of it. It turned out really lovely for something that started out in such a rough form.

Click below to listen to the song. If you'd like to download you can click the widget and you can download it on Soundcloud.

Thanks to @derfotograf1967 for spurring me on to share it again.

"All the windows of my heart I open to the day." - John Greenleaf Whittier

Three Years

Zack Arias is my best friend.

Ever. Ever. Ever.

He is, without a doubt, my favourite adult.

He is an amazing father.

He is hot. (And a minimalist)

Today, three years ago, in the DeKalb County courthouse, I got to marry him. It wasn't a fancy wedding. We didn't need fancy. We just needed each other.

We had a chance to get fancy at the reception three months later. So MUCH LIFE has happened since this picture was taken. It almost feels like 15 years ago.

My heart is so full of love for you, Zachary Brandon Arias.

Happy 3rd we-were-married-on-this-day Day.

"It's easy to understand love at first sight, but how do we explain love after two people have been looking at each other for years?" ~Author Unknown

Well Diversified

Things are ridiculously busy here in the Arias household as the boys count down the days till summer break starts. Which is May 27th. In case you were keen to know when the City of Decatur school system deemed it the right time to release the children into their long awaited freedom. Hawke turned two years old on May 16th. Isn't that NUTS? Do any of you remember when he was born? Wasn't that, like...a couple of weeks ago?

Excuse me whilst I go and fetch a cold cloth for my head as I am feeling faint.

Well Diversified.

I have been laughing about these two words since Friday night.

Lemme 'splain.

Friday night Zack and I took the boys to the Mellow Mushroom Pizza near Piedmont Park on Monroe Drive. For all of you non-Atlantians it's here:

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=amp;q=931+Monroe+Drive,+Atlanta,+GA&aq=&sll=33.781002,-84.363649&sspn=0.009738,0.01929&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=931+Monroe+Dr+NE,+Atlanta,+Georgia+30306&t=h&ll=33.781002,-84.363649&spn=0.02008,0.038581&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

View Larger Map

It's yummy. There's actually a Mellow Mushroom about a mile from our house. However, this particular one we were going to Friday night was special because it was in close proximity to three awesome places. Of which we went to all of them.

Richard's Variety Store


Rita's Frozen Custard


Trader Joe's

It's the scenario that went down at Richard's Variety Store that I wanted to describe to you.

The boys knew that they could pick out a little sumthin' sumthin' in the store. I was there primarily to look for any cool birthday party supplies that they might have. And to look at their books. And the Oriental rugs. And the band-aids that look like bacon. And the stationary. You get the idea.

We had decided to go to Richard's first, before dinner, because they were going to close in an hour and we knew we wouldn't have time to eat dinner and walk over before they closed. Needless to say everyone's blood sugar started declaring war on each other so Zack and I told the boys it was time to wrap it up.

Caleb and Joshua had each picked out a small gadget that they wanted to get but Phoenix was still in one of the toy aisles and when he heard it was time to go he started to run around looking for something to get. He ran up to me, where I was standing at the checkout counter, with a large book of something involving pop-up images and dinosaurs and before I even had a chance to really see it he said,

"Actually, no. I don't want this." and took off for the back of the store. In a flash he was back with a huge box of Legos.

"Good news! You can buy this for me and so therefore save yourselves the trouble of paying me any allowance for 6 weeks!"

I admit it. I kinda probably made a face that looked mom-ish and adult-ish and squawked,

"WHAT? Oh good grief, Phoenix! I am not buying you a $60 box of Legos! Caleb and Joshua picked out something SMALL. As in $5 small. You are not getting this."

His face crumpled into anger and he said,

"Fine!" and stormed off towards the back of the store and SLAMMED the box back on its shelf and, raising his knees high and mashing his feet with every step he took, as if to leave footprints in the cement floor, he tornadoed his way to the front of the store where he flung the door open with an angry flourish and pounded his way over to a bench.

And he sat down.

And crossed his arms.

And glowered.

And I laughed.

Not at him.

He couldn't see me from where I stood still finishing up the payment process.

No, I laughed at the sheer amazement I felt when watching him because...I realized fully that he is so much like me.

Let me rest my head on the desk for a moment. (and there was sighing. Lots of heavy sighing)

I walked outside and scolded him for being so ridiculous. That his brothers had each picked out something small, and that it was time for dinner. That if there was something in the store that he REALLY wanted that I would go back in with him to get it.

Phoenix got up and walked back into the store. I asked Zack to take Caleb and Joshua on over to Mellow Mushroom and get us a table and followed Phoenix back inside. I could tell there wasn't anything that he really wanted. He stood there looking around, at one point picking up a set of stackable measuring cups that looked like Russian Stacking Dolls. He feigned interest in them, poring over the box, before setting it down, all while "hmmmming" and mumbling "interesting" under his breath.

"So?" I said. "What was it that you wanted? Besides the box of Legos? Or are you going to take up baking?"

He marched over to a shelf of something and, without even really looking at what he was reaching for, grabbed a box, handed it to me and said,


I looked down at the small box. It was a $5 Transformer of some kind. But the cheap $5 kind that only lasts for about a day and that I knew he wouldn't play with.

"What is it?" I asked and watched as he quickly glanced over to see exactly what it was that he had handed me.

"It's...a Transformer! I love Transformers!"

"When was the last time you played with a Transformer?"

He put his hands on his 10 year old hips and, in a tone so rife with attitude my jaw almost dropped, said,

"Well, you won't ever know will you? Do you have a way to document my toys and how often I play with them?".

I almost hauled off and gave him a spanking. Empathy for my mother welled up in me. In that moment I thanked her and my dad for allowing me to live. Because I know, you guys, I KNOW, that I was this wretched to my parents.

"No, Phoenix I don't have a system. And neither do you. I don't HAVE to buy you anything. You're lucky that you have the option to get anything at all in the first place. So, because of this attitude, and your rudeness and your disrespect, we're LEAVING."

"Moooommmm! I really want the Transformer!"


"Fine! I can't help that I'm well diversified in my playing habits!"

And with that he marched marched marched his way out the door, across the parking lot, onto the Mellow Mushroom patio, where he made a big show out of sitting at the table NEXT to the one that Zack and the boys were already sitting.

Hawke, whom I had been holding on my hip the whole time, looked at me and said,

"Whoa. All done. Bye bye!"

Well diversified. And then I started guffawing there in the store while the lady behind the counter eyed me nervously. I made sure to get all of my laughing out before I walked over to join the boys. I made Phoenix sit with us and then told him he had till the count of 5 to get his attitude in check or he was going to sit in the car.

He did. At the last second. ;-)

And he's only 10, ladies and gentlemen.

Heaven help me.

"Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky."

Fran Lebowitz

There isn't going to be a last installment...

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

For Part Six Click Here

For Part Seven, Dear Anonymous, Click Here

For Part Eight Click Here

For Part Nine Click Here

For The Bit After Part Nine But Before This Bit Click Here




There isn't one yet.

I've been thinking a lot about this.

I suppose that the last installment will be written by someone else a few days after I've left my cumbersome body and, hopefully, am experiencing some kind of fantastic afterlife, although I doubt it. (I used to believe in heaven but my views have changed since I first wrote out this story.) Hopefully everyone will have had a big ol' party celebrating what a fandamntastic life I had. I hope that it is said of me that I loved and that I loved well and that I did not run away from life but right smack into it, that I wrestled with it and danced with it and high-fived it, and that maybe I wasn't graceful about it but, "Goodness gracious did she ever live every last drop out of her life."

I will not live life afraid.

But, also hopefully, none of you will have to think about any of this for, oh I dunno, let's say...sixty-three more years. I'm having a birthday on September 14th where I shall turn thirty-two whole years of age and to live sixty-three more years would put me right at ninety-five and, right now, I think that is a very respectable age to have managed to have accomplished.

Now, when I have reached ninety-five and I'm still a blast and hanging out and living large I'll reconsider.

Are you still with me, gentle reader?

I don't know why I just called you a "gentle reader". No, wait, yes I do. It's 'cause I was watching a Ken burns documentary on Mark Twain and Mark Twain used the term, "gentle reader" and pretty much anything Mark Twain said is something one should repeat.

And should it be Gentlereader? Like Gentlemen and Gentlewomen?

I digress.

Let me at least fill you in on what happened after the debacle of the Paul and Puck show.


To back up a bit, the very same day Puck called Zack was the very same day I posted this post.

So, what did I do after the Paul and Puck show?

I went back to packing that's what I did. That's what we both did.

It was time to move our two separate households into one.


Phoenix and I were so excited to get out of the upstairs of Zack's studio which is where we had been living for eight whole months. Sharing a 13 x 10 foot room. But that's another part of the story altogether.

But, and this is obvious, the moment I treasured most was the moment all married couples treasure.

The first night when one climbs into bed, next to your beloved, and you get to stay there. You don't have to go home.

It feels impossible to try and put into words the joy we felt. Such a simple thing to go to sleep next to the person you love. But you all know a bit of what we went through to get there, and what I've told you isn't even all of it, and so to simply write,

"We went to sleep," feels surreal.

But that is just what we did.


Those last few days of July and the beginning of August were a whirlwind.

Zack and I never got the chance to go on a honeymoon and so, because I had a tour on the west coast in August, and he had a couple of OneLight Workshops to teach out west too, we flew out to Seattle together and had two weeks of us time, between shows and workshops, before he flew home and I flew to San Diego to finish out the last two weeks of my tour.

It sucked when he left for home.

I missed my family. I missed Zack, I missed Phoenix, I missed Caleb and Joshua.

I was conflicted. I love music. I love to play. I love that 45-60 minutes when I can get lost in the music. But the music business? That I am not fond of. But, it seemed that that was the price I had to pay in order to do what I loved to do.

But, driving up from San Diego en route to Los Angeles for the next show, with my guitarist extraordinaire Michael, asleep next to me in the passenger seat, I was doing a lot of thinking about how stretched I was feeling. How hard this was going to be to blend a family and try to tour. Should I? Shouldn't I?

(This is Michael Westbrook.  His guitar-er-ing is incredible. This was taken backstage at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco...)

A few days later Zack's step-dad, Craig, passed away while I was back in Seattle to play another show and I seriously considered canceling the next night's show in Portland and flying to Charlotte, North Carolina to be there for his funeral. Zack talked me out of it, said that I needed to finish the tour, and so I did, with a heavy heart.

I finished my tour in Portland, flew home, and the very next day left for Sandestin, Florida for another show. Ipicked up Phoenix from school, got us both packed and we hit the road.

You know what was rotten about that? I got to see Zack for 12 whole hours.

Phoenix and I just soaked each other up. I missed him like macaroni misses cheese.

The drive down to Florida was fine except that I just felt -- weird.

I couldn't put my finger on it. I tried, to do so, too, poking my stomach, poking my legs, and my back trying to figure out just why I felt so...funny.

The night after my show in Florida, Phoenix begged for breakfast from the hotel room service and, when the food arrived, I lifted the lids and there lay a gorgeous Belgian waffle for Phoenix and Eggs Benedict for me.

I must've made a face because Phoenix said,

"What's wrong, Mommy?"

"It's just that my reaction to this food would normally be one of YUM! Instead, it's one of meh. No thanks."

In fact, I felt queasy. And I noticed my sense of smell was off the hook. Off the chain.  Off the map.

All you ladies out there know what's up, yes?

I still didn't.

The fact that I could very well be pregnant with none other than an actual human had not registered in my brain at all.

I have something called PCOS, have had three miscarriages, and was told that having Phoenix was a miracle because...(All you dudes! Look over there!) my inner lady parts don't play well together.

"Prepare yourself," my last OB/GYN said. "You most likely will never be able to have any more children."

When Zack and I had talked about the prospect of having more kids I wrote it off as a loss.

"It's not even an issue. I can't have anymore anyway. While I would love to see what a Zack and Meghan baby would look like, sadly, it's not going to happen."

Phoenix and I headed home from Florida and it was somewhere between Eufala, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia that my brain sat bolt upright.


"What? What is it?"

"You feel pukey. You feel tired. You have the smelling capabilities of a Marvel comic Superhero. You feel funny in general. You see where I'm going with this?"

"Uh. You don't mean - a baby?"

"YES. That's is what I'm telling you, you. A baby."

But, because I am SO smart, I dismissed it.

"Silly brain. I have screwed up inner lady parts."

So, since my brain wasn't getting through to me, life decided to.

At a Chinese restaurant, as per usual.

Phoenix and I had arrived home and he wanted Chinese food, and since Zack was second shooting a wedding that weekend, we went.

I didn't eat much. But I did crack open my fortune cookie.

It read,

"The answer to the question you were asking will come about in the most unlikeliest of places."

I practically spit out my drink. My "should I" or "shouldn't I" question was about to be answered.

"C'mon Phoenix, we gotta go."

"Where are we going?  Are we going home?"

"Not just yet.  Mommy has to stop by the drugstore for something first."

I bought four pregnancy tests.

I put Phoenix to bed, and instead of waiting until the next morning, like the test suggested that I should, I whipped the first test out right then and there at 9 p.m. and didn't even have to wait the two minutes the test said it would take to display the results because - WHAMMO - it was positive.

I looked in the mirror and I was shaking.

"Holy Shit."

And I started laughing.  And I started crying.

"Mommy?  Are you okay?" Phoenix was calling to me from his bedroom.

I went to his room and was immediately struck by how huge he was.

"I'm fine, little man. Wait. Wow. You are such a big guy now, huh? I remember when you were a little baby!  You were a baby!  A baby!  You were a baby and I used to carry you around without effort and you were little and tiny and a...baby!"

I was babbling.

"Um. Okay, mommy. G'night now, okay?"

I had a martini ready for Zack when he got home that night.

Told him to close his eyes.

Placed the positively positive test in his hands.

He was speechless.

We were 258 days away from meeting this guy.

Hawke Danger July 2010
Hawke Danger July 2010

The fortune cookie was right. The arrival of Hawke Danger did provide an answer to the questions I had been mulling over in the car driving north through California. This doesn't mean that I don't struggle still with how music is to fit into my life - if you've read any of my previous blog posts before you ought to know that by now - but it was the best thing for me and my family. It was hard going to my manager and saying, "You know that album that I just released that I was supposed to tour my butt off in support of? Yeah well...something's come up...".

But he's the best something that has come up ever. I cannot imagine my life without Hawke in it.


This has not been the best bit of writing thus far, and for that I apologize. I've been working on this post for a few hours now, in between feeding, and playing with, and picking up after the aforementioned human that Zack and I made. Zack gets home from Las Vegas tonight and I am aching to see him.

We've been married a little over two years now.  And it was two years ago this weekend that I found out I was pregnant with Hawke.  But, oh how full our life has been!  Feels like so much longer than that, in a good way.

My story, thus far, is a crazy one, and I thank you for sticking it out this long.  It's been a beautiful thing to write this all down.

Thanks for reading.

A Bit Of A Pause While I Figure Out Where To Go Next...

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

For Part Six Click Here

For Part Seven, Dear Anonymous, Click Here

For Part Eight Click Here

For Part Nine Click Here

I cannot tell you how much it's meant to me that you guys have stuck it out this long with me in the telling of our story.

Based on all the comments, and emails, and messages, and phone calls I've received I've decided to delve a little deeper and perhaps write this out a little more thoroughly.

Perhaps I shall compile all of these combinations of letters that I have strung together into words, words that will reach their little font-y fingers out and join hands into sentences, into a party of paragraphs, that will march across pages that are carefully bound inside my favourite kind of binding, between the covers of a book.

Stay tuned. Well, stay tuned if you want to. I have a bit more of story to share. I would love to hear...read? - your stories. Some of you have already sent them and I have laughed and cried and wondered aloud. I once heard someone say, "The story is rarely simple." I, for one, am grateful I have a story to share at all.

I'll leave you with this bit from Winnie-the-Pooh, whom I love.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. :: A.A. Milne

Click here for the last little bit...

The Paul and Puck Show* (Or, the Holy Spirit told you to do what?)

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

For Part Six Click Here

For Part Seven, Dear Anonymous, Click Here

For Part Eight Click Here


The conversation, from my end, went more like this:




"Oh, the Holy Spirit, hmmm?"

"Do you know me? Have we walked together? Do you know my story?"

"How did you even get my number?"

I was squirming in the passenger seat at this point, in utter suspense over what was going on.

Zack talked for a little bit longer, said goodbye tersely and hung up.

"So. That was someone named Puck who said that he's a missionary of some kind and that we used to go to the same church but that he no longer attends there because they are a church full of heretics. He said that he knows you, and knows about us, and that the Holy Spirit told him to call me and ask me if I thought if my relationship with you is valid. When I asked him if he knew me, knew my story, his response was that he had heard about us from a very reliable source. I told HIM that if he wanted to sit down with me and talk with me face to face then fine. But not to go calling me on the phone, throwing out statements about a situation that he knows nothing about. I told him to email me if it meant that much to him and we could talk it out like men."

I was flabbergasted. I was glabberfasted. I was...angry.

"If your relationship with me is VALID? What does that even mean? And the Holy Spirit told him to call you? It's a good thing he's wrong because that would mean that the Holy Spirit is a whole f***ing DAY LATE!"

"I didn't bother telling him that we were married. I think it's kind of funny! I'm hoping that he emails me. I hope I get to talk to this guy face to face. We'll see."

"Why? Why would you want to waste your time on something so...stupid? It's not even important. I don't want you wasting your energy on this. It doesn't deserve the effort."

A few days later, however, as we were starting to pack for the move into our new little house Zack received an email. Not from Puck, though, but from a guy named Paul.

Paul had at one time been Zack's small group leader at a church that Zack went to before starting to attend Trinity. I knew Paul and his wife, too. Paul wrote Zack to say that Puck attended a group that he led in his house and that it was at that group that Puck learned of our relationship. They had been discussing our relationship so that they could pray for us, he said.

Right. Uh huh.

Paul went on to say that Puck told him of his conversation with Zack and that now they both wanted to meet with us. Would we be willing to do that?

"Heck, yes," Zack said, dashing off a reply. "We'll meet with them at the studio."

We met them one morning, a couple of days later, at the studio. I instantly recognized Puck. I remembered him as a shy, soft spoken man with a beard and a kind of turban headdress (it sounds strange but it was actually kind of cool looking...) from Trinity. Paul was the same as ever, and we all smiled grimly at each other while shaking hands.

To be fair I don't remember all the details of our conversation. Zack would be able to add in more detail. I was in a kind of shock, I think. I remember being referred to as "the adulterous woman" a few times.

That was fun.

There we were, recently married, being told by two dudes, one we didn't really know and one we hadn't spoken with in years, that we weren't walking in righteousness - that we were to no longer see each other despite how we felt. They had been praying and felt that God had called them to talk to us about our sinful ways and that we needed to repent.

"It's hard but we feel this is the right thing to do."

I didn't really ever speak. Zack spoke for both of us. He still hadn't let on that we were married yet. He was kind of enjoying that, I think.

They were quoting Matthew 19 to us, again referring to me as a "fallen woman".

"Zack you have a legitimate reason for being allowed to divorce G_____. You couldn't control what happened there. You're the innocent party. But Meghan here, she does not have grounds for divorce."

Zack interjected, "You know what's interesting? Just a chapter before that Jesus tells everyone that if their hand or foot causes them to sin to cut it off and if their eye causes them to sin that they should pluck it out. Does that mean, Paul, that if I found out you were looking at porn that I should take you up to Home Depot to buy a chainsaw to help you cut your hand off and help you pop your eyeballs out?"

"Well, that's just hyperbole...," Puck muttered.

"The next thing you guys are going to tell me is that your wives wear head coverings and aren't allowed to talk in church!"

It got very quiet. And then Paul cleared his throat.

"Actually, our wives DO wear head coverings and they aren't allowed to talk in church."

Zack and I looked at each other. Whoa. Huh. Okay.

"Ah. Well then never mind, then." Zack was almost laughing. "It's obvious that you guys have a more radical approach than we do. I don't know how all of this works. Meghan and I didn't make the decision to get divorced lightly. It wasn't something we chose because we were bored. What I want to know is, according to you, what should we do now? You see, we're married now. We were married the DAY BEFORE Puck called to say that the Holy Spirit had told him to."

We watched as what Zack said registered in their brains.

"Wait, you're married now?"

Zack held up his left ring finger and wiggled it.

"Yup. Now what? Are we supposed to divorce each other and try to remarry our ex-spouses?"

Zack was just teasing them now.

Paul was flustered. You could almost see his brain exploding. Puck said nothing.

"Well, I mean, you obviously can't get divorced again. You are now bound to each other. I am not sure what to say at this point. We came here today to tell you that you should no longer be together. That your relationship is sinful. We didn't know that you were married. I don't know what else to say."

There was some chit chat after that. Paul told Zack that he wanted to continue the conversation that had been started about how Paul felt that the church had gone way off course from where it was supposed to be. Zack told him he would welcome any discussion about it.

We never heard from them again.

And we didn't mind a bit.

*I wanted to title it "The Pee Pee Show". Then I realized that I have been too deeply immersed in testosterone with all of these boys running around. And, obviously, Paul and Puck are not their real names. The smallest one is waking up from his nap thus the reason I'm going to be continuing this mess for later...

{to be continued...}

Click here for the next part...

Hamburger Cayenne Cake

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

For Part Six Click Here

For Part Seven, Dear Anonymous, Click Here


If one likes hamburgers and also likes cayenne pepper and also likes chocolate this does not mean that you should put those ingredients together into say - a cake.

I can speak from experience that one should never eat chocolate cake and cucumber at the same time. They are flavours that I love separately but together they are wretched.

Sometimes it seems that couples come together and make cakes (marriages) with no guidance, without any knowledge of what it means to make a "cake".

"I like you! And you like me! You have ingredients that I like! Let's put them together!"

They've seen cakes. They've watched them being made. It looks easy.

And they end up with Hamburger Cayenne Cake. And then are told that that is what they get to eat for the rest of their lives.

(If you are assuming that I am the cayenne pepper you would be right.)


K____ and I made a very odd looking cake. And a wretched tasting one to boot. We did, however, manage to make a darling cupcake in the form of Phoenix who came out all butterscotch and toffee, warm and lovely, with a scattering of nuts.

I was terrible to K____. My realization of the mistake of my marriage had been softened by the birth of Phoenix but it reared its ugly head once his babyhood changed to toddlerhood. I won't go into all the things that K___ did and didn't do because, in the end, it was I that ultimately couldn't keep eating...well...the cake.

If there are any fingers to be pointed in all of it, I point them at myself. I was cruel and heartless and disrespectful and manipulative and careless with K___. I castrated him with my words and I did not love him the way that I should have.

But I couldn't see that then. I was like a caged animal, a lioness, and I was dangerous. To myself. To others. I said and did things that make me cringe now at the thought of it.

I became depressed and angry and shut down. I knew all of the Bible verses, I knew all of the "but you need to's..."

And, like you all know, I pulled the plug.  In K___'s story I am the bad guy.  In a lot of peoples story I am the bad guy.

Why am I sharing this part of the story? Because I want you to know that despite the romantic love story that Zack and I had, and, thank God, still have, that I wasn't blameless. I know you know that. It's just...there are stories behind stories under other stories. And sometimes I wonder why everyone tries so damn hard to make it simpler than it can ever be. We all want to say,

"This part goes here. And that part goes there."

Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. It's when they don't that we all need each other the most. Unfortunately that's when most of us give up. We spray that, "I'll Be Praying For You" air freshener towards the ginormous pile of shit in front of us and hightail it out of there.

I've done that more times than I care to admit.

Does this make any sense? I'm just typing out loud here.

Just...think about what was in their cake. Okay?

(off of my soapbox now...back to the story...)


The night that Zack took me out on that date is etched into my memory. What he wore, the way he smelled, the wine we drank.

When he said,

"Begin transmission," the hairs on my neck stood up, (the way they so often do around him) and I felt the hugest sense of peace and joy.



These are things I highly recommend.

The months after that are a blur. We were together. It's sappily indescribable how wonderful it was to just be with the man I loved. Jeepers. Nauseating, isn't it?

Zack's brother, Chris, and sister-in-law Andrea, recommended a counselor for us to see,

"Because, after all," Andrea said, "If you can drop off some baggage the size of a refrigerator before jumping back into marriage again that's something you ought to look into."

So we did for a while, driving 40 minutes to see a guy that Zack and I both liked and respected. He pointed out stuff. We cringed. We dropped off suitcases and trunks and whole rooms.

During this time I was recording the album Songs To Sail By. All of the songs that I had written during that tumultuous saga of ours were being put down for posterity, recording them in closets and sometimes in the grand sanctuary of a Presbyterian church at 3 a.m. We planned the album release in June of 2008 and were talking of an October 2008 wedding.

And then I happened upon a little 4 bedroom, 2 bath house for rent in Decatur that was affordable and in the right school district and immediately called Zack. We loved it.

"Should I move in with the boys and then in October you and Phoenix move in? Or should you and Phoenix move in and then I'll move in with the boys?" Zack was standing in the backyard under a natural archway of trees and ivy.

"I don't know, I just know that we have to get this house. We just have to. It's too perfect."

I stepped into the archway with him. There were lightening bugs in the trees above our heads and mosquitos blanketing me. Zack reached for my hand.

"What if we don't get married in October? What if we get married now?"

I turned towards him, "What do you mean now?"

"Like, as soon as I get back from Denver now."

"At a courthouse?"


I kissed him.

"Let's do it!"

On July 21st, 2008 Zack and I, along with my sister, Erin, and our good friend Hassel Weems, met at the City of Decatur Courthouse and waited out in the hallway for the Magistrate Court to open. Hassel took pictures and Erin prayed for us and then our names were called. We stood in front of a judge with a voice like Barry White and very simply (but oh so not simply everything that had taken place to lead up to this not simply), me with my ingredients and Zack with his, we got married.

We made, in my humble opinion, something close to a Mexican Chocolate Cake.

We celebrated at the Brickstore Pub with some lunch and a couple Newcastle Brown Ales, bid farewell to Hassel and Erin and, in the most romantic way, went to the City of Decatur Watershed Management to apply to have our water turned on.

The next day, our first full day of being married, we went to the Apple store to buy ourselves wedding presents of an iPhone each.

"Happy We Are Married Finally Present!" I crowed as we each received our white box full of iPhone goodness. We hadn't yet figured out the whole SIM card thing, none of the numbers from our old phones had been transferred over yet and so, while waiting at a QuikTrip gas station for our gas tank to fill up, Zack's phone started ringing.

"Oooooh! My very first phone call on my new phone!"

"Who is it?"

"I dunno. I don't know anyone's number anymore!"

We kind of laughed as he answered the phone.


"Is this Zack Arias?"


"My name is P__.  I am calling to ask if you feel that your relationship with Meghan Coffee is valid?"

{to be continued...}

Click here for the next part...

Dear Anonymous... (a short intermission to address some questions...)

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

For Part Six Click Here

The following comment was left on my last blog post and I thought it was interesting so I thought that it should be addressed before moving on. Now, I don't want this to become some sort of weird back and forth between myself and anonymous commenters. That's not what this is for.

Here is the comment:

"Seems interesting that the grace you have found for yourself (as you should) you cannot seem to have for G______. Does it occur to you that perhaps she too married too young, before she knew herself, realized she too had made a mistake? Yes, maybe it came out sideways as anger, but was really frustration and feeling trapped? Perhaps she doesn't deserved (sic) to be publicly put on display, without her permission with so many people that know and can recognize her? Her children, your children can read this account - is it possible it is skewed without you even knowing it? Your anger at her hurting the man you love is understandable, of course. But can you not see that she just made some of the exact same mistakes as you? This is your blog, your story to tell, but be careful in the assumptions you make of others. Words put out there cause hurt and pain that is not so easy to undo. And you all have a lifetime of still dealing with each other. Not just with G____ or K_____ but with the children involved."

While sharing this with Zack, and as we were talking about this, I asked him to go ahead and write out some of his thoughts on this.

So, here he is.


Hi all. What Meg has started here is a telling of "her" story. No matter how you try to tell your own story you have to realize that there will always be other people connected to your story. Some people step into your life with a positive role to play. Others step in with a negative role. Other's still play a role where they bridge the gap of being both a positive and a negative force in your life at different stages of your relationship with them. "Other people" will always be a factor in your life. You, yourself, are an integral part of other peoples' stories right now. If they were to go tell their story I'm sure you would play a role in that telling.

Meg has not named anyone in this story. IF you personally know the people she is referring to then you already know most of this story. None of this should really be new to you. In fact, Meghan has only told small parts of a larger story for the others involved. It is not her intention to sit down and write an exposé on the lives of others. She's giving just a bit of a look at the people and events connected to our lives for the sake of giving you, the reader, context of why this or that happened. If it was her goal to "out" others then she could write some juicy stories. If the other folks wanted to "out" us they could tell some juicy stories as well. It's how Hollywood stays alive.

If you are over the age of 20 and have ever gone through a break up or been close to one then you know there are two sides to each story. You know that each side is always a bit skewed in favor of the one telling it. We've all met the bitter people in the world who, when telling their own story, their pitfalls always fall on the shoulders of others. It's the "victim" mentality so prevalent in our culture today. Meg is doing a pretty good job of airing her own dirty laundry here. Is it all of her dirty laundry? No. Some of her crap doesn't fit into this story and some of my crap doesn't fit in this story but know this... she owns up to her crap. I should know because I'm the one who usually has to point it out. :) (Just so you know I'm perfect. Not sure if Meg told you that yet or not.)* What I love about Meg is if you ask, she'll tell you. We have both lived part of our lives with a veneer over who we were and that never worked out very well. We'd just rather lay ourselves out there. Warts and all.

As for our kids reading this? Most likely they are not reading this. They aren't on Facebook or Twitter and they don't google our names. Of what has been written though is nothing that we ourselves would not tell our kids. I have often told them about mistakes I made that are age appropriate for them. As they get older, the more I tell them. There are certain things we will not tell our children and that's pretty much the grievances we have toward their other parent.

I've really screwed some things up in my life. I've been a horrible steward of gifts given to me. I've flushed great opportunities right down the drain and being a parent, I feel, gives me an obligation to tell my children these stories so they don't do the same stupid things I did. As they get older the more they will know more about us and the more they will understand the challenges they face. It is our hope that they learn from this and know what to expect in life. We will never sit our children down and say "Let me tell you what your mother or father did...", at least not to the full extent of their actions.  They, like you, may know some key events or issues because they were there when things went down so some of it isn't news to them.  What we will say is, "Let us tell you what WE did."

As to the commenter's line, "This is your blog, your story to tell, but be careful in the assumptions you make of others. Words put out there cause hurt and pain that is not so easy to undo."

Assumption - A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

A single assumption has not been made in Meg's story so far. We've both been on the receiving end of those words that cause hurt and pain. Meg has not been saying hurtful things compared to all the things that could be said in this story.

Also note that the telling of this story is not finished. You are watching it in progress. You may feel it is going in a certain direction only to find out later that it makes a turn you are not expecting. This isn't any type of bait and switch scheme but Meg began this process as a way to get to some deep questions, concerns, and uncertainties that are simmering in her heart right now. I honestly do not know what sparked her to do this but I'm glad she's doing it. It has stirred issues inside of me that are unanswered. It's making me take note of my life at this point to see where I am as a husband. I wasn't the best husband in the world in my first marriage. Takes two to tango and all that but ultimately I feel the responsibility of that marriage falls on my shoulders. I know the heartache and pain associated with divorce and God above knows I don't want to ever go through that again. Our kids know it too and I don't want them to go through with it in their lives.

As for giving grace? Trust us... we have extended grace in multiple ways. You know why? Because grace was extended to us. There's a story in the Bible -- Matthew 18 -- the story of the unforgiving servant.

Our ex's can tell you of heartache brought on by the actions and inactions of Meg and myself. We have not lived without sin nor without regret. Please understand this. Understand also though that our hearts were broken. We still deal with it. It still surfaces. It's still painful. It's still a story that we ourselves are walking out. Grace has not been cheap and therefore we respect grace and extend it. There are some who have not extended any back to us. There are some people who will still not make eye contact with us. There are some who say a lot of things about us. There are words that are said that still cut to the bone. There's grace for the world but not for Meg and Zack. To those we say... you didn't walk in our shoes. When it got ugly and messy and uncomfortable to walk along side of us, you walked away. When it was darkest for us... you took your light elsewhere.

If you think that Meg and I walked through a little crap and now live a postcard life from paradise then we want you to know that isn't the case. Events in our lives, actions we took or ignored, etc... still effect us today.

We walk... but we walk with a limp. We live... but we live outside the city gates.

This story is about Meg but more it is a story about us. How we got here. What we do with our lives now. What questions are still unanswered in our own hearts. It's a beautiful mess.

More to come.

Cheers, Zack



There's that.

Thank you, my love, for sharing your thoughts.


My hope is to show, through these little writings of mine, something deeper.  I'm getting there, slowly.  I'm walking this out and inviting all of you along with me.  I want to always live my life in a way that is transparent and wide open.  Nothing good comes from hiding or pretending or wishing away or denial.

And if all you're getting from this, Anonymous, is that I'm trying to make G____ or K___ look bad then you're missing the point entirely and that, m' dear, can't be helped.  This is about putting ourselves out there in the hopes that someone, somewhere will read this and be encouraged that they're aren't alone or be slapped upside the head for being stupid (like me) or be inspired or motivated to do, or sometimes NOT do, the thing that they feel they are supposed to.

{to be continued...}

Click here for the next part...

*Ha ha.  Very funny, Zack.  Let's just say we're both perfect at being imperfect, no? __m

A Bit of Going Back Before I Go Forward (or Nice Is Different Than Good...)

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

For Part Five Click Here

When one makes a mistake one is allowed to fix it.


There is a reason there are erasers on pencils.

That there is a delete key on keyboards.

Command Z (undo) on Macs'.

White out for paper.

But if one makes a mistake in getting married? If one hadn't a CLUE what one was getting into?


You made your bed; now lie in it.


I was almost 18 years old when I met K___.

Almost 18 years old is very not old.

I was one of the more messed up and confused almost 18 year olds you would've ever met.

Looking back on myself then, from where and who I am now, is surreal. Other than my general rotundity and clumsiness I'm a very different person.

Myself at almost 18 was a hurting, scared, tired, self-medicating, work-a-holic. One of my defense mechanisms was lying. It gave me a sense of control. I couldn't control the situations around me but I could control, I thought, what people could do to me. It was a sad, scary time in my life. My mother's death when I was 13 shook my world so much that I never got a handle on life for a long time after it.

Looking back now my siblings and I needed some serious counseling and deep, deep love. Instead we were sort of left to our own devices. Our father was severely depressed, losing his wife and best friend at the age of 35 (my mom was 36 when she died), with four children from ages 13 to 4 years old to care for, one with Downs Syndrome, left him utterly incapable of giving us the love and assurance we so desperately needed. This is not a slight towards my father. He did the best he could. Now, as an adult, I can look back on that time with so much more grace and understanding but, at the time, I was not so forgiving. There were times he was so hurting and depressed he couldn't keep a job and so it was the money I made working at various restaurants (First job was at McDonald's inside a Wal-Mart. Gag.) and my sister, Erin's, money made from babysitting jobs, that kept us afloat. The church that my family had been a part of for years growing up did a great job helping us out for the first few months after my mom's death but then, after a while, life took hold, and people began to forget and move on. Again, as an adult I get that. But oh lawd did we ever feel abandoned. There was no one to help us kids and, dare I say my father, walk through the grief and shock of losing the most wonderful woman ever so so quickly.

Wow. Even typing this out is hard. The swirl of emotions and hurt that begin to surface...

It was a dark, dark time.

There is so much more to this part of my life that I could write about (Maybe one day I'll have the courage to write it all out fully) but the reason I've shared this much is to help you get somewhat of an understanding of why I grew into such a confused and depressed teenager.

And why K___ was so attractive.

K___ grew up in a suburb of Atlanta with two very nice parents who had very nice jobs and lived in a very nice house with 3 or 4 nice cars and he and his siblings each had their own very nice rooms and went to very nice schools and generally everything was very, very nice. He was, in a way, the black sheep of the family in that he was a musician, a bass player, and had grown his hair long and wore odd clothes and was deeply immersed in the Christian music scene when I met him. He was going to college, but failing, and didn't really have a job and was living with his parents. This would prove to be a pattern later but there was no way I could know it then.

He was 23 when I met him in a band he was in that was looking for a lead singer. I showed up for the audition, they liked me and asked me to join. Then I found out they were a Christian band. Not only were they a Christian band they were a Christian RAP band. Not only were they a Christian rap band they were a Christian rap band I had seen once and made FUN of.


I liked Christians. I considered myself to be one. I did not, however, like the music they made. I joined anyway, flattered that they liked my voice and song writing style and drawn to the sense of community that I so desperately longed for.

It would be a short lived band. Five months later we would go our separate ways except that K___ and I had developed a budding romance. A budding romance that turned into love. He was my first kiss and made me feel good about myself. Me, the bungling, depressed, goofy girl that I was. K___ was a very handsome man and very nice. He walked with me through a mental breakdown and put up with the slow dismantling of the lies I had built around me. When he proposed to me a little before my 20th birthday I said yes. Because that's what one is supposed to do when someone so kind and nice proposes.

You love me enough to want to marry me? REALLY? No one has loved me in a long time. Very well, I'll take that, thank you.

Eight months later, two weeks before our wedding, as we were sitting in the car in a TGIFriday's parking lot, I told him that I couldn't marry him.

It was while inside the restaurant, an hour earlier, that the realization hit me. I remember I had been doing a little puppet show for him with the salt and pepper shakers.

"Hey there Salty, I think you make food taste better sometimes. But not on cookies. On cookies you're gross!"

"Oh yeah? Well you're gross on cookies, TOO."

I looked up at him and thought,

This man is not my friend.

He's nice. He's kind. But we're not friends.

I don't find him remotely interesting at all.

I feel like I'm just entertainment for him.

But he's been through so much with me.

He loves me.

This all went through my head in a split second and I tried to dismiss it. Pushed my meal around my plate, made jokes about the decor, excused myself to the restroom where I stared in the mirror panicked at my realization, came back and sat down, sang the praises of the ice cream in the dessert...

Just don't think about it, Meghan. Just don't think about it and it will go away. Just be very still.

As though I was trying not to throw up.

In the car, though, out it came.

"I can't marry you!"

He was shocked. He was hurt. He cried. He pleaded with me. Said that I just had cold feet. Said that he loved me. Reminded me of all the people who were coming, all of the preparations that had been made, the dress that I had had made to resemble my mother's wedding gown, the cake we picked out, again all the PEOPLE. All the people who were coming.

I felt terrible then.

I acquiesced.

That was when I made my mistake. That was when I let my fear of what other people would think of me dictate my decision. I tell you now that every decision I look back on with regret have been the ones I have made when I was worried about what people would think.

I told myself I was being ungrateful, that women would love to be in my shoes, about to get married to a nice, handsome, kind man. That finally I was going to be taken care of. Someone was going to take care of me. The fact that he loved me would be enough.

And so, in March of 1999, I got married. It was a lovely day. A lovely wedding.

Six months later I would write in my journal,

"I made the biggest mistake of my life and I don't know what to do. There's no one I can tell."

Six months after that, two weeks before my one year anniversary, I found out that I was pregnant. I was ecstatic. I wrapped myself up in the coming arrival of a whole new person and dug in my heels.

In October of 2000, a month after my 22nd birthday, Phoenix Dorian was born and my life exploded with joy. I would endure anything for this child. I would die for this child. Any misgivings about his father were pale in comparison to what I would do for Phoenix.

There was no going back now. My bed was well and truly made, and slept in, and the sheets rumpled.

{to be continued...}

Click here for the next part...

Supernovas (the 5th installment of craziness...)

For Part One Click Here

For Part Two Click Here

For Part Three Click Here

For Part Four Click Here

"I was listening for your feet

With my ear, pressed hard upon the ground.

I was waiting for your thunder and quake

And love you finally came.


I Was Listening, I Was Waiting ~ Songs To Sail By ~ M. Coffee & C. Quinn


I really left on quite a cliffhanger, didn't I?

It wasn't my intention to do so.

Yes it was -- it totally was.

What I meant to say was that I didn't mean to make it sound so dramatic because, now that I think about it, the circumstances that brought Zack and I back together weren't that bizarre or disturbing. Well, hang on. They were bizarre and disturbing to me. And to Zack. And to the rest of my friends and family. But in the grand scheme of oh -- life -- perhaps not so much.

I was at my Father's house one very very average day around the end of April 2007. He and my step-mom, Carey Lynn, lived about a mile and half away from my place and I would drop by quite a lot to see them.

I think I was sitting at the kitchen table when my phone rang. I remember that it was Carey Lynn who, in mid-sentence, looked down at my phone there on the table, picked it up, looked at the caller ID and said,

"It's Zack." Then again kind of yelling it this time, "It's ZACK!"


The hairs on the back of my neck all decided to stand up at once. And then they all stretched.

Carey Lynn sort of threw the phone in my direction and I sort of caught it and there was this crazy sort of hot potato game moment where I couldntquitegetmyhandsonthephoneohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh...

"Hello?" I attempted to sound as demure and collected and nonchalant as possible.

"Hey. Where are you?" Zack's voice jumped through the phone, ran around to the back of my neck and woke up all the hairs again.

I was so stupid over the fact that I was on the phone with him that it took me a second to realize that he had asked me a question.

"Huh? Oh. I'm at my dad's house, why?"

"I'll be there in five minutes and tell you all about it."

"Well, okay then! See you in five!"

I hung up the phone with Carey Lynn looking at me expectantly,

"He's gonna be here in five minutes! I look like HELL. Carey Lynn I need to borrow some make-up or something!"

"Yes, of course, use whatever you need!" She gestured towards the bathroom and I ran in there and went from death warmed over to not going to scare anyone just in time to walk out onto my parent's back porch and see Zack walking up the driveway.

What is it that causes that glowing feeling when one sees the person one loves? I'm trying to pinpoint where it starts exactly. For me it feels like it's in my chest -- my sternum -- and, at the risk of sounding completely cheesy and corny -- without sounding completely nachos -- it's like a supernova* of LOVE.

When I saw Zack Arias I was so happy to see him I about fell over. Which isn't hard for me in the first place much less when my sternum, nay, my very HEART, is love supernova-ing and stuff.

He was carrying a stack of paper about an inch thick that he set down on the bench there on the deck.

"Last night I came back to the house and noticed that G______ was acting a bit squirrelly; a bit strange. Something was off. So, this morning, after she left for school, I started looking through some of her things and I found this in one of her backpacks," and he indicated towards the paper. "When I saw what they were I knew that I needed to tell you."

(Zack was still living in "the house" as he called it. He didn't even call it "home" just "the house". To give you an idea of the kind of man he is, he agreed to stay in the house until G______ finished a certification training she had started. He didn't have to, he didn't want to but, as he saw it, it was what he felt he should do to help the mother of his children.)

I picked up the papers and started to flip through them.

Then I realized what they were.

They were print outs of emails and messages from Myspace. (remember Myspace?)

She had broken into my personal email accounts and my Myspace account and had been reading them and printing them out.

I was flabbergasted. They ranged in date from December of the year before to just a couple of days prior. At first I thought that perhaps she was trying to get some dirt on Zack and me, that maybe she had been looking for evidence of us still seeing each other but, no. There were very personal emails in there, ones where I shared with good friends how life was going, song lyrics that I had emailed to myself to remember them, etc.

"How in the world did she get into my email?"

"She must've been snooping through my computer and found old saved iChats between you and I and found where you shared your iTunes password with me and started plugging that password into anything she could think of."


He went on, "I thought you should know because this is a criminal offense, no different than opening someone's mail with wrongful intent."

"This is very wrongful. This is weird. You know she told me how she had been spying on me in my house, right?"

I was shaking. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up again but this time not with excitement but in anger and this time they were joined with goosebumps. I could hear them all muttering and tut tutting and cracking their knuckles.

(Geez. No they weren't. Neck hairs and goosebumps don't have knuckles!)

Zack was giving me a knowing look.

"Well, Meg, you were in my front yard when she told you, remember? In the middle of the night?"

Ah she had told him about that then. Of course. Shit.

I bit my lip, "Yeah, well...I wasn't looking in the freakin' windows!"

He smiled at me and shook his head,

"You need to decide what you're going to do. You could press charges. I'm going to tell her I found this stuff and that you have it now and that you know about it. Immediately change your passwords to everything. I'm sorry that this happened."

We hugged each other then and then sat there for a little bit just enjoying the presence of the other. His hand was resting on his lap and I can remember the sight of his fingers slightly splayed across his leg.

Funny the things one remembers, hmmm?


Zack and I sort of never stopped seeing each other after that day. We eased into it slowly, and by the time he had finally moved out of "the house" and into his own little place in July of 2007 I had actually furnished his entire house, at his request, while he was traveling. He threw a Fourth of July BBQ Party in his front yard, invited his entire family and introduced me as, "his friend, Meghan." Which I was, and, in case you were wondering, I still am.

In September, for my 29th birthday, he threw me the most amazing birthday party I have ever had. It was so lovely it's worth its own telling, but not now. It's incredible to me to think back on that time. To think about how, just the year before, I had been singing my heart out to Zack on the Eddie's Attic stage not knowing he could hear me in the parking lot, and then to have him so fully present in my life.

It was the beginning of October, shortly after his divorce was final, that he asked me out on a date. An honest to goodness real date. He found a lovely wine bar in Oakhurst called Palate and we sat outside on the patio, under a gorgeous old tree hung with candle lanterns. We couldn't deny anymore that we loved each other. We didn't have to deny anymore that we loved each other.

Zack picked up his wine glass, raised it a bit and said,

"Begin Transmission."

{to be continued...}

Click here for the next part...

*A supernova (plural supernovae) is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this short interval a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span.[1] The explosion expels much or all of a star's material[2] at a velocity of up to 30,000 km/s (10% of the speed of light), driving a shock wave[3] into the surrounding interstellar medium. This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant. ~Wikipedia