A Quote From Christopher Morely

This was the last message Christopher Morely gave to his friends and it is resonating with me deeply these days. And so, because I like you, I want to share it with you, too. "Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity."

Why are you thinking/doing/being/believing what you purport to think/do/be/believe?

More importantly, are you sure about it?

Calm Down or Up but don't Give Up


“Such is the pleasure of projecting that many content themselves with a succession of visionary schemes, and wear out their allotted time in the calm amusement of contriving what they never attempt or hope to execute." --Samuel Johnson

I am fighting hard against the undertow of stress that is pulling on me these days. There is much to be done, and oh, I will get it done, but it's easy to allow myself to sink into a kind of noble procrastination. By that I mean choosing "busy-ness" because it gives me an excuse to not dive into, and finish projects, I've started. Why wouldn't I want to finish them you might ask? Because, if I finish them, and put them out into the world, they might fail. I can't fail at laundry. Or chores. Or the various sundry of errands that I find myself swept up in. I am really rather good at those things.

So. I need the calmness of heart to push through my noble procrastinating, but not so calm that I fall prey to what ol' Samuel was talking about up there in between those quotation marks.

So here it is, a list of things that I am working on, so that I can be held accountable by the internetz.

1. A conference/retreat (a concreat? A Reconferencetreat?) for creative women, specifically geared towards moms. Even more specifically geared to those moms who have much in them to do, but haven't learned, or in my case, forgot how to, make time for themselves and their art. Who feel guilty even wanting to pursue it. More on this later. But you heard it here first. This one is a big one. In the next year. It. Will. Happen. My friend, Betsy Garmon is going to be involved, too!

2. The book I have been working on for about two years has now broken off into two different projects. The one I'm choosing to focus on now is centered around my my mom's death 21 years ago. Only now it's become something entirely different from a book. Much to my horror, it has morphed into a one woman show, complete with props, the portrayal of different characters, and the singing of songs. I've been fighting against it so hard. So, so hard. But I can't shake it. It's a persistent daydream and if I have learned anything, I have learned to pay attention to my daydreams.

3. Learning how to take real nice pictures. Not because my husband is who he is. Not because I want to be a photographer. I just want to experiment in another medium. That's all. Just stretching creative muscles is all.

What about you? What are you working on? TALK TO ME PEOPLE.

The Cracks and the Crevices :: Coming July 17th

Just letting you in on a little secret. Deke Spears and I have been holed up in the studio 3-4 days a week since the beginning of May weaving sounds around my little melodies; melodies made in moments stolen when small boys and a bit bigger boys have been sleeping. Quiet hallways and tip-toeing about, whispering lyrics to myself, and playing my Winter upright as softly as I could.

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

All You Want Is To Be A Rockstar

“All you want is to be a rock-star.”

“You suffer from delusions of grandeur.”

“You disdain motherhood.”

These three statements, made by a person I once called a friend, have reverberated in my head nearly everyday for six years. I allowed them to permeate my heart and there they festered and poisoned my self -esteem, my dreams, and my hopes. I let them. Heaven help me, I let them. I began to think that everyone saw me this way. That I was seen as a woman who was too much; who was too big; who wanted too much; who wanted more than I had a right to want.

This fact used to embarrass me. Why was I letting the words of this person bother me so much? Then I grew angry and I wanted an apology. But slowly, over time, I began to realize that these words were spoken by someone who didn’t understand me, who was riddled with their own insecurities and doubts, and, most likely, couldn’t stand to see someone think outside the box, to see someone decide to not be bound by what is expected of them. That’s when I began to feel empathy for this person. I thought about the idea of forgiving them. Then I thought about it some more.

Then I actually did.

All of a sudden I was free. Oh, it’s such a cliche isn’t it?

It’s true though, like most cliches always are.

A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about my time of solitude out at the Serenbe Farm near Palmetto, GA. It was there that I really wrestled through this. It was there that I had a bit of a break through over the fear and doubt that had been ruling me for so long. I allowed myself to rest. I offered myself some grace. Let myself off of the hook I had been re-hanging myself on everyday. I looked in the mirror and slowly, one by one, began to pull out those barbs that had settled so deeply into my heart.

I have always been a little afraid of the things that I think up. Since I was a little kid. The ideas that I have, oh boy - I have lots and lots and lots and lots of them. By afraid, I mean that I was afraid of what others would think of me if they knew what I dreamt about. I operated under a shroud of false-humility.  (Donald Miller has an incredible blog post about this. If you want to have your gluteus maximus kicked in a well written way, go read this ) I spent way too much time denying that I had big ideas, and big aspirations, and that I was talented, because one isn’t supposed to think that way. Somehow, (sadly mostly from the “church”. I’m pretty positive this pisses Jesus off big time) it was communicated to me that to believe in myself, to believe that I had a lot to offer, was wrong and vain.

When I got home from my respite at Serenbe, I noticed the manifestation of the time I had alone by the way my piano no longer mocked me when I walked past. It looked…friendly again. It wasn’t a reminder, a kind of remnant of what I used to do. Of what I used to love.  I sat down. Let my fingers wander over those familiar friends, those smooth white keys, and let the colours of the notes shyly step into my brain.

That was four months ago. I have written several new songs since then. Not all of them have been any good mind you, but they have been brought forth into the world. I have allowed myself to be creative again. I have allowed myself to dream big dreams again.

That is a big expletive deal.

Here’s the thing.

I got over myself.  I got over my dang ol’ silly self. I started thinking about the things I’ve said to friends of mine, who are seriously and amazingly talented (I’m thinking specifically of a conversation I had with my friend, Liz Chai), where I pretty much chastised her for not believing in herself. Where I said that she had so much talent, so much to give, and to stop comparing herself to other people who seemed to have it more together than she did.

Fuck Expletive ‘em” I said. “You are too good to hide behind doubt.”

I've been talking with my friend, Betsy, like I do, and she told me how she keeps a picture of herself at five years old up in her painting studio as a reminder to be that wide open. To be that alive. To be that free. It was in mulling over this conversation that I had a sudden revelation.

That I need to tell myself what I would tell myself if I wasn’t myself.

This is what came to mind when I decided to do that:

I am really, really, really, talented. I am good at a lot of things. And I should celebrate that. Not hide it. Why should I be ashamed of my talents? Why should I apologize for them? I have ideas of how to bring some beauty and wonder into this wide wide world; moments to sweep you away, dear reader. Moments to make you think. Moments to help you push through your past, to inspire you to create, to inspire you to fight off the same depression and shame that I have walked though. I want to do this because I need these things, too, not because I want any sort of accolades or admiration. Expletive that. I will do these things because I truly believe they have been placed in my heart by God to do. Ideas and dreams that will not be silenced any longer. And I want that for you, too. I really, really, really, do.

(I just used the word “really” six times. Just letting you know that I noticed it, too. And I’m leaving it that way so THERE.)

I will fail at some of them. Oh I will, I will. But I will not cower to that anymore. I will fail big. I will celebrate the losing. I will welcome the inevitable failings because, at the end of the day, I freakin’ TRIED.

Perhaps, you know, somebody, or lots of somebodies, will say that I suffer from delusions of grandeur.  Well then fine. If that’s the case then may I be deluded for the rest of my life.

At this moment I am sitting in small studio, on the Westside of Atlanta, literally one mile away from where, six years ago next month, so much pain was wrought in the community I was a part of. Because I made a choice to step outside of what was expected of me. I asked for a divorce from Phoenix’s father and chose to make a new path for myself. And people were pissed at me. However, out of that choice so much joy, and love, and growth, and hope, and life, and redemption, and FRUIT has been born. These songs reflect that. Some of them are old, from years ago, songs that I dusted off and welcomed back, and some that are so new they’re still teething. I can’t wait to share them with you.

I have made peace with the fact that I will never fit into normal. I am a messy-sparkly-clumsy-loud laughing-tight hugging-beautiful-slightly fluffy-funny-rubber faced-firecracker of a breath of fresh air.

Damn it all, I am PROUD of that. I've grown weary of shutting myself down because I just might make someone uncomfortable.

So now I ask of you, what are you hiding in yourself? What are you shutting down for a "someday"? What are you waiting for? Your children to get a little older? When you’ve lost some more weight? Who has told you that you are too much? Or, conversely, that you are not enough? (I think you’re allowed just a wee small moment of imagining that you’ve told them to go jump in a vast boiling lake. After that, though, you need to work on the forgiveness part. It’s kind of important. Just sayin’…) It just might be yourself telling you all these things and if that’s the case, may I suggest you do what I did.

Tell yourself what you would say to yourself if you weren’t yourself.

I dare you.

"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.  I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.  I was naïve.  I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.  It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:  that I am nobody but myself." 

Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

Whither Thou Goest



Six or so years ago now, my dear dear friend, Billy Somerville, had a side project going of the music he was writing that wasn't "corporate worship" related. The moniker that he went by was Cannonwill. Aside from the fact that he was (and is still) one of my very good friends, I loved his music. Just absolutely loved it. He wrote the song "Whither Thou Goest" at the end of 2005, perhaps the beginning of 2006. My iTunes file of the song shows a "Date Modified" of January 19, 2006 at 2:41 a.m.

Through a series of circumstances that perhaps one day I'll go into more detail about, Billy ended up living in Brooklyn, New York and is now well on his way to a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. The smarty pants. Watching him go from a bright-eyed bushy tailed brilliant worship pastor/leader who basically started this church to an almost-in-a-couple-of-years Dr. Somerville in six years has been interesting and wonderful to say the least.

The last time I was in New York, back in February, he and I met up for breakfast before my flight home. We talked about a lot stuff. Some good things. Some painful things. You know, like you do when you talk with a good friend. We're both in such dramatically different places in our lives; so much has happened to both us. I don't know if I can speak for Billy, but I know that I find it so comforting to have a friend whom I've known for...14 years now? that has watched me walk through all kinds of wonderful moments and horrible moments and everything in between. I say all that to say that listening to Billy talk about the very different place that he is in his life brought back memories of the beautiful music he used to make. I don't know that he ever really plays like he used to. It's something that makes me profoundly sad on a lot of different levels.

I got on my plane that day with his song Whither Thou Goest looping through my head.

Here is Billy's original version of the song:

http://static.boomp3.com/player2.swf?id=8ttqu5ix1ho&title=06+Whither+Thou+GoestBilly's Whither Thou Goest

It stayed with me for a couple of weeks, sashaying it's way around my brain, before I finally couldn't take it anymore and I messaged him, and asked if I could record it.

"Messing around with Whither Thou Goest for my album. Are you cool with that? Also, I've added more chords in the verses. Is that okay"

It's was somewhere around 1 a.m so I was surprised when he wrote back a few minutes later,

"Yes, of course! Do it to it."

So I sat down and banged this out at 1:30 a.m.

I'm seriously considering putting this on my new record. (Yes, my new record. I can't believe it either but I've got some song babies that need to be born. They've been gestating for WAY TOO LONG.)

Here is my version of Whither Thou Goest:

http://static.boomp3.com/player2.swf?id=8tttu5mtk3g&title=Whither+Thou+GoestMeg's Whither Thou Goest

Whither thou goest, I will go. Where you lead, I will follow.

You're a pillar of cloud by day, A pillar of fire by night, My eyes are trained to see you. I am listening for your voice. I've come too far now To be led astray. My ears long to hear you.

Lead on, lead on, I am right behind.

So, the question is...what do you guys think? I know, I know it's rough. And badly recorded, just try to listen past that if you don't mind.

Thanks for listening. And reading. Also, do me a favour, if you ever meet, or happen to know Billy already, tell him to get back to the guitar; back to the piano, and to not stop writing. I'd appreciate it.

"It is not only one person's work, it's really a partnership and collaboration during all these years." - Christo

The Need For Solitude

I haven't blogged in 84 days. So.

There's that.

I am not a blogger. But you probably knew that already.

Currently I am writing in a "Starbucks" in a Barnes & Noble somewhere in Newnan, GA.

Why Newnan?

Because the wifi signal at Serenbe went kaput earlier and I decided to go for a drive and find one. Now I'm here. It's the closest place that I could find that had a wifi signal that wouldn't relegate me to sitting in an Applebees. Or a Krystals. I can't decide which is worse.

I arrived at the Inn at Serenbe a little after 5pm on Monday, the 9th of January. The girl at the Guest Relations house immediately knew I was who I was because I was the last person to check in for the day. She gave me my key with the small cowbell on it, showed me the layout of the community, and wished me a good stay.

It took me 10 minutes to actually find my room. I lugged my suitcase up and down stairs in the Farmhouse, trying to find my room number. I finally found it, off of the front porch, completely secluded from the rest of the house. I unlocked the door, dragged my suitcase inside, took a look around and promptly began to weep.

I mean weep. I mean the long makes-the-stomach-hurt crying.

I have been battling some seriously bad depression since the beginning of September. I had been sliding into it for a while before that, but I refused to acknowledge it. I hate, utterly abhor, feeling weak. It's a problem. Zack says it's my pride, which is probably true. I don't like needing anything. I don't like feeling vulnerable. To admit that I wasn't doing well felt like defeat. And I was already feeling so defeated in every other aspect of my life that to admit that I was depressed felt like I had nothing left at all.

I was defeated in my music. I was defeated in my writing. I was defeated in my journaling. I was defeated in my painting. I was defeated in my mothering. I was defeated in my everything.

Or so it felt.

It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. Everything made me feel on edge and anxious. It was if all my nerves were on the outside of my body. Like a sunburn of the soul. I was a hairpin trigger away from blowing up.

So here I am, at Serenbe, in a last ditch effort to try and regain a bit of myself back.

(I'm now back in my room, by the by. Shortly after I started writing, three pimply faced boys sat down at the table next to me and proceeded to play wretchedly bad music over their laptop speakers. Loudly. In the bookstore. I glared at them. I raised my right eyebrow to show my annoyance. They were clueless. I left.)

On our GoogleCal it reads, "Meghan Out Of Town to Write Her Book".

I've done none of that. Of the 6 chapters I've written thus far, not a single word has been added to them. Not another chapter. Nothing.

I brought a journal. Wanna know what I've written so far?


"I tend to draw snails a lot."

"Pinot Noir. Stuff in a jar. Martha the waitress. Harry Connick overhead And a restaurant to myself."


"OMG. Lamb Risotto at The Hill in Serenbe for the win!"

I know.

I know.

The sheer brilliance that was wrought forth from my hand is almost too staggering to be believed. Please. Stay your desire to begin sharing with the masses as I'm not sure the general public is ready for such heady artistry as this.

I have been doing a whole effin' lot of nothing. Mostly sitting here in this room. It was pouring here yesterday and yucky and cold today, so I haven't done any walking about the farm here. I've been sleeping. A lot. Reading a lot.

Feeling guilty. A lot.

I know that I need this. I know it. I'm just having the damndest hard time accepting it.

Why is it so hard for me to accept that I am enough just sitting here? That if I didn't sing another song or write another word that that would be okay? That I would be okay? That the opinion of those who love and know me best wouldn't change?

I can feel myself recharging. This is a very very good thing. I am an introvert. People who don't know me well tend to think otherwise but really, when I am in social situations, I assume a role; I think of it like real life theatre improv and by the time it's done...I am done. I think it's safe to say that for every hour I'm around people, even my family, I need two alone to make up for it. I was so far overdrawn in my recharging that I was damaging my body.

Well. I'm going to go sit someplace else now. I have the whole Serenbe Inn to myself right now so I'll go look and see if there is anything to read in the library.

I hope that all of you are well. I hope that perhaps this makes sense to some of you, or that perhaps this helps you make sense to yourself. That you are enough. Where you are. I'm learning it, too.

For those of you who are introverts as well, I think you'll enjoy this article. I know I did. It made me laugh!

Caring For Your Introvert

"The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit." Marya Mannes

One From The Archives...


...because I have been so absolutely and utterly and overwhelmingly SWAMPED.

It's a good thing, though.

I had a lovely coffee time with Mindy Fletcher today and in our getting to know one another's she mentioned that she and I had once worked for the same company. It reminded me of this post I had written around this time of year 5 years ago.

Five years ago.

Five years ago.

And I shake my head.

I was touring quite a bit then. And trying to navigate being single mom and still follow my heart. Now I'm navigating being a mom to four boys and being happily married and STILL trying to follow my heart.

So, because I have been wretched at posting anything of merit lately I humbly offer this bit of past writing to you and sincerely hope that all of you are doing well.

A Movie Moment Of Sorts

In the times where I am not traversing major highways and byways to play my music in far away places I am a music instructor for Courtnay and Rowe, "Atlanta's Premier In Home Teaching Service". I have about fourteen students total ranging in ages from six years old to fifteen and tonight I added my fifteenth student. This student is the first adult student I have had this year. Quite a nice fellow he is, and he lives literally down the street from me with his wife and their cat in a darling little apartment complex.

Complex is right.

I arrived five minutes early to make sure that I wouldn't be late.

Aren't you glad I cleared that up for you? That would be a Captain Obvious moment.

I called my student to let him know that I was there and that I could see his building, which I really thought I could, based on the number of his apartment on my directions sheet. He gave me a few more instructions on how to find it and I said, "Great! Well, I'm outside now so I'll see you in 30 seconds!"

I walked, so very confidentally, towards the building I thought he was in and realised that it wasn't downstairs, it wasn't on the street level and neither was it upstairs.

"Hmmm," I thought, "they must be on the other side." And so I walked down the path towards the street, turned right onto the sidewalk and made my way to the path back down the apartment on the other side.

I was pause here to mention that only a half hour earlier the city of Atlanta had been beseiged with a fantastic thunderstorm, resplendant with lightning and rain that blew sideways. It was just a joy to drive in, I must say, especially in Atlanta, why it was postively a picnic!

(Insert a dramatic stage wink here.)

As I gingerly picked my way down the sidewalk next to the street, I was very careful to avoid puddles (I usually would be careful to step IN them as it's loads of fun, but I was WORKING...and had on cute shoes) and was mere feet from the little sidewalk that led back towards the apartments on the other side, when barrelling down Clairemont out of nowhere came a large bus. A bus for our very own Metro Atlanta Rail Transit Authority. MARTA! In seconds I was covered in a wave of water that had pooled in the street at the exact location where I happened to be. I am not exaggerating when I say it went over my head.

I was soaked.

I stood there, in shock, for a good minute or so, although I did have the presence of mind to actually move away from the street.

Dripping dirty water I made my way down the path to the next set of apartments where I was thrilled to find that they also weren't the right ones. Back into the parking lot I went where I was discovered by my student. He had gone looking for me when I hadn't shown up right away.

What a sight I must've been. My jacket, skirt, hair, shoes, everything was dripping wet.

"Hi! I'm Meghan! I'm your piano teacher. I was just baptised by a MARTA bus, you know...they do that sometimes. Aren't I a lucky girl?", and I extended a wet hand in his direction which he very kindly shook. He showed me into the apartment (which had been on the other side of the complex and in my defense the numbers are not AT ALL logical...) explained to his wife what had happened and his wife immediately offered to put my jacket into the dryer. I was given a towel to dry off with and then we began the lesson.

He did quite well and is now supposed to practice playing, "Jingle Bells", as silly as it sounds, so that he can get his right and left hands to learn how to play well together.

I am now home, showered and warm and just thought I would share this moment with you. I seem to have lots of crazy things happen to me and I wonder if I have some sort of built in "odd moments" magnet somewhere in my body.

I'm swimming around in the Brothers Karamazov again and so I think I shall snuggle back down into the couch and pick up where I left off in the pages.


"If you love you are of God. All things are atoned for, all things are saved by love. If I, a sinner even as you are, am tender with you and have pity on you, how much more will God have pity upon you. Love is such a priceless treasure that you can redeem the whole world by it, and cleanse not only your own sins but the sins of others."

--FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov, Book II, Ch. 3

The Voice, or, how I auditioned for a reality T.V. show and lived to tell about it...

This past Friday I spent nigh on 5 hours of my life standing in line for an experience that lasted all of 7 minutes. Maybe. I never auditioned for American Idol. I never wanted to. Granted there were a lot of people who said that I should, or asked me why I hadn't, or asked me if was going to, or asked me why I wouldn't, but it simply wasn't something I ever thought was for me.

"I'm not a pop singer. And I feel more comfortable playing an instrument anyway. And I don't have the 'look'."

I don't think I ever replied exactly like that. I have, for your benefit, condensed it down to what I think I might've said had one caught me on a day where I had had enough sleep, lunch and coffee all in the same day. Which never happens.

Then, this year, The Voice sauntered its way onto our television screen.

The first time a commercial for the show came on Zack turned to me and said,

"You should totally be on that show."


"Oh c'mon. With American Idol you were always saying that they picked a lot of those people based on their looks. Here it's not even an option."

I shrugged. But secretly I was interested.

From that point on, it seemed that every time the commercial for the show, or the actual show was on (Yes, we watched it. Yes, we were rooting for Dia.) either Zack or Caleb or Phoenix would turn to me and say,

"You should try out for this show."

At first it was cute. Then it grew to a level of annoyance that, upon them even turning my way, I would narrow my eyes and scrunch up my mouth really tight, like one of those old people faces made out of pantyhose.

Then came the announcement that they were CASTING! FOR SEASON TWO!

"Do you think you've got what it takes?"


I chewed the inside corner of my lip. Ran my tongue over my front teeth. Scratched my nose. Yawned.

The thought I was trying to suppress wriggled out from underneath the weight of my subconscious and ran smack into my not subconscious and lay there gasping for breath for a moment. Every other thought that was vying for my attention - Desire For Chocolate, Do I Need To Pee, Is that Hawke I Hear, I Really Should Have Drunk More Water Today Why Didn't I Drink More Water, When Vincent Van Gogh Cut Off His Ear Did It Affect His Hearing All That Much Really And Could He Have Potentially Grown His Hair Long To Hide It - all stopped and stared.

"Maybe!", it squeaked out finally.

"Maybe what?", I replied. In my head.

All the other thoughts swiveled their attention back to the tiny squeaky thought.

"Maybe you have what it takes."

I stared at it for a moment. Raised my eyebrow. You know, in my head. Because I have eyebrows inside my head, too.

"I should be kicking you out right about now. However. You may stay."

"Thank you very much. May I have some water now, please? And a nap?"

Shortly after that I found myself on The Voice website. Then I was signing up for an Artist Login that made everything feel very official.

August 5th.

I kept it a secret for a little while. Then I showed Zack the email.

"Whoa-hoh!", he said. “Good for you! This is gonna be awesome.”

I told my family. I told my counselor. I told a couple of close friends.

There was a point where what song exactly I should audition with became a big deal. At one point Zack was scrolling through the top 100 songs on iTunes trying to find a popular song for me to learn. I was scoffing at his suggestions.

“I”m telling you,” he said, “this is a pop show. You’re gonna have to learn pop songs.”

I don't listen to the radio. Everything on the Top 100 list was crap. I think I recognized maybe three artists? Maybe six. But I wouldn't know the songs. At all. Is this good? I dunno. I'm woefully ignorant of current culture. This either means that I am very cool or that I am getting old.

I ended up narrowing it down to three songs that I love to sing, pretty much all the dang time:

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen One by Harry Nilsson All I Need Is Everything by Over the Rhine

These are very popular with myself.

Friday, August 5th, rolled around. I got up. Got the boys off to school. Zack left for the studio. Caitlin, my little sister, showed up at 10am to help me with Hawke and I crawled back in bed.

I laid there and stared at the ceiling.

Do I really want to do this?

I had been sent an email with my "OFFICIAL ARTIST AUDITION PASS". There was even an audition time on it. 2pm. I was to print it out and bring it with me, along with my photo ID.

Do I really want to do this?

I said that I would.

But I could totally go to a bookstore and write and read and have some coffee and spend that time on something FUN.

And that's when I knew that I didn't really want this. But that I should do it anyway, because I said that I would. And who knows? Maybe. And if “maybe” then maybe I would want it.

If you like me I'll like you. Or something like that.

Zack came to pick me up at 1:30pm to take me downtown to AmericasMart. It's this humongous group of three buildings that I had never been in before. Twenty-nine years that I’ve lived in this town and I don't think I've ever been inside AmericasMart. After having been there now, I'm okay with the fact that I wasn't, or hadn't, before. Did that make sense? Possibly. I'm going to go with it.

I was a wreck on the way there. I was picking a fight and word stabby.

"Do I look okay?"

"YES! Of course! You look beautiful!"

"Well, you didn't say anything when I got in the car and I didn't want to ask but because you never tell me I look nice I had to ask. AGAIN. I just want you to notice me blah blah blahasdaoruitqhrigaosidgnaorihghrgoaidgablahblahblah...."

This is where I would like to walk up to myself in this remembering of it and punch myself in the head.

Who is the biggest dramatic dumb dork right now?

Raises hand. Me. I am. Hi. Where’s my trophy?

Zack dropped me off at the corner of Peachtree Street and Harris. Kissed me.

"Good Luck. I love you."

I got out and walked to the first entrance I saw with the AmericasMart sign on it.

A woman was standing just inside the door. She took one look at me and said,

"The Voice?"


"Go back out, turn right, turn right at the light, turn right again and you'll see the line."

"Ack. Okay. Thanks."

I turned right one block too early, ended up walking the long way 'round and finally, FINALLY, found myself at the back of the line.

I passed so many people walking to the back of that line. They all stood there, hearts practically hanging out of their chests, every kind of person one could imagine, the hope and longing was so strong the buildings were humming with it, it was coming off of them like heat waves on pavement.

Speaking of heat waves it just so happened to be about 98 degrees outside that day. Positively balmy. I was so pleased to feel my shower freshness disappear into the rivulets of sweat running down my back. I practically heard my hair declare, "Well sh*t. I give up."

I won’t go into detail about the girl behind me who was going on and on about her recording deals and how she’s worked with so and so and been with him and her and them and those guys. When a man with a microphone walked by the line and said,

“Who wants to sing on the radio?”, she squealed and yelled, “I do!”

She was pretty, and tall, and because she sang A LOT, I can tell you that she had a decent voice. I finally couldn’t take hearing her talk about her anymore and put earbuds in and proceeded to listen to The Boxer Rebellion. This made me look strange, I’m sure, as they seem to cause me to launch into a lot of really bad air drumming. Fortunately the line was moving relatively quickly and soon I was inside of a loading bay area of some kind. The line snaked around 5 times before it finally led back outside.

This was in the last bit of the line before heading back outside.

The entrance.

Then, blissfully, I was being ushered into the actual inside of the nirvana of air conditioning. A big burly man checked my ID against my audition pass, a nice lady checked the content of my bag.

"Oooh. You brought yo'self a orange! It's kinda small doh ain't it?"

"It's a clementine."

"A whut?"

"A clementine."

"Oh yeah! I had one uh deez before. I jus' figure if I'm going to eat a peez o' fruit I gon' get a big one! You fine. Go on up the 'scalator."

Up the escalator I went. And up. And up. Then there was a wide open space with just a huge banner at the end. As if to say, This show is such a big deal we are going to devote this entire space just for this banner.

And yet another escalator. Then another wide open room with twelve lines. Six on one side and six on the other. A nice man directed me to the left lines,

"Pick from lines 2-6. Whichever is shortest."

I picked line number 4. Stood. Waited. About two and half hours had passed since Zack had dropped me off. Waited.

A girl asked me,

"Do you know what's going on up there?"

I shook my head. Nope. All I could see a ways up was a long table. With people sitting at it, looking official and stuff.

Finally I sat down on the floor, peeled my clementine, drank my water and pulled out my book, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. One of my favourites. If you’re fond of reading you should go read it. Right now. Go on. Get out out of here.

I was munching away on some cashews, blissfully reading, when one fell down into the dark abyss of my cleavage. I looked around to see if anyone was looking in my direction. Should I go fishing for it? Would it seem I was getting my jollies? Or would people think, Oh look. She must’ve accidentally dropped a bit of cashew into her mammary crevasse. I debated. I went for it. Right then a woman in the line next to me leaned over and said,

"Do you go to Trinity?"

I whipped my hand out and made a big show of brushing off the front of my dress.

"Not anymore. But I used to!"

Dear God. Please let her have not noticed that I was trying to stave off the potential cashew butter in my bra.

We struck up a conversation until my line started moving faster than hers and the people around us were becoming visibly annoyed. I said I'd find her on Facebook and then realized too late that I didn't know her last name. (She found me though. Hi Paige!)

When I got up to the table I was given a blue wristband by a girl who was so bored I almost reached over to prop her chin up for her.

Someone else directed me to the right side of the room where another person showed me to a row of ten chairs. There were about 40 rows of 10 chairs on the left side of the room and the same on the right side where I was. All were full or being filled. Across the room people were erupting into cheers and everyone on “my” side of the room quickly gathered it was because a row of people were being directed someplace else. The rows around mine sort of started to bond. Singing and dancing and laughing. I was texting the "play by play" as it were to my family and a couple of close friends.

At one point my dear Jenny R. messaged me,

"Just remember; they cannot eat you. No matter what."

and then,

"Oh geez. This is worse than a Shamalayanamama film. Whatever his name is."

My sisters were telling me that I had this. No problem.

I wasn’t so sure.

Betsy told me she was sending a Chocolate Prayer Cupcake with Holy Spirit Sprinkles.

That made me hungry.

The rows across from me were being ushered out of the room. Everyone started to get louder as their nerves began fraying.

Finally my row was asked to line up and we followed a girl up another escalator to...

More rows of chairs.


In the bathroom girls were primping and doing vocal exercises.

"If you sing the melody but while blowing your lips it will help warm you up."


"Do re mi fa so la ti do! Do ti la so fa mi re do!"

Another half hour later a woman counted out ten of us in sequence and led us to a wide hallway with rooms on either side, all with signs, all with ten people standing outside, all with gray carpeted doors, all with a human being wearing a headset standing outside.

I was waiting outside of room A2. Waiting. You know. Because that is what life was about now, it seemed. I was going to wait, being led up different escalators to sit in rows of chairs, to then stand outside of doors until I could no longer remember what I was waiting for exactly. Just a mind numbing series of halls and white walls and...


The ten of us, now my treasured companions in this saga, watched as the people who were in the room came out, a bit dazed looking, and had their blue wristbands cut off. But there were only eight people. We were whispering now. "Only EIGHT." Rather the other nine were whispering. I was quiet.

The door was closed again. Then an adorable couple came out. He of the black hair, she of the perfect waves and fedora hat. They were each holding a red piece of paper in one hand and each others hand in the other. A man seemingly appeared out of nowhere and instructed them to head down the hall. The rest of us, lined up like cattle, watched in wonder, some even started to applaud, as they walked further into the building towards the glowing light of promise. Which was probably a window or something, but from where I stood, it looked an awful lot like promise. But I’ve been mistaken about that before. Sometimes promise is found under a rock, or buried in ivy, or inside old warehouses. Or inside me.

I digress.

We handed over our audition passes to our headsetted human being and then walked through the door into a drab, boring, gray room. There, at a folding table, the kind one finds in any church fellowship hall anywhere ever, sat the casting director. Next to her sat another woman wrapped in a blanket. I suppose she was cold. We had been told outside that the casting director was the main director for the show. The head honcho. Great. You know, no big deal or anything.

We sat in the chairs provided and the Head Honcho Casting Lady lifted up the first audition pass and called out the first name.

It began.

A girl with a church voice.

A girl with a small quavery voice.

There was only one guy in our group. A nice looking man with a white "doorag" on his head that was then topped with a white ball cap with the tag still on it. I found myself wondering why he was wearing both. Had he forgotten that he had already put on the rag...of...doo? Was his head prone to getting cold? Did he realize the tag was still on his hat? It was dangling near his ear, did it bother him? His name was Wayne? Leroy? I don't remember now. He sang. It was...okay. I noticed he had to adjust his key lower when he got to the chorus. I wasn't impressed.

One girl just talked for a couple of minutes. She couldn't start. Finally she launched into Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". Her voice was nice but she cracked several times. I inwardly winced for her.

One little girl, and I mean little because she was...tiny...short and little, with white cowboy boots and bleach blonde hair, got up and sang Etta James "At Last". She had a good voice, it was strong and as she sang her whole body moved and swayed. One could tell that she loved to sing.



I walked to the white line marked out on the floor. Actually I kind of clomped over to the line because my foot had conveniently fallen asleep.

All I could hear in my head was,

"Daisy, Daisy sour cream. Fresh and tasty naturally, a dip for you and a dollop for me, Daisy just goes with family so do a dollop do do a dollop of Daisy..."

I stared at the very very gray drab walls. I looked at the two poor ladies who had been sitting there for God knows how long.

"How many times have you heard "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen today?", I croaked out. I was going to woo them with my charm. I was going to just charm their socks right off.

"Uh...not very many times.", the H.H.C.L. was looking over some papers in front of her.

"Well, that's what I'm going to sing for you then!" and I smiled and twisted back and forth a bit. And then launched into it.

Then I sat down.

A couple more people sang.

Then the H.H.C.L. asked the little girl in the white cowboy boots to sing something else.

"Something current. Off of the radio. Something country perhaps? I'm looking at your cowboy boots and assuming country?"

The girl looked dumbstruck.

"Uh. I dunno. I mean, I know some songs but..."

"What was your back up song?"

"Amazin' Grace."

The director shook her head.

"How Great Thou Art?"

Again, shaking of the head.

"I can sing another Etta James song?"

"No, no. You're a young girl, what kind of artist do you want to be? Do you have anything? Anything current at all?"

"I could sing Rolling in the Deep, I guess, but that girl just sang it.", and here she gestured over to my side of the room.

"That's okay. Just sing that."

So she did. But I could tell she was focusing more on trying to remember the words than really sing. She did fine. The H.H.C.L. looked over at the woman in the blanket. They shrugged.

I thought to myself, if they ask me to sing something current I'm hosed. I was going through every song I could think of that I thought could work and found that I was looping through a mixture of songs from The Cure, The Boxer Rebellion, Aimee Mann and the Daisy Sour Cream jingle. I was royally screwed.

But the H.H.C.L. never even looked my way.

She looked at the guy.

"Wayne," (I'm calling him that 'cause I can't remember his name) "keep your phone on. If you don't hear from me by 8pm tonight that means you're not through. I'm marinating on you. Everyone else, thanks so much for your time. Have a nice weekend."

And just like that, we were done.

The little girl in the white cowboy boots was devastated. Her eyes were already pooling with tears by the time we reached the escalators. She was wearing coloured contacts, they were a very brilliant shade of royal blue and that, mixed with her tears, made her eyes look like glass marbles. I reached out and touched her on the arm.

"You did a great job."

She nodded soundlessly, already on her phone, trying to keep it together. I hurt for her.

Down down down the escalator.

Out out out the door.

I sent out a text to my family,

"I'm kind of shocked at how disappointed I am."

And I was.

It was 7:30 when I walked out of the doors and into reality again. Out to the sight of a man digging through the garbage cans across the street looking for food. Back out to the reality of the heat. Back out to the sight of tourists squinting at signs telling them that they were where they were but where was that exactly? Here. You are here. At this red dot.

The ground outside AmericasMart was littered with discarded hope. I could imagine the feeling of it around my ankles, like kicking through leaves, fluttering and a bit crunchy, already brittle. I folded my hope up. Tucked it behind my ear to look at later. Right then I needed to call Zack. Right then I needed to figure out where in the H-E-double hockey sticks I could get my hands on a good margarita.

A big one.

I ended up getting my margarita. I haven't looked too closely at my hope yet. It's safe though. It's sitting quietly on my bed side table at the moment. I suppose I'll pick it up in time for the ATL Collective show this Wednesday at Eddie's Attic. I'll sing my heart out through the songs of The Clash. I'll bring my hope out on stage with me and give it some room to breathe.

It's 3:45am and I should go to bed. So, Goodnight then, gentle readers.

"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all."

~Emily Dickinson

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

I was so busy trying to rest...

...that I neglected to post what I came up with creatively for June's word. It's crap.

Aw geez. It's not crap. I need to take that negative and make it a positive!

(Insert a turn to the camera, a big ol' wink and a sparkle off of my left incisor)

Here's what I came up with:

(imagine me peeking through my fingers as you look at it)

Thar she blows. I wrestled and wrestled with this one.

Not literally. Although I did just start to chuckle at the thought of me getting all WWF with it though.

"What was your process in creating this?"

"Well, since I was using a birch wood panel and not a standard canvas, I cleaned and treated the wood first. Then I added the white paint in small bits until I achieved the effect I was going for and then I PILEDROVE IT INTO THE GROUND! I threw it off the ropes of the ring and smashed it with a CHAIR!!!!!"

Wiping, wiping, wiping my eyes. Oh the hilarity.

I do not rest well. In anything. I find it difficult to sit in one place, comfortably and not start to feel guilty about the things I think should be doing. I suffer from insomnia because my mind will not stop cycling though all the things I think I should be doing. I am having to teach myself how to rest. Force myself.

I must do this or I am going to shut my body down.

Yes, yes. I'm in counseling. Hi, Sarah! (waves) ;-)

Tally ho! Onward to another topic!

Betsy* wrote me to let me know that she had selected the word for July. She's going to post her June word any day now.

And the word iiiiisss:


Birds! I love birds! Let's see what happens with that. In the meantime, stay posted for I shall soon share with you some things that have been pop-rocking around in my brain as of late.

It's 3:13am. That's stupid. I need to be in bed drooling on a pillow right now. You know, resting and stuff.

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." ~ Ovid

*By the by, I took Betsy's 4 week Art Journaling class that she teaches and it rocked my face off. If you live here in the Atlanta area you should go. Now. Do it.

Contact Betsy

P.S. I love the Ovid quote. I have been percolating over it for days. Thus the reason it ended up in the painting. I'll blog more about it later. In the meantime, does it resonate with any of you out there?

June's Word :: Rest (and a bit about Sela Ward)

I am in Paris. Paris.

I am having the hardest time turning off. I am having the hardest time relaxing. This is the first time in my WHOLE life where I have traveled by myself, with no one or nothing to care for but myself, and without it being work or music related. It's a "just 'cause" trip. My dear friend, Kara Pecknold had decided she was going to spend close to a month in France, her first week being spent in Paris, and I jumped at the chance to go. It was on the calendar for months, "Going to Paris with Kara no if's and's or but's".

So, here I am, and I am having panic attacks, not sleeping well (of course, when I have ever slept well?) and have been shedding a lot of tears.

I know. I know. Rich people problems, right?

I wrote to Betsy, with whom I'm doing the Word for the Month project and told her that I thought the word "Rest" was what needed to be focused on this month. She responded with,

"I'm not surprised; rest is written all over the pages of my journals - both as a prayer and a reminder to self."

I think it's funny that I chose that word, knowing that I needed to focus on it, and then, when I get to a place where I can finally rest, I can't. And, neither can Kara because it seems that I've been snoring. That's not embarrassing at all.


On another note here's a bit from an email I sent to Zack yesterday that I wanted to share:

Kara and I were out till past midnite last night. We spent close to five hours at the Bar Hemingway in the Ritz Hotel. So amazing. Two women and a gentleman sat down at a little table near us and were talking and I thought I recognized one of the women. I leaned over to Kara and said, "I'm positive that she's an actress or something. Her face is so familiar."

Kara agreed that she definitely looked very familiar but that neither one of us could place exactly where she was from.

"Definitely not a famous famous person, but like smaller roles and TV movies and stuff.", Kara said.

"I'm going to go over there and ask."

"No! You'll embarrass me!"

"So, go to the bathroom or something and while you're gone I'll be the dumb American friend who embarrasses herself."

"No! Just wait till they get up to leave, then ask."

So that's what I did. They got up to leave and walked out and I almost didn't follow but it was bugging me so much! I HAD to know or I was going to think about it all night.

I ran after them and caught sight of them just as they were about to turn a corner down a long hallway.

"Excuse me!", and then a bit louder, "Excuse me!"

She turned around, her companions looking at me curiously.

"Hi there. Um. I know that this is awkward but...I'm really terrific at awkward actually."

The mystery woman laughed at that.

"So, yeah. I think you know that my friend and I were sitting at the table next to you?"

She nodded.

"Well, there is something about you that is so familiar and yet my friend and I couldn't place it exactly. Do you have a well known doppleganger? Or are you an actress and, because I have had a couple of drinks, I can't recall your name because I can't even recall MY name at the moment?"

She laughed again and said,

"Yes, I'm an actress. My name is Sela Ward." here she extended her hand. "What's yours?"

"Meghan. Meghan?" I was joking, "Yes, I'm positive it's Meghan."

We shook hands and I said it was nice to meet her and wished her a pleasant rest of the evening and walked back to the bar.

Kara was looking at me expectantly when I came back.


"Sela Ward."


Later on Kara went downstairs to use the bathroom and struck up a conversation with two English ladies that had also been sitting near us. They had been wondering about Sela as well and Kara told them how I had gone out on a limb to ask.

"Yeah, we were trying to place her but," and here Kara, as she was relaying the conversation back to me, laughed, "They said, yeah but how do you Google what someone looks like?"

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

John Lubbock

A story about how I vanquished evil...


Last night when I was merely making an attempt to locate an emery board, or even better, nail clippers with which to take care of a broken bit of right hand forefinger nail, a roach the size of a small rodent tried to ambush me in my bathroom.

I knew immediately by the foreboding sense of pure evil that I felt upon walking across the threshold of my bathroom door, that the "thing", if even indeed it is worthy to be labeled with even so much an innocent sounding word as that, was staring me down with its nefarious eyes, causing my skin to crawl.

(Which then made me think that I might have one ON me, if one knows what I mean. That feeling that comes about upon sighting an icky crawly creature of some kind? The minute one's skin has an itch or a tickle one commences to twitch and flap one's arms about in an attempt to GET THE DAMN THING OFF.)

I whipped about in a lightning speed 180 degree turn and there it was, lurking above my doorway. I am sorry to say I did not respond coolly. I didn't stand akimbo with my eyebrow raised defiantly. No, I hollered. Not screamed mind you. I full on hollered and tore out of there so fast Speedy Gonzales would have been impressed. (That is if he were actually real and not an animated character on Looney Tunes, which, in my opinion, is one of the few really great cartoons out there. Not these sad excuses for cartoons that I see on Nickelodean these days.)

I knew that I had to kill it or I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that it could potentially crawl on me in the middle of the night. Oh the HORROR!

Grabbing the roach spray from under the kitchen sink, I tiptoed my way back into my bedroom and stood in front of my bathroom doorway trying to steady my pounding heart.

"One. Two. Three!", and with that I ran and jumped into my bathtub, did an about face, and watched as the filthy thing, who was still lying in wait for me above the doorway, caught sight of my weapon of choice, turned tail and scurried into my bedroom.

I will not bore you with any attempts at false humility. No, I was brave. I was. I charged after it, spraying lemony scented death above my head and yelling,


Then it fell off of the wall and behind my dresser and, I have to admit, I did a strange hopping dance, my feet alternating in mere nanoseconds in their respective times on the floor. I think I was making small "eep eep eep!" sounds.

I sprayed liberally behind the dresser and hopped up onto my bed and, much to my delight, watched as it emerged from the shadow under the dresser, writhing and wriggling where it died, right under the very edge of the dresser, on the right hand side, close to the front and near the bathroom door.

For a good two minutes I waited to be sure it was truly vanquished. I then sprayed a small passing dust bunny for good measure. Just to be sure. Just in case it was something else in disguise.

To be honest I haven't yet disposed of the remains of my enemy. No, I knowingly, after much thought, left it there to serve as a sort of warning to any of its kind that I am not to be trifled with. It has nothing to do at all with the fact that I can't bear the idea of having to get close to it. Nothing of the sort. Or the fact that I secretly fear it is waiting for me to get close enough to scoop it up with a very long bit of newspaper or something only to attack me. No, I'm just going to leave it there for a few more hours. Just as a warning.

You know.

I am a winner.

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]

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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

A Math Problem. Kinda.

To all my ladies out there.

I has a question!

Hang on.

You menfolk might possibly deal with the phenomenon that I am about to describe but, and here I mean no offense, not that you would be offended, I highly doubt that you deal with it all that much.

But weigh in* if'n you want to. I mean, golly, the other night, when I was out all by myself on Mother's Day, wandering the shoe aisle at Target, and happened upon a pair of verysexyshoes, I took a picture of those v.s.s's on my feet and posted it on Twitter asking people what they thought. I received a lot of lovely lady responses and a couple from some menfolk.

One of the menfolk was very forthright in his opinion. He said,

"If there is separation between the heel and the sole (so it doesn't look like straight platforms) yes, esp with a skirt."

Well done, sir! Well done indeed!

Jeezy Chreezy. Have you spied any rabbits on this trail I just went down?

Look! There's Alice!

"Alice! Remember to grab the key BEFORE you drink the stuff out of the bottle that says, 'Drink Me'!".

Or wait, was it eat the cake...

"Or maybe it's the cake! Aw, heck just stick the dang key in your pocket before you imbibe or ingest ANYTHING!"

C'mon everyone.

Back over this way.

Obviously my mind is addled from the mental taxation of trying to keep a certain two year old from shoving avocado up the dog's nose.

What I was orignally going to ask you is - and now that I've come this far it seems stupid to write but...

How is it that I have lost 2 lbs and yet feel fatter?

What the crap-a-doodle-doo is that nonsense?

And gosh darn it I didn't LOSE those 2 lbs. I beat them off with a proverbial baseball bat and sent them home crying to their momma.**

Huh. <----- (An indignant one at that)

Lose my ass. Well, I wish.


You know what I mean.

So what is this? A weird form of math?

My weight - 2 lbs - my emotional outlook - bloating? + 64 oz of water + darling frock - looked better in it last week + the desire for brownies but not actually eating any ________________________________ I think I look fatter even though I'm not

Can anyone explain this in a way that won't make me want to scowl at you?


"Mirrors should think longer before they reflect."

Jean Cocteau

*HA! Now that you've read this far, and know what the post is about, I can now say, "No pun intended."

**Not that I condone beating anything with a baseball bat, especially if that anything/one is of the age that it would still run home, crying, to its mother. You know. Unless it happened to be a roach. Then, I say, swing away. Gleefully. Yelling, "DIE EVIL FIEND!"

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