To lose someone you love


Death is hard.

It doesn't matter if you've been expecting it, and you know they wouldn't have liked to live the way they were, or if you hope they are in a better place, it still sucks.

To know someone doesn't exist in this world anymore? That you can't call them and share a funny story about your kids, or that they aren't where you saw them last? I hate it.

I'm surprised by the regrets that come with it, too. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, which I am grateful for, but I wasn't there at the end. I was there so many times before, but not when it counted. I didn't call him as much as I wish I had, or held his hand the night before he died, or bought a plane ticket when I could have. I took for granted he would be okay, that things were fine and he knew I thought of him often. Life gets busy and you assume people will be where you left them. Which isn't true. All the years I was living nearby and saw him almost daily, talked for hours on the back porch and argued about just about anything that counted? Those times are gone. The closeness is gone and not having that kills me.

To have an empty phone contact where no one will ever answer again? A folder of pictures to remember someone by and simple memories of years and years of closeness is all I have left. To live far from those that know him and knew what he was to me is awful. I'm constantly sad and I'm not sure how long that will be. Forever, I assume.

You see, I'm lucky to have not seen a lot of death in my life. A grandmother in college who passed before she could meet my children and husband, a grandfather last year that lived a long and fulfilling life. These hurt, but not like this. I lost a person that I considered a parent, someone who didn't have to be there for me, but was. For all the years that counted. I saw the best and the worst sides of him and tried to be there for him always, no matter what was going on in my life. He was a dad to me in all the ways that counted, and not having him here anymore crushes me. It's devastating and really hard to put into words.

I'm not religious and I have a lot of doubt about heaven and all that encompasses what we want to believe and what is true. Is he somewhere better, magically transformed into who he was as I remember, or is this just an idea that is meant to comfort the living? I hope for the former, I really do. I hope he's floating somewhere around me, smiling because he can see the kids again and he can see how much he meant to me, and how much I miss him. I hope he can see how much he was loved and how much I wish I could have been there for him at the end. I want that for myself so much it hurts, and I want that for him. To know he is happy and healthy and able to see how much love he left behind.

He always supported me, even when he questioned everything I knew to be true. We argued and debated everything, from whether or not I should buy a ridiculously expensive car at age 18 (luckily he talked me out of this!), to how to raise kids and whether or not I should schedule everything out (I believe I'm right on this one;) He read my blog and watched me become a mom. He came over every weekend to watch Patriot's football and babysat for me so my husband and I could go on dates. He drove me nuts and made me laugh. He was one of the people in my life that made a huge difference, and I am grateful I got the chance to have him.

He will be greatly missed by me forever.

How to buy the best bathing suit


Cross back bralette and tab bottoms; Mesh Inset one piece; Mesh high neck suit; Crochet halter one piece and lace kimono cover up (can't find online, in store only.)

I posted some of these #unedited and #unfiltered photos of myself in a bathing suit on my Instagram and Facebook feeds last week as part of a campaign for Target, and man was I scared! I don't care who you are or what shape you are in, having to put yourself out there in a bathing suit on the internet is CRAZY. I had originally wanted to do a very staged, very edited photo of myself, showing only the best parts and hopefully editing out the bad. It's amazing what you can do with a little creative photo editing, am I right? And then I thought, when I am at the beach or at a water park with my kids you get the real me. There are no creative angles and editing, it's just me and all my 35 year old glory. I have cellulite and my belly pooches over my bottoms when I sit. (Those two babies I carried left their mark!) In these photos I am in the unflattering light of a dressing room in February, where my skin has turned practically translucent. (Yikes.) This is the real me. I'm not ashamed of how I look, but every gal has her hang ups no matter who we are. 

The point was for us women to not let insecurities or our inhibitions keep us from having fun. I want bathing suit options that I am not afraid to be seen in, darn it! I typically like a two piece suit the best if I'm at the beach, because that is what I feel the most confident in. Yet I need a different size top and bottom that I can adjust myself. I wear a size large top, but need to be able to tie the back because my circumference around is smaller. I need bottoms that can be adjusted on the sides in a small, but other bottoms are a size medium. I need options! Target always does this best, in my opinion. They typically have a lot to choose from and I can mix and match what I need. I go to the beach or pool a lot with my kids all summer long and I like to have a bunch of different suits that fit me well. 

Flutter top, in store only; Crochet top, in store only and tie bottoms; Ikat tab bottoms; Twist front bandeau top and tab bottoms

I also like to have a couple of one piece options for when I am at a water park and need to sit in an inner tube at a water slide, and I don't want to worry about my belly rolling over my bottoms. It makes me feel self conscious when I know that it's just a reality that my stomach does that after two kids. I work out hard and try to eat well and I am happy with my body for the most part, but I'd rather wear a suit that makes me feel like a million bucks. I DON'T want to look like a total mom, though. (HA, I am a mom;) I like a one piece with some strategic cut outs and fun details. (Like this fringe one piece or strappy side one piece!) I'm not a huge fan of the cut out monokini, but I like a pretty mesh inset or crochet details. 

Here's the deal when it comes to suits: You need to try on A LOT. I tried on about 40 the morning I went and left with two. I will probably go back and try on more in the next month or so ( as well as order some online now that I know my size better in each type I like...hello free shipping and returns!) I feel like I know what type of suit that works for me and I get a couple that are similar. I like a black suit more than any other color, and always grab a couple of new cover ups and a bright beach bag to go with them. 

Here's to a #NOFOMO Summer with Target, and finding the perfect suit to be yourself in;) 

Tell me, what would you not miss out on if you had the perfect fitting suit?

This post is not sponsored, but my Instagram and Facebook posts on this subject were. I just really love Target and their bathing suits;)

Your new winter uniform in 3,2,1...


Blank nyc jacket (option, option); Free People sweater (on sale!); Rebecca Minkoff bag; Old Navy jeans; ℅ Ted and Muffy boots (option), similar Target fingerless gloves and hat.

I'm in the winter doldrum's over here, where it's obviously still cold and snowy, yet all I want to do is pin Spring looks on Pinterest and look at beach vacation pictures. I find that I have zero interest in wearing anything of interest at all, because darn it! It's cold and snowy and dreary. I'm tired of wearing heavy boots and jackets and making any effort seems overwhelming. My solution? FInd an outfit that works and basically wear it to DEATH. Life changing advice, no? ;)

Let's break down the look that is working for me right this very second (and one I wear about three days a week), shall we?

1) The jacket I am loving right now is my faux leather Blank nyc one. I can't wear it if it is TOO cold, but with temps in the 30's it is entirely doable over a sweater if I'm walking from the car to wherever I'm heading. I linked a couple of great options below, I love the quality of this one and the edgy look of it. I have a similar burgundy one that I adore, and I'm eyeing this caramel colored one for Spring. 

2) I love a cozy and slightly oversized sweater this time of year. Free People makes the best ones, in my opinion, and a lot of them are on sale right now. I have this cold shoulder version in two colors (blue and cream), as well as this soft and slouchy one in two colors (blush and black) as well that I wear ALL the time. 

3) I think ripped skinny jeans are where it's at, and Old Navy always has awesome, well priced ones. I like the newer Rockstar fit that has a higher rise. I have a black pair and a dark denim pair that I wear almost exclusively, and an older gray pair that I've had for a couple of years that I adore. I love how a pair of skinny jeans looks with a longer, tunic length sweater, plus it's super comfortable! (My favorite style word…)

4) Finally, the accessories are really where it is at. I have two pairs of Sam Edelman booties (tan and black fringe) that I think look great with every single outfit. I am dying to get the leopard pair that look pretty similar to the ones above, but have a lower heel. I tend to get ballsy and wear these without socks no matter what the temps, so having a flash of ankle in sub freezing temps is not that abnormal for me;)

I also have a crazy collection of knit hats and a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves that make me feel a bit more happening than I ever am. The same goes for my birthday splurge quilted Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag. There is something about a quality bag that instantly elevates any outfit.

Tell me, what is your winter uniform? 

Shop this post:

10 weird things you don't know about me


Rebecca Minkoff Regan satchel; Rocksbox necklace and bracelet (use the code MeaganBFF57 for one free month of Rocksbox!)

Thanks to Ashley from  The Shine Project for this fun post idea! Her blog (and her passion) is amazing, as is her shop!

1) When I eat my food, I eat in it order, from least desirable to most desirable (think salad before steak.) I never mix bites! I prefer it all not to touch, too.

2) I hate watching people put on socks or tights, it makes shivers run down my whole body.

3) I can't leave the house with my bed unmade.

4) I can't sleep if my closet door is a little ajar or any drawer is half open.

5) I will not purposefully step on a crack on a sidewalk, and typically walk only on certain colored squares in a tile hallway.

6) I am very neat and hate clutter anywhere in my home, but I am not very clean. You will find spiderwebs in the corners of my home and dust just about all over the place. I'd kill for a housecleaner to come in once a week and just do it for me.

7) My husband laughs at me for this, but if we are listening to a song and it has a long musical interlude where a guitar just keeps going on and on with no end, it makes me nervous and my heart race!

8) I am not a technologically savvy person. While I can blog and navigate this space pretty well, I have zero knowledge about what my iPhone can actually do, and still am not entirely sure how to turn our surround sound system on (we've had it for 7+ years.)

9) I hate eating any meat off the bone, it really grosses me out! If my husband orders some great looking wings, he'll cut the meat off for me so I can try it. I just won't eat it off the bone myself. Eww.

10) I know this isn't that odd, but I can't seem to be able to throw out my kids' baby teeth once they lose them. I have about a half dozen teeth in plastic bags hidden in my closet right now, and figure someday when I die someone will find them and know that I am either a hoarder, or extremely sentimental;)

Tell me, what is weird about YOU!

The lonely days of motherhood


When I was pregnant with my first child I had a lot of expectations of what motherhood would be like, and most of it was based on my experiences as a nanny, child care worker and teacher. I was confident I would do a good job physically caring for my child. I mean, knew the basics! I soon found out having her was a lot different than I envisioned. The most surprising thing?

How lonely I was.

I went from teaching a kindergarten class to staying at home with an infant. Babies sleep so much, and the actual care they need, while constant, comes in waves. There was a lot of silence, both when she was awake and asleep. I went from the busy chatter of a classroom to the stillness of a home with just us two, and one didn't talk. While I love babies, they give you little interaction for quite some time. You give and give and give and receive not much in return. The smiles and laughs and coos of a four month old and older take time, meanwhile there is mostly crying or silence. It was hard.

I would find myself making up excuses to go to the grocery store, or to walk around Target. We'd stroll the aisles aimlessly, looking to have something different to look at than the walls of my own home. I'd find myself talking to her constantly, just to hear a voice that wasn't trapped exclusively in my own head. I lived far from family and at that point a lot of my friends had moved, so it was just us two during the day. I was lonely. 

The transition to motherhood was hard, not only the loneliness but in the end of a lifestyle that you can't actually wrap your mind around until it is gone. You know your life is going to change with kids, but you don't realize how much it does until they are born. Your life is so completely changed that you have a hard time recognizing your new normal. I think that is why mama's always say, "enjoy your free time!" to those that are pregnant (which I found annoying, but now understand.) You want to say, "take a nap," "get a pedicure," "go on vacation!" It's not that you can't do these things once you're a mom, it just becomes harder. You learn the burden of guilt that comes with having a baby, where the times you are away you worry about them and have trouble enjoying where you are. It's a double edged sword, always, because you become so wrapped up in worrying about them that you forget to be  you. 

I look back on those days and see how lonely I was, how I craved interaction and a little peace of mind. I wish I had reached out for more support. When my son was born the next year I brought him to playgroups right away and had a support system. I set up playdates where we would sit and have coffee while the kids played, or visited a park for an hour. It made such a difference having that in my life at that time. I was less lonely(partly because I had a very chatty 18 month old as well!), and more confident in my skills as a mother. I look back and see that while I adore babies and would take a day back at anytime to squeeze them, I really love having my kids at the age they are. They are interesting, funny, and so unique. They make me laugh and keep me company and life is full and happy. 

I just want you to know that the first days as a mama are not always what you may think. They are hard and lonely and full of questions. There is a bone deep tiredness and a sense of failure if things aren't what you thought they'd be. 

But it gets better, I promise. 

This face! Molly at 3 months old.