The Next Chapter: KC

from bowling green to tuscaloosa to orlando to

kansas city

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Chiefs Kingdom – here we come!

Y’all, wow. Where do I even begin? Let me start this off by saying April 2017 was probably the most grueling month of my entire life! Gehrig & I began draft weekend with one final dinner at our favorite little Italian joint in Tuscaloosa. The months/weeks/days leading up to the draft were hell – I think I slept like two hours every night. (oh, and we were nursing our sweet Lou bear back to health after surgery – rough week) I couldn’t focus on anything besides the impending program that would inevitably change our lives forever.

The weirdest thing happened though – during that dinner, I embraced everything. My sparkling glass of moscato d’asti, the sweet pomodoro sauce, the stuffed mushrooms, the love of my life sitting across from me, the heat of early spring in Alabama – it was like we pressed pause for a second. We even stopped by a little froyo shop and watched boats float through the Black Warrior river (which is exactly how we started our Alabama journey!) For a few hours, the final hours, I finally felt calm.

The first night unfolded and we were glued to the TV as G’s teammates were picked up by successful teams. Day two followed and it felt like an eternity of Eagles fans booing Goodell; every time that little jingle played, signaling a team had secured their pick, a prickle shot down my back and my heart thumped so hard I swear I could see it.

The Browns Select…
The Panthers Select…
The Packers select…

Day two wrapped up.

We knew that G’s chances of getting drafted were highest on day 3, so we slept (terribly, rolling over every five minutes – like on Christmas Eve) My knuckles were sore from cracking them, I was giving myself a fat lip from biting on it – I’ve never wanted to get through a weekend so fast in my life. We just sat in silence as athlete after athlete was called – while we waited for the call.

The call came – seconds after the draft ended.

I couldn’t help it, I was sobbing – I tried so hard to be strong for my fiancé. I was crying and he was consoling me (*insert Eagles fans booing*) I was heartbroken over the fact that I witnessed G work harder than anyone in the world and it wasn’t recognized or rewarded.

Move across the country for football. Skip out on the “fun” of college for football. Bleed for football. Fracture bones for football. Reroute our daily lives for football. Commit to uprooting our family for football. And the NFL was gonna overlook him? Yeah – that’ll break your heart.

I sulked into the guest bedroom to call my parents and discuss everything. I heard him pick up the phone and knew he’d be getting invitations to rookie mini camps. The light at the end of the tunnel came while I was sniffling and carrying on in the bathroom – within minutes of the draft ending, multiple teams called offering to sign him as an undrafted free agent, and he signed with a team who has been there all along:

the chiefs!

When I heard the news, I literally jumped onto him. The emotional roller coaster was flying past the big scary hill and we were halfway to the end, finally, with a plan in sight and a contract to sign.

 We celebrated with sushi (a variety of red + yellow rolls, in honor of our new colors) and the moving out process began. G headed off to Kansas City for his first camp, came home and we loaded up our entire apartment. Now, I’m writing this from my bedroom at home in Cleveland, OH while he rests after a week of training with the Chiefs!

He’s signed throughout the summer and I have no doubt that he will be suiting up on Sundays. Life is still up in the air, nothing is set in stone (when is it, anyways?) but we have some sort of idea of where to go from here. I’ll visit him in the next few weeks, we’ll look at potential houses and scout out the next chapter together.

In the desperation and disappointment of that one weekend in April, I remember throwing my hands up at G and asking him why it was never easy. He does everything he’s supposed to, follows rules, goes above and beyond to be the best receiver he can be, why does he have to prove himself again, why do we have to go through this waiting process again?!

“because we’re grinders. we work the hardest for what we want.”

That’s what he said and I fell in love with him even a little bit more. I’m so thankful that guy is my fiancé and while life is this wild, unexpected roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, that guy is my riding partner and we get to hold hands through the whole thing.

So here we are.
Kansas City bound!

I SAID YES!

4/5/2017

THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE♡

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THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR… WE’RE ENGAGED!

Y’all – pour yourselves a glass of pinot, take a seat and prepare yourself for the deets of G’s incredible proposal. READY!?

MONDAY

So let’s start with the beginning of the week. As many of you know, we’re waiting for the NFL draft that happens at the end of this month! Most of 2016 – 2017 has been a very hectic blur, so we figured with a few weeks off, we better take a mini vacay while we still have time! After recently traveling home to visit our families (12 hours each way) we’re really over sitting in the car – so G suggested a quick 3 hour trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee! I was thinking some romantic horseback riding and shopping in Nashville, but G was BENT on white water rafting. Don’t get me wrong guys, we’re a pretty adventurous couple (we paddle board, hike, travel) but I’m a little iffy when it comes water sports. I told him numerous times I really did not want to risk my life white water rafting or place our lives in the hands of a toothless tour guide named Rick, but he continued to tell me how it was at the top of his bucket list – so, like a good girlfriend, I caved.

TUESDAY

Gehrig had planned this trip so quickly (or so I thought) – I was kind of annoyed that he didn’t let me help plan any parts of it but it just seemed like a really casual two day trip, no big deal. I thought I convinced him into at least one formal dinner, like we do in every city we travel to, so we went shopping for some cute new outfits. We packed our gross tennis shoes, workout gear and got the dogs ready to go!

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday morning, we woke up to tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms! I was bumming out but G reassured me that we’d be traveling away from the storm. By 11 a.m., the sun was shining and we were throwing our duffles into my trunk. We were wasting time singing to Spotify and I asked Gehr where we were staying so I could look it up on my phone. He said it was a hole in the wall motel, which is when I realized our romantic mini vacation was turning into a rushed 48 hours spent drowning in the rapids and drying off in a dirty motel – eek. I tried to stay positive, it might not a dream vacay but it’s our vacay.. right?!

We finally got into Tennessee and began puttering up this mountain (in my little Nissan Sentra.) I was loving all the scenery and the farm animals, but I couldn’t believe that a motel would be so far up a mountain, like 20 minutes away from everything! My phone service (and hope) was wavering. We finally arrived on this super steep gravel driveway, “uh, babe, we’re definitely lost” I said looking out at an airstream camper. He kept driving through this path and we came up to this beautiful log cabin! He said “surprise!” and I was literally speechless, we were atop this huge mountain & the view was incredible.

I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited about this beautiful venue, we brought the dogs inside and it really felt like a dream – plaid bedding, stone fireplace, coziest kitchen in the world! It was named “The Cabin in the Clouds.” We were having so much fun exploring the place but due to the sketchy weather, we never stopped for lunch, so we were both starving. “Go get ready for dinner,” G said. I asked if he meant the dinner, like the one we packed our cute outfits for – he nodded and I ran right upstairs to shower. I was rushing to get ready & he just kept hurrying me along & saying how hungry he was. I was attempting to fill in my eyebrows, pick out accessories and dry my hair at the same time and his constant interruption was not helping. I was finally ready to go but he insisted we take a photo on the deck with our new Sony A6000 – a fab little camera we bought to document our adventures in quality.

We decided we didn’t need a tripod when we bought the camera, so G was trying to angle it just right with a stool. He was getting so frustrated as the self timer wasn’t working right, the lighting was off and the angle was weird. I was cracking up – G hates taking pictures so the fact that he was so upset about this photo background was totally weird. I kept saying “how can you be in such a bad mood, we’re in paradise!” I had no idea he was moments away from asking the biggest question of his life. He told me to go wait inside with the dogs until he figured it out. I took a seat and watched a few minutes of Total Divas before he called me outside. I walked back to the edge of the deck, where we were trying to get the angle just right, and as I turned the corner I saw G’s mom…with flowers. What!? I felt like my brain was short-circuiting… or maybe I accidentally brushed against some mushrooms on the mountainside – was I hallucinating? I realized it wasn’t just his mom, but his dad – AND MY MOM! AND MY DAD!? I turned around as if to tell G our parents just showed up and he was already down on one knee!

reaction

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“Will you marry me?” He asked – my brain instantly started functioning again, as I’ve dreamt and prayed for this moment FOREV! “YES YES YES YES YES YES YES OMG OMG OMG OMG” is pretty much what I squealed out as I laid my eyes on my absolute dream ring – a beautiful white gold oval diamond.

datring

afterperf

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I think my heart just about burst open – I’ve never been so happy in my life. My family means more to me than anything in the world so to have our parents witness this incredible moment, it was beyond perfect.

THURSDAY

I couldn’t sleep a wink at all following the proposal – even if I slept for a few minutes I’d wake up and make sure my ring was still there! Our plan for Thursday was to hike Rock City – an amazing trail (that everyone in the world needs to experience!)

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(*Side note: the proposal was actually supposed to happen here, but the park closed because of the severe storm & tornado warnings! I wouldn’t have it any other way though, & I know I wouldn’t have made it up the mountain in those heels, ha!)

I later found out that a lot of things had gone awry for Gehrig prior to dropping to one knee (the ring, the location, the weather!) but it all came together to blow my expectations out of the water. We went on a guided cavern tour of Ruby falls – 1,000 feet below the earth’s surface, to explore an underground waterfall!

cavering

. . .

Every part of our proposal was more than I could’ve asked for. I’m still in shock that G kept every detail a surprise and kept me in the dark – being able to spend this exciting week with our family is something I’ll cherish forever.

I think our proposal was like a little analogy for our relationship: an unexpected adventure.

AND he asked me to be his wife on the deck of the Cabin in the Clouds – which is pretty fitting, since I’ve been on cloud 9 since the day we met. I am so honored to spend the rest of my life with the most loving, compassionate, smart & driven man I’ve ever met! Thank you to everyone who congratulated us & everyone who has been there with us from the beginning. We’re excited to find out where we’re headed next at the end of the month and then we can start officially planning!

As you might’ve guessed, I have a few ideas.

meg's modern weddings FLOWER

Embracing the Unknown + Enjoying the Ride

for the first time in my life, i’m in limbo.

Let me take you back 5 years ago, to the good ol’ days spent at North Royalton High School. Every morning, I’d wake up at 6:00 a.m. (HAHA I KNOW. I actually did my hair + makeup every morning, like how exhausting!?) My routine included a daily drive-thru run at Burger King for coffee & a pack of Cini-Mini’s (gone but never forgotten, RIP) I’d go to class, do homework in study hall and then drive straight to my part-time jobs at Royal Donut or Abercrombie & Fitch – the donut shop was much preferred.

I graduated and began college at Bowling Green State University. In a nut shell, each semester was the same routine: I scheduled my required classes, picked up my textbooks and attended class. The early weekends (pre-bae) were spent partying with my girlfriends and studying at the local coffee shop. My dream has always been to write for magazines so I was constantly juggling classes, a remote Internship and a personal blog.

After I met my better half, we quickly fell into our own little routine. We’d go to class, he would go to football practice and I would go to work at the tanning salon. Make dinner, homework, Netflix binges, etc. College was incredible. I was figuring out lots of adult things (like cooking and filling out w-2 forms..woohoo) falling in love and laying the foundation for the life I wanted for myself. It was easy – & I attribute that to the routine; the notion of always knowing what’s coming next. Fall semester, spring semester. Fall semester, spring semester – for four years, everything was already in place on a comforting timeline.

After college graduation, G took an opportunity of a lifetime that uprooted us to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I figured I would find a part-time job, but got lucky enough to accept a marketing position for a fashion brand! The Alabama chapter unfolded flawlessly. When G decided to train for the NFL draft in Florida, we packed the car, buckled up the bulldogs and went.

I live for a routine. I love checking off my to-do lists. I will literally add something as minuscule & mundane as “make a hair appointment” to my lists just to reap the satisfaction of crossing it off. Schedules just keep me balanced.

If you’re unaware of how college football players become professional football players, here’s an outline:

COLLEGE CAREER > TRAINING > PRO DAY > DRAFT

That little teal arrow, that’s where we are. For the first time in my life, the next step is unknown. The rest is still unwritten (as my girl Natasha Bedingfield sang in the opening credits of The Hills) My schedule-minded, routine-loving lifestyle jumped ship. We can’t make any plans for the summer, we can’t even accept wedding invitations because we have no idea where we’ll be living or what we’ll be doing yet. The anxiety that lives in this *waiting* period is was almost unbearable.

Are you rolling your eyes yet? Hear me out. I know how lucky we are to have this opportunity. We all know that pretty much every twenty-something is going through the unknown limbo of life, but that doesn’t make it any less scary.

This past year (and yes, I mean the almost 4 months of 2017) have taught me a lot already. A few months ago, I saw a quote on Pinterest that said “worrying is just suffering twice,” and that’s when I just let the weight of the unknown go. It’s still nerve wracking, but the security of a supportive, endlessly loving family and group of friends is what gets me through. Knowing that no matter what happens in life, the ups & downs will be experienced with G, that gets me through. My belief in god’s plan, timing & direction gets me through.

so . . .

We don’t know what (or where) is next. Days aren’t scheduled like they used to be. The timeline is buffering. But for the first time (like, ever) I’m truly seeing the beauty of the present. The waiting is not spent wondering “what if” anymore, instead it’s filled with “I can’t wait to find out!”

I hope the next time I write a personal blog I’ll be updating you with good news and we’ll be on our way to some great new place – until then, I’m enjoying this super exciting time in our lives, one that we’ll never forget.

And If you’d like to join me in bringing back BK’s Cini-Mini’s, please sign my petition here.

meg's modern weddings FLOWER

Things I Learned in Kissimmee

We’re back y’all!

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The Kraft-Dieter crew is back in Tuscaloosa. Our couple months in Florida were absolutely incredible. Gehrig trained tirelessly for the NFL Draft while I laid motionless by the pool every day (just kidding – kind of…) Now that we’re finally settled in, I figured it’d be the perfect time to reflect on our time in Kissimmee.

1. never get so busy living that you forget to make a life

Remember last summer, when I told you I was moving to Tuscaloosa, AL? It was this new and exciting opportunity I couldn’t wait to start. Don’t get me wrong, it was/has been incredible, but every moment of every day was spent running around and preparing for the following day. I had started my job at Southern Shirt and jumped right into working a full time job while Gehrig went to school and practice daily, traveled on the weekends and played football every Saturday. Lou, our 8 month old puppy, was just a little peanut and I honestly don’t remember much of anything – aside from the football games. The big adventure I thought we were going to have was actually a blur of reality. It was an exciting fall, but it wasn’t what I hoped for. Leaving my job was a tough decision but has turned out to be the best thing. My favorite part of every day in Florida was enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the sun rise with my dogs. I literally got to savor this quiet, peaceful moment every day and it was so refreshing. I feel like my creativity has been renewed and I’ve finally had a chance to breathe. My relationship with G is much stronger. Taking a moment to plan your day, pray, and simply think is so crucial for your mental health. Florida was the adventure I hoped for.

2. if you think you’ve found the one, consider a cardboard box.

I know this sounds so goofy – but I love this. I read this quote online once that said “The person you should spend your life with is the person that you could live in a cardboard box with. On the street. With nothing else.” It makes you wonder for a moment – what is your relationship underneath all the excess; the football career, the dates, the gifts, the title? When we arrived to our townhouse at the resort in Florida, G and I were amazed. We had this beautiful town home complete with a private cabana lined with palm trees, our own hot tub, access to a private gym and pool, a gorgeous living space with the most up to date appliances – it was beautiful. For a lot of people, that’s just normal living. G & I started our relationship living in separate townhouses. After a year of dating, we moved into our first little apartment – nothing special. We’ve ate our share of Ramen Noodles and late night Wendy’s dinners, as well as the finest filets at the most expensive steakhouse in Orlando. As we grow and build this life together, I always go back to the cardboard box question. If the football thing never worked out, If we never had this lucky opportunity to live this increasingly luxurious life, I know that I’d still be the happiest and we’d make our cardboard box a home.

(Although it’d be a little cramped cause the dude is 6’3 + 2 25lb. bulldogs)

3. geckos hate eggshells

If you’re a close friend, you know my biggest fear on this earth is amphibians. I would happily cuddle a spider or let a snake coil around my torso before letting a frog/toad/lizard come within 5 feet of me. Welp – A FRICKIN’ GIANT GECKO DECIDED OUR TOWN HOUSE WOULD BE A NICE LITTLE VENUE FOR A WEEK LONG SLEEPOVER. G let the dogs out one night and had the door propped open. Sure as hell, this creepy thing comes slithering inside and runs under the fridge. I screamed bloody murder and we couldn’t find it as it camoflaged itself into our kitchen decor. I literally had a hard time sleeping knowing this thing was crawling around. I did learn that geckos are repulsed by egg shells. They can’t stand the smell – so throw some eggs around your kitchen if a gross slimy gecko decides to intrude. Eventually, we caught the monster. Please watch the video if you find my fear humorous or enjoy learning new hunting tactics.

4. you can start anything with a little courage {& an assorted variety of Dunkin’ Donuts}

So y’all – aside from planning weddings, my other aspiration in life is to become an author. I’ve always had a love for fiction and some say I have a way with words (hi mom!) With a refreshed soul and a lot of time on my hands, It was in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru that I decided to finally start my book! I took my half dozen home and began writing. Within a week, I had 50 pages done. It sounds so cliche, but you truly can do whatever you set your mind to. I’m working on finishing it by May (it’s a psychological thriller – you won’t be disappointed) and sending it off to literary agents for approval. Go pursue that dream, damnit – we’re not getting any younger, people.

5. florida weather = a positive outlook on life

I was once a level headed midwestern gal from Cleveland, Ohio – no stranger to severe storm warnings or harsh wind advisories. Welp, Florida RUINED me. The 80 degree weather paired well with constant sunshine and the occasional welcomed light breeze. One thing I learned is that (as the saying goes) when it rains, it POURS. Like pounds on your roof, smacks your windows, scares your french bulldogs POURS. Never for too long though. I liked the idea of the rain; I could be walking the dogs in the gorgeous sunshine when the clouds rolled in and the skies opened up and let loose – but the sun was always ready to show it’s face again. Even on the darkest of days, a new one is sure to follow.

BTW – I got back to a cool 65 degree Tuscaloosa and was freezing. I’m fricked.

. . . 

We attended the pro-bowl skills challenge, Universal Studios, a ton of amazing restaurants, the Orlando Cat Cafe, outlet malls and everything in between. Kissimmee, we love you.

This next chapter will determine where our lives are headed and I’m so thankful for the experiences we’ve had thus far. Huge thanks to IFA & all the fabulous people we’ve met along the way. Onto the next adventure!

I’m Baaaaack!

Hey Y’all!

It’s me, Meg! Remember me – your fav wedding blogger? I left you back in August (after promising to continue blogging – my bad!) I had just moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and started my fabulous job as Brand Awareness Coordinator for Southern Shirt. The week I moved in was spent training at work and flying off to Dallas for my boyfriend’s first game of the season with the Crimson Tide. The excitingly hectic schedule never stopped. Between marketing for Southern Shirt and attending the football games on the weekends, I couldn’t bare the thought of getting back on my laptop at the end of the day…which was probably for the best, who wants half-hearted wedding planning advice anyways? Let me catch you up on the highlights of the past 6 months in my short story called:

Fast Times In Tuscaloosa

Ready? Let’s begin.

After spending the entire summer away from G, I was incredibly happy to be in the same state with him again and we settled into our cute new apartment quickly. The first weekend (before the busiest point in our lives began) he whisked me away to Nashville under the pretense we would spend the day getting breakfast & shopping. So sweet, but hard to imagine we’d travel 3 hours to do things we could easily do in T-Town. Welp…surprise, breakfast was actually A SECOND FRENCH BULLDOG

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This is Lou! He was the best surprise of my entire life. Gehrig had picked him out from the same breeder Ragtime Bulldogs and we fell in love with Lou INSTANTLY! Big brother Goose took some time to welcome the new smoosh into the family, but look at them now:

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That weekend, Gehrig scored his first TD for the Tide – something I’ll never forget. He pointed to his family in the stands and I literally died. This season was a game changer. The fans, the passion, the competition: everything was monumental.

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The fall was spent just soaking up all the Southern charm that Tuscaloosa had to offer. I was forming incredible friendships with my team at Southern Shirt; we put together the FW16 photoshoot and prepared for the busiest time of the year: Black Friday. Isn’t office life funny? This mix of people all meshing together to achieve a goal – it felt like a bunch of siblings always laughing and having fun and inspiring each other. December rolled around quickly and while I felt like I had JUST FINALLY mastered driving around Tuscaloosa and really gaining an understanding for brand marketing, I knew our little stint in Alabama was quickly coming to an end.

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Going home for the holidays was the greatest gift EVER. You really don’t appreciate everything until you leave home – and I mean really leave, not 2 hours away at school, but like 12 hours across the country. I spent every second I could with my family and loved every minute of it. We celebrated my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law’s ENGAGEMENT!  The Crimson Tide went 14-1. 1 being the National Championship. It was a let down, but I couldn’t be more proud of Gehrig for playing so hard and giving us the opportunity to live in Alabama. Within three days following the game, we were…

Off to Orlando

Yas! We’ll be living in the sunshine state for a little while as G trains for the NFL draft. This past year has been incredibly unpredictable, exciting and spontaneous – but Meg’s Modern Weddings is back and better than ever with even cuter trends and clearer info for brides to be. I hope y’all stick with me as we continue on this wild journey! Thanks to everyone who made Tuscaloosa feel a little less “temporary” and a lot more like “home.” We’re so blessed & thankful for every opportunity we were able to be a part of.

It was unforgettable.

tuscaloosa

So I’m Employed Now: & This is The Story

I love a good cliché.

You know… those ones that you’ve pinned multiple times to your “quotes” board:

WHAT’S FOR YOU WON’T PASS YOU.

IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’LL FIND A WAY.

TRUST THE TIMING OF YOUR LIFE.

Three months ago, I was in the same boat as more than half of recent college graduates. Jobless, enjoying a celebration dinner to be followed by packing up my belongings and heading back to mom & dad’s.

But my situation is a little different. Falling in love with someone who is as equally goal oriented with just as big of dreams is a blessing and a curse. When I met G, I couldn’t help but worry – because I knew that I had met my soul mate, but that didn’t fit into my “move to Los Angeles to find myself and an internship position at Teen Vogue Magazine” plan. I, like many others, consider myself a planner. The organizational benefits of being a planner are so fabulous, but the lifestyle itself is full of anxiety and disappointment. Let me tell ya’ll something I’ve learned: you cannot plan life. You can plan the details; your morning ab workout, what you’ll order for brunch & what color matte lipstick you’ll rock this weekend, but that’s about it. You’ll never have full control over when you’ll meet your soul mate, where you’ll end up, or any of those life-altering developments.

As I said, G’s pro-football plans and my Vogue Magazine plans were two huge entities that I think we knew would have to merge at some point if we wanted to live our lives together. Here’s another little whim of wisdom I’ve learned: love is full of compromise. People will fight you on it, discourage you, tell you that “a career doesn’t wake up one morning and leave you” – but when you find that ballpark fireworks, can’t eat/can’t sleep, slow-mo R&B music video type of love, you and your other {better} half will become a team that takes on life together. And for that once in a lifetime bond, sacrifice & compromise is absolutely worth it.

A dilemma I’ve faced over and over again is the age old Lauren Conrad season 1 of The Hills moment – you know, when her boss at Teen Vogue asks her to choose a summer of interning in Paris’ elite fashion houses over a summer spent in a cozy seaside cottage with her boyfriend Jason. I’ve spent the last 3 years trying to balance my life goals {marry my boyfriend, travel the world with him, own 12 french bulldogs together} with my career goals {columnist for Teen Vogue, stylist at Vogue, editor at Southern Weddings Magazine} and it’s been rough. I repeatedly told the bridal magazine that I couldn’t work in-office because my priorities were finishing college and living out the rest of my college experience. I tried a remote writing position (which did work for an entire Spring issue) but they eventually dropped me for a girl willing to work 9-5 in-office, as any level-headed company would.

It just seemed like I was headed towards a life with a career OR a significant other, not both..and honestly, I was beginning to admit defeat and accept it because I was so tired of always trying to balance both worlds.

When we decided we were moving to Alabama, I was pretty set on dedicating the next year of my life to working a part-time job, focusing on football and maybe getting a writing gig for the local newspaper. I prayed on it every day. Isn’t it funny, that prayers are most obviously answered when you throw your arms in the air and decide to give it to God? That’s what I finally did. I didn’t have any energy to worry about it anymore. I said “thy will be done,” which translated into “God, If I’m meant to work at a tanning salon in Tuscaloosa then so be it. If I’m gonna find that dream job someday, I know you’ll lead me to it.”

2 days later.

I woke up at 2 a.m. for my nightly restroom break {so annoying} & a quick social media audit. I had one email from LinkedIn. I drowsily skimmed it over and laughed, wondering how long it took this pyramid-scheme-scam-artist to write this email – this elaborate job description that fit me so perfectly. I had received many emails like this before, a job in need of a “remote fashion stylist” or something only to go on to reveal the brand as a build-your-own-business jewelry company. I rolled my eyes and went back to sleep.

The next morning, the email (for whatever reason) was marked as unread. I re-read it and felt an immediate prickle down my spine – it was a Tuscaloosa based clothing company in need of a social media manager. Every internship I’ve ever worked taught me the skills that were described in this job’s description. My family and boyfriend couldn’t believe it, “too good to be true!” they replied – and I agreed.

2 more days later.

A phone interview then a job offer.

I’m still kind of in shock. I was offered my dream job for a reputable, growing clothing company right in Tuscaloosa – not a sales job, not a part-time job at a tanning salon. I’m a Brand Awareness Coordinator for Southern Shirt. The benefits, the salary, the job itself – it is truly more than I could’ve ever imagined. The moment I signed my offer letter, I thanked God and realized I was “having my cake & eating it, too” as cliché as that is.

I started this blog in hopes of getting a full-time job out of it. Three months later, MMW secured the greatest opportunity (p.s. I’ll still be blogging my heart out!) I wanted to explain the story to my most loyal readers {friends and family} but I also wanted to share this experience with any other college grad stuck in the balancing act, or simply at their wit’s end applying for jobs. Yes, it’s über cliché, but

WHAT’S FOR YOU WON’T PASS YOU.

IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’LL FIND A WAY.

TRUST THE TIMING OF YOUR LIFE.

because with patience & belief in the power of prayer, that “thing” in your life will resolve itself. You can’t plan everything, you may need to compromise, but your life will unfold uniquely towards the path that was designed for you. Trust in that.

xo meg

Dear Mom & Dad: You Were Right

I came to a funny realization today as I was giving my bulldog a bath.

Poor Goose sat patiently in the tub while I applied his medicated skin shampoo (which the directions say to leave on for 15 minutes – excuse me, but what dog sits in one place for 15 minutes!?) As I was scrubbing him & trying to keep him occupied, I was laughing to myself as his sad brown eyes were staring daggers into my soul. “I’m sorry, smoosh!” I said, petting his gremlin ears. I thought about how he’s probably mad at me because just hours before his bath, I was cleaning his ears. Before that? Brushing his teeth. Last night? Cleaning his tear stains and washing his little armpits out with a baby wipe.

The poor dog hates getting groomed. He absolutely detests me picking at him, examining his skin, sifting through his wrinkles to make sure there aren’t any sores (french bulldogs are very high maintenance, ya’ll!) No matter how many times I speak to him in my most annoying high pitched baby voice, pleading for him to forgive me for LOVING him, he still holds grudges after getting his nails filed.

Every time I get nipped or scratched up trying to care for him, I verbally swear to him and myself that if he wants to act like a lunatic while getting groomed – I’ll just stop caring for him altogether; and he can get all the fleas, long nail diseases & ear infections that he wants. Of course, as any parent (to a human or fur baby) knows, I would never do that. This sounds so silly – but it really resonated with me that this is exactly how it goes with our parents. We fight them, when they’ve always known what was in our best interest.

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After Bath Forgiveness Snack

I’m on my third month of post-graduation bliss (& by bliss, I mean life that consists of being unemployed & living with my parents.) I absolutely love my parents more than anything in the world. I think we even have a better relationship than most 23-year-old kids & parents do, but that doesn’t omit butting heads over who left the last Keurig K-Cup in the machine.

We’ve had a few disagreements over the summer, nothing dramatic.. but in a moment of tending to my dog, I just sort of realized that every disagreement we’ve ever had was usually in my best interest. Every “be the bigger person,” or “MAKE THE DAMN DOCTORS APPOINTMENT ALREADY” by mom, every “you can do better than that” by dad – it all annoyed me {eye-rolling definitely ensued} but it all made me Meg.

It has really dawned on me how many things my parents were right about throughout my life. They would disapprove of the boys I brought home (who cheated on me two weeks later) they would shake their heads at the girls I hung around with (who dropped out of college and began using drugs) It seemed like they always had that parent-given-sixth-sense.

I’m so thankful for how my parents raised me. It wasn’t too strict, it wasn’t really strict at all – because they let me make my own choices but always added their input If I asked. They would guide me without force, let me fail a few times to figure it out on my own. In my late teens, I was smart enough to see through the low-life boys and bad influence girls. I never used drugs, I never partied hard – because they taught me to hold myself at a higher standard.

I am so blessed. I thank god every day for my family, boyfriend, dogs, friends – the minor stuff, like my college education and the opportunities that have been given to me {mostly by my parents} They’ve always supported me. They never discouraged my career path, which blows my mind – because can you imagine your kid coming up to you and saying “hey mom I want to spend $80,000 of your money to get a degree in fashion journalism” ?! You know what my mom said? “Anna Wintour better watch her back.”

My dad’s wisdom baffles me! He always has the answer to everything – even if it’s not what I want to hear. I’m so thankful they instilled my faith. I cannot imagine my life without the relationships I have with my mom, dad and God. I know I’m kind of rambling, but at the end of this post I hope you go hug your parents.

As I’ve started packing up boxes to officially flee the nest (3 weeks…eek!) I’m excited but terrified, knowing that life without my parents 2 hours away or right down the hall begins. I’m just really glad they asked me to go to church, told me I had to go softball practice instead of a slumber party, refused to take me to a sleazy boy’s house, pleaded with me to try harder in school, supported me in my dreams of becoming a print journalist. It has all lent itself to this absolutely beautiful life that I’m lucky enough to call my own. Thanks ma! Thanks daddo – I love you guys more than you can imagine.

And, you were right about everything.

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& Goose – if you’re reading this..I hope you’re nicer to me when I try to clean your ears next time.

meg's modern weddings FLOWER

Long Distance, Luck & Values

I’m writing this hours after returning home from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A week long visit with my boyfriend in our new home was just what I needed to stay sane during our little long-distance stint. It’s only been a couple months, but life is way way way better spent with the one you love! In the midst of the best week ever, a boat load of engagements occurring on fourth of July, and the impending next step of our journey  – I’ve been thinking about the qualities (I think) you should look for in your lifelong partner.

I absolutely dreaded leaving G a few months ago because we had never gone more than a week without seeing each other. Long distance scared me a bit, of course the initial (minor) worries of communication and fidelity crossed my mind. Because of who we are, I knew we would get through it and that it would be unfavored but doable. For me, It’s easier to focus on other things and stay busy, rather than mope around about whatever is bumming me out. I was completely unaware how much I actually missed him until I saw his car pull up at the Birmingham airport.

The moment I threw my carry on in the backseat and literally screamed (which spooked this poor little grandma loading her bags into the Prius in front of us) with joy, all the benefits of a long distance relationship flashed before my eyes. Everything was exciting; something as simple as holding his hand made my stomach flip – the little things that are often overlooked in a long term relationship were instantly renewed.

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I can’t remember the last time it was just us: no school, no work, no football. We spent the week adventuring through T-Town, paddle boarding, jet-skiing and just enjoying each other’s company. While we were having the time of our lives, I couldn’t shake the little anxiety-inducing notion that soon enough, we’ll be living in Alabama – away from my family. Aside from college (which was a short 2 hour drive away) I’ve never lived away from my family. It’s a little nerve wracking, but the opportunity to be with the love of my life in such a beautiful new place – It’s something I won’t pass up.

I would only ever move across the country for the person whom I believe to be my soul mate. For athletes’ wives and girlfriends, sacrifices have to be made (that go beyond watching Sports Center or Real Housewives of Orange County) Your path may change, be sure it’s worth it. I encourage everyone in a similar situation to consider a couple core values – this is your life & as you know, it’s too short to regret.

FAITHFULNESS

Go beyond the general assumption of your significant other sliding into another person’s DM’s. Loyalty is obvious, but most necessary. Are they faithful to you and your goals as a couple? Do they work hard to better themselves and your relationship? One thing that set my current relationship apart from any other: from the beginning, I wanted to be the best I could be. For him and myself.

STRENGTH

Often uttered in the exchanging of vows: for richer or poorer, in sickness & in health. Is your significant other strong enough to carry you both through trials and tribulations? It breaks my heart to think of the day I lose one of my family members. Is your partner going to hold you during your worst, weakest moments? Will they be patient as you heal and rebuild? If they can carry you through the darkest of days with confidence and love – they’re the one.

ENCOURAGEMENT

I’ve always dreamed of writing for Vogue. As a freshman, I thought I had life figured out – I was thoroughly convinced that on graduation day senior year, I’d be taking a one-way flight to New York City hours after the ceremony ended. My future changed when I met G. I realized how much I value love in comparison to anything else. Something I am so grateful for – he’s always acknowledged and encouraged my dreams. When he decided he wanted to pursue a Masters degree and another year of football, he didn’t assume I was following. He never asked me to forgo my career in lieu of his own. I hope your significant other is just as encouraging and cheers you on even when you don’t know what’s coming next. I hope you find someone who will listen to you blab on and on about your passion (and add insight!)

HONOR

When you grow as a couple, you become a permanent team. You stick up for each other, fight for each other, and honor each other. You become super aware and even more responsible for your actions, because they affect another life as well. I think it’s incredibly important for couples (athletes, especially) to proudly speak of their significant others and deter all unwanted attention. Honor the one you love because they deserve pure loyalty and the utmost respect.

HONESTY

Everyone says the key to a good relationship is communication – but is lying, fibbing or over exaggerating not technically communicating? I ask my significant other to be honest even about the most trivial things. The simplest truths can benefit your relationship tenfold. Don’t tell me you went to Jimmy Johns for lunch then leave a Wendy’s wrapper in your car (I’m kidding.) Consequences aside, If something unexpected has occurred, inform your partner. There’s this quote that I kind of fell in love with on Pinterest.

The truth affects the past. A lie affects the future.

It’s such a good rule of thumb. Honesty and loyalty will be the absolute foundation of your relationship. I hope the one you call “the one” will nourish both excessively.

I’ve never felt this much happiness. I feel so blessed to be in this very moment of time: enjoying my final weeks with my family and looking forward to a new adventure with my boyfriend. Relish in finding someone who exceeds the little list of core values & makes long distance relationships worth it. I think the greatest thing on earth is to find your lifelong best friend & soul mate.

 I’m so lucky to have found mine.

xo Meg

{IMAGES: CLAIRE GRAHAM}

Divorce, Tinder & Staying Hopeful

I’m feeling a bit sassy.

I’m using my first personal blog post to rant a bit about the sanctity of marriage in today’s culture (don’t start snoring just yet!) I began writing a post about French bulldogs (don’t worry – you’ll be blessed with that next week) but this topic struck a chord with me after flipping through a recent issue of People Magazine. INSIDE THEIR TOXIC MARRIAGE is stretched across a photo of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, with subheads of abuse allegations and rumors of anticipated spousal support. “That’s a shame,” I say shaking my head, turning the page. Among a collage of Kardashians, KHLOE FINALLY FILES FOR DIVORCE is teasing readers to continue on to page 75. The pages of even (what I consider to be) the most reputable of tabloids are littered with pieces devoted to divorce and “heartbreakingly unexpected splits.”

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I’m not famous and I’m not married. I don’t know the pressures that come along with either, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering why almost every celebrity couple admits defeat within 15 months and supposedly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.

You’ve heard that statistic, right? According to The New York Times, that’s false – and the divorce trend is in decline! Sounds great right? Eh. The decline comes from the sad fact that fewer people are getting married.

I’m not sure if it’s because my parents have been married for 32 years (and that they set a beautiful example of what lasting love should look like) or if it’s because I’m hopeful enough to truly believe in soul mates, love at first sight and all that mushy stuff – but I have the utmost respect for marriage.

I dream of the day I get to exchange vows with my soul mate. What bums me out is the complete lack of respect my generation has for marriage and loyalty in general. It’s hard to be a hopeless romantic in the age of an ego-obsessed hook-up culture.

I cringe at the thought of tinder and giving your body to someone who doesn’t know your favorite colors, your favorite dog breed, or how you take your coffee.

Relationships these days are muddled down with insecurity and usually social media takes the blame. Courting has become “talking,” in which you’re together (kind of) but you’re allowed to talk to other people (if you want) though your mostly interested in the one person (unless they don’t feel the same.) What the hell is that!? It’s a one-way street to disappointment and broken expectations.

I love the quote, “you can’t rush something that’s meant to last forever.” Why is marriage currently viewed as nothing more than the obligatory next step in a relationship? It shouldn’t be rushed or accepted bleakly. It should be welcomed, passionately.

I understand that sometimes, divorce is the best thing to happen to a couple. I realize that there are other things in life aside from love. At the end of the day, it’s not a decreased percentage in divorces that we seek – it’s an increased percentage of quality marriages.

I hope the millennial generation finds optimism in the institution of marriage but only chooses to go forth if they can truly commit to the content of their vows. I hope ya’ll can faithfully and joyously still seek love.

Okay rant over – let’s get back to decorative dessert tables, tropical shower venues & trending groomsmen accessories, shall we?

xo meg