If it’s a secret that I adore my mom, then it’s the worst kept secret on the planet. Though I won’t be seeing her in person today, I am looking forward to a video call and sending her lots of virtual love. We just spent the weekend before together in absolute bliss, enjoying each other’s company doing nothing and everything. I wish we could walk today, but it’s supposed to rain. That said, I am very much looking forward to having her over for a visit and a walk by North Pond.

In a conversation with my friend Arie, we discussed the importance our parents have on our lives. I can’t fathom life without my mom. My teenage years were very difficult, but she always fostered a loving environment. She supported and encouraged me in my goals and my healing. She did exactly what she’s supposed to do, but I also have the distinct pleasure of calling her my best friend, something that is not always the case between child and parent. She is the kind of person you want to be friends with and this is evident by the multitudes of people that vie for her time and company. How lucky am I that she is forced to give me hers, ha!

I am wishing her a very happy, joyful Mother’s Day! I also want to take this opportunity to send the same sentiments to my best friends who are fantastic mothers: Andrea and Britt. The love you have for your children is mirrored in what great little people they are becoming! You are both role models for me if and when the time comes for me to be a mom.

For those that are struggling to be mothers or have had to take a non-traditional route to get there, I honor you! If you don’t have a relationship with your mom due to toxicity, I honor you as well and am sorry.

I certainly am not suggesting this is the real thing, but I am very proud to be a dog mama this year. It’s a lot of work, but my first taste of unconditional love for another living being that I’m responsible for. It’s helped me grow so much. I love you, my Boo!

Happy Mother’s Day, all. I hope you feel the love even if it has to be virtual. It’s still no less real.


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Oh my goodness, what a whirlwind couple of days it’s been! Boo and I are finally settling in to our new apartment in Lincoln Park. My sofa and coffee table arrived today so that is a major check off of my list. I still need to tackle my clothes and closet since the lack of storage is the one downside of my new home. My friend, Arie, who helped me with the move by grocery shopping and bringing Boo here from my mom’s, will come tomorrow to help me organize that.

Speaking of my mom, Boo and I had an incredible four days with her, eating her home-cooked meals, going for walks, and just hanging out. It was so wonderful to be with her and I really enjoyed watching how much she loved on Boo. We miss her dearly already.

The move itself was yesterday and it went by quickly. The movers were great and I was able to return my U-Haul with relative ease. Arie helped me tackle the initial boxes and unpacking groceries and kitchen items. What a wonderful friend she is to be so willing and enthusiastic to help!

Boo seems to be adjusting well to his new neighborhood, exploring the block we live on with zeal. I do feel bad that I’ve been so distracted the past few days, but soon enough, he will have more of my attention. Today he has a follow up vet appointment to check if the giardia, a common intestinal parasite, is all gone. Hopefully the medication worked. He also has a few shots left to receive. My expectation is that this will be the last vet visit for now until he gets neutered at six months (cross your fingers).

I’m loving my place so far and all of the amenities. I can’t wait to get balcony furniture and some plants to enjoy the beautiful view of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. Eventually, I’ll be able to have access to my building’s rooftop deck and fitness center. Absolutely looking forward to that and hosting guests!

The view from my balcony!

Once I’m fully unpacked, I will share pictures of my bathroom and bedroom area. The only other big decorating project outside of closet organization includes hanging a mirror and some pictures. I also think I’m going to purchase a larger television. I’m very excited and am looking forward to a much needed night’s sleep tonight. It’s been very “go, go, go” and I’m ready to settle!


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I’m currently writing this post in my mom’s kitchen while Boo naps in his bed nearby. This morning, I successfully moved out of the apartment I’ve lived in for the last three years. I was so ready to get out and move on to a nicer building. Two movers loaded up the U-haul and I drove to the north suburbs in record time. I took a shower then put on clean clothes and gave my mom a long hug; a first in a while. Then I held my little bunny and rocked him. It felt very, very good.

While my mom has been working, I’ve been keeping busy cycling through mountains of my laundry and changing my address on multitudes of websites while watching my “stories” on Investigation Discovery. I also treated myself to paid time off days today and tomorrow so I can enjoy this lovely reunion and relax. I also took “off” Monday and Tuesday so that I can focus on moving into my new place, unpacking, and getting settled.

I also have another follow up veterinarian appointment on Monday night since Boo was diagnosed with giardia (a common intestinal parasite) and a minor skin infection, the poor guy. Otherwise, he is growing ever so slightly and continues to be an incredible companion to me.

Reunited!

All in all, things are very good, personally. This is an exciting transitional period in my life and I can’t wait to introduce Boo to his new, much nicer home where I can do laundry at my leisure, sit on the balcony on warm days, and be closer to the lake. I’ll post again next week once I’m fully moved in.

I hope you are all doing well and staying connected to your sources of joy as much as possible.


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Hello, friends. It’s two weeks that Boo has been home with me. He remains a very welcome companion during these lonely times, especially during the snowy April days when going outside for a small change of scenery seems undesirable. Of course, we still do for potty training, which continues to go generally well, though some days are better than others. He remains fairly silent minus his snoring during naps or oinking during playtime, both endearing noises to me.

Admittedly, I have had a few dark days. The depression just kicks in. Thanks to Boo though, shutting down is not an option. He keeps me getting up, going outside, etc. I have to say that while he is a ton of work, it feels really life-affirming to care for someone else. The things that mattered before just do not as much. I feel more down to earth being a dog owner. And while I’m not equating it to being a real mother, it seems like a small insight into motherhood and unconditional love for another being. It’s given me a new purpose, and I am grateful for that. Also, he is just so cute.

As quarantine continues, I’ve stopped this mentality that I need to take this time to be a work on being a better person, to read more, to exercise more, to do this and that. I am doing those things but don’t want any of that additional pressure or anxiety. I’m trying to make myself comfortable and balanced because frankly, I feel uncomfortable and unbalanced in quarantine. I take it moment by moment. I think that’s my new survival mechanism.


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Hello friends, I thought I would share some updates on my little buddy! A lot has happened and Boo has progressed greatly in the last five days. He has proven to be incredibly cuddly, absolutely silent except for these cute oinking noises when he’s playing, and he is very friendly! I take him out every two hours and what was initially a shrinking violet has become quite a precocious little bunny. He loves other humans and dogs, particularly the larger ones. He likes to approach them and jump around them, which makes them nervous.

So far, Boo’s only dislikes are the L trains (though he’s more desensitized to them now) and baths! Poor buddy was whimpering during his bath and trying to get out, but when I picked him up and toweled dried him, he licked my face and let me rock him like a baby. He has already picked up going potty outside and for some reason, when he goes inside, he only goes on the pee pad. I’ll chalk that up to good luck or perhaps he had been doing that with the breeder. Crate training has been a breeze as well. He spends a few hours in there during the night, then is moved to the playpen where his pee pads and his daybed are. I’ll also put him in the crate to calm him down if he gets riled up. I have never experienced any “complaints”.

It’s a lot of work, but I love seeing him learn and grow. I also love the joy he brings to other people. And most of all, I love having a companion that seems to love me and snuggle me no matter what. If I feel anxious, cuddling him makes the tightness in my throat relax. Sure, I may not be having the soundest sleep right now, but frankly, he’s reintroduced structure to my life since quarantine began. He’s also been the reason I’ve spent more time outside, which is lovely timing.

When I took him to the vet, I received rave reviews from the doctor, technician, and receptionist regarding his calm demeanor and how cute he is. The doctor told me I can expect him to stay fairly chill. Other than a future rhinoplasty to open his nostrils a bit for better breathing, my boy seems to be pretty healthy. We are working on tooth brushing with poultry paste (gross) and I wipe his paws after outside walks in the city. He doesn’t seem to mind at all. More good news is that he is small and will be petite in adulthood. I will love him regardless, but I like the idea of a smaller frenchie.

So that’s my recap so far! It’s a lot of work, but I feel like I’ve won the lottery with a puppy that’s so trainable, quiet, and affectionate.


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Hello everyone! The secret is finally out! Boo Radley Freeman joined my family officially on April 6, 2020. I made the decision back in mid-March and I finally got him. He is a 13-week-old French Bulldog with fawn and white coloring. He was terrified at the hand-off, literally shaking after his five-hour drive from East Ohio. Once he was in the carrier next to me and I made some shushing noises, he relaxed and nipped at the toys and zippers until we got home.

I did not know what to expect, but the connection was instant. He is incredibly snuggly, loves to curl up next to me or on my lap. He doesn’t bark (hopefully it stays that way). He is still nervous about being outside, but getting better. I take him out every two hours to explore for up to 30 – 35 minutes. I’m working on potty training, but so far he only feels comfortable going indoors. Luckily for me, he only uses the pee pad and signals when he needs to go by rustling around. Because he is nervous outdoors he will sit between my feet if I stop walking and I have to be careful not to step on him! The city is a big change for him with the trains, foot traffic, other, bigger dogs. I know he’ll grow confident eventually!

Our first night was relatively sleepless. He had to potty twice and once needed some comforting, but he spent a good deal of time in his crate sleeping, and some in his playpen bed. He did a great job; I’m very proud of him. I’m so happy that he has already let me rub his belly and he has the angelic new puppy smell. I just love him so and am looking forward to sharing many more adventures!


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This past weekend, I felt emotionally rescued by my friend Andrea. She picked me up all the way from Arlington Heights. She and her three daughters who are like nieces to me brought me so much comfort. I’ve been quarantining alone, being extremely vigilant, as I know she has. We remained like that at her house Saturday and Sunday, washing hands frequently and taking precaution. It was so nice to be with them. We played cards, did yoga, watched The Lion King, and I played Barbies with the girls. It made my heart really, really happy. And my goodness, did it make me realize and admire the resolve and perseverance parents with young kids have during this time.

I’ve been back home since Monday, only leaving to walk, go to a routine doctor’s appointment, pick up medicine, and food as needed. Other than working, speaking to friends and family via FaceTime and Zoom, I’ve been passing the time with exercise, television, music, washing my hands, and wiping down surfaces.

Television wise, I’ve watched Tiger King, How to Fix a Drug Scandal, and The Stranger. I recommend them all, the first two being documentaries, the latter a British crime thriller series starring Downton Abbey’s O’Brien, Siobhan Finneran. I also highly recommend comedian, Tom Segura’s stand up special, Ball Hog, for some much needed levity. In terms of music, I’m finding myself listening to a lot of Elliott Smith, Aimee Mann, and alternative indie and rock music from the 1990s. Not the most upbeat, but it’s music I like and seems fitting for present.

Like many, I find my sleeping and eating patterns completely thrown off. One day, I have no appetite, Other days, back to normal. Same goes for sleep. Some days I’m confident that everything will be okay, and others I feel immense anxiety. Every day is so limited in terms of action, and yet I have no idea what to expect from myself or the news. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Fortunately, the hope and optimism outweighs everything else and we’re all in this together.


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Hello, friends. I haven’t written in a little while as I’ve been processing our new reality of quarantine and social distancing. It’s been challenging in the obvious ways but also quite revelatory on a personal level. I was video conferencing with a candidate yesterday and she said something that stuck with me: “I didn’t realize how go, go, go I really was until I was forced to stop.” I think many of us share that same sentiment.

Many of us live our “normal” lives going from one activity to the next. Work, gym, appointments, social engagements, meetings, events, volunteering, etc. We’ve been forced to halt all of this and boil it down to essentials. Work from home, socializing virtually, exercising in isolation. No matter how engaged you might be, you can’t deny you’ve had to scale back immensely. You’ve now got time to think, sit with your emotions, and understand your priorities. Your real priorities.

For me, each day has been touch and go. I am solo in my apartment and so I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and I’ve come to some realizations. For the past few years, I’ve buried myself in work on purpose. I love what I do and I don’t think this is a bad thing per se, however, I realized that without the hustle and bustle of jam-packed days at the office, I’m very lonely. Not in terms of friends and family, but romantically speaking. I declared it wasn’t important, that I am very independent and self-sufficient. Only the latter part is true. I am missing that kind of connection.

That’s not to say I am demanding immediate action, but just recognizing this undeniable truth about myself felt like one of the few positives of my experience of what’s happening in our world. Beyond that, it’s reaffirmed for me that health comes first and relationships are everything. I feel very grateful to have supportive and responsible parents, family, friends, and colleagues during this time. I took for granted our times together and I would like to think that when this blows over, I won’t do that again.


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It’s hard not to feel a bit creature-like, all cooped up at home. Regardless of your status, we are all struggling because we’ve had to severely restrict our comings and goings. It’s hard not to feel like we’re imprisoned. I will admit that at times I feel a sense of foreboding and deep anxiety. I’m trying to cope with that with healthy activities. I thought I would share what’s been comforting me during these strange times.


Music

Whether going for a walk outside or dancing around my apartment (all activities I’ve done in quarantine), music has accompanied me and made me feel all sorts of ways. Transported, nostalgic, hopeful, grateful, reflective. It’s never made me feel bad though. I’ve included a playlist of what I’ve been listening to lately. It’s all over the map genre-wise, so there’s something for everyone.

Exercise

I’ve increased my exercise actually since being in quarantine. Yoga, strength training, and walking outside have been my go-to options and at no point have I regretted a single moment of movement. In fact, exercise has probably been the most impactful stress reliever. That natural buzz of endorphins makes me feel the most accomplished and alive, even in my small studio apartment.

Virtual Connection

To keep the loneliness at bay, I’m finding that video and phone calls have been very helpful. From Zoom meetings with my eight colleagues (we looked the Brady Bunch in nine squares) to the FaceTimes with family and friends, it is reassuring to see the faces and hear the voices of my loved ones. It’s also nice to commiserate over the struggles of being in this same boat and try to find some humor and levity. Much easier to do with others than solo.


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Keeping it simple with today’s post.

  1. My health.
  2. My family and friends’ health.
  3. The seriousness with which my family and friends take their health, coronavirus, and the recommended precautions.
  4. Solo walks by Lake Michigan.
  5. A caring boss and the ability to work remotely that will allow me to maintain income.
  6. Access to food, water, and hygiene products.
  7. An emotional support network.
  8. Working electricity and heat.
  9. Access to the Internet, information, much needed comedic relief (Chris D’Elia’s YouTube channel) and other forms of entertainment (The Murder Squad: Jensen & Holes podcast).

I am encouraged by the shows of support, kindness, and unity both locally and worldwide. That said, as grateful as I am, I am feeling really badly for those that don’t have these things. If there’s anyway I can help anyone else, please let me know!


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