Friday, August 24, 2012

Penny Pinching Philanthropist

Here is a little something about myself. First of all, I am extremely frugal. I drove my roommate crazy just picking out a kitchen table because I could not decide on the table and thought spending a couple hundred dollars on a table and chairs was ridiculous! She kept reiterating that I had a big girl job and could make big girl purchases. And this stands for everything. I can't spend $30 on a pair of jeans or more than $5 on a movie. However there is one thing that makes me want to open my wallet and it may be kind of surprising......Homeless people. And cute little boys and girls club members. And BYU alumni association. And other groups asking for my money for their causes. Whenever I am confronted with someone asking for my money I suddenly feel extremely pressured to give something and my heart goes out for them. Whether they are trying to sell me a subscription to the newspaper that I don't need, or asking for food or water, or helping someone else have the college experience I had, I end up feeling extremely guilty as I just drive by, or close the door or tell them no. For instance. There is always a homeless person at the offramp I take to get home. I inevitably feel so guilty and avoid all eye contact with such individual as I drive off in my new car and they are standing in 100 degree heat with no water. I know many people feel that they are just scamming people and asking for free handouts, or that they are simply wanting money for booze or drugs. But I can't help but think...who knows how they got to this place in their life? What if they are really hungry? But I also think of the dateline specials of how these people are not really even homeless or hungry at all, but use this as their full time job taking other people's stuff. But I don't know that for sure! However, I know its not smart to just hand over your cash either. I might feel guilty but I am no dummy. So I have decided to start carrying costco packages of dried fruit and water in my car to give to the homeless people on the off ramps. I know its not much but its the only thing I can think of to do to try and help them. Perhaps that is the only thing they will get to eat that day, and while its not much, at least its something, right? Perhaps this is just a mild way to ease my conscious and I am not doing them much good anyway, but at least I can think I am helping in some way. Who knows. Now with the other things, I usually choose to screen any and all BYU phone numbers to avoid telling them I cannot donate, and the apartment I live in now has sort of a hidden doorway so the boys and girls club and boy scouts probably can't find it, because I have the hardest time turning them away. But it doesn't stop there. I was at Jiffy Lube the other day and they wanted me to donate 3 dollars to some cause I can't even remember. I feel like the biggest jerk saying no. What about the dollar donation at Wendy's to get your hand print on the wall and proceeds go to make a wish, or what have you? My goodness the list goes on and on, and frankly all this stuff adds up and I don't make that much money mind you. I successfully don't give in to them all, but I have to tell you, it does leave a pit in my stomach and I without fail consider going back and apologizing and handing over the cash. I wish so badly I was just independently wealthy and could say yes to each of these people. But I think then I would probably be on every organizations mailing list, have subscriptions to newsletters and newspapers from who knows where and the phone calls and requests would simply continue to escalate. Am I simply being selfish and stingy? Is it my frugal nature that makes me avoid giving? Will I be judged for turning away those looking for support? Do other people feel this way and it affect them as much as it does me? These are the questions that haunt me every time I turn someone away or say no to someone asking for monetary assistance. Am I alone in this? What are your thoughts? Its a struggle being a penny pinching (would be) philanthropist, but I feel that instead I just end up looking like an ungenerous tightwad.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update on life!

So I know I haven't written anything for a while, but frankly its because I have been so busy and then without internet for a while, but everything is falling into place and we are back in action! The last few months have being 'grown up months' as I like to call it because I have been doing some very grown up things. I think I am almost becoming an adult! Although my nephews still insist that I am a kiddult (I am too old to be a kid, but not married, so I am not quite an adult...)

 As I mentioned I started my new job. I had a 3 month orientation and training, with which I finished and have been working solo for over a month now. Its been a whirlwind of information and learning experiences, but I have loved (almost) every minute of it! I quite agree that the Thoracic ICU at IMC is one of the craziest floors around. We get some pretty sick folks in there and everyday is a new adventure, it keeps me on my toes. A coworker of mine says she feels the same way even after working there for 25 years! I love going to work everyday not knowing exactly what I am going to face, what I will have to deal with and who I might have an impact on. Some people say it is hard to connect with patients in the ICU due to the severity of their illness, but I have loved finding ways to be able to do so and found it very rewarding. Now if only IHC would decide what color our uniform will be I will be set! :)

I also moved! I am renting this cute little 2 bedroom apartment with a friend and coworker of mine, Candice Rountree, in the Sugar House area. We finally have things moved in and now just finishing up the decorating and it feels like home! Here are a few pictures of it to get an idea:
The Living Room...

 The Dining area...
 The Kitchen...
 My bedroom...
 The bathroom...
So all in all, we are excited about it! I don't really know anyone around here yet and have only made it to my ward once, but I am looking forward to meeting people and getting a little more involved! It'll be great!

I also bought a car! My little 1986 Honda accord hatchback had lived a long, full life and it was time to retire. I had faithfully driven that car from day one when I was 15 years old and it far outlived any expectations we had for it. There at the end it was leaking oil and coolant like a faucet, no heat or air conditioning, rusting in multiple places, and even had a hole through the trunk, dripped in two places when it rained, overheated constantly and taken a bad habit of not turning on when I wanted it to, or stalling out in the most inconvenient of places (ie, middle of intersections during rush hour traffic and refusing to start up again, causing the police to show up and push me out of the way...or when I was already late for work). I loved that little car for many many years, but my patience was waxing thin for its shenanigans and frankly, I think it was just tired. So we put it to rest. And I got something of an upgrade and a wee bit more reliable....Introducing the newest addition to my brand new 2012 Toyota Rav4! Its a beauty and drives like a charm. Complete with bluetooth and a sunroof and big enough to fit a futon mattress in the back (yes, it was tested), I am in love! True, the gas mileage isn't as wonderful as the old silver bullet, but its hard to beat 35-40mpg...but it holds up on its own, has all wheel drive to prepare for Utah winters and my recent desire to become a skiier, high clearance so no more scraping on my driveway and room for all without having to either provide fans or blankets. Its a dream come true.

Well that's about it on the update of my life! New job, new apartment, new car. Now if only I also had a new boyfriend to tell ya'll about, then that would really be something... :) But life is good!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

True Meaning of Easter

I am so grateful today is Easter. It kinda snuck up on me and I went to bed yesterday thinking I hadn't prepared myself to celebrate Easter today. But for me, one hymn really allows me to reflect on the reason we celebrate this holiday. And listening to it this morning has really filled my heart with love and joy for the knowledge that I have. That Christ died for us and rose again that we can become clean and return to Him and our Father in Heaven. And I am eternally grateful for that. I may not understand it perfectly and I know that at times I may feel unworthy of this gift, but that is precisely why He gave his life, so that we can exercise faith and become better everyday, with His Help. I hope that as you listen to this song, you feel that as well. And if you don't know this for yourself, or want a better knowledge, you can have it. And if you want to know more about how I know, ask. I would love to share more with you.

There is a Green Hill Far Away
There is a green hill far away, without a city wall. Where the dear Lord was crucified, who died to save us all.
We may not know we cannot tell what pains He had to bear. But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there.
There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.
Oh dearly, dearly has he loved and we must love Him too. And trust in His redeeming love and try His works to do.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I think I might open a bakery...You know, if this whole nursing thing doesn't pan out, or maybe as a side project. Why the sudden interest in the baking industry you might ask? Well let me show you!

In the few months I spent in limbo - graduated and unemployed - I had some extra time on my hands and a few holidays to celebrate. So when you need to celebrate, what better way than with a delectable delight? And with the extra time, I let my creative juices flow and allowed a few of my "pins" on Pinterest come to fruition and it has turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself. Here is what I have been working on.

I got really into decorating sugar cookies. One day while I was doing this, Clint (my brother in law) came home and commented that I was 'in my element'. And I was. I loved every minute. A bit time intensive, but hey, I had nothing else really going on!

These were for the Sharp Family Christmas Party...
My cousins baby shower (Her baby's name is Ayvrie, hence the A's...)
Thacker Family Book of Mormon completion party...
And Valentine's Day!

Not everything was completely sugary, and I have dabbled in the savory side of baking as well. Some homemade pretzel bites, with a variety of options. Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic Parmesean and Sea Salt.

New Years Eve and the Superbowl each called for some tasty appetizers. The ones shown here were for New Year's Eve. Ham and Cheese calzone and Bacon Ranch pull apart bread.

But who are we kidding, I always come back to chocolate. This is a chocolate peanut butter pie I made for our mix and mingle at church. See, I do make an effort to be a part of the ward. Especially when it gives me an excuse to make something new and wonderful like this pie. It was delicious. But really, you can't go wrong with an oreo crust, peanut butter, cream cheese, whipping cream and chocolate.

And this baby was a 2-day adventure that paid off big time. Made for Laura's birthday, this beauty is a triple layer red velvet cake with a cheesecake middle, covered in buttery cream cheese frosting and decorated with milk chocolate curls. It weighed a ton and took several hours, but it was quite incredible.
So if you see me and think...Megan is looking a little softer 'round the middle these may be due to my extreme lack of responsibilities and endless access to incredible recipes. But it was so fun and very delicious. That is where having a bakery could be nice. I could have the fun, but would sell them instead of just eat them all myself. Because, lets just be honest...these are just the ones that I took pictures of, not all the ones that were made...

So while my taste buds might be screaming for more, my waist line is not, so thank goodness I got a job to keep me a little busier. But if you hear of a bakery needing an extra hand, feel free to pass along my name :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Career Woman

I am employed! Its so crazy to think that for the majority of my life and over 4 years of higher education which was all pointed towards this day, and it is here. Today, I became a career woman. A Registered Nurse. Eligible for benefits and a pension plan. With a name badge, a title and real responsibility. Am I ready for this?!! I guess I must be because here it is.
For at least the next two years I will be an RN on the Thoracic ICU at IMC in Murray, Utah. Which means if you are headed for heart surgery any time soon, I'm your girl when you wake up. Not gonna lie, its a bit daunting, but so exciting. I already know I love the floor because this is where I did my capstone experience (like an internship) my last semester of nursing school, but this time I am coming in as an RN. Here we go!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yurt Adventure

So a few weeks back my friend Jocelyn sent a bunch of us nursing girls who all graduated together but had yet to find a jobs, a message detailing the ideas for a new adventure. It included a road trip to outside Vernal, UT, 3 mile snowshoe hike in the wilderness to a quaint little yurt in the middle of the forest. Immediately, several of us enthusiastically got on board and the plans began.
When the time came, there were 9 of us that were initially trekking in the snow to the yurt, and staying for the first night. 6 of those girls needed to get back for job interviews and work stuff or whatnot, so just three of us stayed the second night. It was BEAUTIFUL. But let me break down the whole of the adventure.

We spent the night over at one of the girls houses so that we could make sure everyone's packs were ready and we could leave early the next morning. Kinda reminiscent of all those years of my brothers "pack checks" before scout camps... Well we all get to bed super late because some girls had prior obligations before we headed out. So we start with a pretty poor nights sleep and end up leaving later than expected. That seemed ok however, because we figure out that really, its more like a 3 hour road trip than the previously expected 4 hour ride. So we figured we were doing ok and we needed to stop a few places along the way for a propane lamp, igloo makers and bandannas - you know, the essentials. We even stopped by the Vernal Temple for a quick pic. Turns out its really quite an interesting looking temple! Well several hours behind our initial schedule, we start toward the trail head. Before getting to the canyon were the yurt was located, we saw nothing but sunny skies and desert. Dry desert surrounded us and we were beginning to think that our snowshoes were a little overkill and we would simply hike to the yurt in our boots. But once we started up the canyon, there was plenty of snow and we found out that they had received several inches of new fresh powder during the previous night. Turns out the snowshoes would be necessary after all!
After just a little confusion about where this "trail" head was at, we loaded up and were on our way. We looked super hard core. 9 nurses, bundled up with large packs on our backs and we were on our way. The powder was incredibly deep and it was a struggle to trudge though it. Several times, one of us would sink down to our waist or further and have to be assisted out of the hole. Not to mention that our trail was really not much of a trail at all, but luckily was marked sporadically along the way with blue diamonds on the trees that we only assumed meant we were headed in the right direction. So we soldiered on. I remember thinking in the first half hour or, we are really cool. Where else would I find 9 friends to organize and carry out an adventure like this?! Well that honeymoon phase ended quickly as we realized how slow going this "quick 3 mile hike" was taking and how quickly night fall was approaching. But there came a point that we couldn't turn back, and the only option was to keep moving forward to the elusive yurt that was supposedly awaiting our arrival. Well in less than the first mile, the muscle pains set in and we were headed uphill for the entire way. It was all I could do to keep moving myself forward. Just had to take it one step at a time and realize there was nothing I could do but keep going. Night fall came and we had no idea how much longer. None of the signs had mile markers or anything to judge how far we had been, but I was beginning to think we had gone much, much farther than 3 miles. I was in the middle of the pack, but we were so strung out along the path that each of us was essentially hiking alone. At one point, when my legs were screaming at me, the hike became a lot less fun hours earlier, I was completely in the dark, except the light of the moon allowing me to see the path the first girls had created, I thought, "I might just die right here...good thing I have cell service because I might have to call search and rescue and have them snowmobile to me and save me." I even thought..."oh great, Laura and Clint watch the news every night. If they hear this story 'Nine girls rescued tonight just north of Vernal, Utah as they were attempting to snowshoe through the canyon for a fun getaway to a yurt. As night fell, they got lost and had to call for help, or sleep stranded in the snow' we were going to have some problems. Not gonna lie though, my patience and my tolerance for the activity was getting less and less the darker it became and the longer time dragged on and still no sign of the yurt.

Finally after what seemed like forever, news travels down the line that the yurt was found and I just needed to hike up the last steep hill and I would be there. Hallelujah. I have never been so happy to find a half teepee- half cabin looking thing in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Unfortunately, when I walked up, the girls who were ahead of me were mad and frustrated because we couldn't get the lock open. However, after a while and I am sure a few prayers, the lock was opened and we were inside shelter. The next task at hand was starting the wood burning stove and the propane lanterns, which proved to be a challenge on its own, but eventually was successful. Finally, after several more hours than initally anticipated, each of us arrived at the yurt. Even the girls who brought up the rear, pulling a winter sled full of food, water and provisions made it and we were all quite happy to get the packs off our backs and the snowshoes off our feet. Discussion was quickly filled with metaphors about faith, prayer, perseverance, the importance of light and continually moving forward that we each plan to use in our next sacrament meeting talk, taken from this experience. No one was up for much more than that, and each of us hunkered down for the night. With the stove burning (thanks to Jocelyn for keeping that baby going all night!) the yurt was actually quite cozy.

The next day, 6 of the girls put their packs and shoes right back on and had to make the trek back down. Luckily it was great weather and they were able to make it down in just 2 hours! As opposed to the 4 or 5 or so that it took us to get up. The three of us that remained had a great time playing around in the snow and enjoying it! It really was incredible up there and besides the really stinky outhouse, really quite pleasant!

We stayed one more night, which brought a new storm with a lot of new snow, which we were afraid would cover our path, but it cleared up by the time we headed out and the weather was perfect and beautiful. I have not felt that close to nature in a long time and I was loving God's creation. A few points along the way back down, as we were making decent time, we were confused about which way to go when we came to a few forks, but we just kept moving forward!

Well...turns out we made an incorrect choice at one point and found ourselves off the trail. It was deceiving because we would actually see the car parked off in the distance, but either had to traverse an open field that had zero packed snow at all or backtrack and find our trail. Well, we weighed our options and decided to just power through the field and get to the road that led to our car. While it seemed close since we would see where we were headed, that last bit was brutal. We were tired, the snow was consistently up to my waist and we were on uncharted territory. It took forever to get across that field, but after just a few close meltdowns from one of the girls, we made it to the road. Then Jocelyn walked up to our car while Brittany and I retrieved the sled we ditched midway across and finally we were in the warm car, driving home once again.

Was it hard? Yes. Was it fun? Eventually, yes. Would I do it again? You know, if you asked me that question on the way up, it would have been, no way. But now actually knowing what to expect, I think I would. But not necessarily any time soon. My snowshoeing quota for this season has been filled :) Luckily the experience was shared and the time was spent with some incredible girls, some that I met for the first time there, and incredible scenery!! All in all, it was quite the adventure and a pretty good time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back in Action

Well its been quite some time since I have been in the blog world and decided its about time. Hopefully I have one or two readers still out there who remember who I am. I know I at least have my mom (hey mom!). Looking from where I last posted, the day before I became a Sister
Missionary, quite a bit has happened. We will see how well I can do in recapping the events of the last 2 years without boring away any remaining visitors I have to my blog...

So, I served a mission.
This is the scenery I looked at for 18 months.

But these are a few reasons why it was a very rewarding time in my life.

I came home from my mission and made the rocky transition back to civilian life. Loved seeing ALL of my family for my homecoming and a family reunion. Including 4 new baby boys I never met before!
I went back to school at BYU and made a bunch of amazing new nursing friends. It was really strange to not know anyone going into my last semester of nursing school, but these girls were incredible at making me feel welcome.
We even won our intramural flag football tournament. Champions AND nurses.
I somehow survived my last semester, despite some challenges, and graduated!
I studied my heart out and took the most stressful test of my life...the dreaded NCLEX. The test that would decide whether the last 5 years of schooling would mean something. After the most depressing 36 hours of my life, thinking I had completely failed, I found out that I had passed!!! I am now Megan Robinson, RN.
I moved to West Jordan with my sister Laura and her family and now have the rough life of doing nothing but playing with the nephews and niece until I start working. Not gonna lie, I am loving the break and the opportunity to breathe for a minute before my life gets a little crazy again. I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life as I begin working as a registered nurse, moving to a new apartment and any other adventures that are in store for me! And I am hoping to keep up on the blogging as things continue to change and life keeps getting better!