Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Life Update!


Whew! It's been a WHILE since I had the chance to sit down and type up something for the blog. A lot has happened since I last touched base here at the beginning of the summer! So here's a little update on everything Megow as of late.

First, I wrapped up my job at VSU. Man I loved that job and, even more, the people I worked with. There was seriously no way I could have gotten through the first few years as a single dad without those people. They supported me and the kiddos in a way that still blows my mind. Besides all of the monetary and physical support, so many of my coworkers and supervisors cultivated little relationships with my kids that made it so much easier when I had to take off work because they were sick or brought them up to work when childcare funds ran out. It got to the point that my kids LOVED coming up to work just to see "their friends." I'm seriously going to miss those people.

A few of my colleagues. I don't have a full group photo, but my people know who they are.

My former work wife Nicole! Dats my bud right there.

Before and After cleaning out my office. 
Hahaha. I really made myself at home huh? 


Ok so moving on from work ... we MOVED! Man it was intense there for a while. Packing, Purging, Planning, and Cleaning was my life for a few weeks. After doing some calculations, I figured out it would be cheaper to buy "new to us" stuff up there than it would be to move all of our "grew up with the kids" stuff I had. So I got a hitch put on my van and rented a 5x8 Uhaul. Anything we wanted to continue to own had to fit in that trailer or be stuffed in the van. Hahahaha. It was a tight fit, but we got everything we wanted to bring (clothes, toys, memories, kitchenware, etc.) Errthang else, we got rid of. It was so freeing to be honest ... it was my third major purge in two years. I learned it's seriously so freeing to not have a ton of stuff. Also, my house is WAY easier to clean now. 

Stopping for an after-dinner DQ Blizzard. 

I always drive through the night (it's faster and, more importantly, the kids can sleep so it's a much more comfortable trip for everyone). It's about a 15 hour drive. With the trailer it was much longer and a bit tougher. This picture is pulling up into PA after driving through the night. 

Now onto what I'm most excited to talk about... our life now!!! We are living in Levittown, PA. God is so good. We got a house to rent on the next street over from Sarah and her kids! So we can just walk back and forth. It's so perfect. :) 

Beginning to blend the kids has come with surprise joys and expected opportunities for growth in us all. Fortunately for me, I found someone who is amazingly skilled in planning and foreseeing potential issues in the future. Honestly for the most part, we've both been pleasantly surprised at how the kids are beginning to merge and group up. Relationships are being formed that are seriously such a blessing to watch grow. Sarah and I often talk about they each kinda randomly pair/group up around shared interests or fun activities. We both love watching each of the groupings that occur amongst the 7 of them. I think it's really been such a positive experience so far. 

Stevie (the oldest of the bunch) and Autumn (the youngest) playing together

Of course, as I said earlier, there are growth opportunities that pop up (which I think for the most part, we are handling well). It's a massive adjustment for my crew. Moving away from their mom and her family, plus their friends was tough. We've had some hard moments pop up, but together (with a lot of prayer and support from family), I believe everyone is being stretched to grow into better people than we were yesterday. 

Playing with everyone the day after we arrived in their front yard.

Stevie and Annika cracking themselves up on a little trip I took with just the two of them.

Thrift store couch shopping (that's the couch we bought). It's massive and ultra comfy.

We celebrated both Titus's and Neela's birthdays here!! This is Titus freaking out excited about the alcohol markers his Mamaw and Paw sent him in the mail.

Neela used her birthday money to buy two pet hermit crabs (which she literally takes everywhere we go). #natureneela

The kids are loving little differences between PA and GA. One major difference is the weather!!! It's amazing here. We sleep with our windows open every night. We play at the park in the middle of the day in the dead middle of summer. Seriously, our minds are blown. We finally visited a Wawa gas station (which is apparently a big thing here) and the kids fell in love on their first visit. hahaha

My new job is about 10-15 minutes from the house and my schedule is 7am-3pm. That's seriously my dream schedule. I'll be home everyday to pick up the kids from school and more importantly, there won't be a ton of take home work to complete every night. I'm super excited about being able to really focus on the kids and Sarah when I get home everyday. Speaking of school, the kids are also loving the fact that they don't go back until August 28th. My kids have legit had almost a 4 month summer break since South GA schools got out much earlier than schools here. 

Close to a group shot at the mall (Titus missed the pic)

Things with Sarah and I have been going so great. :) It's a dream come true to be able to see her everyday. The more time I spend with her, the more amazed I am that she's an actual real human being because geez she is just the best. She exhibits such patience, grace, and humility that I'm blown away. We have a date night this Friday night, and I'm so excited to get some alone time with her. She's basically the coolest person ever. Imma have to lock that down soon. ;)

Our new house 
(If any of our friends want our new address, just message me.)

We've found a church home and some really great friends, as well. Everyone has been so kind to the kids and me. Although it's kinda new, everything feels a little familiar and hometown, so I'm feeling more relaxed with the big change everyday. Her family has also been so welcoming to the kids and I. They have also been a massive help as I start my job by watching the kids for me everyday until school starts. 

Oh yeah! Last thing, the Ellen people came and filmed us on the last visit here before we moved up. The episode aired I think a week or two ago. It was a follow up to the one we did in LA. To be honest, I still haven't watched it and don't intend to. Hahahaha. Like everyone else, I hate seeing myself on camera. However, I know others might want to see if it they haven't, so here's the link to that.

Some behind the scenes photos

AAAHHH!! Isn't she so pretty!!


Wrapping up, things are really going great. The kids are happy and thriving. I love my relationship, the new ways I'm growing personally, new friends, new scenery, and my new job. But I sure do miss my friends back in GA. I'm sure I'll see you all soon when we visit back down there.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
Seth

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Transitions Part 1- Our Home


So I haven't written anything in quite a while. Life's been a whirlwind of late nights, hard work, and change. I thought it would be fun to kinda chronicle what's been going on the past few months in a little blog series. This is the first entry of that series, which I'm calling "Transitions."

One of the most significant changes to the Megow way of life is the fact that we officially sold our home. Since my divorce, it's been something I've wanted to do, but never had the push behind me to do all of the work necessary to make it happen. Now that we have officially closed on our home of 7 years, I really took time to reflect on the 5 of those years that were specifically just me and the kids.

At first, immediately after the divorce, I wanted out of that house. Just sell it, take my losses, and move on to somewhere new. However, after praying and using common sense I decided to keep things as stable as possible for my kids. Their life had been kinda turned upside down so having their home remain a constant safe place made sense.

It's so interesting thinking back on my memories of this home. At first it was an exciting "final" home for me and my ex-wife, then turned into somewhat of a prison to me, then finally into a safe haven for the kids and me. I wanted to touch on each of these three stages and just jot them down so in 20 to 30 years it won't fade with my memory.

1) The supposed "forever home."  My ex-wife LOVED this house, and I hate moving so this was going to be our forever home. Her father graciously built us the house and sold it to us for an extremely inexpensive price. To this day, I'm so grateful for that. Fun fact, when it was being built, it was accidentally painted bright, pumpkin orange! Hahaha. We had to get it repainted of course. Yikes.

Look at tiny Stevie and Neela!

Titus checking out his room with some sweet shadez on

 Me with Olive in tow

Hahaha. That orange was brutal!

It was really a perfect little house and neighborhood. We moved in and quickly became friends with our neighbors, and super close friends with one particular family (The Cumbess's). Zakk and I soon became very tight and hung out all the time. Our kids would just walk over to each other's house daily. I have some stories about our kids and their random activities, but I'll probably pass on sharing those on the world wide web. Haha. It really was a great little home for us: friends, nice yard, brand new everything, tons of neighborhood kids to play with, and right across the street from their school.

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2) House arrest. Once my ex started to leave and finally left for good, man... it felt like I was a prisoner in that house. We could only afford one cell phone at the time. So she took that phone (I've talked about this before, so I won't go into it, but I was trying my best to make it work) and I wanted her to have a way to call someone for help if she needed it. Since the kids were currently around the ages 6,4,3, and 2, they needed to be home sleeping. I felt so trapped in that house. I didn't have a phone, most of my good friends had moved (including my neighbor), and my family had moved, too. I was just there every night. I couldn't leave and had no one to talk to. Granted it was a nice home to be trapped in, but it became extremely claustrophobic. Thankfully, God did some big work in me as a man and a father. So after about a year of feeling like that, I (and the kids) matured enough to move onto the final stage in our house story.

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3) Our safe haven. I was feeling a lot more positive about my purpose in life. Also the kids had grown up a bit. Life seemed to be hopeful and on the uptick. The divorce was official and though we didn't have much money, I was able to get a phone. We started going out and doing life at night. Reconnecting with old friends. The kids having sleep overs. Massive kid friendly parties. Instead of it being somewhere I felt trapped, it became a place where the kids and I retreated to enjoy our time together (like a home should be). When things with their mom would pop up or other random stuff that happens in life, that house was a constant. It was well prayed over and was so so full of peace and joy. Hahahaha, Now... working full time and raising my four semi-feral children resulted in having not the tidiest home; however, it proved to be something much better than perfectly clean. It turned out to be just perfect for us.

I watched them learn to read and write at that craft paint and marker covered kitchen table, observed them discover their love of animals in the creek next to our house, developed super tight-knit bonds with them individually in our special dad time that we'd carve out for each of them in the living room, see their creativity literally grow and come to life on our family art wall, and finally watch them basically demolish anything nice that I owned with their craziness. Hahaha. Excuse me while I post a few snapshots down memory lane... ;)

First day of school - 2014


First day of school - 2018

One of many epic blanket forts

My "ten minutes to cook dinner" budget kid dinner. 

Surprise visits from Mamaw and Paw!

First time seeing REAL snow!

Starting in 2015, the kids and I began the tradition of finding and chopping down our own Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I honestly don't think I'll ever stop. 

The bike Titus learned to ride on. A new bike wasn't in the budget and someone gave us a pink fairy one. So we took it in the garage and repainted it with leftover craft paint to give it a sweet 90's look.

Stevie used to wake me up on weekend mornings like this. :) I loved it.

Prepping for one of our hot summer frog hunt nights. 

Our art wall

Taking down our art wall to repaint and sell the house :-/

The very last picture I took of the crew in our old house. We started to load up the moving truck right after snapping this pic. 

It's hard to say what I'll miss most about that house. And I'm positive each of the kids will say something different as well. But one thing's for sure. I'm thankful that it turned into a real home for me and the kids. I'm so excited to see what is in store for us in the future.

Just to update everyone. We are still living in Valdosta, GA until I find a job in the PA/NJ area. In the meantime, the kids and I are just hanging out. We found a house to rent month to month with a pool!! The kids are STOKED!! They swim most of the day and are in pure heaven. They have already planned/threw a pool slumber party for their friends. Complete with detailed schedule of course (courtesy of Stevie). ;)



That being said, we are still local (and probably not for long) so if ya wanna hang out or visit before we move up north, let me know! 


Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
Seth

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Top 10 List: Megow Kids Excuses


10
"Clean your room" 
"I can't because I lost Sausage (a 6 foot stuffed giraffe). I need him to help me ram the door open."

9
"Load up in the van for school"
"Nah. I've decided I'm retiring from school."



8
"Take a bath"
"We can't. We made perfume from the ditch water, and it will wash off."


7
"Take out the trash"
"I broke my leg and can't walk good with my cast"




6 
"Come in from playing outside" 
"No. I live outside now with the aminals. I just peed on the trampoline to mark my territory."


5 
"Wear socks with your shoes" 
"I can't because I'm famous in my class for smelly feet."



4
"Eat your dinner"
"I'm not hungry because I just licked the cat."


3 
"Put on clothes"
"I run faster naked."



2
"Do your homework"
"My brain melted at school. I told you not to make me wear long sleeves."


1 
"Time to wake up"
"We all need to sleep in today. *Stares at my face*  But not as much as you... You look gross...  Dad, trust me you need beauty sleep today."


Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
Seth

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Seth's All-Time Favorite Megow Snapshots


Over the past decade, I (like every other parent) has taken A LOT of snapshots (non-professional) of my kids. Occasionally I see them pop up in memories on Google or Facebook, and I always enjoy browsing through them. I've been keeping a little folder of my favorites as they come up. I culled the list to my top 20 and wanted to share :) 

Some are sweet, some of funny, and some are just pure Megow ;) Hahahaha. Enjoy!

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 20
There's been so so many classic costumes over the years in our house. It was between this one and Titus's Wizard of Oz tornado, but I went with Olive's Captain Underpants picture because of the fact that she picked to dress up like this for "Career Day" at school. For awhile there, she legit wanted to be Captain Underpants when she grew up and I LOVED IT! hahaha
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19
3 year old Stevie LOVED karaoke. We had a machine that she would constantly hook up and run by herself (her techie skills started young). But the reason I really love this picture is that it captured the intense death metal pose she would do when she would sing her cute little songs like "Wheels on the Bus" or "Jesus loves me". That intensity has not let up as she's grown older :D 
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18
This is Titus's kindergarten school picture. When I saw it, I immediately asked "Dude?! Why were you looking so mad and annoyed?!" His response... "The man taking the pictures was telling bad jokes. So I didn't smile because he thought he was funny and he wasn't."
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17
When Neela was little, she was constantly sneaking off to "go swimming". We had to put heavy things on the toilet seat just to prevent her from taking a random dip throughout the day. haha

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16
This is little Olive waking up from a nap. She always had the BEST bedhead and was constantly carrying around 3+ Minnie Mouses everywhere she went :D She's just so cute in this photo.
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15
A fairly recent pic, but still made the list. Titus wanted to be dad for Halloween. I'm still honored to make the cut and love the way the costumes turn out. He even got my stance nailed. He's so cool.
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14 
Nature Neela in her element... wrangling a big ole' bullfrog on a hot summer South Georgia night. This one is fairly recent, and I love that because her love of "aminals" has only grown the older she's gotten.
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13
When Titus was a chub nugget, I insisted he get a Joe Dirt mullet. To boost the look, I cut the sleeves off all of his t-shirts. He spent that entire summer basically being the coolest kid every where we went.
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12
Aaahhh!! When it snowed! That's a funny story in itself that I'm one day planning on sharing on the blog. For now, I'll just share how classically under-prepared we are for cold weather. Bucket hats and sock gloves :D
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11

Just a random Saturday morning snapshot of Stevie living her best life. I love so many things about this photo.
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10
Seth: "Buddy. You look tired."
Titus: "Nope. I'm hungry though. Can I have some chips please?"
*40 seconds later*
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9
This was a landmark night and I'm so glad I took a picture. This was the FIRST time Stevie and I played Zelda together. This night inspired a love of the best video game series ever in her (and the only video games we play).
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8
I got a 911 text from the church nursery. I ran in to find Neela with her head stuck in the playhouse. Something the nursery workers did not expect, was for me to bust out laughing and bend down to take a picture before prying her head out (no regrets... I love this photo)
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7
"Look how good Olive is crawling! Quick! Let me grab a picture" 
*looks at photo later in the day*

"Oohhhh..."
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6
I went to wake up Titus one morning when he was younger only to find he snuck the entire carton of ice cream to his bed the night before. This is what I walked in to find. Hahaha
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5
Ok. Here's the sweetest picture of the bunch. A little backstory... Neela got a part in a local play, but do to time constraints we couldn't make the practice schedule. That meant she had to drop out. She was sad and crying all week. I felt horrible. However that Friday night, Stevie called everyone together and surprised her by having written a play for her to perform with stuffed animals. Stevie even included Neela's lines from the missed play in her original script. I'm such a softie and of course cried when Neela burst out into a huge grin. She simply loved it, and it was all Stevie's idea and hard work that deserves all of the credit. It's one of the proudest I've even been of my children. 
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4
Back to funny. Here's a mashup starring Baby Neela. HAHAHAHA
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3
A Megow Classic! Olive insisted on wearing her giant, oversized moon boots to school that day. I didn't care. "Do your thing kid."
I forgot about picture day. Olive didn't. And was so pumped to be wearing those boots in the photo.
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2
I always bury my head laughing at this photo. It was a friend's Finding Nemo themed birthday party. Right before the picture, the person taking the picture said "Everyone act like a fish!"  

So, Titus did just that and made his hand into a fish. Complete with the top fin. 

Side note: Don't worry, we had a talk afterwards about why we don't do fish hands. ;) 
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1
Annnnddd #1


My little ducklings. My gaggle. The story behind this picture was the kids and I got into a big argument in the parking lot of my work. It was so loud that it caught the attention of my friend who snapped a picture and sent it to me later that day... I was so embarrassed she saw me arguing with and getting on to my kids. But the more I thought about it, this picture grew on me. Parenting isn't always pretty. We try our best, and that's about all we can do.  And at the end some days, we can't help but think about all of the mistakes or bonehead things we've made or done as a dad or mom. But that's just a part of growing as a parent, just like our kids are growing as our children. It's just part of being a family that loves each other and sticks (or waddles) together :)



Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
Seth