Here we come a-caroling

I grew up singing – in school chorus, church choir, and of course, at home. In high school, I was in my school’s a capella group called the Madrigals. When we were at our best, we came together and created beautiful harmonies and lifted up our souls together. Of course, no group of teenagers can function without a crap ton bit of drama. I loved singing with this group most of the time, but especially around the holidays. Christmas and holiday songs are just the best to sing with a group of people.

Some of my favorite memories singing with the Madrigals are from this time of year. We learned probably 15 or more Christmas and Hanukkah songs, traditional and modern, and were the most focused during practice that we had ever been. We had our regular holiday concert, but were also booked to sing at events. We sang at country clubs, rich peoples’ dinner parties, DC parties held by government people (I honestly can’t remember who or where but I remember it was a block from the White House), and we even sang at the Robert E. Lee House in Arlington National Cemetery. Twice, we wore big old hoop dresses and tuxes for these performances. After performing in downtown DC, we all walked through the city in our get-ups and caroled on street corners just for fun, because we loved the way we sounded together and didn’t want to stop singing! One night, we all got together and caroled through our neighborhoods to spread the cheer, practice our songs, and actually hang out together outside of the other mandatory performances. When a group of ~15 high schoolers all voluntarily meet up to walk around in the cold and sing to random people on a weeknight, you know something’s going right.

So needless to say, I have a soft spot for choral music and Christmas carols. It wouldn’t be surprising to find me in the middle of July listening to one of the Pentatonix holiday albums on repeat for a week straight! Now that it’s mid-November, I think I can start listening to Christmas music without shame… so here’s one of my favorites to get you into the right mood for the season!!!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret


After four wonderful years together, Ben and I got married on August 9, 2015 at Whitehall Estate in Bluemont, Virginia. It was one of the best days of my life!!

We got engaged in August 2014 and started wedding planning around November 2014. We wanted a simple, personal wedding, and worked hard to make that happen with the support of our families and friends. Planning the wedding was incredibly exciting, but a little overwhelming, and I’m glad to be done with it and moving on to the next big thing in our lives.


Take a walk

I’ve been loving the fall weather here in Ohio. Surprise – it’s just like fall in Virginia and Massachusetts! As often as I can, I’ve been taking advantage of the sunny skies and chilly weather by going for long walks. As always, I want to improve my photography, and dusted off my camera a few days ago to take some pictures around the neighborhood.

Here’s a little peek at autumn in Oakwood!

Oh, and PS – we bought a house. Whoops!


Daily reminder – You Are Enough

What made her a great storyteller is that she saw herself as the fascinating main character in the wild story of her life.

TBH time!

Ever since I heard about the whole idea of blogging, I’ve wanted to write a blog. I love reading memoirs, and want my blog to read as a mini memoir/journal/place where I unload my thoughts.

I’ve tried blogging multiple times, but just like every diary I started as a kid, the blogs never stuck. If my past blogs were in the physical form of a diary, they would have hundreds of blank pages left unfilled. I don’t really have a direction for this blog, though I wish I did, so this one is simultaneously easier and more difficult to write for. I can write whatever I want, and it doesn’t have to follow a theme or be about a specific subject. And so what would make people want to read it? What makes me want to write for it? Is it for views, or to keep my family and friends updated? Is it a personal journal, or is it to someday get internet famous?

I’ve shied away from writing for this blog many evenings because when I went to write, I felt ashamed that this blog seems to have no purpose or reason. Is this post going to make people think my blog is super serious and about deep thoughts? Will people (readers? What readers?) think my blog is dumb and whiny and full of first-world problems? This blog has no name – shouldn’t it have a name?

And so this post below is something I’m going to keep open in a tab on my laptop – every time those thoughts pop into my head while I’m trying to build my blog, I will remind myself that I am enough. There’s no pressure for my blog to be anything from anyone, and that’s a beautiful, freeing notion.

“What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged?”

Source: You Are Enough

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret


WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 9, 2015 ranks pretty damn high as one of the best days of my life. Ben and I exchanged vows (that we wrote ourselves) in front of 100 of our closest friends and family members. We got married and had the reception at Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, Virginia. Everything came together wonderfully and we are so happy – it’s been a week and a half and we still can’t stop grinning ear-to-ear!

Four days after the wedding, we moved out to Dayton, Ohio, which is where we will be for the next few years. Ben is currently stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is attending graduate school with the Air Force Institute of Technology here for a year and a half. His next assignment might be here in Ohio as well, so we’re excited to start putting down some roots. We’re staying in temporary housing on base (and counting the days) until we can move into the perfectawesomebeautifulamazing house in Kettering, Ohio that we just signed the lease on yesterday! I’m still looking for a job, but I know I’ll find something I enjoy doing soon enough. We are quickly finding our favorite parts of Dayton and already have coffee shops we’re planning on being regulars at. Before we moved here, people kept mentioning how nice Ohioans (Buckeyes?? I don’t know what to call them) are, and that is definitely true so far. We are being welcomed with open arms and I’m really looking forward to the next few years here!

I’ll write a more in-depth post about the details of our wedding and the vendors we worked with when we get the rest of the pictures back from our photographer! By the way, our photographer is the best photographer in the world and everyone should hire her. All photo credit goes to her!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

Life updates

Excuses, excuses, I haven’t blogged since October. Whoops! I’ve had a lot going on in the past few months and wasn’t feeling inspired to keep up with writing blog posts. As always, I’m hoping to revive the blog again!

I should probably catch y’all up on what you’ve been missing, but “you” = mostly friends and family, so you probably already know about most of these things, but what the heck! Since I last wrote a post, here are some things that have been going on in my life:

  • I graduated from Wheaton College with honors, with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Women’s & Gender Studies! It was an exciting day and I am missing my college friends hardcore. Senior week included a graduation ball at a Newport mansion, a  final candle lighting ceremony, and too many goodbyes.
  • I’m getting married to Ben on August 9, 2015! WOOHOO!!!
  • We are moving to Dayton, Ohio – the week after we get married. We’re crazy, I know.
  • I finished up an internship with The Horn Book, a publication that reviews children’s and young adult literature.
  • I went to the NHL Winter Classic with my friend Lisa! Go Capitals!!!
  • With the help of other students, I did a staff appreciation project at Wheaton. I made videos of staff members introducing themselves and sharing a little bit about them, and held tabling for students to write thank you notes to staff members! It was such a fulfilling thing to be able to show others how much people care about them.
  • I turned 22!
  • I finally edited all of my photos from Ireland, haha, only half a year late!
  • I finished up my semester as a student teacher in kindergarten and second grade. It was a challenging and wonderful experience, and my supervising teachers helped me gain so much confidence as a teacher. I think about my students all the time, and wish I could still be there in the classroom with them.

2015 has been a busy and exciting year so far, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds in store for me!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

An evening on Martha’s Vineyard, feat. the best donuts ever


Ben and I decided to spend two days and a night on Martha’s Vineyard as a part of our attempt to make the most out of our short time left in the Boston area. We had visited once before for a day trip with people from his office, and loved it so much that we’ve been trying to find a time to return ever since!

We went the “adventurous” route (not really that adventurous – it can just be hit or miss sometimes) by booking a room on Airbnb for the night. We used Airbnb a lot when we were in Ireland, with mixed results, and wanted to test it out here in the states. A lot of Airbnb postings are for a single room that someone isn’t using in their house, so it’s not expected to be like a “true” B&B type experience, and there’s always the chance that the hosts are nutballs!!

I think we lucked out with this one – while a lot of the exterior of the house is under construction by the owners, and a bit of the bathroom is too, it’s so cozy. The construction actually gives it a nice fresh wood smell! Our bed is a king size memory foam mattress, and I had never slept on one before – AMAZING!!! It was a rainy, humid day, so a perfect day for an afternoon nap!

The hosts are really friendly, and immediately gave us tips for places to eat. The first thing they said was, “You have to try back door donuts!” Apparently, Martha’s Vineyard Cafe & Bakery, regular bakery by day, opens their back door by their kitchen from 7 pm to 12:58 am to serve fresh-baked old fashioned donuts, apple fritters, and more. So, no brainer, we went after dinner. I apologize for the crappy photo quality!!



Martha’s Vineyard on a rainy Saturday evening in October is not exactly hopping, and felt a little desolate, but as soon as we rounded the corner behind post office and bakery to find this “secret” place, there were a good ten people all standing around in line and eating donuts! There’s info about it online, like on Yelp, but there are signs at the door telling customers to keep it a secret – it’s just too good to keep quiet about!!


I got an apple fritter, and Ben got a cinnamon roll. They were about $4.00 each, so I had high hopes but wasn’t sure what to expect. And man, those hopes were met, to say the least! The fritter was the size of my head and was warm and fresh, and probably the most delicious dessert I’ve ever eaten. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, glazed, and had chunks of apple throughout it. I may have finished the whole thing myself…

It was so fun to find a hidden (delicious) gem while we were on this short trip. The food was awesome, quick, and it was pretty cool to be able to watch them make everything in the kitchen while we ordered! I’m pretty sure we’ll need to come back to Martha’s Vineyard again – if not just for the donuts!

Thanks for reading! Margaret