Comfort Food

One of my favorite things about southerners is that we respond to almost all of life’s biggest moments— with food. 

 Someone dies? Here’s a casserole. 

 Just moved in to the neighborhood? Let me bring you a pound cake.

 As someone who loves to eat and does not cook- I’ve reaped the rewards of this hospitality many times.

 Still- I was shocked last night to come home to this….. 



In celebration our upcoming little one,  the sweet Guild of the Christ Child at my church– Saint Andrew’s Cathedral– had dropped off a spaghetti dinner on my front porch. 

Meat sauce, ready to go. Noodles, ready to boil. Crescent rolls, ready to bake. And snickers, ready to eat immediately:) 

 There are often outpourings of support *after* a someone has a baby, but I had never thought of sending love in food form *before* the “blessed event”.  If I’m honest, though, that’s when you really need it. 

 Even if your baby is a long awaited one– there is a nervousness that comes with knowing you’re about to be responsible for a tiny human. 

It’s comforting to know I’m part of a community that is so clearly there to support my growing family….and waistline:)



Taste of the U

I’m convinced a monogram can make anything more fun. Throw your name on a tote bag, rain coat or— as I learned this weekend– an apron– and you instantly want to wear it:)

The monogrammed apron was my thoughtful gift for judging the 25th and last Taste of the U at the Jackson Medical Mall this weekend. What I love about this fundraiser is that it gets the entire hospital involved. Each department is invited to create their own booth. They come up with the theme, set the menu…the bigger and more ridiculous the better.

I was a presentation judge…there to assess the looks of things….not the food. They had real chefs for that. Good thing too- since my pick would have been the peanut butter and banana sandwich. I had two. (insert pregnancy joke)

Many of the teams gave nods to this being the last year for Taste of the U…. an end of an era for some of them who’ve been working it since the beginning. The hospital community will get a vote in deciding their new fundraiser.

Every time I slip on my “Megan West” apron to make dinner…and by that I mean toss a salad or toast some bread….I’ll think of this fun night:)

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Information Systems guys by day…Turtles on the Half Shell by night.

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The best job in the house. He *did* invite me to join him:)

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The adorable Children’s Hospital folks dancing to Happy. Made me Happy and teary-eyed at the same time:)

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The Physical Facilities Staff holding on to Mardi Gras

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PT students recreating College Game Day

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PT Students Overall Prize Winning State/Ole Miss Tailgate Party

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Chef Megan

Castaway

Somewhere in the middle of my struggle to have a baby- I got mad. Mad at the expense. Mad at the time commitment. Mad that I couldn’t just get pregnant *like everybody else.* Mad….that this might never work out…

I had some incredibly sympathetic friends and family members, but I didn’t know anyone who was currently in the trenches. It got so bad one night that I found myself googling inspirational quotes from the movie Castaway. I guess I thought a stranded Tom Hanks could offer some words of encouragement I hadn’t found anywhere else:). I was kind of losing it….

At a Junior League project one Saturday- I met Candace. After a day of driving trucks and hauling barrels together (long story), I decided she was funny and cool, and I *hoped* I’d see her again.

I did. Two days later in the hallway of our fertility doctor’s office. I still can’t get over the timing.

Through Candace– I learned how important it was to *talk* about infertility…why I should try acupuncture..and later the best way to administer my own IVF shots:)

I was lucky enough to be in her life when her third cycle of IVF finally worked, and months later Candace cheered for me when my first hcg test came back positive.

I decided back then I wanted to do a story on infertility, and I wanted Candace to be the focus of it. Thankfully, Candace said yes, and last night I got to tell that story.

Her willingness to share rescued me from my infertile, deserted island:).

I hope it does the same for you.

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Baby Will Tann’s birthday:)

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

People in my line of work often talk about the negative stuff viewers say on facebook, email or even in the line at Kroger. I’ve seen the critical comments, for sure.  But I’m far more shocked by how many people I’ve never met go out of their way to say and do the nicest things….

Just today– for example– The Jackson Zoo delivered a package for baby girl–complete with a family pass for a year. When I imagined taking her to see monkeys and bears for the first time….I almost cried.

Literally an hour later…our receptionist called me to the front desk. A viewer I’d never met drove all the way out here to bring me 90 dollars. He wanted me to give it to an 86 year old woman robbed in her driveway last week. I was blown over by his thoughtfulness. And then he told me I was “adorable.” 32 and pregnant….I’ll take it;)

And to top it all off– during the newscast a sweet woman posted on facebook that my hair looked amazing today:)

Was it coincidence or something more Divine? I don’t know…. But I know the kindness of strangers made my day today.

Even if you hate my lipstick on twitter tomorrow;)

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Singing on Valentine’s

I’ve had some lovely Valentine’s Days, but I don’t know if any of them will ever top the Valentine’s of my high school years. No, I didn’t have some romeo of a high school boyfriend. Actually, I spent every Valentine’s Day from 1997 until 2000 singing. In sequins.  All over the city of Laurel:)

Singing Valentine’s were one of the signature fundraisers of the R.H. Watkins High School Show Choirs.  Husbands, wives, mothers, co-workers and secret admirers all called our land line (:)) and booked us to sing a specially selected song to their loved one. One wonderful year we offered Celine Dion’s Because You Loved Me AND the theme song from Friends. How do you choose??

We took our show on the road to Sanderson Farms corporate offices, middle school cafeterias and even the loudspeaker at Wal-mart. If only cell phone cameras existed then…

My freshman year of college my incredible friends secretly called my high school and bought *me* a singing Valentine….delivered over the phone on my old Nokia.  The reception was terrible…but it sounded so sweet.

R.H. Watkins Showstoppers

R.H. Watkins Showstoppers

Lunching with MEDC

Today I had the pleasure of emceeing the Mississippi Economic Development Council’s Winter Awards Luncheon. I knew this was going to be fun when I got the script a few days ago. These awards recognize economic developers, business leaders and city officials who are doing things *right*– going above and beyond to make their hometowns great.

I could go on and on about each project, but I especially loved talking about Washington County’s program to train workers for new manufacturing jobs, Natchez putting together a flashy tour to get new tenants in unoccupied, downtown buildings and Carthage coming together to fix up a parking lot. Seriously. They most visible parking lot in town looked bad. They said enough is enough, and they fixed it.

I also loved seeing Mitch Stennett– from my old stomping grounds of Jones County- recognized as an Honorary Lifetime Member.

And as the sweetest thank you possible- the folks at MEDC gave me gifts for baby girl. Be still my heart:)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

When I was 15 I played the adult Scout (Jean Louise Finch) in a high school play. I had, of course, read the book in English class, but it wasn’t until our little play…hearing the lines read aloud..by the best teenage actors Laurel High School had to offer… that I fell in love with book and it’s message. I felt like I knew wise Atticus, the sassy Calpurnia and the precocious, courageous Scout. So much so– I named my first born (dog) after her:) I’m thrilled to find out what happens to Scout next…