This year was much quieter than recent years, we didn’t have a baby, or move, or start or leave jobs. Ander had his preschool and he has learned and grown. I’ve really settled in and fallen in love with being at home in this season of life. I love the routine of the weekly grocery trip, mornings at the park, hitting up the McDonald’s play place, and trips to the zoo. We have some great little friends and we get to meet pals at houses and parks. Last year, I had the goal to have more outings as a family, I made it a priority and we had lots of fun.



I hit up New Orleans three times in 2018. My grandma seeing my kids has become something I feel very passionate about. I want them to have memories of their Gigi. She turned 90 this year, and she is still the classiest lady I know.

Greenville, NC

My cousin Ashley got married in February. She and her mom did all the details with my wedding. It was a treat to see how she styled her own Winter Wonderland. Wish I’d taken more pictures.

Perdido Key, FL

My parents, grandma, sister, brother, brother in law, husband and kids all spent a week in Florida. I did yoga at the studio where I did my teacher certification. JMO and I went on a date to the restaurant we had our rehearsal dinner and our first two anniversary dinners. Gretta loved digging the sand, Ander loved the ocean and the pool, and it was just a sunny delight.

Tuscaloosa, AL

Emily was an event coordinator for a nonprofit called Arts and Autism. She planned their art auction and show. My mom and I jumped on a plane and went to her event. Seeing Emily be a boss babe was thrilling, my baby sis is a real grown up and running the show. She just moved back to Texas and I am so grateful that we will get more time with her.

Dallas, TX

3 times? I think I’ve lost count. Having a niece is just a pull north. Baby Blakely is adorable and we love her parents oh so much (JMO’s brother and his wife).


San Antonio, TX 

These kids gotta see their grandparents. We went a few times, I have no idea how many times…


Toys everywhere, but it’s nice here.

Didn’t fully realize how much we had traveled until I started typing!


I put my yoga pants on and stretched my limbs. I’ve been doing more barre lately because the times work better for me. The best way for me to get in a workout seems to be before the rest of my family wakes up. Movement and stretching are needed in my life, grateful they are back.


It was a lovely year. Adios 2018.













This is the 10th year of JMO and I have done a yearly recap. His can be found at jmo.me.

In the news, this year has been rough. At my home, this year has been beautiful. Our baby girl was born at the end of March. Gretta is happy and makes us all smile. Ander loves to take toys from her and give toys to her. Ander has become quite the hilarious child, at 2, he loves to recite the alphabet and sing songs. We read lots of books, go on walks, play at the park, and rock puzzles.

Staying home

I decided to stay home with the kids this year. I worked a little over a year in a school library, I know when I go back to work, that is where I want to be. This season of little ones is incredibly short. Gretta was a frequent flyer at the Children’s Hospital in her first few months, that has thankfully slowed down. She’s pretty good right now, but I want to be the one who goes to appointments with her. Ander is doing Mother’s Day Out, it is fun pick him up and see what he is up to. He’s seriously a little sponge and loves his school.


My little sister graduated college this year. Being ten years older, I’ve gotten to watch her grow up. I’m quite proud of that girl. I gained a sister-in-law and a niece this year, its pretty awesome to have more girls on JMO’s side, his mom and I were outnumbered for quite some time. I’m eager to watch our kids grow up together and am thankful for wonderful family role models for our kids. We were able to have Gretta meet her namesake (my amazing grandmother) in June. And were able to see my grandmother again over Thanksgiving when we went to my brother’s. We feel very lucky in the family department.


I’m back at yoga. I love it. I don’t go several times a week like I did before kids, but getting to go once a week is a treat right now. I’m running some…. mostly stopping the stroller at the park, but I gotta start back somewhere.

In 2018…

Now that I’ve been home a few months, I feel like I’ve gotten into a bit of a groove. Gretta is bigger and Ander is in need of more adventures! I’ve got a list of parks and museums I want to hit up in the next year. I’d like to plan ahead and go on more dates with my husband and make an effort to have more family outings. We love playing with toys at home and in our backyard, but we need a little adventure too! Maybe I’ll run some more too, we’ll see how the year goes.











2012: Year End Review

2012 was an amazing year. It has been crazy busy, it held some surprises, and some adventures. Life has treated me well, and for this I am grateful. In fact, life just keeps getting better and better. 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008 were all wonderful.  I have blogged less and less over the past four years, but I am so glad to have the last few years’ memories right here.

2012 highlights:

  • JMO and I got engaged! We are ecstatic about getting married and enjoying this special time in our relationship. JMO even made us a website (www.jmoandmeg.com).
  • I started graduate school. One day I will be a librarian, and it will be worth it. Right now it has been an absolute roller coaster. The program is more work than I could have expected, but it also more challenging and satisfying that I imagined. Roll Tide. 
  • We went with JMO’s family to New Mexico for his cousin’s wedding. It was lovely and such a good time.

  • I took my second mission trip to Honduras. Mission Lazarus does such a great job of structuring these trips and planning them out. It is a gorgeous country and they match people up with jobs that need to be done. Construction work makes me feel like superwoman. Hikes into villages make me feel like Outdoor Barbie. The entire country and the people remind me that the life we lead is very different, and it is not to be take for granted.
  • Guatemala. I went to Spanish school for three weeks in June and it was magnificent. School was a challenge, and I grew from that experience. Hiking a volcano was a giant obstacle, but one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I went to the rain forest, saw Mayan ruins, and got way outside my comfort zone. I truly love Central America.

On top of a temple overlooking the courtyard.

  • My family and all my relatives spent a week at the beach with all the Pickerts. It was such a relaxing time. It was the 29th yearof the beach house!
Family June 2012

  • JMO and I went to Vegas in April for a wedding. It was one of the best trips we have been on together. We just had an amazing time from plane ride to plane ride.

  • This is my third year teaching fourth grade. Ashley, my partner teacher, and I are like a well oiled machine. We’ve come to a place where we work very well together and we’ve learned how to tackle anything that can be thrown our way.
70's Day


This year has provided many challenges and many times for reflection. I am so proud of the direction my life has taken. I learned great challenges come with great rewards in 2012. Everything that has come my way has done so for a reason, let’s see what 2013 throws at me!

2013 Goals and Guesses:

  • Get married! This will be a huge change. Twenty-eight years of Pickert, traded in for Oswalt in one day. Crazy!
  • This year I hope to truly enjoying the process of planning a wedding and becoming a new family. It is a special time with those I love, I do not want worry to mess with it!
  • Get in shape. Every year I plan to be better. This year is no different, I want to feel strong and capable in 2012.
  • Continue to grow professionally and in my own education. The more I know, the more I can use what I know!

Each year gets bigger and better, 2013 will be amazing. Happy New Year!

The Pickerts: 29 years

Family June 2012

Twenty-nine years ago my parents got married (July 9 was the actual anniversary). They went straight from their honeymoon to the first ever Pickert family reunion. My grandparents rented a house at the beach and everyone piled in. A few years along the way have been skipped due to a wedding, a trip to Disney, and my grandparent’s milestone celebrations. There have been a few houses in the winter, but for twenty-nine years the Pickert’s have all piled in condos or a house in Florida.

My experiences and memories with my cousins all tie into the beach. There was always some mischief and the younger kids were always bugging the older kids. We played hours of games, did crafts, and were the labor for my uncle’s sandcastles. Over the years all fifteen of us have grown up. Now we line up our chairs near the ocean, grab a beer, and bust out our Kindles. We discuss our grown up lives and funny things that happened or how we felt left out as middle schoolers. I love these Pickerts.

I think this is the first year EVER we didn’t take a shot of the entire group. 

Happy Birthday Momma!

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom is always looking for a local adventure. She made the most of everywhere we ever lived, and she made my siblings and I appreciate what is around us. Pam Pickert is a marvelous mom, a caring person, a bargain hunter, and an inspirational teacher. She has worked hard to become this woman, and she radiates positivity.

My mom taught me what it is like to deeply care for people. As a toddler, she brought me along to handicap preschool. In elementary school, she brought my brother and I to puppet shows. She put on these shows to explain what it is like to be handicapped to normal children. When I was in high school, she asked me to lifeguard for the residents of a group home where she worked. My mom has never been someone who just does a job. She showed me what it was like to create meaningful experiences for other people.

We moved about every three years. My mother was never your typical military wife. No one could confine her to a base, there was a new town to be seen. When we lived in Maryland we travelled to Washington D.C. once a month, she wanted to be sure we got it all in before we moved. When we lived in Ft. Walton Beach, she took us to the beach every Wednesday afternoon to picnic and play superman with our beach towels. She never told me I was being dramatic when I cried; she always listened. Then she would dispense advice that I would ignore. Inevitably, months later I would realize she was right.

Books are treasures, they hold adventures and lessons. My mother has been taking me to the magical place where you borrow books my entire life. She opened doors to worlds I will never have time to explore entirely.

My mommy is from a small town in Alabama. She was the first to graduate high school in her family. She went to college, and earned two masters degrees. Without knowing it, my mom was leading by example. My problems in life have been minuscule, because my mother protected me and loved me. She is an amazing woman and I am truly truly blessed to call her my mother.

I can’t begin to explain what my mother means to me. My rambly account of my mommy doesn’t give even a hint at her impact on her piece of the world. I love you momma, happy birthday.



Great Week with Family!

I spent the last week in Florida, and it was glorious! No where makes me happier than the beach, and no where feels more at home than my grandparents house. I moved a million times growing up and it was the one place I always visited. We were able to spend time with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins as well. It has been years since I’ve had good talks with them. I definitely could not have asked for  a better week!

Thank you mommy for getting us all together!