Memorial Day weekend in Cleveland, weekend in Pennsylvania for 4th of July pig roast, Traverse City or Detroit for birthday in July, GART planning is slowing down, we’ve secured like 90% of our campsites, permits, and hotels


Kyle’s favorite Alton Brown meatloaf for mom’s birthday, HBH corn, tomato, and avocado pasta salad, HBH browned sage butter chicken pot pie for Mother’s Day


Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor, Royal Docks Brewing Co, Harvest, The 27 Club, Beerhead Bar and Eatery, Stone Made Pub, lots of salads at work and for dinners


Earnest Brew Works, Jolly Pumpkin, from the tap at Harvest, The 27 Club, Southern Tier, Butcher and the Brew, Phoenix Coffee Co


Ann arbor, Up North for Leeann and Anthony’s wedding, Canton, OH to visit #girlgand, Cleveland for Memorial Day Weekend, back to Planet Fitness with emphasis on stair climbing and incline treadmill walking to prepare for our hikes


Ann Arbor in the spring, free little library find – The Maidens, dog sitting, parents new cat Alley Cat, air brushed make up, thriving house plants


Moments of calm and serenity surrounded by beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the next chapter, together


Incredibly proud having ran 10 consecutive miles (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), highly annoyed at the crack in my windshield (second incident in two years), excited and nervous to quit my job, overwhelmed by my June reading plans

Listening // Books

Listening // Music

Albums: Justice by Justin Bieber, SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo, Let Go by Avril Lavigne
Songs: 1 step forward, 3 steps back and happier from SOUR, MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, Kiss Me More by Doja Cat and SZA
Spotify Playlists: Today’s Top Hits, 2020 Half Marathon Jams


7 year anniversary with Kyle in Ann Arbor, the wedding of Leeann and Anthony, parents 35th wedding anniversary, securing a Glacier hotel reservation


About white fragility and how to be anti-racist, to love my body for what it is capable of (running 10 miles) , not for what the scale reads (167.0)


Went hog wild buying camping gear and new clothes during the REI anniversary sale (30% off), tshirt and national park stickers from Keep Nature Wild (Memorial Day sale), Canon point and shoot camera – PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Monthly Mood Board

Until next time, Meryn




Anniversary weekend in Ann Arbor, weekend in Cleveland in May, weekend in Pennsylvania for 4th of July pig roast, Traverse City for birthday in July
Road trip: campgrounds, back county permits, hotels, continuing to tweak the schedule/itinerary, coordinating with friends and family


Booktube: Ellias, Gabby (gabbyreads), Kayla (booksandlala), Sabine (Sabine’s Book Nook), Jack Edwards, Joel (fictionalfates), Noelle Gallagher, Reagan (PeruseProject), Sydney (Syd Bookworrom)
Beauty Youtube: Kelly Gooch, Jessica Braun
Instagram: Hayden Cohen of @hayderz
Other: REI virtual class Exploring Crater Lake National Park, NFL draft live from Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Indians games


meatloaf, Mexican cabbage soup (The Defined Dish recipe), cabbage soup, Greek chicken meatballs with Greek salad (The Wooden Skillet recipe linked here)


Market Garden Frosty, Olipop strawberry vanilla sparkling tonic, King KoKonut from Avon Brewing Company, local kombucha from Boochy Mamas


Ye Olde Durty Bird, Gathering Volumes independent bookstore, Flying Joe’s coffee shop with BFF, hammock hangs and reading in Oak Openings, dress alterations for MOH dress, lots of walks and hikes at Secor Metropark


Mike’s macaroni and cheese pizza, audiobooks, long runs to clear my mind and challenge myself, prioritizing time outside in nature weekly if not daily


breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, beautiful landscapes, freedom, lightness, togetherness, new beginnings


very ready to quit my job and take a break from patient care, nervous for another new boss and another brand new PTA, excited for our road trip and our next chapter together

Listening // Books + Podcasts

Books: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
Podcasts: Thank You For Asking

Listening // Music

Albums: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift, Justice by Justin Bieber
Songs: MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, Runaway by Aurora
Spotify Playlists: Today’s Top Hits


Independent Bookstore Day at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg (3 book purchase), new personal best: longest run of 8.25 miles, over 34 miles ran in the month of April, 1 year of investing with 4.5k gain, Easter with family I haven’t seen in over a year, Earth Day by picking up trash around the neighborhood, the lives of the 18 lost in the past 6 months at Wauseon


various National Parks as we plan for our GART, camping food prep, how to be anti-racist, always, running is therapy as much, if not more, than it is exercise


active wear from Nebraska brand Little Movements Apparel, sunscreen from Sephora, hotel reservations for GART, spring dresses from Petal and Pip, spring colored athletic shirts for work

Monthly Mood Board

Until next time, Meryn




Logistics of quitting our jobs in July, our 10 week, cross country, Great American Road Trip starting in August (blogs to come)


Chef’s Table with Ana Roš (season 2, episode 5), movie I Care a Lot starring Rosamund Pike, March Madness basketball games


Homemade meatballs, chicken salad, quick and easy weeknight meals, mini ground chicken meat loaves


Panda express, Jolly Pumpkin in Detroit, Bon Bon Bon, Delanie’s Grille


Starbucks new spring drink iced brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso, personalized non-alcoholic cocktails at Sugar House, craft cocktails at Cleveland Speakeasy


Starting and updating my reading journal, book cover collages, bookstagram content


Detroit, Livonia, Garden Harvest, neighborhood runs, Defiance stops for spring cleaning


Running outside, I feel like a different, better human being returning to running outside! The Toledo Public Library, I don’t think I can express how much I love requesting and borrowing books from the library (21 of the 24 books I’ve read this year were library books!)


Of the satisfaction that will come from pushing send on my resignation email to my regional managers, of the amazing collection of postcards I’m going to gather during our trip to make the post amazing keepsake and conversation piece


Beyond frustrated with the headache that is managing my health insurance coverage with my company (long story short, they had my hire date incorrect so I was uninsured in the month of February which left me to cover the cost of a pelvic US and f/u appt to check my IUD placement)

Conflicted about having a hand in getting a boss fired *grimacing face emoji*, equal parts excited and scared for the unknowns that come with quitting a stable job to spend 10 weeks on the road, supported by friends and family regarding our GART plans

Listening // Books

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Listening // Music

Of Monsters and Men’s My Head Is An Animal album, my 2020 Half Marathon Jams playlist, Justin Bieber’s new album Justice (favorite songs include As I Am, Holy, Unstable, Ghost)


Kyle’s 1000th transport, National Meatball Day, daylight savings time aka day light at 7:30PM, Women’s History Month, BFF’s bachelorette party in Ann Arbor at Vinology followed by Blank Slate ice cream, the joy of running 5 miles, $1,400 stimulus check, country wide vaccinations!


Life’s too short, it’s now or never to explore the country while we have so little responsibilities in terms of pets, home ownership, and no children


Bath and Body works hand soaps, Wax Buffalo candles – hummingbird and oatmeal stout, bachelorette lingerie from Aerie for a BFF, Osprey pack from REI

Monthly Mood Board

Until next time, Meryn




To quit our jobs, move out of our apartment, road trip across the US for 4-6 weeks, and then move to Cleveland or Ann Arbor


Super Bowl LV Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Kansas City Chiefs 31–9, Noelle Gallagher of booktube channel (link), Sabine’s Book Nook booktube channel (link), this tik tok on repeat:


Pork carnitas and homemade pico for the Super Bowl, Half Baked Harvest 4 cheese sun-dried tomato pasta bake, Half Baked Harvest kung pao chicken, spaghetti squash with meat and tomato sauce


Mike’s mac n’ cheese pizza (a little too often this month), big freakin’ donut from Holey Toledough, chicken nachos at Wolverine State Brewing Co


Sippin’ Pretty by Odell Brewing Co, HOMES Brewery in Ann Arbor, Wolverine State Brewing Co in Ann Arbor, Tiramisu Brown Ale by Maumee Bay Brewing Co, Grand Mimosa by Ciderboys, black iced coffee from Biggby, Starbucks pistachio latte


Beautiful home libraries and bookcases, bullet journal and book journal spreads, gallery wall inspiration, kitchen inspiration, white bean Greek salad, buckeye brownies


Finally finished lettering the addresses for my classmates save the dates and mailed them back to her, repotted my house plants


First house viewing in Westgate, second house viewing in Old Orchard, Ann Arbor to visit BFFs and pick up an item at REI, dinner at cheers with a coworkers, the library like 2-4 times a week


Blue skies and 40 degree plus weather, hammock stand, The House in the Cerulean Sea, compliments on my skill, integrity, and clinical reasoning and decision making, methodology in my career, mentoring and learning from my new grad PTA


Devastated with the unexpected news of losing the Wauseon building, pissed off having only been given 1 weeks notice, hopeful for the end of quarantine, excited for spring, euphoria running outside again, appreciated and seen by my colleague and mentor

Listening // Books

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, You Never Forget Your First by Alexis Coe, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Listening // Music

Of Monsters and Men’s My Head Is An Animal album, Taylor Swift’s evermore album, my 2020 Half Marathon Jams playlist, Summertime Sadness and Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray, Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo, 8 Letters by Why Don’t We, Heather by Conan Gray


Pre-approval for a mortgage, 812 credit score, Valentine’s week which concluded with the gift of a hammock stand (Kammok), running outside, beautiful blue skies and 40 degree weather


Big Bird has cousins (see below), cute and simple hairstyles from Tik Tok, George Washington didn’t have wooden teeth, no no, he had the teeth of his slaves


Black authors only with February BOTM selections: NK Jemisin, Nancy Johnson, Bryan Washington


My own copies of The Night Tiger (50% off) and The Ghost Bride (second hand), foaming hand soap from Bath and Body Works


Every emotion that I feel throughout the day I accept, because it’s what makes me human

Monthly Mood Board

Until next time, Meryn


It’s the middle of February and I am not feeling my original 2021 OLW. Let’s change it.

At the the end of 2020, I had picked what I thought was the perfect one little word (OLW) moving into the new, hopeful year of 2021 – maintenance. Despite the chaotic and unexpected year that was 2020, I worked hard to create healthy and suitable habits in many aspects of my life regarding physical, emotional, and financial health.

In January 2021, maintenance sounded like a great goal to have! Of course I wanted to keep exercising 5x/week and read everyday, because my biggest personal accomplishments in 2020 were a direct result of those habits. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t feel possible or sustainable at all right now to maintain these habits, at that’s okay. Because the fact of the matter is I’m not working out 5x/week, not even 3x/week, because I don’t have the motivation or desire to do so. What I want to do for myself and my mental health is run outside. But that’s also exactly the thing I am not willing to do in the middle of February when the average temp is mid to low 30s. So what’s the deal? Am I unmotivated? Lazy? No, I don’t think so. It’s just not the right time. I had the best of intentions for myself, but my lack of progress signals to me, this isn’t working. And instead of being upset with myself or engaging in negative self talk, I can just change my word. Simple as that.

That brings me right now, February 14th, 2021, at the time I’m writing. Yes, Valentine’s Day. I found myself standing in Kroger, waiting to order a Starbucks drink and sandwich [because #treatyoself] and as I looked around at all the people buying bouquets and chocolates, it hit me. I’d lost touch with reality. On the surface I knew it was Valentine’s Day; I’d seen the advertisements. The romance book recommendations. The cute red and pink heart decorations at work. Even enjoyed the heart shaped donut Kyle brought home from Dunkin’ for me the day before. But it wasn’t until I was standing in the grocery store that I realized I hadn’t made a single effort or attempt to celebrate or acknowledge the holiday.

From there, my mind began to spiral. Christmas effectively came and went with little to no lasting impression. No stockings. No wrapped presents. No family gatherings. And yes, obviously this was due to the pandemic. All to say this reminded me of the promise I made to myself that 2021 would be different. I’d be more present, despite how depressed I felt or how chaotic work became. No matter the excuses I made for myself. Then a new word hit me like a ton of bricks.

Intention noun
1: thing intended; an aim or plan
2: what one intends to do or bring about
3: a determination to act in a certain way, resolve

Intentional adjective
1: done on purpose; deliberate
2: done by intention or design, intended

What a cliché OLW, I know. But it feels right.

Here’s the ways in which I hope to be more deliberate moving forward in the year 2021, guided by my new OLWs, intention and/or intentional.

Last year, I fell into the habit of sitting on the couch with my laptop, purely due to comfort. Less time sitting at my desk resulted in less journaling, less time spent being creative, and my desk became cluttered, unruly, and unmanageable. Definitely not a sight for sore eyes.
1 | sit at my desk to check emails, write blog posts, journal, engage in creativity

Similarly, Kyle and I fell into the habit of eating meals on the couch as our schedules got crazier and crazier as the year progressed. We used to set up the dinner table and enjoy dinner together, sometimes with candlelight, and I want to get back to that.
2 | eat more meals with Kyle at our dining room table

I had some initial success with working out at home when all the gyms closed, then really fell into a routine running outside which gave me such mental clarity and emotional stability in what would prove to be the hardest year of my life professionally. But anymore, my desire and motivation to exercise in the home is non-existent, even for a 20 minute work out.
3 | return to the gym (when safe to do so), walk and run outside when the weather allows

“A place for everything, everything in its place.”
— Benjamin Franklin

I have dozens of ideas in my head of creative projects, some I think I should do, some I want to do. Also a handful of mundane tasks that have been on my to do list for 3+ years. It’s time I either buckle down and complete these projects or determine what the barriers are limiting me from completing these tasks.
1 | ditch the creative ideas and projects that aren’t sparking joy, alter expectations

In 2020, I lost sight of maintaining healthy boundaries with work. There was a point where I was working every weekend, feeling obligated to my employer to work 6 to 7 days per week because work was sparse at times in the middle of a pandemic. In December I realized the extra $120 on a paycheck wasn’t worth it. The bliss of having an entire day away from work did so much for my mental health than the extra hundred bucks a paycheck.
2 | prioritize time with and for myself aware from work without guilt or shame

I’m notoriously bad at maintaining a morning and nighttime routine. I’ve fallen into the bad habit of sleeping in on work days if I know my schedule is lighter than usually, which often back fires because things always pop up. I justify these actions by convincing myself I’m spending time with Kyle when in reality, his sleeping body is just next to my sleeping body.
3 | wake up at the same time every work day, despite having a ‘short work day’

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
— Theophrastus

No one can know what the future holds, but this is a good enough place to start.

Until next time, Meryn



Welcome to my diary entry, stream of consciousness on the pain and grief felt having been given one weeks notice that my position at my first job was terminated due to a dissolved business agreement.

How do you say goodbye to a place that means so much?

How do you accept leaving a job not on your own terms?

But the terms of a dissolved partnership?

I thought I would get to decide when my last day was.

I thought this was my decision to make.

I thought I’d leave on my terms.

Not the terms of management.

I get it, life’s not fair.

I know.

How do I say goodbye to the coworkers that made each day better than the one before?

To the patients and residents that made me a better physical therapist?

More so, a better person?

More empathetic.

More patient.

A better communicator.

A better listener.

With improved confidence and conflict resolution skills.

How do I say goodbye?

I wasn’t given the chance or the privilege to say goodbye to those taken by the COVID virus.

I think about them everyday.








I’ll feel that pain for rest of my life.

How they died alone.

So unnecessarily.

But remember,

Life’s not fair.

I know, I know.

I walked in a fearful new grad.

Scared out of my mind.

Into a building with a lot of heart.

And a lot to offer.

A team with so much to learn from.

And I leave a better PT.

I leave a better person.

From the bottom of my heart,

Thank you,

Meryn Frey, PT, DPT


The year 2020 was a lot of things:
unexpected, transformative, eye-opening

I had no idea that I would:

Start a blog and publish 50 blogposts

Read 56 books and start a bookstagram

Complete a whole30

Run a half marathon

Lose 30 pounds

Start trading in the stock market

Negotiate a $2 raise in a global pandemic

Amass a six figure net worth

And grow closer in my relationship with my partner

But also:

Lose 13 patients, so unnecessarily

Sob uncontrollably at work

Mourn and grieve those I never had the chance to offer a goodbye

Put my patient’s health and well being ahead of my social life

Become a telehealth physical therapist

And as a society we didn’t expect to:

Lose some 400,000 American lives to the cornavirus

Bear witness to horrific events of racism in this country

Mourn the losses of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and hundreds more

Watch our nationals capitol be stormed and defaced at the hand of white supremacist, Trump supporters

But there was some good:

Bread baking, puzzle building, reading, working out at home, playing board and card games

Carbon dioxide emissions declined

Shelter intake was down 24% compared to last year due to the increase in pet adoptions

NASA launched an advanced rover to Mars and landed a spacecraft on an asteroid

A SpaceX rocket sent American astronauts to the International Space Station

Mass production and distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID19 vaccine

Record number of Americans turned out to vote in our national election, despite the pandemic – best voter turn out in 120 years

Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris


1 | 18 Actually Good Things That Happened in 2020
Huffpost article linked here

2 | 20 good things that happened in 2020
The Washington Post article linked here

3 | 50 positive things that happened in 2020 (so far)
The Columbus Dispatch article linked here

4 | Good news in 2020? Yes, it’s true! Here are 100 positive things that happened this year
USA article linked here

5 | It wasn’t all bad: Here are 20 good things that happened in 2020
Fox29 article linked here

6 | These are the hobbies everyone has picked up during COVID-19 outbreak
The Ladders article linked here

Until tomorrow, Meryn




For the year of 2021, scheduling time off for weddings, weekend getaways, short trip to Nebraska in October, purchasing our first home, financial successes


News coverage regarding the attack on The Capitol, Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Booktube’s favorite books of 2020, beauty Youtube’s 2020 favorites, news regarding Reddit’s impact of GameStop stock


Romaine salads with weird toppings like green beans, hash browns, chicken sausage with ranch and/or barbeque sauce, various chilis and soups, taco salads, pork carnitas stuffed sweet potatoes, potato crusted frittata, hot cocoa cinnamon rolls with marshmallow icing


Afternoon appetizer’s at Manhattan’s Pub ‘n Cheer to celebrate coworker’s last day


MAAANGO! IPA and Azaccazilla Hazy IPA from Zipline Brewing Co., iced black coffee with occasional coconut milk from Biggby


Home interiors and inspiration, mid century modern design, ideas for book bullet journaling, chocolate, peanut butter, and coffee desserts, monthly habit trackers, beautiful home libraries


Hand lettering wedding envelopes, 2020 half marathon jams Spotify playlist, reviewing 2020 finances


To the library 2-4 times/week to pick up new books, Kroger about once a week, Biggby like 2-3 times/week still sipping on that iced coffee, a few neighborhood walks (it’s still way too cold)


Listening to audiobooks during my daily work commute, Toledo Public Library, buddy reading sci fi with my brother, Bernie Sanders inauguration sensible mitten meme (linked here)


Embarrassed to be an American with the attacks against our Nation’s Capitol, pissed off by a 2% wage cut, empowered to negotiate a better rate, I thought I’d feel proud when I argued a higher rate but I felt kinda slime-y inside, but I also hate management of the companies I work for so screw you

Listening // Podcasts + Books

Book Riot: Episode 422 Our Favorite Reads of 2020, Episode 426 2021 Spring Preview
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Listening // Music

Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo, Good Days by SZA, Save Your Tears by The Weeknd, Paradise by MEDUZA, Lana Del Ray, The Kid LAROI


Second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine, Cleveland Brown’s winning season 12-6 and play off appearance, preliminary steps for getting pre-approved for a mortgage, successful negotiation for a $3/hour raise (“During a panny? A panorama? During a Patricia? In this ECONOMY” source here)


Online CEU: Imaging in Physical Therapy Practice: Medical Screening & Integration with Clinical Decision‐Making, about the life and legacy of Hank Aaron, how to purchase a home as a first time home buyer


My own mental health and well being, creating boundaries and upholding them, choosing not to overextend myself for a company that doesn’t outwardly express gratitude for my flexibility, dedication, skill, and reliability – we aren’t here for that in 2021 hunny


Board games and card games with Christmas money, domain name for this blog, candle from Handzy Shop + Studio and sent to California as a late Christmas gift, maid of honor dresses from Lulu’s for May wedding

Monthly Mood Board

Until tomorrow, Meryn


January 20, 2021

A historic day for women

Kamala Harris

Now officially Madam Vice President

The nation’s first female, Black and South Asian Vice President

The glass ceiling?


 “I may be the first woman to hold this office.”

“But I won’t be the last.”

Jill Biden

Dr. Jill Biden

Once Second Lady, now First





In the White House

“Teaching isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am.”

I’ll tell my children about this day

With tears in my eyes and pride in my heart

The chills I had every time I heard the words, “Dr. Jill Biden”

Because it’s not easy being highly educated and articulate

And it’s not easy being a woman

It’s harder to be both

I beam with pride every time I hear her name

Speak her name

Dr. Jill Biden

“Mr. President and Dr. Biden”

I was once ridiculed for studying too much

Too focused on school work in college

But what did it get me?

The title I hold so near to my heart

Dr. Meryn Frey

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Today I exclusively signed my name Dr. Meryn Frey

In Dr. Biden’s honor

I’m proud of my degrees

I’m proud of my hard work, determination, and dedication

I’m proud to hold the title Doctor

I allow no man to make my feel inferior for their little self worth

Until tomorrow, Dr. Meryn Frey


December 22, 2020

For the first time, in a long time, I have hope

I chose to get the COVID vaccine for myself, but more importantly, for my patients

I can’t bring back the 14 patients who have died unnecessarily at the hand of this virus

But I can do my part to protect myself and my patients, from this day forward

January 12, 2021

Today, 21 days later, I felt excitement and thrill receiving my second dose

I’m proud to stand with science

To trust the scientific process

To support the scientists and researchers who made this vaccine possible

In record time

I’m proud to advocate in my personal and professional lives

On the importance and impact of vaccination

Because I’m done with the heart break

The mourning

And the grieving

I’m ready to close this very difficult chapter

The tears I’ve shed have evolved over the course of this pandemic

First, in fear, with uncertainty and unknowns

Second, in happiness, as my patients started to recover

Now, in hope

Hope for new, better days ahead

I hold onto hope

Until tomorrow, Meryn