I'm not a new face at McDonald McGarry. I've been around in unofficial capacities since I was a kid. After moving back when I finished college, I became a bona fide member of the team. And the rest is history, or so they say. While I haven't negotiated world peace, or cupcakes for everyone, I've learned a few life lessons in my 27 years, accumulated a lot of wonderful and amusing stories, and realized that I have an opinion on almost everything. Since we can't talk insurance around-the-clock on the blog, I thought I'd take Tuesdays to share with you some of my "Growing Pains" and the wisdom I've learned along the way.

Around this time last year, I got the keys to my very own condo in downtown Edmonds. I'd been renting an itty-bitty apartment and decided that the summer of 2012 was a great time to get into the real estate game. So I dove in, signed my name to a forest's worth of paper and was given my keys. Owning my condo was wonderful and decorating was a blast - though I was always a little nervous about some household thing going terribly wrong and not knowing how to fix it.

But then I woke up early one cold November morning, staring down a days'  worth of button sewing, vest making and general Costume-Designer-with-One-Week-Until-Deadline types of things. And because I'd put in several hours at the costume shop and managed to see Wicked the day before, the only thing on my mind was coffee. What else would you expect from me at 6:30am? Then it happened: I stepped in a puddle. In my kitchen. My first instinct was to look up at the ceiling for water spots and to try to figure out how exactly water came in through the ceiling since I'm on the ground floor and all.

I slowly realized how I ended up with that puddle (or pond. It was more pond-like the longer I looked at it). After getting home from the show the night before, I decided in a fit of responsible homeowner-ness to tighten the gadgets that hold the pipes together below the kitchen sink (they'd leaked a little a week or so earlier) and then run my dishwasher. I tiptoed across the floor to look under the sink, and what do you know? Rather than tighten, I managed to disconnect the pipes completely and the water from my dishwasher went all over the floor, flooding the kitchen. Oops?

And then I had a pre-caffeine epiphany: I realized that I was completely capable of dealing with this on my own. Not only am I an adult, but I owned this condo, and a pond in your kitchen is not something to ignore. So rather than going back to bed with my coffee (I was already in the kitchen, might as well hit "on", right?) like I might have done in my less mature years, I dealt with it. Well, I stood there on one foot like a flamingo in flannel pajamas contemplating the situation for a few minutes. Then I gathered up as many towels and rags as possible, removed the soaked kitchen rug, and put up a large post-it note reminding me "DO NOT USE THE WATER" until I'd sufficiently Googled how to fix the situation. Gosh darn it, I was a grown up. I didn't have a landlord to call, or someone to fix it for me. It was Meagan vs. the Flooded Kitchen, and I don't take kindly to losing. So thanks to Google, a phone consult with my dad (okay, I'm not perfect) I managed to put that piping back together.

What I took from that situation first and foremost, is not to play with the plumbing but more seriously, that being in charge, that "joy of home ownership" isn't so scary after all. There are a good number of things that could go wrong that are much more serious than a disconnected pipe. But the fact that I fixed this one, solved the problem and, fingers crossed, it hasn't happened again gives me a little confidence boost. Spiders, however, are a whole different ballgame...