26 January 2011


today was a hard day. sometimes I get tired of pretending to be a grown-up; of dealing things way beyond what I think I can handle; of trying so hard but feeling so stagnant. and there was a blizzard coming. the metro was packed. everyone was wet and grumpy. cars were stranded all over the streets. how inconvenient and annoying.

then my friends came over and made me play in the snow and remind myself where I come from and why I love snowstorms. the snowflakes that fall and land on the trees and the ground and muffle all the sounds of an otherwise chaotic world. the blanket of ice crystals that somehow make things feel a little bit warmer. the sound of boots crunching through powder and trees creaking under the weight of precipitation. the snowflakes that catch on my eyelashes just for a moment until I blink and they continue their little journey to the ground.

and I was reminded that the world is beautiful. and good. and not always as serious as I make it out to be. it is messy and complicated, for sure. but it's also pretty great.

plus, I have awesome friends.

21 January 2011

"it's all happening."

sometimes I wonder, where along the way, I consented to "grow up." and I wonder if I can really handle all that is happening and all that is coming. so much of the time I feel ill-equipped and ill-prepared. did I miss those lessons that taught me how to date? how to find a healthy balance between work and life? how to budget? how to function daily as an adult? because lately I feel like a little girl playing dress up. I look at all that is ahead of me and can't imagine how I will ever be ready to handle it. even now, after all the "grown up" things I have done in the past year. (at this moment, I am on a plane coming home to dc from a work trip. I now travel for work. how ironic considering that I used to hate to fly.) even now, I still feel like a child only pretending to be an adult. and I really have no idea what I am doing. and I am a little bit scared. not just about the fact that I am 10,000 feet in the air and watching the wing of this airplane wobble in turbulence. but about all of it. can I really handle all that I am about to face? can I handle having a career where people count on me for things I am only just learning how to do? can I handle being in relationships where I am responsible for another person's heart? can I handle being a mother one day? can I handle being an adult? so much in me just doesn't think so.

but I know that despite my best efforts, time keeps moving forward. I keep growing up. and all forward motion counts. I will keep figuring out how to handle what I don't think I can. and really, I am excited about it all. I just wish I felt a little bit better equipped. then again, I guess if I was ready for everything all the time, I wouldn't really need to depend on the One who created me to "grow up" into the person he would have me to be. I guess if I felt totally equipped for it all, I wouldn't fully be able to know that I need him so desperately in every, single piece of my life.

so I will continue resting in the fact that although I am ill-equipped to handle all of this, he is not. and that is all I really need to know.

**bonus points for anyone who can name the film from which this post's title is taken from!

15 January 2011


the last playlist of the year. I can't believe I actually made it. barely. and late every time. but it feels good to finish something. 2010 has been one for the books. and I can't help but wonder - what's next?

1. home - edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros (for book-ending 2010 in my favorite place.)

2. symphonies - dan black (for when I am steeped in my uncertainty.)

3. dog days - florence and the machine (for making peace with where I am right now. at this moment.)

4. silver coin - angus and julia stone (for when things need to be quiet.)

5. tighten up - the black keys (for when things need to be loud.)

6. the greatest - cat power (for getting me through a year of changing expectations. and helping me let them go.)

7. we no speak americano - yolanda be cool (for when I am lost in translation. and for when I think it would be freaking awesome to be able to do that with my hands.)

8. blue ridge mountains - fleet foxes (for restless wandering and always wondering.)

9. joy to the world - sufjan stevens (for a new take on my favorite. and because he has been on every other playlist this year.)

10 January 2011

these friends of mine

although it stinks to find out the hard way, it's always nice when you find out who your friends are. it's nice to know who you can really count on even when it's because you find out who you can't.

but I am not going to let this be about how hurt I may or may not be right now. it's going to be about how undeniably, inexplicably blessed I am to have the true friends that I do. after a year of wondering what the heck is wrong with me, I am finally starting to find great friends right where I am. and going home for rach and steve's wedding only confirmed that I have a group of soul mates in portland (and lincoln city, and omaha, and sacramento and montana and even denver and arkansas) who never let me forget that no matter what happens I will always have people who care and love for one another in a way that proves God's goodness. when I think about what it must be like in heaven to have perfect community with the One who loves me more than I can ever imagine...well the only thing I can think of that even begins to help me understand what this will be like is to think of these people who are my best friends.

so here's to you - you beautiful friends of mine.

you show me what it looks like to love others in a way that is truly glorifying to God. from the careers you choose to the way you treat every single person you meet with respect and true acknowledgment of their precious place as God's creation. you inspire me to live for God and for others more than myself.

when I'm with you I see who God is more clearly. when I'm with you I am truly joyful. when I'm with you I know who I am. I honestly don't know what I would do without you.

and let's be honest - you are all just so dang good looking!

the one who will always be my sister and best friend

the ones who will always be my soul mates (and future neighbors)

(other than the first one, all of the above photos are credited to the lovely mrs. leah ell.)

04 January 2011

one last look.


troy, pennsylvania. family reunion. jena and dom. collecting myself. diving in. dave eggers. mix tape mania. strengths finder.


snowed in snowstorms. birthday festivities. caleb being baptized. movie marathons. new music finding. snowpocalypse. the yellow knight. feeling like a kid again.


sabrina running. thawing out. missing home. crying a lot. laughing a lot. searching a lot. the history of love. stepping out from under the haze. daffodils.


blossoms. all things made new. sweet summer. hip to the hop. texas. read, study, write, repeat. greenberries. bubble wands. childhood laughter. his death is my life. thankful.


finishing fellows. fresh air. road trips. dance parties. windows down. mariners with jyndia. baltimore. humidity. the ocean. the choices. the decision to be happy.


a fresh start. daisies. this american life. touristing with the family. recognizing beauty. sweaty metro. finding something real.


lost and found. Becca. letting go. green monster (the drink, not the envy). stuck in between. 23. jazz in the sculpture garden. forgiveness. eastern market. fireworks from a parking garage.


new job. new roommates. old stress. tired. sycamore street. mountains of montana. ange and josh. jumping on hotel beds. best friends. free coffee. pola. cowboys. breathing in.


making old things new. the end of summer. the beginning of fall. feeling stressed. feeling unbalanced. feeling alive. feeling content. a brand new sky.


traveling for work. stanford. exploding nerves. dallas willard. exploding relief. tahoe summer...in the fall. disposable camera skies. baby bear cubs. mom. dad. loved.


daily introspection. climbing trees. picking apples. daily deep breaths. wordless weekends. finding the time. Regina. thankful.


working late. tabard inn. snow. my soul-mates. rach and steve. colored christmas lights. anticipation. mindy. los angeles. crazy family. feeling pulled in a million directions. ornament toss. happy. relieved. content. the end. the beginning.