The Valley

I have been avoiding doing the dishes in our small kitchen sink since Saturday. Every cereal bowl from then until now is awaiting me (though in this moment I am kind of admiring myself for having such a serious and consistent cereal habit), along with a smoothie cup and some other really fun ruminating pieces that held our meals from the past several days. My dog is bored and not yet old, this means he is scouring the house for any and all socks, underwear, and small pieces of anything to fit in his mouth and trot around with, the ultimate attention-seeker. It’s tedious to keep up with this routine of his, though my heart goes out to him. In a desperate attempt to sleep in--a hefty week of working late on my shoulders, I had John take the car making an educated guess (in its rightful context this term means completely uneducated and swelling with insomnia) that I’d be able to find a ride to work this afternoon with a family member (those teachers and their summers off, am I right? Nope, teachers begin to work prior to Labor Day and their family members never remember this). Thankfully a kind friend and a nearby one at that is loaning me her van while her babies sleep. This is bout 1/100 of the grace I am sure I will mostly subconsciously experience today. And tomorrow I will likely fail just as much as being a good human. This is how it goes.

breakfast stand

I am past due for a hair cut, mostly because I don’t feel like paying for one right now, though my lovely hair dresser definitely deserves the money. While my ears continue to become completely covered by my lengthy sideburns, I am eating a block of pre-sliced cheese (yes! That’s right! I can’t even cut my own cheese) while still finishing my coffee. Here I am, writing you, my neglected blogosphere, fresh from watching the Social Network for multiple nights, and how lucky you are that you get to experience my fresh Aaron-Sorkin-influenced writing style of the week.

I suppose if I were keeping up with the style and subjects of this past years’ content I’d let you know we’ve moved *again*, went to Maine *again*, saw great friends in from out of town, discovered that John’s body is sensitive to dairy, have begun to pursue a couple exciting non-work-related projects, have thoroughly intrigued a whole nursing home of elderly folks across the street with simply existing, and are anticipating the explosion of one of our laptop’s batteries (heeey 09’ MacBook, yeah the white kind they don’t make anymore, we know we’ve neglected you for the past few years, but guess what? You’re our most reliable source of portable computers now).

office window
bar harbor spoils
dresser
zuccini

I have hesitated to return to this space because I know I want it to be something different. I don’t want to write about my life in an overt and complete manner, because I don’t like the fake pressure of needing an interesting life--or trying to invent one, and because I personally run the risk of being an over-sharer. No no, that’s not good for either of us. I also don’t want to try to reinvent the wheel either, and try to deliver you a gorgeous domain of the cycling mother who sells patchwork jeans online and has a pretty huge Tumblr following (seriously I’m not mocking, I just know I’m not up for it). 

I’m going to try to figure it out. Feel free to offer up any thoughts.

For today, I’m thankful that I get to live these days even as a very far from perfect human. I have to keep believing that some of this internet is for the greater good, and that at least is reason enough to keep writing. 

stool
walk
love
porch door

Leaving you with one of my current favorite quotes. It is worth reading many times. I love all of you--whoever you are, how ever many few of you there are, whether or not you think Meryl Streep is the single most important female actor of our lifetime. Be a friend, and be well.

“It can be easy to romanticize a passion or a social cause or a marriage or raising kids with tons of posed pictures and flowery words-- but all such things are gritty, raw, rough, and painstakingly sculpted from our fully-invested hearts. There is a lot of standing around and sweating through our shirts and seasons of self-doubt and all the frustrated parts that no one else can see. We fall in love with highlights but these were formed in the valley. Please don’t be seduced by sound bites and filtered photos and bow tie daydreams. Real joy actually hurts, but that’s why it’s real. It was carved from the best of us.” j.s.

Lottie

Be brave

I sat recently on a couch with my aunt. She's a woman who's been in my life forever, and really in my life. She was a young woman when I was born, what I imagine to be similar to how I've experienced my close friends' children over the past year. The first time you really get why babies are thing people freak out about. Watching them grow through different stages, being present for significant phases, in awe of the way their squishy little baby bodies become a really tiny human who can talk and make you laugh as hard as Amy Poehler can. I believe this began the strong connection my aunt and I have always had. As a teen my aunt as a concept began to develop in my mind--how she dressed was admirable to me, the passion she had for her profession, the way her dog and her went on hikes on the weekends. She was a person and I was the one watching now.

It's weird when you become what is a very young adult, and you work on building more concepts in your head. You notice your parents are humans, not characters from a Berenstain Bears book. They struggle with eating healthy and they aren't sure about their careers. You notice this about other important adults. They have experienced pain much like yourself, possibly even more-so, but they never told you about it when they brought you into this world and made sure you were fed every day and took you to the library. Their scars are deeper than yours. They've lived longer. This takes your breath away. You wish you could erase their pain all in one moment. You're also in love. It's stunning to know these people in this capacity. It's stunning to see their specific smile stretch across their cheeks. You know them and you know what they've known and now they're smiling.

My aunt and I laughed together about my mom. The way she's been so fundamental in both of our lives, and how genuinely hilarious she is. "I wish you could have known her much earlier." My aunt's eyes crinkled. "Was she much different?" I had to know. "She was herself. She's always been kind and optimistic and had that care-taker thing about her, but she was much quieter about it. She didn't have the confidence about herself yet. She's sure now. And she's so much more silly."

There's so much to draw from those words, and their implications for me at 23. I don't want to screw it up for me or for you, so I'll just let them sink in.

My friend told me the other day that watching my mom and I laugh together was like watching two mirrors laugh at each other. The funny thing is I was only focusing on being self-conscious of my laugh when she told me that. Her words sunk in a couple days later.

It can feel like a tough responsibility to swallow actually knowing these special people. I turn from this reality to another one; what a gift it is too. What kind of a life do you have if you can't have the trust of older people and the opportunity to love them so much more? It's worth the bravery.

me and mom

Taking Stock

Taking a page out of Sydney's daybook. Check out her blog today. It was my first blog love. And still is.

Taking stock + a recipe for you. Because it's about damn time I got a little more culinary and because these scones will literally make you scream.

scones combo

Making: a lot of lists. as always. stuff we need to get done. stuff i want to do together. stuff i want to make people for christmas. places i want to visit in 2015.
Cooking: (hopefully) a recipe out of our The Kinfolk Table cookbook this weekend. if we have all the ingredients in our cupboard and all the motivation.
Drinking: white zinfandel with icecubes and mario kart last night at 11pm. the ways in which we can still spend time together and john can unwind from work are resulting in me doing a lot of weird crap. worth it though.
Reading: romans. the last of amy poehler's book because i accidentally forgot about it. and a little of my philosophy book from college because i miss all those beautiful times of thinking.
Wanting: a food processor. so i can make these scones regularly. a dream job. ha about that last one.
Looking: to the future. perhaps a little too much.
Playing: a lot of over-zealous games involving out-of-breath running with Glas. the things we'll do to exhaust him.
Wasting: time on Pinterest, dreaming of hair cuts and Norway.
Wishing: my kitchen would paint itself. i just want to start in on a breakfast nook.
Enjoying: the HECK out of Taylor Swift. Cue incredibly appropriate SNL sketch
Waiting: for all the vegetables i've eaten this week to kick in. for every 5 carrots, i can run a marathon, right? loooooooool.
Liking: wearing the same sweater every day. i think only my dog has noticed so far.
Wondering: if any of you want to come over and do my dishes. just kidding, i'd totally recruit you to help paint my kitchen instead.
Loving: this pair of pajamas. not sure why they're a million dollars, but i'm a sucker for a solid pajama suit. a good cup of morning coffee deserves the right outfit to drink it in.
Hoping: I can somehow scrap together a full-ish portfolio. still applying to design schools.
Marveling: at december. at the way our home feels perfect on a saturday when there's so much chaos everywhere. how when we're both home it just feels like a sanctuary.
Needing: the gospel.
Smelling: my second cup of trader joe's gingerbread coffee, sitting to my right. shout out to my endlessly kind mother-in-law for bringing a can of that to me on thanksgiving.
Wearing: my husband's sweatpants. because I am that wife that lets him wash his own sweatpants, and then give them to me to wear.

bed
tray

Following: the sales on DSLR's. i'm gonna need to bite the bullet someday soon. not this month, though. gotta pay those bills, ya'll. can i get an amen?
Noticing: that it's already 2:13 pm. i'm behind schedule on reading, kissing my dog 100 more times, taking a walk in this rain-snow, and painting my nails.
Knowing: i have like 16 more days being 22. these twenties are flying by. here's to growing up in ways i want to, and refusing to in ways i don't. what'll it be, 23? maybe some private hopes and dreams will unfold, in their partial, unpredictable, atypical ways.
Thinking: about our up-coming train ride south to see my dear little grandma. can't wait to smell bad and laugh at weird conversations we overhear the amish people having and spend nearly a week with all of my siblings. (you too, mom and dad!) i also can't wait to mock the crap out of florida, the state i will never understand. i really love my grandparents though.
Bookmarking: some coffee i plan to order with christmas money. currently debating between regular (grand rapids, mi) and heart's stereo (portland, or).
Opening: our christmas playlist on spotify and enjoying rihanna's diamonds being on there from a hilarious joke i played on john a year ago.
Giggling: preemptively at SNL tonight.. yeah James Franco! can't wait to not understand the political sketches but still laugh really hard anyway.
Feeling: really proud of my brother. not sure if you're reading this. but we so proud of you. he just got a job in NH, inspiring others and giving wisdom. he's a genius and is gonna kill the crap out of that job.

us

Oat Nut Scones with Chips and Maple Glaze (recipe adapted from The View from Great Island)

For the Scones:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (we actually did a mixture of white flour, whole-wheat flour, and oats)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup MAPLE SUGAR (we used brown sugar)
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 -2/3 cups cold buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping cup walnut halves or large pieces
  • Chocolate chips

For the Glaze

  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp maple extract or flavoring
  • milk or cream to thin
  • chopped walnuts for topping
  1. Set the oven to 400F
  2. Put the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugars into the bowl of a processor and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the cold butter and pulse for about 30 seconds until the large chunks of butter are incorporated and the mix is grainy.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup beat the egg, and then add the maple syrup, and extracts. Then add enough cold buttermilk to bring the liquid up to 1 cup.
  5. Add the walnuts to the processor, and then, while you are pulsing the machine, pour the liquid into the dry just until it starts to come together. You may not need all the liquid. Add your chocolate chips last. Pulse just enough to mix them through.
  6. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and bring together into an 8 inch disk. If it is VERY wet, add a little more flour. You might need to knead it once or twice. Cut the disk into 6 scones and lay them carefully on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. The dough will be wet, almost like a drop biscuit consistency. Don't be tempted to add lots of flour to firm it up, just form the disk and slice.
  7. Put the tray in the refrigerator or freezer, if possible, for 15 minutes, while you clean up.
  8. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until firm on top and lightly browned. Cool them on a rack while you make the glaze.
  9. For the glaze, stir or whisk together the powdered sugar, the maple syrup, and flavoring, with enough milk or cream to thin it to spreadable consistency. Add more sugar if it gets too thin.

A dear friend and I made these Friday morning. Our husbands just began working together a few weeks back, and it's created the best thing ever. She welcomes me over every so often and I get to hold her precious dumpling baby and drink coffee and chat with her about life. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I recommend sharing these with a friend. They become exponentially more rich. Enjoy. You won't forget the scones, nor the conversation.

I want II

Temporary tumblr pt. 2

I want (would like, wish, prefer it to happen)

18f86d5a2366ab14162ddc6294957770.jpg

To get organized. Feel like an adult in that way. Know how old my milk is and that I definitely have enough eggs to make a cake.

To know what exactly is important. What should be in neon.

A job I'm under-qualified for. Much better than over.

To work with my friends.

To make these already.

To embrace this process.

Juggle life like a pro.

Well, you know.

To gather around coffee.

To be absolutely in love with where I live. Some say it isn't possible. I'd at least like to try.

To recognize the important, necessary moments, and not forsake them.

 

The Lord is my Shepard. I lack nothing.

 

*none of these photos are my own property

It's November 5th

It's November 5th. Pick up your pen (or keyboard? ew) and write something already.

Since I last left you I've had to take lots of my own advice. Which I don't typically enjoy. As you know, laziness and hypocrisy can typically be friends, so the past couple weeks haven't been filled with as many Gilmore Girl episodes or walks with our baby dog/piglet as I had hoped. Oh yeah. We got a dog. (For those of you who only know about my life through this disjointed blog, which chances are, describes none of you).

 In all his butthead glory. I love this picture so much because he'd rather be naughty and eat a table than eat some doritos. Definitely not related to me. What a weirdo.

In all his butthead glory. I love this picture so much because he'd rather be naughty and eat a table than eat some doritos. Definitely not related to me. What a weirdo.

 This displays his "I'm scared of stuff I shouldn't be" side, with an element of squirmy little couch companion. Makes mornings more hectic and also more special.

This displays his "I'm scared of stuff I shouldn't be" side, with an element of squirmy little couch companion. Makes mornings more hectic and also more special.

 Our (me and Glas') first weekday morning together, navigating life. We were both scared and excited and wished John didn't have to go to work.

Our (me and Glas') first weekday morning together, navigating life. We were both scared and excited and wished John didn't have to go to work.

 And finally. His most common mood: fearlessness. Basking in that giant bed that is much much larger than his own,

And finally. His most common mood: fearlessness. Basking in that giant bed that is much much larger than his own,

We named him Glasgow. My dad's family hails from that city of Scotland (always wanted to take pride in that fact despite it not being of my doing) and we thought it sounded cool. It's also probably too mean to name a kid, so we went with it.

He's a cute little tiny guy who sometimes makes us lose our cool when he pees on stuff. I firmly believe beyond snuggles and companionship, he came into our lives to teach us. Teach us how not to cry or swear at him when he ruins our house in front of guests. Giving us the chance to learn responsibility, get up earlier like champs, and to work together. I know, I'm kind of bummed too. I hoped he'd just be for fun and never poop where he shouldn't. Lol, mom. Turns out you were right.


I find myself unable to be honest with you in this time. I am experiencing changing seasons in my life, as are many of you. It is different, it feels good, and I think I've taken a bigger step in my course than I meant to. I'm liberated, but grave.

I came across a post yesterday by one of my most favorite bloggers.* She wrote on the inability to write constantly. She spoke about over-sharing, over-spilling. She talked about something I'm constantly aware of and endlessly afraid of; the sharing of every moment we experience, every new lesson we learn, every exciting thing that happens. We do this because we all do this, and the affirmation feels good. I'm no liar. It really does. But she goes on to say, "We give up sacredness for the rush of affirmation –– I divulge, therefore I exist. We don’t get a chance to ever really feel something in a totally pure state without those feelings being tampered by the onlookers we willingly, or unwillingly, called to table." Fire. In. My. Brain. She hit life right on the head. And she really got the honest parts of me.

*seriously if anything, read her post. it's so good, and she makes amazing food and takes gorgeous photos: click here for the second time I've linked to her post in two paragraphs.

Here's the deal. There is a lot of criticism about the over-sharing that's become a part of our culture. There's obviously a lot of sharing going on too, otherwise they wouldn't have any ground upon which to critique. I'm a fan of the sharing. I really am. We've all become journalists. We have a chance to tell a story, and in this day and age, we actually have several platforms where people might actually listen, if not at least hear us. I think this is a beautiful development and progression of time, and I am thankful to be here experiencing it, digesting it, questioning it, and celebrating it. Sharing is at times important, at times good, and at times significant. However, as my dear fellow writer points out in the most eloquent words possible, this sharing can turn into a pattern in our lives that is a scary addicting search for affirmation, for the sensation that our existence is real and important, and its a hard pattern to shake. And by the way, our existence (yours and mine) IS REAL AND IMPORTANT. But we shouldn't have to tell people everything about our lives to feel that way.

flannel

Furthermore, she offers the observation that we are sacrificing the beautiful authentic moments that are the very origin of our sharing in the first place! How obnoxiously convoluted and dumb is that. (By the way, real sorry for this rambly sort of joke-y but serious writing style this is coming to you in, I'm in the midst of reading Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" and her writing voice has kind of taken over mine). It might be complicated, but it's a really good point. And it's really important.

Friends, please know this. I am not pointing fingers. Well, I am at myself. Which sucks, but is good. I could not be more aware of the fact that none of us are alone in this time and such experiences. This is why we must stand back with a critical eye, ask ourselves what patterns we are drawing, and if they are healthy. How do we go about changing these patterns? It's a good question and easier said than done. Here I am sharing with you, as I advise you not to share anymore. Of course that is the exaggerated somewhat satirical Amy Poehler taking over my brain for a minute, but seriously, the reaction to these thoughts is one that takes time, understands moderation, and extends grace. Should you choose to consider these thoughts along with me, please, please do take those elements into account.

I look over my past posts almost every time I get ready to post a new one. I feel myself changing. I can see it on this screen. I've only started this thing 5 months ago! If there is any point to this carrying on at all, this might be one. We need to remember what we've overcome. What we've learned. What happened in our lives when our children are 22 and want to know what the hell we did when we were their age and trying to figure it all out.

Thanks for bearing with me fellow travelers. It's alright if this one scared you away. I'm still thankful you came by. Until next time (for some of you).

I digress.

What is being me

I sat with my grandparents this past weekend, a moment of potential lingering in the air, looked at their faces, and acknowledged that this was an opportunity for my taking. Don't be shy, don't be lazy, don't dwell. Sit here with them and tell them about your life. They are asking you, and they aren't distracted. You're the only person within their ear shot. Lottie, if you lose this moment you will regret. And you don't believe in the pillars of regret.

what is being me

I told them about my job. I told my grandpa twice. He has trouble remembering. I'd tell him his name a 100 times if he needed to hear it. And I'd do anything to save him from being embarrassed about it.

I didn't want to tell them about my life because its anything I've made sense of, or even intentionally chosen. I knew talking to them would help take care of that. I wanted to tell them about myself because I knew it'd be important. And I knew it'd be necessary.

As I assess myself in a daily rigor, I'm aiming for confidence. And I'm trying really hard to weed out hesitance. These are important people to me and they finally asked, "hey, how is your life going? how are you enjoying the new job?" They finally asked. You deserve to be asked and furthermore, you must remind yourself, you deserve the moment of telling them. I told them. I was aware of others hearing me tell them confidently, and I didn't stop. I am afraid of being heard. Who DOES that? Who IS that way? WHY would anyone be that way? 

I lightly tread across what is a real world. It seems as though, in working through who I was as a younger person (still young, I know), I chased safety from being disliked so much that I've certainly gone too far. As I look down the road to real goals I have, real desires I feel, real purposes I may actually fill, I must act without (my typical) thought(s). Don't hide from others knowing your success, do not cower when something good has happened to you or for you, do not LIE about your intentions, such that you might not catch the eye of a competing stranger. Humility is everything. But pursuit of approval, favor with others, and dodging jealousy--wearing the mask of "humility," isn't. One might argue it's self-seeking, which ultimately one may find, lies directly in the way of the journey to humility. 

Speak loud enough for everyone to hear. Be transparent: with successes and future goals. Do chase humility. But above all, be honest. 

This isn't about being liked. It's about being able to be. And by the way, those who be are liked. 

Material things

Please allow me to be a bit materialistic here. I wanted to tell you about a few items that I've been enjoying in that last few weeks of fall. They're what you might call the tomboy's makeup..for the lazy at heart. As well as a pair of shoes..

Also shout out to this chair and our newly painted living room. I'm glad we bought it for twenty bucks from ikea for all my photoshoot needs, as well as the pleasure I had watching my husband build it one night when people were coming over. 

clogs

These clogs. They are the only heel-like thing I own. I have been pursuing the clog life for a while now. By random and happy circumstances, I snagged a pair on sale downtown one night (it makes for really beautiful evening when your husband says yes, let's go get those clogs I know you want even though I just got off work). They've given me blisters so far, but I'm keep on keepin on (socks work miracles). They're really helping me with that art teacher aesthetic I never knew I wanted to embody. 

*a word about heels (or anything that makes a noise when you walk). I really struggle with their noise. They feel like a cry for attention, and although I love them to death, I feel embarrassed the whole time I clack by people. Does anyone else struggle with this heel-enduced anxiety?

crab and ev

This little lotion makes me laugh. Never in a million years would I either think to buy from Crabtree and Evelyn (preconceived teenage thoughts) nor consider their prices a thing viable in my life. I was in there a couple weekends ago shopping for my sister who swears by the stuff (Jess, this is how much I love you), and the sales lady looked deep into my soul and said, "we're having a sale where you buy two things and get a third for free. There's a wedding I should be at right now. Anyway, you should get your sister two lotions and keep the third for yourself. It was either pay my tax bill or go to the wedding. I should be there right now." Yeah, she won. And I left on a first name basis. Thanks, lady. I chose mine based on the packaging since they all smelled so nice. Since we don't have a dishwasher in our new place, this stuff is nice to have around.

burts

Nothing special with this guy. Picked him up in celebration of getting rid of a cold sore that lasted forever. Blueberry and dark chocolate. Oddly, it sometimes gets me through the work day.

elf

This is the realest makeup-y thing I've ever owned. Guess how much it cost? ONE DOLLAR. We went to a wedding last weekend and I texted a couple of my best friends (who also are makeup experts and have spent a lifetime effort helping me do things like wear lipstick) frantically a few hours before the wedding and said, "help! What can I buy for cheap from Target that's really easy to use and will make me look a little fancier?" They pointed me to this stuff, by elf, which I guess is a cool and cheap line that Target has (okay maybe everyone reading this already knows that but me). Who does want to use something called "shimmering facial whip"?

eerything

Thanks for indulging me in a little chat about my material life. A girl's gotta have her essentials, you know? Okay, clogs may not be essentials, but they are certainly important for the balanced wardrobe. Anywho, I hope to be back soon with something more substantial to say. In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your fall. It's hands down the best time of year.

We think we're funny

Yesterday was a fantastic prelude to the weekend. I lavished the time between work and getting John and spent it walking with my mom, shivering in their garden, and laughing at the child-like relationship my dad has with his dog. Then I got John, we squealed together in the car because we could officially see Friday on the threshold, and instead of reverting to bad habits of pizza eating or going to the store, we cooked the remaining pasta we had in the cupboard and ate a block of cheese while it boiled. We've been eating at our new table, which has mostly served as a catch-all for keys and other tidbits since we moved it in last weekend, but sitting on a bench together and eating food we actually made (emphasis on we, oh and also made too I guess) has created some really perfect evenings. Our house is getting chillier, and of course we haven't figured out how to turn the heat on yet (that's actually probably good for our bank account), and it's making our jokes extra funny. Or at least we think so. We've continued to binge on the office, despite how many times we've said "let's try that new show! it looks sooo funnaaay" and I'm totally ok with it. Even though I think I'm ruining my professional career as a result by explaining to everyone on a daily basis at work why the current conversation or environment is reminding me of a certain episode, aka basically being delusional. I write to you now as I'm scarfing down my almond butter toast pre-work and still staring at those flowers my mom sent me home with from the garden yesterday. John came out of the shower this morning (while walking around in his towel for a good ten minutes) and bellowed "IT IS SO COLD IN HERE! THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE!" I was like, I want to advise you that it'll be warmer once you put clothes on, but this is too hilarious for words. 

baby
best friends
mums
comfortable
coffee
flowers
toast

We're looking forward to a weekend of tiny shenanigans (my sister is turning 30! weird.) and also staying up late, sleeping in, probably eating apple fritters cause let's face it, I'm not holding out any longer, and hopefully a tiny dose of productivity too. I have to say, I'm wearing overalls and a sweater to work today, and that's something I never want to forsake. Thanks a lot, new job. Seriously. 

 the comfortable barista. another ridiculous outfit i wore to work the other day.

the comfortable barista. another ridiculous outfit i wore to work the other day.

Thanks for coming by for a ramble such as this one. I love you guys. Talk soon.

 

I want

Bear with me while my blog temporarily converts itself into a pretend tumblr.

 i want a braid. may i have one?

i want a braid. may i have one?

 the ability to go without consequences.

the ability to go without consequences.

 to look closely.

to look closely.

 i want to cook. i want to care for a family. i want to care for myself. 

i want to cook. i want to care for a family. i want to care for myself. 

 i want to touch others as this image touches me.

i want to touch others as this image touches me.

 to possess the proper view

to possess the proper view

 my brain to look like this on the inside

my brain to look like this on the inside

 more time in the woods than i spend now. (photo by a well traveled woman)

more time in the woods than i spend now. (photo by a well traveled woman)

don't compare

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

*all images shown are not my own property

Things

"I do not understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."  -Ann Lamott

desk

Life's been just about that. Fast, aggressive, tireless, though tiring, expansive, temperate, and absolutely entirely full of grace. I sit here and write to you while digesting a giant quesadilla John brought over to me to eat for dinner while he cooks his large hunk of meat for himself..weird, definitely, but to me what embodies a gesture of great grace. My body currently feels marked by a unique combination of carpel tunnel, arthritis, and straight-up out-of-shape soreness. I've been working on a pretty demanding project at work (see below), and it's taken a great deal of my literal and mental energy. I cannot think of a kinder thing in this moment than to feed me a large portion of quesadilla. I love you, sir.

fall

Photo above is actually an outtake/a project I proposed at work for our fall window displays. We are taking a different route now, and again I'm thankful for the grace shown to me in my rather unforgiving plunge into learning about the logistics behind constructing and executing displays. Nevertheless, I'll forever love the evening I spent in our driveway arranging logs, so that's what you're looking at here. Oh what a fun journey it is to let go of projects so close to your ego.

chandelier

Speaking of displays, this past weekend we booked it to Boston after work on Friday. It was glorious, getting the heck out of town, especially after a particularly harried day at work, and so deeply delightful to spend some time seeing my mom's cousin and his wife (and their hilarious kids). They let us come crash with them with less than a week's notice and cooked like three meals for us in two days. Grace abounds, okay? Anywho, we made it to a cafe/bakery I've been stalking on social media for the last few months (Tatte, an incredible small chain exclusively Boston), and it inspired me to no end. The chandelier above (on the right) hung from its ceiling and I embarrassed John by taking like 15 photos of it. The place is deliciously branded too, so you better believe I stole all the literature I could for later inspiration.

The upper left photo is one from the previous weekend when we ventured downtown for some coffee after church, and John snapped me posing star-struck (apparently I want to be that embarrassing girl Beatles fan for the rest of my life) by the downtown cafe. It's so fun be associated with the best cup in town.

feet
harvard

Some more shots of Boston. My documentation of anything possibly fall-looking and my strapping gentleman at one of my favorite places ever, Harvard Yard. So obsessed with IV League schools. Maybe someday..

hat

Here are some weird somber photos I took the same weekend as our downtown adventure that are serving as a segway into updating you on my hair status. Imagine weird hair almost to the bottom of my ears. Yeah, it's kind of rough. But I'm pushing on. This hat doesn't hurt. It also helps in regard to choosing not to shower.

muffins
sheep
wood

Fall is pretty much here. We're done traveling for a while. So ready to embrace getting this house more functional and an excuse to wear sweatpants and drink warm coffee. Friends are trickling in over the next couple months to visit. We are so lucky. Grace. Everywhere I see.