Blessings flow.

This weekend we came home. 
Blue Connecticut skies, 85 degree heat, and familiar faces greeted us. 
Returning to my childhood home always reminds me of how intensely blessed we are.
In these two weeks of transition, we take comfort in a great many things. 
and the new homes that await us in our future.
in places like new york city and connecticut and maybe france and definitely hawaii.
with husband, turkey sandwiches and long hikes.
that inevitably end with the two of us getting lost, husband using my phone to get directions, and me claiming that it's all "part of the adventure". 
until we saw two snakes. 
that was not supposed to be part of the adventure. 
that tell us 
(a) my mother is martha stewart. minus the poor wardrobe choices and jail time.
(b) my mother has begun to display her love for us in food. 
which means we now have two mothers who exhibit love through cooking and baking.
which means we cannot escape the inordinate amounts of weight that we will gain in the next two weeks.
which means I now need intensify my workout schedule. 
on moving day. 
that may or may not have ended with me in my bedroom, hugging my ribs and choking down sobs as I explained to husband, "can...not...leave...friends...I'm...SAD". Poor husband.
seriously. is there anything cuter?
 he has new ones every time we come home. 
this time he's made himself a helicopter-like flight machine (?) that attracts all kinds of spectators. 
"scratch made" he tells us, again and again. 
he's a pretty cute one, that papa of mine.
who wear bandanas. 
and spend memorial day with us. 
with a good book. 
made by the woman who gave me life.
I wasn't kidding about gaining weight. 

Happy Memorial Day! 
Enjoy your celebrations of freedoms that do not come free. 
And say a prayer for those who have little to take comfort in.


Not Goodbye.

via Pretty Stuff

We're all packed and ready to go. 
And honestly, I'm choked up to say goodbye to this place that we've learned to call home, the first place that was really our own. 
Worse than that, today I had to say goodbye to four girls who have changed me, challenged me, encouraged me, and loved me through everything. 
I'm terrible with goodbyes. 
So we just don't say it. 
We say, "see you next weekend at my graduation party". Which is when I will, in fact, see them again. 
But today I'm feeling raw, feeling real, and feeling very far from four of my most trusted confidants. 
And I might have had a moment when I second-guessed our decision to move to a city where I know so few. 
Right before I remembered that this is my dream. 

So, see you next weekend.
When we'll plan our next meeting date.


I'm almost certain you'll like me more after watching this.

(you'll need to turn off the music at the bottom of the page for this one)

I'm going to miss my college friends. More than words can say. 
Here's why:

BLADE STORM from Isaac Seeland on Vimeo.

(This video was created for Andrew's (Sven) performance in Gordon's final event of the year, "Golden Goose". And the stellar actress who plays Sven's ex-girlfriend? That'd be me, ladies and gentlemen. Let the applause begin...)


Summer and I, we're going steady.

This morning I went for a run
past roots poking through sidewalks
past beaches littered with sun-basking college students (where I later basked burned, myself)
past a sweet older couple eating an early lunch on their front porch
past a woman tending her garden
past Victorian homes with historical nameplates
past the New England charm spoken of by Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Sidney
past trees in bloom and sea breezes 
past a little girl, her mother, and their dog

and I thought to myself
Heaven help me, I think I'm in love with this season.


Dear College Freshmen.

I know you’ll be scared on the first day. Even if you spend all summer claiming to be “mostly excited” and “not at all nervous”, your first day will hit you like a ton of bricks. Especially after your parents are gone and you’re sitting in your room alone. Don’t stay there long. Go out and introduce yourself. Everyone else is just as scared as you.

Work hard. Work harder than you’ve ever worked before. But take breaks. Invest in relationships. Because there will be times when you need the support of friends.

Please, in the name of all that is good, do not date the boy that you met on Facebook over the summer. It will not turn out well.

Go to class. Work out as much as possible (the endorphins are worth it). Pop-Tarts are not a substantial meal. Get eight hours of sleep. Smile at professors. Sit towards the front of the classroom. Don’t wear sweatpants to class. Do your homework. Create study schedules. Find a job if you can.

Don’t always color inside the lines. Be who you are, and don’t be afraid to say how you feel. Don’t obsess over things that you cannot change. Get in the habit of calling your mother. She worries about you.

Know that you will have friends. And know that the world will, at times, be partying without you. Be okay with that. Befriend the people who understand you, who enjoy the same movies and books, who love dance and music and taking ridiculous pictures. But don’t be afraid to talk to the people who are your polar opposites. You will learn the most from them.

(Courtesy of Tom Bishop)

Stay up late with the friend whose boyfriend broke up with her. Plan your roommate’s birthday party. Have girl’s nights out. Go on dates. Dress up. Make midnight Dunkin Donuts runs. Watch the sunrise on the beach.

Try to soak in every moment.

At some point, you will be told that the hardest parts of letting go are the people you leave behind. This is only partially true.

The hardest parts are the people, yes; but they are the people who will move forward without you, perhaps in an opposite direction, into the callings that are their own lives. Because you never really leave any living, functioning being behind. You’re all continuously moving, and changing, and dreaming, and becoming the people that you were purposed to be.

Take comfort in familiar faces now, because there may be years and miles and experiences that you will not have in common.

But, oh, hold to those who matter. Write them letters and call (even though you hate the phone) and plan reunions and stick to those plans. Because somewhere down the line, you will forget the way you fell on the ice outside of Pizza Hut with your hands inside the pockets of your pea coat, and you will need someone to remind you.


I have lots of photos to share with you. But I'll narrow it down to a few.

I'm tired.
This weekend has been crazy wonderful.
Emphasis on the crazy. Also on the wonderful.
So, instead of trying to do it justice in words, I'll make the attempt in photos. 

(first we decorated our caps. I think they're pretty self-explanatory. as are our poses. oh, they're not? that's fine, we don't know either.)
(melissa, me, heather.)
(and then we danced. to usher. in our kitchen. you can be jealous.)

(then we had our baccalaureate service.)
(the mamas: melissa's mama, melissa, mama, me, heather's mama, heather.)
(the papas: me, pops, heather, her pops, melissa, her pops.)
(then there was commencement.)
 (these are my fans. mama, pops, dan, grammy, and grandaddy. they cheered pretty loudly. I liked that.)
(then I was a college graduate. and smiled big smiles full of knowledge and aspirations.)
(then we took pictures of family with my grandfather's camera, because it's a lot nicer than mine. but I don't have those pictures. so you'll have to settle for the ones taken with friends on my camera. I have lovely friends, though, so that should almost make up for it.)
(one of our favorite couples. rebekah, james, me.)
(another of our favorite couples. blake, me, heather, brian.)
(because an event didn't happen unless there's an awkward photo of the three of us at it.)
(this is how college graduates behave, in case you didn't know.)
(me, heather, melissa.)
(me & jessica.)
(me & rachel.)

Happy Sunday! More photos of graduation-related activities to come! 


Tomorrow I graduate.

(melissa, me, heather - bottom row)

Tomorrow I graduate with a degree in English and Communication Arts from Gordon College.
Magna cum laude, baby.
And worth every second of study.

Photo courtesy of Gordon College Comm. Dept.
Many more to come.


The land of cappuccino and cobblestone.

This time last year, I was in lovely Italy.
And, since the day of my return, I've been trying to convince husband that I need to go back with him.
He's not especially keen on the idea of international travel, but he will be. It's just a matter of showing him enough European blogs (I envy you, you harem pant-wearing, gelato-eating, Swiss Alps-hiking Europeans). 

Until then, I reminisce in photographs. 
And I save every extra penny for plane tickets.


On a domestic note.

My husband has a serious problem.
Well, not that serious, but completely untreatable.
And serious enough that, had I known about it before we were married, we might have had more to talk about in pre-marital counseling.

The problem is this:

Unless husband is still asleep when I leave the apartment, I make the bed in the morning. It gives me a sense of peace about the overall presentability of our apartment (not that we're presenting our bedroom to anyone on a daily basis, but still). And every night as we're getting in bed, husband pulls back the covers and exclaims (as if it comes as a surprise to him) - "you are the worst bed-maker ever!"

And, aside from being a blow to my homey-homemaker ego, it's also completely untrue. I know how to make a bed. I've been doing it for roughly 17 years. It's a pretty simple procedure, really. If it looks like it's made, you probably did a decent job making it.

But not in husband's world. In husband's world, the sheets have to be perfectly even. The pillows have to be properly fluffed and turned the right direction. The quilt must be pulled up to the appropriate height, or, if it's too warm, it must be folded at the bottom of the bed. The accent pillows must be off the bed, usually propped up by the window to hide any sunlight that might rudely awaken the sleeping.

It's exhausting. And when he expressed this to me the first time, my response was something like, "Uh, yeah... I'd rather not."

You anti-Coventry Patmore women out there are probably thinking: he should be happy that you took the time to make the bed. YES. True, again. And if I was able to pay any of the bills from my meager salary, I would probably have more to say about that side of the issue. If this is one of the biggest challenges in our marriage, I'll take it.

And so I will accept my plight as the World's Worst Bed-Maker, married to the King of Symmetrical Sheets.

Oh, and the other serious problem?
He forces me to play games with him. All the time.
Where does it stop, people? WHERE DOES IT STOP?

Husband: In all seriousness, I love you and your "problems". Thanks for putting up with all of mine.



"And this is good old Boston, 
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots
And the Cabots talk only to God."

Photos courtesy of Aaron Huberty.


We're 12-years-old.

Sometimes I act like I have no friends. 
But sometimes husband does, too, so that makes it okay.

How old are we?
Oh, ya know... old enough to still enjoy Photobooth a little too much while also being able to refrain from laughter when someone makes a "potty joke".
Well, sometimes.


As a soon-to-be college grad.

Today I celebrate...
the college that I had the privilege to attend.
the professors, friends, and coworkers who have shaped my educational experience.
the guidance, love and prayers that have gone before me.
the leadership that has made Gordon what it is. 
the life that my schooling has prepared me for. 
the classes that have challenged me to question, explore, and find beauty.
the dreams that we started with, and the lessons that we leave with.

(rebekah, me, melissa)

All photos courtesy of Rebekah Frangipane