sisterhood

For me, and I think for most people, one of the worst things about singleness is the pervasive sense of alienation. We may have happy, active social lives, but when everyone goes home and the house is quiet, we don’t belong to anyone but ourselves (and God, but that’s not the focus of this post). We are not anyone’s primary loyalty or priority. No one has vowed to love and cherish us, lodge where we lodge, or stick by us until the bitter end. When you get down to it, we’re on our own.

I’m really fortunate to come from a close family, and I know I belong to and with my parents and siblings. But I’ve never felt completely secure in my friendships. For various reasons, as a teenager and young adult, I never quite let my guard down. I always felt like the dispensable one in any relationship. I half expected my friends to ditch me at any time. During my 20s, I formed several solid, healing friendships that are still in place. Then my marriage fell apart. The foundation cracked, and some other connections that should have been solid cracked with it. Even as my head acknowledged my ex-husband’s neglect and abandonment as an isolated incident, not representative of my relationships in general, my heart kept saying, The only person you can depend on to have your back is you. Do not get too attached or dependent on anyone. People always leave. I’m thankful for the strength this outlook gave me (and still does, sometimes), but it wasn’t much healthier than my old passive insecurity. It was just the empowered flip side. Understandable under the circumstances, but not a good long-term philosophy. I’ve spent years working my way out of it.

This summer, I have finally stopped holding my breath in my close friendships, near and far. It’s been a time of growth and positive change, with hopefully more to come, and as it’s unfolded my friends have been so steadfast. I’m living more dangerously, in a good way, and they’ve cheered me on and then helped me up without one “I told you so.” I’ve been friends with some of these people for over ten years, but I fully understand for the first time that they really love me. They want me to have the desires of my heart almost as much as I want them for myself, and they believe that it’s possible when I can’t anymore. They see my bruises the same way I do – as badges of honor. We are all in the arena together, and when we share wise words with each other, they’re often followed by, “You taught me that.” (Then we all feel pretty awesome for being able to quote ourselves to ourselves.)

Yes, many of my friends have spouses and families, and hopefully the ones who don’t eventually will too. But that loyalty can coexist with other loyalties. Yes, some friends come and go, but some are with you for life, no matter where life takes you.

I don’t deserve it. But I can hang my hat on it. And it’s good to be home at last.

6 Comments + Posted in: friends, relationships, singleness, thankful

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Two of my close friends, Alanna and Hillary, have birthdays the same week as mine. This year we turned 29, 30, and 35, respectively, so we decided a triple birthday celebration was a must! Of the three of us, Hillary is the most in touch with what’s cool around town, so we welcomed her suggestion of the Mollie Fontaine Lounge near downtown. It was an EXCELLENT choice.

The lounge is across Adams Avenue from the historic Woodruff-Fontaine House (as well as the Mallory-Neely House and the James Lee House Bed & Breakfast). The house was built in 1886. There are bars downstairs and upstairs, and several lavishly decorated rooms for lounging. It’s perfect for a large group – you can just take over a room and not bother anyone. (Though a guy poked his head in to ask if we were having a pajama party. ???)


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I had a peachy gin concoction (I forgot the name immediately, which might be further proof that it’s good?) and the mac and cheese. Both were heavenly.

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Myla and I both wore animal print, which was funny since “wild” is not our primary characteristic.

Okay, let’s pretend this is RSVP Magazine:

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This party was a wonderful finale to my uber-extended birthday celebrations (yes, I’m done – you’re welcome)! I definitely plan to go back to Mollie’s.

2 Comments + Posted in: birthday, friends, memphis

I have been away from this blog, kicking off 35 with a BANG.

Last Thursday, Hillary and I went to the Peabody rooftop to see Ingram Hill, a local band that’s had some national success. I’ve been a fan since the early aughts and love their recent stuff too, so I’d been looking forward to this show all summer. The rooftop was packed with Memphians of a Certain Age who knew all the words. While I really wanted to hear “The Day Your Luck Runs Out” and “Finish What We Started,” they played so many other great songs that I can’t complain. After the show, we got a picture with Justin, since we’re practically the only locals who didn’t already know him. (I was briefly in marching band with the original drummer, but he’d never remember me.)


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On Saturday morning, I ran the Elvis Presley 5K at Graceland! Until a few years ago, I couldn’t run at all. I slowly increased my intervals of running and have done many 5Ks running and walking. But it remained a struggle until last fall, when, miraculously, my shin splints disappeared and I no longer felt like I was suffocating when I ran. I started “training” for this race in May, determined to run the whole thing without stopping. Well, I DID IT, and couldn’t believe how easy it was and how great I felt afterward! My time took a big hit – 39:35 – but my goal this time was endurance, not speed. I could have gone faster but wanted to make sure I wouldn’t melt down at the end. Now I know I can push harder! Memphis is a city of highly competitive runners, so I often feel apologetic for being excited about something like a 5K. But it was a big accomplishment TO ME.

Early on in the race, I caught up with a block of sailors from the Millington Navy base who were running in formation. Thinking these people know about endurance, I decided to hang with them and had a great time! Plus, if I’m running with the Navy, I must be doing okay!

My dad came out to support me, which was really nice of him (as usual). Then he took me to Pancake Shop for a birthday breakfast.


That night, I went downtown with some friends. We had an amazing dinner at Belle Bistro on Union near Main, then drinks at one of my favorite places in Memphis, the Madison Hotel rooftop. Unlike the Peabody rooftop, it has an outdoor bar/lounge area and an unobstructed view of the river and bridge. We missed the sunset, but the night view is beautiful too. Looking out over the dark river slightly placates my longing for the ocean.




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On Sunday afternoon, I Love Memphis was having their own birthday party at the Wiseacre brewery, so my friend Ashley and I hung out there for a couple of hours. Later, my parents took me out for my birthday dinner with them. I chose Interim this year and was NOT disappointed! The seared yellowfin tuna was to die for.

This isn’t even the end of my birthday celebrations – I also have a joint party with two of my best friends tomorrow night! If all this is any indication, 35 could be a pretty great year. May it be so.

4 Comments + Posted in: birthday, fitness, food, friends, memphis, music

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As I planned my Birthday Week of Awesome, I wanted to share some of the hard-earned wisdom of my advancing age. However, it’s hard to come up with, say, 35 Things I Know For Sure (when I believe that part of wisdom is realizing that we always have more to learn). So instead, I’m leaving it to the experts. Here are 35 of my favorite guidepost quotes – sentiments that I find myself quoting, reminding myself of, or seeing the truth of again and again. Some have been with me for a long time, and some are more recent acquisitions.

1. In all things, it is better to hope than to despair. – Goethe

2. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Philo

3. Keep your heels, head, and standards high. – unknown

4. It’s all been said better before. If I thought I had to say it better than anybody else, I’d never start. Better or worse is immaterial. The thing is that it has to be said; by me; ontologically. We each have to say it, to say it our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little; that isn’t what human creation is about. It is that we have to try; to put it down in pigment, or words, or musical notations, or we die. – Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

5. Though I may be going down, I’ll take in flames over burning out. – Sara Bareilles

6. So What? Who Cares? – Fred Armisen as Joy Behar

7. Love is keeping the promise anyway. – John Green

8. We all must make the choice between what is right and what is easy. – Albus Dumbledore

9. I’m not Josie Grossie anymore! – Drew Barrymore, Never Been Kissed

10. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. – Anne Lamott

11. Before you swim, you’ve got to be okay to sink. – Incubus

12. We accept the love we think we deserve. – Stephen Chbosky

13. Don’t tell me what I can’t do! – John Locke, LOST

14. Everyone has a pain thermometer that goes from zero to ten. No one will make a change until they reach ten. Nine won’t do it. At nine you are still afraid. Only ten will move you, and when you’re there, you’ll know. No one can make that decision for you. – Vicki Myron

15. Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. – Matt Damon, We Bought A Zoo

16. Trust your story, not your chapter. – Paige Rowland

17. It’s a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart. – George Clooney, O Brother Where Art Thou?

18. [F]or a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – I Peter 1:6-7

19. I can’t react and create at the same time. Neither can you. – Jeff Goins

20. I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” – Oprah Winfrey

21. It’s often the last key that opens the lock. – Israa Ali

22. Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. – Erica Jong

23. Lord, bring new life where we are worn and tired; new love where we have turned hard-hearted; forgiveness where we feel hurt and where we have wounded; and the joy and freedom of your Holy Spirit where we are prisoners of ourselves. – Scottish liturgy

24. Being understood is not the most essential thing in life. – Jodie Foster

25. Love wins. – J.K. Rowling

26. The easiest thing in the world is to be you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. – Leo Buscaglia

27. If you don’t like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won’t mind. – Irving Becker

28. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares. – Saul Bass

29. Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. – Galatians 6:9

30. You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of. – Patti LaBelle

31. What would you do if you were absolutely confident God was with you? – Pete Wilson

32. Small moves, Ellie, small moves. – Contact

33. There are far better things ahead than anything we leave behind. – C.S. Lewis

34. It’s a moo point. It’s like a cow’s opinion; it doesn’t matter. It’s moo. – Joey Tribbiani

35. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 (my “life verse,” chosen when I was eighteen)

4 Comments + Posted in: birthday, quotes

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I was born on the second anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. This fact wouldn’t be super notable if I didn’t live in Memphis, the Elvis Capital of the Universe. Every year, during my birthday week, thousands flock to Memphis from all over the world to pay their respects at Graceland. The city is overrun with Elvis impersonators and foreigners in fanny packs. It’s impossible to ignore the occasion.

For my sixteenth birthday, my dad embraced the situation and hired an Elvis impersonator to crash my marching band practice. He even invited my, like, three friends who weren’t in band to make sure my humiliation was complete. Elvis pulled me off the field, piccolo and all, to sing “That’s All Right” to me on the sideline in front of 100 bandmates, my director, and her entire staff. They, of course, loved it and were still talking about it when I graduated. If that happened now I’d take it (mostly) in stride, but I was sixteen, so I basically wanted to die. This only increased my dad’s glee. I think it’s still one of his proudest accomplishments.

Despite an extensive search, I can’t find any pictures of Elvis singing to me. But here’s one from my (low-key) Sweet Sixteen party after!

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On the eve of my 25th birthday (i.e. the 27th Elvis death-iversary), my mom insisted we go down to Graceland to check out the vigil. None of us had ever been. As you might expect, the people-watching at the vigil is unbelievable. Total strangers will catch your arm to tell you about the time Elvis came to their son’s karate practice in 1968 – while wearing a custom screened T-shirt with a photo of that event. It’s a fascinating experience.

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I even got a temporary Lil’ Elvis tattoo.

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My bonding with Elvis will continue this Saturday morning when I run his commemorative 5K at Graceland. I decided it was an excellent way to kick off 35. I may eventually live in a city not haunted by his ghost, so I might as well make the most of our attachment now!

3 Comments + Posted in: birthday, memory lane, memphis

gettinganywhere

About a month ago, I was on the phone with my brother as we both drove to work. He wanted my opinion on a slightly crazy idea he had. “I think it would be fun,” I told him, “and I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t know if it’s the wisest thing to do.”

After a pause, he sighed and answered, “Yeah, Brens, but you and I always do the wisest thing.”

It gets old to live cautious, careful, and practical… always sacrificing the potential high of the moment for the security of the long run. Always striving to do the safest, wisest thing. My brother is tired of it, and so am I. (I’ve been doing it a lot longer than he has.)

Subconsciously, I’ve always believed it’s sinful or rebellious for a woman to really go after what she wants. There are spoken and unspoken rules about this in Christian culture, lines drawn arbitrarily. Pursue that career or opportunity, but if it’s not working out, don’t force it or be a nuisance. Sign up for online dating, but wait for the man to pursue you. In all things, guard your heart, be responsible, “wait on God’s timing,” and remember that you’re not in control of your life.

In recent years I’ve become comfortable taking small risks, but have continued waiting for God to enact large-scale change in my life, to bring the important things to me. I don’t know why I’ve continued to buy this as an empowered, independent woman, but now, on the cusp of 35, I’m finally shaking it off. I’m the strongest and most whole me I’ve ever been, yet I’ve never felt more trapped in my circumstances, helpless to really make anything of my life. Many people close to me will celebrate watershed moments this fall: marriages, new babies, movie premieres. As my planner fills up with events, I’ve realized that while I’m genuinely happy for my loved ones’ joy and achievements, I want more than a permanent supporting role. I’m the Judy Greer of my own life (love you, Judy!), and I can’t tolerate it anymore. I was not put on this earth to be a background player, never getting her own story.

I think I was waiting for permission to take the reins, to start asking, seeking, knocking, and doing. Now I see that I had it all along… that God has been waiting, patiently, for me to be ready to jump.

A friend said recently, “I’m still waiting for things to happen in the proper order.” Turns out, I was doing the same thing. But first I accepted, once and for all, that that ship has sailed. Now it’s time to be my own damn knight. For maybe the first time in my life, I am truly open to any and all possibilities, figuring out what exactly I want, instead of just choosing from the options readily available to me. I’m discovering how much I’m capable of. I want to make my imprint on the universe instead of absorbing everyone else’s. I’m not worried about guarding my heart. My heart has survived a lot, and it can take it. I’m itchy to get into the arena, and I’m not afraid to take some hits. I’m throwing off the cloak of submissive waiting and saying along with Kaylee of Firefly, “HELL WITH THIS. I’M GOING TO LIVE.”

12 Comments + Posted in: changes, empowerment, one word: alive

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Lately I’ve been thinking more deliberately about my role models. It’s important to have heroes among your friends, family, and acquaintances, and I do. But you also need larger-than-life role models to keep you focused on who you are and what you want to be. Here are a few of the women I admire most:

Eowyn from Lord of the Rings. Eowyn is fictional, but she’s been real to me from my first Tolkien reading in 2001. If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, you can find a synopsis of Eowyn’s story here. She’s unselfish but passionate, and brave down to her bones. When Aragorn breaks her heart and everyone deters her from going to war, she disguises herself as a man and rides into a suicide-mission battle, killing the allegedly-unkillable Witch King who tries to get between her and her beloved uncle. After the war, she turns her energies toward restoration of the kingdom, and falls in love again, with the right person. She is everything I want to be. I refer to her so regularly that my friends joke about getting me a WWED bracelet.

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Ruth. The story of Ruth has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible. Not for the lady-in-waiting lesson it’s often twisted into, but for Ruth’s loyalty and guts (and God’s faithfulness, of course). A widowed foreigner, she stuck by her mother-in-law and led them to a better life without compromising her morals. Culturally, she was the lowest of the low, but God made her the great-grandmother of King David. (For a deeper analysis, I recommend The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James.)

Gwen Stefani. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the “Don’t Speak” video when I was fifteen years old. Half of the video is Gwen gorgeous and demure in a vintage dress, and the other half is her grungily rocking a stage in a sports bra and track pants. As a very girly teenager who also spent hours each day rehearsing in a dusty field, I connected with this dual image immediately. Gwen was the first celebrity to give me a glimpse of the full spectrum of womanhood. She’s never apologized for being an ambitious, talented powerhouse who values love and family as much as her work. Her creativity is fearless – she doesn’t care if her music, clothes, etc. are too out there. She just creates. We should all be so free.

Brene Brown. Dr. Brown became famous after her TED Talk on the power of vulnerability started a national conversation. Her manifesto on shame and vulnerability, Daring Greatly, permanently changed the way I see the world and relate to people. Her honesty (and solid research) is bringing light into a lot of dark places.

Julia Child. I didn’t know much about her until I read Julie and Julia. Then I fell in love with Meryl Streep’s portrayal of her in the movie. Julia didn’t find her true passion until later in life, but when she did, she went after it with a vengeance. She believed in her work and persevered through years of setbacks. Quirky and not conventionally attractive, she still didn’t tone herself down for anyone and had a passionate, epic partnership with her husband Paul. She changed the way Americans cook and brought joy to many lives, just by being herself.

Shauna Niequist. I discovered Shauna’s second book of essays, Bittersweet, in 2010 and went on to devour everything else she’d written. Other than Sheila Walsh, I’d never encountered a modern female Christian writer so open about her struggles, wounds, and doubts. She inspires me from a writing perspective, and her embrace of life’s joy AND pain, of being fully alive, continues to resonate with me.

Who are some of your role models?

3 Comments + Posted in: empowerment, womanhood

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Quote from Fangirl by Pandanemar

Vortex and Timestorm by Julie Cross (4.5 stars)
The second and third books in the Tempest trilogy begin with Jackson’s training as an agent of Tempest, the time-travel division of the CIA. Having erased his relationship with his girlfriend Holly in order to protect her, he’s shocked to discover that somehow she’s an agent for the other side… and that’s really the least of his problems. These books are a crazy ride to alternate realities, a Norwegian maelstrom, and the year 3200, but Jackson’s solid bonds with his family and friends keep them grounded. Recommended for anyone who loved Fringe.

Please Excuse My Daughter: A Memoir by Julie Klam (3 stars)
I looked up Julie Klam because she’s Jancee Dunn‘s best friend, and I enjoyed reading about her in Jancee’s books. Like Jancee, Julie grew up in a loving, lively family, but she did so on an estate in upstate New York. Raised as a pampered princess, her journey to independent adulthood was long and tough. I related to her frustration at not being raised for the life she’s living, even while recognizing a lot of it as First World Problems. I also liked hearing about her work on the David Letterman show and Pop-Up Video (where she met her husband).

Beauty and the Bitch: Grace for the Worst in Me by Jan Meyers Proett (5 stars)
Jan’s first book, The Allure of Hope, is one of my go-tos. Here, she shares bravely about her own history and continues her wise musings about beauty, hope, disappointment, and grace. I highlighted about half of this book and felt reassured and encouraged.

You Found Me: God’s Relentless Pursuit to Find You by Keith M. Robinson (3 stars)
Keith Robinson is my brother’s pastor and friend. In this memoir, he shares the gospel via his own life story and faith testimony. Since he works heavily with youth, the book is sort of geared toward young adults, but his story is moving and inspiring for anyone.

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (4 stars)
Mila, an intuitive British tween, travels to upstate New York with her dad to track down his missing best friend. This short, tightly written mystery (possibly more middle-grade than YA) is a little mundane on the surface, but Meg Rosoff is a Jedi master of the English language, and she makes no mistakes. Worth reading for any writer.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)
It’s 1999, and Lincoln’s job is to monitor staff e-mails at an Omaha newspaper. He falls in love with movie reviewer Beth through her flagged e-mails with her best friend Jennifer – but, realizing the creepiness of the situation, feels helpless to have a real relationship with her. Besides, he got his heart broken nine years ago and hasn’t dated since. But then life starts happening to him, and anything starts to seem possible. I can’t quite explain why I loved this story so much, other than it was exactly what I needed at this moment in my life, and chock full of insightful quotes. I think anyone can find something in it that resonates.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)
In the Simon Snow fandom, Cath is a celebrity, author of the most popular fanfic around. But to everyone at the University of Nebraska, she’s just a socially awkward freshman. Separated from her twin sister Wren and worried about her manic-depressive dad, now living alone, Cath isolates herself with her writing. But she’s occasionally forced into the real world by her boisterous roommate, Reagan, and Reagan’s boyfriend (?) Levi, who just keeps hanging around. Again, I related to Cath and loved the realness, rawness, and ultimate hope of this story. LOVED. IT.

Books for July: 8
2014 year to date: 40

Add a Comment + Posted in: book reviews

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General Highlights:

My sister and niece visited for almost a week! We went to parks, the pool, and the zoo, and generally had a great time. One of my best friends, Alanna, got engaged on the Fourth at Turner Field in Atlanta (her fiance is a big Braves fan). The wedding will be in November, and I’ll be a bridesmaid and have already chosen and bought a gorgeous dress! Oh and I had a relaxing Fourth of July (my favorite holiday). Instead of hosting a party like I usually do, I chilled out at friends’ houses. It was a nice change.


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Read and Reading:

July was an unintentional Rainbow Rowell fest. Having loved Eleanor & Park, I finally decided to read Fangirl, and it swept me away. Immediately upon finishing, I bought her debut novel, Attachments. I couldn’t stop reading these books and couldn’t bear for them to end. RR specializes in witty, likable, real characters who want to love, but feel too broken and/or weird to really believe love can happen to them. Can I get an amen? I’m holding off on Landline, the last of her current canon, just to have it in my back pocket.


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TV/Movies:

I’ve finally joined Clone Club! A while back I caught some of an Orphan Black marathon on TV and always intended to watch it for real. Now I’m working my way through Season 1. Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy snubs are truly inexcusable.

Manhattan premiered on WGN Sunday night and I already love it. It’s about the scientists of Los Alamos and their families. You really get a sense of the ethical dilemmas these people must have dealt with, and the impossible situation in which they found themselves. Also: Olivia Williams (Adelle from Dollhouse) is in it! Always good to see a Whedon alum.

Begin Again is an excellent movie with catchy, solid music. I already want to see it, well, again. I didn’t even recognize Adam Levine in it until he started to sing (but I’m not a fan of his… I once famously told my sister that he looks like he should be named Vinny and run a smuggling operation). And Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are solid. I don’t get the general hate for Keira – she’s been great in several of my recent-ish favorite movies (e.g. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World).


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Music:

I went on an Ingram Hill bender after discovering that they’ve released three more albums since I last looked them up, and they are all sooo good. IH is a local Memphis band and I’m excited to see them in concert next month!

A few songs that made me stop and think “This is legit” in July: John Mayer’s cover of Beyonce’s “XO”; “Latch” by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith (great for getting ready to go out!); “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran; and Ariana Grande’s “Problem.” I’m late to the party on the last one, but when she hits that “Head in the clouds, got no weight on my shoooooooouulders,” the world instantly improves.

You can keep up with my ever-expanding 2014 Playlist on Spotify.


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Cooking/Eating:

I’ve done shamefully little real cooking this month, but I’ve made a lot of Popsicles. My favorites were Dulce de Leche and a simple berries-with-Greek-yogurt (I think I used this recipe).


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Wearing/Making:

A FIRST: I made a wearable skirt in one afternoon, start to finish! YAY! The fabric is from the clearance table at Hancock. It’s actually the second skirt I’ve made from this tutorial, but the first one turned out too poofy to wear, though I think it could be fixed by a more skilled sewist. I’d link to the tutorial, but apparently the blog has gone private (thankfully I wrote down the basics for future reference).


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Beauty:

When I was in college, I had a large collection of Sinful Colors nail polish. It was cheap and their colors were very edgy for the time. Once I had an income, I was lured away by the siren call of OPI and Essie, but Sinful is slowly regaining my loyalty. They’re cranking out perfect dupes of higher-end colors, and according to some beauty-magazine test, their current formula is more durable than Chanel’s. At $2 a bottle, I can’t say no to that. I only wish it was available at CVS!

Also: I did a Curly Hair Post this month!


Home & Garden:

We had a storm during my sister’s visit that damaged one of the maple trees in my backyard. After so many bad storms over the years, I don’t know why this one took out some major limbs. My dad took care of one big branch that fell into my neighbor’s yard, but I had to hire an arborist to retrieve another big branch stuck high in the tree. Not only did he take it out and re-balance the tree, but he also pruned my other trees whose excessive branches were driving me crazy. I’m so happy with the results, I almost don’t mind paying the bill!

My garden is plugging along. It’s not the best season ever, but I have tomatoes!


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Random Happiness:

Last winter I saw a pin of a plastic kiddie pool made “in-ground” with pavers around it. I wanted to do the same, but couldn’t figure out how I’d lift the pool out of the hole to empty or clean it. The idea of a kiddie pool was stuck in my head, though, so I finally went to Wal-Mart and bought the smallest pop-up kind they had. I spent a delightful afternoon in it on Fourth of July weekend.

I’m continuing to train for a 5K on my birthday, just a few weeks away. My goal is to run the whole thing – I’ve always run and walked in intervals before. (REMINDER: until several years ago I couldn’t run AT ALL.) I’m up to about 2.5 miles. Woo!


Pinterest Quote of the Month:

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Travel:

I just spent a weekend at Kentucky Lake with my parents and brother! Next month: OCEAN TIME.


On The Blog:

If you’ve been around the blog this month, you know I’ve been a little emo and restless. Don’t worry… it’s mostly growing pains. Even when I want change, I don’t handle the “limbo” phase well. I wrote about rainbow-chasing and disappointment, doing vs. being as it pertains to calling, and blazing your own trail in life. (A friend’s review of the latter post: “That was intense.” LOL)


Posts I Loved:

♥ Chelsea Batten at A Deeper Story: Blue Valentines

♥ Paul Heggie: Knowing What You Want

♥ Glennon Melton at Storyline: You Don’t Need More Talent or Time. “The most important quality in a writer is her certainty that she is not special.”

♥ Sarah Siders: What to Do While You’re Waiting

♥ Danielle Carey: The Warrior Virtue

♥ Kelli Conners guesting at Little Did She Know: Paddleboard



What I'm Into

4 Comments + Posted in: what i'm into

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My parents bought an RV earlier this year. They and their friends, who also have RVs, have camped all over the Mid-South. I took my first trip with them last weekend when we met my brother at Kentucky Lake/Land Between The Lakes! In accordance with the incredible summer we’re having, the weather was perfect. Hot enough to enjoy the lake during the day, but cool enough to enjoy sitting outside in the mornings and evenings.

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We camped at Hillman Ferry, which is on the far north end of Kentucky Lake. None of us had stayed at the lake before and didn’t know much about the area. Next time we’ll probably go further south, closer to the bird sanctuary and bison and elk range that my parents and I would have liked to see.

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Hillman Ferry does have hiking and biking paths with some pretty scenery. A doe with two babies lives in a field near the paths, and we saw her both evenings. I was able to get pretty close!

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But of course, we spent most of our time in the water. I performed my annual demonstration that I can still water-ski, thus renewing my license to stay in my family. (I’m mostly kidding)

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And of course, there were some circus tricks.

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Kevin and I took the Jetski over to experience The Quarry, Kentucky Lake’s primo party spot. It was worth a visit. Almost every college and frat house is represented in the graffiti. Party on, Wayne and Garth.

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The beach area was prettier than what I’m used to at a lake.

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My parents befriended a couple whose campsite was right on the beach. As we were leaving, we noticed that they had at least ten hummingbirds around their hummingbird feeder. I’d never seen anything like it!

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We camped a lot as a family when I was a tween. I wasn’t a fan (I used to sleep in the car instead of the tent – the one rebellion within my grasp). Camping still isn’t my #1 favorite activity, but I now see the appeal of getting away to the wilderness once in a while. RVing is also a vast improvement over tent camping. I’d go again!

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