Monday, April 30, 2012


There's a lot to love about going home. You've heard it all before. I know, I know.
But here's the photo that most perfectly captures "there".

It's the radio, man. 

It's the big, clunky cd player/radio on the bathroom counter. It would almost be enough that the shower head is so tall that I don't have to hunch. It's a bonus that I can LOCK THE BATHROOM DOOR and shower without interruption and/or the hazy notion that the house might be burning down around me while I shower. But the fact that I can also blare the radio whilst showering? It's revolutionary. It's a unique kind of awesome. It's home.

We've musical-chaired around with sleeping arrangements, over the years. But I've decided that I am happiest in my little sister Keisha's room. She's in Africa right now, training in high risk midwifery.

I miss her. (Isn't she pretty?)

I hugged her on New Year's Day and cried into her hair, refusing (like I always do) to tell her goodbye. I stink at goodbyes. I'm the worst ever. I should be used to not telling her goodbye, but this time felt different. I wanted to protect her and just keep being her big sister. I didn't want her to go.

But also? I really wanted her to go. I wanted her to embrace the call and quiet the haters who tell her she needs to just stay home and find a husband. (fyi, I used to be one of the haters)  It embarrasses me that it took my own bumpy journey to see the true beauty of hers. So I petted her hair and promised her she was doing the right thing. I told her I was proud of her.

But I definitely didn't tell her goodbye.

I haven't heard her voice since that night and it's hard. It would be nice if God cared more about our earthly, American comfort than he did about the lostness and the ache of the world...

So I cozied up in her bed and read Isaiah from one of her Bibles. I slept well, surrounded by these faces, these members of her family (yours and mine, too).

Keisha has played such a role in inspiring where we are in life right now. She's taught me much. She's encouraged us every step of the way.

My mom took this picture with the big camera. That's always an adventure. I think you're catching on, Mama! This is one of my favorite pictures ever.

 She also took this one, which is interesting, because it so closely resembles...

 This one.

This is Angie's arm. Angie is the one who made my bar-stool dreams come true. We had never met, but Saturday changed everything.

Two words: La Fiesta.

She hauled in a big box of pastries for dessert, and I knew I was in love. She didn't bat an eye that most of the salsa was gone when she arrived a mere 5 minutes after I did.

My excuse? "I can't be trusted with this."

But you already knew that.
We almost shut the place down. We camped out.  

 We were twins, in our gingham shirts and our Farmgirl Paints cuffs.

After we rolled each other out of the booth, we hit up Midwest Memories - my favorite Ohio antiques store in the history of the world. All I know is, I need Angie to quit her life and sign on as my personal junk-shopping assistant. She truly seemed to understand my vision of crazy. She practically forced me to buy the yellow-orange baskets that will hopefully light the kitchen of my future.

All that, and my 3rd bar-stool, too.

God bless the internet!

God bless us, every one.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

All Around Awesome

Well, I planned to write a big, ol' bossy post on Friday or Saturday, giving you a list of things that you *must* read/ponder/watch over your weekend. Because, you know, we all need more to-do lists on the weekends.

But then I found myself at my parents' house in Ohio and the usual spell came over me. I only had the will to eat, sleep, and read. You understand.

So now it's almost Monday and what we all need less than a Saturday to-do list is a Monday to-do list. But trust me on this one. I've been collecting these treasures for a little while and it's time to share.

Tell me in the comments which item resonated with you the most and you'll be entered into a drawing for my undying, unabashed, unapologetic love, forever and ever, amen.

1: Depraved Indifference video.
I found this via Sarah's blog. It shook me to my core and I cannot stop thinking about it. This business about caring for the poor, loving the orphans, it's starting to seem more and more like serious, life-tipping business. Please watch.

2: I Was Olivia. A beautiful, personal response to my Olivia* post. I can't even tell you the ways Olivia* continues to bang around in my heart...

3: A Long, Rambling Post In Which I Talk About Attachment. I stumbled on this weeks ago and stayed up past bedtime digging around on her blog because I crave input from adoptive parents who understand. (Precisely why I continue to write about our own challenges.)

4. Peanut Butter Sheet Cake. This revolutionized last week, and by "revolutionized", I mean it completely transfixed me. I walked around with greasy fingers and sugar teeth. And I'm not even that peanut buttery. **WARNING: You probably have all of these ingredients on hand as we speak.**

5. In a twist of irony, we will jump straight from Peanut Butter Sheet Cake to bathing suits, because life just isn't always fair. I'm on the hunt for a cute one-piece bathing suit this year.

6. These two marriage posts made me want to smooch my hubs on the spot. Read Jen's and Nic's.

7. Speaking of Nic, she's moving to Kenya next year with her Honey and their brood of 5. Nicki lived next door to me in college, but I don't think we ever spoke. Hello, regret. We (re)connected a few years ago. She probably knows this (do you know it, Nic?) but she is the person who indirectly introduced us to Radical, thus tipping the domino (in the words of Jennie Allen*) toward the impending  upheaval of life as we knew it. For that, I will love her forever and always.
(*More on Jennie Allen very soon.)

8. You probably already know of my friend Katie. Her very existence is artful. She could spin sugar-dusted whimsy from two sticks and a ball of twine. She's currently sporting the best-dressed baby bump in the history of the world and you have to check out the peony wall her and her Honey painted for baby girl's nursery.

9. I love my friend Nici's take on growing adventurous eaters. (She shares our philosophy but somehow tells it in a much more interesting, vegetarianish way.)

10. Our words really matter. This post made my heart ache and swell.

11. Emily's take on art and loving too much and balance and surrender. I read this shaking my head, (or "smh", as Haven would say.) I haven't spent that much time with Emily in real life, but she managed to crawl inside my head. (She's the best kind of company.)

There. Hate me. Love me. You decide.

To Monday! {clink}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hottttt Pocket.

I keep forgetting to tell you about this. Rather, I keep being too lazy to move the pictures from "the little camera" to the computer. I finally whined about it enough that Cory did it. Why do I see this as such a chore? Well, I do. The  process is quite unweildy. I don't mind saying that our previous computer made things simpler.

Aren't you glad you came here today?

For Christmas/birthday I got Cory tickets to see Jim Gaffigan in concert. Do you know Jim Gaffigan, or as I like to call him, The Gaff? He's a comedian. A super funny one. A mostly clean one.

(My friend Courtney and I are in the midst of an all-out campaign for our twitter hashtag #thegaff to sweep the nation. You might even call it a blitz. So far, there have been no takers. I even stooped so low as to tweet #thegaff himself, hopeful that at least he might appreciate our brilliance and devotion. Crickets.)

When I bought the tickets, the tree was in the corner of the room and I was staring the creepy babies straight in the mug. Finally, the snow melted and it was Summertime in March and we had a whole day to ourselves, in the fine city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Have you ever seen a churchier city? I was impressed. Everything was so alive and pretty.

Except me.

I had spent the previous eight days lunging ever-nearer to death itself, during what I like to call, with much malice, The Worst Week of my Life. Catchy title, no?

I rallied for our day together. I thought I was mostly better. But then I only ate two bites of my lunch and napped between every stop. I threw my seat back and slept for ten minutes here, ten minutes there. I somehow managed to stay alert during a movie. (Cory picked the movie and his taste usually lands us on the outlandish side, which helped.)

I was still surprisingly woozy, but it was a day away, just the two of us, and the sun was shining. Totally worth a rally.

Sidenote: I have a real thing for statues. I'm captivated. And I might have a touch of pica, because my mouth often waters when I get close to them. I want to lick them. Though I'm sure that happens to everyone...

One of these days, when the stars align and I find myself with a scanner, I will show you my favorite statue photo op of all time. Remind me.

We waited for the marquee to show The Gaff's name, but it never did. And photography was banned inside. But the show was so good. I'll be honest, Cory giggled more than the average attendee. He's The Gaff's model viewer, because he took all the bait.


He had me with, "My kids look a lot like me, only they're not as dark skinned."

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!

This was one of my favorite bits. (As re-bitted on Jimmy Fallon.)

After the show, Cory took my to Biaggi's because one of my favorite things in the whole world is their arugula salad with red beets, avocado, and goat cheese. (Update: My mouth is watering again, only this time for normal reasons) 

The salad arrived, I choked down three or four bites, shoved it aside, cursed the germ that relentlessly waged war on my happiness, and slept the whole way home.

Merry Christmas, Honey!

*All photos with the exception of #2 are credited to Cory.