These are the days.

These are the days
of the Fresh and New--
A yawn and a stretch and
morning-breath I love yous.

These are the days
of Discoveries--
You do what?!s and
You're hot/I'm cold

and you squeeze toothpaste FROM THE MIDDLE?!!?!??

These are the days
of Simplicity--
Bare, green walls
and one-course meals
and we don't care because it is ours.

These are the days
of Someday Dreams.
What ifs and What nows
And well, we're not sure
(but still willing to try).

These are the days
of Joyous Thanksgiving
For Lord, we have much
Now please, teach us to give.

And one day, these days
will be yesterdays.
And you'll say Remember when?
And I will, with a smile.


Oh WOW! ...Oh GEE!...It's the OGs!

YOU GUYS! Can we talk about how unbelievably adorable these two are?!

Exhibit A:


This coming from a girl who cannot HELP but sigh a little sigh anytime an old couple pops into view (except on occasion when I am stuck behind them in traffic...but that's another story).

But okay, NOT ONLY are they old and cute and still in love after 72 years (Harry is 98 and Barbara, 93) BUT ALSO they have a blog called the OGs (Original Grandparents) where they offer advice and hilarious anecdotes and even comment on Lady Gaga now and then (thanks to their granddaughters, who man the camera)!

Enough chatter. WATCH THEM! NOW! You will not be disappointed.

(And if you are, you do not have a soul.)


Cutie (Barbara) on marriage:

Adam, get ready for this someday (although of course, we all know that YOU are the one that will bust a move):

Learn more (NPR feature story).


Weekended: Footloose and fancy-free.

Sometimes, it's nice to soak up summery freshness.
And get fancy with fab Fiestaware and yummy fruit.
And set the table.

(say it like OPRAAAAAAH for best effect)

(note: I used to say "Oh, I'm not a flower-kind-of-girl". And turn up my nose and say things like "They just die!" or "Give me chocolate any day!" or "It's not like I just finished a dance recital!" ...but can I just say I CHANGE MY MIND! PERIOD. Flowers are cheery and pretty and gives even a one-bedroom apartment an immediate makeover!)


The point is, sometimes, on days such as those, life looks like this:

But soooometimes, you're just kind of tired from running around and errands and out-of-towning and future-thinking etc etc etc.

So it's all you can really do to unpack groceries while your fab husband washes dishes and pop a frozen pizza in the oven.


And then follow it with a much-anticipated b-f-f reunion/life talk/snazzy beer/CELEBRATION!

And it may not be as fancy or picturesque, but it's still pretty darn good.

p.s. Please excuse the flash. (such a camera-hog...)

p.s.s. I may be totally showing my kitchen no-not-how BUT when we got our little salt & pepper friends, we were discussing which was salt and which was pepper. I thought that Mr. Salt would be the pudgy one (salt=not awesome for you+he is holding a baked good which always takes salt) BUT NO! Not true, my friends! Mr. Salt is sneaky and lean and Sir Pepper is the stout one. Guess the mustache should have trumped previous reasoning?


We were just sitting there talking.

I share this with you, friends, because I don't know a single soul who has not and will not yet again feel the long loneliness of life.

No matter what the season, no matter where we live, no matter how successful, how seemingly cheery, how pretty, how rich, how poor, how healthy, how sick, how young, how old...we feel it.

Loneliness wafts within the pages of our lives and lingers at times, pressing in and down and around us and making us feel so incredibly, painfully, terribly alone.

At times it can be almost crippling, can't it? To stare out at the world behind this foggy glass. To scream yet no one blinks an eye. To mask such pain with a smile.

Because if there's anything worse than feeling alone, it's telling other people that you don't have it all together and that you are --gasp!--human and flawed and kind of icky in places. And that is scary. And in our culture, often taboo. And you usually feel like you did/said/are "too much."

(Like me...right now...thinking oh dear, this blog is far too heavy. Do I dare hit Publish?)

I used to think this was my problem. That everyone else had it together and it was just me not adequately managing stress/anxiety/faith/etc etc etc. And that once I cleaned myself up and dusted myself off, then--and only then--would I be fit to join the group again.

I was wrong.

Thank you, Dorothy Day, for reminding me how essential community is for all of us. And what great things we can accomplish when we unite.

Postscript from Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness (emphasis mine):

"We were just sitting there talking when Peter Maurin came in.

We were just sitting there talking when lines of people began to form, saying, "We need bread." We could not say, "Go, be thou filled." If there were six small loaves and a few fishes, we had to divide them. There was always bread.

We were just sitting there talking and people moved in on us. Let those who can take it, take it. Some moved out and that made room for more. And somehow the walls expanded.

We were just sitting there talking and someone said, "Let's all go live on a farm."

It was as casual as all that, I often think. It just came about. It just happened.

I found myself, a barren woman, the joyful mother of children. It is not easy always to be joyful, to keep in mind the duty of delight.

The most significant thing about The Catholic Worker is poverty, some say.

The most significant thing is community, others say. We are not alone any more.

But the final word is love. At times it has been, in the words of Father Zossima, a harsh and dreadful thing, and our very faith in love has been tried through fire.

We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone any more. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

It all happened while we sat there talking, and it is still going on."

image: here.



  • Searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Desired qualities: unpretentious, traditional with a twist, comforting, ooey gooey chocolate-y goodness. Got a recipe I should try? Do share!
  • Feeling a bit guilty for having five dirty coffee mugs in my office. Also for opening the bag of peanut M&Ms...after having a brownie at lunch. Oops?
  • Wishing the Adult World would be a tad more user friendly. Also, that I would not have to make another trip to the DMV (scream). Also, that I wouldn't feel so helpless and confused at crucial times like when I have a Serious Situation on my hands and have no freaking clue what to do. Luckily, God is good and my husband is awesome.
  • Trying to muster up the courage to ask someone to hang out. Because, well, she seems fun and a new friend would be nice. But somehow I feel really awkward about it. Like what if she says no and thinks I am a weirdo? Or what if she says yes but only says yes out of obligation and then secretly hates it? Hmm. I think I'm suddenly really bad at this whole friendship thing. Is that a mark of old age?
  • Reading this, albeit halfheartedly, after tearing through this, even though it totally freaked me out and upon finishing it resolved to never see the movie or read the sequel. Recommendations?



Yuk, yuk, yuk.

In high school, my best friend and I would love to sit in a public place, pick out a person and begin making up their life story.

The best one was in a train station on the way to Chicago (Spring Break 07!) when we spotted a handsome middle-aged man with dark hair flopping over his forehead as he tossed a worn satchel into the seat next to him.

We immediately deemed him Pierre and proceeded to tell his vibrant story complete with his profession (rich-people-dog-breeder! Why?! JUST BECAUSE!), his status (single. duh. with a broken heart from his longtime girlfriend who died of a mysterious fungal disease the week before their wedding day! GASP!) and his reason for travel (en route to deliver his brother from the evil clutches of corporate boredom intermixed with an addiction to an all-night marathon of watching Wheel of Fortune and eating Cheetos).

Our dreams were dashed in one fell swoop when our friend had the nerve--the nerve!--to actually approach Pierre and discovered that in fact, his name was Charlie and he was a schoolteacher on his way to visit his parents.


Annnnyway, the point is I can totally relate to this article and maybe it's because I work in an office or maybe it's because of my aforementioned Pierre past (and perhaps an overactive imagination but whatever), but I read this and loved it and just had to share.

(via here and here)

So read it, friends, on this blase Tuesday afternoon.

And then, as my husband would say, "Yuk it up."

(And if you can say that phrase with a straight face, you get a million points because I cannot help but immediately dissolve into giggles and the occasional unexpected snort.)

((It's almost as funny as my mom propping her feet up at the end of a long day and saying her "dogs are barking."))



Weekended: Nostalgia.

Not pictured:
A full heart, a wave of homesickness and a good ol' fashioned bowling tournament.



image credit: here and here.


The Lie. (Part 3)

For a glimpse into how life spiraled so quickly out of control, read Part 1 and Part 2.


And so it was that my first full day as a college graduate, I was on my way to steal back a greeting card I had given to my neighbor (out of guilt) and inadvertently labeled with the wrong name then lied about it.

Which I guess when I put it that way, sounds a teensy bit strange but you really just had to be there.

The problem was, of course, no one was there to walk me through it.

--Well, that and the whole "I am a people pleaser and cannot handle the thought of anyone hating me" thing.

And I'm not sure there are any textbook cases on this kind of a situation, but I'm pretty sure it would not end in the Card Theft Victim feeling warm fuzzies for the Card Thief That Can't Remember Names Who Is Incidentally Also A Liar In This Case But Not Usually.

The point is, this entire situation was pretty much my worst nightmare. On crack. During a high fever. After eating spicy Mexican food and drinking way too many margaritas.

But back to the story--

I grabbed an armful of bags for cover and sauntered by Michelle-who-wasn't's door.

It was open!

I saw the card just lying in the empty front room, taunting me.

But what's this?! Oh happy day! It was flipped over so I could see the seal was unbroken. She hasn't read it! I rejoiced.

I scurried to the car to unload and argued with myself.

You have to do it! This is your chance! The door is open. No one is around. This will solve all your problems and you can drive home in peace! She'll just think her roommate took it...or something! Either way, at least she won't think it was YOU! TAKE THE CARD!!! TAKE IT! TAKE IT! TAKE IT!

I bit my lip.

Who am I?! What am I doing?! This is so not okay!!! I should just own up to it. Or just let it go and not worry about it. I mean, who cares if she thinks I am a total nutcase and tells everyone she meets about my and my wacko behavior and I end up alone forever eating string cheese and Hostess cakes while surrounded by cats?! AT LEAST I'LL HAVE MY DIGNITY!!!

I shuddered. I squared my shoulders. I paused in the threshhold of Michelle-who-wasn't's door.

The time was now.

Two steps in, two steps out
, I told myself.

I lifted my left foot.

...I couldn't do it.

Sorrowfully, I entered my apartment and gathered the rest of my things. I walked through the rooms one last time and prepared for my final descent.

As I crossed the balcony, I met Michelle-who-wasn't's roommate standing outside talking with my friend Joanna, who lived next door.

"Hey girls," I said smiling, flooded with relief at the sign of a familiar face.

Maybe this isn't so bad, I thought. It's not a big deal. Life goes on. Who ca-

"ASK HER IF SHE KNOWS A MICHELLE!" came a yell from the parking lot.

It was Michelle-who-wasn't hollering from her car, gesturing towards Joanna.

"THE CARD!" she screamed at her roommate. "ASK HER IF SHE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT IT!"

You have got to be kidding me. It never ends!

Joanna glanced at us quizzically.

Michelle-who-wasn't's roommate ran inside to get the card and in a last-ditch effort I looked Joanna straight in the eyes and said quietly, "Just. Play. Along."

The roommate returned with card in hand and it was so close--so, so close--and in utter desperation I opened my mouth.

"Ohhey,IwasthinkingIthinkthatcardbelongstome," the words tumbled out of my mouth and all over each other, forming a cloudy balloon of LIAR all around my head.

"It's just that I have been writing a lot of cards lately--new graduate and all (heh, heh) so ya know, wrote a card and totally spaced where I put it and I guess I taped it to the wrong door. Or maybe it doesn't even belong here at all! Or something." I stammered quickly and nervously and oh-so-nonsensically.

I plowed through, shooting Joanna furtive glances.

"So, if I could just get it back, and I'm so terribly sorry for all of this and oh my! I guess it's time for me to go so it was great seeing you and sorry again and okay well enjoy the sunshine and summer and you know...life and all that so, I'll just be out of your way now if I could just--"

I paused for a brief moment and reached for the card. The roommate handed it hesitantly, her head titled and her brow furrowed in confusion.

My fingers closed around the envelope as I saw Michelle-who-wasn't watching us curiously from the parking lot. Joanna gave me a puzzled smile.

I beelined it to my car.

I passed Michelle-who-wasn't with a hurried, "See ya later!", flew into my seat and drove away, shaking my head and eventually burst into uncontrollable laughter.

What a way to close a chapter, I thought, dialing my roommate's number.

"You won't believe this!" I squealed in the phone, the unopened card peeking out from behind my purse.

And I never could bring myself to throw it away.


The Lie. (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, read it here.


I wonder what will become of all of us
, I thought to myself as I stuffed another box in my car, wishing to be on the road. And where will I call home? And how very much I hate goodbyes and living in such uncertainty.

But I leave for Italy in three days!
I cheered. And this is really just a new beginning! Which can be exciting! And --

"Hey Sara!" a cheery voice called from the balcony.

I looked up to see Michelle bouncing down the stairs towards my swollen car.

"Hey! How's it going?" I wiped my forehead.

When did she get home? I wondered. Hmm...I wonder if she's opened the--

"Do you know a 'Michelle'?" she asked loudly.

My heart stopped. I licked my lips nervously as the blood drained from my face.

"Wh--whaaat did you ask?"

"Do you know someone named 'Michelle'? Someone left this random card on our door and my roommates and I are trying to figure out who it's for. Strange, huh?" she stared at me.

"Um...yeah..." I said weakly as my stomach wound itself into a mess of knots.

Okay, stay calm. Don't panic. DO NOT PANIC. I told myself sternly. You can totally handle this. You can totally...HOLY CRAP WHAT CAN BE DONE?!!? Tell her you did it and make her feel EVEN WORSE that you don't EVEN KNOW HER FREAKING NAME AFTER TWO YEARS?!?!?

Like, oh hey, yeah those nice words were meant for you--whoever you are--because I wanted to be kind but DIDN'T TAKE THE TIME TO EXCHANGE BASIC INFORMATION WITH YOU. BECAUSE I WAS ALWAYS RUNNING FROM YOU. BECAUSE I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON WHO ALWAYS HAS A FULL BLADDER!!! Judge me, neighbor girl. JUUUUDGE MEEEEEE!!!

And then--


Wait a freaking minute.

I could...I mean, no one would know...I could just tell her...

"Nope," I squeaked, swallowing the lump of rising panic in my throat. "I don't know a Michelle. Good luck though. That is pretty strange."

I darted up the stairs just as fast as my wobbly legs would carry me. I dashed into the apartment and collapsed on the chair, defeated, exhausted and utterly humiliated.

Oh, if only my roommate were home! I moaned. What's a girl to do?! How do I redeem this mess? PEGGY POST HELP ME!

I took a deep breath and surveyed the never-ending pile of all that still needed to make it into my car before I could escape.

Okay, my eyes narrowed. The plan is to move AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. Throw crap around. Squish. Squeeze. Stack. Push. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get OUT of here!

And with that, I worked with a feverish zeal. I avoided Michelle-who-wasn't's door. I zipped to and from the car. I was on a roll. I was on a mission. MUST GET OUT lest she corner me again!!!

On a return trip, it hit me with a sickening thud that things were not quite so simple.

Sure, I could leave. I could drive off with a bad conscience. I was prepared for that.

But what I hadn't realized is that I would be deceiving no one.

For as I played and replayed the turn of the afternoon's events, I realized I had SIGNED the card.

And not ONLY had I signed my name, but ladies and gentlemen, honestly thinking that there was a CHANCE SHE WOULDN'T KNOW MY NAME (ohhhh cruel, cruel world!) I had FOLLOWED my name with a quick "Love, Your neighbor from Apt. 14!!!"

And thus, dear friends, there would be no mistaking WHO sent the card and after a bit of calculating, all fingers would point to yours truly quite easily and obviously and she would KNOW I lied and always and forever I'd be That Girl, The Liar and Card-Giver to People with Random Names and Name-Forgetter and OH DEAR LORD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Mind reeling and rationality long gone, I settled on one way--the only way--to fix this terrible mess.


But could it be done?

(Part 3 will be posted tomorrow. Thanks for reading!)

Part 3


The Lie. (Part 1)

I surveyed the empty apartment with wistful eyes. My stomach knotted as I thought of closing the door one last time.

I took a deep breath and slowly gathered my first armful of bags.

This was it. College was over. Time to say goodbye.

I struggled through the front door down the familiar wobbly wooden steps. Hard to believe this is no longer home, I mused. How quickly time flew!

After a sweaty unloading, I headed back for more. It was amazing how much could accumulate after a mere two years of apartment living.

I passed my neighbors' doors and giggled at our first night at the complex. Three overzealous girls trying to make a good impression, ringing doorbells and offering pans of brownies. No one quite knew what to do with us, but we didn't care. It was college! It was an adventure! It was time to be spontaneous and when something flopped, just chalk it up to making a memory!

And did we know how to make memories.

I passed the Pirate Neighbors who somehow thought we were the strange ones despite their nights of strictly Pirate Talk (Arrrgh! Would ye like to join our party, maties, or must we make you walk the plank?) and looked up at Mr. Deeds apartment, who always seemed to pop up right when you needed him (Hauling in groceries? BAM! Deeds was there. Trouble with the hammer? BAM! Deeds was there! Car wedged so tightly against the telephone pole that splinters seemed to prick your shin? BAM! Deeds was there!).

Yes, the memories were flowing and the nostalgia was swelling and right before I reached our door, I stopped in front of Michelle's apartment.

Michelle--a friendly girl with a quick smile and thick brown hair, who always seemed to catch me at the wrong time.

Like when I was finally reaching home after a day on campus and a full bladder and a quick "Hey, how's it going?" was all I could muster without waiting for a reply.

Or in the park when I was fitting in a quick workout and, with a wave and smile, passed her on the sidewalk and kept my heart rate pumping.

And recently--the day before, in fact--as she called "Hey Sara!" from the college paraphernalia superstore and I kept trotting down the hill amidst the throngs of other happy graduates and their families, sending a toothy smile her way as I plowed towards the car, beaming with pride (and stomach grumbling).

Oh no! I thought to myself suddenly. I have been so incredibly rude! She has reached out several times and I have not made time to even have a conversation with her! How completely self-absorbed I've been! I mean, maybe she needs a friend! Or encouragement! We have been neighbors for two years--surely that deserves more than a hurried GREETING now and then!

Guilt began gnawing at me and just when I was feeling really low, it hit me.

And suddenly, I knew just what to do.

I would right this wrong--I would not leave on such a sour note--IT WAS NOT TOO LATE!!!

I rushed into the apartment and began tearing through boxes until I found just what I was looking for--a blank greeting card. Perfect! I squealed. Not too intense, yet thoughtful. Just a little something to let her know I appreciate her and wish her the very best!

Dear Michelle, I wrote, pausing to gather my thoughts, then continued scribbling furiously.

It was impulsive. It was blatant sentimentality. But so help me, I would deliver that card.

I rummaged for Scotch tape and victorious, darted outside.

Quietly, I fastened the card to her door with a hasty MICHELLE swirled on the envelope as a faint smile crossed my lips. She won't even know it's coming! I rejoiced. And when she gets it, I'll be gone so no social awkwardness--just a little bit of good sent her way.

I returned to my apartment, satisfied with my deed and full of a strange closure with that one little act.

An act I would soon come to regret.


(Part 2 to come next week. Enjoy the long weekend, friends!)

Part 2 and Part 3.