Hometown pride.

I saw this guy speak this weekend and can I just tell you that I love him?

He's an eclectic mix of passions--farming, preservation, family, and the Creator--and he writes everything from tell-it-like-he-sees-it nonfiction essays like this to a fiction series including this, which had me in tears a few times (shocker, I know).

Plus, he is completely charming (I say "charming" instead of "cute" because I was told by SOMEONE that to use the word "cute" when describing a man of such character is demeaning and...how did he put it..."strips him of his dignity." What-EVER Adam...). But I mean, his WIFE types his manuscripts on a TYPEWRITER for crying out loud (which he explains in that article I mentioned). So in my romantic head I swoon and say CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!

Hearing Wendell Berry speak was a true joy. He commands respect and is somehow able to maintain absolute dignity even when the power goes out. In fact, the crowd begged him to continue his presentation even through the lunch break. And not just because of his CHARMING Southern drawl.

What stuck with me was his message about place.

He spoke about the duty of being proud of where you are from. And wanting--above all else--to be in that place, because it is the place you call home. A place you will forever love. A place, that to you, is better than any other place.

Further, he said it was also our duty to recognize that everyone else has their own place that they call home. A place that they love and think is better than any other place. And that their place is not ours. And that we should be able to have our pride without infringing on their right to have theirs.

But he also pointed out that each place does have its own distinct language. And that while language is on one hand universal (learning English is learning English), there are certain nuances that only those from our place can understand.

And I thought about that this weekend as I watched my family sitting around the living room playing a lively game of Catch Phrase. I felt my own comfort and joy in that place--speaking that language of "Oh, my stars!" and "My dogs are barkin!" and other quirky words of home--and I realized that my husband (though he respects and loves my family) will not ever quite speak that language like I do...nor will I speak his.

And it made me sad for awhile, to be honest. Because isn't that so unfair? How can two people from two places ever have hope of speaking the same language?! Do we just choose one? Or what?

But I was completely and totally overlooking the most glaring reality--that we are in our own place. Creating our own language. That we will one day teach to our family.

And it is nice to just take a deep breath and rest in that truth.


I don't even know who I am anymore.

Every now and then, there are moments that jump out and shake you. Life's way of reminding you the times, they are a-changin.'

Like when I'm throwing lunches in Tupperware containers in the sleepy morning light and wondering, did we forget to put our recycling bin by the curb again?

Or remarking with delight to the checkout clerk that they have canned PUMPKIN! At a time like this! In fact, I'm buying five cans because I CAN'T CONTROL MYSELF!

Or getting excited about the grocery spending going up and our eating out going (uhh...somewhat) down.

Or like today when my co-worker asks me, "Hey, isn't today The Office premiere?" AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW THE ANSWER.*

What would my college self think of me now??!

(Besides being proud of me showering every day.)

*p.s. IT IS!!! 9/8 Central. NBC. Don't miss it!


Go ahead and file this under "Worst Nightmare."

"...The critters have a mouth full of 50 sharp teeth, tend to exude a foul odor, and can occassionally contract rabies..."




Here's looking at you, lady to my left:

Ways to be the worst lecture-attender ever:

1. Arrive late.
2. Arrive late and leave again a mere 30 seconds later to return with a newsletter.
3. Arrive late, leave again a mere 30 seconds later to return with a newsletter, and proceed to very obviously read said newsletter in the middle of lecture.
4. Arrive late, leave again a mere 30 seconds later to return with a newsletter, proceed to very obviously read said newsletter in the middle of lecture, AND THEN START CLIPPING YOUR FINGERNAILS.

Now excuse me while I very self-consciously munch on my carrots and apple for lunch.

Keep it classy out there.


And then I found five dollars.

I killed a fly yesterday at work.

It was all buzz buzzzzzz, hey look at me, taunting you by being creepy and landing on your computer screen while you wait for that stringy haired girl to come crawling out.

And I was all oh yeah? WHACK. What now?!

Except it got the last laugh because instead of just DYING like a NORMAL FLY and falling onto my desk, where I could easily scoop it into a trash can victoriously, it decided to spew its guts all over my computer screen.

I KNOW. Rude.

And THEN it got another posthumous laugh (prolonged last laugh? laster laugh?) this morning when I fell into my chair with that first cup of coffee and squinted in sheer terror at the teeny, tiny white flakes sprinkled across the corner of my computer screen. Precisely where Mr. Fly's guts resided just yesterday.

And I was like whaaaaat the crap is that?! Are they MOVING?! (They weren't moving.)

But why are there strange white sprinklings on my computer screen?
Are these microscopic maggots of some sort?! Seriously, ARE THEY MOVING?! (They still weren't moving.)


And the use of mental exclamations made my brain hurt.

And I couldn't help but recall the first time Adam and I went to a wedding together.

We weren't dating and thus the fact that my b-f-f asked me TO A WEDDING set all these alarms off in my head and resulted in me not eating anything but chocolate chips all day long. Because ADAM my B-F-F asked ME to a WEDDING. Which is like, not a date but not a nothing kind of situation, you know?! Plus he was really cute and nervous when he asked me. (Which I secretly enjoyed because it's nice to see the other person squirm sometimes, AM I RIGHT?!)

So there we were. Awkwardly accompanying each other to his co-worker's beautiful outdoor summer extravaganza. It was hot as Hades and I mentally thanked myself for wearing black (no pitstains, duh).

And we mingled. And we met a few people and had to do the delicate dance of introductions so people didn't get the wrong idea.

We decidde to take a seat and as people were beginning to meander toward the white chairs, I noticed some itty bitty hyphen-shaped white things on my left shoulder.

Weird. I thought, brushing them off aimlessly.

But then I noticed the very same hyphen-shaped white things on my right shoulder.

What the---? I thought but before I could freak out about DANDRUFF on my first-date-but-not-quite with my b-f-f, I spotted a few on my skirt. And belt. And HOLY CRAP THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

Trying not to panic, I saw them on Adam's suit jacket as well. And the girl next to me. And the guy next to her.

And in fact we were all noticing them at this point. And Adam was looking nervously at me, wide-eyed, trying not to laugh, but also kind of afraid.


You see.

He knew something I was unable to admit to myself--


They were falling from the beautiful tree that so gracefully shaded the lawn.


And don't even MENTION what had to be in my hair. OH THE HORROR, I KNOW!

And right when I mustered the courage to ask, "Are they alive? Tell me the truth. Adam? Adam?! ADAM?!?!"...the bride started down the aisle.

So I did the only thing I thought appropriate. I squirmed and dusted as many little wretched LIVING BEINGS off my body as possible.

And then I shrugged my shoulders, elbowed Adam in the ribs and took a big gulp (or five) of the delicious summer brew that was handed to us at the door.

And if that isn't the beginning of a beautiful romance I don't know what is.



  • Throwing "...and did you know we are GODPARENTS?!" into every conversation possible. And loving it. Because we love her!
  • Reading this and this...and just finished this (and now want to read this...I know, out of order, SO SUE ME!).
  • Disturbed immensely by this and this...and wondering where the media is at in covering the story...OH WAIT, they are in Florida with that one guy. Awesome.
  • Wishing that my new infatuation with baking would somehow translate into better abs? Ehh? There's always hope!?!!?!

photo cred.


So this is love.

Caution: I had cookies and a latte for breakfast. Because that's the kinda girl I am. Consider yourself warned. Sugar high ahead.


The alarm didn't go off yesterday and I was all HOLY CRAP IT'S 6:45! GET IN THE SHOWER! MOVE MOVE MOVE!! YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES TO GET OUT THE DOOR!!!! (and yes, the exclamations absolutely DID grow exponentially with each phrase)

And when Adam realized I was indeed completely serious, move he did.

And he was rushing. And I was scurrying. And if you know either of us, you know that is a LOT OF FRANTIC!!! In ONE SMALL SPACE!!!! And DO YOU WANT A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH OR A FROZEN BURRITO FOR LUNCH?! I KNOW, LIVING THE GOOD LIFE, YES YOU ARE!

In minutes, he was almost ready to go and our hearts were settling down a bit and as he was buttoning up his shirt I decided the most helpful thing would be to assist him in wardrobe.

--Let me take a quick tangent to say that I have never met anyone who approaches getting dressed like my husband.

In college, he was known (really, honestly) as The Guy In Black. Black t-shirt, black hoodie and jeans. Every day. Period. You could count on it like you can count on me inflecting my voice A LITTLE MORE THAN NECESSARY just to MAKE A POINT.

The all-black wardrobe was an exercise in simplifying his life and he did it well.

So well, in fact, that upon graduation, when he had a job that required him to wear a mint green polo (OH THE HORROR!), he made a habit of rushing home as soon as he got off work just to change from said polo into the black t-shirt/hoodie combo before meeting up with anyone.

My friend and I once made the drive to his job just to see Adam IN COLOR with our own eyes.

Since his teaching days, he has made a complete 180 and begun wearing dress shirts, slacks and a tie every day. Because he is a professional (and because he does not want to be confused with a student). And I cannot TELL you what a stir that caused in our community! Adam!!! In color!!! Dressed up!!! SERIOUSLY!

But the thing is, this dressing up and looking dapper thing has its drawbacks. Because now, well, it is not so easy getting dressed in the mornings. No siree, there are colors to matched and hues to consider and suddenly this wardrobe thing is quite the daily consternation!

--So, this crazy, frantic, RUN HURRY MOVE IT! day, I dash to the closet to throw him a tie.

I grab one of my faves--the gray one with colored stripes--and shout, "IS THIS ONE OKAY?!"

To which he replies in all earnestness, "I DON'T KNOW! IS IT NEXT IN THE ROTATION?!"

Which nearly causes me to fall over with a fitful of giggles and have yet another reason to love this quirky guy who I am blessed to share my life with.

Mainly because this quirk is NOTHING compared to my seriously overly-complicated way of doing laundry.

But I digress.


And that's the way it is.

(Pause while you sing that Celine Dion.)

Life right now is a growing into time.
Roles and expectations twisting and turning
And I struggle daily to keep up.

Life right now is a grace giving time.
Learning patience and giving and patience again
And getting more than my fair share in return.

Life right now is a boundary pushing time.
Saying yes when it's easier to say no thank you
And being (mostly) pleasantly surprised when I do.

Life right now is a firm believing time:
In friendship that crosses miles and time zones
In family who can never be replaced
In foundation laid brick by brick as we reach month five (!)
In faith that what is, is good, and what is to come will indeed, one day, come.


Everything's okay.

My brother-in-law played this for us this summer (because he is always up to something interesting and has a way of livening up a place) and lately it has been popping into my mind now and then.

I'm not a Hank Williams fan really and to be completely honest, I can't stand songs that contain speaking.

But somehow this chorus resonates. A reminder of resilience and hope in hard times. A prodding to remember that this is not the end of the story. (Silly as it may seem.)

We’re still a-livin’ and we’re prayin’ for better days
So - after all, ever’thing’s in purty good shape.


Enquiring minds want to know:

With the predominance of skinny jeans, are men having to consider underwear lines these days?

And do you think you're out of the honeymoon stage when you discuss plantar warts...and not "generally speaking"?

And do you think it's socially unacceptable to unzip my boots--full disclosure: NOT WEARING SOCKS! EEK!--when hiding in my cubicle?

And do you find it an ethical issue when determining whether or not to give aid to Pakistan versus Haiti?

And how do you make sense of the world around you? ...or do you?

Do tell.



Sitting across from my beautiful mom, soaking up time with the one person most like me in the world, really seeing her in new ways and as I watch my dear friends raising their first little ones, I find myself picturing her and my father as nervous young parents just figuring it out and I love pausing in that daydream (even when it gets me all choked up and misty-eyed) and I just find myself feeling incredibly thankful and just wanting to tell both her and them...hey, you over there, the one with the bleary eyes and frazzled nerves, yeah, you...you're doing a really good job.


Dashing around the corner, running late (as usual) in a hurryhurryhurry! and screeching on the brakes for the old couple approaching. Though such a sight pulls at my heart strings, they aren't quite as endearing when shuffling sloooooooooowly and though totally unaware, taking up the entire hallway. All such impatient thoughts completely and utterly dissolve as I watch Grandpa come to a halt while staring, puzzled, off to the right...and Grandma (just a step or so behind) comes up on his left and taps his arm, smiling. "Well, there you are!" he chuckled, beaming down at her as I melted all over that linoleum hallway.

Feeling an ache of it's not FAIR! Where are You?! How could You?! for the pain and broken hearts of those that surround me. She says with a wobbly voice, I am not brave, but her chin is still up (and her eyes full of tears) and she hurts and we all hurt with them and you can see it in his glance that they are grieving, searching, hoping, waiting. And we wait with them. And pray for peace.


And that, I suppose, is what they call life.