Sunday, December 18, 2011

Early Christmas.

This weekend has been our early Christmas, and what a delight it has been! A work party where I felt so loved and felt the weight of Christ-like love and friendship. I am beyond blessed by my coworkers and the relationships that we share. A Christmas with David's family where we ate delicious food and spent time together. Christmas with my love and best friend complete with surprises and Swedish pancakes and Christopher the Christmas tree. And this beautiful trunk! My husband is the best.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I thought this article was interesting:

And I especially enjoyed the responses to it.

I know I don't actually know what it's like to be a "poor black kid" (or a poor kid of any minority), but I think and talk with people about this a lot. It breaks my heart that people think like the man who wrote the original article, and it breaks my heart that people just look at the behavior of children and not the cause. Like the kid in the first response that I posted, there is always something going on under the surface. It's so hard to remember when the behavior is frustrating or unnerving or just plain scary, but kids desperately need us to understand that fact.

I'm so thankful for my job that reminds me every day that we're all the same. That no one race is better than another. That the fact that I came from a middle class, white, Christian family doesn't mean I'm better or smarter than anyone else - it just means I had it easy. It means that now I need to do something with that, and work to understand where everyone is coming from.

My thoughts aren't all figured out on this topic yet, but I'll get there eventually.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I know I said I was going to link to these posts, but you can just go on the website and read them yourself! They've all been really interesting, but this one stands out to me. Please read it.

I know my job isn't anywhere near as hard as the job that girl has, but sometimes I feel similar. I know that where I work is a temporary solution for the families and that they will leave (be it by graduating or leaving the program prematurely). My heart breaks when they leave. I have invested so much in those kids and haven't held back from loving them. Most of the time I don't get to say goodbye and I never get to see them again.

Anyways, those "what I want you to know" posts on Rage Against the Minivan are so interesting and eye-opening, and this one struck a chord with me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


This weekend was so restful and good. It snowed both days which gave a good excuse to stay inside. I made Christmas gifts all weekend, and love that this year I have the inspiration to make so many of the gifts I'm(/we're) giving. I love it. I hope my family loves it too!

We rested so much and got to catch up with friends. I love the times we spend with both our college friends and our Bloom friends. Two different times in our lives, but I'm so thankful for all of them. It was so nice to catch up last night and be reminded of how connected I feel to my precious friends from college. And it was so nice to be at Bloom tonight - to be serving and running around, but also have time to catch up and talk. I love that place.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I struggle with understanding sometimes. Sometimes I feel too deeply what others are feeling, but at other times I don't try to understand where someone is coming from at all. I think the latter is detrimental and I want to change that. Getting inside someone's head and heart is so painful, and I need help to know how to handle it. But I think it's worth it.

All that to say, I think I'll start linking up to this other blog every day. There has been a series called "What I want you to know"lately, and in the month of December she will be posting a story (submitted by readers) every day. It has helped me understand the situations that people come from better, and I want to share!

Please take a look!

Rage Against the Minivan - What I want you to know series

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful - Day 27

I'm thankful for this:

And for a night that reminds me why we serve - it's not about getting recognition, it's because we love God and we believe in the thing we're doing. Good reminder tonight.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful - Day 26

I am thankful to live so close to the mountains. Today we were able to cut down our Christmas tree in the middle of a forest - instead of a tree farm, or even buying it from Home Depot. I'm thankful for that tradition and that my husband appreciates it as well!

I am also thankful to have spent the weekend with our great friends/siblings/in-laws. I am thankful for them and that even though they are moving away next year, it's for an awesome reason and we'll still be in each others' lives!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful - Day 23, 24, & 25

Day 23

I am thankful for a husband who takes such good care of me. For half days at work and time to get things done with my best friend.

Day 24

I am thankful that we have family here in Colorado to celebrate Thanksgiving with. For delicious food, fun games, and crazy dogs.

Day 25

I am thankful for my job - that when my tendency has become to stuff hard things inside or push them out of my mind, it teaches me to feel. To be able to cry and comfort, to be honest with our feelings. That I'm learning that I can't avoid loving them if I know they're just going to leave. To learn that I can and will love these kids with my whole heart until they are gone from me, and then I will ache. But I'm so thankful to be able to feel.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful - Day 22

I am so thankful for my job. It is the best environment to work in. I love my coworkers and feel so lucky to share so much of life with them. The work relationship is a funny thing... Professionalism always factors in, but you also spend 40 hours of your life each week with them. I am so thankful that we are able to be so open with each other. I never could have imagined something so wonderful in a work environment.

I am also thankful for celebrations. For Thanksgiving dinners and laughter and being able to serve in a more tangible sense. I love those women and those children!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful - Day 21

I am thankful for delicious food. We've had a lot of opportunities recently to eat really high quality, delicious food... And I'm thankful. I'm also thankful that I've recently been inspired to make good food - baked goods, bread, pasta dishes... Food is a good thing.

I'm also thankful that we don't worry about where our next meal is coming from. That we have the opportunity to go to the grocery store every week and fill our cart with produce and things that fuel our bodies in the right ways. I love experimenting with healthy things - and how to make things healthier - and I'm thankful that we have the means to do that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful - Day 20

I am so thankful for Bloom. For the way it helps me connect with God through music, for the people, for the passion with which the pastor(s) preach, for the food, for giving thanks, everything. I love it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful - Day 19

I am so thankful for our house church. We work so well together and feel so comfortable. I feel like I can be completely myself with them. We've been so blessed to do life with them.

Thankful - Day 18

I am thankful for lazy nights at home, where we put on our pajamas at 5:30. For crafting and watching shows and resting from the crazy week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful - Day 17

I am thankful for library cards don't expire until I'm 105 years old. So, library cards that outlive me - and maybe libraries! 2092, I wonder what you have in store for us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful - Day 16

I'm thankful for a job that allows me to be honest. That allows for growth and opportunities, for development and grace. That we can extend grace and love to those we work with, as God extends those things to us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful - Day 15

I am thankful for opportunities - big and small, significant and insignificant... all exciting. Things that make me excited about our future - tomorrow, next year, three years from now, and beyond.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful - Day 14

Today I am thankful for simple pleasures like homemade bread (for the first time, and at high altitude!).

[ Recipe from here: with the high altitude adjustments made. ]

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful - Day 13

Today, I'm thankful for a sermon that challenges. That makes me want to check out or even leave, but then I realize how important it is for me to hear. That I need to work past the fear and hear what God may be trying to tell me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful - Day 11 & 12

Day 11 -

I am thankful for friends/family that challenge and encourage us so much. We don't have enough of that in our lives, and I want to be that for more people. So thankful for those two.

Day 12 -

I am thankful for a hot cup of coffee, an unexpected early morning wake-up that inspires me to spend time doing something I should have been doing a long time ago. Thankful for this Saturday morning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful - Day 10

Today, I'm thankful for my mom. For our weekly phone conversations - the honesty and laughter and support. I'm so thankful to have such a great relationship with my mom! She's amazing.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful - Day 9

I'm thankful for my sweet kids. They trust and love me, and I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for the opportunity to love these kids so much for the months they are in my care daily. I'm thankful that their moms trust me with them, and they know how much I love them. I love getting to see milestones and to be a part of helping that happen. I love when they come to me for comfort.

Loving these kids makes me so excited to be a mom. I can't wait to love my own. (I can wait, don't worry. It'll be a little while yet).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful - Day 8

I am thankful, today, for the fact that my husband and I are different. I feel like we balance each other out and we can speak truth to each other in amazing ways. I am so thankful for him.

I'm also thankful for the ways in which we are the same, which is another post altogether!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful - Day 7

Today, I am thankful for candles, a husband who sure can cook, and a peaceful night at home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful - Day 6

I am thankful, today, for the incredible honor of serving communion to Bloom. It was so humbling and beautiful and I felt so blessed to get to do that. It made taking the bread and the wine even more meaningful.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful - Day 5

I am thankful for laughter and a safe place to be ourselves. The gift of eating a meal with friends and talking about life is one I don't take for granted. I am also thankful for new friends who care about the things we care about and are passionate to see God's kingdom and healing come to those in our community.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful - Day 4

Today, I am thankful for my brother. He is such an upstanding and great guy. We're six years apart in age, so we didn't get along for quite a while. However, distance makes the heart grow fonder, and my leaving (the country) for college helped our relationship a lot. He's in college now, and it's awesome. I have to remember that he's an adult now, not a little boy... That's hard to remember since I haven't lived with him since he was twelve! But just getting to talk to him on the phone and see him twice a year helps with that. I am so proud of the man he is and is becoming. I cannot wait to see where his life takes him!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful - Day 3

Today, I remember how thankful I am for the season of life that we're in. We have so much time together (which we both need and love), and a lot of downtime. We're able to be so invested in the things that are important to us and although our jobs are often stressful, this is an amazing time in our lives. I'm so grateful for the relationships we're building, the experience we're gaining, and the amazing time we have together!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful - Day 2

Today, I am thankful for seasons. I am so lucky to have grown up in California, a most beautiful and interesting place. However, I love living in a part of the country that actually experiences seasons! Granted, Colorado is a bit bipolar about the weather, but that just makes it more interesting! I love waking up to snow softly falling and coating on the trees. The world is a quiet and peaceful place when it snows. I love crunching through crispy white snow, even when I still have to get up and clean off my car and go to work. Right now I'm looking out the window at the tree outside that is coated in heavy white powder. Beautiful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful - Day 1

Maybe it's cheesy, but I saw something going around on facebook where everyone posts something that they're thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for, so I thought I'd try that on this blog.

Today I am so thankful for our house church. We had a really small group tonight but it was peaceful and safe and lovely. I am so thankful for friends who serve so humbly - even just someone doing my dishes means so much to me and reminds me that I need to be better about serving others (even if it's just in the little things). I am so blessed to know these people and to get to live life intimately with them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home again.

So, we saw a part of the country we'd never been to before. And it was beautiful. We drove through hills and (baby) mountains, past streams and rivers and trains and trees. Beautiful. We read a lot, drank a lot of fall-themed beverages, slept a lot. We picked apples in a sunny apple orchard in Connecticut, drank the most delicious chai on a rainy day in NYC, slowly ate slow food in Vermont, and tripped over cobblestones in Boston. It was glorious. Eight straight days together, and we still had things to talk about. We never tire of each other. Multiple times older married couples asked if we were newlyweds, and then seemed surprised that we have been married almost two years. Then we asked them their secret to thirty or forty-six years of marriage... "Yes, dear" was the answer for all. Then they laughed and one couple said it's important to have a common goal. The other, longer married couple, they told us to never give up. Work together and don't give up like all the other young couples out there. I love advice from people who have seen it all.

But... It's so good to be home. I love Bloom. It felt so like home to be there tonight. Looking around at all the familiar and unfamiliar faces, feeling comfortable enough to take off my shoes and take barefoot communion (as we do every week), listening to people sing at the tops of their lungs, with all they've got... It's beautiful. I love it so much, and I love feeling the presence of God in our midst.

I'm so thankful for the friends I have here. They made me feel like I (we) were missed, and that's so good.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Maybe I decided just now that every day I need a little yellow (or mustard) in my life. On the way to Breckenridge* yesterday, while listening to "Ghosts Upon the Earth" and staring out the windows at the yellow aspens, I crocheted a yellow cowl to match. It was delightful and just like fall. I've been inspired by my dear coworker to love this color, and I'm so glad I know her - for that reason and many others.

*We went to Breck to celebrate some dear friends' engagement. And it was delightful. We heard the story of life and surprise, and I talked for a long while with their mothers. I soaked it up - I so miss being around people my parents' age. And weddings are always a beautiful thing!

I love when people call their spouse / spouse-to-be "love", "dearest*", or "darling". It's so old-fashioned and lovely. (*I call David "dearest" because it's what Mormor and Papa used to call each other... at the very least, on their Christmas presents to each other)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


It's back!!


What a perfect way to start this fall. With this album that is breaking ground and awakening my heart again.

I also recommend listening to that album in order, all the way through, while driving through the mountains of Colorado (or anywhere beautiful and natural and peaceful) to seek the changing leaves.

Our autumn drives every year serve to recenter me. When everything else feels like it's swirling around me, driving in the mountains and seeing how the seasons change with my best friend and love, I feel centered in my soul again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity"- 1 Timothy 4:12

This is an encouragement to me. I / we have been blessed (especially lately) with much responsibility. In jobs, in church, in life... I'm feeling the weight of it. I am completely overwhelmed by it.

And be it my own tainted opinion (that cares too much what others think of me) or be it the truth, I feel that everyone is looking down on us because we are young.

So I will cling to the Word of God and trust that we are in this amazing season for a reason.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What have I been up to lately?

What have I been up to lately, you ask?

For the past few months, I have felt uninspired to write here. It started when I wanted to share all the stories of my precious children at work, but then they suddenly moved out. It was such a loss, so heartbreaking, that I couldn't find myself inspired to write anymore. I miss those kids so much that they still bring tears to my eyes, even now, three months later. Those four (from Ghana) had sneaked their way into my heart and they're still there. I pray desperately for them, and catch snippets of their lives from the school they still attend. But I so wish they were still at Champa, learning and growing and smiling and talking again.

And now my other family of four children has left us. And I worked so hard on those kids, and they were so hard. So, so hard. So frustrating. But I had made a break through, and now they're gone. The oldest, with his shy smile and long limbs, who finally trusted me... Gone. And I didn't get to say goodbye. Maybe I'll run into them at the school, but I know that all I can really do is pray desperately for them.

{There are so many precious children stuck in my heart. Most of them left Champa abruptly and without warning, so I never got to say goodbye. I worry about those children so much sometimes... They're scattered all over the city and maybe the country, and I'll never see them again.}

So here we are. With the three babes (who are easy and precious and we laugh a lot) and a new family, with older children. So I will earn their trust and understand what makes them tick. They are so precious and crazy and I can't wait to know them. I can't wait until the trust has been established and we're buddies!


That's all for now... Lots more to share, but not enough time or energy to share it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent and praiseworthy - think about such things" Philippians 4:6-8

It is so hard to give yourself over completely to God. Such a terrifying concept... for me, at least. But He's trustworthy and He always comes through. This verse has been something that I'm clinging to these days - it's printed above my desk at work.


I'm so thrilled that this weekend is three days of freedom. Sleeping in, baking, farmer's markets... Who knows. I'm thrilled. Last weekend was amazing and busy and full of love and laughter - Mom was here!

I'm so thankful for my job and the things I learn and witness there. I get the opportunity to take seminars (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and go to tea at the Brown Palace! So great.

September is here and I have never looked more forward to fall. Our great fall trip (that hopefully hasn't been ruined by Hurricane Irene) is coming up next month and I love fall in Denver. I'm anticipating long walks to and in the park, crunching leaves underfoot. Crisp air and my much-beloved scarves!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


What have I been up to lately?

Walks with babies in which I saw this truck that had a garden growing out of the bed. Amazing!

A word of advice: never walk a mile with three infants all by yourself when it's 95 degrees out. Or ever.

Solo drives, blasting Mumford and Sons and/or The Civil Wars. Once driving behind this dream car of my youth (and perhaps my current older age).

Field trips / end of Summer / beginning of the school year party with one of the coolest kids / superheroes the world has ever seen. Farmers' market, City Park (with the best view of the city ever), fountains of incredible joy and surprise and delight (and free!). I love my job (especially on these days!)

Notes on my new chalkboard door - from children and moms, to each other and me. I love it, and I love them.


I'm so thankful for the groups of girl friends I have. Pizza and sangria, pedicures... I love my Bloom girls and I love my college friends. Which, let's be honest, saying "college friends" makes me sound really old. Or maybe just feel old. They're my for-life friends, not just college. I decided.

We've had (and will continue to have) so much family time lately. It's been so good. I'm so thankful for these times with my grandma (and aunt, uncle, and cousins) this summer. And soon it's my Momma's turn!

I also love the Les Miserables soundtrack I'm listening to right now... It brings back such great memories. Being a tiny child, sitting in the front seat of my dad's truck (Truckie), listening to the cassette with him. Senior year of high school, my parents, Jenny, and her mom seeing it live in San Francisco. So good.

Monday, August 8, 2011


So, the next few weeks may be a bit quieter than I expected. One less infant to fill up my days - which keeps me at three instead of four. The interns are gone, which means I may have alone time with the babies, which is fine with me.

More carpet time, more drooly baby on my chest time.

More time laying on our backs, staring at the ceiling.

More tickling and weird songs that we learn at story time.

More grass time... Or maybe not, because walking three babies to the park by myself a half mile away is just a bit more exhausting than I expected it to be.

More creative craft time and informative video watching time.


August is already so busy. Time with family (BMECM, Mormor, Mom), helping more family move, girls' nights... It's a good way to end the summer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Three day weekends and inspiration.

I haven't taken a day off just to take a day off in a while. Today has been wonderful. We slept in, lazed around, went for a bike ride... and I got inspired! It's so nice to have the time to experiment. Pinterest is so addicting and so inspiring. I've made at least ten of the things I found there - and I'm not a huge fan of cooking and I'm not super crafty.

Today I made these two things:

I finally found a use for this beautiful fabric I found in Uganda three years ago!

Homemade granola - delicious! I got the recipe from here, but I tweaked it just a bit. I didn't use hazelnuts or cherries, and used regular raisins instead.


I'm trying to update more often, but it's been hard. The things I've had on my mind have mostly been  difficult things, and I don't often want to write about them. But this weekend has already been so good for me and I'm excited to see how the end of the summer and the fall go. We're looking forward to a New England road trip in October, time with visiting family, and hopefully lots more time with friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I've never seen so much rain in my life. Downtown Denver flooded within 20 minutes and it was nearly impossible for me to make the 2 mile trek back to my apartment. Luckily, we seem to live in an area slightly more elevated than downtown, so there isn't as much flooding here.

I decided that flash floods, tornado sirens, and crazy thunderstorms call for about-to-go-bad homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. A new tradition is born!

Friday, July 1, 2011


This summer is not going quite as planned. I was planning a summer full of fun activities, field trips, and life lessons for a group of kids. Instead, I get to sit around with adorable babies and take a solitary child on field trips once every few weeks.

Last week was hard. One of the families that I had bonded with the most (and brought their children out of their shells and taught them to handle their emotions better) left the program suddenly. I miss my babies so much...

But... I'm making the best of it. We're growing a garden (it's actually growing!), and it's amazing. We ate green peppers today, a bowl full of lettuce yesterday, and it's been so amazing to see how well everything is doing. So worth it! Even when the kids pick green tomatoes off the vine, thinking they were green peppers. Oh, well.

Summer outside of work is wonderful. Hot, but wonderful. Yogurtland, poker nights (which means I sit outside and talk to people while David plays poker), walks in the rain, bike rides, pool parties... So good.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

Happy father's day to the best dad in the whole world. Your love, laughter, and support mean the world to me!
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This week.

This week.

Answered prayers that will hopefully change a family's lives.

A two year old wiping her brother's tears from his cheeks while I remind him that he is not, in fact, a "stupid boy".

Babies in giant sunglasses.

Water games!

The laughter and screams of little boys.

A family of ducklings crossing a busy road with the help of people enjoying their lazy summer.

Homemade popsicles.

House church discussions.




I have a dilemma. I have so many cute pictures taken this week of the kids, and of me with the kids. I would love to share them on here... But I'm not sure what is appropriate. So, forgive me for the lack of pictures. They all consist of funny faces, sleeping children, water, city backdrops, and pillow case races. Such a good week.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I just love my coworkers. It's amazing how similar some of us are - in our likes and dislikes, our crazy senses of humor, our dreams for our lives and our families, our pasts... We're so different, too. But I love our lunchtime conversations. Those five hours a week are some of my favorites!

I feel blessed to be working alongside these passionate, hilarious people. I love that we're not afraid to laugh. I love that we all came from an idealistic place of looking at the world and have moved into a more grounded place in reality. I love how we've all almost embraced the idea of the American dream (when we swore we never would)... but that we're not content to live in our complacency. That we want to see women and families and people brought to wholeness in Christ. That we want them to live self-sufficient lives, reliant on Christ.

Love it.


I love summer.

Riding my bike to work in the morning. Not so much the way home, but a downhill ride in the cool morning air... That's where it's at.

Playing in the backyard, smelling the flowers, squirting water all over the children.

Being the one that the shyest child looks to with longing in her eyes, and knowing that she just wants to be held. But doesn't want to ask.

Picnics in the park with house church friends. Bocce ball.

Ice cream. Frozen yogurt.

Farmer's markets!

Salad. Salad?!

Coffee dates with new friends.



We watched a movie recently about a man who had an encounter with God. He explained God to a woman by saying that God couldn't wait til she woke up in the morning. God had to experience the world through her eyes, and He couldn't wait to see what she did.

It's a nice thought, but I'm so glad God is all-powerful. He doesn't need us as much as the movie made it seem. He has a plan and He is GOD. He is in control. That's comforting and overwhelming.


I've gotten a case of wanderlust again. We've been talking about our time-line, and it seems that the time is growing closer. This is just a waiting period, even though the future is very unclear. We've so settled into our lives here that it will feel like a ripping-out when we leave. We may return - I can't imagine that we wouldn't - but things will never be the same as they are now. I should embrace this time, but I'm longing to travel. I'm longing to drop everything and set sail around the world. I want to bike around Amsterdam and lay on the beach in San Sebastian and explore the streets of London (not to be confused with Streets of London pub, across the street...). I want to camp (again) in southern France and enjoy a delicious pain au chocolat in Paris. I want to live in the dirt of Africa and visit a cool lake in South America. I want to hike through the jungles of Southeast Asia and trek through the mountains of Peru.

Who knows where we'll end up? If anyone has any connections... We're willing to go anywhere. Let God guide us where He can use us best. We're willing.

Anyways, my wanderlust... Perhaps an autumn road trip in New England will do the trick for now? I think it might!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I miss being in the presence of my parents and grandparents. I grew up in a multi-generational church that included multiple generations of my own family, and there was no shortage of mentor-ish people in my life.

Now, I really love our church. However, there is a shortage of people significantly older than us there. We're definitely growing, and gaining more families, but I miss the parent and grandparent set. 

The events of the past few months have wore me out, and I would just love someone to be a sounding board, to encourage and uplift and refresh me... and challenge me. Maybe that's not exactly what a mentor is for, but I just think that sounds nice right now. I just don't know where to find that.

Anyways, it's the last week of my 23rd year.

Better make it good.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Recently I've learned of two women that I went to college with that have recently gotten divorced. My heart broke when I heard of it. I cannot even imagine what would bring two people together only to draw them apart so soon after. I once heard of a strange statistic - out of ten couples that this person knew who got married their first year out of college, six are now divorced. This coming from a Christian university. Mind-blowing. Devastating.

It makes me so sad when people who have experienced marriage haven't experienced it for the incredible gift and amazing blessing that it is. Marriage is the best thing ever, and I want everyone to know that beautiful fact.

I am so thankful for my husband. He takes such good care of me...

Wiping my tears with his shirtsleeve.

Making me dinner. Every night.

Taking out the trash - and stepping in homeless man poop while he's at it. (Though that last part might not be for me, per se, but it's still a nice touch)

Letting me take his car to work so he can fix my tire. I mean, I was the one who drove over a screw, but I didn't even have to give it a second thought.

Flowers when I'm sick.

Endless produce - even when it drives our grocery bill way up.

Making me laugh. All the time.

So much more.

I love him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today, we measured.

We wrote our height upon the door.

We jammed out to the music in our heads - and followed the impeccable rhythm of the African in our midst.

We read a story and listened with rapture.

We traced letters and colored wild animals.

We exclaimed over the straight line drawn and the uppercase E traced.

We rode two-wheelers and screamed and laughed.

We spoke in hushed tones, not sure where to go from here.

We welcomed new families and got to know each other.

I lit a candle and opened the window.

I did Pilates on my mat in front of an open window, air full of moisture seeping in.

And this week will be a good week.

I will get enough sleep. We will figure these kids out. I will not get too stressed out. I will not think too often of the wish to fly to California.

I will breathe in the air, damp after a rain. I will smell the flowers and gently touch the budding trees.

Yes. This, the Holy Week, will be a good week.

Friday we will mourn the death of Jesus. We will sit in darkness and blow out candles.

And Sunday...

Sunday we will celebrate and sing and laugh and baptize and eat pancakes. And maybe drink champagne. Easter is a celebration after all.

Praise Jesus.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Tonight, I lit some candles and dimmed the lights.

I put on some quiet music.

And I read my Lent devotional.

I'm so thankful for a church that is about Jesus, and about taking Him more seriously than any other thing.

I'm so thankful for amazing, passionate worship leaders (who write things like this).

Anyways, I was listening to some music I got when I lived in Spain [four years ago].

Alabanza (worship) Underground.

I was amazed that, four years later, I still remember all the words.

In Spanish.

[I haven't lost it!]

The music is beautiful, and brings me back to a different time in my life.

Waiting on the corner for Ana, one early Sunday morning, wracked with nerves and desperate for a church community.

Every Sunday following, boarding the train to Hernani, whipping past the green hills of Basque Country.

Entering the unassuming building, packed with pews and people. And love.

Worshipping with Basque and Spanish believers, eating Turkish food and stuffed peppers, wandering the misty, mossy streets.

Lunches with friends, getting Spanish words of wisdom (la perla).

I'm so thankful for that time in my life.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Came across this little comparison in 5280 Magazine this week. Since my blog is titled "Life in the City", I thought it apt to share this.

Note: Almost all of the urban dweller things are true about me / I've thought them at one point or another.

We’re All Human…Right?

Let’s face it: Suburbanites and city dwellers think differently, live differently, and act differently. Ever tried to convince a city dweller that big-box stores aren’t the downfall of society? Ever tried to tell a suburbanite that more isn’t always more? Good luck. Sometimes, we just have to agree to disagree. —Robert Sanchez
Urbanite vs. Suburbanite

Twenty miles is...
Urbanite: A day trip.
Suburbanite: A one-way trip to work.
You secretly think...
Urbanite: Your suburban friends are bad with money; they paid way too much for that five-bedroom cookie-cutter monstrosity.
Suburbanite: Your city friends are bad with money; they pay rent.
You can’t live without...
Urbanite: Fresh sushi.
Suburbanite: Freshly cut grass.
A bicycle is...
Urbanite: An eco-friendly form of transportation.
Suburbanite: A child’s plaything.
You think you’re cool...
Urbanite: Because you have three plots in your community’s urban garden.
Suburbanite: Because you have a three-car garage—and a garden.
Your bumper sticker says...
Urbanite: “Coexist.”
Suburbanite: “My child is an honor student at (insert school name).”
Your most annoying conversational habit is...
Urbanite: Telling your suburban friends about the great Moroccan joint that just opened down the street that serves the most amazing harira soup—and gosh you haven’t had that since your last visit to North Africa.
Suburbanite: Telling your city friends that they could have a place the size of Morocco if they bought the house next door to you.
A neighbor’s dog just “number two’d” on someone else’s lawn. You...
Urbanite: Burst out of your town house and scold the dog owner about the need to preserve green spaces.
Suburbanite: Call your homeowners association and log an anonymous complaint.
Giving directions to Little Raven Street...
Urbanite: Is easy. Obviously, it’s the street downtown where Zengo is located.
Suburbanite: Is easy. Obviously, it’s the street after Little Raven Road that forks off of Little Raven Boulevard right before it turns into Little Raven Circle and loops around Little Raven Park.
You’re cutting it close for dinner downtown and can’t find parking. You...
Urbanite: Skip the appetizers and drive around the block 14 times until a spot opens up.
Suburbanite: Skip dinner altogether and drive 14 miles home.
You’ve just visited friends who live a half hour away. Your first thought as the door closes on your way out is...
Urbanite: How can they live like this?
Suburbanite: How can they live like this?,2

All things considered.

I love my job. Maybe sometimes that fact isn't clear to people.

Like when I'm having panic attacks from all the stress.

Like when I complain endlessly about too many kids.

Like when I roll my eyes at all the insanity brought by the participants and the crazy children.

But I LOVE it.

I love being the shoulder they cry on.

I love when the four year old autistic boy tells me he's going to be tall like his daddy, and I tell him that I think he'll be a great daddy - and I get to be part of the driving force that will get him there.

I love the smiles I get that are just for me.

I love the way their eyes light up.

I love reading books and rocking them to sleep.

I love chasing them around the backyard and blowing bubbles that stick in their hair.

I love getting to be a big part of their development. I love thinking about the future - will they remember me?

I love divinely inspired words that can help their mothers be the best mothers that they can be.

I love hugs and tickles and laughter.


While I truly love our life here, sometimes I can't help but look back and ahead. Back to our trip to Uganda and our short layover in Amsterdam. I can't wait to travel with my husband again... Out of the country. We're so great together.

I am inspired by friends and people all over the world that are doing amazing things with themselves. Like my friend Holly, in Colombia. She's there for two years, and I'm so excited to hear all her stories and see the amazing work that she does! She inspires me.

Though I don't know these people, they are still inspiring in their trust in God and their honesty.  They're in Peru with their four children!

I can't wait til it's our turn. And that time is coming up faster than I realize.

We're moving quickly on our way to paying off all of our loans. Car loan - check. School loans - the end is coming up quickly! 

Perhaps we should start planning.

I wonder where we'll end up.

How we'll get there.

I can't wait to look back on our lives ten years in the future.

On that note, where will we be in ten years?

We'll be in our mid-thirties. A house? Kids? A dog? A white picket fence?

I'm okay with that - even excited for it.

The twenty year old me would see that and scoff.

The American dream? Not for me!

Older, wiser.

So much needs to be done here, and I get to be a part of it.

I just can't wait to see where we end up!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


These last few weeks have been long and hard. But finally, after reassurances from many different sources and the returning of work life to relatively normal levels of insanity, I think everything will be okay.

I am thrilled for the return of spring and all that comes with it. Long bike rides, daffodils, skirts, sandals, freckles, strawberries, garage sales, farmer's markets... This is going to be good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

To whom it may concern.

Dear upstairs neighbor -

You seem nice enough, but I can't help but question your taste in music. Loud music. Loud music accompanied by drumming against the floor. Loud music at 5am. Loud music at 11pm. I need more sleep than that, and maybe you should give the electric guitars a rest?

Dear Melissa L. Miller -

I know you used to live at the address we inhabit now, but you don't anymore. So your catalogs and bills shouldn't either. Most people forward their mail... but I think maybe you order more catalogs to this address, forgetting your own,  more current place of residence.
I don't want or need your Spanx catalogs - but did you know they now have Spanx for men? I don't want your clothes catalogs, your "The Way We Change" magazine, your "the most comfortable shoes in Britain" catalog, or your Harry and David catalog. I don't want a catalog full of blown glass ornaments, or one full of shoes that only come in white, black, or beige. No good. I'm not interested. I did enjoy leafing through the Urban Outfitters catalog, until I started to wonder if you were a forty-five year old British hipster with bad feet and three themed Christmas trees every year.


Elise O.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things I love.

Things I love today.

 Little Princes by Conor Grennan. Please read this book!

Our new vacuum. And shiny clean floors!

 My husband's ponytail. He's real proud of it, so I am too.

My brother, Samuel. Yes, we have his graduation picture framed in our living room. He's real cool, he's going to Seattle Pacific University in the fall (jealous), and I think he's the greatest!

The happiest little spoon in the world. Oh, the adventures little spoon and I have together.

Flowers in my favorite vase against my favorite brick wall.

An elk in Estes Park on our much-needed weekend away.


So I'm linking this blog for a few reasons:
#1: Jenny is my dearest, oldest friend.
#2: She is an amazing photographer.
#3: Her post from today is about me!

I am so thankful for Jenny, that she has known me for over half my life. We've known each other through our most formative years (middle school), and through the years in which we became truly ourselves. I love her latest post in that it reminds me of so many of the adventures and mishaps we had, and who we became through all of that.

Jenny, I'm so excited to see where our lives continue to intersect throughout our lives!

Stories from Behind the Lens

Thursday, February 24, 2011


A few nights ago during house church, a friend saw a book about adoption on our [wobbly] coffee table. She asked if we were going to adopt, and we answered affirmatively. The way she asked it, though, made it seem so much more real. We've been married for over a year and are in steady jobs. We're not ready to have/adopt children yet, but we're in the stage of life where everyone around us is doing that. Thinking about adopting makes me so excited and a little nervous for our future. I don't want to go into that process without knowing the intricacies of being adoptive parents.

I love reading blogs of people who have adopted. It inspires me and opens my eyes to a reality that is as yet unknown to me.

I saw this video on a blog that I read. I think it would be really amazing for this woman to get a show on Oprah's network about adoption, from a personal and passionate perspective.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day. I don't care about it at all until everyone around me is receiving flowers and big displays of affection - which David and I aren't really into. But this year I resolved not to care at all. And then I came home from work to an amazing letter from my husband... All the Valentine's love I could ever need!

One of my kids (I don't play favorites...), D, told me today - "Mrs. Elise, your hair looks really pretty today. I am going to go to the store and buy my mom some flowers and I am going to buy you a pretty purple princess dress". I'll take it! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The attempt to write a blog that I would want to read.

We had some friends over the other night, and one of them asked me if I wrote a blog. I said yes... but that it wasn't necessarily the kind of blog that I would want to read. I am a self-proclaimed blog-addict, and my favorite blogs are the ones with poetic, inspirational language and creative pictures. My blog doesn't exactly have either of those... So I'm including pictures this time. 

 So... It's 0 degrees today. Much warmer than yesterday, when it got down to -13 degrees. It reminds me of living in Canada... We definitely don't get that low in Colorado very often! This picture was taken out our living room window. It's my car, sitting in the sun that's not doing much more than lighting our way. Warm the earth, sun. Warm our earth! We're cold!

One of the things that I realize I miss about summer is riding my bike to work. Such a good way to start out the day... My poor bike is sitting on the back patio, probably frozen.

 One of the best things about this freezing cold is that I can wear flannel - at least until I have to leave for work. Thank you, Samuel, for this hand-me-down flannel shirt! 

 This morning, my rare free morning, I ventured out in the cold to the thrift store. Maybe, I thought, I'll find a treasure. Or maybe two. I found, instead, six treasures for the low, low price of $29.56! I bought these two shirts - they're the same shirt in different colors. I'm pretty excited about them. 

Last, but not least... House church. We had a tiny group last night because of the cold, but I can't wait to jump back into our discussion of this book.

 It's already such a good book... I think we're all connecting with it, and it's helped people be more open and honest in house church. I love it. Thanks, Dani, for letting us borrow it and giving it your glowing recommendation!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This week.

This has been a topsy-turvey, tumultuous week. I've gone through too many emotions and I'm ready to be back to normal. I am, however, so thankful for my supportive, hilarious, and amazing husband... and for my family who love me no matter what.
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Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm sitting in the middle of Denver, waiting for the Marade (March-Parade, MLK Day) to pass by so I can join in the march to the capitol. So I can set aside all the things that are ingrained within me that I fight against daily. Because despite misconceptions we all may have, I truly believe that we are the same. We have different backgrounds and cultures (within a culture), and we have very different convictions and ideas and ways of speaking and disciplining and thinking... But in all our beautiful differences, we're the same. God loves us all the same... We all bring a beautiful, different aspect to the Kingdom of God, and it's amazing, and we're all on an equal playing field. Martin Luther King Jr's fight was so long ago, and sometimes it feels that we're so far past the racist tendencies that he stood against... But sometimes it feels that we're not. Maybe it's not most often between blacks and whites, but it is against hispanic people, middle-eastern people... So let's stand against that, today, 2011.

I didn't even mean to write about that today. I meant to write of my newly discovered love for big cities. I love cities. We just returned from Milwaukee... A city I definitely didn't expect to be intrigued by. But I was so intrigued. Old buildings, similar to Denver... But with a bigger river down the middle. Apartment buildings with marble interiors and creaky old elevators. Midwestern style houses. Coffee shops and places to eat brunch and gastropubs with lots of different kinds of beers (not just Colorado brewed) and a stingy cold that gets inside your bones. 

Chicago... similar to Milwaukee in the giant lake that sneaks up on you. Cozy apartments with fireplaces and yellow painted walls. Funny board game bars and hidden neighborhood gems. So many parks and trees and giant museums and factories. 

San Francisco... Oh, yes. Cold and foggy and a huge red bridge rising up in your peripheral vision. So many trees and redwoods just across the bay. Hills to climb up to see the whole city. Ice cream and vegan restaurants. China town and luggages. I really love San Francisco. 

I could say many things about Denver, but I've either said them already or will say them in the future, so I'll spare you (this time). I want to explore other cities... New York - a stroll through Central Park. Maybe take a quick peek at Time's Square (and then leave, because I often feel overwhelmed by large crowds of people). Seattle - I've been there before, but so want to visit again. With someone who lives (or has lived) there, so they can show me all the secrets. Portland - I've been there many times, but I was too young to truly enjoy it. 

I love cities.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I'm in a cheap hotel in Milwaukee... Staring out the window onto that wintry strip mall. Even though it's cold, snowy, and the bleak midwest, I'm thankful for this quick "vacation" with my husband. Being in Wisconsin makes me very thankful to be from California, to be living in Colorado. We get to see the sun every day!

I'm looking forward to wearing this dress tomorrow night... The last time I wore it was the night before our wedding. It's been over a year now, and I still think marriage to my husband is the best thing in the world!

Last week I was talking to one of the kids at work about David, and he sighed and said "Oh... You're just the marriedest". Yes. Yes, I am. Thank you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Life and death.

We spent time with my beloved family last week. Talking, eating, eating some more, sitting, driving... It was wonderful. We spent so much time at my grandparents' house... Soaking up the life that was soon to leave us. My grandfather (Papa) passed away on New Year's Day. He had spent the week (in and out of consciousness) with his entire living family - had even sat with us at the Christmas dinner table. Watching him slip away was so hard... but it made me know, even more than I alreay did, that God loves us more than we can ever comprehend or imagine. The ways in which the family came together that week, his last week, were divinely arranged. I will always be thankful that we were there - to say hello, to tell him we loved him (and to hear it back from him), to say goodbye, and to pray and hold each other. I'm so thankful for my family. I am so thankful that I got to know my sweet grandfather for 23 years of his life. We spent so much time together as I was growing up, and for that I will be endlessly grateful.

The next day, David and I celebrated our first anniversary. We didn't do much but revel in the thought that we had been married for an entire year! It was the shortest and longest and best year of my life. I have learned so much about love and life and God and myself and him... I can't wait to see what the next year will bring us!

All that to say, we have a wedding and a memorial service in the next two weeks awaiting us, but for now... It's so good to be home. To be working, to be in our home... It's good.