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.