Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Writing requires discipline, time, planning and grace. I think my hiatus is coming to an end, it just feels like after being gone from the blog world for so long I need to make a grand re-entrance, but I have decided if I wait for that one great moment when I am completely confident that my words are brilliant: I will not write. Instead I have decided to just show up say what I have to say, and than come back the next day and do it again, until I am writing at the level I want to be.

I want writing to be easier than that. I want to be able to say something profound and fun and entertaining all at once. However, maybe it isn't for me to judge profundity. Maybe, I should just trust that people will read what they want to read, if I trust myself to write what I want to write.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ramblings from a few thousand miles up

I am on a flight to Dallas so that I can hop in a car to Oklahoma to see the lovely Lela get hitched. I am kind of in awe of this moment, not just because Virgin America and Chrome gave me a computer to use and free internet. (It is fun and all, but nothing compared to the weekend ahead.)

You see I remember Lela when she was moving into the residence hall where I was a Chaplain. I never would have guessed that this girl with a shamelessly offensive sense of humor and a heart of gold would have ended up being such a good friend. In fact the rules of healthy boundaries in relational work almost forbid it. If I had know at 24 what I know now about how I am supposed to love people from a tiny bit of a distance, because I am a helper by profession, I am fairly certain I would have never cuddled on the couch with students, and woken poor Lela up before her morning class to complain about my wretched boyfriend. Most significantly 6 years later I wouldn't be on my way to see her on one of the happiest days of her life. Losing all those things would be highly disappointing.

It is odd how my profession works. It is my vocation to care for people: to coach, to guide, and to love. It is also part of my vocation that I am not a dear friend. I am: a chaplain, a teacher, a case manager. I am whatever title might be at the job I am in. Still, as I go on this trip I am realizing the need to be careful to not be too connected to that boundary.

Somehow or another people trust me to care for them, and they often care for me in return. As I have been reading Henri Nouwen's Creative Ministry I have been struck by the need for the teacher to be taught by the student. Lela is far from being my student these days, but she once was, and she has taught me a great deal. Lela has taught me patience, love and forgiveness. She has shown the strength of a young woman willing to make huge changes in her views on the world and than acted on those changes. It has been a few years since I was her chaplain and I see her entirely as a peer. Nonetheless, she treats me with such care and respect I cannot help but remember the role I have been trusted with and it has be in awe.

All this to say: I am on my way to Oklahoma and I am thrilled to see this lovely lady get married. I cannot wait to meet her future husband and I am overwhelmed by the joy of this moment. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I plan to document my trip with fun photos, get excited.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tata for now, just for now, I might be back tomorrow

I have been posting nearly daily for a little over a year, but for the past few weeks it seems that my life is in a season where most of the things I am processing are best pondered over coffee and wine with friends, not so much on a blog.

I am going to take an intentional break from posting daily. I have some fun posts in my head that I would like to bring to fruition, but I need to take some time to dream of bigger things than I have the space to post here.

Be back soon, with ponderings on weddings, my 1920s themed 29th birthday party, craft ideas, and other fun news. But I will not be back daily, it just feels a bit too much.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

September 10th, 1920s Birthday Party! Start getting ready.

Oh, and Happy Saturday! I went to the SF Food Fest and it was epic!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reading this

I am reading this again and enjoying thinking about my strengths.


You should read it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fields of Orange and Yellow and Lavendar

For most of the pas few Saturdays that I have been in the city Leah, Lisette, and I have gone walking in Golden Gate Park.

Every time we walk past the Conservatory of Flowers I make us stop and I almost always take pictures; even though I know that the pictures I take will look exactly like the ones I took the week before. I just LOVE the flowers there. They are so beautiful and it just amazes me that I live here and this is just part of my normal life. People travel to SF just to come hang out in Golden Gate Park, it is crazy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Source: etsy.com via Krystha on Pinterest

Someday my writers block will end, until then, I hope you enjoy other people's quotes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"So from now till kingdom come, / taste the words on the tip of my tongue. / 'Cause we can't run truth out of town, / only force it underground. / The roots grow deeper / in ways we can't conceive. / All I need is everything. ... Feel the slip and the grip of grace again. / All I need is all I need."

- Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler, from their song "All I Need Is Everything"

Quote via Sojourners Voice and Verse

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fly Away

Flying out tonight to celebrate amazing people. See you next week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Carolinas

This year I am only attending 3 weddings and I am not in any of them (JOY! I mean I love, love, love being in weddings but it is also very much fun to simply attend a celebrate them.)

The second of my three in taking me to South Carolina, via North Carolina (cheaper flights). I am excited. There will be fun photos and all that jazz.

For now my biggest worry seems to be finding a way to get to breakfast somewhere good in Charlotte when I land at 8 am.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lands End

I finally went hiking at Lands End this weekend. The views were amazing! I have to say I think I will have to make it a more regular adventure. I climbed nearly every set of stairs I could find, found the labyrinth that so many people have told me about and enjoyed sitting watching the tug boats pull the huge boats in.

Overall it was a good way to spend some time some time in my lovely city.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quote of the day

"Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice out there calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice in here calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God."
Thomas Merton

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music Monday

I have been listening to NPR's More Songs that Make you Cry. This particular one had a year or two when it was just too much to listen to, but today it is Music Monday.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sitting across from one of my Pastors from Eucharist (one of two churches I am attending right now) I had told the story of my journey with God for the past two years, in my head it was a story on the other side of healing. I am better now.

She responded kindly with how much she appreciated me sharing my process and that I am still in process. Part of me wanted to protest, to declare and defend, "No, I am not broken anymore. God and I are great. I just can't see my self committing to a church in a covenant sense right now, vows and intentional community just didn't work out for me. It was just too idealistic, you can't really expect that much from people when things get that hard, it isn't their fault and I don't want to ask that of anyone again. I have friends; I have community. I am still close with many of the people in my old community and I have my own informal faith community. It just isn't in the church in a formal way anymore."

Instead, I let her words sink in. I am still in process. I am still learning to trust the church again. On the other side of healing, I am a aware that I am as fiercely independent as ever, and if I am not careful I will end up even more stubbornly independent than ever.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quote of the day

"[Be] daring enough to be different, humble enough to make mistakes, wild enough to be burnt in the fire of love, real enough to make others see how phony [you] are."

- Brennan Manning

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aline's Closet

This is Aline, the fabulous French woman that owns and designs clothes for Aline's Closet.

For ages I would ride my bike past this little shop and ponder stopping in. All the adorable clothes in the window, the sweet little spot on the corner, the darling doll house above the door: these things beckoned me in.

Finally one day I stopped in. This is when I met Aline and she is the kindest woman! Aline greets customers like welcomed guests and soon to be old friends. She is gracious and kind and all the things you think of when you ponder why all women wish they were french, add to that her store is fabulous.

I have now stopped in many times, and each time I arrive she greets me by name, and tells me about all the little goodies she has filling up her tiny shop. Most of her work comes up-cycled/pre-loved materials she picks up in France and reworks into new and unique pieces. The walls are always full of items I am halfway convinced I can't live without, but I have managed to maintain some self control. However, I will say she is the creator of my favorite feather earring, she made it custom just for me.

The back wall holds a collection of colorful and fun tops.

She has reworked these vintage dresses to update their look. I bought a top from her that was once the top of a 1980s formal, she cut the crazy ruffly skirt off and sold them as separate pieces.

I love the use of old wine cases and branches for decor!

Hand made earrings, all up-cycled materials.

I just love this little seat, it however, is not for sale.

My supper cute bike* with a little pink bag, because I bought something fabulous.

I love supporting local designers that are reworking so much of the excess we have into new and interesting pieces! Seriously, everyone anytime you are in the Lower Haight you should stop in, and if you are never in the Lower Haight, well than you should just find some time to stop in anyway.

*I think this is my first post to have a pic of my bike in it and that is crazy because I am a bit in love with my bike. I mean isn't she soooo cute? As a side note: the next time I take a pic of my bike I will stage it better and not have my helmet hanging off of it, but whatever. If you think my bike is as adorable as I do you can pick on up just like her at Pedal Revolution, and right now there are even more really amazing colors! They have a lavender one, seriously, go get a bike.

Savage Inequalities

Just starting to read this. My coworkers swear by it. I am kind of wishing copy right date wasn't 20 years ago. Nonetheless, I am already impressed by it, and have sadly seen some of the issues they are talking about in recent years.

You can anticipate a book response in the next few weeks.

Anyone read it? If you have and you live in the Bay Area we should chat about it over coffee. I am a huge verbal processor and I love to talk through books I read.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music Monday: Camaron Ochs

(Recorded on Rachel's iphone. I need an iphone.)

I heard this lady a few weeks ago at the Retox Lounge. I loved her music.

You should check out her website if you want to hear/see her for real. I will tell you my fave song is You Were Late, but I also really, really love The Traveler. Go check her out!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fabulous Sunday School Moments

This morning as I had the following conversation with one of the kids in my class as I was getting ready to tell the children their story. I had asked them all to listen to the story all the way through and he raised his hand and asked:

"What if you have heard the story before? Do you still have to listen?"

My response, "Yes, because it is kind of like re-watching you favorite movie, you get to enjoy it again."
He and his classmates did listen to the story, even thought most all of them had heard it before. They listened closely with interest, leaning in with anticipation of how it would end, even though I am sure they all knew. It was inspiring.

To be honest, reading scripture for years has felt redundant to me. It has been challenging to convince myself to labor through Paul's letters and much of the narrative of the Gospels and the Hebrew Bible. I know the stories, I know them by heart, I know the advice Paul gives and I do my very best to be obedient. Still, for ages I have found it challenging to reread the text that I love so much. I still love to study it, research it and over analyze, but I don't really ever just read it and let the story be the thing I enjoy. However, this morning (and many mornings when I teach Sunday School) the story came alive again in the eyes of children, in their reactions to events and injustice, in their interpretation of the lesson.

To be honest I am not one to re-watch movies, but I do think I should follow my own advice: I should re-read the story so because than I get to enjoy it again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Me at the Louvre

So, once upon a time I went to the Louvre and wanted a photo of me there. This is what I came up with.

I realized I need to make it a goal to post all my Europe trip pics. It really was amazing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This past Saturday while I was hosting my little craft and wine party I told the story of my anchor tattoo and this post on hope.

It reminded me how much I have grown in the past year, how blissfully happy I am and how much I have to look forward to. It also reminded me how terribly frightening it is to be vulnerable on a blog, and how much I LOVE my readers because you are mostly my friends and family and you send me the most encouraging notes.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alice in Printland

(Images stolen from etsy and can be purchased by clicking on them.)

I found these on Etsy today and I love them. They are from a little shop called PRINT. It is stocked full of vintage images on upcycled paper, and I love most all of them. I am in a bit of an Alice mood (isn't everyone?), so obviously these stood out.

I think they are lovely.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thoughts on home

It has been about 2 months since Jenny came to see me. I somehow never did all the blogging I wanted to do about all the fun times we had together: it was epic. But those are stories for another day.

You see I love it when friends that don't live here come to visit. SF is a major tourist spot and I live her: so, I have the in. I know where to go for great food; I know where to drive down the coast; and I know what random events are worth checking out. Adding to the joy of Jenny's visit, Jenny's friend Kim, who also lives here, knows different parts of the city. Combine our knowledge with a visitor to entertain and the fun begins. We got to play traveler in our own city (I would say tourist, but tourist do the lame for show stuff and travelers discover the fun things waiting to be enjoyed).

Funny thing is I often forget how wonderful these moments are when I get to show off my city. I forget how much I love this place and how much it has to offer, that is until my friends come visit. Then as I get to start scheming and dreaming of ways to entertain them I fall in love again. In those moments this place is home, and I am blissfully aware that I get the privilege to live here. Not only do I get the privilege to live here, but I have the joy of meaningful work and a community of amazing friends.

Nonetheless, when my visitors leave I am reminded why it is often so hard to think of staying here forever. It isn't that I don't LOVE my friends that live here, it is just that somehow this place don't always feel like home. San Francisco is competitive and busy; therefore, my friends all work crazy hours and are fabulously busy pursuing the best version of themselves, and that means that we don't do weekly hangout nights and we all chase different dreams. I love them for that, I am inspired by them, I am a better person because of them. I also sometimes long for the slower pace of a different life. The pace of a place that feels more like home.

Here in lies the conundrum: I am not really sure what home feels like. Some days it feels the view of the city sky line when I reenter the city, it feels like getting on my bike and riding to work; it feels like rushing around to a thousand different engagements all in one weekend, attending events that I always imagined where intended for people much more metropolitan than myself, free tickets to amazing Museums and dining on fabulous organic food and wine: all these things feel like home. Still, at times I long for the taste of Tex Mex and the feel of 103 degree heat on a summer day, sitting with friends in a back yard (those hardly exist here, I am one of the luck few to have one, but it is small and full of concrete). I long for houses instead of apartments and un-pretentious food and drink. Some days home feels like memories of sitting under trees in large back yards and open fields with the summer heat all around, with absolutely nothing to do, but enjoy the company of the person sitting next to you.

Today home feels like photo booth photos and a phone call to my best friend.

Music Monday

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fabulous Sunday School Moments

Child one: But I am going into 4th grade. I don't want to go into this class.

Child two: But you just finished 3rd grade so you are supposed to be in Teacher Sarah's class, and teacher Sarah is cool. She wears great jewelry. (Smiles brightly at me, convinced she has made a solid argument.)

There you have it. I am a qualified Sunday School teacher, not because I have an M.Div. but because I wear vintage jewelry.

There are no words.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Friday

You know that scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's when they first meet, and he is in her apartment helping her look for a shoe and it is in the fruit basket by her bed, because that is a perfectly normal place for a fruit basket... well, my room is like that.

I need to clean my room, and I need to have a girls night like this one to help me keep it clean!

Leah, Lisette and Ning: you are my SATC ladies! I need you!

p.s. I promise not to crawl on the floor... well, I will try not to.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Failure, Cheestastic Quotes and my Chick Flick Life

Source: 9kik.com via Reba on Pinterest

The above image is cheesetastic - soon you will understand why I love it so.

Last week as I was running it occurred to me that somehow my life has become much more like a movie than I ever really expected it to. At the end of next month I am flying home to attend a wedding of a former student who I dearly love, and to be honest my life isn't exactly what I had planned for it to be by now. My time line has been thrown off and at times I feel a bit like a failure. (Side note: in the mind of any reasonable person I am not a failure, but we all know that I am not always reasonable.)

As I pondered this the scenes started running through my head. If you have ever seen a chick-flick you have probably seen the scenes I am talking about.

Nice, but a bit quirky main character returns home from her life off somewhere random. Her friends have all either started families or they are the top execs in their field. She is single, her job is good but not super fancy, and she is bordering on broke. She is happy with her life but when questioned the main character fumbles over excuses and reasons for why her life isn't as perfect as it should be. People whisper and she becomes insecure and awkward, she makes a fool of herself until some price comes and rescues her. She is a woman that has tried great things and failed.

As the dread of living out the scene minus the Prince Charming starting setting in, it occurred to me that every time I see that scene play out, I have my fingers crossed for the main character. After all she is the lead: she is the woman that took a crazy risk, moved to a random place, and tried something brave. This isn't to say that the other women are not equally as amazing, but they offer different inspiration. In fact I will say I look up to and adore them, but I just don't often relate. I relate to and love the mess, the girl that tried and is trying, the girl that is fiercely independent and trying to figure her life out, even when it means mingling at a wedding with well wishers saying "your next" when she don't even know if she wants to be.

So, as I let it sink in that I am nearing that age when attending weddings means trying to explain my life to strangers and dodging the expectation that I either need to become some high power something or head down an aisle, I find it reassuring that when I tell my story it might be messy, but it is the story of a woman that is trying and risking a life a bit less ordinary. It isn't real chick-flick material, but it is real life. And every now and than real life needs some cheesy quotes to put it in perspective.

Source: google.com via Lucy on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I watched this documentary this weekend. It wasn't revolutionary, but it was inspiring. I didn't learn anything I didn't know, but I remembered the importance of doing the things I was made for. It was an reminder that researching, learning, painting, crafting, cleaning, running, and other avenues where I find my personal rhythm are not frivolous but they are part of how I thrive and therefore part of how I am happy.

So, I am throwing a party this Saturday, because I LOVE hosting. I am going to create a reading list of all the books I feel intimidated by the fact I haven't read (mostly business books) and I am going to read them. I am going to skip going out so that I can write and run.

Source: flickr.com via Amy on Pinterest

I am going to find my sweet spot, my flow, because the truth is I was not a great student (my papers were often late and poorly edited), but I LOVED to learn. I miss it. At first I believed people that said I missed it because it was all I had known, but 3 years post graduation I can tell you: I find my joy in stacks of books and useless knowledge, and I don't think that is a bad thing. As someone that is no longer a graduate student it might not be acceptable for me to skip social events to read, but I might start doing it again soon. This will be challenging as I am spazticaly social, but I am determined to find my flow, and I think it might be hiding in a book somewhere.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Music Monday

My dearest Friend Suz is living in Oxford and told me about these cats. I like 'em.

And yes I did notice that I am posting European band on Independence day. Oops!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Friday

"It is Friday, I like to wear shiny things on Friday." ~said the woman in a gold sequin dress riding the Houston bus.

Truth be told I think it sounds like fabulous plan.

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