You Don’t Need the Oxford Dictionary to Go Hiking: Some Thoughts on Walking and Life

I had a dream the other night. I was hiking with friends, and there was something in my shoe stuck to my sock just past the ball of my left foot. Not enough to hurt me immediately but enough to be irritating and cause a problem if I left it there too long.

I sat down in the middle of the trail in my nylon runner’s short shorts, navy blue with white trim like the kind I wore to Ladera Elementary School in the 4th grade when I got called into the principal’s office for being immodest by showing off too much of my nine-year-old legs. I sat down in the dry dust on the mountain pass, and my friends stopped, too, and I pulled off my shoe to examine my sock and find the burr or the rock or the gritty ball of sap stuck there. ...  read more

New Plan: Communes. Everywhere.

Last month, I traveled

And traveled.

And traveled.

With you.

Or maybe not specifically with YOU-you.

But with humans who are fun, and funny, and fully unapologetically themselves, and willing to be real and have vulnerable convos, and break bread and clink glasses, and make inappropriate jokes, and welcome others in.

So PRACTICALLY with you, yes? Which is probably not much consolation when others got to eat the fresh Italian pasta, but I have an idea to fix that, and it’s this: ...  read more

One Quick Twinsie Pic, A Life Motto, and Thoughts on Wrong Turns Which Is Really Just Another Way to Say Turns

Today’s the first day in a few I’ve had time to stop for a bit and breathe. I’m in Italy, sitting at a cafe in the plaza outside the Uffizi Museum, knocking back a cappuccino, and finishing the last bites of a fresh croissant, warm on the inside, flaky on the outside, dusted with powdered sugar and faintly flavored with orange. So you can see I’m suffering. THANK GOODNESS this trip isn’t like our last one to Italy. Those of you who’ve wandered around this blog for a while will understand the significance when I tell you my brain has been calm. THE MEDS ARE WORKING, in other words. HOT DAMN. ...  read more

A Mommy Photo Shoot: The Realistic Kind

I mentioned recently that I cleaned my room and rewarded myself by soaking in diarrhea water. It’s just one of the blessed realities of being a busy mom.

FORTUNATELY, before said cleaning, my friend Rachel came over to take some photos for me.

See, I’ve wanted to do a REALISTIC photo shoot for quite some time. You know, like, wearing the things I usually wear. Without cleaning or decluttering my house. Without avoiding the angles full of dirty dishes. I’ve wanted to do an AS IS photo shoot. What You See Is What You Get. Partially for you because EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THEY’RE NOT ALONE in their lack-of-pristine living. And partially for me because I actually want to remember how life really was. Not a beautified version of it, but the nitty, gritty, grimy truth with its laughter AND dust bunnies, its joy AND dried ketchup, its camaraderie AND moldy flower stems, because this life is lovely. This life is wonderful. This life is gorgeous in its own muddy way, no covering up required.  ...  read more

Courage to Heal: A Haphazard Series of Brief (or not) Thoughts, Part 2

Abby, my oldest, lost a lot of blood last Christmas after an arterial bleed in her throat following a tonsillectomy for recurrent Strep. The bleed started at home, at bedtime, 24 hours after surgery, and steadily trickled into a bowl she held on her lap while she cried and I ran red lights to the hospital. After a second, emergency, surgery, I wasn’t surprised when he doctor recommended a transfusion; after all, I was the one in the ER catching vomit bag after vomit bag of the increasing stream and the massive clots she purged from her stomach.  ...  read more

On Rachel Held Evans. And friendship. And grief. And grace. And what we do now.

I was in the hospital yesterday when Rachel Held Evans died.

I’d had an unusually bad migraine, and just past midnight, I woke Greg up to tell him I needed more help. I cried on the way to the Emergency Room with Greg’s hand on my knee, thumb rubbing gentle circles through my ancient, stained sweatpants, and I can’t tell you which was more overwhelming — the pain pulsing in my head, the gratitude that I didn’t have to navigate it alone, or the unreasonable feeling of shame flooding through my body for not being able to stick it out on my own. The shame was a real contender, though; I felt I’d failed, somehow, by needing assistance. As though I don’t know better. As if I haven’t reminded myself thousands of times that we humans aren’t solitary creatures. As though I’m not aware that  independence is one of the most dangerous lies we peddle and that we aren’t somehow viscerally and foundationally communal, seeking at a cellular level our tribe and a place of belonging.  ...  read more

The 5 Stages of Grief: Thoughts on 2016, Privilege, and Hope Headed into 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. And about Spring since that’s the season in Oregon right now. And about resurrection, and the pain and joy of birthing a new thing; about mourning what we thought we had but never did, and about where we are now in the stages of grief.

We’ve been doing nonstop farm work lately, getting it ready to open, and it’s been both awesome and exhausting, you know? Like, everything we wanted and also all-consuming. I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write here, and I miss it terribly, but baby goats soothe me in the meantime.  ...  read more