As I get older, the more and more I’m realizing just how much effort relationships really are. I’m not sure when it clicked, maybe this past semester, when I felt super lonely, not because my friends sucked (they don’t, not even a little bit) but because I was waiting around for other people to make the first move. Everyone is busy. Sometimes, you need to take initiative. Not a fun lesson to learn, but I learned it anyway.

The reason I’m writing this is that since it’s summer, all my friends are away – home, doing internships, graduating, moving away…you name it, they’re doing it. Sure, it’s cool, I’m so happy for them, but that means that they don’t live 5 minutes (or less) from my front door – and I don’t love that.

As I’m planning weekend trips to hang out with my friends, I’m reflecting on how easy I thought it was to be friends with people who live close to me. But really, even my Oxford friends take a lot of effort to spend time with. How silly is that. Pretty silly if you ask me, and a little sad. But, we’ll make it work, we all will, won’t we Allison in Nashville? ūüôā

I guess the moral of my story (for myself) is not to be lazy anymore, to take every opportunity I have for intentional time, real talk, true friendship, not just existing close to one another. Pardon the cliche, but, it’s my life. And my blog.


sweet summertime

Cookies! Never disappointing, are they? Actually, that’s not true. I’ve been disappointed by cookies before. But not by these!

That’s right, people. Peanut butter and jelly cookies. They rocked. here’s the recipe.

I did make a few alterations:

1) I used  only creamy peanut butter.  It worked fine, but I think chunky would have added a little something. The oats add a ton of texture, though.

2) As I took these to a family get-together, I let everyone make their own little cookie sandwhich! It was so fun. ¬†I just set up a little buffet: first, the cookies, followed by the peanut butter spread (so delicious!) and gloriously concluded by an array of different types of jam/preserves/jellies. It was so nice for everyone to be involved with the baking process. I’m all about hands-on culinary experiences. I think i just realized that as I typed it.

Moving along, I took a trip to Half-Price Books yesterday. That’s another thing I’m rarely disappointed by. ¬†Book stores. Books themselves, on the other hand, are a different story. I’ve read my share of shabby books, but there’s just something about a book store, I think. Something a little musty, magical, even. Seeing as it’s summer and I have the freedom to read¬†whatever I want (I can’t tell you how excited I am about this, I sang a song to by dog this morning about it, if that gives you any idea), I took the liberty of treating myself to a little childhood indulgence. I bought some of the chapter books I never got to read. Here they are:

1) Matilda – I loved this movie growing up. Not to mention, I adored anything Dahl. BFG, anyone? obsessed.

2) Fantastic Mr. Fox – another Dahl gem. ¬†I didn’t know about this story until Wes Anderson turned it into a claymation masterpiece, absolutely one of my favorite movies of all time. ¬†When I saw this little guy on the shelf, you’d better believe I pounced.

3) The Secret Garden – confession #1: my first imaginary friend was the boy in the wheelchair from this movie. confession #2: he was also my first imaginary kiss, at the top of the stairs.

4) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – I’m not sure how I missed this one growing up. Better late than never.

5) Pride and Prejudice – I get it, this isn’t a “kids book”. ¬†Whatever. I got it anyway.

I’m also on a literary journey through the classics with the ever-handsome David Noble this summer. ¬†I started Catcher in the Rye a few nights ago. ¬†I read it in high school, but it’s been so fun to relive the life of Holden Caulfield again without the impending test over the details of the novel.

So here’s to summer! Baking, reading, writing, laying in the grass, getting kicked out of Pencey, fireflies and sweet tea! Cheers!

The Return

hello there! ¬†remember me? ¬†didn’t think so.

regardless, I’m back, people! back and ready to party…well…blog. ¬†As summer has officially made its glorious reentry, I find myself with all this extra time and little to fill it with. ¬†Actually, that’s not true at all. ¬†But I do love writing, and I like writing to my friends and about my friends and for my friends. ¬†So here we go, friends!

What’s a summer without a checklist? ¬†This season begs for adventure, wouldn’t you say? ¬†I’ve just begun one for myself and with some sweet friends of mine. ¬†Oxford Summer 2012 is sure to not be a disappointment.

Here are some things I’m excited about in the coming months:

1) Mornings in the yard

2) Taking my dog, Oscar on walks – or sprints, depending on his energy

3) Visiting my far away friends

4) Family vacation to the mountains

5) ROCKBRIDGE (two times! high fives all around!)

6) Continuing in my quest to be a baker, a really talented baker (hopefully creating a delicious dessert that includes chili powder, because I love chili powder)

7) Moving in to 230 W. Church Street and decorating our HOUSE  with my BEAUTIFUL HOUSEMATES!

maybe it’s pinterest, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I truly love the idea of making food and decorating a house well. Here’s some inspiration:

pantry from decor pad. dying.

beautiful bathroom storage via houzz

i can’t wait to have a dining room like this one. or at all.

quickly, lastly – something I’ve noticed about blogs. ¬†SO MANY bloggers claim a relationship to Jesus, which is great, I think, don’t you? ¬†I’m glad Heaven will be full of crafters.

some photos of july

This is my home on the night that our air conditioner exploded.  Not all bad.

Here are some pictures of our family vacation.  That was really nice, too.
























And these are my best friends.¬† The 4 of us won’t be together in the same place again until Christmas, which is really sad.¬† Emily (the cute blonde in the turquoise) is currently loving on high school people at Rockbridge, and in a week, Agnes (the bombshell in the patterns) leaves for Europe…until Christmas…my heart is breaking.

A “Runner’s” Tale (Part 2)

Last evening, the beautiful Katie Rhodenbaugh and I went on our first run together as training partners. Let me tell you something: it was awesome.
Sundays are our “long run” days. ¬†Yesterday was a 6-miler, and we made it! ¬†We wove in and out of parks, neighborhoods and crosswalks, and an hour passed, and we snuck onto the country club golf course to drink some water out of white paper cones.

Here are some things I’ve been learning:

1. ¬†It’s so much better when someone is running alongside you. ¬†In anything, right? ¬†It’s so good not to be alone.

2. It feels good to sweat. ¬†I’m not saying I love being sweaty all the time, I don’t. ¬†But when I’m working hard…it’s not so bad to be a bit more damp than usual.

3. The only way we will be able to finish a race is if we prepare for it.¬†¬†There’s no way in a million trillion years that we would be able to run in this race without training. ¬†We have to understand the end goal in order to truly be able to commit to desiring it. I need this in my walk with Christ, as well. ¬†So often, I see the end goal as “no more pain”, which is true, in part. ¬†But there is so much more to the prize promised to christians than that, isn’t there?! ¬†Here I am, running a race to try and just get through it so that I don’t have to feel sore all the time, but how much more glory will there be after that beautiful finish line? ¬†I’ve been on a “promises of God” kick recently, dwelling on scriptures in which God promises us, His children, various wonderful things, of which there are tons and tons, way too many to mention in a blog post. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says,

3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

His glory.¬†We are promised experience ¬†of that. ¬†Rest, true worship, perfected bodies, minds, dancing…we get these things! ¬†Let’s work toward them.

I’m not feeling very eloquent this morning, there are so many other things I feel would be appropriate, even cozy in the context of this post…but they’re stuck in my brain, somewhere between last night’s crazy dream and preparing for the flock of teenage boys that will be invading my house today around 2. ¬†Maybe more words will spring through my fingers later. ¬†Maybe not. ¬†Wait!

4. Not everything in my life has to be deeply poetic or theological. ¬†This may be rather obvious, but through conversation with Katie last night on our run, I realized that I’ve been believing a lie that says that everything I think, read, say, feel has to shake me to the core. ¬†While my existence is absolutely rooted in deep, rich, beautifully solid truth, there are things that I can do that don’t necessarily have ¬†to rock my world. ¬†Like reading books. ¬†Throughout my freshman year of college, I would guilt myself into only reading books written by famous pastors or theologians. ¬†While these books are incredibly useful and an enormous blessing to individuals seeking to learn more about the gospel, the Holy Spirit, how to pray, what to ¬†pray, how to find a good, christian spouse (eh?), etc, they are not the only books created by God, right? ¬†God gave people the gift of writing to write about all sorts of things. ¬†Last week, I began reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, a really nice novel written by Aimee Bender. ¬†It’s so ¬†good! ¬†It’s not filling my mind with garbage. ¬†It’s beautifully written. ¬†I look forward to reading it before I fall asleep. ¬†It’s a blessing! ¬†It’s a created thing! ¬†Just because Beth Moore’s face isn’t gracing the cover doesn’t mean I’m sinning for reading it!* ¬†Now, don’t take this as me renouncing my love for theology-heavy books. ¬†I deeply enjoy learning from texts written by people who have followed Jesus longer than I’ve been alive. ¬†But God is creative, and expresses that creativity through so many outlets, literature being one from which I draw a great deal of enjoyment. ¬†So here’s to His creativity through His creation, Miss Bender, and the novel her words have created. ¬†It’s really good. ¬†Seriously.

*I love Beth Moore

Indie Romance

I’ve recently been realizing more and more just how deeply I desire to be “indie romantic”. ¬†I drool over blog after blog, whether it be about homemade lanterns (Agnes loves lanterns), poetry, acoustic music, weird looking shoes, or making your own cleaning supplies…and for what? ¬†Well, I find some really neat things, very romantic. ¬†Not romantic like gondolas and sharing a spaghetti noodle (which, to be quite honest, I’ve never thought was romantic…not even a little bit), but romantic like summer dusk and fireflies, or loose floral dresses and hair sticking to your forehead and neck, damp with sweat…or big sweaters and french movies. ¬†That’s¬†what I like. ¬†That kind of romance. ¬†I think it’s easy to get caught up in it, especially at this point in my life, when nothing’s for sure, things are all sort of crammed into this dreamy haze, fleeting but lingering on. ¬†I know some of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about.

Here are a few things that I believe hurl me even deeper into the black hole of indie romanticism:

1. The hours between 7-9:30 p.m.
In summer, at least, dusk is prime time for that bubbly, drifting, almost homesick feeling, for me, that is. ¬†I think it’s positioning of the sun. ¬†The shadows are all cast long, sun rays are coming through leaves in the trees, you’re done working, things are quiet…if you were being filmed and you were predisposed to being indie-romantic and adorable and free, it would be sometime between 7 and 9:30 when you would take off barefoot running through the yard, or a field of tall grass, with some flowers (but not filled with flowers, that’s too clich√©), and your audience’s stomach would be tied in dreamy knots and their eyes would be dewy and filled with light, breezy love. ¬†Don’t lie to yourself, you know exactly what I mean.

2. Softly Epic Music
Eluvium Radio on Pandora. ¬†You feel like you’re in a movie. Also effective: and ¬†

3. Gritty Black and White Photography


4.  Letters
I’m talking real, in the mailbox with a stamp, sealed with spit and written by hand letters. ¬†What a beautiful, forgotten thing. ¬†A very nice, very handsome young man in my life writes me letters, and every time I receive one, I feel like a million dollars. ¬†A lot of my friends have been away doing cool things/being at home this summer, and writing them letters has been so nice. ¬†Even if there isn’t a lot to say, it feels good to write words on paper and send those words to another human, who will receive the words you smashed together into sentences that may never be written or read again, unless your name is C.S. Lewis, in which case, every word you ever spoke, wrote or even thought will be written down and memorized by christians and romantics and really cool people all over the world forever.
5.  Quasi-Hipster Attire
Lipstick, hairbands around your forehead, light-wash, cut-off jorts, bare feet, thick-rimmed glasses, always wearing pants that expose your ankles, always.
6.  Etc.
Bicycles, leather satchels, christmas lights, mandolins & banjos, wine, window boxes, messy hair, film cameras, sitting on rooftops, blankets on the ground, City and Colour, craft blogs/wedding blogs/all blogs, tree houses and forts,Wes Anderson films, independent coffee shops, sidewalk cafes, thrift stores, Polaroids, TOMS, imported tea, fair trade, burlap, empty streets at nighttime, birds, books, doodling, baking, creeks, climbing rocks, colorful socks & poems.
And there you have it, people.  The keys to my indie-romantic heart, beating away, rhythmically, of course, but not in the same rhythm as anyone else, because indie people are special and unique and solemn.
Dream on, lovers and friends, it’s summer time.