Why It’s Okay to Drop the Ball

I woke with a splitting headache and deep dark circles beneath my eyes. Tugging the sleep mask back over my eyes, I longed to bury myself in the sheets and blankets and not come out for a good long while. But the pounding of my head forced me to seek out water. And coffee. And some Ibuprofen. Stat.

I had all the classic symptoms of a hangover. But too much bourbon wasn’t to blame. No, instead I had an emotional hangover.

My body was completing depleted – emotionally and physically – from crying for the better part of the previous evening. I’d alternated between sobbing into my husband’s shoulder and choking out a few words while he stroked my hair and tried to encourage me.

Unfortunately, this scenario wasn’t exactly a new experience for us. Since moving to LA, I’ve had plenty of sad moments. I’ve felt lost and lonely more days than I care to count. But this evening was different. Continue reading

6 Things I’ve Learned In Our First Month of Marriage

I’ve learned a few things in my first month of marriage.

I know, I know. One month hardly seems like enough time for two newlyweds to come to any major conclusions about marriage. At least, not compared to couples like my parents who are coming up on 33 years of marriage this May (so grateful for them and their beautiful example of love!).

And yet, that paradox is part of what’s struck me this month: Marriage is at once a marathon and a sprint. It’s long – thank goodness, because we’re going to need all the time we can get to strengthen and enjoy these beautiful bonds that are forming – and it’s fast – so much has changed in such a short period of time. Continue reading

Thankful for the Thorns

No one imagined our Thanksgiving table talk would end in tears. As we went around the table sharing what we were each thankful for, we couldn’t have anticipated my sister and I would soon be standing in the kitchen, sobbing, holding each other close.

And yet, that’s exactly how this year’s Thanksgiving meal ended. With only scraps of turkey and stuffing and lingering bits of glazed carrots and mashed potatoes left on our plates, we all went around the table sharing the things, the people, the moments we were most grateful for.

We all had similar sentiments. We were grateful for family, for each other, for the new baby sleeping peacefully by my sister’s side – my beautiful nephew. And, in some ways, we were even grateful for the pain that had brought us this beauty. We recognized that the discomfort of the unknown was also bringing us exciting new challenges and opportunities we hadn’t even discovered yet. Continue reading

Getting Back to the Foundation

It was far too crowded on the train today. Between the hours of 5 and 6PM, Montgomery station is a mass of people, and today was exceptionally packed. As the N pulled up to the platform, I let the flow of the crowd carry me on to the train. I didn’t really have anywhere to be. I just wanted to get home. So, I thought skinny thoughts and squeezed myself between one very tall man and a shorter woman and her oversized bag.

I couldn’t reach one of the poles to hang onto, but there was no need. We were all so smashed together that no one was moving anyway. We just leaned against each other as the car continued on down the tunnel, jostling us and forcing us to get uncomfortably familiar with each others’ bodies.

An Invitation

When we finally came up for air and exited the tunnel, the dog park came into view. The same one I pass every day on my commute back and forth from downtown San Francisco. But this time, I heard an invitation. Continue reading

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Alonzo Richardson, 1917-2015

My grandfather was a truly amazing man and a masterful storyteller. I must get my love of stories from him, and I’m so grateful for the legacy he left during his 98 years on this earth.

Over the past couple weeks, I’d been preparing for what I would say at his memorial service yesterday. Thankfully, I had nearly 30 years of my own memories to reflect on, a treasure trove of memorabilia to inspire me, and so many stories.

Up until the very end, Grandpa refused to live anywhere aside from the home he and Grandma had lived in since 1960. “I’m going from here to heaven,” he would say. And he was right. Continue reading

“I’ve Got This” Or Why I’m Not Dating Right Now

Your deadlines are pressing in on you like a heavy weight, you’ve run out of clean underwear, and you think your marriage or your dating life (or lack of one) just might kill you.

Life can feel overwhelming. That’s why I write. I write for the men and women who need to know that even though life feels out of control, that might actually be a good thing – there might be something to learn or a way to grow and stretch beyond the present trials. I write for people who want to find purpose in the small and big, the light and dark, the mountains and the molehills. Purpose that stems from who they are, not what they do.

SparklerI write for the woman who sometimes struggles to see the beauty in life – especially when she looks in the mirror. She’s so caught up in the trials and frustrations, and I just want to tell her: It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Because these things are hard. But 1) God is present with you, and if you let him come close to you in this state of frustration, you’re going to find a peace and joy that you didn’t know was possible. And 2) these circumstances will change you. You’re in the crucible. So rather than trying to find a way OUT or AROUND, look for the way THROUGH and the gifts you’ll find IN that place.

Basically, I write for me, because those are truths I need to remind myself of daily. And I write for you. I write for the women I know and love – even if I’ve never met them – who want to believe there’s grace in the messiness of their lives. Who are tired of the constant striving and hustling for their self-worth. Who want to experience joy and love that’s not tied to their performance or the level of perfection they’ve achieved in their bodies or their work. Who want to press through the challenges and come out stronger on the other side. Continue reading

Everything I Know About Dating

Yesterday one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, shared “all that she knows at 61.” There were so many gems in her post…

Laughter really is carbonated holiness.

Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together…So try not to compare your insides to their outsides.

Earth is Forgiveness School.

Yes. Yes. And YES.

Inspired by Anne’s honesty and spot-on humanness, I thought I’d share “all I know about dating.” By no means am I an expert on this topic. I am simply another late-20s, verging on her 30s, city-dwelling girl trying to date well. Which, to me, means treating others with respect, enjoying the process, and learning a lot along the way.

People have asked me to write about this topic for a while, so rather than keeping it all to myself, I’m sharing it with you. Continue reading