to sing in the silence

fresh start... again

Decided I needed a fresh start... again. I struggle to keep up with blogs, but the new one I'm creating will be a mish-mash of blog entries, videos I like, playlists, links/articles I'm reading, etc. so there won't be AS much pressure to write blog entries all the time. I just have to remember to write them SOME of the time... :)

Anyway, for the very few of you who ever check this, my new blog is:

Same name. Different platform.



I’ll be honest. Summer has never been my favorite season. You’d think with how much I love thunderstorms, and how much I hate super cold weather, I’d be a bigger fan...

But the past few summers haven’t been the most fun for me. For some reason, it seems that it is during this particular season, that unfortunate things happen. I won’t bore you with a long litany of all the bogus things that have happened in my past summers - but we’ll just say this: I never look forward to it.

However, this summer, has given me a reason to re-think my disdain for this season.

At the end of the week, when Sunday night comes and my head hits the pillow, I usually breathe out a huge sigh of exhaustion - but it’s an exhaustion that comes from unbelievable amounts of fun, and time spent with some ridiculously amazing people. This summer has been FILLED with some really sweet moments. I have had fun doing a lot of the following:

Frisbee, frisbee, frisbee!
Time spent at the lakefront
Rock jumping
A Bon Iver concert
Double feature at the Drive-In
Road trips
Lots and lots of swimming!
Ridiculous amounts of sunshine
Brewery tour
Fiddler on the Roof
Cubs Game (well, this was sort of pre summer)
Brewers Games
A picnic by the river
Playing with all sort of fun little kids
Games of Scrabble (sometimes accompanied by my favorite Jamaican beer)
And so much more...

I have loved this summer! This is the first time in a LONG time I can say that I have absolutely, positively, enjoyed my summer. I have made some new friends along the way which has made it that much more enjoyable, and I feel as though my summer has been carefree and somewhat adventurous. I’ve loved every minute of it.

And the greatest thing is, there’s more to come

A road trip to Missouri (2x)
More concerts
Trips to Devil’s Lake and the UP
More rock jumping (hopefully moving it up to cliff jumping)
Watching & photographing friends of mine in the Dirty Girl Run
And hopefully more frisbee and games of Scrabble!

I am so thankful to all of my friends who have contributed to such a rad summer... and I look forward to the rest of it - the people I’ll see, the conversations I’ll have, and the memories I’ll make.

I think I’m starting to like summer more and more...

list... revisited

Last May, I decided to create a list... I guess you could say it was a "bucket list" - a list of things I want to do before I die. I kind of like these lists because it makes me stop for a minute, and think about all the amazing things that are "do-able" in life. I have been unbelievably blessed to be in a position where I can do some of these things - it would seem a shame not to pursue them!

Recently, I had a friend who had a fear that she wanted to conquer. She was afraid of being in deep water - submersed for too long, and not able to come up for air. She wanted to conquer this fear, and additionally had a desire to go cliff jumping. So, she decided to start taking baby steps to get there. She started with jumping into 10 feet of water in a swimming pool, then worked her way up to an 8 foot jump off a pier, and then somewhere around 12-15 feet off a rock... She's well on her way to getting to where she wants to be...

It started making me think about where I want to be - what things I want to do. I don't necessarily have any fears that I want to conquer (I'm ok keeping my fear of clowns), but there are some "bigger" things in life I'd love to pursue...

So, I decided to revisit my list from last May. The first 30 are "originals" from that list. I've added a few more just for fun:

1. Travel to Africa
2. Write & illustrate a children’s book (even if it doesn’t get published)
3. Create an animated short film or a documentary
4. Learn to sew my own clothes
5. Be a part of a “Compton Initiative” wall mural (Wait - I did this! HOORAY!)
6. Travel to India
7. Live in a different country for at least a year
8. Memorize an entire book of the Bible (Deutoronomy? Too ambitious?)
9. Climb/hike up a mountain (not sure which one or how high)
10. Learn to play violin
11. Be a “parent” of sorts (foster parent, adoptive parent, or orphanage mom)
12. Do something risky for a cause / participate in some sort of “civil protest”
13. Write one letter every day for a year
14. Read 1 book a month for a year (What can I say – I’m a slow reader!)
15. Backpack across Europe – staying in hostels, walking/take train everywhere
16. Learn to speak fluently in a foreign language
17. Work in an orphanage for at least 6 months, if not longer
18. Create and maintain a garden and/or participate in a “community garden”
19. Learn how to cook REALLY REALLY well (all healthy stuff!)
20. Learn to surf
21. Get a meaningful tattoo (HOORAY - did this too!)
22. Learn to love running (got a lot to work through for this)
23. Help build a Habitat for Humanity House (or two, or three, or four…)
24. Ride an elephant! (Elephants are my favorite!)
25. Have an article published in Paste magazine (oh how I love music!)
26. Make sure to do sidewalk chalk drawings at least once every summer
27. Learn how to play the guitar well (yes, even bar chords – SO HARD FOR ME!)
28. Learn how to dance (don’t laugh at me)
29. Learn how to paint (I paint now, but don’t know much about painting)
30. Visit the Holy Land… walk where Jesus walked

Now for some new ones...

31. Go hangliding (or skydiving, but hangliding would be so rad!)
32. REALLY learn the art of photography, and maybe have a gallery of sorts
33. Visit NYC, and get a less-touristy, behind-the-scenes taste of it
34. Go to a concert at Red Rocks
35. Read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (or the Harry Potter books)
36. Run in a 5k (that may not sound like a lot - but I am definitely no runner)
37. Take a train across a country (not sure which country - I just like trains!)
38. Work on some sort of film set (even if only as a production assistant)
39. Learn how to sail (this could be tricky... gotta meet a friend who has a sailboat)
40. Learn how to knit/crochet

Ok, I think that's plenty for now... I'm sure I'll think of more, but I've got plenty to being pursuing.

Oh how I love goals and thinking about adventures. Here's to pursuing some, if not all of them!


Today is a day for soft and melodic tunes. Therefore, I leave you with “Stars In Still Water” by Jonsi to listen to and enjoy.

If you are REALLY craving some soft and melodic music, here’s another one for you. It’s “Snow” by Sleeping at Last. Not entirely appropriate today, since it’s summer and the song is about snow. But this was played in my mix this morning, and I forgot how much I love it:

Hopefully an actual blog entry to come soon. It’s been a while. Lots of thoughts on tension, adoption, and faith… Stay tuned.

Howdy Ho, Good Neighbor...

I love my dad. He’s such a great guy. But one thing I will say - he has interesting television watching habits. Sometimes, he’ll watch the same show and/or movie over and over, just because he loves it so much. I suppose we all have similar tendencies, but for some reason, my dad especially makes me giggle when I think of repetitive television show watching. I think my mom believes it’s genetic, and that I inherited the “repetitive watching” gene from him. I beg to differ, but I suppose my adolescent years filled with repeat episodes of Full House, Saved By the Bell, and the Wonder Years would prove otherwise.

Growing up, I remember my dad habitually watching the show Home Improvement. I can still remember the theme song as if I had just watched an episode 2 minutes ago. I too loved watching the show, and can remember a lot of funny things about different episodes.

But over the past few weeks, that show has been on my mind an unusual amount. Strange, I know. But what I keep thinking about is Wilson - you know, that strange, quirky neighbor who was on the other side of the fence from Tim Taylor, who’s face you could never quite see...

So why do I keep thinking about Wilson?

Well, there are a few reasons. Over the past few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the community of people I have been blessed to be a part of. Don’t get me wrong. We have had our share of ups and downs. We’ve experienced amazing moments of growth and closeness, and we’ve also experienced many moments of hurt, pain, and distance. But through it all, I have found myself overwhelmingly blessed by the people that surround me.

One of the reasons I have been blessed by my friends is that they’re always there. Maybe not in person, and maybe not for lengthy periods of time - but they’re there. In my joyful moments, and in my darkest moments, they’re there with emails, texts, coffee talks, walks, and a plethora of other things to let me know they are there for me. This was the kind of person that Wilson was for Tim on Home Improvement. Did you ever notice that every time Tim went outside, Wilson was there? During his moments of joy, and times of sadness, “Howdy ho, good neighbor,” he was there.

Another reason I have been thinking about Wilson is that he always had the most timely, wise advice or encouraging word for Tim. Do you ever notice that Wilson never complained? He was always so positive, and always looking for ways to encourage and uplift Tim, even in his “redirection” (which Tim often needed). I love this - and I want to BE this kind of neighbor. I want to strive to always be positive, always be loving, and always provide encouragement... even if my encouragement is in the middle of redirection. The community I belong to is a pretty good example of that. I am so grateful to have this positive force in my life - people who always seek to encourage, uplift, and gently redirect.

And finally, Wilson is WONDERFULLY patient and full of grace. Part of the humor of Home Improvement is the fact that the protagonist is a screw up - he always makes mistakes, and always finds himself in predicaments. And yet even though, time after time, Tim makes these mistakes and Wilson would have every right to be frustrated with him, he isn’t. He doesn’t condemn him. He doesn’t rail into him. He doesn’t ignore him or push him away. He listens - over and over again - with amazing patience and unconditional love.

That to me, is amazing. That is a true neighbor. One who loves you no matter what. No matter how emotional you are, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how consistent (or inconsistent) you are... No matter what, he is there for him, he loves him, and will continue to support and encourage him in any way possible.

Wilson is a great neighbor.

Don’t get me wrong... I think the bible is laced with tons of amazing examples of how to be a good neighbor, and what it means to be a good neighbor. I try not to always take examples from pop culture...

But I couldn’t help this one. For some reason, Home Improvement - and more specifically, Wilson - came to mind recently, and I’ve been thinking a lot about him.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of being with a group of people for a Palm Sunday dinner. A couple of times during the day, I stopped to look around the room and was humbled to see who I was sharing the room with. Such amazing and beautiful people. Creative people, smart people, younger people, older people, people who have had a lot of life experience, people who are just beginning their life experiences...

People who are thoughtful, people who are loving, people who are generous, people who are full of grace...

Some of the people in the room I knew well, others I didn’t know at all - but it didn’t matter. They were all beautiful to me. I felt honored and blessed to be with them.

May I learn to be like Wilson (and my friends) - who are always THERE, who seek to be positive and encouraging in all circumstances, and who never give up on people but strive to bring out the best in them.

May I learn to love like these people:

(photo courtesy of Mike Fuchs)

for you now

Look out world... This opens up a whole new blogging experience for me (embedding music within my blog entery). Maybe this will encourage me to actually write/post more.

If you've pressed play on the Grooveshark widget above, you are listening to "For You Now" by Bruno Merz (not to be confused with Bruno Mars).


following footsteps

Please press play on the music player you see above.

You are listening to Following Footsteps by Greg Holden.

One of the things I LOVE about finding a new artist is all the OTHER artists that are linked to that one artist. I recently discovered Ian Axel, who's absolutely fantastic. Ian put together a fun little video for his song "This Is The New Year" and there was this dude in it who during one seen, did what I like to call the cookie swoop, and just seemed like a fun person. Come to find out, he's ALSO a musician... named Greg Holden.

I did a little researching and found this song, which musically, I think is just beautiful (haven't fully listened to the lyrics yet). But, I also learned that Sound Cloud gives me the ability to post music with my blog entries.

I'm excited at the prospect of writing another blog entry that has a song you can listen to while you read. I just have to find another song via Song Cloud, or check out whether or not Groove Shark has the embedding option.

But for now, enjoy Following Footsteps by the lovely musician, Greg Holden.

my blog

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." ~Vladimir Nabakov


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"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." ~Vladimir Nabakov