Thursday, September 24, 2009

A+A take on Big Sur

Yesterday Ash and I loaded up the car and headed North up Highway one to Big Sur for our first ever annual Girl's camp out (right Ash?)! Boy did we have an adventure. After making a few stops along the way, we made it to our lovely campground. Lucky for us, they weren't at full capacity and we got to choose whatever site we pleased. We looked and looked for the perfect spot and finally decided on the most beautiful site in the whole place. The afternoon sun was streaming through the trees just right and we spent the whole rest of the afternoon setting up our beautiful campsite just so. Unfortunately, the sun went down before we had time to really explore or hike around the area, but we didn't mind. After all, we had dinner to make and s'mores to roast! Here are some pictures of our magical camping trip.

"Our fire looks so professional"

"Come and get it!"

"Shall we check the corn again?"

"Sure does shut down early around here"

"This looks like something the boys would totally eat"

Of course, the trip did have it's ups and downs. I would be lying if I said that I did not get food poisoning and did not throw up multiple times during the early hours of the morning. Yes it was a low point and we had to wrap things up earlier than expected the next morning (Or rather, Ashley did...) But overall our camping trip was a success! And I would even say that the bathroom facilities were pretty clean and accommodating for "being sick". I used almost every one in fact. And the side of my car. and a few bushes next to our tent.

Ash I love you! Thanks for the memorable camping trip. I loved telling that lady in the store how we were best friends and had been "For fifteen years" and then laughing at how that almost sounded like an old person thing to say. You bring so much fun and love and laughter into my life and I am so thankful for you. A+A forever baby!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Diary,

My boyfriend is so nice. I like him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear interview panel,

I thought we really connected the other day. The way you ladies looked at me and smiled and nodded. I honestly thought we were hitting it off. I felt so articulate and charming as I poured out my heart to you, telling you about all my experiences and projects, and how I could really find meaning and purpose in this job. That it would be more to me than just some old job. I told you that I would work extra hours, late hours, and that I would learn do my best to become an expert in this field. I told you how much I loved your organization and your mission. I actually meant it.

And my outfit. I looked cute and professional. And it killed me, but I wore the simple pearl studs instead of my prettier dangly ones. I didn’t want to be too flashy on our first date. And when I left, we were all smiling and thanking each other… the chemistry was so good. I was certain you felt it too.

It’s been over a week now, ladies, and I haven’t heard back from you. No call. No text. No email. Nothing. I got your answering machine again this afternoon and I debated in a split second whether or not to leave a message or try again later. I decided to try again Monday morning, and hope for a real human on the other end.

I braced myself for this. In fact I anticipated it. But now that it’s happening I feel so rejected, so deflated. I put myself out there. I took a chance. Frankly, I’m a little crushed. I took it personally because I am a person. So now I guess I have to get back out there. You know, start dating again… I know something even better is out there for me. And when I find it, it will be magic.


Ps. If you change your mind please call me. I will forgive you and take you back xoxo

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking news!

I know this is sooo last week. But look how sweet little Lucky is with his little coaster-feets... Thank you Lucky for your lesson in perseverance. I love you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

furious longing, furious love

When then, eternal father, did you create this
creature of yours?...You show me that you made
us for one reason only: in your light you saw
yourself compelled by the fire of your love to give
us being in spite of the evil we would commit
against you, eternal father. It was fire, then,
that compelled you. Oh, unutterable love, even
though you saw all the evils your creatures
would commit against your infinite goodness,
you acted as if you did not see and set your
eye only on the beauty of your creature, with
whom you had fallen in love like one drunk and
crazy with love... You are the fire, nothing but
a fire of love, crazy over what you have made.

-The Prayers of Catherine of siena
(Taken of course from B. Manning's The Furious Longing of God)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

believe in me.

I really like this story that B. Manning shares in his book The Furious Longing of God. I cried when I read this.

Back in the 1960s, I was teaching at a university in Ohio and there was a student on campus who by society’s standards would’ve been called ugly. He was short, extremely obese, he had a terrible case of acne, a bad lisp,and his hair was growing like Lancelot’s horse- in four directions at one time. He wore the uniform of the day: a T-shirt that hadn’t been washed since the Spanish American war, jeans with a butterfly on the back, and of course, no shoes.

In all my days, I have never met anybody with such low self-esteem. He told me that when he looked in the mirror each morning, he spit at it. Of course no campus girl would date him. No fraternity wanted him as a pledge.

He walked into my office one day and said, his lisp evident, “Ah you’re a new face on campus. Well, my name is Larry Malaney and I’man athgnostic.”

I said, “You’re what?”

He repeated himself and I said, “Wow, congratulations! If you ever become an atheist, I’ll take you to dinner and we’ll celebrate your conversion.”

The story I’m about to tell you is what Larry got for Christmas one year.

Christmas came along for Larry Malaney and he found himself back with his parents in Providence, Rhode Island. Larry’s father is atypical lace-curtain Irishman. Now there are lace-curtain Irish and there are shanty Irish. A lace-curtain Irishman, even on the hottest day in summer, will not come to the dining room table without wearing a suit, usually a dark pinstripe, starched white shirt, and a tie swollen at the top. He will never allow his sideburns to grow to the top of his ears and he always speaks in a low, subdued voice.

Well, Larry comes to the dinner table that first night home, smelling like a Billy goat. He and his father have the usual number of quarrels and reconciliations. And thus begins a typical vacation in the Malaney household. Several nights later, Larry tells his father that he’s got to get back to school the next day.

“What time, son?”

“Six o’clock.”

“Well, I’ll ride the bus with you.”

The next morning, the father and son ride the bus in silence. They get off the bus, as Larry has to catch a second one to get to the airport. Directly across the street are six men standing under an awning, all men who work in the same textile factory as Larry’s father. They begin making loud and degrading remarks like “Oink, oink, look at that fat pig. I tell you,if that pig was my kid, I’d hide him in the basement, I’d be so embarrassed.”Another said, “I wouldn’t. If that slob was my kid, he’s be out the door so fast, he wouldn’t know if he’s on foot or horseback. Hey, pig! Give us your best oink!”

These brutal salvos continued.

Larry Malaney told me that in that moment, for the first time in his life, his father reached out and embraced him, kissed him on the lips, and said, “Larry, if your mother and I live to be two hundred years old,that wouldn’t be long enough to thank God for the gift He gave to us in you. I am so proud that you are my son!”

It would be hard to describe in words the transformation that took place in Larry Malaney, but I’ll try. He came back to school and remained a hippie, but he cleaned up the best he could. Miracle of miracles,Larry began dating a girl. And to top it off, he became the president of one of the fraternities. By the way, he was the first student in the history of our university to graduate with a 4.2 grade point average. Larry Malaney had a brilliant mind.

Larry came to my office one day and said, “Tell me about this man Jesus.” And for the next six weeks, in half-hour increments, I shared with Larry what the Holy Spirit had revealed to me about Jesus. At the end of those six weeks, Larry said, “Okay.”

June 14, 1974, Larry Malaney was ordained a priest in the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. And for the past twenty years, he’s been a missionary in South America, a man totally sold out to Jesus Christ. Do you know why? It wasn’t because of the six weeks of sitting in Brennan Manning’s office while I talked about Jesus. No, it was because of a day, long ago, during a Christmas vacation, standing at a bus stop, when his lace-curtain Irish father healed him. Yes, his father healed him. His father had the guts to get out of the foxhole and choose the high road of blessing in the face of cursing and taunts. His father looked deeply into his son’s eyes, saw the good in Larry Malaney that Larry couldn’t see for himself, affirmed him with a furious love,and changed the whole direction of his son’s life.

Friday, September 11, 2009


sister I love you. I hope you know how much I've always loved and adored you. When we were little, I wanted to be just like you. I wanted to be a part of the babysitters club that you and your friends started in the backyard. And I wanted one of those beautiful pencils that you got if you were a babysitter. I wanted a day bed like you. And I put my stuffed animals in my window seat just like you. I remember when you fell in love with the Nelson brothers. I did too. We had their cassette tape and tried to get them to play it at Flippos one time. And we went to their concert at the mid state fair and I fell asleep. And then we both got their poster and I had dad put mine up above my bed just how you did. I think you liked the brother with the straight blonde hair and I liked the one with the more flowy hair. haha and I remember I would always end up liking whatever candy or ice cream flavor you picked better than mine. So I would pick it next time.

I found this love letter that I wrote you when I was six.

And then I found this sweet goodness.