If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
- Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 9, 2012

moral of the story: food is good

[avocados for fresh guac]
[window where i sit, stare, pray, and talk to friends on the phone]
[candles that make our apartment smell lovely]
[greg's favorite snack in recent memory- note the swiss army knife...for opening the beer]
[exciting new beer!]
[exciting new cheese!]
[yummy almond coconut bread we made together]
[impromptu taco night...yum]

so the moral of the story is this
food is good. 

the last few weeks (months?)
have felt like they were all running together in one big crazy thing,
and we're trying to get in rest, and homework and all that good stuff.

but we never forget to eat!


Friday, October 19, 2012

this day

Rainy days are beautiful here.
Sitting in the corner of our couch, seeing the autumn leaves twitch and flutter
in response to the grey rain. 
It's all so dimensional.
Trees in the background fade as lines and angles,
blurred by distance and the drops on my window,
a beautiful back drop of green and yellow and rich brown for the trees up close.
I am warm and dry,
 with a perfect view of a beautiful,
quivering, live work of art.

reading, writing, waiting for the man I love.

Friday, September 21, 2012

life, unedited.

no time to edit pictures because, guess why?

life is a little crazy lately. 

such good stuff though- jobs I love, school that grows me and challenges me,
and a husband who makes me cookies (twice now!!), reads scripture in the morning with me,
and prays with me what feels like constantly. 

i'm so blessed. 

really though, I'm feeling that way because this week has emphasized
over and over and over again
God's greatness and grace. 
that's the ultimate thing. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

on the blog at work- eek!

relax, relax. 
it's not as bad as it sounds.

our church is dying to do something for young adults.
you know, after high school
but before the inevitable babies?
at least... that's what the age group is at our church. 
[seriously, there's something in the water.]

we're brainstorming- until we can start a community group,
what can we do once a month or so
to meet up/catch up/share God's faithfulness?

a place to hang out, basically. 

any ideas, friends?

Friday, September 7, 2012


happy new nails and my most favorite jewelry. 

makes reading/writing papers more entertaining with all those sparkles. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

one month!

married for a month. 
it has been so, so sweet. 

[love seeing my new name on things, especially fun goody bags]

[best lunch in recent history- smashed avocado, lime, and goat cheese on wheat toast]

[strawberry banana bread]

[my note-notebook and my master list-notebook. craziness.]

[beautiful spotted hydrangeas and roses greg brought home for me]

[put in a vase that honors my mom]

this month has been more fun than I could have ever thought possible.
I keep waiting for someone to tell me that I have to go home.
Like...vacation's over, you can't live with your best friend forever!

but so far, so good!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

assorted ralph activities

[herbed goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts with couscous]
 [sunlight hitting my morning bible time]
[the work of our hands- watercolors and building plans]
[new coasters for greg- with plans on them!]

Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
Psalm 39:4

enjoying this transient life. 
what a gift.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

laughing today

some things that are currently making me laugh:

 if you haven't heard this, go now.
Greg and I have been quoting continuously for almost a week. 

I knew he was funny before,
but it's honestly the best thing in the world to live with someone
so ridiculous. 
I've actually starting snorting when I laugh,
which is a testament to his hilarity
as well as super embarrassing when we are in public. 

this quote from my wisdom literature textbook:

"Their view is influenced by the fact that they believe these to be 
characteristic features of Ugaritic poetry.  
Ugaritic scholars disagree with them about this."

so nerdy, but I really laughed out loud. 

last, but certainly not least,
these pictures of abby and I trying to figure out
what we would look like with each other's hair. 
what is going on with the sparkles in the first picture?
no idea.

happy tuesday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

taking walks.

I have long loved a good walk. 
A few days ago I realized that if I didn't go on a walk,
I would not see anyone or anything but Greg and the inside of our apartment all day. 
And as lovely as they both are...
my skin needs sunshine. 

So my camera and I took a little walk,
broken shutter and all. 
It's another beautiful day today, 
so I'm thinking it might be time for a sequel. 

Running around in my brain today:

Teach me thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in thy truth;
Unite my heart to fear thy name.
ps. 86: 11

a united heart sounds good, right? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

thinking, today

so today, I'm bopping around pinterest,
getting excited about beautiful things.

beautiful clothes, beautiful prints,
some fun ideas for hanging out with kids, etc. 

and as I sit in my apartment on my computer, 
I realize that about an hour has gone by.


I love pinterest, because I actually use it a ton.
I bake and cook from recipes I find,
do some fun crafty projects
[or mostly make up my own easy version]
and am inspired by the art I find online.

but I'm coming to realize that while finding inspiration is good,
living an inspired life is better

no matter how pretty and exciting the things I look at are,
what counts is how i live. 
and because I live for a great God, 
who is the source of all good things, and the source of abundant life,
it totally matters what I actually do, and how I do it. 

so now, inspired, i'm going to clean the apartment. 

happy tuesday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

welcome home

cooking, baking, living here. 

Our first night Greg said,
"Welcome home, Mary."

It's been a long time since anywhere really felt like home,
but this does. 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; 
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
and with my song I shall thank him.
Psalm 28:7

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ocean city

reminiscing about this happy trip earlier this summer. 

I get married in four days. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


the day is starting with colorful thank you notes.

gratitude and color-

the perfect recipe for a good day. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


dear Greg,

thanks for helping me move our new dresser last night
[with very little warning, and very little help from me].
i'm amazed at how strong you are,
and so grateful you used that strength last night to make sure I didn't get hurt.
i'm so grateful for how smart and funny and ridiculous you are,
but none of that compares with how grateful I am
that you love me,
and that you love Jesus. 

I can't wait to marry you. 


this has been particularly meaningful lately:

Then I will make up to you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten...
Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God
And there is no other;
And my people will never be put to shame.

Joel 2:25,27

Friday, June 1, 2012


hello June.

this summer has been an interesting mix.

there has been pain
in losing someone I love.

there has been joy in bringing in new sofas,
much loved paintings,
and tools for our new life together
into our first apartment. 

i have pain and i have joy,
as is so often the case in this complex and beautiful life,
and again, this verse directs me to the one who walks with me through this.

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, 
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:5

my guess is that for the rest of this summer,
I'll need that verse,
and I'll need Jesus.
[ok, that's not a guess.]

i'm confident that no matter what the suffering, what the pain,
what the joy, what the excitement or the stress is
Christ's comfort will be mine,
even when I don't feel better. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It's been a while. 

I've read those bloggers who have full time jobs,
plan weddings,
have social lives and take super awesome pictures of them,
and blog regularly.
and i am in awe. 

i think i needed to crash for a little bit. 

Greg and I are trying to get our apartment ready for when we move in
after the honeymoon, 
and so like 75% of my stuff is there,
and I don't have a key yet.
[really smart, I know.]

so... the camera is in the apartment, 
and Greg is out of state.


words are good too, right?

ready or not, here's what's on my mind. 

Before I left school for the summer, I had a conversation with a beautiful friend
about beauty, and it's connection with faith
Something she had read about was that a particular word in Scripture
was mostly translated "good" but could in many cases be translated "beautiful."


Let us not lose heart in doing the beautiful,
for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

In all the mundane things of my summer,
the plant watering, 
the coaching, the reading for school,
the planning details of the wedding,
I don't want to lose heart in doing what is beautiful.

I don't want to grow weary of doing things that point towards
redemption and joy and peace,
and it's easy to grow weary when I'm not firmly connected
to the source of all that is beautiful and life-giving.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


here's an article of mine that just got published in our newspaper.
if you look at this and go, "Woah, not reading all that."

I'll be back with pretty pictures soon, promise. 

I wrote this article after a day in Chelsea to visit the galleries 
with two of my dearest friends.
Just a little reflection.

Art and Tumblr (and Life?)

Disclaimer: This is not a manifesto against a blogging site that allows people to catalog images, thoughts, and various other gems that they find inspiring, beautiful and self expressive.  This is also most definitely not a manifesto against art via various physical mediums.  This is a call to creativity beyond a canvas, beyond a camera, and beyond instruments.  This is a call to live life as a catalog of inspiring moments.  This is a call to choices that we feel express us well- especially as children of the living God, redeemed and new people.

In recent months, I have discovered tumblr, a blogging engine that provides its users the ability to quickly assemble defining collages.  Sometimes these blogs are about something specific- an actress idolized, a certain PBU professor quoted, a specific flower even.  More often though, I find that these blogs are used to create a picture of an ideal life. Greater than the sum of their parts, these tumblrs describe with the click of their “curator’s” mouse the life their users wish they had.  Glamorous, preppy, rebellious and free, there is a tumblr for all kinds of aspiration. 

While I’m positive that not all tumblr users find themselves immersed in the cyber-sea of floating images and ideas 24/7, it is remarkably addictive.  I don’t have one, and while some sites abuse their free reign of internet space, there are some very beautiful blogs that are hard to stop scrolling through.  I’ve been thinking though, about how tumblr users (and other bloggers) choose the images and selections to define them.  It’s expressive of who they are. It’s immediately visible and constantly changing, fast paced and quickly visually gratifying.  For many people it’s piecing together, picture by picture, song by song, quote by quote, who they want to be.

On a related note, (and it is related, bear with me) I’ve been thinking about something Mako Fujimura said on his most recent visit to PBU about finding one’s medium as an artist.  Can people without typical artistic abilities like drawing, writing poetry, and beautiful voices create art? Can scientists and history teachers and people who think math is riveting create pieces which inspire and reveal the depth of the human experience to others in new ways?

I think tumblr is a good metaphor with which to answer these questions.  If we collect images and quotes and inspiration to place on an online bulletin board, can’t we collect choices and experiences and value and place them on the canvas of our lives? And any cyber-inspiration board should pale in comparison to the lives we choose to live.  As people with an eternal and ultimate purpose, the ever mutating picture our lives cast should point to a living God.

We all have the ability to create pieces of art which inspire, which call others to big and deep questions, which shed light on truth and life.  The choices that we make and the experiences that we have can layer on the canvases of our lives to create a complex, multidimensional masterpiece that points to the glory of Christ, much like Fujimura’s work.  We must seek to enjoy scripture, intellectual pursuit, creative outlets, and relationships in a very intentional way.  We must be present in our lives. 

Brothers and sisters, we must curate the galleries, paint the canvases, and choose for the tumblrs of our lives in a way that glorifies God and enjoys the abundant life he gives. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

my mom

today is always a tough day for me.
read more about why here.

my mom was not perfect,
and our relationship wasn't either.

but my mom was beautiful-
glamorous and sophisticated-
and I borrowed her clothes, even in middle school. 
I still wear clothes of hers,
and without fail, they always garner compliments.

my mom was fun-
singing and dancing while we cleaned 
or decorated the house for Christmas,
she brought black and white cookies when she picked 
my friends and I up from school
and sang in operatic voice to the Beatles on the radio.

my mom was kind-
I remember coming home distraught in first or second grade,
when everyone had picked a best friend in class
and marked each other with a colored marker,
and noone picked me.
my mom got the magic markers immediately, 
let me pick the color
and marked me on the spot. 

my mom was polite-
it sounds stuffy, but it's not.
my mom taught me that good manners exist to make people feel 
cared about, thought about.
that thank you notes are important,
that honoring commitments says something about your integrity.

my mom knew and loved and trusted Jesus-
I'm so grateful I got to see that.
I'm so grateful I can be confident in that.
I so wish we could talk about it now.

i miss her, and today's a tough day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

packing up

it's a weird feeling.

packing up all the things that made your apartment feel like your home for 9 months.

thank goodness grace is here to help.
[otherwise I wouldn't take paintings down until 3 minutes before I had to leave.]

to relieve the stress of move out/the impending finals week,
Grace and I played some scrabble slam.

I highly recommend it.

happy Sunday!