Category Archives: general


Since this blog was down for most of 2014, I wasn’t able to write about all we experienced. We loved Memphis, our incredible community there, and our brick bungalow. But by February everything was changing.

Michael accepted a job teaching at a historic boys’ school in Nashville. After a frantic season of interviews, visits, testing and applications, the dust settled and Kate was enrolled at the sister school (which starts in 5th grade.) I accepted a 4th grade teaching position at a PK-6th grade feeder school and Lexi is a student there as well. We rented out our house to three teachers and found a place in Nashville.

I’d love to end this story with “we all lived happily ever after” but that’s not entirely the truth. It takes time to settle in. Being a stranger in a strange land isn’t new to us, and that is a comfort. But our family and friends have suffered great losses and we have felt far away and alone.

At the same time, new beginnings are filled with hope and promise. Our new lives are full of new opportunities for each of us. We look back fondly on our time in Memphis, reminded of how God was with us and provided community. We know we will see his goodness in the land of the living.

We are spending New Year’s Eve traveling back from visiting family; a trip we extended to meet our brand-new niece. Holding a newborn is a good reminder that the world is filled with possibility.

My hope is that 2015 is the year we fall in love with Nashville. At minimum, our goal is to join a church and settle in. That always helps.

Not Dead Yet

This blog experienced a nefarious hack while our lives were too busy to fix it. Michael finally made it happen for me today. For now, the blueprint header represents the in-progress nature of where things are at the moment. The medium is almost dead and this particular manifestation has seen much better days. But, there is hope and a plan.

N.B. All the old links here and pins are broken. The recipe index and church year at home pages have updated links. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Welcome back, kind readers.

Lexi is 8!

This girl is eight years old, which is baffling. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. She has grown into an amazing little person, full of wit and whimsy and wonder. In a family of first-borns, she rocks our world a little by approaching things differently, but her other-ness is refreshing.

What was the best thing about being 7?  Being alive

What are you most proud of learning? Soccer and surfing

What was the best book you read?  Stallion by Starlight by Mary Pope Osborne

What is your favorite song? “The Fox” by Ylvis & “Let it Go” from Frozen

What is your favorite tv show? Dog With a Blog

What are you looking forward to about being 8? Playing basketball

What college do you want to go to? Ole Miss — just kidding, I have no idea

Do you think you’ll get married when you grow up? Have any kids? Yes, I will get married and have two daughters

What do you want to be when you grow up? A veterinarian

Kate is 9

Happy Birthday dear Kate! We are so proud that you are ours and admire your kindness, tenacity and sense of wonder.


A little interview, for fun.

What was the best thing about being 8? Chariot Races, the Olympics and studying ancient Greece.

What are you most proud of learning? How to write in cursive.

What was the best book you read? Detectives in Togas.

What is your favorite song? “Home” by Phillip Phillips

What is your favorite tv show? Jessie

What are you looking forward to about being 9? Being a junior bridesmaid.

What college do you want to go to? UNC.

Do you think you’ll get married when you grow up? Have any kids? Yes, I think I’ll get married and have three kids.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A scientist.

Long Time, No Blog

Hello again. I apologize for the long absence from this blog. I took a temporary job last semester and had to keep up my writing gigs in case it didn’t turn into a permanent gig (it didn’t) so I was run ragged from all the work I was doing.

But, I have a little more time at the present, so I am reading more books and getting out to run and doing other things that are healthy and make me happy. Blogging is somewhere on that list, so even though blogs in general–and this blog in particular–have jumped the shark, expect some posts here for the time being.

Return of the Blog

I took an unexpected, but much needed break from blogging after being pretty consistent for the last year. I feel refreshed and ready to go again.

I finally posted about the books I read in June, and stuck the post where it belongs (June 30th) for the sake of consistency. I hope I read some more books in July so I have something to share at the end of the month.

The summer is rapidly approaching its end. The girls know their teachers for next year and there are school supplies to buy and things to do. I’ve resumed looking for a job. So I am trying to enjoy the season while it lasts. Most days, I do.

Kate is 8!

Happy Birthday to our sweet girl! I cannot believe she is eight years old. Kind, creative, and fun, I am proud to be her momma.

A little interview, for fun.

What was the best thing about being 7? All the fun things we learned in 2nd grade, especially about Ancient Egypt.

What are you most proud of learning? How to do flips off the diving board.

What was the best book you read? Tales from the Odyssey: The Land of the Dead by Mary Pope Osborne.

What is your favorite song? Call Me Maybe.

What is your favorite tv show? Phineas and Ferb.

What are you looking forward to about being 8? The 3rd grade chariot race.

What college do you want to go to? UNC or Rhodes.

Do you think you’ll get married when you grow up? Have any kids? Yes, I think I’ll get married and have four kids.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A singer-songwriter when I am young and then a librarian when I am older.

It’s For a Great Cause!

During our time in Birmingham, I got to know Kathy and her family. They are in the middle of adopting a little girl from China and their agency was suspended. Lily is almost four and has been waiting for a family for a long time. Miraculously, they were able to have her file transferred to a new agency, but they are having to pay an additional $5,000+ in fees, duplicating what they have already paid the first agency. Kathy is making very fun and affordable jewelry you can buy to help fund this adoption, and there is also a raffle going on right now for a kindle or a nook (your choice!) you can read about on their blog.

I think these would make great gifts, don’t you? It even comes in a pretty gift box. Even if you don’t buy anything, I know the Wiehls would appreciate your prayers for God’s provision.

I Read Poetry When I Can’t Sleep

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”
[T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding,” 1942]

A Prayer for Pentecost

Breathe in me, O, Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may all be holy;

Act in me, O, Holy Spirit
that my works, too, may be holy;

Draw my heart, O, Holy Spirit
that I love but what is holy;

Strengthen me, O, Holy Spirit
to defend that which is holy;

Guard me then, O, Holy Spirit
that I always may be holy.
[Augustine of Hippo]


May is the craziest. Far too jam packed for my tastes. In the next week my kids have three field trips, one play, two class parties and require two costumes. Kate needs a Little House in the Big Woods dress (and bonnet and pinafore, if I am that awesome.) She picked out several pictures like this one to inspire me. Lexi needs a crow outfit for a play. I just started the dress today and have not even started to gather things for the crow situation. I need to remind myself next time of my complete inability to follow a pattern and how many seams I end up ripping out when I do cost-benefit analysis of whether I should make or buy all these Westminster costumes.

Of course, we have lots of events for the upper school as well. It just adds to the crazy. For example, today we had awards assembly, an in class awards ceremony, the senior art show and I made a lot of peanut butter cream pies for a bake sale. And I am teaching a class at church and Kate has girl scout events and…

Most of these things are fun, so I expect we will survive, but next year I am starting all the May costumes in February. And I will not turn down any offers of Starbucks delivered.

Thank You, Kind Readers!

For years I have been using affiliate links for when I do book reviews. Friday I finally got a payment! So thank you for buying things, kind readers. If you are making a purchase from amazon and want to stick it to the man / give me a percent, there is a link in the footer. :)