Friday, December 7, 2012


  If anyone has the opportunity to live in New York City, I am a firm believer in the fact that they must be in the city for the Christmas season. As if the city were not glamorous enough, all of the stops are pulled out as Christmas. Fir trees dressed in twinkle lights and some form of ribbon or bows adorn every store window, building entrance and home. Lights are strung around fire escapes and occasionally someone brings out the "big old bulbs." Years from now I will be able to look back on my first year in this city and get to say that I lived across the street from the 34th Street Macy's. Because the city is so short on space, normal happenings that take place on large plots of land in the South line the streets near grocery stores or plant nurseries. I was walking home from the grocery last night carrying festive eggnog to make a holiday punch along with ingredients for some brownies to bring to a Christmas party later that evening. All of the sudden I could smell the faintest scent of evergreen and I could not see where it was coming from. A few more blocks and the sweetest batch of bare Christmas trees, large and small, were patiently waiting to meet their family for the season. 

  Christmas trees are one of my favorite parts of the holidays. As I grew older, my responsibility in the house was to decorate the tree each year and I did not take the task lightly. The tree needed to be evenly lit with twinkle lights, really old ornaments and the red banners and bows my momma made years ago. Yes, dressing the tree is exciting, but the most wonderful part comes after the house is quiet. Late into the night, when many have gone to bed, I love to sit in the living room just watching the tree. As a young girl, I remember laying underneath the branches, looking up to the illuminated ornaments hanging from the boughs. Maybe that is where the magic was for me. My family never believed in Santa Claus, though our hearts are knitted closely to A Miracle on 34th Street. Magic came from the beauty in the season. I was awe struck as a young girl in my living room and the feeling returns each holiday. 


  Disappointment was my friend near the start of the holiday season. We all know that the important part of the Christmas season is being with loved ones. My flight home was scheduled for December 21st and I found myself wishing that I had more of the season with the ones I love. Little did I know that my precious Jason would surprise me with a trip to the city. It was one of the best gifts I could have ever received. All I wanted to make this Christmas in New York better was to share it with the ones I care for the most, and I got to have Jason come be a part of it for five whole days. We walked together in the brisk, cold air and went ice skating in Bryant Park. We enjoyed hot drinks that warmed our frozen hands and meandered through holiday markets. We played music together and sang Christmas tunes. I implore all those who are with the ones they love right now, be quick to spend time enjoying them. Life walks us through many seasons with many purposes. Not to say that any are better than others, but learning to appreciate what is in the season is important. In my season, there is the hope of burgeoning friendship. There is the light from Macy's outside of my building. There is a family in Georgia waiting for me to get home. Merry Christmas.

Currently Listening: "Silver Bells" by Bing Crosby and Trudy Erwin

Thursday, November 15, 2012


  I am missing home. I doubted that it would happen. Maybe just to the measure that I am feeling it at the moment. It could be due to my listening to Kenny G's Christmas albums while working on my twenty-page term paper. I am suddenly at home. Thanksgiving is over and every tummy is stuffed. I always get excited because I know that the next day we decorate the house for the holidays. The season begins with smells of cinnamon from momma's T-ring and this music fills the house as wreaths, garland, stockings and trinkets accumulated over the years are hustled up the stairs to adorn the house. Every room is decorated. The bathrooms are given their penguin fountain and snowflake candles. A Precious Moments nativity scene is set up in one of them. By this time I have already had some hot coco and the house is close to being done.
  It is almost as if muscle memory takes over when opening the boxes. Each decoration has its place. The carolers sing from their hymnals atop the entertainment center and the large red teapot that has the bear as its lid and a candy cane handle goes in the bookshelves. Needle point pillows go on their respective couches and the angel garland greets my sister and I above the hallway entrance to our rooms. I forgot what it means. To be home, I guess. The smells aren't in this apartment. Momma isn't cleaning the house so that the decorations are put out on dust-free surfaces. I can decorate with the few items I have and put an evergreen plug-in in the wall but it still isn't home.
  How long do you have to be somewhere for it to be home? A year? Two? Maybe the difference is when loved ones are with you. Maybe when things are familiar it changes. Regardless, I am left here writing about my missing the one home I have known for the past ten years. I won't know what the Christmas tree looks like until the 21st of December. Someone else will take over my responsibility of stringing its lights and placing the ornaments on the branches. I never thought that being pricked by the fir tree's needles would be something I would miss. I will miss it.
  The most wonderful time of the year. I still believe that it is with all of my heart. It will just look different this year. It will have less hugs from family than before. It will lack baking with my mom or going to the Children's Christmas Parade with my daddy and niece and nephews. Different.
  34th street is decorated. They brought in the large wreaths and tree into my apartment building lobby just yesterday. This is an experience that most dream of and I find it hard at times to not wish it were just a dream. Waking up tomorrow I will still hear sirens and taxi cabs with their horns and shouts. I will look out the window and see the sun working its way between buildings and at some point it will find the streets. New York City.

Currently Listening: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Kenny G

Saturday, November 3, 2012

post sandy.

  I arrived back to my home in the big city this afternoon. I was lugging the couple bags I took for evacuation to New Jersey and eerily noticed the normal state of the city. Herald Square was buzzing with tourists carrying way too many shopping bags and New Yorkers were routinely dodging the upward gazers. The East coast experienced one of the largest and most tragic storms in history at the beginning of this week. From what I could tell, many did not bat an eye.
   I walked to work with the cold November air stinging my face. I had pulled out my winter box full of scarves and gloves, for a sweater was no longer enough. I hastened to get to Times Square. After experiencing the welcome New York brought me this afternoon, the state of normalcy on 42nd street carried little shock. Vendors were back on the streets with their carts cooking hot dogs and men with dozens of handbags to sell lined Broadway. I passed families with young children taking in all of the glamour of the city; most of whom probably had no idea what took place here a few days prior.
   It is a strange place to be in. What do we support? I assume normalcy is the goal after a devastation of that measure. Is it usual for people that were unaffected by the storm to go on as if the the Atlantic Ocean had not recently scarred the East coast? I suppose I was on my way to work without a change in pace. Instead of immediately jumping to creative ways to help the city and the displaced families, I focused on the inconvenience it was to not have the subway system to take to school (which was ironic because three trains which I would need to commute to school came alive today). Maybe America is tired of dealing with devastation. Perhaps after Katrina, Tsunamis and Earthquakes the nation is burnt out. This proposition fails to eliminate the fact that people are missing and millions of homes were destroyed; just like all of the other disasters.
   I am in no way saying that there are not measures being taken to restore this city. Rather, my thoughts center around the strange way that theatre's phrase "the show must go on" funnels into a week like this one.
   Be safe. Do what you can.

Currently Listening: "Morning Song" by The Lumineers

Friday, November 2, 2012

a storm.

  The thoughts began on Friday evening. My roommates and I decided to make a run to Trader Joe's to pack the pantry with granola and the suggested non-parishable goods. We followed directions closely and bought large bottles of water, just in case ours was lost. Onto the next stop, we decided that bending the rules due to a natural disaster and possible power outages was acceptable. Ivory colored candles in hand, we hopped on the F train North to the Herald Towers.
  Reports on superstorm Sandy increased and found ourselves in prayer on Sunday morning trying to make the best decision. We worshipped our savior over some coffee and banana bread with chocolate chips. It was a sweet time. It brought us closer as roommates but even more than that, as sisters in Christ. I have had to choose relationship in this city. As with any new place, relationship does not just happen. I do not believe that a disaster of Sandy's nature is needed to produce this closeness, but it certainly opened the doors to opportunity.
  The outcome of our time together was the decision to pack up a few things and head to our roommate's papa's house in New Jersey. It was a feat to find Penn Station. Who knew that it was only two blocks from our apartment yet we chose the scenic route. We traveled up to Times Square and on to Port Authority Bus terminal. Lousy directions placed us on the opposite corner of where we should have been. A few days worth of clothing became much heavier when carrying them across New York City. Finally, we found Penn. We hastily hopped on the train headed towards Trenton and an hour later we were in safety.

  It is amazing what just a few miles outside of the city can do. There were beautiful trees with their leaves changing to bright oranges and reds. We got to know the small town of Audobon. A small tour of the town's popular places left the three of us starry-eyed and trying to soak up all of the Autumn color while we had it. We saw the church where her Papa grew up. We saw the land full of five or more houses where all of his family lived. Tales of Thanksgiving were told; he would run from house to house gathering scattered ingredients. Sometimes I wonder what life like that would be like. My family was always close on holidays, but never neighbors.
   Once in the house we snuggled up. Coffee was brewed. Heat was turned on. We felt safe.
   This stay has been full of laughs, homework, baked apple pie (inside of the apples I may add), and cooking a dinner with whatever we found in the cabinets. The storm was tragic. We have seen footage on the television of our home in the city and scarcely recognize the place we frequent. Subways are filled with water and homes are left in shambles. The city is in recovery mode and we have yet to see it. It is difficult to not feel disconnected, even when your home is in the city of devastation. We are calloused to the people that lost their home just a few streets away. The city will have to rebuild. Selfishly, we focus on the inconvenience of not resuming class, or not being able to utilize the subway system. It's not about me. It's not even about The King's College. It is an opportunity to be selfless.
   So I sit here. I write my small review of this past week and await the trip back into the city.

Currently Listening: "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, October 25, 2012

a balloon.

 It was a short and fleeting moment though it did not make it any less special. Right outside of my window it happened. Millions of people crowd the streets of New York in the five o' clock hour and even more on 34th street. But my window was treated. I could have missed it. Small things like that happen rarely, otherwise their presence would not be esteemed. A red balloon drifted slowly up from the sidewalks of the city. It's possible that it slipped from a child's grasp, or even got loose from a bundle being carried off to a celebration. Nonetheless it was a moment that brought me joy on this grey day in New York City.

Currently Listening: "Girl with the Red Balloon" by The Civil Wars

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a treat.

 A turn of events, including my roommate losing her wallet, dispensed a small bit of cash into my wallet. It was one of those days when a treat was bound to happen. I had been scoping out this small coffee shop named "Neil's" on the corner of Lexington and 70th and I had a feeling that today would be the day. I passed it on my walk into work and resisted the urge. I only had a few minutes before eleven and a treat is meant to be enjoyed and not rushed.
  I worked throughout the morning, answering phone calls and making appointments. The office is small, but at times I feel like we are in a call center with phones ringing off of the hooks. I learned how to check out patients after their appointments and revisited the importance of providing completely accurate information. The work is not difficult. Challenging would be the best description of my tasks. We are an interesting people. We can be rather demanding and forget how we make others feel. At other times we are light-hearted without a care in the world. My preference would be the latter. It was five 'til one and it was my turn for lunch.
  I hastened to the coat closet to pick up my purse and I was out the door. My light steps carried me to Lexington Avenue and I meandered in. Neil's is a small diner-like restaurant. The entry way is tiny and only allows for one person to enter, or exit, at a time. An old-fashioned counter greeted me just inside the door and I meekly asked the hostess if they served coffee to go. The register she stood behind was old; an antique piece that I was surprised still worked. She punched in the totals for customers and the numbers rolled through until landing on the correct sequence. She smiled as a man approached the register and said with a thick European accent that I would like some coffee to-go. He asked in a similar accent, "you want a cappuccino with sugar?" I nodded and he hurried off while motioning towards a seat at the counter. I slid onto the stool and took a look around. The lady to my right was reading the morning paper and enjoying what looked like a "croque-monsieur"which in French means a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with cheese also melted over the top. She looked up only for a second to acknowledge me and shift her papers but quickly resumed reading. Breakfast pastries filled containers atop the counter. Pictures of famous stars were framed as a border near the ceiling, all authenticated by autographs. Behind the counter, the man worked at his espresso machine to hand-craft my cup. He knocked the used grounds into the trash and poured fresh ones into his mechanism. He steamed my milk to perfection and sweetened the drink with prudence. To finish the feat, he dashed cinnamon on the frothed milk that settled perfectly at the rim. "Four dollars for the lady," he said. And it was worth every penny.
  Treats like these do not happen often. My checking account would scarcely allow it. Every once in a while it is good. Not to mention the pumpkin granola bar I snatched up for a snack complemented the cinnamon in my coffee as if they were sold as a pair. Without a chain or franchise to choose from, I am forced to look for locally-owned establishments in the seventies. I have yet to be disappointed.

Currently Listening: (rain falling on the city; my roommates are sleeping.)

Friday, October 19, 2012



  The unfortunate part of this tale is that this is the weekend before midterms and my scholarly heart never ceases to be overwhelmed. I feel ridiculous working so hard not to crumble under the pressure to do well. This is because as quickly as ominous tests are placed on my desk, they are then gone and all of the knowledge I have received and information I have pored over finds its way onto my paper in a somewhat orderly fashion. I know I will not fail. A healthy amount of fear never hurts to keep me buried in this semester's text and notes. The fortunate aspect is this beautiful gathering of flowers, sweets and pumpkins that rings in the fall season. I just want to make every recipe that involves pumpkin, spice, cinnamon and apples. I want to wander through an apple orchard, eating a warm apple pie with a hot cider in hand. It surrounds the season. It is what fall is made of. 
  And so I return to my reviewing. 

Currently Listening: (Nothing at the moment, for the pleasure of music is too distracting)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a note.

 The air is cold now. Scarves are a necessity rather than a fashionable accessory and my hands need to be warmed from the walks outside. It is months like these when I feel the absence of my sweet friend; one whose hands are always warm. That saying about the one that has cold hands is the one with a warm heart can only go so far. In my experience, it is possible to have both. I walk down the street next to Central Park when I am on the way home from work. I get to see small pieces of the zoo and parts of the field where people rest and read. The leaves are beginning to change and the trees sway their branches in the wind allowing the sun to peek through.
  Some days I just want to walk. It is a long trek to go from 70th to 34th; though some days it feels like it only takes a minute. With the right shoes and coat, one could walk anywhere. The smell of the sugared nuts wafts through the air as I pass the street vendors and each time I tell myself, "next time I will give in." Elderly couples hold hands while taking their afternoon stroll and the young hustle to their next generation. There must be something that we miss at this age. Perhaps we do not learn enough from the generation that was before us.
  At 59th I give in and head down into the subway station. This is partly due to the fact that passing "Strand" bookstore that sets up their booths just past the station is always too tempting. So onto Midtown I travel. I would recommend having a few dollars on hand when taking the long way home. A treat never hurts the journey.
  I hope this travels from cold hands to warm hearts. Enjoy the fall.

Currently Listening: "Homesick" by Kings of Convenience (How Fitting.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

upper east side.

One afternoon I took the six line uptown until I arrived at 68th street. I walked up the stairs, out of the subway station, and was surrounded by a large group of twenty-somethings engaged in conversation and lighting up cigarettes. The brisk air and beginnings of fall had people wrapped in scarves with their jackets stiffly zipped up over the layers of clothing. The free hands of the smokers were shoved into pockets trying to avoid the cold. Much of the city is filled with the stench of tobacco that rises up and out of the glowing, amber ashes. With a remnant of smoke in my nose, I decided to continue North towards the seventies and so I went up Lexington Avenue. Once I passed 70th street, the demographics changed and I was surrounded by only mothers, or nannies, with some young children. One little girl in a pink coat and tennis shoes called out to “Rosie,” who I assume was her nanny, asking her to wait while she practiced her dance routine in the reflection of the Juicy Couture display windows. The little girl showed no admiration for the items lit up behind the glass and I could not help but wonder how long it would be before that changed. Rosie graciously waited for the routine to get to the exciting finale and clapped for the girl as though it were the first time she had seen the show. Rosie clasped her coat at her neck and took the girl’s hand and they headed East. 
I decided to weave in and out of the avenues and streets to see more of the architecture in the area. The buildings were lower there and had an array of designs. Tall, glass-covered buildings from Midtown and the financial district were replaced with slivers of various colonial-style houses. It looked as though someone had cut portions out of those large homes and spliced them together on the streets of the seventies. Some sections were made of brick and some of stone, which created a small sense of individuality. With such small space in the city, there is little room for gardens and certainly no room for a backyard. Some of the steps leading up to the houses were adorned with bright yellow and burnt orange mums and round pumpkins greeted visitors at the doors. The buildings were inviting. It felt like communities of people lived in these homes unlike the thousands of people that simply coexist on hundreds of floors in apartment buildings across midtown.
I suddenly noticed the vacancy of the streets as I walked. There were no people. It could have been due to the time of day that I decided to go, but it was strange. The further North I meandered, the less city noise I heard. Car horns were replaced with a restful silence. I could even hear the click of the green lights changing to yellow and then red. Yellow taxis turned into black, private car-service vehicles and I felt the cold air settling into my coat. I was traveling towards 75th street when I looked to my right and noticed a coffee shop with a sign saying “Joe.” I chose to purchase their seasonal hot apple cider and was relieved to find that I had a few dollars in my wallet to pay at the cash-only establishment. Back out into the cold, I held my cup close and continued North. Extravagant boutiques lined the streets and I looked at the merchandise knowing I could never afford it and would never have an occasion to wear such attire. 
That part of town pulled me out of the rush of Midtown and provided an atmosphere of slower pace and leisure. I enjoyed the lower buildings. It was a friendly part of town and I felt less like a number and more like a person.

Currently Listening: "One Red Thread" by Blind Pilot

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the line.

I walk on a fine line in this city. I walk on one that divides my emotions somewhere between enamored and frustrated. These streets can do it to you. If nowhere else in the world can do it, New York City can.
  I travel home and with each step I notice the concrete sidewalk sparkling. It could have been the unique way that sunlight refracts off of the glass buildings here. I saw it shimmer like the glitter on the floor of a New Year's celebration. To my left, Bryant Park sits taking up a block of real estate and serving as a trace of nature among the crowds of 42nd street. Men, young and old, gather around the cafe in the park to learn the art of chess. They created an amateur-friendly place where even the freshest beginner can practice his growing passion. In a month or two, the green lawn, where the Thursday yoga classes just finished, will become a sheet of ice. City-dwellers and visitors will flock to the already crowded area to experience the holidays on an ice-skating rink. I am not excluded from the group of individuals that has dreamed of doing just that. I walk a bit further and the retail chain continues. Corporations, along with "mom and pops," border each block.

  It is all right there; the richest CEO and the homeless man juxtaposed on the corner of the street. Normalcy prevents the homeless from even approaching the black suit and tie. I am sure that feelings of inferiority and failure surface when that moment comes. They beg. Everywhere, they ask for means to ride the subway or voice their need of food. I guess it is hard to know what is helping. Does ignoring the problem make a difference? Does appeasing and supplying an apparent need help? These are thoughts that I tend to struggle with.
  Overwhelming is a good description. It is all encompassing and consuming. Sheer number alone, of people, places, sights, shows and opportunity galore covers each block. It is that time when school work is piled high and the most I get out is for riding the Subway to school or an early run to East River Park. I would recommend that run. The other morning the air was brisk and it carried me through the dimly lit streets. There will be more time. My loved ones keep telling me that it takes time. I am starting to believe them. Quite possibly, I expect too much of myself. It is one of those notions that is acknowledged but not always addressed. That too is a learning curve.
  We all need grace, even if it is giving it to ourselves. My sweet love reminded me today that I have never done this before. By "this" he meant moving to another state, taking on a very rigorous school load, working in a new environment, making new friends, living with roommates, and the list continues to encompass a few other things. It is a big step.
  I am pretty confident that I can do it. Maybe if someone asks me how I like the city in December I will reply with joy and a smile. I am working up to it. Don't be afraid to do big things. Don't be afraid to follow the Lord. Don't be afraid to not have it all together. That's all.

Currently Listening: "Hoquiam" by Damien Jurado

Saturday, September 8, 2012


  "The good writers are the ones that take the time to write every day," she says. We were wrapped up in discussing memoirs we read for class that day and those words continued to ring in my ears. Every day. I presume that it makes no difference if it is a well thought out piece of prose, or just the observation of what is around me. Writing does not seem like the type of art that you need to practice. Most of us place it into the category of being "gifted." The more I think about the words my teacher spoke that day, the more I agree with the proposition. Life is in no way mundane. I recently moved to New York City.. My days are full of new experiences and surprises. In hopes of becoming stronger in my writing, the challenge ensues. 

  What was meant to be a subway ride to the end of a transitional tunnel where the trains turn around turned out to be a happenstance wandering into Little Italy. It just so happened that a festival was going on and every street and restaurant in the sector were displaying their pride. Banners were displayed across streets. Street carts full of goodies lined the avenues and perked our interest enough to purchase a cannoli. We meandered along taking in all of the decoration, excited that our venture lead us into this part of the city. It was different there. Out of all the places in the city I have been, Little Italy felt the safest. It could be attributed to the family-friendly atmosphere that most Italians carry. It also could be the fact that I am finally settling into this place. No, not yet will I say that it is home, but I will gladly concede that it is feeling more like it. Something as simple as remembering where a subway station is, or taking the right train home, builds confidence in this way of life. 

  Could I be a city girl? I am not sure if I can leave my Southern roots back in the peach state and I doubt Southern charm ever hurt anyone.

Currently Listening: "England" by The National

Friday, August 31, 2012

i live here.

 It is no longer something talked about across the dinner table. It has left the category of a prospect and has shifted to reality. I live in New York City. I hear the sounds of sirens down on 34th while I am trying to fall asleep. I wake up to two roommates milling about in our quaint apartment. Personal space has been reduced to my person and that includes being on the streets of Manhattan.
  The question that often comes to mind when speaking to new classmates is, "Did you ever think you would end up in New York City?" I presume it surfaces due to the fact that I scarcely thought of this city, apart from a visit at Christmas time, as a place to call home. Home is more of a sacred term these days. Not to say that the city lacks charm, in many ways I enjoy it. There is just something about those people you love. Without even speaking you are confident of the way they value you. I know full well I am supported. Support just tends to come in the form of phone calls and skype sessions as opposed to hugs and the physical presence.
  In a city stuffed with millions of people from every walk of life, it amazes me how lonely one can feel.  Tears have flooded and fallen from my eyes more than once in this past week. In some moments I have verbally asked myself, "What am I doing here?" It is about an eternal perspective. It is about learning what it is like to trust the Lord when my bank account looks the way it does. If for nothing other than becoming a stronger woman of God, it would be enough.
  I made the mistake of asking the Lord to "do big things" in my life. That is a silly statement. Walking with the Lord for a while now, I know that asking the Lord for big things merely gives Him the opportunity to show His faithfulness to His children in a unique way. Apparently, not everyone in New York City is living by faith, believing the Lord to provide for his or her schooling; it just so happens to be the path I am traversing. If I believe that my God is the "God of the impossible," then I can continue to trust that not one thing I step into is too much for Him to handle. It's a journey, a precious one that can be robbed of its pleasure if we aren't careful.

Currently Listening: "England" by The National

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

two days.

  It is all too surreal. This feeling of wandering between two homes I assume will become a familiar one. Friends and loved ones shall remain here as I whisk off to the northern part of the country for my first step of a grand adventure. Without any clue as to what the Lord might be up to apart from attending an upstanding, business-casual wearing college in the heart of the financial district in New York City, I will move. The last days are filled with confused emotions accompanied by intermittent high's and low's. In speaking with veteran travelers, this seems to be normal. The funny thing is that normalcy is exactly what this is not. Packing all of my belongings to set out on my own is quite contrary to the life I have meandered these past nineteen years. If I had foreshadowed the volume involved in my packing,  I might have adjusted my spending in recent years.
  Pile on the logistics coupled with emotion coming from selling my very first car I bought only five short months ago. I find yet another area for myself to release control and believe that the One that holds me in the palm of His hand knows my needs. Craigslist is uncharted territory along with any idea on how to sell a car. Pressure for funds and more emotion in tow, I remember that all I can do is keep walking. "All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided." Words from hymns robotically sung on Sunday mornings cover my heart.
  Set aside the forming my belongings into tetris pieces sorted into boxes and phones calls and emails coming in concerning my car, compared to relationships those are simple. There is not enough time. Even in the best attempts to budget and shuffle, I come up in the red. No, forever is not to be forfeited, but feeling disappointment is difficult to bare. I am confident that the closest people love me. I do not question the support they give to me. Maybe the trick is getting better at this in time. Frankly, the more I reason and say that the packing will require less brain power and I won't have to dole out as many funds to things I will "need," I cannot believe that saying goodbye to any loved one for an extended season becomes automatic.
  Take my thoughts or leave them. Throughout this season I trust that may more will flow.

Currently Listening: The last quiet sounds of nights in the suburbs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a cycle.

  It is an inevitable cycle of today's worries passing into tomorrow's unknowns. Our energy is funneled into an emotional state of what could be and we, not purposefully, shut ourselves down. In most cases it is do to the inability to deal with the weight of uncertainty. We don't have to suffer below this gravity. I more often than not forget that I possess the power that conquered the grave within me. I have received a power that healed sickness, faced temptation and chose life, and carried the weight of sin so that I would not have to. I have been blessed on numerous accounts throughout my life. In a moment of heightened fear, I suddenly forget the truth that I have been taken care of. I always have what I need.
  I am learning. Nine days.

Currently Listening: "The Ballad of Love and Hate" by The Avett Brothers

Sunday, July 15, 2012

the city.

  The trip began with a stark contrast of fantasy and reality. As with most experiences, there is a built up expectation or belief of what will occur or be seen. Without even realizing it, in our minds we create an experience along with every feeling, smell and thought. To an even greater extent, we conjure up the people we should encounter and possibly the thoughts we will have. In my journey I found many of my thoughts to be disproved.
  My first steps in the big apple were greeted by heat and a constant flow of people. It seems that the Atlanta heat followed us North. It just so happened that we encountered record high heat this summer, the few days we were in the city. Contrary to popular belief, when stepping onto the streets of Manhattan, The Cranberries do not begin singing, "Dreams" in fall weather. No, to be honest, when looking at eye level the city is nothing special. People rush by you going both ways and we learned the hard way that figuring out the direction we should be going is best when standing outside the line of motion. Navigation is key when living amongst natives. Not many have a minute to spare helping out lost tourists, or prospective "home away from home-ers." Growing up in Paris, Jason was able to catch onto the inner workings of the subway and map of Manhattan. It was an experience like no other starting our first subway ride from Grand Central station. Some places just have that charm that causes you to stop where you are and take it all in.

  When one gets past the odor that rises from stagnant puddles on street corners and characters wearing an array of styles, you begin to develop a sweet spot for largest city in the states. I think the city changed for me when I saw it light up from the top of the empire state building after dusk. The beauty of a city is much different from that of the country, or more specifically suburbia. It is the architecture and well developed grid that amazed me. It all works. Everything from the tallest buildings to the acres of preserved foliage in the middle of a concrete jungle make the unique atmosphere that is called NYC.  

  Just a few steps into Central Park lowered the volume on the sounds of the city. The further we walked into the park, the less I could tell that I was still in the middle of a city. We sat on the grass and enjoyed a bagged lunch from Pret A Manger. Around us people were exercising, napping, and carrying on with their lives. This was normalcy. New York slowly became less daunting. A large section of the park is reserved for quiet relaxation. They refer to it as the Sheep's Meadow and restrict loud music or any organized play. Artists sat on their cots waiting for the peaked interest of a tourist to bring them some work. 

  We drank some of the best coffee and walked down some of the sweetest streets. Locals told us of their favorite spots and with the little time we had, our best efforts took us to Stumptown Coffee to enjoy some espresso. We dined at Lime Jungle with a couple of Jason's newlywed friends and tried some frozen yogurt from Pinkberry. No first trip to the city would be complete without food from a street vendor, so hot dogs and falafels were in tow soon after getting off of the bus the first day. 

  The last day we were in the city, I found the place I would love to live. An area in southwest Manhattan beginning near 16th street is called Chelsea. The buildings were much shorter, encompassing small apartments above mom and pop pizzerias and shops. Flower vendors were coupled on certain streets and the pace seemed to slow down. Instead of a few hundred people passing each minute, the number decreased to near twenty and we moseyed down the broken pavement. An older woman passed us on her way to work, dressed nicely in her business attire while riding her scooter to hasten her pace. Mom and I realized that most ladies had on flats or even tennis shoes with their skirts and dresses, saving their feet from the habitual walking that fills each day. We found Chelsea market and I believe that my heart swooned. A home of pretty things and coffee tends to welcome me warmly. I had thoughts of taking the subway there in winter months to warm my hands and heart on bitterly cold days. 

  "Free" was the name of the game. We tried to find the things we could do without spending a fortune. Someone mentioned the Staten Island Ferry to us and I am so glad they did. The subway took us down into the financial district and let us out at the Ground Zero memorial sight. Not without a detour, we found the ferry and floated across the river with others on their way home from work to catch a glimpse of the skyline and Lady Liberty. The statue sat right off the coast and welcomed all of the foreigners looking for a fresh start and new life. We remember the refuge we were and continue to be because of her. The ferry is a method of public transportation in New York. So as we used it to see a different part of the city, others rested their feet and eyes for the twenty minute ride. 

  It is a beautiful city. In a few short weeks I will call it home. Hopefully it will feel as though it is. I am not scared. Getting some time to be there made me settle into the idea of such a big move. It is an adventure. There will be much adjustment and a learning curve on how to live in a city. I have already seen the provision and the doors open for me to boldly walk into this season. My heart is preparing, but though it is, there will be hard moments, I am sure. 

Currently Listening: "Fever Dream" by Iron & Wine

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

look out nyc.

  A trip to the city shall begin this Monday. Obvious feelings of excitement and nerves are fluttering in my stomach, but the reality of the next season beginning surfaces a confidence in me. This assurance is nothing foreign nor common. It rushes in swiftly as though it was brought by the wind. To my knowledge and understanding, these feelings are not whimsical thoughts drifting in and out, but truths worth standing on and trusting in. Talk of visiting small bakeries and visiting all of the places I have only heard of in the movies causes joy to well up within me. A big step, such as a move into the "city that never sleeps," does not come without work. It would be nice if family members' emotions emerged rationally and feelings unscathed. There are moments that I believe the dealing with relationships due to moving is a certain degree more difficult than living there on my own. 
  As with any decision, people's opinions inevitably find their place floating amongst the sea of thoughts in our minds. Most people do not receive a handbook on how to successfully leave the nest in the best fashion. The "ripping off of the band-aid" idea tends to leave scars when it comes to this situation. Sitting down and discussing feelings, hurts and fears is much more difficult than picking everything up and leaving quickly. It looks much more like tending to each individual wound to ensure complete healing. It takes patience and humility; two things I am in need of daily. 
  Don't worry, it will all work out in the end. My first thought when hearing this places a passive responsibility upon my shoulders. I dare not be fooled to believe that is the truth. It works out when I choose to work on the relationship, miscommunication, or failings I inevitably encounter because I am human. I try? Is that what the catch is? Does wanting to make things better and trying to have a better attitude work everything out? I know that it would not hurt. It all boils down to, "He works all things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes." I love the Lord and I know that I am called. If I chose to be obedient in anything He asks me to do then I can be confident that I will find myself equipped with every tool I need to face a situation with love and grace. 
   Enjoy the summer sun. 

Currently Listening: "The Motherlode" by The Staves

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


  Even if it's by chance, do not pass through today without thinking of what you enjoyed about it. Before we know it, awaking becomes slumber and thoughts become dreams. Too easily I slip from one day into the next without taking a breath. Even when our days seem to fill up with activities that we enjoy, at times I feel like I am worried about what is next that I don't just sit and listen. I want to do what I like more often and waste time less often. A bunch of time in our hands leaves us with boredom, yet when we are busy all we can ask for is time. Unsatisfied and demanding creatures we are.
  Pages won't be left unread and a canvas won't be left blank. My afternoons will not become my mornings and my sleep will not cease to exist. This summer will pass before I begin to enjoy it if I am not careful. My warm autumns will turn cold and unknowns will become a familiar friend. But even in those things, I am called to today.

Currently Listening: "Hometown Glory" by Adele

Monday, May 21, 2012


  It came over an email. It carried weight, that almost insignificant word in every other circumstance. The news was no shock. Not to the effect that moving to New York should have on one girl of nineteen years of age. As if I could feel completely relieved and excited yet numb in that same instant. Thoughts of who i needed to tell crossed my mind but the overwhelming feeling of peace saturated my being. It was no longer a far off idea. A month or so of sending in the documents and awaiting a response was here. For some reason, one month felt like six. It is amazing how when we are caused to be in a season of waiting, time chooses to pass slower than we would like. But then how swiftly a few days turns into a month or two. In my head, I imagine perfect circumstances; days void of loneliness and time spent surrounded by encouragement and joy. Reality is, we rarely have perfect circumstances. I am not afraid. I don't in any way feel like this step is too high for me to climb. I know that if six months ago someone had told me New York City was on my horizon, my response could have easily become a laugh or roll of my eyes. Today it is real.
  Important decisions don't just happen. They are looked at, analyzed, given much attention and thought, but in the end I feel like that questioning was already decided at the beginning. I make no mistake in thinking that this transition will be easy. I have great confidence that it will be good.

Currently Listening: nothing at the moment.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


 Something initially created to replace the constant trade of goods, this invention swiftly turned its owner from being confident in bartering to dealing with worry in lack. It is paper, bills that hold value because men in tailored suits would say so; important because there will always be a need, more often a want, in the day to day life of an individual. People go to a job that may or may not be enjoyable to earn a sum that will soon be subtracted to level the account back to zero. Not to create a negative tone, but it is a currency. The world around us too quickly puts faith into these pieces of green that create a livelihood many dream of. I have found a confidence in saving my earnings. Month by month I see a number increasing that, even if I don't always realize it, brings a sense of security to my life. Through a series of events and applying to a school in the middle of Manhattan, I have seen a number greater than what I would be comfortable with prancing its way out of that account. Quickened heart beats leave me questioning where my faith stands.
  Furthermore, I conclude that money is an object. It makes the water heat up for a shower, the car run with gas and the house cool in the summer time. We need it on this Earth. I guess there is some nature inside of me that would like to "beat the system." A day of release and prayer has left me believing I already have. The Lord brought me the job that has provided for me to do well, save, purchase my first car, and send money in for school deposits. It was through Him giving me favor that I received commendation for work I put forth. It comes by Him and through Him to bring me to a greater place of confidence. "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills." A new area for me to learn how to trust, but I feel like I am ready. Our security should lie only in Him.

Currently Listening: "Instrumental" by 21 Grams

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

future things.


  We carefully bog ourselves down with such precision concerning the things to come. Thankfully, today I can say I am settled. Not that this is an anomaly, but there are some moments when you are sure. Maybe the trick is releasing your thoughts from the unknowns and solely focusing on what is known. We make decisions today that affect our tomorrow. Instead of reading that with a negative perspective, think about this: I can make good decisions today that will directly affect and better my day tomorrow. I can change my attitude towards a situation or person and aide in bringing about an encouraging end. I can face hard decisions with a humbled heart and know that it will bring about good. 
  Scary, fun, nerve-wracking, calming, and unexpected things happen in life. Through this my hope is that the character to carry me is produced. Even more so, I never have to walk through anything alone. In a few months I could potentially experience a grand culture shock and leave the only home I have ever known. The south might become a place I visit rather than inhabit and the next step in becoming me will begin.  Decisions will abruptly become my own. There might be people that don't like me very much, and possibly a few that enjoy my company and would like to be more than an acquaintance. Nights could be filled with finding a new restaurant or nice conversation over a cup of coffee. They also could be used doing DIY projects, keeping my mind of the ones closest to my heart that I miss at home. 
  I am not there yet. I could be soon. Truthfully, I am okay with the outcome. 

Currently Listening: Music for my final I have in a few minutes. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


"And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away." -- Steinbeck

  I do believe that sometimes the Lord might use other authors to speak to you. Not for the purpose of their words becoming His, but to remind us that He knows what our hearts are saying, thinking, or feeling. There are many pieces of this quote that I appreciate. 1) "Don't worry" -- the simplest saying yet can overwhelm your day if you don't choose to do it. We have no need to worry. 2) "The main thing is not to hurry" -- We want things done now, not tomorrow, or in a week. It rarely happens that everything we want to happen occurs according to our timetable. If we are "not worrying" then the hurry dissipates  and there is peace. 3) "Nothing good gets away" -- I feel as though this can be attributed to an effort we put forth along with the fact that we are promised good. There is a myth that tells us that something good in our life will always bring us good feelings, perfect situations and uplifting days. Truth is that it is how you respond and press through those moments that are certain to happen that forms a stronger, tight-knit relationship that will not crumble. 
  Take heart and choose truth. It is difficult to bear in the moment, but reaps sure reward.

Currently Listening: "Bittersweet Melodies" by Feist 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


 So it comes to today. Truthfully, it happens each morning, but sometimes it is just different. Insight or wisdom concerning a heart issue is brought to light. A truth starts to dispell a lie. We are overcomers. This day has too easily become one to hunt for an array of colored eggs while hoping that a basket full of goodies awaits us on the kitchen counter. I was reminded, as I am every year, of how wonderful it really was to have a perfect son, fully flesh, yet fully God, die on a cross to bear the weight of sin that we could have never been saved from otherwise. We celebrate this specific Sunday because we are alive in Christ and no longer dead in our sins; because honestly, dead is all we are without Him.
  Great things happened today. People will probably remember this Sunday for Watson winning his first Masters. Some might remember the excessive amount of brunch that was consumed and a remnant of belly ache from the extra piece of cake. I am so thankful to have a family that I was able to spend time with; those who care about what the Lord is putting on my heart and the path in which He is leading me. I am thankful that I can look back on this resurrection day and have tangible proof that the enemy has been defeated and the Lord has the victory. I am blessed. Though we may walk through difficult things in this life, if we choose to hold onto the Father, we are guaranteed victory.

Currently Listening: "Maraqopa" by Damien Jurado

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

what's easy.

  It is easy not to worry about things when you trust that it is all taken care of. The not so easy part is learning to completely, unfailingly, without fault trust that everything will be taken care of if you don't do anything. I have to come to a place of believing that not only will it close the door to worry, but things will be accomplished much more efficiently than I ever could have done. I think I am learning how to trust in this way. Part of me feels like it may take forever to fully stand in this place. I have to then realize that this does not mean that I won't learn to grow and graduate to new levels of this along the way. 
  People often say, "It is all going to work out." The truth is that it will. Especially if we follow Christ, it will not only work out but it will be for our good; to better us in some way and bring us strength that we did not have before. Just a nugget of my thoughts. It is truth.

Currently Listening: Nothing at the moment. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


So simple and sweet.

Currently Listening: No tune at the moment.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


  There is a saying that some of us are cut from the same cloth. Some have the same thoughts, likes, dislikes among other things. Possibly a response to a situation is similar to another's. Regardless of any and all of these things, I think the truth is that we are all cut from the same cloth. Sure a stitch here and there might differ but we are all human. We all feel things deeply and hope for things desperately. We want to keep peace with others that we love and fight the natural tendency to be selfish on a daily basis. We carry much more on our shoulders than we ought. We think, ponder, wonder and process situations or days trying to find a bit of explanation for what occurred. We get frustrated with our flesh and the lack of ability to know the purpose of every stroke on a canvas. 
  I won't figure it all out. I won't save everyone. I can't keep people from having disagreements. In my mind, life would be perfect; relationships would always be easy and hearts would never hurt. Even the closest and dearest to our hearts would remain in a constant place of peace. The truth is walking through difficult things and being stronger because of it makes the difficult moments bearable. We are responsible to express what weighs on our hearts and humbly prepare for a rebuke or an apology. We can love others to pieces and pray that the Lord would guide the relationship. 
  No piece of cloth is as beautiful in its individual threads as it is woven together. We all want to be whole. It is possible. Everything in this world will tell us it is not; I don't believe that is true. 

Currently Listening: "Werewolf" by Cat Power

Sunday, March 4, 2012

cake pops.

  So yesterday I decided I was going to attempt making these sweet treats that seem to be gaining popularity. After seeing a quick easy way to make them on a blog I am rather fond of, I bought the ingredients and began my new project. Being in the kitchen and learning how to make new recipes has become something my heart is really enjoying. For you who don't have much to do on an afternoon and want to make something easy but perfectly delicious, this is the recipe for you. It is simple. Bake what ever cake mix you would like in either two small pans or one large cake pan. I chose Red velvet just because it is delicious. After baking the cake, let it cool then take it out of the pan and put it into a large bowl. Word of the wise, this part is going to get messy. Cake pops are not for those that would rather keep their hands clean while baking. Add two cups of icing, I chose cream cheese icing, to the baked cake and mix, knead, and much it together until the icing seems to be evenly distributed throughout. Next, make about 2-3 tablespoons of the mix into small balls and place them on a cooking sheet. These will go into the freezer for 1-2 hours. I found the little lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart but pretty much and grocery store should have them. You will also need two packages of candy coating for the outside of the pops. When the cake pops are done freezing, take a lollipop stick, dip the end into the candy coating then stick into the cake ball. Next, you can simply dip the pop into the chocolate to cover the surface and remove letting the excess chocolate drip off. 
  It was quite simple and fun to do! The nice thing about the candy coating was that it hardened quickly allowing me to set the cake pops back on the tray without making one side flat. Happy baking!

Currently Listening: "Good Woman" by Cat Power

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just in case hand written letters weren't wonderful enough.

If at all possible, I would love to make one of these chairs for my future home.

Coffee seems to get better when drinking it out of an adorable mug. 
The company helps too.

The season for fresh fruit and fresh air is coming.

Currently Listening: "All I Need" by Radiohead