what I’m into, July.


just one or two notes here.

  • I know you might be tired of me talking about David Ramirez, but I.do.not.care. He released a new song on YouTube this month called “Stone.” I love David’s songs lately are about the artistic life, and this one is no different. His music works on your heart like few others. Here are some teaser lyrics, with the video below:

I get phone calls from fellow musicians

they all want to pick my brain

“should I do this or do that?

which trick from what hat?”

and they get sad when I tell them to just play.

offline reads:

  • Sisterhood Everlasting, the 5th Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, when the sisterhood is in their late twenties. Before you judge, let me sing praises of Ann Brashares. She writes beautiful, complex, dark-and-twisty characters. You knew these girls growing up, you might have been one of them. Her prose is inspiring and compelling artistry, and this book might be the crowning glory, though you need the others before you pick it up. She writes about adult friendship wonderfully and painfully. Let’s be honest– I cried all the way through this book, and I NEVER do that.
  • Speaking of Sin by Barbara Brown Taylor. I have so many feelings about this book, but I’ll just tell you that every other line was underlined, with either “YES” or “…ouch” written in the margins. This is one I will definitely recommend to people any time I am talking about sin. BBT’s theology is more pastoral, but whip-smart, so you’re getting solid theology on-the-ground. She beautifully finds the middle ground between extremes, convicting you along the way.


  • The “Online” vs. “Real Life” Myth, by Bethany Suckrow: “I’m not saying that we owe it to everyone on the internet to treat them like they’re our best friend. All it means is that we are just as responsible for treating people like they matter as we would if we were confronting them face-to-face.”
  • In which we do it anyway, by Sarah Bessey: “The world does not have enough because your part isn’t here yet, and if anything matters, everything matters, you matter, your book, your song, your art, your family, your faith, your hunger for justice, your voice, your peace making, your loving, your kindness, your battle to forgive, your hands, your feet, your mind, your life, matters.”
  • [because one SMFB post wasn’t enough] In which I choose to be a feminist in the way that Jesus would be a feminist, by Sarah Bessey: Because I follow Jesus, I want to see God’s redemptive movement for women arch towards justice. And God’s Kingdom tastes like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. My life should still bear the fruit of the Spirit out.I don’t get a free pass on discipleship because I’m a woman or a feminist or for any other reason.”
  • a tale of two meals, by Luke Harms [at Preston’s]:  “A decade later she still knew how to put him at ease. His heart was just learning how to feel again, but every feeling was as fragile as winter’s first snowflakes. He dared not grasp them too tightly, for fear they’d melt away in his hand.”
  • First World Problems, by Alise Wright: “Sometimes we need compassion even when we’re doing the things we love. Sometimes we need kindness even if our problems aren’t as stark as someone else’s. Sometimes we need a sympathetic ear even if it’s just to talk about someone being mean to us on the internet.”
  • Prodigal Daughter, by Esther Emery: “And all the time I’m thinking about community. My whole model of self-sufficiency in faith, of trusting in God’s abundance — the thing is, you can’t do it by yourself. Maybe for forty days, or for a prophet, you can wander in the hills. But I can’t feed my baby with bugs and honey.”
  • Intertwined With the Poor: What the Missional Movement Lacks, by Lyndsey Graves: “And when we meet that person to whom we finally matter, it turns out we don’t really care how they’re dressed or what they look like or whether their organization implements a cool graphic design strategy. ” I hope we learn to just love people, even if we’re afraid that they’re too dirty for us or that we’re not cool enough for them.”
  • The Luxurious Stream of Conciousness, by Seth Haines: “There are, however, ways to re-harmonize self to self, analog to digital, hypocrite to healed. There are prescriptions for remembering who you are and why you’re here…” [just go read this whole thing right now. it’s hard to pull just one quote.]
  • One True Essential, by Winn Collier: “There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to find a person who’s given themselves to a cause and then, amid their fervid exertion, completely lost themselves in it. Now, only a shell of a human remains, barking burdensome platitudes. The truth is, however, contemplatives struggle just the same.”
  • Church, by Kiefer Lloyd Partridge: “The red stage-glow spills out between the doors and the band is playing “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and I think that, well, this is happening.” [again, just read this piece of beauty. I could quote the whole thing.
  • when my life is in boxes, by sarah lynn: “It is the catch and release. In the space between the tug of the oar in your hands, and the fly of the glimmering fish back into the sea, there is joy and grief. And sometimes this means standing on furniture embracing the wild life. And sometimes it means lying awake clouded with worry that maybe you did not hear right, and maybe you are better off staying.”


  • The poem, “The Journey” by David Whyte, put in front of my face by Hilary. And oh, how glad I am that she did. It has been playing in the back of my mind all month. I need it. That link also includes a video of Whyte reciting the poem, beautifully. Listen to it, please. Then also read this poem, too.
  • Amoebas do it better.This tumblr makes me die every time. It doesn’t hurt that it was created by two Waco-to-Austin transplants I like a whole lot. [they also starred in this mockumentary that makes me cry with all the funny every time I watch.] here’s an amoeba teaser:

my favorite kind of quirky humor.

  • 10 signs you’re gluten intolerant. I think of this post when I want to “cheat” at this whole gluten thing, even though I was professionally diagnosed. (but really you guys. Cider just isn’t cutting it for me. I miss beer.)
  • Some people have been asking about cold-brew coffee methods because I tweet about it so dang much. I use a full-immersion method that’s kindof a mashup of this recipe and this one. [I use a medium roast, freshly [coarse] ground coffee as close to the roast date as possible, with a 1:1 ratio, ie. 8 oz coffee : 8 oz water. Just start experimenting! ]
  • this sneaky racoon:
  • This quote I returned to after a long while:

“It is more difficult to find the Creator in a barbecue sandwich than in your favorite Sunday-morning song, but when you do, when you begin to find Him in all the stuff of life, everything starts singing. Every moment breaks into song. Every breath becomes sacrifice, and the songs become sweetness. This is living praise.”

David Crowder, Praise Habit

to wear:

  • I’ve been on the lookout for a good medium berry shade. I samples MK’s Berry Kiss this month, and really liked it. [by the way, classic red and berry shades are almost universally flattering across skin tones. you’re welcome.]
  • let me tell you about my new favorite thing: Too Faced’s lip primer. It keeps nearly every lipstick of mine from transferring or fading. I’ve noticed it’s especially great for drugstore brands, and for non-matte shades that tend to slide off (at least on me!) It’s a little pricey, so it was my birthday present to myself. BUT I would do it again. A little goes a long way and it’s totally worth it.
  • I never thought I would wear a light purple nail polish like Revlon’s Flirt, but I am IN LOVE.


July was chock-full of seeing all. the. people. before I leave the state. Which I totally loved, of course, but I was way busy. Part of me wished I had more of a chance to stop and smell the roses, but in another way, keeping busy toward the end of the summer was a good thing.

  • I spent the weekend with my beautiful, wonderful, very-pregnant friend Jenni in San Antonio. We lazed around, and swam, and riverwalked it up with her husband, Colten. I just love that i got to see them this month. They are so dear to me.

Jenni, me. pool timez.

  • on the way to San Antonio, I stopped in Austin to have dinner with the most amazing group of women I primarily know from the Twitters– @JRGoudeau, @EloraNicole, and @ShaneyIrene. The internet is cool that way sometimes. They are fierce and incredibly loving and believe all the things. I’m sorry we didn’t get started on these outings sooner!

and THIS TIME, we got photo evidence, though this picture belongs to @JRGoudeau, I believe. These be some badass women.

  • #sistersummercamp began as soon as I got back into town from San Antonio. For a wealth of logistic reasons, I was the replacement for my sister Isabella’s week at church camp. BUT HELLO SHE GOT A PRETTY GOOD DEAL. I mean, I had to work quite a bit, but we also museum-ed, tie-dyed, snuck snacks into Monsters U (eh), and Despicable Me 2 (love). Plus other sisterly fun things. The week flew right by! I loved getting to spend some one-on-one time with my goofy, but whip-smart sister. Plus we take adorable pictures together:

amIright? no, we are not twins. she is 5 inches taller and 7 years younger. ugh genes.

  • [[Erica’s apartment had a bug problem this month, which meant she had to got to spend a week with me! I loved it so much, you’d think I sabotaged her apartment. But I totally didn’t. Even though it was a good idea. If I’d had it.]]
  • I visited Houston to have brunch the best company. From the Old Testament to The Conjuring to Twitter to Pentacostalism to Jesus– the haphazard, gracefilled conversations turned it into one of the best brunches of my life. Can’t explain all the reasons here.
  • While I was around Houston, Preston and I stuffed our faces with Thai food and watched the entirety of the YouTube series The Most Popular Girls in School. Judge us. Fine. I don’t know if it helps or hurts that we paired all that with lots of real talk about church, Eucharist, breviaries, speaking in tongues and blah blah blah all the usual things. Meh. Such is our crazy-ass friendship.
  • I’m making the move next week after returning from family time in NM. I’m ready and not ready, anxious for it and dreading it all at once. Seems about right, I guess. Alia and I will be trekking cross-country; you should follow along on Twitter. Should me memorable.

what I wish I was into:

  • getting my mind around student loans. OMG hate money.
  • registering for classes (it’s happening WAY too close to the start of term for my comfort).
  • magically not being gluten intolerant. I miss dark beer and ignorance.


linking up with the great Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Now it’s your turn! What have you been up to/reading/listening to/wearing? Leave a note in the comments!


what I’m into, June.


real talk– I’ve been alternating between the top 40 and the stray Johnny Cash CD in my car. With technology more or less against me, it’s inhibited my tune immersion.

  • I’m into Tswift’s ’22,’ like everyone else.
  • And I can’t get Macklemore out of my head. Ever.
  • Otherwise, I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend’s new album, Modern Vampires of the City, and it. is. amazing.

offline reads:

  • I had to put down When Women Were Birds, without finishing it. how’s THAT for internet honesty? (sorry, Elora.) For the first half I was swept away and thrilled to be reading memoir again [and it even inspired a post], and then I got bored and wanted to be reading other things. oopsies.
  • Hugo Rahner’s Man at Play. MAN OH MAN this book makes me want to flail and read it out loud to all my friends. Both of which I have done. I am only a third of the way through, but eating it up. Academic but totally beautiful, this little book is saving me right now. His focus is the character of God as playful and delighted in creation, as well as humanity’s mirroring of God when we create. There’s a LOT more in there about exactly how serious/playful we should be in regard to ourselves and to God that makes me want to cheer. None of this is doing it justice, either. Sorry. I was able to find a fluke $10 copy, but you might have to troll for a while before you find reasonably priced ones (probably used.) I have been tweeting/instagramming bits of it, too, so follow along!


  • Been back in Rilke’s poetry again.Love, so much love.



  • something I remembered when I stopped reading When Women Were Birds:


  • flowers. forever. these were from my family for my birthday:


  • Shiner’s Ruby Redbird beer. Don’t judge, it’s delicious and tastes like summer.
  • Frappuccinos. DON’T. JUDGE.
  • This quote from Poisonwood Bible I remembered recently:https://i2.wp.com/distilleryimage3.s3.amazonaws.com/d2e0565cdd1411e2b45822000aeb1036_7.jpg
  • This apartment tour. I want to live here.
  • some awesome sacramental tweets:

The sacraments help get God out of my head and into my hands…into the scent, sound and feel of this earth.

— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) June 18, 2013

The Eucharist is mysterious but not ambiguous. God is good to give us tangible grace we can taste & feel to tether our ambiguous lives.

— Jonathan Martin (@renovatuspastor) June 12, 2013


The apartment I’ve been living in for the summer is currently fresh outta internet. BUT it does have all the Arrested Development seasons on DVD. So I have been watching them like MAD for the first time. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long, but I am also at the right point to watch them. It has been glorious. Buster forever.

to wear:

apparently, all I have to say about this is lipstick. shocking.

  • NYX’s soft matte lip cream. It’s like soft liquid lipstick and it is magical. and it smells like makeup did in middle school, which is awesome. I’m loving the shade Antwerp.


  • dates with Maggie Holland. and ambiguously flavored margs:


  • I somehow found myself in an impromptu movie night club that is exactly the kind of summer lazy fun I love. It’s brought together a bunch of great characters I’m surprised weren’t friends before. so. good.
  • childishly running away to the snocone stand with Maggie Griffin to talk about grownup things. REAL LIFE IS SO FAST.
  • tweep meetups in real life! this month I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Bleser for a (too short!) coffee and Myers-Briggs gush session, and Mary Vasquez for beers and a lipstick run and swears and life plan talks. All the good. And then of course there was Connor Park’s whole weekend visit to Texas, replete with intense theater, quasi-cool Waco First Friday events, kayaking, brisket, meeting outrageous people at Mexican restaurants and a lot of real talk on Alia’s kitchen floor–full of crazy and peace all at once. Like totally normal.
  • my family came to Waco for a visit! I think six months was my longest stint without seeing them, so I was sure glad to just be around them for a while. We are loud and ridiculous and probably too quick to speak and just live on top of each other and it’s a lot but it’s also home. I’m glad I’ll get to see them again before I head east.
  • I turned 23 this month! The night before I headed up to Dallas to hang with friends up there, including Jerry and Alia, whom I have mentioned here a zillion times before. The next morning, Alia and I had breakfast at Oddfellows just down the street from her place and OMG beignets. I had to return to work that day, but Maggie Holland surprised me with lunch and I snagged some fun with friends before the night was over. Grateful for all the birthday love as well as the comments on that post! Birthdays are a chance for gratitude and hope and I love them.
  • Jerry and I roadtripped down to the Houston area to listen to Preston preach this amazing sermon, but also mostly to snag some quality time with him and Sara. Hello, look at this picture. We are adorable:

stolen from @saralemister’s instagram. oh, P also got called a rockstar very emphatically. as we tried so hard to control our laughter.

  • and then the very next weekend, Sara and Preston turned right around and trekked up to Waco, somewhat unexpectedly, but in the absolutely veryverybest kind of way. Friday I found out I had to be out of my apartment by Sunday and then I commenced to freak out and then Preston and Jacob and Chris helped me pile my few belongings into a HUGE truck I had to drive across town. Specific thanks to Preston for moving things in the terrible heat when he felt sickly, to Jacob for graciously sharing storage space, and to Chris for helping even when I hadn’t told him I was moving! Huge props and thanks to those guys. Not to mention Erica’s immense help planning/packing the day before. I HAVE AWESOME FRIENDS is the moral of this story.
  • AND THEN Alia came to see me just for the afternoon and for a few minutes I was high on the fact that some of my very favorite people from different parts of my life were all in the same coffeeshop. #extrovert
  • it’s threaded in there, but getting to spend time this month with Preston and Jerry, separately and together, meant the world to me. Since life is happening fast, I know that in a way, these days are precious, and I am grateful to have them. Words aren’t enough.

what I wish I was into:

  • reading all the things I’ve been meaning to read all summer in this remaining month.
  • being OK with leaving Waco SO SOON.
  • the humidity
  • my hair. period. so done.
  • getting over allergies.


linking up with the great Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Now it’s your turn! What have you been up to/reading/listening to/wearing? Leave a note in the comments!

what I’m into, May.


This month, the college priest at St. Paul’s did a lot of traveling, so I made her a Spotify mixtape. And I am pretty proud of it, as evidenced by my non-stop listening:

…when I wasn’t streaming Vampire Weekend’s new album. must buy soon.

I’m also really liking this Spotify playlist:

offline reads:

I just want to read all the things (I especially need some more saints in my life this summer), but my schedule and inattention are making that difficult. New additions to the list of books I’m in the middle of are When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams (I keep thinking I don’t like it, but then think about passages for DAYS), and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by L’Engle. They were finds at the used bookstore where I was trying to dump off books. Oops.


  • “I’m the girl who always wants the voice from heaven reassurance. I’m the girl who expects Him to say it loud and say it obvious, a gold star on my forehead at the end of each day, an answer when I worry.” [From to grow wings, by Hilary]
  • “I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve left a one-sided conversation with an acquaintance and thought 1) they wanted me to be their non-paid therapist and 2) they didn’t ask me one question- I never got to catch the ball. It’s no wonder I leave those people feeling depleted.” [From One Good Phrase: Conversation is Like…, Leigh at Micha’s].
  • “There are mystics on my bookshelf. Reformation thinkers. Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox. Jews. // I am trying to make my heart look like my bookshelf. I am trying to cobble together enough fragments of those who have encountered Him that at the end of all things I may say that though I have not seen in full, I have seen in myriad part.” [From when i am listening for a common language, by Preston.]
  • “And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope.” [From Depression Part Two at Hyperbole and a Half. so much aching truth here, though there’s certainly more to this conversation. TW: depression, suicidal ideation.]
  • “It is now acceptable in the Church to say I’m a believer but I doubt. […] Maybe one of these days in the Church it’ll be acceptable to say I’m a believer but I’m sad.” [From Therefore, by John]
  • “No one would fear being taller than her husband. Nerd girls would just be nerds. Men, we’d discover, are natural nurturers. To say you run like a girl would be an esteemed compliment. Husband and wives would share dreams and household chores.” [From If Women Ran {Half} the World, by Brandy.]
  • “And I don’t know how to give him a faith footing except tell him the truth over and over again. God is here. I say it every night, and every night we, both of us, struggle to work it out in our minds.” [From One Good Phrase: God is Here, by Addie at Micha’s. What a series, huh?]
  • “In other words, cancer is a complex disease. This is why it’s important for women to be cautious and remember the real purpose behind Jolie’s op-ed and very public decision. Jolie’s choice was right because it was right for her, not because it’s what all women should do.” [From Angelina Jolie and Every Woman’s Choice, by Bethany. SO important]
  • “And because I’ve believed those things about myself for so long, I sometimes don’t expect myself to be anything other than a punchline.” [From Change the Story, by Shauna.]


“The voices in the market would drown out Wisdom. They would divide us by ideology, distract us with worries–with the thousand things we must know and do. And still, beneath that dull roar of the crowd, Wisdom keeps calling to her children, to us all adopted sons and daughters of the father, brothers and sisters of Christ, children of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom cries out to the quiet of our hearts. She teaches us with the vulnerable moments of our lives.” 

— Rev. Josephine Robertson


  • I am marathoning through Cheers after finishing Frasier in its entirety. I know, I know. I have also seen every episode of M*A*S*H, so sue me. (also, Diane Chambers is a crazy. So far, I’m liking Rebecca better. I am not, however, enjoying the harsh dichotomy of loopy-crazy-girly-romantic-flighty in Diane, and Rebecca, who is a much stronger character, but is portrayed as an ice woman b*tch.)
  • Arrested Development…..season 1. I’m so late to this game. But I love it.
  • My go-tos, Mindy Project (that haircut!) and Grey’s (that Arizona!) are wrapped up for now, so I’ll be putting my energy toward So You Think You Can Dance, Mad Men, and more Arrested Development.

to wear:

  • I decided to get cray prepared for Texas summer when it comes to my skin, aka my other face suit (let’s be honest, my hair will be up for the next three months.) This means 1. sunscreen. daily.  did I mention I live in Texas?   2. combating the oily-gross feeling and look that comes to stay when we kick it in the high 90s. Right now, I am loving Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer as a makeup replacement for this season. SPF 30, lightweight, awesome. As it turns out, keeping your skin hydrated combats oiliness. Science, guys. [Here’s the rub: it only comes in light shades. I’m pretty fair and I use their darkest one. It seems like Garnier has a similar product in a wider shade range, though. I’m curious.] I’m also lightly exfoliating every. day. and not skipping the moisturizer. my skin is the best it’s ever been.
  • …ok but I still love that Revlon stuff. “It girl” is a great soft-but-somehow-punchy pink, a nice break from the bold reds I like.
  • I have an excuse to wear Chacos again! love them forever.


  • Maggie and I have been friends since she let me hitch a ride to Dallas Freshman year of college. A zillion snowcones, games of bananagrams, and One Direction songs later, I was able to be her bridesmaid! It was so special to think back on a college lifetime of memories as she tied the knot with Byron. #teamGriffinweds. such a sweeeeeet couple.

photo cred: Kaytlyn Fuller

me and the GORGEOUS bride.

  • The verynextday I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church! It all came together quickly, but was over a year in the brewing, if that makes sense. I plan on telling more about this soon. I was so crazy-blessed to take a phalanx of people I love up there with me, to pray over me with Bishop Fisher. It was a day to reflect on my journey in the past few years, to accept this crazy-beautiful swatch of the Church as my people, without that meaning any more or less than what it needs to. Confirmation in the sacramental sense is also about being commissioned with the love and good news of Christ, and opening up to a new kind of grace in spiritual maturity, though we never stop growing. I am still thinking and praying about that last half.

beautiful day, beautiful friends. // photo stolen from Caroline Barta’s facebook

  • along those lines, May has felt like a really special time spent with people from the Episcopal Student Center. Though part of me wonders how things would have been if I had been involved when I was actually in college, I believe I joined them at the right time. I am so grateful for their open arms and grace this past year.

graduating/leaving students at St. Paul’s. // stolen from @reverinjean on instagram.

  • Erica and I went up to Dallas this month to check the gallery scene for her purposes and to hang with Alia. I just really like it when people I love from different parts of my life are together. I somehow found myself with an exceptional group of friends.
  • Speaking of exceptional friends, Jenni came to Waco this month for Baylor’s graduation! I cannot say enough how much I love this girl. Our blind-facebook-friendship-crush when we were BABIES somehow brought us all the way to this point, with a rich and wonderful friendship. ALSO SHE’S HAVING A BABY GIRL THIS FALL. I get to be Auntie Dino. Because reasons.

totes hun-cal froyo with Jenni. // stolen from her facebook.

  • I have paid serious attention to making my own cold-brew coffee concentrate, since that is my summer addiction. I have none of the appropriate tools, but I believe since I have been using really quality coffee, my results have not sucked. I find myself laughing at how crazy I have made the process. I have been using a version of this method.
  • This summer, I am taking care of Jerry’s dog, Bandit. Think dog from the movie Up, and you’re pretty close. He’s been a good buddy so far!

German Shepherd-Chow. just look at those socks.

Jenni and Bandit. This is a typical wake-up call.

what I wish I was into:

  • knowing things adults are supposed to know about normal life things.
  • not worrying so much about the move to NC. Logistics overwhelm me easily.
  • being brave enough to actually chopping off my hair. as it is, my hair will probably be up for the entirety of the summer, like I said.


linking up with the great Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Now it’s your turn! What have you been up to/reading/listening to/wearing? Leave a note in the comments!

what i’m into, April.

Linking up again with Leigh Kramer to share the stuff I’ve been listening to/reading/wearing/doing/all that jazz in the month of April. I love these fun posts, and I hope you do, too. Enjoy!


This month’s music goes to the hipster live shows I was able to attend during April. Somehow, Waco manages to bring in a bunch of great music on a pretty regular basis. Surprising, I know. (mostly it’s because we’re smack dab between Austin and Dallas, but.)

David Ramirez

  • David Ramirez. If you’ve been paying attention to these posts, you know I love this guy. I’m so excited his new EP comes out next week, and I have loved listening to singles as he releases them on youtube. One of the new ones is The Forgiven, which is worth a listen if you’re inclined to think about singing redemption songs, so to speak. Friends and Family gets me thinking of the messiness of Church, and the people closest to us. Findthe Light is the blessing I desperately want to sing over everyone I love.

    Lomelda. // Waco Life.

  • Lomelda. Again, you should know by now I love these insanely talented peeps. They sing a lot of dying songs, but there’s an underlying hope in Resurrection threaded in, if you pay attention. I prayed a lot with the song “Darkness” on this album in the fall, and think it should be part of the Kathleen Norris-Aquinas bundle I hand to people when I want to talk about acedia.
  • Marmalakes. These guys arebased out of Austin, and are a trip to watch perform. Their recorded stuff is pretty rad, too. Folksy-pop fun.
  • Ancient Cat Society. I’ve been a fan of Haley Barnes’s voice for a long time now, and really like of this funny-named music project she’s a part of. Here’s a fun song from them:

offline reads

  • More Aquinas. Duh. This week is the end of that class, and I am SO sad about it. It has been crazy how well the topics in class (schism, unity, and scandal) have coincided with much of the things happening on the interwebs lately. Thomas would have shut a bunch of this mess down, yo.


  • ok, these two aren’t blogposts, but must-listens. I’ve shared homilies from St. Paul’s before, but these you absolutely must listen to (they’re short, because Episcopal, haha.): this first one is from Fr. Chuck, the Sunday after the week everything seemed to fall apart. As Chuck points out, the lectionary readings were mysteriously just right for such a week, and he beautifully and graciously ties the loose ends together.  This second one was from Amma Erin Jean, on college Sunday. With humor and love, she speaks peace and hope for those in transition. I’ll be holding on to both of these.
  • My C-Word: An Introduction, by Tina Francis if you carry baggage with the word “Christian” (yeah, spoiler). Particularly if you find yourself between traditions.
  • Jesus, This Week, by the Onion (lots of swears warning), if you needed a cry-laugh over that Terrible Week.
  • The Place that Shapes Me, by Sarah Bessey, if you feel called to stay put [or even if you don’t. just read this now please.]

I count all of the above proof that the internet is still a good place to be. and this is the edited version, ya’ll.


  • As part of my love of The Mindy Project and since this perfectly describes my life (also I really like that best friends are like cake): http://southofsunset.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/best-friend.png
  • The wonderful Esther Emery left this beautiful comment around these parts, and this image has been my background ever since. (and yes I realize the image is of the sun but-that-is-what-I-had-to-work-with-at-the-time so you can just deal):



  • The Mindy Project‘s “my cool Christian boyfriend” episode. THE BEST. Maybe I should be offended, but I don’t even care.
  • I realized that I was behind on Happy Endings which is a TRAVESTY. Still working on catching up. I do NOT understand why Fox won’t let us watch it on the iPad, because that is the whole problem.
  • I finally finished ALL of Frasier–it’s taken about a year. (If Will & Grace or M*A*S*H ever come to Netflix, I’m doomed.) So, naturally, I’m going backwards into Cheers.

to wear:

  • Kerfuffle nail polish by Butter. This stuff is….OK. I know people who swear by Butter polish, but while I LOVED the pinky-coral color, I had a hard time not streaking it. Somehow, I got best results using a matte topcoat. I also realized I’m not much into pastels, though I secretly wish I was. All in all, not worth the price.
  • HEB’s nail polish brand, Orchid. I’m so upset I’m just now discovering this in my last months in Texas.
  • Revlon’s matte topcoat polish (drugstore). In LOVE. Lasts longer, doesn’t crackle. Depends on what shade you use it with, ’cause it can look chalky, but I put it on top of a bright red and it looked great.
  • Revlon’s Ultimate Suede lipstick, in Finale. Listen. It’s drugstore-cheap, but Revlon does lipstick right. Great pigment, low maintenance. I’m a fan of this red that’ll take me into summer (it’s also what I’m wearing in my blog pic! check it.)
  • Somehow I became the person who has all gold accessories. We’ll see how long this lasts.
  • I found this great cardigan that I cannot find a picture of in bright chartreuse, and I’ve been wearing it nonstop (good thing I got it out of my system because temperature’s rising, ya’ll.) Here’s a pretty close color match: https://i2.wp.com/blog.myinsidesign.com/files/2012/08/chartreuse.png


  • before the week from hell began, Alia and I made a beautiful brunch for her family. Brunch always wins, ya’ll.


    Keeping up with the Tavakolians.

  • Caroline came to Waco, and wrapped things in inappropriate venues:



  • I visited Duke Div for admitted students day! [after Shaney OHSO generously took me to the airport before God was awake. I mean. WHOA.] It was definitely reassuring to hear about the program again, and to meet some of my fellow incoming first-year classmates. It’s crazy how I feel like the program has become an even better fit since I visited in the Fall. I’m all kinds of nervousexcited to see where things go in the years to come.

    Duke Chapel, right next to the Div school. That thing is TALL.

  • On that trip, I was able to meet up with some of you lovely internet folk IRL, including the crazytalented Kiefer and the thoughtful, gracious Anna. The funny and humbling thing about real-life meetings is the clumsiness that entails. Between confused meetup times and drinks accidentally paid for, it all got really real, real fast. But putting faces and hugs to @twitterhandles is one of my favorite things, and makes all of this cray worthwhile. [[and I am SO MAD we did not get instagram evidence, guys. ugh.]]
  • UM HELLO, my friends Dianna and Preston ARE WRITING BOOKS AND THEN THEY WILL BE PUBLISHED AND THEN EVERYONE WILL READ THEM AND THEY ARE GETTING PAID TO DO THAT. ok, basically that is my crazy-excited way of freaking out about their wonderful news. Put both of them on your reading list, folks. CHANGING THE WORLD.
  • AND WHILE I AM YELLING ONE OF MY BESTIES GOT ENGAGED! Cannot even deal. I am SO thrilled for Jerry and Elliott (you can call her Ellzbellz, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in favor of that.) I could just explode with all the squeals I have about it, but I’ll let you WOW over this picture instead:

    I mean. I have attractive friends, guys. Good thing they are both top-notch humans as well. // photo totally stolen from Jerry’s fb.


  • Lots of love for my church, St. Paul’s, this month. This week was a series of send-offs and blessings for those of us in the college-ish ministry graduating and/or leaving Waco. I have been so blessed by the community at St. Paul’s and by the open arms of the student center this year. Sunday was a kind of last-hurrah, while the Tuesday night Eucharist service included a closer time of prayer and commissioning. It has all truly been a wonderful gift.

    the ‘leaving’ group. // stolen from @reverinjean’s instagram feed.

  • This was also the month that I made a decision that was in a lot of ways a long time coming, but transpired very quickly: I’m to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church, as part of the worldwide Anglican communion on Cinco de Mayo! #awesomelyappropriate. I’m glad to be able to reaffirm my faith with my friends around me, and to acknowledge the growth I have gone through in the past few years, as well as the community in which I was able to do so. Cheers! 

what I wish I was into:

  • being on time. anywhere.
  • taking the plunge and chopping off all my hair. yeeeeep.


Your turn! What are you reading/wearing/doing/loving?

What I'm Into site

what i’m into, March.


the ladies with weird symbols in their names take the music cake this time around, ya’ll.

Emeli Sandé. This girl can saang. You might have heard “Next to Me” on the radio, but this whole album is gold.

and OH MAN. Anaïs Mitchell. Word. Seth Haines wouldn’t shut up about her on Twitter, and I’m glad. She is a storyteller with just a haunting voice. Finding literary allusions in her music is a fun game; and the folk-opera rendering of the myth of Orpheus is just breathtaking:

offline reads:

  • honestly? not much besides class things. But? I think Thomas Aquinas’s Question on Acedia in 2a2ae of the Summa Theologica should be handed out with Kathleen Norris’s Acedia & Me. Last week’s reading and discussion made me weep from truth: both the facing of my own sin, as well as hope for finding a way out.
  • [also, still reading Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine. I’m resisting finishing this book, because I always want there to be another chapter. Look for some reflections and reactions on it soon!]
  • [also also: re-reading Lauren Winner’s Still. Because my heart needs it again. So. That.]


*pops knuckles.* here we go:

  • for grace in darkness and broken fragments and words we don’t have, Kiefer’s loss.
  • for any of you in or anticipating a “between space,” Connor’s Gap Season.
  • for those ashamed of the stupid things Christians sometimes do, but fiercely believe in the good news of Christ, Rachel’s Ashamed. And for those who can’t seem to shake the doubt this season, her Holy Week for Doubters.
  • for when “just give me Jesus” doesn’t seem to be enough, Addie’s God-Shaped Hole.

just-good clicks:

  • My friend Dylan’s tumblr, which is a strange-amazing combination of leather craft and beautiful photography. One of my favorites:

by Dylan Washington


  • Mindy Project is stealing my heart, still.
  • Ok, maybe I haven’t written off Grey’s like I thought I would.
  • I haven’t watched the final episode of 30Rock yet (denial), but I’m considering starting the series over and slowly watching them all again. (withdrawals).
  • FINALLY started watching Arrested Development for the first time. Oh. My. Word.
  • Not TV, but I saw Silver Linings Playbook, and now I understand the hype. So good.

to wear:

  • Essie’s tart deco. aka my favorite coral nail polish. [currently on the lookout for the perfect topcoat. tell me yours in the comments?]
  • I know I’ve talked up Mary Kay a lot to the point of my mom [in all seriousness] asking me if I had secretly become a consultant. But I’m honestly that in love. Their Sunset lipstick is a great deep-pink-to-coral go-to and magically fits with whatever you’re wearing. I’ve never understood blush as a product until I found their cream blush, and I use their cream eye color every day because it’s so natural and fresh and doesn’t come off. I’ve just started using their skin care line, and so far, so good.
  • I know I’ve posted this lipstick before, but I just wanted to let you know that Sephora’s Royal Raspberry still works in springtime. And is still fabulous. I know you were worried.
  • Coral. Teal. Yellow. Repeat.
  • This cheapo-but-fabulous satchel from Target. Internet, if you can find me a replica of this that will not fall apart in 3 wears, lemme know.



  • Started taking care of my hair for the first time since like, graduation. Cut, color, health. [Thinking of doing something drastic. Stay tuned.]
  • Watching all the Vatican action at the office. Pretty sure I have a Pope Crush. Am I allowed to say that?
  • Erica‘s solo show at the Croft Art Gallery on Austin in Waco. (Confusing, I know.) She is so, so talented. She is a thoughtful, process-oriented painter, and it is amazing to hear her talk about her work, and to see other people enjoy it. Watch out, world.
  • taking blog pics with Maggie Emerson-soon-be-Griffin! check out my About page. You’ll see the one that beat out this gem:

death vignette.

  • did a bit of pup-sitting over spring break:

Gus (miniature Schnauzer puppy) & Bandit (full-grown German Shepherd/Chow).
Craziest, sweetest week ever.

  • I got to meet Christy and Dan McFerren! Such a sweet and soul-good time talking with them, in Waco of all places. Love it.
  • Inspired by Bread & Wine, not to mention two of my besties who are gifted at hospitality (coughPreston&Aliacoughcough) I decided to gather people I love around my table a few times this month (and I wrangled Alia into popping down to the Wac to help out/make the most brilliant seafood risotto of my life. I’m even too extroverted to cook alone. Help meeeee.) I hope to keep bringing friends together while I’m still in Waco. It’s one of my favorite things, but I find it takes practice, as a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl. I’m paying attention to what it means to create safe and welcoming space.


    blurry snapshots are the best.

  • I rediscovered my love for midweek Eucharist at St. Paul’s. It’s a beautiful time to re-center, to show up with expectation, to quiet down for once. And the scenery doesn’t hurt:

Chapel of the Four Sisters.
St. Paul’s, Waco TX

  • This year, I was fortunate to spend all of Holy Week with St. Paul’s. It was so good to be able to participate in the same space with the same people all week–leaning into the darkness, washing one another’s feet, sitting in doubt, waiting for the Alleluia-shout. By the time Easter Vigil happened on Holy Saturday, I was a nervous wreck for the anticipation. It is the most beautiful, most mysterious, most-questions-rightly-unanswered liturgy of the year. I exhort anyone who has never attended to do so next year: I know at least Episcopalians/Anglicans and Catholics do it, check it out.
  • Made a couple more trips to Dallas to visit this girl:https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/544229_10151509014538466_1339085475_n.jpg
  • …including Easter. Such a fun, short trip. I am a big fan of Alia’s tribe, which I think speaks a lot of her. They know how to feast and how to invite people into their world, which can be difficult for an age bracket that can tend to be self-centered and defensive. Erica was able to join later in the evening when things were dying down, but we headed back to Alia’s new pad above a gallery in Oak Cliff. It was so fun to spend a touch of time with these two immensely talented ladies from different spheres of my life. I’m immensely blessed to have them.
    • so, this is happening:

…maybe I lost my $h!t in the middle of a seedy movie theater rest area in Waco. It’s fine. I’m so, so thrilled to be joining that team. I have long admired the way of the Deeper Story/Church/Family community, to say the least.

what I wish I was into:

  • Providing you with quotes from each of the recommended links.
  • getting up the gumption to join the church-gym in town with a friend.
  • having a camera.
  • going back to before I was a coffee snob. Since I don’t work in a coffee-shop anymore, my taste should have gone backwards again, right? wrong. it’s terribly inconvenient. looking into investing in a Chemex system, which is not terribly outrageous, all things considered.
  • hardcore researching scholarship $$$.
  • actually downsizing, rather than throwing out a box of stuff but then somehow filling up my life with new stuff. le sigh.
  • figuring out how to live in North Carolina. I alternate between obsessive research and putting my head in the sand.


Linking up today with Leigh’s What I’m Into series, which I love.

Your turn! What are you reading/wearing/doing/loving?

What I'm Into site

what i’m into, february.


ALL THE ELLIE GOULDING. and, (don’t hate):




offline reads:

  • Have I told you I’m loving Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist? I. am. addicted. to this book. I think I said somewhere once that I crave it like comfort food. It’s about food, it’s not just about food, it’s all about food. It’s about me. I’m halfway in and in love. And wanting to cook all the things. Since I magically got an advanced reader’s copy, you kids can’t read it for a while, so I realize all this raving is a little unfair. But you should get it the minute it comes out, on April 9th.
  • Still reading about caritas from Aquinas. Last week, we read the first two questions about the inward effects of love: joy and peace. I’m excited to read about mercy (misericordia) this week; mercy keeps coming up for me as a theme lately.
  • Recently we have been reading selections from Tolkien’s Tree and Leaf for the Theology and Art class I have also been auditing. I think everyone, especially those of you interested in stories, what makes a story (or art in the wider sense) “Christian,” his famous essay “On Fairy-Stories” is essential to read as part of that conversation. Seriously. I’m buying the full collection of essays, and if you would like to have a copy of “On Fairy-Stories,” email me. I can hook you up. Seriously.
  • With all of this heady soul-stretching stuff, I am glad to be reading a solid, challenging, but more laid back devotional companion to Lent: Lent for Everyone: A Daily Devotional, Luke, Year C.  by N.T. Wright. He always sends you out with a prayer and meditation for the day, which I need desperately.
  • We have also been reading through Luke in my Sunday School class at St. Paul’s. LUKE IS MESSING ME UP, YA’LL. Also, I thought that made a good excuse to go ahead and purchase the commentary of Luke written by one of my favorite and most legit professors, David Lyle Jeffrey. The things I love about this commentary so far are the things I loved about him as a teacher: it is challenging, lyrical, serious, beautiful, gracious.


  • Speaking of which, everything by Connor Park so far. Somehow I missed that he’s new to the scene [??] and this guy’s stuff is amazing, especially his #femfest posts. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy to get caught up; he’s only been blogging since January. DO IT.
  • um, #femfest? seriously. It seems like everyone came out with their best content for this synchroblog, and I truly encourage you to read as many posts as you can. I was blown away by the thought and care and intelligence and grace this event gathered, truly. Read: day 1, day 2, day 3. READ.
  • guys, February really brought it in the online community. I know I haven’t linked to everything. le sigh. you are all just too awesome.


  • COMMUNITY. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I finally got into it while I was so sick this month [see below]. I am obsessed. So many genius episodes. (I texted Erica that I was “addicted to Community,” which she read as something like “addicted to Communion” at first. Which is funny, considering my life.)
  • you know, the usual: Mindy Project, Happy Endings, Grey’s, Girls. Working on getting caught up.

to wear:

  • Shellac. The minute after I found out I was not to be working in a coffeeshop any more [see below] I ran out to get a manicure in Tiger Blossom, BECAUSE I COULD. I can’t remember the last time I did this; I must have been seven on a mommy-daughter date or something. It was glorious. And it still is, eight days later. Magic.
  • I bought this sassy iPad case for a fraction of the price [thanks, Marshall’s]. I’m in love.
  • Earlier in the month, I got to participate in a Mary Kay makeover party as one of Maggie’s bridesmaids!  I remember Mary Kay from my mom’s consulting days long ago, but it was amazing discovering the line all over again. MK has a really empowering, healthy approach to makeup and beauty; we had such a good time telling about each other’s beauty. Seriously, find a local consultant: they are awesome about helping and not pressuring you. And I sincerely love their products.


this is the section that gives me whiplash. hold on to your hats.

  • the month started with a quick trip up to Dallas to see White Rabbit, Red Rabbit by the Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. My bestie, Alia, who is also Iranian, co-produced the show in Uptown after studying with Nassim a few summers ago. Let me just tell you. I do not do postmodern anything. But usually especially not theater. However, this decidedly postmodern production was one of the best theater experiences I’ve ever had. The very way the show is performed–each night a cold reading by a different actor–is itself terrifying and amazing. The whole thing is mesmerizing compelling. I cannot tell you any more because it would absolutely ruin it, but you should check in your area to see if the show is going up in your area. There’s a fair chance it’s nearby. (here’s a great write up about the Dallas production.)
  • Plus, the rest of that visit with Alia. We have been friends pretty much since the third day of eighth grade in 2003 when we met at our adjacent lockers. She apologized at not welcoming me, the new kid, to the school earlier. I sobbed all the way home because it was one of the first times in four years a peer had made me feel like a person. We’ve been having mad adventures ever since. (And she’s had that naturally hospitable spirit ever since.) So, this, our 10th year of friendship, is an excuse to make toasts at every turn. We’re pretty good at celebrating things.

Tate’s. She got the front porch lemonade, I got a gimlet. Click to drink menu.

Hypnotic Donuts. They are insane. I’ve had dreams about that bacon-honey-peanut butter doughnut in the bottom left.

sometimes things get dramatic.

  • I FINALLY MET ELORA RAMIREZ. The nice thing about Waco is that you can pop north or south and see great people. And Elora is one of them. There was falafel and love and laughter all around. She’s pretty much a fantastic human.
  • [this is NOT something I’m into, but it happened: the Great Tooth Abscess Debacle. I won’t scare you with the details, but the moral of the story is floss. all. the. time. Or you will get pregnant, and die. Just kidding, but you could spend an absolutely miserable four days in bed. Possibly the worst sickness of my life.]
  • um, so. I got into Duke Divinity School?? I got the call on a Friday afternoon after everyone had left the office–Durham’s area code popped up on my phone and I died. I tried to play it cool but still sound excited on the phone. And then I died some more. And then I was COMPLETELY blown away by the uproar of congratulations after this happened:
    perfect timing

    perfect timing.

    I’ve been blown away ever since. The support and heartfelt well-wishing has made me tear up every time.

  • [another thing I’m not into, but happened: I’m not working as a barista any more. I truly only have curse words for how unjust and ridiculous my removal was. All I’ll say about that for now is tell you to watch this video again.]
  • Wedding scheming with Maggie Emerson. TWO MONTHS yo.
  • Saturday Farmer’s Market with Maggie Holland. That girl is brilliant and lovely.
  • Run-ins with Teal Dodrill, whose heart is equal parts sass and love.
  • Drinking this while Google-Hangout-ing (how do I verb this?) with fantastic people late at night. The internet is magic, ya’ll. So is this drink. All the win.

what I wish I was into:

  • I saw three different things about John Green pop up around the internet recently. Plus if half the people in my program (aka Caroline and Preston) are telling me to read something, I should read it. Fault in Our Stars it is.
  • paying my taxes already. I am not a person.
  • getting my hair to a level of punk-rock that I am satisfied with. I just want all the pink in my hair, guys.


I don’t think you knew how serious I was about Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into Link-up until this post. But I love sharing this stuff with you guys. This is some of the day-to-day overflow that matters to me, and I want you to know about it. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Your turn! what was February like for YOU? what were you reading/listening to/eating/wearing/doing?

what i’m into, January.

heyheyhey! it’s that time again. I’m joining Leigh Kramer and friends in sharing this month’s happenings and obsessions. get excited.


  • So, I’m really sorry to introduce you to a group that is going to make your heart explode and maybe even your ears lust. But ohmygoodness listen to Penny and Sparrow immediately, particularly their album Tenboom. I just want to cry through all of their songs. Love love love.
  • I have been listening to the playlist the baristas at Common Grounds have compiled, and keep adding to. It’s been a great way to discover new music, including Penny and Sparrow. Subscribe and listen: CGwaco Staff Mix.
    • This video. Now.

offline reading:

  • My top recommendation lately has been The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. When I first heard about it, it seemed like the kind of book I would never read, and certainly never recommend. But OHMYGOODNESS heart explosions. Not only is it a brilliant story, it is beautifully written, and might even make you a better person by the end of it. It’s a gripping, addictive, and surprisingly soulful read.
  • The second part of the second part of the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas — the questions on caritas, or love we might know as agape. Reading him is good, difficult, slow work. Good medicine; good work on the mind grapes. Don’t worry, it’s for a class I’m auditing.
  • I’m also sitting in on a class on Theology and Art, with assorted weekly readings. This week: Marilynne Robinson, Graham Greene, and Francois Mauriac. I’ll work on linking to them as I can — it’s good stuff.


I mean. Wow. This is hard. There’s been a lot of good stuff happening, a lot of important conversations started. And one day I will actually save things as I love them, but for now, this is what I’m remembering, and what I shared elsewhere.


  • At the end of seven seasons, studio 6H is closing its doors. Tonight is the series finale of 30Rock, the show in which I found my spirit animal, Liz Lemon. Though I am sad to see it go, I am glad the show is ending on a good note.
  • Girls. Watch at your own risk, but Lena Dunham is a genius. F’real.
  • Best new discovery: The Yard, only on Hulu. It’s like Recess with real people. I know you’re skeptical, but really. These kids are amazing and hilarious and heartbreaking.
  • I mean, the usual. Happy Endings– totes brill, as Penny would say. Grey’s Anatomy– I will always love you, but I have no idea what to do with Owen and Christina these days. Mindy Project– I will now consider having a storage side of the bed. You would be the Indian baby of New Girl and 30Rock’s love affair. But falling closer to Liz Lemon’s tree.

things to wear:

  • Before I left New Mexico, I got to root around in my grandmothers jewelry chest and salvage bits and pieces of jewelry to fall in love with. It’s mostly Native American, some Mexican, mostly turquoise and coral and shell, but I would be just fine wearing bits of stone and earth for ages. I’m notsomuch a pearls and diamonds girl, but you probably could guess that already. The piece that’s gotten the most love this month is this amber ring. Never taking it off.amber


  • good old chick-flick movie nights with girls I’ve known all through college. There’s just something simple and good and right about this kind of thing in my life.
  • PRESTON YANCEY IN WACO IN MY LIFE. Plus the sheer power of the Jerry-Preston-Antonia trifecta reunited. And by power I mean we annoy the crap out of everyone nearby. But we are also the best. I really can’t even describe this well. And you don’t want me to, because I will start crying.
  • Erica’s hot water heater exploding. I mean, this is bad for her and all, but it means she’s crashing on my couch, and I LOVE IT too much. Maybe there are evil plans to permanently sabotage her hot water heater.
  • Getting asked to be a bridesmaid for my longtime friend Maggie’s wedding! Knowing this girl, it will be beautiful and quite the party. (and check out the couple’s website. whoasocute.)
  • And really, I’m loving these classes I’m auditing. I look forward to them every week. Here’s to time management.

what I wish I was into:

  • getting my life together. W-2’s? Windshield wipers? Oil change? Student Loans? Medical bills? Le sigh.
  • cooking more  than eating out (always), though it is getting better. But everything is topped with a fried egg. food blog? haha.
  • going to bed earlier than 1 am. I’m too old for that mess.

Your turn! What are YOU into, this January?

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh