Monday, April 17, 2017


Hello blogging world!

It's been a minute.

2016 was a crazy year for Max and me. We each finished one year of college, while I was working full-time and Max was working part time + serving as Director for the Outdoor Learning Center. We've been BUSY, to say the least.

2017 has brought a lot of adventure! In January, we went to Ecuador and Peru.

On Valentine's Day, Max and I moved to Zhongshan, China. We have been here for two months, and we have two more months here. We are teaching English to the CUTEST kindergartners.

- more writing & lots of pictures to come soon -

Friday, February 26, 2016


My eyes are tired. Sunken.

I'm cold.

My over-sized scarf is wrapped around my face. It covers my mouth. I wish it covered my eyes.... the over-sized scarf is now catching the warm tears rolling down my cold face.

I watch. That has been my role lately... a silent observer, and sometimes comforter.. but... mostly, I watch.

The casket is beautiful. She would have thought it beautiful. Maybe she is watching from somewhere unseen, and she notices its fine wood and carved detail.

The flowers. They are bright against the grey, rainy winter day. Isn't that such a metaphor for her? She was always the bright against the grey, no matter what life threw her way.

Why? I think. I stop myself immediately. I had already asked that question too many times. That question is starting to hurt.


The gravestone is finally up. It is simple, stunning.

The ground it wet. It just rained. The sun is peeking out just the right amount. It warms my skin as I take it all in.

I watch my husband of five months kneel down next to it. He gently touches the engraved name. I want to ask why again, but that hurts. Instead, I watch. I take pictures. I observe.

He just kneels on the wet ground and he reads the words... or thinks about something.. I am not sure which.

"Are you okay?" I ask quietly.

He doesn't reply for a moment. I wonder if he's heard me.

"Yeah," he finally replies, very matter-of-factly. "I'm fine."

He doesn't move. He doesn't glance back at me. He stays alone in his thoughts, and I let him stay there.


A few months ago, I had a mother-in-law. The only mother-in-law I have ever had. She was beautiful, kind and hilarious. She intimidated me, not because she was intimidating, but because she was amazing.. and because I loved her son. I knew how much she loved her son, and I wanted her to love me, too, and trust me to take care of him in a way only a wife can.


The week she died, my husband and I received a call to come immediately. We dropped everything and drove to Boise in the middle of the night.

We came to see her that morning. She was different. She was weak. This wasn't her, though, and I know she would not like to be remembered as she looked that last week in November, so I will not waste a moment describing her outward appearance.

Her body was weak, but her soul had not changed. She was so focused on loving others, even when it took every ounce of her last bits of energy to do so.

When I greeted her, she spoke my name happily and hugged me and kissed me. She insisted I pick out a hat she had knitted in the previous months when her movement had been restricted.

I only rummaged a moment before I found a stunning pink piece.

I pulled that bright pink hat on over my messy, I-drove-all-night hair to show her how it looked.

"It's beautiful. I love it," I told her.

"Oh, you're just saying that!" she teased.

"No, it really is beautiful," I smiled. (For the record, I meant it. It is the most beautiful hat I've ever owned.) Others in the room chorused their agreements.

"Well, okay," she settled with and closed her eyes to rest. The room revolved around her, and each of us stayed quiet. Her sister softly rubbed her back. My husband sat next to her bed and held her hand.

I left the small room and I sat in the front room. Each piece of furniture and photo or clock on the wall was arranged perfectly. In any other circumstance, it would have felt inviting and warm. At one point, it was invited and warm. Today it felt cold. It felt empty.

A single tear snuck out of one of my tired eyes, and with that one tear, fell my entire "it's going to be okay" facade.

I cried alone in my mother-in-law's family room, wearing a dark grey dress and a bright, pink hat.


It's been months now.

The muted, monotone of Winter is changing to a bright, happy and colorful Spring.

....but it's a different Spring. It is a Spring with a gaping whole in my heart for a person I only met last Spring. It's the first Spring my husband blows out his birthday candles without his mother. It's a Spring that beautiful babies she would have melted to meet and hold come into a world without their grandmother. It's a Spring in which Mother's Day will feel a lot different.

It's a Spring that the woman who always brought brightness to grey is gone.

Monday, September 14, 2015

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