There’s been too much going on in my life for the past few months, which has led to more than a few emotional meltdowns and extended periods of anxiety-induced insomnia. There is still much work to be done, but my life is currently on a bit of a hiatus with a family getaway on the Oregon coast. Simply breaking a routine has made for less stress, but there are other things that have added to an overall sense of peace and relaxation.

The first night that we were here, I volunteered to clean up after dinner. Rather than use the dishwasher, I washed everything by hand in the kitchen sink. The window in front of me was cracked open, and through it, I could smell blackberry bushes and cool, dark green foliage. Occasionally, a car would pass on the nearby road, but other than that, the only sounds were the quiet conversations amongst our family members and the ongoing shush of the ocean surf.

Our second evening here, I walked to the beach–just a few houses away–to take pictures of the sunset. I was not let down. The sunset started out beautifully and just progressed to become increasingly breathtaking. I would take pictures, then draw back and feel awed and small by the sheer scope of the sky. I have rarely seen a sunset so beautiful. I felt revived, spiritually.

Apart from our first evening here, I’ve walked in the Pacific and along the shore every day. The water is too cold to swim in–at least for me–but feeling the waves around my ankles and calves is incredibly soothing. I love the ocean. There is something about its gigantic-ness that brings peace.

Spending time with family has also been peace-bringing. Whether it is sitting around the living room with fresh coffee in the morning, getting my baby niece to giggle, or talking about nature with my [almost] six year old nephew, I feel better for having had the time to bond with family. I feel so blessed to have come from one amazing family and to have married into another equally amazing one.

I wish you all a wonderfully relaxing weekend!




bilbo bumblebeeThere is a dead bumblebee named Bilbo on my office windowsill. He perished over the weekend because our student worker left a window open. Bilbo has inspired an entire two Instagram posts, but even sepia filters cannot bring the life back to his fuzzy fat body. Poor Bilbo.

Yellow dandelions dot the hollowed green beyond my window–a shallow bowl that contained a brisk game of ultimate frisbee on Monday. Today, no students study on blankets that patchwork the soft grass, but there is one couple sitting alone, noticeably twitterpated.

greenYesterday, the rain poured in grey skeins from the sky, alternately puddling and rushing down the streets and summoning forth the dusty pink earthworms from their sodden homes.  But today, the sky is a bright cornflower blue and the white clouds shuffle lazily through the warm air.

The sun-heat, the blossoming cherry trees, the hum of flying insects, the smell of charcoal grills at dusk–all of this woos the senses, teasing of summer to come. I know that the rain will return. This is Seattle, after all, but I guard a tiny seed of hope in the recesses of my heart, shelter it, and water it gently.

One day, we will forget about winter entirely.

Day 29: List 10 people, living or dead, you would invite to dinner. Include the dinner menu.

This post’s prompt is a tall order not because I can’t think of 10 people I’d like to invite to dinner but because I want to invite 10 people that would actually get along, and that makes this imaginary dinner party rather complicated. In fact, I’m really not sure all of these women would get along at all, but I want to meet them! Thankfully, the prompt didn’t also call for a seating chart! Let’s start with the guests, shall we? Continue reading

Day 28: What is something/someone you miss?

This belongs on Awkward Family Photos for the current fashions alone. :)

This belongs on Awkward Family Photos for the current fashions alone. 🙂

I don’t often miss people, which I guess is connected to my introversion. Especially with social media and communication technology the way it is, people just don’t feel all that far away anymore. It absolutely boggles my mind that I can chat with my mom on Facebook when she lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When we first moved to Africa in 1987, I don’t even think we could call the US. Or, if we could, we certainly did not call very often. Continue reading

Day 27: Discuss a problem you have or had in the past.

The rate at which I am completing this 30 day blogging challenge should indicate what this post will be about: procrastination. More specifically, an inability to complete things. Some areas of my life–work and school–I can still complete tasks more or less on time. Deadlines are essential for me. However, in areas that are “non-essential,” I definitely don’t take it as seriously and sometimes get distracted to the point where I just want to drop it all and move on with my life. Continue reading

Day 25: Discuss someone who fascinates you and why.

Tupac Shakur (image via The Source)

Tupac Shakur (image via The Source)

This might be strange coming from a middle class white girl, but I find Tupac Shakur fascinating. About a year ago, I was researching the topic of accent prejudice (prescriptive versus descriptive grammar) and decided to narrow my focus to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). There is a lot that I could say about the research and the contents of the final essay, but in sum, accent prejudice has far-reaching implications with heavy roots in classism and racism. The reason I mention this paper at all is because Shakur’s work is an excellent example of someone refusing to bow to societal pressure to speak in “acceptable” prescriptive ways. Continue reading

Day 24: What is your favorite movie and why?

“I’m getting pulled over. Everyone just…pretend to be normal.”

-Richard Hoover, Little Miss Sunshine

I lurve this movie so much that I must use a made up word to express how much love I have for it. When I was in college, my roommate and I went to the movie in the theater. Neither of us realized what it was rated until after we finished the movie–watching anything above PG-13 was verboten  for students at my college–but I’m glad because otherwise, I would have missed out on a cinematic gem. Continue reading