fall so far

it’s not hipster; just old-fashioned by necessity
christening the pizza pan and the oven and the kitchen. watery dough didn’t keep us from staying up til midnight, eating and talking
company picnic and first-ever “plus one”s
at work I play with devices and drink hot chocolate like it’s wintertime
snooping around cidery backpaths
“do I look natural?” post-portico sunday lunches
“hey HOW many times have you come up to nova and NOT said hi to me?!” issa becoming one with her restaurant experience; yes, that is butter in her hair
WE PERUVIAN CHIKKENIN ALL DAY catching up with the former housemate in her new house at her fancy new table
“you have opened my eyes to the world of intramural football” “psst madison, come move down the field!”
inaugural sleepover, the first of many to come 4am-ing like we’re college kids or something
😀 carter’s mountain
I lurv that we can still do this 🙂 my little, who has apparently grown up enough to have a little of her own, woah
apple tart a la [the fanciest person in my life]
I don’t care if the butter’s misplaced. I like you and your apple tarts.
“hmm so…how have your…last four years been!?” high school reunion, minified.
inaugural overtime. maybe it’s incurably, annoyingly chipper of me to say, but working late, too, was kinda fun 😉
6am lunar eclipses with my go-to skywatching guy


and daily commutes peeking at beautiful mountain views
and calm morning rituals with coffee and Bible verses
and cooking attempts with lots of burnt pieces
and kindly visitors who eat seconds anyways
and zooming up and down 29 way more than I’d expected
and spontaneous dates in the unlikeliest places
and learning learning learning, in the midst of all of this, to breathe and reflect,

remembering all that is good, bad, mediocre and being thankful for the whole entire thing.

“please teach me to be better”
“I am praying for you!”
“thank you, thank you”
“wow. you’re so smart 🙂 TELL ME MORE”

these are the updates of fall 2014, so far.

in which I wax not-so-poetical: [the Charlottesville edition]

right now is a moment of BLEH BLEHHHH boehfabjeo I LURV CHARLOTTESVILLE SO MUCH RIGHT NOW now now

and on.

Dear God, thank you so much for this time I’ve had in a place I can say, with surprising decisiveness and certainty of passion, is my favorite, in the whole world, ever, BLEH. And thank you for all the different kinds of seasons I’ve had here. And thank you for the friendships that have blossomed here (ohhh man that flower-friendship imagery) and for the nourishing alone hours The University calendar allows here. Thank you, for its thriving, but un-overwhelming, thrift shops and craiglist forums. Thank you, because my family is here. Thank you, from this cozy corner of a favorite coffee shop I’ve only been to twice. You’re the Father of good and perfect gifts indeed, and I know that this is true all the time, but I want to take these particular moments to praise you (to Thank You) in the specifics of my emotions. And run-ons. And on, and on, and ons.

This place shapes me, teaches me, lets me figure out all its windy roads, slowly but surely. My stubborn brain and heart are learning the ways of themselves as I find these skinny trails I love best; remember the nooks and crannies where memories got made and lessons got learned.

and now, a review of cville, 2014 in all its random glory:


































I LOVE YOU, you city of hipster coffee-lovers, well-educated polo tee wearers, city market go-ers, local art supporters, self-acclaimed RealFood appreciators, pretty-sky gazers! Thank you for your forgiving little roads full of life lessons and u-turnables, for your secret meadows full of magic star-light nights, for the not-so-secret neighboring neighborhoods full of sweet coffee and Mexican food, for your mountains and nearby farms and hiking trails [appreciated from afar, yes], for your simple, 1-road layout that makes me realize I am not cut out for city life, maybe. And those arms generous enough to withstand the onslaught of my unabashed and embarrassingly LOUD. LOVE.

You are my favorite.

For now, anyway 😉

Dear Mrs. Danielsson

Now that I write it out, I can’t even remember how to really spell your last name. Did I get it right? The only certainty is that you guys are Swedish for sure, and the kids called you Melissa and Magnus. 

Wonder if they still do. 

Wonder if it would feel any more or less awkward to hear, now that they’re (pre?)teenagers and probably have some attitude to back it all up. Are they still allowed?


The lamb’s ear in our fledgling front yard garden is flourishing! I guess it’s misleading to combine fledgling and flourishing in one garden, huh? If I had to pick one I’d go with the latter. But strangely, and quite nicely, the garden manages to be both of those things. lush and beautiful, but still sort of incomplete looking. Like, it’s working on itself. Which it is. With a lot of help from my mom’s ache-y back and tennis shoulder, which we keep nagging her about, but she won’t stop pruning her yard-baby. But yeah, the lamb’s ear is plush and glorious in its uniquely epic, teddy-bear-in-plant-form kind of way, and it always, always reminds me of the time that you took us all to the Botanical Garden in Atlanta. Where I met this stuffed animal-plant hybrid for the first time and was too amazed not to filch a leaf, although the signs clearly stated No Stealing of Specimen. Or something like that. I just really wanted to show my mom, who wasn’t there with us, sharing these wondrous tropical moments.


We came home, me with pocketsful of individual leaves, wilting and distinctly less glorious than they had been, before I stole-killed them in one fell swoop. Well, more like many tiny, filchy swoops. Lesson: do not try to possess nature. She’ll commit suicide the moment you wrap your greedy little fingers around her tendrils.


There were lots of lessons. learned thanks to you, Mrs. Danielsson, though I never thought about them in so many words. How to be a normal-person mom who uses her babysitter. How to deal with a baby with nut allergies whose babysitter has fed her an almond biscotti. Okay, so admittedly, a lot to do with babysitting, which is only natural, given our relationship. But also!: How to accept spicy food graciously, even when it makes you sweat profusely and obviously. How to be trusting and generous with neighbors. How to remain in someone’s life for a long time after they’ve left, simply by letting them partake in your daily mishaps and triumphs. The bedtime whines and the Christmas cookies, always the Pillsbury kind, out of the blue tube.


I wonder if there are things that make you think of me, or if the experience was only a one-way impressionism. Were there other babysitters, after we moved away? (I’m sure there were.) Did you like them better?worse?the same? 


I still wear the Paris! t-shirt from Paris! My mom says I should throw it out and stop dressing myself like such a hobo, but I refuse.


Hope all is well with you — and Mr. Danielsson and Eric and Emily, none of whom are little anymore, probably. But sort of always will be, right? There’s a storm about these parts; hope it’s sunny down there for you and your bumblebees.