Friday, July 8, 2011


... I am glad to have put this poem up on my wall:

i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

by e.e. cummings (he's my fave!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Speaking of Canada pictures, I just found this one on my desktop, too. We were being the tilting head pugs. Dad could barely make it through one tilt without cracking up completely!

So funny. I love this picture.


Isn't this picture cute? It's from the Canada trip, courtesy of Dave or Holly, and it's definitely one of my favorites of all time.

Oh hi there.

Has it really been so long? Life has been a whirlwind in the last month or two. I've been traveling just about every weekend and all of these trips have been wonderful and (mostly) relaxing, great chances to catch up with friends old and new, and fun times to explore new country. In between those weekends away, life has been steady and yet hard, stressful, and discouraging. Stretching, one might say. It's that combination of glorious highs and wearying burdens that has kept me away, but on this hot July night I'm back to catch you up.

Dave and I flew to North Carolina to attend his great-grandmother's 100th birthday party. One hundred! Amazing, right? It was really fun to get to meet Grandma Dot (I have my own Grandma Dot already and now I have two!) and spend some time with Dave's family. We also went to the beach, which I told Dave, "is right out of books that I've read!" To which he replied, "You mean Nicholas Sparks books?" Zing. He could be right. Anyway, totally different than Hawaiian beaches, but still pretty great. On our way home, our flight got delayed for hours, but luckily the NBA finals were on, so we kept ourselves entertained.

Just because these were on my phone... food. I had basically zero time to grocery shop in June which made for some serious eating out. Latte art by Dave, Chicago's new Chick-fil-a (!!), Grahamwhich (soo good), and finally, just to prove that I don't only eat junk food, the salad bar at Whole Foods.

And finally, good and bad things that took place in June. Bad: We had lots of storms in Chicago and one particularly strong one knocked this tree over in my front yard. Also, Kate's car got broken into on my watch. Boo. Good: Lots of good dog-spotting. I managed to snap these two pugs without walking into any live intersections (points Ashley). And my first (and longest!) roomie, Kari, came to visit me in Chicago! She's been teaching in Senegal for the last year, so it was wonderful to see her.

So that's what's been going on. There was also a camping trip (including raccoons and waterfall hikes) where I got in touch with my Indiana roots, but I haven't nabbed those photos yet.

Pardon the absence. Life happened and I felt paralyzed by it. July will bring some more travel, a wedding, a move, and who knows what else...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I left my heart in the Pacific North West...

Okay, maybe it's exaggerating to say that I left my heart in the Pacific North West. But man oh man, did I love it up there! We spent three days in Seattle and three days in British Columbia on Vancouver Island (with two days of traveling in between there).

It was pretty much the most perfect weather with gorgeous views of downtown Seattle and Lake Union from our condo.

And then perfect weather in BC, too. I was awestruck by the Olympic Mountains off in the distance, across the Juan de Fuca Strait. Yep, we were lucky enough to stay RIGHT on the ocean with that as our view. I stared at it a lot.

A highlight of our time in Seattle was our Pike Place Market food tour. Could there be something better than learning about the history of a new place while sampling food all along the way? I think not. Plus, we started with donuts. STARTED WITH DONUTS. You know it's going to be a good afternoon when you eat dessert first.

While on Vancouver Island we visited Butchart Gardens to see their amazing gardens. (Family photos were a stop on the tour.)

I also enjoyed strolling around downtown Victoria, which was super colonial and cute.

While on the West Coast we traveled twice by ferry and both were fun trips. A combination of a great view and a great place to play cards is hard to beat, right?

I can't wait to go back to Washington State and BC, because there is so much more to see! I hear the city of Vancouver is really cool, so hopefully that will be a future stop on my world tours.

P.S. It's wicked hot in Chicago. I've got the fans on full blast and I'm hoping to sleep better than last night...

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Oh wow, it's been two weeks since I last posted?! I'm currently sitting in my room watching the lightning crack, the thunder roll, and the rain come down... and hoping it stops soon because I have a flight to catch! I'm off to the Pacific Northwest this week for some much needed vacation with my family! I cannot wait.

I'll be back with photos and stories of our adventures, but in the meantime, here's what's been going on lately...

There have been some weekend coffee dates.

Kate and I ventured out to Michigan Ave for a movie and it was a gorgeous day!

Hyde Park turned green and leafy!

Work has been really busy, as is evidenced by my overflowing inbox.

I almost walked into traffic in my efforts to snap this photo of a shiba inu.

I designed this cover and was thrilled to receive the printed book! (The cover was even more awesome before the author rejected it, for the record.)

Kate, Melissa, Dave, and I took in a Chicago Fire soccer game. We had a great view!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dispatches from the kitchen

Two things.

First of all, Ashley and I made this asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta for dinner a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Amazing! And really simple, too. The hardest part is really just having all the right ingredients available. You should try it out.

Second, that same night I decided to make another loaf of beer bread since it was so easy and I still had some beer leftover. So I got busy mixing away and consequently mixed up the instructions. The recipe calls for 1 tsp salt and somehow, in classic Ashley fashion, I got it confused and added TWO TABLESPOONS of SALT to my flour and sugar mix. OOPS. I've been informed that that is six times too much salt. Oops x 6. So I quickly scooped out as much as I could and hoped for the best. It turned out to be pretty salty, but still enjoyable. Whew.