I am honored to be in a little creative writing group with some especially talented and vibrant women. We recently responded to this visual prompt. (If you decide to write a response to this photograph, I’d love to read it!) 

Daughter of a migrant miner

Dorothea Lange, “Daughter of Migrant Tennessee Coal Miner Living in American River Camp near Sacramento, California,” 1936

Weariness clouded her mind like an Oklahoma dust storm. She could barely breathe for the choking, much less collect her thoughts. But what good would thoughts do? You can’t actually take them to the bank when you need bread money. Fatigue pounded at her temples. It’s funny she should be so tired; she hadn’t worked in months. How could the unemployment line be more draining than a 12 hour shift at the factory?

Of course it wasn’t the lack of busyness that drained her, it was the worry. Worrying about how her family could scrape the bottom of the barrel for just one more meal. Worrying over her daddy’s health, his lungs blackened by the coal mines. Worrying if she would ever be somebody. [Read more...]

10 Things I Wish You Didn’t Know About Me

It’s just going to be a put-it-all-out-there kind of month on the blog. Following the openness of recent postw, here are:

10 Things I Wish You Didn’t Know About Me


  1. I bite my nails…and throw them on the floor. (I know, I know. It’s gross. Old habits die hard.)
  2. I say I don’t care about how I look, but I really do.
  3. I mock people for caring about how they look, but often spend a solid 30 mins obsessing about my own appearance before leaving the house.
  4. My feet are extremely, embarrassingly ticklish.
  5. I sleep with my mouth open…and drool.
  6. My self-discipline is close to zero.
  7. I stress eat,
  8. and chew really loudly. (Ask Ben.)
  9. I don’t wear makeup mostly because I don’t want to and partly because I don’t know how.
  10. When I get out of my element I talk way more than I need to, and hate myself for days.
  11. (You’re right, the list said 10. I wish you didn’t know I don’t always follow the rules.) I wish you didn’t know I’m not perfect. I wish I could hide all my quirks and the downright nasty parts of myself, but I can’t. I can’t hide them, but Christ covers them. I don’t want to admit that I need a Savior, which is exactly why I do. And that’s something I actually don’t mind you knowing about me.

Pumping at 9am

Lately I’ve been wrestling with some pretty raw emotions, particularly over being a new mom back to work at her ’9 to 5′.  This piece may be a bit edgier than normal for me, but I hope it will speak effectively to one of the many challenges ‘working moms’ face (more thoughts on how we use that phrase to come once they’ve marinated a bit longer.) Thanks for understanding, my fellow ramblers. 

Wide-eyed circles, cradled in my arms, blankly gaze ahead. These should be adoring baby eyes, but they’re not. I juggle a hose, not baby toes, with my free hand. A mechanical whirring takes the place of her hungry grunts. Mother’s milk drips into anticipating bottles, reminding me that it isn’t a baby’s bottomless pit being filled.

It’s 9am and I’m pumping breastmilk for the first time today.

And it sucks.


A Friend Is a Friend Indeed

College campuses are made to build relationships.

Think about it.

A gaggle of inspired twenty-somethings from all walks of life, and all corners of the globe, are flung together on a closed campus, told to pursue their passions, and encouraged to meaningfully interact with anyone they see. Couple that with the spice of sharing crazy experiences, like playing the floor-is-lava in a dormitory basement or sledding down hills on pilfered cafeteria trays (not-that-I-did-either-of-those-things-ahem), and you’ve got the recipe for BFFs.

Imagine, then, the confusion when graduation rolls around. You walk across the stage, receive your well (or maybe not so well) earned diploma, take a few Instagram-able pictures, and move on with your life. Seriously, the day after college graduation is the most surreal ever. You’re just standing in an empty dorm room surrounded by piles of boxes, much like you did when you first arrived, except this time you can’t box up the pieces of yourself that you left behind. Now you’re heading back home to Columbus  or Fargo or wherever it is you’re from.

[Read more...]