Finding My Place, One Avocado at a Time

I do not yet know how to belong to a place. It always happens in the in-between space of small conversations, the way the light hits just so, or the accumulated miles where your route “home” becomes something you can do in your sleep. It happens when what was “different” from “there” instead just “is.” […]

On Writing My First Book

A few weeks ago, I turned in the manuscript for my first book to my publisher, Finding Holy in the Suburbs. I suppose there had been others — scrawled words in composition notebooks and spiral notebooks, abandoned stories where I gave up writing and thought I could only write about writing, and a PhD that approximately […]

When a Personality Test Says Your Marriage is “Volatile”

I grew up on Myers-Briggs, proud of my status as an INFJ: thoughtful, deep, empathetic, goal-oriented. It was a pleasant discovery to find my husband was an INTJ; we had so much in common. Big ideas! Need for quiet! Thoughtful and driven! Yet, I would melt into a puddle of tears that he couldn’t understand. […]

Deliver us from Christmas Cookies, We Pray…Or, Maybe Not

I love this time of year. I bet you do, too. It’s one of the only times where the party invitations keep coming in, the darker nights lend themselves to steaming soups, piping hot bread, and freshly baked Christmas cookies — not to mention more sweets, drinks, and nibbles “because it’s Christmas.” It’s a season of […]

Social Justice is a Pot of Spaghetti Sauce

I didn’t want to write a post on social justice.  It feels fake sitting on my couch in my largely white, affluent, suburban neighborhood. What do I have to say? As a white woman, I feel like my steps at connection across lines—even on Facebook—feel privileged, bumbling, and awkward. I say the wrong things. I’m […]

Tasting Beauty in the Suburbs

It had been a string of days with too much noise—me, children, politics, social media—so I took to the neighborhood walking paths to work things out in my body, while my husband constructed things out of wood (his own way of working things out). I could feel myself hit walls, get to breaking points, pass the […]

Reflections on the Festival of Faith & Writing

The Festival of Faith and Writing in April was extra special for us. Most of us were meeting each other for the first time, after a year of building The Mudroom. In that time some of us had experienced deep depression, overwhelming disappointment, loss of loved ones, career setbacks, parenting and marriage stressors. We walked through it […]

How alive do you want to be?

  “Searching for an objectively ‘better’ home is a poor reason to live abroad.” Ta-Nehisi Coates on Twitter   They say that when you live abroad that it goes in cycles: the first year is the honeymoon year. You swoon at the language, the accent, the magic of it all. It’s like Liz Gilbert in […]

When Your Offering Feels Too Small, Too Unseen

When I begin to get overwhelmed with the state of the world, my first impulse is to pull my soft, fluffy white duvet around me and settle in with a good book. I want to hide. The only problem is I have four small children that need things like food, shelter and clothing, and a […]