The Tenacious Brilliance of a Long Marriage

In recognition of my and Daniel’s 17th wedding anniversary this weekend, I’m reposting this piece, slightly edited, from last year. Daniel and I have a bunch of good wedding ring stories. There’s the story about Daniel going to buy my engagement ring. (Actually, to exchange the ring he bought for his first fiancée for a bigger, nicer [Read More...]

A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

To my 16-year-old self: When people tell you that your scars are a kind of beauty mark, that they don’t even notice your physical impairments any more, that you are beautiful and loved, believe them. Believe them the first time they say these things, and every time after. [Read more...]

On Valentine’s Day, Love (Not Romance) is What Matters

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Our Valentine’s Day celebrations are even more pathetic understated than usual this year. Many years, Daniel and I have purchased a premade four-course Valentine’s Day dinner from a local pasta shop. For about $60 and the minimal labor of assembling the salad and heating up the main course, we can eat a restaurant-quality meal in our [Read More...]

Lessons from the Renovation

Our kitchen renovation has been going on for one entire day, and I’m already tired of it. I just don’t enjoy feeding a family of five from a cramped corner of the living room, where food and utensils and the coffee maker are randomly piled on two card tables. OK – That right there is [Read More...]

Our Home’s Resurrection Continues with a Kitchen Renovation

Our completely dysfunctional "coat closet"

Next week, we start a major kitchen renovation. I promise this will not morph into a DIY or home improvement blog, but I will occasionally write about our renovation here. So much of what I write focuses on our relationship with the material world—with our bodies, with clutter and Christmas gifts and food—and how material [Read More...]

Finding God at Rock Bottom

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Karen Beattie and her husband went through a difficult few years. She was unexpectedly laid off just as her husband decided to go back to graduate school, leaving them without regular income from employment. After a miscarriage and a bunch of dead ends on their quest to adopt a child, they realized they might never [Read More...]

The Brilliance and Beauty of a Marriage, Lost (& Found) in the Mess of Everyday Life

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My lost-then-found diamond has become a metaphor for our marriage—lasting and solid and brilliant even when months and years go by when its shine, quality, and distinctiveness are hidden in the scrum of everyday life, obscured by groceries and vacuuming and the many loads we carry. [Read more...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Married 16 Years Today

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We fill our walls here on Oak Ridge Lane not with fine art (we have neither the money nor the passion for collecting), but with things that speak to the life we have built together—posters bought on trips to Italy and California; a limited edition print of the Washington National Cathedral (I lived in the [Read More...]


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