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To My 10-year-old Self

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Dear Ten-Year-Old Self,

Today’s a big day for us. One of our dreams came true. How do I know? Aside from well, being you, mom found our old diary a couple of months ago.



You’ll be happy to discover God did not give you your first wish of becoming a boy (I liked the reasoning but not the choice). No, you are still very much a female, who somehow managed to become a writer. And today your first book released (despite starting sentences with ‘and’ and misusing punctuation all the time. Turns out they pay other people to fix that sort of thing.) You are just starting out and hoping you get to write many more, each better than the last.

My first instinct was to end this letter with a bit about calming down. You sound like a huge dork in that entry..which we are. In thinking on it, I decided you and I should just stay the way we are. Stay passionate. Stay vocal. Stay open to changing courses. Keep telling the truth, even when it’s embarrassing. We need to learn to listen better. We could also cook more at home more, spend less money, and take better care of this blog. All in all, you’ll be happy to know we’re doing pretty great. No need to keep editing your own diary. Go easier on yourself.

I hope I’ve made you proud,

Cindy from the Future


PS One day, Mark is going to have a little baby girl who gives him a run for his money:) Justice has been served. It’s awesome.

Also, I know you won’t listen, but if you could avoid the baggy pants phase and raisin lipstick, that’d be great.





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Book Club: Paris Letters

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It happened again! That thing where random things connect perfectly:) On Saturday I was thinking I needed to find a new book to read. On Sunday my faithful reader-grandma-theologian friend, Alecia recommended Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. Since February is the month of all things love and Valentines, what better time to read a real love story? (In stalking the author’s blog for a few minutes, it appears this is a story of how she met her man).

The book comes out tomorrow.  Coincidence?? No, it’s actually just the careful planning of her publisher. If you’re in, finish up by February 28th. I have a feeling this will be a quick read and the perfect way to enjoy the month:)

je t’aime!




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Came across this and loved it. Please enjoy. (originally on




Had a little cualacino and goya with good friends on my front porch last night. What about you? Experience any of the above words lately?



A Love Letter: Father to Son

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33df5bc252fa59b399e65b9437c5af8dMy sweet friend Courtney sent me to Cup of Jo’s blog to read the letter below.  I loved it so much, I had to repost.

In 1958, John Steinbeck, author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, received a letter from his teenage son Thom, in which Thom confessed that he had fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan at his boarding school.

Steinbeck wrote this wise and wonderful letter back to him the same day…

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.




(Via Letters of Note.  photo of Steinbeck with his sons John and Thom in 1954, the letter originally appeared in this book. Images songofstyle and

Aside from endearing, this letter reminded me what a tremendous role fathers can play in how we give and receive love.  What has your dad taught you about love? Are you a dad? If so, how do you have that conversation with your kids?


TV is my friend

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new girl

I love TV. I’m not afraid to admit it. I know it’s cool to be above it and too smart and too busy and to only read and whatever… I am not any of those things. I look forward to fall season premieres when my old friends come back and entertain me once again. I’m always impressed by well written characters and my favorite shows tend to have one in particular that I watch for. They are usually funny in an oddball kind of way. They can also just be really attractive…I’ll fully watch a show for that, too.


New Girl– I’m actually not a huge Zooey Deschanel fan but New Girl is hilarious, mostly because of Schmidt. He’s the best written character on TV right now in my non professional opinion. He says all the douche bag stuff no one is allowed to say. Here is his letter to his favorite women on TV. Enjoy:)

Parks and Recreation– I love shows that expose the hilariously awkward people hanging around city programs. Genius. I’ve had some of my best real life weirdo interactions at CPR trainings, jury duty, and the DMV. A show that hits on this is definitely up my alley. I mainly watch this show to see Ron Swanson.

gotta love that:)

Heart of Dixie– Here’s where I should be perfectly clear about the fact that I don’t have particularly high standards for what I watch. This show isn’t exactly award-winning material but it is like having a new romantic comedy every week. And who doesn’t love that? One of the male leads has the same name as an ex of mine…not ideal but I make due. Also, the main female leads are 30 so that makes me happy. Oh, and I love Rachel Bilson’s clothes and it’s important to set personal goals.

Chicago Fire– I don’t have to explain myself. I’d watch this crap on mute.

On the Chopping Block:

Modern Family– I get bored with most shows after a couple of seasons and I wasn’t grabbed by the end of last season or the premiere. Maybe it’s because Lily is actually physically painful to watch or it’s just a natural time to wrap it up. Either way, it’s still early and I’m sincerely hoping they prove me wrong! It was one of my former favorites.




Dark Horse:

Emily Owens M.D– I had no intentions of watching this show. Absolutely none. But it was one of those I can’t sleep at 1AM and Hulu roped me in. What an unexpected delight! I’m shocked by how much I enjoyed it. Emily is a wonderful lead and the right amount of pretty without being unbelievable in either direction. She plays a brilliant doctor who hasn’t outgrown her awkwardness and her inner dialogue is hysterical. Plus there’s a love triangle brewing between Emily and two very hot doctors. One of which looks exactly like a different ex of mine… this a theme I should be concerned with? Anyway, it’s a very smart and charming show that I highly recommend watching!

What about you? What are you watching?


What I’m Reading

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Right now I’m in a book club with some interns and staff at my church.  We are two chapters into Dietirch Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.  Here he gives his “ideas” for what christian community should look like. I use the word “ideas” lightly b/c Bonhoeffer writes them more as mandates; which part of me appreciates and part of me is bothered by.  He has a strict outline for what scriptures to read, what time of day to read them, and who in the group should read them.  Same goes for prayer, meal times, and even singing.  As I read and discussed this, everything inside of me was looking for a loophole.  It’s too rigid- what about freedom, God created personality types, or just the context in which he is writing (look into Bonhoeffer’s life if you haven’t, it’s incredible)?  I offer these ideas to the group hoping they are all impressed.  And then… as it seems to go in book clubs, one guy say something, actually brilliant,  “The only real reason I don’t want to do the things he’s saying is because I’m selfish and I want to do things my own way and fit God in as I please.”

Well, crap…thanks, I feel like a jerk.  Not only was he right but he exposed my selfishness.  His comment has stayed with me all week.  I’ve noticed tons of areas where I fit God into my life as I please.  My instinct is to rationalize my way while still applying God’s name to it.  My brilliant college roommate, Stine, used to say, “Rationalize your way to hell, little one” to me all the time. Turns out, I’m still learning this.

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