Monthly Archives: July 2011

Brined, Blanched, and Braised

As a courtesy, my brother-in-law, Paul, obliged to give me a few cooking lessons for my birthday.  I asked him to do so for a few reasons, but the main one is this: the relationship I have with cooking is a stressful, unhealthy one.  I enjoy the task of cooking, but because my attention to detail can be so weak, my meals often turn out less than perfect.  For a long time, I resisted the kitchen and didn’t have any interest in being the mom who makes the best brownies. Boy, how things change. I now have cooking shows recorded on my DVR and oftentimes I spend an afternoon reading cookbooks as if they are novels.  Still, I learn best by watching and practicing, so I’ve wanted opportunities for cooking instruction.

I’ve written before about Jessica Seinfeld’s books and how much they have impacted my use of spatulas and mixers.  I’ve learned a great deal about nutrition and I can make banana bread like there’s no tomorrow.  But, when it comes to making savory meals…the kind of meals that foster table conversation and prompt comments like “More, please!”…I just don’t have that down.  And it’s beginning to interest me now more than ever because I’m realizing what an art form cooking truly is.  Food is sustenance, energy, fuel. And I want to offer these things to my family and friends in the most creative way possible.  I’m also always looking for a new challenge, and learning to become a good cook seems like a life-long endeavor.  There will always be room for growth.

So, Paul and I picked two dates: one for prep and one for cooking.  He came over yesterday and taught me to properly cut a chicken, using every possible part of the bird for a variety of uses.  He sent me to the Farmer’s Market this morning with a long list of vegetables and herbs.  And as I was pulling the Radio Flyer wagon around the market with Jackson popping blue berries into his mouth, I felt a tangible connection to God as Provider. I couldn’t help but marvel at the creativity of beets, the weird construction of garlic cloves, the ruffles of kale, the sweetness of Michigan blueberries…the artistry is simply amazing.  And as I diced, sliced, cut, brined, blanched, and braised…I seriously felt thankful for food.  It’s one of the most basic demonstrations of provision.  And I’m so excited to use my own creativity by learning to create flavors that overwhelm and satisfy, using my kitchen as one more opportunity to serve and glorify God.

Cooking Lesson #1:

The Chicken

The Cuts

The Stock



The meal

The cooks

Thank you, Paul, for coming over and sharing your amazing gifts with me for my birthday.  I loved every second of it, and I can’t wait to learn more!


Approaching Three

This week is going to build emotionally for me as we approach Jackson’s 3rd birthday.  Perhaps I’ll go through this annually: reminiscing about Jack’s birth, his babyhood, and all of the little steps that have brought us to where we are.  Three.  Thinking about the last three years make me so happy, so deeply content, that for some reason it feels as heavy as sadness.  It hasn’t been easy.  We’ve grown and changed together as a tight little family.  But, when the birthdays of my baby boy roll around, it seems like yesterday that he was delivered and put on my chest, crying for air and sinking into my heart.  I was fragile then, very unsure of most things in my life without realizing it.  But I knew one thing: I was going to love this kid.

As Jack grows and matures, he teaches me more about myself than I ever thought I could learn.  I never knew I would have it in me to lead pirate parades in the living room, swords swinging in the air.  I never thought I’d get a thrill out of purchasing a Transformer. Or a knight. Or a dinosaur. These seem minor, and perhaps they are.  But they reflect transformation in me that only a son could bring.  The world is completely different to me because I watch my son experience it with different priorities than I ever had.  It’s important to him to explore nature, rough house, experience aggression, fight dragons, kick any ball in his presence, splash in mud puddles, hunt for bad guys.  This is a completely new lens for me, and it gets clearer and clearer that I have a little man growing up in my home, wanting to defend the innocent, protect the delicate. He was created with these manly instincts, which is such a contrast to my childhood tendencies to diaper baby dolls.

I can’t express my gratitude enough to God for the entirety of the gift of Jackson.  My words wither before Him.  But I can muster up the strength to approach God and feebly say,

Thanks for giving me the courage, the emotional muscle, to get me through Jack’s difficult start.  Thanks for taking that sharp knife to carve out space in me so I could have more to give, more to offer my little boy.  Thank you for giving Jack my eyes, because when we stare at each other, it feels a little bit like I’m looking at me.  Thank you for the discipline that we’ve learned to use as parents, even when it’s not fun. Even when we’d rather knock down those boundaries with the swords in the toy box.  Thank you, Father, for Jack’s wildness, for his curiosity, for his hungry spirit.  Thank you for his contagious energy, for his pure playfulness, for his unlimited imagination.  Thank you for his little friends and their wonderful moms that make me a better mother myself.  Thank you for the shaping of our family, for the purpose of our roles, for the future you already have for Jackson…

Without a doubt, God has used every single part of Jackson David to make me a stronger human being with more to offer this world.  And the blessing of the little dude sleeping in his dinosaur bed is beyond measure.

For now, I’ll just celebrate some of the wildness that occurs around here every day, and will hopefully only multiply.


Jackson, I love you buddy.


Christian Worldview: Back Home

I’m back in.  My graduate program launched this week at Cornerstone University.  I took a class at Grand Valley last summer thinking I could get my Master’s degree in English Education.  Although I would love that degree and–who knows?–possibly get it someday, I found Cornerstone’s program to be better suited for my life right now.  For many reasons, I run races against the clock, trying with sweat and tears to win every single time.  I put crazy deadlines on myself and work too quickly (and most often less effectively) just for the sake of speed.  I surrendered to the Grand Valley program, knowing I couldn’t finish the program proudly AND live the life as a mom that I believe is crucial for healthy family life.  Somethin’ hadda give.  After taking a few months off, waiting for my cohort to get off the ground, I’m back at the computer.  Only this time, I’m completing an online degree that should take me less than two years from a university that is already challenging me in every way.

It’s been eighteen years since I attended Trinity Episcopal School in seventh and eighth grade.  That’s the last time I attended a Christian school.  Sure, Hope was religious, and my years there contained spiritual growth on many levels.  But, technically, Hope is not a Christian school; Christ was not discussed openly in most classrooms, especially education classes.  So I was very surprised when I read my first paper assignment in a class titled “Issues in Education”: a Christian worldview paper.  For me, as a writer, it felt like getting a prize. Or, at the very least, a big lollipop.  I felt privileged to receive such a wonderful assignment, especially after so much has changed in my spiritual life since attending Engedi. I enjoyed every bit of writing this paper, starting at JP’s high top internet tables and ending with a papery sprawl across my couch, books and notebooks laying about. If you’re interested, here’s what I believe. And I can actually say I’m really, really proud of it.


Christian Worldview:

Back Home

Issues in Education

Professor  Haveman

July 14, 2011

I grew up repeating the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed in church–usually from memory but often holding the hymnal closely to my face so I could hide the funny faces I would make from my father, the robed pastor standing in the podium up front.  “We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…”.  I could usually hold it together until we collectively reached the phrase, “Very God of Very God.”  That made little sense to me.  However, at twenty-eight years old, I believe the words of these creeds beautifully simplify the Christian faith.  As the creed states, “[Jesus] suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.”  I even find similar wisdom and truth in a contemporary rap artist Trip Lee’s song “Invasion”: “Creation’s groaning, lost their hope and feel they always closed in Lots to cope with, on the ropes, wish they was in the open This broken world is so dim, our souls are searching, groping For one with hope to hold us close, and set goodness in motion”.  Since Christ’s Resurrection, believers have been writing, speaking, meeting, discussing, and wrestling with the meaning of the Good News and the best way to accept it, live it, and share it.  My place in Christian history has not always felt like solid ground.  I struggled as a young religion student in college, questioning the very teachings on which I’d built my life.  I ran away from church, only to come slowly back to the pews that once felt suffocating.  God has used my young adulthood to refine me, test me, and ultimately bring me exactly to where I need to be: home at the foot of the cross.

Years ago at Hope College, before I began attending in 2000, I visited while Ben Patterson was the chaplain.  Mr. Patterson stood before a crowded chapel; students even lined the aisles sitting Indian-style with backpacks in their lap. He held his Bible in the air as if were a newly won trophy.  Students would do the same repeating these words: “This is my Bible.  I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do…”.  Even though I was moved and convicted at the time, it wasn’t until recently that I believed the Bible to be that authoritative.  Throughout my life, I have felt close to God through Christ, but, if pressed, I couldn’t defend the Bible as being flawless and divine.  I allowed adult influences in my life to shape my beliefs, giving human beings more spiritual authority than any person should possess.  Thankfully, God is patient.  He brought through those particularly doubt-ridden years.  I now fully believe that God has made himself known in the Bible, trusting anointed human beings to tell His story.   The Bible is complete and without error, directly from God as a means to understand His divine purposes for humankind and the world that we oversee.

Through Scripture, God has made it clear that He is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each is a critical part that completes the others, but He is one God, unified in these three forms.  His character is flawless, and He seeks relationship and connection with all of His creation.   Genesis explains clearly that the world is in an infected state, disconnected from God’s faultless plan for humanity.  As a perfect Father, God allows human beings to suffer the consequences of sin.

And therein lies the story we find ourselves.   The consequences of sin result in heinous darkness and pain so deep, it is easy to question why a loving God could ever allow it.  But, as Jesus preached about and Revelation teaches, the story does not stop here.  God has an agenda.  As demonstrated on Calvary, God is in the restoration process.  God’s plan to sacrifice his Son was set forth when Eve took the fruit, so that all sin will be abolished and all truth made fully known.  The greatest honor I can imagine is that this indescribable, omniscient God made me—a mere human being—in his amazing, creative likeness, and He uses me to help restore the world despite the sin that blackens me.  And with this gift comes the responsibility to know Him, love Him, serve Him, and accept His Son, who, as Christian singer Andrew Peterson puts it, has “beaten death at death’s own game”.

Although the end of God’s story has been poured out in Scripture, we’re living somewhere in the middle.   Christ’s resurrection changed the course of human history, and it certainly was the pinnacle of God’s agenda for his created world.  However, the Holy Spirit isn’t the only spiritual presence that we’re surrounded by.  There is an enemy that is responsible for the fall of man and for every ounce of painful imperfection that has ever existed.  Because of pride, human beings are born sinful and live lives fighting a personal war between good and evil.  I see this in my own three-year-old son who, without love, guidance, and correction, would easily become a wild menace.  I see this in the walls of schools: cheating on tests, pregnant teenagers, gangs, discrimination, and, occasionally and heartbreakingly, guns shooting at fellow classmates.  Evil has been running rampant since humans have touched soil, and it is woven into human nature.  It accounts for the smallest sins of a young child taking a toy from another to the largest ones resulting in massacre.  I believe the greatest way to combat the evil is to accept Christ as the Redeemer and live according to His teachings and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  These actions, whether they are exerted in governmental policy or in a child’s sincere apology, glorify God and work to advance the Kingdom that is on its way.

Life is sacred by nature, but it is also fleeting.  Time on earth is temporary, despite anyone’s duration; and regardless of a person’s spiritual beliefs, there comes a time when the deepest parts of the human soul ruminate on this question: what’s next?  As a Christian, I believe that heaven is real and has always been.  I recently read a New York Times bestseller titled “Heaven is for Real”, an account of an Iowa pastor and his son who had died for a short time and claimed to visit heaven.  The book enthralled me, but not because it was a descriptive, eccentric account of the seemingly physical aspects of heaven.  There were details, and they were interesting. But, what stunned me most about this boy’s story was his fixation on Christ.  His story did not contradict the Bible, and after researching interviews of this child and his family, I learned that this story comes from humble farmers who were shockingly surprised to learn of their son’s divine experience. It doesn’t take more than an internet search to find many “divine encounters” people have claimed to have in regards to the afterlife.  Perhaps many are true.  But, this story spoke to my heart and gave me hope that, quite honestly, I should only look to Scripture for.  I believe that the Kingdom of God is everything the Bible explains it to be, and our lives on earth play a critical role in determining where we head next.  Because our souls are eternal, and our lives dictate the decision that God makes when we stand before His throne, it is imperative that we live wholly and desperately for Jesus.

Although I feel like my Christian worldview has taken shape, and I can sink into my beliefs as my roots go further down into Scripture, I realize that I’m on one leg of my hopefully long journey.  Every season of life brings change and challenge, and perhaps these views might shift in flight.  But, the awareness that Christ is alive as King certainly shapes my perspective on everything I do.  This reality is my motivation to live, and my reason to become the greatest version of myself.  This life is not about me; it’s about Christ and those He has called me to serve.  Whether it’s my own family, a classroom of students, a colleague at a lunch table, or an orphan across the world…all of my actions are to be anchored in one purpose: to serve the One who sent me and, therefore, to always end up at the foot of the cross.

Pretend Play

While many of you are putting your trash on the curb, reading the newspaper, or straightening your ties for work in the morning, I’m usually being tugged on by a toddler, the end of my shirt practically down by my knees. “Mommy! Play wiff me!!” My coffee usually spills, and sometimes I’m even upset about it.  More often than I’d like to admit, I say to the desperate little face before me: “Give mommy some time to wake up…” and I proceed to turn flip on the Today show or check my email, trying to focus my eyes while I prepare the child’s breakfast.  I remember exactly what it feels like to be on the brink of pretending. When I was young, my imagination was the wildest part about me.  I could spend hours alone as long as I could make believe a classroom or house into existence.  Although my interest in fantasy has never been high–you know, dragons, beasts, wizards, etc–I was an expert in creating more realistic worlds around me that existed only in my mind.  My entire house instantly became a school campus.  Each doll was a particular student with a distinct personality and behavior issues.  My parents’ bedroom was the principal’s office.  The bathroom was where I sent the Cabbage Patch Kids to see the nurse. I not only had the Barbie cars, house, campers, and mansions…these were only the bare minimum of pretending.  The living room was one town for Barbies while the coffee table was a particular neighborhood.  And when I played school, Shirley Maclaine was always my rowdiest student. She would jump up and down during math lessons and sometimes I had to remove her by the ear into the hall like Miss Hannigan did to Annie.  Or sometimes “Shirley Maclaine” would be my musician name when I’d be interviewed by magazines. You know…for my many awards. (I heard the name Shirley Maclaine once and loved how it sounded. I only knew she was in movies). The possibilities were endless. And these places were tangibly real to me, calling me out of reality, like a constant, faint voice I could never ignore.

Jackson seems to be a similar child. Only, he’s a boy.  He wants to fight dragons, breathe fire, set off bombs, sword fight, fist fight, laser fight…his scenarios involve rugged manliness, protective instincts, heroism.  They are totally different worlds than I am used to creating, and I even struggle sometimes to imagine along with him.  I didn’t grow up reading the stories that Josh did, and to be honest…I know very little about Renaissance life.  But, I’m so thrilled to be back in the pretending game with a child who’s mind is so expansive I can hardly keep up. I’m so grateful that he is creative, energetic, and passionate about his pretend play.  It means something to him. It’s personal. And even though I need to be on the rug MUCH more often than I am…I’m thankful to have had a very dramatic pretend session this morning with my wide-eyed two year old:

This is a very important scene.  Here are the important points:

1. The pigs.  They are new addition to the castle and I checked with Jackson to see if they could be the kitchen staff.  I thought it made logical sense (trying to abandon all logic is hard for a grown-up) that pigs should be the cooks.  We decided that little archway was the kitchen, and Jackson carefully placed them there. I’m sure they prepared a wonderful meal for the live-in royalty.

2. The elephants. Not sure who invited them to the castle, and it baffles me how the made it up the stairs to the roof.  But apparently they weren’t getting along, and so they started to fight. I feel pretty sorry for “Allie”, the elephant without tusks. Looks like she’ll probably lose this one.

3. The leopard.  Poor leopard. He had to go to jail.

4. Toy Story‘s Woody made an appearance! What in the world brought him into the castle? That makes so much sense! He came to look for the princess (not pictured…She might’ve been in the dungeon by this point). And it’s a good thing he’s doing SUCH a good job of it!!

5. The dragons.  Well, you’d think they’d have some pretty big jobs around the castle. Or you’d think they’d provoke some fear in the others. But these were labeled “nice dragons”.  How refreshing.

6. The mammoth. Poor guy. Must’ve fallen off the roof from the elephant fight.

7.  The little green car. This quickly became a rocket ship that rescued knights!!!!!!!!!! And the knights would just pile on top of each other, limps hanging out every which way, and soared with ease into space on the rocket ship!

8. And, lastly, the dinosaur. Jack’s Ankylosaurus. We’re so glad he made an appearance to make friends with the dragons.  They needed a  species from the beginning of time to keep them company.

If you haven’t entered your child’s world recently, JUMP in. I can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend my morning. (And I do manage to do this with my coffee close by…)



A Little Green Thumb

I’m sitting on my couch with my leg perched upon a pile of pillows, and my heel has the leftover throbbing pains that are only bearable because of the prescription Tylenol with codeine.  This is not how I expected to end my day when the sunlight poured on my window boxes this morning.  I’m suffering through the consequences of yet another episode of stubbornness, and now that I’m couch-bound, I’ve got a lot of time to think about s-l-o-w-i-n-g down…

Twenty literal minutes after arriving home after vacation, I had gardening gloves on.  I’ve mentioned before that when I make up my mind to get something done, I pursue it until the task is completely accomplished, regardless of the impracticality or irrationality that might be involved.  My get-things-done-ness can be a very good trait, but like most things, it goes pretty sour when taken to an extreme.  Most people need to rest after vacation, especially one that included extra kid-chasing and mess-cleaning. But I had two big projects in mind that I didn’t want to wait to start: potty training Jackson and getting the yard in tip-top shape. Hence, I’m in the dirt twenty minutes after we got home.  Not only am I wanting to take care of the yard, I’m wanting to transform it. And it was a project too large for my own undertaking, and yet I attempted it anyhow.

Josh, on the other hand, is delightfully unlike me in many ways.  He can savor moments better than me, pace himself more responsibly*, and say “no” when he needs to.  (Even though he doesn’t say “no” often enough). Despite the fact that I sometimes think I would like him to be more go-getter-like, I know that he wouldn’t be what I need in a husband if he had those qualities.  I need the balance that he offers; but even though we’re well-matched, it’s very easy for our balance to tip. And we go tumbling.

For example, I decided to weed out an entire section of our yard that had been frightfully neglected, dig eight holes, and plant four hydrangeas and four black-eyed susan plants.  The previous night (fresh out of the car), I’d spent hours mowing the front lawn (usually Josh’s chore), trimming the side and back bushes, and even scrubbing…yes, scrubbing…the north side of our house.  This may seem admirable, but the timing, although critical to me, was ridiculous.  It exhausted me and with absolutely no reason.  Once I finished the front yard, I asked Josh to mow the back yard and he said, “Yes”.  Still, I went outside this morning at 7:30 and continued my work while Jack ate his breakfast.  I was still going around 9:30, having mowed a great deal of the backyard (didn’t Josh agree to do this? Why did I do it anyway?), when I stepped on a paving brick unevenly causing it to rise on one side and slice open my right heel. Blood everywhere.  I stopped for a while, but eventually proceeded to limp behind the mower with my wound open and hurting.

There are actually explanations for why I thought all of this behavior was necessary, but those reasons are ultimately unfair to Josh and they’re not really reasons in the first place.  I spent the day in terrible pain, trying to clean my cut of all the dirt and dust, as my walking grew more and more challenging.  Finally by the evening, our friend Josh told us that I had a bad infection, possible tendon damage, and needed stitches.  Amazingly, he babysat our naked, potty-training little gardener while I reluctantly hobbled to the car to head to Urgent Care.

Yep. Four stitches and a Tetanus shot.  And now I’m lying on the couch thinking about the next twelve “inactive” days ahead of me because my heel is wired closed.  It could have been SO much worse, and I really am grateful that it only took four stitches to seal this deal.  But, I’m also a being a baby, selfishly wanting to accomplish so much in the next twelve days when, instead, I’m going to be either on the couch or crutching my way there.

I’m definitely learning a lesson that I’ll need refreshing on throughout my life. That is,

Slow down, Bec.  Stop giving yourself these goals that don’t matter to anyone else but yourself and only bring you stress.  Stop trying to prove yourself. Stop trying to have the perfect house. It’s never going to happen anyway.  Stop asking too much of people.  Stop trying to move too fast.  For example, work on the garden in enjoyable stages, not full-day sweat fests.  Be able to stop a project only to joyfully continue later.  Be patient with yourself. Be more patient with others.  Living with unrealistic expectations is a formula for disappointment; find healthy ones. Stick to those.  Pay closer attention to Jackson. You will never regret an extra sword fight or knight battle.  And stop expecting Josh to be like you. Tell him what you need and allow him to respond. He will.  Do all things for God’s glory, not your own.  And please, let your house be a little dirty. You’ll only appreciate the cleanliness all the more.

On a much more positive note, Jackson is mastering the art of bathroom management.  We could not be more proud of him! And even though he worked on all-things-potty, he still managed to lend me his little green thumb.

*well, he needs to work on this too. Josh can use a little revving of the engine now and then.

Home Sweet Michigan

I never realized how much of a Southern girl I really am.  I moved to Chicago from Texas in 1996 and–at that point–I’d lived 11 of my 14 years in either Texas or Arkansas.  There are qualities about Southern living that stay with you forever, even though the use of the word ‘y’all’ may fall out of your vocabulary.  Jack and I just returned from a week away in Sawyer, Michigan where my parents rented a house close to Lake Michigan.  They were smart (and generous) enough to prioritize rental property with a pool, so Jack and his cousins nearly turned into fish.  We swam for the entire week, stopping only to eat big bowls of fruit or to gather around the huge table for taco salads.  For many reasons, I was so reminded of my years in Texas…playing pool games like “Colored Eggs”, eating cold cantaloupe under a table umbrella, practicing water flips and handstands for hours, and saying “Dad! Watch!” or “Mom! Watch!” a thousand times while I jumped onto a raft or dove for a coin.  Lilly and Molly, my sisters beautiful girls, bring us right back to our own childhood, and the memories bubbled up this week over and over again.

Sara and I often discuss our pasts together with all of the cross-country moves and all of the relationships that either broke or transcended as we trekked off to another state. When we came to Hope College, I don’t think either of us imagined that our roots would sink so deeply into Michigan soil. In fact, I remember arguing with a Michigan-born friend in college about whether or not Michigan was, in fact, beautiful. It’s hard to believe now, but even as a Holland college student, I only thought of Lansing and Detroit as Michigan attractions.  I thought I’d lucked out by choosing the one town in Michigan that was decent. Having grown up on the Gulf of Mexico, and having visited both the Pacific and Atlantic southern coasts many times, I laughed at the idea that Michigan considered itself to have beaches.  “If the water is freezing in July, it’s not a beach!”*  Even years later when I was pregnant with Jack, and Josh had to go on a trip to the U.P. for his book, I was not looking forward to exploring what the other part of our state had to offer. Again, the water was too damn cold.

I’ve always believed that moving around as a child really did have it’s benefits.  I was exposed to small changes in American culture, but these changes had some pretty big distinctions.  I remember being so enthralled that northern high schools had real music practice rooms and huge theaters for plays and performances.  (I was never the cheerleading Texas girl who’s huge choice in life was attending either UT, A&M, or Baylor).  And I remember thinking I’d never seen so many houses and businesses so close together.  I had a southern friend come over tonight, and he pointed out that people up north seem to blog more than anyone in the south, and I’m sure if I moved here at this stage in my life, I would notice the exact same thing.  Back then, I just noticed that the food on the table was different, the language seemed polished, and I couldn’t decide how I’d mesh these differences into a single lifestyle.

But sitting on the pool steps in Sawyer, watching my nieces slip down the water slide, I kept thinking how grateful I am that Michigan will most likely be their one and only childhood home.  My appreciation for huge trees, sandy beaches, inland lakes, and even the forestry here has expanded these last few years.  Even during the brief escape to Colorado, I felt the Lake Michigan tide pulling me back, telling me to come build a little life in the state that looks like a hand.  I’m starting to really feel a sense of loyalty to the mitten, especially since my husband has memories all over the Michigan map.  There is a small part of me that wishes Jackson could grow up around my own memories, on the streets where mom rode her bike or in the pool where Aunt Sara and mom spent hours having “under water tea parties”.  But, Michigan is his home, and I’m so thankful I’m slowly discovering it right alongside him.  I want to create memories walking to lighthouses at sunset, biking through wooded areas toward the water, or even boating on inland lakes that are crystal clear.  Michigan really is a breath-taking place to live; beautiful, vibrant, and exactly where I am supposed to be.

It’s taken me a long time to fall in love with the Glove, but I’m so grateful that I can say I’m home.



*I haven’t totally changed my perspective on that one.