Advent 1

Jodi a se fèt m!

Today is my birthday! And the beginning of a new liturgical year! There is so much to be joyful about on this first day of Advent.

The part of my brain that wants everything to line up “just like so” is content. Why? Because I get to start this next year of life, the last year of my twenties, in sync with the Church.

I can’t think of a better way to start my twenty-ninth year than in joyful anticipation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Jesus, who loves me when I’m unlovable and patiently waits for me each I stubbornly turn away (over and over again…).

Here’s to being excited for birthdays (and the Christmas season), while realizing there’s so much more to look forward to and better things to come.

Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Psalm 80:3



Goodbye, twenty-eight.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Another year has passed. It’s time to reflect.



Twenty-eight was a good year. It was a hard year, but good things are coming from the struggles.

Trying New Things

28. New Things

I tried a lot of new things this year… made pottery for the first time; spoke at the Mid-Atlantic Congress for Catholic Leaders (my first National conference); shot a wedding (and got paid for it); the Orioles were ALDS champs and I went to my first playoff game…

It was a lot easier for me to say, “yes!” to the little moments in life. Spontaneity isn’t my forte, but I realized sometimes it can be fun.


28. Travels

My travels this year were mostly local. I went “down the ocean.” I traveled to New York a couple of times: saw the Macy’s Christmas window display (bucket list item checked), met Zac-Freaking-Levi (unknown bucket list item checked), and saw Aladdin on Broadway.

I visited a friend in Chattanooga and enjoyed complete tourist mode including Lookout Mountain Incline Railway and the Walnut Street Bridge. It’s a cute city and I can’t wait to go back.

Finally, the most important event/travel/moment was…


28. Haiti

Two years ago I found myself in the mountains of Haiti and my life was changed forever. One of my daily prayers since that trip in 2012 has been “Lord, please get me back to Kay Mari.” That prayer was answered twice this year and every trip was, again, a life changing trip.

Each time, the missionary group I take down grows bigger. Each time, I fall more in love with the children of Kay Mari. Each time, it gets harder to leave.

If I had to summarize twenty-eight in one word, the word would be growth. I gained more independence and learned the importance of intentional relationships. I’m understanding what makes me come alive. I’m learning what I need to do to get where I want to be.

I don’t know what twenty-nine has in store, but I’m ready for whatever it is.

Thanksgiving 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: One

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This year, my sister and I split cooking duties. She covered the turkey with the sides I don’t like and I covered the Tofurky with the sides I do like. My kitchen smelled of garlic broccoli, curried sweet potato fries, and parmesan roasted green beans.

Last year I had to blast the green beans with a hair dryer because I forgot to defrost them the night before. This year I defrosted them, but forgot to give them time to dry. Maybe next year I’ll finally get it right.

I digress… It all tasted delicious. So, as per usual…

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Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday because it’s always a good time when my siblings and I (and niece) are able to be in the same room with my lovely mother. The number of guests fluctuates each year based on who needs a home for Thanksgiving, and while I love that, I appreciated the intimate dinner this year.

Thanksgiving 2014

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Also, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday because it marks the day I can listen to Christmas music without shame. I must admit, because of the Pentatonix video flying around the interwebz, I started diving into my Christmas playlist a little early this year. And I loved it. But now I feel free from judge-y eyes.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!