That's my kind of bow.

Being engaged has made me realize that I’m a bit uncomfortable with my femininity. All of a sudden I’m supposed to enjoy all these “girly” things, like squealing over dresses and obsessing over color schemes and comparing diamond sizes. But on a deeper level, even, I’ll soon be identified as a “wife,” a term with so many problematic connotations that it feels completely distant and foreign to my self-identification.

I went through a serious tomboy phase as a kid, with a boy as a best friend and soccer as my passion and extreme distaste for anything pink. My parents (physically) forced me to attend etiquette classes that required girls to wear formal dresses; in protest, I used scissors to cut the large velvet bow off of my dress, but did so hastily enough to leave a gaping hole in the dress itself. I was made to wear it anyway, but they never knew that once in the ballroom I snuck a pile of cookies with my brother and hid in the hallway til it was time to go home. Every week.

I’ve always had a hard time with close female friendships and with talking openly about decidedly feminine things (though I now have some of the very best woman friends in the entire world. Objectively speaking, of course). Attending a women’s college instilled in me an intellectual value for the issues, experiences, and community of women and certainly made me able to think and talk critically about issues of gender and sexuality – and boy, do I have opinions on those subjects. But the truth is, at our weekly Monday evening potluck, I still find myself at the guys’ table talking politics instead of the women’s couch talking babies.

On a spiritual and emotional level, I want to come to better terms with my identity as a woman (and, eventually, a wife). But on a gut-reaction level, I would prefer to sit on the ground and eat a pile of cookies with my little brother.




Not a flower yet, but well on its way.

I’ve been feeling restless. Our commute feels longer and longer, cooking has been a chore (that’s unusual for me), chores are barely getting done, sleep isn’t quite sufficient. I keep searching craigslist for apartments closer to work and daydreaming about eventually moving out of LA. I’ve become critical of our church and friends and jobs.

Then, while browsing etsy at the office (naturally), I came across this print, and it was unexpectedly convicting. I’ve been ungrateful, whiny, and pessimistic. I can create the life I want here and now without giving up any hopes or dreams for the future; in fact, becoming content with my current circumstances is the first step to achieving them.

Here’s to blooming.


We spent the afternoon on B.’s couch working on our laptops and sipping fresh smoothies and green tea. Sun and breeze eased their way through the open windows, Pandora softly played.

As he got up to refill my teacup from the pot on the counter, B. looked over at me and said,

“I like this.”

“You like what?”


“The tea? Me too. We’re almost out.”

“No, no, this. Our life. Together. Our little life. I like it.”

Our little life together. I like it, too.

#19 of 22: update

one of my very favorite high school albums. if only *this* had been the concert.

#19 of 22: 2/5.

B. and I, along with three best friends, saw Stars at the Wiltern in Hollywood. T. and I absolutely loved their first album when we were in high school but honestly hadn’t listened to much since then. Turns out they’ve gone downhill. But! They played all our favorites from that album, which was magical. There is really something divine about sitting in a smoky theatre with your favorite people in the world, eyes closed, singing and swaying to too-loud songs that define a whole period of your life. Ah, nostalgia.


#20 of 22: begun

The perfect pair?

#20: 1/22

My brother and I made poached pears for dessert. Pears aren’t a terribly exotic ingredient, but I don’t think I’ve ever used them before since I dislike their mealy texture. Poaching sounds a bit scary but it turns out to be super straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Peel, core, and half five Bosc pears
  2. Pour 1 cup of orange juice, ½ cup rum, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 cinnamon sticks into a saucepan
  3. Heat that mixture until it boils, then lower heat and stir until sugar has dissolved
  4. Add pears to the saucepan. Cover and simmer 15-30 minutes – til pears are tender, but still firm – total time will just depend on the size of the pears
  5. Remove pears from pan, cover and refrigerate to harden
  6. While pears refrigerate, add ½ cup each of chopped walnuts and pecans to the saucepan
  7. Heat and stir for 5-10 minutes so that sauce thickens and nuts are covered
  8. Allow sauce to cool and thicken for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Serve pear in a bowl of vanilla ice cream with sauce and nuts spooned on top

And you can just tell yourself it’s healthy because of the fruit and nuts. Duh.


wedding shmedding


Weddings are always crazy. Ours, it feels, has taken a turn for the truly insane. At first, B.’s parents refused to attend or participate, claiming that the weather would keep them from the event (which is being held in Southern California) and told us to simply go to a courthouse instead. My aunt and mother began throwing me a shower with invitees who were not on the wedding guest list. My stepmother has taken it upon herself to invite a whole load of friends who I haven’t even heard of without informing anyone. And, just now, my mother emailed me (from her iPhone and riddled  with typos, no less) to inform me that she is not interested in coming dress-shopping and actually is uninterested in the planning or the day itself.

Vegas is looking good.

#9 of 22: happy new year

ooh, shiny.

#9 of 22: Completed 12.31.10-1.1.11

The ninth item on my 22×22 list is to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I find that I always like the idea of New Year’s parties – sparkly clothes, bubbly drinks – but when the night itself comes around, we never have much going on. So, B. and I hosted our own party this year. We required that guests wear something that sparkles (though he did not, instead claiming his sparkle came in his eyes), we cooked lots of fancy appetizers and desserts, we popped bottle after bottle of champagne, we reminisced and looked ahead, we danced and played and talked and laughed beneath tacky 2011 decorations hanging from the ceiling, and we rung in the new year in the parking lot with toasts and poppers and party horns as music blasted through our apartment’s open window.

I’m not one for resolutions (surprised?), but it felt like an apt way to start a new year: doing what we want instead of wishing it would happen, creating the life we hope for instead of settling for normalcy. Happy 2011.

why, hello.

I'm Emily. This is my blog. Welcome.

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May 2018
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