top 5 posts of 2015

What a year, what a year! As I was debating whether or not to write an end-of-year recap blog, wordpress actually emailed me a recap of how my site did this year.

So rather than creating one lame-o all-encompassing list, I thought it would be nice to just post links to some of my most popular blogs from this year.

And without further ado, here they are (click on the titles to check them out):

5. the one where i turned 30

4. wedding prep is coming to an end: lessons i’ve learned in the trenches

3. goodbye interview, hello new job!

2. i wish i was a boy

1. menstrual camping

And that really does sum it up! Two great jobs, a 30th birthday, a WEDDING, fears about pregnancy, and camping on the menses.

Wow. What a year it’s been! Thank you to all my subscribers, the 75 countries who visited my site, and the numerous friends who made time to comment and have conversations with me.

Here’s to an even more amazing, hilarious, romantic, adventurous, exciting, peaceful, wonderful 2016!


what do you think of unhappiness?

Disclaimer: I just finished reading Viktor Fankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning so I’m pretty sure I know just enough about logotherapy to be highly dangerous. Whether that’s in the good way or not is yet to be seen.

This book was seriously a page turner. I couldn’t put it down. And up until the last 40-or-so pages, was quite a simple read. Not an easy read, mind you, but a simple one.

Frankl was a well-known, well-established neurologist and psychiatrist who also happened to be a Jew in Nazi-occupied Austria. He was transported to a concentration camp where he worked as a slave laborer until the end of the war when his camp was liberated.

He spends the first half of his book sharing stories of concentration camp conversations and experiences that helped him develop a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy, which he called Logotherapy (from the Greek logos– ‘meaning‘, described in the second half of his book. The whole idea behind Logotherapy, and thus, he believes, his experiences, is that the meaning of life is Continue reading “what do you think of unhappiness?”

my gym taught me about the holy spirit

When I was in college, our university decided to spend a whoooooole lotta money building a state-of-the-art health and wellness facility. A fancy schmancy gym, in other words.

This gym had it all: a climbing wall, bouldering walls, group fitness rooms, massage rooms, several basketball courts, an indoor track, and-of course- a fitness area, with stationary machines and free weights. It seriously had everything, and my friends and I loved being there. It was even one of the places I taught yoga after I graduated.

It was beautiful.

One of the things that sticks out most in my mind, surprisingly, was a biking machine. Just your run-of-the-mill stationary bike machines… but with a flat screen for tv watching or progress keeping. WHAT.

The idea of watching television shows (especially the favored guilty pleasures like America’s Next Top Model or anything on MTV) (oh c’mon, you know you watched them too!) just floored me. It was like I wasn’t even working out!

But then I discovered the progress feature.

Continue reading “my gym taught me about the holy spirit”

To: Joe, From: Marie- My Gift To You

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to work on a film with Adventures’ Video Team. The premise is that there is just more to Christmas than presents under a tree.

I was overjoyed to have been chosen to work on this film. It was shot in just one afternoon, with voiceover work the next day, and while I wasn’t asked to do anything tremendously taxing, it did remind me of my first true love- acting.

It was also a sobering reminder of the real reason for the season- family. And with my first married Christmas coming up, I really felt connected to the story of Joe and Marie, sharing only their first Christmas before the worst occurs.

Thanks for the opportunity, guys. I hope I get more chances to work with you.

book reviews: daring greatly


I’ve been swimming around in Daring Greatly for several months now. It’s been so, so good. And a little hard, too.

This book is written by Brene Brown, a shame-and-vulnerability researcher hailing from Texas. She’s spent the better part of the last decade of her life researching and studying the effects of shame and coming up with ways to combat it. How do you combat shame? With vulnerability, openness, and honesty- both with yourself and with others.

Continue reading “book reviews: daring greatly”

good grief

At the Center for Global Action, I teach a course on emotional health called Restoring Your Identity.

This week, I taught about grief. We all gathered ’round to discuss the requisites for healthy mourning, and the importance of external and internal permissions. We talked about loss and limits, and shared from our own stories. We discussed Job, and the awesome example he sets for us to grieve in a healthy way. I was blown away by the responses to the journal prompts I give my class outside of our time together. I regularly am blown away by their responses. My students are getting very, very real with some very, very hard things. I felt honored to hear their thoughts and to share in their feelings. I feel great and overwhelmed about the fact that I have the incredible privilege to teach on a subject we just don’t talk about much in America.

“Emotion” tends to get a bad rap.

Continue reading “good grief”

Repost: #yes: an engagement story

One year ago today, Neil Bruinsma asked the question with the easiest answer. 6 months later, we were married. In honor of the awesome beginning of our story, and to prove how incredibly romantic and thoughtful he can be, I wanted to re-post the blog I wrote about our engagement story. It’s a bit long, but well worth the read, let me assure you. Here it is, originally published on Nov 3, 2014:

Continue reading “Repost: #yes: an engagement story”