the getty museum

“Delegate!” they said, “You need to delegate if you want to stay afloat."

I had tried, I really had. Delegating was easier said than done. Who was going to pick the first dance song besides us? Who was going to choose the tabletop decor, or the guestbook, or the menu? Every decision felt so personal, and when I delegated, I felt like things didn’t get accomplished as quickly as I could have done them myself.

“There’s no time,” I’d reply. “It just needs to get done, and I’d rather do it so I can cross it off the list."

The problem is that the lists never end. Even the day-of, the lists are still there. And while I don’t regret the intent we put into each and every decision of our wedding day, I do wish that time hadn’t felt so scarce, and so pre-meditated, and so out of our control.

Two weeks before the wedding, Mack came home after a long day of work, tired and defeated from trying to keep up with everything. The night before, we had spent hours sitting on the couch, doing nothing but talking and drinking tea…something that felt foreign, something that felt like we were cheating because there was still so much left to do.

As I sat next to him, relaxation flirted with our existence and eventually wooed us entirely. We were tired. We hadn’t hung out in months. To simply be, together, without any agenda, was like a favorite dish we had forgotten the taste of.

And in that moment, it was everything. It was everything we needed and everything we missed.

But the next day, when exhausted Mackenzie sank into the same couch, it was like a grieving process had begun. We hadn’t realized how much time had escaped until we experienced it afresh, and that was heartbreaking.

As I asked him how he was doing, the voice he replied in was sad, but also full of love: “I just miss you so much. And I didn’t even know how much until last night. I miss you, I love you. I’m ready to be married, I’m ready for wedding planning to be over."

It was incredibly difficult. Wedding planning…it just isn’t fun. You get through it, and the day turns out better than you had even dreamed possible, but the process is tedious, and demanding, and real life doesn’t slow down amidst it all.

Having time in our grasp again, as much as any human has it “in their grasp,” has been so restorative. Falling asleep, making meals, brushing teeth, and just LIVING under the same roof has recycled SO MUCH TIME back to us, and I am endlessly grateful for that every single day.

One of our groomsmen got married in May (Ryan & Natalie!), and earlier this month they moved into an apartment about one mile from us. It’s been great having more friends around, and especially newlywed friends. They, the Schreiners, and Mack and I went to the Getty to celebrate Natalie’s birthday, and having the time to spend an entire Saturday with people you love, picnicing and taking pictures and strolling through beautiful gardens was wonderful.

Having the time to invite each of them over for dessert, or for dinner….having the time to do the same at their homes, having the time to lazily drink coffee and read books, or stroll Anthropologie, it’s what I wish I had been more intentional about during wedding planning.

I know it was a crazy season, and I have grace for that, but man. Taking the time to make space, to rest…is even more important when you feel like it’s the last thing you’re capable of. It’s necessary. It’s non-negotiable. It’s essential.

***To a few of my friends who are in the midst of planning weddings, take the time. Take the time when you know you don’t have it. You will get it back tenfold in the health of your relationships and the health of your mind. (Especially to those with short engagements and difficulties delegating, like myself). ;)

babies + classical music

Being a nanny has made me soft(er). I generally respond emotionally to (extreme or mixed) circumstances anyway, but especially especially in the context of these little humans. The fragility of life is something so insanely fascinating and calming and intriguing. It constantly makes me more aware of God and less aware of myself—ironically, less aware of my own humanity. 

Classical music also does this. I realize I'm not the first person to lump babies and classical music together, but it's on the brain because my weekend consisted of both. (And let's be honest, so do my weekdays).
My grandparents have season tickets for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and they invited Mackenzie and I to this month's concert in Pasadena. They took us out to dinner at a tasty Mexican spot, and we dressed up and double-dated from 4pm all the way until 10pm. 

The main piece was a Haydn cello concerto, but before that was a tribute to Benjamin Britten for his 100th birthday. As soon as the conductor lifted his hands and the entire viola, violin, cello, and upright bass sections struck their instruments, I was done. Or, more accurately, undone. Completely undone.
It was the best musicianship I've seen. Every single person was playing together, as one, and there were points where the conductor just stopped, hung his head, and allowed himself to soak in every moment of his orchestra's playing. Such an incredible experience.
Then on Sunday night, I hung out with babies while their parents enjoyed a triple date/early birthday celebration. Mackenzie came too, and while I was quickly realizing watching a 2-month old is vastly different from a 6-month old, the mixed emotions erupted.

I felt mildly concerned—wanting to do everything I could to make sure this baby was comfortable, taken care of, loved. I felt thankful—thankful that I wasn't alone, that even if Mack was watching the Broncos game, he was there, he was present. I felt relieved—instantly calm as the baby fell asleep in my arms, fully content after being fed.

And then I had my moment. The moment after yet another amazing, amazing weekend, where my mixed emotions turned into one overwhelming one: gratitude. Extreme, extreme gratitude.

I can't express it other than that. My weekends have been full of meaning in the smallest yet most significant ways, because they've reminded me of this thing called life. This thing that I am experiencing every day, yet too often overlook. I'm so thankful for these people, this city, the position I'm in, the generosity and love surrounding me.

It was enough to make me cry. Happy-cry. Happy-thank-you-Jesus-for-reminders cry.
This is Ayden, the baby I nanny. She is the cutest and most curious. She's not the above baby mentioned, but she is the one who reminds me daily how cool life is—how cool it is when you just zoom out for a second, and focus on the small miracles, like rolling over or sitting up, or learning that yes, you have fingers too!

Her and her family are a huge part of the gratitude. I am so blessed. 

beloved


You know, when you're sitting in the middle of an LA highway, two miles away from your destination, and your truck decides to stop working, you have time to think about life.

Granted the thoughts are more like flashes, and not totally coherent, but regardless, they show up.

When the 5-month old baby you're taking care of won't stop crying because she knows you're not her mom—you're not her home—the thoughts come.

They come when you're visiting your uncle who's battling colon cancer, they come when you're finally sitting in church again, and they come in the quietness of the morning.

My first two weeks in Pasadena have been accompanied by these thoughts, and it's been a really beautiful thing. I'm seeing fragility and dependence all around me and I'm remembering how blessed life is.

I finished reading Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen last week, and aside from its straightforward writing and authentic voice, I am most aware of its timing and its ability to piece together my fragmented thoughts. 

It's harder to listen to the voice that calls us chosen, harder to claim blessings amidst ordinary days, and harder to face brokenness when all we want to do is package it neatly and send it away. But the easy way doesn't affirm our Belovedness, doesn't push us to see life, doesn't encourage us to claim brokenness so it can be redeemed.

I could go on and on about how "the great spiritual battle begins—and never ends—with the reclaiming of our chosenness," but really you should just read the book. It's a super quick read that is simply and perfectly profound. I love how God sobers us into dependence, and how He surrounds us with tangible situations where dependence lends itself to something beautiful.