adios, 2019!

2019 was a year of big change for us. new companies, new roles, new house, new pet (hi, dolly pawton!), new friends, new experiences…and with all the new came a lot of joy, some sadness, and more adjustment than we were ready for. it was basically a year spent trying to keep all the plates spinning while we balanced on one foot on a tightrope…oh, and everything was on fire.

to say that we were happy to close the book on 2019 would be an understatement.

but…i am so proud of my wife for the way she navigated last year’s changes. she took a leap to do what she loves, and it has been such an honor to watch her succeed and learn and grow. some days i know she questioned it (today might even be one of those days!), but i have no doubt that she’s doing exactly what she was made to do. aside from feeding people incredible food, she is doing so much more. she’s teaching our kids that they can do and be anything if they’re willing to work hard and never give up; she is loving people in a really tangible (delicious) way; she is learning new things everyday and soaking up every bit of it; she is pushing herself, sometimes to the brink of exhaustion, to accomplish goals, showing all of us that hard work pays off and we can do more than we think; she is taking care of our family in ways she doesn’t even realize; but mostly she is proving that food really is love, that it has the power to nourish, transform, encourage, support, and enlighten people and communities.

watching her has been incredible.

making it through to 2020 feels like quite the accomplishment, and we are ready to settle in to our new normal. we’ve put down some of the plates and stepped off the tightrope, and we’re ready for a breather…at least for a little while. who knows what 2020 will bring – maybe its own host of plates to spin or a brand new tightrope to balance on. it doesn’t really matter, because whatever it is we will figure it out together.

doing life with her is my favorite, even when it’s hard.

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xoxo, k

two years (5 days late)

we celebrated two years married last week (kind of…because our backyard wedding wasn’t exactly our legally official wedding because of conservative judges and delayed court dates and not-quite-yet-final divorces), and i can’t believe there’s not a word in all of the english language for that feeling that something happened yesterday but also forever ago. maybe that’s why people write – because the available language fails us so often so we try to string together the words we do have to help make sense of the feelings that they can’t adequately describe. but that’s not really what this is about…another day maybe.

today i just find myself feeling so incredibly grateful for the last two years. for waking up every morning with someone who sees me and knows me and chooses to love me even so. for going to bed each night feeling safe and warm and held.

there were a lot of scary things that we dealt with two years ago, and so we wrote as a way of letting other people know that they weren’t alone and also as a way of feeling less isolated and scared…because when you put a piece of your story out there and even one person says, “me too,” or “i’m sorry” it feels like hope and grace and love embodied.

as time marched on (and therapy sessions passed), all the scary worked itself out and we settled in, found our people, and moved out of survival mode and back to actually experiencing life and creating space for hopes and fears, dreams and goals.

and now, here we are. two years down, forever to go. i wouldn’t want to chase these dreams with anybody else, and that backyard wedding will forever be my favorite day.

(if you missed it, you can watch it here.)

xoxo, k


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The list of things she’s helped me unlearn about love is too long to give you here and it keeps unfolding but. 

All the love I’ve known before was chaotic, inconsistent, overbearing or some form of lost. 

She gave me a home (and a house too but I digress)… a home right there in those sparkling eyes of hers. 

She found me and loved every wild way, and she calmed me down. And now because of that we can both breathe.

How did I know love before? In giant apologies and social media affection. I knew love that pushed me into corners and made me feel small. 


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She loves me like this- she knows me. She knows me and she works so hard to help me see how well she knows me and it means the world, and I hate that it’s taken me so long to figure out this kind of love because I’ve missed so much along the way. But god it’s so good to be known and loved. Because I love live music, she’s brought me to countless shows. Concerts are my church and she is my Amen and Hallelujah.

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It’s in everything really, all the time she’s showing me that I matter so much, that I am worthy and good and she loves me… Because my heart needed to make a home with her, she got us this house. Because I love food she takes me to the best places and the farmers market twice a week. Because I love sunrises she wakes up early at least once on vacation. Because… …Too many things to list here now but her love is not a crazy overstated show, a yo-yo of neglect and keeping. It is a quiet blanket of knowing, a deeply generous love that wraps me up so wholly I forget what it was like to not be loved this well and isn’t that the best.

Also she is an actual goddess I swear have you ever seen a woman so lovely.

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you’re a sunrise swim in texas
quiet warm and sweet
all full of light and magic
you’re my home
even the birds know
chirping me along this morning
pink skies turning blue
water shimmering reflections of the trees
everything around me
waking up slow
except my dizzy head
awake since five
begging me to come out here
dip underneath
and move
my whole self
back and forth across the surface
and breathe
you’re my home and this place never was
I love you



i grew up not really having much of a relationship with my dad, and my mom died when i was 11. there weren’t many “when your mom and i were young…” stories circulating. but one seemed to come up pretty often – a trip my parents took together before i was even a twinkle in their eyes. they left lexington in a blue rambler station wagon (with a pistol in the glove compartment), her in a straw hat, him in an oversized belt buckle. they drove all the way to the west coast, and i can’t remember if they started in canada or san diego, but they drove the length of highway 1. the tale is full of crazy 1970s-young-kids-in-love happenings: youth hostels, illegal pistols in canada, stolen redwood slabs, broken down station wagons, stolen highway signs, and a little city on the coast in washington. moclips.

i’ve heard the story so many times i almost feel like i was there. it was late at night, and they’d been driving for days (weeks?). my dad needed coffee, and there was an exit for a tiny town called moclips. they found a hotel with a restaurant, parked the rambler, and had coffee with a perfect view of the pacific ocean just as the sun began to rise. the fog was thick that day, and it was a typical pnw day – overcast and drizzling. and as they drank their coffee and the sun rose, she fell in love with this sleepy little town right on the ocean.

they would talk about moclips every now and then, and she never lost her love for it. they even had a pact…that if a certain date rolled around and found them not with each other or anyone else, they’d meet back in moclips at that restaurant and live out the rest of their days in the seaside town that captivated her so many years before.

fast forward 35-ish years to 2017. i wrote these words on the plane, traveling across the country to spread my mom’s ashes in the city that she loved on what would have been her 61st birthday.

we never took even one trip together
no summer vacations
or spring breaks
or long weekends
or a day trip

but now
we are traveling across the country
for our first and final trip

and even though
you won’t be physically there
you will be there
in a more real way
than you ever were physically present

because this trip is about
letting go
and holding on
and remembering
and forgiving
(finally forgiving)

twenty-six years…
you’ve missed so many moments
leslie has your eyes and spirit
and lucy your smile and twinkle
and that?
it’s breathtaking
and heartbreaking
and comforting
a wild storm of contradictions
which is such a perfect illustration
of the way you lived
and i feel so blessed
because the best parts of you
are living on
in your granddaughters
and your life was not wasted
because they will
know and tell your story

our first trip will be our last
and i am filled with so much
and peace
at the thought of it

and then these words going home:

i’ve tried countless times
to write the words
that would somehow capture
that day,
and every time
i have failed
because the words for those emotions?
well, they either don’t exist
or i haven’t found them
but maybe these will come close:

after twenty-six years
and so many tears
it was finally time
to let you go.

the tide roared in
with such fervor
that it matched
the intensity of every single
beat of my heart…
like it somehow realized
the enormity of the day
and what was about to happen

and as i poured you out
into those waves
and that deep, wide, endless water
there wasn’t one single drop
of sadness
or regret
or anything
other than absolute certainty
that this was where you belonged

you had always belonged there
i felt that in places so deep
that i’m not sure i knew they even existed
before that moment
but as i watched you become part of
the ocean and the fog
i knew that it was true

and after,
the tide slowed
and the smallest wave
barely reached my feet
a gentle acknowledgement
of how perfect
life (and death) can be.

and today we’re back in moclips, just as in love with this place as she was, like our souls have found their home. i cried when we got close, and again in our sweet beach house, and then again when we walked to the ocean. the tide was all the way out, and we walked for what felt like forever to dip our toes in the water. when we got close enough, we turned back to avoid the icy temperatures, and i swear the water followed us, further up the beach than the waves had been coming until (just like that day), the tiniest wave barely reached our feet…a gentle acknowledgement of home.

we’ve found our place, and she loves her place and our hearts our hearts our hearts.

xoxo, k

23, 2.0

march 23, 2017

two years ago today. it’s not something we’ve been shy about sharing in this space – the way the door opened and the light was perfect and all the things that had been so scary and off balance and lonely fell into place in an instant. the way a moment can literally change everything.

we’ve talked about the pain and loss, the love and joy, really just two sides of the same coin, impossible to have one without the other. we’ve laughed together and cried together, found our people, worked hard to make a safe space for our family, healed some of the broken places, traveled, eaten amazing food, adopted two terrible dogs and a couple of pretty okay cats, rearranged furniture, taken trips, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries (so many anniversaries), and settled in to a life that feels so normal sometimes it surprises me.

the days that followed the very first 23rd were a crazy mix of emotions, some good and some that i hope we never feel again. but that day? magic. (there’s a reason we write about the 23rd so often.)

for me, the day started with a nine hour car trip – driving due east and watching the sun rise on a day i didn’t even know i would remember forever.


the rest is pretty well-documented history by now (you can read about it here and here), but looking back, those nine hours in the car were exactly what i needed. time to think and sing and car-dance without anything (or anyone) else. it was just me, alone with my thoughts. i made big decisions in the car that day about how i wanted to live my life and what i needed to do to make that happen. i was feeling pretty smug when i arrived at bridget’s house, ready to share all of my big plans with two of my closest friends. and then…


it feels like yesterday and ten years ago. part of me can’t believe it’s been two years and part of me can’t believe it’s only been two years. nevertheless, i’m grateful.

i hope that when we’re 90 the 23rd will still feel as magical as it does today, and i hope i never forget dancing in that weird little beer garden or watching the sun rise over the ocean.

My Post (75)

happy 23rd, y’all.

xoxo, k



take me to church

today, we went to church. it seems strange that we hadn’t been in so long, both of us being pretty church-y people, but after – well, everything – we had a hard time with church. the evangelical churches aren’t exactly a safe place for a family like ours, and my trusty presbyterian church, while accepting and welcoming and affirming as a denomination was chock full of hard relationships. we’d visited a handful of other churches, but the truth is that church shopping is exhausting at best and can be downright disastrous at worst. add eight children to the mix and it becomes impossible.

our kids settled in to the youth group at the presbyterian church, and we are so thankful for that. it has been a steadying force for them and they have formed important friendships there. they have important conversations about the world, jesus, themselves…it really has been a blessing to them.

i guess we just got…comfortable. comfortable with the kids having a place, comfortable with sleeping in on sunday mornings, comfortable with not church shopping. we’d talk about it sometimes – “i wish we had a church.” “we should go try this church or that one.” and then we just didn’t…for a lot of reasons.

listen, i love church. i do. i’ve been convinced that god is real since i sat in the sanctuary as a 4 year old thinking that our head pastor was god himself. i experienced god in really tangible ways when, as an 11 year old, my mom died and i navigated that grief with our brand new youth pastor who wasn’t quite sure what she’d gotten herself into. i felt god move over and over again at our middle-of-nowhere church camp – scattered in a field under the stars with only the light from our candles, huddled around a campfire singing songs i still remember the words to, at vespers on top of the mountain, and late at night in cabin two with the best friends i’ve ever had.

i have really amazing church memories, and i (still) really love jesus.


(there’s always a but, isn’t there?)

the church is made up of people, and sometimes people get it wrong (really, really wrong in ways that are so damaging). people can be terrible. church people can be especially terrible, twisting the bible to fit whatever interpretation they have deemed correct and then hiding behind it to justify their terrible-ness.

it’s easy to take the hurt caused by the people of the church and make it about the church or god or some combination of those three things. and i guess that’s what happened and why we needed a break from church. when you are hurt by something that is supposed to be safe – it’s a different kind of healing that has to happen before you’re ready to put yourself in that position again…to open yourself up for possibly more hurt.

but today we did.

we visited the sweetest country church, and it was like walking in to a family gathering. people were milling around talking about their weeks, and we had barely taken our seats before introductions were made, smiles and names exchanged, and conversations started. y’all…if you want to fall in love with a church, go to a small town and find a welcoming little church with weird stained glass and artificial flowers. find a place where, during morning announcements, someone in the congregation points out that wanda in the choir celebrated a birthday yesterday and the entire church breaks into singing “happy birthday” to her. go to a church where mom hugs are the norm, where they love their community, believe in justice, eat together, pray together, and welcome visitors with open arms.

jesus met me at that little church today, and he reminded me that it doesn’t have to be perfect, that there’s no guarantee we won’t get hurt by the people of the church, that he loves us whether we’re at church or not, and that there’s something really magical about a community of people gathered together to love, pray for, and honor each other.

i don’t know where our church journey will lead us, but i’m glad we went today.

happy birthday, wanda. and happy anniversary, mr. and mrs. lewis. thanks for being so kind and welcoming, sheila, marlene, adele, bob, jim, adam, and everybody else whose names i’ve forgotten. ouita, thank you for inviting us (and for the best hugs).

xoxo, k


Ma’s House


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Ma’s… Listen nothing in life is perfect but her little museum of a house comes close and every time she has us over for pizza and the kids gather around this table and then run around like maniacs in her perfect little basement my heart swells. 

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Ivy loves Ma to pieces, and this time while we were over Kara gave Ivy a little tour. She showed her the pink room, and Ives immediately claimed it as her own. She even opened up her mom’s old music box and showed her the inside. 

Processed with VSCO with a8 presetI don’t know if Ma wanted to like me, she had enough people telling her she shouldn’t, but I think she does like me. I didn’t know I’d like her so much to be honest, but I do. I like her and her impeccable furniture taste and her white keds and how she lights up at all of our kids stories. I like how she makes manhattans and how she points her finger when she talks in perfect old lady style. Processed with VSCO with a8 presetProcessed with VSCO with a8 preset

Nothing in life is perfect but this little Friday family night at Ma’s House was pretty close. And I know we talk a lot about the ones who left, but I’m so thankful for all the people we haven’t lost in all the mess of this Wild love. Processed with VSCO with 5 preset






to the ones who left

to the ones who left,

hi. it’s been a while, hasn’t it? you’ve been on my mind extra lately, so i decided it was probably time to finally write this. these words keep swirling around in my head; sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep because the words just keep coming. some nights they’re sad words about how much i miss you or how i wish i could pick up the phone and call you to tell you about something that happened. other nights they’re angry words and i want them to hurt you, to give you a taste of how much hurt you’ve caused me, my family, my kids. but mostly they’re questions…why? how? and the knowing that those questions will forever go unanswered is what keeps me awake the most.

at the very least you were among my best friends…at the most, you were family. and now you’re gone. i’ll never understand that choice, but i’m at least to a point now of being able to accept it and i want to tell you a few things about how your choice has rippled.

listen, i get it. i made a choice that made you uncomfortable. maybe you loved my husband, maybe you just loved the seemingly perfect little family we had, maybe you just have really firmly held beliefs in traditional marriage, maybe you were worried about me or my girls. after two years i’ve realized that figuring out the why of your decision won’t make it any easier, so it doesn’t even really matter why, does it? what matters is that you left before you even tried. you decided it was too hard or wrong or ridiculous or dangerous or whatever adjective you want to throw at it. you decided, and you left.

i used to be so heartbroken about your choice. i let it define me and let it make me feel less than and unworthy.

i let it shrink me.

i held my girls while they cried, too young to really understand why you left. i explained love and choices to them. sometimes i cried with them, letting my tears and confusion match theirs. other times i held it together and helped them feel strong and capable and brave in spite of the sadness and loss…and then wept after they were in bed. eventually i started to believe the things i was telling them.

“everybody gets to make their own choices.”

     “we’re better off surrounding ourselves with people who love us no matter what.”

                          “it won’t always hurt this much.”

        “think of how much kinder and more aware of people’s feelings you are now.” 

so i guess what i mostly want to tell you is that we’re okay. we have people who love us – really love us no matter what. we are so happy and whole and healthy. we laugh a lot and our smiles are plentiful. our home is full of joy and so much love. sometimes your name comes up and we all pause. we let ourselves remember the good things, though with a tinge of sadness.

and another thing…you were wrong.

you were so wrong about this.

you left a friend, a best friend, a daughter, granddaughters, nieces. you caused so much damage and heartache in your self-righteous temper tantrum, and you don’t get to take that back. you (yes you) made choices that i didn’t agree with, had different political leanings, believed different things about jesus and the church, married people i thought weren’t good enough for you, spent money on things i thought were ridiculous, raised your children differently than i did…

…but i loved you still. i wish you could have done the same for us.




a few weeks ago, she surprised me. it had been one of those days when nothing had gone particularly wrong, but it didn’t seem like much had gone right either. we collapsed into bed, unable to do anymore “mom-ing” for the night, and she pulled out her computer.

it always feels a little surreal, seeing pictures of my mom as a little girl or a teenager, a new mother with a tiny baby me in her arms. there aren’t many pictures of her; these were old slides that i inherited when ma went on one of her purging adventures. i always meant to do something with them, but then life happened and they ended up on a bookshelf, mostly forgotten.


it’s been so long that sometimes i forget she was ever actually here, which feels awful to admit. the older i get, the more distant the memories become.

but this is proof that she was here. and she was happy. and brave.


and she loved her baby girl.

gosh. she would have loved her granddaughters. these pictures of her in a dragon shirt are so similar to leslie in all the ways – their face is the same, their hands, their hair, their apparent love of dragons and bad jeans.

my heart is so happy.

xoxo, k