Celebrating Life AND Death at Christmas

On my mind …


christmas celebrateIt’s not a traditional Christmas carol, but this– my favorite modern Christmas hymn– stirs my soul like no other. While most people I know have Christmas as their favorite holiday, mine will always be Easter. But, of course, they are connected.

We begin in the dark: a humble stable, a pregnant girl whose faithfulness means giving birth in a barn, a baby king with no cradle but a manger.

And it gets darker still: abuse and blood and death, a broken body in a sealed-up tomb.

But it ends (or is this actually a new beginning?) in the light: LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE.

That’s why “I Celebrate the Day” by Relient K is a holiday gem. Because it celebrates it all: light and dark, life and death and life again, the entire plan.

Listen below.



And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could covey

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Deet 34

Happy 34th birthday to my favorite Janet-Jackson-dancing, upside-down-Princess-Pat, goofy, amazing, easily scandalized, figure-skating-obsessed, compassionate, honest, God-fearing, sweet, hilarious sister.

You are the first one to consider how to include a newcomer. Your instincts are so good, even when you doubt yourself. You have an iron will, a heart of gold, and care so much it sometimes turns you inside out. You can also slay a jumpsuit.

I adore you.

Here’s to the next 34 years of making memories as Sommers girls!


Having an ultra productive day, one where I feel happy enough and healthy enough and motivated enough to just BLAST through my to-do list.

Productivity is one of my all time favorite … feelings, I guess. Situations? Experiences?

I used to feel like this EVERY. DAY. Can you imagine? No wonder I got so much accomplished! The last couple of years have been an exercise in humility and stillness, finding inherent worth in BEING, instead of in DOING.

I wrote every day for maybe 5 years. I look back on that and it feels so bonkers.

This week has been good, even though it’s been hard. I know I’ve used this metaphor before, but once again, it feels like a thread has been stitched through so many areas of my life and it’s almost time to pull, to cinch it all together.

I am celebrating.

I purchased a goal planner from Cultivate What Matters. I know it’s the kind of thing that stresses some people out, but I love it. I call it empire building.

It feels amazing to be building anything, let alone an empire. It feels like it’s been a couple years of dismantling.


Sometimes it’s best to take apart all the faulty things and make them right.

I heard it once upon a time and have said it over the years to many people. Remember, Jackie, that mountains have switchbacks. You may not always be facing the direction you’d like, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still approaching the goal. In fact, at times, you may be moving in the literal opposite direction of your destination, but it’s just part of the path that leads there.



I can’t seem to adjust to Daylight Saving this year. By 6 pm, my body thinks it’s 10 and is confused about where I slipped into a wormhole.

I have to take so many supplements right now. It’s overwhelming, and I find myself skipping it a lot. I haven’t figured out a coping method yet, though it helps to spread it out a little. I’ll bring a baggie of meds and supplements to work and take them over the course of half an hour. I probably need to do this at night too.

Periods are the worst. Mine have always been bad physically but now they are bad hormonally. I’m on a rollercoaster and absolutely anything can make me cry.

Being an adult is so hard. It feels harder the older I get, in some ways. Easier in a couple, but harder in most.

I’m just venting here, obviously. I fell today and banged up my knee and I just want cuddles.

*Updated* Online Dating Sites as Described to Harry Potter Fans

Love the prompts on this site … it feels like you get to the core of a person so much faster! Unusual skills … advice to my younger self … I’m legitimately bad at … I’m weirdly attracted to …

Bottom line: Quirky as Harry laced up on Felix Felicis.


The app asks about all your best habits and then forces you to slow down every time you swipe left.

Bottom line: Hufflepuffs only.


Here I paid serious cha-ching to get curated matches– so these people were basically me with different anatomy, except everyone was freakishly timid and on their best, most boring behavior. The closest matches to what I think I want– at least on paper– but IRL it looks more like monthly credit card charges so that I can shout into the void.

Bottom line: Dumbledore is setting you up, buuuuuuuut you have to destroy horcruxes for him in exchange. 

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Coffee Meets Bagel
Every day at noon, female users get sent one “bagel” (yes, that’s what a man/his profile is called on this site). If we like each other, a chat screen opens up. You only get one bagel a day unless you want to purchase another with “coffee beans” that you can earn or buy. I mean, I have friends who found love in this hopeless place, but unless you are ready to make it rain, this is the slowest possible method for finding breakfast. I mean, a partner.

Bottom line: this is like going to the Room of Requirement every day at noon, just hoping that some hottie will be there at the same time. 

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Okc has multiple search options but a pretty unfocused constituency, so be prepared for booty calls and marriage proposals in the same day. I find myself coming back to it over and over again though, since you never know who will show up.

Bottom line: keeping an eye out for love at the Three Broomsticks.

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Plenty of Fish wins #1 Sketch City, and your profile picture is all that matters to most. In a weekend, you might get 99 inquiries for chill and 1 for Netflix.

Bottom line: Knockturn Alley. 

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Christian Mingle
If you’re picky (which I am– hence a specialized dating site), Christian Mingle might give you a killer selection like it gave me: two locals and one guy from Ohio. Cool.

Bottom line: seems like a great idea until you match with two Muggles and one wizard from Durmstrang.

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Bumble is called the “feminist Tinder” because only women can initiate conversations. Bumble brings all the hotties to the yard, enough that it makes me wonder how many profiles are fake. It gives me a feeling of power over incredibly attractive men … who may or may not exist, so … win? Hard to say.

Bottom line: you and Professor McGonagal have a girlfriends night to drink wine and look at cute wizards, which kind of makes it fun even if you don’t find love.

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What the heck is going on here? This is a hot mess.

Bottom line: like apparating the first time. I got out before I got splinched.

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All the Things

I’m going to start a fragrance … catalog. Not of what the fragrance smells like, but how it makes the wearer FEEL. Don’t tell me if this already exists; I want to believe this idea is original.

I’m voting next week. I used to only vote in presidential elections. That now feels foolish.

Completely changing my diet is SO. HARD. I think a big key for me will be getting groceries more often so that I always have healthy food for meals and snacks. If I dont have it on hand, my diet and willpower are blown to smithereens.

I have a date tomorrow. He is very handsome. I’m intimidated.

Work feels good and fun. My coworkers are the best. I’ve been missing some former coworkers too.

I spoke on a panel for disabilities week at mt university. It feels so empowering for me to talk about OCD. That, I recognize, is a miracle.

Some English majors at my university invited me to join them Sunday evenings this month for NaNoWriMo writing fun. I feel like that will motivate me! I’ve been thinking about Salt Novel so much.

I still miss The One That Got Away, although I’m PISSED at him too. I’m hoping God is protecting me from something I couldnt have saved myself from.

I couldnt find my notes from a talk I hear author Aly Carter give about being a “baby author” … so I contacted her online and asked for it. She sent me the PowerPoint. SO. GOOD. I will recap it for you soon.


The Great Reckoning: Surviving a Christianity that looks Nothing Like Christ by Stephen Mattson

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

The Hero is You by Kendra Levin

Looking for:

Easy Paleo options

A kitten ring

A man/hero

Grateful for:


Frozen peas

Friends who are exceptionally anti-shaming