The Clobbering Majesty of the Lilac

The first scent of lilacs in the late spring makes me think, oddly, of childbirth.

Stick with me for a second here.

Some women are said to later remember the actual pain of labor as less intense than it actually was. This, I would guess, contributes to having more children. I’m not a mother.

But I do know that every winter, I remember the glory of lilacs as less intense than it actually was. This, I would guess, contributes to surviving winter. I live in Minnesota.



Hi friends, I thought I’d just ramble a little bit about life, if that’s cool.

Even if that’s not cool. 🙂


The summer has just been blazing by, which is so wild. Usually June is a quiet month in admissions at my university, but this June was the busiest I can remember in my fourteen years in this role! It’s fun– but also a little hard to not be able to catch my breath during a season I was expecting that opportunity!

I spent the 4th of July [extended] weekend working on the novel, and I polished up the first 10 chapters (approximately 75 pages) in a way I’m really proud of. Stay tuned to see if my editor agrees. There are a couple issues that I still need to figure out. Tomorrow I’m getting a massage, and I swear: I have some of my best ideas while lying on that table! Fingers crossed.

Online dating is maybe the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced, apart from writing a book, although in all completely different ways. This summer I keep switching my profiles “off”– on most sites, you can hide or suspend your profile– in order to recollect myself and get a little work done. I am talking to someone now who is sweet and fun and intentional … which means I am probably a week or two from screwing it up. #optimist

One thing I am trying to do this year is to be intentional about making sure my friends feel loved. I am trying to learn their love languages and care about them in the ways that they appreciate most (versus the way I feel most comfortable). This has actually been really, really fun and meaningful: sometimes it looks like coffee and conversation, sometimes coming up with the most perfect gift that will make them laugh, buying a gift card for grocery delivery, handwritten letters. Yesterday I got to have a video call with an overseas friend. I plan to continue this experiment/experience/intentionality throughout the year and hopefully next.

I’ve read some great books lately. I’ll post reviews soon.

Tell me about you. Please. Leave a comment about anything in the whole world.


summer camp

It’s going to be a strange summer for me, folks, and now that June is here, it is starting to hit me!

Get this: I have spent time at Pine Haven Christian Assembly every summer since 1990, but I will not be there this summer.

Yeah.  Weird.

I grew up going to PHCA , starting the summer before fourth grade.  It took me under a week to acknowledge that this sacred patch of land in northern Minnesota was my new favorite place in the world.  I attended every year, including the year after high school graduation, and I could not have loved this camp any more than I did.  When I went off to college, I gave a speech on Pine Haven in my communications class.  I even wrote a sonnet (the only sonnet I have every written) about the cabin I always stayed in.

After my freshman year of college, I returned to Pine Haven, this time as a volunteer counselor, which was even BETTER than being a camper!  I met some of my very best friends at this camp (Eir, Ashley, Whitney, Dora) and have dragged other friends (Megs, Desiree) along with me to counsel.  Years of experiences and inside jokes at that delightful campground have knit our stories together.

This weekend, two of our camp friends got married, and I attended the wedding, held in Rochester, MN.  The ceremony and reception were like a giant camp reunion, and I LOVED IT.  It was so good for my heart to be surrounded by these people I love.  What an incredible thing to share so many memories and experiences with a group of people.

B’Dewayne McGirr Experiment, the Mavericks, the Killa Killas … so many great teams, so many great leaders, so many great friends.  I have watched people meet at this camp, fall in love, get married.  I have watched best friends ally themselves, friends who would be connected for years.  We can’t escape each other.  I wouldn’t want to.

I will miss you guys this summer.  Lots.