blog posts

Book Review: The Black Banners

June 19, 2017

I finished this book in late May and completely forgot to review it here. I know most of you who read my reviews are primarily… Read more

Miller Camp for Boys 2017

June 19, 2017

Last summer Jake came to stay with us, and this summer it only felt right to have him here again. Jake belongs to Matt and Amy,… Read more

Jackson turns 11

June 12, 2017

Jackson has been counting down to his eleventh birthday since the calendar turned to 2017. It’s fair to say he is obsessed with it, even… Read more

A baby, a birthday party, and three graduates

June 4, 2017

While writing is my deepest passion, I am grateful that photography can be a creative outlet. I am also grateful so many people continue to trust me… Read more

Book Review: Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal

May 31, 2017

If you know me, then you know I was #NotWithHer during the 2016 presidential election. I had the privilege of voting my conscience because I don’t… Read more

Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

May 31, 2017

Though released in June 2016, it wasn’t until after President Trump was elected in November that I started hearing about Hillbilly Elegy and saw J.D.… Read more

Medal No. 16

May 23, 2017

For the first time in my long-distance running experience, I thought the race would be cancelled. The weather forecast ranged from a 70-90 percent chance… Read more

Book Review: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

May 17, 2017

Reading this book was an act of magnetism because I’ve been drawn to the Lost Generation writers and their work since I went to Key West… Read more

Parasailing and Fishing in the Gulf

May 16, 2017

After two full days on the beach we ventured into town so the boys could go parasailing. At first they acted nervous, like what they were… Read more

First Romp in the Gulf at Miramar Beach, Destin

May 15, 2017

Our life feels crazy sometimes, but after nearly a decade into Chuck’s job, I’ve learned to go with the flow. Our original plans for family vacation… Read more

The flawless faces of beautiful children

May 2, 2017

I am a lucky girl. When “playing with my camera” takes me to a sprawling property, situated in front of these beautiful faces, I cannot complain.… Read more

Crawling to summer

April 25, 2017

This is how the school day begins: Crawling from the bed to the floor in the school room. Lounging until the last minute. Taking advantage of… Read more

Sofia as Belle

April 23, 2017

When someone wants to do a themed photo session, you don’t say no. Sofia is nearly three and I’ve been photographing her since she was… Read more

Jackson + ESPN Encyclopedias

April 18, 2017

If you know Jackson, then you know he’s a ferocious reader. This fact alone is a sentence I wasn’t sure I’d type eight years ago… Read more

Book Review: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

April 11, 2017

I unearthed Max Lucado’s 1986 book to read during Lent because I’ve been craving the story of the cross. In recent years I researched contemplative prayer… Read more

Five Things I Learned from S-Town

April 2, 2017

If you love the Serial Podcasts as much as I do, then you’re probably going to give S-Town a try, even though 1) it isn’t Serial No. 3,… Read more

Life and Death in Spring and Lent

March 30, 2017

As the bursts of color take over Tennessee and we enjoy the warmth of 70-degree afternoons, we are also in a liturgical season of reflection… Read more

Two podcast suggestions for Lent

March 20, 2017

For the past few years my Lenten practice has been to give up fiction and read spiritual/religious/vexing nonfiction instead. It’s not the biggest challenge in… Read more

Tying Heart Strings

March 16, 2017

A few weeks ago we had a dilemma to resolve as parents. It was unexpected, as most parenting dilemmas are, and I’m pleased to report that… Read more

Book Review: The Great Divorce

March 14, 2017

After the cluster that was my Searching for Sunday reading experience, I craved a literary touchstone so spiritually challenging that I’d be knocked right off my high horse. I… Read more

On International Women’s Day, I say Thank You

March 8, 2017

To my mother, who shuffled us here and there, took us to church, taught in our schools, made us laugh, passed down Grandma Wehrwein’s banana… Read more

Book Review: Searching for Sunday

March 7, 2017

If this reads like a break-up letter, that’s because it is. Rachel won’t receive it, and that’s fine. Her pool of fans is large enough,… Read more

CS Lewis Doodles

March 1, 2017

For those of you embarking on a spiritual journey for Lent, I want to suggest a delightful YouTube channel you might enjoy, particularly if you… Read more

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Eight

February 28, 2017

In January I took a hike. It was a required hike on account of a freelance assignment, but I welcomed it heartily because I needed… Read more

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Seven

February 27, 2017

It was a crap-tastic day, the Mondayist Monday ever. I could be a real live Superwoman, what with all my super-powered self-restraint. I am amazingly… Read more

Signs of Life Days Twenty-Four through Twenty-Six

February 27, 2017

We’ve gotten hawkish with our weekends. Protective, limiting, careful. We’ve skipped church more often than ever because we need sleep, time, a break. I don’t… Read more

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Three

February 23, 2017

It’s that time – that glorious not-too-hot, not-to-cold time of year when I am happy to sit on the front porch all day long with… Read more

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Two

February 22, 2017

In October 2000, a 14-year-old girl who’d concealed her pregnancy secretly gave birth and placed the newborn in a shed. The baby died from severe… Read more

Signs of Life Day Twenty-One

February 21, 2017

I love the comfort and calm of our routine. It grounds me, rejuvenates me, and reminds me that the life we’ve chosen is right for… Read more

Signs of Life Days Seventeen through Twenty

February 20, 2017

When Friday morning rolled around and I’d finished a laundry list of things to do, including laundry, I hibernated in my bedroom for two hours… Read more

Signs of Life Day Sixteen

February 17, 2017

The day was lovely. Classes went well, and Chuck and I enjoyed a lunch date. Please look at these donuts and imagine how delicious they… Read more

Signs of Life Day Fifteen

February 15, 2017

When the day is as ordinary as today was, finding goodness can be challenging. I had little interaction with the outside world. School went along this… Read more

Signs of Life Day Fourteen

February 15, 2017

For the last four years my boys have participated in a volunteer program at our church that provides a hot meal once a week to anyone… Read more

Signs of Life Day Thirteen

February 13, 2017

When social media went downhill last year and finally tanked the day after the election, I took a break (like many others) and revised the… Read more

Book Review: Hidden Bodies

February 13, 2017

First, an English lesson: Deus ex Machina (“god from the machine”) is a literary device often used when the writer has “painted herself into a corner.”… Read more

Signs of Life Days Eleven and Twelve

February 13, 2017

The weekend was exactly what I hoped for. Sleeping in, lots of reading, plenty of time for exercise… The weird February weather translated to time… Read more

Signs of Life Day Ten

February 10, 2017

I’m currently working on class descriptions for next year, which means I’m knee-deep in book selections for middle schoolers. Such freedom! Such creativity! This is… Read more

Signs of Life Day Nine

February 9, 2017

Today was a good day. My classes went smoothly, I had coffee with a sweet friend, and Chuck and I stole time away for a… Read more

Signs of Life Day Eight

February 8, 2017

Hello, beauties! Today I stumbled upon something inspiring and I want to share it with you. I’d never heard of Verily Magazine before, so when I clicked a… Read more

Book Review: Birdman

February 8, 2017

After reading The Devil of Nanking last year, I sought out Mo Hayder’s entire collection because I knew she was a writer whose works I… Read more

Setting up shop on Bloglovin

February 8, 2017

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I’ve never been a big promoter of this blog outside of friends and family members, but something tells me now… Read more

Signs of Life Day Seven

February 7, 2017

I had final interviews this afternoon for the piece I’m writing about death according to five major religions. I know what you’re thinking — JENNIE,… Read more

Signs of Life Day Six

February 6, 2017

I’m nearly finished with my freelance piece about death according to five major religions, and this morning I spent about an hour on the phone… Read more

Signs of Life Days Four and Five

February 6, 2017

One of the first things I did after setting up my dorm room in the fall of 1996 is go to the student newspaper office… Read more

Signs of Life Day Three

February 3, 2017

When I was 15 years old, I was easily 70 lbs. heavier than I am right now. I was unhealthy and insecure, but when I… Read more

Signs of Life Day Two

February 2, 2017

Teaching children (other than my own) has been a bigger blessing than I ever imagined it would be, and it all started as a total… Read more

Signs of Life Day One

February 1, 2017

My first thought upon hearing the alarm song at 7 a.m. (“Across the Great Divide” by Nanci Griffith) was – Absolutely not. No way it is… Read more

An escape to the mountains and a new blog series

January 30, 2017

Part of my freelance work involves contributing to an online outdoor magazine. I get do to what I already love, snap a few photos, and get… Read more

There Was Once by Margaret Atwood

January 25, 2017

Political frustration depicted in fiction. There was never a truer conversation. Enjoy. “There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who… Read more

Favorite Thing: Gaiam Yoga Mat

January 25, 2017

In early December, I purchased my very first yoga mat. This was after doing a year of yoga on the bedroom or living room carpet… Read more

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