There are a wide variety of reactions to our recent presidential election, and they vary even within people who voted the same way (or didn't vote at all). However, there seems to be a cross-section of people across voting decisions that urge: "Let's talk about this. Let's listen to each other. Then let's move past it." I'm all about having authentic relationships with people and trying to understand others' perspectives and experiences. But I don't have to be ready to talk right now. In no [ continue reading ... ]

On election night, I found myself reflecting on the historic nature of the day. Nearly 100 years after the woman's right to vote was recognized, we were going to have our first female president. I was excited, but I also felt in hushed awe of the moment. I saved my "I Voted" sticker in case one day I have a daughter to show it to. I thought about people anticipating other moments in history and wondered what it felt like for them. I was amused by the contrast of this landmark in time with what [ continue reading ... ]

The English language is missing some words. For instance, there are gender-neutral terms for a grandmother or grandfather (grandparent) and for a brother or sister (sibling) but no categorical term for aunt and uncle or niece and nephew. At the same time, there's no gender-specific term for cousin (while other languages do have a term). This has always bothered me. Recently, I realized another word that's missing. The other day, I was trying to explain and how I'm trying to figure out how [ continue reading ... ]

I'm always ambitious about my plans for the summer. Since I'm a teacher, summer is the time to catch up on everything I've put on hold during the hectic schedule of the school year. It's also when I tackle big projects, both personal and career-related. My list usually involves a lot of "house" goals (cleaning, organizing), teaching goals (research, organizing), and writing goals (blog posts, writing for other publications, my book project). This summer, making my house more fit for two, there's [ continue reading ... ]

I clearly remember when I had all of my "important" documents in one slim manila file folder. It probably consisted of a bill for Columbia House and maybe some ticket information about an upcoming Star Trek convention. Granted, I was probably thirteen at the time, but I wistfully picture that folder in my mind as I drudge through the endless paper trail that claims to document my existence. Maybe it's so overwhelming because I try to catch up with this paper trail in the summer, not having [ continue reading ... ]

Over the course of the past eight years of teaching, I have many, many times found myself overwhelmed at the start of the morning. I often feel unprepared, whether I feel like I need more time to review my lessons or just feel rattled from other things going on in my personal life. But regardless of how ready I feel, that bell will always ring and those ever-energetic children will always rush into the classroom, full of needs and expectations. At those times, I take a deep breath and remind [ continue reading ... ]

A few weeks ago, Ruth La Ferla, fashion reporter for The New York Times, contacted me and asked if she could interview me for an article about the decision to wear (or not wear) wedding veil. She had come across my piece, Why I Won't Wear White On My Wedding Day, and wanted my thoughts on the veil question. When she asked, she didn't even know that the hypothetical wedding I wrote about over a year ago is now becoming reality! You can read her article on wedding veils--a result of her interview [ continue reading ... ]

I don't mind people enjoying sports. I enjoy watching from time to time, too. But when people get overly emotional about them, I admit I get pretty judgmental. I have to keep from rolling my eyes when people say they're depressed over their team losing or when they pick a fight with another fan over, well, a game. Except... sometimes it's about more than a game for people. And, as judgmental as I can be, sometimes it's about more than a game for me, too. My dad was a huge fan of Kentucky basketball. [ continue reading ... ]

This post started as a reflection on saying good-bye to the house that my parents have owned since I was three years old. But, as reflections are wont to do, it began to take a different path, a path that recognized a contrast within who I am. Sometimes it takes a landmark occasion to prompt you to put words to something like that. Several days ago, as I fell asleep in the room I slept in as a young child, I recalled figments of my childhood imagination. I loved the story of Peter Pan. I [ continue reading ... ]

I'm all for thoughtful conversation. I'm also all for challenging others' preconceptions--in the context of a personal relationship or an appropriate platform. But many times, you just have to let things go.  I seem to be doing this more than usual lately. Probably, the "more than usual" is because I'm planning a wedding. While I encounter these situations somewhat regularly in regards to issues I'm passionate about (like education, mental/emotional struggles, singleness, or Christianity), [ continue reading ... ]