Sunday, January 8

Melancholic Melodies

First, I'll say that I don't know half as many great bands as I should. So if someone is obviously missing from my next few sentences...tell me!
I have been in quite the nostalgic, thoughtful, and even sad "music mood." I'm not miserable, but I just think melancholic songs are so beautiful. Yesterday I listened to Bon Iver all day. And I have such fondness for Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, the Civil Wars, Iron & Wine. I mean, you know all these guys. That they're worth a listen isn't news.
But today I stumbled across my favorite kind of band - a married duet.
Phillip LaRue (from my teen years of CCM love) and his wife have formed Us & Our Daughters.
Mmmm mmm good.
Have a listen.

At the very least, click this video. You'll love 'em.

If you don't already know of some fantastic marrieds making music, check out these guys, too:
Mates of State
The Weepies

Thursday, January 5

Dear Sister

I'm beginning to forget your voice.
There is this unraveling. This sand that won't stop falling from my hands.

I thought that the second year after you left would be easier. It was not.

Instead, the silence that took your place in my life became deafening.
The lingering memories faded, and all that was left was silence. Loud, hurting silence.
I try and recall your face, your words, your embrace, but they fail me.

The memories won't come back.
You won't come back.

My solace, my quiet in the silence, is your life.
That you ever lived, and lived loudly and extravagantly-
this is the small, warm fire in a great, cold room.

I'm beginning to forget you.
I only hold on to some memories a little while longer.
And the sound of your voice, like you, is already gone.

Monday, January 2

Back from Haiti

It's been two years since Haiti was devastated by the earthquake. Having already been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the nation was catapulted into the spotlight and help came. The church that our team worked with spoke often of vision. Their vision for the nation of Haiti is very much like the vision that God gave Nehemiah. Long before the earthquake ever struck, they were called to "rebuild the walls."
Trucks, buses, food, water, tents... the donations have flooded in. This bus was meant to help a church plant 13 miles from the capital, but like many things, it did not last. It is a symbol of the brokenness of this place. It is a reminder of the needs that seem to know no end. It is a testimony to the generosity of the church. It speaks to me of the satisfaction that is only found in Jesus Christ.
There is a renewal - and true redemption - coming about in Port-au-Prince. The tent cities we worked in are starting to build homes. The school children we helped are receiving food everyday. The church is sharing the good news, inviting neighbors into a life of hope and reconciliation.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
(Isaiah 61:1-4 ESV)

Thursday, October 13

Serving in Haiti


It's hard to believe that God does such amazing things in all our lives. Through hardship comes beauty. After sorrow comes joy. I've seen this come true in my own life, time and again. When I was in Honduras a few years ago, I remember the smiling faces of boisterous children in the orphanage where I served. They had walked through incredible suffering, but they were filled with joy! Why? Because they had learned of a God that loved them, cared for them, and provided for them. I've learned this lesson firsthand in the last couple of years. To have lost my sister last year, and now see God bringing my family even closer to Him and to each other... there is joy to be known after deep, deep loss. The Psalmist sang to the Lord, "You have turned my mourning into dancing" and I know the Lord still does that all the time.

This is my heart and my desire for Haiti. The last time I was there was 8 years ago, and the spiritual oppression was palpable. How could God do something good in Haiti? It seemed impossible. And then an earthquake struck and brought the greatest devastation Haiti has ever known. Yet I have heard many stories of God turning sorrow to joy in the wake of last year's tragedy. There is revival taking place. There are new believers every day! When Vintage21 Church decided to partner with Global Aid Network in Chambrun, Haiti, I knew I would go. What a privilege to not only see, but participate, in the wonderful things God is doing there!

While I'm there, I will help teach some women in the village how to sew and make other goods and crafts that help them provide for their families. Our team will also help give eye exams and distribute prescription glasses to those that need them, and we'll have time to get to know kids around the neighborhood as we share the love of Jesus with them. I CAN'T WAIT!

I'd love for you to commit to pray for our team. We will be in Haiti Nov.12-19 and don't want to waste a single moment. Pray that we would be intentional, and that we would have lots of opportunities to serve the community well. I also need a few more supporters to help me raise the remaining $220 to go next month. Please consider what you could give. Every little bit will help! Finally, talk to me. That sounds funny, but I mean it. Ask me about my trip before, during, and after. Write me an email. Call me. I'd love to have you interested in this trip.

Thank you so much for being in my life and encouraging me!

I can't wait to post pictures and tell you more about the trip.

-Anne Marie

Global Aid Network:

Vintage21 Church:

If you'd like to support me financially, please send donations through PayPal: for

Or I can send you my address if you prefer to mail a check.

Sunday, August 28

Love Lost

I've been thinking about some of my most cherished films. They tell stories of love, and love lost.


Never Let Me Go

One Day

In all of these, there is a profound grieving over what never was, or what could have been. Love is unexpected, and wildly unpredictable. It grows, shines, aches and is lost.
And yet, in all of these films, there is this quiet resolve that what is IS precisely as it should BE. Oh, the joy of acceptance. Not for the sake of accepting, but acceptance based on contentment. I don't know how to put any of this to words, but I just must highly
recommend these three movies. If you haven't seen them, move them to the top of your list. They're all brilliant.

Friday, April 15

Just Say No...

You should know that I hate drugs. Really hate 'em. I don't even like to take over the counter medicine. It works out, then, that I am a bit of a hippie and love finding natural, homeopathic solutions to my health problems...which are never big problems.
But now I have this unrelenting, overpowering, sleep-interrupting, mood-dampening cough that Just. Won't. Leave.
I bought Mucinex for the first time yesterday. Words can't describe how much I dislike that that happened. Mucinex. It kind of worked, but then I woke up coughing for an hour and thought I might die last night.

I just like for things to run their course. For the most part, our bodies do what they're supposed to be doing, and if something's wrong (and we're relatively healthy) then it's getting put right. I want this to run its course.
Except that I haven't slept through the night in a week.
So, now I'm desperate.

My next course of conventional-western-medicine action is a prescription cough syrup with codeine.
Again, you should know that I hate drugs.
I can't decide. Do I take the opiate and try to sleep tonight? Or do I let this run its course and cough myself to death?

Monday, April 11

Indie/Vintage/Green/Stylish Love

Not gonna lie - I love all things indie. Well, all the cute things, anyway.

I thought I'd plug some cool indie corners of the world that I enjoy.

1. Handmade Market

This is legit. They are selling all sorts 0f handmade goodies. I'm not sure what I'll get, but I'm excited to shop and find that one perfect thing!

2. Turtle Love

They make these ultra cool water-drop-shaped glass earrings and necklaces, (I think they should make rings) and then donate most of the money to Water Aid.

3. Miss Eco Chic herself, Emily Anderson

She writes on, but she also wrote Eco Chic Home and the like. I love these things.

Why not be green and unique and stylish?
Zero Waste Living

Sunday, April 10

"Sick Days"

On Friday, I drove 480 miles to Jacksonville. On Saturday, I drove 480 miles back up to Wake Forest. That's 960 miles for all of you who lack basic addition skills.

Of course on the way back on Saturday, I started to feel a nagging little 'ugh' in the back of my throat. That is always how really bad colds begin for me.

... Add to that, I drove through a hurricane in South Carolina. Seriously, I have never driven through such terrible weather in my life. I was the only car that didn't pull off the road. There was hail, people. Hail! I had white knuckles, but I wanted to get home and I had to be at work in 9 hours.

So, just to run the tally for you:
* 1000 miles in 36 hours.
* Hail.
* Fresh cold.

All of this has culminated in a work day that is... interesting... to say the least.
My favorite senior citizen, who I'll just call 'Miss Daisy,' needs a caregiver every day. On Sundays I am her only option. So on the Sundays that I'm sick, "sick days" take a different meaning.

Miss Daisy wants to sleep an extra half hour. No problem. See ya when I see ya.
Then I get her up (45 minutes later). What's that, Miss Daisy? You don't want to brush your teeth today? Fine by me.
Miss Daisy doesn't get a ham and cheddar omelette, or belgian waffle today. No, no. Today, Miss Daisy, you get freezer pancakes.
Oh, you'd like a milkshake for breakfast? Comin' right up. Who says 80-year-olds can't have milkshakes for breakfast? Not me. Not on sick days.
Wait, is that your cat on your lap? Licking the syrup off of your pancakes? Who cares? Not me. Not on sick days.

I think she loves my "sick days."

Friday, March 25

On Going Granola

I think I've alluded to my hippie-dom in the past, but it is in full swing these days. Mostly, I think, because for the first time in about 21 years, I am not a student. I have time to read for fun. And explore who I want to be outside of academia. So, I choose to look into what is essentially a lost art - Home Ec. Not even kidding.

Well, I've made a few things - like this yarn wreath.

Handmade is the way to go. I just believe that more and more with each project.

I've also been getting into nutrition and sustainability and all that good stuff. I've read a few books on those subjects... < on All Consuming > I think my favorite so far has been "In Defense of Food." Maybe I'll blog more about that later...

Today I just want to share the good news that I love my new shampoo and conditioner!!!

I made them and they cost about $1.15 for 12 weeks worth. As in, less than 10 cents a week to wash my hair. And like I said, I made them myself! My hair feels great. It's shiny without being oily; clean without being dry. Best of all, I'm not putting all those weird chemicals all over my scalp.

Give it a try! Here's where I got the recipe.

Wednesday, February 16

Wednesday Weigh-In

Week 2.

Not awesome.

I went to Florida for a few days to see family. Do you know where they wanted to go? I will tell you where. Golden Corral.


Salad and fruit for $8. And I did have one or two glorious multigrain yeast rolls. Somewhere down the line, the literal buffet line, I caught a stomach bug. For the subsequent two days following my exposure to that god-awful place I was near-death. On the flight back to NC I looked so rough they wanted to escort me off the plane. At that point, I didn't know it was a bug (in my defense).

Oh, infernal virus. It knocked off 5 pounds in two days. But when I could finally eat saltines on day 3, it decided to hoard every last calorie. So my total loss for Week 2 was a measly 3 pounds. I won't be bitter, though. I'm glad to have my life, and to not have had to report to the CDC. Plus, that brings my total weight loss so far to 10 pounds.

Week 3, it's on.

(Oh, and happy birthday, Momma! I love you so much!)

Wednesday, February 9

Wednesday Weigh-In

Oh boy. You know what this means.

I've changed my diet. Somehow my diet became a carb-loading one, and I just don't have the figure for that ::understatement:: Not to mention the fact that I put on 20 pounds in 2010... Errr, it was not my best year. Which means that I loved cake "like a fat kid loves cake." Not awesome.

I'm hitting the gym. Or the trail. Or the pavement. Some exercise, everyday. I took kickbox class on Monday, and am hereby officially (mentally) renaming it kickbutt class, because that is what it did to me.

I'm limiting myself to 1000-1200 calories a day, and 80 - 120 carbs a day. My diet is mostly produce, legumes, and some lean meat. Not to mention the 8 - 10 glasses of water I'm having everyday. I don't even remember what soda tastes like right now. Mmmm soda.

Low point.

So, to get to the weigh-in-
I've lost 7 pounds!

YAY! Happy day. Oh, and today my mom has been cancer free for five years, so she wins the "big deal of the day" award. Love her. Love you. Thanks for stopping by the blogaroo.

Here's a recipe in case you feel like eating what I'm eating these days (it was spectacular, btw):

Insane Vegetable Soup
  • Non-stick, no fat cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini

  • Directions:
  • Spray a large saucepan with non-stick cooking spray.

  • Saute carrots, onions and garlic over a low heat for 5 minutes over a low heat to help them soften.

  • Add broth, cabbage, green beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt.

  • Increase heat and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until beans are tender.

  • Stir in zucchini and return to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Thursday, November 11

    Yard Sale!

    Hey Everyone!
    This Saturday I'm having a yard sale.
    My church is doing some great stuff in Kampala, Uganda and you and I can help them out!
    Read more about the work in Uganda here.
    And come to the yard sale this Saturday - the weather should be lovely.

    Saturday, October 23


    That's not a clever title for money, or forests. I am actually referring to greens - like collard greens.
    Collards have never been on my list of things to try (so I haven't). Now that I'm trying to buy local and in-season produce, I find mself stuck with greens in October in North Carolina. Collard greens, bok choy, kale, broccolini, yada yada.

    So today I found some "stir-fry mix" greens and gave it a go. I made a whole meal around these guys. Fresh fettucine, local beef (from Cane Creek farms), scallions, garlic, a few sauces... and voila! Pseudo-authentic-but-at-least-it-was-local Beef Lo Mein! I forgot to take a picture, but I assure you it was pretty. It was the most tasty and costly bowl of (what was essentially) Ramen I have ever had in my life.

    What local ingredients have inspired you to cook something new lately?

    Tuesday, September 14


    Over the last couple of years, my tastes have really changed. Things I used to love (like Pad Thai) aren't as big a deal. Foods I used to hate have become some of my favorites. I just. can't. get. enough of tomatoes, onions, cabbage... and zuccchini! I could eat zucchini everyday. And that's just one kind of squash. There are hundreds of beautiful, delicious kinds. Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, yellow squash, buttercup & autumn cup & acorn squash. Oh my! I was shopping at Bickett Market on Saturday, and I was so excited to see some of the new squash that's coming in season. Crazy squash. Delicata and carnival squash! I'm sounding a little like Bubba. Well, my point is - there are a ton of different kinds of squash, and a million different ways to prepare it. But I'll spare you.
    I used to love sauteing, but I've really enjoyed roasting lately. I made a tasty 'Squash and Zucchini Tart' courtesy of I Shot The Chef. Isn't it pretty?

    Sunday, September 12

    My favorite day of the week

    It's Sunday! It's Sunday!
    I go to Vintage21 Church at 6 pm, and before that...
    Sometimes I take a little nap in the late afternoon, and before that...
    I always work Sunday morning, with a 79-year-old woman, who sleeps a lot, and before that...
    The Sunday paper comes out, which means... I get more coupons!!!
    If only coupons worked on other things~