terrible picture from a cell phone camera, but the blurry image that you see is the magic of Over the Rhine playing on the Kent Stage last night. to use a Father Rick phrase "my soul was arrested"... over and over again. teary-eyed and full, robert and i walked out of the theater hand in hand. oh that i could end every day that way. the room was my santuary; the music was my scripture; karin's voice was singing my prayers. i couldn't breathe. i was at peace.


John Kuntz of The Plain Dealer took this photograph. The caption read "Holding the Hand of Peace" and under the photo, "Angelo Paolone, a worker with Shippers Highway Express Inc. holds the hand of a 13 foot bronze statue of Mahatma Ghandi as he and other worker place it on a base in the India section of the Rockefeller Gardens. It is to be unveiled in a ceremony Sunday." This statue of Gandhi is being installed just down the road from my house. I will be honored to walk with him. I hope through his presence overlooking this beautiful stretch of land people will be challenged to learn more about the way of peace.

I found it ironic and so appropriate that Eric wrote this today.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi



this is Dale Stivers, my grandpa, holding my sister's beautiful boy, Miles. my grandpa is an amazing soul and he is very sick. he has been sick most of my life in some way. his first of five heart attacks came at the age of 42 and the last happened at 2:00am the last Christmas we were all together in 1996. his heart has been severely damaged and he has been in "congestive heart failure" since 2001. but his heart has not failed...instead, this July he was diagnosed with cancer. it is somewhere in his liver or pancreas or something like that, we're not really certain. his heart is too weak for any kind of treatment.

my parents, my sister and her husband and son, and robert and i made the trek to southern illinois last weekend to visit my grandparents. this was the first time they had seen Miles and it was such a beautiful moment. i was overwhelmed at the sight of my grandfather holding Miles for the first time. i was keenly aware in that moment that all of us standing in that room were there because of this one man, my grandfather. because of him, we all existed in this time and space together...a family, four generations. he is such a beautiful, gentle man. he told the best stories to all of his grandchildren when we would visit. he took all of us fishing at one time or another. he loves deeply and well, and has always been grieved if he feels he has not represented Christ well. there are many stories that i will share with my children about their great-grandfather. like the time i was told my dad came home too late as a teenager and my grandpa took him out back and told him to choose a switch (to get a "whoopin'" as my dad would call it). after the switch was chosen, my grandpa handed it back to my dad and said "i will take your punishment for you." perhaps it seems dramatic, but that is just how he was - wanting to show grace and mercy. another of my favorite stories is the time my grandpa sold his house in the bathroom. apparently, when he was in the men's restroom at a restaurant, he got into a conversation with a young man that said he was looking for a house in the city where my grandparents lived. so, my grandpa said "i have a house. you can buy mine." the funny thing is, they weren't even discussing selling their home or moving. so, when he told my grandma about it upon returning to the table, she said "where are we going to live?" well, they sold the house and ended up finding a home a few miles away in the next town over. my grandpa is not owned by his possessions and lives simply. i hope i will eventually get there completely.

when he takes his last breath, whether it be in a few months as the doctors have said, a few weeks or years, he will have left an amazing legacy for all of those that came into contact with him. i am so honored to be a part of that legacy.


how sweet it is...

just listening to a little live James Taylor. good times.

my wonderful husband indulged my art obsession for a couple of days in Madrid when we attempted to see most of the works at The Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza (which also contained this amazing collection), and the Reina Sofia. we failed miserably at The Prado (to see all of its works) - partly because there are just too many and partly because neither of us were very fond of the period of art that is prominently displayed there. i hate to seem judgemental about anyone's artwork, but it just wasn't my thing. however, when we got to the Thyssen, i was overwhelmed. the variety of art and artists was simply amazing. i have been to quite a few museums, but i must say that this was one of my favorites if that is possible. we spent hours wandering the rooms and halls on weary legs that had been walking the streets all day. i just couldn't tear myself away. the Reina Sofia was also quite wonderful - mainly modern and contemporary art. the most disappointing thing of this visit was not being able to see Picasso's Guernica due to renovation that had started two days prior to our arrival. deep sigh. it will have to wait for another visit i suppose.

the Thyssen website has most of it's collection available for online viewing and i highly recommend the break from whatever you are doing. enjoy dear friends. be changed.


the day

my dear friend Amber was kind enough to capture our wedding for us and create a blog for us to share. she is amazing and i am fortunate to know her.

the ceremony was perfect to us...from the music (over the rhine "i want you to be my love", ben harper "happy everafter in your eyes" and "power of the gospel", sufjan stevens "come thou fount of every blessing", handel "pastoral symphony"...) to the words (amber wrote out our vows on the blog she created with our pictures), to the people who shared the evening with us. thank you to all.

spain was really quite wonderful and i will share pictures and stories very soon.

grace and peace to you tonight...



the following post is an update letter from the beautiful ones at Invisible Children. Robert and I joined 250 other people in downtown Cleveland last Saturday evening. We were also joined by others all over the world - in order to join with the children in Northern Uganda that travel from their villages to sleep in the city every night to avoid being kidnapped from their homes. We were all connected in that moment. It was quite powerful and overwhelming to think of the children trying to find safety as I slept in a place that I would normally never go - fearing my safety.

We had been there for a couple of hours already and were settling in, then up the hill came this large group of 50 people carrying their sleeping bags and their compassion. It felt good to be one. I was frustrated by some that seemed to forget the purpose and created on large sleep over party. However, I had to remind myself that they came. They were aware of the situation and they came.

May we continue to make people aware of the things that are happening around the world - in Northern Uganda, in East Timor, in Darfur. And the list goes on and we remain unaware.

grace and peace to you.

Invisible Children

We don’t really know where to start…what an event.
Each city’s attendance exceeded their online sign-ups, and our expectations immeasurably. As our office staff reconvened from all over the U.S. we sat in disbelief at the lack of catastrophes: none injured by street traffic, no missing children, no creepy park dwellers, just peaceful, playful yet contemplative crowds. We feel like proud parents who just got home from the parent-teacher conference with word that OUR kid is the best in the class. Even the cops complimented us- about you. Now we want to compliment you too.

From the group in San Diego whose feet were bleeding from walking 21 miles barefoot to join us, to the 7 girls in Chicago who shaved their heads. From the New Yorkers who could be ‘laying but not sleeping’ on the sidewalk in a single file line, to the downpour on the Prom dresses in Franklin, Tennessee – you were a part of something memorable. Young, old, all races, all religions – the states united. If you were with us on this night, you must feel as we do: altered. Puzzle pieces come together to form a big beautiful picture – and for one night, more than 70,000 pieces joined the thousands in Northern Uganda, and slept outside.

Did you have a moment to stop? Did you look out through the morning mist, or rain, or snow, and think: there are kids who do this every night? Did you look at the bodies, on the ground and think – I can’t believe there are this many people who know about the night commuters in Northern Uganda, and this many people who care enough to do something. Continue to learn about this crisis, and stay involved. (It’s not too late to ask people to write the President, and your state’s Senators.)

Many of you may not have known, but Jacob (seen in the film “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” and now, on Oprah) flew in for the event and was in constant awe. He kept whispering to us, “I am so touched.” When speaking to the crowd that night he said, “I now know that you Americans care about the children of Northern Uganda.”

We feel the force of this movement, and the responsibility to continue moving forward.
Trust us, we are moving.

Apoyo matek means “beyond thank you” in Luo, which is one of the languages spoken in Northern Uganda. Thank you for being a part of something purposeful. Thank you for fighting for justice for people you may never meet, and knowing they deserve what you, and your own children would. Don’t for a moment think your being there didn’t make a difference. What an enormous victory for the people of Northern Uganda.

Stay tuned. This is only the beginning.

Much Love,

P.S.We have loved seeing your pictures and videos posted on Myspace, please burn them on a disk (highest res possible), or make dubs, and send them to our office.
Our address is :1810 Gillespie Way, San Diego, CA, 92020 attn: GNC photos

Also, when we do events like this, we hear stories of the incredible ways in which people have responded after seeing the film. Stories we would have otherwise never heard. WE WANT TO HEAR. From photos of you that your mom snapped mid-bake sale, to newspaper articles you or your friends were in, from school papers to national news, you MUST have copies of what you did for these kids, and we want a copy as well. Tell us all about your event, and send them to: Our address is :1810 Gillespie Way, San Diego, CA, 92020 attn: Danica



man, my sister and her husband made one cute kid. seriously, don' t you just want to squeeze him?!?!?!?

better late than never

i was privileged to spend Friday evening in deep remembrance of the pain and suffering of Christ. commemorating with other followers the moments leading up to and during the crucifixion. feabily trying to empathize with those who were there, with those who lost leader, a dear friend, a son. i have been acutely aware of the severe mercy of loss in recent weeks. although i have never met mark or amy or micah palmer, i have known them through their words for a few years now. on my journey towards marriage, the idea of that loss - the loss of a lover, a friend, a lifemate - is almost crippling. i find myself often in tears feeling the pain of one i do not know. we are all so connected.

thank you, david and jenn for helping me enter in the weekend being mindful of all that was and all that is and all that is to come. i am grateful. here's to more moments of awareness.


killin' time...

...thanks to ang. i've totally got you beat on the squishiness.
Luke Skywalker
You scored 62% airiness, 94% squishiness, and 21% edginess!

According to our patented JawamaticTM technology, you are most like Luke Skywalker in personality.

Luke is a dreamer and a romantic. He's excited by possibilities and has strong core values that affect all his decisions. Luke is loyal and idealistic, always coming through for those he loves.

Luke is, in a word, heroic.

(The polar opposite of Luke Skywalker is Yoda.)

Take The Star Wars Personality Test



i promise that once the wedding planning stuff is over i will be able to have a normal conversation that does not include any of the following:
  • what my "colors" are
  • seating arrangements
  • getting addresses for invitations
  • and so much more...

i would love to talk about:

  • traveling mercies and why i'm expectantly awaiting Anne Lamott on April 7
  • how every morning i will the tulips and daffodils that have sprouted outside my house to stay alive...that i'm hoping just as they are that eventually the sun will come out to stay
  • the blood red sky that i saw out my window last night as the sun was setting behind the lake
  • how i'm struggling to get out of the pattern of my upbringing when it comes to my relationship with food


planning is so not my thing...

so, i need to figure out what music i want for the wedding and i'm having a hard time putting my arms around it.

Is "And So It Goes" (Billy Joel) a bit too sad for the special day? because i do believe it gets the message across.

here's what i know so far:
the lord's prayer (hopefully sung by the one and only Dana Baker, if he gets back to me with a "yes". so, if you'd like to help in the coercing, please feel free.)
pastoral symphony from The Messiah (for the girls to walk in)

a few considerations have been "brother, let me be your servant" and "bridge over troubled water"

any advice?


i'll be there

there are times when i think i work at the best place ever...

Hosted by Timothy K. Beal
Friday, April 7, 4:30 pm
Amasa Stone Chapel, 10940 Euclid Avenue

Doors open to Case community members at 3:30 pm, and to the general public at 4:00 pm

Sponsored by the Rose Wohlgemuth Weisman Women's Voices Lecture Series.

“Reading Lamott is like having a chat with one of the angels,
a smarter, wittier one.” — The Denver Post

Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. She does so armed with self-effacing humor and ruthless honesty. Since her first novel, which she wrote for her father when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, Anne Lamott writes about loss – loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration, and disappointment, but tells her stories with compassion and a pure voice. Anne Lamott says, “I have a lot of hope and a lot of faith and I struggle to communicate that.” In her books and in person, Anne Lamott lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.

Anne Lamott is the author four best-selling books of non-fiction: Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, a guide to writing and the challenges of a writer’s life; Traveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith; and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. She is author of six novels: Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has taught at U.C. Davis and at writing conferences across the country. Lamott’s biweekly online diary in Salon Magazine, called “Word by Word,” was voted “The Best of the Web” by Time magazine. Filmmaker Freida Mock (who won an Academy Award for her documentary on Maya Lin) has made a documentary on Anne Lamott, “Bird by Bird with Annie” (1999).


Making a Fast

from all those things
that have filled my belly
for so long.
Bloated from excesses,
slowed and dulled and
numbed in spirit.
Lord, let me make a fast
from those POISONS I have called
from the POVERTY I have called
from that SHALLOWNESS I have called
from any MEAGERNESS I have called
I am ready to go out with You
to be emptied
in whatever desert will be mine.
Lord let me make a fast.
May I fast from SPEED.
May I drive more slowly.
May I remove these shoes that help me walk
and with great purpose -
and may my feet contact your earth,
with great care,
with gentleness
with much respect.
May I walk as your calm presence in this world.
May my voice be lower, slower.
May it be a voice more understood
by those whose ears are failing;
a safer voice that does not make the listener
ask again,
a voice that comforts in its tones.
May I be your slow and soothing, still small voice.
May there be breeze where I have passed,
not cyclone,
not chaos,
not whirlwind sense of things of great import,
but only the echoing whisper of
where you have walked.
Lord, may I fast from SPEED.

May I fast from BUSYNESS.
May I learn to bless my simple be-ing,
and may I come to know that be-ing
as the fertile soil that roots and grounds
my do-ing.
May my days be less full, less likely to implode,
collapsing in on themselves, a black hole
dense with all those tasks, commitments,
I simply cannot cease to do,
for fear the world - indeed, the universe -
cease along with them.
Instead, may there be holes and gaps,
may there be light,
great periods of wicked, wasteful idleness,
that devil's workshop
transformed as, slowly, I come to trust
that You are there
in the quiet,
in the calm,
in the vacuum
of nothing planned to do
but be alive,
that being quite enough.
Lord, may I fast from BUSYNESS.

Lord, may I fast from FEAR.
May I come out from my hiding.
May I know sun and snow,
wind and rain,
feel heat and cold
as armor drops
to only such protection as I need,
no less, but most assuredly
no more.
May I befriend the shadow.
May I coax it out of hiding,
remove its ban of excommunication,
bring it back from exile.
May I embrace that darker side
that I have banished for so long,
beaten down, denied,
and my I own it fully.
May I give shadow energy a voice,
and come to know that healing lies in unity,
polarities in tension,
never in denial.
Lord, may I fast from FEAR.

May fasting time be sacrament,
outward sign, inward grace;
empty belly, an open space wherein You
might dwell
replacing illusion of fullness.

by Gloria Carpeneto


lookin' forward

i've opened this page to write an entry many times over the last few weeks but have always gotten interrupted (which is probably ok since i'm actually supposed to be working).

wedding planning has consumed my life, which on one hand seems very very sad...and on the other, not so bad at all. the things i've enjoyed most:

  1. finding beautiful locations for both the ceremony and the reception
  2. working on the ceremony with someone that really knows
  3. having friends and family bring the food - informal and intimate like a living room
  4. knowing robert and i are working on and towards something so much bigger
  5. planning vacation in spain!!!

things i've not really enjoyed so much:

  1. feeling the need to please everyone
  2. having to invite family that we never see because we should, and not being able to include some friends because we can only have so many people (which goes along with #1)
  3. all of the crazy little details
  4. the constant barrage of questions "what are you going to do?" "where does this go?" "what are you going to do with that?" "what do you think about this?" (i think everyone is getting a little impatient with the "i don't know, i haven't really thought of it" answer...especially since we're almost only 2 months away)

i am looking forward to it though...sharing and making this covenant with robert; sharing this day with people that i love, that have become part of who i am along the way; making the public declaration that we will continue becoming, hand-in-hand until death. it's overwhelming and beautiful and i am grateful. any wisdom from all of my wonderful married friends is always welcome...


walden pond (really lake erie, but a girl can dream)

"I went to the woods ..." - Thoreau

i have the privilege of living on the lake. it is beautiful and healing being near the water and i love it. i couldn't imagine a better place to live.

when i got home from work last night, the sun was just under the horizon, turning the day into night. it was stunning and i was a part of it.

there is an enormous tree in my backyard that i can see from my living room window. it is so old and it stretches it's long, wide arms across the yard. over the years, its limbs have begun to grow at odd angles and at some point the owners, in order to save this magnificent tree, put braces under some of its limbs. they also added many wires stretching from limb to limb in order to encourage it to grow upward as opposed to straight outward - and risk growing into the house or breaking under the great weight.

as i stood and stared at this tree in the fading light, i was moved by it's lesson. by the lot of us questioners stretching our-selves out across this place, yet anchored together by the roots, by Grace and Its Giver. there is so much more to be said...


list time

Thanks for the tag, ang. I suppose that's one way to get me to finally post!

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:
1. Marketing Specialist
2. Executive Aide
3. Associate Consultant
4. Toner Cartridge Re-manufacturer (good 'ol Smartcopy in Mt. Vernon)

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Shawshank Redemption
2. Dead Poet's Society
3. French Kiss
4. Breakfast Club

Four places I have lived (I only get four? but there are 14!!):
1. Cleveland, OH
2. Cincinnati, OH
3. Mendon, MI
4. Effingham, IL (that one's for Leah (Brisker) Shockey who laughs every time she drives through "f"ing ham!)

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Everwood
2. Related
3. CSI
4. The Office

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Asuncion, Paraguay
2. Paris
3. Key West
4. Miami

Four websites I visit daily:
1. overhearinnewyork.com (thanks ang for a little sanity during the work day)
2. webmail.adelpiha.net (email)
3. case.edu (work-related)
4. many blogs (read sometimes while working)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. mexican anything
2. pad thai noodles
3. many pizzas at California Pizza Kitchen
4. many things at Aladdin's

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. at my apartment
2. on the beach, warm sun on my face
3. spending time with robert
4. sleeping

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1. Amber (mama musing)
2. James (the simple stuff)
3. Brandon (the kingdom is actual)
4. Mike (Redcay)


if only...

thank you.

i am thankful for those who will set down in the midst of violence to offer up their life. may i be one of them.