Reflections on Beginning Lent 2017

Here we are already, it’s Lenten season. It feels like 2017 is already flying by, and it’s brought so much chaos, fear, and some sadness to so many people. I’m lucky enough to work for City Church San Francisco where we attend church and have built a community, and I’ve been so thankful for the thoughtful conversations and the outpouring of love our church has shown to communities and religions different than our own.

I love living in a sanctuary city. It’s something I hadn’t ever thought of before, but with the current political climate we’re all in, living in a sanctuary city and doing life along side people who have all agreed to love and accept our immigrant neighbors – it feels like we’re loving people the way we’re supposed to. There’s action behind the words.

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Recently we read this quote from Aaron Neiquest, and I think it sums up our role quite nicely

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So how does this all tie in with Lent. I believe Lent is a time where we can re-connect with our humanity. When I’m dead, my small pile of ashes and dust won’t be any better than that of an immigrant, person of color, or refugee. Death is truly an equalizer – all our posturing and privilege is irrelevant when we take that final breath. It doesn’t matter anymore. And in reconnecting with our humanity, I believe it’s time to see the humanity of others. If human beings can connect on a human level, we no longer act out of fear, we can start acting out of love again.

It’s a big thought. It’s a life changing thought. It’s an uncomfortable thought.

The poor aren’t always easy to love. Our enemies definitely aren’t easy to love. Republicans aren’t easy to love. Democrats aren’t easy to love. There’s no easy out here. But why should there be?

That’s what I’m reflecting on today, and plan to continue working through this season. Join me?

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As fondness grows…

Well, life has been busy. Busier than usual I should say. But it’s time to get back to the blog! I decided to let myself off the hook and just post some thought pieces. I know, you all come around for my incredibly artistic creations and culinary masterpieces (sarcasm, obvs), but now you’re getting words. And stories. And girl talk, we can all girl talk here, right? And since all good girl talk centers on and revolves around boys, (also, it’s Valentine’s Day), here’s my boy story.
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First off, what comes to mind when you hear the words “long distance”? For me it was always the word “relationship” followed by a string of words like “impractical” “overly-optimistic” and even “impossible”. Why? Well, that’s the question I had to work out when I inadvertently, and almost accidentally, found myself in one.

Jim and I first met a year and a half ago when my roommate and I went over to hang out with his roommates and watch Dexter (you know the hit show about a serial killer I named my cat after? That Dexter). Apparently when Dexter killed someone, I giggled, and that was when Jim fell head over heels. Ok that’s a lie, he thought I was twisted but funny, which, I mean, I am. Fast forward two weeks, he comes over to cook me dinner (I couldn’t say no, I LOVE dinner) and in-between bites of spaghetti, tells me he’s headed to Australia for a year. In 14 days.

My words were something like, “uh, wow. So, why are you here?” (I know, I’m the sweetest) and he didn’t really have a good answer, he just knew he needed to ask me out. And we connected. For the next 14 days we spent nearly every spare moment together – watching Audrey Hepburn movies (my idea), watching ALL of Louis CK’s stand-up (his idea), going to the beach, dinner, breakfast, everything. And then he left. There were of course the “let’s keep in touches” and “if we don’t meet other people…” And then he jumped in a U-Haul and drove north to drop his stuff at home in NC before flying literally halfway around the world.

bun 2And well, we stayed in touch. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t really even that hard. Sure there was a 14 hour time difference and we could only talk over facebook message at first, since texting internationally isn’t only next to impossible, but incredibly pricey. But I think we got to know each other in a deeper way, talking about life, our days, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It brings you together.

Anyway, that’s quite enough for now, before I bore you with any more sappy details.

Happy Friday, babes!

xo. Brie.

One day we went a walkin’

My friend and roommate Amy is a very talented photographer. Like, c’mon. That girl’s good. She wanted to work on some posing and lighting techniques, so she took Jim and I out to Tree Tops park for a photoshoot. Here’s the result…
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We had so much fun, it’s great to act silly and still look good in pictures – I owe ya one on that Amy. We laughed, ran around, pretended to be models, and in the end walked away with some great memories captured forever.

If you have the chance to get your photo taken, do it. Seriously. Don’t worry about how you look or what to wear, or if those 5 pounds you wanted to lose will show. Take the picture. Make the memory. Laugh about it later.

Live life to the fullest, lovelies.

xo. Brie

Photo credit to Amy Lynne Horn

Phenomenal Woman

women_psI was in my cousins wedding this past weekend, and so spent the whole day engaged in girly things like make up and fancy dresses and hair and champagne. And in spending the day around women from all different walks of life, it became apparent that we as a gender are very hard on ourselves.

As women, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. Not in a conceited or arrogant way, but let’s admit, sometime it’s hard to be a girl. We get mocked for our emotions, laughed at for our vulnerability. We constantly question our worth and beauty – comparing ourselves to others who are asking themselves the same questions. We think, if only I lost those 10lbs, or had longer hair, or bigger eyes, then I’d be happy. But would we?

Let’s admit to ourselves this one thing; we are beautiful creatures. We create and nurture, we care and love with abandon, we defend and attack those we love with ferocity. I think we need to allow ourselves a little room to breathe. To be. To enjoy who we are and what we are. And so, in that vein, enjoy this beautiful poem by Maya Angelou about a phenomenal woman.

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

– Maya Angelou

He’s Coming Home!

jim_jerseyAfter a year spent working abroad in Australia, this handsome hunk is coming back to the good ol’ USA! In honor of his return (and handsome face), I’m dedicating this post to 5 out of the box date ideas that we will be testing out soon:

1. Go to a local farmers market and pick out all fresh ingredients, then cook dinner together.
2. Pick a director and watch ALL his/her movies.
3. Pick one ethnic group and master one of their signature dishes.
4. Read a book or poetry together, out loud.
5. Train for and compete together in some kind of athletic event (5k, half marathon tough mudder, etc)

What out of the box dates do you and your honey enjoy?

xo. Brie