15 things I learned on vacation

Yak tastes a lot like beef but costs $4 more.

It doesn’t rain much in Colorado, unless the Johnsons are going to a waterpark.

I want to travel everywhere by train.

It’s good that Miles didn’t lose his suitcase, because he simply wrote “Cheesesteak City” as the address on his luggage tag.

Nina doesn’t talk much when the hike starts at 7 am and she stayed up until 1am watching “The Office.”

Abhineeta Matney makes amazing Indian food from scratch (and she’s gracious when you’re 15 minutes late because of the bad traffic in Denver).

There is always, …


a milestone for Miles

I originally created this video last September when Miles turned 18, but only shared it via Facebook. Today it returns with the blog treatment because tomorrow Miles, unbelievably, graduates from high school!

My memories with Miles go back to 2010. He was a sweet, funny sixth grader who stood only 5′ tall and whose voice hadn’t changed. (Update: he’s now a giant.)  Of course, Matt’s memories go back to 1998 when Miles was a sweet, squishy baby with the whole world ahead.

The whole world is still there, Miles, just waiting for you to make your mark. We love you and we’re proud of you.




14 things about Matt

1. Sometimes, in certain small circles, I get more attention because of my writing or some of the other work I do. Matt is very talented himself, but he never resents being “Jen’s husband.” He encourages me in every opportunity that comes and he makes a point of telling me he’s proud of me.

2. With a BA and two master’s degrees, Matt can hold his own talking to just about anyone. He has well-formed opinions on theology, politics, history, and social issues and can discuss them intelligently. Yet he is …


my life in texts, part 10

Hi from Atlanta.
Hi from Denver.
Hi from Chicago.
Hi from Atlanta. Again.

Where the %#$@ do you hide the butter?

I can’t do a phone conference in the subway.

Part of my job is coordinating 14 people, none of whom speak English.

Please turn off the hot tub jets.

If you don’t take out the recycling I will punch you in the facehole.

Do u have 19 cents?

I can make you hot chocolate as bribery.

There is not an abundance of competence in this store.

Nina – turn off the hot tub!

It’s like there’s a …


Proverbs 31, updated

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than mutual funds.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and has no idea how they would manage if she didn’t work.

She brings him good, and brings in the groceries,
all the days of her life.

She selects only the best box mixes
and frosts the cookies for the school bake sale by HAND.

She gets up while it is still night
and puts a chicken into the crockpot
and kibble in the dog bowl.

She considers a URL and buys it;
out of her earnings she …


a quiet thing

I love to anticipate things.

I told Matt early on in our relationship that I always need something to look forward to. This doesn’t have to be a spendy vacation or a big event – right now I’m excited for my first listen of Christy Nockels’ new Christmas album and having some good Mexican food for lunch – but I’ve learned that I enjoy life more if it’s filled with a series of small pleasures. In fact, the small ones are often better, because the big moments in life usually turn out differently than we expected.

Six weeks ago Matt and I won a three-year custody battle for …


repost: business matters

2404849371_02a88db594_o-538x218In the past 15 days, I’ve traveled to Kansas City, grieved the pretty sudden death of our dog, done eight loads of laundry at the Laundromat after our brand-new Samsung dryer died almost on arrival, traveled to Knoxville and preached at Johnson University, celebrated our not-sudden-at-all huge win in custody court, and spent the weekend in NYC to participate in the party for my brother and his wife and their almost-here baby (December 9th due date! I’m going to be an aunt!).

So I’m a wee bit sleepy.

I don’t …


small minded


I fantasize about living in a tiny house.

Last night I stayed up way too late looking at photo galleries and floor plans, nightdreaming about how easy it would be to keep a small space spring-cleaned all year round, about sitting on a loveseat and looking out at a complete absence of clutter, about finally living that old cliche of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

These little cottages call my name because my current existence is the opposite of clean and clutter-free. We’re not living in …


Miles is 18!

Miles turns 18 today. We love him so much our hearts could burst.


my life in texts, part 9


Tell Miles I’ll give him five dollars to have a five-minute conversation with a college girl.

Listening to Hall and Oates. You have inspired me.

Hypothetically, where would the floor cleaner be for when Nikki pukes?

Did not realize the new dress code for flying is yoga pants.

I have no idea who these guys are.

We should make a video. A viral one.

On my way to breakfast. Wearing my hipster shirt.

I’m gonna need a young priest and an old priest.

Uzbek food tonight!

He says he’s 5’10” but I think he’s shorter.
Guys lie …