when in ireland

we might travel differently (backpacking, tour groups, overpacking, adventurous or staying close by) but we can all agree when we travel God gives us His world to enjoy!

i’ve been privileged to travel and see amazing places and so have others – to places i’ve been, to places i’ve yet to go. but coming all the way here opened my eyes to see that our stories, our truly best stories come from within. whether you’ve never left the farm or you’ve moved so much you’ve lost count, whether you’ve seen too much or seen too little, you’e seen enough to tell your story. so here, i’m telling my story. what i’ve seen when in…

when in ireland…


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shoes & jewelry & africa {celebrating women in may}

celebrating women doing their God-given thing

{for the month of may, i’m highlighting a few women who are gaining confidence in who God has created them to be and displaying it so through different means. for some, it was born out of cause. for others, it was there since birth. and some, it’s the season of life they are in. and they are sharing their stories here this month! join me in celebrating them and that’s not all…they want to celebrate you! a giveaway on each blogpost through the month of may! make sure you leave a comment the day or the day following the post, for that’s what enters you in the drawing. winners will be announced on the following post}   {congrats to Kayela – winner of a lettering piece from the previous post}

welcome praise {i know…what a name} as we celebrate women in may!

I know how to capture your attention with a word that is the common weakness among many: shoes. Yes, yummy yummy shoes.

A few years ago my prized pair were a navy and cream 4-inch heel that made my ankles look miraculous. Were they so attractive that I was stopped by the fashion paparazzi? Totally. And too, these shoes were aesthetically appealing yet wearable on a wedding dance floor. All owners of heels know, shoes like this are a unicorn.

But alas, 2.5 years of living in San Francisco’s casual culture starts to rub off on you. And I hate to admit it, but I have changed. Today, my favorite pair of shoes are much shorter than those towering heels. They’re significantly less girly – they are Steve Madden’s version of a construction worker boot. They are about as tan as my skin with a subtle splash of color in the back given by a red zipper.


They were gifted to me by a generous friend.
And this pair of leather providence has become more beautiful the more mileage they’ve gotten.
 One day they were propped up casually at a karaoke bar in the Fillmore district of San Francisco; a few weeks later, they were jumping over puddles and wading through mud in Kibera, Kenya the largest slum in East Africa.



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for the generation before me, it’s what we did to a machine. an appliance.

my mom would go a step further and unplug everything before going on a trip.

{somehow it was safer. mom, really?!}


now we, humans, those of us, who are “connected” socially and virtually,

are told by health experts and our family members to do what machines have been doing for years.


to unplug. apparently, i’m not the only one who benefits from such an act.

books are written about it, warnings are given, and it comes up in our conversations about being too busy.

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the funny thing is that i find myself tweeting and instagramming for the sole purpose of letting the outside world in.

into every minute of my day. and night.

i find myself thinking in status updates and, heaven forbid, if an hour goes by and i haven’t refreshed several apps to see the latest stories and most recent pictures.

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how we receive information.

how we dress.

how we communicate with each other.

what we know of health risks, healthy eating, and diets.

how we travel.


this is all shaped by the culture we live in.

culture shapes us.

we see the negative and positive affects with each passing year.

some of us use alarm clocks and wristwatches tell you the time.

cell phones by the bedside and in the back pocket tell others the time.

some of us have groceries & diapers delivered. others of us make the trek to large-mart to stock up.

culture shapes us.

culture is our civilization. it’s characteristics of where and how we live. there’s an American culture. there’s an east coast culture. there’s a “name your town” culture. there’s a culture at the school you attend. the places you work. there’s a culture even in your home.

Let’s back up and see the bigger picture:

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