O to the No

randomnimities, ruminations and recipes

good wins

heartache seems to be a constant these days.

paris. beirut. kenya. and the thousands of others who suffer or die everyday without public outrage- nameless and faceless.

it’s all too heavy today.  grief and fear and anger all tangle into a knot that just sits in my stomach.  i want to switch off.  i want to disengage.  but it’s constant and in my face and i can’t ignore it.

God, what would you have me do?

i feel helpless and insignificant.  i remember one of my toughest days in Cebu, where the evil of humanity was just so blatant to me, it made me want to cry and barf at the same time.  and i railed against God- i gave it to him good- and then i was reminded of Psalm 94 and basically felt him tell me, “stop freaking out, i’ve got this.”

it’s hard for me to see how God’s got this under control when i read the news.  it’s hard for me to feel at peace when i think about the shifting global environment and how close to home everything is getting.  honestly, i lose sleep over it.

but at the end of the day, i can only rest in the few certainties i have: life is short and precious.  we are all finite and accountable for our choices.  and most importantly- good wins.

oh hey.

bet you didn’t think you’d hear from me again. lucky for you I’m like a terrible rash- I keep coming back.

ok but seriously though- I haven’t blogged here or there for six months, and it’s been weird. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I missed you guys, my little invisible internet friends. I missed writing, having the power to push my weird and inane thoughts on to you.

I had reasons for the radio silence. for one, I moved into an entirely new season, new city (kinda), new job when I finished my internship in the Philippines.

but more than that, I didn’t feel like I could.

the first few months back in Canada were harder than I imagined they would be. I struggled with getting my health back. I wrestled (and continue to wrestle) with meaning and purpose after leaving a job and community I was so passionate about. i struggled with coming home and not feeling at home.

I would get the itch to blog from time to time. but then I would read through my old posts here at O to the No and feel like I was reading someone else’s words and I couldn’t bring myself to pretend. my culinary skills have also suffered in the past year and a half and I worried I wouldn’t be able to make yummy things and take pretty pictures anymore to make you guys be my friends.

but over the last little while I’ve had people nudge me to start writing again, and so this brain fart blog post is a result of that. I want you to know that I’m still here, still kicking. I’m blowing off the dust on this little corner of the cyberwebs I call mine.

I don’t know what this blog is going to look like going forward, but if you’re still here- thanks :). I’ve missed you.

i’ve moved! literally and blogiterally

hey there! sorry i’ve been MIA for a while- i’ve been occupied with prepping and packing and i’m finally in the philippines!!

while i’m here, i’ll be blogging over here.  come on over, i miss chilling with you!


packing perspective

it’s funny how moving puts things into perspective.  how packing your whole life into neatly labeled boxes forces you to sift and weigh and sort out what matters and what doesn’t, what to keep and what to let go of.

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so much has changed in the four and a half years i’ve lived in ottawa.  i came here with two suitcases.  and now i’m shipping and storing an apartment’s worth of stuff and furniture.  i came here wearing my favourite pair of converses.  beat up and ratty, but i loved them because of the places i went, the people i met and the things i learned while wearing them.  i wore these shoes to work when i first moved here, a half-assed attempt to stick it to the man, to show everyone (read: myself) that i wasn’t going to change even though everything around me was different.

but i did change. Continue reading “packing perspective”

pain in the butt

is it possible to pull your butt? because i’m pretty sure i did this past weekend. i went for my first outside run this year and my butt was not impressed. i’ve been semi waddling/limping since friday.

in other news! my friends L + J got married!! and i got to stand with them on their big day as a bridesmaid- so fun!


i drove out to Toronto a few days early to pick the boyfriend up from the airport- he flew in from Van to be my date (d’aww) and we got to see Niagara Falls and pretend to be hippies in Kensington market (i did a better job at being a hippie than he did, naturally).

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the wedding itself was awesome. so many people worked really hard to make the day special, and at the end of the day i think L’s face says it all.

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fricken adorbs.
fricken adorbs.



also- having professionals do your hair and makeup is the bomb. i think i need to hire a stylist to fix me up every single day.

case in point. i wake up like this:

grumpy cat

after a whole lot of shellac and hairspray:

10173781_10100947047571597_6282611649584066555_na leettle better.

but back to butt pulling. did you know pork butt is actually pork shoulder? i know. that makes no sense to me either. but did you know that pork shoulder/butt is amazing for pulled pork? i would know because i made a giant delicious vat of it for easter dinner this past weekend. tender falling-apart meat slathered in bbq sauce… nom. and the best part? only THREE INGREDIENTS (and one of them may surprise you). this is one case where butt-pulling is a good thing.

??????????????????????????????? Continue reading “pain in the butt”

finish line

1 terrifying French philosophy class + dozens of jars of peanut butter + 1 manatee + 36 papers – 247 planned runs + 1 delivery pizza + hundreds of endnotes (Turabian style) – too many dead trees + 20 pounds gained from stress eating – hundreds of hours of sleep – 15 pounds lost from nights i was too exhausted to make anything other than popcorn + craploads of encouragement from friends and fam + 3 new white hairs – 5 years off my life-span + countless food drop-offs from concerned friends (i’m looking at you L and B) + 3 emergency runs to bulk barn because of m&m shortages – 2 years of my life + a few f-bombs = a master’s degree

i handed in my last paper this morning. then i walked out of my last class. and all i could think was, “i’m never. ever. doing that again.” Continue reading “finish line”

four days

i’m four days away from having a life again.

four days away from not having to constantly switch between work brain and school brain.

four days away from freedom from papers, turabian citation style, stupid rules, and endless readings.

four days away from getting to read for fun again.

four days away from finishing this thing i started two years ago because ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

i have so much crap i need to get done in these four days… and i’m having a hard time going back and forth between ‘jusss get’rrr dunnn’ and ‘i dunnn eveeen caaayyyrr’.  (why yes, my internal voice does have a southern drawl- doesn’t yours?)

i need to tap into my inner asian.



double-fisting and getting dahled up (bachelorette weekend)

this past weekend was L’s bachelorette weekend getaway. the other bridesmaids and i took the bride-to-be to a mystery location (spoiler alert: it was a cottage in gatineau) for a weekend full of unflattering photos and fattening foods.

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(in case you’re wondering- yes, yes that is me.  double-fisting chips so i can get them into my face as quickly as possible, wearing my favourite sweatpants and in active fighting stance – my instructor would be proud. and yes, i do have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in less than a month and i’m aware i look pregnant. chip baby? and finally…yes, this is a candid photo, which makes it so much worse- this is what i look like in my natural state.  photo cred goes to the sneaky/hilarious/cruel SY)

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(this was taken shortly after L dumped a buttload of veggie chips on her lap. she was trying to save them.)

it was so good to get out of the city and i’m lucky that my friends’ have granny tendencies like me and our idea of a ‘wild night’ is painting our nails bright colours and making embarrassing memes of each other as we stuff ourselves silly.

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it also came at the perfect time, with the wedding in less than three weeks, i know L needed a breather, and with my semester wrapping up literally the day before i leave for the wedding, i’m effectively in the end of semester perma-crazed mode.

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ok fine. this one isn’t of any of us. but it’s FREAKING HILARIOUS.  it doesn’t even matter how many times i look at it- i almost pee myself laughing.

and it also helps set the context for this:

Continue reading “double-fisting and getting dahled up (bachelorette weekend)”

who says? [redux]

“there are stupid rules. but until you get to the top of the hierarchy where you can change them, you follow them. or you just never get to the top of the hierarchy, and you live by them.”

as soon as he said it, i bristled.  it wasn’t only his words that chafed, it was how they were delivered.  matter of fact.  tailored suit.  slicked back hair.

my eyes darted around the class, searching for a fellow furrowed brow, a skeptical eye roll, a scoff- anything! anything to tell me that i wasn’t the only person who’d just heard that.  all i saw were quiet nods, resigned sighs and pseudo-sage contemplative looks.

we were debating the use of ampersands and percentage symbols in official briefing notes (to & or not to &, that was the question).  hardly world-shattering material, i know, but it was just the attitude of the prof’s statement that completely turned me off.

i’m not an anarchist or chronic rule-breaker by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I’ve been told repeatedly I’m quite ‘by the book’ and rules-oriented, but that class, I felt something inside me snap.  Continue reading “who says? [redux]”

on rest

i was away at a retreat this past weekend with some of the young adults from my church.  it was good to get out of the city, get some clean country air into my lungs, and catch up with some friends i haven’t talked to in ages.



the theme of the retreat was ‘refuel’, and one of the first things the speaker said was that there’s a marked difference between ‘escape’ and ‘rest’.  that might seem pretty obvious to you, but i’d never really thought about it that way.  he was saying how we so often turn to means of escape (read: netflix) to distract us from the stresses and worries of our lives, yet when we’re done we wonder why we don’t feel any more rested or restored than before.  now i’m not saying there’s anything wrong with netflix or other means of escape once in a while, but i think there is a problem when escape and rest become synonymous in our minds.

it got me thinking and questioning what rest even looks like.  i’ll be the first to admit i’m really bad at taking a sabbath.  a couple months ago, i decided i was going to incorporate this into my spiritual disciplines, and i made this whole elaborate plan about how i was going to start ‘sabbathing.’  i had some vague notions about what people did on a sabbath- they read their bibles, they went out into nature, they prayed a lot, they sat in silence, yadda yadda.  so i marked a saturday in my calendar, and started planning my itinerary for the day.  i was going to sleep in, have a great quiet time, then take my journal and bible and Christian music to a park and sit by the water and think holy thoughts.  in other words, i was going to have the BEST sabbath ever.  i was so excited. Continue reading “on rest”

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