What do I want to be when I grow up?

Someone asked me that question today, and it got me thinking. The context of the question was professional, and in that sense, my answer is that I want to teach English to non-native speakers. In particular, I want to do that work with children.

But that’s not the answer in my heart of hearts. In my heart, my answer to that question is undoubtably this. I want to be a mama. I have been told so many times throughout my life that I would be a wonderful mother, and I believe that. When I discerned my vocation eight and a half years ago, I felt that the Lord was calling me to marriage and motherhood with the word “I have made you to be a mother.” These words have been repeated in at least three separate moments since then. I really believe that the Lord who made me and knows my inmost being made me to be a mother.

And while I’m nowhere near marriage, I believe that same Lord made me for marriage and has called me to marriage. I believe that I was made to be a wife and a mother. And if that doesn’t come into my life yet, then I believe that the Lord has a reason for this. There is a reason for my singleness. There is a purpose that the Lord wishes to accomplish through my singleness. I may not always enjoy or embrace my singleness, but there is a value to it. No matter how difficult I might find this season of my life or how angry I might get at the Lord for not bringing a husband into my life yet, there is a purpose and a value to this season. I need to learn to better seek the Lord’s will and learn his desires for this season. I need to better trust him in this time.

Because more than I want to be a mother or a wife or a teacher or anything else, the thing that I most desire to be when I grow up is a good and holy woman of God. I want to be a woman with a heart that always says yes to the Lord like the Theotokos did. I want to be a woman of Godly strength, of hope, of joy, of faith, and of love. I want to be a holy woman of God. And regardless of what happens to me personally or professionally, I want to lead a life that draws others closer to Christ.

But as he who has called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct because it is written “Be holy, for I am holy.”

-I Peter 1:15-16

What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be a good and holy woman of God. I pray for this each day, and I would ask each of you to pray for that as well.

Cinnamon Raspberry Bread

image image

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (If you use vanilla milk, you might want to leave out the vanilla extract.)
  • ¼ cup raspberry yogurt (I used coconut based yogurt.)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP canola/vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x5in loaf pan.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. One at a time, stir in the egg, the milk, the oil, and the yogurt.
  5. When the batter is completely mixed, pour into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.

Why I Killed My Pinterest Wedding Board

I joined Pinterest when it was still quite new-in early 2012, I think. Somewhere early in my Pinterest using days, I created a board that I named “Planning for my Maybe-Possibly-Someday Wedding.” It was where I stored all of my ideas that I could use if I ever had to plan a wedding. When I was 23 and single and whimsical, it seemed like a great idea. I was sure that I would be getting married at some point in the near future, and I was definitely going to need that Pinterest wedding board when the day of my engagement came.

Last night, three and a half years after I created it, I deleted that board. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, but it was an easy decision. Here’s why:

Whether or not you (my readers) like this, my singleness is a sore spot with me at the moment. I’m very single, and I’m very aware of my singleness at this point in my life. I don’t like how aware of it I am. In some ways, I don’t mind being single. I have a lot of freedom in my life that comes from being single. And I have sole possession of the remote control; that’s important. But I’m single, and sometimes, that bothers me. I’m discontent in my current state, and I’m also frustrated with myself for that discontentment.

I’m also having a hard time watching other people get married right now. I’m happy for my friends who have found their life partners, but I’m also dealing with a fear of being left behind or left out. I’m also being immature and having a hard time watching other people get things that I’d like to have.

Other people’s wedding planning boards can make me cry-for no real reason. I’m being incredibly silly and emotional about this. I’m not really at a place where I’m completely at peace with my singleness. (I pray about this. Often. I want to be at peace with my singleness.) And in being unsettled about my state of life, in being frustrated with where I am, I have chosen to un-follow other people’s wedding-related Pinterest boards. Maybe this makes me childish, but it helps me to remain calmer. It keeps me from becoming jealous of those who have what I want. It keeps me from being as discontent in being single.

But I’ve also come to realize that having my own dream wedding board isn’t helping me. It contributes to my discontentment in my current state of life. That might seem silly, but it’s true. Why am I dreaming about a wedding that may never happen? Why am I planning a wedding when I’m as single as the day is long? Why am I encouraging myself to look at things or think about things that make me discontented in my current state of life? All that the board does at this point in my life is remind me that I’m single and make me sad about what may never be.

I don’t need that that. I shouldn’t encourage myself to be unhappy where I am. I need to encourage my own peace of mind. I need to work to be at peace with this area of my life. And Pinterest wasn’t helping. As my friend, Katie says, you need to have a “pin-to-your-state-of-life policy.”

So I enacted one in my life last night. I got rid of my wedding planning board. If I ever need a wedding planning board, I can make a new one. And if I never need it, well, it’s not there to bother me. To me, the most important thing is that I find peace with where I am in my life. If that means that I don’t have a certain Pinterest board, that’s not the end of the world. I’m sure that if I ever do need to plan a wedding I’ll survive without that board I deleted last night.

Drunken Chicken Stew

This is a meal that I recently created for myself. I’m typing up the recipe for anyone else who might be interested and also so that I have it again when I need/want it.



  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 2lbs. chicken
  • 1/2 bottle of wine
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • Two whole sweet potatoes
  • 10-12 white mushrooms
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp. parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Cook the bacon in a saucepan.
  2. When the bacon is almost fully cooked, add the sliced onion to the saucepan and cook it with the bacon.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and the chicken. Put them in a large bowl with the wine. Set aside to soak for at least ten minutes.
  4. Put broth into a large stew pot and begin to cook on medium heat.
  5. Slice the sweet potatoes into chunks. Put in the large stew pot with the broth.
  6. Add the herbs to the pot.
  7. When the onions and bacon fully cooked, add them to the stew pot.
  8. When the chicken and mushrooms have soaked for at least 10 minutes, turn up the heat and add the chicken, mushrooms, and wine to the pot.
  9. Bring the pot to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  10. Serve with bread.

The Questions You Ask On Watching The Emperor’s New Groove as an Adult

Last night, my roommate (henceforth to be known as JCS and part of the Egotist’s Club) and I watched The Emperor’s New Groove together. We compiled a few MANY questions that we’d like the answers to, and we’re sharing them

– Why has Kuzco never fired Yzma before now?
– Where did Kuzco’s guards learn to Riverdance?
– Was Pacha democratically elected to be leader of his village? Or did he get his job from a random lady passing out swords in a lake?
– Why doesn’t Pacha’s wife have pregnant-lady boobs?
– Does saying “We’re just going to sit up all night saying how much we love each other” convince children to go to bed in real life?
– Where did all the purple animals come from?
– How did no one kill Kuzco before now?  He’s so annoying.

– What were Kuzco’s parents like?
– Where did Kuzco get that mouthwash from?
– Why do all these people have mullets?  This movie is not set in the 1980s, these people are not Canadian, this movie is not about hockey.  What’s with the mullets?
– Why is Pacha wearing a skirt?
– If Yzma’s signature color is purple, why did she wear a pink dress to Kuzco’s fake funeral?
– How old IS Yzma?
– Demon alpaca?

JCS: Why is this one conversation like an awkward morning-after discussion?  Like, walk-of-shame awkward?
JCS: How does Pacha know anything about blood-sugar levels?

Why are there Jews in the Incan empire?
Are there really sombreros in the Incan empire?

JCS: I don’t understand why he left the blanket.

Why does Kronk have a tent that only covers his knees?
Why are his pajamas more modest than his uniform?
Why does his teddy bear not have pajamas?
Is Yzma half-mosquito?
Is Yzma a ninja?
First of all, how did the children move so fast, and second of all, why do they need to Zamboni their floors in the middle of the jungle?
Why is there a mariachi band?
Why do the alligators barf?
Why doesn’t Kronk just kill her?
What does she have against spinach puffs?

JCS:  Why are all her potions and poisons pink?

How’s the octopus supposed to do anything?  Like, octopi are not supposed to be able to function on dry land.

How does this guy keep getting thrown out of windows?

Why does Kuzco wear dinner plates as earrings?
Where did they get the spinach for spinach puffs?
Why do these men not have hair on their chests?
Is it really that important to know squirrel?

Seven Things for which I am Grateful

  1. The successful conclusion of my first week teaching in a new school: I’m teaching in a school that is new to me this year, and I love it there thus far.
  2. Fall weather: Fall is my favorite season, and we’re currently enjoying some fall weather this weekend. I know it’s not here for good yet, but I love the taste of it. I can’t wait for real fall.
  3. Friends who support me in my faith: This ranges from praying for me to making plans with me such that I can go to Byzantine liturgy on Sundays or understanding that if I ever get married and have a family, I want to raise them in the Byzantine Catholic Church and with charismatic prayer even if that desire means that I’ll never get married.
  4. Supportive girl friends: I love having friends that I can talk to about anything-work, faith, grad school, stress…
  5. Coffee: My personal elixir of life
  6. I’m getting a (new to me) Kitchen Aid mixer next month: I really want a KitchenAid, and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to wait until I get married to get one.
  7. A warm home on cold nights

On Being (a modern) Emma Woodhouse

I don’t think it’s any kind of a secret that I love Jane Austen. Like most Austen loving ladies, I’ve always wanted to know which Austen lady best corresponds to my own personality. I definitely wanted to be Lizzy Bennet for a while. I love the idea of Anne Elliot, and I definitely have some Anne Elliot tendencies in me such as my determination to do what needs to be done simply because it needs to be done. For many years, that seemed to be Elinor Dashwood. And I think that is still true in some regards; for example, I want other people to be happy even if it means that I will be unhappy. But in other ways, I’m much more of an Emma Woodhouse.

Believe it or not, that isn’t easy for me to accept. I long ago realized that my best match in an Austen hero would be George Knightley. (And no, that wasn’t just because I think that Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley is absurdly attractive.) But I didn’t want to be Emma Woodhouse. True story: The first time that I tried to read the book, I hated Emma so much that I threw the book across the room and didn’t revisit it for two years. Now, I think that most of my problems with Emma were things that I recognize as flaws in myself.

I didn’t want to be loud or opinionated. I’m not a matchmaker. I don’t want to be seen as butting into other people’s lives. I didn’t want to be Emma. See, there are things about Emma that annoy me-like REALLY annoy me-and I don’t want to be annoying.

But…I do like to be in charge. I am strong-willed. I’m stubborn. I like things to be my way. I can be really loud. I am very opinionated. I do worry about others. I want what’s best. And I don’t always do the best job of conveying that. Sometimes, I annoy other people. Heck, sometimes, I annoy myself.

Is it just me or do I sound like Emma? There’s more to me than just that paragraph, but I definitely have some Emma in me.

Oddly, I like looking at myself and recognizing Emma. It makes me more comfortable with some of the louder, more intense aspects of my personality. It helps me to see that I’m not alone in this loud eccentricity that is my personality. It helps me to know that I’m not the first woman have this sort of personality and I won’t be the last. It also helps me to find ways to manage my more Emma self. I need to find ways to calm my stress. I need to find ways to embrace some of my zaniness and present it in a more appealing fashion.

There is nothing wrong with having an intense, exuberant personality. Do I need to calm myself down when I’m upset? Of course I do. Do I need to radically change her personality? No, I don’t. Exuberance is not wrong. At times it needs to be tempered. At times, my worry-wort tendencies need to be tempered as well. But they aren’t bad things, and their existence within my personality doesn’t make me a bad person.

Similarly, Emma Woodhouse is not a bad person. She is strong-willed. She can be wrong at times. (I can also be wrong once in a while.) She loves fiercely. She is incredibly passionate about life and people. I think those are great traits. Is she human? Yes, she is absolutely human. But in spite of her faults, she is also a good person.

She needs appropriate influences, as do I. Like Emma, I need people who challenge me and don’t just yield to my will. I don’t always like being challenged, but it is good for me. Harriet Smith is a genuinely sweet person, but she can’t push or challenge Emma in the same way that George Knightley can. Similarly, I need friends who challenge me. Knowing that I’m an Emma helps me to recognize that in myself and to seek out what I need.

There are definitely downsides to being an Emma. You’re loud. You’re opinionated. People think you’re annoying-and they make sure that you know it. (Or maybe that’s just my own experience; I really hope that it is.) You need to be challenged, but you don’t always like being challenged. It’s not always easy to find people who enjoy your personality.

But it is ultimately a good thing to be an Emma. No one can push an Emma around. No one can tell her what to do. And I think that’s a good thing. People might find me overwhelming or annoying, but I stand my ground. I hold true to myself. That might mean that I have fewer friends, but I’m learning to be content with who I am and to enjoy my own eccentricity. I think that is very Emma but also very Elinor and Lizzy and Anne. (I think it might also be a sign of being an adult, but I’m not sure of that.)