Friday Five

1. What If Singleness Is My Fairy Tale? I loved this perspective on living in light of God’s sovereignty.


2. I loved watching Kimmy Schmidt. And I actually told a friend that Kimmy is possibly what I would have been like had I skipped college and gone straight to New York City. I mean, not exactly. I would have been more afraid. Anyway, I liked this article by another homeschooler about her experience compared to Kimmy’s. My homeschool experience was much different, but her perspective is interesting for sure. 


3. A coworker sent me this for a collaborative post we do for work and I loved it so much I’m putting it here, too. 



4. I know your bracket may already be busted, but there’s still time to have a not-busted bracket in the Nashville Coffee Shop Bracket Challenge. #NashCoffeeMadness. Also, remember to vote for your favorite shop. Basically, you can actually shape how your bracket turns out. 


5. Google Feud. It’s like Family Feud, but with Google searches. A great way to waste train for several hours (for the real thing). [via WardrobeDoor]

march madness

2015 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Hello, friends. It is March, which means the madness is upon us. If you’re new around here, welcome. This is what I do in March. 

Each year, we have a contest and the winner receives a $30 Amazon gift card! It’s a huge deal. The link to enter will be at the bottom of this post. 

But first, the moment you’ve all been waiting for in order to fill out your brackets … my March Madness Bracket Strategy. aka every thought I have while filling out my bracket. 

Here we go!



Kentucky vs. Hampton/Manhattan – Kentucky. This is such a no-brainer. First of all, Kentucky has won, like, every game this year. Second of all, who in the Hamptons/Manhattan is playing basketball? This isn’t the lacrosse tournament. 

[Wait. Why does it say Louisville on the side? And then Columbus below that? Did these teams already win? Oh, maybe this is where they're playing. That must be it.]

Cincinatti vs. Purdue – Purdue. No reason. 

West Virginia vs. Buffalo – West Virginia. They’re rated 5, they’ve been here before. 

Maryland vs. Valparaiso – [Googles Valparaiso.] It’s in Indiana. And it has a fun name, but it’s rated 13 next to Maryland’s 4. Eh, Maryland.

Butler vs. Texas – Butler. I see them here a lot. 

Notre Dame vs. Northeastern – Notre Dame. They’re pretty good at sports in general, I think.

Wichita State vs. Indiana – Wichita. I think Kansas is generally good at basketball. 

Kansas vs. New Mexico – Kansas, see above. 



Wisconson vs. Coastal Caro. – I’m assuming that Caro. stands for Carolina. Wisconsin is rated 1, otherwise I’d totally go with Coastal Caro just because it sounds cool. 

Oregon vs. Oklahoma State – Oregon. [Googles SuperBowl because I was thinking Seattle was in Oregon because I always get those mixed up and I was going to say Oregon was on a roll this year but then realized Seattle didn't even win and it's not in Oregon and therefore all this is pointless, but I'm still going with Oregon.]

Arkansas vs. Wofford – Wofford, I’ve never heard of you. Welcome to the NCAA Tournament. Sorry Arkansas will beat you. 

North Carolina vs. Harvard – Listen, I like Harvard. And they had that whole Cinderella thing a couple of years ago and it was super exciting. But they’re up against North Carolina. They have blue in their school colors. And everyone knows blue = basketball success. Plus, NC is typically good at basketball. So, North Carolina, as much as it pains me. 

Xavier vs. BYU/Ole Miss – Xavier. They’re always in this, so I figure they must be pretty good. 

Baylor vs. Georgia State – Look at you, Baylor. Ranked #3. Way to go. 

VCU vs. Ohio State – I never remember what VCU stands for. [Googles VCU] VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH. We’ll go with them. 

Arizona vs. Texas Southern – Arizona



Villanova vs. Lafayette – Villanova, always. 

North Carolina State vs. LSU – Y’all, I googled NC State and their mascots names are Mr. and Ms. Wuf and something called “Tuffy.” I’m going with LSU

UNI vs. Wyoming – I don’t know what UNI is. Oh, U of Northern Iowa. Iowa has had a good year this year. I’ve actually heard them talked about on Twitter and then Chris Soules is from Iowa and he found love. It’s a great year for them. 

Louisville vs. UC Irvine – Louisville. They won the whole thing a couple of years ago, so they’re probably decent. I mean, all the players have probably graduated, but the coaches are the same maybe?

Providence vs. Boise State/Dayton – Providence because they’re meant to win. (slide whistle)

Oklahoma vs. Albany – Oklahoma because they’re ranked much higher than Albany. 

Michigan State vs. Georgia – Hm. I think Georgia. Just because they’re Southern. 

Virginia vs. Belmont – Sorry, Belmont. It’s gonna be Virginia



Duke vs. North Florida/Robert Morris – Definitely Duke. Sorry, Bobby Morris. 

San Diego State vs. St. John’s – [Googles St John's] St. John’s is in Queens, NYC. On TV, people in NYC are always playing basketball. And then also one of the first results is a quote saying, “St. John’s is great at basketball!” So, there you have it. 

Utah vs. S. F. Austin – What is S.F. Austin? [Googles] Oh, yes. Stephen F. Austin. Going with Utah because of the higher ranking. 

Georgetown vs. Eastern Washington – Georgetown

SMU vs. UCLA – I have to go with UCLA. Well, wait. SMU is ranked higher. Eh, UCLA

Iowa State vs. UAB – Again, it’s a great year for Iowa

Iowa vs. Davidson – How many schools are in Iowa? This is getting ridiculous. Iowa again. 

Gonzaga vs. North Dakota State - Gonzaga, always. It’s so fun to say. 



Kentucky vs. Purdue – Definitely Kentucky. My friends still have their Christmas trees up. It better be worth it. 

West Virginia vs. Maryland – West Virginia, I think. 

Butler vs. Notre Dame – Butler. They’re a basketball school. I mean, they seem to always be in this. 

Wichita State vs. Kansas – The battle of the plains. Kansas

Wisconsin vs. Oregon – Wisconsin, I guess. They’re ranked higher. I have no reason to pick Oregon, so might as well. Also, Wisconsin’s mascot is the Badger and I recently heard about a badger that held an entire hotel hostage, so they’re pretty fierce I guess. 

Arkansas vs. North Carolina – North Carolina (blue).

Xavier vs. Baylor – I want to say Xavier because they’re usually here, but Baylor has also been here and they’re ranked higher. Plus, I always feel a bit of a kinship with Baylor because it was the other Baptist school (aside from Union dearest Union). Baylor.

VCU vs. Arizona – Hm, Arizona is ranked higher. Guess we’ll go with that.

Villanova vs. LSU – Villanova. It’s fun to say.

UNI vs. Louisville – I’m going with Louisville.

Providence vs. Oklahoma – I guess Oklahoma.

Georgia vs. Virginia – I think I have to go with Virginia. They’re ranked #2 and Georgia was already an upset to win the last round.

Duke vs. St. John’s – St. John’s, I like your story (that I made up), but I’m going to have to go with Duke.

Utah vs. Georgetown – Georgetown. They’re kind of known for basketball and I’m taking it as a sign that a commercial for Seinfeld was on while I was making this selection. #Costanza 

UCLA vs. Iowa State – Iowa State. Someone on Twitter seemed pretty sure they’d win this one. 

Iowa vs. Gonzaga – That same person was sure Iowa would win this one, but I’m going with Gonzaga because I like it. 



Kentucky vs. West Virginia – Still Kentucky

Butler vs. Kansas – Kansas because they have blue uniforms and they often win. 

Wisconsin vs. North Carolina – North Carolina

Baylor vs. Arkansas – You know what? Baylor

Villanova vs. Louisville – Hm, I think Villanova. Because Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century, would probably say it as an exclamation. 

Oklahoma vs. Virginia – Virginia, I guess. No real reason. 

Duke vs. Georgetown – Duke. Blue, from North Carolina (North Carolina is good at basketball). 

Iowa State vs. Gonzaga – I’m going with Iowa State. Just because of the fantastic year they’re having, according to at least one person on Twitter and The Bachelor franchise. 



Kentucky vs. Kansas – I have to go with Kentucky, here. 

North Carolina vs. Baylor – North Carolina

Villanova vs. Virginia – I think Villanova

Duke vs. Iowa State – Duke, because they’re always good. No matter what kind of year Iowa is having. 



Kentucky vs. North Carolina – Kentucky

Villanova vs. Duke – I think Villanova


WINNER: Kentucky


Now, you can’t copy my strategy exactly, though I know it will be tempting. You’ll have to get your own strategy. Feel free to base it loosely on mine. That’s why I do this. To help you. 

To enter to win the $30 Amazon gift card, sign up through ESPN and join my group. The password is elizabeth. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. May the odds be ever in your favor. And other clichés.




Friday Five

1. Jami Nato is one of my favorite bloggers and she’s writing a book. She talks a little about that in this post, but I’m linking to it because of what she says about blogging. I feel much the same way (including the part about not writing here in a while [sorry. working on it.]). 

2. Good Friends Feed Our Souls. Yes, they do. 

3. I heart Johnnyswim.

4. Older Men, Younger Men Need You. So, this is about guys, but I really like what Paul said and I think it also applies to women. (Plus, I have guys who read this blog… I don’t know why I’m still explaining this. It’s a good article.)

5. Advice to Writers: Get a Freditorial Team. I do this on a much smaller scale, but I appreciate the categorical breakdown of the friends-who-are-editors that writers need in their lives. I need to bulk up my team. 


Friday Five

1. I thought this was an interesting interview with Stephen Colbert.

2. She’s your collaborator, not your competition. This article is looking at what it means to be a single independent Christian woman, who would also like to get married. 

3. If Wes Anderson directed X-Men.

What if Wes Anderson directed X-Men? from Patrick Willems on Vimeo.

4. It’s the 50th Anniversary of Sound of Music. This article ranks the Von Trapp children, and I pretty much agree 100%. 

5. NEEDTOBREATHE is coming out with a live album, which is fantastic, especially because it’s live at the Fontanel. I was at that show and it was one of my favorites ever. You can preorder now. 

And because this is a new video and I’m still not tired of this song:


tweets of the month

Tweets of the Month Club | February 2015

Here are the best tweets to cross my feed this month:






































































Friday Five

What a week.

1. Parks and Recreation, one of my favorite shows, has ended. There are countless articles, etc. on the end of a show like this. One theme I’ve noticed is the fact that Parks & Rec was so joyful. I love what this article says, “In the end, it is one of the best comedies TV has ever seen, and one that stands out from so much of the great shows of this new Golden Age of Television because its default emotion was joy when so many of this era’s great shows are defined by darkness, and its default philosophy was one of optimism at a time when even the best comedies today tend towards ironic detachment.” I also loved this article.

2. A Prayer for When You Barely Have Time to Eat. Amen.


4. How’s everyone feeling about the snow? Laura and I (but mostly Laura) wrote this journal entry about going without coffee/being trapped by ice and snow. 

5. Finally, #thedress. The Internet is a bizarre place, y’all. Here’s the dress in question:

the dress

I only see this is blue and black. However, I know some of you see it as gold and white and somehow this came to the Internet’s attention and people were freaking.out. about it. There are several articles dealing with the science of it that, frankly, bored me. I did skim them enough to know that it has to do with how the cones in your eyes handle light and overexposure or something like that. But I thought it was fascinating that everyone was really bothered by this. And I liked what Mindy Kaling said:

the dress Mindy

I think this is why everyone was freaking out. What they knew, what they believed was undoubtable, was now being brought into question. They were beginning to doubt. 

I don’t really have any link to go with that, I just found it fascinating and it’s all over twitter. Sometimes it’s nice to remember what was The Biggest Deal Ever after we’ve forgotten about it. 


Friday Five

1. Watching “Saturday Night Live” in the Time of ISIS. I don’t know if this article completely reflects my thoughts on this, but it’s something that I’m figuring out. It is hard to live in the whiplash, to know how to react, to know—seriously—what to tweet. I appreciate Tyler Huckabee’s perspective. 

2. Holy Writ. This is a long article, but if you appreciate writing and the art of the comma, you’ll find it interesting. (via Megan)

3. You may have seen this by now, but I love a good mashup. 

4. Counting Marriage as Loss. Love, love this from Lore. It is exactly where I am in so many ways. I am always thankful for writers who say, “Me too.”

5. “Parks and Recreation” is another of my favorite shows coming to an end this season. I really like this article on what Parks and Rec can teach us about faithfully living as a local.



Friday Five

1. Are y’all tired of this song yet? Because I’m not. (thanks, Laura!)

2. How to Get Along with an Introvert. I agree with most of this. Especially points 1, 3, and 4. 

3. Present Spray. 

4. How One Stuped Tweet Ruined Justine Sacco’s Life. A fascinating look at reckless words and public shaming. 

5. I LOVE this song. He sings it every year at Behold the Lamb and ends it with a hymn and everyone sings along and it fills me with so much Nashville pride I can hardly stand it. #native 



on buying a house

I bought a house. 

I never thought that sentence would begin with a singular first-person pronoun. A singular pronoun, sure. “He bought a house.” “She bought a house.” “You bought a house.” But not “I bought a house.”

I always thought it would be “We bought a house.” 

There’s a scene in You’ve Got Mail, a fraction of a scene, really, where Meg Ryan eats soup on the bare floor of her loft, between her bedroom area and her living room area. She just plops down, cross-legged, with her bowl of soup, cloth napkin tucked underneath. I don’t even know what else is happening—is Kathleen Kelly waxing poetic on the closing of the store? Is there music playing? I don’t know. All I know is Meg Ryan eating soup on the floor of that apartment has always captivated me.

I guess, and bear with me here, Meg Ryan eating soup from the floor always looked like peace to me. I know that’s weird. But she’s eating soup from the floor because she’s free. She’s free from rules that say you have to sit at the table; she’s free from social laws that say she needs to eat with other people or what if someone knew she eats soup sitting on the floor? She’s free from any care of her own. And she’s at peace with it all. I don’t know, but I think I’ve always wanted that. To eat soup from my floor, metaphorically.

Sometimes I assign words to my year. It’s a thing. But more than assigning a word to strive toward, I often like to look back and retroactively assign a word. This is what I learned. This is who I was. 2013, for me, was a year of hope. And 2014, I think, was the year of peace—being okay with who I am and where I am in life. I am free in so many ways and I like that. This is not to say that I don’t wish the personal pronoun wasn’t singular at times. But I’m glad to eat soup from the floor right now. 

Like my friend, MeLissa says, I can now eat soup on every surface in my house. Because it is mine, singular first-person pronoun. 



Friday Five

1. Stephen King’s 20 Rules for Writing. I recently finished On Writing and cannot recommend it enough to writers. Glad to have all his rules here in one place. 

2. On the off-chance you haven’t seen this yet, here are Lennon & Maisy singing “Boom, Clap.” Remember this moment when, 2 months from now, your aunt posts this video on facebook.*

3. The History of “Loving” to Read. Interesting. (via Popcast)

4. Old/New, a cool little short film by someone about whom I say, “I know him … I mean, we’ve met like twice and follow each other on twitter” when asked who all I’m sitting with at the comedy show.*


5. Dear Facebook, You Make Me Sad. While I didn’t have entirely the same experience as Lauren, I did a purge a year or so ago and haven’t looked back. Recommend. 

BONUS: How to Make Friends as an Adult

BONUS DOS: Jimmy Fallon was killing it this week:



*Based on true events.