It's time to say goodbye to Nothing Artificial. 

The era of the family blog has passed for me and my family.  My children no longer want me to take their picture and tell their stories; the stories are now theirs to tell.  I appreciate their boundaries, and I too am creating some of my own.  

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you peace.

Thanks for reading all these days and all these thoughts.  It was a joy to share them.


She sat with me for an hour in a coffee shop across the street from the one where she is interviewing this moment.  We had breakfast and talked mostly about her time with her dear friend visiting over the past week.  She shared her thoughts on what she anticipated the interview might include, and her thoughts on the reality that though this seems a big deal to others, its all she knows.  "For all I know Mom, they meet personally with everyone."

I tried to not laugh.  Its true, its all she knows.

She dressed in a buffalo plaid flannel and torn jeans with knee high Patagonia boots.  Her khaki army messenger bag ever across her chest.  She is just her, comfortable in her own skin.  I love that about her.

She asked if I knew when I took her to preK that college interviews would look like this.  Then I did laugh…out loud.  I looked her right in her beautiful eyes and said, "Absolutely!"

Moments ago I snapped these pics as she watched through the window to see if the alumni had arrived.

And then she was gone.  Hopes, dreams, questions, fears, ideals and all.

Later she returned aglow with delight.  "Mom, they said I will be getting a letter soon and that Harvard will be very lucky to have me!"

Stay tuned to see what actually happens and what she actually decides to do.

**If you have no idea what this is about, see here.  Info on her Cornell interview is here.



My girls think my dear friend Ruth (Mrs. Ruth to them) is the best chef ever.   She is the consummate foodie artist in their minds.

Mrs. Ruth came into our lives when moved to Minnesota,  then her family moved here to CO shortly after we did.  With her chocolate malt cookies and her chicken salad (Savannah is guaranteed to squeal  if you even bring that chicken salad up in front of her), she has seared a place in my childrens memory.  Its not that she's even cooked for them all that much, its that what she has cooked has every morsel been utter perfection in their minds!  

You see, Ruth understands that Jesus didn't run projects, establish ministries or put on events.  He ate meals with people.

Ruth meets people where they are and feeds them.  Even my children.

She has a way of effectively caring for people through food.  Its remarkable, really.

Savannah made a batch of Ruth's malt cookies a few weeks back.  I smiled every time I saw them sitting on the platter.

Perhaps there is someone who could use time around the table with you this season.



Guest room and her entrance are ready.  She arrives this weekend - guess who it is ????

Hint:  she was my right (and left)  hand gal in another chapter of my life.


Frequently I am asked what I use to take the pictures for this blog.  All of my pics are taken via my iPhone.  No exceptions.

Recently, I haven't edited everything I have posted because, well, Im not in the mood to perfect everything.  Since I don't have/desire sponsors and don't seek to grow my readers (no comments allowed, followers disabled, personally ask certain people to stop reading (though they don't), etc), I feel that you all can see me without makeup, so to speak.

However, when I do edit, I typically use VSCO Cam for color pop.  Its a free app and the filter I use is also is also free - C1.  I do soften the "voltage" by 25 -50%.  All of these pics were edited there.  You can see that the greens are greener, the whites sharper, the reds deeper, the photobomber more sassy  (what is it with him walking into every one of my pics?).

But for people pics, I use the Afterlight app.  In the app go to Original pack and then to Relic for my fav filter.  Again, I adjust the "voltage" down by 25 - 50%.  I do no other touchup - just three easy steps.

Hope these apps help you a bit as you make holiday memories and even cards.  There will be new ones coming out soon Im sure, but for now, these are my favs.

P.S.  I do still use PicMonkey for all the edits on my computer.


3 years ago, when Savannah and I took her Coming of Age trip, we lugged back a weather worn branch as a souvenir.

Typically I use it as part of a cluster of weather worn branches leaning in a corner somewhere in our home.

But a couple of months ago I got an idea to use it differently.

Two rod and shelf brackets later (totaling $6), plus an unadorned 1x10 from the garage (plus a few screws drilled by Doug) and look what we have...

An entry room with interest!

It feels very organic, simplistic.  My kind of appealing.