Come at me, 2013.

Last year on our Holiday Christmas trip to Georgia, Josh and I decided to head back to Texas on New Years Eve. While in our minds we pictured a sweet, reflective car ride full of thought-provoking questions and conversations answering the traditional questions of “What do I regret this year?” or “How can I become a better person in 2012?” Ya know, the stuff you always feel like you’re supposed to ask each other on birthdays or…come to think of it EVERY event that happens on a yearly basis…Oh well, no bother.

What the trip actually looked like what me drooling on a pillow in the passenger seat while Josh tried unsuccessfully to bring me to enough of a state of consciousness to even acknowledge that it had turned midnight, and we had entered a new year. This was only after a quick pit stop in New Orleans in which Henry pooped in the middle of Bourbon Street like a drunken moron. Please don’t ask.

So, as you may imagine, we decided to take our entrance into 2013 a slightly different route. We decided to leave Georgia in time to be home in Austin for the big ball-drop moment. We left yesterday at around 8:30pm and got to Austin this morning around 10, making our trip 14.5 hours-BEST TIME YET! And now we’re recovering from the drive with Chipotle and naps. The only problem is that we smell terrible and my teeth might fall out from all the soda I drank during the night to stay awake. The stupid apartment complex in which we live has lovingly decided to turn off everyone’s water for the day for some sort of maintinance. SURPRISE! (Only it shouldn’t actually count as a surprise when it happens like once a week).

I say it now, and I’ve said it before…Henry is the best road trip dog. Seriously. Doesn’t make a peep for 14.5 hours except when we let him out to pee while we get gas. He is a rockstar.


Even though we haven’t rung in the new year just yet, I have talked 2012 over with Josh, and we decided that most of the year was completely horrendous. The first 8 or 9 months were honestly some of the most trying times of our lives. **see entitled “Summer Misfortunes” for just a sample of some of the fun times. I’ll have to say, though, 2012 really turned around toward the end and became some of the happiest months of our lives. Trials are so difficult to endure in the moment, but they really do bring a sweet dependence on each other and a deeper gratitude for the things we tend to take for granted.

I want to carry gratitude with me in 2013 like I carried anxiety in 2012. I want to take more deep breaths and hear myself say “You did enough today” in the mirror. Who knows what kind of horrors that this year will bring. It honestly terrifies me. But without a deeper understanding of grace and without a selfless attitude that’s focused away from my tiny middle-class-white-girl-problems, I’ll never be able to face the challenges that lie ahead without crumbling at the feet of setbacks.

I have a lot to still wrestle with and come to understand about what all we went through last year. Maybe I’ll never fully learn everything I want to from the experiences. But for now, I will raise my champaign glass with the rest of them and welcome 2013 with open arms, whether it brings tears of joy or tears of devastation. I’m pretty sure it will bring both at times, but thank you Jesus for shedding light on the brevity of it all. He is bigger, and more loving, and endless…And that’s all I need to know.

Happy New Year, world. May you find your hope in the only One worth the trouble.

p.s. glad you didn’t get destroyed by the mayan/zombie apocolyps thing. That would have made me sad.

Laterz, Caroline


I am so excited to announce that we’ve made it safely to our new home in Portland, Oregon. Well, actually in Vancouver, Washington, but close enough. Our house is beautiful and our roommates are great and things seem to be going super.

Home sweet home.

Home sweet home.

It took us 12 days to drive out here from Athens, Georgia, and what an amazing drive it was.

We went through 12 states. Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Josh did a great job with editing and publishing the photos from our trip, You can see some of them at

I’ve learned a lot about myself, my God, and my country during this journey. Many people have asked all about the Pacific Northwest who have never been, and I’ve decided to list a few of the things I’ve learned so far.

#1. Atlanta traffic is NOT as terrible as people make it seem. Traffic in Portland and Seattle is, dare I say, worse than Atlanta? Definitely not something we were expecting. Lame.

#2. The people here are…amazing. I mean seriously. I’ve always heard of the outstanding hospitality of Southern Folks, but the longer I’m immersed in Portland culture, the more I realize how much of a deeper hospitality the people here possess. It isn’t half hearted or showy. They just simply care about you. And it shows.

#3. There has to be more spiders here than anywhere else in the world.

#4. It is a BEAUTIFUL city. If you’ve talked to me since we’ve moved here you’ve heard me say this. A lot. No matter how crappy my day is going, it always helps to step outside and take a deep breath and look around and remember where I am. Ahhhhh, deep sigh.

#5. We are pretty darn out of place. College football isn’t a big deal on Saturdays, air conditioner is not something used on a regular basis, and when people have you over for dinner you can pretty much bet on eating things with organic something-or-another. But we’re learning and adjusting 🙂

#6. There is no substitute to Chick-fil-a. A very sad thing. (The closest one to us is in Santa Monica California…6 hours away.)

#7. Getting fully on West Coast time is seemingly impossible. Every morning we wake up and can’t shake the stupid thought of “man, its past lunch time in Georgia!” and then feel super lazy. (Even if we went to sleep at 5AM East Coast time).

There’s more to come as we continue this crazy season of life. I can’t wait to keep learning about the heartbeat of this amazing town.

On a separate note. Josh and I got to meet Donald Miller tonight. He’s the author of my favorite book, Blue Like Jazz, and someone I’ve always wanted to meet. He is currently touring more than 60 cities to teach some of the truths in his newest book. But we got the honor of hearing him speak in his (our?) hometown. Thank you so much Jordan and Jess Chesbrough for getting us the tickets.


What a terrific guy.

That’s it for now. Goodnight friends.