Friday, August 2, 2013

an open letter to the internet

Kate is supremely talented and you should totally read her words if you don’t already. She wrote a post about rules for women to follow (seriously, so good) and here’s one of them:

If there’s been a rift in communication and too much time has passed, it can all be solved with a handwritten letter.

That’s kinda how I feel about this blog. So much time has passed, I am rusty and I don’t really know where to start. A letter seems like a good place. 

Here I go.


Dear Internet,

I love you and I don't love you.

I love how smart you are. You know all the answers! The closest wine bar and how late it stays open. The lyrics to Bone Thugs N Harmony’s Crossroads (14-year-old Molly would be appalled 30-year-old Molly forgot). How many miles exist between my home in New York and my home in Alabama. I knew it would be big, but man, that is quite a number.

I love the friends I have made through you. Real people making real babies and planning real weddings and living real lives. I love those people with a fierceness.

I love that you give me a place to show up and do a thing I enjoy stringing words into sentences and seeing what comes of it on the other side.

I do not love the hard fought battle to remain true to my most authentic self while hanging out with you. One quick stroll with you and I know what clothes I should be wearing & where I should be shopping. I learn to decorate my house with whatever new thing is replacing chevron and let’s be real: snapping all the Instagram-worthy shots to make sure you know I know what's up. Granted, part of this is just life and I will have to fight the battle of comparison with or without you, but sometimes you can be a pretty harsh mistress.

When we first moved to New York, I learned my route to the subway and I walked that route every single time. I remember Justin asking me once if I wanted to walk another way. I wish you could’ve seen the look on my face. Walk another way? What am I? Some kind of gypsy wandering about aimlessly? No! We walk this route to the subway, this is the route we walk! A couple months later, we found ourselves exiting the subway and in a decidedly brave moment of reckless abandon, I walked a new route home.

I took a break from parts of you that once were a steady part of me. A four month lull since my last post that wasn't planned or purposeful, but it showed me a different way to walk. I discovered some new passions that are life-giving to me that I may never have taken the time to notice before.

I hope this mends the rift in our communication. I do not hate you, Internet, but I refuse to let you own me or tell me what’s beautiful. I will continue to ask you all kinds of questions and appreciate the good within you, but I will also know that it is okay and even beneficial at times to take a break.

Orwasher’s is a quaint, family-owned bakery in my neighborhood. They bake a cinnamon streusel walnut bread that will make you slap somebody it’s so good. I found it one rainy afternoon, when in a decidedly bold move, I took a different way home.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today, I am 30.

My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wells. She loved country music, most of all Garth Brooks, and had beautiful grown-up handwriting.

Mr. Henry, proprietor of the local hole-in-the-wall hamburger joint. He had a dimple in his chin and called me darlin'.

Our small town family doctor's wife. She called me Molly-by-Golly and smelled like expensive perfume.

My granddaddy. When he would get really tickled, his laugh would go silent and he'd tilt his head way back and cover his mouth with his hand. He was a Marine, missing in action during part of World War II. He wrote letters from the war front about Iwo Jima and Okinawa and Hiroshima to his sister in Alabama. By God's grace, he returned home from the war and shortly after his arrival, met my grandmother at a local dance. She thought he was so handsome, but refused him when he asked to spin her around the dance floor. Her daddy had told her to be wary of men in uniforms because they could be fast.

My cousin Kelly. She tight rolled her jeans, shopped at the GAP, and wore their signature fragrances: om, grass, and earth. It was the mid '90s and she was the coolest.

Dave Matthews Band. I remember the exact way my room looked and the exact feelings I felt the first time I listened to his voice croon through the speakers.

My lovely parents. It is a precious gift that they are also my friends.

Panama City Beach. Only an hour and a half drive away from my hometown. My parents each took vacations there when they were kids and continued the tradition with me. Bright sun high in sky and white, sugary sand and brilliant aquamarine waters clear as crystal. We'd stay on the beach all day- getting 'brown as a berry' my mom would say- and then wash the sand off and go to dinner. My dad would always book a room overlooking the ocean and I'd drift into the sweetest sleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore.

J. My champion. He sees me in the dark and in the light and he loves me wholly.

You might call it trite, but I'll call it true: I am the woman I am today because of these people and places and countless others. My life is by no means perfect or without pain, yet it is with joy and hope unending that I celebrate these thirty years of my story and the people who have made it so.


We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

My glittered photo shoot in Central Park made possible by my beautiful and talented friend Rachel

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seven days to go.

They say the older you get the more you know yourself, the more comfortable you feel in your own skin. 
I have seven days left ‘in my twenties’ so naturally I've been thinking about all the feelings you are supposed to feel when approaching a milestone birthday. 
And I'm hitting a big, blank wall.
I don’t know what I am supposed to feel.
I only know it's a significant birthday (Aren’t they all? Having a birthday literally means Eat Some Cake You Didn’t Die This Year!), with a zero on the end of it, and I am supposed to know myself better now than I ever have before. 

So I decided to think about the things I know rather than the things I don’t as I approach the elusive 30... 

I know that glitter is quite the polarizing thing. You love it or hate it. 
I happen to be the former. 

I know that my hair is curly. Despite all those years of my mom saying I love your curls and me wielding a Chi straightening iron in protest, my hair is messy and wild and curly and I couldn’t be happier about it. Moms really do know best. 

I know that a broken heart can feel like the very end of you, but that time really does heal. Also: Krispy Kreme crullers and the very best girlfriends and Patty Griffin blasting through the speakers like whoa.

I know that plaid flannel shirts make me happy. Me and Kurt Cobain and every hipster in Brooklyn.

I know that it is possible to call two places home. One is wide open space and small town living and known. And the other bright and bustling and magnetic.
My Alabama and my New York. Home.

I know that it takes four hours for a nose piercing to close and that asking your then-boyfriend-now-husband to re-pierce it will not end well. For you or your nose.

I know that dusk is my favorite time of day, partly because it’s magic, but mostly because Justin loves it so.

I know that a yucca- when sliced thin & cooked in coconut oil- tastes awfully like a potato chip and yet remains a root vegetable. That and much more thanks to completing the whole30 challenge.

I know that I am a coffee snob and that Bodum should pay me for all the French presses I’ve sold.

Old Crowe Medicine Show and Fun. on repeat. A friend has been calling this the Dirty Thirty playlist and I feel great about it. Thirty should definitely have its own playlist.

I know that living states away from family is hard. Whoever invented Skype & FaceTime, thank you.

I know the best place in Manhattan for a black & white cookie. Come visit. I will take you there posthaste.

I know that marriage is simultaneously the hardest and best thing I have ever done. And worth it. So very worth it.

I know that blogging introduced me to a community of incredibly talented women who became some of my dearest friends and although I haven’t been as diligent a blogger these last months, they remain women who inspire me, women I love greatly.

A red vintage t-shirt boasting the words Alabama Spirit Team and well-worn Levi’s with a tare in the knee. I’m flushed just thinking about it. I know that’s what Justin Rigoloso wore the day I fell in love with him.

I know that approaching 30 is a new sparkly dress and red lipstick and calling your pal to say, Want to take some pictures of me? I’m turning 30 and it feels like a big deal.

Lastly, I know that we each have this one wild and precious life.
I do not want to waste one minute thinking I should have accomplished more by now or why hasn’t this happened or why did that happen.
Instead, I want to live this life well, to be marked by a love for people rather than things, to be so consumed by the grace & kindness shown to me that it overflows and spills out to all those around me.

I have seven more days to be 29.
And then, I am going to put on a party dress, stain my lips red, pump up the jams and eat some cake.
And Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I will turn 30.

That’s what I know.

Monday, March 11, 2013

hello old friend

We've had a staring match for weeks on end.

From the highest reaches of the bookshelf, I'd feel the stares pressing on me like one of those red laser dots from a gun in a crime show. About those red laser dots- my dad always says- You never want one of those things on you. Wise man, my father.

I stretched high on tiptoes, trying desperately not to shatter the precariously perched blue and white Oriental urn into a thousand pieces on my head, finally retrieving my old friend the laptop as I hmph'ed safely back to flat, bare feet on cold hardwoods.

And after all that, we sat, blink blink blinking, just looking at one another. One of us a blank screen, a machine of a master, daring me to make the words come out.

I walked away, red laser on my back. The words felt itchy and forced and I hated it. So much good and challenging and funny has occurred since my last post- the end of November 2012- that has marked my heart and even the lens of my camera... and yet, the words would not come.

Until now.

Tonight I picked up my laptop so swiftly and with such fervor, that urn could have rained down like confetti all around me and I would've called it a celebration. In truth, I was never really fond of the urn anyway.

We've welcomed our first NYC Christmas and a brand new year, hello 2013. Snowy Central Park walks, Ottomanelli muffins for my favorite birthday boy and the joy of a marriage, six years strong. Each recollection a reminder that life is full and meant to be lived with great abandon.

Today, I'm choosing to celebrate these little words. Though shaky as a bumped piece of painted porcelain, they've finally come.

young Molly who never had trouble finding words | a reminder of my face

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The pecan pies are made. Two of them. My dad's special recipe.
There's a big turkey in our oven. Twenty pounds of Thanksgiving glory cooking away in our Manhattan kitchen.
I made a burlap bunting and found the perfect spice-colored tapers for my candlesticks.
Today is our Thanksgiving.
Justin is the keeper of the turkey and since all the bird needs now is just a bit of time, J slipped away to the gym, undoubtedly anticipating the feast that is to come.
Tonight, friends old and new will gather.
It's going to be a grand time with a fullness to it that is hard to mark with words.
Rather, it will be sidelong glances and familiar laughter and warm embraces.
But for now these walls are quiet and almost hallowed and I am grateful for a window to steal away to this old stomping ground of mine if but for a moment.
Justin and I have more than what we need and so much of what we want.
Moreover, our lives are rich with people, some near and some far, whom we love.
Real people with real dreams and real hurts and real fears and real hopes.
People who mean more than anything new and shiny ever could.

J just returned from the gym which means I'll stop here for now and join him in the kitchen.
It also means my walls are not so silent anymore. Oh that man of mine! How especially glad he makes my heart.

This is my thanks giving.