Tuesday, July 31, 2012

breaking bread

I've had this picture in my mind for a long time now.
A long, farmhouse-style table surrounded by ecletic chairs.
Colorful, collected mix of dishes.
Candles glowing, good music playing.
Friends gathering 'round our table to enjoy a meal, to talk and laugh, to share life together.

Currently, we have a square table we found on the side of the road.
It's a little less farmhouse and a bit more let's play poker.
The edge of the sofa doubled as a chair. I suppose you could call that ecletic.

As the candles glowed and the music played and friends gathered 'round, I realized a couple things.
Dreams are good.
The pictures we have in our minds can serve as great inspiration, but rarely ever are they completely perfect.
A few years ago I would have missed out on the beauty of what was happening right in front of me for checking off all the things that weren't perfectly matched up to the picture in my mind.

Thankfully, on this particular night, I stopped checking off that list.
I chose to be present.
To listen to the laughter of friends, to savor every bite of summer's fresh fruit, to find beauty in the imperfect.
Sometimes what happens right in front of you is even better than the picture in your mind if you'll let it be.

If people reach perfection they vanish, you know.
T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Monday, July 30, 2012

brooklyn, brooklyn take me in

There are some days that you can't seem to shake.
You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and ache for the moment you can crawl back into it.
This was not one of those days.
Justin and our friend Leah and I spent a recent Saturday in Brooklyn.
Every cloud in the sky seemed perfectly painted in place.
I felt privy to special moments around every corner.
A man leaning out his apartment window to chat with his neighbor.
A father and son lunch date.
Girlfriends sauntering in and out of local shops.
Sticky hands catching every last sugary drop from a popsicle.

The banjo-playing man had quite the talent.
We stopped on the sidewalk and tapped our feet to his bluegrassy tunes.
A blue brick wall as bright as the day's sky caught my attention.
We were several steps passed it when I knew we had turn around.
I would regret it all day if we didn't go back.
I had to kiss my man in front of that sky blue wall and kiss him I did.
Brooklyn took us in and made us family.
It was a day I can't seem to shake.

Friday, July 27, 2012

my own retraction

Some while back, I got an anonymous comment my blog. In case you missed it, Anonymous basically told me my posts and writing were lame and that I should feel free not to blog every day if I was only going to post crap, essentially.

Blogging is a funny thing. We bloggers are shapeshifters, storytellers, yarn spinners. It's a choice. To portray this side of us, but not that side. To write with vulnerability, to document a memory, to draw a line in the sand, to be funny, to be serious. I've never understood why you would show up at someone's blog, take your own time to read their words and then slam them. The writer has a choice to write. The reader has the choice to read. There's also this really cool feature on the internet where you can click off a page and on to another one if you don't like what you are reading or if you aren't being entertained. I'm not suggesting that we all have to share the same opinions or that a writer and a reader must have parallel points of view. However, I don't think kindness is ever lost on a person. Show me your different perspective, but how about do it with kindness & maturity?

I took that evening I'd received the comment, thought about what Anony had said and then wrote a response in the form of a blog post the following day. I basically said, I do this gig for me. I don't do it to have followers or to get famous, but to mark down memories for my little family.

Anony came back with a vengeance, scoffing that my response was so blogger typical. That I claim to do it for myself when really all I am concerned about is being liked and making friends.

Although this post might tend to make you think otherwise, I haven't given much thought to those words of Anonymous until recently. In the words of Duck Commander, looky here, looky here, I am making a retraction.

I, molly b, love making friends. I love friends that I have met at the bar and friends I have met at church. Friends from high school and friends from college. Friends I've met online and friends who live in my building. Friends who are mamas, friends who are single. Friends who travel to Dubai for work & friends who've never crossed the Mason Dixon.

Watching friendships grow into a loving, supporting community within this realm of blogging has been such a beautiful thing. It is not the reason I started blogging (I had no clue what I was getting myself into), nor is it the driving motivation to sit down behind the screen to write (I truly do that for myself, to give my words a place to land, to document my little family of two), but I will tell you this... It is one of the most rewarding parts of this journey.

I suppose Anonymous was right about me. I do love making friends and I can almost assure you that will never change.


This past week, I had the honor of spending time with four beautiful women. I dare say it was providential.

One loves hotdogs, has sharp wit and a killer closet of shoes. She's also one of the most talented and intelligent women I've ever met.

Another lives life so fully that all around her are inspired to do the same. Her joy and light are literally contagious.

Another is a wife and mama and hilarious writer. But there is so much more to her and I've only caught a glimpse. A friend of a couple hours that felt more like a friend of a lifetime.

Another is a kindred spirit yearning for an adventure to claim as her own. I'd say she is well on her way. She and her husband left behind all that is familiar and known and are currently en route to Israel to live among and serve the people of Jerusalem.

My life is richer for knowing these women. They are each unique and beautiful and real. If you cut them, they will bleed. As it were, each of these friendships were formed through blogging.

Genuine friendships, the ones formed online and the ones formed just down the street, are gifts in my life and if I ever suggested otherwise, well... consider this my own retraction.

Monday, July 23, 2012

on life lately

One night last week, I was literally hard and fast asleep on the couch by the time Wheel of Fortune came on. I have a vague memory of Justin leaning down to kiss me goodbye on his way to work. He seemed hazy & far away to my sleep heavy eyes. I tried to make out the numbers on the clock. Y'all, it was 7:40pm. For a moment, I felt very old and then I fell back asleep.

Life lately has been full and good. I taught a photography class to some kids in the south Bronx everyday last week. I loved watching them learn new words like composition and perspective and portfolio. They kept me on my toes, though. Now you know why I was rendered into deep slumber before primetime TV aired.

I know this is backtracking, but I'm going to do it anyway. We celebrated the fourth of July surrounded by friends, old and new, young and old(er). The day was hot as Hades, but we managed. We witnessed New York's grand firework display from the rooftop of one of Justin's coworkers. We also tried apple pie moonshine on that rooftop. It tasted less like gasoline and more like apple pie, was made in California,  and was not served out of an old boot, so I don't think it was legit. Either way, we watched the night sky light up and my heart was thankful.

Full and thankful. That's us lately.

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's never too late to say Happy Friday

I've punked out on the blog this week, friends. I should be back, back in the New York groove soon.
I did want to share one of my favorite instagrams from the past few days.
Justin (Unca J as he is known to our blogger babyfriends) reading a night night story to some of our citykid friends.
Absolutely melted my heart into a thousand puddles.
That man of mine will make one hell of a dad.

Hope you find yourselves in a happy way this weekend.


molly b. on instagram here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's not that I hate summer per se

My reputation for not loving summer seems to precede me among all my friend groups.
It's not uncommon for me to be in a circle of friends and one exclaim something like, Man, I loooove summer!!! and then give me a pitiful look and say, Sorry, Molly! with such great affect you'd think they were telling me they hated rainbows and puppies.
It's not that I hate summer exactly. I just hate to sweat once I'm all showered up for the day.
Granted, summer is not my favorite time of the year, but I don't disdain it all together.
Enter Rockaway Beach.
My first trip to a New York beach will not be my last.
Thankfully, I went with seasoned veterans of this particular beach and they introduced me to the heaven that is Rockaway Taco, a striped taco shack perfectly fitting for the hunger that accompanies any trip to a sandy shore.
We had two sweet little boys who made the trip with us. I don't know who was more excited, us or them.
Growing up near the gulf coast, I am strongly biased to our sugary sands and crystal waters, but I did find a place in my heart for Rockaway.
After all, I do not hate the summer.
Especially when a day at the beach promises such sweet reprieve from sweat and stick and steam.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

sunset on the Hudson

It felt like we were all there for the same purpose: cold beer, good eats, and watching the sky paint shades of blue and peach as the sun faded beyond the Hudson.
We introduced our friend Leah to The Boat Basin, one of our favorite spots this time of year.
Leah is a fellow Southerner in the city like us.
There's a comfort that comes with people who understand your roots because they have similar ones themselves.
And here we are in this grand city, finding our way one day at a time.
We dreamed dreams together that night. Dreams of boats and sailing and acres of land in the mountains.
How could you look at a sky and a sunset like that and not dare to dream the biggest dream your heart could hold?

Monday, July 2, 2012

chef Ema & sous chef J

You may remember that Justin has a new found love of culinary arts.
His new hobby might've been born out of the fact that many of his favorite pastimes are illegal this side of the Mason Dixon.
Side eye hunting and target shooting.
Regardless, he has become quite the chef and I make no complaints.
Our friend Ema is a chef at a fancy nyc restaurant, so last week I scheduled a date for her to teach Justin some knife tricks.
We poured some wine, cranked up the tunes and camped out in our kitchen for a few hours.
I was happily at home behind the camera while the two of them chopped and diced and julienned.
We talked favorite chefs and least favorite and laughed when Justin claimed the chicken was too hot to chop.
I don't think he'll ever live that one down with Ema.
The three of us gathered around our table, homemade chicken pot pie and spicy green beans the fruit of their labor.
These hot summer days, I am thankful for good food to fill us and friendships that truly nourish our souls.

Food for the body is not enough.
There must be food for the soul.
Dorothy Day