Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Joy the Baker is like, the best.

She posted this recipe recently and I’m dying to eat them. Not so much make them, but eating them would be awesome.

Whenever I want to try something new I think of Katie. She is the best person like, ever. I love her dearly and cannot wait for a time in our lives when we don’t live states away from each other. I’m looking forward to seeing her more often than every three months or so and to breakfast dates on Saturday mornings.

To Katie.

Once a week

I’ve failed Caleigh on my once-a-week letter. I wish I had a better excuse than “I’m busy,” but it seems that’s all I come up with these days.

I need to change something in my life. I think business is an excuse. I fill my life to bursting with commitments and activities and that prevents me from doing things with friends or taking care of myself. I need to think about my priorities and schedule my days better.

I say all this, but I have no idea how to approach it. I don’t know how to stop being busy when I feel like I’m spending all my time trying to get a job. I don’t know how to spend more time with friends when I am so exhausted when I come home at the end of the day that I just don’t want to see anyone. This is hard. Living life well is hard.

So here’s a letter to Caleigh, my weekly letter that I’ve been neglecting.

Tysabri

I got my infusion today which left me with a bruised arm and complete exhaustion. I don’t know how this little bag of medication can wipe me out so completely, but it does. Add that to the fact that in the past few weeks my energy level is down and you’ve got me worrying about my health and wishing for a night off.

The best person to spend time with on a night off is Susie. She’s good at being excited about pajamas and bad movies and doesn’t judge me too loudly if I fall asleep in the middle. She’s into baking cupcakes and ordering pizza which I always support. I miss her when I’m not feeling up to par and I wish she were here to veg out with me.

Birthdays

I suck at remembering people’s birthdays. It is one of my greatest faults. In fact, if you want me to be aware that your birthday is approaching, you need to start dropping some pretty obvious hints and keep them coming. It’s ridiculous.

This letter is to Kara, whose birthday was… recently. Kara lives in St. Louis and she’s awesome. I saw my first snowflakes of the year today which made me think of Christmas which made me think of Kara who loves Christmas more than anyone I know. Freshman year we woke up one morning to find that Kara had taken wrapping paper and wrapped all of our doors while we were sleeping. She’s probably already listening to Christmas music right now actually.

To Kara.

10 questions

My last assignment for my pen pal was to send and answer 10 questions. I sent mine out the other day and am now answering my pen pal’s questions. Yes? Yes.

I really like having a pen pal. I feel like you get to know people differently with limited space and your own handwriting. When you ask someone you don’t know 10 questions, you don’t waste them on silly things like, what’s your favorite color? At least some of them are decent, deep questions that really tell you about a person.

To my pen pal.

Friendship Bracelets

Last year I ordered a shirt from my friend Sarah who started a Friendship Bracelet Club at her junior high school. I sort of ordered the sweatshirt on a whim, remembering all the times at least a decade ago that I made the bracelets for hours and swapped them. That sweatshirt is now one of my most favorite items of clothing.

Just ordering it made me want to start braceleting again. I used my free minutes to make those tiny knots and stripes and my kids at school were entranced. During spring break I made all 17 of them bracelets in their favorite colors and sent them out in the mail.

It’s that time of year again- time to order the new friendship bracelet club sweatshirt. And even though I don’t attend or even make bracelets much right now, I love supporting something that connects people and brings joy to kids. It’s awesome. And so is the new sweatshirt.

Chicago

Today I went to Kenosha. And I fell in love with it.

I liked that it was big and small at the same time. It’s right on the lake and it’s gorgeous and there are street cars and little restaurants and it was fun.

Tiffany loves Chicago. She loves the business and bustle and the people and the diversity of restaurants and stores and everything else. We each have a place in this world that we love.

To Tiffany, the big-city girl, from your small-town friend.

Guts

A few years ago I experimented with silk screening. I spent a lot of money on photo-sensitive chemicals and screens and paint and I only ended up making a couple of things before I moved on to whatever interested me next.

One thing I did make was a tshirt with the definition of guts printed on the front. I decided the best person to wear a shirt, who is rocking the guts, would be Alyssa.

So a letter and a package for Alyssa.

Mourning

This last letter goes to someone in mourning.

Last year I was in my friend Lisa’s wedding. Her grandpa was the one who performed the ceremony and this past week her grandpa passed away.

I feel like I have done a lot of mourning this year. I have mourned my grandma’s sickness and her decline and her last days. I’ve mourned at her funeral with her friends and I continue to mourn with my grandfather who misses her so much he can barely live his life anymore. I’ve seen and felt mourning and how it feels like a punch in the gut. And I would never wish that on anyone.

I wrote a letter to Lisa today, telling her I’m sorry for her loss. But what Lisa and I are lucky in is that the people we mourn meant a lot to us. We mourn people who have put their fingerprints on our lives and changed who we are. We mourn people who deserve to be mourned, and I celebrate the fact that we had these incredible people in our lives to begin with.

Time

As I think about my friendships over decades and years and months and weeks and days I am impressed with how much each person intrigues me.

I just wrote about Tiffany who I have known and loved for years. And now a letter to Caleigh who I have only known for a few months. Caleigh is the kind of friend that wrinkles time and makes months feel like years. She’s the kind of person that you feel instantly comfortable with. I like her a lot.