Monday, August 25, 2014

summer instagrams

I highly recommend art museums, peanut-butter filled cookies bought and eaten in Little Italy, beautiful movies such as The Giver, fanfic writing, a listening ear, rainbows (thanks, God) and having that one song on replay till you're sick of it. 



Saturday, June 14, 2014

island kids

We went to the ocean during the first week of June and it was beautiful. I'd say summer is off to a good start.

Honestly, I didn't expect us to go on a family vacation this year, but we did, and now I'm in love with Oak Island, North Carolina. The rickety wooden pier, our adorable little condo, the nighttime walks, the dolphin sightings, the crab-chasing and the jellyfish-avoiding, the romping around historic downtown Wilmington and devouring fresh local seafood and everything mermaid and turtles and sandpipers and carefree and spontaneous.

three of my four sisters
yours truly - happy beach person :) 
michaela under the pier
Maria to me: "take a picture of us in these hats to prove to our friends we're not prissy city slickers."

"The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but over." 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

long live.

I should tell you about that one time I went to Michigan for six weeks and worked on Marilyn Burn's costume team for a local high school production of Beauty and the Beast. The time when 'because I knew you, I have been changed for good.' The time I soul-bonded with dragon-slaying, death-defying people, most of whom I already knew but now mean the world to me. The time I turned 21 and stamped the word fearless on my heart and was given a vintage blue typewriter and ate copious amounts of sugar and tobogganed on a homemade track and skinned my fingers at a Krav Maga class and sanded and mudded and painted people-sized enchanted objects and was called Katniss and had dance parties in the car and heart-pumping quick changes backstage and watched more movies than I can remember (Marvel superheroes forever and ever, amen) and saw Broadway's touring production of Beauty and the Beast one night in Detroit and shouted/blew kisses/shed tears because I was so uncontrollably-stinkin' proud of everybody. . . my "sisters" and everything they are. . . and the high school kids, who were not only ridiculously wonderful and greatly appreciative but also knocked my socks off with their record-breaking talent. 

Yes, I was changed for good, God is SO SO SO real, and He knew exactly where I needed to be (He knows where I need to be, always.)

me with naomi, belle's understudy

And can I just take this moment to say how important PEOPLE are? They help you to come alive and believe again and turn perspectives upside down and find missing pieces. So grateful for the people who have filled my life this year. 

meghan + michaela

"When can we do this again?"  ♥ 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


3.2.14 --
I did some thinking in church today. I should have been listening to the sermon but my heart was so filled with all that's happened this past year. I'm grateful to be turning 21 this weekend, thankful winter is ending, thankful for Him bringing me out of a long, sad, fearful dry spot (aka, 2013) and bringing me growth and newness and amazingly beautiful dragon-fighting, death-defying people and the release I've been praying for and for crowning me with the desire to be FEARLESS. 
I'm so excited about life right now and Jesus is real, real, real.

3.8.14 --

Today, I turned 21. It was full of friends, cake and chocolate covered strawberries, and my parents gave me an antique 1950's blue typewriter.  And this turning-21 thing? I'm ready to take on whatever hits my path. To dangerously beautiful, radical, wild levels. Let's do this.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


michaela, marissa, yours truly

:: reading The Hunger Games. finally. i haven't even finished the series yet but guys, i'm hooked.
:: friends, cupcakes, games around the table. i love my local people. i love that we can be ourselves around each other and talk about anything from chickens to God to The Lord of the Rings to hilarious childhood mishaps.
:: watching the Olympics. i'll admit i'm obsessed with figure skating right now. i kinda sorta might know everything about my favorite ice pair/dance teams. this is probably awkward. maybe i should watch skiing and snow boarding to get some balance and because um, i want to snowboard someday... 
:: warm food on cold mornings. why does this make me so happy? gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds... yes. happiness.
:: i went wild over cake this week. giant pieces of absolutely beautiful, decadent chocolate cake. hey, with three family birthdays in one month, you give in at some point. and besides, there was cheesecake between the layers, and it's hard to turn down anything involving cheese cake, so yeah, i went wild with it. 
:: raw spirulina chips. they are soooo good. (wait, did i just say something about chocolate cake?)
:: longer days, waking to bird song, sun on frost. the only thing that can happen now is Spring. 
:: loosing yourself, finding yourself again... or not. being human is weird.
:: wearing two braids and fuzzy socks. cozy is always a good idea.
:: clear, starry nights. people ought to breathe in starlight more often. the world would be a better place if they did. 
:: jamming alone in your room, even though one of the ear buds is blown out. 
:: people will observe, guess, wonder, assume and settle for what they see. but that's all. seeing is not always believing.
:: freaking out because i have so many books out from the library right now but am leaving for Michigan in less than a week and don't have time to read them all.
:: the Disney Peter Pan sweatshirt i bought on Amazon. it's hideously tacky but i love it to smithereens. 
:: my twenty-fourteen word: fearless.

- anna

Monday, January 27, 2014

"hi, my name's Anna, and I like warm hugs"

the cold never bothered me anyway.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

behold, all things are become new.


I've held my breath for this moment since July rains, waiting for that season of aliveness to start, praying things would change. I held it throughout autumn, and still no change. Winter dropped white gifts in the corners of my little world, and finally, as the calender pages diminished, I found it easier to let out a few tired, hopeful breaths as a seemingly endless year ended. Now I can breathe in full again, happy to hold twenty thirteen instead of my breath, stuff it into a box and throw away the key.

2013 was the year the locusts ate. Some of the broken-off, molded pieces still find a home under my pillowcase, behind my eyelids, in the grass cracking through melting snow. But I'm no longer holding my breath. It's over and gone I'm never going back, not ever. And I'm glad, so glad.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Clouds, Lake and Trees Landscape

skies exploding
storm clouds seething
etching black turrets 
across the horizon
rumbling secrets
locked and buried
in castles of cloud
and arrows of lightening.
honeysuckle-sweet dawn
breathes life onto lakes dreaming
under pulsing blue skies
riding towers of aspens
spilling the last drop of
bottled up dandelion wishes
blown ripe and lemony
by elfin winds.
dusk sighs and deepens
over water drunk on lilac
reflecting back
jeweled stars 
and firefly lamps
pricking dark chambers
beneath pines
where sight and sound
croon as one
and the sky collapses
into night.

© anna olivia ||
 photo via

Monday, July 1, 2013


I've had this wild, gleeful tickle inside me because summer is finally here. There's tiny fairy-ish lights high up in the trees where the fireflies emerge in secret from the density of leafy dusk. There's thick yellow heat in the air and warm, earth-smelling, prickly, knee-high grass in the meadow behind our house. There is green, green, green, everywhere. I love the color green. It matches my hair and makes the whole universe sing. 

yours truly

There were a lot a "first-of-the-season" this month: first fireflies of the season, first s'mores of the season, first rodeo of the season. I should probably stop right here and tell you ahead of time just how obsessed I am with rodeos. It's kinda out of hand. 

oversized ice cream cones.
chaps and cowboy hats.
big (BIG) trucks.
barrel racers.
me, standing on the very top bench of the bleachers, cheering.
hundreds of fireflies in the fields while driving home.
super moon.

This month, I drank tea like it's going out of style and played for hours with the twin three-year-olds I nanny with my sister. I worked on my novel a bit, and even though I didn't get very far at all, just taking the first step tasted of accomplishment. I got itchy and mosquito-bit legs from tramping in the overgrown field behind our house and not even caring because I get to listen to endless bird song and try to make friends with the deer. I read down to earth books set in summertime about magical golden days and little acts of bravery and never growing up, not ever. I believe in books like that. 

This month, I fell a few feet deeper into the murky waters of needing God more than anything and my bones screaming to love more. Love people. Love God. Love my life the way it is. Get up off my feet and get real, get right...but there's so much to learn, so much lacking, so many why's, so much life to live that's just not being lived, so much to love and at the same time, so much that's just totally unlovable. It's endless, it's tough, it hurts, but it's growth, and it's good. 
life is completely imperfect and wondrously beautiful. 
shine on, summer.