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

Friday, February 7, 2014

rainbow veins

my greatest fear is to become that adult who no longer knows magic. who got too busy trying to figure life out, distracted or accustomed or maybe just plain boring, that it slipped their mind to even glance at the red-winter sun yawning into morning or the poetry of people's eyes passing on the street. 

but sometimes i catch myself overlooking things.
i become mundane, run-of-the-mill. . . ordinary. 

hair flips

halfway real, i simply don't feel things the way i used to. not for any particular reason or bitterness or heartbreak, just because, well, i've changed, or went missing, or something like that. i'm like a door unhinged, disconnected shards of forgotten galaxy, wearing mismatched socks like broken records. words stamped into the lines of my fingertips, passing through my veins like water.

tell me about the times we were fairytale princesses, 16-going-on-17, when we believed in everything and drank honeysuckle instead of lava and said strange things to the trees. remind me about the times we saw stars around the backyard where dandelions should be, when we wore necklaces strung with words instead of diamonds, when you breathed in beauty like your dying breath. sketch in red marker and slather in turquoise paint the times when vibe ricocheted up through your gut and you didn't just look, you saw; you didn't just glance, you stared. when it all made sense and nothing felt forced or artificial but real, real, real and deep, deep, deep.

show me how to feel alive again, forever after. 

photo via pinterest

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.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

feeling is living.

I am a story. 
Gulping down feelings. 
Untangling souls. 
Wanting more than anything to reach out and touch the roots of my tree, my tree of life, to find the core of everything. Leaves unfolding skyward, sap pumping through my veins, unseen existence flowing silently through strengthening branches, wind brushing barked skin, scattering balsam, dripping mossy sunlight. 

 || september twenty-thirteen ||

There is a time for everything. For a wasted summer and growing up and new beginnings and breaking your heart for nothing and being different than the rest and things never being as they seem and not being able to cry. Just sputtering and squeezing out each breath and clenching your fists praying for the release of tears. Tears that won't come. Because you can only cry for the happy things. The good, the beautiful, the true. There's so much living and loving to be done that it overwhelms me. So many ways of being, trying to figure things out, not giving up, just not fighting anymore. It's dangeroulsy complicated and beautifully small and throbbingly quiet and painfully messy.

Maybe, someday, I'll touch the roots. Find the tree's core, listen to it's heartbeat. The birthlace of feeling, of aliveness. The "place where all the beauty came from."

There's remnants of green in your hair, pine needles in your pockets. 
The trunk takes on a new ring each year. 
The roots pulse, sigh, expand. . . 

If feeling is living, than I'm living with a vengeance. 
- anna

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

october {in list form}

making : myself crazy, wishes, lists
drinking : green tea, lemon water, smoothies
reading : fairytales, quotes, the bible
wanting : to know God to the point that all these things I'm burdened with don't matter
missing : summertime, road trips, writing, being a kid, my camera
looking : for truth, answers, words, clarity, the big picture
listening : to the normal sounds of the house, mom teaching my sisters, fallen leaves underfoot, train whistles
playing : memories and feelings and perfect scenarios through my mind
wasting : time, love, dreams, care
sowing : plans, prayers, mismatched and unraveled pieces of existence 
wishing : to understand, for adventure, twenty-fourteen 
enjoying : coffee shops, yellow leaves, watching shows in the basement in the dark under blankets with my sisters
waiting : for everything
liking : bonfires and hayrides, lace up boots, vintage films, doing planks (even though they hurt like the dickens)
wondering : what happened to simplicity and surety 
loving : full moons and good fellowship
hoping : with all my might
marveling : at change and changelessness 
needing : newness, community, a hug
smelling : cold autumn air, warm food, hot tea
wearing : leather jacket, comfy pajamas, hair too long, thick fuzzy colorful socks (not together)
noticing : the best is yet to come  
knowing : I don't love God enough
looking foward to : "the hobbit: the desloation of smaug", christmas lights, a (slightly) possible trip (looking at you, NYC)
thinking : too much
opening : tea bags, book pages
giggling : over the inside jokes I share with my sisters
feeling : spent, determined, confused, grateful, restless

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

wendy, wendy

what happened to countryside jaunts under the stars with the window's down and hair wild with wind? what happened to days on playgrounds and in swimming pools and at birthday parties and church picnics where time knew no end and the hours rolled together in a long, beautiful daydream of adoring grown ups and flyways ponytale's and ice cream? what happened to hide-and-go-seek at dusk and climbing sappy pine trees and running headlong into forbidden adventures? what happened to lost summers knit and patched and unraveled beneath kind, watching, whispering trees, keeping company with fictional characters, mixing potions with dandelions, then falling asleep freshly scrubbed, warm under the blankets, skin soft and pink? what happened to the magic of making castles on lumpy tree roots with twigs for people and finding new hideouts in old closets and building a tee pee in the backyard? what happened to grass-stained clothes and kissing good night and running to meet dad when he got home from work? 

what. . . and why.
why did I have to grow up.

"Wendy, Wendy, 
when you were sleeping in your silly bed 
you might be flying about with me 
saying funny things to the stars."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

the skies i'm under


michaela, my awesome sis. loved this shoot with her in the Shire behind our house. so warm and magical.

it's never legitimately summer until you've seen The High Kings live in concert: rip-roaring craic and some of the best hugs ever. 
thanks, guys. you're da bomb. :)


michaela and darren


i'm wildly in love with rodeos, ya'll. the lights, the vibe, the americana, the chaps, hats and boots. always a good time.


yours truly: a fan of tractors (don't ask.) also of gelato, but that can't be helped if you're italian. :) 

fireflies in glass jars. 
rain, rain, rain. 
chocolate frosty's. 
gluten free and green tea.
house-selling (attempts, at least.) 
overnight road trip.
books lists.
high king's hugs. 
neon lights and tractors and funnel cakes at the county fair.
learning more and more about wrestling prayer
and learning to love the skies i'm under.
blue-stone mornings pulsing with quiet and car lights. 
standing on the top bench of the bleachers during the rodeo. 
les miserables (stage play.)
waist length hair.

all good things are wild and free.