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Category Archives: traveling

pure bliss

Everyone I know should watch this: And then listen to this: RADIOLAB      

donations for ethiopian orphanage and foster home

As I’m gearing up for my trip (week countdown has officially started), I’m trying to collect donations for Ephraim’s orphanage and foster home. Please get in touch with me: marykatherinebrock at gmail dot com if you’d like to send something along.  Also, if you live in SC, you can get donations to my parents. My […]

cleared for travel!!!

I just got the email that I’m cleared for travel to go get Ephraim!!! I’m too excited to write anything more right now, but I’ll try to update as the trip unfolds.  Oh man, did my life just get SO MUCH SWEETER!!

mix tapes & a bit more about me

A friend and I are in the process of a really interesting dialogue related to planning our futures and as a part of it, I thought I would open up a few more bits of myself to you. Mainly because I want to begin sharing parts of my new journey towards minimalism and share with […]

sometimes you just need a good


rugged road

I can’t seem to get this Judee Sill song out of my head tonight. Things appear to be coming together with the adoption, but it was and still is a rugged road, which so reminds me of Addis (see below). For those not connected on Facebook, court did not pass on Monday.  Only 1 of […]

expectant faith

God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62: 1-2    

morning prayers

I wait expectantly. Sunday Morning Prayers Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2011   His miracles are staggering, his wonders are surprising. His kingdom lasts and lasts, his sovereign rule goes on forever. Daniel 4:3   Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our […]

the best medicine

After such a long, hard, and tearful day yesterday of saying goodbye for now to our children, a bunch of us went to dinner at a restaurant called Yod Abyssinia. The food was great and it was so good to be in a place where we could all relax and ‘just be’ for a minute. […]

things i carry

This is a passage from the Sermon on the Mount (Message translation) found in Matthew 5. When I did the 40 day fast back in the Summer of 2007 as I prayed through the adoption calling on my life, this passage was the main focus for that time.  I had always heard people say that […]

well, he peed on me

So I guess that’s a good sign that he’s comfortable around me.  Actually when I got home to the guest house, all of the workers were quite excited for me because in Ethiopia it is considered good luck when I child pees on your leg because it means you’re going to have a baby.  At […]


    As I sit here drinking my coffee (kudos to Ethiopia for the black gold that gives me that extra umph every morning) watching the sunrise, it feels just like any other morning. Except that it’s not.  In a few short hours I will get on a bus heading to the Acacia Village and […]

how to change your life: compassion

Today I was blessed to meet two of the kids I sponsor through Compassion International. We first met in January of 2010 when I was here getting Caleb, and I was very fortunate to be able to spend more time with them on this trip. We had a great time getting to know each other […]

ethiopian sunrise and a room with a view

welp, it’s a maybe!

Just a quick update because I still have to go pack and try and make it to the airport on time, but the birth mother gave her consent and I’m still waiting on all of the letters to go through (see 50/50). There’s a chance they could be there by my court date on the […]


Just got an update from my agency and things are still 50/50 as to whether or not the adoption will go through the first stage of court next week. Here are some specific prayer requests of things that need to fall into place in order to get through this process and bring home little man: […]

thirty so far

This past Fall I hit the big 3-0 mark. And while the birthday celebration was with strangers, some of whom would become friends, it was unforgettable to say the least. I was travelling for work and we had just arrived at the Sabi Sands Region of Kruger National Park in South Africa. I couldn’t have dreamed […]

pilanesberg, south africa


Presenting the kava to Tui Mali.  For more info go here.

island life part 1

yawn sequence


south africa

full life = boring blog

I’ll take the former every time.

skype:sanity that keeps you pleasant everywhere


happiness is the color blue



that smile


picture a day keeps the blues away

live bigger

travellin’ feet

happy earth day everyone

I vote for peace.

jesus said it, not me

“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.” Meredith recently sent me this link and I can’t stop thinking about Katie, Amazima, and those children. I have no idea what learning about her will do to my life, but right now I’m open, so we’ll see. I challenge you to read Katie’s […]

a lesson on grief and redemption

Sometimes God asks you for a little. A smile, a kind word, 10%. Other times he asks for a lot. A car, a difficult relationship, a mission trip. And still other times he asks for everything. Reinvent your life, move to Hong Kong, become a parent. For a long time I liked to think that […]

away we go!!

See you in a few HOURS buddy!!!

this time next week

The recycling will be picked up again The work week will begin anew The milk will probably need to be replaced The weather in Auburn will be beautiful and in the mid-60’s Mom, Meredith, and I will be in Addis Abba, Ethiopia I WILL MEET MY SON FOR THE FIRST TIME I truly can’t wait […]

So Thankful


Caleb got moved to the foster home in Addis yesterday. That’s where Mom, Meredith, and I will meet him in January. This move is a pretty big deal for the kids because it’s the first time most of them have been in a car and they’re exposed to all new people in a new place. […]

holy moly!

We’re going to Africa to get that baby!!!!! January 23-29, 2010 T-minus 37 days and counting

his birthday

Mr. Caleb has 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot. He also turned 5 months old today. Dang so I get excited when I think about birthday parties and birthday posters (thanks to lou’s mom for that idea), special meals, showing him about giving and loving and laughing.  I can’t wait […]

travel bug

anybody want to go to the galapagos? like tomorrow-ish?


crossroads + holga


I’ve found that I really thrive if I have deadlines and goals as the background structure of my life.  Sometimes these goals are reasonable. . .like have coffee with a friend today or write as section of my dissertation this week.  Other times my over-ambitiousness gets the best of me and I do stupid things. […]

Chicago II

Heading to Chicago today for FUN and NOT for work.  It will be good to get out of town for a pure and true vacation. Also, I’m still looking for stuff to do/people to see.  Any takers? (Pssst. Aneel, John, & Turnbaugh. . .that means YOU!)

love this town

28 is (not so) great!

I dated a guy a few years ago who came up with themes for every year of his life.  When I turned 28 last year, my theme was, “28 is great!”  11 months in, that turned out to not really be the case. Although I did get to do quite a few cool and interesting […]

Wanted: Narrator of Awkward Social Situations

While dining in Chicago my friends and I discovered a new game: narrating the internal dialogue of our restaurant companions at Harry Caray’s: Scenario 1: Ms. Lonely heart: Gorgeous woman on a date with 2 gay men, one of whom she was oh-so-obviously in love with.  I told my friend Brian I’d give him $20 […]


Chicago, Part I

Favorites (and also a list of pictures that I did not take): 1. View from the lounge at the John Hancock Building. Really, if I lived in Chicago, I would make it a point to go here at least once a week. 2. Meeting some new friends, catching up with some old ones (Hi Tracey! Hi […]


So I’m going to Chicago this weekend to do some stuff for work and also for fun.  As much as I’ve moved around this lil’ ole’ planet of ours, I’ve never made it to Chicago . . . kind of a tragedy now that I think about it.  However, it is a small tragedy that […]

well apparently,

I am not a movie buff . . . and my friends have recently taken it upon themselves to catch me up to speed. This weekend’s classic: The back story, and the cat I never told you about: Before I left for the beach, South Carolina, or Greece, I found a cat . . . […]

hugs & healing & heart capacity

Over the past few weeks I’ve really come to cherish the warm embraces of people who love me. In other words, my friends give great hugs. Some of them were comfort hugs-like the kind where you can cry on their shoulder and stain their shirt with your pain. Some of them were “wow, it’s SO […]

R & R

Currently in Greece enjoying life. Definitely needed this. Definitely feeling restored. Definitely more to do here than in Auburn. I’ll post more on the flip side.

crooked lines

Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.  The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. -Matthew 6   The older I get, the more complicated life seems to become.  Someone recently told me that for me, some things are like crooked lines, and […]

today I have lived and loved. . .

1. grace 2. freedom 3. rain storms that catch you off guard 4. quirky friends who seek love in unique ways 5. being comfortable in my own skin 6. discovery 7. writing 8. being almost done with school.  FINALLY. 9. reconnecting with friends both old & new 10. realizing that the past isn’t so scary […]

Food and travel

So I just ate what is quite possibly the most spicy breakfast EVER. I think the chef at the hotel restaurant took a liking to me because I was willing to try his all-Indian, all-vegetarian breakfast option. He kept piling my plate and explaining to me what all the different foods were and then brought […]

Sao Paulo shenanigans

Yesterday was a work day.  For the curious ones out there, I came here to recruit students for Auburn’s MBA program.  The event I attended was really great and I think we have quite a few interested students.  After the event a bunch of the recruiters all went out for some true Brazilian cuisine. . […]

Sao Paulo

I’m here. I’m safe.  I’m well rested, and my, my isn’t life fantastic!

a few haikus for you

ADOPTION notarize this and pay money pay money pay motherhood comes soon LIFE airplane car hotel work sleep drive write teach eat sleep is my life most days

on the road again

In an effort to keep my mind occupied on things other than waiting on adoption paperwork, I’ve taken to traveling.  So far it’s been great.  I headed home for a few days for my cousin Jimmy’s wedding and then came back to Auburn for a day to pack before heading to LA to spend some […]