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Category Archives: adventure

pure bliss

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


Words cannot express how much Zach and I love these two little boys. photos courtesy of Jean Allsopp Photography

ephraim & caleb’s adoption story

Here’s the video Here’s the prezi


 “Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will.”                                                                                         […]

to the full

“Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”                                                                                             […]

exquisite moments

What I didn’t know, standing by the whitesand river all those years ago, was that my soul was touching the impermanence of an exquisite moment. -Stephen Thomas Berg

we’re married!

Many thanks to all who made it down for our big day. photo via Nathan Clendenin Our invitations were designed by our lovely and talented friend Ms. Sara Allsopp

to infinity and beyond!

i said yes!

A little over a year ago I started dating a wonderful man. We make each other laugh a lot. The boys love him. I love him. It’s pretty great. AND, last night he surprised me with a lil’ somethin’. and I said YES!

too cool for school

we love breakfast foods

The Slurp The Smile The Aftermath

he’s a keeper

roller coasters, guns, & kids

Last week I watched a new tv show and in one of the first scenes a character came to work with a gun. After the gun’s appearance, several characters casually mention that a gun that appears in the first act, always shows up in the third. So, I guess the beginning of the first act […]

cute meets uke


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 […]

love it

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

sold the freezer, now on to the car

2008 Honda CR-V EX-L Excellent Condition, both interior and exterior well cared for Location: Auburn, AL or Columbia, SC Price: $23,500 Mileage: 42,100 Exterior Color: White Interior Color: Grey Transmission: Automatic Engine: Inline 4 Doors: 4 Bodystyle: SUV Drivetrain: Four Wheel Drive Great Gas Mileage: 26 MPG Hwy/20 MPG City Clean Carfax Vehicle History Report […]

never a dull moment

cutie pa tootie

the boogie


pilanesberg, south africa


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

island life part 1

yawn sequence


south africa

love this

by far the cutest lion I’ve ever seen. . .

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


hell in a handbasket



holy moly!

So my brother’s new song got released on iTunes today and is already at #11! If you have .99 cents to spare, here’s the link: SO PROUD OF YOU MACK, AND OF THE WORK YOU GUYS ARE DOING AT ELEVATION!!

things i miss

Mel street at midnight.

this is amazing and I think everybody should vote for Zach


holy moly!

could not resist

this one’s for you Alana.

live bigger

simply precious

Dear faithful reader (hi mom!),

As you know, I’ve been furiously working on my dissertation recently which is why I’ve been somewhat at a loss for words in this forum. This blank-ness is also why I’ve been posting multitude of Caleb pictures and videos (which I’m convinced is the main reason you come to this site anyway) BUT, hopefully I’ll […]

travellin’ feet

food haiku for you

Hooray C.S.A.! Starts with delicious berries mouth-watering good.

so that just happened Taylor Swift In Auburn :: April 26, 2010 :: from Robert on Vimeo. More Info


“indie rock with a side of calisthenics” via my old friend David A . . . I bet you can’t stop watching it either. Also, if I were a 4th grade teacher, I hope I would be this cool:

sweet sound to my ears

I’ve known Caleb for 3 months today. I feel like I’ve known him forever. That’s crazy talk. laughing from Katie Brock on Vimeo. laughing from Katie Brock on Vimeo.

happy earth day everyone

I vote for peace.

old 280 boogie

shout out to pielab!

Hello! PieLab from PieLab on Vimeo.

old 280 boogie

updates coming soon!

cute meets band-aid

cute meets band-aid from Katie Brock on Vimeo.


This post is dedicated to a few little things that make me happy and also this, this, this, and OF COURSE this:

sweet song

I like to sing this song to Caleb in the morning time. Another version: Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)

small things with great love

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa Photo by Studio A Photography

scenes from an extraordinarily regular life

wouldn’t trade it for a million bucks. Photos by Studio A Photography


Photo by Studio A Photography

he’s a talker

Photo by Studio A Photography

cute while crying

I know, I know, I shouldn’t think this is cute. . .but I mean, COME ON, He’s SO STINKIN’ CUTE I couldn’t resist taking a quick snapshot before coming to the rescue.

knock knock

Who’s there? a cutie A cutie who? a cutie-pa-tootie Photo by Studio A Photography

thanks jack

“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words-to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it…”

yep, we’re happy.

a happy, messy affair

Days with Caleb are a very happy (and sometimes messy) affair. He’s fun and funny. He is all boy. He can make sounds (and smells) come out of almost every orifice. He likes to make farting sounds with his mouth. He dances to Feist and Gnarls Barkley. He LOVES to watch sesame street on youtube and […]

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 […]


How to keep my kid entertained for hours? EASY. Give him a big giant piece of paper and let him go to town. keeping my child entertained for hours from Katie Brock on Vimeo. Also, if you look closely, you’ll see a few cameos of the motherhand.  Hovering as usual.

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 […]

sledding on campus

Karlee and the bug + snow + inflatable fish = good times. Karlee and the bug sledding from Katie Brock on Vimeo. I also love that two days after the snow storm it’s in the 50’s.


so fun

my valentine


travelin’ man

shark attack!!


I feel long overdue in posting, but MY GOODNESS, what a whirlwind the past week has been.  We’ve been stateside 4 days and I’m just now starting to feel human again.  My brain and my heart are so full I feel as if they are going to burst at any moment.  I was putting away […]

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 […]

surprise and the answer i did not want to know

So I had a little surprise waiting for me when I got home from the holidays . . . Question: What’s worse than having rats in your house? Answer: Smelling dead ones in your air vents. In case you’re curious, YES, I am totally grossed out and YES, I have lysol-d my house from top […]


So I guess in blogland, everyone makes a big deal out of the changing of the year.  Best of lists, worst of lists, lists of memorable moments, yada-yada-yada.  We’ll if you know me, and quite a few of you actually do know me in ‘real life’, you’d know that I am a list maker.  To-do […]

make your life count

Please visit HERE to sponsor a child.

christmas gift idea

Sponsor a Compassion kid.

holy moly!

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

so funny

“Old Jews Telling Jokes”


Thanks to everyone who came out on Monday. Thanksmas 2009 was a bit hit and fun was had by all. You are all loved and I can’t wait to see you again. You fill my house with laughter and great joy! Peace and love and good luck on finals.

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 […]



Practicing his side shot so he can beat Uncle Mack at hoops.

then and now

Coming back home after this holiday season I was struck with just how very different this homecoming was compared to the one 365 days prior. Then I was dog tired, emotionally spent, and sick as could be. Now I am well-rested, have many more emotional tools in my toolbox, and am healthy as a clam. […]

travel bug

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

this i believe

1. my value will never be determined in numbers 2. neither will yours 3. one cannot have too much love 4. one should always celebrate holidays with family (both real and those you collect along the way) 4. sharing a meal is perhaps the best way to get to know someone 5. everybody needs a […]

woodland creatures

a field mouse, two slugs and a rat came to visit so long mouse and slugs rat has decided to camp behind the oven he thinks he’s so smart but soon, rat, very soon you will be food for that snake that lives with matt just wait until you slip up and enter the trap […]


I can’t wait until I have kids.


it’s amazing

how much joy these little creatures bring to my life.

things i do not like and why my chips are in the fridge

I have a problem. Mice inhabited my house. I am not happy. Thank goodness for George, the manliest man I know. He is not afraid. Tomorrow he comes. Mice beware! For soon you die. No tears will be shed.

halloween half

This is the 3rd year I’ve talked about doing a halloween half marathon. The difference between this year and all of those other ones? I actually did it this time around. But more importantly, so did my friend Eric.  2 years ago Eric weighed 100 lbs. more than he does today.  And today he ran 13.1 […]

on reading

I heard this the other week on This American Life, a podcast I listen to it almost every Sunday night.  This particular quote stood out to me like a red rose in a field of daisies because I think it fairly accurately and succinctly sums up why I love reading so much.  Reading good books, makes […]

move your feet

To lighten up the mood a bit, I’d like to share this little ditty with you. It’s amazing how something so small can totally make my day more, well, danceable. Ten bucks if you can guess my favorite part. GO!


They fixed the typo. Kind of.

best day

clear skies at midnight a true Alabama end to such a great day This is Bella, and this is a picture story of our day at the park. This is why 5-year olds should not give themselves haircuts. This is the best thing E-V-E-R. Even for the big kids. This is why 5-year olds + […]

syrup soppin’

That’s right folks. Today is the annual Syrup Sopping Day in Loachapoka, AL.  Just a hop, skip, and a jump over from Auburn. The festivities are entertaining to say the least and the people watching . . . simply AMAZING. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping by. There’s also a wonderful pumpkin […]

crossroads + holga

creepy crawly things

When I was a kid I was really into creepy crawly things.  Snakes, spiders, worms, fish, frogs, whole nine yards.  I used to LOVE dissecting things, especially in science class.  Figuring out how creatures worked, what their hearts looked like, where their guts were. . . all of it really.  I’m not sure when I […]


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!)

a lesson in car safety, ethnicity and gender

So my dad was in a pretty bad car accident on Wednesday. Car totaled, mild amnesia for a while, concussion, sprained ankle, but overall, pretty OK . . . all except for one minor mixup at the hospital: I have a feeling that when filling out my dad’s paper work, the intern at the front […]

Allender on Life Without Faith

Summer Book Brigade, Parts II & III

Finished Sedaris about a week ago.  Not my favorite one, but funny and entertaining nonetheless. Friday I finished Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman. This book left me in somewhat of a funk.  Though the funk might (at least in part) be due to the triple-whammy of sinus infection, virus, and headache that left me in […]

Allender on Powerlessness and Change

But powerlessness against constancy does not me defeat.  Rather it means I must be ever vigilant—ever seeking truth & shalom, ever feeding goodness into my soul, into my life.

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 […]


Charlotte’s Web

About two weeks ago a spider moved into my back yard.  I know, I know, there are probably HUNDREDS of spiders that live there already, but this one is like the King, or rather, the Queen of all of the spiders.  She is gigantic and her name is Charlotte.  And every night for the past […]

cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater

Rules schmules.  I had to come up for air from the Allender book, and a little Sedaris never hurt anyone . . . although it has been known to make them giggle. Sidenote:  When I was in college, some friends back home played a fantastically annoying game called “TaDAOW.”  Essentially the game went like this: […]

Golden Nuggets

Some golden nuggets from The Healing Path, take from them what you will. “The core of love is the capacity to offer ourselves to others—to bless them with our presence and our gifts.  The dance of love calls us then to be open to receive from others gratitude and the gift of their presence in […]

On a more serious note

1st of the “stuff” books makes an appearance: On the back cover in bold letters: I’ll let you know how it goes.

summer book brigade, part I

First up: Finished this book the other day (confession: I started this whole adventure a little over a week ago).  I must say that this book made me love Bono even MORE than I already do.  And Chuck, if you ever read this, I think he is the for real. This book also made me […]

summer book brigade

A few weeks ago a friend recommended some books to me to help me deal with all of the “stuff” in my life right now.  “Stuff” being the operative word for grief, a word I’m trying to tread lightly around these days.  Anyhoo, I went a little crazy on (as I have been known […]