• ignorance + innocence •

Hello, darlings!

I tried to write a new year’s post, but it just wasn’t coming. Which is fine. I don’t mind going with the flow (typically). But something that’s been on my mind lately is the following and I think I’d like to talk about that instead.

Innocence has a bad rep.

But I think that’s because people confuse innocence, ignorance, and abstinence.

  • Innocence is, essentially, a lack of guilt; it’s purity.
  • Ignorance is willfully and actively avoiding to educate yourself.
  • Abstinence is being aware of something and knowing it exists without engaging in it.

The innocent are the children. They’re pure and good.

The ignorant are obnoxious. They flaunt their opinions without being first educated.

Those that abstain are mocked for their maturity which is misunderstood for innocence by those that are ignorant.

I’m not innocent. I’m aware of what’s going on and what people do but I don’t engage in it. Which results in my getting a lot of, “oh, you’re so precious”, “you’re so innocent“, and “you’re such a good kid (because I obviously don’t know how to be a bad kid – too innocent and all that, you know)” with the occasional bit of snickering thrown in at the end.

I’m a good kid because I choose to not make poor decisions and I think about the long-term before making big ones. I’m all about living to the fullest and learning as much as possible – but not at the expense of my future.

We are misunderstood for not being followers. And we ought to be okay with that. We should be proud of that. Because it means we think for ourselves + aren’t afraid to stick to our guns.

If we don’t know what we stand for, we will fall for anything.

I don’t remember who said that, but it’s entirely relevant.

I hope you had an incredible Christmas + that your new year is full of new adventures, blessings, and joy.


Rana || xoxo

• appreciate + need •

Hey, you!

Christmas is a week away (what). Cue the shopping hysteria + “great” deals. You can find me at my kitchen table within the walls of my house and avoiding the chaos.

The other day (night?), I spent the night on a boat (a boat). It was a blast! Boats are just really neat okay. They’re created to maximize and utilize every space which is the bomb diggity. I’m all about keeping it neat, clean, and efficient.

Anyway, while we were there, my friends and I played a game called Therapy. We basically got every question right simply because we’ve known each other for longer than we can remember. But one came up that I didn’t think too much of at the time, but, after mulling it over, realized it was more than just a question to help get to know your friends.

My friends had to guess how materialistic I thought I was. They guessed somewhere around a 6 (on a rating scale of 1 – 10).

But after a bit of discussion, we realized that, more than needing the things I had, I appreciated the things I own. I have to earn my money, save 45% of it, and give 10% to church. So it takes me a long time to get the amount of money I need for whatever I want to spend it on; and it also makes me think really hard about what it is I’m buying before I even take out my wallet. As a result, I appreciate the things I have more than most and I take care of the things I have.

My friends and I, at first thought, misunderstood the question + my attitude toward things.

This can be applied to the Christmas season, to gift-giving, to gift-getting.

So much of my dislike for the Christmas season comes from people confusing feeling entitled and being blessed to have the things they already own. It’s a stressful time because people feel that, without a gift, Christmas is left meaningless + considered a failed holiday.

But, really, this is a huge holiday. Do we want to drag it down to such a low degree that we make it nothing without stuff, stress, and drama? What does that say about us? How shallow are we?

• appreciate + need •

Christmas is a time for reflection; it’s not a time for freaking out because you can’t get your mom some more stuff. That’s not love. Prove your love through your actions like Christ did; like He does. And don’t limit it to once a year; that only makes it a chore.

Merry Christmas.

Rana || xoxo

• stük, Johnny, + twigs •

It has been eleven days since my last post which is shameful.

But I think you’ll excuse me when I give the excuse of (a) finals, (b) being out of town with no internet, and (c) being ill. Terribly ill.

I still am, so this post will reflect my lack of mental capabilities. Sorry.

I want to focus on (b) though! Waffle-Shake Girl, whom you will recall from this post, is so done with me. After four days and nights with basically me 24 hours a day is enough for anyone methinks. But, to be fair, I had to put up with her too. So I think we’re even.

We took a trip up to Maryland with another friend’s parents and little sister to witness her continue her journey into a religious order (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará). She knew ever since she was eight years old that she was called to be a bride of Christ; twelve years later, it came to pass!

You would not believe how absolutely nuts these religious sisters are!

(Note: nuns and sisters are different. Nuns are cloistered and spend most of their time in prayer. Sisters do prayer + missionary work – like Mother Theresa.)

It’s really crazy how human they are. You think “religious sister” or “nun” and go “oh, yeah; boring, prayerful, holy” but really this is the farthest thing from reality. At least with this order.

The Sisters Are, In Fact, Human

  • First thing when we see Kristina (now Sister Mary Crown of Purity), she goes, “where’s Dad?” He’d been abducted by a seminarian like five minutes earlier.
  • When we get to the car (which will take us to the convent), she immediately overwhelms us with stories of how the other sisters make fun of her for this or that.
  • All squirrels are named Johnny. Don’t question it. They just are.
  • The brothers (basically the male version of this order) call soda “stük” and the sisters call candy “stük”. Sounds like drugs, but I promise it’s not.
  • Sister Karitatis ran up to me and goes, “you know, I wish I’d met you before I entered this order. We’d be like the greatest friends.” Me: “We can still be friends…” Her: “Oh! That’s right!”
  • Sister Passie is the bomb diggity. She has to shower NOW.
  • Sister Purity’s job is to push people on the tire swing. And to stay out of the kitchen because apparently you’re not supposed to use four cups of yeast for a saint’s favorite rolls… The baker in me cringed + is still cringing.
  • And we can’t forget Father John Paul. Who mentions Doctor Who in his sermons. And goes all out with the fanboy hand motions.
  • Or the seminarians of IVE America who create parodies such as Star Weirds.

See what I mean? So human.

Okay. Sounds like fun, right? It was a blast! So why would Waffle-Shake Girl be so done with me?

Because weather, twigs, people get to live here, trees, I can see my breath, and look at that sunset!

I have never been so excited that I literally hop from foot to foot because I can’t contain myself. Never. I am probably one of the most generally chill people you will ever meet. Ask Waffle-Shake Girl. (I want confirmation of this statement in the comments.)

I would double over, run my fingers through my hair, and whisper, “people get to live here.” Then I’d look at the sisters and say, “you get to live here.”

Needless to say, I was exhausted because being that excited is draining.

Cold weather makes me so happy. You have no clue. I look best in winter clothing and I’m a much nicer person when I feel cute.

• stük, Johnny, + twigs •


  • Eating before our flight; Purity’s dad is going around asking for trash to throw away; WSG girl goes, “that’s a rude way to talk about Rana.”
  • This happened multiple times over the course of the trip + it didn’t get old.
  • Getting my hand cream confiscated. Because yes. I will do something dastardly with Sweet Pea perfume. I, the five-foot-nothing minor.
  • Cold weather (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Heading to a military base where Purity’s parents met and seeing where they first saw each other, where her dad proposed to her mom (the first time), picking up a twig and screaming, “this twig is prettier than anything in Florida!” Also, evil faerie kings, bad wishes, “bop, bop, bop”, and “buzz, buzz, buzz.”
  • Going to Five Guys. When they called out Purity’s dad’s number, he shouts, “BINGO!” and everyone laughed.
  • Getting sick in China Town after getting a Chocolate Peppermint shake from Shake Shack. Blaming WSG forever.
  • Discovering that sushi trucks are an actual thing. The future is here.
  • The first thing when we get to the China Town in D.C. and some guy is getting arrested outside a McDonalds.
  • D.C. is “…like Santa’s workshop except everyone here is scary and they look like they want to hurt me.”
  • The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. So many chapels, so much reverence, so much history… I was in total awe. My heart didn’t know how to heart and my lungs kind of forgot how to lung too.
  • Witnessing one of my oldest friends continue to follow the path of her calling was so beautiful. Cardinal McCarrick celebrated the Mass and blessed the Miraculous Medal I purchased from the gift shop. The amount of faith and love for Christ is overwhelming.
  • Sarcastic goats.
  • Sister Guardian of the Child Jesus. I love her so much. She is so gentle. So kind. So patient. So faithful… ❤
  • Sister Karitatis. Hilarious and a maniac-driver.
  • Passing through the Holy Door on the day of its opening.
  • Oh. And Purity’s biological sister bedazzling e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. It was like Tinker Bell barfed all over the place.


I’d been going through a spiritual dryness period. You know the kind. You don’t feel anything. You don’t feel a sense of conviction. You know you believe, but you’re going through the motions. I prayed for a long time to feel my heart stir again with that love I wanted to have for Christ, my Lord and my God.

Even through prayer and Adoration the first morning, I felt nothing. But Mass started. And the first reading was from Isaiah. It was a reading of love + mercy. Something I needed to hear and be reminded of. It was like a dam broke and my heart beat again.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for the opportunity, for the graces You have showered upon us. Let us be open to your love, mercy, and kindness.

Peace + blessings,

Rana || xoxo

• holidays irk me + here’s why •

Hello, my darlings!

Finals season is here, stress cakes are the main diet, sleep deprivation is the lifestyle… Oh, and Merry Christmas! Here’s a smile which I only deign to grace my features once per year; and while I’m smiling, let me be financially generous as well. Here’s a dime. Go buy yourself something nice.

Wow! Aren’t you just overwhelmed with the holiday spirit?

The holidays are the most depressing time of year for me because:

  • it’s not about family
  • it’s not about friends
  • it’s not about giving
  • it’s not about being thankful
  • it’s not about being joyful
  • it’s not about smiling at strangers
  • it’s not about singing obnoxious songs about jingling bells
  • oh and don’t say Merry Christmas – you might offend someone

The entire year is about these things. Okay, so the holidays give you an excuse to get together with friends and family. Great. But it’s not about them.

Holidays give you an excuse to give, be thankful, laugh a little more. Wonderful. But we should do these anyway. Every day ought to be a day of thanksgiving. To limit it to once a year is ridiculous and yet this is what people do. Giving, laughter, and being happy for no reason shouldn’t be limited to the 12 days of Christmas. Oh. Excuse me. “12 Days of the Snow + Fuzzy Socks Holiday” or whatever people call it nowadays.

I can’t say “Merry Christmas”? Is that really so offensive? That is a joyful phrase and it’s offensive but calling your girlfriend a b—- is not? I should get angry with you for saying the former but laugh at the latter?

That’s messed up.

Merry Christmas.

Merry flipping Christmas,
you filthy animal.

Q. So, Rana, now that you’ve depressed + offended us all, what is the holiday season about?’

A. Reflection.

In my humble opinion, the holiday season is about reflection. It’s about reflecting upon our Savior’s birth – the time He became one of us so He could free + love us for eternity.

It’s about reflecting on how we spent our year; did we make the right decisions? Did we love? Did we forgive? What should we work on to make ourselves a better person next year? Who do we want to be + what changes ought we to make to become that person?

But this makes us uncomfortable. We often fall short of who we want to be. We disappoint ourselves. We make mistakes. And we don’t want to think about or face that reality.

So we buy things, smile, sing songs, drink hot chocolate, wear fuzzy socks, and pretend it’s all good.

We need to stop ignoring the obvious. I think, then, we will actually be as joyful as we like to think we are during this time.

Peace + blessings,

Rana || xoxo