first fig

my candle burns at both ends…

Month: July, 2012

“for the sake of the whole”

i love nuns. i know they get kind of a bad rap but i think they are fantastic. these are women who choose God above all else, who minister to the outcasts of society bringing comfort and hope to those they serve. they also have quite the reputation for subversive actions and belief. they are intimately connected to one of the most patriarchal institutions in the world and yet manage to hold their own and trust in their own authority. that takes a kind of bravery i can only begin to imagine.

recently the leadership conference of women religious (LCWR) have been censured for having “radical feminist beliefs” and not speaking out against things like homosexuality, contraception and abortion. taking stands on controversial issues is not part of their calling or mission and yet they are being censured for exactly this. to rectify this, american bishops have been called to oversee the group, to rewrite the mission and platforms of women religious in this country. this is an extraordinary step and it bears mentioning that even the catholic bishops who failed to act and often times subverted justice in child sex abuse cases have not been treated this harshly.

i personally feel a lot of solidarity with nuns because i understand the complexity of being a feminist woman and working within a patriarchal religious institution. much of the pain i have heard nuns express over their religion is the same pain i feel in mine. i was listening to Fresh Air yesterday and Terry Gross was interviewing Sister Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR and i was struck again with how easily i relate to her struggle but also the wisdom and grace she carries with her.

i’ve excerpted some of the interview below but you should really just go listen to the entire thing.

Read the rest of this entry »


i forgot a character.

tristan. or the second meanest cat in the world. i often forget about him in the craziness of having three small children but tristan actually predates all of the kids. he is named after the hero in tristan und isolde, our favorite opera.

5 favorite things: sleeping, going outside, the sound of cat food hitting his bowl, chasing bugs, mr. mraynes

5 unfavorite things: getting wet, mraynes, children, getting brushed, dogs

it matters

mormon children often give little talks in their children’s meeting and it was valkyrie’s turn on sunday. she was assigned to speak on how she can choose the right by living gospel principles. valkyrie wanted to talk about listening to Jesus so i decided we would base her talk around the Mary and Martha story.

here is the text of her talk: Read the rest of this entry »

thesis thought #10

you would think that the domestic violence gods would protect my “v” key considering i am writing my thesis on mandatory interVention policies, Victims and Violence..but no. do you think my thesis committee will mind if i type it “inter*ention”, “*ictim” an “*iolence” as long as i’m consistent?

thesis thought #9

i’ve reached that time of the day when deleting the 13,000 emails in my inbox seems so much more interesting than why, after 20 years, police officers still can’t tell the difference between victims and offenders.

thesis thought #8

i am in my department’s computer lab printing off another 30 articles and some university age girl just asked the guy next to me to peel her banana…seriously.

(update. this is seriously happening right now in the school of public affairs computer lab).

thesis thought #7

respite from thesis research today since mr. mraynes was called up for jury duty. since i’m giving up a day i think it would be fitting of the jury duty gods to assign him to a domestic violence case.


i want  to clear the air and say i really love my family. a lot. i think they are fantastic and i will probably share more about them here than anybody cares to know. because of this i thought a character list would come in handy. so, without further ado: Read the rest of this entry »

on having it all

when mr. mraynes and i were engaged to be married the plan was that both of us would be in graduate school together and would eventually become university professors. i was a good student, i had excellent recommendations but in trying to find schools that both of us could go to together, none were a perfect match and i was rejected from every program i applied to.

i was crushed. unable to believe that sometimes these things just happen i desperately grasped to the thought that maybe God was directing my life in ways i couldn’t understand. and since i am so very mormon the thing i thought God wanted from me was to have a child. Read the rest of this entry »

thesis thought #6

why is it that the british have a more nuanced view on just about everything? i have read almost a thousand pages of research at this point and the only policy recommendation that makes any sense is put forward by some random brit that was published twelve years ago. apparently not enough people are reading the british journal of criminology.