Who we are

Morgan: Short. Freckles. Sarcastic. Clumsy. Realist. Reader. Student. Pastels. Soda addict (Dr. Pepper specifically). Dog Lover
Courtney: Shorter. Curls. Sassy. Independent. Romantic. Puppy Travel Agent. Weird. Neons and Earth Tones. Cat Lover. Future Soccer Mom.
Our Blog: Letters. Love. Long Distance. Besties. Videos. Quotes. Humor. Giggles. Adventures. Boyfriends. Mavericks. Work. School. God. Food. Everyday. Chaos. Peace. Family. Futures. Pasts. Accidents. Achievements. Opinions. Lessons Learned.

Friday, March 7, 2014



I'm doing something kind of exciting. I'm applying for grad school. For said application, I have to write a 1000 word reflective essay. I'm sharing it here for you to read and let me know what you think. 

I’d like to think of myself as a storyteller. I love to build and suspend, creating the perfect environment for the punchline, happily ever after or shocking reveal. I do this most often when I have the opportunity to share my testimony.
“I was not born in a Christian home. We went to church, but more as an obligation rather than a choice.” I always wonder why we are inclined to start here, but almost every testimony shared with a large audience begins with that same first impression. I continue on this path and open the door to the world of miscommunication, disappointment and waywardness that overtook my teens.
“My dad moved out for the first time when I was 9. We had a family discussion, full of tears and sorrow. But it was done. Dad was moving to Brunswick and mom was staying in Medina with us. He came back in 2010 when mom started showing symptoms. MS isn’t one of those diseases you can overcome, the depletion starts at it’s own pace. Often, the disease kicks into high gear after a traumatic event, which for her was flying on September 11th.” At this point when I’m sharing, I know I have the audience. I have their fullest attention. Because I’m at the point in the movie when the viewer is starting to understand why the main character doesn’t trust her new boyfriend or why she can’t open up to her friends in high school. It’s the point of the story when we choose to invest in that character. We are unknowingly and willingly analyzing her every choice. Each event throughout the movie will bring them back to the fact that her dad left her and her mom is chronically ill.
“Before high school could even begin, I decided God was cruel and unreasonable. He wasn’t a very good God if He would give one 13 year old girl all this crap. So I, as the stubborn Pollack I am, made a deal with my mom that would put church on the farthest back burner possible. I would get confirmed in the Lutheran church and never go to Sunday service again, or she could try to drag me to service every week without me finishing confirmation. No matter her choice, I would consider myself an Atheist for the next 5 years.” Now the audience members are realizing how messed up and young I was. Either they feel complete sympathy for me because I was broken and so human, or they are frustrated with me because I was arrogant and manipulative. As the storyteller, I always have to anticipate that the audience will bring their own set of experiences to the story. Whether it’s a mom that has a manipulative kid or a dad that left his family, my story will always touch a deeper part of the listener. Which is what makes telling stories so appealing to me. It’s also why I have a slight addiction to T.V. and movies, because I can connect with the story being told and the similarities or differences help me understand my own story even more.
“College would be my escape. I promised myself to be more popular, less angry and distance myself from my world in Ohio. Illinois would be the state I could remake myself. But what I found was a deeper pool of my own depression and self-doubt. Feeling unworthy and unappreciated caused me to join a Sorority that I didn’t think I would join, and date a guy with a not-so-great character, and drink an amount of alcohol that I never wanted to drink. But God was pursuing me.” I’ve brought the whole audience with me to the darkest parts of my story and now I’m going to make the turn into Light. To tell a really beautiful story, you have to bring in the audience, sustain their attention along the ups and downs, then complete the picture with perfect punctuation. To take it to a spiritual level, the Bible does just that, the old testament brings in the reader, we go up and down with the women and men throughout both books and Jesus finishes the work perfectly.
“In a matter of weeks, I was throwing up in the hallway of my freshman dorm. In the worst time of my life, I decided to go to church. Wouldn’t you know it, Christ met me there. He pursued me through the book of Jonah and revealed His deep love for me. It took me quite a while, but I began to walk in obedience and wear the new clothes given to me. God was changing me from the feet up.” It’s a sign of relief for the audience when we get to this point because we can all say together, ‘God is good’ and really mean it. I tell my story with intention, knowing that each piece is key to how good God has been to me.
“Throughout my experience in Illinois, God continued to grow in me a new spirit. I was shedding the anger and pain that I carried for those 4 pivotal years of high school. I was growing into a leader, to be used in church and serve His body. I was learning what it looked like to be intentional and engaged, addressing every situation in life with prayer and purpose. God has given me a pretty cool story, one of loss and redemption, which seems like His specialty. I try to revel in the uniqueness of my story and share it at every opportunity.” I end with the present, reminding the listener that I’m telling a story that God gave me because He wants me to share it. Inevitably, I talk with another women who can completely resonate with one or more parts of my life. Those conversations, are why I’m so willing and excited to share.  
So this is what I’d like to do with my life. I’d like to tell stories, about a perfect Creator, His only Son and the work of the Spirit we see in our everyday lives. I’d like to help women come to know their own story and be the champion of what God is doing in it. At the heart of this endeavor, is a girl who’s still uncovering the hurt and victory of her own story while looking for others to do the same.

So what do you think?
Love you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I suddenly turned 22.

The Short Summary of my 21st Year.

I went to a couple of bars, ate a chili-cheese dog, and decided my brother and I were two of the funniest people on Earth. I took my best friend to California to visit my oldest friend. I walked on stars, fought with transformers, and ate breakfast with Emily Vancamp. I moved out of the Zeta House for the last time. I returned to my summer home in Joplin, MO and hugged some of my favorite people for the first time in a long time. I met my second team – my family – and loved each of them in very different ways. I became reacquainted with a cute boy from the summer before, and sat with him outside of our hotel’s elevator, hanging on his every word, for hours. I decided to grow my hair out. I left on another journey with Christ in Youth, and rode in a van with ten people for sixteen hours. I spent time in Knoxville and Johnson City. I made cross-country best friends, and ate the best honey biscuit of my life. I teepeed a tree once a week in the name of forgiveness, and coward in fear as panda bears walked around me. I text too often. I was offered, and accepted a lot of support from people I had recently considered strangers. I went on walks with Kotowski and Kristin, and in a moment of out-of-character madness – I wrote a love letter. I came back to Muskogee for the fourth of July, and brought a full 12-passenger van along with me.  I didn’t sleep enough. I rode on an airplane next to three generations of the same family, and I wish I could still remember each of their names. I found my way to California once more, and travel to a new city every week for three. I played on multiple beaches, and worked harder than I ever have before. I ate a really great waffle sandwich. I fell in love. I found an old teammate a long way from both of our homes, and found myself rambling to him for the second summer in a row. I carried the weight of four different people’s emotions, and got stronger. I talked to a boy on the phone every night, and finished each conversation with the same thought – I can’t wait until August.  I loved God better than I have in a while. I made weekly four in the morning airport runs with Kotowski because she bribed me with good conversations and biscuits and gravy. I laughed until I cried. A lot. I just cried a lot, too. I completed a twenty-four hour cross-country drive with four of the most beautiful people on the planet. I slept a lot, drove more than I wanted too, ate more than I should have, and listened to way too much Dave Barnes. I returned to Joplin, and waited. And waited. I said a lot of exciting hellos, and tons of devastating goodbyes. I slept a lot. I kissed a boy on a playground after eight long weeks. I waved goodbye to my last college summer, and my summer loves. I didn’t go to Waffle House, but I took a boy home.  We went to my last Bid Day – and the era of college felt over. I moved in with my best friend for one more year of girliness. I studied a lot. I waited a lot more. I went to Nashville, Bowling Green, and Indianapolis all in one weekend. I survived a 24 credit hour semester, and counted the minutes until Christmas. I slept too much. I got an A in a class that I thought I failed. I finished my last semester on Oklahoma State’s Campus, and celebrated a Christmas that contained an air of change. I finally found my way to Florida. I met a beautiful family that looked a lot like my best friend, talked a lot about the future, and visited the most magical place on Earth. I walked around Disney World until my feet bled, tried to take it all in, and vowed to come back. Soon. I started my new year on a beach next to the coolest person that I know. I ate a great Elvis Popsicle, and walked around the oldest city in America. I started my last semester of college, and found my way into a 9th grade classroom. I moved Jordan to Oklahoma. I turned 22 in a Saturday day class, and split 3 large entrees at a new favorite restaurant. I went to sleep singing God’s praises, and thanking him for a job well done. My 21st year was the very best yet. 

What else did I do this year?
Missed you. 

- M

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Single? Married? 23? The debate.


This is a pretty hot topic these days, isn’t it Kotowski? Why is that? Why has it suddenly become such a phenomenon to write long blogs/list regarding how to better spend one’s life than to be married under the age of 25?

I don’t get it.

I don’t get it for a number of reasons. Like you, I find the lack of excitement regarding a person’s pending nuptials – no matter the age – to be depressing. How can we look at our happy, glowing, hopelessly-in-love friends and curse their joy because we (we, who are wiser, smarter, and apparently know better) believe them to be too young. Too young to grow up. Too young to be tied down. Too young to be selfless.

And that’s the kicker. Selflessness.

One particular article that seems to be all over my facebook, maybe the specific one that you are addressing as well, notes a detailed to do list of things that a person (specifically a woman) should accomplish INSTEAD of getting engaged before turning 23. Obviously, I read these things aloud to my  boyfriend. You know, in case we needed to be aware of something important. We laughed our way through most of the list, noting that almost everything on the list could be done with another person (or, should probably just not be done at all.). In fact, it seemed to us that most of the things on the list SHOULD be done with another person. Specifically, for me, done with Jordan. But, as the list continued you on, we hit a road block.

22. Be Selfish.

This is when it hit me, she is right. Not in the way she wants to be, but her words still suddenly ring true. If you want to be selfish, don’t get married before 23. Do whatever you want to do, I suppose. In the words of this specific author – find your “thing”. Whatever. But, if you want to choose selfishness don’t get married at 23 – or 25, or 30, or 45.

Because, selfishness is poison to a marriage. I don’t even have to be married to know that.  So, be single. And selfish.  Explore. Learn. Whatever. And while you’re doing that, I’ll get married. Before I’m 25.

Here’s the thing. I found him. He’s good, and solid. And I don’t want to be selfish, and I don’t want to explore alone. And, that’s okay. Just like it is okay to be single. Happiness, luckily, is available to all.

But, do take away this. Independence is a comfort, and freedom is a blessing. A big, confidence-boosting blessing. But, love? It’s a gift. It is a gift that was created and then exemplified by God. Let’s not make light of that.

In the end – I agree with you. Encouragement is a beautiful thing. Encourage your friends who are getting engaged. Encourage your friends who are not. Suddenly, no one is making a list of which lifestyle is better, because jealousy and bitterness are not a part of the equation. Selflessness, it turns out, is available for all.

Get married. Be single. Who cares. Be happy. Love people. Love God.  Stop coveting other people’s lives, and calling it wisdom.

It seems easy enough.

Choose love.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Can we be more encouraging?


I’m afraid to even speak on this matter in semi-public forum. Knowing the way the internet works, I want to tread super lightly on the topic. But I've now read several back and forth arguments about whether or not to be married at the age of 22-25 and I feel like we’re losing a piece of the puzzle that seems super necessary to me. A number of the blogs that I've read seem to be targeted at friends, or friends of friends, just people known by the blogger/author. It seems really unfortunate that we've gotten to a place where friends are so unsupportive or contradictory of their friends lifestyles. I think it needs to be said that it does not matter what your relationship status is, you can CO-EXIST in a world with married people or single people at your same age. If you are 25 and single, the 22 year old married girl is NOT a direct threat on your life. She just isn't, unless of course she’s telling you that something you are doing is wrong, that’s a different story of course. But the mere existence of marriage among your peers should not be an interference on your life. And, the choice to post an article that she feels encouraged by is not an attack on the articles that you find encouraging. If it is, I hope you can see past it. I dare not use the word judge, because I think it is highly overused among the Millennial generation. Having an opinion opposite another persons obviously means you are judging them…Scary!! But in general, I hope that we, as women, can be supportive of the kind of lives our friends lead. Just try, to put aside your status and be excited for the kind of choices, adventures or commitments your friends are making. Talk with them and ask them questions, especially if you don’t agree!

I would love to be in a committed relationship, because it’s a beautiful thing that people can do for one another. Essentially, I want to say to another person, I love you so much I want to put your goals and feelings above mine. That seems like a pretty solid life move, I think. But that’s not how others want to do it, and I’m totally fine with that. I've found those women I do not agree with, are often the ones that I have the most interesting conversations with, even if we both get a little peeved. I hope that you don’t encounter this kind of stuff with your friends Morgo. Your relationship is quite wonderful and I would be sad to know that others weren't on board with the timing of God’s love in your life, even if they don't agree. I’m really hoping that we can encourage one another to live bigger and better lives. My friends that want to be single until they are 35, should absolutely do that and they should ask for more in their work lives, be more involved in their cities and take more trips wherever they want to go! My friends that are getting married quite soon, should absolutely do so and they should be committed to their spouse wholeheartedly, be more involved in each others work lives and be more encouraging of their partner’s dreams. I want all my friends to be who they are, be led in the direction of their heart and know that I would go on any journey with them. I think, in my mind, that’s the point of this blog. You and I are headed on different paths, but I want to share in it with you. I want to laugh and cry with you, to experience your moves with Jordan, to tell you about the serendipitous timing in my life, and most of all, encourage you to do what you want to do.

I’m going to be done talking about this. Hopefully, this little soapbox moment will be more than a ‘I’m doing it better than you are’ kind of statement. I genuinely hope that all women can come to appreciate the different choices taken by the other females they share seasons of life with. If we can celebrate the things our fellow ladies deem to be good for them, we will have more things to celebrate in our own lives that we deem good. I mean, I also hope that men can be this way too, but I’m sure less of them are reading this.

From one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, "But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love." - Cold Tangerines.

Love you,