Friday, December 31, 2010

it's raining out right now. all the christmas snow melted away and has left me here. i'm in my room with M. Ward strumming the guitar and freshly brewed hazelnut coffee in my favorite virginian mug.

the end of a year.
a wildly adventurous year.
a year of learning-first in school, then in a garden, then in the world of thailand.
a year of loving good friends and losing others.
a year in which i changed my address as frequently as earth changed seasons.

i've laughed more than i've cried
and come to think of it, i mainly cried for good things
i've loved more than i've lost
which says a great deal because i have lost a lot

and for all these things i am really grateful to the one who gave them . who thought i deserve the world. who laughed, loved, and lost with me. the one who is constantly pulling at my heart strings. the one who i haven't talked to in ages. the one who made it all, loves it all, and is in it all.

peace 2010.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury;
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable;
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard,
think quietly,
talk gently,
act frankly,
to listen to stars and buds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart;
await occasions,
hurry never,
this is my symphony
-William Henry Channing

Found this gem of a poem in a nice little coffee shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand this year. I thought about this morning because I intended to go to a nice little coffee shop in grand rapids today.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I heard once that the ancient egyptians had fifty words for sand and the eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep and for that there are no words.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cantina thai

It takes about a twenty minute taxi ride to get there...because it's in the middle of the rice fields. It's completely in the sticks of the city. Any bar where you can hear crickets outside is a good bar.

The walls are these great bright colors and wood. There's a pool table. There's a great band who plays TONS of red hot chili peppers (and let us play their tambourines..and the lead singer is babe). There's art on the walls and drinks on the tables. Sunset bar offers the all the greatest alcohol choices (gin/tonics, tequilla shots, thai beer. etc.).

this place is a MUST-GO for any khon kaen student group stressed out by final projects.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

slow dance

thailand. coffee. flannel shirts. sufjan stevens christmas. tasteful decor. pink nail polish. america. skype. the color combination of yellow and grey. the green house. my education. pie. good pens. the avett brothers. grand rapids, michigan. Hope college. parents. boy friends. sunshine. black beans. design blogs. smitten kitchen. the postal system. india. polariods. love actually. moutnains and valleys. thai food. isan. p facs. ray bans. jesus. my body. my brain. my heart. brothers. Virginia. post it notes. breakfast.

always thankful,
abby leigh

Friday, November 12, 2010

island life

we've been working like dogs ever since day one.

But not this week. This week it was time for the island life in Phuket, Thailand. It was time for bikinis and gin/tonics on the beach. It was time to finally drive a moped. It was time for Italian food and seafood salads. It was time for kayaks. And big white beds. It was time to drink tea and breathe deep. It was time to dance to american music and meet cute boys.

What a beautiful and cool and fun planet we live on.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

peace on earth

There is nothing like listening to Iron & Wine while drinking tea in bed to start off the day.

Sam Beam: A man among men.

dress clothes

The First International Conference for Human Rights in Southeast Asia.

Across the globe, women confront manifold violations of their human rights — when they cannot participate in the decisions that affect their lives or claim fair political representation, when they face discrimination in employment, when they are denied entitlement to land and property, or when they suffer violence within their own home. Other obstacles to rights arise when women and girls are prevented from going to school or attaining health care, or are subject to harmful traditional practices.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

humans all over the world

I am pretending to sleep. Katie is passed out next to me in our mosquito net and I hear mom closing up the house. My eyes are open enough to see what's going but closed enough to keep her fooled.

After locking the door mom comes over to my bed and gently peeks her head in. She looks at us sleeping for a long time. And then she smiles. I know what she is trying to say. All moms say it.

In that moment I forgot that I was living in the middle of a landfill. We were just two humans trying to love each other. There was nothing else.

This is the biggest lesson Thailand has taught me thus far.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

birthday vegetables

today madelyn ruth van eck is 21 years old.

Her face is a testament of gods goodness. And I have a lot of hope in her to change the world because she makes my world better everyday.

She is fresh and beautiful and fun just like greenhouse community vegetables.

to do list

1. Drink my coffee in bed and look at the rain
2. Go on a run at sunrise
3. Eat a delicious vegetarian lunch of fresh vegetables and hot sauce
4. Become an adopted daughter of a land fill scavenger family
5. Use my brain and my heart and body to their fullest potential

with love from Thailand,
abby leigh

Saturday, September 25, 2010

life life life

riding through a village on the back of my pa's motorcycle at dusk
i swear to you the sky was magnificent. so many colors

i am a little bit happier than the happiest girl in Thailand.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

land of the free

I've filled out all of the forms

I've packed all my bags

I've kinda read all the books

and now here I am


i will attempt to use this blog to tell stories about things like how I told somebody "i like to eat cat" in thai.

Friday, August 27, 2010

WWS (world wide sisters)

Today, Quinn Elizabeth McIlhargey is 21 years old.

an aspiring business entrepreneur, artist, chef, fashionista, and a lover of small things. most of all, the girl knows how to live and live well.

a contradiction to the phrase, "Youth is wasted on the young."

tonight it is Quinn whom i miss most of all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

class and sophistication

one day i want to live like this

Saturday, July 31, 2010

fresh and fun and young

black bean tacos with feta and slaw

on the deck.
christmas lights and gin/tonics included.
along with a stylish outfit and a tan and plenty of color.

i think i have a new favorite season.

thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe!

you can get the de-lish recipe here.