a temporary farewell

Summer is all but over.

Yesterday was the first day of school.

The days take on a new rhythm. 

Suddenly the dirty cabinets and the dusty fans make themselves known and it isn't as easy to ignore all the things that should be done for an adventure or an afternoon swim.

I ate my first apple yesterday and bought two butternut squash. I like what the next season brings.

But still, my happiest place is swimming in the ocean with my children. Salt and sun and sand.


you win

I often joke that if I had to plan a wedding tomorrow, I would just have it at the North Beach Fire Department.  I would vow not to look at Pinterest and nothing would be cool or cute or pretty.  I would spend the money on a booze and a band and lots of cheap, delicious food. 

Because the more weddings I go to, the harder it would be to plan something without freezing up. There are so many choices, and people do it so well. How could I compete?

Despite the fact that I try to pretend I'm not, I am so deeply competitive that I do everything in my power to avoid competition for fear of losing. Hence, the firehouse wedding. Everyone would know I hadn't really tried. I would get some irony points. It would be fun. I win by the rules I have set in the game I created.

But it certainly would not be envy inducing, which is exactly what Judith and Ryan's wedding was. Their wedding in a lifelong family friend's backyard was perfectly styled with poufs and Moroccan rugs and ornate lamps with just a hint of patina.  The vows they wrote to each other were powerful, funny, and moving. The beautiful food was served by an army of equally beautiful staff. The DJ was somehow cool and accessible. 

For a woman who claimed she never wanted a wedding, she sure put on a wedding that would win in Wedding Wars, if such a reality TV show exists. The Flower Guy and the dress-up tent would have have been enough to sway any judge who had not made up her mind.


DJ Les Talusan with L&O Creative

Susan Gage Caterers

Decor by all her ladies.



When we become mothers, we have all sorts of dreams for our children. Visions of who they will be and what they will become.

But we also have dreams for ourselves. Ideas of who we will be and what we will become.

We will be serene and playful.

We will be patient and inspiring.

We will teach them to accept themselves for who they are, while also striving to be the best version of themselves.

And most days, if we were to stop in the midst of the doing, we would worry that we are falling short of the lofty goals we have set for ourselves.

But our mothers must have felt it too. This sense that we can never be good enough for the people we love so deeply it hurts. 

But look at us now. Humans raising more humans with as much kindness and compassion as we know how to bestow.

We're doing a great job, moms. 

The kids will be alright.


ocracoke film

my children.

in my favorite place.

over spring break.

when the water was still cold.

and the evenings called for sweatshirts.

but the excitement sent them swimming.

just like i want it to.


we are meant for the ocean.

not fully evolved.

we crawled from the salty depths not so very long ago.


my mother always shuttered the words "land locked".

a prison of earth keeping us from the water.

we brag that out people were lighthouse keepers on the north sea.


the tide pulls us.

the light saves us.


big picture// a wedding at the Merrill Center

I keep thinking about this wedding at The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Merrill Center. About the fact that it was elegant and tasteful and beautiful in every way imaginable, and yet there was something about it that felt so beyond those elements. There was a depth to the whole event that I cannot manage to articulate.

What I know is that every detail was attended to in such a way that you forgot to think about the details. It was all big picture. The marriage superceded the wedding, even while great wines were poured and oysters were shucked. 

Little girls read improvised poems and the dance floor filled up and the bride and groom circulated without being harried. Even as I worked, the ease of evening soaked in. Joyful but languid. An auspicious beginning.