Monday, December 17, 2012


the last few months have been a blur of work and play, and somehow i've found myself on the other side of fall, staring christmas - and all it brings - right in the face.

this past weekend, sister, e and many, many sweet friends gathered to throw me a gatsby-inspired celebration of a lifetime (30 years to be exact) and it couldn't have been more perfect. i looked around at all the smiles and love in that room and my heart almost burst. it was yet again another sign, confirming i'm exactly where i should be in my life and i don't think i've felt a stronger joy.

this thursday, after e and i participate in our respective work holiday soirees, we'll head to NC for our annual christmas celebration with family. i'm looking forward to heading down south to the land of the pines, lounging in some comfies and starring at the lights on two trees, each in a warm, familiar environment. i'll have cookies, mom's spaghetti and burgin beale's spiked eggnog. i'm excited to hug all their necks and truly live "off the grid" for a few days, which always forces me to slow down. i'll visit with gram + grandaddy, i'll remember christmas evenings with grandma + papa beale and i'll watch the christmas story at least 3 times.

i'll officially ring in 30 on the 24th, with e in a small bar in chapel hill. we'll have a beer and take a shot. he'll tell me how he can't believe i was 22 when we first met. and i'll ask him if i'm the hottest 30 year old he knows (he'll say duh). then i'll open his gift (the first of the day) and we'll head back for late night cookies and bed. after many moments of agony over the past few months, it's safe to say i'm approaching a feeling of excitement about this new chapter. yes, i look at it as an end to much that i know, but i'm excited about the beginning it marks as well and all in all, i remind myself i haven't even reached the middle yet. all the faces of friends and family this weekend, the dances, the drinks, and the pure happiness soothed my anxiety, reminding myself that all this is only possible because of the passing of that bittersweet frenemy, time.

merry christmas to you and yours. may your reminiscing of the past, excitement for the future and most importantly, enjoyment of the present keep you all warm and cozy!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

my summer skin.

I don't recall a single care
Just greenery and humid air
Then Labor day came and went
And we shed what was left of our summer skin
- death cab for cutie

summer certainly has come and by tomorrow, will be gone. someone asked me today, when i was expressing my love for fall, if i get a little sad to see summer go. and the answer is a complicated one. of course i get a little sad to wave good-bye to the season that brings warmth, longer days, beach trips, cut-offs, flip-flops and tanned skin with it. but my excitement for what's right around the corner is enough to pull me out of dwelling on my loss. 

tomorrow officially kicks off my favorite time of year and i'm all smiles welcoming it. i gladly switch over my closet, purchase some new fall-inspired wardrobe goodies and set my sights on dates for apple picking, pumpkin carving, football watching and halloween preparation. i think about how i fully enjoyed every minute of the last few months, and start getting excited for more weekends at home, changing leaves and that extra hour of sleep. 

tonight, i'll shed my summer mentality, leaving it with all the excellent memories i have of my summer adventures. and tomorrow i'll fall, heart first, into autumn. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

ladies and gents.

on saturday six of us boarded the train, nips (that's northern for mini bottles) in tow, sandwiches pre-made and cocktail treats pre-mixed, and headed on up to portland, ME for the Gentlemen of the Road festival. the day promised good music by a variety of bands, local food favorites and plenty-o-beer. but when we arrived, we were treated to a complete game changer that took our day to an e-lev-en: backstage passes a-la family member spencer lamb (thanks, spence!)

a day of music that was already going to highlight our summer quickly turned into a dream come true as we downed beers, played ping pong and threw cornhole alongside members of the bands. i was already starstruck hanging with mumford & sons, but as soon as they hopped on stage, i pretty much lost it. i'm a huge fan of their music - specifically the lyrics which i just find so beautiful - and on top of that, they rocked it harder than anyone i've seen in a long time. to this southern gal, these fellas from the UK who played their hearts out to 15,000+ of their new england fans, were the epitome of gentlemen.
official passport into the festival

@sammytb playing around backstage w/a larger-than-life 'stache
mumford and all the other bands gathered on stage to finale w/ the weight by the band
me & @alysonkaroly hanging with the bands side stage
cambridge/somerville ladies representing

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

no shoes, no shirt, no problem.

a couple of months ago e and i were able to convince our boston besties that a trip to the nc coast was long overdue. so we made plans to rectify that and a couple of weeks ago, despite rumors of record-breaking temps down south, the six of us packed our bags and took to the airways, then the highways, towards our final destination.

one costco stop, one liquor store stop, a bbq break and a grocery run later, we arrived packed to the gills in our tricked-out mini van. what followed was nearly a week of card games, family dinners, booze cruises, night swimming, sing-a-longs, morning, afternoon and evening cocktails, beach bocce, wave riding and general bliss that is often found outside of one's regular routine. we took in north carolina and all its barefoot, coozie-using, southern-accented, shirtless glory.

needless to say, as most weekends with this group are, it was yet another for the books. it didn't take me long to get emotional - about the time we'd just had and the kind of friend's we'd become. i sat starring at the ocean on the last day with a + k overcome with the fact that i'd finally introduced a huge part of my past to my present. in that moment i felt this indescribable split: in my heart i missed nc - it had raised me, taught me how to speak to strangers on the street, fed me vinegary bbq, fried okra and sweet tea. it was where e and i met and married, and is the place that i still run to when i need a break from the real world. but in my head i recognized a loyalty and love to the new home i've come to know in ma. where i learned how to grow on my own and with e, was introduced to winter, the red sox and this amazing group of people. it's the place that took me in even when i was alone, and where e and i plan to stay for the foreseeable future.

this thought was as refreshing as it was saddening. but with a + k both both at my side for comfort, i knew there was no need to focus on a rhyme or reason for my feelings. it was the perfect moment to remind me exactly where i was, despite where i had been or where i was going.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

three's a charm.

three years ago today i married the love of my life. these have been some of the fastest years of my life and hands-down hold some of the most fun moments.

i have two bits of advice i like to give my friends who are about to get married:
1) enjoy the day of your wedding from beginning to end in all its glory. that day will move so quickly, you'll be hammering your brain trying to remember the BIG things - not to mention the little. use the day to reflect on where you've come - as an individual and as a couple - and be sure to take time out for each other that night at the party. it's so easy to get caught up in reception details, or wonder if every one's having a fun time, or want to kill the bridesmaid didn't follow shoe requirements. but really, truly, none of this stuff matters. i'm here to tell you on the other side, it doesn't.

2) when the party is over, the guests have all left, the dress is packed up and all is said and done, the REAL fun begins. i thank my mom for this little tid-bit. i was determined to wallow in my post-wedding blues, wondering what to plan next and making dramatic comments about how there was nothing to do but have kids, retire and die. but it's soooooooooooo not true. every day of marriage never ceases to surprise me and i enjoy the challenges as much as the easy parts.

sometimes i look at e and i can't believe how much he's grown and who he's become - for me, for us and for himself. i look at myself the same way and i'm proud of this thing we've built. i know there's so much more goodness to come and sometimes i have to remind myself to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the present, because i get so full thinking about where we're off to next - just the two of us and our dreams.

i'm thankful everyday for my sister who introduced us and saw the good in what we could be before either of us did. i'll never be able to repay her. and i'm so grateful for the patience that e's given me over the years and his endless love. he turned my head and my heart around and he made me realize that i could have this wonderful thing called love and more than that, that i wanted it. he saved me and for that, i'll never be able to repay him. and this is good debt to have.

i love you e. happy anniversary!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

april at last.

oh but i do. spring, get on up here to new england.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

coming up roses.

ten years ago my dad reached remission after a seriously tough battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. he entered the winter of 2001 with his head as bare as the trees and his skin as grey as the december sky. needless to say, while he was indeed the same man, this was a side of him i'd never seen. the nick of time and right on par with the seasons, spring brought a breakthrough in his diagnosis - just when my whole family needed it most. his eyelashes and brows began to sprout like the azaleas and on my visits home from college, i watched color and strength return to both the backyard and my father. i've vowed to never forget that feeling of hope returning. everything appeared new again, diminishing all signs of what that winter had brought. it was truly a spring like no other and since then that's how each one has been for me.

this quote sums up that spring in 2002 as well as how i still feel today. it'll never cease to amaze me that just when i've almost forgotten what sun feels like, how bright green grass is or how fragrant flowers are, spring swoops in proving it does in fact still exist and nothing has ever been quite so sweet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

get up, get out

it's officially spring and the weather these past few days couldn't be more fitting.

i'd like to say i've been waiting all winter for today, but the truth is, we were blessed with a rather mild last three months. of all the seasonal transitions, i love this one the most. i love watching things come back to life after a few months of winter and i find it always awakens a bit of myself as well.

i'm a "stop to smell the roses" kind of gal and this time of year, that's exactly what i do. for me, it's a sensory/memory overload:
  • the daffodils remind me of my grandma beale's garden from my childhood
  • the morning birds take me back to my quiet home in NC (which i'll happily be visiting in just a few weeks!)
  • the lighter spirits during cocktail hour conjure craziness of spring breaks past
  • and most of all, that extra hour of light reminds me to not just get out, but stay out to enjoy it all.
when i first moved up north, i wasn't aware of what a HUGE deal spring was until i went through my first winter. i'd always taken the pollen-soaked 75-degree march days in NC for granted. but now i see that spring is a calling, a begging almost, to come back to these places of life - wherever and whatever they may be for you. and each year, on this day, i gladly return.

*for you, a favorite that always reminds me of my last spring in NC

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sick for the big sun

the next two days are big, BIG ones for e. and because of that, they are for me too. after 2.5 months of endless studying (on top of a full-time job) he'll be sitting down to endure hours of the Mass bar - good luck e!

e's had his fair share of big, BIG days over the last few years and i'm so very proud of him for it. i knew this life partner of mine was a pretty amaze person and it's been cool to see him get publicly recognized for it by others as well. i have no doubt that these recognitions will continue far into our years together.

in other news, this winter's been one for the books. i don't think i'm quite in the clear to talk about it yet, as i fear that as soon as i mention these mild winter days, we'll be bombarded with a devastating snow storm at the end of march. so i'll just hang on to the details until my annual spring post! we've got a busy month planned with visits and general life catch up, and while i appreciate the extra day this february offers, i don't think i'll have the time to give it much notice. it's funny how this day, that's been about five years in the making, seems to have crept up on us. and it's crazy that, already, another spring is in sight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

song of the south

i found myself settling into bed early last night (a first for me in weeks) and so i picked up my first issue of Bon Appetit (courtesy of Allison Beale) because,
a: i am pretty behind on all my glossy readings so it's time to get on it, and
b: that fried chicken on the cover looked exceptionally delicious.

i knew i was excited for the monthly access to this mag that my sister supplied me this holiday and i knew i was going to be bombarded with a book of recipes that would quickly climb up my "to cook ASAP" list (coconut cake, hoppin' john, said fried chicken...). but what i didn't know and for sure least expected, was that this single issue, praising the south in all it's...well...southern glory - primarily food, was going to make me miss that place pretty dang bad.

i found myself reading about recipes and restaurants out loud to e until he begged me to turn out the light and fall asleep. and as i lay in the dark, confessions of a longing for that warm place so many states down crept into my mind. longing for my home, my heart, my roots.

i thought about the turn our lives have taken - for the best and with our control - and i thought about how my love for new england has grown more than i ever knew it would (or could). but for the first time, in a long time, i thought about how i missed some southern ground. i can learn to fry my chicken, add extra cheese to my mac, whip up some collards, biscuits and sweet tea, and i can keep a bottle of texas pete in my pantry. i can don some seersucker, skip around barefoot in the summer and take down a couple of mint juleps. but all that is just a substitution to what real, day-to-day living is like in the south. it's front porches and humidity. bourbon and bojangles. everything's a little sweeter and a whole lot slower. we're more belk and less bloomingdales; more yawning, less yoga. down there they talk to strangers, go to church and greet everyone with a hug instead of a handshake. i could go on about all the southern-isms that i'm happily welcomed with each time i return home.

i eventually fell asleep last night. and when i woke up this morning with some extra rest i felt like a new women - but with the same southern perspective which i know no amount of time away from my home sweet home can change.

Monday, January 30, 2012

freeze frame.

i never knew a cold like this until the winter of '08. and despite my southern roots and beach-filled days of my childhood (and early 20s...) i've surprisingly come to love it.

although this season can prove to be just as packed with plans as its counterpart, i now recognize the unique calm that comes with it as well. there is nothing quite like a city in silence during a snow and i still smile when i walk through it.

but back to the quote. when i first saw it i thought to myself: "let's be real, some words are best left unheard until they can shine under the summer sun, anyway."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

let go to get one

**saying "adios!" to 2011 as we welcome 2012...**

over the past few years, i've mentioned how with each New Year, i've stopped wiping my slate completely clean and instead started building upon the base that i've spent a year (or years) creating. it's now become my habit of thought as i count down to midnight and honestly, one of my favorite parts of welcoming a new year.

don't get me wrong, there are things with which i certainly need to regroup at square one (ahem, road rage), but most of my resolutions are a work in progress that may never be quite complete or even as simple as a few mundane tasks i've procrastinated on for like, ever.

on the whole, i like to maintain my health (keep up the exercise routine and the good diet), continue to develop my relationships (near and far), and increase the amount of positive energy + love i put into this world (a little less lip gloss, a little more volunteering). so those standbys are back for another go, with variations to keep them fresh. but i can't do any of these things without taking note of where i've been and truly considering what actually works for me. resolutions are like mistakes - you don't want to keep making the exact same ones over and over again. if you did, what's so new/fun about each year?

this year, on top of traveling (three more new cities in 2012!) and organizing photos from our past summer excursions to costa rica, puerto rico and hawaii, i've made it a goal to buy less...stuff and use more of what i already have. my makeup bag could not have more black eyeliners and pink lip glosses, and i don't think i'll ever need another pair of black boots, so i'm starting there. to say i won't shop is ridiculous and quite frankly, setting me up for failure. but for every item i buy (and if you know me, you know i buy in least), i'll be giving one away - not consigning - giving. that's my goal anyway. my never-before-tried challenge. so wish me luck!

cheers to you + best of luck on your resolutions. and here's to hope + success with whatever you wish in 2012!