Sunday, October 25, 2015
Fall Break 2015 has hit the books with a big bang. We spent the whole week in the Outer Banks of NC with nine other law couples and our gaggle of children, an adventure we've been looking forward to for a YEAR since we couldn't really take a break last fall (thankfully we snagged that day in DC last year). So yes, been waiting for this party for a while, and the wait was more than worth it.

This was our first-ever trip with friends, and it's now one of those experiences that makes me take a step back and count my unreal blessings. There are a lot of hard life moments, times, situations, or seasons that you wouldn't re-touch with a 39.5 foot pole (the holidays are getting in my blood already! yaya!) But overall life's whole tapestry is so bright, and I'm certain that those bold, beautiful, beaming threads are put there by your people. Family weaves those threads the most (and the best), and then I think your friends come in a real close second. So thank you thank you thank you (!!) for the great people in our life that we call great friends! OBX 2015 left me feeling that way most of all.
On Day 1, Olivia and I hit the beach with some of the crew (Claire slept inside, Ry stayed to watch her). We played one-on-one out there for a dreamy hour, and as we played our sweet friend, Jane,  grabbed my camera and snagged some of my favorite images of she and I  to date (thank you, Jane)!! These images are so real. They are exactly what we were doing: plopping shells in our "sand castle" and chasing each other around. I don't know if this is an East Coast beach thing or if it was Corolla Beach in particular, but that beach was just pretty. Hundreds of whole, large shells dotted the sand. Also that sea foam that literally topped the waves as they rolled in - I'd never seen that before and I loved that, too (it really is a shade of green)! We've missed the beach, so it was oh so good to be back.
This little spot became our camp for the week. We ate, napped, and played - like wiffle ball and smash ball. I'm sad I don't have a picture of the whole gang there, and yet I'm okay with it. I don't have pictures of those moments because I didn't stop enjoying them to snap some -- they were just that good (you know how that goes)!
ClaireBear woke up and came! Watch out beach world! But really, I took a million photos of her just playing there. She loved it. Our California summer seemed to come back to her instantly, and that baby, she knows how to beach. Olivia was the same. Made our hearts sing!

I asked her, "Claire? Are you tired, baby?" And then she did this - shoved to the head. 
And then this - a classic Claire  move. She plops herself down like that when she is ready to nap. IE, I love this baby!
Monday night found us crabbing on the Sound. I should explain (because I didn't know this before we went), the Sound is the a big salt water lagoon off of the Outer Banks islands. It's marshy and pretty and dotted with lighthouses and it's juuuust a little magical.
This may be one of my favorite pictures from the week. The Ry Guy, in the moment trying to catch his crab, with two of his buddies to the side (you can't crab without help!), and Olivia Girl in on the whole thing from behind. The image bespeaks our life here -- having fun together and (literally) having each other's backs. With our children in tow. I get it if I'm the only one whose heart warms up via this one - love is what you go through together/with someone(s), right?? Anyway, for so many symbolic little reasons, I love this one.
Caught one!
My sweet, blue-eyed, yawning Bear (tired again)! 
Our house! Formally known as the Black Pearl. It fit us all so well. Moments not captured from the house (again, too happy enjoying those moments) -- night games upstairs with the adults. Sardine'ing ourselves in the dry sauna for a some girl chat. Working out on the second floor with m'girls. Olivia's bunk bed, AKA her bonk bed. :) I didn't pronounce "bunk" clearly enough when we arrived, but she was so dang cute talking about her "bonk" bed all week, I didn't have the heart to correct her. 
Our friend, Paul, is a seafood cooking king (he's an NC native). Behold, his jumbalaya!
Had to include this one - shrimp cocktails + sippy cups. Aren't we just so fancy. ;) Kids sure keep things real (hallelujah).
On Thursday night, since all the couples had rotated cooking meals, we ventured out to the island's restaurants. We went south a bit to Roosters - a smashing spot for Southern food + seafood. Like, I had crab mac n' cheese, Ryan had shrimp and grits. Both were good.
Back to the trip! After dinner we ventured to the largest sand dunes in the East -- Jockey Ridge -- to catch a brilliant NC sunset (we barely made it)!
Then it was home again, and for the rest of our time, we beached, played, and ate  - the same thing we'd done all week. The sun set on that slice of heaven with our people, and I cried when we left the house (no shame). We did squeeze in one more adventure on our way out...
Kitty Hawk! That place. Wow. It's as simple as a landmark could be - one large, marble pillar up on the hill, and then a whole lot of open grass where the Wright Bros practiced flying. But that simplicity is what makes the place. You can tell that the present day Kitty Hawk is hardly different than the one Orvil and Wilbur knew. We stepped back into history without stepping too far. We loved it.
The rock that designates where the first successful flight took off...
Those markers on the left designate the landings of their four attempts on that day (and on the right, Dad + Claire cuteness).
Renditions of the Wright Brothers' little home...
And traipsing around the monument itself, up on top of the Kitty Hawk hill. It's made of marble, shaped like a plane's wing from the side. It's lovely. THANK YOU, Orvil and Wilbur, for taking flight! What if they'd give up? Thank goodness they didn't. They lifted mankind off the ground by sticking to their dream. Makes me stand all amazed. And then wonder -- what can I do to lift others more? Better yet, what can I do to help Ryan and the girls' dreams take flight and thus lift others more? My food for thought as we left.
So hey James Taylor, I get you now. You're going to Carolina in your mind because, yes, that sweet sunshine. I can't add my "amen" to the moonshine, but to the seafood, beach, to all those colorful craftsman homes and good memories with good people - amen and amen. Sayonara, North Carolina, you charmer! The week was quite the dream come true (Literally, thoughSee my Insta post about that). Till next year!
PS, another little practice video! It's nothing fancy schmance, but I'm loving any video around here at all. Video adds such a dimension to the stories we tell, yeah? I mean in years from now, we will relive a few moments of our beach time together waaaay back in 2015 while we were still in law school - that beautiful beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina...


  1. Your adventures look so fun! That Ryan guy is one buff dude. And that jambalaya... omigosh that looks awesome!

    1. It WAS awesome. In heaven, when we're neighbors again, we'll make some together. (insert raise the roof emoji!!!)


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