Dear July,

You seem like you cannot even handle yourself, gone as quickly as you are! Year after year. This makes celebrating the hot days you usher in even more special... and pressing. This year, knowing how busy our fall will be, we put our all into you...

We spent an afternoon in Sandbridge, where the four of us swam together, and allowed wave after wave to crash over our heads, and carry us onto the shore. (Sometimes without my top! Oops!) It's also where Justice and I built a pretty epic sandcastle together, which warmed my mama heart to no end. (He's 12, and things like that don't happen as often these days). 

On the fourth we made our way to Ft. Monroe to take in the fireworks over the bay. 

One Friday evening, we found ourselves at the Newport News City Center fountains for an evening with The Deloreans, food trucks, and sno-cones. We headed back to the fountains on a Saturday night for ice cream cones and people watching. 

 (Taken with my iPhone)

(Taken with my iPhone)

Early one Sunday morning, we headed to Sandy Bottom Nature Park where the four of us met up with my brother and my niece, Lucille. I delighted in pushing her two year body, grown so quickly from the tiny baby she just was--what was it, yesterday?-- on the swings, and following her up and around the playground. I marveled at how she talked like a big girl, and how protective my brother is over her.

 (Taken with my iPhone)

(Taken with my iPhone)

Another Sunday was spent at the zoo. It was hot, but we laughed together as we watched the siamangs swing from one end of their enclosure to the next. And yet another Sunday, the last in the month, was spent watching Ghostbusters in 3D, oblivious to the historic rain storm which was raging on outside. 

I turned 32 without much ado except for spending an evening in a downtown Portsmouth parking garage as yet another exceptional rain storm stranded us--and about 100 or so others-- while we were waiting for Ray LaMontagne to play at the Pavilion.

Logan and I celebrated our ten year anniversary with a quiet dinner at our new-to-us -favorite restaurant, Circa 1918. (Ohhhh maaaaaahhh gaaaaah, this place is so yummy! My only regret is not coming here sooner). 

Together, we had a great time shooting Ashley & James' engagement session in downtown Norfolk. Alone, I photographed two beautiful families who welcomed in the sweetest new additions. (Here & Here)



How could I forget that we welcomed in a new member to our family too? A little kitty-man, named Roland. I pretend he is all mine, but in reality, he's a lover-love and loves everyone in his own little way. He is entirely too fast, and can barely make out a proper mew, but I'm already done for. 

And, of course, there were hard days. Some of the hardest I've had this year so far. Blessedly, I had help navigating my way through them with two of the best women I get to call friends. One whom welcomed me in her home with white wine and a warm embrace, and the other who supplied me with a Croissanwich and a morning walk along the Noland Trail. 

July, you helped me remember what means the most to me: my family; especially those precious, ever-growing boys of mine.


I want to remember it all; how my oldest son shaved for the first time,  and how it was so hot most days Gibson and I didn't put anything more than our underwear on. The way the sun poured golden goodness all over Logan and I as we walked hand-in-hand to get gelato, and how I found the prettiest peonies still available at the grocery.

I want to remember how I spent many days outside in the sun, planting and watering, trying to keep my plants alive in the scorching heat; afternoons indulging in two books that I squeezed in just for pleasure. 


I want to remember how I loved hearing the frog's summer chorus so much, I wrote it down in my journal as something I was grateful for, and I want to remember how we went to a chain steakhouse and had a fantastic meal and even better time together.  

I want to remember it all--the good and the bad-- dear July,  because these moments to me are what living is all about. 


Happy, happy August!