Swimming at the Townsend Wye

Yesterday we took advantage of beautiful weather and went to the Townsend Wye, a popular swimming hole just inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Jackson was at basketball camp, so Mom and I took Jeremy, Jacob, and Owen for a dip. The mountain water was chilly, something locals understand but Chicagoans don’t. There were serious reservations about swimming, particularly… Read more →

Book Review: The Black Banners

I finished this book in late May and completely forgot to review it here. I know most of you who read my reviews are primarily interested in fiction – and most of the time, I am too. However, after reading I am Malala this spring I wanted to continue learning more about Al Qaeda and the Taliban from other points of… Read more →

Jackson turns 11

Jackson has been counting down to his eleventh birthday since the calendar turned to 2017. It’s fair to say he is obsessed with it, even beyond the general obsession kids feel about their birthdays. Yes, it’s about gifts and special food and all the extra attention, but it’s about that deeper feeling – that you are so well-loved that an entire… Read more →

Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Though released in June 2016, it wasn’t until after President Trump was elected in November that I started hearing about Hillbilly Elegy and saw J.D. Vance on a few panels of “experts” ready to lend an explanation as to why the reality TV show host just won the highest seat in the nation. Big thinkers and retired politicians and angry, biased… Read more →

Medal No. 16

For the first time in my long-distance running experience, I thought the race would be cancelled. The weather forecast ranged from a 70-90 percent chance of thunderstorms every hour for ten hours straight. There was no way around it. The race would go on rain or shine, but thunder and lightning would close it down. By the time I went… Read more →

Book Review: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Reading this book was an act of magnetism because I’ve been drawn to the Lost Generation writers and their work since I went to Key West in tenth grade to study Ernest Hemingway. The tragedy and drama surrounding these American writers is as addictive to me as the Tudor Dynasty and Elizabethan Era, which I have also studied for years. The… Read more →

First Romp in the Gulf at Miramar Beach, Destin

Our life feels crazy sometimes, but after nearly a decade into Chuck’s job, I’ve learned to go with the flow. Our original plans for family vacation didn’t involve Destin, and then the back-up plan to Destin didn’t include Chuck. All the whiplash in the planning phase came to a head two days before our planned departure. Long story short, we spent… Read more →

The flawless faces of beautiful children

I am a lucky girl. When “playing with my camera” takes me to a sprawling property, situated in front of these beautiful faces, I cannot complain. It’s not hard, really. Engage the kiddos, chat with them, be silly. I’m not scary or overwhelming, so they don’t mind when I require a little of their time. For these siblings in particular, they are… Read more →

Sofia as Belle

When someone wants to do a themed photo session, you don’t say no. Sofia is nearly three and I’ve been photographing her since she was an infant. For her first birthday, she was Snow White. Last year, she was Ariel, sans red wig. This year there was only one Disney princess that made sense. Toss in a few books, a… Read more →

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