Tag Archives: memories

Sea Turtle

3 Jun

Photo by: Jamie Neal

Completely warm darkness, silent with the exception of crashing waves swirling sand and shells. The moon sheds a gentle light; between the vast ocean, endless night sky and the formidable moon a person feels small but grounded and whole with their place in the world. 

Wet sand squish between my toes and shells stab my soles as I approach the unmistakable signs of a turtle having finished her task and returned to the sea. Four times I passed these tracks with mounting frustration and worry that I’ve missed my chance to see one of natures amazing moments. 

Finally I spot her; fifteen feet from the braking waves a beautiful turtle with sand piled all around her, my heart slams in my chest having come upon her so suddenly. 

Keeping my distance I wait, finding a comfortable spot to sit in the sand…mosquitos swarm and feast biting repeatedly so in a moment of desperation I flung myself into the ocean. Cooled off certainly, but the mosquitos don’t relent.

The certainly of tomorrow’s misery is worth the chance to witness the turtle nesting, so I wait. 

As suddenly as I stumbled upon her the turtle has finished her task and is hastily making her way back to the ocean; the waves glide over her head and she is gone. 


Empty Picture Frames

2 Oct

IMG_4082I always have at least 3 empty pictures frames on display at any given time, it’s not because crazy, or because I have nothing to put in them. I’m a photographer I have pictures coming out of my ears!

No, the reason I like to have empty picture frames is because it reminds me that good things are to come, that good memories are yet to be made, and that life isn’t just the past or the present but what’s possible.

I also like the reminder that I need to get out into the world and make new memories and not let life totally bog down my present.



Same Ol’

30 Aug

OldDesignShop_GirlInWindowTonight I needed to borrow something from Kelsey; one of my longest friendships. We’ve been friends for sixteen years now…insane. Kelsey, Lydia, Jamie, and Valerie…sixteen years. Seriously. Holy crap. That’s more than half of our lives.

So back to my point: she lives six miles away, the same six miles away she’s always lived. I drove the same way there that I always have. Summer…windows rolled down and music at MAX like I’ve always done. As I leave my small town and turn down her street in the small town she lives in next to mine I can hear the marching band playing. Football season has started.

It’s so crazy to me to think that for those 20 minutes I ran to her house, had a conversation while we worked out the computer thing I need to borrow, and drove home it’s like nothing has changed.

How can in sixteen years it feel like nothing has changed when I know that so much has?  Out of the five of us three are married with babies; beautiful, wonderful babies. Two live wayyyyy out of state, two have graduated college…things are most definitely not the same.

The dark quite country roads look the same, empty and still. The world smells the same; fresh, lightly sweet, and natural. The same song I listened to on repeat for at least a solid year of high school still sounds the same and sung in the same very-poorly-off-key-mess that is my singing voice.

But the band plays in the distance and we aren’t on the sidelines. Some of the girls are thousands of miles away, the cd skips now, and we are too old to still have this much of our life the same.

The song I played on loop in high school, and the song I was listening to tonight while revisiting some of the past sixteen years worth of memories (this also by-the-way is as “boy-band” as I go.):


10 May

gibsongirlinwaterThere are so many things I want to do; places I want to experience, movies I want to see…unfortunately I feel like I need to do all those things with another person.

If I want to see a friend in in another state I try an wrangle another friend into going with me. I want to track my lineage in Germany, see the seven wonders or eat pasta in Italy I feel like I need to have a travel buddy. I get it, it’s safer that’s why I don’t take my passport right now an hop a plane. But it’s more then safety. I don’t want to experience the world and make memories alone.

Even something as simple as seeing a movie; I won’t go alone. I can be jumping out of my skin exited to see something but if no one else wants to I’ll wait for it to be available on demand. Everyone says you have to learn to be alone before you’ll be a good couple, but that doesn’t make sense! Did they eat dinner, see movies, and travel alone before they were paired up? Probably not. I’d be willing to bet they met in high school or college and never once did anything actually, truly, and literally alone.

The world is set up for things to be done as groups or pairs; tables in restaurants, roller coaster rides, swings at the park… humans are social people we live and work together so when we see a crazy cat lady who lives totally alone we laugh at her or judge her, or worse we feel sorry for her. But hasn’t she done exactly as everyone suggested and learned to live alone?

“Single” people would be, and are, perfectly happy when they’re surrounded by groups of people, not having to do anything alone. It’s not about being in a relationship with the mythical “soul mate” its about not having to make memories alone. This drives some people closer to their friends, family, even their work. But for some people it drives them to a relationship that is all wrong for them.  I’d guess I made my choice and would rather be “single” then in the wrong relationship. But what I never want to have to do is not live or make memories singular because of that choice.

8 Girlfriends You Need To Have

14 Jan

imagesI found this list on one of my favorite sites,  Levo League, I found it interesting because I have this group of friends and they all have a place in my life but I’ve never really thought about where I’ve put them before…and it was without even realizing that I was doing it. Granted this doesn’t list everyone, being in a sorority adds dozens upon dozens of women that you can depend on but these were the first people to pop into my head for each category.

The Caregiver

This is the mom of your group. The friend that always has Advil and Band-Aids and takes care of you when you are sick. They are the moms we have when our moms aren’t around.

Mine is Rebecca we’ve been friends since high school and she has several older siblings with children and a very maternal nature about her, I’d say she is textbook caregiver.

079The Crazy One

We all need that friend that brings out our slightly wild side. This is the friend that has boundaries and always chooses Dare in Truth or Dare. They will always go out with you and though sometimes they make you cringe in embarrassment (especially as you get older), you need to hold on to these. They will remind you to be spontaneous (though I suppose that defeats the purpose.)

Mine is Kelsey we have been friends since 4th grade she has always been crazy and fun. She is the first one to decide things are a little to blah an start jumping about or making funny face, she will always be the young one that reminds the rest of us to hold on to who we were as kids.

The Rock This is the friend that you know you can call at 3 am to come pick you up if you were stranded. You can go a few months without talking but you still know they are your “in case of emergency” call. They will always be there for you.

I’d have to say this would be my biological big sister Kelly. While I was in college we didn’t talk all the much I was busy with class and organizations an she was busy with her job, school herself and a husband. But I always knew if I needed her she would be there.


The Opposite

It is great to have those friends that have a ton in common with you, but it is also really refreshing to have that friend that is completely different. You usually go to brunch on the weekend, but this one wants to go rock climbing. They make you try new things and they always keep things exciting.

I have a plethora of opposite friends and Phi Mu sisters, Sam D is my sporty wild friend who would drag me outside to play in the rain when I would normally watch it from the comfort of a blanket on the couch. Duffee, aka Amanda my college roommate, she was a theater major while I was a journalism and English major… not a whole lot of similarities between us other than our love for Phi Mu and let me tell you there is no one more fun than Duffee, some of my best memories involve her and her 3am antics.

The Lifelonger


We all have that friend that we have known since we were in grade school. You may have drifted apart at some point, but whenever you see each other it is like you are in the seventh grade again. You need these people in your life as they remind you where you came from and that there was a point when you thought “Saved by the Bell” was the best show on TV and Umbros looked good.

My lifelonger is Lydia we have been friends since day one of 4th grade when I moved from Colorado to Ohio. We went through some pretty classic school crap as the underdogs and came out the other side together. She’s always been the gentle, loving, relaxed one. And now she is a completely fantastic mother to 2 almost 3 of the world’s best kids and I get to be auntie Jamie!

The Cool Friend

We all need that friend that constantly makes us feel like we don’t know what the cool books or movies or bands are. They were the first to wear Uggs and watch “Breaking Bad”. You may have thought you were dressed well, but she is dressed better and she already wore that last month. They keep us on our toes and in the know.


This would be a fellow Phi Mu sister, Stacey- I’m actually a smidge bit older than she is but she has always been the “cool” one. I have several sisters like that, like Stacey’s big Danny-D aka Danielle D. They both just have a better grasp on what’s hip then I ever will.

The Honest One

This is the friend that will tell you when that dress with the ruffles actually is not your best look. They are not going to BS you. They will give you the truth even if it is hard.

This would have to be Brookie Bear- aka Brooke, also a Phi Mu sister (as you’ve probably noticed all my sorority sisters have nicknames) she is painfully honest and brings your silly drama back to reality. I can’t begin to say how many times this girl has reigned me back in.

hats-3The Cheerleader

Sometimes we need support no matter what. When you can’t find it anywhere else, this is the person you go to.

My cheerleader is also in every way my honest, cool friend who will be a lifelonger and my opposite, she is my best friend and my Phi Mu big sister.

The thing is a lot of my friends can be considered in several of these categories…it was almost hard to pick who should go where but I find myself very lucky to be surrounded by so many fantastic ladies, I don’t really have guy friends. Not everyone can say they have the 8 friends who will be there for them, let alone the number of friends I know I can depend on. So where would your friends fall?

Just as a side note/thought; if you find yourself concerned as to why you don’t have more close dependable friends take an honest look at yourself, the better friend you are the better friends you’ll accumulate.