a walk on the beach

If you’ve asked us how we fell in love, you’ve likely heard either of us talk about the moment that door opened. It was magic. And you’ve maybe heard about the night we danced. And if you were still listening after that you probably heard about our sunrise walk on the beach…

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We danced all night, and then went back to our little air bnb and decided to be really okay with being in love. And because I am a really terrible sleeper, I was awake before the sunrise, mostly marveling at her and aching for her to wake up with me (god I love waking up with her more than anything in the world). She did finally, possibly at my nudging;) And I asked her to walk the little three minute walk to the beach with me and watch the sunrise.

I knew we needed some time to revel and a little more time to marvel, and honestly I just couldn’t imagine not walking on the beach at sunrise with her. We giggled because it was a little insane to be up at 4am after such a late night. And then we tried to work out how to get out of the little place we were staying in without waking our roommate who’d made it pretty clear she was here this weekend to get plenty of rest.

We decided we’d climb out the window. So we did. We walked and we held hands and watched the sunrise and soaked up every minute of bliss with our toes in the sand and our heads in the clouds.

And then we climbed back in. And there are plenty of big beautiful words I could string together for all that morning held for both of us, but mostly I just wanted to post this gif of my gorgeous wife climbing back in a window. You’re welcome.

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And happy 23rd, Love.




we celebrate the 23rd every month. it was the day last march when she opened the door and everything flipped upside down (which was actually just right side up i think). this picture is from the 25th, when we both realized that this was what we were made for. we danced all night and watched the sun rise and finally laid our hearts on the line, hoping that they wouldn’t get broken one more time. (spoiler alert – they didn’t.) these ridiculous smiles haven’t left our faces since that night, and gosh i hope they never do.

happy 23rd, babe. ❤️

xoxo, k

find your people

Here we are, a couple of weeks shy of the first anniversary of the day everything changed, and we are finding our people. It’s been a slow process, one that has also been pretty difficult if I’m being honest. After all of the losses, our first instinct was to put up some pretty high walls around our giant little family. We both realized that isolating ourselves wouldn’t be in the best interest of us or our kids, so we pushed through; we found a little band of people who loved us and loved our kids well. We had family dinners and kitchen dance parties, and our people showed up to support and love us over and over.


I’ll never get tired of seeing the way our kids’ eyes light up and smiles spread across their faces when our people are here. The love they feel is genuine, the joy palpable.


Over the last week or so it feels like we’ve turned a corner. The days have settled into an easy rhythm, school drop offs and afternoon activities feel like a routine now, weekend days are full of sleepy smiles. Laughter comes easily, and I can’t even describe how my heart feels every night when we scrunch around the table for dinner together.


I wake up every day so grateful for this journey, and especially for the people traveling it with us. You know who you are, and I hope you know how much we ALL love you.
xoxo, k


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i’ll never get over
how your eyes shine when you look at me
like tears are on the way every time

how did we go our whole lives
not knowing or
knowing and not having
love like this
wanting and working for
knowing like this
seeing everyone around us
not being seen

a crying shame
except you’re here now
we’re here now
and every day feels like
we’re making up
for a hundred ways
or a hundred days
worth of heartache

all this healing
a thousand gifts
in every kiss
a million cures
in each embrace

lay here let me
kiss your face
rest easy
you fit all the ways

and all the days i promise
every thing you need
an ocean of safety and warmth
right here Love
nobody’s leaving

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learning to cry

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She’s teaching me how to cry again, a gift I’ll never be able to say enough thank yous for.

I spent years learning how not to feel too big, becoming the quiet stoic one so he could rage, or so he wouldn’t rage. I taught myself that my feelings only mattered sometimes and only privately then, that the person I loved couldn’t handle them. I think it’s why I wrote more then, likely why I hardly wrote about the hard things.

And I think in the process I lost a lot, mostly the ability to really see how far gone I was, we were. But also just the permission to let myself be happy, or sad, or angry, or anything besides “strong” and “calm” and “patient,” (sigh).

It’s been almost a year since she shattered any control I had over not feeling joy. Anger has been fairly easy to be honest, I’m like a teenager that way and working on it.

But man sadness has been slow to come back. I can feel it inside which is quite a thing- both to realize that you hadn’t really for so long, and to actually experience it again.

The crying has not come easy though. Not like it does for her.

She cries beautifully, and whenever she wants or needs to. It’s magic I swear, or at least it seemed like it to me. That she could feel hurt or frustrated, and sit head in her hands, or curl into me and let it out. “I wish you could cry too” she said once, “it’s such a good release”. And I knew it was. I wish I was lying when I said I was jealous.

God I would try so hard to let sadness in and then out of me, to let tears well up and fall. Mostly I’d just look mad, or get mad. Which isn’t really helpful at all if you aren’t in fact mad. But she was always there… she is always here, showing me what it looks like to feel big feelings, begging me to trust her, trusting me more than anyone who’s been through what she’s been through should.

She pulls me in all the time (like the shore pulls the sea I said in my vows), with patience and soft words, wide open arms, quiet spaces and time to breathe. With those eyes and more kindness and gentleness than I’ve ever known she is teaching me all kinds of things – that I can be sad, hurt and weak, fragile, frustrated and sweet (god it’s never been my strong suit before).

She’s taught me that it’s ok to say “I don’t know,” and she teaches me how to be still, something I’ll write about another day, but my God it’s so good to learn. And when I say it’s so good to learn – I mean it’s so good to get healing.

My heart is so much more whole and healed with her (so much so that I’m out of metaphors and I have to say things like, “my heart is so much more whole and healed with her”). But it is the truth. The truthiest truth. She helps me find places inside me I didn’t know were still there, and then she loves them like I didn’t know was possible. I love her more now than I did a year ago, I laugh more than I have in my life, every single color is brighter, and oh my god, I can cry.


shattering perfection

One thing in all of this that was really surprising was people’s reactions to the news that Michael and I were getting divorced. I don’t think either of us ever saw it coming…we figured they would all just kind of breathe a sigh of relief along with us, be sad for a little while, and then move on. We were really wrong. People were shocked. Some people threw what amounted to adult temper tantrums. People whispered behind our backs (I’m sure some of them are still whispering). A few even got personally offended and tried to save our marriage for us, as if we hadn’t been desperately trying to do just that for years. Not many people had what I would consider a “normal” reaction…offering support and trusting us to know what the right decision was for our family.

I posted this on Facebook a few months ago, but I think it’s worth repeating:

Here’s a thing that happens when you have trauma and upheaval in your family: a lot of people scatter. And I guess I get it…it’s easier to be around happy people and a lot harder to be around people who need help. But when you’re the person (or the couple, or the family) who needs help…when you’re reaching out to your friends and family and telling them that things aren’t good, that you need help or to talk or to cry or whatever, and they start to distance themselves from you it multiplies all the hurt and uncertainty and loneliness.

I spent years reaching out, and finally gave up. So we put on happy faces and smiled when we were with our friends, because when we didn’t smile – when we acknowledged the hard stuff or tried to ask for help – we were met with uncomfortable silence or empty reassurances that “everything will be fine.” We both knew that things weren’t going to be fine, but it’s a scary road to navigate, made even scarier when your friends and family are suddenly absent.

We all get to make our own choices about the way we engage with people, and people are always going to make choices that you disagree with or wouldn’t make for yourself or your family, but please don’t desert them; they are still the same people who you have shared your life with, laughed with, and maybe even cried with. And they need you. They don’t need you to necessarily agree with their choices, but they do need to be heard, and they could probably use some reassurance or maybe even a hug. And don’t we all deserve at least that much?

I’m so grateful for the people who listened to me and heard me when things were hard, and for the people who have loved me and been there and are getting to see the goodness. And for the people who have loved my kids, included them, checked on them, and celebrated them…thank you seems too small.

We belong to each other.

Life is hard under the most ideal circumstances. Let’s be gentle with each other and trust each other. I can tell you from experience that some of the seemingly happiest marriages are just two people who are scared and stuck and trying to do the best they can. If there is a choice they can make to be less scared and free and happy, shouldn’t they get to make that choice without judgement…even if it’s a choice you wouldn’t make for your family? After all, we’re all just doing the best we can…for ourselves, for our kids, and for the people who love us.

There will always be people who agree with your choices and people who disagree. Maybe it’s because I’m 38, maybe it’s because I’m so happy that I just don’t care anymore, but I cannot he bothered with trying to help other people be okay with choices I have made or will make. I’m just gonna be over here dancing with my girls and loving every single second of this life that is so good it takes my breath away every single day.
Xoxo, k


from our little red journal…because today is a lazy sunday with kids playing in random groups all over the house: some reading, some x-boxing, faint chords from a mandolin making their way downstairs, bursts of laughter, siblings bonding, extra cups of coffee, and two momma hearts so full that they might just explode.


piece by piece

There’s been a voice inside me since I can remember that told me love could be healing. That it should be. That it was possible to love somebody in a way and let them love you in a way, with all the courage and hope and vulnerability you both could muster, so that all the big and little ways you’d been hurt and used would be mended and whole. You’d think after a lifetime of earnestly testing this theory, I’d have given up. (And I guess I kind of did over the last couple of years; I settled for just surviving in an abusive marriage.)
But then she came along (well she came along ten years ago, actually). But then she came along again March 23rd of last year. I keep stumbling through this story over and over because I still can’t quite make it make sense – but I opened the door for our second girls’ weekend in ten years, and Kara stood there looking like bright sunrise on a crisp autumn day and everything in me knew all of a sudden all over again that it was true…that love can and should free up every locked up part of you, take all the broken parts piece by piece and make you whole, straighten your forever bent shoulders and help you learn how to cry again, that tears can matter, that you don’t have to work so hard to earn it, and stillness is more than okay.
These truths saved my life so many times and I let them slip away when the last person I love tried to destroy me over and over.
She brought them back and so much more, and my heart my heart my heart…


first kiss


“We should take pictures of us kissing each other” she said, the other friend who was with us that weekend. We were all having tough years, two of our marriages falling apart, all kind of a mess and in need of a little solidarity and respite, so we went to the beach for a girls weekend.  We’d decided to take some fun photos on the beach and in our little air bnb, for our husbands, for ourselves. Why shouldn’t moms in their mid-thirties get to feel a little wild and free and beautiful after all?

Kara had Walked in the Door and flipped our worlds upside down a few days before but we’d been dancing around all those feelings. And then our friend suggested it’d be cute if the three of us, feeling empowered and adorable and sexy as we did, in front of the camera in our undies, as a joke, kissed. Sure, we said, why not, whatever.

But then that thing we’d been avoiding thinking about or feeling for two days became abundantly clear and completely unavoidable. We both took nonchalant photos giving our friend a cute little peck on the lips for the camera, looked at them and laughed, they were pretty freaking adorable. And then it was our turn, she held the camera and directed us. It took us three tries, we were so nervous and timid and awkward.  And then we kissed. Just a silly peck for a silly photo. Our lips barely brushed, I couldn’t even face her when we did, but man did my whole head fill with dizziness and wonder.

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It was certainly the end of denying or avoiding the “there you are!” our hearts had begged us to hear when I opened the door for her that Thursday afternoon. We danced that night, all night really, at a little beer garden on Kure Beach. My hands found their home around her waist, and everything in me lit on fire when she threw her head back with the brightest, truest smile I’d ever seen.

Never ever ever had I known love could be like that, so honest and warm and full of joy. And then in the time it took a lens to click, we did. And in case you haven’t noticed, we never looked back.

every single day forever.

This life. It’s wonderful and amazing and beautiful, freeing and healing and empowering. It’s more than I ever thought I deserved. And sometimes it’s hard, too. There’s a really isolating thing that happens with social media, especially if you’re having a hard day or a hard week or struggling with hard decisions; it looks and feels like you’re the only one, like everybody else is living magical lives full of smiles and sunshine and laughter.

I felt that so intensely when my marriage was falling apart…like I was the only idiot in the world who couldn’t manage to be happily married. The truth was, I wasn’t alone. When I finally posted about our divorce, the messages rolled in. I was shocked and so grateful to know that it wasn’t just me, that there were other women in the same or similar positions. I guess I offer these words to say, if you’re feeling isolated or sad or like a failure, you’re not alone. We all have hard days. Sometimes they stretch into hard weeks or months or even years. And that’s okay. It’s okay for things to not be perfect every second of every day, because the hard days just make the good ones that much sweeter.

One thing I know: I’ll take every single day of this life with her, the hard ones, the easy ones, the ones full of tears and the ones full of joy. Every. Single. Day. Forever.

 xoxo, k