Ready, Set, Camp!

Last weekend, Clay and I celebrated our one year anniversary (!!) which is really crazy to think that a year has already gone by – time is weird and I don’t understand it. 
Crazy. All of that silliness doesn’t feel like a year ago. Clay and I just really want to throw our wedding again every year in celebration. Maybe we’ll actually do that some day, because it was really just the most fun day ever.

Anyways. To celebrate reaching this milestone, we decided that instead of taking a vacation or staying at some fancy hotel we’d rather go play outside and sleep in the woods. We reserved a camping spot at Westmoreland State Park, about and hour and half south of DC and on the banks of the Potomac River. When we arrived, we set up camp in record time (the upside to a small tent!), and decided that since it was already so hot out (90 degress, natch), we’d check out the trail that went down to the beach, because sitting by the water seemed like a good way to cool down a little. When we got to the beach, we discovered the best little coves, and we had one all to ourselves so we scrambled over the rocks for a while, enjoying the view of the river and the Chesapeake Bay. It was really beautiful and the perfect place to spend some time relaxing.  When we headed back to our campsite, we had to climb back up the bluff – which was a great workout (lololol), but it did make for a great picture.Once we got to the top, we decided to find another trail and keep up the hiking for a little while longer. We wound our way back to a lake where we ended up sitting and listening to bird and frog songs for a good half an hour, while watching for turtles. It was the best way to wind down and really take in the natural world.

Typically when we camp, we like to cook over the fire, but since we’re still in the midst of our adventure with RP, we prepped our food before we left home and just kept it in the cooler. However, we did stray from the RP templates a little with dessert, because we feasted on our wedding cake! It was delicious the first time around and a year later? Just as delicious. It kept really well in the freezer! It was really fun to bring ourselves back to our wedding day with that cake – so many good memories, and more added with the celebration of our anniversary.

I’m really excited for so many more years of camping and hiking and building fires and going on adventures with this dude. He’s really just the best.

Here Comes the Sun, Little Darling

Two weeks ago, I was counting down the days until my wedding. Today, I’m sitting back, slowly reclaiming my apartment from the piles of stuff, and enjoying a week of being one half of an old married couple.

In the days leading up to the wedding, I baked and baked and fretted about the weather and baked some more. I had my whole family here, and some of my best friends, and with their help, we were able to put together all the treats, make all the favors, assemble all the supplies, and construct all the bouquets. It was a whirlwind, exhausting week, with a few stressful moments, but by the time Saturday rolled around and our music started, the sun came out and everything was alright.

I won’t bore you with too many details, but I wanted to share some pictures from the day, captured by some of my friends and family. It really was the most perfect.

Photo courtesy Sara Thom Photography

Photo courtesy Sara Thom Photography

I made dat cake. It was yum.

Clay’s face in this is just my favorite.

We Found Love in a Hopeless Place


When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown

I think Petula Clark was on to something – because last weekend, when I was still deep in the dark place, the fiance and I took a quick little jaunt down to Charlottesville, VA (not exactly “downtown”) to spend some time together outside of our normal routine.

It was a short trip, but it was just what we needed.

Between crazy work schedules and travel and extracurricular commitments, finding time to be together and just enjoy each other’s company has been a challenge, because when we are together, we’re usually running errands, or cleaning the house, or hosting our friends for Sunday football, or collapsing on the couch after a long day and zoning out in front of Netflix. And trying to save money for the wedding has meant that we have been keeping things pretty low-key.

So, we planned a weekend away. But what was supposed to be a two-night stay became a “less-than-24-hour excursion” because, wouldn’t you know it, work happened and we needed to get back in time for that. That said, we managed to capitalize on all of our time there and it was just what we needed.


Friday morning, we hopped in the car and drove back country roads to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate just outside of Charlottesville. We spend lunch and the early afternoon there exploring the grounds, enjoying the unseasonably warm sun, and touring Jefferson’s house. Consequently, I think we also managed to get Hamilton songs stuck in everyone’s heads if they were following us on social media.

Following Monticello, we had planned to visit a winery, but we were tired and hungry, and decided that checking in to our hotel sounded like a better plan. Because that involved stopping for snacks and then laying in bed watching tv and napping without any reason to move.

(I know. I vacation hardcore.)

One of the big reasons we wanted to visit Charlottesville is that it is the birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band. Dave was living and working as a bartender in Cville when he formed the group and there are a number of DMB landmarks there. Clay really wanted to see a few of them, so we spent the evening on a DMB mission.

It was important to Clay for us to stop at Leroi Moore’s gravesite – Moore, one of the founding members of the band, passed away in 2008. He, and the band, have meant a lot to Clay over the years, and getting to pay his respects was something Clay had wanted to do for a long time.


Afterwards, we decided we needed a drink and some dinner – and we needed to pour one out for Leroi. Or shoot whiskey. Same thing, right? I thought so. So, we headed to Miller’s Downtown – the bar that Dave Matthews was tending at when he put the band together. Yes, there was fangirling. No, we’re not sorry. The burger and the wings were awesome and downtown Charlottesville is the cutest. They’ve taken a few blocks of the downtown area and closed them to vehicles, so it’s just a pedestrian mall. We walked up and down it after dinner and explored that little corner of the city before retiring to bed.


When you try to get the Miller’s sign and your faces in one picture… with little success.

Saying goodbye to Charlottesville the next morning happened early and cold – but we left feeling rejuvenated and energized and, honestly, more connected. That sounds so sappy, but it’s true and I’m grateful that in the midst of what has been a very uncertain and emotional week, we were able to find time to focus on each other.