Mid-Summer Green

This long, treacherous winter has me longing to skip spring altogether and jump into the warmth of a lazy mid-summer day.  I’ve been dreaming of green – not scattered shoots of crocuses or the chartreuse of emerging leaves, but vibrant swaths of treetop and grass so lush that it begs for bare feet.  Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley: In Search of America, “What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”  I predict this will be our sweetest summer yet.

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It’s Been Quite a Ride

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

I am ready to close the proverbial door on 2012.  Anyone with me?  It has been a year of great highs and lows both personally and globally, but glass half-full kind of girl that I am, I prefer to reflect on the moments worth celebrating.

One of the highlights of my year was launching this tiny little blog in January.  Talk about a learning curve!  Starting with the retelling of a crazy adventure that was too good to keep to myself, I dove head first into the blogosphere intending to share my, well, my love of life I suppose.  I leave the year much more tech savvy than I entered it and with a clearer sense of where I want the blog to go.  The new format (which I hope you have noticed today!) is part of that focus, and I look forward to bringing you more original images and content that take advantage of this clean, wide, streamlined layout.

my dressing room

February brought what continues to be my most widely read post.  From India to Indiana, it seems women everywhere are still searching for the perfect nude pump.

sleeping sails

Beautiful and unexpected weather visited Chicago in March, bringing runners and revelers to Lake Michigan months early.

 upside down chick

A visit to The Museum of Science and Industry on the last Saturday in April taught our family  a lesson about Perseverance.

mom

In May I counted celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom as one of my greatest blessings.

mini carrot cakes

I also leaked her closely guarded carrot cake recipe.

sharpie triathlon tattoo hugs

Ah, June.  My first triathlon was a great high and horrible low all at once, and because of that I walked away with tremendous gratitude.  And exhaustion.  Thank goodness my little sister sharpied our  favorite expression on my arm before the race because I almost sank  and think it may have saved me!

alligator

sea turtle

A trip to Kiawah Island in July brought us close to creatures big and small.  Witnessing the journey from shell to sea for a group of loggerhead turtles is something I will never forget.

Lucy Vincent Beach

fishing

fishing nets

the bare essentials

Martha’s Vineyard in August was the best part of summer.  Exploring Lucy Vincent Beach, fishing with Captain Tom Langman, and wandering Menemsha were highlights of the vacation.

acorns

September brought autumn’s arrival.

apple picking

And October, a trip to the apple orchard in Wisconsin.

birthday

And my 40th.  Yes I’m fussing with my candles.

The Sartorialist

Fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist came to Chicago for a book signing in November.

peppermint bark

ginger cookies

Cookies and chocolate were all over December – just ask my poor neglected bathroom scale. Which brings us to the New Year.  Resolutions or no resolutions?  I’m already working on my list….

All images via the aesthete and the dilettante

Sea Turtle Sunrise

Today is our family’s last day on Kiawah Island.  We rose early to see the sunrise and search for shells but what we discovered was much more thrilling.  A group of Loggerhead sea turtles had just hatched and were emerging from their nest.  No bigger than a half-dollar, these tiny creatures were making their way to the ocean to begin what could be a 50-65 year life span.

Kiawah Island volunteers protect and carefully monitor the nests of the Loggerheads which have been on the threatened species list since 1978.  As a group of us gathered around the nest, the turtle patrol asked us to make a human path to the ocean so the babies would stay on track and not be snatched by hovering seagulls.  What a joy it was to see them make the first leg of their journey!  If they make it to adulthood, these sea turtles will grow to 3 feet, weigh an astounding 250-350 pounds and travel (sometimes thousands of miles!) back to this site to lay their own eggs.

Off he goes into the wide, wide world!

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Postcard from Kiawah

Greetings from Kiawah Island, South Carolina!  Our family arrived on Saturday afternoon as part of a 24-person entourage (fourteen adults and ten children!) for my brother-in-law’s surprise 40th birthday party.  And yes, he was genuinely surprised and thrilled.  What a coup!

Sun drenched beach days are melding into barbecue nights with nature walks, kayaking, tennis, golf, and cocktails-of-the-week filling the spaces in between.  I snapped the above photo of the spectacular Kiawah River marshland during our lowcountry oyster roast and barbecue.  It does not get much more beautiful than this.

photo via the aesthete and the dilettante