We left Wrightsville Beach on Friday morning and headed northeast a couple hours to visit friends in New Bern. They live on a creek, and it so resembles the bayou on which my parents live that I nearly gasped in familiarity. Isn't this beautiful? There is even Spanish moss, boatloads of it, like in LA. 

We paddleboarded, kayaked, picked blueberries, experienced a walk-up only Dairy Queen for the first time, swam, talked, laughed, and caught most of the continuation of the INCREDIBLE Djokovic-Querrey matchup at Wimbledon. Seriously, did y'all see that game? Holy smokes!

This morning, we packed up again, but this time to head home. 

There is something so liberating about being elsewhere, about shedding the daily to-dos of regular life. But after a while, I always start feeling a bit unmoored and itching to soon throw my ropes around the cleats on home's dock. We pulled in this afternoon just as everyone started to dissolve in car-bound craziness. Long road trips really test the love, you know?

Tom hauled ass inside, changed his clothes, put in his ear buds and raced to isolating zen of the lawn mower's loud engine. I checked on my garden -new leaves on both blackberry bushes! tomatoes! squash! OKRA BLOSSOMS!- and then hauled ass to the market, the words "No, I will not buy a storm trooper costume. Make your own!" trailing from my mouth as the boys begged.

I returned home to this masterpiece, a delightful repurposing of ninja wear, old Tae Kwon Do gear, a Rebel pilot bib, and the storm trooper mask we already owned.

See kids? I knew you could do it! That is not, by the way, a diaper!

Tomorrow, Jack turns 10, and somewhat to his dismay, I am sending the boys to day 1 of camp. We have celebrated J three times already, and really, this mama needs a day off. Tom promised to assist with additional costume making tomorrow afternoon, and I offered a (yet another) blackberry pie.

Double digits for my firstborn! I remember his birth with total clarity, not least because even though my contractions started at just minutes apart, I plugged in my curling iron and fully planned to style my hair before my mother intervened and, wisely, told me to get in the freaking car instead. 

happy Jack at 8.5 months

happy Jack at 8.5 months

I have missed this space and hope to settle back in to my regular routine now. Happy 4th everyone!