18 May

Open letter to Atlanta (yes it’s long)

Oh hey friend,
How’s it going? You know you’re pretty great right? Yeah, I think so too. That’s how you convinced me to stay for the past ten years. (Yes in real people terms I’ve lived here for 8 years but the beauty and hardship of summer stock lets me count those two summers as
10 years.)

I find myself this week filled with ALL of the thoughts. When I moved down here my greatest fear was to be stuck down here. I thought obviously I would be here for 3 years and then move back north.

I was so misguided.

In you, my dear Atlanta, I have found a home. I have found several communities and I have found a tribe. You are my home. You found me broken, confused and searching for something. You helped me grow into me. You are quirky, lovely and sometimes misguided, but I love you in a way that I don’t know how to explain.

It’s been ten years and I’m still worried about being stuck and not living up to my potential. But it’s not about you, it’s about me. You are this growing wonderful place that fits me like an elbow length glove.

I am so grateful to be able to walk down the street or walk into Target and run into people that I know. You have taught me so much about myself that I would never have learned if it wasn’t for you. I am so grateful that every time I leave you I still want to come back. I am so grateful for every person I have met and become friends. I’m grateful to be southern. All of this has made this journey complete.

Atlanta you are a beautiful, quirky, brilliant city and I am so thankful to be part of you.


You Matter.

12 Sep

I’m grateful.

20 Dec


I’m grateful I can call my mom and grandma anytime of day and they will listen even if I don’t need them to say anything in return.

I’m grateful for Mary Louton will go down the rabbit hole of WebMD with me anytime of day and make me go to the doctor.

I’m grateful for my best friends.

I’m grateful for my family.

I’m grateful for very specific people who just might get a thank you note.

I’m grateful to have found this beautiful band family who truly is my family in every sense of the world. I’m proud and grateful to be an Abominable.

I’m grateful to have learned from the incomparable Dave Stauss who taught me the ways of Seed and Feed, who boosted my confidence, who taught me how to play bass drum again, who words cannot describe how much he changed my life.

I’m grateful that Cheryl, Drew, Julie, Amelia, Kiki, Bill, Jenny and everyone else of the Stauss family shared Dave with all of us. I’m grateful to have been able to spend today with them even if it was for a short period of time. My heart is so full of love and grief for them.

Grateful isn’t the right word my heart is also full of love and grief for Adam Pinney and his amazing wife Amanda.

I’m grateful this beautiful support system I have found from people I see every day to people I talk to once a year. I’m so lucky to be able to share in the successes, failures, joys and sadness in the your life.

I’m grateful to be able to have so much love and have so many people have such a meaningful impact no my life.

I’m grateful for kickball and movie night.

I’m grateful I can look back at who and where I was a year ago and realize how much I have grown, matured and become the person I want to be.

I’m grateful that my primary care doctor looked at me three years ago and actually spent an hour of her time talking to me and figuring out what was wrong both physically and emotionally.

I’m grateful I didn’t land on my left side.

I’m grateful to work in a job I love with people who support me.

I’m grateful for the staff and volunteers at Dad’s Garage for helping me figure out how to survive shows in three different locations even when my brain wanted to explode.

I’m grateful for everything that has happened in my past.

I’m grateful for adventures.

I’m grateful Kroger is open 24 hours and my night will end with ice cream and a hot bath but no tears.

I’m grateful I have so many things to be grateful for that I can’t even list them all.

I’m grateful to have so much love in my heart for this life.

I’m grateful to call Atlanta home.

I’m grateful for you.

Thank you letting me be part of your world.

An Open Letter To My Mama

4 Nov

You may not know this about my mother but she’s a ridiculously talented jewelry maker. My grandma, mama, uncle and sister discovered beading when I was in high school.  They got so good they started businesses and developed such a love.

251823_4144246407278_152571060_nFancy right?!  Yeah my mama made it.

522671_3847764355412_113827193_nIt’s all woven beads! Craziness!

This love of beads quickly became a constant in our lives.  Whenever we would go anywhere – trips, Walmart, school shopping; we would always have to stop at bead shop or craft store.  My mom would spend hours figuring out exactly which beads she would get.  No matter what my sister Mary and I would tease her so much about this habit.   So Mom, this is now my public apology for picking on you so many times.  I now understand.

303093_2514012772456_1078060787_nMy sisters and our incredible mama on Mary’s wedding day.

See, my mom has always been one of my best friends and our friendship became even deeper in high school for so many reasons.  She and my grandma taught me how to cook, how to sew, and encouraged me in all aspects of my life.  Everyday I realize more and more I’m turning to all of the best aspects of them.  It’s exciting every time I realize this.  Now after trying to resist it – I’ve discovered a love for beading.

When I was home last my grandma and mom taught me how to knot pearls.  Pearls are truly one of my favorite things in the world and all too often they break and need to be restrung.  Last night I completed my first necklace all on my own.

1454802_920532318951_225591173_nI’m getting pretty good at this game.

Today I went on an adventure to Michaels.  It took me an hour to figure out everything I wanted to purchase.  I finally understood this joy my mama felt whenever she went to a bead store.  It was so much fun.  I couldn’t figure out everything  I wanted to purchase and the more I wandered the more I thought of things I wanted to make.  I truly am my mother’s daughter.

DSC_0003So many fun new toys

So, to my dearest mama – I love you.  thank you for teaching me so many things.  Including a new found love for beads.
Also – I’m sorry for making fun of you in bead stores.  I can’t wait to go to one with you soon.

It’s Time To….

31 Oct


Regrets, Love, and Loss

26 Sep

“…we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know, it was the best.” – Doctor Who

(Laura Halad, Sterling, Michael Halad, Sharon Solomon, Stacey Colosa Lucas.  GS Alumni Picnic 2010)

Yesterday a dear man who I am truly grateful to have known passed away from cancer.  Michael Halad was one of those rare truly good people in this world.  He was kind, charming, generous and totally and completely genuine.  He was the type of man whose love for his wife and daughter showed above all else.  He was a kind mentor and a patient teacher.  After over a decade of teaching at the Lovett School he taught countless students including one of my close friend shaping her into the person she has become.  Words cannot describe the giant hole that has been formed in this world with his passing.

Last year the world lost another great man named Vincenzo Tortorici.   Vincenzo Tortorici was a tremendous force of good and positivity in this world.  He was a genuinely good man who impacted this community more than he ever knew.

(Me, Vincenzo Tortorici, Erin Canfield. Amuse’um 2012)

Both of these men are men whose presence made me want to be a better person.  They made me want to grow, be kinder, more loving and better than I am.  Both Mike and Vincenzo were men I always wanted to know better.  The last time I truly talked to both of them was on the same night.  It was the Amuse’um the gala for Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta in 2012.  Mike’s incredible wife Laura ran Amuse’um and I have been lucky to volunteer for her in the past.  I got to spend time with them there and it was beautiful.  Being busy shouldn’t have been an excuse to not to get to know these amazing men.

My biggest regret will always be that I didn’t take the time to tell them how I much I respected and admired them.  I should have taken that moment.  My thoughts are constantly thinking of the Halad’s and their close family and friends.

When Vincenzo passed away, the beautiful and amazing Suehyla El-Attar wrote this

“If you want to tell someone you love or admire or respect or all 3 (because that doesn’t always happen)…to tell them now. Now. Don’t wait. If you think someone looks beautiful today, tell them. If you can do something wonderful kind for someone today, do it. If you can thank someone for something we weren’t even aware they provided you…thank them. If you can start a new friendship with someone you’ve always wanted to know… try. Don’t wait. Most importantly, don’t keep this in mind for just today, or the next few weeks… keep the practice with you always. Loss sometimes has a way of apexing with care and awareness in the beginning, then we slip into old habits. Constant vigilance of love is not a bad problem.”

Life is more than just an adventure.  Life is about connections and telling people how you truly feel without worry of judgement.

I want to live the kind of life full of positivity, openness, generosity and love that Mike and Vincenzo lived.  It is in their memories I will try my damnedest to do so.

Rest in Peace Mike.  Thank you for being a truly incredible man.


19 Sep

“I believe if you call the wrong number, you should talk for a while. They might be more interesting than who you meant to dial.” – Alix Olson