May has been one crazy, surreal, unbelievable month. If you told me a year ago that the next time spring rolled around I’d be running a half marathon, shooting my first destination wedding, and booking two years in advance… I would have looked at you like you had escaped from the crazy house. But it’s real… my life has felt like such a dream these past few months… it’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of being at such a crossroads but knowing that no matter which way I choose to go, it’s all going to work out, and I’ll be happy. Finishing up my second to last semester a couple weeks ago was just a reminder of the adventure that’s going to come in 6 months when I graduate from college and I’m free to pursue the life I’ve always dreamt about. What I’m going to miss most about this season of life is the abundance of opportunities to just get away. All the breaks between classes and semesters and not having a full-time job tying me down. I’ve felt such a sense of freedom in being young and carefree that years from now I will KNOW in my heart of hearts that I took full advantage of all the time I was given… enjoying life… soaking up the sun… taking it all in. Last week was one of those times.
My sister Alexa and I left last Sunday to head down to Emerald Isle in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to visit our close family friends, the Kellehers. I’ve been making this trip with my family several times a year since I was 15, and there’s something so special about coming back every year to a place and knowing it’s going to be the same… that the water will be the same shade of blue… the sand will be just as soft between my toes… and the sound will be just as still as it’s ever been. Between all the changes and seasons of my life, this island is still just as beautiful as ever.
This tradition of getting a Bojangles cajun chicken biscuit for lunch has become one of my favorite parts of every trip!
We arrived a little late this year and the sun had just fallen beneath the horizon. In the dimming light and through our tired eyes, we managed to pull up to the wrong house and start unloading the car… and then almost peed our pants laughing when we realized it wasn’t their house as Mike rode by on his bicycle shouting “Wrong house, ladies…”
The Outer Banks is full of little white house, blue shutter towns lined with streets sprawling with shops and ice cream parlors and homemade jewelry boutiques and waterfront walks. Swansboro is just as quaint and quiet as ever.
Beaufort (pronounced BO-fort this side of the border) is another one of these towns!
And the beach is somehow always only a 5 minute drive away…
In our case, the waterfront is only a few steps away as it’s actually in Emily’s backyard. Bogue Sound is always so warm and the water still.
What most people don’t know is that Emerald Isle is where my love for photography really began to take root. For years I’d ask my sister to take pictures of me on the beach, learning how to turn my body in this way or spin that direction for whatever look I was going for that year. I couldn’t leave the beach without sticking to tradition and doing the same thing yet again…