My August Highlights

August 2023 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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The month of August always seriously stresses me out, as I feel fall looming, meaning winter is just a blink away. I love summer so much—even during those sticky Southern 100-degree days when you want to be anywhere but outside—and I’m trying very hard not to let the dread of the colder months overshadow the now. Still, there were plenty of August highlights where I felt like I was capitalizing on every last minute of summer.

Put what you want
Put what you want

In August, I spent 10 nights away from home, probably the second most-traveled month this year outside of Namibia in the spring. My sister, mom and I also hosted a baby shower for my dear friend Molly, got in a lot of personal training and physical therapy sessions (getting old is hard!), and spent as many pool days with my lifelong friend Diana as I could.

Molly's baby shower

September will prove to be even busier, but that’s a post for a few weeks from now.

Disney virtual 5K

Photo of our cute neighbor’s son using our house as a stop on the virtual 5K she put on for her kids.

The Highs

We spent a week in Northern Kentucky, then Cincinnati. SVV and I were working on a bourbon project for the Northern Kentucky CVB, and then Mom flew up and met me for four days at the Cincy Open, a WTA 1000 event. We got to see all of our favorites play—Coco Gauff, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Ben Shelton, Chris Eubanks, Taylor Townsend, Alycia Parks, Novak, Carlos Alcaraz—and many, many more. We also booked our flights and hotels for Roland Garros in Paris (aka the French Open) next May!

Cincy Open tennis tournament

Cincy Open tennis tournament
Cincy Open tennis tournament
Cincy Open tennis tournament

Cincy Open tennis tournament

Charlotte started kindergarten! I’m still not OK with how grown-up she’s become in the nearly two months since then. And she lost TWO teeth almost immediately!

Charlotte starts kindergarten
Charlotte starts kindergarten
Charlotte starts kindergarten

There were a lot of firsts for me this month like first time being hired to photograph a sports team. It turned out to be the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, so hot in fact that TSSAA banned practicing, but I was really happy with how the shots turned out and the girls were troupers.

Professional soccer shoot

Sports photographer

We went to the lake in South Carolina. Our sweet friend Kelly invited us to her parents’ home in Lake Keowee for the week, and it’s a gorgeous area surrounded by mountains that I absolutely fell in love with. I’m angling for an invite back summer, so I sure hope Kelly reads this, ha!

Lake Keowee, South Carolina

I wrote a story on the Natchez Trace Parkway for Garden & Gun.I love when I’m tapped to write about areas I know so well, and this piece definitely falls under that category. I can’t wait to get back to Mississippi again in just a few weeks!

Garden & Gun story on Natchez Trace Parkway

We installed a new mural. And this one came about fast. The fine folks at Beechcraft Heritage Museum in my hometown of Tullahoma emailed me on a Tuesday, and by the following week we were installing a mural in the hangar. SVV prepped the space as usual, and one of our go-to artists Folek came in and made a magical backdrop for the vintage plane art that already hung on the walls.

Beechcraft Heritage Museum mural in Tullahoma

On that note, we also touched up a pair of murals! Nathan Brown’s Landscape of the Heart originally painted four years ago during our Tullahoma mural festival had faded due to being in direct sunlight for four years, so he came back to brighten the colors and apply a water-based UV protectant. A few weeks prior, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery had wrapped up a huge renovation, so Cymone Wilder and Sarah Painter spent a few days repairing the damaged spots on the Miss Wynta-Amor Rogers mural on the side of Marathon Village.

Nathan Brown mural in Tullahoma

I had a few one-off black-and-white sessions. One August client in particular sent me this photo of the portraits I took of his children mounted in his dining room and little makes me happier than seeing my photos in the wild! For those looking to frame photos, I usually order from Framebridge personally, but I also wrote this guide to framing for the Washington Post.

Hanging photos in your home

The Challenges

There were a few challenges this month like a magazine I’ve been a contributor for nearly eight years now shuttering without notice—plus, Qatar Airlines canceled the route we’re flying to Thailand in a few months and didn’t rebook us on another airline, which took about 15 hours of my time to eventually resolve (airlines, am I right? ugh)—but the high notes outweighed the low.

My Favorites of the Month

Favorite book: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Favorite audiobook: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Favorite podcast: Books, Beach, & Beyond by Elin Hilderbrand (again!)

Favorite TV show: Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

What were your August highlights—or favorite memories from the last month of summer? You can read all my past month highlights here.


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