Charlotte Valentine's Day kids shoot

February 2023 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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The shortest month of the year, February felt even shorter to us as we were in the middle of the Pacific for two weeks of it. I turned 40 on Feb. 23, so we cashed in a stash of credit card points to go to Hawaii for 11 days, and that might have been the best impromptu trip I booked in years.

40th birthday party

SVV also went to California without me for five nights, so I got the house to myself (with four animals closely trailing my every move, of course). In February, I was away 11 nights (16 for SVV), and when we returned, it was party time. March has had us home much more, with plenty of time to catch up on house projects I’ll share all about in the next installment.

Charlotte Valentine's Day kids shoot

The Highs

Hawaii was an absolute dream. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Oahu twice and the Big Island twice, but this was my first time in Maui, and it’s my new favorite island. I’ll have Hawaii planning posts to come, but some highlights were: staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani, snorkeling and paddleboarding with whales, taking a doors-off helicopter over Molokai.

Turtle in Hawaii

My sister and Katy got me good. I had said no surprises, and my sister took that to heart … not! She had 60 of my friends and family drive or fly in for a birthday party at my mom’s house that was epic and so, so fun.

40th Birthday Party

Part of the birthday surprise was my former work wife Ryan coming in from San Francisco. Ryan, Lemon (in from Austin) and Katy all stayed at the Cedar House for the weekend, and it was like our 20s in NYC all over again, only with Netflix marathons and 10pm bedtimes.

Sewanee day trip

Ryan visit

We did a fun shoot for Jack Daniel’s.I always love shooting local, and barrels are just an added bonus! Loved doing headshots and lifestyles shots for Jack’s GM, Melvin Keebler.

Jack Daniel's shoot

I wrote about aging in place for the Washington Post. This is a topic I know far too much about thanks to the struggles we had with my dad.

Washington Post story on aging

The Challenges

My sweet nephew Mac had his tonsils and adenoids out, so that was rough on everyone, particularly his mom. But hopefully he won’t have strep another 12 times this calendar year after getting that hurdle out of the way!

Mac surgery

My Favorites of the Month

Looking for new pop culture recommendations? Here’s what I loved this past month:

Favorite book: A Man Called Ove (you must do the audiobook, narrated by J.K. Simmons!)

Favorite movie: A Man Called Otto (the U.S. film adaptation of the previous book)

Favorite TV show: Your Honor (season 2)

Charlotte Valentine's Day kids shoot

What were your favorite memories, reads, films from February?

  • March 25, 2023

    Love your 40th birthday surprise party!

    • March 30, 2023

      Wasn’t it fun? I get so anxious about surprises usually, but this one was a good one!

  • March 29, 2023

    I finally got Apple TV, so Ted Lasso and Schmigadoon are my recent favorites!

    • March 30, 2023

      Oooh I haven’t watched Schmigadoon yet! I’m waiting for Ted Lasso to be closer to the end so I can binge all of this new season at once =)

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