a december day (in georgia.)

I grew up with pecan trees in Oklahoma, picking them from the backyards of several different houses where I lived. It was just standard on a fall day to take a long, slow, walk - picking and eating as you went. On farmland in Southern Georgia though, the pecan groves stretch on, and on, and on. I love their perfect rows, the shape that the pecan shells make hanging open on each branch, silhouetted against the sunset, and the damp earth where the fallen lay, waiting to be cracked open. I have a huge bag sitting in my kitchen from this day, longing to be shelled and baked into something sweet. Although I doubt many make it into a recipe. It's more likely they will first make it into my mouth.  


There's not a doubt in my mind that my dog loves me, a lot. But there's also no doubt that I have been tremendously boring to her lately. That's why I'm glad we have no yard. Yes, that's right, I'm glad. When I found this out about my new house, it was the only letdown. But, in reality it has somewhat saved my sanity. It forces me to walk her all the time, which forces me to step away and get some much needed fresh air, day or night. My favorite walk this week was at midnight in the dumping snow. I slipped and fell in the middle of the icy covered road and as my butt hit the cold, hard ground I burst into laughter immediately. It echoed in the silence of winter. Here we were, Daphnie and I, living life. Boring or not, falling or laughing (or both, simultaneously.)


in good hands.

The day before I left Florida I walked to the beach and as I reached the edge of the water, I cried.

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that. I mean, what a sap, right? But, it's true. I stood there and sobbed for a few moments. I curled my toes into the soft, warm sand and watched as the waves lapped, swallowing everything underneath them in one big crash. It was beautiful. But this isn't the only reason I stood there like a fool looking sad. No, it wasn't just that.

It was because it's hard to say goodbye, especially to something that you had shared so much of yourself with for 6 months of your life. A deep, mysterious swirling void that was both a comfort, a source of inspiration, and an escape - that's what the ocean was for me. A confidant. A place that seemed to know,... you know? And a place that was constant. The tide came in, the tide went out. The waves never stopped moving toward the shore. The smell, the way the salt dried on your skin, the way each sunset literally took your breath away, no matter how grand. For all the times I felt so lost, discombobulated, and without a sense of "home", the ocean was a constant place of reassurance.

So sure, I cried, but understandably so. I knew in the weeks ahead of me I'd find similar comfort in the open road, the southern sky, and the snowy mountains of the west. But I left a part of me there that day on the beach. And you know what? That's alright with me. I know it's in good hands.



Dance with me.
The Oklahoma sky is our dance floor, and all we've ever known as home. Dance with me in the waning light of evening, on the edge of a new year. Dance with me in December like it's a summer night, hot and sticky, quiet, except for the hum of locusts buzzing in the trees. Quiet except for the swishing of my dress and the soft beat of my heart. Dance with me. This sky, our dance floor and the sunset,
        our song.

{More of this sweet couple coming very soon!}


day and night.

  More from this absolutely fantastic wedding, soon!           


I spent Christmas day on a farm in Georgia with friend's of my mom's. I wasn't sure what to expect as we drove the back country roads to their one-room, very rustic house. I'd heard stories in the days leading up to Christmas that I was in for a unique experience. Unique meant a wood stove, farm animals, fiddle playing, fresh goat's milk, baby lambs, an outdoor restroom, pies baked with tiny quail eggs, and a coziness that you usually only feel in the comfort of your own home, not with people you've just met. But within minutes of being there I was sitting on the kitchen floor feeding a bottle to a baby lamb. The warmth from the huge wood stove in that tiny room was nothing compared to the friendliness coming from the other ten people around me. There was a table covered in at least five pies, baked fresh that morning from blueberries and pecans picked on their land. After dinner I received a long tour from one of the daughters, showing me the goats, lambs, quail, ducks, and three tents of rabbits at all stages of life. It was cold, raining, and the sun was quickly going down, but I couldn't stop smiling. In my rain jacket and rubber boots I could of stayed outside all night, pretending for the evening to be a farm girl and hold baby rabbits that were just hours old. We ended the evening with hot coffee and pie, carols played by fiddle, conversation, pecan shelling, and one more bottle feeding to Lamby, the baby lamb. It didn't feel like Christmas. There were no presents to unwrap, and no tree to unwrap them under. There wasn't wassail simmering on the stove, or games. But there was warmth and there was music and, most of all, there was togetherness.


take a sip.

On a Sunday in early December I went for a sail. Also on that boat was a cute, blonde six-year-old girl full of gumption. (Don't you just love that word?) Between giggles and silly six-year-old questions, like "What if the ocean was made of chocolate?!?", she announced that we all stop and take a drink of the air. So we did. She said, "It taste so good!"

I've always, always wanted to go sailing. I guess if I had a bucket list, it would have been on it. And that Sunday in December met all of my hopeful ideals for sailing. And the dolphins we saw? They were just icing on the cake. But of ALL the things I took away from that day, I remembered what Hana, the six-year-old, said the most. To stop, and not only take a deep breath, but drink it in. Really, really taste it.

I've thought of this many times since then. If only Hana knew that such a simple statement would make such an impact on me. Often over the last couple of months I will randomly stop and take a few deep breaths. One to make me slow down, another to pay attention, and the last one, a drink. A big sip. A lungful of everything present in that moment.


I love my iphone. Even more so, I love instagram. So much so that for the last couple of months I've rarely picked up my camera to take personal pictures of everyday life. It's a shame, because I can feel it creating a disconnect between the two of us (and by "us" I mean me and Tilda, my Canon 5D mk II.) It's a combination of things really. The iphone is almost always with me, instagram allows me to edit the photos right away, and therefore creates immediate gratification. It's so fun! Sometimes when I crawl into bed I pull up all 336 instagram photos I've taken since July and scroll through them all, looking back through my life in small moments. It's a picture journal. But then again that's what this blog used to be on Sundays. So, as excited as I am about iphone photography, I am sorry to you (my loving readers), to Tilda (my patient camera), to my blog (it's been so neglected!), and most importantly to myself, for being lazy and too busy to blog and push my creative limits lately. Let's just say my excuse is that the last 2 1/2 months have been INSANE. I've slept on 9 different beds, couches, and floors in 7 different states. I lived out of a suitcase since November 20th until this week. I put well over 2,000 miles on my car and saw a lot of the people that mean the most in my life. My computer was in a box a lot of that time, and my camera mostly taken out only when it had to be. It's been rough, but I'm so proud of myself for getting through it. And I'm so happy to have these cute little instagram photos to look back through and share with you on this lovely Sunday morning.

Follow me on instagram under the name: haileylyn :)