Bottle this up.

Sometimes I think it would be fun to be one of those poised bloggers, one of those well curated spaces around the internet composed entirely of muted color palettes and carefully crafted posts. Sometimes I want to aspire to that glossy finish, that polished perfection.

But other times, I just want to share weekend recaps full of poor quality iphone photos, and then I feel really thankful that this space is just hodgepodgy enough for that.

And so, here is last Saturday, which was partially wonderful because I DID NOT lug around the big camera. That would have resulted in a way prettier blog post, but a way less enjoyable day. You’re welcome in advance for the resulting selfies.

We (read: me) really wanted to squeeze in a beach day-trip before summer came to an end. We toyed with going back to Dewey Beach, or maybe hitting up the Chesapeake beaches, but when the Washingtonian did an article about the best small towns within a couple hours of DC, the decision was easy: we were heading to Lewes, Delaware. Because if I was to have an epitaph, Greek epic style, it might just be “Hannah, who always did exactly what the Washingtonian told her to do.” Seriously though, it has [almost] never steered me wrong. We invited some friends to meet us at the beach, and we set out early Saturday morning for a day of road-tripping and beach relaxation.

Above you see roadtrip essentials: sleeping husband, matching shades, and Chick-Fil-A mini chicken biscuits.

We rolled into Lewes mid-morning, and I instantly knew that it was my kind of town because we were greeted with this cheery house:I’m pretty sure that it is inhabited by either a fairy godmother, or a wicked witch disguised as an elderly woman. I am ok with either.The beach itself was not quite as nice as we had hoped, as Lewes is on the bay side of a little jetty of land that separates it from Rehoboth and the ocean, but as a child of a landlocked state, my beach standards are low. There was sun, sand, water,…and beach snacks. Boom. Purchased entirely for its snazzy packaging, and I laid down and held it up awkwardly against the sky for this snap, just so you fine readers could appreciate the lavender and blue contrast. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

We spent the day with our friends Susannah, Josue, and their little girl Elise, who was a true beach champ despite her initial distaste for sand and the ocean. These negative sentiments are shared by my loyal landlover husband James, whose Italian beach experience this summer has officially ruined him for all other beaches. Together, he and Elise conquered their fears, going so far as to play in the sand and even enjoy some dips in the ocean. Elise finally fell asleep mid-ocean play, and if that isn’t the cutest thing, than I just don’t know what is.

After sufficiently burning our pasty selves, examining two dead jellyfish, and walking far enough down the beach to confirm that no, we can’t walk to the ocean part of the beach from where we were, we got to the REAL main event of a beach trip: Beach food.

Y’ALL. This ice cream stand might be the best ice cream I’ve ever had. That thing I’m selfie-ing with? It’s a frozen key lime pie slice dipped in chocolate. Glory. Plus, the stand had an amazing teal door, and our awkward portrait game was strong:Aren’t you so glad we have the internet so you can see important things like that? I really did dig around in my hardrive to try to find a picture of us in the identical pose from middle school (spoiler: Suze had head gear), but alas, you are spared because I can’t find one.After food, we celebrated with… more food. Seriously people- Lewes is a foodie paradise. We had great coffee, tasty salads and pizza, and walked all over that cute little town. We even managed to squeeze in a quick game of cards in between little Elise begging to take selfies like a pint-sized teenage tyrant.

The night ended with a perfect sunset and one last walk down the beach, before we parted ways and James and I drove home to the tune of a “Food News” podcast binge and a shameful late-night Burger King stop. I wish I could find a way to bottle up this weekend, to save it in glass jars to pour out when the winter months come. I wish that I could hold onto that feeling of skin tinged pink and ice cream dripping down my hand and splatting on hot asphalt. I wish I could save this weekend to wrap around me when cold months, when busy months, when exhausting months come this fall.

But if I was being really honest, I would have to admit that I wish I could save it even beyond that too. I want it to comfort me not just in this winter, but in all the ones to come, all the ones where life is so much more complicated, so much harder, so much messier than it is now.

It’s not that I don’t want the messy and the hard to come — I do. Every time that I go running, I hit Lincoln Park to do laps in the shade and I feel the tension. I run quickly on the grass path, while the brigade of moms with strollers runs one foot below me on the sidewalk. And even though I know all the logical reasons that have me running on that path, all the choices we have made, choices I stand by and support, it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes I want to be there, with babies and strollers and messy, hard commitments.  I want all the things that make carefree beach weekends more difficult to pull off.

But then again, I know that someday when I am on that sidewalk, pushing strollers and planning naptimes, taking care of a real house, settled in a career — I will watch the runners go by on the path and I know, I am positive, that I will miss it. I will feel a new tension, a tension of loving all that makes life so messy and hard and also missing those days when it felt easy. I know that I will miss what it felt to run on the path and glance back at the moms and their strollers, what it meant to be able to wake up and be heading to the beach 20 minutes later.

And so, I want to bottle up carefree beach weekends for those times too, whenever they come. I want to save these late summer days in all their fresh ease for the days when they seem like just a rose-tinted memory of easy living and simple joys. with hb1 preset

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13 Responses to Bottle this up.

  1. Thank you for posting about the “messiness of life”…a truly beautiful post! May you cherish each and every memory here for every day of your life!

  2. Ashley Marie says:

    Chocolate-dipped key lime pie?!? Haha I love it, I mean, I would love it if I ever had it. 😉 Y’all were rockin the selfies. Super cute! I especially love the CFA one. I like that you switch it up between “professional” and “phone” pictures on your blog. Life doesn’t conform to one expression all the time, so why should the photos? And I feel the exact same tension between carefree and kids. Nicely worded.

  3. sheahbartlett says:

    I relate to your final three paragraphs so much! (Especially since my own spouse and I recently returned home from a carefree beach weekend.) There is a delicate and beautiful balance between wanting the complicated and carefree, and the trade-off for each.

  4. Your photos are beautiful nonetheless. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Thankful Thursday – Camera Flaws | Adjustments to Normal

  6. angie stone says:

    I am so glad that you and James are taking advantage of this stage of life! There are wonderful delights ahead of you in all the upcoming stages.

  7. kmbrunner16 says:

    Your blog posts encourage me, make me think, and the majority of the time have me laughing. I get all excited when you have a new post. Thanks for being real, a Jesus lover, and hilarious. And just fyi I kinda want to be best friends…is that weird????? I think it is, but it’s not meant to be! bahahaha lol

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