If you are really, really, lucky you will have a couple friends who have been there for your whole life. Who you played power rangers with. Who you spent months with in the summer living out of your bathing suits and throwing fishing lines over the side of old pontoon boats. They grew up with you and witnessed your adolescent shenanigans and still love you. They aggressively rooted for college sports with you. And then when everyone had graduated from college and moved onto other adventures, and moved long distances, there was always that phone call, that random text, that email, just checking in. I’m so so grateful to have a couple of these people in my life, and now we’re all “grown up” and either married or about to be married.

Even though we don’t always see each other as much as we might like, when we are together it’s pretty special. Last Summer we found one weekend that worked for all of our schedules. We went camping and made meals over the fire. We passed around bottles of beer and bubbly. We ate snacks on the beach and fell asleep in the sand. I almost got hit in the face with a frisbee - instead I ended up with a welt on my collarbone. We all laughed so hard we cried. We took a kayak out into Lake Michigan and the early Summer water was crystal clear. We watched the sunset and then made our way back to the fire. The best part? We were unplugged. If you only have a couple days out of the year to spend uninterrupted with some of your favorite people, I highly, highly, recommend doing something like this. Find a place where your phones don’t work - it will be great.



This past weekend was my birthday weekend, so - surprise, surprise - my choice was to be outside exploring a new place.  Mike and I went up to Mendocino, CA. with his older brother, Pat, and fiance (also a Courtney).  We camped at Van Damme State Park, explored downtown Mendocino and the Mendocino Headlands, rented wooden outrigger canoes, paddled down Big River, and hit up North Coast Brewing Company.  It was pretty fantastic.

Wilderness is not - and should not be - a past and vanishing force in life. It is, as far as anyone can see into the future in our rapidly changing and uncertain world, an abiding value.
— George Marshall

Mike and I are also working on a short video about the trip, so stay tuned!  Feel free to subscribe!


After only a week back in Michigan, I headed to the east coast for my cousin Pete's wedding.  After the wedding, my family went camping on Assateague Island in Maryland.  Although I think the images look peaceful and calm, they don't do justice to the ridiculous heat we dealt with during our time there!  The heat was so intense and overpowering.  My toenail polish actually began to melt.  I LOVE camping, but even I was getting a little exhausted by our shade-less site.  To distract us from the heat, and because my dad and Uncle Ron need to go fishing everywhere we go, we also learned how to fish for blue crabs using chicken necks.  It ended up being a highlight of the trip, we had a blast.  Thankfully we are all looking back on everything with laughter now... and I am happy that I came away from the experience with pictures I am truly happy with.