After the Storm

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I am so happy to finally be back home in Wilmington. At the one week mark of our evacuation we got confirmation that our street had power and we heard about a route that opened up. At 5am, with a car full of gas and groceries, we headed home. I guess I thought that the worst was over and once we were back everything would just kind of fall back to normalcy.

That really wasn’t the case. This was the first hurricane I’ve been through and I learned a lot from it. I’m beyond grateful that there was no major damage to our home, but others sadly didn’t fare as well.  It was horrible driving down the streets, seeing how this hurricane wreaked havoc on my town.  Almost every light was out and debris and downed trees were e v e r y w h e r e. Right behind my place, a house was cut in half from a tree falling on it.  No restaurants were open, grocery stores were starting to open, but weren’t stocked because trucks couldn’t get in. If gas stations did have gas, the lines were insane. There were places with no flooding then one street over houses would be under 2ft+ of water. The flooding still hasn’t subsided here and in towns around us.

IMG_0292But there was beauty in seeing an entire community coming together. People helping one another and seeing so many come to our rescue and work insane hours to get our town back to normal as quickly as possible.

On my second day back I took a drive to Wrightsville to search the sand for those giant shells that come up with the Hurricanes. I was happy to see that this place was the same. Some erosion, some damage, but people fighting for it’s beauty.

The people here are resilient and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. #wilmingtonstrong

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Fleeing from Florence

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I took a little break from posting to ride out a busy summer of looking for and buying my first home in Wilmington, NC. A week ago, that purchase was made and I began my move, only to find out a few days later that a Category 4 hurricane was headed right for my coastal town.

On Tuesday, I spent my day desperately packing up the first floor of my apartment that was at high flood risk to move to my new home that had a much lower flood risk and prepared to evacuate. First thing Wednesday morning I packed a suitcase and headed to Winston-Salem with my boyfriend and my pup to ride out Hurricane Florence.

I am thankful. I am thankful that leaving was an option. I’m thankful we found a place that would accept dogs and allow us to extend our stay as long as we needed. I’m thankful that we were already in the process of moving, so most of our stuff is in plastic bins. I’m thankful we’re redoing our floors so the only thing in my home is concrete. We have a lot to be thankful for.

We are safe, we are happy we made the decision to evacuate, but at the same time I feel helpless. It’s been hard to do anything but watch the weather channel 24/7. I hate not knowing the status of our home. We have no idea when we’ll be able to get back and assess any damage. I feel helpless to save my own home and I feel helpless to help out my community. The damage I’ve seen and heard from friends is scary. I’m ready to get back, I’m ready to get to work and put the pieces of this community back together.

Florence was knocked down to a Category 1 and I’m so glad that we didn’t get the initial damage we could have. But nonetheless, this storm was strong and it’s lasted for days. The initial hit Thursday and Friday may not have been as bad as it could have been, but the falling trees and the insane flooding that started Saturday has been relentless.

I’m thankful for the people who stayed, who are already doing such a good job of helping and working tirelessly to get our lives back to normal as soon as possible, and somehow still find the time to update those of us who left.

Please pray for this beautiful place that I call home as they fight through days of this storm and the new damage that happens each day. I can’t wait to go home, to help, and to move on from this. I’m ready for this storm to be over.

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Resources that I’ve found really helpful for consistent updates of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and Carolina Beach:

Instagram: @whatsupwilmington  // Facebook: Wilmington Community Group

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#ilmstrong #wilmingtonstrong

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The Year of Travel

Happy Sunday! It’s officially summer and that means only a few days until my birthday! Since it’s on a Wednesday this year, I’ve decided to commandeer this weekend for celebrating (but if i’m being honest with you + myself, I really commandeer the whole month).

To get over the stress that birthday’s bring I try to set goals for the next year and look back on what I’ve accomplished. Last year was my golden birthday and if you don’t know what that is, it’s when you turn the age of the day you were born, so for me I turned 27 on June 27th. I learned about this when I was about 9 years old and have been looking forward to that birthday ever since.

To live up to my own hype, I decided to deem that birthday “The Year of Travel.” It was my goal to take advantage of weekends and go as many places as I could with only 5 days of vacation time. In total I traveled to 22 states , 18 of those as part of a 9 day cross country road trip, so I like to think I did a pretty good job. Below are just a few highlights from these trips & I can’t wait to share more!

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Yosemite National Park – California
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Zion National Park – Utah
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Grand Canyon Sunrise – Arizona

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Summer Begins

Ahhhh — sweet, sweet summatime has begun & I love it, I live for it. It’s safe to say I’m mostly a homebody in the winter, but the sun just calls to me. There’s nothing more relaxing than a day spent outside.

My problem becomes that I’d rather spend all of my free time outside than do any more work.  I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest causes for anxiety is scheduling appointments. I put so much time into balancing work and free time, that taking care of myself and my health is something I always put on the back-burner. So, when appointments start piling up and I have to schedule them all at once, I put it off as long as possible. But, I know I’ll feel like a weight has been lifted once they’re all on the calendar & today is the day!  I’m scheduling appointments, going through my email & repeating the phrase “one day at time” over and over and over……wish me luck!

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I also have some images to share from a project I did a couple weeks ago. Another sunrise shoot – it’s amazing how different the images look from day to day. This morning had no clouds, which created some really cool smooth, dreamy images. I didn’t have my new Neutral Density filter yet, so my next goal is to get up a little earlier and play with that! I’d love to hear any feedback!

All of these are available as prints on my shop ↠↠↠  and you can email me about pricing for framed images!

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A Time to Blog

Sunrise-wrightsville-beach-rominskiquote-so-it-beginsYears ago I had a blog that I loved. I was consistent and dedicated, but – as the story tends to go – I got a full time job and there wasn’t enough time in the day. I think out of fear that I wouldn’t succeed on my own, I needed (and maybe still need) security and I ended up giving all of myself to someone else’s dream.

You know the story.

Since then, I switched jobs and made a move to the warm, beachy North Carolina Coast. I’m a photographer and my main goal has always been to make a living in this field and I’ve worked very hard to make that happen. I think for me, it’s always felt easier/less stressful to be in a full-time photography position than to freelance. But, while I love what I get to do, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for personal projects.

I decided to begin this blog journey again as a way to hold myself accountable – to get back into consistently making art. I realized I’ve worked for other companies so long that I need to explore my own style & see my visions come to life. I would love to hear any feedback so, please feel free to connect, share stories, & give advice!

Here’s to a new chapter and a place to share new work, ideas, and pieces of my life.

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