Posts in "Virginia"
Hello from Virginia
Hello from Virginia | Freckled Italian

Happy Monday! Rob and I landed in Roanoke late on Friday night and have had the best weekend seeing friends and family as so many people came in from out of town for my baby shower on Saturday. Rob and all the guys went to a brewery for the afternoon and I spent the day with my college roommates, some friends from high school, Charlotte friends, in-laws, and friends of my mom--it was so fun having so many different groups all together and totally reminded me of our wedding weekend.

I had so much fun and was so busy hanging out with everyone that I didn't pick up my camera once--luckily I remembered to snap a few photos with my phone before people started leaving.

On Sunday we all met at the Hotel Roanoke for a nice brunch before people started hitting the road. I've never been so tired but so incredibly happy--it meant the world to me to have so many people show up and show us so much love as we get ready to bring this little girl into the world.

Today Rob and I are swinging through Charlottesville on our way to Richmond for a few days. We'll spend most of the week there and then be in Virginia Beach for the weekend to celebrate his cousin's wedding! I'm so glad we were able to take this time away and really get some time to see our friends and family in Virginia. I miss Ender so much but am having such a relaxing time catching up with people. When we get back to California it'll be time to pack up, move to the new place, and get settled, so this little vacation came at the perfect time.

I hope you're all having a great start to your week! I may not post a lot on the blog while I'm away so make sure to catch up on Instagram and/or Snapchat (flynnmd)! 

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The Memories (and Roads) You Forgot About
The Memories (and Roads) You Forgot About

I was running errands a couple weeks ago and stopped by the nail salon down the street from my house for a quick manicure. It was rainy and I was tired, but I needed a sparkly nail color for my trip to Las Vegas. Getting my nails done before a trip or event has been a tradition for longer than I can remember. I know it's a thing for a lot of people, but as I left the salon I realized that I had almost mindlessly rolled into the parking lot, signed in, and later checked "manicure" off my to-do list.

It reminded me of the weird little nail salon next to a Kroger that my mom and I used to go to--before vacations, before I graduated from high school, before any event that had us excited enough to want to prep in some way. As I sat in the salon by myself that day, waiting for gold gel polish dry under the UV light, I realized how far removed our life in California is from the days we used to live all over Virginia, extra-close to our families.

I grew up in Roanoke and met Rob in Farmville even though he had also been in Roanoke for high school, and then we moved to Charlottesville together before he lived in DC and I would drive there on the weekends, getting to know I-81 N like the back of my hand. We traveled 81 and 64 more times than I can count, and through all four seasons, but the one that sticks the most is spring, in the rain--when the air is damp but not muggy yet, and everything is fresh and greener than you remembered it ever could be.

There's a stretch of 280 N that reminds me of those days back east. When we were first moving to California everyone told us how amazing the weather was, and from our own visits we knew, too. It's sunny and mild every day and there are palm trees and cacti in my neighborhood. But this winter has been rainy and grey and occasionally, on a damp highway lined with evergreen-studded mountains, it almost feels like we're back.

So maybe you're driving yourself from the South Bay to a dermatologist appointment in San Francisco on a dreary January afternoon, listening to podcasts and sipping hot water with lemon after a blog meeting and a barre workout. But it could also be the road between Charlottesville and Roanoke on a rainy April morning; the sun coming up over the mountains as you make your way to the coffee shop where you work every day before returning to your small apartment on The Corner to write more of your master's thesis.

I didn't know that winter in California could look and feel like spring in Virginia.

But sometimes, it does.

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On The Equals Record | Seasons Change
In Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Liberty University and just an hour away from my own alma mater, there are always Paneras and Starbucks full of Baptists fresh from Bible Study...zipped snugly into their North Face jackets and so surely into their faith. The leaves have changed color and the air is crisp and chilly and smells like campfires in that grey morning fog and when I am home for Thanksgiving, I pass through on my way to the J.Crew Factory store and even now, I will feel just a little bit jealous of them.

I wrote this short essay about fall and faith for The Equals Record three years ago and I just came across it again this weekend. I'm so thankful for blogging--it's strange and wonderful to have this little snapshot of me in Minneapolis, still thinking about the things I thought about in Charlotte and now California.

And I needed this reminder from my past self: I feel overwhelmed with the possibilities, and grateful that, even when it's hard, I didn't stay in one place forever.

Read the full piece here.

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