back to birmingham

I am finally settled back in after our 9 day vacation to New Orleans and Birmingham.

Flight outWe did so much, I don’t want to bore you with too many details. I also didn’t take many pictures (yes, that’s the sun coming up on our flight out and John mixing music on the airplane,at least I started to!) It’s hard to find time for that when you are busy wrapping your arms around friends and family you havent seen in over a year.

We had such a great time. I had no idea how much I missed Birmingham. I had the chance to run with a few friends while there but one morning I woke up extra early to head out on my own.  I retraced the steps I have run probably thousands of miles over the years. It jogged memories I have held on to –runs of heaving laughter, endless chatter, and what I like to call victory miles, fast and slow, awake and tired, carefree but driven– and some I have repressed — tough injuries, big challenges, unexpected transitions, battles won and lost. I stopped  and took a minute to think about the runner I have become since my 2006 move to the Magic City. And in a brief moment of clarity somewhere in the Birmingham hills last week, I accepted the duality that 1. I am already good enough and 2. there is always room for improvement.

While I truly enjoy this chapter of my life in Portland of newness and adventure, our trip back made me miss my roots and my John on our flighthome. Maybe after being here for five years I will share the same affinity of Birmingham as I do for my new life in Portland. Maybe not. Either way, I can’t stop talking about how blue the skies are in Alabama or how good for my soul it was to go back.

Below are a few photos from our trip. (Disclaimer: I wish I had pictures of the French Quarter, Shovels and Rope playing at Parish, our lazy afternoon at the McAtee’s, welcome home dinner at the Gleysteen’s, catching up with Sam and CL, seeing my mom for the first time, running with Betsy and meeting little John, squeezing Lauren and meeting Luke, me pushing a stroller so I could walk with two mother’s of three (now THAT was a sight), one big family dinner with all the parents, my entirely too brief breakfast with my samebrain/other half, margarita’s with my sweet dad, AW’s christening and lovely brunch…and the list goes on.) These will have to do!

Mardi GrasHappy Mardi Gras!

Trombone Shorty

Trombone Short at Tipitina’s on Sunday night

Lunch with mom

I hadn’t seen this lady in far too long! Lunching with mom in Birmingham.


One last super fun night out with my favorites at Marty’s. We miss you Marty!

John and AW

Uncle John and Alice Wells. She is precious and we felt so privileged to be a part of such a big day.

Already ready for my next trip back to Birmingham,