Tag Archives: family

The Important Places

13th May 2015

It’s a joke in our family that my grandpa was part gypsy. Never one to stay in one city, one job or stick to one story in a single sitting, Edward Kelly was a man of adventure and of narration. Through his seven children and too many to count grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he most certainly passed along a mix of wonder and disregard for contentment. However, it wasn’t until recently that I had a moment of reflection for his disposition in my own life.

Mr. Kelly and I circa 1990

Mr. Kelly and I circa 1990

For weeks now, I have been on the hunt for the perfect destination for a trip for P and I to take later this year. To call it a case of wanderlust would be a vast understatement. It’s almost as if I’ve convinced myself that the countries of the world will slowly disappear if we don’t choose the correct ones, all in the right order.

P has reminded how silly this sounds on multiple counts and as per usual, I’ve fought it. As if right on cue this week, that gypsy of mine stepped in. Mr. Kelly sent me a series of these moments that my uncle-in-law would call God moments. A single moment where time drags its feet to a halt, clarity rushes inward and you know without a doubt someone is screaming for you to pay close attention, right at this very moment.

Whether it was truly my Grandpa or my brain finally coming to terms with the “calm yourself down” notion, I can’t be sure, but let’s just say I’m a sap for these types of moments when they happen, and I believe that they truly do.

Cue the God moment.

Kelly moment. Moment of clarity. Whatever you feel like calling them for your own personal well being.

This past Thursday night, my brother arrived in town. For those who don’t know, he’s away in Chapel Hill, NC being a super smart astrophysicist. For realsies. I work to discover things on the Internet and he works to discover new solar systems. An even sibling playing field, but I digress. What this boils down to is that we no longer see each other as often as I’d like.

Erik and I likely searching for dinosaur bones

Erik and I likely searching for dinosaur bones, or pre-historic shark teeth

Thursday night, Erik gets to town. P and I fight Atlanta traffic for what seemed like hours to get to my parents’ house for dinner. As we are sitting around the table (four siblings, two parents, one new husband), likely arguing about why Amanda didn’t make her desert sooner and now it’s melting, I noticed a look exchanged between my parents.

A look that took the lust right out of wanderlust, exchanged the a for an o and focused right in on the wonder part.

It was in that quick glance between two people that I understood. The most important places, trips and adventures in the world pale in comparison to the company we keep. That one hit me loud and clear. It was in that moment that I realized, for my parents there was no greater adventure than watching a rare adventure around a dinner table unfold.

These are the important places, because as it turns out, gypsies are more than just nomads. They are a community, a tribe and a connection that forces us to forget that adventure isn’t so much of a place, an action or even a destination.

Adventure is a state of being.

A state of joy, of content, of challenge and of support. An adventure that if we’re lucky enough, we’ll seek out every single day. I needed that reminder this week. Thanks Mr. Kelly.



PS, if you haven’t seen it, please take a moment to watch the short film, The Important Places. It was the icing on the cake and the push I needed to get these thoughts on to digital paper this week.


Five Truths

18th May 2013

While I’m certainly behind on sharing this post, I’m so honored a dear friend of mine, Lauren with Mason Jar Moments, included me in her post for the “Five Truths” Challenge.  And a challenge it was! It took some thinking, but here are my five truths in no particular order:

Truth one: I’ve always been a big bow kinda girl. 

That would be me, giant bow in my hair, too much makeup on my face and my foot behind my head.


I try my very hardest to keep a smile on my face throughout the day, and I guess you could say my “big bow” past has a little to do with that. From middle school through my freshman year of college, I spent my evenings (and Saturdays and Sunday afternoons) being tossed around and knocking out countless triple toe-backs (thanks for that Jamie). Truth be told, I didn’t even own a t-shirt until I got to college. Cheerleading seems to be the perfect metaphor of who I still am today: determined to brighten those around me and a little stubborn when it comes to sticking the landing.


Truth two: I wanted to be a fashion designer. 

As a child, I made my own barbie clothes. I was determined to head to The Parsons New School for Design in NYC and live out my days in a magazine. While I’m certainly far from that aspiration today, I’m still a big fan of anything DIY-able. You’re certain to find my Dad and I in the garage designing something on the weekends. My most recent interest involves anything where I can get my hands on learning how to use a saw.

Truth three: I’m my family’s number one fan.

I’m the oldest of four and couldn’t be more proud of it. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by two wonderful parents, three fantastic siblings and cousins that I can’t even begin to count on two hands (my Dad is one of five children and my Mom is one of seven). The memories you make with the people with whom you share DNA simply cannot be put into words. Experiences like skydiving for the first time with a cousin from Colorado, simply because a “family tradition” of the exercise was started the morning of another’s wedding, become more than just memories and I am beyond blessed to have that.

Truth four: I can’t go to sleep without matching pajamas. 

I have this irrational (or maybe terribly rational) fear that if something were to happen during the night and I had to run outside, I would hate for anyone to catch me in hideous pajamas. It’s silly and slightly embarrassing. There’s nothing more to it than that.

Truth five: There is no better date night than movie night. 

I’m certain my Mom passed along this one to me, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a movie night I didn’t like. Between my family and boyfriend, I make it to the theater at least three times a months and movie theater popcorn + Sour Patch Kids are always worth the splurge. It doesn’t stop there either. I still buy DVDs and if it’s raining and a weekend, my sister and I are probably watching Sweet Home Alabama. TV movies always seem like some special treat that can’t be planned, and the commercials are just part of the fun to get things done in between.

So there you have it, thanks Lauren for inviting me to participate in this one. And now, to pass the challenge along to a few of my favorites: Jessica, Drew, Kelly and Abby, you’re up next.

Irish Blessings and Reminders

17th March 2013

Saint Patrick’s Day (or St. Paddy’s day as it’s known in my house) has always held a special place in my little Irish heart. With a namesake of ‘Dennihy’ and ‘Kelly’, escaping the world of claddaghs, clovers and celebration was never in the cards for me.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to experience the South’s best incarnation of the Irish tradition with a bachelorette weekend in Savannah, Ga. While the river may no longer be dyed green, the city did go all out for the 189th celebration. Dancing, drinks and debauchery ensued (to a very responsible degree mind you ;)) and we left the weekend with a renewed love for a fantastic southern city and plenty of stories to share.


The bride-to-be and myself

The bride-to-be and myself

Beyond the green beer and the shamrocks, I’m also reminded of a few great lessons my Irish heritage has lent me over the years.

Never take life too seriously.

Every Saint Patrick’s Day morning growing up we would wake up to find the leprechauns had wreaked havoc around the house by putting pictures on the walls upside down, placing furniture on top of each other and hiding toys within obscure locations. Did it make a giant mess in the house? Yes. Did my siblings and I love it? Of course. When I shared this story with friends this weekend, I learned it wasn’t as common of a tradition as we had assumed years ago, but I love that it’s something the leprechauns my parents always made a priority.

Keep an eye on the road ahead.

I was reminded of this one quite directly this weekend. Note to self, 5-inch wedges are not a great idea for late night cobble stone streets and there should be a medal for making it out of that city without breaking an ankle. On a more serious note, my friends and my family have always supported me to focus on the future. Whether that be placing one foot in front of the other quite literally, or setting goals for the future. Have a plan and then have the flexibility to throw it out the window from time to time.

Find faith through friends and family.

And of maybe a drink to two to share with both. Weekends like this remind me how many awesome people I’m surrounded by day in and day out. It’s every single one of those people that make St. Paddy’s Day, and the other 364 days of the year worth a laugh and a smile.

I’ll leave you with a little Irish blessing that graced the halls of my house growing up, and is one of my personal favorites. I hope everyone (Irish or not) celebrated in their own special way today. Cheers.