Tall trees

Matthew is an arborist by trade.

He warned me once about the fate of some neighborhood trees. He spoke of how they would fall.

A new house in our community had been built; tall pines cut down to make room for it.

Where there had once been a rich forest only a few remained.

Matthew told me of how the trees that had grown accustomed to the shelter provided by others would now be left vulnerable.

No sooner had the first major storm passed than one of the remaining pines found itself on the brand new roof.

I think of Matthew’s words often.

The analogy fitting.

As we stand two years into building our family, I am reminded of how we predicted the rains and the winds, but underestimated the forest that surrounded us.

They can’t stop the storm, but they bear the brunt of it’s beating.

During a week when the forecast is particularly brutal, I find myself filled with gratitude for the gifts of those who stand beside us. May we one day be their forest.


20 years past.


A lifetime lived in the blink of an eye.

And here I stand offering them advice about cherishing the moment. The joy in the friendships they have. The reminder that they are merely scratching the surface of what these relationships will grow to become.


The tears welled up as I told them about the moments women had lifted me. Moments I could not have imagined all those years ago while standing in the same spot they were.

I mentioned my own girls and my hopes for them in the years to come. My desire that they too find a community that will support them when family may not cut it.

After the talk, two young women took me through the hallways of the house, past my room that spring semester junior year which housed a million late night conversations.

The pictures on the walls brought an overwhelming sense of happiness.


Happy that I could be here at this time to share a small snippet of my story.

Happy that the young girl smiling at me found a place like this.

Happy that 20 years later the legacy of what we started there has lived on.



Everyone should have a Robin in their life.


Someone whose beauty radiates inside and out.

A women who is generous of spirit, and wickedly talented behind the lens.


Robin makes you forget you are staring at a camera.


She channels your inner joy. Her photos become a reflection of what you radiate.


Not every photographer can do that.

So when my Wittenberg girls and I met for our fourth year of Labor Day celebrations with our families, I trusted Robin to capture the twenty years of friendship.


She found the heart of a friendship that has been my rock.



She found the light in each of us.



The pictures tell the story.


The photograph says it all.


Thank you Robin for being in my life and telling our story.