So Long, So-Long Winter by Corinne Keener

Frozen lakes perfectly sum up my love/hate relationship with winter: the quiet, surreal landscapes, and the bone aching, bitter cold which either make me thankful and thoughtful or force me further underneath a pile of blankets and deeper into a Netflix rabbit hole until the thermometer hits 45°.

Luckily, yesterday Maggie and I managed to make it out to Lake Michigan on one of the first warmish days this year, so the lake was still the icy land of your most/least favorite Disney feature from the last two years without being a total death trap (even though we were a tiny bit, kind of, probably unnecessarily scared to be out there). And did we ever need this little excursion. The sun, the cold, the unpredictable sand and snow mix on the beach that'll swallow your leg whole to the knee, the laughing, the photo-making. It was a much appreciated farewell to a season that can sometimes - okay, that will always - make me go completely stir crazy, and a great reminder of how a little sun and some time out with a good friend can wake up a whole lot of hope inside of me.

Welcome, Us. by Corinne Keener

I've decided to make 2015 a good year. Not that anyone goes in to any particular year hoping for anything but good, but in 2015 I'm not just hoping, I'm making. And this is going to be my first real step. A website. So we're here, and I'm welcoming you just like I've welcomed myself to the good.

I recently spent a week with my mom while she snow-birds it down in Orange Beach, Alabama. It's an area I was familiar with all throughout my childhood and it was great to go back and experience it as an adult. It was my first trip back since my father passed away and the nostalgia hit hard. My mom and I had a great week, spending time together, relaxing, sharing memories, and exploring some new places. And going to zoos (that's right, plural).