Baltimore Uprising.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

As I'm sure many have seen, my home state has made national news nearly every night this week.
"Baltimore Is Burning As Riots Erupt Following Death of Freddie Gray"

"Governor Hogan Declares State Of Emergency, Activates National Guard"

"Baltimore On Lockdown After Night of Violent Rioting"

This city is in pain in so many ways.

Of course I have opinions. This is my city. I was born here. I work here. I love to spend time here. But, instead of ranting on about my feelings on this blog or all over social media, I found myself only able to sit back and watch in shock as the whole thing unfolded.

There are deep rooted fears and frustrations on every side of this argument and while I fully understand that, I absolutely do not believe that illegal destruction of property will in any way engender a culture of change.

Tearing apart the streets, homes, businesses, and community centers that were built for and by the hard working people of Baltimore will do nothing to solve the issues at hand. Vandalism begets chaos, not progress.

But amidst all of the rioting and negative media coverage, stories slowly began to emerge that portrayed the Baltimore I know and love.

Clergy walking through the streets, preaching peace, working to quell the violence. Volunteers stocking up on gatorade and water for men and women in uniform. Businesses offering free meals to those working all night to keep the peace. Baltimore locals teaming up to clean up the streets. Rival gang members coming together, publicly urging the violence to stop. Residents lining up to shield police from protestors throwing rocks and bricks.

Baltimore is a rough town. I won't pretend that it's not. But there's something greater at work here than just the violence you see on TV. Aside from the drugs and the gangs and the violence, there is good here. There are good people here. There has always been a deep-rooted sense of pride in this city, no matter which side of the street you grew up on. There's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. And as I saw people posting stories about the movement to rebuild the city almost immediately after its destruction, I felt a great sense of hope.

These are not easy problems to fix. The issues at hand are tough and complex and come from places of strong emotion - on either side. But in the coming weeks, as Baltimore begins its climb out of chaos, I can only hope that these issues, now at the forefront of our minds, can be resolved before more lives (of any race) are lost.

All images courtesy of WBAL, Huffington Post, and the Associated Press.

Whittaker Weekend

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My mom has always said that when life drains you, you need to find a way to "refill your sponge." To me, that means getting back to doing the things that feed my soul and give me purpose.

Well, this past weekend, Mike and I did quite a bit of sponge filling.

These last few weeks have been rough on us, so spending time with Mike's side of the family for a mini reunion of sorts was just what we needed. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and littles came in from all over the country to spend the weekend at Mike's mom's house in Delaware. While the weather turned out to be a bit cooler than we expected, it didn't keep us from having fun!

We held a family 5K, cooked and ate a ton of food, danced and played around with the kiddos, sipped Dark n' Stormy's, played all kinds of games, sang, laughed, and just generally enjoyed soaking up some good old fashioned family time.


We've been looking forward to catching up with everyone for months and we are pleased to say, Whittaker Weekend was a roaring success! Hopefully we'll be able to get around to see everyone again before next year!

Checking in on Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

There is a pleasure in the
pathless woods,
there is a rapture on the
lonely shore,
there is society, where
none intrudes,
by the deep sea, and music
in its roar:
I love not man the less,
but nature more.
Lord Byron

I know things have been extremely quiet around here for a while and unfortunately, they probably will continue that way for a bit longer.

We've been preoccupied with some family stuff that came up unexpectedly, so we are still trying to process and get through the thick of it. I'm also currently in a bit of a transitional period but it's too soon to really disclose anything at this point in time. Don't worry though, I do plan on filling everyone in on all of this stuff as things become clearer.

On a different note, today is Earth Day. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and sadly, I have no post prepared. I have a draft sitting back there behind the scenes but no energy to clean it up and publish it.

It's funny to me how at the beginning of the year I wrote a bunch of stuff about all of the awesome things happening this year. I was so eager and excited to start the year and had so much planned for not only this little blog but for life. While we still have a lot of great things ahead of us, 2015 is turning out to be much different than I expected.

I guess that's life for ya though, right?

Have a wonderful Wednesday and a Happy Earth Day.

That's what I love about Sunday

Monday, April 6, 2015

Since having lost Mike's grandmother over a year ago, my grandfather last October, and watching a few family members pack up and move out of Maryland, we've begun to realize just how precious time with our loved ones has become.

It's sad to sit back and reflect on all of the things that will no longer be - Thanksgivings with Grammy and the wild Whits, crab feasts on Mike's mom's back porch where Mike and I met for the very first time, summers down at the river where we celebrated our wedding day, fishing on the pier where Mike proposed, quiet mornings with my grandparents on the porch of their home in the mountains, Christmas celebrations with my grandfather and family all gathered in my parents' living room... the list goes on and on. So many places, so many moments, so many memories. It's hard to think about it without feeling like we're losing something big.

Mike and I have been discussing this whole thing pretty extensively over the last few months trying to come up with ways to cope with that feeling of loss. For a while there, we sort of let ourselves get swept along with everything. We were struggling to find a way to put our feet on the ground and gain some sort of normalcy again. And it wasn't until the Sunday after my grandad passed that we came up with the perfect idea.

When you close one chapter in your life, it's best to start a new one. New traditions, new places, new memories.

So, the Sunday after we returned from the hospital in Pittsburgh in the fall, we went to my parents' house and spent the whole day with them. We went to church, helped my dad smoke some chicken for dinner, watched football, ate together, played games together, and had the happiest Sunday we've experienced in quite some time. It felt so good to take the entire day to really rest and relax.

Every Sunday since then, we've done the exact same thing and we plan to keep the tradition going as long as we can. There's something to be said for taking one day a week to not do much of anything but enjoy time with your loved ones. It gives you something to look forward to, especially after a rough week at work. Sundays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week!

We wish more of our family lived closer so that we could see them every week, but we are slowly learning ways to find time for making new memories with them, too. We are trying our best to get out to breakfast with Mike's dad at least twice a month and to get over to see his mom and sister in Delaware for long weekends. We are also looking forward to a big reunion with Mike's side of the family at the end of April. We were fortunate enough to have some of Mike's family join us for our Easter celebrations at my parents' house yesterday, too! It's great when we can have everyone together in one place, so we are trying to plan as many get-togethers as we can.

I may not be great at adapting to change, but this strategy seems to be helping. While the bittersweet feelings still linger when I think about all the things that we've said goodbye to, I can't help but feel excited about all of the new traditions we are starting.

Here's to many more Sundays and good times with family and friends!

Friday Funnies

Friday, April 3, 2015


I hope that you're having a fabulous day! I've got a long weekend of studying ahead of me, but I'm super excited that Easter is this weekend, too! We are planning on getting together with a bunch of family and friends at my parents' house for dinner and games after church. I can't wait to see everyone and take a break from schoolwork for a bit!

Since I am totally and completely overwhelmed and exhausted by school and work - I'm sure after this long week many others are feeling the same way - I will leave you with nothing other than this hilarious short.

I saw it a few months ago and died laughing because this is totally something that I would do. Well, the wine-drinking and joke-telling part. Not the super creative turning-it-into-an-animated-video part.

Anyway, I felt like I needed a laugh today, so if you feel like you do too, check it out!

"Two Chips" / An Animated Short from Adam Patch on Vimeo