One of my favorite trends is the “photo dump.” While the name brings little to the table, the content brings the juice, the style, the substance; a carousel of up to 10 photos at a time, often with very little filtering or context, is exactly what Instagram should be.
Except, I do actually enjoy a little context.
Below are photos from my most recent photo dump on Instagram, along with a brief caption for each, providing that extra morsel of information. This was probably the best summer of my adult life, and here’s why.
Five photos, explained
This is a public garden within my own Brewer’s Hill neighborhood, just a few blocks from my home. It’s called the Sanger House Gardens.
This is the spot where I felt as though I wasn’t giving anything up to live here in Milwaukee. I stopped morning the loss of mountains and instead embraced the lusciousness of my own backyard, where French music plays gently in the background and each plant sways and moves to a dance I’ll never quite learn.
This is a place of romance and care and tenderness that breathes tangible life into summer.
There’s no romance in this photo: it’s me, sipping a Coors Light on a sidewalk in downtown Milwaukee as we’re waiting for our table inside.
But it was, somehow, the most refreshing drink I’ve ever tasted. This was my first outing post-covid and I was never more grateful to be outside and alive and drinking from a tin can in a public space.
Sure, this one is obvious: it’s a snap of our living room. As a homebody, the concept of being comfortable and cozy and safe and secure is a big deal to me.
I’ve never been someone to make crazy choices in life, but buying a home before living in a new city changed that. (And, not to mention, selling the house that I worked hard to make my own safe space.)
But this room, filled with sophisticated touches, simple details, and lots of natural light, is one of my favorites in our new Milwaukee home. It’s a reminder that not only was our move the right choice, but also that I can cultivate comfort and love and joy wherever I am.
As a mountain gal (down to the tattoo), I can’t quite adequately express how meaningful it is to have access to a body of water so close to us; something that used to be reserved for long in-between vacations.
Lake Michigan feels like a beach and I’m forever in heaven as the waves crash into the sand. I can’t believe this is my life—that I have this slice of perfection within two miles of my front door.
Plus, sharing it with Chad on lazy Saturday afternoons is simple perfection.
One of the main concerns for us (and literally every person who looked up our new house on Zillow, lol) was that our new yard didn’t have a fence. And, with a dog, it makes sense.
However, our fenceless yard situation has actually been a blessing: three walks a day, exploring our neighborhood, spending extra time together, enjoying moments with my silly dood.
Sometimes, inconvenience can be an opportunity.
And last: me.
I’ve been living my best life. Going out to eat/drink/explore is my love language and it’s reviving me after years of rural living. Each beer garden is a gift and I find myself loving more of who I am as I get to do more of what brings me joy.
Soft smiles and more tattoos and flowy dresses and new friends and better confidence to show up as I am, at my own pace.