September 14, 2023


Do you ever wake up in the morning with something on your mind? Immediately, as soon as your eyes open for the day, a person or a memory is so clear in the forefront of your mind that you can’t get away from the thought. 

I think of these little thoughts as nudges. Nudges from God, nudges from guardian angels, maybe nudges from our own conscience. Years ago, someone texted me on a random day that had zero significance but it was just a rough day for no apparent reason. That person said she was praying for me. I was so confused. 

“I think you might have the wrong person?” I replied to her text. Nothing was that bad in my day. Why did I really need the extra prayers? (I mean, I’ll take them…but what did she know that I didn’t?)

“No, I have the right person. I had you on my mind and wanted to pray for you,” she said.

After that day, I tried to follow her direction and listen more to my inner voice.

* * *

The morning of September 11th. 

It is a date that no American will ever forget. We remember where we were when we heard the news. We ask others where they were on that terrifying morning. I was a senior at Manteo High School. I woke up a little early that morning, excited for the day. It was my boss’s 50th birthday and as good employees would, we had an elaborate plan to both celebrate her and embarrass her by posting signs all over Dare County announcing her age and elegance. Those plans quickly changed as the tragic events of the day unfolded.

As my eyes opened on the morning of 9/11 this year, I remembered her birthday.

“Send Donetta flowers,” something told me.

I thought of the garden she and her husband planted after losing their son, Josh. Sunflowers taller than I’ve ever seen, and wildflowers with colors so vibrant they didn’t even look real.

A few hours went by and the thought popped back into my mind, don’t forget the sunflowers.

I contacted my flower gal. I described Donetta- a free spirit, like a wild flower herself.  She immediately tossed a few ideas my way and somehow, she’d entered my mind and seen the idea I had for the perfect birthday arrangement. 

I wasn’t sure if she would be home. I wasn’t sure if she would come to the door. We were just going on a whim and a prayer and I knew it would all work out…I knew I had to send the flowers, specifically the sunflowers.

The next few messages I received told me exactly why I felt the urgency to send the flowers. Donetta explained that she had been in a funk for two days- maybe the worst since her husband passed just a year before. 

“…then the delivery of friendship, color, fragrance, thoughtfulness…put a song where sadness had existed,” she said.

Maybe somehow I felt her funk and knew she needed something to make her smile. Maybe it was God who whispered instructions to me first thing that morning. Or perhaps it was Donetta’s angels- knowing that I would listen, and follow through. Regardless of exactly who or why, I’m so thankful I listened to the nudge. Sometimes the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact.

*Love you, Mama D!*

September 8, 2023

Fish Tales

I hardly slept a wink or two the night before.

My bag was packed for a day on the water. My body was pumped full of Dramamine, just in case. And my brain was already swimming with erratic fears and drowning in excitement at the same time.

4:15am - alarm goes off (first erratic fear debunked)

“Good morning, boys,” I whisper-yelled to the horses.

They yawned, blinked, and looked at each other as if to say: Did you see her put anything in the horse trailer? If she’s up this early, it means we are going somewhere to work. Wait…are you sick? AM I SICK?! (The horses get their erratic fears honestly.)

After everyone was fed and well-caffeinated, I made the short drive to the boatyard. I talked to God a little on the way…thanking Him for the opportunity, thanking Him for the beauty in each day, asking for safety for our team, and mostly…that I not lose any fish and subsequently lose my job in the process. The tricky part about fishing with your bossman, when your bossman is a well-renowned fisherman/Captain/boat builder is this potential not-erratic-at-all concern.

The ride out was breathtaking. The sunrise looked like God had hand painted each color, just for us. The water was such a deep, dark shade of blue that it almost looked like velvet. 

Lines went in at 8:30am. I was overly impressed with the gals on our team who jumped right in rigging and…you know, doing all-the-things in preparation for the catching portion of our fishing adventure. I took more of a “wait to be told” approach, seeing as my trips offshore could be counted on one hand. Growing up in a fishing community with many fisherman relatives, one would assume that I would be relatively salty myself. One would assume wrong. 

Within minutes we heard, “ya think ya got something?” over our headsets.

“I think…there is something,” our badass galpal fisherwoman teammate reported.

Before we knew it, not only was there something but said badass galpal fisherwoman teammate had reeled in our first sailfish! Congratulatory cheering and high-fiving commenced! Up next, we landed a wahoo…more cheering, more high-fiving! The pride within our entire team was contagious. Regardless of who was reeling, each person was equally as proud as if they had been the one behind the line.

While I continued the ‘wait to be told’ approach, I heard my husband’s words of encouragement whispering in my head. Jump up there! I can’t wait to hear all about what you catch! You’re going to do great! 

The next line that made even the slightest nudge of having a fish on, I had decided I was going for. Almost seconds after making this decision it was time. I catapulted myself towards the back of the cockpit, grabbed the rod and waited for direction. However, most of the direction-tellers were busy directing our other galpal. How do I crank this thing? How do I even hold it? What if it pulls me overboard?! Shit. Maybe I should’ve watched a youtube on this. 

I began reeling and looked towards our fearless leader, who I hoped wasn’t mimicking an off with her head motion in my direction. Thankfully he simply motioned as to where to hold the rod & how to hold my hands for better…mobility? Fishability? Success? Not sure but at that moment, I would’ve stood on one leg and recited show tunes if it would’ve helped coax that damn fish into the boat.

“If you’re good to the fish, he’ll be good to you!” one of our mates advised.

I waited a minute. Puzzled but still reeling as if my life depended on it. 

“WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!!? I want to kill him and eat him. I’m not going to be good to him!”

“Just keep reeling,” he responded, somewhat disgusted with my response.

Finally, after what seemed like hours (reel/real time? 4 minutes) the biggest tuna I had ever caught was in the boat & my little jello arms had completed their mission! As the day progressed, we continued to have the best time. But nothing topped the 4 minute epic tuna battle of 2023 in my book!

As we headed in, I was instructed that I would need to take the tuna and wahoo up to the scales to be weighed. I was so excited about catching the tuna that I’d completely forgotten we were actually in a tournament competing against other boats!

Upon docking, we all piled into my truck and headed to the scales. I toted my tuna to the scales like a proud mama. We weighed our fish, took photos, and compared notes on how much longer we thought we would be awake for.

“Hey…right now, you have the winning tuna,” the leaderboard keeper told us.


The adrenaline returned from earlier in the morning, but it was joined with pure exhaustion.

“That’s awesome, baby!” said the absolute proudest husband of all time, upon hearing the news.

“I’m so excited out of 160 some boats, too! Okay, I need to hose off the horses. It’s been hot today. I’m sure someone will call or something if I win!”

Several hours went by and I was quite literally being rocked to sleep by the memory of ocean waves when my phone dinged…then immediately rang.

“OH MY GOSH, EDEEEEN!! YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“What? Wait…WHAT!?!!?”

The ding was a photo of our badass galpal fisherwoman teammate accepting the award on my behalf for the largest tuna. The phone call (and subsequent squealing) was my fishing partner/biggest supporter/bestie calling to congratulate me/us on my/our win. 

“I can’t believe I won!! I’ve never fished something like that and I won!?!? And…my tuna- was only 14.6lbs!”

You read that absolutely correct. My winning tuna, the largest tuna I’ve ever caught in my whole 38 years of life…was 14.6lbs. But it won! Of all the lessons I learned during the 34th Annual Alice Kelly Fishing Tournament, one of the biggest lessons was in fishing tales. (It’s all in the wording, folks!)

Congrats to all the awesome ladies who fished!!

April 25, 2023


The big day arrived faster than I imagined, even though we had prepared for it. After a weekend spent getting ready and attending her first prom, we woke up at zero-dark-thirty to drive two hours to the DMV to take Little Miss’s driver’s test to obtain her license.

I was the nervous one. Sitting in the back seat, praying the entire drive that the test would go well, that her nerves would fade into the background, and she would remember all the tips we’d taught her over the last year of driving together. 

“You’re going to do fine, sugar. But if your mom keeps talking, we’re going to make her ride in the trunk,” my sweet husband said, with a giggle. 

We arrived early because early is on time, and on time is late. (This is not my rule. I’m more of the ‘on the dot, on time’ kinda gal. But my compadres? They enjoy being a good half-hour early.) We sat in the parking lot and reviewed a few more tips before entering the DMV. Upon our entry, I knew my role- quickly become best pals with the instructor. Not only is this just good practice in general, but I knew it would ease Little Miss’s nerves. Within two seconds, the little light that said “I’m your new BFF” shone above my head, and the instructor told me every detail about her weekend. #nevermetastranger

With her new license photo taken, Little Miss grabbed her keys and headed out to the parking lot. We watched from the windows like two puppies, with our noses pressed against the glass.

She began with the pre-road-test check of her car…turn signals, brake lights, horn…horn… blaring horn that #shit

“OH NO! OH NO! Go HELP HER!!!!” I yelped, as my sweet man made a mad dash to the car horn, while Little Miss tried her best to melt into the seat in utter embarrassment. (Also...Hi, Daddy...I know that horn was all you!)

The horn stopped, we all laughed, and off they went. It seemed like they were gone for hours, but it was only a matter of a few minutes before they returned to the parking lot. 

“Let's go get your LICENSE!!” my new best pal exclaimed.

I could finally breathe. Taking a test is one thing, preparing your child to take said test, a test that ensures they are prepared to operate a motor vehicle on a roadway with other drivers is quite another. WE PASSED!!

Last night, as I set my alarm the nostalgia washed over me. This will be the first time I haven’t taken Little Miss to school in eleven years. All those mornings of truck-kareoke and gossip sessions- we will have to find a new routine, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

This morning was a little less rushed on my side. We talked as we got ready and before I knew it…

“Okay, I’m going to go now!” I heard as I turned around to see her, packed and ready with her keys in her hands and a confident smile on her face.

“But…I’m not sure I’m ready,” I said.

“I’m ready!” she said smiling, as we walked outside and she ordered me to not video her pulling out of the driveway. (I did not comply.)

As she drove out of the driveway, I felt a familiar feeling in my stomach as the hot tears rolled swiftly down my cheeks. I was standing in the doorway of Ms. Haywood’s kindergarten classroom, watching my little girl run off to play with her friends, excited to start her new journey. She was ready then too. 

As parents, I guess we are never quite ready for some chapters to come to a close, no matter how much we prepare ourselves or our children for the next. However, I am ready to dive into the chapters ahead, as long as I can still hop back in the passenger seat every now and again.

February 21, 2023

Morning Drives

Morning Drives.

Since Little Miss began her school career, our morning drives have been some of my favorite times of the day. The process of getting to the drive might’ve been questionable, being two strong-willed gals who don’t wake up especially loving mornings, but the drive has always been our time. From kindergarten on, she has been our official car DJ choosing everything from Carrie Underwood to Wu-Tang. (We are a diverse duo.) In between songs, we would briefly discuss what was on our agenda for the day, which would oftentimes include excitement to see pals or mutual hate for PE class.

Now she’s 16, and while she isn’t driving on her own quite yet, our rolls have already reversed a bit. Sitting in the passenger side of my best friend's ride…(if you know, you know) now I’m the DJ. I catch myself turning down the music so she can focus, and watching as she promptly turns it back up. I remember doing the same maneuver with my mom.

As the days grow nearer for her to get her full license, I can’t help but feel so many emotions. This is a vessel that will carry her to her future, in the literal sense. And while I’m so proud of the goals that drive her each and every day, I’m selfishly already missing our morning drives together.

Little Miss- I hope you remember our drives as fondly as I do. And don’t forget your part in Shoop, whether I’m sitting next to you, or just in your heart. I love you, my baby!

October 30, 2022


Sixteen years ago, almost to the minute, I met the most incredible little person. In the first moments of staring into her eyes, I wondered a thousand wonders. Who would she become? What would her hobbies be? Who would she look like? What would her personality be? I hoped, wished, and prayed our bond would be as strong as mine is with my mom, who was looking over my shoulder with a smile brighter than I'd ever seen before. 

"Did you ever know you could love someone so much, baby?" my mom asked.

I didn't. I was quickly whisked out of labor and delivery, and into a room upstairs. It seemed like only a few seconds later my family was bidding me farewell for the evening and I was left alone with my new best friend. I was mesmerized by her and equally terrified I would do something to break her. I had mothered many animals- but human babies? I retired from my babysitting career after one summer. Babies were bossy, sticky, and kind of germy little creatures. But this one? This one was perfect.

After we came home from the hospital, our days became quite routine. My life had never been so routine, in fact. I learned quickly that Little Miss enjoyed a schedule and come hell or highwater (and sometimes she was the hell and the highwater) we were following the schedule to ensure a decent night of sleep. We blinked a few times too many, and the days of rocking chairs and bottles were traded in for strolls to the park and visits to the children's museum. Little did I know, the seasons that would follow would fly by faster each year.

I suppose every parent becomes nostalgic on their child's birthday each year. In reflecting today, I remembered the thousand wonders that flooded my mind as I stared into Little Miss's eyes for the first time. Who would she become? Her. She's become her, as simple yet complex as that sounds. She has become her own person; a person I am thankful to have had a hand in molding, but am not sure I did near as much as she did along the way. The truth is, just as she grew into herself, I grew into myself all because of her. She continues to teach me and mold me into a better person each day. What would her hobbies be? Well, what started as a hobby, quickly escalated into a career. Her heart is on the stage, and when she steps onto that stage, she becomes the character she portrays. Her work ethic at sixteen is stronger than most adults in this world. Who would she look like? Her Bub...100%. And sometimes, when she gets really excited to share a story, it is like looking in a shorter, brunette mirror. What would her personality be? Kind. So incredibly kind. She loves her people fiercely and would do anything in the world to support them. She can argue better than I ever hoped to and has a poker face that would even confuse Lady Gaga. 

The hope, wish, and prayer to have a bond like my mom and I's, a best friend bond, was answered, and then some. While our bond is absolutely as strong as my mom and I's, so is her bond with my mom. She, my mom, and I are like a tiny girl gang. We have traveled all over the east coast together to see concerts and countless theatre productions. Where one goes, so do the other two. 

Sometimes when we make a wish or say a prayer, I imagine God just winks at us. Already got it handled, boo...already got it handled.