Summering & Neighboring

Our Life

The only reason I have even been remotely signaled to write a summer wrap up post is because of all the back to school photos in my Facebook newsfeed. The first child I saw nearly sent me into a head spin. I audibly said to the adorable girl on my webpage,

“Oh my gosh – what are you doing? With your cute outfit and that new backpack and your lunch box?! You are confused – your parents are confused. IT IS ONLY JULY!”

It wasn’t until about the 10th back to school photo that I decided to check my calendar. Carryon children – return to school!

Beau and I have been summering so hard. This is unusual for us because we take trips in the fall or the spring and so summer ends up being a full on summer staycation – lots of relaxing. This summer was the ideal time for staycation because I am writing a book with a manuscript due date of Sept. 6. Of this year.

A moment of silence please.

hermosa patio reading

But really, we did anything but stay. This summer I was in Florida, New York, Bolivia, Sacramento and Colorado. Some of it was for play and some of it was for work. None of it was staycation. All of it was full and exactly what I needed.

First, I did a tour of my new tiny kitchen. If you’re on snapchat you saw it! If not, for your viewing pleasure:

Then Beau and I went to an L.A. food fest. Yum! Snaps from that day:

We did 4th of July on Hermosa Beach with our neighbors.

4th of july in hermosa beach

We ate outside every chance we got.

dinner in hermosa beach

In early July I met up with four amazing women for an impromptu girls get together. These ladies and I are committed to getting together at least once a year. We’ve been doing this for almost nine years and we haven’t skipped a beat.

bri mckoy summer 2016 florida

Pregnant? No problem. Wedding? We’ll be there. Toddlers running around – we’ll come to you. We always make it work and something I love about these women is we always want everyone present. Sometimes this means it takes us up to 5 months to plan a trip. Sometimes it means we are going to be in our jammies the whole time cooking ridiculous amounts of food and talking into the wee hours of the night. Other trips are packed with sightseeing and trotting around the city like we own it.

And in case you’re calling my bluff – we did already have our trip for this year in February. We were in New Orleans. You know, brunching with Joy the Baker like one does.

But Hannah was staying at an amazing AMAZING house for her vacation in Florida and invited us to join. Within 72 HOURS we had all confirmed we could make it. I was actually the last to RSVP because – book. My initial answer to join this trip was a very quick and very firm, “No. I HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK!”

But Jeremy was very clear, “You’re going.” It is hard to write a book, especially one about community, if one is ostracizing oneself from community. The beginning of my summer looked very starving artist. On nights and weekends I was locking myself into our guest room to write my book but after a little bit of this it was clear that I was not doing well. Whenever I get that crazed look in my eyes or I start to spiral into some pretty dark thoughts Beau knows exactly what I need – I need people. So he put me on a plane and sent me to some of my favorites.

The thing I’m learning about writing or storytelling or any kind of art is I need to be very present for life if I wan to be any good at my art.

Live fully, pay attention, show up to your art.

Florida was filled with important things like laying out in the pool.

bri mckoy summer 2016 poolside

cheers to nine years in Flordai

west palm summer 2016

Also, lots of cooking.

bri mckoy cooks in west palm

And we did other important things like have a massive dance party. If you’re on snapchat then you saw that 😉

I came home and we went to New York for our neighbors’ wedding. That’s right – we are also neighboring so hard! We met our neighbors when we moved in April and they adopted us immediately. I call it the adopt-a-neighbor-program. We are currently looking for funding 😉

They invited us over to dinner, invited us to meet their friends, INVITED US TO THEIR WEDDING. We just kept saying yes because they are amazing.

Their wedding was absolutely beautiful and we got to meet even more friends!

I was home for a week before going to Bolivia to lead a trip. In Bolivia I met so many amazing people like this sweetness.

bri mckoy in Bolivia

She kept following me around saying something in Spanish. I finally found a translator and she was asking if, “I would be her little friend?!” Oh my gosh, yes, sister! Yes I will be your little friend!

Then I was home. For about 4 days. I turned 32.

bri mckoy turns 32 in hermosa

Dinner at 32 is very, very fancy.

bri mckoy turns 32

A few days later Beau threw me a birthday party with our new friends. Fourteen people showed up. To our tiny house! I felt so loved and so welcomed into 32. And can you believe – the only picture I took was of the cheese plate.

bri mckoy 32 birthday bash

We will have 14 people in our home again and I promise I will take a picture. Except that I am the queen of forgetting to take a picture. I get so in the moment and about two days later I think about what an amazing picture that moment would have been. Fail. I’m working on it though. Kind of.

How do I wrap up this summer? It has been hard and beautiful. It was bursting through with moments I will keep forever and moments I want to fade very, very quickly.

I have asked really hard questions. I have made really hard decisions (which I get to share more about soon). Both of these have freed me to love more and to love better so I am puffy eyed but I am grateful.

It is almost September and we have been living in our home for 5 months. I fall more and more in love with the simplicity of it. I am still drawn by the smallness of it. I did invest in a stack of paper plates because the hand washing thing is wearing off slightly.

We have found home in the most unlikely of places. It still feels familiar though, because Jesus.

Ok friends! In one sentence – what was summer for you?!

bri signature sized

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  1. Allison says:

    What a wonderful wrap up! But the part where you realized that you have to present for life to write about it…that’s the main dish. Thank you!

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