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On Spring Break & the Bright Side
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 We are just back from a week away. The girls are on Spring Break from school and we split the time between my sister's fabulous new home in Charleston and our family's place an hour outside of Charleston. The girls had the most wonderful time with each other and their South Carolina cousins and we had great fun catching up with family and unwinding a bit.

Highlights: being there for my niece's 3rd ballet birthday party, seeing my sister's exquisite interior design (start that company, C!), skating (Little Girl's first time), a St. Patrick's day trip to the beach, Big Girl finding a 4-leaf clover outside a cupcake shop on St. Patty's Day, breaking in C's new pool, attending a gorgeous dinner party hosted by C's fascinating neighbors, going on several Gator adventures, celebrating my big sister's birthday, and indulging in the most epic Donnelley dance parties in my late grandparents' living room.

The girls were good little travelers and our trips there and back were quite smooth. When we arrived at JFK yesterday, we stopped for fries and milkshakes at Shake Shack. I was, and am, happy to be home, happy to be sitting here at my trusty kitchen island in my sweatpants with my enormous cup (okay, bowl) of coffee. I love getting away, and always appreciate the change of scenery, but there's something powerful about returning home.

The truth: If you scan through the (admittedly endless) stream of photos below, you might get the idea that our trip - and our life - is picturesque, maybe even perfect. You will see frolicking children, divine sunrises and sunsets, a tie-dye of adventure and aesthetic, bright colors and bright days. This is intentional. I have chosen, and will continue to choose, to focus my lens (intellectual and photographic) on the bright side of my life.

But know this: These pictures don't tell the whole story. Pictures never do. All of you who partake in the odd, if alarming, ether of social media know this. Pictures can be powerful and positive tools to memorialize and document our lives, but there is always more to the story. The pictures below do not show my fleeting-but-real moments of confusion, anxiety, exasperation, fear, sadness, regret. The pictures below do not show my ongoing push-pull with alcohol. The pictures below don't show the patches of family tension that crop up when any family, however tight and loving, spends time together. The pictures below don't show me sobbing on my husband's shoulder the night before what would have been Dad's 73rd birthday.

What my pictures do show is truth. Beauty and love and fun and gratitude. Family and nature and history and joy. Color and pattern and, yes, real-deal happiness. My pictures show, and will continue to show, the bright side because I know something now, and I know it with every bit of my being: The more we focus on the bright side, the bigger and brighter that bright side grows.

Below are some of my favorite moments from the past week. Happy to be back after some time away!

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Do you agree that focusing on, and capturing, the bright side of life and love makes that side grow bigger and brighter?

Thoughts on Selfies, Happiness & Giving

Thoughts on Selfies, Happiness & Giving

ADR Friday Loves 03.13.15

ADR Friday Loves 03.13.15