Every summer, we love doing a behind the scenes series to help y’all get to know us a little bit better (see our Dream Southern Summer Wedding series from 2013 and Behind the Scenes with Our Southern Gents from last year–so fun!). In honor of this year’s Summer Love theme, which is all about revisiting childhood adventures and sharing them with our beaus, we’re giving y’all a peek at what inspired the series to begin with–our own childhoods! Each week, you’ll hear from another SW gal about her best summer memories, favorite traditions, and early thoughts on weddings. We’re also including a few throwback pictures–y’all let us know if you think we look the same or totally different! :) I’m happy to be kicking things off by sharing some memories and pictures from my occasionally nontraditional, but completely wonderful, summers as a kid.
In my opinion, it doesn’t get much more nostalgic than this–a small-town Fourth of July parade, circa 1996! Highlights include my patriotic ensemble (that’s me in the middle–hello ruffles!), my little brother loving his popsicle from the wagon, and the random mom and daughter rocking matching sunflower dresses in the background :)
Where did you grow up? Warrenton, Virginia, Singapore, and Qatar
What were your childhood hobbies/favorite activities? Checking out the maximum number of books from the library, writing stories, playing make believe games with my sister (mermaids at the pool was our summer go-to!), and making up dances with my friends.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A writer! Of books, not wedding magazines, but close enough :)
From left to right: my sister Dana, friend Angela, me, and Angela’s sister Leah. This was in 1997 at the beach house our families rented on the Outer Banks. Almost two decades later, all of these gals were in my wedding!
Tell us about a favorite summer vacation. Did your family go somewhere every year in the summer? Since most of my childhood was spent abroad, my summer memories are of months spent living out of suitcases as we crisscrossed the US, visiting our family members and friends during our summer home leaves. It was always an adventure, and I cherish that time on the road with my family to this day! Our most frequent stops included Long Island, New York, Williamsburg, Virginia, and Delavan, Wisconsin.
Did your family have any summer traditions? As many years as we could manage, we took a beach trip with our close family friends. Our first one was to the Outer Banks in 1997, and most recently, we went to Tybee Island in 2013. In Tybee Island, we recreated a group photo from 1997 and it’s the funniest thing—my 6’2” brother doesn’t quite fit on my mom’s knee anymore!
What food or meal most reminds you of your childhood? This is not very Southern, but since we went to New York to visit family almost every year, I have fond memories of big slices of NY pizza as soon as we got off the plane, and bagels from a brown paper bag that my uncle would pick up the next morning. To this day, eating either of those foods in New York makes me feel like I’m eight years old and summer has just begun!
My sister Dana (left) and I (right) at our aunt and uncle’s house on the lake in Wisconsin, I believe in 1995. It must have been the Fourth of July…otherwise, I was just very patriotic with my face paint choice!
Did you ever get to be in a wedding when you were younger? I didn’t, and I am still a little bit sad about it! The first wedding I ever attended was my cousin’s wedding when I was 16.
What did you think about weddings when you were younger? I honestly don’t remember any specific thoughts about weddings I may have had, but I do remember loving twirly dresses, dancing, and princesses (still do, re. all of the above!), so a love for weddings wouldn’t have been a stretch!
Stay tuned to hear from the rest of the SW gals in the coming weeks! And we’d love to know, what are some of your favorite childhood summer memories?