No. 1

In summer of 2012, two weeks before my wedding, I packed up the articles of my carefree twenty-something life in sizzling Charleston, South Carolina – bikinis, sundresses, and theme-party costumes – and flew nearly 3,000 thousand miles across the country to be with my fiancé in a wild and foreign land: San Francisco, California.

The first couple years in San Francisco were a roller coaster. I missed my friends, the beach, even the humidity. My yearning for Charleston was palpable. But now – six years of marriage, two kids and two busy careers (I’m a lifestyle writer and editor and my husband is a tech entrepreneur) later – the city feels like home. I can’t imagine a life where I’m not beta testing the latest app, sipping pinot in Sonoma on Saturday, or picking between a dozen brands of kambucha at my neighborhood corner store.

And yet my love for Charleston hasn't wavered. There’s so much I’ve come to depend on in both cities. It’s hard to imagine raising my family anywhere other than San Francisco, but my life just wouldn’t be complete without some southern charm.

At the end of Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler famously declares, “I'm going back to Charleston, where there is still a little grace and civility left in the world.”

Like Rhett, we’ve decided to go back to Charleston – temporarily. We'll be summering in the historic city, trying to reclaim our youthful glory. The boys and I will stay for the entire season while Chris will come and go as work allows. It’s a bit of an experiment in bicoastal living. If splitting our time works well (and Charleston lives up to our exhaulted memories) we'll no longer have to choose between our two favorite cities.

Grace & Civ is my lighthearted attempt to chronicle our summer adventures, the good, the bad, and – of course – the fashionable. Enjoy!