Every August for the past few years, I’ll be at my friends’ house while they are packing for their family Labor Day weekend. and every August, little William has asked me if I was going to Lummi. This year I was finally able to go, and it was so much fun.
Lummi is a pretty small Salvation Army camp in northern Washington.. ON AN ISLAND! It’s SO CUTE.
One of the coolest parts is that the camp is located right on the beach, so we spent decent amounts of time there, treasure hunting when the tide was low.
I was so grateful for the beach, the puzzles, the drives to the Islander store, sleeping in a tent, and drinking coffee with people I love so very much. It was a quiet, relaxing weekend to buffer between Nashville and returning to work.
One evening I snuck away to the beach to spend some time with the Lord, and I shared with him how wonderful it is to be so loved and so welcomed into people’s lives. I got to spend a weekend with grandparents and uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews and great-grand children.. all people I already knew and loved prior to that weekend. Family is such a gift – to those born into it and to those welcomed in.
In May, I organized a Girls’ Hike to Elowah Falls. Everyone LOVED it and said we should definitely do it again, so I organized another one. Unfortunately it had to wait a bit because life is busy. But then almost everyone bailed!! HOWEVER! Adriana and I decided we’d go just the two of us, and I’m SO GLAD we did… I needed the head space of being outside, and I was glad we got to spend time together. We went to Latourell Falls, one of my favorite places just because it’s so easy and quick to get to, and it has the payoff of a waterfall – you can go to upper falls or take a short stroll down to the lower falls.
Imagine all of the conversations these trees have heard over the years! They’ve probably heard so many juicy details, so many broken hearts, so many hopes and dreams.. it’s crazy to think about.
Hey so I guess I’m that person who brings an iced mocha on a hike. I didn’t even really think about it.
FOR ONCE I wasn’t the one in inappropriate footwear. Adriana was a CHAMP despite her poor footwear choice.. and she’d even asked me if she should wear tennis shoes or hiking boots… and she chose neither! Haha. You do you.
Last year my friend Sarah had a baby.
Not just any old baby, though.
A baby I’d been praying for… since before she was actually conceived.
and her due date was like June 19th or something… and I kept saying “sounds like May 30th to me.”
Sarah told me I could buy her a special blanket. Every time I went to the store I tried to find the perfect blanket… and finally I found it. Pink. Hearts. Elephants. Super cozy.
She was born. On May 30th. My birthday. The best birthday present EVER.
I’m hopelessly smitten with this little baby. She’s the littlest of a trio of gingers that mean the absolute world to me.
This summer, she’s 13 months old.
and I cannot. get. enough. of. her.
You guys. Imagine if I procreated and birthed a tiny human of my own. I’d be nonstop all about that thing
Just like I’m nonstop all about this girl.
Don’t believe me? Just watch…
Selfies with sleepy Hannah while her mom runs errands so that Hannah can nap. I love her even when she’s asleep.
Hannah’s first trip inside of a Starbucks. An honor to share this momentous occasion with her. Please note the blanket. She likes to bury her face in her blanket and it makes me so happy.
Hannah chowing down on some pumpkin loaf during her first trip inside of Starbucks.
One day when I got to camp, they were all playing on the playground… and this girl was a HOT MESS. Snot all over, food on her shirt, hands and feet grey from the playground rocks… and I never knew a hot mess could be so freaking adorable.
Hanging out in the Pumphouse waiting for my coffee and getting the verbal assurance that when Hannah is older I can be the purchaser of her first frappuccino and then when she’s like 16, I can purchase her first cup of coffee.
Her brother went to overnight camp for the first time (which is kind of funny since they LIVE at camp) but we got to see him for a little bit during free time, and Hannah loved it.
Homegirl loves her blueberries. They make her happy. Food in general makes her happy. Seeing her happy makes me so happy. Funny how that works.
Hannah’s little face was the first thing I saw when I woke up in 2015, and I wrote about that… how this year would see so much change for her, one of those things being that she’d start WALKING. Well… it’s time. Homegirl needs to walk and I’ve spent a lot of time with her little hands wrapped around my pointer fingers, walking her around. She’s growing up, no turning back. I’m so glad I get to witness her life from up close.
This past weekend some of my friends who are working at camp came to Portland for the day. One of my favorite parts about having friends visit Portland is that I get to do ultra-touristy things that I reserve for… tourists. What can I say… #hipstersgonnahip
I joined them at the part where we went to Saturday Market. Actually we started in Whole Foods where I (unfortunately) did not find a boyfriend but (fortunately) did buy an apple, sun butter & coconut chips. Just in case you were wondering. I managed to spend $0 at Saturday Market.
After Saturday Market, we went to Killer Burger for food. At that point I didn’t really care about food… I just wanted more coffee. But! I discovered that one of the girls visiting is really good friends with my really good friend, Rhoda. So naturally, we had to take a picture to send to Rhoda…
Then we spent endless amounts of time in Powell’s (I bought a new L’Engle book, Penguins & Golden Calves!) before Cameron, Deaglan & I walked over to Stumptown… where Cameron spent the best $4 of his life at a photo booth where we all basically failed at taking photo booth pictures. But now the photo strip is the bookmark in my new book.
(I am 90% sure Cameron had no idea that I took this picture, but I guess that’s just what happens when you don’t pay enough attention to me #onlychildissues)
From Stumptown, we headed over to Alberta Park where we spent a lot of time laying around and talking. But only after we merry-go-rounded.
I drank every last drop of my Stumptown iced mocha as we talked. I would have been okay if my coffee and my time with my friends never ran out. But the day was coming to a close.
We initially were going to eat dinner on Alberta (some wanted Pine State Biscuits and I was all about that Grilled Cheese Grill because I’ve recently discovered that while I don’t love tomatoes.. I LOOOVE BLTs.. so weird) but that didn’t really work out so we aborted mission and skipped straight over to Salt + Straw.
A few summers ago, I was working at Camp Arnold and my roommate was a feisty rule breaking girl named Sarah Jane. She was kind of a thorn in my flesh – always breaking the rules I followed without question, and laughing off my need for abiding by the rules. Her side of the room was all blue, and my side of the room was all pink.
But man, I loved her. I have a very vivid memory of playing songs on a guitar while she danced around our room in her underwear, singing. I think we were supposed to be helping for camp clean up, but she had rubbed off on me a little bit.
Life has looked different for us in the years since then, but I don’t know if you can separate a bond like summer camp roommates, regardless of how opposite you may appear to be.
Last week we went hiking at a place she’d never been, Wahclella Falls. When we went for our Girls Hike, we’d missed the exit and ended up turning around at Wahclella Falls and since then I’d been excited to make my way back. The day was absolutely beautiful – sunny but not scorching. Bright but not blinding. and Sarah Jane breathed so much life into me. She made me cry and rubbed my back while she did it.
and the best part.
She’s pregnant. and I’m so excited for her to raise a little fireball of a child, because she is going to be speaking so much confidence, truth and encouragement into their life, just like she did, does and always has done for me.
On Saturday night of our basketball tournament, one of my friends looked at me and said “I want to go hiking.” I asked her what she was doing the following Saturday. She said “nothing,” and our friends standing by us said “nothing,” as well. “Next Saturday it is,” I said. That night I went home, decided we’d go to Elowah Falls and made a Facebook Event. I invited a bunch of girls.
and then… we went hiking. It was great; I love when people I know meet other people I know. I don’t like disconnect in my life; I don’t like when people haven’t met important people in my life, and I don’t like when parts of my life feel separated from each other.
I kept commenting on how GREEN everything was. Like… yeah, I live in the EVERGREEN state but it was a little overcast and for some reason, the lack of color in the sky made the green stand out that much more.
(this is my favorite picture taken all day. I have no idea why.. maybe because Adriana looks super adventurey!)
When we finally got to the Falls, I got as close as I could before I could no longer stand the water drops on my glasses. This is the only thing I hate about wearing glasses…
I found this little slug. and I kept thinking “little slug, do you even realize that you are sliming along so close to something SO BEAUTIFUL?” and I wonder how often God thinks similar thoughts about me.
We all sat around by the waterfall for awhile. Quite awhile. and it was perfect.
After a bit, I decided to go crawling over rocks by myself. I found a nice little space that I easily could have lived in for the rest of my entire life. There was even a mossy rock I could have used as a bed.
as I was getting ready to crawl back to my friends I stopped to take just ONE MORE picture of flowers, and the focus kept bouncing between the flowers and the raindrops on the petals. and I realized.. you can choose to focus on the raindrops or you can focus on the flowers. It was a deep moment.
It was a day that I needed badly. I long to be outside and exploring all the time, and to do so with a bunch of great women was perfect. We all agreed it will happen again.. I’m so excited to keep this going.