Tomorrow marks three months since we sold our house in Florida and started our adventure. The last three months have passed in a whirlwind. We spent the first month getting the bus ready, preparing to leave Florida, and visiting Puerto Rico. We spent the second month driving to Alaska and then visiting friends and family while we finished the bus and toured Alaska. We’ve spent the third month in Washington and Oregon, teaching workshops, photography families and getting used to living on a bus.
We’re in the Coos Bay, Oregon area right now and we love where we are camped. It’s a beautiful campground with hiking trails and lots of trees. The air is fresh and cool and its exactly what we anticipated when we started this trip.
Yesterday I taught A Day With Amy: Basic (the free photography workshop I’m teaching along our path) and then we met up with new friends who had driven a couple hours to meet us. Miss B was in heaven with the three children ages 8, 6, and 3. That’s truly one of the best parts about this adventure! We have met the most wonderful people!
We went for a hike at Shore Acres State Park and I died a million deaths over the view. I have a whole new appreciation for the ocean since Jake has been a part of the Coast Guard and we lived near the coast for the past 5 years. It’s become a part of me: the waves, the rocks, the surf, the sound, the salt air, the sand, the horizon… all of it. Embedded on my heart.
After our hike and exploration of the botanical gardens we had a campfire and roasted hot dogs and ate Woofums. If you don’t know about Woofums, you can watch this video. The boys are selling Woofum sticks to make some money for Christmas. If you enjoy camping or campfires – trust me – you’ll want to check out Woofum sticks! And the boys would love your support!!
Our friends left as the sun was setting and it was time for showers to wash the smoke away and get the kids ready for bed. Later Jake and I ran into town on a couple errands and to check our email. There is no cell or Internet service at our campsite. I’m actually thankful for that. It’s nice to be disconnected for a while.
We have nothing scheduled for the next 10 days and we’re going to immerse ourselves in family for that time. Today is church. It’s one of the highlights of our week. I can’t wait to feel at home in the congregation and know that we are where we are supposed to be.
After church we’re going to explore the area more. Maybe another hike this afternoon. This week we hope to buy bikes again so we can go on family bike rides. Our trip down the Oregon Coast has solidified our desire to ride it on bikes as a family one day. We want to wait until Miss B is a bit older, maybe two or three years from now, but it’s going on our list of adventures to complete! After a few days here we’re going to continue south to explore the Redwood Forest.
It’s hard to believe how quickly time is passing. We’ve had some rough days (two in particular – three if you count the day Miss B vomited everywhere). One day last week we all wanted to give up and quit The Big Blue Bus Tour. It was that bad. Seriously. Jake and I had to take some time away and ask Heavenly Father to help our family – and to help us as parents – to know how to continue on. And you know what? He did. We knew just what to do and the next day was much better.
Ups and downs are to be expected, though in the moment – the downs are really hard. I’m learning patience and faith and trust in The Lord. I shouldn’t be surprised, because it happens every time, but when I put my faith in The Lord – He never lets me down. His plans are better than my plans. I’m notorious for trying to control what’s happening around me, but when I let Him be the guide, everything turns out much better.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.