I've only ever claimed residency in Idaho, though I've spent applicable amounts of time in both Washington and Oregon growing up and through my adulthood. I've also ventured into Canada and Northern California...all to say my souls home is inadvertently, the Pacific Northwest.
Over the weekend, I got to kick off the camping season at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon, about a 15-minute drive from Cannon Beach, and it was hands down the best beach camping grounds I've been to yet.
I was there for an Instameet put on by a personal Instagram favorite, @thatPNWlife (with sponsors from Pendleton and Stumptown Coffee). I had never been to one, and when I saw this, I just had to go.
At first it was a bit uncomfortable, people just posing and being, and everyone else just taking pictures...it was something I was not used to.
But what it came down to was...we all loved the PNW, we loved adventure, we loved cameras and taking pictures, we drank cans of Stumptown cold brew, at dogs and talked about anything and everything. I got to meet other PNW photo mama's and other adventure junkies like myself.
It was a breath of fresh air as spring fully bursts alive and we edge into the beginnings of summer. My battery fully recharged, I am so pumped to go out and explore, create and make. I was once again reminded about the sense of community and connection you can get through a lens of a camera. It doesn't take much, but it's this huge photo-geeking out family, and I am so in love with it all and feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this moment this weekend, to be apart of the photo family.
There is so much going on this summer, going on right now, that I at times feel overwhelmed and frazzled. But then I have moments like these, a day on a beach, an afternoon hiking, a morning watching the sunrise with coffee in my hand and I am reminded "If our minds are ruled by the spirit, we will have life and peace" Romans 8:6
My life was shambles and darkness...but no longer. I have been blessed with a beautiful world to explore, an amazing family and so much more. I am free. Free to be who I was intended to be.
So now it's onto finishing up finals, getting my pack on as we get ready to move into our new home, and buying loads of sunscreen and goldfish for the upcoming adventures in the next month.