Five Years and the Coast
Somehow Ryan and I have been married for five years! I say 'somehow' because it usually feels like we just left our wedding reception as giddy youngsters, feet sore from dancing but wearing face-breaking grins. Other moments, when we reflect on where we've been and what we've packed into five years, it's hard to believe it has been only five.
We've moved nine times, lived in three states, two continents, and we're on couch number five. It has been the biggest adventure of my life. We have changed and grown so so much, worked through a lot and by the grace of God we've made it this far still being each other's favorites.
That's a milestone worth celebrating!!
Last year, we spent July 1st in a favela in Brazil. Believe it or not, it was actually our favorite anniversary yet. We couldn't make it back there this year, but went for a more accessible adventure- the Oregon Coast.
It was a ten hour drive from our home to Coos Bay- over mountains, through lots of small strange towns, and past the lakes and the dramatic views of the Willamette National Forest.
Ten hours is a long time. When we finally arrived we unloaded super fast and headed straight for the bay. Our legs and pups were anxious to stretch, and our hearts needed the sea.
Our site was tucked away in the temperate rainforest- crazy overgrown and lush and humid. We woke up to a chorus of birds like I've never heard, and picked blackberries a few feet from our tent. There was no internet, no cell service. We rested and ate and read and sat by the fire.
It was the loveliest reprieve from the fast lane. Even the coast, in all its rocky and wild glory, felt quiet as we explored it.
There were so many highlights- sweeping views and wildflowers and that infamous PNW fog that brings the drama.
And then there was this fuzzy little face. His flipper was stuck under a boulder, and he was barking for help. A family found him and lifted the rock off just as we arrived on the beach. It felt very "Andre the Seal" as he swam away. Bon voyage, little guy!
After two nights of camping in a jungle-y paradise, we decided on a whim to drive the coast up to Portland. We stopped at beaches along the way and soaked up all the sun and salt that we could.
One such stop in Depoe Bay turned out to be more than we bargained for. I didn't suspect it to be a memorable place, if I'm honest. But then we looked over the sea wall and saw the giant, barnacle-covered back of a gray whale arch above the water. Pure magic, I tell ya.
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There were no campsites available along the way, or really anywhere, because of the holiday weekend. Most hotels in and around Portland were also booked. We prayed and just kept driving. Through a crazy series of events involving Marriott points, we ended up staying for free in a suite just outside of downtown. And you guys. It was even pup friendly! #praises
This trip was such a blessing for us. God has provided over-abundantly for us throughout our marriage- with incredible community, support, grace, and homes that have fit us perfectly. Our little jaunt up the coast and that perfect hotel room was a succinct reminder of his faithfulness.
It was an encouragement to us to take risks, trust, and keep forging ahead.
We arrived home on the 4th- salty, tired, and clinging to the beauty and lessons of our weekend.
So here's to us, Ryan. To marriage, to God, to adventure, to eighty more anniversaries<3