summertime on the road.

hey there friends.  it has been too long since my last post!  i really wanted to have a goal of blogging every week but, goodness, we are busy.  i never thought i could possibly get busier, especially with our new “simple” life, haha.  goodness, here’s the real nitty gritty for ya… we are all together, all six of us, all the time, every moment, trying our hardest to just get through the trenches and cling to the highlights.  sometimes the trenches are beautiful and we are waking up on a foggy beach or a prairie with wildflowers and that can be pretty amazing, it’s one of our favorite parts of this whole thing!  and then there’s the logistical stuff and the (not really hardly ever) sleeping stuff, and the whole trying to raise up four amazingly brave, spirited, happy children that thirst for knowledge and truth.  and aside from that, we have to remember to get everyone fed (preferably not chicken nuggets), and bathed (outside in a kiddie pool, with swimsuits and a hose), loved on, and then remember to take a moment and enjoy it.  and then do our best to nurture our marriage and work out any arguments or make travel plans all after the kids are asleep (but really, there’s always at least one kid awake somewhere).  and then there’s the emails… i won’t stress you out by discussing how behind i am on those (thank you, pals, for loving me in spite of my one month average turnaround time on emails, please forgive me, i’m trying – just call me).  and then there’s the making sure clothes get washed outside and hung to dry or running to the laundromat at night when we’ve run out of pants.  and we just started cloth diapering so that is exciting/crazy/i’m determined to do it, so that’s another laundry thing.  and there’s trying to breathe, sometimes.  and trying to read something that inspires me to keep it together.  God is good at meeting me there.  deep breath… it’s a crazy season of life.  and i left out the other 75% of it, really.  i almost don’t know how to sum it all up.  we will say, it is rewarding.  😉  i remember when i was pregnant with gracie, people would always say that being a parent was going to be hard work, but rewarding.  it feels the same way.  just figuring it out, minute by minute, and trying to look like we know what we are doing.  so far, we made our way from southern california up the coast of california, through a lot of oregon and the washington coast and almost to canada in friday harbor, washington.  we took the trailer on a big ferry, it was amazing!  then we zigzagged back through washington and oregon and california, a happy stop in big sur, and back to southern california for a few weeks of work/shooting weddings/enjoying having my mama to help with the kiddos/trying to catch up on sleep.  we head out back on the road august 6th as we journey through utah and wyoming, montana, idaho and a little bit more of oregon (we are doing a little stop in bend, oregon for the one and only katie daisy to finish painting the other side of our trailer, complete with some manly pine trees for donny)!

every day is totally different.  one great thing is that we seem to be getting better at the traveling part of this!  it took about a month for us to get into a rhythm with that.  we realized it’s best if i sit between the babies in the middle seat so i can feed them and entertain and also read to the kids the very back and such.  donny just drives the car and gets a little quiet time up there that i think he enjoys not having me talk his ear off for 300 miles at a time, haha.  also, we’ve been trying to not drive at night, that’s not good for any of our mental states.  and we are being more intentional about getting out all the kids’ energy any time we stop the car.  we’ve also learned that it is better to stay in a location for atleast a few days in a row so we can actually enjoy it a bit. the 24 hour stays are just brutal and just feels like a lot of work nonstop with no quality time and that is just a bummer.

we have stayed with some seriously amazing, beautiful people along the way.  i really think that this is the part that is changing us the most.  pulling up in a friend’s driveway after a long drive, hugging someone a real, genuine hug, seeing our children grow lifelong friendships, seeing a family live life together in the day to day honest stuff and we had never spent this much quality time living life together with people until now.  folks we barely knew have now become irreplaceable to us.  gracie and i were talking the other day and she told me that the only thing that she doesn’t like about having a house on wheels is that we have had to leave some of her best friends.  it was so bittersweet to hear that!  but so heart warming to know that the extended time she’s spent with these other families along the way has truly built relationships she now holds dear.  we are going to get good at having pen pals, i have a feeling.

we’ve been visited from some exciting folks this last week.  one was a film crew from yahoo! news filming a documentary on us!  um, crazy nervous about that.  we just hope that it shows the reality of who our family is in our raw state.  so hard to know if that was accomplished on a difficult, long day of traveling being followed by a crew of 5 (producer, sound guys, camera guys, assistant, and also cameras suction cupped to our car and trailer – inside and out – for a full day and night) with cranky kids, no naps and extra camera anxiety on all of us!  i almost threw up.  that’s coming out this next week on their webpage, i will keep you updated(!!!).  we also got a little visit from chris wiegand who is traveling the country in his airstream documenting the lives of bloggers for his own documentary called ‘american blogger’ coming out this fall.  i adore his wife’s blog too.  so honored to have be picked to be a part of both of these amazing, slice of life, beautiful films.

oh yeah, we did a full renovation to the inside of the trailer!  the couch to bed combo thing just wasnt working for the three oldest kids.  the idea was very lovely and worked great six months ago, before we had baby number four and before clementine turned into a wild sleeper and gracie grew a foot.  so we moved our bed to the front instead for us and donny built custom bunk beds with a full play nook for the kids in the back.  it’s amazing.  i will do a full post on that soon.  there are some peeks in the slideshow below.

i know there are a million other things i wanted to blog about and i will, soon.  i just needed to get something out here on the blog to say “hey, we are still alive!  and we are happy!  and tired!  and encouraged!  and it’s still totally worth it!”  i put together a slideshow of our summer so far on the road.  it’s not fancy.  most of these photos are just from my iphone (edited with the apps pictapgo or afterlight), some from instagram, others just not edited but i wanted to try and give you an idea about how things have unfolded these last six weeks.  i’ve been taking tons and tons of pictures (and dreaming of the day i get to process all of them).  excited to make big awesome photo books (looking forward to using artifact uprising) for the kids to do justice to this special season of our lives.

so here’s a few favorites from the big camera and then just below that is the slideshow!

1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 25

summertime proutys from joy prouty on Vimeo.

 music on video: kacey musgraves’ “home”.  the lumineers “flowers in her hair”.  alabama shakes “hold on”.  music is keeping us sane on the road!  😉

This entry was posted in our adventures, our family adventures, our life on the road, Personal Stuff, road trips, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to summertime on the road.

  1. Pamela Susan says:

    Oh Joy, I love every word that is written here. You are inspiring not only the world but little old’ me as well. Meeting you and Donny has been a beautiful highlight of my summer. I adore you and can still feel the warmth, kindness and respect you showed me and my family at our shoot. Blessings to each and every one of you!! Xox

  2. Oie says:

    Wow – it looks so beautiful – and what you are describing sounds typical of any family, even when not living in a confined space! Your children will have such precious memories, I am a tiny bit envious!
    Enjoy life! xo

  3. Janet Dubac says:

    It’s so good to read your blog again. I had fun and really enjoyed reading it. As usual, it’s very wonderfully written. I love the photos! They look amazing!

  4. Lucy says:

    OH MY GOODNESS. I just cannot get over how brave you are and how gorgeous your photos are. Keep on keepin’ on sister!

    Lucy xo

  5. Lex says:

    This is so crazy inspiring. Can’t wait to see the Yahoo! documentary!

  6. Anna says:

    What you are doing is amazing, especially for your children. We travel a lot from Turkey to Ukraine to Turkey, because we try to make a living in both countries before we need to settle down for school in one place. I have one girl and it is so hard to make such transissions, but you have 4 beautiful kids and you manage to be on the road for such a long time. I can imagine may be one fourth of what you have to go through everyday, but your slide show only happy moments which are priceless. Love following your life on the road.

  7. Melissa says:

    Wow love that video and this crazy amazing exerience you are giving your kids! You are way braver than I would be. What is the very first song on the video??

  8. crystal lynn says:

    I absolutely love your adventure, and am so inspired by your dedication! Can’t wait to read the next post. Safe travels! xo

  9. 3girls1apple says:

    Wow, sounds like quite a journey! The time and dedication you took to create and share this post with all of us is truly inspiring. Not to mention your family is beautiful. Thank you!

  10. Abigail Young says:

    Joy Prouty. You are an inspiration. I have been following your family on Instagram and your blog since about the time Clementine was born. I am a traveler and an aspiring photographer to sometime become as great as you. I was homeschooled and my dream is to homeschool my own children someday. Your love for God and His blessings and creation warmth heart and I am just thankful for your life and our family. Thank you for being a kindred spirit of mine even though we have never met. Thank you for being vulnerable and open with complete strangers. You have touched my soul in so many ways. You are gifted and so loved and I just want to remind you of that. I know you really don’t have time to read all of the comments left on your posts but I’m praying for you and your beautiful family. All His grace! -Abigail Young

  11. Artifact Uprising says:

    Thanks so much for the link love Joy! Goodness – what beauty here!

  12. Jackie Kirsten says:

    Wow, wow, I am lost for words, you are such an INSPIRATION!!

  13. Jenneffer Vazquez says:

    Oh Joy!! Your journey is so beautiful thank you for sharing this with so many of us. Just reading through this I had the most amazing idea that if you will be making your way up to North Carolina after October we would absolutely like for you to stay with us in our new home, or at the very least meet with you along the way for a family photo session God permitting. You and Donny are such amazing souls and I loved getting to meet the littles this Spring, just waiting on the day to get to see you all in person again soon!

  14. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang says:

    so so happy for you guys! and katie daisy? rock on!!

  15. Ali says:

    You have taken some INCREDIBLE photos of your children on this adventure. How special, special and truly beautiful! It has been fun following along on your journey. Can’t wait to see the yahoo special, when will it debut?

  16. Stacie Youngblood says:

    pretty awesome once again. I’m glad you’re settling into a rhythm and sharing your journey!

  17. Pamela Susan says:

    omigoodness, I just now watched the video–LOVED it!! That first song couldn’t have been more perfect for your family!!

  18. Ruth says:

    So wish there was a bridge connecting the US with Australia so you could add us on your travels!

  19. Nicole says:

    I’m smitten! I enjoyed reading your blog for the first time today and feel so encouraged in motherhood (& life!) after doing so. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and quest for life’s simplest joys. I have to admit… my wheels are spinning about a road trip of my own (wonder if I could hunt down Katie Daisy?) 😉 Enjoy all of the sweet memories being made!!!

  20. Taralynn says:

    I’m all teary! What an absolute amazing adventure this has been. That is living my friend! I am so honored and happy that we were able to play even the tiniest tiniest itty bitty part of it :) You are good good people and thankful to know such a true and real family like yourselves. Oh, and come September, if you guys want that carrier, it’s yours. A gift from Matt to Donny 😉 If you want it. Carry on, my friend. Your doing it!!!

  21. ann says:

    I just finished reading your post and watching the video and it completely took me to a wonderful place. I am trying to talk my husband into getting a trailer and traveling when I retire in 3 years. It’s a beautiful dream, thanks for sharing with us.

  22. Annaliese Gillette says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog. It is beautiful; your family is beautiful; and I have been incredibly blessed by your lovely words and photos. As a fellow lover of simplicity and travel, I think it is amazing what you are doing. I was also home-schooled and had four brothers. So, I completely support your lifestyle change. Your family has such adventure and courage at its core. Keep trusting Jesus; and know that there are many that are praying and supporting you. Be encouraged.

  23. annie says:

    the pictures are amazing! i know there are rough patches, but just LOOK at all the memories you are making and all of the beautiful pictures you have to remember it by! the bunk bed situation looks fabulous! absolutely dreamy! it’s amazing how really all you NEED is in that tiny trailer. How much excess do we all have that we could toss and never miss!?!?!! this is fabulous! I can’t wait to see both films! happy travels!

  24. Nah Young Kim says:

    Joy, it is always heart warming to read your blogs. I am always amazed of what you and Don are able to accomplish on the road with your kids! God bless you all and hope you have a safe and fun filled road trip part 2. :-)

  25. Nancy says:

    Oh Joy. This is so beautiful. I’ve been so inspired by the way you and your family have taken this step to simplify your lives and live with intentionality to be together more. We are a family of six too. We recently uprooted from our home in Portland and moved to San Francisco to help a church get started here. Your photos are a constant reminder to me to hold my babies near and live life fully. You are a brave momma to be sure and one that I greatly admire.

  26. Brianna McLain says:

    Joy, thank you ever so much for sharing all these fantastic nitty-gitty, beautiful details for those of us who are also dreaming and planning BIG adventures:-) The images that you capture are so timeless and breathtaking and your sweet, Godly spirit shows through in your humble, gracious writing. Keep up the FULL living and being an inspiration to us all, and most importantly your precious little cargo (such adorable children)!

    PS – I would love to take you out for coffee/smoothie if you have a free moment if/when you visit Maui!

  27. Tammy C. says:

    Can’t even find the words for how inspiring your trip is. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing it with everyone.

  28. Ashley Anderson says:

    Love reading your words and seeing your pics. So proud of the journey you are on cousin- physically and spiritually!! Thanking God for watching over you guys. Come see us when you get to Texas!!

  29. Diana Mattar says:

    Wow! You are an inspiration! I’ve been following you on Instagram and then saw your documentary on Yahoo today. Everyday I’m always thinking that I need to simplify my life and my family’s. Thank you for showing us that it’s possible.

  30. lora says:

    I just watched the yahoo news special about y’all. so wonderful! i admire you guys so much. what an amazing experience and gift you are giving to your children! :) God bless you in your journey! lora

  31. Sylvie says:

    I LOVE your story and everything you did to go on this journey! It takes a lot of courage to go out on such a limb, but you’re doing it in such a beautiful way. I haven’t been so touched by a blog until yours – and am seeing the world through your beautiful lens and family. Thank you for sharing your life with us and may God bless all of you in your travels.

  32. patty says:

    Wow – such beauty! In your writing, pictures, family, adventure! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you! You will have so many wonderful (and probably some not so wonderful) memories from this season! :)

  33. Alinor says:

    Hi Joy :) Just discovered your blog/adventure story (through Ashley Ann). Just wanted to say that 1/ it’s freaking inspiring 2/ your photos are amazing

  34. Amanda Clark says:

    Joy, I found you off of the Yahoo feature, and I think they did an amazing job of portraying your family, what you guys do and your journey. :) If you’re by Portland, I’d love to learn more about a family shoot!

  35. Bonnie says:

    Such a beautiful journey! Thank you for sharing it with all of us! You are an inspiration!

  36. Sandra Sitar says:

    the slideshow – the more the story within – is phenomenal.

  37. Emma Kate says:

    your journey is a beautiful one. x

  38. Lauren Gelman says:

    Stumbled across your website through Pinterest. Love looking at the moments that you are documenting along your journey, but even more inspired by the courage & faith of you & your family. Thanks for spreading joy & adventure through your photos!

  39. Julie says:

    Hi Joy,
    I love that you are walking in obedience to God. Your journey with Jesus is inspiring! I wanted to take your very journey with my family a few years ago. The kids and I watched your video together. What a blessing to see the bonds that have formed in your family because you dare to be obedient to God!

    We are on our own journey…adopting 2 children from Uganda…soon to travel there for two months with our 3 biological children. Returning home as a family of 7 we pray. And the very best thing about this journey is watching the hand of our Awesome God work. That makes every hardship, every critical comment, every cruel unspoken thought worth bearing! The thrill of seeing God work, bringing glory to His name…therein lies all the reward…the motivation to keep going.

    You are doing the right thing by obeying God. May His peace wash over you. You are the real deal. Well done, Joy.

    I follow you on IG. What a treat to see your posts in my feed. :)


  40. David Hunter says:

    Wow. That was an amazing post.

    You have some stunning photographs as well. Very inspiring.

  41. Becci says:

    Your story is so inspirational for me. My husband and I have jokingly talked for years about doing this but seeing you guys actually doing it is so amazing. It makes me realize that the journey of my dreams might actually be possible. Thank you for your positive but honest narrative of the journey its evokes my wanderlust.

  42. Monica Calderin says:

    You have lived more ‘LIFE’ with your family in the past few months than some people do in a lifetime.

    God bless you and your family Joy. I love following your journey. It inspires me so.

  43. The Stork & The Beanstalk says:

    Oh Joy, just got caught up on the last few posts. Keep on keepin’ on, pretty Mama. You’re doing a great job. And keep the music playing… xo

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wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. writer. dreamer.



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